Some Observations on the Scripture Lessons of the Board of Education

J. N. Darby.

1 Scripture Lessons
2 The Irish Education Measures of 1832
3 Scriptural Education

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{A letter intended to have been addressed to a periodical publication, by J. N. Darby. Dublin: R. M. Tims, Grafton Street, 1832.}


If we set his relationship for God apart (and if they on whom the education of the country is made to depend are to be trusted, we want no God, or at least can do better than He), I believe it is a just definition of man that he is a laughing animal; for there are some things, speaking as a man, essentially ridiculous; and this, sir, is one of them. Of course you know that I mean the so-called scripture lessons of the Board - the new authorised version of the lovers of education for the instruction of the poor Irish - a Board that honestly desires to provide the well-being of the conductors of schools. How kind and considerate!

But, sir, this is not all. Mr. Carlile, I suppose, knows Hebrew, and this is a translation. Nothing else would answer the purpose - "meet the exigency of the case" - cut the Gordian knot that tied the destinies of just education, but that some one should sit down and make a new translation of the Bible, or at least such parts of it as were fit to be translated; and here it is with notes, critical, explanatory, and practical. I trust, sir, you will give due publicity to this important fact, for the benefit of others as well as the poor Irish children, that the translator knows Hebrew. He does know what Eden means, and he does not exactly know what Shaphan means; but, for the purpose of making it more clearly intelligible to the rising generation, he proposed to call it Shaphan; neither Coney nor Ischin, nor Daman - Israel, which it is called when the unknown animal is known, answering the purpose at least for Irish children: so we have given the original Hebrew.

As for Eden, very intelligible it would be to say, The children of pleasure which were in Thelassar; or Hasan, or Camah, and pleasure, the merchants of Sheba, and, or planted a garden in pleasure. However, the translator says it may be rendered either as a proper name, or as an epithet. And the translator knows Hebrew - knows Hebrew! knows enough of that, and everything else too, to set at rest all the difficult questions which have hindered Irish education time out of mind, and give just the quantum of scripture which will satisfy Papists and Protestants, Presbyterians, Arians and Socinians, and above all himself (God, sir, we must remember, is put out of question), with just the right sense and nobody to dispute it. O happy ages, that we should have one such man! Nothing wanted and nothing too much - a little bit of David's piety, and that, of course, rightly applied and understood; and a little bit of his own, which others may apply and understand as they like - a little of St. Paul's commentary with his to explain it; and a little bit of his own without anybody to explain it at all; and those who shall not worship the golden image, set up, as it is, by these monarchs of education, with the trumpet of their own unanimous recommendation! A golden head of wickedness they are. Happy age! that we should have one such man to be the common instrument of so noble an oligarchy in enlightening the happy children of this once unhappy land; that Sabellians, and Papists, and Socinians, and doctors, should find one to make a new translation of the scriptures of God, which should satisfy them all, and enlighten the Irish in Hebrew, and the world as to his attainments. How interesting to see the poor little Irish children considering what Zaphnath-paaneah meant in the Egyptian language upon the authority of St. Jerome, and comparing it with what others think, and the habits of the Chinese language; or studying the distinction between doctors and Heliopolis without knowing what others think at all! But then indeed the translator knows all this, though what all this is is hard to tell.

282 There is one thing indeed I had forgotten, that the Board honestly desires to provide the well-being of the conductors of schools. Why the translator must have been aiming at the literary education of the priests - cramming them, I suppose, to appear in the new schools; and this is an instance of "the Board's" friendship and affection for them. Conceive, sir, I pray you, the thought that would sparkle in the mind of a poor little garcoon (after an account that lambs are supposed to signify some unknown coin, though the translator and the commissioners call them lambs) at these ominous letters, the LXX, and that coupled with such a rapid accumulation of uncouth names, Vulgate (pity we had not St. Jerome again and his prologus galeatus too about the Maccabees and some other books - I wonder will they appear in the new translation: why not? It is only a history framed without the slightest influence from any peculiar view of Christianity), and ancient versions. However, in the midst of these wonders, he has this comfort, that, though last not least, the new translation leads him to the conclusion, which, with his ability to estimate an unknown Hebrew word, will be particularly satisfactory - that lambs mean an unknown coin. O fortunati nimium sua si bona norint Agricolae! More might be added, sir, to illustrate the mass of learning which has been accumulated in the new translation, as that Syrian means Aramite, for the use of schools.

283 But I have done with the translator now, sir. Of all the egregious instances of self-confident flippancy, this provision of Hebrew annotations for the benefit of the Irish children is the most ridiculous. We shall see just now its evil. But there is one serious comfort in it; the translator was even thought to be a Christian, and it gives one hope that this may yet be true, and that it is but a fall, a case when Christians may yet pray for him. It sets beyond all doubt what the writer has never doubted - that it was the snare laid for a man who felt dissatisfied with his situation as inadequate to what he supposed to be his powers, and was led to embrace one which seemed to give him the consequence to which he was entitled. We may trust he may feel the evil honour he has received, and that the praise of God is better than the feeling of self-consequence of ungodly men. I said, sir, I had done with the translator. With the Commissioners I must deal seriously; for the weakness of self-confidence is a different thing from iniquity of principle and the mischief flowing from it.*

{*It were easy to shew the baseness - infidelity is always base - of the cringing fawning language of this preface on the worst pride of evil; how while everything has been done to please Popery in the work (and they were right in giving up all thoughts of pleasing Protestants. They gave up that when they gave up the scriptures), the scriptures with them must be aut Caesar aut nullus, for they fear God; yes, the opposition of the priests - always wise in their own generation - has been deprecated, even for this wretched production, with the most servile subserviency. But it was alike unprofitable and unnecessary to degrade the Board lower than it is in the eyes of every good and upright and God-fearing man. It was of more importance to shew the use which Satan proposed to make of this, in doing evil in the country, in the public renunciation by Protestants of the fear of God. For example, the cheerfully leaving to instructors the use of the sacred volume; the not imposing the lessons, but leaving them to the willing adoption of the conductors, whose well-being the Board honestly desires to promote; all this is an ill-concealed profession of leaving everything to the priests, who might themselves, as we know, kick, if anything were done which touched their absolute authority, in spite of the government, while it would blind the feelings of infidels. But, I say, it was of more importance to notice the effect of this, where this subservience was leading us, than merely take notice of the fact, for who could expect to bring a clean thing out of an unclean? The fear of God takes away the fear of man; but infidelity always makes a man a slave of the passions and baseness of others; "he that committeth sin is the servant of sin," and of course must do the work of his master. But we may warn others from the effects.}

284 We must bear in mind, for I, sir, at least shall never let it out of my mind, that the system has been introduced in lieu of one in which the scriptures were read, whether Douay or Protestant version - that this was the vital defect of the system, and that because it was opposed to the principles of the Roman Catholic religion. That is, sir: - God in His wisdom had been pleased (for the mere right of man is the feeblest side of the question) to write a book for the instruction of His creatures for men. Certain men have stepped in and said, Men shall not read it; virtually alleging either the incompetency of God to do it fitly, or His want of authority to do it at all; and rising up in effect to say, that what God had sent, the message of His love and wisdom and mercy, is unfit for man, or at any rate man shall not have it. This is the blasphemy of a system with which we, as Christians, have to contend - the blasphemy of prohibiting, not man, sir, to read, but God to send to His creatures the message of His own will in His own way.

The existing government, of which these commissioners are the instruments, have acquiesced in this. The principles of the Roman Catholic religion are in this to be acquiesced in. God is to be held not to be so entitled; and to hold that He is, renders any system, however otherwise innocent, vitally defective. To the maintenance of these principles the commissioners have set their hands, and that the devil may degrade, as far as possible, any who have any pretensions to Christianity, one becomes the instrument of producing a book which is to take the place - no, that it can never do, but be instead - of the scriptures: which alters them, because they will not do as they are. People may reason and tell falsehoods in prefaces. The scriptures are not used or allowed in the schools, and these lessons are; that is, they are instead of them. Men may talk, in miserable dishonesty, about introduction to the scriptures: are the scriptures allowed to be in the schools? Are they not excluded, and these brought in, because they are so excluded? I would rather far, sir, meet an honest opposer of God's word, than a disingenuous excuse for an act, which is to support the worst and most comprehensive blasphemy against God's authority which can be till Antichrist is revealed - the denial of God's right to speak to every one His will as He has thought fit.

285 I do not altogether accuse the translator of this disingenuity. He has hired himself to a citizen of that country, and they have sent him into the fields to feed swine. But, sir, in attempting to colour the effect, we have the real character of the work admitted. Then, when they get to a certain point of the devil's delusions, they are unconscious often that their excuses are their condemnation. "No passage has been either introduced or omitted under the influence of any peculiar view of Christianity, doctrinal or practical." That is, the selections have been made without the slightest reference to the truths which they contain. What could the devil himself wish more than to divest the scriptures of those powers of truth which apply themselves to the heart of man, and so turn them into a history, or vague and powerless exhibition of facts, without any purpose, unless to tell us what Shaphans were!

