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she is almost a relative. But if she is honourable, useful, necessary, she is so only so long as she remains true, and keeps her proper place. So long as she does not quit the field which belongs to her, she is worthy of our respect; but from the moment she leaves it, it becomes necessary to restrain her; she is no longer a science, but only a silly soothsayer.” A multitude of other passages in the chapter to which this last extract belongs are equally striking.
The fifth chapter contains a Didactic Summary of the Doctrine of Inspiration, and is chiefly engaged with an argumentative consideration of the subject, the ground having been cleared in the preceding chapters for such a course. The argument is conducted in a catechetical form; the questions being forty-five in number, with corresponding answers. These are made to cover the whole ground which the subject presents. We quote several of them :
XVI. May much evil result from the doctrine, according to which the language of inspiration is only the human expression of a superhuman revelation, and, so to speak, but the natural reflection of a supernatural illumination ?
There will ever result from it these two evils : either men will degrade the oracles of God to a level with the words of saints ; or they will elevate the latter to a level with the Scriptures. It is a baneful consequence, whose alternatives have been produced in all ages.
It is inevitable. All men, truly regenerated, being enlightened by the Holy Spirit, it follows, according to this doctrine, that they all possess, although in different degrees, the element of inspiration; so that, according to the arbitrary idea which you may have formed of their spiritual state, you will be inevitably led one while to assimilate the sacred writers to them, at another, to elevate them to the rank of men inspired from on high.
XVII. Can you cite religious bodies, in which the former of these evils have been realized. I mean to say, in which men have been carried to the length of reducing the Scriptures to the level of the words of the saints ?
All the systems of the Protestant Doctors who suppose that there is some mixture of error in the sacred Scriptures are founded upon this doctrine,-from Semler and Ammon, to Eichhorn, Paulus, Gabler, Schuster and Restig; from De Wette to the more respectful systems of Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Scaliger, Capel, John Le Clerc, and Vossius. According to these systems, the divine light, by which the intelligence of the sacred writers was enlightened, might experience certain partial eclipses, by the inevitable effect of their natural infirmities, of a defect of memory, of an innocent ignorance, of a popular prejudice ; so that their writings have retained the traces of it, and we can recognize the places where the shadows have fallen!
XVIII. Can you cite also some religious bodies in which the latter evil has occurred; I mean to say, in which, by having confounded inspiration with illumination, men have elevated saints and doctors to the rank of inspired men ?
We may, above all, cite the Jews and Latins, or Roman Catholics,
XIX. What have the Jews done?
They have considered the Rabbis of the ages succeeding the Dispersion, as endowed with an infallibility which has placed them on a level with (if not above) Moses and the Prophets. They have attributed, without doubt, a sort of inspiration to the sacred Scriptures ; but they have forbidden to explain the oracles of God, otherwise than according to their traditions. They have called the immense body of these commandments of men" the Oral Law, the Doctrine, or the Talmud, distinguishing it into the Mishna or Second Law, and the Gemara—complement or perfection. They have maintained that it was transmitted froin God to Moses, from Moses to Joshua, from Joshua to the prophets, from the prophets to Ezra, from Ezra to the doctors of the Great Synagogue, and from them to the Rabbis Antigonus, Soccho, Shemaia, Hillel, Schammai; until at length Judah the Holy committed it to the Traditions, or Repetitions of the law, which, at a later day, together with their commentary or complement (the Gemara), have formed, at first, the Talmud of Jerusalem, and afterwards that of Babylon.
“One of the greatest obstacles which we meet with among the Jews,” says the Missionary MacCaul, “ is their invincible prejudice in favour of their traditions and their commentaries; so that we cannot induce them to purchase our Bibles without notes or commentaries."
