?inspired? to our present Bible as a whole, and theology is not bound to employ this word in defining the Scriptures. Christianity is founded in history, and will stand whether the Scriptures are inspired or not. If special inspiration were wholly disproved, Christ would still be the Savior of the world. But the divine element in the Scriptures will never be disproved.?
(d) It is inconsistent with a wise economy of means, to suppose that the Scripture writers should have had dictated to them what they knew already, or what they could inform themselves of by the use of their natural powers.
Why employ eyewitnesses at all? Why not dictate the gospels to Gentiles living a thousand years before? God respects the instruments he has called into being, and he uses them according to their constitutional gifts. George Eliot represents Stradivarius as saying: ? ?If my hand slacked, I should rob God ? since he is fullest good ? Leaving a blank instead of violins. God cannot make Antonio Stradivari?s violins, Without Antonio.?
<411103> Mark 11:3 ? ?The Lord hath need of him,? may apply to man as well as beast.
(e) It contradicts what we know of the law of God?s working in the soul. The higher and nobler God?s communications, the more fully is man in possession and use of his own faculties. We cannot suppose that this highest work of man under the influence of the Spirit was purely mechanical.
Joseph receives communication by vision ( <400120>Matthew 1:20): Mary, by words of an angel spoken in her waking moments ( <420128>Luke 1:28). The more advanced the recipient, the more conscious the communication. These four theories might almost be called the Pelagian, the Arminian, the Docetic, and the Dynamical. Sabatier, Philos. Religion, 41, 42, 87 ? ?In the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Father says at the baptism to Jesus: ?My Son, in all the prophets I was waiting for thee, that thou mightest come, and that I might rest in thee. For thou art my Rest.? Inspiration becomes more and more internal, until in Christ it is continuous and complete. Upon the opposite Docetic view, the most perfect inspiration should have been that of Balaam?s ass.? Semler represents the Pelagian or Ebionitic view, as Quenstedt represents this Docetic view. Semler localizes and temporalizes the contents of Scripture. Yet, though he carried this to the extreme of excluding any divine authorship, he did good service in leading the way to the historical study of the Bible.
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