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The Fundamentals 

A Testimony to the Truth 

Volume I 

Compliments of 
Two Christian Laymen 


(Not Inc.) 
808 LaSalle Ave., Chicago, 111., U. S. A. 

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This book is the first of a series which will be 
published and sent to every pastor, evangelist, mis- 
sionary, theological professor, theological student, 
Sunday school superintendent, Y. M. C. A. and 
Y. W. C. A. secretary in the English speaking 
world, so far as the addresses of all these can be 

Two intelligent, consecrated Christian laymen 
bear the expense, because they believe that the 
time has come when a new statement of the funda- 
mentals of Christianity should be made. 

Their earnest desire is that you will carefully 
read it and pass its truth on to others. 




Rev. Prof. James Orr, D. D., United Free Church 
College, Glasgow, Scotland 


Prof. Benjamin B. Warfield, D. D., LL. D., 
Princeton Theological Seminary 


Rev. G. Campbell Morgan, D. D., 
Pastor Westminster Chapel, London, England 


Rev. R. A. Torrey, D. D. 1 


Rev. Arthur T. Pierson, D. D. 


Canon Dyson Hague, M. A., London, Ontario 



Howard A. Kelly, M. D. 






It is well known that the last ten or twenty years have been 
marked by a determined assault upon the truth of the Virgin 
birth of Christ. In the year 1892 a great controversy broke 
out in Germany, owing to the refusal of a pastor named 
Schrempf to use the Apostles' Creed in baptism because of 
disbelief in this and other articles. Schrempf was deposed, and 
an agitation commenced against the doctrine of the Virgin 
birth which has grown in volume ever since. Other tendencies, 
especially the rise of an extremely radical school of historical 
criticism, added force to the negative movement.' The attack 
is not confined, indeed, to the article of the Virgin birth. It 
affects the whole supernatural estimate of Christ His life, 
His claims, His sinlessness, His miracles, His resurrection 
from the dead. But the Virgin birth is assailed with special 
vehemence, because it is supposed that the evidence for this 
miracle is more easily got rid of than the evidence for public 
facts, such as the resurrection. The result is that in very many 
quarters the Virgin birth of Christ is openly treated as a fable. 
Belief in it is scouted as unworthy of the twentieth century in- 
telligence. The methods of the oldest opponents of Christianity 
are revived, and it is likened to the Greek and Roman stories, 
coarse and vile, of heroes who had gods for their fathers. A 


8 The Fundamentals. 

special point is made of the silence of Paul,, and of the other 
writings of the New Testament, on this alleged wonder. 


It is not only, however, in the circles of unbelief that the 
Virgin birth is discredited; in the church itself the habit is 
spreading of casting doubt upon the fact, or at least of re- 
garding it as no essential part of Christian faith. This is the 
unhappiest feature in this unhappy controversy. Till recently 
no one dreamed of denying that, in the sincere profession of 
Christianity, this article, which has stood from the beginning 
in the forefront of all the great creeds of Christendom, was 
included. Now it is different. The truth and value of the 
article of the Virgin birth are challenged. The article, it is 
affirmed, did not belong to the earliest Christian tradition, and 
the evidence for it is not strong. Therefore, let it drop. 


From the side of criticism, science, mythology, history and 
comparative religion, assault is thus made on the article long 
so dear to the hearts of Christians and rightly deemed by them 
so vital to their faith. For loud as is the voice of denial, one 
fact must strike every careful observer of the conflict. Among 
those who reject the Virgin birth of the Lord few will be 
found I do not know any who take in other respects an 
adequate view of the Person and work .of the Saviour. It is 
surprising how clearly the line of division here reveals itself. 
My statement publicly made and printed has never been con- 
futed, that those who accept a full doctrine. of the incarnation 
that is, of a true entrance of the eternal Son of God into 
our nature for the purposes of man's salvation with hardly 
an exception accept with it the doctrine of the Virgin birth 
of Christ, while those who repudiate or deny this article of 
faith either hold a lowered view of Christ's Person, or, more 
commonly, reject His supernatural claims altogether. It will 

The Virgin Birth of Christ. 9 

not be questioned, at any rate, that the great bulk of the oppo- 
nents of the Virgin birth those who are conspicuous by writ- 
ing against it are in the latter class. 


This really is an answer to the cavil often heard that, 
whether true or not, the Virgin birth is not of essential im- 
portance. It is not essential, it is urged, to Christ's sinlessness, 
for that would have been secured equally though Christ had 
been born of two parents. And it is not essential to the incar- 
nation. A hazardous thing, surely, for erring mortals to judge 
of what was and was not essential in so stupendous an event 
as the bringing in of the "first-begotten" into the world! But 
the Christian instinct has ever penetrated deeper. Rejection 
of the Virgin birth seldom, if ever, goes by itself. As the 
late Prof. A. B. Bruce said, with denial of the Virgin birth is 
apt to go denial of the virgin life. The incarnation is felt by 
those who think seriously to involve a miracle in Christ's 
earthly origin. This will become clearer as we advance. 


It is the object of this paper to show that those who take 
the lines of denial on the Virgin birth just sketched do great 
injustice to the evidence and importance of the doctrine thef 
reject. The evidence, if not of the same public kind as that 
for the resurrection, is far stronger than the objector allows, 
and the fact denied enters far more vitally into the essence of 
the Christian faith than he supposes. Placed in its right set- 
ting among the other truths of the Christian religion, it is not 
only no stumbling-block to faith, but is felt to fit in with self- 
evidencing power into the connection of these other truths, 
and to furnish the very explanation that is needed of Christ's 
holy and supernatural Person. The ordinary Christian is a 
witness here. In reading the Gospels, he feels no incongruity 
in passing from the narratives of the Virgin birth to the won- 

10 The Fundamentals. 

derful story of Christ's life in the chapters that follow, then 
from these to the pictures of Christ's divine dignity given in 
John and Paul. The whole is of one piece : the Virgin birth 
is as natural at the beginning of the life of such an One 
the divine Son as the resurrection is at the end. And the 
more closely the matter is considered, the stronger does this 
impression grow. It is only when the scriptural conception 
of Christ is parted with that various difficulties and doubts 
come in. 


It is, in truth, a very superficial way of speaking or think- 
ing of the Virgin birth to say that nothing depends on this be- 
lief for our estimate of Christ. Who that reflects on the subject 
carefully can fail to see that if Christ was virgin bornif He 
was truly "conceived," as the creed says, *'by the Holy Ghost, 
born of the Virgin Mary" there must of necessity enter a 
supernatural element into His Person; while, if Christ was sin- 
less, much more, if He was the very Word of God incarnate, 
:, there must have been a miracle the most stupendous miracle 
Jn the universe in His origin? If Christ was, as John and 
Paul affirm and His church has ever believed, the Son of God 
made flesh, the second Adam, the new redeeming Head of the 
?!!ce/ a miracle was to be expected in His earthly origin ; with- 
" out a miracle such a Person could never have been. Why then 
cavil at the narratives which declare the fact of such a miracle? 
Who does not see that the Gospel history would have been in- 
complete without them? Inspiration here only gives to faith 
what faith on its own grounds imperatively demands for its 
perfect satisfaction. 


It is time now to come to the Scripture itself, and to look 
at the fact of the Virgin birth in its historical setting, and its 
relation with other truths of the Gospel. As preceding the 

The Virgin Birth of Christ. 11 

examination of the historical evidence, a little may be said, 
first, on the Old Testament preparation. Was there any such 
preparation? Some would say there was not, but this is not 
God's way, and we may look with confidence for at least some 
indications which point in the direction of the New Testament 


One's mind turns first to that oldest of all evangelical prom- 
ises, that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the 
serpent. "I will put enmity," says Jehovah to the serpent- 
tempter, "between thee and the woman, and between thy seed 
and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise 
his heel" (Genesis 3:15. R. V.). It is a forceless weaken-' 
ing of this first word of Gospel in the Bible to explain it of a 
lasting feud between the race of men and the brood of ser- 
pents. The serpent, as even Dr. Driver attests, is "the repre- 
sentative of the power of evil" in later Scripture, "he that 
is called the Devil and Satan" (Rev. 12:9) and the defeat 
he sustains from the woman's seed is a moral and spiritual 
victory. The "seed" who should destroy him is described em- 
phatically as the woman's seed. It was the woman through 
whom sin had entered the race; by the seed of the woman 
would salvation come. The early church writers often pressed 
this analogy between Eve and the Virgin Mary. We may re- 
ject any element of over-exaltation of Mary they cdrinecM, 
with it, but it remains significant that this peculiar phrase 
should be chosen to designate the future deliverer. I cannot .. 
believe the choice to be of accident. The promise to Abraham 
was that in his seed the families of the earth would be blessed ; 
there the male is emphasized, but here it is the woman the 
woman distinctively. There is, perhaps, as good scholars have 
thought, an allusion to this promise in 1 Timothy 2:15, where, 
with allusion to Adam and Eve, it is said, "But she shall be 
saved through her (or the) child-bearing" (R. V.). 

