Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

329

boiling the kid, but it means that during the time that it is yet suckled it should not be boiled and eaten. Why this? Chemical analysis shows that its flesh is yet poisonous, if taken as food. Again, the Israelites were forbidden to eat of meat that died of itself or was strangled, as they were forbidden to eat blood (Lev. 22: 8; 19: 26). In all these cases the stress was laid on the blood which was not drained out of the carcasses or drunk after it was taken therefrom. Blood embrutens the brain and debases character; hence before man knew this as a chemical fact, God, knowing it, gave the prohibition, to bless the obeyers of the prohibition. All these dietetic facts, and others could be enumerated, unknown to man until lately, prove by their presence in the Mosaic laws 3,500 years ahead of time that these dietetic laws were of Divine origin.

 

The Mosaic law contains not a few hygienic hints, as distinct from dietetic hints. It implies the necessity of keeping the air pure by the speedy removal of excreta, garbage and carcasses, the early burial of the dead, and the removal of lepers from contact with the healthy. Mosaic charges as to work imply the usefulness of exercise as a matter of hygiene. The garments that the law prescribed for the priests are along the line of dissipating unhealthy odors from the body; and in certain particulars such garments were implied as worn by the people. Sandals certainly were more healthful for the feet than shoes, which frequently generate corns, bunions and calluses. Sex hygiene as set forth in Moses' laws was certainly hindersome to generating venereal diseases and for the procreation of healthful children well endowed. Certainly, the Sabbath arrangement was a great shield against the diseases coming from overwork, such as nervousness, prostration, low vitality, anemia, ruptures, strokes and heart failures. The Mosaic regulations as to cleanness certainly were good hygienically, like washing the hands before eating, the body after being in the presence of the dead or coming in contact with refuse, offal, carrion or any

 

330

other ceremonially unclean thing (Lev. 12: 1-8). They were to be clean in their clothes, as their frequent washing was charged (Ex. 19: 10-14; Lev. 16: 26, 28). Lev. 15 contains many regulations on purity of person, bedding, clothing and sex. Num. 31: 14-24 shows many measures taken to preserve cleanliness. The hygienic laws of camp life were also intended for the cities (Deut. 28: 3-16); and the arrangements for the health of their camps also show that public as well as private hygiene was inculcated by the Mosaic laws, as worthy examples of public hygiene in our days. Their sewage system was very hygienic, e.g., as shown in Deut. 23: 12-14; Lev. 8: 17; 16: 26, 27. The law's commands as to leprosy (Lev. 13; 14) show that disinfection, destruction of contagious materials and quarantines, modern devices to prevent contagion, were in vogue by God's command in Moses' day, 3400 years ahead of time. All these principles then given have only of late been discovered by science as scientific. Thus hygiene was inculcated by God through Moses long before germs as disease-bearers were known. This proves again the Bible to be a Divine revelation.

 

The social laws of the Mosaic Covenant are far superior to any of the most developed of modern states, let alone those of contemporaneous states. They carefully guarded the people, that none should become permanently poor, by causing a restitution of an alienated patrimony, the freedom of all reduced to servitude less than six years before and the cancellation of all debts every fifty years, at the jubilee (Lev. 25: 9, 13-23, 27-30). They required that Israelites do not take interest on loans from one another (Ex. 22: 25), that they should relieve the impoverished Israelite, as well as strangers and sojourners (Lev. 25: 35), that in the division of the land impartiality be observed (Num. 26: 53-56). They provided that the rights of foreigners among the Israelites be guarded by the same laws as guarded their own rights, thus the same social laws governing natives as well as foreigners (Ex. 12: 49),

 

331

that they be not illy treated (Lev. 19: 33, 34). They required that they help their enemies in their difficulties (Ex. 23: 4, 5). They required mercy to be extended to the brute creation as to food (Dent. 25: 4), as to inequality of strength, forbidding equal burdens to be put upon unequal strength (Dent. 22: 10), and as to rest (Ex. 20: 10; 23: 12). They cautioned them against oppressing the stranger, the widow and the orphan (Ex. 22: 21-24), God threatening that if they did He would cast them off and cause their widows and orphans to undergo similar oppression. They were forbidden by Moses to oppress their servants and were charged to pay their wages promptly (Dent. 24: 14, 15), not delaying to pay him after the end of the day (Lev. 19: 13) and to do him no bodily violence (Ex. 21: 26, 27), which if done, would free him; nor could an Israelite be held as a servant against his will more than six years (Ex. 21: 1-6).

