Have we a revelation from God?

J. N. Darby.
{A Review of Professor Smith's Article 'Bible,' in the 'Encyclopedia Britannica,' ninth edition.}

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It is evidently an all-important question, Have we a revelation from God? a communication of His thoughts on which we can rely? Is there nothing certain, nothing certainly known, nothing which enables me to say, I have God's truth? Have I from God such a revelation of His mind as is authentic and authoritative, such that I can know from Himself what God is?

I cannot trust in man. Man who has not had such a revelation is lost in what degrades human nature. I cannot trust the church or doctors. They too have their history, and what a history it is! — and, in these days they are a reed which, if a man lean on it, breaks and pierces the hand. Where am I to turn to be able to say, Here I have the truth I can love and rest on? Here is what God has given me from Himself? To have this I must have two things: a revelation from God; if every man is a liar, here is truth. But I must have it also communicated authentically to be able to reckon it. It is a matter of fact that men have not known God, nor His character without a revelation. Universal heathenism, civilised and uncivilised, is the witness of it. They have not liked retaining Him in their knowledge when He was revealed to them. It is no use telling me that the worship of Lingam and Yoni, of cats and monkeys and fetishes, is a true knowledge of God. It may prove that man wants a God, that he cannot help having one; but, if so, that he cannot find Him, or will not have Him.

The case then stands thus: I look all around to find God and His truth. The heathen cannot point Him out; I cannot find man among them that is not degraded. He deifies his passions and adds degradation to them.

I am told perhaps, But Plato, does he tell us nothing of God? Well, if I leave the universal heathenism, and enclose myself in the narrow groves of the academy, I find one who teaches the grossest communism, women and all, and makes men and women a mere stock for breeding human beings for the republic, and holds that the supreme God can have no direct communication with the creature; but that it must be by demons, and mediately, perhaps, the logos. He was, with the Rabbinical Jews, strange to say, the inventor of purgatory. The later forms of it brought in Arianism. I cannot find it among Mahometans, nor their paradise of Houris above and the sword below. The Koran, which is on the face of it a wretched imposition — revelations invented for the occasion that called for them — the Koran or the sword is not a revelation of God, save as a judicial scourge of Christendom. The Jews cannot tell me of God, cast out from Him according to their own scriptures. Am I to learn it in the intrigues of the Jesuits, rendering every nation under heaven restless? or in the infallibility of the Pope, which nobody, but grossly ignorant partisans, believes and history gives the lie to? Am I to worship the golden idols of the mother of God set up on steeples and highways where there is power to do so? Is this to be my resting-place?

61 Shall I turn to Protestants? But the mass of teachers amongst them are infidels in most parts. Perhaps I may have the choice of Puseyism or liberalism, or countless opinions and heresies which contradict and destroy each other. Am I told that there is a real consent in the evangelical creeds? I do not quite admit it; Luther did not think so. They all agree in one thing — baptismal regeneration. But if I inquire whether the teachers believe in the formularies they sign — not one of them: they are obsolete. What am I to do? Say with Pilate, What is truth? and wash my hands in despair and give up Christ to His enemies? But we have the word of God to rest on.

Ah, here there is something — God worthily revealed. But — "the most unkindest cut of all" — it is not, I am now told, the word of God. It is a compilation of various traditions and documents some seven or eight centuries after it professes to be written, drawn God knows whence (only not from Him), and by God knows whom; partly a law produced some seven or eight hundred years after it professed to be written, with some of its documents recognised as already existent, perhaps, at that date; professed prophecies put together by some compiler frequently under some name they do not belong to; a long conflict having subsisted between the moral element and the ceremonial or priestly, but the former got the victory in Ezra's time, but only then, though they never had the law as it is till Josiah's time! and yet, strange to say, they got the victory only to fix the nation in ceremonialism and the authority of priestly tradition in which it had never been before! Besides the two chief documents, however, from which the early history is compiled, and other parts suited to them by the compiler, another author has been discovered whose writings are intermingled with the two chief ones, and whose object is to attach importance to the progenitors of northern Israel. Prophets claim an intuition coming from God; still their great object was not future events.

62 Such are the scriptures. They are, if we are to believe these learned men, not the word of God, but an uncertain compilation flowing from the progress of Israel's history, partly from priests, under whom the laws grew up, never complete till Ezra, partly from prophets contending with their principles (not, mind, with their sins against God or their breaches of the law, it was not formed yet), partly from lay life in the midst of the people. These are the factors (that is the word) of the Old Testament. As to the New: well, four epistles may be Paul's, the expression of the higher spiritual life in the Christian; the rest spurious or doubtful, and much of it comparatively a modern attempt to reconcile the Pauline and Petrine factions in the church, or a late fruit of Alexandrian philosophy and reveries or Jewish symbolism.

It is no great wonder if a very large body of the French Protestant clergy declared they would sign nothing, no apostles' creed, nor anything else; they supposed men would have to believe something, but they did not know what it was yet; and the poor laity, not so learned, but more of babes, said, as I know them to have done, "Pourtant, si nous sommes des Chretiens, il nous faut un Christ quelconque" (Well, but if we are Christians, we must have some kind of Christ). Such is the point to which what is called the church has brought us. Not now priestly ceremonies and traditions combated and corrected by prophets professing divine intuition, but priestly and ecclesiastical ceremonies and traditions bringing weariness to the spirit (where it does not rush to popery as a refuge), merging into heartless and flippant infidelity, living in a speculative pseudo-historical outside, without one spiritual apprehension of the divine substance of what lies at their door and before their heart — speculations which last some twenty years or so, first Paulus' gross denial of miracles and resurrection, then Strauss with his mythical Christ, and then Baur and the Tubingen school, the false speculative fancies of which are already judged and given up;* and now the later forms of these and De Wette and the like, warmed up anew for Scotland; as the English in such things generally do when they have passed their day in their native country.
  {*That I may not be thought from scriptural prejudice to overstate the judgment formed on Baur's theory, I may refer to a laudatory article on Baur in the columns of the "Encyclopedia Britannica," in which the article of Professor Smith which has given rise to these remarks is found. "Unhappily," so the article closes, "his own opinions were influenced, not merely by his study of facts, but by a great speculative system which dominated his intelligence and prevented him from seeing," etc.}

63 It is admitted that Professor Smith has exaggerated what a child may see in Scripture, and, I add, through ignorance of Scripture not understood it, and that his system as to the books of the New Testament cannot hold water. I shall be told that for all this Astruc's theory and Baur's reasoning have produced an immense effect. They have, in those not taught of God; not in substituting any certain system, but in turning lifeless dogmatism into speculative infidelity and scepticism.

And where is the word of God? Where it always was, as light is in the sun. Men may have found olive leaves, and these be broken up into small patches of light, or hang over the spots in a way not to be explained. It may be found that the spots are coincident with auroras and magnetic disturbances; but those who have eyes walk, as they ever did, in its full and clear divinely-given light. It shines as it ever did, and the entering in of the word gives light and understanding to the simple. They have a nature that can estimate it in the true character God gave it, which these learned men have not; for He hides these things from the wise and prudent, and reveals them to babes. "They shall be all taught of God," is the declaration of the Lord and the prophet for those who can hear.

That the Old Testament scriptures were collected into their present form a good while before the Lord was on earth, no one is interested in contesting; indeed, far from it, for Christ owns the divisions which now exist. Attributed to the great Sanhedrim, on (it is said) insufficient ground, or referred to Ezra, they were at any rate so collected; though Mr. Smith slurs it quickly over to refer to doubts as to Esther. Josephus is very express. There are not, he tells us, a multitude of books, but just twenty-two: that they had histories and writings after Artaxerxes, but these had not the same authority, they were not tested by prophets. That the books were collected, we can thank God for. Whether the history of Ruth be connected with Judges, or the Lamentations with Jeremiah, or relegated to the Ketubim, is of no sort of consequence. Their place in the history is plain upon the face of them. It is not to the believer a question who wrote Ruth. He receives them as the word of-- God. God is their author. It is, as Matthew expresses it, upo Kuriou dia tou prophetou — of the Lord by the prophet. It is also true that, in collecting the books, short notes may have been added, such as, There they are to this day, or other brief note of the kind. Such there are, interesting as divinely-given history, but in no way affecting the revelation. The book clearly shows that as a whole it is inspired and ordered in its structure by God; and when all this was done to make it a whole, this divine ordering of God's hand and wisdom may be in such notes as elsewhere. The question is, Is this book given to us of God as a revelation, given to us as it is? Is what is in it revealed of God, or man's thoughts?

64 The book professes to be an account of all God's ways from the creation (and even in purpose before it) till the Lord comes, and even to the end of time, till God can say gegone, It is done; I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending. It professes further to give us a revelation of the Father in the Son. Is this immense undertaking a revelation of God? or a development of national life in a little petty nation, for our learned men can see no more? No man hath seen God at any time: the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. Is this a revelation of God or not? That is, is the account I have of it of God, as God has given it to us? for otherwise it is no revelation to me or to anyone else.