“ The law,” say they, " is like salt; the Mishna, like pepper; the Talmud, like aromatics.” “ The Scriptures are like water; the Mishna like wine; and the Gemara like spiced wine." My son,” says Rabbi Isaac, “ learn to give more attention to the words of the scribes than to the words of the Law.” - Turn your children,” said Rabbi Eleazar, on his death-bed, to his scholars who asked him respecting the way
children from the study of the Bible, and place them at the feet of the wise men.” “ Learn, my son,” says Rabbi Jacob, " that the words of the scribes are more lovely than those of the prophets !"
XX. And what has resulted from these enormities?
It has resulted, by this means, that millions and millions of immortal souls, though wandering throughout the earth, thongh weary and heavyladen, though despised and persecuted in every place, have carried about with them, into every nation of the earth, the book of the Old Testament, intact and complete, and have not ceased to read it, in the Hebrew, every Sabbath, in thousands and thousands of synagogues, during eighteen hundred years : without, however, discovering in it that Jewish Messiah whom we all adore, and to know whom would be from this day forth their deliverance, as it must one day be their happiness and their glory! Full well said Jesus unto them, “ Ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your tradition.
XXI. And what have the Latins done?
They have considered the Fathers, the Popes, the Councils of the successive ages of the Roman Church, as endowed with an infallibility which puts them on a level with (if not above) Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles. They have, it is true, differed greatly, one from another, on the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures ; and the Faculties of Douay and Louvain, for example, resisted stoutly the opinion of the Jesuits, who
were unwilling to recognize in the operation of the Holy Spirit, anything more than a direction which preserved the sacred writers from error; but they have all forbidden to explain the sacred Scriptures otherwise than after the traditions. They have believed that they had the right to say, in all their Councils, as the apostles and prophets of Jerusalem, “It hath seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us. They have declared that it belonged to them to judge of the true sense of the Scriptures. They have called the immense body of these “commandments of men,” the Oral Law, the Unwritten Traditions, the Unwritten Law. They have said that they were transmitted from God, and dictated by the mouth of Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit, by a continual succession.
The sixth chapter treats of the Scriptural proof of the doctrine of Inspiration, according to a five-fold division. First: the whole Scripture is theopneustic, or inspired of God. Second: all the words of the prophets were from God. Third: all the Scriptures of the Old Testament are prophetic. Fourth : all the words of the New Testament are prophetic. And fifth: the examples of the Apostles and of their Master attest that, in their estimation, all the words of the sacred Books were given from God.
Professor Gaussen's grand purpose and confident effort may be said to belong to this chapter especially; seeing that he undertakes to establish the doctrine of the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures by means of Scriptural proof, from the Scriptures themselves. This part of the work, therefore, in which he puts forth all his strength, requires to be studied in its entire shape. His investigation extends to every passage in the Bible which seems to have a bearing on the question, and from the specimens already given of the earnestness, the knowledge, the ability, and the eloquence of the author, our readers must be convinced that it is an investigation of no ordinary character, whether its conclusions be regarded, or the masterly manner in which it is conducted.
The seventh and last chapter presents a summary of the entire subject of the book, with appropriate counsels to the reader, and impressive views relative to the voice of God as heard in and heard through the Scriptures. Our limits forbid us to cite passages from it; nor can it now be necessary after the samples and account which the preceding pages present. Neither need a single word of eulogy be added ; for it is impossible for any person to withhold from our extracts high admiration of the tone and the talent of the writer What then must be the impression after a continuous, a complete, and an anxious perusal of the volume? That the work is perfect, that it contains nothing but what must command acquiescence on the part of the serious reader, the author himself would mot himself imagine. Particular opinions, although in no degree affecting the train of the argument or the character of the main doctrine, sometimes peep out, that will be questioned; such as that when the Professor speaks of the second coming of our Saviour to reign personally on the earth. Still, whatever may be thought of incidental notions, or whatever may be objected, speaking critically, of the literature of the production, of its arrangement, its repetitions, and its elaborate style, the great majority of readers we think will pronounce Gaussen's Theopneustia to be a triumphant argument, and the most satisfactory they can meet with upon a question of paramount interest and importance ; at the same time that it furnishes a large mass of finely informing and deeply captivating writing.