 

These laws properly regulated the marriage relation, requiring parental consent (Ex. 22: 17), exempted the bridegroom a year from military service (Dent. 24: 5), made its obligation inferior to those owed to God (Dent. 13: 6-10), required that it be not within forbidden degrees of blood relationship (Lev. 18: 6-18), required tribal marriages of inheriting daughters, so as not to mar the tribal inheritance (Num. 36: 8), allowed divorce only on justifiable grounds of natural right (Dent. 24: 1) and permitted those divorced not to remarry one another, if the divorced wife married and was again divorced (Dent. 24: 3, 4). Parents were to train their children religiously (Dent. 4: 9, 10; 6: 7, 21-24; 11: 18-21; 32: 46). Children were to honor, reverence and obey their parents (Ex. 20: 12; Lev. 19: 3). Utterly incorrigible children were to be put to death, after trial and condemnation by the judges and unimpeachable evidence, as a curse to themselves and to prevent their begetting similar characters in children (Ex. 21: 15, 17; Deut. 21: 18-21; 27: 16). The Mosaic law prescribed respect for the aged (Lev. 19: 14, 32)

 

332

and rulers, forbidding to revile them (Ex. 22: 28; see margin), while these were required to be just and impartial (Ex. 23: 3, 6; Lev. 19: 15; Deut. 1: 16, 17; 16: 18-20; 25: 1). Certainly, the Mosaic social laws were thousands of years ahead of time and thus prove the Bible's Divine origin as to them.

 

The agricultural laws of Moses were likewise far ahead of the latest findings of science and thus exhibit a super-human wisdom for those times. The resting of the land every seventh year and every fiftieth year was most beneficial for the soil, as it prevented the soil from becoming impoverished, and enabled it to receive larger reinforcements of nitrogen, to the land's greater enrichment, two things that only recently science learned as to preserving a rich chemistry of the soil (Ex. 23: 10, 11; Lev. 25: 2-11). The prohibition of sowing two kinds of seed together was wise (Lev. 19: 19; Deut. 22: 9); for it has only lately been found out to be detrimental to the soil, as it disturbs the equilibrium of the chemical elements of the soil and does not give the proper proportion of chemical elements to the products, thus injuring them as food, as well as injuring the soil, as it also interferes with the proper rotation of crops, all three things only of late learned to be good by scientific agriculture. The production of hybrids was forbidden, because injurious in every way (Lev. 19: 19), as also the mixture of linen and wool in clothing is now known to be injurious to the goods and to the health of the wearer. God's giving Israel a land of such varying climate, due to its varying altitudes, was a most beneficial thing for them agriculturally; and even yet chemical analyses of its soil, particularly of its soft rocks,-prove it to be the richest chemically of all the earth. Beneficial was the law that allowed the wayfarer to eat to satisfying hunger of the fruits of others' fields, but not to take any away nor wantonly to injure the trees (Dent. 23: 24, 25). Certainly, benevolence is seen in allowing some of the agricultural products not to be gathered by the

 

333

owner, who has also to leave in the field forgotten sheaves, so that the poor and stranger might glean the former and pick up the latter (Lev. 19: 9, 10; Deut. 24: 19-21). So were the laws good that protected one's fields from spoliation (Ex. 22: 5, 6). The laws on harvest feasts were certainly beneficial, physically and religiously (Ex. 34: 22). The prohibition to eat of fruit trees before the fourth and fifth years after planting was very wise (Lev. 19: 23-25); for such early fruits are more or less unwholesome—a thing also but lately learned by chemical research. The agricultural laws of Moses display a then super-human and super-angelic knowledge, and thus prove their Divine origin.

