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

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art, it certainly has the quality of articity. While classifiable as belonging to art, we will not here treat of unity, diversity and harmony, having already studied these; we will discuss the other three qualities of art—Biblical simplicity, beauty and sublimity.

 

Certainly much of the Bible contains the quality of simplicity. All will at once recognize this quality in its histories. Certainly the history in Genesis is the soul of simplicity, as can be seen in its history of creation, of man's fall and condemnation, of the flood, of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. All will acknowledge the simplicity of the historical parts of Exodus in its record of Israel's enslavement and deliverance and the journey to, and stay at Mt. Sinai, and in its giving various laws and in its instructions on the tabernacle. The few events of Leviticus are simply told. The same remark applies to its descriptions of the various sacrifices and other ordinances. Numbers' record of the organization of Israel as a nation, of its journeys and of its legal enactment are set forth with great simplicity. The same is true of the way matters are set forth in Deuteronomy. The same remark certainly applies to all the rest of the Old Testament and New Testament histories and biographies; especially those centering in Jesus are certainly the soul of simplicity. It is this quality of simplicity that makes the Bible histories and biographies so much loved and appreciated by the child, the adolescent, the middle aged and the very aged. When the general features of the Divine Plan of the Ages are understood they are recognized as being characterized by the quality of simplicity as a part of the Bible's articity. There is a simplicity even in the more abstruse things of the Bible after they are understood. This is true of its main doctrines, precepts, promises and exhortations. Its prophecies and types on the surface can hardly be called simple, yet after these are understood, they may be called simple.

 

Another quality that belongs to the Bible's articity is beauty. And certainly the Bible deserves the palm

 

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for beauty. It is beautiful in its thoughts, in its words and in its literal and symbolic sentences. For sheer beauty of oratorical composition what can equal the oration that forms the bulk of Deuteronomy? For dramatic beauty what in all literature, dramatic or otherwise, can equal the supermarvelous beauty of the drama that constitutes the book of Job? For devotional beauty what can equal that of the Psalms? For ethical beauty nothing in the world can hold a candle to that of the book of Proverbs. For the beauty and delicacy of a love-song what, in all creation, can compare with Canticles? For prophetic beauty what can surpass that of Isaiah? For didactic beauty what in all literature can stand beside the sermon on the mount and Jesus' final discourse in the upper room? For argumentative beauty what can be mentioned in the same breath with the epistle to the Hebrews? For hortatory beauty what can compare with the epistles of James and 1 Peter? For analytical beauty what can compare with Paul's treatise on charity in 1 Cor. 13, or on the resurrection in 1 Cor. 15: 35-54, or his apostrophe to death and hell in 1 Cor. 15: 55-57? And for apocalyptic beauty where is anything that can equal the Apocalypse of John?

 

What shall we say of the beauty of the Bible's figures? In the use of metaphor the Bible is unrivaled, e.g., how could one in metaphor more beautifully state the condition and course of God's people amid an inimical world than Jesus put it in Matt. 10: 16: "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves"; or the hypocritical inconsistencies of sticklers for little, and overlookers of great things: "Ye blind guides that strain out the gnat and swallow the camel" (23: 24, A.R.V.). Viewed as symbolic institutions, what institutions are so beautiful in symbolic signification as water baptism in representing our death and resurrection with Christ, or as the Lord's supper as representing, in the broken bread and out-poured wine, the death of Jesus and the Church, and in our eating and

 

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drinking thereof our appropriating justification through His merit, and our sharing with Jesus in death for the Church and the world? What can equal the Bible's similes in beauty, e.g., "As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that reverence him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that reverence him" (Ps. 103: 11-13). Isaiah frequently uses beautiful similes, e.g., Is. 55: 10-13 and 61: 10, 11. Dr. Bullinger has written a large book on Bible figures in which he discusses in detail 181 different kinds of them, giving copious examples of each. Where in all the world are there parables that can in any way be measured with those of Jesus? The Bible lays almost everything in heaven and earth under contribution to furnish figures under whose forms it beautifully clothes its thoughts.