Serious questions these: the very undertaking proves its source. Had man done it, what should we have had? What have we outside this wondrous book? Their theory is, it is an imposture; for giving statements hundreds of years later than their alleged date, as if all were written by inspiration at that date is an imposition, and this from a nation constantly running into idolatry, and condemned by the book! And further (can any but learned men be blessed with such credulity?) persuading the people whom the forgers were condemning by it, that they had always had this law as a law from God Himself, when, if these doctors and the Josiah theory be true, they never had had it at all, it was brand new, or some old traditions furbished up from different old documents for the occasion; and remark further — for this we must now look into — that Christ and His apostles either from God confirmed the delusion, or deceived the people, and all those they taught, on purpose! That an imposture, moreover, is the holiest production that ever appeared in the world, bearing to every one that has any moral sensibilities a divine stamp upon it, which nothing else in the world has! Credat Judaeus Apelles. As Rousseau said, It would have been a greater miracle for man to invent such a life as Christ's, than to be it.

65 I will touch on some of the grounds they build their theory on; but I first turn to the book itself. First of all, it is treated as a whole by Christ and His apostles as having a well-known and specific character. "The scripture cannot be broken," John 10:35. "Then opened he their understanding, that they should understand the scriptures," Luke 24:45. "Search the scriptures," John 5:39. They were a recognised collection which the Lord owned; and, yet more precisely, owned as we have them now and the Jews had them then. "All things must be fulfilled which are written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets and in the Psalms, concerning me." Here is the Torah, Nebiim, and the Ketubim — the three divisions which the Jews distinguish by the Gradus Mosaicus, Gradus Propheticus, and the Bath-Kol: in the two first, authorised by Numbers 12:6-8; the latter human, in which their idea is that the writer, though inspired, expressed the sentiments animating his own mind, not knowing that all that was contained in it was the mind of the Holy Ghost; which is doubtless true often in such books as the Psalms.

Christ owned, then, what we call the Old Testament, and owned it as we and the Jews have it. But He goes farther; He owns them according to their present character and authors. "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law?" (John 7:19.) "Moses, therefore, gave you circumcision, not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers" (v. 22). There is one that accuses you, even Moses in whom ye trust; for had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47). "If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken," chap. 10:35. This alludes to the Judges being called Elohim in Hebrew; they shall bring him to the "judges" being very commonly Elohim, god or gods." Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent. And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead," Luke 16:29-31. How true it has been with these poor Jews and these unhappy infidels! Christianity and the resurrection of the Lord are of no avail if Moses and the prophets are not believed, and believed in their writings, for surely they had them. "He wrote of me. If ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

66 Remark further here that Septuagint translations, the "Compiler's" additions, and all that these speculators allege, were there then the same as now, the same collection, the collection as we have it; and Christ owned and insisted on the authority of that, and that as being Moses' writings.

But further, after His resurrection, not even when dealing with Jews who owned them, but of and from Himself for His disciples, the risen Lord, "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself," Luke 24:27. Think of the risen Christ expounding to His disciples a set of ill-compiled and contradictory old documents, pretended to be Moses and the prophets! But this is not all; they will say perhaps — for what will the folly of learned infidelity not say? — they were only the things concerning Himself which He selected. "These are the words which I spake to you while I was with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me. Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures, and said to them, Thus it is written." Ah! the written word is what He valued. Only just think of the risen Lord opening with divine power His disciples' understanding to understand a spurious compilation professing to be written by Moses and others! That He should do so that we might understand the divine word, we can well conceive, and, if taught of God, we know the need of it; but to do it for an imposition, pretending to be what it is not, an infidel speculator alone would believe. But the "unjust knows no shame."

Again, the Lord recognises the prophets as we have seen, and specifies the one most called in question, Daniel, "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet." The reading is called in question in Mark, but not in Matthew, and the reading in Mark confirms the genuineness in Matthew, and further recognises the commandments as given by Moses to be spoken by God: for God commanded saying, Honour thy father and thy mother (Matt. 15:4); and again Isaiah (v. 7), Well did Esaias prophesy concerning you, saying. This is in the first part. But He takes up also the second part of the "Great Unnamed." There was delivered to Him the book of the prophet Esaias, and when He had opened the book He found the place where it was written (ah! that is the word), The Spirit of the Lord is upon me … And He began to say, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. He was content to accept it as Isaiah, and affirms, what is of far more importance, and only really so, that it was of God Himself; Luke 4:17-21. In the same chapter He authenticates the books of Kings and the history of Elijah and Elisha. He indirectly authenticates again the last part of Isaiah (Luke 7:27) in the prophecy of John Baptist; Isa. 40:3. I need hardly quote more passages.

67 The discourses, life, and outgoings of the Lord's soul, though going necessarily far beyond it, and showing it was to be set aside, as under the old covenant, for the accomplishment of far more glorious counsels, that the law and the prophets were until John, since then the kingdom of heaven was preached — the whole discourses and life of Jesus, I repeat, if the Gospels be read in simplicity of heart will be found interwoven with the truth of the law and the prophets as they are presented to us in ordinary Bibles, authenticating them as they are, so that you must tear away all the revelation of Christ in them to remove the authority of the law and the prophets. He did not come to destroy, but to fulfil them. Fulfil what? A poor compilation of Ezra's time, or fragmentary documents made up by man, gradually grown up into a law unknown at the beginning? or the word of God given by inspiration to Moses and those whom Jehovah had sent? He was born in Bethlehem, because by God's will the prophet had said so. He dies, because if not, how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be? Till heaven and earth passed, not one jot or one tittle would in anywise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.

I may turn then to the servants of Christ when He had been rejected, the apostles and writers of the New Testament. The apostles, those authorised and sent by Him to announce Christian truth, and inspired by the Holy Ghost for this service, and the other inspired writers of the New Testament affirm, or which in a certain aspect is stronger, assume, everywhere that the Old Testament, as we and the Jews (enemies of Christianity, but in this witnesses with it) have it, is an inspired record, written by those to whom it is ascribed, and given of God. I can understand that the Baurs and Smiths (who, as rocks that, originating nothing, can only repeat a sound) echo them, thinking themselves more competent to tell us what Christianity and the truth is than Christ and His apostles. I have met such, men who did not scruple to say so, though checked somewhat by the scandal so speaking of Christ gave; I have met them in Europe and the United States; but all are not quite fit for that yet. Such thoughts are soon sunk in the deep sea of lifeless infidelity.

68 Let us inquire then what the apostles or others do say. And first I will take what are called the great Epistles of Paul, what Baur takes as the sure ground of historical Christianity. To begin with the Romans, though chronologically the last of the four, Paul, he tells us, was separated to the gospel of God which He had promised before by the prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, made of the seed of David according to the flesh. Here holy Scriptures, holy writings, are owned; the prophets are God's prophets; and the whole system announced by them of the promise to the seed of David running through the prophetic writings and Psalms, from Samuel and all the prophets, is fully and clearly owned. Paul founds his own teaching on them, a[d]ding of course the fact of the resurrection. What advantage had the Jews? Much every way, but chiefly what? That to them were committed the oracles of God. Such were these holy writings. The special blessing, and they had many, was that they had the oracles of God. Poor Paul! to be so dark, untaught, as I have heard such say, by modern science. But what was the force of this? Man's unbelief could not make the faith of God of none effect. These oracles were so thoroughly of God that His faithfulness was involved in them, in making them good. But He shows Jews and Gentiles all under sin. How is that? It is written; chap. 3:10. The Psalms and Isaiah are warrant for the assertion, and as to the text, the "Great Unnamed" has the passage; Isa. 59. It may be wearisome to quote so many texts; yet they show that it was not a mere quotation to support a point, but that the apostles lived in, and based their teaching on, what modern rationalists deny.

69 What (Romans 4) says the scripture? Abraham believed God, etc. Here Genesis is authenticated as the scripture, the word of God. Next David describes the blessedness of this man. Here the Psalms are authenticated. Again, in Rom. 5:14, it is Genesis 5. Death reigned from Adam to Moses. This was until the law. Here the whole history of Genesis as to the fall of Adam under a law as to the forbidden fruit, no law till Moses, but death reigning by Adam's fall, then the law being given by Moses changing the ground on which man stood, not as to sin and death, but as to transgression, when there was (as in the two cases of Adam and Moses) an actual law, is treated not merely as a Jehovistic or Elohistic fragmentary compilation, but as God's account of man's whole moral standing with Himself till grace was rejected in the gospel, prophesied of indeed, but now actually meeting man's need as taught by the apostle in this Epistle, which, precious as it is, it is not my business to enter into now.