 

The penal laws of Moses were based on the strictest justice; hence they are in harmony with Divine justice—a life for a life, an eye for an eye, etc. (Ex. 21: 23-25). Capital punishment was for many offenses, and that because Israel being on trial for life, with the alternatives of life for obedience and death for disobedience, God prescribed death for the greater sins of covenant violators, especially sins against the ten commandments, which is reasonable; and at the same time this proves Israel's laws to be based on different principles from the laws of all other nations, i.e., on the principle that Israel was on trial for life or death under its laws. The following were capital offenses: murder (Lev. 24: 17; Num. 35: 16-24), adultery (Dent. 22: 24), beastiality (Ex. 22: 19), sodomy (Lev. 18: 22), rape (Dent. 22: 25), kidnapping (Ex. 21: 16), whoredom of a priest's daughter (Lev. 21: 9), witchcraft (Ex. 22: 18), offering human sacrifice (Lev. 20: 2-5), striking or cursing of parents (Ex. 21: 15, 17), utter incorrigibility to parents (Dent. 21: 18-21), blasphemy (Lev. 24: 11-14, 16, 23), Sabbath desecration (Num. 15: 32-36), prophesying falsely, spreading false-religions (Dent. 13: 1-10), sacrificing to false gods (Ex. 22: 20) and rejecting a court's decision (Dent. 17: 12). Usually stoning was the method of inflicting capital punishment (Lev. 20: 2, 27; Deut. 13: 10),

 

334

the extreme penalty being hanging (Dent. 21: 22, 23), both being easier forms of execution; but only in the case of a priest's daughter becoming a harlot and of a witch was burning prescribed as the way of executing the death sentence (Lev. 21: 9). No torturing of the doomed was permitted. Less grievous sins, like injury of another's reputation, were punished by scourging, but not more than 40 blows were permitted in the worst cases, and that in a prone position, which eased the blows (Deut. 22: 18; 25: 2, 3; 2 Cor. 11: 24). Considering the covenant of life and death that bound the Jews, the above-mentioned punishments are another evidence of the Bible's being a Divine revelation.

 

The festival laws were certainly calculated to increase the joys and religiosity of Israel, which made them worthy accompaniments of a Divine revelation; and the sacrificial laws, in addition to being a direct blessing to Israel, helping them in their covenant relations to God, and typing the better sacrifices of the future, whereby a real reconciliation between God and man occurs, make them a worthy and necessary part of a Divine revelation. Thus the varied Mosaic laws are certainly a powerful proof of the Divine origin of the last four of the five books of the Pentateuch.

 

Some have claimed that the Mosaic arrangement was a priestly concoction to tyrannize over and exploit the people. This certainly is not true to the facts; for the priests and Levites were given neither wealth in, nor power over Israel. They had no inheritance in the land like the other twelve tribes. They were kept strictly out of politics; their work was to teach and sacrifice in the interests of the people; and the tithe allotted to them by no means recompensed them for their lack of an inheritance in the land; for, though often withheld, especially in times of apostasy, it covered merely the gains of farm life, not merchandise. Thus from the standpoint of acquisitions, they were at a great disadvantage, as compared with the others; and the tithe was certainly due them, since they got no share

 