 

The last quality that forms a part of the Bible's articity on which we desire to comment, is its sublimity. Sublimity is the highest and most noble feature of articity. While many can write with simplicity, and yet less can write with beauty, very few are able to produce sublime literature; for it is the highest adornment of literary style. Only a few literary lights have reached this degree of excellence. Homer and Virgil have done wonders in the sphere of literary beauty; but almost never do they reach the heights of the sublime. At times Dante, Goethe and Schiller, especially the first, mount from the beautiful to the sublime. Milton and Shakespeare frequently ascend from the beautiful to the sublime, the former even more so than the latter, and that because his subjects were more sublime than the latter's. But the Bible, in whole books, dwells in the sublime. Even more than beauty does sublimity characterize Deuteronomy, the greatest of all orations. Moses' statements in that oration of the curses on the evil in their depths, and the blessings on the good in their heights, beggars description.

 

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His descriptions of God and God's people in that oration, mount to the high heights of the sublime, e.g., "The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Even in a higher degree than Deuteronomy does Job exhibit sublimity. Note the sublimity of the imprecations of Job in chapter 3, of his description of the curse in chapter 7, of the weight of affliction resting on him in chapters 10 and 19, of his refutations of his three critics in chapter 12, of his description of death in chapter 14 and of the wicked in chapters 21, 24 and 27, of his apostrophe on God in chapters 26 and 28, of his contrast of his past as given in chapter 29 with that of his present as given in chapter 30, of his avowal of readiness to receive punishment, if an evil-doer, in chapter 31. And what shall we say of the sublimity of God's answer to Job, as to his littleness in contrast with God's greatness in chapters 38-41? Speech fails us to describe its sublimity. No wonder that even unbelievers, like Gibbon, certainly a most competent judge of literature, gives to the book of Job the supreme place of all literature.

 

How sublime are many of the Psalms, e.g., Ps. 2; 18; 22; 45; 46; 72; 90; 91; 103; 104; 107, to mention a few among many. Sublimity underlies Ecclesiastes and Canticles. Isaiah, Amos, Micah, Zechariah are permeated through and through with sublimity. John's gospel, his first epistle and Revelation, as well as Paul's Romans, Ephesians and Hebrews are sublime pen-products. Especially does Jesus' discourse in the upper room, including His High-priestly prayer, partake in abounding measure of this quality. The Bible owes its sublimity in very large measure to its two main characters—God and Christ; for its descriptions of these are the sublime of the sublime. Note Isaiah's sublime statement on God: "Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones"

 

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(Is. 57: 15). How sublime are the following statements made by Jesus of Himself: "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14: 6); "All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28: 18).

 

The six main qualities of articity—unity, diversity, harmony, simplicity, beauty and sublimity—are not set forth in the Bible in such a way as makes each one exist in a separate part of the Bible by itself, and not as commingling qualities. Rather they are found at times side by side, and at times commingling with one another. Take for example 1 John. Here unity, diversity, harmony, simplicity and sublimity intermingle with one another on all sides. The book of Revelation, adding to these the quality of beauty, commingles all six of these attributes everywhere. It does this perhaps in larger measure than any other book. In Canticles, apart from simplicity, the other five qualities of articity abound everywhere throughout the eight chapters of this book. Deuteronomy unites all six of them. So does the book of Job. Nor should we in this connection overlook the book of Lamentations, which, treating of things of pathos, interweaves these six attributes of articity in its poetry. Other books of the Bible could be adduced as exhibiting this same phenomenon, but enough has been pointed out to prove such a commingling of these qualities in the Bible, and enough has been given to prove that the Bible has the attribute of articity to warrant our ending our discussion of it with the assertion as proven that articity is an attribute of the Word of God.