12 The Fundamentals. 


The idea of the Messiah, gradually gathering to itself the 
attributes of a divine King, reaches one of its clearest ex- 
pressions in the great Immamiel prophecy, extending from 
Isaiah 7 to 9 :7, and centering in the declaration : "The Lord 
Himself will give you [the unbelieving Ahaz] a sign ; behold, 
a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name 
Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14; Cf. 8:8, 10). This is none other than 
the child of wonder extolled in chapter 9:6, 7: "For unto us 
a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government 
shall be upon his shoulder ; and his name shall be called Won- 
derfulj-Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, 
[Father of Eternity], The Prince of Peace. Of the increase 
of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the 
throne of David, and upon his kingdom," etc. This is the 
prophecy quoted as fulfilled in Christ's birth in Matt. 1 :23, 
and it seems also alluded to in the glowing promises .to Mary 
in Luke 1:32, 33. It is pointed out in objection that the term 
rendered "virgin" in Isaiah does not necessarily bear this 
meaning ; it denotes properly only a young unmarried woman. 
The context, however, seems clearly to lay an emphasis on 
the unmarried state, and the translators of the Greek version 
of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) plainly so understood 
it when they rendered it by parthenos, a word which does 
lucan "virgin." The tendency in many quarters now is to ad- 
mit this (Dr. Cheyne, etc.), and even to seek an explanation 
of it in alleged Babylonian beliefs in a virgin-birth. This last, 
however, is quite illusory. 1 It is, on the other hand, singular 
that the Jews themselves do not seem to have applied this 
prophecy at any time to the Messiah -a fact which disproves 
the theory that it was this text which suggested the story of a 
Virgin birth to the early disciples. 

1 For the evidence, see my volume on "The Virgin Birth," Lecture 

The Virgin Birth of Christ. 13 


It was, indeed, when one thinks of it, only on the supposi- 
tion that there was to be something exceptional and extraor- 
dinary in the birth of this child called Immanuel that it could 
have afforded to Ahaz a sign of the perpetuity of the throne 
of David on the scale of magnitude proposed ("Ask it either 
in the depth, or in the height above." Ve.r. 10). We look, 
therefore, with interest to see if there are any echoes or sug- 
gestions of the idea of this passage in other prophetic scrip- 
tures. They are naturally not many, but they do not seem to 
be altogether wanting. There is, first, the remarkable Beth- 
lehem prophecy in Micah 5 :2, 3 also quoted as fulfilled in 
the nativity (Matt. 2:5, 6) connected with the saying: 
"Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she who 
travaileth hath brought forth" ("The King from Bethlehem," 
says Delitzsch, "who has a nameless one as mother, and of 
whose father there is no mention"). Micah was Isaiah's con- 
temporary, and when the close relation between the two is con- 
sidered (Cf. Isa. 2:2-4, with Micah 4:1-3), it is difficult not 
to recognize in his oracle an expansion of Isaiah's. In the 
same line would seem to lie the enigmatic utterance in Jer. 
31 :22: "For Jehovah hath created a new thing in the earth: 
a woman shall encompass a man" (thus Delitzsch, etc.). 


The germs, now indicated in phophetic scriptures had ap- 
parently borne no fruit in Jewish expectations of the Messiah, 
when the event took place which to Christian minds made them 
luminous with predictive import. In Bethlehem of Judea, as 
Micah had foretold, was born of a virgin mother He whose 
"goings forth" were "from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 
5:2; Matt. 2:6). Matthew, who quotes the first part of the 
verse, can hardly have been ignorant of the hint of pre-exist- 
ence it contained. This brings us to the testimony to the 
miraculous birth of Christ in our first and third Gospels the 

14 The Fundamentals. 

only Gospels which record the circumstances of Christ's birth 
at all. By general consent the narratives in Matthew (chap- 
ters 1, 2) and in Luke (chapters 1, 2) are independent that 
is, they are not derived one from the other yet they both 
affirm, in detailed story, that Jesus, conceived by the power 
of the Holy Spirit, was born of a pure virgin, Mary of Nazar- 
eth, espoused to Joseph, whose wife she afterwards became. 
The birth took place at Bethlehem, whither Joseph and Mary 
had gone for enrollment in a census that was being taken. The 
announcement was made to Mary beforehand by an angel, and 
the birth was preceded, attended, and followed by remarkable 
events that are narrated (birth of the Baptist, with annuncia- 
tions, angelic vision to the shepherds, visit of wise men from 
the east, etc.). The narratives should be carefully read at 
length to understand the comments that follow. 


There is no doubt, therefore, about the testimony to the 
Virgin birth, and the question which now' arises is What is 
the value of these parts of the Gospels as evidence ? Are they 
genuine parts of the Gospels? Or are they late and untrust- 
worthy additions ? From what sources may they be presumed 
to be derived? It is on the truth of the narratives that our 
belief in the Virgin birth depends. Can they be trusted? Or 
are they mere fables, inventions, legends, to which no credil 
can be attached? 

The answer to several of these questions can be given in very 
brief form. The narratives :of the nativity in Matthew and Luke 
are undoubtedly genuine parts of their respective Gospels. 
They have been there since ever the Gospels themselves had 
an existence. The proof of this is convincing. The chapters 
in question are found in every manuscript and version of the 
Gospels known to exist. There are hundreds of manuscripts, 
some of them very old, belonging to different parts of the 
world, and many versions in different languages (Latin, Syriac, 

The Virgin Birth of Christ. 15 

Egyptian, etc.), but these narratives of the Virgin birth are 
found in all. We know, indeed, that a section of the early 
Jewish Christians the Ebionites, as they are commonly called 
possessed a Gospel based on Matthew from which the chap- 
ters on the nativity were absent. But this was not the real 
Gospel of Matthew: it was at best a mutilated and corrupted 
form of it. The genuine Gospel, as the manuscripts attest, 
always had these chapters. 

Next, as to the Gospels themselves, they were not of late 
and non-apostolic origin; but were written by apostolic men, 
and were from the first accepted and circulated in the church 
as trustworthy embodiments of sound apostolic tradition. 
Luke's Gospel was from Luke's own pen its genuineness has 
recently received a powerful vindication from Prof. Harnack, 
of Berlin and Matthew's Gospel, while some dubiety still 
rests on its original language (Aramaic or Greek), passed 
without challenge in the early church as the genuine Gospel 
of the Apostle Matthew. Criticism has more recently raised 
the question whether it is only the "groundwork" of the dis- 
courses (the "Logia") that comes directly from Matthew. 
However this may be settled, it is certain that the Gospel in 
its Greek form always passed as Matthew's. It must, there- 
fore, if not written by him, have had his immediate authority. 
The narratives come to us, accordingly, with high apostolic 
sanction. .. 