God has always a purpose, and a well-ordered purpose, in all He writes: this doubtless man would avoid. He would cull and pick and choose, and think it wisdom, with professed indifference to the purpose of God. Has Christianity no view of its own? Has God no peculiar view of man, in respect of which He has selected those things from his history, in which the character of His dealings has been manifested, and recorded as such, for those on whom the ends of the world are come? Yes, sir, but these are offensive to man, and God's selection will not do. A Mr. Carlile, or an enemy to God and man, one whom he believes to be the servant of Satan, must come and make selections, in which he must be either wiser than God in doing it, or else do it in order to divest it of all the power and point for the purpose of which God had so selected and arranged it. Away with the disgusting blasphemies! Such must be the result, sir. If I have the wisdom of God, I must have given it just as God gave it; if I have not, I must break in, in ignorance, upon the very purposes and the very connection which God has purposely, in His divine and active and considerate wisdom, therein established. But here, sir, it is made a boast that the influence of any peculiar view of Christianity has been excluded, that is, any view at all: for when there are many, which is in this sentence assumed, each must be peculiar. But they must have introduced the extracts with some view, or they could make no selection. They have a view, but a view which purposely excludes every object with which God caused it to be written.

286 But, sir, the point is, that God has a view, and has given scripture with this view. It is God's select history of the world, and it is from this that the enemy of God recoils. If it be a matter of indifference which of two views of Christianity I adopt, it is perfectly clear that both are immaterial. And this is the form which infidelity is now assuming, and this is the form in which it is expressed in this selection. The next thing is, sir, that it is a comment; and a comment cannot be made without any peculiar view. If I apply one scripture to another, I affirm at once its sense. For example, I think many of the quotations from the new translation remarkably calculated to mislead, as affirming that to be their application to which they allude merely, having some other object in view, or which is merely the occasion of much further testimony. They have been taken out of the associations in which God has placed them, and set in those in which these infidels have placed them, without the opportunity of seeing or comparing them with those in which they really stand. And observe, sir, it is done with purpose. They are to learn the use of the sacred history from this. So that it is an authorised comment giving the sense and use of what they read; giving it as a poor wretched man has taken it from a few parts, perhaps misapplied, of God's vast and all-comprehensive word. Wretched compiler! I pity the degradation to which he has been brought. So that while they have not been introduced or omitted under the influence of any peculiar view of Christianity they do teach the use of the sacred history, which has therefore in fact no peculiar view at all, doctrinal or practical. This notion of peculiar view is very plausible with the infidelity of the present day, as it hates any peculiar view which will give that energy of truth which will rescue from the domination of Antichrist. Give all the scriptures, and we want none, for God will give His own. But a selection without a peculiar view is nonsense, save in the pointed deprival of scripture of all power of truth; and a selecting, for other reasons besides the truth which it contains, must turn the very word of God itself into a broken cistern which holds no water: the last form of infidelity, the essence of it in those days, short of open rebellion against the Lamb, and the preparation of men for it. In a word, it amounts to an assertion that we may learn the use of the sacred history, its piety, and its doctrines too, without receiving any truth by virtue of which blasphemies against that truth should not be indifferent to us.

287 The divinity of Christ is a peculiarity with a Socinian. The distinction of persons is a peculiarity with a Sabellian. The unity of Christ's mediatorship and justification by faith, and the final sufficiency of Christ's one sacrifice, are peculiarities with the abettors of Popery; and I must divest myself of the consciousness of the existence of these truths, before I can select from scripture for the instruction of the young. The moment you select, you become a teacher. This book proves it. You must select for some reason. Give all the scriptures, and let them teach, and God's blessing will follow. But as a selector you are a teacher - a responsible teacher; and the point here selected to be taught is, that you may learn the use of the sacred history in total indifference to all the truths it contains; for a selection can be made from which its use can be learned where these truths have not been allowed to exercise the slightest influence on the introduction or omission of any one passage in it. In a word, not merely is the scripture thus excluded, but that is introduced from which children are to learn its use, independent of and to the exclusion of the truths which it contains. And the real way we are taught to read it profitably is to read it apart, and as man shall select it too, from the influence of those truths; in a word, to turn God out of His own word.

The peculiar truths of the Bible, sir, are the weapons of God's power over the heart of man. Take these out of the scriptures, and the salt has lost its savour, and wherewith shall it be salted? What is the history of Abraham to me, but that he was the friend of God, that his very name reminds me that he is the father of all them that believe, that have the faith of that Abraham who believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness; and that it was written not for his sake only, but for us also to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him who raised up from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, who was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification. But the selection must be made without the influence of any of these things. The ties by which God has linked Himself with the wants, the necessities, and the sorrows of His creatures that He might deliver them out of them, developed in dispensations unfolding and unfolded by the glory of His Son Jesus, the Word made flesh, must be broken, defaced. Anything which under divine grace could raise the energies, the feelings, and the thoughts of man, by the sympathies of God, and a love which provided objects such as nought but grace could give to hope through a freely wrought redemption, ending in the glory of Him who established it - all must be concealed. It is a peculiar view of Christianity; and the selection must be compiled from a book which contains it all fresh from God's own hand, and fraught with the tender character of God's own wisdom; and the child must read (without permission to wander into fresher pastures of liberty under the security of the good Shepherd) with this only care, that their influence be utterly excluded. Such, sir, is the professed object and principle of this new translation. As far as anything of scripture goes, we are to be delivered up to "the blighting influences of a cold and heartless scepticism, which, whilst planting nothing in the mind, can produce nothing but the extinction of its best hopes and efforts."

288 But, sir, there is a remedy proposed. I know not, sir, why it is, but I am not yet quite used to the iniquity of these days. I never doubted the infidelity on which the whole of the new system of education was based, but the unblushing effrontery with which it is carried on in this preface (while it cannot rouse my indignation - for these men are too bad for me to feel indignant about - while I doubt not they are wise in their generation in it), so far amazes me as exhibiting the extent to which Satan reckons on the very form of principle being gone. There is a remedy proposed for the professed emptiness of all scriptural truth and principle by which this new translation is characterised. "To the religious instructors of the children they cheerfully leave, in communicating that instruction, the use of the sacred volume itself as containing those doctrines and precepts, a knowledge of which must lie at the foundation of all true religion."

The first thing which I may remark here, sir, is the full confirmation of what I have previously said as to the exclusion of all scripture principles from that which has been substituted for the scriptures in the instruction of the children. For it is to another source here described they are left for the acquirement "of those doctrines and precepts, a knowledge of which must lie at the foundation of all true religion." That then which is given in the school, as instead of the scriptures, is not merely free from peculiar views of Christianity, but does not contain those doctrines and precepts, a knowledge of which must lie at the foundation of all true religion. For these they are referred somewhere else. Does it contain what constitutes the superstructure first? I suppose not. What then? Nothing; and it is from that which thus confessedly contains nothing that the use of the sacred history is to be learned. And it is such a compilation which is an introduction to the sacred volume, and which is to lead to a more general and more profitable perusal of the word of God.

289 But we have here, sir, honestly afforded us what is really done, and the gross dishonour done to scripture, and the disgraceful character which is really meant to be by these lessons associated with it in the minds of the children, just dawning into thought. But it is ever meant that the poor children have the opportunity of receiving their impressions of scripture from scripture itself? Far from it, sir. These things, such as they are, are an introduction to scripture; but where is the scripture they are to be introduced to? Recognised in the schools? Oh no! Excluded from them, by way, I suppose, of introducing them to it, making them thirst after forbidden fruit, while the selection is left empty of the doctrines and precepts which lie at the foundation of all true religion, in order to teach them what they are to thirst after; but where are the scriptures they are to be introduced to? They cheerfully leave the use of the sacred volume - to whom? to "the religious instructors of the children!" No, sir, the children must never have them. The rich may, because they will; instructors may, of what sort God knows - the commissioners are upon friendly and affectionate terms with them; but the poor, sir, the poor children, are never to have them. It is not to their well-being the commissioners are looking. Well, indeed, they wrote their own judgment when they said, "They were honestly desirous to promote the well-being of the conductors"; for if ever there was anything which marked their heartless and base apathy, as to the poor children, it is this book; indeed as far as priests and infidels go, their honest desire, if honest it can be called, is to promote the well-being of the conductors.

290 And is it really so, sir? Does Dr. Whately - I cannot bring myself to call him Archbishop of Dublin - does Mr. Carlile - I sorrow when I think - does Dr. Sadleir, cheerfully leave the use of the sacred volume to priests to instruct children out of? Do they take away the scriptures out of their hands, and cheerfully leave them to the priests for their instruction? Am I right, sir, in reading that "the use of the sacred volume is left to the instructors"! That it does not enter into the contemplation of these persons, that the children should ever see the book, but that they cheerfully leave its use to others to instruct them as they see fit out of it? This is such a gratuitous profession of apostasy of principle, such a profession of heartless disregard for the interests, nay the rights, in the sight of God, of the poor children, that (save as an evidence, as I said before, Satan was exhibiting how far he reckoned upon the destruction of the form of principle) it would be utterly unintelligible. They might have left it in the dark; they might, however heartless and unchristian, have said, They can get Bibles for themselves if they like it; but to shew that they positively dissociated the children and any use of the scriptures, they leave it to the use of their instructors, and cheerfully too!

Oh! sir, if I were not used to these things, if I were not accustomed to evil, I could weep - I could weep for the church (oh! how fallen) whose leading characters are identified with such a system. But it is not to a haughty enemy I should tell my sorrows. The path of faith lies difficult but clear. But, sir, while they speak of a system to associate children without peculiarities, the whole system is in itself the infidel development of popery. The children were associated on the principle of reading the scriptures - a strong broad principle in which, God being sought, His views of Christianity, and His authority were recognised; for the subjection to His word was the recognition of His authority. Here the children are given such parts of scripture as man chooses to select, as the authority of man - that is a fact - thinks fitting, and in such connections as man thinks fitting; and the use of the sacred volume itself is left to the instructors.