 

Secretiveness is the next attribute of the Bible that will be taken up for study. At first thought it seems contrary to the thought of the Bible's being a revelation to say that one of its attributes is secretiveness. Nevertheless the Bible, reason and facts prove that secretiveness is one of its attributes. By this we are not to understand that everything in the Bible is secretive; rather that there are mysteries there that God desires

 

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to secrete from the generality of mankind, the non-elect. This the Bible shows to be true from a number of standpoints. In Rev. 5: 1 God's Word is represented by a book (scroll), written on the inside and outside and sealed with seven seals. The things written on the outside represent the easy and simple things of the Bible, like its histories, most of its precepts and exhortations and some of its doctrines, while those written on the inside sealed by seven seals represent the secret features of the Bible, none of which can be understood until in due time Jesus opens the secreting seals and expounds the things therein to the elect people of God (Rev. 5: 9). This same thought of concealment is symbolized in Is. 6: 2 where the Seraphim, the four great attributes of God surcharging the Bible, wisdom, power, justice and love, are represented as acting by the Old and New Testaments as their two symbolic wings operating in three aspects, thus as six wings. The two covering the face represent how these two Testaments hide the Truth (2 Cor. 4: 6), and the two covering the feet represent how these two Testaments hide God's secret acts, and the two flying represent how the two Testaments open up the Truth as due and set it into operation in effecting God's purposes.

 

Jesus gives testimony to the same effect in Mark 4: 11: "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand." See also Matt. 13: 14-17; Luke 8: 10; John 12: 39-41. There is a mercy in this for both those that see and those that see not. To the former, the faith class, their seeing the deep things proves that they can, if they will, overcome amid faith-exacting conditions, since it proves their Spirit-begettal. But if the others, the unbelief class, saw these deep things, it would imply their Spirit-begetting and their being put on trial for life amid faith-exacting conditions too hard for them to overcome, which would

 

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mean their eternal ruin. Hence God keeps them in their blind condition, reserving them for their opportunity of gaining life amid non-faith-exacting conditions amid which, if they will, they could overcome. Paul gives us the same thought of the Bible secretiveness in 1 Cor. 2: 6-16, where he shows that God's Word is a mystery, which word in the Bible means, not an incomprehensible, reason-contradictory thing, but secret things not known and understood by the uninitiated, but known and understood by the initiated. In E2, pages 472-475, we have given detailed proof on the Bible meaning of the word mystery, and hence will not repeat it here. The faithful consecrated faith class are the initiated who know and understand these mysteries, the unbelief class are the uninitiated who do not know and understand them; and it is for the good of both classes that these conditions are as they are, and the unbelief class will see it as for their good.

 

God knew that the Bible would be put into the hands of millions of the unbelief class, and to keep it from harming them purposely made it very complicated, so that the unbelief class would not, to their injury, come to understand its secrets. That the Bible is a very complicated and ambiguous book is very apparent from the fact that there are hundreds of sects all contradictory of one another, all of whom claim to base their creeds on the Bible, and all of whom claim they have the right, and the others the wrong interpretation of the Bible. We say it reverently, that the Bible is more complicated than a thousand Chinese puzzles combined in one, and Chinese puzzles are said to be the most difficult of all to solve. When one sees the two salvations of the Bible, the one for the elect, the faith class, now operating, and the other for the non-elect, dead and living, the unbelief class, to operate in the Millennium, and then sees that by God's withholding the understanding of the Bible mysteries from the non-elect by not begetting them of the Spirit, He prevents their coming on trial for life at a time when they cannot

 

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overcome, and reserves them for their chance to gain salvation for a time when they could overcome, he can see the mercy of God for both the elect and non-elect in making the Bible so that the former can, and the latter cannot understand it. Not only facts of experience prove the complicated secretiveness of the Bible; but it itself tells us that this is the case, and that for the good of both the elect and non-elect. Is. 29: 11-16 shows that it is complicated, because neither the non-elect learned nor unlearned can explain its mysteries (11, 12); hence they do not give God a truth-clear service (13); God wondrously blinds the worldly wise and prudent (14), whose theories and practices are darkness and not light (15), and their perversion of matters, through their lack of the Holy Spirit, makes their efforts vain and fruitless; but unlike the potters' clay they fault the Lord, who censures their faulting of Him (16).