I pass over some passages confirmatory of this use of the Old Testament, and stop for a moment at Romans 9. Here Israel are dear to him as having law and promises, and even Christ as concerning the flesh. But where was all this shown to be so when they were a rejected people? Not as though the word of God had taken none effect; and then all the history of Genesis is treated as the word of God, and the account in Exodus is cited, first, as declaring that God spoke to Moses, and then as to the history of Pharaoh. And here it is as Scripture says it. This is for Paul the same as God saying it. Next Hosea is cited as the word of God. "He says in Osee." Esaias also cries, quoted as of the same authority as God speaking in Osee: and this estimate of Scripture we shall find uniform. If he quotes the law (Rom. 10), Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law. And here note Deuteronomy is quoted as what Moses says. For the learned men this is the Deuteronomic law first recognised by Jeremiah in Josiah's time! Perhaps from the latest hand of all, at least if we are to believe Graf. But farther it appears that the "Great Unnamed" was for Paul Isaiah himself. For Esaias says, Lord, who has believed our report? (Isa. 53). Then Deuteronomy is again quoted as written by Moses, and the "Great Unnamed" again as Esaias, who is very bold; Isa. 65. Then we have the book of Kings authenticated; Rom. 11. God has not cast away His people. How can I know this is God's mind? Wot ye what the scripture says of Elias? … But what says the answer of God to him? I can reckon on the scripture as giving me God's mind and purpose. So if Israel be blinded for a time it is written (Rom. 11:8), quoting Deuteronomy 29: "And David says": so the Psalms were a true testimony of God to what was going to happen. Again in Romans 15 we find Deuteronomy quoted as "He"; that is, in the formula of quotation, the scripture is God speaking. The Psalms and Isaiah himself are quoted as the word of God.

70 In Corinthians, a book of church details, the quotations are not so many, but it shows that Scripture is taken for granted as divine. The law is the law of Moses (1 Cor. 9:9); and this is God's mind, taken for granted as being so. "Doth God take care for oxen?" What Moses taught was what God taught. The history of the Exodus and the wilderness was God's history of His people, and His dealings with them recorded for our instruction; 1 Cor. 10:1-14. Again (1 Cor. 11:9), the creation of Adam and Eve (Gen. 2) is quoted as a divine account sufficient to build moral duties on. In 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, Isaiah and another of the prophets are quoted as fulfilled in resurrection. In 2 Corinthians 3 the account of Moses veiling his face is quoted from Exodus as showing the true character of the law, and Israel's state.

Galatians gives us the same testimony. Take chapter 3. The Pentateuch is referred to as a sure and certain testimony for faith, and Scripture spoken of as God Himself, being His word. "The scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith," than which nothing can be stronger as to the inspired apostle's estimate of it. Nor is this all. The teaching of Genesis, and promises there made and confirmed (Gen. 12 and 22), and the history of Mount Sinai, are taken in their order as the basis of God's ways. A promise made unconditionally could not be disannulled or modified by additions 430 years after, and all this identified with its fulfilment in Christ in due time. The place the law holds in God's ways, and the epochs of it, are made the basis of his argument, and of the true character of Christianity. The promise was what God gave, Christ was its fulfilment, the law came in between, 430 years after the promise, added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. What for the rationalist is an uncertain compilation of uncertain fragments, the development of national life, is for the inspired apostle the orderly revelation, as it is given in our Bibles, of God's ways, His own revelation of them historically, so as to form the basis of the true character of Christianity which was in question among the Galatians. The accounts of Hagar and Sarah are for him sure ground to stand upon. Nor has he ever any other thought. If he answers to King Agrippa, he spoke none other things than those which the prophets, and Moses in the law, did say should come. Finally, we find in 2 Timothy 3 a formal testimony to the holy Scriptures, when the church should have the form of godliness and deny the power, with the direct declaration that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God.

71 John gives us the formal testimony that the law was given by Moses; and John the Baptist's declaration, quoting the latter part of Isaiah as being of him, and himself the fulfilment of it, as a sure prophecy, and of God. "Moses in the law and the prophets did write" is recorded as a known and received truth; the Psalms equally so. In John 2 "the zeal of thine house has eaten me up." Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness; John 3. What Moses gave (the manna) was not the true bread from heaven; where Exodus and the Psalms are alike authenticated. "It is written in the prophets" is sufficient for the Lord Himself; not a bone was broken, that the scripture might be fulfilled; and His side was pierced that another scripture might be fulfilled, quoting Isaiah. They shall look on Him whom they have pierced; John 19.

Peter on the day of Pentecost rests on the authority of Joel, of David in Psalm 16; Acts 2. Moses it was who promised the prophet like himself; chap. 3. Yea, Samuel and all the prophets had spoken of those days, and all the holy prophets are brought in declaring the future blessing that was to come, the heavens receiving Jesus till then. Psalm 2 was being fulfilled; chap. 4:25.

Peter formally declares that the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, who studied their own prophecies to know what He (1 Peter 1:11) did signify in them, and quotes Isaiah, what is contained in the scripture, as of sure authority, warranting what was going on; chap. 2:6. He accepts the account of the flood in Noah; chap. 3:20.

72 The Gospel of Matthew, which specially presents Christ to us as the Messiah of the promises, Emmanuel, on His rejection, the substitution of the kingdom in mystery (Matt. 13), the church (Matt. 16), the kingdom in glory (Matt. 17), bases, I may say, all its statements on the testimonies of the old prophets. Christ is Son of David, Son of Abraham. So numerous are the quotations that I can only notice the formal character of them, and one or two in particular. The formal character is spoken of (upo) the Lord by (dia) the prophet, a definite assertion of their true character. He quotes some as giving the events happening, ina "in order that" the prophecy might be fulfilled, opos "so that" there was a fulfilment, tote "then" when it is only a case in point. The latter part of Isaiah is "Esaias the prophet."

I need hardly quote more from the writers of the New Testament, besides a multitude of allusions in those I have referred to, to show that Christ and the apostles accepted the Bible as we have it (I mean the collection of the books of the Old Testament as a whole) as of divine authority, as the word of God, inspired, and of absolute authority with them. It is that by which the Lord overcame Satan, to which Satan resorted to cover his guile. Man had to live by every word which proceeded out of the mouth of God.* Such is Scripture to the believer by its own intrinsic authority, and the words of Christ and the apostles carry an evidence which no cavils of infidelity can shake, while they call themselves Christians: and the authority of Christ Himself and of the apostles weighs more than the speculations of men, based by each on some new fancy of his own, and though helping on infidelity as it passed and the ruin of man's hopes, passing away with the influence of the mental energy which created it. I only, in addition, beg my reader to remark that these quotations authenticate the writings and the writers, and the writings as being those of the writer whose name they bear, as well as the truths contained in them as given of God, and that with the authority of Christ and His apostles.
  {*This, as all the Lord's replies to Satan, is quoted from Deuteronomy, as the word of God — words proceeding out of God's mouth, sufficient for Him, and sufficient to leave Satan without reply.}

We are left then, according to this system, with no certainty at all as to any truth of God. Objectors have subtilly spoken of authority, but there is no certainty. Not even the statements of the Lord Jesus and the apostles give us any; and, if not, these are uncertain and unauthoritative too, and we are left to the dark mists of infidelity and a world which has historically proved itself wicked and blind, without one sure communication from God.

73 Before I turn to the more interesting and instructive proofs of the unity of the Old Testament from internal proofs, it may be well to consider for a little the article which gives occasion to these comments. It seems to me slovenly both in substance and in form. On the latter I need not dwell; but when a writer tells us of Jesus speaking of the new dispensation founded on His death as a New Covenant, citing 2 Corinthians 11:25, I am justified in saying it is slovenly. I thought this might be a misprint, but I really cannot make out to what he refers. No scripture ever calls this dispensation a new, or the new covenant, though we get all the blessing of it spiritually. Christ's blood in the institution of the Lord's supper is called the blood of the new covenant; and Paul (2 Cor. 3) says He was a minister of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. But this does not call for protracted notice.

But, though the writer speaks of Genesis, having lost sight of the divinely-given use of the Old Testament, all resolves itself into the development of a little nation, with a national God, and more or less priestly superstition. But in Genesis we have the history of the world from the creation to Israel's going down into Egypt and his death, with all the great principles of God's relationship with man, except what are properly dispensational. There is not the law, nor the church, the two great subjects of God's ways afterwards for heaven and on earth. But leaving them aside, you have all the great root-principles of man's state and relationship with God, and in promise the cradle of all his hopes. Of these we must expect no trace in these heartless systems, but Elohistic and Jehovistic fragments, and interweaving by a compiler, one referring to the priestly party in Israel, the other not; why put together by the compilers, we are not told; but of the state and interests of man, or the glory and purposes of God — though both, as we have seen, are fully wrought into the New Testament as the basis of eternal truth — no hint, no trace. Man fallen, a world judged (a story to which Christ sets His seal), Christ promised, Israel's hopes founded, and their apostasy, and God's deliverance of them foretold, all in vain. Grace and judgment, and all God's ways, Christ promised and come and unfolding them, as did also the apostles, in all their momentous bearings, must give way to Ewald's "Geschichte," and Mr. Newman's "Hebrew Monarchy," and Baur, and Hupfeld, and Mr. Smith, in speculations which only show they can see nothing where God has, in its germ, laid down everything that casts light upon a ruined world (for a ruined world it is), and God's dealings in grace with it.