Why talk of different denominations being brought together? This is precisely Popery. The system is Popery. I care not now as to the principle (however I might in effect) whether the instructors are ministers or priests: the children are not given the scriptures, but delivered up to men, to whom the use of those scriptures is left for their instruction in the doctrines, precepts, and glories of Christianity. There is no other principle recognised in this statement. If you wish to exist, if you wish the principles of God (the principles on which and with which God has blessed you) to exist, arouse yourselves, ministers, Christians, you that fear God. Talk not of parliaments and petitions, but arouse the minds of the people affected by these things. Testify about them to the people whose children would be sent to these schools of Satan, whose only dealing with scripture is to extract all the virtue from it, that the last instrument of God to rescue man may lose its reclaiming power. A mutilated scripture! (surely shall God's judgments come upon them!) from which that which is peculiar in Christianity has been excluded, that the comments of men to explain the nothings that are left may be introduced to them, their wisdom, and beguile the simple.

291 All that is valuable in scripture is peculiar, for it is a revelation, a revelation of that which is the supreme actings of God's love, whose thoughts are not as our thoughts, but as far above them as the heavens are higher than the earth. All that is the mere fruit of God's will, all that is the object of faith, must by virtue of its existence be peculiar both from what it is, and from being the object of revelation. Poor ruined lost man wants what is peculiar, or he is lost for ever: everything that is not is but part of his ruin; all else is blessedly peculiar. By this as the subject of revelation man is subjected to God, for he receives it on the authority of God's word. It is the obedience of faith. Hence the two great points, the presenting the contents of scripture (the great peculiar facts and truths as such in their reclaiming power), and the authority on which we receive them; so that on the one hand we might be certified that the love contained in them was God's love indeed; and on the other, that we might be subjected to His authority; in a word, that our faith and hope might be in God.

In contending against scripture, Popery covertly, and infidelity openly, deprive us of both these. And so do these commissioners. The authority and instruction of man is substituted for God's, and the lessons are framed upon the principle, that nothing should be introduced or admitted from any peculiar view of Christianity. But this is not all, sir. They positively teach none. Here is that which is given of scripture to the children in the school - that which it affords suitable to them. Here are the lessons which they can learn out of it. But they are taught by the arrangement of their schools that these cannot teach them the doctrines and precepts, the knowledge of which must lie at the foundation of all true religion. They must go to instructors - to men - for that. Such is the direct conclusion from the arrangement, that which is meant upon the face of it, and indeed so stated in this preface, the use of the Bible being left in it to the instructors. This is a positive profession of the worst form in which Popery arrays itself on this subject. If, sir, the publication of this preface shews how completely infidelity prevails, that the contrary feeling does not even arouse the professors of it to any guardedness in its expression, we may at least feel thankful that those whose eyes have not been closed by its delusions should receive a warning from its openness as to the position they are placed in. But I cannot help asking what will the clergy do as to the archbishop, who cheerfully leaves the use of the sacred volume to the popish instructors of the children? Is there any integrity left?

292 But I must turn briefly to a few details as to the volume itself. All that is objectionable it would be endless to notice. In the first place, What is the effect of the existence of such a book? Two translations were in existence. One which Christians in this country put forward as substantially containing the words of eternal life, and for which they appeared in verification of the things which they brought forward to those whom they believed to be in darkness as of the love and mercies of God Himself, concerning their everlasting peace. But there was also another in use among a large body of those amongst whom they laboured as witnesses for the word and love and truth of God, or at least recognised by them as more peculiarly their own Testament. But on comparison of these they were found to be so similar as to give credit to the version which they had been taught to consider as heretical, and very commonly the work of Satan himself; and to discredit those who had attempted to invalidate its authority as a bad book, and thereby keep them in darkness; whereas it was now found to be so much accordant with their own, and, what was more important, to substantiate all the truths by which those who laboured among them as Christians sought to deliver them from their darkness into the light of God's own truth. And thus, under the circumstances of the case, that which was in itself an evil became in effect, in many instances, the instrument of God.

293 But what is the effect of this new translation but to declare that neither the one nor the other of them was a sufficiently correct representation of the scriptures to be used in the ordinary instruction of children in the schools? A portion is taken from one here, and from the other there, while both are frequently made to yield to the fancies of the new translator, who can validate the one here, and invalidate the other there, or often reject, and whose authority therefore is paramount to both. Nothing can exceed the malignancy of thus unsettling the authority of the only sources from which the peasantry of Ireland drew their knowledge of truth, and to which alone they could refer as corrective of errors, or by which whey might know the certainty of those things which have been taught by the Lord and His apostles. It is precisely the point at which Popery had been aiming all through. Thus far, then, the direct object of this work is to deprive the peasant entirely of the authority of scripture in any reference he may make for truth, by virtue of that in which he is instructed from infancy, under the authority of those to whom that instruction is entrusted, in which Protestants themselves have acquiesced! And if he be indeed led to scripture, as the preface states, he is led to a discredited version, for which he has now no substitute; for the other is alike invalidated, and the unhappy man is left in all the uncertainty as to his best hopes, in which it is the delight of infidelity to plunge him. And can we be surprised, if we know anything of human nature, and especially of the habits of those to whom this work is addressed, if the authority here put forward shall effectually invalidate their confidence in scripture?

And thus for the sake of a paltry selection for the use of schools, from which the truths of scripture are excluded, and to minister to the vanity of one man, all the existing translations are declared worthless, all the corrective sources of truth are, as far as these Commissioners are able to do it, at one blow annihilated for the whole unlettered population of the country. Here is a work coming with the authority of Government. The Commissioners of Education; two archbishops, and they both of one place; a doctor of divinity, who is one of the educators of ministers themselves; and a dissenter who has a great deal of divinity without being a doctor at all (besides dukes, and remembrancers, and lawyers) agreeing not only to reject the scriptures, but in what they did admit of them, to reject both the existing translations; and this, not even preferring any other, but that in fact and representation of the mind of God it was so imperfect and so uncertain that the opinion of a single man was sufficient to subvert it. Nevertheless, the authority of these Commissioners is pledged to this: not only that this is truth, but "truth recorded under the influence of inspiration." Whatever previous translations may have been, this the child is given to know is a record "under the influence of inspiration."

294 And thus again, further, we have practically the authority of man made available for what is truth, and what is recorded under the influence of inspiration. The scriptures they had certainly were not; for the translator is sufficient authority to alter them, but on the authority of Dr. Whately, Dr. Murray, etc., the children may receive this, and this much, as recorded under the influence of inspiration, and therefore trust in it; and therefore, observe, not trust in either of the existing translations, for if this be, they are not. But this is not all: much is added and mixed up with the extracts which is not scripture. I shall be told that usually this is printed in different type. Why usually? But in point of fact they very constantly are not so printed. And can we be surprised if, with the authority there is for this work amongst the people, such a radiance of light and authority sanctioning its statements, a mere mask such as this be lost sight of by a child?

And not only are large portions given with only this discrimination, but even a note appended upon a point of translation, so that the distinction between what is scripture and what is not (some of the abstracts being printed in smaller type) is made as indeterminate and various as possible: but the whole, observe, given to be received as conveying the history upon the authority of man. It is quite manifest that, while what is scripture is made to rest on the authority of man, the whole would be received by the children at school as one book with equal authority, as coming from the men from whom the authentication of the scripture itself came: if there were any difference, the notes being looked upon, filled as they are with a smattering of learning, as the most important, and freshest from the authority itself, of the whole; for we must observe that this further principle of Popery has been secured in this selection, namely, that the scripture is not intelligible without notes. I am not conscious of a single principle between God and Popery (for that is the true light to see it in), which has not been carefully secured on the side of Popery, with the acquiescence of Protestants, by this little but most important tract.

295 Extracts under the influence of inspiration, as man will have it, abstracts, headings, and notes; they are all, moreover, presented to the child as scripture lessons; and this, sir, you must observe, is no augmentative effort, in the course of which its real character may be brought to light, but the habituation of the mind from childhood to these feelings and thoughts, by Protestants and Roman Catholics both, and the practical obliteration of every point which characterised Protestant truth and the authority and certainty of the word of God. Besides this, sir, care has been taken to separate one part of scripture from another; so that, such as it is, it should not be received in continuity and associations in which God has placed it, but in those into which man should draw it; and this, sir, instead of the healthful and refreshing streams of God's word.

In a word (while the testimony of God has been impugned in its authority, deprived of its authenticity, but presented ordinarily to the poor, and all its truth abstracted as here given, so that irreparable mischief has been done to all) care is taken that the poor little Roman Catholic shall not see the light, the Protestant is ensnared by the wicked and lying presence of Scripture Lessons. I would call them Commissioners' Lessons that people may know and note the real baseness of their origin, that they come from a body the majority of whom deny the faith of God, as all are unworthy of the confidence of men. Let scripture be given in the full current of its own blessed truth, and it will not only refresh those that indeed drink of its waters, and carry comfort and fertility all around to the dwellers on its banks where we perhaps can trace no immediate communication of its life-giving power, but, if the evil of man should be thrown upon it, carry it all down till it is lost in that ocean from which it took its source; and all shall still drink of its streams in abiding freshness and unchanged purity. But if we will be turning it into the reservoir which our pride has made for itself, the petty pools which may seem indeed great works for man, not only shall we lose the blessing, sir, but mound upon mound may be raised to stem the evil of its perverted power, and alas! in vain. It will surely break all through, and lay all below in one wide scene of stagnant desolation and corruption, which none shall inherit, and none shall stay; but the cormorant and bittern shall possess it, the wild beast of the desert, and the wild beast of the island. Evil shall reign there; and he who would then seek to remedy it shall but lose himself in the deadly evil and malignancy of the whole scene around, the seat and witness of the power of the enemy and of the wrath of God.

