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at hand, coming to meet them, is that celestial wisdom, that summa theologia, which, indeed, comes down out of heaven from God-down to enlighten the humblest-but who blesses with special favour those who have sought her in her own higher places of moral victory or severest intellectual toil. They, indeed, in the foretaste of Divine joy, find the one true terrestrial paradise.'

It is true that the view of theological sequence presented in these pages is not formally contained in the work which we have been reviewing. But the entire line of thought here traced has been suggested by that work, and confirmed by other writings of the same author. We do not undervalue our points of difference from Mr. Murphy. Some of these, already alluded to, are too important to be adequately discussed here. But the benefit derived from the perusal of such works as 'Habit and Intelligence' and 'The Scientific Bases of Faith' has been so great as to call for express acknowledgment. The present paper professes to be the mere outline of a theory which deserves more elaborate and worthy treatment. Mr. Murphy's own admirable words, referring to certain abstruse questions, may here serve to illustrate the advantage to be derived from careful study of the entire argument by which, throughout his writings, he vindicates the absolute value of moral ideas. At the close of his remarkable chapter on Time, Space, and Causation' he thus sums up

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If this is true, we have escaped the cloudland of metaphysics, not by retreat, but by going on till we have come out at the farther side into common sense and inductive science, yet without losing anything that we have really gained in our wandering through that cloudland; and we stand again, as we stood in our unmetaphysical childhood, on the firm familiar earth and in the light of common day (p. 460).

Work of this fundamental character, at once scientific and devout, claims the true gratitude of Christians. It lays the foundation for counsels of enduring peace between philosophy and religion. And who shall measure the blessings that must arise when the sublime unity of the Creator's plan in the kingdoms of nature, of grace, and of glory shall be fully recognized; when the two voices, the life of faith and the light of science, shall proclaim, in perfect antiphony, 'Thou art worthy, O God, to receive honour, and glory, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created!'

'With Thee is the fountain of life, and in Thy light shall we see light!'

J. ROBINSON.

99

ART. V.-Inspiration.

WE are told-some, perhaps, may think almost ad nauseamthat we are in the midst of an intellectual revolution. It produces in many, as it did in the contemporaries of Galileo, an uncomfortable feeling of insecurity to learn that their theory of stability is no longer tenable. E pur si muove. The centre on which all things have been supposed to hang may be demonstrated to be itself in a state of revolution, and yet the system with which it is connected may lose nothing, may be shown to be part of a larger order, gaining in our conceptions at once magnitude and strength. The reluctance of the unscientific mind to part with its long cherished notion is not the true tenacity of reason or the steadfastness of faith, but the mere blind prejudice of superstition. Change is never revolutionary unless it is opposed. Theories which are parted with only after deadly struggle have won their first acceptance often by the same means. They have been connected by association with much that is of the highest value in practical life. They borrow sacredness from that which is universally and deservedly revered. We identify the theory with fact. We think that we are invited to renounce that which is permanent and essential, when, it may be, all that is questioned is a phase of the theological mind, itself the outcome of what was local and temporary in the ecclesiastical controversies of the past. Theory and fact must be distinguished. A truly inductive theology will attach but a subordinate importance to formule which are often very inadequate representations of the knowledge out of which they sprang, and certainly can never be properly substituted for a great body of facts which require a continually progressive interpretation. No soberminded theologian, indeed, will lightly and hastily discard terms and definitions which have come down from his predecessors. Like the colours of a regiment, however battered and ragged in appearance, they possess their value, which increases in proportion to their age-the 'notæ stantis ecclesiæ'the historical documents of past victories and real advancement. But whatever we do with our colours, we must be prepared for new fields of theological thought. In some instances it may be necessary to lay aside what has been handed on to us, and reorganize. The true conservative does not deprecate change, but believes supremely in the power of life. That which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish

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away.' Shiftings of thought may be readjustment; readjustment may be safety.

We make these remarks as introductory to a subject which to some, perhaps, has been almost a forbidden region of investigation, because it has been supposed to be full of the elements of speculation and dangerous to the simplicity of faith. The spirit of profound slumber still holds, as with a fatal spell, the mass of ordinary Christians in respect to the doctrine of Inspiration. What thoughts they have upon the Bible are practically sound, but, with little time or capacity for inquiry, they rest upon the insecure basis of a traditional conception, which they have never really probed for themselves, and which, when it is examined, is found to be no longer serviceable. The theory of verbal, or plenary, inspiration, which is adopted largely without clear definition, was crudely formed at first, was entirely dogmatic in its origin as a theological doctrine springing from the ecclesiastical strifes of the Reformation, and was never the result of a candid investigation of the facts of which it ought to be the representative expression. The theory itself, if it may be so termed, although it was little more than a general conception until the post-Reformation period, came down to the early Christian Church from the later school of the Rabbinical Jews. There is no trace of it until about the time of the Septuagint (285 B.C.); that is, more than a century after the close of the Old Testament canon, when the voice of living prophecy was no longer heard, when the spiritual life of the Jewish people was at the lowest. The superstitious account of the production of the Septuagint, with its story of a miraculous agreement in the versions made by seventy-two translators, each separate from the rest, was believed by the early fathers. Irenæus relates it as undoubted in his day. Justin Martyr saw the cells in which the translators were shut up. Augustine maintains that they were miraculously inspired. Only when Jerome began to examine the facts and collate manuscripts did the critical atmosphere dispel the cloud of superstition. The doctrine of a literal, verbal, miraculous inspiration served the purpose of a rapidly developing High-Churchism binding its fetters on the living limbs of the growing Christendom, and beginning its degrading work almost as soon as the last apostle had gone to his rest. But all through the middle ages, and down to the time of the Reformation, while the canons of the Old and New Testaments were settled and their inspiration was regarded as plenary, there was no definite expression of the doctrine of inspiration, as there afterwards was. In the ninth century a discussion

