These instructions I have carefully borne in mind. This letter presents my case in brief. The several allegations which complete it are treated in separate chapters. There is nothing set forth here which any English jury might not sufficiently understand. I resent the assumption of modern Hebraists, that the question whether “the Law was given by Moses," and other like questions concerning David, Isaiah, and Daniel, are such as Germans only are competent to judge. Our Judges tell us that the value of expert evidence is not for experts to determine. A favourite phrase with modern critics is, that "Scholars have shown." What the Scholars have shown, is not for the Scholars (as experts) to decide.

In this proof, I have limited myself to the writings of Moses. Four sacred authors our Blessed Lord has cited by name in the Gospels: Moses, Isaiah, David, and Daniel. I limit myself at present to the first of these.

I have to show

In the first place, what is Holy Scrip

ture, and what is the basis of its Divine Authority.

Secondly, that this Divine Authority has been denied in the published writings of Professor Driver, and upon insufficient grounds.

And thirdly, but as an entirely separate matter, I said that this denial, if proved before one of His Majesty's Judges, might render the Professor incapable of any office of trust in the Church of England. The Act which makes this so I have cited at the close of this letter. It does not seem to be any part of my duty to arraign Professor Driver under the Act, or to call upon others to do so.

But it seems to have been part of my undertaking to lay this aspect of the matter before your Grace, and to show the ground of the statement cited from Dale's "Legal Handbook" in my first letter on the subject.

In all theological questions, definitions are of the highest importance. To define "What is Holy Scripture" may seem superfluous, but in this case it is not so.

A practical definition of the Holy Scriptures and of their Divine Authority is furnished to all members of the Church of England by our Thirty-nine Articles. I propose to cite this first, and to consider what lies behind it afterwards. First, then, As to the Holy Scriptures and their Divine Authority.

(a) By Article vi, In the name of Holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament (specified in the same Article) of whose Authority1 never was any doubt in the Church.

1 The explanation of this word is often given as though it meant Authorship or Authenticity. This is impossible in speaking of a "Canonical Book." Questions of authorship and authenticity must have been settled before the Book can be termed "Canonical" at all. I take the word in the sense it bears elsewhere in the Articles xx, xxi, xxxiv. A book once accepted by the Church Universal as Canonical has the Authority of "God's Word written,"-" of whose authority never" (until this present evil time) "was any doubt in the Church." The Article is not speaking of the disputed authenticity or authorship of books which are proposed for acceptance as Canonical, but of the Authority of Actually Canonical Books.

(b) These Holy Scriptures are styled "God's Word written," Article xx:

Holy Writ," Articles xx and xxviii : "The Word of God," Articles xvii, xxi, xxii, xxiv, xxvi, xxxiv, xxxvii: "The pure Word of God," Article xix. This is their Authority. See also Allegation I.

Further, as to the extent of this Authority, according to our Articles


(c) It is supreme, even over the Church in her General Councils. See the citations under Allegation I.

(d) It is accepted on all matters alike, e.g. Authorship-"the Law given from God by Moses," Article vii: the Words of Christ-"whereas Christ saith plainly," Article xiv: sacred History-"the prerogative given always to all godly princes in Holy Scriptures by God Himself," Article xxxvii: law-Christ's ordinance andcommandment, Articles xix, xxviii, XXX : and "God's

Law," Article xxxii: and the rule and practice of the Church, in the citations under Allegation I.

Members of the Church of England are therefore bound by our Articles to accept the statements of the Holy Scriptures on all points as Authoritative. I refer, of course, to statements which are made by the sacred writers themselves, not to any recorded statements made by other persons and reported on the sacred page. It may seem superfluous to say this, but experience has shown that it is not.

It is also necessary to call attention to the fact that statements made by the sacred writers in the pages of Scripture itself as to the origin, authorship, and date of the several books have the Authority of Scripture just as much as any other statements, and cannot be dismissed, or treated as "traditional," when that word means non-Scriptural. Our Articles draw a marked distinction between things declared or clearly stated by Holy Scripture, and other things. The "Traditions of the

« VorigeDoorgaan »