 

Is. 28: 9-13 shows in part how it is that the Bible is so complicated. It shows us first that only those who have progressed beyond the milk stage, babes, will by God be taught the knowledge of the deep things (9). It then proceeds to show that the Bible and the teaching of it are a piecemeal matter—here a little, there a little (10), and that its expounders appear to the nonelect as unintelligible speakers (11). To the non-elect God has repeatedly let it be known that the Bible is the real rest and refreshment of man (12), but they would not take its complicated secret teachings, which results in their stumbling into deeper misunderstandings and alienation from the Word. It would be well for us to note just how God put His secrets in the Bible so as to hide them from the unbelief class. One of the ways that He did it was never in one consecutive place to give all its teachings on one subject, but to throw them together piecemeal, disconnectedly and confusedly, or to use Isaiah's expression, Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. Take, e.g., the various disconnected and partially

 

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treated things set forth in Is. 28: Under the imagery of the drunkards of Ephraim, the decadence of, the wrath of God against, the degradation and fall of Christendom are set forth in vs. 1-4. But in that time God would honor His faithful by Himself (5), and would give them truth and strength for their work (6). Then turning to all nominal Christians, official and non-official, He describes their fallen condition as to error (7) and their throwing up their unclean creeds (8). Having briefly above explained 9-14, we will proceed to 15. Errorists have made a covenant with death and hell in advocating Satan's first lies: Unreality of death, change of the dead from humans to spirits, consciousness of the dead and their bliss or torment (Gen. 3: 4, 5). This, being error (15), will be overthrown in the wrath time (18); for God had made Christ the Head of His Church as the Light-shiner (16); and with truth and justice He will measure everything and overthrow by them all error, as the refuge of errorists (17). This truth and justice will annoy the evil continually (19), because the creed beds will afford no comfort (20); for God will battle for the Truth against error and overthrow them, as typed in a certain battle of David and in another of Joshua (21). Mockers at His Word are warned to cease mocking, otherwise they will be bound all the firmer in wrong and error; for God will complete His work as to the whole earth (22); then He exhorts to attention (23). Then under an agricultural figure God describes the Gospel-Age plowing, sowing, growing, reaping and threshing work as to His people (24-29). All will agree that in Is. 28 we have a heaping together of many subjects very meagerly treated, and thus a secreting of its thoughts. Not only by disconnected heaping together of partially treated subjects, but by parables, dark sayings, symbolic language, figurative speech, ambiguous words, words having a great variety of meanings, omissions of words, idiomatic expressions peculiar to Hebrew, Hebraisms in the Greek New

 

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Testament, etc., etc., God has hidden His mysteries in the Bible so that the uninitiated cannot understand it. But under testful conditions, wherein the faith class must prove their fitness to receive a progressively increased understanding of these mysteries, these are opened up more and more to them; and thus the secretiveness of the Bible is maintained as against the unbelief class and revealed to the faith class. The above proves that secretiveness is an attribute of the Bible, and that because He desired to conceal from the uninitiated certain mysteries therein, to be made known in this life to the initiated alone, the non-elect to understand them in the Millennium.

 

Truthfulness is the next attribute that we will study. By truth we mean harmony with facts and proper principles, and truthfulness is the quality of such harmony. Our definition of truth implies the spheres wherein the truthfulness of the Bible is to be found. It is to be found in its facts and its principles. Time was when Biblical facts had in man's sight no witnesses of their truthfulness, except the Bible's own statements as to the facts; and this condition was used by infidels as the occasion of denying its statements as to matters of fact. But since 1799 the Lord has been unearthing archeological fact after archeological fact corroborating the Bible's statement of facts. The records of Assyria, Babylon, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, etc., have come to light in the ancient monuments discovered in the forms of cuneiform inscriptions, stone and clay tablets, steles, hieroglyphics, papyri, tomb contents, geological deposits, ruins, pottery, etc., corroborating practically every major event and many minor events recorded in the Bible. These refute many of the higher-critical claims against the Bible. Thus have been corroborated the general outlines of creation as given in Genesis, man in the state of innocence, the fall of man by a serpent's subtlety, the two genealogies of Gen. 4 and 5 (in the Abydos tablets), the building of the ark, the flood and

 

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the saving alive of couples of all living things. Thus the main antediluvian statements are corroborated by the ancient monuments, for which we are glad.

