receiving and transmitting the divine communications. Moses, David, Isaiah mark successive advances in recipiency and transparency to the heavenly light. Inspiration has employed men of various degrees of ability, culture and religious insight. As all the truths of the calculus lie germinally in the simplest mathematical axiom, so all the truths of salvation may be wrapped up in the statement that God is holiness and love. But not every scholar can evolve the calculus from the axiom. The teacher may dictate propositions which the pupil does not understand: he may demonstrate in such a way that the pupil participates in the process; or, best of all, he may incite the pupil to work out the demonstration for himself. God seems to have used all these methods. But while there are instances of dictation and illumination, and inspiration sometimes includes these, the general method seems to have been such a divine quickening of man s powers that he discovers and expresses the truth for himself.
A.J. Balfour, Foundations of Belief, 339 ? ?Inspiration is that, seen from its divine side, which we call discovery when seen from the human side? Every addition to knowledge, whether in the individual or the community, whether scientific, ethical or theological, is due to a cooperation between the human soul which assimilates and the divine power which inspires. Neither acts, or could act, in independent isolation. For ?unassisted reason? is a fiction, and pure receptivity it is impossible to conceive. Even the emptiest vessel must limit the quantity and determine the configuration of any liquid with which it may be filled? Inspiration is limited to no age, to no country, to no people.? The early Semites had it, and the great Oriental reformers. There can be no gathering of grapes from thorns, or of figs from thistles. Whatever of true or of good is found in human history has come from God. On the Progressiveness of Revelation, see Orr, Problem of the Old Testament, 431-478.
6. Inspiration did not guarantee inerrancy in things not essential to the main purpose of Scripture.
Inspiration went no further than to secure a trustworthy transmission by the sacred writers of the truth they were commissioned to deliver. It was not omniscience. It was a bestowal of various kinds and degrees of knowledge and aid, according to need; sometimes suggesting new truth, sometimes presiding over the collection of preexisting material and guarding from essential error in the final elaboration. As inspiration was not omniscience, so it was not complete sanctification. It involved neither personal infallibility, nor entire freedom from sin.
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