As to the sources of the narratives, not a little can be 
gleaned from the study of their internal character. Here two 
facts reveal themselves. The first is that the narrative of- Luke 
is based on some old, archaic, highly original Aramaic writing. 
Its Aramaic character gleams through its every part. In 
style, tone, conception, it is highly primitive emanates, appar- 
ently, from that circle of devout people in Jerusalem to whom 
its own pages introduce us (Luke 2 :25, 36-38). It has, there- 

16 The Fundamentals. 

fore, the highest claim 'to credit. The second fact is even 
more important. A perusal of the narratives shows clearly 
what might have been expected that the information they 
convey was derived from no lower source than Joseph and 
Mary themselves. This is a marked feature of contrast in the 
narratives that Matthew's narrative is all told from Joseph's 
point of view, and Luke's is all told from Mary's. The signs 
of this are unmistakable. Matthew tells about Joseph's diffi- 
culties and action, and says little, or nothing about Mary's 
thoughts and feelings. Luke tells much about Mary even 
her inmost thoughts but says next to nothing directly about 
Joseph. The narratives, in short, are not, as some would have 
it, contradictory, but are independent and complementary. The 
one supplements and completes the other. Both together are 
needed to give the whole story. They bear in themselves the 
stamp "of truth, honesty, and purity, and are worthy of all 
acceptation, as they were evidently held to be in the early 


Against the acceptance of these early, well-attested narra- 
tives, what, now, have the objectors to allege? I pass by the 


attempts to show, by- critical elimination (expurging Luke 
1:35, and some other clauses), that Luke's narrative was not 
a narrative of a Virgin birth at all. This is a vain attempt 
in face of the testimony of manuscript authorities. Neither 
need I dwell on the alleged "discrepancies" in the genealogies 
and narratives. These are not serious, when the independence 
and different standpoints of the narratives are acknowledged. 
The genealogies, tracing the descent of Christ from David 
along different lines, present problems which exercise the 
minds of scholars, but they do not touch the central fact of th- 
belief of both Evangelists in the birth of Jesus from a vir- 
gin. Even in a Syriac manuscript which contains the certainly 
wrong reading, "J ose ph begat Jesus/' the narrative goes on, 

The Virgin Birth of Christ. 17 

as usual, to recount the Virgin birth. It is not a contradiction, 
if Matthew is silent on the earlier residence in Nazareth, which 
Luke's object led him fully to describe. 


The objection on which most stress is laid (apart from 
what is called the evidently "mythical" character of the narra- 
tives) is the silence on the Virgin birth in the remaining Gos- 
pels, and other parts of the New Testament. This, it is held, 
conclusively proves that the Virgin birth was not known in 
the earliest Christian circles, and was a legend of later origin. 
As respects the Gospels Mark and John the objection would 
only apply, if it was the design of these Gospels to narrate, as 
the others do, the circumstances of the nativity. But this was 
'evidently not their design. Both Mark and John knew that 
Jesus had a human birth an infancy and early life and that 
His mother was called Mary, but of deliberate purpose they 
tell us nothing about it. Mark begins his Gospel with Christ's 
entrance on His public ministry, and says nothing of the period 
before, especially of how Jesus came to be called "the Son of 
God" (Mark 1:1). John traces the divine descent of Jesus, 
and tells us that the "Word became flesh" (John 1 :14) ; but 
how this miracle of becoming flesh was wrought he does not 
say. It did not lie within his plan. He knew the church tradi- 
tion on the subject : he had the Gospels narrating the birth of 
Jesus from the Virgin in his hands : and he takes the knowl- 
edge of their teaching for granted. To speak of contradiction 
in a case like this is out of the question. 


How far Paul was acquainted with the facts of Christ's 
^arthly origin it is not easy to say. To a certain extent these 
facts would always be regarded as among the privacies of the 
innermost Christian circles so long at least as Mary lived- 
and the details may not have been fully known till the Gospels 

18 The Fundamentals. 

were published. Paul admittedly did n6t base his preaching 
of his Gospel on these private, interior matters, but on the 
broad, public facts of Christ's ministry, death, and resurrec- 
tion. It would be going too far, however, to infer from this 
that Paul had no knowledge of the miracle of Christ's birth. 
Luke was Paul's companion, and doubtless ' shared with Paul 
all the knowledge which he himself had gathered on this and 
other subjects. One thing certain is, that Paul could not have 
believed in the divine dignity, the pre-existence, the sinless 
perfection, and redeeming headship, of Jesus as he did, and 
not have been convince/! that His entrance into humanity was 
no ordinary event of nature, but implied an unparalleled 
miracle of some kind. This Son of God, who "emptied" Him- 
self, who was "born of a woman, born under the law," who 
"knew no sin" (Phil. 2:7, 8; Gal. 4:4; 2 Cor. 5:21), was not, 
and could not be, a simple product of nature. God must have 
wrought creatively in His human origin. The Virgin birth 
would be to Paul the most reasonable and credible of events. 
So also to John, who held the same high view of Christ's 
dignity and holiness. 



It is sometimes argued that a Virgin birth is no aid to the 
explanation of Christ's sinlessness. Mary being herself sinful 
in nature, it is held the taint of corruption would be conveyed 
by one parent as really as by two. It is overlooked that the 
whole fact is not expressed by saying that Jesus was born 
of a virgin mother. There is the other factor "conceived 
by the Holy Ghost." What happened was a divine, creative 
miracle wrought in the production of this new humanity which 
secured, from its earliest germinal beginnings, freedom from 
the slightest taint of sin. Paternal generation in such an origin 
is superfluous. The birth of Jesus was not, as in ordinary 
births, the creation of a new personality. It was a divine Per- 
son already existing entering on this new mode exist- 

The Virgin Birth of Christ. 19 

ence. Miracle could alone effect such a wonder. Because His 
human nature had this miraculous origin Christ was the "holy" 
One from the commencement (Luke 1:35). Sinless He was, 
as His whole life demonstrated ; but when, in all time, did 
natural generation give birth to a sinless personality ? 


The history of the early church is occasionally appealed to 
in witness that the doctrine of the Virgin birth was not primi- 
tive. No assertion could be more futile. The early, church, so 
far as we can trace it back, in all its branches, held this doc- 
trine. No Christian sect is known that denied it, save the Jew- 
ish Ebionites formerly alluded to. The general body of the 
Jewish Christians the Nazarenes as they are called accepted 
it. Even the greater Gnostic sects in their own way admitted 
it. Those Gnostics who denied it were repelled with all the 
force of the church's greatest teachers. The Apostle John is 
related to have vehemently opposed Cerinthus, the earliest 
teacher with whom this denial is connected. 


What more remains to be said? It would be waste of space 
to follow the objectors into their various theories of a mythical 
origin of this belief. One by one the speculations advanced 
have broken down, and given place to others all equally base- 
less. The newest of the theories seeks an origin of the belief 
in ancient Babylonia, and supposes the Jews to have possessed 
the notion in pre-Christian times. This is not only opposed to 
all real evidence, but is the giving up of the contention that 
the idea had its origin in late Christian circles, and was un- 
known to earlier apostles. 


Doctrinally, it must be repeated that the belief in the Vir- 
gin birth of Christ is of the highest value for the right appre- 
hension f Christ's unique and sinless personality. Here is 

20 The Fundamentals. 

One, as Paul brings out in Romans 5 :12 ff., who, free from sin 
Himself, and not involved in the Adamic liabilities of the race, 
reverses the curse of sin and death brought in by the first 
Adam, and establishes the reign of righteousness and life. 
Had Christ been naturally born, not one of these things could 
"be affirmed of Him, As one of Adam's race, not an entrant 
from a higher sphere, He would have shared in Adam's cor- 
ruption and doom would Himself have required to be re- 
" deemed. Through God's infinite mercy, He came from above, 
inherited no guilt, needed no regeneration or sanctification, 
but became Himself the Redeemer, Regenerator, Sanctifier, 
for all who receive Him. "Thanks be unto God for His un- 
speakable gift" (2 Cor. 9;15). 




A recent writer has remarked that our assured conviction 
of the deity of Christ rests, not upon "proof-texts or passages, 
nor upon old arguments drawn from these, but upon the general " 
fact of the whole manifestation of Jesus Christ, and of the whole 
impression left by Him upon the world." The antithesis is 
too absolute, and possibly betrays an unwarranted distrust of 
the evidence of Scripture. To make it just, we should read 
the statement rather thus : Our conviction of the deity of 
Christ rests not alone on the scriptural passages which assert 
it, but also on His entire impression on the world ; or perhaps 
thus : Our conviction rests not more on the scriptural asser- 
tions than upon His entire manifestation. Both lines of evi- 
dence are valid; and when twisted together form an unbreak- 
able cord. The proof-texts and passages do prove that Jesus 
was esteemed divine by those who companied with Him ; that 
He esteemed Himself divine ; that He was recognized as divine 
by those who were taught by the Spirit; that, in fine, He was 
divine. Bat over and above this Biblical evidence the impres- 
sion Jesus has left upon the world bears independent testimony 
to His deity, and it may well be that to many minds this will 
seem the most conclusive of all its evidences. It certainly is 
very cogent and impressive. 