296 Such, sir, will be the sure result of an effort to make communion between that which God has utterly separated by the very existence of the stream of His living word. It shall prove the desolation of infidelity and wickedness over both. No person can estimate the mischief which the successful use of these falsely called Scripture Lessons would work. It is the most deliberate triumph of papal infidelity which has yet been achieved. This has been put out as a trial. The man, sir, who voluntarily gives up one sentence of scripture breaks his responsibility to God and gives up all. He gives up its authority, and then all is given up. He has given up the great point of allegiance to God. But in point of fact, I challenge Dr. Whately, Dr. Sadlier, and Mr. Carlile, to shew one single point on the scriptural question between Protestants and Roman Catholics, which has not been given up to the Roman Catholics by the publication we are considering. I challenge them to shew a single point yielded by the Roman Catholics, and a single one not yielded by themselves. And, Protestants, remember, this is a point of allegiance to God; and God will judge by the public acts of the body, and will take the acts of its leading individuals as the act for which all are responsible. For how came it to be done, if it was only the act of an individual? These things will be taken by God, and are, as representations of the state of the body. No church ever fell by evil from without; but if it give up its allegiance to God, why should God preserve it?

If Protestants looked upon Dr. Whately, Dr. Sadlier, and the like, as mere common blasphemers of God's word, and with much more responsibility than the Roman Catholics, because they say "we see," and therefore their sin remaineth, could these acts of their take any effect? Clearly not. If, on the other hand, I am told the nominal place of authority in which Dr. Whately is set makes it wrong so to deal with them - makes it necessary to own them, then, I say, the church of Ireland is gone, its judgment is pronounced, the sign of judgment is on it from God; for by virtue of its very structure, by the obligations it is under, it is obliged to allow of evil, of the denial by its authorities of the principles on which it was founded, as acknowledged by God. The Protestant church exists by virtue of the acknowledgment of the word of God. This word has been denied by its public authority, and the inhabitants of the country cheerfully left for the instruction of popish priests. The church of Ireland either can or cannot reject this apostasy, from the public sanction which it now receives within its bosom. If it can and does not, its guilt will be apparent. If it cannot, then, I say, God is exhibiting the circumstances which will justify His proximate judgment. It has ceased to be available for the purpose of His public testimony in the land, the very object for which it had its position. The hand of God is upon it. He may bless its ministers individually; but the authority of the system may be used for the purpose of denying the principles on which God founded it. It has been so used, and then comes judgment.

297 If Dr. Whately must be recognised, after this book and its preface have gone forth, in the place of authority in what God heretofore set as the Protestant church, the judgment of God must be recognised also by the church to which he belongs, as impending on it. I repeat it, a shameful and vital dishonour has been done to God by the Protestant church, as to the very principle for the maintenance of which God instituted and owned it. If it cannot reject and repudiate it, then, I say, it stands with the public acknowledgment, that it is absolutely incompetent to maintain this position; nay, that it is competent for one holding its authority to be joined with Papists and Socinians in denying this principle: and for what is God to own it any longer? Is Protestantism to be sustained when it allows of the far worst part of Popery? and for what? Those concerned may slight the question, but this will only prove the truth of the result. We shall see how it will be in fact. Which is worst, the Roman Catholic who instructs, or the Protestant teacher or professed teacher who cheerfully leaves the instruction to them, and the children, of course, to their instruction, taking care only that they shall not have the scriptures? Judge ye. I know how God judges; and if the Protestant ministers do not exert themselves, they shall have a share of the judgments that must follow.

298 To secure the better acquiescence in the authority of this tract, the translator in the preface tells us that the extracts are a literal translation from the original; but, in the unhappy blindness which often accompanies the desertion of God's word in seeking another object, he has contradicted himself in the same pages: "The translation has been made by a comparison of the Authorised and Douay versions with the original." Now every one knows, sir, that the Douay is not, and does not profess to be made from the original at all, but from the Vulgate; and, truly, forming a text by the comparison of this and another translation with the original is not translating at all, certainly not literally from the original. And there are passages taken from the Douay, and important ones too, where is little or no authority for positive variations from the original save that of the Vulgate itself. It may be very well to set upon the front of the statement that it is a literal translation of the original. It was thus Mr. Belsham exerted himself. But it is too bad to find in the same page that it is a comparison of the translation of a translation with another translation which we have after all; and that, in fact, this authority is knuckled to in many instances. Will anybody believe that planting a garden from "the beginning" in Eden was introduced instead of eastward,* because it was more literal? In "Eden" he was forced to retain the authorised translation for sense's sake, though the Douay and Vulgate translate it otherwise; but then he was to give no advantage to either side: so Mikkedem must be translated "from the beginning," though he confesses the Hebrew word has both senses, and the place is confessedly to the eastward. But he was not satisfied with putting "in Eden," but he must assert the integrity of the Douay, "pleasure," in a note, the assertion of which would make nonsense of this and other places if "translated literally," and which is directly negatived by the point as far as they go. But this, sir, is comparatively an immaterial instance, save as to the wickedness of unsettling all the certainty of scripture in the minds of man.

{*I doubt myself that Mikkedem is ever used in the sense here given to it. It is used for "of old."}

We may pass to others. The Second Man from heaven, heavenly; here we have in a note, or the Lord from heaven. Now, sir, this is no question of translation at all. If the compiler translates "heavenly," he does so by admitting a different reading, which, though probable, is not received in the original by any. But it is in the Douay: and here the Douay has not merely its own value as a witness, but its conventional value as one of the things to be compared with. Therefore, in spite of the original, we have the Douay version; and indeed I have not stated this fully, for although several manuscripts exclude the term "Lord," the "heavenly" has scarce any support at all. This is pure concession to the Douay and Vulgate.

299 In the same lesson we have the note to the Douay version, of which so much has been heard; that the sense is the same, whether we read it according to "the original" "it," that is, Jesus Christ, or "she," the woman. What do people mean by the sense being the same, "for," etc.? Do the Commissioners think the sense is the same? No, sir, the children must be troubled with the intricacies of philological speculation. Not that any honest man would have any difficulty here, but Popery must be yielded to in its worst form: this is a pure concession, and that of the word of God, to Popery.

The Commissioners, or some of them, it is manifest, did not think the sense the same, or the note would not be given as a "note to the Douay version." But they would not exercise an independent opinion. It was not the truth of the thing, but concession to what they believed to be false. And this is the character of the whole work. "Divers of the fathers and the Latin." What is all this? Is it right, or is it wrong? "Translated literally from the original." Why so carefully preserved, if it be wrong? What is there of it in the original from which the translation has been made? It is written, sir, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." I do definitely charge here the whole of the Commissioners with introducing here what they know to be false, to yield to, or secure, according to the credit of their respective parties, the credit of papal falsehoods. But are the poor children to be subjected to this? They must, sir; they cannot help themselves. These are days of liberty, but not for them.

If ever there was thorough devilish wickedness, it is this Commission; and the worst people in it are the so-called Protestant ministers: we shall see their end.

300 I may note here a most important comment in the shape of a question: "Why has death passed upon all men?" - a question no way warranted by the structure of the sentence.

In the next lesson, sir, we have a gross dereliction of the original to let in the Douay, and that in a point directly involving the worst principles of Popery. "Whosoever is not just [or righteous] is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother." Now, sir, what "original" is this translated from? The Vulgate and some of the fathers: what miserable dishonesty is this! "He that doeth not righteousness" is the original and the English version. But the Douay must be conciliated. No other possible reason can be assigned for the deviation from the original.

I said, sir, that it was in connection with the worst principles of Popery by which a man is not just as before God by virtue of the work of Christ, but his own state. We have a very Jesuitical note on this subject which shews that it did not escape the Commissioners' observation, and may account for the departure from the original here. "Righteousness, justice. The word rendered in the Authorised version, righteousness, and in the Douay, justice, sometimes signifies the virtue of justice or uprightness, and sometimes the condition of a man, who is just, or justified before God, through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. To express the latter sense, Roman Catholic English translators are accustomed to use the word justice. Protestant translators more frequently use the word righteousness" (p. 39). The cold-hearted wickedness of these men! Well said the prophet, "The unjust knoweth no shame." They use a different word, and to shew their unity the commissioners will use both; but as to sense Roman Catholics and Protestants are quite agreed as to righteousness or justification. "This latter sense," common of course to both, is expressed by one, so, and by the other more frequently (not always, I suppose), so. Indeed! In fact, translators are the only people concerned.

It is a pity we had not Mr. Carlile before, and we should have been spared all the trouble about this way of righteousness. There is no question as to the truth of God. All the artillery of the Council of Trent might have been spared. "A man," quoth the note, "just or justified before God through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ," and this "latter sense," etc. The Council of Trent says, "if any one says that men are justified either by the imputation of Christ's justice (or righteousness, as Protestants) alone, or by the remission of sins alone, grace and charity being excluded, which is poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit and inheres in them; or also that the grace whereby we are justified is only the favour of God, let him be anathema." Again, sir, "this disposition or preparation justification itself follows, which is not the remission of sins alone, but also sanctification and renovation of the inner man through the voluntary reception of grace and gifts; whence a man from unjust becomes just." Again, the instrumental cause is baptism; and again, "with which endued" (that is, the justice of God) "we are renewed in the spirit of our mind; and are not only accounted but are truly called and are just, receiving justice in ourselves which the Holy Spirit distributed (or bestows) to each as He will, and according to the proper distribution and co-operation of each."