 

Philology has corroborated the fact of there having been originally one speech, which later became divided into three main languages, which in turn were developed into many others. The Tower of Babel, the separation of the people into three families of nations and the formation of kingdoms begun by Nimrod, have all received corroboration; Palestine's invasion (Gen. 14) has been proven true; Ur, Haran and Mamre as dwelling places of Abraham have been discovered. The fire-wrought ruins of Sodom, Gomorrah, etc., were lately unearthed; and Lot's wife will likely shortly be found encased in a salt pillar of Usdum. Israel's sojourn and enslavement in Egypt have been corroborated by a stele of Rameses excavated at Beth-shean, as well as by the discoveries of and in the store cities that they built in Egypt. The Tel-Amarna tablets tell of Joshua's invasion of Palestine, as well as mention many cities and towns mentioned in Joshua. During the period of the Judges and Israel's first three kings, Israel had almost no contact with extra-Palestinian nations; hence very little of corroboration of pertinent events has been found, except discoveries of things in Palestine itself, i.e., its cities, Solomon's temple, palace, stables, parts of the Solomonic Jerusalem's walls, etc. But events of subsequent kings, etc., find such frequent corroboration, that from them certain reigns can in part be constructed. Ahab's ivory palace, etc., in Samaria has been unearthed; the wars between him, Ben-hadad, Jehu, Hazael, etc., and of the first three against Shalmanezer II are corroborated; and from that time on the various wars against, and invasions of Israel by the kings of Assyria and Babylon are mentioned in the steles and stone and clay tablets of Assyria and Babylon. An inscription has revealed the underground aqueduct of Hezekiah from the pool of Siloam into the city. Israel's captivities in Assyria and

 

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Babylon find corroborations in the tablets of those periods. The annals of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king, have enabled us to identify Belshazzar as his son and coregent at Babylon. Tablets of Cyrus have enabled us to identify Darius, the Mede, as Cyrus' commander against Babylon, and his decree of Israel's return to Palestine and the charge to rebuild the temple. From Roman and Grecian authors, as well as from Josephus, we have been able to corroborate the work of John the Baptist, Jesus and the early Christians, as well as their persecutions. Josephus corroborates many geographical situations and historical personages mentioned in the New Testament. The miracles of Jesus are attested by the unbelieving Jews in various of their writings, e.g., the Talmud. We may safely say that there is not an historical event mentioned in the Bible that is contradicted as untrue by any of the ancient monuments. We are, therefore, warranted in stating that the Bible's history is true.

 

Its prophecies have by fulfillment been proven true. This is true of its prophecies as to Jesus' first advent, of the suffering of the Jews in various sieges, the destruction of the two temples, Israel's dispersal among the nations, the desolation of the land, and now their prophesied return to, and rebuilding of Palestine. Very accurately have its prophecies of the Gentile nations been fulfilled, and that as to the nations surrounding Palestine, as well as the great nations of the world: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and the remnant nations of Rome. Its prophecies as to the real and nominal church during the Gospel Age have been fulfilled in their great details; and now in connection with our Lord's return, pertinent prophecy after prophecy has been fulfilled. Thus we have seen the numerous prophecies of the reaping time fulfilled in the gatherings and siftings marking it, in its reapers and sifters, in its superintendent on earth and in the battles of Truth against error that marked it. We also see the prophecies as to the world fulfilled and fulfilling,

 

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e.g., the increase of knowledge and travel, the exposures of evil in all classes of society, the bundling of the tares in church, national, capitalistic and labor alliances, the hurling of these tare bundles into the fiery furnace, the great tribulation, in whose first phase we are now living, the World War, which is prophetically to be followed first by worldwide revolution and then by worldwide anarchy, and last of all by the final phase of Jacob's trouble. We are also witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy in the separation of the Little Flock and the Great Company, and in the latter's division into 60 groups, as we are also witnessing the fulfillment of prophecies as to the development of Youthful Worthies. And contemporaneously with the reaping work we witnessed the prophecies fulfilling on the advancing Truth designed for the development of the Little Flock, as now in the threshing time we are witnessing the prophesied unfolding of the Truth needed to develop the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. These, plus many other prophetic fulfillments, prove that the Bible's prophetic program is true, the past fulfillments being a guarantee of the fulfillments of those not yet due for fulfillment.