The justification which the author we have just quoted 
gives of his neglecting the scriptural evidence in favor of that 
borne by Jesus' impression on the world is also open to criti- 
cism. "Jesus Christ," he tells us, "is one of those essential 


22 The Fundamentals. 

truths which are too great to be proved, like God, or freedom, 
or immortality." Such things rest, it seems, not on proofs 
but on experience. We need not stop to point out that this 
experience is itself a proof. We wish rather to point out that 
some confusion seems to have been fallen into here between 
our ability to marshal the proof by which we are convinced 
and our accessibility to its force. It is quite true that "the 
most essential conclusions of the human mind are much wider 
and stronger than the arguments by which they are sup- 
ported;" that the proofs "are always changing but the beliefs 
persist." But this is not because the conclusions in question 
rest on no sound proofs; but because we have not had the 
skill to adduce, in our argumentative presentations of them, the 
really fundamental proofs on which they rest. 


A man recognizes on sight the face of his friend, or his 
own handwriting. Ask him how he knows this face to be that 
of his friend, or this handwriting to be his own, and he is 
dumb, or, seeking to reply, babbles nonsense. Yet his recog- 
nition rests on solid grounds, though he lacks analytical skill 
to isolate and state these solid grounds. We believe in God 
and freedom and immortality on good grounds, though we 
may not be able satisfactorily to analyse these grounds. No 
true conviction exists without adequate rational grounding in 
evidence. So, if we are solidly assured of the deity of Christ, 
it will be on adequate grounds, appealing to the reason. But 
it may well be on grounds not analysed, perhaps not analysable, 
by us, so as to exhibit themselves in the forms of formal logic. 

We do not need to wait to analyse the grounds of our 
convictions before they operate to produce convictions, any 
more than we need to wait to analyse our food before it nour- 
ishes us ; and we can soundly believe on evidence much mixed 
with error, just as we can thrive on food far from pure. The 
alchemy of the mind, as of the digestive tract, knows how to 

The Deity of Christ. 23 

separate out from the mass what it requires for its support ; 
and as we may live without any knowledge of chemistry, so 
we may possess earnest convictions, solidly founded in right 
reason, without the slightest knowledge of logic. The Chris- 
tian's conviction of the deity of his Lord does not depend for 
its soundness on the Christian's ability convincingly to state 
the grounds of his conviction. The evidence he offers for it 
may be wholly inadequate, while the evidence on which it 
rests may be absolutely compelling. 


The very abundance and persuasiveness of the evidence of 
the deity of Christ greatly increases the difficulty of adequately 
stating it. This is true even of the scriptural evidence, as pre- 
cise and definite as much of it is. For it is a true remark of 
Dr. Dale's that the particular texts in which it is definitely 
asserted are far from the whole, or even the most im- 
pressive, proofs which the Scriptures supply of our Lord's 
deity. He compares these texts to the salt-crystals which 
appear on the sand of the sea-beach after the tide has receded. 
'These are not," he remarks, "the strongest, though they may 
be the most apparent, proofs. that the sea is salt; the salt is 
present in solution in every bucket of sea-water." The deity 
of Christ is in solution in every page of the New Testament. 
Every word that is spoken of Him, every word which He is 
reported to have spoken of Himself, is spoken on the assump- 
tion that He is God. And that is the reason why the "criti- 
cism" which addresses itself to eliminating the testimony of 
the New Testament to the deity of our Lord has set itself a 
hopeless task. The New Testament itself would have to be 
eliminated. Nor can we get behind this testimony. Because 
the deity of Christ is the presupposition of every word of the 
New Testament, it is impossible to select words out of the 
New Testament from which to construct earlier documents in 
which the deity of Christ shall not be assumed. The assured 

24 The Fundamentals. 

conviction of the deity of Christ is coeval with Christianity it- 
self. There never was a Christianity, neither in the times of 
the Apostles nor since, of which this was not a prime tenet. 


Let us observe in an example or two how thoroughly satu- 
rated the Gospel narrative is with the assumption of the deity 
of Christ, so that it crops out in the most unexpected ways and 

In three passages of Matthew, reporting words of Jesus, 
He is represented as speaking familiarly and in the most 
natural manner in the world, of "His angels" (13:41; 16:27; 
24:31). In all three He designates Himself as the "Son of 
man"; and in all three there are additional suggestions of His 
majesty. "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and 
they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause 
stumbling and those that do iniquity, and shall cast them into 
the furnace of fire." 

Who is this Son of man who has angels, by whose instru- 
mentality the final judgment is executed at His command? 
"The Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with 
His angels ; and then shall He reward every man according to 
his deeds." Who is this Son of man surrounded by His an- 
gels, in whose hands are the issues of life ? The Son of man 
"shall send forth His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, 
and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, 
from one end of heaven to the other." Who is this Son of 
man at whose behest His angels winnow men? A scrutiny 
of the passages will show that it is not a peculiar body of 
angels which is meant by the Son of man's angels, but just 
the angels as a body, who are .His to serve Him as He com- 
mands. In a word, Jesus Christ is above angels (Mark 13 :32) 
as is argued at explicit length at the beginning of the Epistle 
to the Hebrews. "To which of the angels said he at any time, 
Sit on my right hand, etc." (Heb. 1 :13). 

The Deity of Christ. 25 


There are three parables recorded in .the fifteenth chapter 
of Luke as spoken by our Lord in His defence against the 
murmurs of the Pharisees at His receiving sinners and eating 
with them. The essence of the defence which our Lord offers 
for Himself is y that there is joy in heaven over repentant sin- 
ners! Why "in heaven," "before the throne of God"? Is He 
merely setting the judgment of heaven over against that of 
earth, or pointing forward to His future vindication? By no 
means. He is representing His action in receiving sinners, in 
seeking the lost, as His proper action, because it is the normal 
conduct of heaven, manifested in Him. He is heaven come 
to earth. His defence is thus simply the unveiling of what the 
real nature of the transaction is. The lost when they come to 
Him are received because this is heaven's way ; and He can- 
not act otherwise than in heaven's way. He tacitly assumes 
the good Shepherd's part as His own. 


All the great designations are not so much asserted as. as- 
sumed by Him for Himself. He does not call Himself a 
prophet, though He accepts this designation from others: He 
places Himself above all the prophets, even above John the 
greatest of the prophets, as Him to whom all the prophets 
look forward. If He calls Himself Messiah, He fills that term, 
by doing so, with a deeper significance, dwelling ever on the 
unique relation of Messiah to God as His representative and 
His Son. Nor is He satisfied to represent Himself merely as 
standing in a unique relation to God : He proclaims Himself 
to be the recipient of the divine fullness, the sharer in all that 
God has (Matt. 11:28). He speaks freely of Himself indeed 
as God's Other, the manifestation' of God on earth, whom to 
have seen was to have seen the Father also, and who does the 
work of God on earth. He openly claims divine prerogatives 

26 Vhe Fundamentals 

the reading of the heart of man, the forgiveness of sins, the 
exercise of all authority in heaven and earth. Indeed, all that 
God has and is He asserts Himself to have and be; omnipo- 
tence, omniscience, perfection belong as to the one so to the 
other. Not only does He perform all divine acts; His self- 
consciousness coalesces with the divine consciousness. If His 
followers lagged in recognizing His deity, this was not be- 
cause He was not <God or did not sufficiently manifest His 
deity. It was because they were foolish and slow of heart to 
believe what lay patently before their eyes. 


The Scriptures give us evidence enough, then, that Christ 
is God. But the Scriptures are far from giving 1 us all the 
evidence we have. There is, for example, the revolution which 
Christ has wrought in the world. If, indeed, it were asked 
what the most convincing proof of the deity of Christ is, per- 
haps the best answer would be, just Christianity. The new 
life He has brought into the world; the new creation which 
He has produced by His life and work in the world ; here are 
at least His most palpable credentials. 

Take it objectively. Read such a book as Harnack's "The 
Expansion of Christianity," or such an one as Von Dobschutz's 
"Christian Life in the Primitive Church" neither of which 
allows the deity of Christ and then ask, Could these things 
have been wrought by power less than divine? And then re- 
member that these things were not only wrought in that 
heathen world two thousand years ago, but have been wrought 
over again every generation since ; for Christianity has re- 
conquered the world to itself each generation. Think of. how 
the Christian proclamation spread, eating its way over the 
world like fire in the grass of a prairie. Think how, as it 
spread, it transformed lives. The thing, whether in its objec- 
tive or in its subjective aspect, were incredible, had it not 
actually occurred. "Should a voyager," says Charles Darwin, 

The Deity of Christ. 27 

"chance to be on the point of shipwreck on some unknown 
coast, he will most devoutly pray that the lesson of the mis- 
sionary may have reached thus far. The lesson of the mis- 
sionary is the enchanter's wand." Could this transforming in- 
fluence, undiminished after two millenniums, have proceeded 
from a mere man? It is historically impossible that the great 
movement which we call Christianity, which remains unspent 
after all these years, could have originated in a merely human 
impulse; or could represent today the working of a merely 
human force. 