301 Convenient it may be to Mr. Carlile, and it may be to others of his coadjutors to get this "latter sense" identified with the righteousness which is imputed to us if we believe on Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. Convenient it may be to shew that Protestants, when they speak of righteousness before God, have the same sense (merely more frequently using a different word) as when a poor misguided Roman Catholic talks of justice, which, according to the well-defined opinions of the apostate Council of Trent, he is taught must be inherent; and that all simple confidence in the remission of sins by the offering of Jesus Christ once for all, by the which He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified, is but the vain confidence of the heretics.

But where is honesty and the truth of God? The direct force of this passage is to give the notion that justification before God, through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, is held in the same sense by Protestants and Roman Catholics. Perhaps Mr. Carlile does, and very likely his so-called Protestant coadjutors may; but if it be so, where is truth, or what are we to expect as to the education of the poor, if the Protestant Commissioners forsooth think thus? Here is a positive announcement, under the notion of accounting for two words being used, that the sense in which Protestants and Roman Catholics consider this subject is the same; and yet, if I am not much misinformed, Mr. Carlile thinks he gains much from his Popish coadjutors in this matter. But I never knew a case in which the devil was not more cunning than any one that undertook to do his business in the hope of cheating him. And so it is here. I said the note was Jesuitical; Popish hands have been in it, I am sure; for, while it identifies the Protestant righteousness with Roman Catholic justice, it completely secures the Popish view of the subject itself. And in anxiety for this, the very sense of the passage is sacrificed; for the note, if scrutinised, is nonsense. It first states that justice, in the Douay, means either the virtue of uprightness, or the condition of a man, etc.; and then states that Roman Catholic translators use the word justice to express the latter. And now notice the result: justice, and therefore Protestant righteousness, signifies the virtue of uprightness or what? The fact of our acceptance with God? The forgiveness of our sins? Righteousness being accounted to us? Are these ideas admitted? Not at all, but the condition of a man who is justified before God, through, etc. Now this is exactly the distinction of Popery, the distinction of the Council of Trent.

302 This one note is the surrender of the vital question between Protestants and the deniers of the truth of the church of Rome; and for which the Lord gave Himself, just as the book itself gives up the authority of the scriptures. Say, that Protestants mean by righteousness, besides practical uprightness (as in the previous perverted text, "he that doeth not righteousness"), a man's being accounted absolutely righteous before God, by virtue and on account of the death, and evinced by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that this consists in the absolute non-imputation of all or any sin: the Roman Catholic starts away. The truth has touched the vitality of his system. Tell him that justice means the condition of a man who is just or justified before God through the atonement, etc., and he agrees at once. Tell him, this is all a Protestant means by righteousness, and he says, You may fraternise with us: there is nothing to hinder you. And in truth there is not. And why put in the note at all? The text told the truth; therefore the note must be put in to say, that, by believing in God, Abraham was in the condition of a man who was justified before God through, etc., and that in fact this was all Protestants meant by the words.

What God means, sir, is not the question with the Commissioners. They must, somehow or other, make the scriptures suit both parties; but the way we see they do this is, where the scriptures speak plain Protestant sense, the passage is not to be left out (that might give a handle), but, what is worse, it being introduced, it is to be shewn in a note that Protestants understand it in no other sense than Roman Catholics themselves do. Either Mr. Carlile and the other so-called Protestant members introduce this note, or the Popish members. If the former, then we have an open wilful purpose upon their part to neutralise the truth of scripture; where left to itself, it speaks Protestantism. If the latter, where scripture passages speak Protestantism, the former are obliged to allow the latter to introduce their comments with their sanction, that Protestants themselves think no otherwise on these subjects than they do. But they do, sir; and though Archbishops may deny the faith and take part with Papists, and though Mr. Carlile should give up the authority and obliterate the truths of scripture which he once professed, I trust there are many, if need were, to lay down their lives for what they have been doing their utmost to suppress in this book and their whole work in this matter, and to deprive their poor countrymen of (though that they are not). They have taken away the key of knowledge; they would not enter in themselves, and those that would enter in they hinder. They have done worse; they are giving the sanction of the profession of the truth to those who are doing so of old. Of the two at this moment, far rather would I be the Roman Catholic Archbishop than Dr. Whately or Mr. Carlile; and I must ask, if Popery be recognised, what business has Dr. Whately to be Archbishop at all?

303 I have said sufficient to shew the character of this book to those who have ears to hear. Others I cannot expect to influence in these days of apostasy. Those who love money better than principle, and seek the cover of the name of Archbishops and Protestants for their own acquiescence in infidelity and Popery, may be expected to receive their bounty and rejoice in the wages of their iniquity; but the curse of deceived thousands will await them when all is unveiled.

I might mention other instances of the sublime morality which their suppression of parts of scripture has secured; as that concubines were an inferior sort of wives which men were permitted to have in ancient times - by God, I suppose, though it is not stated whether before the fall, or whether it was an allowance to their passions after it. But when principle is gone, such things can excite no surprise. They fancy it is virtue, and they must rescue scripture - virtuous men! - from the charges to which it might be liable, when they cannot help stating the facts as God stated them. Though why this should have been introduced at all, unless to state that "concubines were permitted," it would be hard to tell. But these are trifles; the principle of the book is the thing. It is badly executed indeed besides; immaterial things introduced, no scriptural thread in the story, as alienated from the scriptural concatenation of the subjects as possible, a sort of epistle and gospel, collectanea to suit the tastes of the compiler, everything to efface the forms and associations of God's scriptures, and to present merely an allowance framed by the wisdom of man out of scripture; and this itself not under the influence of any peculiar views of Christianity, doctrinal or practical; the open renunciation of Protestantism in form and substance; in form the scriptures, in substance as here stated. And so much so, that, where a passage might seem to favour Protestantism, it is expressly renounced in the note.

304 Now, sir, to preach Protestantism is one thing. That was not done in the old schools, unless the scriptures, even the Douay version, are Protestantism. But openly to renounce it and deny the scriptures is another; this was reserved for Dr. Whately, Mr. Carlile, and Dr. Sadlier, not for themselves, but under colour of their profession, for all the poor children in the country. A comfortable conscience they must have at the thought, if this system succeeds, that, as far as they can do, the children of 2,000,000 have been deprived of the scriptures, and of 5,000,000 completely, whom they cheerfully leave to the instruction of Popish priests. So at least, they say. I do not envy them their cheerfulness.

And here I close my painful task, in which we have seen the first fruits of a commission, founded on infidelity, in a work whose chief object is to desecrate the authority, and destroy the certainty, while it robs us of the truths, of scripture; and delighting in a scepticism, which, having no peculiar religious views at all, if the scripture should force any upon us, will take care to explain them away; and, having lost all regard of God in its desire to please men, will take care to do this toward those who are in authority, while the poor children, who are nominally committed to their care, they cheerfully leave to their instructors to teach whatever they please; only taking care of this, that, so long as they are under their control, the fresh breathings of God's healthful and health-giving word and Spirit shall never reach their thirsty and gasping lips, while all they shall mix up for them, willing or unwilling, they must take. Well done, good and faithful servants!

305 Christian friends, the true light in which to look at it is this: there is no government in Western Europe now (that is, within the limits of the Roman Empire), which is not either infidel or papal. Almost the only public profession of the form of truth, which substantially remains within its existing limits or power, is the profession of a large body, however faithless, in Ireland. Against this the powers of Satan are directed, and in this effort the leading moral instrument is the new Board of Education. The document on which it was founded was a public manifesto of this. The conduct which it has pursued is here shewn to be suitable and accordant to it. The authority of the scriptures is surrendered and their truths covered .

Rouse yourselves, therefore, Christians. Trust not in man, nor in any child of man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put any confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put any confidence in princes. I expect them to have much success. It is a day in which wickedness is allowed to have much success, that it may meet its reward: but if we are faithful to God, they can have no success against us. Christians, therefore, exert yourselves; it is the wily effort of infidelity to poison and destroy your children, and the children of all around you. There is no help in your effort, I warn you so, but in God. Trust not in yourselves; lean upon God, and He will be with you. I have told you, nay they have told you themselves, that the governments of the earth with which we are concerned are infidel. Do you think they will care for the truth, or those who hold it? They do not pretend to it; but there is strength and favour in God. T say, trust in Him, act as Christians, and God will own you. I beseech you, by the mercies of God, that you bestir yourselves, that those who have ears to hear may escape this engulfing effort of infidelity. This is a question of Christianity: let every man do something to rescue the children from them. I do solemnly warn you all, Christian friends (and I think I have proved it, if proof is needed) that this is the effort of infidelity to destroy the public profession of the truth, and the souls of the children that are ensnared in it, and I warn those that are engaged in it, that they are involving themselves in the final judgments of God.

A letter on a serious question connected with the Irish Education Measures of 1832

<32015E> 306


I address you thus formally in a public document in which it is my object, not to express any personal feelings, but to investigate principles. Your language (as reported) has given me occasion to address you on the subject on which I write: a matter which I confess has occasioned some astonishment to my mind, though other principles than astonishment bring it into action. The character of the public meeting held in this city on the subject of the anti-scriptural system of education needs no comment at present. You were present at that meeting and spoke; but it is not my object to discuss the character of your speech. The unholy marriage between Infidelity and Popery - the devil's apostate counterpart of the union between the bride the Lamb's wife and the great head of the church - whose banns have been first published in this unhappy country, if not adequately exposed (as I think none can feel its evil sufficiently), has yet given occasion to so loud an expression of principle as I trust will, under God, give stability to those who might otherwise have been entangled, and maintain the public expression of the right, here at least, before God, when all principle and allegiance towards Him have been so atrociously invaded. But you were following in your opposition in the rear of those to whom you owed canonical obedience. It was at least, sir, an unfriendly way of doing it.