335

in the land apart from certain cities where they lived. Their position was indeed a dependent one—dependent on the willingness of the people to give them tithes, which often they were not willing to do. Indeed, the Bible nowhere favors clericalism and autocracy in the religious leaders, who are everywhere in the Bible set forth as servants of the people (1 Pet. 5: 1-3). The same is true of the prophets, whose writings are of a very high ethical character, as well as very useful for promoting a proper relation between God and man and man and man. The histories of the Bible are a part of the Divine revelation, connecting as they do various features of God's plan of salvation with one another historically, particularly in relation to Jesus, the Center of God's plan. And these histories throughout have of late years been found to be prophecies, in form of types, of the development of various features and unfoldings of God's plan and thus are revelatory, as well as historical. Especially are the events, institutions and arrangements of the Pentateuch proven to be typical of the great features of God's plan. In the preceding six general proofs given for the Divine origin of the Bible we have given evidences proving that its salient features are evidently from God. The excellences of the Bible now being given strongly prove the Divine origin of the Bible. More of its excellences remain to be brought out.

 

Among other excellences of the Bible that we might expect it as a Divine revelation to have, is its literosity, a subject that has been sufficiently treated in The Herald of the Epiphany Nos. 108 and 109. Considering Biblical Numerics as belonging to its literosity, the latter is an unanswerable proof of its verbal inspiration, as well as of its being a Divine revelation. Some pertinent details will be given on Biblical Numerics when we come to discuss the Bible's inspiration. We here merely mention it as an excellence of the Bible proving its being a Divine revelation. Here we desire to abridge some of the arguments that Henry Rogers in his book on the Supernatural Origin

 

336

of the Bible gives, in proof that it has such characteristics as we should expect to find in a Divine revelation. His book is a classic on the subject and well deserves an abridgement of parts of it such as will here be given. We know no better expression of our esteem of his pertinent fine work than to give our readers in our own language an abridgement of some of his arguments, with which we will intermingle, and to which we will add some of our own.

 

He stresses a number of traits of the Bible that seem to be at variance with certain principles and tendencies of human nature and that, therefore, are in line with the Bible's not having a human, but a supernatural origin, i.e., it is a Divine revelation. The first of these traits of the Bible is its doctrine of but one God, monotheism, whereas polytheism, the doctrine of many gods, is the natural belief of depraved man, who, therefore, apart from a Divine revelation, has always claimed polytheism to be true and has almost without exception cultivated it. A second trait of the Bible is its subordination of everything to the idea of God, whereas, if fallen man had invented the Bible, he would have stressed the things of humanity as superordinate to all else. A third characteristic of the Bible is its subordination of ethics to religion, whereas all human religious systems reverse this condition, subordinating religion to ethics. A fourth peculiarity of the Bible, particularly of the New Testament, is its law of disinterested love, which runs violently counter to human nature; for it requires the sacrifice of all of one's own human rights, even unto death under most crucial trials, in the interests of God and man, a thing that no mere human would make the law of his religion. A fifth Mark of the Bible is the character that it ascribes to Christ—a character that no human being could or would have originated. A sixth feature of the Bible is the tenacity to, and veneration for it that it arouses in its adherents, things that apart from a direct or indirect (as in the case of Mohammedans) relation to a Divine revelation is foreign to human nature.

 

337

A seventh trait of the Bible is that, so far as the New Testament is concerned, it could not have originated from Jews as such, since it is in great variance with Jewish nature, ideals and theories. An eighth quality of the New Testament is that it seeks by moral suasion alone, through a religion running counter to many features of human nature, to select the faith class from among mankind as separate and distinct from it, while reproving for sin, righteousness and judgment to come in connection with giving a testimony of the coming Kingdom to all nations. A ninth characteristic of the Bible in its New Testament part is its emphasis on toleration and liberty of conscience, principles that are contrary to human partisanship in all majorities. A tenth trait of the Bible in its New Testament part is its insistence on the separation of state and church—a thing almost universally rejected by the practice of fallen man. An eleventh characteristic of the Bible in its New Testament feature is its doctrine of self-denial even unto death in the interests of God and man, another thing abhorrent to the natural man. A twelfth quality of the Bible in its New Testament portion is its doctrine of world-denial, which is also repulsive to human nature. A thirteenth feature of the Bible in its New Testament part is its insistence in following Christ, even blindly if necessary, another thing contrary to human nature. A fourteenth feature of the Bible is its doctrine of election, which human nature rejects as partiality and unjust.