 

The Bible's ethical features, which include the precepts, exhortations, prohibitions, corrections and warnings, are true as principles governing conduct. Its principle of justice, duty love to God and Christ with all the heart, mind, soul and strength, is a true and proper matter of justice for their having given us all of good that we have and are, the Former as the Source of all our good and the Latter as His Agent of all our good, for which we certainly owe them duty love (thankful good will for the good that They have done us) with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. The Bible's law of justice also obligates mankind to love the neighbor as self—to wish and do him the good that, if the positions were reversed, we would have him wish and do to us. In the world all have, not before God, but before one another, the same general

 

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inalienable rights; hence for each to obtain these from others, it is but just that he yield these to others. This rule applying to everyone's relations to others will make all render others their dues—justice. These two laws of justice embrace all of one's duty relations to God and man, and certainly are true and proper principles. Its principle of disinterested love is also true and proper as a matter of charity. Disinterested love, based on a delight in good principles, delights in, and fellowships in unity with those in harmony with good principles, sympathizes with those who are treated contrary to, or who are out of harmony with good principles, and from such delight, fellowship and sympathy takes pleasure in laying down life to advance such principles in the blessing of others. The law of disinterested love extends in its operation as to objects, to God, Christ, the brethren, the world and one's enemies, and in proper proportion and balance is sacrificial to the degree of laying down life for good principles.

 

In addition to duty love, which includes piety toward God and Christ and brotherly love toward man, and disinterested love, the Bible's ethical teachings include also as among the dominating graces faith, hope, self-control and patience, all seven of them constituting the higher primary graces, which are properly called the dominating graces, since in their blending they are to control all our other graces, the lower primary, the secondary and the tertiary graces. The lower primary graces are the selfish, ten in number, e.g., cautiousness, secretiveness, providence, self-defensiveness, aggressiveness, self-esteem, approbativeness, etc., and social graces, seven in number—sexliness, spouseliness, parentliness, filiality, brethrenliness, friendship and domesticity or patriotism, which to remain graces must be controlled by the higher primary graces. If they are not so controlled they produce faults, e.g., providence not so controlled develops covetousness, etc. The secondary graces result from the higher primary graces restraining, repressing and suppressing the efforts of

 

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the lower primary graces to control, e.g., so restrained, repressed and suppressed, self-defensiveness results in longsuffering, restfulness, industriousness, self-esteem, humility, appetitativeness, temperance, sexliness, chastity, etc., etc. The tertiary graces, 12 in number, are compounded from a number of other graces in which the higher primary graces predominate, but in which are mixed lower primary, secondary and in some cases tertiary graces, e.g., zeal, meekness, reverence, obedience, faithfulness, etc. Every rightly-disposed person will recognize that these graces are true and proper as qualities of good principles. Backing these precepts as parts of the Bible's ethics are exhortations, encouraging to good, prohibitions, forbidding evil, corrections reforming evil and warnings cautioning against evil. All will surely recognize that all of these ethical teachings are true, as in harmony with proper principles.

 

The Bible's doctrines are true: its worlds, ages and planes of being are true. Its doctrines of God, Christ, the Spirit and the covenants are true and in harmony with one another. Its teachings on creation, man, the law of God, the fall, the penalty of sin, the educational purpose of the permission of evil and the Old Testament elections are all true. The carnation, consecration, Spirit-begettal, anointing, the sacrifice, ransom-sacrificial death, resurrection, ascension, glorification and Gospel-Age ministry of Christ are all truth-harmonious. The doctrine of the Church, its justification, consecration, Spirit-begettal, election, organization, order, discipline, development, sufferings, trials, perfecting, baptism, Lord's Supper, Sabbath, mission to self and the world, deliverance, resurrection and glorification are all truth-harmonious. Christ's Second Advent, the gathering of the Church as wheat and the world as tares, the Time of Trouble as the day of God's wrath, the overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of the spiritual phase of the Kingdom, are, one and all, true teachings. The separation of the Church from the Great Company, and the latter's division

 

