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I have no personal animosity against him. In fact, I have not the honour of his acquaintance. Yet I cannot but feel that the constant recurrence of his name in these pages may give the impression of personalities to my allegations against his writings. To some extent this is unavoidable, from the nature of the case. In setting forth a legal proof,—which is what I undertook to do, that the Divine Authority of Holy Scripture is denied in his writings, I am compelled constantly to quote, and to quote “Driver." If this denial is contrary to the statute law of the realm, the Professor occupies an illegal position. This position I am bound to believe he would carefully consider if his attention could be drawn to it. The thing has been stated, both in print and in my hearing, many times. Yet nothing follows. For whatever reason, it is not the habit of the Higher Critics or their disciples to take much notice of any opinions but their own.
In order to induce them to do so, I
made this appeal to the Primate of all England, who has graciously consented to consider it.
2. It is not to be supposed that I am averse from the very closest examination of the Word and Works of God. But the assumption that what is presented to us as His Word, or Work, is not in every part His, will mar the whole investigation. Knowing by experience the common sneer at those who maintain the Divine Authority of all Scripture,-O yes, you mean verbal inspiration, and that is an absurdity, -I have carefully based my argument upon the Divine indorsement of the Canonical Books, and left their Inspiration alone.
But I think that there is the most ample room for the study of the entire structure of the Bible, and particularly of the Old Testament, under the following heads, which should be carefully distinguished, viz. :—
1. The several Authors of the sacred Books.
2. Their Editors. (The Books called Psalms, Proverbs, Jeremiah, each profess
to be the work of more than one author. As we should say, they have been edited, -but by subsequent prophets.)
3. Their Canonicity, i.e. their delivery to the chosen people as the Word of God, having the authority of His Law in perpetuity, and not for a time only.
These first three heads constitute the
relation of Scripture to the Prophets.
4. Their attestation as God's Word written, in every part. This constitutes their Authority. In a word, it is their relation to Christ.
5. Their Inspiration, i.e. their relation to the Holy Spirit: "What the Spirit
6. Their custody, circulation, translation and transmission. This is their relation to the Church: What the Spirit saith unto the Churches."
It is quite as possible to pursue this study on the supposition that the Scriptures are true, as upon the supposition that they are a mixture of truth and error. Under these heads there is ample
room (as our fathers have shown us) for the exercise of the finest intellect in the world. I can testify that no study is more invigorating, enlightening, or enjoyable.
But allowing this, I protest with my whole soul against the attempt to divide the Scripture, or the works of God, into that which He has made, and that which He has not: or into that which He has authorised, and that which He has not. It is impossible for men to agree where to mark the division. The result of attempting to mark it, is to impair the certainty (asphaleia in Luke i. 4) of every syllable of the Bible.
Without the uniformity of nature, which (on the inner side) is the reliability of God, the study of nature is futile. Unless the Bible is just as reliable, there is no such thing as the scientific study of His Word.
In fact, His written Word has in that case no definite existence. We have only a human production before us, displaying the excellences and defects of human work
manship. Who would care to pursue the examination of radium, if credibly informed that it was very largely an article of human composition? Would not his first care be to eliminate the artificial products, and isolate the natural thing?
But it may be said, This is exactly what the Higher Critics are trying to do? Can they do it? And,-to come to the heart of the whole question once for all—, Did our Lord do it? Did He distinguish Scripture from Scripture in this way, and label one portion of the Sacred Writings as Human, another as Divine? If so, when and where?
In order to do so, the Higher Critics (I am not now referring to Professor Driver, who sets this point aside) have attempted some such process (salvâ reverentiâ) with our Divine Lord Himself, whose "Name is called the Word of God." They have endeavoured to distinguish between His utterances, so far as He is The Truth (aλnoeia, who forgets nothing, and whose sight nothing escapes,-which is the primary