But not to leave seriousness, considering the path which the Archbishop has trodden, it was well you were behind him. Authority and circumstances hide much from the world, and I must feel that it is the assumed orthodoxy of official situation, which could alone blind the clergy of this country to the principles of the Archbishop by whom they are governed. Such principles known I should be sorry indeed to follow, and the fulness of an episcopal robe does but ill conceal - even though one be behind it - the false principles which may be set before its face. The circumstances of the case are these: a scheme is set on foot whose professed object is to exclude the scriptures from the school instruction of the children of this country, and this not for the purpose of meeting the poor people or consulting their feelings. It had required, Mr. Stanley states, the energetic exertion of the priests to prevent the people from embracing the proffered boon of instruction in the word of God, the boon of God Himself; not then to meet the prejudices of the people, but in acquiescence, we learn from the same authority, with the principles of the Roman Catholic religion. The scriptures are the witness, not only of the holiness of God, but of His love, of His prerogative love in Christ. The Archbishop has set himself forward as the main effectuator, as under the circumstances he certainly is, of a scheme which is professedly to meet the priests, in accordance with their principles, in excluding from the schools this witness of God's love in Christ; for their introduction Mr. Stanley himself states to be the vital defect of the previous system.

307 But the clergy are more deeply concerned in this and the laity too, than, as far as I can see, they are aware. The only discerning spring of Christian activity, synergism in God's love (for Christianity is the activity of God's love), is the knowledge and love of Christ. The perception of His Person is the great centre and spring of all vital theology. To see this is the material of faith. "He that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, hath everlasting life." Not to see this leaves a person in the darkness of this world.

The Archbishop of Dublin is a Sabellian. Of the painful situation in which this may place the clergy it is not for me to judge. What the laity will feel in thinking of their association with him, on the general superintendence of the establishment, they must consider for themselves. But Sabellianism may be considered some questionable opinion or difference. But you must know, sir, that it strikes at the root of all vital as well as orthodox Christianity, by neutralising the distinction between the Father and the Son. The Father's sending the Son - the Son's obedience to the Father - the whole scheme of mediatorial Christianity - that is, Christianity itself becomes lost in this form of infidelity. A Trinity in character, but not a Trinity of persons, in the essential; force of that word, may ease the proud mind of man of that which is beyond its natural powers, but takes away, at the same time, the whole basis on which a sinner can rest by faith. Men may be guilty of Tritheism, and Sabellians may avoid this. But they also may undermine the faith in another way.

308 I shall extract, pretty much at length, the statements of Dr. Whately on this subject in the article on the word person, in the appendix to his Logic, "Ambiguous Terms." "Person, in its most ordinary use, always implies a numerically distinct substance; each man is one person, and can be but one. It, besides a peculiar theological sense, is more closely connected with its etymology. It is well known that the Latin word persona signified originally a mask which actors wore on the stage; each of which being painted in each instance suitably to the character to be represented, and worn by every one who acted the part, the word came to signify the character itself which the actor played; and afterwards any character, proper or assumed, which any one sustained; as for example in a passage of Cicero (De Oratore) where he is describing the process by which he composed his pleadings, by imagining himself in the place of his opponent and of the judge, as well as his own. 'Tres personas unus suscipio, summa animi aequitate: meam adversam, judicis.' We should render this by saying, 'I assume these three characters,' or 'I place myself in these three situations.' The further transition, by which persona, and, as Anglicised by us, person came to signify commonly a distinct being, is very natural, though I believe it never took place while the purity of the Latin idiom lasted. Persona, in some sense, not far remote, it may be supposed, from its classical signification, was adopted by theologians to distinguish the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in the blessed Trinity, so as to imply the strict and proper unity of the divine Being, Who is all and each of these: and the word person was employed by our divines as a literal, or rather perhaps an etymological, translation of the Latin word persona. In this sense, its difference from person, as employed in ordinary discourse (in which, however, it seems to have been much less common at the time when our liturgy, etc., were framed, than in the present day), is of the highest importance: since it is evident that 'three divine persons,' in the ordinary meaning of the word, is precisely equivalent to 'three Gods.'"

Again - "In this, our church, very wisely and scripturally, sets before us the relations in which the Most High stands towards us of Maker, Redeemer, and Sanctifier: thus adhering to the apparent design of Holy Writ," etc. "The same consideration has induced me to insert in the present edition some extracts from the theological works (less known than they deserve) of the celebrated Dr. Wallis's, the mathematician and logician, who appears to have been the church's most powerful champion against the Arians and Socinians of his day. Not that I wish implicit deference to be paid to any human authority, however eminent: but it may be worth while to correct the notion, if any shall have entertained it, that the views of the subject here taken are, in our church, novelties. That which makes these expressions (namely, those respecting the Trinity) seem harsh to some of these men, is because they have used themselves to fancy that notion only of the word person, according to which three men are accounted to be three persons, and these three persons to be three men. But he may consider that there is another notion of the word person, and in common use too, wherein the same man may be said to sustain divers persons, and three persons to be the same man; that is, the same man as sustaining divers capacities. As was said but now of Tully, tres personas unus sustineo. And then it will seem no more harsh to say, the three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, than to say, God the Creator, God the Redeemer, and God the Sanctifier, are one God - it is much the same thing whether of the two forms we use." (Letters on the Trinity, p. 63.)

309 "The word person (persona) is originally a Latin word, and doth not properly signify a man (so that another person must needs imply another man); for then the word homo would have served, and they needed not have taken in the word persona; but rather one so circumstantiated. And the same man, if considered in other circumstances (considerably different), is reputed another person. And that this is the true notion of the word person, appeared by these noted phrases, personam induere, personant deponere, personam agere, and many the like in approved Latin authors. Thus the same man may at once sustain the person of a king and a father, if he be invested both with regal and paternal authority. Now, because the king and the father are for the most part not only different persons but different men also (and the like in other cases), hence it comes to pass that another person is sometimes supposed to imply another man, but not always, nor is that the proper sense of the word. It is Englished in our dictionaries by the state, quality, or condition whereby one man differs from another; and so, as the condition alters, the person alters, though the man be the same. The hinge of the controversy is that notion concerning the three somewhats, which the Fathers (who first used it) did intend to design by the name person; so that we are not from the word person to determine what was that notion, but from that notion which they would express to determine in what sense the word person is here used," etc. - (letter in answer to the Arian's Vindication).

310 This article was much altered in the fourth edition, and a good deal added, in the way of explanation, to guard against the too evident conclusion from the preceding extract. The date of this, sir, is 1831. But, however guarded, there is no repentance from the heresy itself. I shall insert a short extract, which may be sufficient to shew this: -

"Person, in its ordinary use at present, invariably implies a numerically distinct substance. Each man is one person, and can be but one. It has also a peculiar theological sense, in which we speak of the 'three persons' of the blessed Trinity. It was probably thus employed by our divines, as a literal or perhaps etymological rendering of the Latin word, 'persona.' I am inclined to think, however, from the language of Wallis (the mathematician and logician) in the following extract, as well as from that of some others of our older writers, that the English word person was formerly not so strictly confined as now to the sense it bears in common conversation among us." Then follows the extract from Wallis; and he adds in a note, "We are taught to call no man master on earth; but the reference to Dr. Wallis may serve both to shew the use of the word in his day, and to correct the notion, should any have entertained it, that the views of the subject here taken are, in our church, anything novel."

Having quoted so largely from the other edition, it is needless after this to quote more. The circumstances connected with these alterations I shall not touch upon: if authentically stated, they do not weaken the inference naturally drawn from the papers themselves. I care not, sir, for the term Sabellianism: but when the personality of the Son of God is avowedly attacked, I cannot be surprised that the person who does so should be the instrument of establishing the first open public act of infidelity - avowedly rejecting the scriptures, to meet the principles of the Roman Catholic religion. It may not be unprofitable to see the suitableness of the agent to such a work. With what satisfaction any one can follow in the rear, or own canonical obedience to such a one, I must leave to their own consciences and their fidelity to Christ to determine. Certainly the fate of the Archbishop has been unfortunate. Famous, if fame is to be trusted, for being opposed to the union of church and state, he has with painful singularity united himself to it in its first public act of professed infidelity, to be the solitary agent of any consequence in carrying the blighting influence of that infidelity into general and diffusive operation. But he denies the personality of the Son of God, and I am not surprised. But are standards of truth no security as regards those who have solemnly signed them? Sir, whatever scripture may say of the personality of the Son of God, you must own it, and Dr. Whately ought; but his mind seems vague in this on principle, as it is far from scriptural truth. He thus writes, in a note to the same article, in the appendix to his Logic (4th edition, p. 331): -

311 "And truly, it is much better thus to consult scripture, and take it for a guide, than to resort to it merely for confirmation, contained in detached verses, of the several parts of some system of theology, which the student fixes on as reputed orthodox, and which is in fact made the guide which he permits 'to lead him by the hand'; while passages culled out from various parts of the sacred writings, in subserviency to such system, are formed into what may be called an anagram of scripture; and then by reference to this system as a standard, each doctrine, or discourse, is readily pronounced orthodox, or Socinian, or Arian, or Sabellian, or Nestorian, etc.; and all this on the ground that the theological scheme, which the student has adopted, is supported by scripture. The materials, indeed, are the stones of the temple; but the building constructed with them is a fabric of human contrivances. If, instead of this too common procedure, students would fairly search the scriptures, with a view, not merely to defend opinions, but to form them; not merely for arguments, but for truth: keeping human expositions to their own proper purposes (see Essay 6, first series), and not allowing those to become practically a standard - if, in short, they were as honestly desirous to be on the side of scripture, as they naturally are to have scripture on their side, how much sounder as well as more charitable would their conclusions often be!"