 

A fifteenth trait of the Bible is its almost complete silence on the conditions of the spiritual-world to which the New Testament invites its elect. A sixteenth quality of the Bible is its almost complete silence on the social conditions of the Millennial Age, while holding it out as the hope of the world, a thing that the natural man faults. A seventeenth peculiarity of the Bible is its requirement for its elect to walk by faith and not by sight, a thing quite unwelcome to human nature. An eighteenth point in the Bible is its doctrine of the race's

 

338

condemnation to the dying process and death state for Adam's sin—a thing against which the natural man revolts. A nineteenth trait of the Bible is its description of human depravity and of fallen man's inability to save himself therefrom—a thing also repugnant to the natural man. A twentieth feature of the Bible is that its plan as a whole is something that no man could invent. And, finally, as a twenty-first trait of the Bible; The character that it attributes to God: wisdom, justice, love and power, each perfect in itself, each perfectly blended with one another and all in that blending dominating all His other characteristics, and in all of these matters unbreakable and boundless in their exercise: no human could have thought out this of himself. All twenty-one of these Biblical traits strongly attest the Bible not to be of human but to be of Divine origination, and consequently prove it to be a Divine revelation.

 

Additionally there are certain other considerations that as excellences, especially of the New Testament, are in line with the thought that the Bible is a Divine revelation. The first of these is that obedience to past enlightenment is the pathway to further enlightenment. The second of these is that disobedience to knowledge not only blinds the mind to past enlightenment and shuts the door to further light, but also hardens the heart, weakens the conscience and cuts off from Divine grace. A third of these is that religious knowledge unless put to practice is useless, dangerous and condemning. A fourth of these is that religious knowledge is not an end in itself, but is a means to the end of making its possessors Godlike and Christlike. A fifth point is the absence of minute casuistry, with which human works on ethics and "moral theology" abound, particularly the works of Jesuits on "moral theology," the New Testament relying on the spirit of a sound mind that it inculcates to guide one into right decisions as to his conduct. A sixth point hereon is the supreme place that the New Testament assigns to charity in the sense of disinterested love, which, as "the Law of Christ,"

 

339

raises the responsive character to the heights of delight in good principles, of delight in, and hearty oneness with those in harmony with good principles, of sympathy with, or of pity for those in disharmony with good principles, and with or for those treated contrary to good principles, and of delight to lay down life to advance good principles in the blessing of others. A seventh point is the remarkable tact with which the New Testament steers clear of the social and political rocks on which its purposes might have been wrecked. Without verbally attacking such evils, it lays down principles that shield its faithful from all collisions with such questions. These seven points surely do lend strong confirmation to the Bible as a Divine revelation.

 

Certain artistic traits of the Bible, as other characteristics of it, are also excellences that we should expect in a Divine revelation. Among these is its unity. For the Bible exhibits a plan, which with all its diverse parts is one united whole. It is indeed a Drama enacting the greatest play conceivable. Its Author is Jehovah; its Hero is Jesus; its Heroine is His Espoused, who, after many harrowing experiences, becomes His Bride; her companions are the Great Company, who become the Bridesmaids; the select servants of their warfare are the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, who in their exaltation become the princes of their Kingdom; and the fallen race are the trophies that they seek to liberate and gain by their warfare. The villain of this drama is Satan, who makes the race his subjects and the objects of his tyranny and oppression. His associates are fallen angels who share in his villainy, tyranny and oppression; and the visible representatives of his kingdom ruling over the fallen race are the oppressive rulers, predatory aristocrats and deceiving clergy, all claiming Divine right. And the outcome of this unparalleled warfare will be the eternal overthrow of error, sin and unholiness, with all their willful supporters, and the eternal triumph of truth, righteousness and holiness, with all their willing supporters. All of the teachings and arrangements of the Bible unite in a perfect whole

 

340

to clarify and forward this drama from beginning to end successfully.