74 But it is only fair to show that the statements are slovenly: perhaps flimsy or superficial would be a more correct word. The theory is that there was a gradual development of the law. From Joshua to Samuel national feeling was much weaker than tribal jealousy. That there was a general dissolution, through idolatry and all seeking their own, is true, and Ephraim claimed a place hardly owned by others; but this broke out far worse afterwards even in David's time, and after Solomon's death divided the kingdom.

During the time of the Judges, we are told, the sanctuary and priesthood of the ark was the chief centre of monotheism. Of course it was at all times; there could be no other. There was no mercy-seat but there; there could be no day of atonement without it. Samuel, it is said, was by education a priest; but it was as prophet, not as priest, he accomplished his work. He never was a priest, and could execute no priestly office. Afterwards, to show the progress, we are told that he fully sanctioned Exodus 20:24, and did not act on Deuteronomy 33:19. All this is utter neglect of both the letter and the mind of Scripture. There was no sanctuary at all during Samuel's activity. A tremendous judgment had fallen on Israel. Jeremiah refers to it (Jer. 7) as prognostic of what would happen to Jerusalem.

There are three offices, as is often said, through which God has to do with His people — prophet, priest, and king. The priesthood, which was set to guide even Joshua, had utterly failed. Eli died broken-hearted, his two sons slain, and the ark of God taken. There was no restoration of the ark till the king restored it, though God sustained His own glory. The link of the people with God on the ground of their own responsibility, with priestly mediation, was entirely broken: no day of atonement, it could not be; Ichabod was written on it all. God had "delivered his strength into captivity; his glory into the enemy's hand." But a prophet is sovereign interference, and God could not be debarred this, and He had prepared Samuel as He had prepared Moses. Samuel maintained the worship of Jehovah as an acknowledged prophet and judge. But as a system the people failed here too, and demanded a king; and God gave them a king in His anger, and took him away in His wrath. Then God by Samuel called David, who became king and brought back the ark, but to Zion, not to the tabernacle; which was no longer at Shiloh, but at Gibeon, without any ark or mercy-seat at all; it was not owned by David. Solomon went there; but David, guided as he was and taught of God, placed singers at the ark to say "His mercy endures for ever."

75 In spite of all their sins, power in grace had wrought restoration. The record is repeated in Nehemiah of the same faithfulness of God, and in the closing psalms, predictive of Israel's future blessing, prepared to be sung with greater testimony to its truth than ever, after Jerusalem has received at the hand of the Lord double for all her sins (Isa. 40:2), and that in the kingly power of Christ in grace. Hence, in Hebrews Zion is contrasted with Sinai, the place of the law and the old covenant. Such is the scriptural statement of the matter. The thoughts about Samuel and the difference of the altars overlooks the whole real history of Israel at that time. Samuel acted with prophetic authority when there was no ark, and the whole priestly order was judicially set aside. The prophets did refer to the moral state of the people largely, but prophesied of a Messiah to come and grace for Israel and a new covenant. But God owned no covenant as the old covenant, but what He had made with Israel in coming out of Egypt. This is what is expressly referred to.

There is no thought of a development of religious ordinances from a relatively crude and imperfect state. The prophets recalled Israel to a well-known system: but it will be found that the blessings and judgments in Judah, which still owned the temple and Jehovah, were invariably dependent on the conduct of the king, under whom they were placed, and on whose conduct blessing or the contrary depended. We are told, indeed, that the proof of the development view "cannot here be reproduced." It is a pity: still the author does his best. I only remark that, while there was progressive prophetic light, the kings ordered the details of priestly service, as David did, and was inspired for it. As a system, the headship of the priest was given up in Shiloh, though not their exclusive service. We are told that the prophets, when they failed to produce immediate reformation, began from the eighth century, if not earlier, to commit their oracles to writing. Reformation of what? Who were these prophets? The eighth century was Hezekiah's reign. This was about four hundred years from Samuel. There were from time to time prophets who gave warnings; but what reformation were they attempting? All this is fable. David set up the new system, and "Solomon built him a house." Ten tribes went off because of the folly of the king, had no priests but false ones, and afterwards two most remarkable prophets, who wrought miracles authenticating their mission; which the Jewish ones did not, because Jehovah was publicly owned, and the whole system they recalled Israel to was fixed long ago, and owned by the people. The reforming prophets from Samuel to the eighth century is a fancy of the writer's. The former prophets (Samuel, and Kings) give us the history, and this was what God meant them to do. That they were the chroniclers is often repeated and easily shown.

76 But to return to inquire for the proofs of the development of crude ordinances: if I read Exodus and Leviticus, they may be wise or not, yet they are not crude but elaborately detailed, and, if true at all, framed according to a pattern shown on the mount. If they were not established by Moses, the whole history is a fable, utterly false from beginning to end; for "Jehovah said to Moses" is the emphatic authority, save a few to Aaron, where it was special priestly service in what was established; and, I ask, was the pattern shown on the mount a crude thing, to be developed by Moses? But the proofs — An altar of earth or unhewn stone is commanded, if they made one (Ex. 20), and this Samuel did when there was no priestly service and Shiloh was judged, and so did Elijah when Israel had left the temple. It guarded against idolatrous imagery. But we are reminded that God was to put His name in one place, according to Deuteronomy, and so He did, and faithful kings were constantly destroying the high places (for planting trees was equally forbidden), thinking to bring back things to order, not to make progress or develop. In Exodus 20 He speaks of recording His name in a place, and there He would meet them — blessed promise! But the next thing in the same book is the history of the tabernacle, to which in the wilderness they were bound to bring every animal they killed in the camp or out of the camp, under pain of death; and in the same Jehovistic account, if you will have it so, they are to appear before Jehovah at the three great feasts. Talking of development as to this is really nonsense: the earthen altar is the first ordinance given — a development, I suppose, of the crude details of the tabernacle given after; and then we jump to Samuel!

77 The quotation of Deuteronomy 33 is a prophecy of the last days of Israel in the blessing of Moses, the man of God. Even so they call the people to the mountain. What mountain? There they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness. Why should it not be the mountain of Jehovah's house established on the top of the mountains? This is a prophecy for the last days too. In Deuteronomy we have the three great feasts, and their going to the appointed place obligatory, and images and groves forbidden — all Jehovistic. The full directions as to going to the place where God had set His name are in Deuteronomy 12, when the Lord should have given them rest, and what they might eat at home and what not. But this had been even more strictly imposed in the camp, because in the land the distance might be too great, an altar of brass being made in the same book and place according to the pattern shown on the mount.

Deuteronomy is a peculiar book, penned evidently for the confusion that might be found in Israel when scattered about the land. The Levites hold a much more considerable place, and the people. The Levites are not priests, as the article says, but the priests are very rarely mentioned, and provision made for this state of things, yet anything but development of ordinances. It is for the land entirely; Exodus and Leviticus, with very rare exceptions, exclusively for the wilderness. Probably, from what Amos and Stephen say, not one sacrifice, unless the regular daily ones, was ever offered. The history, though doubtless their duty then, is one of types, and written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the world are come; and though this be said of their history, yet the types of the sacrifices and the like are precious to every one that knows Christ. He knows Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us; he knows what Pentecost prefigured; and if intelligent in the things of God, what Tabernacles are too, not yet fulfilled; but to these things I will revert. Thank God, they were perfect at first, and only properly so then. All was made according to the pattern shown to Moses on the mount. Rationalists may despise the New Testament too, and despise Alexandrian Epistles to the Hebrews; but we have not yet learnt that the most wonderful display of grace, holiness, and wisdom, wrought into a whole that none can rend, is only an imposture.

78 But the other proofs? — Ezekiel's temple. This is instruction for the restoration, not the historical one. Then instead of Jehovah-Shammah and the prince, they were miserable captives to the kings God had set over them in His anger; at least so Nehemiah thought. It is prophecy for a time after Gog is destroyed, so that all the nations may know that Jehovah is Israel's God, who had led them into captivity, and brought them out, and left none of them there at all. For there will be such days, let rationalists think what they like. It is a prophecy; in nothing an historic proof of any development made after the Exodus. When Ezra fixed the legal state of Israel, he did not fix Ezekiel's temple. This is really child's-play, fit only for rationalists. This, the writer tells us, is his "clearest proof," unless we may suppose the unreproduced ones may be.

But there remains yet one as to which the writer makes a pretty round assertion — Josiah's book. "The legislation of this book does not correspond with the old law in Exodus, but with the book of Deuteronomy." So it is stated. I must suppose he refers to there being one place of worship; but this was more strictly fixed in Exodus when the tabernacle was set up (that is, at first) than in Deuteronomy, only one for the land, the other for the wilderness. But of the contents of the book there is not one word in the Kings. I do not exclude from what Josiah says Deuteronomy more than Exodus or Leviticus, in which last we have the most terrible threatenings of all (see chap. 26). Josiah heard the words of the book of the law, and his heart was tender; but he had no idea of a new book or a new law. It was the book of the law that was found. In the long reign of Manasseh it had been utterly neglected; but he speaks of it as no new thing. "Great is the wrath of Jehovah that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened to the words of this book."