The note of admiration as well as italics in the several quotations are Dr. Whately's. Dr. Whately may be amiable, affable in manner, and efficient in business; but truth is truth, and principle is principle, and talents (however great or overestimated), and the most candid kindness of manner are but snares to the unwary. Satan is not foolish enough to make mischief disagreeable. These things appear to me, sir, not only heretical, and (as I should call it) infidel, on the most vital principle of Christianity, but, considering the circumstances in which the author of them is placed, sad want of principle. But when I consider that one who has sworn that the essential point of popish instruction and worship is a "blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit," as Dr. Whately has, should be the principal agent for securing the instruction of the majority of the children of this country in it, and their actual attendance on it, I cannot be surprised, sir. There never was a stronger instance of the principle, that, where the truth of the gospel did not exist, the grace or principle of it could not be found. I confess, sir, more heartless unprincipledness I never heard of. Nor, slight as Dr. Whately's tie may be to standards which have elevated him to the place from which he throws them down, will the refuge this may be afford him much shelter. The results of such instruction as he is putting the children under I shall state in his own words. They are from a note to the same article. There is some ignorance on the subject shewn in it, but it is immaterial to the present point.

312 "The correctness of a formal and deliberate confession of faith is not always of itself a sufficient safeguard against error, in the habitual impression of the mind. The Romanists flatter themselves that they are safe from idolatry, because they distinctly acknowledge the truth, that God only is to be served (namely, with latria), though they allow adoration (hyperdulia and dulia) to the virgin and their saints, to images, and to relics. To which it has been justly replied, that, supposing this distinction correct in itself, it would be in practice purgatory, since the mass of the people must soon, as experience proves, lose sight of it entirely in their habitual devotions."

It must be a happy office to one who has a heart and a conscience to secure to the mass of the people instruction which must plunge them into idolatries, however people may flatter themselves. But I must not pursue this part of the subject, or I should say a great deal more than is needful; and the general principles of the subject are already before people's minds. There are two points which do not seem to be generally felt: that this is the first public leading act of infidelity, namely, a professed rejection of the scriptures, to meet the principles of the Roman Catholic religion; and, secondly, what it specially behoves the clergy to look to, that, under the garb of that which might seem to afford security for principle but may be the hiding-place of the contrary, we have one holding principles anything but a security against infidelity, a denial of the personality of the Son of God in anything like the sense in which that is ordinarily understood; and who holds that, as applied to the Son of God, it means no more than if I should say in making an oration, I put myself into three positions with the utmost equanimity - my own, my adversary's, the judge's. What use standards or undertakings may be to secure the principles of any connected with, or admitted into, the church under such circumstances, I must leave to others to judge. Of one thing I am sure, which keeps my own soul in peace, that in the midst of this "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose."

313 But I should be sorry, sir, to follow in the rear of a diocesan who denied the Lord that bought me; and when I see even the primate expressing his assurance of the zeal for Protestantism of the Archbishop of Dublin, if I respect the feeling which prompted it, I cannot but feel it important to inquire upon what ground of security in the truth the Protestants of this country rest, as regards one (as the Archbishop is) in perhaps the most important human station which any one can fill in it. Few, I dare say, read Dr. Whately's Logic, and few know, therefore, his principles. I have transcribed his own statements here: let Christians judge.

Some question having been raised about the principles of the Roman Catholics as to reading the scriptures, it will be seen, by the following translation of the fourth rule of the Council of Trent respecting the Index, that a person reading them without the written permission of the bishop is refused absolution.

"Whereas it is manifest from experience, if the sacred Bible be allowed everywhere without discrimination in the vulgar tongue, more injury than profit arises thence on account of the rashness of men; let the judgment of the bishop or inquisitor be abided by in this respect; that, with the counsel of the parish priest, or confessor, they may allow the reading in the vulgar tongue of the Bible, translated by Catholic authors, to those who, they shall understand, may receive not injury but increase of faith and piety: which privilege let them have in writing. But he who without such privilege shall presume to have or read them cannot receive absolution of his sins, unless he shall have first given them up to the ordinary. But let booksellers who shall have sold, or in any other way given to those who have not the aforesaid privileges, Bibles written in the vulgar idiom, lose the price of the books to be converted into pious uses by the bishop, and let them be subjected to other penalties according to the quality of the crime at the discretion of the bishop. But regulars without a privilege from their prelates cannot read or buy them."

314 I close a letter, sir, written under a sufficient suffering of body to have disposed me to keep quiet, if I had not felt it a duty. I have very briefly brought the subject forward, stating little of my own views or feelings, not because I have them not, but because I rather desired the facts should be presented for consciences of others. God may bring good out of evil. But these sorts of circumstances are just the trials of the faithfulness of God's children. Let it be known only that, though God may be in a distinct position, there is, according to Dr. Whately, no distinction in the person of the Father and the Son. What may be the duty of the clergy in such a case I leave to themselves: of that of a Christian I can have no doubts.

O God, to what a pass is Thy church come, when those who govern and should feed it are found, even where the truth seems specially professed, deniers of that upon which Thy whole glory rests, even the person and therefore the mission of Thy Son, who loved it and gave Himself for it! O Lord, regard Thy people, and give them faithfulness and wisdom to do that which becometh Thy saints for the glory of Thy name, and acknowledgment of Thy love through Jesus, Thy sent One, come in the flesh that, according to that which is given them, all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father by one Spirit! Amen.

I am, sir, faithfully yours, J. N. D.

Speech delivered at a meeting held for the purpose of promoting Scriptural Education.

<32016E> 315

{Banbridge, 1834.}


My only title to the attention of the meeting, especially at this very advanced stage of our proceedings, is the deep interest which I take in the question before us. I shall not, however, long occupy your time. It was spoken of, as supposed, that the existence of the new system of National Education arose out of the inefficiency of Educational Institutions. But this is an error - for such a supposition there is no ground whatsoever. The real cause was, as expressed and avowed in a letter upon which the new system is based, that making the use of scriptures in schools a sine qua non was a "vital defect"; because doing so was inconsistent with the principles of the Roman Catholic church. These are the words of Mr. Stanley to the Duke of Leinster. This was the principle upon which the new system is based, because the scriptures were opposed to the principles of Roman Catholics, and because Scripture Educational Societies would not mortify this principle; that is, because they would not remedy this "vital defect," by giving up, either wholly, or partially, the Book of God! because they would not relinquish a duty which they owed to God, and to their fellow-creatures, by giving up all that is valuable in time and in eternity. The scriptures are valuable, because they came from God. Give them up and what have we that we can sanction, as having proceeded from Jehovah? Nothing in the world. This is the foundation of the Board - that in the use of the scriptures by other Institutions there was a "vital defect."

This consideration should prevent all adhesion, or countenance, to the Board of Education. It is an infidel expression to affirm that instruction in the Bible is a "vital defect"; but it has been acted on, and what is the consequence? That there is not one single principle of truth concerning the gospel, which rests on revelation, that is not given up by the new system. I say, every one of them is given up. The principle of justification, the authority of the word of God, and all that useful and absolutely necessary knowledge which revelation imparts - all are discarded from the Book of Extracts.

316 I quite agree in the observations advanced by Mr. Bagot, on the part of all who value, and who can appreciate revelation. There should be no compromise. By the Board these extracts are allowed - religious teachers are allowed - Protestant and Roman Catholic teachers are allowed; but there is one thing unallowable - the scriptures. These are to be removed from the schools.

Observe, it is also stated in Mr. Stanley's letter that, though there was no attempt made to proselytise by Educational Societies, yet there was in them a "vital defect"; because they required the Bible to be used in their schools. It was then not any unavowed use of the opportunities which these schools afforded which formed the ground of objection to them - any attempt to proselytise. This is professedly disclaimed by Mr. Stanley's letter. He declares there was no such attempt made. It was solely, singly, and simply the use of the scriptures. This was the "vital defect." This statement of Mr. Stanley's puts in the strongest light the discharging the schools from all other offence than the real point that they had - the scriptures. This, and this alone, was the thing which made the other schools necessary; in order to the exclusion of these they are professedly set up.

There is another point in Mr. Stanley's letter: he states that the strenuous exertions of the priests were directed against these scripture schools. Now, this shews distinctly that the objection to the attendance of children at schools, where the Bible was taught, was not on the part of their parents, but on the part of priests. From whence arose the necessity of these strenuous exertions on the part of the priests, but because, that without them the children would have been sent, and that it required them all to keep the parents from so sending their children? And it is further evident, because in spite of the priests, large numbers of Roman Catholics attended scripture schools. I think there were not less than 133,000 children attending the one class of schools in which the scriptures were read, and from which the government grant was taken away, at the time the Education Commission inquiry was appointed. At that time the priests were exceedingly active to diminish the numbers; but, notwithstanding all their exertions, there remained about 100,000 children in those schools. It need hardly be said that the thirty-odd thousand which were removed were Roman Catholics. But it appeared from the report of the Commissioners, founded on the returns of both persuasions, that the majority of these 100,000 which remained were Roman Catholics, shewing the very great predominance of Roman Catholic children attending the scriptural schools, in spite of the exertions of the priests, which Mr. Stanley affirmed to be so unceasingly used. And thus we find, that the scriptures were not objected to by Roman Catholics, but that they were unpalatable to the priests.