Or take it subjectively. Every Christian has within him- 
self the proof of the transforming power of Christ, and can 
repeat the blind man's syllogism: Why herein is the marvel 
that ye know not whence He is, and yet He opened my eyes. 
"Spirits are not touched to fine issues who are not finely 
touched." "Shall we trust," demands an eloquent reasoner, 
"the touch of our fingers, the sight of our eyes, the hearing 
of our ears, and not trust our deepest consciousness of our 
higher nature the answer of conscience, the flower of spirit- 
ual gladness, the glow of spiritual love ? To deny that spiritual 
experience is as real as physical experience is to slander the 
noblest faculties of our nature. It is to say that one half of 
our nature tells the truth, and the other half utters lies. The 
proposition that facts in the spiritual region are less real than 
facts in the physical realm contradicts all philosophy." The 
transformed hearts of Christians, registering themselves "in 
gentle tempers, in noble motives, in lives visibly lived under 
the empire of great aspirations" these are the ever-present 
proofs of the divinity of the Person from whom their inspira- 
tion is drawn. 

The supreme proof to every Christian of the deity of his 
Lord is then his own inner experience of the transforming 
power of his Lord upon the heart and life. Not more sorely 

28 The Fundamentals. 

does he who feels the present warmth of the sun know that the 
sun exists, than he who has experienced the re-creative power 
of the Lord know Him to be his Lord and his God. Here 
is, perhaps we may say the proper, certainly we must say the 
most convincing, proof to every Christian of the deity of 
Christ ; a proof which he cannot escape, and to which, whether 
he is capable of analysing it or drawing it out in logical state- 
ment or not, he cannot fail to yield his sincere and unassailable 
conviction. Whatever else he may or may not be assured of, 
he knows that his Redeemer lives. Because He lives, we shall 
live also that was the Lord's own assurance. Because we 
live, He lives also that is the ineradicable conviction of every 
Christian heart. 





The title of this meditation marks its limitation, and indi- 
cates its scope. 

Here is no attempt at defense of the statement of the New 
Testament that "the Word was made flesh." That is taken for 
granted as true 

Moreover, here is no attempt to explain the method of the 
Holy Mystery. That is recognized as Mystery : a fact revealed 
which is yet beyond human comprehension or explanation. 

The scope is that of considering in broad outline the plain 
teaching of the New Testament as to .the purposes of the 

Its final limitation is that of its brevity. If, however, it 
serve to arouse a deeper sense of the wonder of the great 
central fact of our common Faith, and thus to inspire further 
meditation, its object will be gained. 


The whole teaching of Holy Scripture places the- Incarna- 
tion at the center of the methods of God with a sinning race. 

Toward that Incarnation everything moved until its accom- 
plishment, finding therein fulfillment and explantion. The 
messages of the prophets and seers and the songs of the psalm- 
ists trembled with more or less certainty toward the final music 
which announced the coming of Christ. All the results also 
of these partial and broken messages of the past led toward 
the Incarnation. 


30 The Fundamentals. 

It is equally true that from that Incarnation all subse- . 
quent movements have proceeded, depending upon it for direc- 
tion and dynamic. The Gospel stories are all concerned with 
the coming of Christ, with His 'mission and His message. The 
letters of the New Testament have all to do with the fact of the 
Incarnation, and its correlated doctrines and duties. The last 
book of the Bible is a book, the true title of which is The 
Unveiling of the Christ. 

Not only the actual messages which have been bound up 
in this one Divine Library, but all the results issuing from 
them, are finally results issuing from this self-same coming of 
Christ. It is surely important, therefore, that we should un- 
derstand its purposes in the economy of God. 

There is a fourfold statement of purpose declared in the 
New Testament : the purpose to reveal the Father ; the purpose 
to put away sin ; the purpose to destroy the works of the devil ; 
and the purpose to establish by another advent the Kingdom 
of God in the world. 

Christ was in conflict with all that was contrary to the pur- 
poses of God in individual, social, national, and racial life. 
There is a sense in which when we have said this we have 
stated the whole meaning of His coming. His revelation of 
the Father was toward this end ; His putting away of sin was 
part of this very process; and His second advent will be for 
the complete and final overthrow of all the works of the deviL 

/. To Reveal the Father. 

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten 
Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared 
him" (John 1:18). 

"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). 

This latter is Christ's own statement of truth in this regard, 
and is characterized by simplicity and sublimity. Among all 
the things Jesus said concerning His relationship to the Father, 
none is more comprehensive, inclusive, exhaustive, than this. 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 31 

The last hours of Jesus with His disciples were passing 
away. He was talking to them, and four times over they 
interrupted him. Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father, and 
it sufficeth us". Philip's interruption was due, in the first 
place, to a conviction of Christ's relation in some way to the 
Father. He had been so long with Jesus as to become familiar 
in some senses with His line of thought. In all probability 
Philip was asking that there should be repeated to him and 
the little group of disciples some such wonderful thing as they 
had read of in the past of their people's history ; as when the 
elders once ascended the mountain and saw God; or when 
the prophet saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and 
lifted up, and His train filled the temple ; or when Ezekiel saw 
God in fire, and wheels; in majesty and glory. 

I cannot read the answer of Jesus to that request without 
feeling that He divested Himself, of set purpose, of anything 
that approached stateliness of diction, and dropped into the 
common speech of friend to friend, as, looking back into 
the face of Philip, who was voicing, though he little knew it, 
the great anguish of the human heart, the great hunger of the 
human soul, He said, "Have I been so long time with you, 
and dost thou not know me, Philip? He that hath seen me 
hath seen the Father". That claim has been vindicated in 
the passing of the centuries. 


We will, therefore, consider first, what this revelation of 
God has meant to the race; and secondly, what it has meant to 
the individual. 

First, then, what conception of God had the race before 
Christ came ? Taking the Hebrew thought of God, let me put 
the whole truth as I see it into one comprehensive statement. 
Prior to the Incarnation there had been a growing intellectual 
apprehension of truth concerning God, accompanied by a 
diminishing moral result. It is impossible to study the Old 

32 The Fundamentals. 

Testament without seeing that there gradually broke through 
the mists a clearer light concerning God. The fact of the 
unity of God; the fact of the might of God; the fact of the 
holiness of God; the fact of the beneficence of God; these 
things men had come to see through the process of the ages. 

Yet side by side with this growing intellectual apprehension 
of God there was diminishing moral result, for it is impossible 
to read the story of the ancient Hebrew people without seeing 
how they waxed worse and worse in all matters moral. The 
moral life of Abraham was far purer than life in the time of 
the kings. Life in the early time of the kings was far purer 
than the conditions which the prophets ultimately described. 
In proportion as men grew in their intellectual conception of 
God, it seemed increasingly unthinkable that He could be inter- 
ested in their every-day life. Morality became something not 
of intimate relationship to Him, and therefore something that 
mattered far less. 

Think of the great Gentile world, as it then was, and as it 
still is, save where the message of the Evangel has reached it. 
We have had such remarkable teachers as Zoroaster, Buddha, 
Confucius ; men speaking many true things, flashing with light, 
but notwithstanding these things a perpetual failure in morals 
and a uniform degradation of religion has been universal. The 
failure has ever been due to a lack of final knowledge concern- 
ing God. 

At last there came the song of the angels, and the birth 
of the Son of God, through Whose Incarnation and ministry 
there came to men a new consciousness of God. 

He included in His teaching and manifestation all the essen- 
tial things which men had learned in the long ages of the past. 
He did not deny the truth of the unity of God ; He re-empha- 
sized it. He did not deny the might of God ; He declared it 
and manifested it in many a gentle touch of infinite power. 
He did not deny the holiness of God; He insisted upon it in 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 33 

teaching and life, and at last by the mystery of dying. He 
did not deny the beneficence of God; He changed the cold 
word beneficence into the word throbbing with the infinite 
heart of Deity Love. He did more. That which men had 
imperfectly expressed in song and prophecy He came to state 
"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" not Elohim, not 
Jehovah, not Adonai; none of the great names of the past, 
although all of them are suggestive. In and through Him 
that truth of the Fatherhood was revealed. 