I have now completed the consideration of the produced proofs of the development of crude ordinances under the law. Rebellion, idolatry, desertion of Jehovah, gracious dealings on His part, and "hewing" them by prophets there was, and growing light as to Messiah; a new order of the details of service as to song and temple service by inspiration through David; a provision for walk in the land and failure in Deuteronomy; but of development from the pattern shown in the mount not a trace. The writer tells us Ezra came with "the book of the law of Moses." Yet, according to him, it was not the law of Moses; but, if the Pentateuch be not all false, an improved code on what God had established by Moses. How "a nation which had attained a high degree of literary culture" was to be enlightened "in spite of the crass and unspiritual character of the mass of the people," I may leave to rationalists to explain. It is grammatico-historical exegesis, I suppose. Was I unjust in saying the article was superficial in form and substance?

79 I refer to one passage more. He alleges 1 Samuel 8:7 as contradicting Deuteronomy 17. But how God in anger, as Himself rejected and giving the people their own way and telling them how it would turn out, is a contradiction of a statement of how it ought to be done, is beyond me. If my reader is not weary of such futilities, I am; they are characteristically rationalist.*
  {*The allegation, that "there are six laws as to the passover, which, if not really discordant, are at least so divergent in form and conception that they cannot be all from the same pen," is another of these careless assertions without a shadow of foundation. In the first place, they are not all of the passover, but some of unleavened bread, which, though connected, was a different feast, and the difference morally important; and in two cases specially connected with the consecration of the firstborn. As to the rest, we have the historical account in Exodus, and reference to it when the three great feasts are particularly directed to be kept. How these are divergent, my reader must find out; I cannot. It will be found that in Exodus 13 there is no special additional direction as to the firstborn and unleavened bread, and no law as to the passover at all. So in chapter 34:18. Moreover, they are all Jehovistic; so that the Jehovistic and Elohistic documents, as of two definite authors, come to nothing. But the statement is ridiculous, a proof of the folly and levity of all that is alleged. See page 135, the end of the article; published here at the end of the second section.}

I may turn to Astruc's and his followers' Jehovistic and Elohistic documents. According to Mr. F. Newman, they can be separated by mechanical means — a pair of scissors, for instance. With this I agree. It is an apposite statement. They can be separated with nothing else. But are these learned men incapable of making a difference between God abstractedly as a supreme and self-existing Being, and a relative name in which He makes Himself known to men, so as to be in special relation with them? My father is a man; but, besides that, he is my father without ceasing to be a man. Supposing I took the New Testament and said there must be two documents which scissors could separate because He is called God and Father? But Father is given as a relative name in the New Testament as much as Jehovah in the Old.

80 Abstractedly I have no objection to more documents than one, provided I have the result from "the mouth of God"; but in their reasonings after Astruc I see no proof of anything else than the absence of moral or any sense, and that, being empty in mind of divine truth, this fancy of Astruc's was one they could spin cobwebs out of. What fly but a rationalist would be caught by Hupfeld's third author of the northern party, and Mr. Smith's curious remark on it — "His literary individuality is, in truth, sharply marked, though the limits of his contributions to the Pentateuch are obscure"? This is strange! "literary individuality sharply marked, but the limits of the contributions obscure": their character is sharply marked, but it is obscure where they begin and end. Who will explain this for me?

But how does Scripture present the subject? God is God, but God has entered into relationship with men. These relationships are fourfold in Scripture, all referring to God abstractedly as such: El Shaddai (God Almighty); Jehovah (unhappily translated in English LORD in capitals, as a rule; better in French, l'Eternel); Father, which, save in mere figures, is entirely a New Testament name; and Elion, Most High, which, while revealed in promise is God's millennial name, — and will be displayed as possessor of heaven and earth, all antagonistic power being set aside. And these are clearly thus set forth in Scripture, though the last be less clearly, as being yet future.

The two first are expressly distinguished. Thus Exodus 6:2-3: "And Elohim said to Moses, I am Jehovah; and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob by the name of El Shaddai, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them." Not that He was not Jehovah, but He did not give Himself this name in His ways with them. (See Genesis 17, 28 and 32.) With Israel He was then Jehovah, as the great question was settled on Mount Carmel; "Jehovah, he is Elohim.

With Christians, the Son Himself being come, the Father is revealed, as the Lord Himself says (John 17): "I have manifested thy name to the men thou gavest me out of the world … Holy Father, keep through thine own name … And I have declared to them thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." So Paul: "When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons; and because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Blessed privilege! peculiar to those to whom, through faith in Jesus, He has given the title to take the place of sons, for we are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

81 The first time we get Most High is when Melchisedek comes to meet Abraham. Not that God was not ever the Most High, but He had not taken it as a revealed name with His people on the earth. Here was a greater than Abraham, who blesses him after his full victory over his enemies. And God takes this title, not in connection with Abraham (which was El Shaddai, though he owns Him as such and as Jehovah too), but with the mysterious personage, figure clearly (according to Psalm 110, as developed also in the Hebrews) of Christ, King of righteousness, King of peace, now sitting on the right hand of the Father, on the Father's throne (Rev. 3:21), not yet on His own, a priest after the similitude of Aaron now though not after his order, but who shall come forth at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, when Jehovah-Elohim-Shaddai shall take to Him His great power and reign; the Ancient of days who sits on His throne, but the Ancient of days who comes (Dan. 7), whom the King of kings and Lord of lords, the blessed and only Potentate, shall show, but who is King of king and Lord of lords; when, after the last confederacy against Israel (Ps. 83), through the judgment of the confederate enemies, men shall know that He whose name alone is Jehovah is the Most High, Elion, in all the earth, as the punishment of the host of the high ones on high shall have shown Him Most High there (Isa. 24:21), the Son of God and Son of man to whom all judgment is committed. So when the Gentile power, which God set up when He took His throne from Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar, comes to his senses, he writes, "I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and mine understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured him that lives for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation," Dan. 4:34. I do not quote Daniel 7 for Most High, save verse 25, because the word is plural and means, I doubt not, "the high" or "heavenly places." In verse 25, however, the beast speaks words against Elion bringing in judgment by them. But the kingdom of the Son of man is then set up. The little stone will have dashed the feet and toes of the image to pieces in judgment, and becomes then a great mountain which fills the whole earth; Dan. 2.

82 Who then is this Most High? This is the question so beautifully discussed in a poetic dialogue in Psalm 91. There are two great subjects in Scripture when personal reconciliation to God is settled. Sovereign grace puts poor sinners in the same glory as the Son of God, that He may be the first-born among many brethren, which is not our subject now — displayed in the transfiguration.* The other is the government of this world (see Deut. 32:8-9), of which the Jews are the centre, as the church is of the heavenly glory under Christ. Our present subject is the Old Testament, the earthly part. Here then Jehovah, the Jewish name of Elohim, is in question. Who then is the Most High? He who has this secret will be blessed. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of Abraham's God, the Almighty. Who shall say where the Most High is to be found? Messiah says, I will take Israel's God (Jehovah) as the Most High; I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge. Verses 3-8 are the answer. Then Israel speaks, Because thou hast made the LORD (Jehovah) which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil come nigh thy habitation. Verses 10-13 continue this. This is the passage by which Satan sought to tempt the Lord Jesus to try Jehovah if He would be as good as His word, acting in self-will out of the path of obedience; efforts which crumbled to nothing in impotency before the authority of that word which rationalists deny, but which the Lord trusted and authenticated as proceeding out of the mouth of God. In verse 14 to the end Jehovah declares His mind, closing grandly the dialogue, and putting His seal on Messiah's confidence in Himself, on whom He had set His love, as having taken the form of a servant. Here Jehovah, Israel's God, is shown to be the Almighty and Most High, in the latter character bringing in the blessing of the earth: Jehovah, my God, even the Most High, has the blessing promised to Abraham. "Father" is of course left out, the name which belongs to the heavenly family when the Jews are cast off for having rejected Jesus, a state of things coming in between the end of the sixty-nine and the last half of the seventy weeks of Daniel, "the time of Jacob's trouble," (See Daniel 9.)
  {*Both the celestial and the terrestrial parts are revealed in Luke 9.}

83 Hence, in the scriptures of the Old Testament, Jehovah is the name regularly taken up by the writer, whose whole calling was by the revelation of it (Ex. 6), and by all the prophets of the nations whose God He was. But it was of all importance to them that He was that God who is the ehyeh asher ehyeh, "I am that I am," God ever existing, subsisting in Himself and creating all else. And this is one great truth of what I may call the translation of the name in the Apocalypse; not "who was, and is, and is to come," but "who is" (o on), "who was" the God known of old, the promiser withal, and who is the "coming one" o erchomenos, when He will be Ancient of days, and Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, and His name known (even that Jehovah, and Jehovah alone, is so) over all the earth.

