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to the language of our Lord and His Apostles, and to point out in various eminent particulars its surpassing importance. An argument of a positive nature, and confirmatory of that which I have already given, will thus flow from the character of Scripture itself, to show how impossible it is that such a record can in any way contravene the teachings of the phenomena and laws of the material world which proceeds from the same almighty Author. This part of my treatise is expressly addressed to Christians, who regard the testimony of our Lord and His Apostles as infallible; not to men who, because our Lord 'increased in wisdom' as well as 'stature, consider it to be perfectly consistent with the most entire and sincere belief in our Lord's Divinity,' to hold that our Lord may have asserted that which was not true, if it accorded with the views of the most learned of His nation! In this way such men endeavour to get rid of the testimony of these texts ; John, v. 46, 47; Luke, xvi. 29, 31;


XX. 37.*

* Colenso's Pentateuch, Part I. p. xxx., xxxi.





Definition of

By the inspiration of Holy Scripture I understand, that the Scriptures were written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who communicated to the writers facts before unknown, directed them in Inspiration. the selection of other facts already known, and preserved them from error of every kind in the records they made. This definition I have given in every

edition of

my book. Dr. Colenso quotes it in his attack upon the historical character of the Pentateuch, printing the last clause in italics, as the text from which he proceeds in his investigation. It is the inspiration of the original documents which have long ago disappeared that I contend for. That errors have crept into the long succession of copies no one denies. Had Dr. Colenso, by his arithmetical test, detected any internal contradictions, all it would have amounted to would be, that our present copies have become, in those respects, more corrupted by transmission from hand to hand than was before known. But that the documents are unhistorical, or comparatively modern productions not to be de

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pended upon as history, would by no means be proved by such a process. Dr. Colenso's criticisms, as objections to the historical character of the Pentateuch, have been shown in a former page to be without

to be without any value. A friendly reviewer* of my fifth edition also thinks, that, by claiming freedom from error of every kind for the originals of Holy Scripture, I have made assumption which is absolutely gratuitous, and which imposes a formidable and needless task upon the defenders of inspiration.' But to this I reply, that if all scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Tim. iii. 16), and if this, as the context proves,t applies, not only to parts of scripture, but to all scripture, the matter is settled ; for it is not to be allowed for one moment, that the Holy Spirit would either dictate or suffer error of any kind in what was written under His suggestion or superintendence. If, on the other hand, we suppose that some parts are inspired and other parts not, where is the line to be drawn? We must take our standpoint somewhere. It has always appeared to me most reasonable, and most consonant with our ideas of the Divine Being, to take up the position that Holy Scripture, coming as it does from God, is perfect, till the contrary has been proved ; and to consider that the discrepancies among MSS. are to be attributed to the numerous host of transcribers through whose hands our present copies are come down to us—discrepancies which may be counted by thousands, but which, by the acknowledgment of those who have hunted for contradictions, are of no importance and are what can readily be accounted for by the natural fallibility of the most careful copyist. The argument of the sceptic, against those who admit of only a partial inspiration of the Holy Volume, is to me unanswerable, and represents the views I have always held on the subject. He says, “A book cannot be said to be inspired, or to carry with it the authority of being God's Word, if only portions come from Him, and there exists no plain and infallible sign to indicate which those portions are; and if the same writer may give us in one verse of the Bible a revelation from the Most High, and in the next verse a blunder of his own. How can we be certain, that the very texts, upon which we rest our doctrines and our hopes, are not the uninspired portion? What can be the meaning or nature of an Inspiration to teach Truth, which does not guarantee its recipient from teaching error ?' *

* Guardian, August 30, 1865. t See Note on page 347.

I would make every concession which a fair criticism of the text will allow : but to go further than this I think is dangerous. To place ourselves on the same low level with those who treat portions of Holy Scripture as fable, or, at any rate, as simply human, and to contend with them with their own weapons, as many attempt to do, is forsaking that high vantage ground which a believer in Revelation can claim, and is trusting too much to our own prowess. To stand on the defensive, and challenge proof of the works of God in any single instance being at variance with His word, is the safest and the right attitude for us to assume.

* Quoted from Bishop Wordsworth’s Lectures on the Inspiration of the Bible, in which the above words are transcribed from a volume recently published by a sceptical writer.' Seventh Edit. p. 11, 12.


If we descend, we can do so only by making compromises : we must waive the miraculous and the divine, we must use arguments drawn in every case only from the ordinary course of things. Thus Dr. Colenso wonders (p. 36) that I pass over the great event in Joshua's history so lightly, as he regards it as the most striking of instances of Scripture and Science being at variance : whereas I regard it as a Divine interposition, a miracle, and therefore as an event not coming within the range of scientific investigation. So, in his remarks upon the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, he appears to ignore altogether the Divine help in the whole transaction. A certain Greek professor once said that the Bible should be treated critically like any other book—to which principle I would agree when applied properly. But I altogether dissent, when he applies his principle thus; that, as Isaiah mentions the name of Cyrus, he must have lived after Cyrus. And why do I dissent ? Because the book of Isaiah is avowedly prophetical: and should therefore be tested by other means, unless it can be proved that prophecy is impossible, which is out of the question. My object has not been to reconcile Scripture and Science (though I think this is generally the result of my treatise), but to show that Science cannot prove anything to be at variance with Scripture: and in doing this I have taken the highest ground, and assumed that Scripture, in its originals, is free from error of every kind : and I think I have thus far maintained it.

I now proceed to show further, that the first eleven chapters of Genesis, the portion of Scripture now spe

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