Fatherhood means a great deal more than we sometimes 
imagine. It is not merely a term of tenderness; it is also a 
term of law and discipline. But fatherhood means supremely 
that if the child have wandered away, the father will suffer 
everything to save and bring it home again. Within the realm 
of revealed religion this truth emerged, that the one God, 
mighty, holy, beneficent, is the Father who will sacrifice Him- 
self to save the child. There man found the point of contact, 
in infinite love which never abandons him, never leaves him. 
That is the truth which, coming into revealed religion, saved it 
from being intellectual apprehension, minus moral dynamic, 
and sent running through all human life rivers of cleansing, 
renewal, regeneration. 

Wherever Christ comes to people who have never had direct 
revelation, He comes first of all as fulfillment of all that in 
their thought and scheme is true. He comes, morever, for the 
correction of all that in their thought and scheme is false. All 
the underlying consciousness of humanity concerning God is 
touched and answered and lifted into the supreme conscious- 
ness whenever God is seen in Christ. All the gleams of light 
which have been flashing across the consciousness of humanity 
merge into the essential light when He is presented. 

Christ comes not to contradict the essential truth of Bud- 
dhism, but to fulfill it. He comes not to rob the Chinaman of 
his regard for parents, as taught by Confucius, but to fulfill 

34 The Fundamentals. 

it, and to lift him upon that regard into regard for the One 
great Father, God. He comes always to fulfill. Wherever He 
has come ; wherever He has been presented ; wherever men low 
or high in the intellectual scale, have seen God in Christ, their 
hands have opened and they have dropped their fetishes, and 
their idols, and have yielded themselves to Him. If the world 
has not come to God through Him, it is because the world has 
not yet seen Him ; and if the world has not yet seen Him, the 
blame is upon the Christian Church. 

The wide issues of the manifestation of God in Christ 
are the union of intellectual apprehension and moral improve- 
ment, and the relation of religion to life. In no system of reli- 
gion in the world has there come to men the idea of God which 
unites religion with morals, save in this revelation of God in 
Jesus Christ. 


Secondly, the effect of the manifestation in relation to the 
individual. In illustration we cannot do better than by taking 
Philip, the man to whom Christ spoke. To Philip's request, 
"Show us the Father and it sufficeth us", Jesus said, "Have I 
been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, 
Philip ?" The evident sense of the question is, You have seen 
enough .of Me, Philip, if you have really seen Me, to have 
found what you are asking for a vision of God. 

What then had Philip seen? What revelations of Deity 
had come to this man who thought he had not seen and did 
not understand? We will adhere to what Scripture tells of 
what Philip had seen. 

All the story is in John. Philip is referred to by Matthew, 
Mark, and Luke, as being among the number of the apostles, 
but in no other way. John tells of four occasions when Philip 
is seen in union with Christ. Philip was the first man Jesus 
called to follow Him ; not the first man to follow Him. There 
were other two who preceded Philip, going after Christ in con- 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 35 

sequence of the teaching of John. But Philip was the first 
man to whom Christ used that great formula of calling men 
which has become so precious in the passing of the centuries 
"Follow me." What happened? "Philip findeth Nathanael, 
and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the 
law, and the prophets, wrote." That was the first thing that 
Philip had seen in Christ according to his own confession: 
One Who embodied all the ideals of Moses and the prophets. 

We find Thilip next in the sixth chapter, when the multi- 
tudes were about Christ, and they were hungry. Philip, who 
considered it impossible to feed the hungry multitude, now 
sees Someone Who in a mysterious way had resource enough 
to satisfy human hunger. Philip then listened while in match- 
less discourse Jesus lifted the thought from material hunger 
to spiritual need and declared, "I am the bread of life". So 
that the second vision Philip had of Jesus, according to the 
record, was a vision of Him, full of resource and able to satisfy 
hunger, both material and spiritual. 

We next see Philip in the twelfth chapter. The Greeks 
coming to him said, "Sir, we would see Jesus." Philip found 
his way with Andrew to Jesus, and asked Him to see the 
Greeks. Philip saw by what then took place that this Man 
had intimate relation with the Father, and that there was per- 
fect harmony between them, no conflict, no controversy. He 
saw, moreover, that upon the basis of that communion with 
His Father, and that perfect harmony, His voice changed from 
the tones of sorrow to those of triumph, "Now is the judg- 
ment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast 
out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all 
men unto myself." That was Philip's third vision of Jesus. 
It was the vision of One acting in perfect accord with God, 
bending to the sorrow that surged upon His soul, in order that 
through it He might accomplish human redemption. 

We now come back to the last scene. Philip said, "Show 

36 The Fundamentals. 

us the Father and it sufficeth us". Gathering up all the things 
of the past, Christ looked into the face of Philip and replied, 
"Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know 
me, Philip?" No, Philip had not seen these things. They 
were there to be seen, and by and by, the infinite work of 
Christ being accomplished, and the glory of Pentecost having 
dawned upon the world, Philip saw it all ; saw the meaning of 
the things he had seen, and had never seen ; the things he had 
looked upon, and had never understood. 

He found that having seen Jesus he had actually seen the 
Father; that when he looked upon One Who embodied in His 
own personality all the facts of law and righteousness; Who 
was able to satisfy all the hunger of humanity; Who in co- 
operation with God was sent to share the sorrows of humanity 
in order to draw men to Himself and to save them; he had 
seen God. 

This manifestation wins the submission of the reason; 
appeals to the love of the heart ; demands the surrender of the 
will. Here is the value of the Incarnation as revelation of 

Let us recall our thoughts for a moment from the particu- 
lar application in the case of Philip, and think what this means 
to us. Is it true that this manifestation wins the submission 
of our reason, appeals to the love of our heart, asks the sur- 
render of our will ? 

Then to refuse God in Christ is to violate at some essential 
point our own humanity. To refuse we must violate reason, 
which is captured by the revelation; or we must crush the 
emotion, which springs in our heart in the presence of the 
revelation ; or we must decline to submit our will to the de- 
mands which the manifestation makes. God grant that we may 
rather look into His face and say, "My Lord and my God" ! 
So shall we find our rest, and our hearts will be satisfied. It 
shall suffice, as we see the Father in Christ. 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 37 

//. To Take Away Sins. 

"Ye know that he was manifested to take away sins; and 
in him is no sin" (I. John 3:5). 

In this text we get nearer to an understanding of the pur- 
pose of the Incarnation as it touches our human need. The 
simple and all-inclusive theme which it suggests is, first, that 
the purpose of the Incarnation was the taking away of sins; 
and secondly, that the process of accomplishment is that of the 



First, then, we will take the purpose as declared, "He was 
manifested to take away sins". In order to understand this, 
we must take the terms in all their simplicity, and be very care- 
ful to find what they really mean. What is intended by this 
word "sins" ? The sum total of all lawless acts. The thought 
is incomprehensible as to numbers when we think of the race, 
but let us remember that in the midst of that which over- 
whelms us in our thinking are our own actual sins. 

"Sins" missings of the mark, whether wilful missings, or 
missings through ignorance, does not at present matter. The 
word includes all those thoughts and words and deeds in which 
we have missed the mark of the Divine purpose and the Divine 
ideal ; those things which stand between man and God, so that 
man becomes afraid of God ; those things which stand between 
man and his fellowmen, so that man becomes afraid of his fel- 
lowman, knowing that he has wronged him in some direction ; 
those things which stand between man and his own success. 
Call them failures if you will; call them by any name you 
please ; so that you understand the intention of the word. 

The phrase "to take away" is a statement of result, not a 
declaration of process. The Hebrew equivalent of the word 
"take away" is found in that familiar story of the scapegoat. 
It was provided that this animal should be driven away to the 
wilderness "unto a solitary land". This suggested that sins 

38 The Fundamentals. 

should be lifted from one and placed upon another, and by that 
one carried away out of experience, out of consciousness. 
That is the simple signification of this declaration, "He was 
manifested to bear sins" to lift sins. He was manifested in 
order that He might come into relationship with human life, 
and passing underneath the load of human sins, lift them, take 
them away. 