took place between the Archbishop of Lyons and the Abbot of Tours, in which the Archbishop ridiculed the idea of a verbal inspiration. Abelard denied the infallibility of the sacred writers. The mystical writers and preachers who preceded, and in some sense prepared the way for, the Reformation, opened the way, by their doctrine of private inspiration, for a larger view; while the Roman Catholic Church, favouring the idea of a supplementary inspiration in the tradition of the fathers, although nominally retaining the theory of verbal inspiration, really undermined it. It was the battle of the Reformation, a battle fought with the written word of God which necessitated the formal definition of the doctrine. The sword of the Spirit must be sharpened by the terminology and distinctions of theologians. The sacred writers were declared to be amanuenses of the Spirit of God. Every word, syllable, letter, even to the vowel points of the Hebrew, was inspired. If the smallest verse be excepted, the whole book loses its authority. There is no least error,' says Quenstedt, either in matter or form. All that is there is absolutely true, dogmatic, moral, historical, chronological, topographical, onomastical. There is no ignorance, no carelessness, no oversight, no slip of memory, even in the most unimportant external matters. If the least error be admitted, perit fidei nostræ certitudo et infallibilitas.' And the same doctrine is held by some of the Evangelical school of the present day. But already there is so much widespread dissatisfaction with the old position, that it becomes a duty to inquire what we do believe and what we must believe. The demand of our time is not for a mere theory of inspiration, which must always be inadequate, but that whatever is affirmed on the subject shall be brought into intelligent relation to a solid basis of fact; in other words, that the whole of our thoughts shall gather round one point, and one point alone-the authority of the so-called sacred books of Scripture. The case of Professor Robertson Smith, of the Free Church College, Aberdeen, has clearly shown that a summary of critical results by a man of undoubted scholarship and unquestionable fairness, put forth without theological rancour, in a neutral, literary work such as the Encyclopædia Britannica,' instead of being calmly considered and canvassed, thrills the whole religious world of Scotland with astonishment and apprehension, and produces an incalculable amount of moral evil in the angry controversies which it excites in general assemblies, presbyteries, and congregations. And yet, as Dr. Tulloch remarked in his article on Religious Thought in Scotland' in 'The

Contemporary Review' for March, 1877, 'It is surely a fact of momentous significance that such opinions should vindicate for themselves a position within the Free Church, and that the prospect should, in consequence, be opening up of an entire change in the attitude of the Scotch mind towards the Bible. Changes of all kinds must come with a changed view of scripture-as an uncertain and progressive literature, rather than a literal code or transcript of the Divine Mind. The beginning of theological reconstruction within the Christian Church lies in the new idea of revelation which connects itself immemediately with this advanced view of the Bible.' Without committing ourselves to Dr. Tulloch's position, we may still coincide with his estimate of the vast importance of the transition through which we are passing. When uncertainty and doubt have been awakened in any department of religious belief, the materials should be supplied as soon as possible out of which a more matured Christian consciousness shall formulate something like a new expression of its knowledge and faith. There is no finality in theology. The definitions of the past are valuable simply as tidemarks to record the progress of the Church in investigation and spiritual understanding. If an age of transition like our own can scarcely be expected to yield many permanent results, it may yet gather together that which shall afterwards be built up. But in some directions, it might be contended, there is a distinct call for reconstruction. We are not, in positive acquisitions and attainments, especially of the critical kind, where our predecessors were. Advancement necessitates change of method. A theory which would satisfy the demands of a lower degree of light will not adapt itself to a higher. And what was honest and fair in the time of Luther and Melancthon, in the more intense rays of modern research may be absolutely dishonest and morally unsound. Our apologetical and theological conflicts must be waged not with old, but with new weapons. And our confidence must be based not upon general arguments of a kind which appeal to moral instincts and halfformed faith, but upon a scientific foundation of evidences, impregnable by the acutest minds and capable of holding up any amount of superstructure which may be placed upon them.

We propose in the present article to answer the question, What is the basis of belief on which the Christian now stands, professing to hold in his hand the Word of God, and appealing to the world around him to accept the message of life clothed in the language of a written revelation? We are not intending to discuss theories of inspiration. Nor is our object

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