 

The diversity of the Bible, accompanying this unity, is another of its artistic traits in line with its being a Divine revelation. Here we see sin, error and unholiness on the one hand, and on the other truth, righteousness and holiness exemplified in their sharpest contrasts, both by precept and example, in their diverse natures, courses and effects. Here weak and willful sinners are presented in their diversity; here penitent and believing sinners appear in their contrasts; here justified and consecrated believers are described antithetically, and all of these by precept and example. Here are set forth the elect and the non-elect; here go forth in contrast the four classes of the finally elect and two other classes of the temporarily elect, and that, too, by precept and example. The contrasted experiences of saints and sinners are here seen, as also the contrast between the world's experience with sin and evil and with righteousness and good. Here are contrasted spirit and natural beings, the visible and invisible kingdoms connected with God's plan, the final triumph of the good and goodness, and the final defeat of the evil and evil. Everywhere there appear pertinent teachings as to these contrasts which, despite these contrasts, go to make up the unity of the Bible.

 

The harmony of the Bible is another of its artistic qualities that we should expect in a Divine revelation. It is true that there are seeming contradictions in the Bible, like the perfection of the Divine character as to sin, error and sinners and errorists, with accompanying evil, as to election and free grace, as to the present triumph of evil and the evil and the oppression of good and the good, as to the death of billions without even hearing of salvation and as to numerous other things. But when each of these is put into its proper dispensation, age or plane of being, they will be found to dovetail into one another in utmost harmony; and in this harmony the unity and diversity of the Bible blend most admirably.

 

341

The practicability of the Bible is another of its artistic characteristics that we should expect to find in a Divine revelation. No matter whether we consider the Bible from the standpoint of its teachings or from the standpoint of its arrangements, we find every one of them finely adapted to realize the purposes that God has in mind in the outworking of His plan. Thus the twofold experience laid out in that plan for the world—the contrasted experiences with evil and good—is most admirably adapted to God's creatively securing a race of free moral agents, hating and avoiding evil and loving and practicing good, His purpose in the twofold experience. Thus the elects' experience with evil by their faith is most ably adapted to fit them in character to qualify for their present and future life, office and work. The Bible's containing all they need for all the believing, refuting, cleansing, developing and comforting helps and arrangements of the elects' experiences is seen to be a matter of utmost practicability to mould them in harmony with the Divine purpose as to them. Its containing helps adapted to every condition, experience, position and attainment of its subjects is another of its evidences of practicability for realizing its purposes as to the elective process.

 

In Chapter I, while discussing the Bible's literosity, we pointed out in sufficient detail the Bible's beauty and sublimity as artistic traits of it which we should expect to find in a Divine revelation, hence will give here no further details thereon. As the last artistic quality of the Bible as marking it as Divine revelation we will mention its elevation of subjects. Its themes are the highest of thoughts, as a brief mention of them will show. Among its doctrinal thoughts are those of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Creation, the Divine Covenants, the Curse, Ransom, High Calling, Restitution and Eternal Life and Death. Among its ethical thoughts are the graces, primary, secondary and tertiary, the chief of which are justice and charity. Among its promises are those associated with the Abrahamic and Oath-bound Covenants. Its exhortations are

 

342

as numerous and noble as man's varied relations should require. And what shall we say of its prophecies, histories and types, which embraces the greatest and noblest events of all times? Certainly elevation of thought characterizes the Bible in the degree that we should expect to see in a Divine revelation. Accordingly, the main artistic qualities—unity, diversity, harmony, practicability, beauty, sublimity and nobility—mark the Bible, and thus attest it as a Divine revelation.