Either this is the most glorious Gospel that man has ever 
heard; or it is the greatest delusion to which man has ever 
listened. In the heart of every man and woman there is a 
consciousness of sin. No one of us would be prepared to say, 
I have never deliberately done the thing I knew I ought not to 
do. That is consciousness of sin. We may affect to excuse 
it. We may be ready to argue as to the reason for it, and the 
issue of it; but if we could, we would undo it. We may 
profess to have turned our back upon these evangelical truths, 
and yet we know we have sinned and we wish we had not. 

Passing for a moment from that outer fringe of men and 
women, who are somewhat careless about the matter, to the 
souls who are in agony concerning it ; who know their sin and 
loathe it ; who carry the consciousness of wrongs done in past 
years as a perpetual burden upon their souls; who hate the 
memory of their own sins, to such, a declaration like this is 
the most cruel word, or the kindest, that can be uttered. Cruel, 
if it be false; kind indeed, with the kindness of the heart of 
God, if it be true. If it be true that He was manifested some- 
how, in some mystery that we shall never perfectly understand, 
in order to get beneath my sins, wy sins, my thought of im- 
purity, my words of bitterness, my unholy deeds, and lift them 
and bear them away that is the one Evangel I long for more 
than all. More valuable to me, a sinner, than anything else 
that He can do for me, is this. 


Secondly, in order that this great purpose of the Incarna- 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 39 

tion, as declared, may be more powerfully and better under- 
stood, let us reverently turn to the indication of the process 
.which we have in this particular text, "He was manifested to 
take away sins". Who was the Person? It is perfectly evi- 
dent that John here, as always, has his eye fixed upon the 
Man of Nazareth ; and yet it is equally evident that he is look- 
ing through Jesus of Nazareth to God. That is the meaning 
of his word "manifested" here. He is the Word made flesh. 
He is flesh, but He is the Word. He is Someone that John 
had appreciated by the senses, and yet He is Someone Whom 
John knew pre-eminently by the Spirit. 

Notice, that after he makes the affirmation, "He was mani- 
fested to take away sins," he adds this great word, "In Him 
is no sin"; or, "Missing of the mark was not in Him". The 
One in Whom there was no missing of the mark was mani- 
fested for the express purpose of lifting, bearing away, making 
not to be, the missings of the mark of others. 

"He was manifested" and in the name of God let us not 
read into the "He" anything small or narrow. If we do, we 
shall at once be driven into the place of having to deny the 
declaration that He can take away sins. If He was man as I 
am man merely, then though He be perfect and sinless, He can- 
not take away sins. If into the "He" we will read all that 
John evidently meant according to the testimony of his own 
writing, we shall begin to see something of the stupendous idea, 
and something of the possibility at least of believing the dec- 
laration that "He was manifested to take away sins." 

Consider the manifestation and sins, as to riian. The terms 
of the final promise of the Incarnation were, "Thou shalt call 
His name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from 
their sins." When the songs to which the shepherds listened 
were heard, what said they ? "There is born to you this day 
. . . a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." The promise of 
the Incarnation was that of the coming of One to lift sins. 

40 The Fundamentals. 

During His life and ministry the words of Jesus were 
words revealing the meaning of sin ; words calculated to rebuke 
sin and to bring men away from sin. The works of Jesus 
and by works I mean miracles and signs and wonders were 
chiefly works overtaking the results of sin. The miracles of 
Jesus were not supernatural in their effect upon men; they 
were always restorations of tlie unnatural to natural positions. 
When He cured disease it was the restoration of man to the 
normal physical condition. He was taking away the results 
of sin. 

I come now to the final thing in this manifestation the 
process of the death ; for in that solemn and lonely and unap- 
proachable hour of the cross is the final fulfilment of the word 
of the herald on the banks of the Jordan, "Behold the Lamb 
of God, that taketh away the sin of the world !" That phrase, 
"The Lamb of God," could have but one significance in the 
ears of the men who heard it. This was the voice of a Hebrew 
prophet speaking to Hebrews, and when he spoke of the Lamb 
taking away sins, they had no alternative other than to think of 
the long line of symbolical sacrifices which had been offered, 
and which they had been taught shadowed forth some great 
mystery of Divine purpose whereby sin might be dealt with. 
So in the hour of His death we find the ultimate meaning of 
that great word. Whereas by manifestation, from first to last, 
He is for evermore dealing with sins and with sin, lifting, cor- 
recting, arresting, by gleams of light suggesting to men the 
deepest meaning of His mission; it is when we come to the 
hour of His unutterable loneliness, and deep darkness, and 
passion-baptism, that we have that part of the manifestation in 
which we see, as nowhere else, and as never before, the mean- 
ing of this text, "He was manifested to take away sins". 

Reverently let us take one step further. The manifesta- 
tion and sins, as to God. The manifested One was God. If 
that be once seen, then we shall for evermore look back upon 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 41 

that Man of Nazareth in His birth, His life, His cross, as but 
a manifestation. The whole fact cannot be seen, but the whole 
fact is brought to the point of visibility by the way of Incarna- 
tion. If indeed this One be very God manifested, then remem- 
ber this, the whole measure of humanity is in Him, and infin- 
itely more than the whole measure of humanity. Beyond the 
utmost bound of creation, God is. All creation, heaven and 
earth, suns and stars and systems, angels and archangels, prin- 
cipalities and powers, the hierarchies of whom we hear, but 
cannot perfectly explain their nature or their order, all these 
are in Him ; but He is infinitely beyond them all. 

I begin to wonder. In amazement I begin to believe in the 
possibility of lifting the burden of my sin. The cross, like 
everything else, was manifestation. In the cross of Jesus there 
was the working out into visibility of eternal things. Love and 
light were wrought out into visibility by the cross. Love and 
light in the presence of the conditions of sin became sorrow 
and became joy ! In the cross I see the sorrow of God, and in 
the cross I see the joy of God, for "it pleased the Lord to 
bruise him." In the cross I see the love of God working out 
through passion and power for the redemption of man. In 
the cross I see the light of God refusing to make any terms 
with iniquity and sin and evil. The cross is the historic reve- 
lation of the abiding facts within the heart of God. The 
measure of the cross is God. If all the measure of humanity 
is in God and He is more, and the measure of the cross is 
God, then the measure of the cross wraps humanity about, so 
that no one individual is outside its meaning and its power. 
He Who was manifested is God. He can gather into His eter- 
nal life all the race as to its sorrow and as to its sin, and 
bear it. 

Yet remember this, It was not by the eternal facts that sins 
were taken away, but by the manifestation of those facts. 
This text does not affirm, and there is no text that begins to 

42 The Fundamentals. 

affirm, that He before He was manifested, takes away sins. 
There is a sense in which that is true; but "He was mani- 
fested to take away sins". The passion revealed in the cross 
was indeed the passion of God, but the passion of God be- 
came dynamic in human life when it became manifest through 
human form, in the perfection of a life, and the mystery of a 

Man's will is the factor always to be dealt with, and 
whereas the sin of man was gathered into the consciousness 
of God, and created the sorrow of God from the very begin- 
ning, it is only when that fact of the sorrow of Godhead is 
wrought out into visibility by manifestation, that the will of 
man can ever be captured or ever constrained to the position 
of trust and obedience which is necessary for his practical and 
effectual restoration to righteousness. Wherever man thus 
yields himself, trusting that is the condition his sins are 
taken away, lifted. 

If it be declared that God might have wrought this self- 
same deliverance without suffering, our answer is that the man 
who says so knows nothing about sin. Sin and suffering are 
co-existent. The moment there is sin, there is suffering. The 
moment there is sin and suffering in a human being it is in 
God multiplied. "The Lamb was slain from the foundation 
of the world." From the moment when man in his sin be- 
came a child of sorrow, the sorrow was most keenly felt in 

The man who is burdened with a sense of sin I would ask 
to contemplate the Person manifested. There is not one of us 
of whom it is not true that we live and move and have our 
being in God. God is infinitely more than I am; infinitely 
more than the whole human race from its first to its last. If 
infinitely more, then all my life is in Him. If in the mystery 
of Incarnation there became manifest the truth that He, God, 
lifted sin, then I can trust. If that be the cleaving of the 
rock, then I can say as never before 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 43 

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee." 

