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tion of God? The very idea is ridiculous, if not blasphemous! Again,was Peter divinely inspired when he said, “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” The Lord Jesus himself says Peter was then inspired by Satan, not by God; and consequently these words (which are in the Bible,) are Satan's, not God's! Matt. xvi. 22, 23. A vast mass of such matter might be adduced to demonstrate the folly of the above common error, did the compass of this little work admit it. Finally, there is but one solitary passage in the whole Bible that presents even a shadow of excuse for this mistake; and this shadow completely vanishes when the passage is correctly translated: I allude to 2 Tim. iii. 16, the literal translation of which is, “all, divinely inspired, writing, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof” &c. If it be said in reply to these remarks “how are we to know what in the Bible is the product of divine inspiration: or how are we to distinguish the human parts of the Bible from the divine part? I answer the very book itself tells you in the most unequivocal language: thus, “The Lord said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM" &c. Exod. iii. 14. “And God spake all these words saying, “THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BUT ME" &c. Exod. xx. 3. &c. “Hear the word of the Lord” foc. “TO WHAT PURPOSE IS THE MULTITUDE OF YOUR SACRIFICES UNTO ME? saith the Lord.” (Isa. i. 11.) Again. “Thus saith the Lord, LET NOT THE WISE MAN GLORY IN HIS WISDOM, NEITHER LET THE MIGHTY MAN GLORY IN HIS MIGHT; LET NOT THE RICH MAN GLORY IN HIS RICHES; BUT LET HIM THAT GLORIETH GLORY IN THIS, THAT HE UNDERSTANDETH AND KNOWETH ME, THAT I AM THE LORD WHICH EXERCISE LOVING KINDNESS, JUDGMENT, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS, IN THE EARTH: FOR IN THESE THINGS I DELIGHT, SAITH THE LORD.” Jer. ix. 23, 24. These few instances will be sufficient to convince any one, whose “conscience is not seared with a hot iron,” that the very sacred writers themselves distinctly showed what God himself said by them. “So that we are without excuse.” The sentences printed in italics are the mere historical parts: those printed in small capitals, the actual words of God. The Bible being thus a field, in which the works of man, and the works of God, are portrayed, an additional analogy or likeness, is formed between it and the book of Nature, in which the works of God and man are equally exhibited.
The common translation of the passage before alluded to, (2 Tim. iii. 16) as in our English Bibles, involves either an absurdity, or nullifies the object of the Apostle: fur if “ all' writing be given by the inspiration of God," then no writings are excluded; then heathen writings are "profitable for doctrine" &c., and consequently the Apostle's object, viz: that of highly and peculiarly commending what was actually written by divine inspiration, to the exclusion of all other writings, is rendered nugatory. .
To conclude. Although I am by no means fond of proving my views by theological writers, yet as some may think these views on this subject peculiar to me, or are only of recent date, I will in this instance deviate from my usual course, and give you the opinion of no less a personage than Saint Austin, one of the early writers, and of the Rt. Rev. Doctor Law, Bishop of Carlisle: and Bishop Watson, Paley, Chambers, &c., all concur in this view..
“The true sense, then,” says the late Bishop Law, "of the divine authority of the books of the Old Testament, and which, perhaps, is enough to denominate them in general divinely inspired, seems to be this; that as in these times God has all along, beside the inspection, or superintendency of his general providence, interfered upon particular occasions, by giving express commissions to some persons (thence called prophets,) to declare his will in various manners and degrees of evidence, as best suited the occasion, time, and nature of the subject; and in all other cases left them wholly to themselves; in like manner he has interposed his more immediate assistance (and notified it to them, as they did to the world,) in the recording of these revelations; so far as that was necessary, amidst the common (but from hence termed sacred) history of those times, and mixed with various other occurrences, in which the historian's own natural qualifications were sufficient to enable him to relate things with all the accuracy they required.” “I am” says St. Austin, “ of opinion that those men, to whom the Holy Ghost revealed what ought to be received as authoritative in religion, might write some things as men, with historical diligence, and other things as prophets, by divine inspiration; and that these things are so distinct, that the former may be attributed to themselves, as contributing to the increase of knowledge, and the latter to God speaking by them, things appertaining to the authority of religion.”
BLOOD. It is written, “ the life of all flesh is the blood thereof”-and again, “the life of the flesh, is in the blood." (Lev. xvii. 10, 11.) “It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” And the Apostle to the Hebrews, ix. 22, says, “ Almost all things are by the law” (alluding to the Levitical Law) “purged with blood; and without shedding of blood there was no remission of sins.” For what was all this reference to blood? For what, but to point out in the most unequivocal manner, that sin should not go unpunished, and that nothing less than life is the penalty for transgression against God. And when we look through the history of the heathen world, to the most ancient nations, we find amongst them all without exception a common belief of the necessity of the shedding of blood for the remission of sin! Whence originated this common, this universal opinion? Whence, but from the tradition respecting the will of God, communicated, orally, through the medium of his angels, to our first parents and to their posterity before the flood; from which oral command they soon departed; the sacrifices became perverted; and the simple knowledge and simple worship, of the ONE, only, and true God, became contaminated and corrupted by vain imaginations and superstitious ceremonies. So that scarcely a vestige of the knowledge of God and of his worship, can be found amongst them. But still that vestige, and that is all, can be traced among them! How accurately and forcibly does the Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, first chapter, from v. 19, to the end, describe this degeneracy, this falling away of the heathen world, from the knowledge and will of God, which they had, long before the calling of the Jews, received from their Creator. The passage referred to, is well worth a careful perusal. See Sacrifice. Atonement. Ceremonies. Christ.
BOOK. A term applied originally to what we now often call a chapter. Any portion of a Document or Record, with a distinct commencement and ending,' was called a book. The original Hebrew word translated book, properly signifies the bare rehearsal of any thing, or any kind of writing, however small; and it was the custom of the Jews to call every little memorandum by that name. Thus what we translate a bill of divorcement, (Deut. xxiv. 1) is, in the original, a BOOK of divorcement; and the short account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matt. i. 1) is termed in the Hebrew idiom “ the BOOK of the generation of Jesus Christ.” So in Matt. xix. 7, and Mark x. 4, it is in the Greek, a BOOK of divorcement. In like manner David's letter to Joab in 2d Sam. xi. 14, 15, is a BOOK in the Hebrew and Greek; as also the king of Syria's letter to the king of Israel, mentioned in 2d Kings v. 5. (Horne.) Thus we read, 2d Chronicles xxxiv. 14, that Hilkiah found a book of the Law of the Lord. This was evidently some portion of the works of Moses, which had been mislaid in the Temple, for it was found in the house of the Lord (v. 15); and the expresssion “I have found the book" does not imply that it was missing any length of time, not even one day; nor indeed that it was ever lost or missing; but that the person sent to that part of the Temple where the records were kept, could not easily find it: and when we recollect how difficult it is to find a document or record amongst even a small quantity of papers, we cannot be surprised at a difficulty occurring amongst a mass of records, parchments, &c. which must have been kept in the Temple. But that this book of Moses, could not have been long mislaid or missing (if ever) can be easily proved. This circumstance occurred A. C. 624-Two years before this, that is A. C. 626, they had the book of the Law of Moses, for they referred to it. (xxx. 5. 16) Therefore, it was not even two years missing! And when we refer to the following passages we will find the great care which was taken of the sacred writings: not only in one copy, but in several copies of the Law. See Huldah.