Hence, too, it was all-important that this same Jehovah should be known as Abraham's God who had, and first had (save Christ prophetically) the unconditional promise. (See the historic basis of all this which Joshua 24 gives us.) Even Shem's race had fallen into idolatry (of which there is no trace before the flood), and Abraham's own family. Then God calls out Abraham out of the order and connection He Himself had formed, country, kindred, and father's house, to be to Himself, to a country He would show him. Sovereign grace which chose him, the calling of God, and the promises were the great principles brought out when the world was not only wicked before God but had put demons in His place. The revelation of the church was only after Pentecost; but Abraham is the root and starting-point of the blessed race. Adam was the head of a fallen race; individual saints we have from Abel, and the judgment of wickedness in the flood, and government set up in Noah to restrain it; but in Abraham first is the head of a race that belonged to God in the earth, be it according to the flesh or the Spirit, the root of the olive tree of God; Rom. 11.

84 Many are the important lessons connected with this, but I cannot touch on them now. Jehovah, the God of Israel, was the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. This was His name for ever, this His memorial for all generations; Ex. 3:15. God as God, the Being who is, not a creature who begins (esti, not ginetai), but exists in Himself — the Almighty, who called the vessel of promise without condition, and Jehovah the God of Israel under whom the Jews took the promises under condition of obedience,* must be identified. Hence, while it was of all importance to keep God's essential name of God, and God self-existent contrasted with every creature, and to keep this essential character present before their minds, it was equally so to show Jehovah was that God, not a mere country god as those of the heathen. This, and the difference of promise on condition, and unconditional, we shall find running through the Old Testament from the Pentateuch to Nehemiah;** and the distinction is the basis of Paul's reasoning in the New Testament.
  {*The whole doctrine of the "four great Epistles" of Paul, particularly of Galatians, and those foundational Epistles, is based on this difference of Abraham and Sinai respecting Christ the title to promise.
  **Thus, in Exodus 32:13, Moses appeals to God's promise without condition, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Solomon, for the temple, and the blessing of Israel in connection with it, does not go beyond Moses and the Exodus (1 Kings 8), on which judgment was pronounced when the Lord cursed the fig-tree; and in fact this was all lost, and finally under that covenant. So in Leviticus 26, where Jehovah goes through all His judgments as governing the people to the end, He goes back, not only to Moses, but to the original unconditional promises to Jacob and Israel and Abraham. They will have the blessings of the promises under Moses, but through God's remembering His unconditional covenant, which comes first. Nehemiah refers only to Abraham as a covenant, though He speaks of their deliverance by means of Moses, for this was a deliverance by grace. We have only to read Ezra and Nehemiah to see the utter folly of Jehovistic and Elohistic accounts. I suppose Ezra and Nehemiah were not compiling their own history from Jehovistic and Elohistic fragments. The reader may also notice another title, "the God of heaven," as now no longer sitting between the cherubim, a distinction which will help him in understanding the book of Revelation also. (See Rev. 11:4, 13.)}

We find then, when it was what God as God did or was, it is God, Elohim: where it is the account given by those who knew Jehovah, it is Jehovah; and when the solemnity of the name of God as such is to be added to God known in relationship, it is Jehovah Elohim; when in special bearing upon Israel, it is Jehovah thy God, or our God — so constantly as a personal address in Deuteronomy. A spiritual-minded person will always feel the difference between the two. It may be the mere state of feeling sometimes expressed in it; sometimes it is of real importance when God's glory, as such, is concerned in it.

85 An analogous difference is found in the New Testament. Not only is it said, Come out from the world, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, says Jehovah Shaddai; but in Hebrews, where the question is how man can approach God, as such, we never find the Father — it is always God; nor in the Revelation (save Rev. 14, where His name is written on the foreheads of the special remnant there mentioned, but it is His Father). It is the throne of the government of the world which is in question, and it is Jehovah Elohim Shaddai, Lord God Almighty, as in chapters 4, 11 and 15.

In John's writings, while as to what concerns the nature of God, the name God is used — as "God so loved," "God is love," "God is light" — and the same as regards our responsibility in respect of it, the moment the divine action in grace is spoken of, it is Father. Thus, John 4, God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth, "for the Father seeks such to worship him." This comes out in a striking way in the first four verses of 1 John 1, and in the rest of the chapter. So in chapter 1:18 of the Gospel, and it will be found to run through all his writings. Suppose I were to say, Here is a Patristic and a Theistic document, and use "the scissors" to make the difference: it would prove nothing but alienation from God and moral incapacity. The principle is just the same.

In the Psalms the difference of Jehovah and Elohim is most marked. In the first book it is always Jehovah, the remnant is in Jerusalem, covenant blessings not lost. In Psalm 42 they are confessedly outside, worship in Jerusalem is remembered. There it is God. So in Psalm 63 it is God Himself. In Psalm 84 it is the tabernacles of Jehovah, though still of course God there. In the second book Messiah having been brought in, it passes in Psalm 45 from God to Jehovah and the God of Jacob. God Himself having interfered in their favour, and deliverance having come, He is Jehovah Elion (Most High) and a great King in all the earth, though (Ps. 48) He reigns in Zion.

86 I might go through the book of Psalms (and indeed have done it), and show the constant fitness of the names used. There the truth that God Himself is their God, Most High, Jehovah, is fully developed; but their Father would not be found from Psalm 1 to 150, nor the Spirit of adoption which uses it. It is the government of the world, and that as Jehovah, great in Zion, God Himself, their (Israel's) God. But these instances must suffice. The attentive reader, waiting on the Lord, will readily, on reading the Psalms, apprehend the force of the expressions. To make two writers is simply absurd.

Mr. Smith tells us that "in a large part of the Psalter a later hand has systematically substituted Elohim for Jehovah"; and the proof? Stat pro ratione voluntas. There is simply none: a more utter incapacity for seizing the divine side of the contents of divine writings I never saw than in the remarks on the Psalms. The structure of the book, even as plainly shown in its contents, and the different subjects of the five books or divisions found in it, there is not a glimpse of, though it lies really on the surface of the collection, and indeed shows a divine hand in collecting them. But this would be too large a subject to enter on here.

I only remark that, to get rid of the proof of the absurdity of the Elohistic and Jehovistic scheme, for which even the "mechanical means" would not suffice here, he boldly asserts they have had one name substituted for another, without an attempt at proof, or shadow of it. They are not "reproduced."

The stupid remark as to Elihu, borrowed from Mr. F. Newman, or perhaps by him too from "some learned German," recalls me to Job. In the most perfect way Elihu comes in (when the friends would have it that this world was an adequate proof of God's moral government, which Job rightly denied, though his heart rose up against God too), and as the interpreter, one among a thousand, he shows there is a discipline of the righteous, blaming the friends, yet showing how Job was wrong too. He stands in a mediatorial character, a kind of daysman, to explain God's way, before Jehovah comes in in His majesty. I cannot conceive more total want of spiritual perception than this borrowed judgment as to Elihu. Yet I might have left this, but that I would remark that, in the introduction and in the account given at the end, Jehovah is found in the writer's part: in all the intercourse of Job with his friends, and Elihu, God and Almighty. What can the scissors do here? Cut the head and tail off, and lose the key to and the conclusion of the whole story.

87 Take another case. In the Proverbs it is always "Jehovah" — (I think there is one exception) — the direction of practical wisdom for those who had Jehovah for their God. In Ecclesiastes it is always "God," because it is the vanity of man's path and efforts after happiness here below in contrast with what God is as such. It is not a condition of covenant relations but man as such, and it is not therefore Jehovah.

Now in Genesis 1 and 2 to the end of verse 3 we have the great fact that God created. It is simply this truth known to no heathen (not that Jehovah, God known under a particular name of relationship, but) that God created the universe, and creatures, and man, and rested the seventh day. This completes that all-important statement. We know it by faith; Heb. 11. Then begins a new subject, not a new account of creation. This is not so. It is barely and very briefly alluded to in connection with there being no man; and then the condition, nature, and moral position of man is detailed, where God put him, under what conditions, the place of animals, and the woman. It is not that God created, but the condition and status of man before Jehovah Elohim. That God who was the one true God with whom man had to do, but had revealed Himself as Jehovah to him who told the story of all His ways from the fall, and man without law, and a judged world, and restraint and promise and law, and indeed, the whole condition of man with God till grace came and the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour; though of course the historical details up to law are given afterwards, God having taken up a people by redemption so to try man. Every principle of the whole history is given us in Genesis, only on the basis of promise, not of law and redemption and God's presence on the earth, which is in Exodus and what follows. But he who learnt this plan at the first connects that name Jehovah — a God of judgment — with the origin of it all. The Elohim of chapter 1 is the Jehovah of Exodus 6, and the narrative of Jehovah recounts all the history, up to law, of the true Elohim who now reveals Himself as testing man under law. To say that there are two accounts of creation is utterly untrue; there is nothing of the kind, no trace of it, but a special statement of man's state and condition as to God and all the creation around him; let it be shown if there be.