 

Here it would be in place to mention certain peculiarities of style in the Biblical writings which were not mentioned in our discussion of the Bible's literosity, and which are in line with its being a Divine revelation. The first of these that we would mention is the dramatic character of its histories, which is one of the higher points in the literary style of historical composition. The world's great historians elaborately describe the characters of their narratives. But dramatically, i.e., without such descriptions, the Bible unfolds its histories without comment on its characters, letting their characters shine out from the Acts themselves, without description. And who will deny that it thus sets forth character more clearly and dramatically than the greatest of earth's historians by their elaborate delineation of character? And should not this, the highest form of historical composition, be expected in a Divine revelation? Another peculiarity of style in Biblical writings is the self-oblivion of its penmen. So self-oblivious are Moses, the Prophets and the Apostles in their historical writings that when not narrating events in which they were actors we would scarcely know of their existence, e.g., Moses as to writing the Pentateuch, Samuel as to writing Joshua, Judges, Ruth and part of 1 Samuel, the four evangelists in writing the four Gospels and the Acts. How unlike merely human historians! Of necessity the case is different in autobiographies, like Ezra and Nehemiah, and in personal epistles, like those of Paul. How unlike the treatment given Gentile national heroes by merely human authors, who praise extravagantly their virtues, greatly minimize or entirely conceal

 

343

their faults and hold them up to unstinted admiration, is that given the heroes of the Bible, whose virtues are unadornedly told and whose faults are clearly pointed out! Again, the Bible's great plainness of speech in describing unchaste acts—never, however, to the exciting of lust—in marked contrast with the custom of our so-called refined society and literature, is another Bible trait in harmony with a Divine revelation, one of whose purposes is to discourage unchastity, not, ostrichlike, by ignoring in speech its existence, but by baring its hideousness to the abhorrence of its readers. Then the ease of translating the Bible into any language without marring the strength, beauty, sublimity, emotionativeness, reverence and the pathos of its literary style is a unique trait of the Bible. The only evidence that Mohammed claimed for the Divine origin of his Koran was the claimed beauty and sublimity of its literary style. Be this as it may as to the Arabic Koran, in translation its claimed beauty and sublimity are lost, as even Mohammedans admit. Not so the Bible, as, e.g., the Septuagint and the Latin (Vulgate), German, English, French, etc., translations prove. Thus the Bible's peculiarities of literary style are such as we should expect in a Divine revelation.

 

The exceptional position that the Bible holds in the world is what we should expect of a Divine revelation. A few details tersely stated will clarify this point: (1) The Old Testament is the only connected national literature that has survived the wrecks that time has wrought upon the literature of all contemporaneous nations. While fragments of Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Indian, Hittite, Aramaic and Arabic writings have been excavated from their mound and linguistical graveyards, none of them are a full and connected account of their national history, literature, philosophy, religion, law, etc. Thus the Bible's fullness and permanence are in line with its being a Divine revelation. (2) Another unique trait of the Bible is its power to stimulate the best that is in man, physically, mentally, artistically, morally and religiously, a thing that the

 

344

alleged revelations of other religions are unable to do— facts of history attesting this. (3) It is the most widespread of any book in the world. The combined circulation of the 25 most widely circulated books, except itself, is less than that of the Bible, which has in whole or part been translated into approximately 1,000 languages and dialects, and is being annually so translated into an average of seven new languages and dialects. Every year it continues to be the world's "best seller." (4) It has produced a most prodigious literature, larger by far than that produced by 100 other of the pertinently productive books. (5) It has left a deeper impression on the world's literature than any other 25 books, as appears in the numberless quotations of, allusions and references to it. (6) It has influenced the fine arts— poetry, music, painting, sculpture and architecture— immeasurably more than any other book. Take, e.g., the Koran. How utterly insignificant is its influence on the fine arts in comparison with that of the Bible thereon! Yea, the Koran positively forbids the cultivation of painting and sculpture! (7) Its influence on civilization in all its good phases is without a rival, as the nations of Christendom contrasted with all other nations prove. Certainly this set of excellences we might expect in a Divine revelation.