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into 60 groups, the development of the Youthful Worthies, partly in association with the 60 groups of the Great Company and partly as separate and distinct therefrom, and as the last parts of the Gospel-Age work, according to the Bible, the forming of the Epiphany nominal people of God as the nucleus of the Millennial people of God and the deliverance of the Great Company and Youthful Worthies are true teachings, even if belonging largely to the (near) future. These teachings are true. Then it must also be said of the Bible's teachings pertinent to the Millennium, that they are true: the earthly phase of the Kingdom, restitution, resurrection, free grace, Christ's beneficent reign over the race, the imprisonment of Satan and his impenitent angels during the time, the removal of the sentence and the curse, future probation, the loosing of Satan, the final trial of the race, final rewards and punishments and the Ages of glory to come. We may be sure that as the Bible doctrines already having operated or now operating are true, these future ones, guaranteed by the operation of present ones, will be true, as based on good and proper principles. Not only are each and every one of the doctrines mentioned in this paragraph true, but they are self-harmonious, and harmonious with one another, with every Scripture passage, with God's character, the Sin-offerings, facts and the purposes of God's plan. These seven harmonies are the Bible's axioms that must be applied as tests of every doctrine and only those standing the tests are proven to be true. Hence we give these seven axioms as the proof that the Bible doctrines are true. Therefore, the Bible's doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, histories, prophecies and types, being true, it must be true, and therefore, truthfulness is one of its attributes.

 

The seventh attribute of the Bible is sufficiency. By the Bible's sufficiency is meant that quality of it whereby it is such a depository of saving knowledge for the Elect as makes it enough to be the sole source

 

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of faith and principles of practice and the main rule of faith and practice. When we speak of it as the sole source of faith and principles of practice, we mean that out of it and out of it alone come the thoughts that Christians are to accept as their belief and out of it alone come the principles that Christians accept as governing the character of their thoughts, motives, words and acts. When we speak of it as the main rule of faith, we mean that it is the main regulator of a Christian's belief; and when we speak of it as the main rule of practice, we mean that it is the main regulator of the character of his thoughts, motives, words and acts, the Holy Spirit and God's providences being subordinate rules of faith and practice in the sense of their assisting us interpretatively as to matters of faith and practice. Negatively it means that a Christian is to accept nothing as a matter of faith or of principle of practice unless it comes out of the Bible, and that he does nothing as a matter of thoughts, motives, words or acts that is not regulated by the Bible and God's Spirit and providence as to such thoughts, motives, words and acts. This effects that God out of and by the Bible is made the sole Giver of His people's beliefs and principles of His people's conduct. And this is what one's justification and consecration imply, viz., that on matters of faith he takes God's Biblically-given faith thoughts alone as enough for his faith and that on matters of practice he takes God's Biblically-revealed principles of justice and love as enough for the sole source of his life, and rules his conduct in harmony with the Lord's Word, Spirit and providences. So far as we as the objects of God's revelation are concerned, one of God's main purposes in giving us the Bible is to make it suffice as the sole source of our faith and principles of our practice and the main rule of our faith and practice. The perfection of God's works (Deut. 32: 4) implies, therefore, that the Bible is sufficient for such a use.

 

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We now proceed to the proof that the Bible is sufficient as the sole source of faith and principles of practice and the main rule of faith and practice for God's people. We infer this from Moses' prohibition that anything be added to, or subtracted from the Bible (Deut. 4: 2); and from John's similar warning against these two things (Rev. 22: 18, 19). St. Paul certainly proves this for the Scriptures when in 2 Tim. 3: 15-17 he tells us that the Bible is able to make one wise (teach one) unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, and that it is profitable for doctrine (what we should believe), refutation (what we should reject), correction (what we should not do) and instruction in righteousness (what we should do), to the end that God's people may be completely instructed and fitted unto every good work. The Bible exhorts us to betake ourselves to it for all needed instruction, and warns against contrary instruction as coming from darkness (Is. 8: 20). This also appears from the perfection of the Bible (2 Sam. 22: 31). It is because it is heavenly food that it is to be esteemed above earthly food (Job 23: 12); and it is the delight and meditation of God's people (Ps. 1: 2). It is sufficient to enable them to keep themselves victorious against Satan (Ps. 17: 4). It is sufficient to convert and educate (19: 7), to give joy and full enlightenment (8), to warn against evil and reward well-doers (11), and to keep God's people from all slippings (37: 31). In the heart it enables one to do the whole will of God (40: 8). It is enough to lead and guide to the Kingdom (43: 3). Heeding it, God's people develop hope, remember God's works and are kept from following bad examples (78: 6-8). It suffices to effect holiness (93: 5). It is sufficient to cleanse those who heed it (119: 9), to keep one from sinning (11), to give full counsel (24), to work hope (49), to comfort (50), to keep one from perishing (92), to quicken (93), to make one wiser than his opponents, teachers and the ancients (98-100), to give understanding and direction (104, 105, 133), to give one the Truth (130), to keep