88 In Genesis 3 we have the writer using the term Jehovah Elohim. The great truth now comes out, but Satan saying in the same sentence, "Yea, has God said?" to Eve; speaking in no sense of revealed relationship, God the Creator had said: so Satan again "God doth know." But the writer says they heard the voice of the Lord God (Jehovah Elohim), and so of all that follows. To make the first verse two distinct documents is just simply absurd. In Genesis 4, Eve, taking up a promise, says, though mistakenly, "I have gotten a man from Jehovah." Here we have always Jehovah, not Jehovah Elohim, a simple history, not the solemn tale of man's ruin in his relationship with God. Is this a third document? In verse 25 God, says Eve, has appointed me. This speaks merely of the fact of what God, who works all things, had given her. In Genesis 5 we have God again as such; nor could you say in the likeness of Jehovah, because it is a relative name, one specially revealed as to God, not that of the Creator, the divine Being. So Enoch walks with God. The earth (Gen. 6) was corrupt before God as such. Yet the writer always speaks of Jehovah and His dealings (vv. 3, 5, 6, 7). And "God" deals with the earth as so corrupted; again, verse 22, as "God" commanded him, not Jehovah. Then in Genesis 7 Jehovah said to Noah, and as Jehovah (v. 5) commanded him; then as God commanded him (v. 9), and again as God commanded him, and Jehovah shut him in (v. 16). Here again if you separate the verse into two, the last part refers to and connects with nothing, for Elohim is the word used when Noah went in.

In Deuteronomy 4:32-34 where Elohim stands by itself in its proper force of Elohim, did God ever do such a thing as Jehovah our God has done? It is the force of the words, not two different accounts. To Joshua 24 they presented themselves before God as such, and Joshua said, Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel. That is, not only I find cases to which the fancies of Astruc cannot apply, but I find the reason why there are the two words.

One more case remains to refer to, mentioned by the article, that of Joseph. This is to be by Hupfeld's third author, a northern. It agrees, we are told, with the Elohistic author in a great part in the use of the name of God (Elohim), but is widely divergent in other respects. But this slurs over the facts to cover what upsets the theory. The first part of the account is Jehovistic; that is, the writer's account of Joseph uses the name of Jehovah. He says, Jehovah was with Joseph. That is, Moses knew the faithful One who bore this name with Israel, as he says, when God commanded Noah, and he went into the ark, Jehovah shut him in; when he recites what passes between Joseph and the dreaming servants of Pharaoh and Pharaoh himself, he of course says God. What had they to do with Jehovah, or any relationship with Him? In the rest of the recital of facts it is Elohim.

89 But a second account is out of the question; they are two parts of the same one. What brought "Jehovah" and "God" both into it? Was it a northern author? Jacob in his trial turns back to the God of promise and calls him El Shaddai. And, in Joseph's discourse to his brethren, it is clearly God as such in contrast with his brethren's (man's) doings. In Jacob's blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, while referring to God Almighty, he naturally desires a blessing from God upon them, not covenant blessings from Jehovah, but God's blessing on them. What the widely divergent things are, we are left to guess.

It is well to remember that these German writers start with the assumption that no account which relates miracles can be historical. That is, they beg the whole question to begin with. Inspiration is itself a miracle; creation is the greatest miracle of all, the intervention of God's will and power to produce that which would not have been without it. I am quite aware of the question of general laws, which, after all, are only the constant operation of God's will, and cannot therefore preclude its action. Let us remember, too, that the absolute denial of action, independent of general laws, denies Christianity altogether; for resurrection is not a general law nor natural sequence. Death is not a cause of resurrection. But if Christ be not risen, our faith is vain, and, as Paul tells us, the witnesses of Christianity are false witnesses. Let me add the remark here, that, in a book otherwise interesting and useful, the Duke of Argyle has slurred over this point. If miracle cannot be historical, Christ is not risen, and if Christ be not risen, Christianity is not true.

This is not the ground, if I understand the article in the Encyclopedia Britannica, which its author takes; but this will come up if we go on to the New Testament: as yet we are occupied with the Old. Now as to this, if the German theory be true as reproduced in the article, the whole of the Old Testament is an imposition; I mean if the law be not a system established of God by Moses, as we find it, but a late compilation in which crude materials were adjusted, and a system developed out of national life. As far as the law goes, it all professes to be words addressed by God to man through the mouth of Moses. Genesis has necessarily another character, equally requiring direct inspiration; for who among men can give an account of creation and the world's history, and a history on which all God's dealings with men (save the church and the law, of which we have spoken) are founded in their principles, and, as we have seen, the New Testament is based? Nor, indeed, can the beginning of Exodus be separated from the end of Genesis. I need not quote texts to show that "Jehovah said to Moses," and in this way communicated His will to the children of Israel, is the constant language of the law. It is a clear positive revelation of God's words and will by Moses as it stands, or it is an imposture. In Deuteronomy Moses rehearses it all, and speaks to the people, insisting on obedience, and recalling all that had passed in order to enforce it and keep them from idolatry, adding details of civil government for the land. Documents may or may not have been used; but the whole contents are, either a history and the original establishment of God's law for the people, with the deepest typical instruction for us, given by Moses from God; or an imposture.

90 The adding an account of Moses' death at the end of Deuteronomy does not touch this question. Mr. Smith tells us that copyists added what they liked, and did not feel themselves in the least bound to distinguish the old from the new; there was no notion of anything like copyright; they took large extracts and harmonised them by such additions and modifications as they thought necessary. A nice thing to rest one's faith on as the word of God, Scriptures that cannot be broken! But lawyers say, "Allegatio ejusdem rei cujus dissolutio petitur nil valet"; and what is the proof the Semitic genius, the Bible, is a stratification, not an organism? What proof has he of the Semitic genius? The Bible. There is no other ancient Hebrew book. And the question is, Is it such an unauthentic compilation? We have nothing but his assertion about the Bible itself, except that there were cells in the temple — that of course not being arranged according to God's direction either, it was the Semitic genius!

91 I need not say that the prophets openly declare their inspiration, that "The word of Jehovah came to them," "Thus says Jehovah," and the like; that in the history, as of Kings for example, it is openly stated that they used the royal chronicles. But prophets used them and drew them up, as we have the example in Isaiah, that we might have them as the word of God. That God is not mentioned in Esther is just the opposite, as showing the secret providence of God keeping His people when they were scattered and disowned of Him as a nation.

Thus not only have the Lord and the apostles owned the Old Testament as we possess it as God's inspired word, but it presents itself, as to the law as the direct fruit of Moses' communication with God, given fully and in detail originally, and the prophets, as the direct communication of God's mind and words from Himself; and all of it — history, psalms, and all — as an organic whole owned of the Lord Himself, and whose perfection, as such, will be perceived by those whose understandings He has opened, and who learn the whole scheme of God Himself.

In passing from the discussion of particular points and objections to a direct inquiry into more positive and essential evidence from the contents of Scripture, I recall to every heart that the question is — Is there a revelation from God? Man is departed from God. Is there any revelation from God by which, as far as the revelation of God goes, man can know Him? We know what man has come to without it. Are we to be left as the heathen, if haply we may feel after Him and find Him? or was there really a law given by Moses, and are grace and truth come by Jesus Christ? We have seen that the Lord declares the writings which the Jews received to be the writings of Moses, and does so not only to the Jews but to His disciples, and that He opened their understanding to understand them — the apostles the same, basing their arguments on the truth and contents of them. To one who is not audacious in incredulity this is sufficient. To those who affirm that a miraculous history must be unhistorical (that God cannot act, or will not at all now, having once established an order of nature), and so decide the question before it is examined, the statements of Christ or the apostles have no weight. But then it is pure impudence to call themselves Christians. It is flagrant dishonesty to accredit themselves with a name while they reject all it imports. We may earnestly desire their conversion, but that is all. They labour on what they hold to be an imposture, and profess to be followers of the imposture, and would have us believe that the holiest, most gracious, deepest, and yet truest and fullest communication of the knowledge of God is by an imposture. This is hard to think; but it is this we have to do with.

92 But again, there are those who believe there is a revelation, yet no inspired divine communication of it to others. Some allege that it is not even claimed. Now, see how rational this is. God has thought good to give a revelation of Himself, His truth, His grace, to men at large for their good; He has made this revelation, but in such a manner that it can go no farther in its perfectness than the person who receives it. It is given for the good of all, and perfectly given; but it stops at the first person who is the vessel of reception and communication, and to the rest comes only in the imperfection of man as to apprehension and communication; a divine communication for men, but by divine arrangement so communicated that it never reaches men as such! Nothing they can trust as divine is communicated to them. Can anything be more absurd?

But Paul states the case: When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen. There was a revelation to him for this purpose by God, but he could not do it! though for others, it could not reach them, actually given for them, but in such a manner that it could not reach them. This is the theory. But he did not handle the word of God — mark what it was — deceitfully; he did not adulterate the pure wine, but by manifestation of the truth commended himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God; 2 Cor. 4. So the Thessalonians received it, not as the word of man, but, as it was in truth, the word of God (1 Thess. 2:3); so that if (2 Cor. 4) his gospel was hid, it was hid to them that were lost. Their minds were blinded by the god of this world. In 1 Corinthians 2 he states it formally: "Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches … But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God … they are spiritually discerned." They are revealed by the Spirit (vv. 10-12); communicated in words which the Holy Ghost taught, that others might have them as God revealed them to Paul (v. 13), and discerned by the Spirit (v. 14). (Compare verses 4, 5.) And such he asserts everywhere. The things which he wrote were to be received as (and were) the commandments of the Lord. The Old Testament prophets and Moses declare what they communicate is Jehovah speaking; so does the apostle.