When we speak of the great majority of readers, we of course exclude sceptics, deists, and atheists. As we have more than once stated, he relies upon the Scriptures themselves for the establishment of the doctrine of plenary inspiration; nor does it appear that in any other way, or by any other evidence, can the doctrine be satisfactorily demonstrated to him who believes that the Scriptures are a Revelation; and it is to such persons that the Professor addresses himself.
Infidels require to be plied with arguments and facts proper to establish the claim of the Bible to be a book which contains the revealed word of God. But after this has been yielded by the honest inquirer, it is needful to have the belief fixed and defined with regard to the degree in which the sacred writings have been inspired, and to have his convictions settled relative to all the main points of faith which our author has so eloquently and powerful set forth. We conclude with a short biographical notice.
Professor Gaussen is a native of Geneva, of a wealthy and respectable family. He preached the Gospel with zeal and ability, for several years, at Satigny, but was deprived of his pastoral charge by the Consistory of Geneva, for having promulgated doctrines and employed measures which that body did not regard as sound, as sufficiently rational. This tyrannical act led to a discussion which not only signally promoted what are called Evangelical views, but was the occasion as well as forerunner of the disrelished minister's principal displays and efforts in behalf of that which he considered to be the truth. It was this affair, more than any other one thing, which suggested the formation of the Evangelical Society of Geneva in 1831, and of the contemporaneous establishment of the new theological school of that city, and which owes its existence to that society. M. Gaussen was chosen Professor of Didactic Theology at the very commencement of the seminary; and as he possesses a sufficient fortune himself, it is believed that his services are wholly gratuitous. The man as well as his writings must be admired and revered, whenever mention is made of them or of him.
VOL. II. (1842.) NO. I.
Art. II.-Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Michael Thomas Sadler,
Esq., M.P., 8c. Seeley and Burnside. POSTERITY will not accord so high a station to Mr. Sadler, as a large number of his contemporaries, not a few of whom were themselves eminent, on a sudden granted to him. There were certain circumstances of a transient nature which served to set him at the time in a striking light; just as there had been sundry causes, some of them natural, others accidental, which prevented him from ever arriving at that real eminence which would have commanded permanent and universal admiration.
With regard to the temporary circumstances which lent extraordinary eclât to Mr. Sadler's name for a brief space, we may mention the final agitation of the Catholic Question, when the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Peel evinced a determination to see it settled. Upon this stirring occasion the hero of the present volume brought all his powers and acquirements to bear on the measure, opposing and denouncing the claims with his wonted earnestness and vehemence, which so attracted the notice of the Duke of Newcastle, that it was by the advice and assistance of his Grace that the orator was brought into Parliament for Newark, and to the defeat of Serjeant Wilde, by a majority of 214. Having found himself on the floor of the House of Commons, it so happened that there were certain subjects to which the minds of many were either at that date intensely directed, or upon which an ardent and voluble eloquence could readily bring many to take an earnest part; at the same time that the subjects afforded scope for plausible one-sided argument, and where for a season narrow and superficial opinions might be pretty generally regarded as overwhelming. We need hardly do more than allude to the Irish Poor-laws, the Theory of Population, and the Factory question, in all of which Mr. Sadler took a characteristic share.
Now, it is not to be denied that upon these and some other questions Mr. Sadler succeeded to rivet attention for a season; and no doubt left impressions which, after his disappearance from the public stage, have done good, not only by arousing men's minds to great social diseases to which they had from long use become hardened, but by checking the brutality of individuals, and throwing shame upon the selfish practices of classes. Still, we must observe that he neither figured as the originator of any of these questions, nor as the philanthropist and philosopher whose foresight and agency was to bring them to a happy issue; or at least with half the effect which might have been expected from the temporary admiration that attended his efforts. And this brings us to consider for a moment what were the causes, natural as well as accidental, which prevented him