 

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from fainting under persecution (157), and to keep one from stumbling (165). It is enough to rule in all life's affairs (Prov. 6: 20-23), to give certainty as to all its teachings and to enable one to refute all attacks (22: 21), to shield all who trust it and to reprove and prove false those who add to it (30: 5, 6), to incite to progress (Eccl. 12: 10), to stumble the evil (Is. 28: 13), to direct the course of the perplexed (30: 21), to work conviction (34: 16), to work righteousness, if kept in the heart (51: 7), to accomplish God's designs (55: 10, 11), to break down the hard-hearted (Jer. 23: 29), to work faith (John 20: 31), to give all wisdom unto salvation (Col. 3: 16), to equip one to expound the Truth (2 Tim. 2: 15), and to fit one for the Divine nature (2 Pet. 1: 4). These prove its sufficiency.

 

It is, therefore, the sole source of faith and principles of practice. Some do not accept it as such. Rationalists set forth the thought that reason is the sole source and rule of faith and practice, and thus they reject it altogether in its sourcel and regulatory functions. These take reason to mean the intellectual faculties, or their contents, or both of these. To assert the first is to deny that man is fallen in his intellectual faculties; to assert the second is not only to imply the infallibility of people's knowledge, but to make such a source and rule as various and contradictory as people's knowledge is contradictory, and to assert the third is to combine the evils of both. Hence we must reject reason as the source of faith and principles of practice. Others claim that the Bible and reason are combinedly such source and rule. But such a combination depraves the former and unduly exalts the latter, both of which are wrong, and in practice in reality it effects these two evils. Again, Romanists claim that the Bible and tradition, i.e., the teachings of their Church as they have been elaborated during the centuries, are such source and rule. But in practice this has resulted in subjecting the Bible to that Church's creed and practice, with the effect that some plain

 

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teachings of the Bible are set aside, others of its teachings have been denied, and all of them more or less counterfeited. In all cases this principle results in making the Romanist teachings dominate as the superior source and rule of faith and principles of practice. It is Satan's counterfeit in his antichrist of the true sole source of faith and principles of practice and the main rule of faith and practice (Matt. 15: 3, 9; Mark 7: 9, 13). It overthrows God's purpose of giving the Bible to His people as their sourcel and regulatory guide over the narrow way unto life. To deny the Bible to be such leaves one with a God-given false or incomplete instructor, while to take it as the sole source of faith and principles of practice and main rule of faith and practice will give men an all-sufficient guide, fully equipping them for a proper relation in teaching and practice toward God, Christ, neighbor and enemies.

 

Infallibility is the eighth attribute of the Scriptures here to be studied. By their infallibility is meant that quality of the Scriptures by which, as they came from God's hand, they are not only free from error, but they cannot err. This attribute is more comprehensive than their attribute of truthfulness; for in addition to their being in harmony with fact and proper principles, which is what their truthfulness means, they cannot err. It is not our thought that infallibility covers the work of copyists, who have introduced not a few mistakes into their copies, or that it covers the work of translators, or that of recensionists and interpreters, but that it covers only the originals as God gave them through His inspired penmen, and only that much of these originals as have been preserved to our times. Such infallibility we infer from their being inspired by God (2 Tim. 3: 16; 2 Pet. 1: 20, 21); for God not only does not, but cannot lie (Heb. 6: 18). It is morally impossible for Him to lie, as it is morally possible for man to lie (Num. 23: 19), since He is truthful and without error (Deut. 32: 4; 1 Sam. 15: 29). This covers His Word (Ps. 33: 4). Hence He made this quality permeate His