93 Not only then is the Bible a revelation from God, but the communication of it is His work too — Thus says Jehovah, or Jehovah said, in the Old, or "in words which the Holy Ghost taught" in the New; so that what we have is the word of God. It is "of the Lord by the prophet," or in words which the Holy Ghost taught. God did not leave us floating about in uncertainty. Only when it is presented, it is discerned spiritually, or, if rejected, is hid to them that are lost. With this as to the history, we find it drawn up by the prophets, and sanctioned by the Lord and the apostles.

It may be said that there are errors, and that we have only translations. I recognise that it was committed to the responsibility of man, just as in a certain sense man's personal salvation is; yet he is kept by the power of God, and it is so too, liable to the effects of human infirmity. It is quoted, recognised, and authenticated by the Lord and the apostles, and the law constantly referred to in the earliest writings of the prophets. As to translations, no one gives any as a criterion of truth; they are a means of communicating it, and the criterion remains as it was, providentially preserved of God; the New (as Mr. S., I thank God, admits) adequately proved to be authentic, and if so, the Old authenticated, as no other book in the world is, by it, that is, by the Lord and His apostles. It is alleged the LXX is quoted. This is confessedly a translation, and, as commonly known and used, is commonly quoted; but it is not when the writers of the New as taught of God had any reason for doing otherwise. They authenticate it only as to that for which they quote it.

But I turn to a pleasanter part of my attempt. I would speak of the unity of mind in the whole Old and New Testament. Whatever controversy may be raised as to dates, there is no question of their being writings separated by wide distances of time. Infidels do not question that. In some shape Jewish literature began with Moses. Jehovistic and Elohistic documents may be compiled, but there were such documents to compile. There were prophets many centuries before Christ; there were psalms composed by David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, as by others contemporary or more recent, as some assuredly were. There are different authors, different styles, different epochs; the grammar even became changed in its details in the process of ages, as the use of Hu for the feminine and of Nahar marks early Hebrew. Various authors and styles, in a word, follow each other through a series of some 1500 years. In the New Testament there is a development of truth and divine counsels, part of which is declared to have never been previously revealed, and in the nature of things could not have been so: I mean the mystery of which Paul, and Paul only, speaks — the union of Jew and Gentile without difference in one body for heavenly places, which it was impossible to reveal while Judaism subsisted, as setting it aside absolutely in its nature. For Judaism kept up, while Christianity broke down, the middle wall of partition.

94 Now, if with all these authors, and epochs (in the last case setting aside the previously existing system, though fully sanctioning it as divine), places, and times — if through judgment, promise, law, gospel, and the revelation of the church completing the word of God, I find one plan, one mind, through the whole, whose is it? Unconscious of the bearings of it on the whole, each occupied with the present moral bearing of that which was confided to him, ignorant in large measure of what others might have to say, or even setting aside what had existed and occupied others, I yet find all minister to one single plan. I find the clearest and strongest proof that one mind, one inspiring power, which knew the end from the beginning, and had this plan before it, is the real author of what we call the Bible. I insist upon its being a number of books (Jehovistic and Elohistic documents, if you please, employed, though I do not accept what is said) of different ages and characters. Prophecy, history, poetry, moral lessons, man before law, man under law, a narrow system to maintain the true unity of the Godhead when all was idolatrous, and a large system to every creature under heaven, which maintained the authority of the law but set it totally aside as a way of relationship with God; but through all one single thread of divine purpose running, which makes every part subservient in its place to the whole, making over sixty books (or, taking Jewish computation of Old Testament, forty-nine) one single book — the Bible.

I can only in such a paper as this take some special elements as showing this, after stating from Scripture what the divine purpose is, only noticing (what is of the last moment) that it is not a mere purpose as to facts to be accomplished, but that these involve the whole moral basis of man's relationship with God: innocence, loss of it, moral responsibility, the law given as a perfect measure of it with divine authority, man doubly guilty by breaking it, remedial means in the testimony of the prophets and in the coming of the Son of God Himself, all in vain, issuing in the judgment of the world, and every mouth stopped, and all the world guilty before God, and a perfect salvation by grace on God's part, according to His own nature and glory, laid hold of in promise throughout all ages, and then fully revealed; and finally heavenly glory, and a restored earth under Messiah and the new covenant, and then eternity; and, I may add, the church's special place in all this, which is peculiar, all made manifest and unfolded in the development of this purpose, and issuing in the fulness of the divine glory, and the infinite and eternal blessing of those who believe.

95 The purpose is this, as stated in Scripture (Eph. 1), that for the administration of the fulness of times He should gather together in one (anakephalaiosasthai) all things in heaven and in earth in Christ (the Son of God and Son of man), in whom we have obtained our inheritance. In this there are two great scenes — heaven and earth, and as to them two great objects of revelation under Christ — the church and glorified saints in heavenly places, and the Jews in earthly: the one reigning with Christ; the others reigned over, as is all the world, by Him as Son of man raised and glorified, with the Father's house, where He is gone, as our home: one being the expression of the sovereign grace which has put us into the same glory as the Son of God; the other, the government of this world. See Ephesians 1:22-23, and 9-11, and Deuteronomy 32:8-9, for a brief statement of the Jewish part, verses 8 and 43. All are under the Son of man, or united to Him. This latter part, as peculiar to the church, I leave aside for the moment.

God began, not of course with the Last, but with the first Adam — not with the Man of His purpose, but with responsible man. This responsibility, as traced and followed out in innocence, fallen and without law; then (passing by promise, which was of grace and brought out in Abraham) under law; then in sending Christ after patient warnings and encouragements by the prophets, saying, They will reverence my Son; but they cast Him out of the vineyard and slew Him. Then, the probation of man having been thus fully gone through, man is treated as lost: only a full salvation provided for him in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom, the Last Adam, the Son of man, all the promises and purposes of God are to be fulfilled. He is the man of God's purpose, all promises in Him Yea and in Him Amen; taking the inheritance of all things man was to have in the purpose of God, according to the redemption in which God was perfectly and in every respect glorified. Through all we have the great adversary revealed in all that was needed, that we should know clearly the position of those concerned, but no further.

96 The result of all this and its general principle is already brought out in the garden of Eden; not a promise to the first man — there is none, but the purpose of God when the first man had failed in responsibility. This responsibility he was put under, tempted by the adversary, and failed. The Lord God judged the woman for listening, but makes known the second Man, the Last Adam. He, the Seed of the woman, was to bruise the serpent's head, the serpent to bruise His heel — the latter in the cross, the former when He comes in power. This is no promise to the first man, though his faith might lay hold of it, but a revelation of the Second. Adam assuredly was not the Seed of the woman. The history is referred to as unquestionable truth by Paul (1 Tim. 2:9-15), as a ground for minute details as to woman; as a basis of the profoundest doctrine (Rom. 5:12-21), showing sin to have been there by this means before the law, and when there was none; but referring to Hosea 6:7,* showing that Adam was under a law (not to eat of the tree of knowledge), but that from him to Moses man had none, confirmed as to the character of judgment (Rom. 2:12), those that have sinned anomos, without law, being distinguished from those who have sinned under it. So for watchfulness it is referred to in 2 Corinthians 11:3. So the whole order and structure of God's plan in Christ, connected with ruin in the first Adam, is unfolded in 1 Corinthians 15, specially verses 20-28, and verses 45-49, and that in resurrection. The accomplishment in Jews, Gentiles, and the raised saints, is founded on Isaiah 25:6-8.
  {*For "men" in text, read Adam, as in Hebrew and margin.}

But there were other and special promises made to the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, renewed in David and confined to Israel, though mercy was to be extended to the Gentiles on their failure. Of this Genesis is full, and the state of Israel under promise and failure is the whole subject of the Psalms, besides Christ personally brought in as connected with them. (See Genesis 15 and 17.) These promises, given unconditionally to Abraham, were taken up conditionally at Sinai; so that, though the promises remained, yet under Moses the law was introduced, and on the ground of the old covenant their accomplishment depended as much on Israel's fidelity as on God's. God said, If ye obey my voice; and Israel said, All that Jehovah has spoken we will do.

97 Thus not only historically Israel stood on the ground of the old covenant, but an immense principle was established and question raised, Is man's righteousness the ground of his standing before God, or is God's righteousness that on which a sinner can be accepted? But Israel also thus stood on a double ground — promises made to Abraham, and righteousness under the law; and yet grace, unless God were the God of the Jews only, must reach out to the Gentiles, and this must be in Christ, and as taking His power as Head over all things, as we have seen, as Son of man. During the subsistence of the middle wall of partition, the blessing of the Gentiles was not shut out in hope, but left, as they were, in obscurity and darkness. When the world was idolatrous, the maintenance of the knowledge of one true God made this necessary, and so perverse is man, was with the utmost difficulty maintained. In the promises to Abraham it is as clearly as possible revealed in Genesis 12, and after Isaac's being offered up as a figure, and so received as raised from the dead, confirmed to the Seed. All nations were to be blessed in Him.

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