317 I believe the principle upon which this Board is founded is infidelity. I believe it to be the grand expression and instrument, in this country, of that infidelity which is making such rapid strides. This Board professes to give a translation from the original. But what has it done? It has completely removed from the mind any resting-place at all. It gives us a few extracts as a substitute for the entire word of God, and which we are to believe will answer every purpose. By giving us a new translation, it discredits those which exist as unworthy of all credit - that it would be improper to put them into the hands of children; and it dissociates the minds of children from their phraseology, so as just to make them used to neither of them as the accredited testimony of God. It depreciates not only the authorised version, but also, with all its faults, the Douay version. But let the Roman Catholic read the Douay version. With all its defects, he will learn there all the fundamental truths of Christianity; and what is more, if he take the trouble to compare it with the authorised version, he will discover a real similarity - he will discover that the one is so like the other, as to be convinced that the authorised version is the word of God. But those extracts are not like either - and yet, the scriptures are taken away - the ordinary translations discredited - and none whatever given in their room, but a set of extracts afforded, which equally reflect on the authorised and the Douay:, so that when the child, in after days, should turn to them, he will find, what from his early days he has learned is no authentic testimony to the truth. This is the great effort of infidelity, to sweep away from man the only warrant he has for faith and practice - the word of the living God - to give up the profitable study of which we are to be supplied with extracts which give no instruction on subjects doctrinal or practical; and yet we are informed in the preface, "that these extracts have been compiled in the hope of their leading to a more general and more profitable perusal of the word of God."

318 I beg your attention to this further point: we have seen it stated that these extracts have been compiled in the hope of their leading to a more general and more profitable perusal of the word of God; and yet, a little lower down, we read, "that no passage has either been introduced or omitted under the influence of any peculiar view of Christianity, doctrinal or practical." The only authority for doctrine or practice is God's word; but in extracts information on neither is to be had. There we can ascertain no views of Christianity. And yet they were "compiled to lead us to the more profitable perusal of God's word." That is, while the word of God is taken away from the children in its own simplicity and fulness, with the aid of extracts (which cast contempt on our translation, and the Douay) we learn that we profitably peruse the word of God, when we deduce no views from it either doctrinal or practical!

Thus, in these extracts I find not only the foundation of its authority, but the superstructure of the value of all Christian truth completely swept away. I am now reasoning on the shewing of the abettors of the Board of Education. But is not every view of Christianity peculiar? The natural mind wants no Christianity, because it loves sin; it hates religion. Take away then from the Bible all the peculiar views of Christianity, and you take away all religion. Every view is peculiar to sinful man; and those peculiar views are alone contained in that revelation, which Jehovah has communicated to the world. They are peculiar, or it would not be a revelation. Take away what is peculiar, and you take away all that is revealed - all that is valuable to a sinner - and leave him to the natural and prejudiced darkness and infidelity of his own mind.

Again, the Commissioners say that they offer these extracts from scripture to the careful attention of teachers and children, not only as truth, but as truth recorded under the influence of inspiration, etc. This thing is so far from correct that in these extracts we discover the most wicked garbling of truth; and in connection with this monstrous production, one circumstance I must allude to is the change discoverable in the type. In one place it is large, in another small; as if the passage printed in one description of type imported that they were scripture, and those printed in another description of type were not scripture. This is not the fact. Following extracts, or parts of this pretended new translation, are passages in precisely the same type which are not extracts of any sort, but abstracts in man's language; and, of course, according to man's judgment. How then is the child to ascertain what is scripture, and what is not? Besides, except the difficulty of reading where the type is different, as it sometimes is, will a child make such nice distinctions in a book presented to it, as truth recorded under the influence of inspiration? Moreover, the introduction of small type gives, if it does anything, authority to the large as the word of God; and thus, what is partly extracts from God's word, and partly man's statements is given on the authority of men, of the Board, as truth recorded under the influence of inspiration. Could anything be more remarkable than to exclude the word of God, and to substitute these extracts with such a character? The poor child is given the book of extracts, abstracts, and notes, not only as "truth, but as truth recorded under the influence of inspiration"; that is, it is truth "recorded under the influence of inspiration," whether we believe that the woman, or our Lord Jesus Christ, is our Saviour.

319 Now, I ask, where will the child learn the difference whether the large print - the small print - or the note respecting the Virgin Mary, is or is not scripture? And are not all these peculiar views alone contained in that revelation which Jehovah has communicated? They are peculiar, or would not be to the world a revelation. Take away what is peculiar, and you take away all that is revealed - all that is valuable as mercy to a sinner; and leave him to the natural total darkness or infidelity of his own mind.

Again, the Commissioners say, that "they offer these extracts from scripture, to the careful attention of teachers and children, not only as truth, but as truth recorded under the influence of inspiration," etc. And why have they taken the scriptures away? They cheerfully leave them to those they think wrong; they care for nothing more. They who call themselves Christians and Protestants would leave the rising generation to the religious instruction of the Romish priesthood! I could not cheerfully leave them to such "religious instructors"; nor will you, I trust, sanction such a system. But such is the professed plan of the Board.

320 But we find men who would divest the word of God of all authority - who would take out of it everything which regards doctrine or practice - who would deprive children of that word, which is able to make them wise unto salvation, "through faith, which is in Christ Jesus." They would first do all this, and then transfer them for instruction to a priesthood who are opposed to the use of the scriptures in any form. But why leave religious instruction in the word of God to the priests? The Board has no influence over the priests to command them to communicate religious information, even if they were qualified. It is said, the Lord dements those He would destroy. In these lessons, which we are told are drawn from the sacred volume, we discover every principle of infidelity and enmity arrayed against the children who are under such instruction; and yet these things are called "Scripture Lessons"; but they are "Lessons" which have garbled scripture - which deprive the children, by such a miserable substitute, of the use of scripture.

But who are those men who have thus attempted to mistranslate and garble God's holy word? It is time that Christian principle should avow itself, and that Christians should abide by the word of God, in spite of infidelity. Shall we, as Christians, acquiesce in such a deliberate exclusion of the word of God from the education designed for the instruction of the children? The scriptures are for the use of all. It is the privilege of all to read them. But this is not the ground the question stands really on. The Board hinders, and joins even in hindering the reading of any but such part as in its wisdom it thinks fit to give; but it does a great deal more: in asserting the communication of the scriptures, it is not merely the hearers' or readers' right that is impugned, but God's who gave and sends them. If I were to send a letter to my servant, and you should intercept it, you not only wrong my servant and hinder him, but you interfere with me. You prevent my message from reaching him - you are interposing between my authority and my servant - you are destroying my right to direct, as well as, and much rather than his. The Board has entered into direct conflict with God. Its conduct admits of no palliation; nor does it admit of the question of arrangement - for all who join such a system are also at direct issue with God.

The question is, Shall I adopt these extracts for the word of God? shall I attend to the directions of the Board of Education, and violate the command of God? The Board says, "we cheerfully leave the children to their religious instructors" - that is, they leave the great mass of the children to no instruction at all. Just think of those who profess to believe in the doctrine of justification by faith, cheerfully leaving children to the religious instruction of individuals, who deny what they hold to be a fundamental truth - to those who deny the divinity of Jesus - or who reject that salvation which He accomplished when He offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Remember the principle on which this Board was established. Was it that Scriptural Societies making the Bible a sine qua non was a vital defect in their systems, because such a rule was contrary to the principles of the Roman Catholic church? But was this principle contrary to God's command, contrary to His rule? No! Are we then to go at the bidding of man, contrary to God's command? I hope not.

321 The character of infidelity in these days is not the avowed rejection of the truth. It is latitudinarianism in spirit and the conduct of the Board is the very representation and type of this. Instead of uniting men by bringing them to principle, it leads them to give up all principle, and acts upon their giving up all. Here we have a Protestant and a Roman Catholic Archbishop and others, giving up some one principle or another peculiar to themselves, that they might be qualified to combine to give up God's principle - that all the country might be educated "without any peculiar view of Christianity, doctrinal or practical." This is an insult to God. Why has God caused the Bible to be written? But here are men, who by their conduct say they are wiser than God, by giving us their book in place of His. We are also told that these are but extracts from the Bible, and don't all of you use extracts? They are not merely extracts, but they are given as a succedaneum for the Bible. Suppose you purchased a loaf for your family, you take off for your use a slice, that is, an extract of the loaf; but you have always free access to the loaf when necessary - you would never imagine that, when you took an extract from your loaf, the loaf itself was taken away. That is quite another thing; yea, that you were given nothing but soiled and musty crusts, by one who kept the loaf to himself.

Extracts are exceedingly useful - I make use of extracts every day, when I read a chapter or more in the Bible; but if I read an extract from my Bible now, I have it to go to again, when I require it. I have my loaf always to go to; but the advocates against this "vital defect" of having the scriptures have no loaf. As regards them there is an end to the whole affair. The children of God owe to Him an undivided allegiance; they are bound, therefore, to abide by the word, which is able to make wise unto salvation - which makes the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. I trust, therefore, that those who have the means will support an institution whose great object is to communicate that instruction which is based on the unmutilated word of God. This is the day of decision.

322 The question now is - will the children of God be faithful or not? Will they secure to themselves the whole of God's word; or will they, for the sake of a temporary advantage and at the command of man, give it up? I hope not. I believe this Board to be simply the work and instrument of Satan, though God shall overrule it to His own purpose. For to Him all power belongs; and though Satan may be permitted for wise ends to manifest himself for a time, yet the Lion of the tribe of Judah will ultimately overcome him, for He is King of kings and Lord of lords.