?but then face to face? = immediately, without the intervention of an imperfect medium. ?As fast as we tunnel into the sandbank of thought, the stones of language must be built into walls and arches, to allow further progress into the boundless mine.?
(d) In the incompleteness of our knowledge of the Scriptures . Since it is not the mere letter of the Scriptures that constitute the truth, the progress of theology is dependent upon hermeneutics, or the interpretation of the word of God.
Notice the progress in commenting, from homiletical to grammatical, historical, dogmatic, illustrated in Scott, Ellicott, Stanley, Lightfoot, John Robinson: ?I am Scripture in the light of its origin and connections. There has been an evolution of Scripture, as truly as there has been an evolution of natural science, and the Spirit of Christ who was in the prophets has brought about a progress from verily persuaded that the Lord hath more truth yet to break forth from his holy word.? Recent criticism has shown the necessity of studying each portion of germinal and typical expression to expression that is complete and clear. Yet we still need to offer the prayer of <19B918>Psalm 119:18 ? ?Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.? On New Testament Interpretation, see A.H. Strong, Philosophy and Religion, 324336.
(e) In the silence of written revelation. For our discipline and probation, much is probably hidden from us. Which we might even with our present powers comprehend.
Instance the silence of Scripture with regard to the life and death of Mary the Virgin, the personal appearance of Jesus and his occupations in early, the origin of evil, the method of the atonement, the state after death. So also as to social and political questions, such as slavery, the liquor traffic, domestic virtues, government corruption. ?Jesus was in heaven at the revolt of the angels, yet he tells us little about angels or heaven. He does not discourse about Eden, or Adam, or the fall of man, or death as a result of Adam?s sin; and he says little of departed spirits, whether they are lost or saved.? It was better to inculcate principles, and trust his followers to apply them. His gospel is not intended to gratify a vain curiosity. He would not divert men?s minds from pursuing the one thing needful; cf .
<421323> Luke 13:23, 24 ? ?Lord, are they few that are saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.? Paul?s silence upon speculative questions, which he must have pondered with absorbing interest is a proof of his divine inspiration. John Foster spent his life,
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