„We must take heed to our doctrine about the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.
Let us boldly maintain, in the face of all gainsayers, that the whole of the Bible is given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost,
- that all is inspired completely, not one part more than another,
- and that there is an entire gulf between the Word of God and any other book in the world.
We need not be afraid of difficulties in the way of the doctrine of plenary inspiration. There may be many things about it far too high for us to comprehend: it is a miracle, and all miracles are necessarily mysterious. But if we are not to believe anything until we can entirely explain it, there are very few things indeed that we shall believe.—We need not be afraid of all the assaults that criticism brings to bear upon the Bible. From the days of the apostles the Word of the Lord has been incessantly “tried,” and has never failed to come forth as gold, uninjured, and unsullied.
We need not be afraid of the discoveries of science. Astronomers may sweep the heavens with telescopes, and geologists may dig down into the heart of the earth, and never shake the authority of the Bible: “The voice of God, and the work of God’s hands never will be found to contradict one another.”
We need not be afraid of the researches of travelers. They will never discover anything that contradicts God’s Bible. I believe that if a Layard ¹ were to go over all the earth and dig up a hundred buried Ninevehs, there would not be found a single inscription which would contradict a single fact in the Word of God.
Furthermore, we must boldly maintain that this Word of God is the only rule of faith and of practice,—that whatsoever is not written in it cannot be required of any man as needful to salvation,—and that however plausibly new doctrines may be defended, if they be not in the Word of God they cannot be worth our attention. It matters nothing who says a thing, whether he be bishop, archdeacon, dean, or presbyter. It matters nothing that the thing is well said, eloquently, attractively, forcibly, and in such a way as to turn the laugh against you. We are not to believe it except it be proved to us by Holy Scripture.
Last, but not least, we must use the Bible as if we believed it was given by inspiration. We must use it with reverence, and read it with all the tenderness with which we would read the words of an absent father. We must not expect to find in a book inspired by the Spirit of God no mysteries. We must rather remember that in nature there are many things we cannot understand; and that as it is in the book of nature, so it will always be in the book of Revelation. We should draw near to the Word of God in that spirit of piety recommended by Lord Bacon many years ago. “Remember,” he says, speaking of the book of nature, “that man is not the master of that book, but the interpreter of that book.” And as we deal with the book of nature, so we must deal with the Book of God. We must draw near to it, not to teach, but to learn,—not like the master of it but like a humble scholar, seeking to understand it.“
- Text taken from: Knots Untied: Being Plain Statements on Disputed Points in Religion from the Standpoint of an Evangelical Churchman.
- Online published HERE.
¹ Sir Austen Henry Layard – English archaeologist whose excavations greatly increased knowledge of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia.