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though he may differ from some others as to the terms made use of above, yet I am persuaded his arguments will be found weighty and powerful. "There are many things in the Scriptures," says Mr. Dick, "which the writers might have known, and probably did know, by ordinary means. As persons possessed of memory, judgment, and other intellectual faculties, which are common to men, they were able to relate certain events in which they had been personally concerned, and to make such occasional reflections as were suggested by particular subjects and occurrences. In these cases no supernatural influence was necessary to invigorate their minds; it was only necessary that they should be infallibly preserved from error. It is with respect to such passages of Scripture alone, as did not exceed the natural ability of the writers to compose, that I would admit the notion of superintendence, if it should be admitted at all. Perhaps this word, though of established use and almost undisputed authority, should be entirely laid aside, as insufficient to express even the lowest degree of inspiration. In the passages of Scripture which we are now considering, I conceive the writers to have been not merely superintended, that they might commit no error, but likewise to have been moved or excited by the Holy Ghost to record particular events, and set down particular observations. The passages written in consequence of the direction and under the care of the Divine Spirit, may be said, in an inferior sense, to be inspired; whereas if the men had written them at the suggestion of their own spirit, they would not have possessed any more authority though they had been free from error, than those parts of profane writings which are agreeable to truth.
2. "There are other parts of the Scriptures in which the faculties of the writers were supernaturally invigorated and elevated. It is impossible for us, and perhaps it was not possible for the inspired person himself, to determine where nature ended and inspiration began. It is enough to know, that there are many parts of Scripture in which, though the unassisted mind might have proceeded some steps, a divine impulse was necessary to enable it to advance. I think, for example, that the evangelists could not have written the history of Christ if they had not enjoyed miraculous aid. Two of them, Matthew and John, accompanied our Saviour during the space of three years and a half. At the close of this period, or rather several years after it, when they wrote their Gospels, we may be certain that they hail forgotten many of his discourses and miracles; that they recollected others indistinctly; and that they would have been in danger of producing an inaccurate and unfair account, by confounding one thing with another. Besides, from so large a mass of particulars, men of uncultivated minds, who were not in the habit of distinguishing and classifying, could not have made a proper selection; nor would persons unskilled in the art of composition have been able to express themselves in such terms as should insure a faithful representation of doctrines and facts, and wiih such dignity as the nature of the subject required. A divine influence, therefore, must have been exerted on their minds, by which their memories and judgments were strengthened, and they were enabled to relate the doctrines and miracles of their Master in a manner the best fitted to impress the readersof their histories. The promise of the Holy Ghost to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever Christ had said to them, proves, that, in writing their histories, their mental powers were endowed, by his agency, with more than usual vigour.
"Farther; it must be allowed that in several passages of Scripture there is found such elevation of thought and of style, as clearly shows that the powers of the writers were raised above their ordinary pitch. If a person of moderate talents should give as elevated a description of the majesty and attributes of God, or reason as profoundly on the mysterious doctrines of religion, as a man of the most exalted genius and extensive learning, we could not fail to be convinced that he was supematurally assisted; and the conviction would be still stronger, if his composition should far transcend the highest efforts of the human mind. Some of the sacred writers were taken from the lowest ranks of life; and yet sentiments so dignified, and representations of divine things so grand and majestic, occur in their writings, that the noblest flights of human genius, when compared with them, appear cold and insipid.
3. ** It is manifest, with respect to many passages of Scripture, that the subjects of which they treat must have been directly revealed to the writers. They could not have been known by any natural means, nor was the knowledge of them attainable by a simple <*levtfUon of the faculties. With the
i faculties of an angel we could not discover the purposes of the divine mind. This degree of inspiration we attribute to those who were empowered to reveal heavenly mysteries,' which eye had not seen, and ear had not heard,' to those who were sent with particular messages from God to his people, and to those who were-employed to predict future events. The plan of redemption being an effect of the sovereign councils of heaven, it could not have been known but by a communication from the Father of Lights.
"This kind of inspiration has been called the inspiration of suggestion. It is needless to dispute about a word; but suggestion seeming to express an operation on the mind, by which ideas are excited in it, is of too limited signification to denote the various modes in which the prophets and apostles were made acquainted with supernatural truths. God revealed himself to them not only by suggestion, but by dreams, visions, voices, and the ministry of angels. This degree of inspiration, in strict propriety of speech should be called revelation; a word preferable to suggestion, because it is expressive of all the ways in which God communicated new ideas to the minds of his servants. It is a word, too, chosen by the Holy Ghost himself, to signify the discovery of truths formerly unknown to the apostles. The last book of the New Testament, which is a collection of prophecies, is called the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul says, that he received the Gospel by revelation; that' by revelation- the mystery was made known to him, which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it was then revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:' and in another place, having observed that 'eye had not seen, nor ear heard, neither had entered into the heart of man the things which God had prepared for them that love him,' he adds, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit," Rev. i. 1. Gal. i. 12. Eph. ii. 5. 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10.
"I have not names to designate the other two kinds of inspiration. The names used by Doddridge, and others, Superintendence, Elevation, and Suggestion, do not convey the ideas stated in the three preceding particulars, and are liable to other objections, besides those which have been mentioned. This account of the inspiration of the Scriptures has, I think, these two recommendations: that there is no part of Scripture which does not fall under one a subject which he does not understand, unless he were furnished with the words as well as the sentiments; and that the penmen of the Scriptures did not always understand what they wrote, might be safely inferred from the comparative darkness of the dispensation under which some of them lived; and is intimated by Peter, when he says, that the prophets 'enquired and searched diligently what, and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.' 1 Pet. i. 10,11.
"In other passages of Scripture, those oat Excepted in which the writers relate sy h things as had fallen within the compass of their own knowledge, we shall be disposed to believe that the words are inspired, if we calmly and seriously w^ieh the following considerations. If Christ promised to his disciples, that, when they were brought before kings and governors for his sake, * it should be given them in that same hour what they should speak, and that the Spirit of the Father should speak in them.' Matt. x. 19, 20. Luke xii. 11, 12. a promise which cannot be reasonably understood to signify less than that both words and sentiments should be dictated to them, it is fully as credible that they should be assisted in the same manner when they wrote, especially as the record was to last through all ages, and to be a rule of faith to all the nations of the earth. Paul affirms that he and the other apostles spoke * not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost taught,' 1 Cor. ii. 13. and this general assertion may be applied to their writings as well as to their sermons. Besides, every person who hath reflected upon the subject, is aware of the importance of a proper selection of words in expressing our sentiments; and knows how easy it is for a heedless or unskilful person not only to injure the beauty and weaken the efficacy of a discourse by the impropriety of his langu ige, but by substituting one word for another, to which it seems to be equivalent, to alter the meaning, and perhaps render it totally different. If, then, the sacred writers had not been directed in the choice of words, how could we have been assured that those which they have chosen were the most proper? Is it not possible, nay, is it not certain, that they would have sometimes expressed themselves inaccurately, as many of them were illiterate; and by consequence would have obscured
I and misrepresented the truth? In this | case, how could our faith have securely j. rested on their testimony.' Would not the suspicion of error in their writings : have rendered it necessary, before we ! received them, to try them by the stanj dard of reason? and would not the auj thority and the design of revelation have I thus been overthrown? We must conclude, therefore, that the words of Scripture are from God, as well as the matter; or we shall charge him with a want of wisdom in transmitting his truths through a channel by which they might have been, and most probably have been, polluted.
"To the inspiration of the words, the difference in the style of the sacred writers seems to be an objection; because, if the Holy Ghost were the author of the words, the style might be expected to be uniformly the same. But in answer to this objection it may be observed, that the Divine Spirit, whose operations are various, might act differently on different persons, according to the natural turn of their minds. He might enable one man, for instance, to write more sublimely than another, because he was naturally of a more exalted genius than the other, and the subject assigned to him demanded more elevated language; or he might produce a difference in the style of the same man, by raising, at one time, his faculties above their ordinary state; and by leaving them at another, to act according to their native energy under his inspection and controul. We should not suppose that inspiration, even in its higher degrees, deprived those who were the subjects of it, of the use of their faculties. They were, indeed, the organs of the Spirit; but they were conscious, intelligent organs. They were dependent, but distinct agents; and the operation of their mental powers, though elevated and directed by superior influence, was analogous to their ordinary mode of procedure. It is easy, therefore, to conceive that the style of the writers of the Scriptures should differ, just as it would have differed if they had not been inspired. A perfect uniformity of style could not nave taken place, unless they had all been inspired in the same degree, and by inspiration their faculties had been completely suspended, so that divine truths were conveyed by them in the same passive manner in which a pipe affords a passage to water, or a trumpet to the breath. Sec Dick's Essay on the Inspiration of the Scri/itures; Hawker on Plenary Inspiration; Afificn
ing or drinking. This is the general idea of it; but we may observe, that whatever indulgence undermines the health, impairs the senses, inflames the passions, clouds and sullies the reason, perverts the judgment, enslaves the will, orinariy way disordersordebilitates the faculties, may be ranked under this vice. See article Temperance.
INTERCESSION OF CHRlST.his interposing for sinners, by virtue of the satisfaction he made to divine justice. 1. As to the fact itself, it is evident, from many places of Scripture, that Christ pleads with God in favour of his people, Rom. viii. 34. Heb. vii. 25. 1 John ii. 1.—2. As to the manner of it: the appearance of the high-priest'a .-.long the Jews, in the presence of Ood, on tht day of atonement, when he offered before him the blood of the sin-offering, is at large referred to by St. Paul, as illustrating the intercession of Christ, Heb. bell, 14,22,26. Heb. x. 19,21. Christ appears before God with his own body; but whether he intercedes vocally or not. cannot be known: though it is most probable, I think, that he does not: how ever, it is certain that he docs not intercede in like manner as when on earth, with prostration of body, cries and tears, which would be quite inconsistent with his state of exaltation and glory; nor as supplicating an angry judge, for peace is made by the blood of the cross j nor as litigating a point in a court of judicature; but his intercession is carried on by showing himself as having done, as their surety, all that law and justice could require, by representing his blood and sacrifice as the ground of his people's acceptance with the Father, Rev. v. 6. John xvii. 24.-3. The end of Christ's intercession is not to remind the Divine Being of any thing which he would otherwise forget, nor to persuade him to any thing which he is not disposed to do; but it may serve to illustrate the holiness and majesty of the Father, and the wisdom and grace of the Son; not to say that it may have other unknown uses with respect to the inhabitants of the invisible world. He is represented, also, aa offering up the
Crayers and praises of his people, which ecome acceptable to God through him, Rev. viii. 3, 4. Heb. xiii. 15. 1 Pet. ii. 5. He there pleads for the conversion of his unconverted ones; and for the consolation, preservation, and glorification of his people, John xvii. 1 John ii. 1, 2. — t. Of the properties of Christ's intercession we may observe, 1. That it is authoritative. He intercedes not without right, John xvii. 24. Ps. ii. 8.-2. M m