 

Henry Rogers in the above-mentioned book sets forth a series of analogies between the Bible and "The Constitution And The Course Of Nature," as a proof of its being a Divine revelation. Bishop Butler's book on this subject is a classic never answered by the deniers of a Divine revelation. We will here abbreviate the main analogies that Henry Rogers gives: (1) The gradualness of the Divine revelation is a principle that we witness operating in nature and in human history. (2) The Divine plan works itself out in human history, just like any other matter of human interest. (3) Its giving was along the line of God's operation in human history, by select, fitting and outstanding individuals as its agents. (4) Its unfolding was progressive, even as all knowledge has been progressive—

 

345

storing up past knowledge for the future. (5) Its knowledge and understanding like practically all human knowledge and understanding come from teachers. (6) Its knowledge and understanding come like practically all human knowledge and understanding—by study. (7) As the great variety and compass of nature and history require great ramification of study, so the great variety and compass of the Bible in linguistical, interpretational, historical and systematic branches, all of which are ramified in many sub-and sub-sub-departments, etc., require great ramification of study. (8) As the contents of nature and history present themselves to our view unsystematized, so do the Bible's contents present themselves to our view unsystematized. (9) As by study and reasoning we systematize the contents of nature and history, so do we systematize the contents of the Bible by study and reasoning. (10) As in nature and history the commonplace, on the one hand, and the beautiful, the sublime, the pathetic and the noble, on the other hand, mingle, so in the Bible do the commonplace, on the one hand, and the beautiful, the sublime, the pathetic and the noble, on the other hand, mingle. (11) As in nature the important, like air, water, food, etc., is easy of access, and the less important is difficult of access, so in the Bible the more important, like its teachings on repentance, faith, justification and righteousness, is easy of access, while the less important, like future events, times and spirit existence, is difficult of access. (12) As great perplexity pervades nature, e.g., the nature of light, sound and electricity, so great perplexity pervades the Bible, e.g., the nature of eternity, God's past eternity, His spiritual existence, as well as other spirits' existence. As nature abounds in secrets that hitherto have baffled explanation until due, so the Bible abounds in secrets that until due have baffled explanation. (13) As in nature there are many things that call for the miraculous and the superhuman, e.g., the origin of spirit and animal life and material substances, so man's religious nature as unfolded in the Bible calls for the

 

346

miraculous and the superhuman. (14) As nature and history contain many omissions and variants, so does the Bible contain such; for there are missing links [not in the sense of evolution] and variants from ordinary procedures in both. Hence in the general course of matters we see a close analogy between the Bible and nature. Many more of such analogies can be found in Bishop Butler's Analogy, Bishop Hamden's Philosophical Evidence Of Christianity and Prof. Drummond's Natural Law In The Spiritual World, which is in line with the Bible's being a Divine revelation.

 

We have now come to the end of our discussion of the Bible's internal evidence proving that it is a Divine revelation. Not that there are not other lines of thought coming under this head do we close its pertinent study now; for there are such, e.g., the harmony, reasonableness and factuality of the Scriptures, its teachings establishing good and suppressing evil, the practicability of the means that it sets forth to realize its ends, etc.; but because we believe a sufficiency of evidence has been presented on this phase of our subject. We, therefore, herewith sum up our present discussion: That the Bible is a Divine revelation is proven from its internal evidence by the plan of salvation that it reveals, by the fact that such a plan could have been devised by nothing short of Divine Wisdom, required in its sin and sin-atonement features by nothing short of Divine justice, motivated by nothing short of Divine Love and executed by nothing short of Divine Power, by the nature of the qualities of being and character that it attributes to God, by the character, offices and natures that it reveals as Christ's, by the facts as to the permission of evil to the righteous and unrighteous, by the nature and effects of the Ransom and by the Bible's various excellences. On these points only general but sufficient details were given in our discussion; and having shown its internal evidence, we are now ready to take up the proof of its being a Divine revelation contained in its internalo-external and external evidence.