He was manifested, and by that manifestation I see 
wrought out the infinite truth of the passion of God which we 
speak of as the atonement. 

///. To Destroy the Works of the Devil. 

"To this end was the Son of God manifested, that he might 
destroy the works of the devil" (I. John 3 :8). 

There can be no question as to the One to Whom John 
referred when he said, "the Son of God." In all the writings 
of John it is evident that his eyes are fixed upon the man 
Jesus. Occasionally he does not even name Him ; does not 
even refer to Him by a personal pronoun, but indicates Him 
by a word you can only use when you are looking at an object 
or a person. For instance, "That which we have seen with 
our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled". Upon 
another occasion he said, "He that saith he abideth in him, 
ought himself also to walk even as he walked." It is always 
the method of expression of a man who is looking at a Person. 
For evermore the actual human Person of Christ was present 
to the mind of John as he wrote of Him. 

How intimate he had been with Him we all know. One of 
the most tender and beautiful things in all the story of the life 
of Jesus is the story of John's pure human love for Him. The 
other disciples loved Him, but their love was of a different 
tone and quality from that of John. John must get close to 
Him, and lay his head upon His bosom. Yet if I said no 
more, I would not have uttered half the truth. If John, the 
mystic, the lover, laid his head upon the human bosom of 
the Man of Nazareth, he heard the beating of the heart of 
God, If he laid his hand upon Jesus when he talked to Him, 
he knew that beneath the warm touch of the human flesh there 
beat the mystic majesty of Deity. "That which our hands 
handled, concerning the Word of life." He is perfectly con- 

44 The Fundamentals. 

scious of the flesh, but supremely conscious of the mystic Word 
veiled in flesh and shining through it. He is perfectly con- 
scious of the human, and thereby finds Deity. So that when 
John comes to write of this One, he speaks of Him as "the Son 
of God." He remembers the warmth of His bosom, the gen- 
tleness of His touch, the love-lit glory of His eyes, but He is 
"the Son of God." 

The word "manifested" presupposes existence prior to 
manifestation. In the Man of Nazareth there was manifesta- 
tion of One Who had existed long before the Man of Nazareth. 

The enemy is described here as the devil. We read that he 
is a murderer, a liar, a betrayer ; the fountain-head of sin, the 
lawless one. The work of the murderer is destruction of life. 
The work of the liar is the extinguishing of light. The work 
of the betrayer is the violation of love. The work of the arch- 
sinner is the breaking of the law. These are the works of the 

He is a murderer. This consists fundamentally in the de- 
struction of life on its highest level, which is the spiritual. 
Alienation from God is the devil's work. It is also death on 
the level of the mental. Vision which fails to include God is 
practical blindness. On the physical plane, all disease and all 
pain are ultimately results of sin, and are among the works 
of the devil. These things all lie within the realm of his work 
as murderer, destroyer of human life. 

He is more. He is the liar, and to him is due the extin- 
guishing of light, so that men blunder along the way. All 
ignorance, all despair, all wandering over the trackless deserts 
of life, are due to extinction of spiritual light in the mind of 
man. All ignorance is the result of the clouding of man's 
vision of God. 

"This is life eternal," age-abiding life, high life, deep life, 
broad life, long life, comprehensive life, "that they should know 
thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 45 

Jesus Christ." The proportion in which man knows God is the 
proportion in which he sees clearly to the heart of things. By 
and by, when the redemptive work of Christ has been perfected 
in man, and in the world, we shall find that all ignorance is 
banished, and man has found his way into light. But the liar, 
the one who brings darkness, has made his works far spread 
o'er all the face of humanity, and all ignorance and. resultant 
despair, and all wandering aimlessly in every realm of life, are 
due to the work of the one whom Jesus designated a liar from 
the beginning. 

Again, the violation of love, as a work of the devil, is seen 
supremely in the way he entered into the heart of Judas, and 
made him the betrayer. All the avarice you find in the world 
today, and all the jealousy, and all the cruelty, are the works 
of the devil. 

Finally, he is the supreme sinner, Sin is lawlessness, which 
does not mean the condition of being without .law, but the con- 
dition of being against law, breaking law. So that all wrong 
done to God in His world, all wrong done by man to man, all 
wrong done by man to himself, are works of the devil. 

To summarize then: death, darkness, hatred, find them 
where you will, are works of the devil. 

The Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the 
works of the devil. If at the beginning we saw Him as a soul 
in conflict with all these things, remember that was an indica- 
tion of the program and a prophecy of the purpose. The In- 
carnation was not merely the birth of a little child in whom 
we were to learn the secret of childhood, and in whom pres- 
ently we were to see the glories of manhood. All that is true ; 
but it was the happening in the course of human events, of 
that one thing through which God Himself is able to destroy 
the works of the devil. 


"To destroy." It is a ^word which means to dissolve, to 

46 The Fundamentals. 

loosen. It is the very same word as is used in the Apocalypse 
about loosing us from our sins; or if you will be more 
graphic, it is the word used in the Acts of the Apostles when 
you read that the ship was broken to pieces ; loosed,, dissolved, 
that which had been a consistent whole, was broken up and 
scattered and wrecked. 

The word "destroyed" may be perfectly correct, but let us 
understand it. He was manifested to do a work in human 
history the result of which should be that the works of the 
devil should lose their consistency. The cohesive force that 
makes them appear stable until this moment, He came to 
loosen and dissolve. He was manifested to destroy death by 
the gift of life. He was manifested to destroy darkness by 
the gift of light. He was manifested to destroy hatred by the 
gift of love. He was manifested to destroy lawlessness by the 
gift of law. He was manifested to loosen, to break up, to de- 
stroy the negatives which spoil, by the bringing of the positive 
that remakes and uplifts. 

He was manifested to destroy the works of the devil as to 
death, by the gift of life. This means first spiritual life, which 
is fellowship with God. It means also mental life, the vision 
of the open secret. Not yet perfectly do we understand, but 
already the trusting soul, utterly devoid of education, hears 
more in the wind at eventide, and sees more in the blossoming 
of the flowers than any merely scientific man can do. 

He who sees has the true intellectual vision which Christ 
has bestowed in His gift of life. "This is life eternal, that 
they should know thee the only true God." The gift of life 
was to destroy death, and the man who has His gift of life 
laughs in the face of death, laughs triumphantly. I believe 
that there was laughter in the apostle's tone when he said, "O 
death, where is thy sting?" As though he had said, what hast 
thou done with thy victory? I trembled in thy presence once, 
O rider upon the pale horse ; but now I laugh in thy face, for 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 47 

thy paleness has become the glistening white of ah angel of 
light. So He destroys the works of the devil by giving the 
gift of life which destroys death. 

As to darkness. This is intimately associated with the thing 
already said. The gift of light always comes out of life. If 
there be death, then there is no vision. If there be life, there 
is light. Light means knowledge and hope and guidance, so 
that there is no more wandering aimlessly. By bringing light 
into human life and into the world He has destroyed the 
works of the devil. 

As to hatred. He destroyed hatred by His gift of love. 
Benevolence and I am not using the word idly as we often 
do ; I am using it in all its rich, spacious, gracious meaning 
benevolence, well-willing, self-abnegation, kindness in the 
apostle's sense of the word when writing to the Galatians he 
gives kindness as one of the qualities of love, the specific do- 
ing of small things out of pure love. All these things are 
things by which the works of the devil are being destroyed. 
Hatred, avarice, jealousy, selfishness, are destroyed by shed- 
ding abroad love which is the warmth of life, as light is its 
illumination. By these things He destroys the works of the 

As to lawlessness. This He destroys by the gift pf law; 
passion for the rights of God, service to our fellowmen; the 
finding of self in the great abnegation, and the finding of self 
in the perfect freedom because I have become the bond-slave 
of the infinite Lord of love. 

Nineteen centuries ago the Son of God was manifested, 
and during those centuries in the lives of hundreds, thou- 
sands, He has destroyed the works of the devil, mastered death 
by the gift of life; cast darkness out by the incoming light; 
turned the selfishness of avarice and jealousy into love, joy, 
peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness. He has taken hold 
of lawless men and made them into the willing, glad bond- 

48 The Fundamentals. 

servants of God. So has He destroyed the works of the 


Do not forget the meaning of the Incarnation historically. 
It was the invasion of human history by One Who snatched 
the scepter from the usurper. It was the intrusion of forces 
into human history which dissolved the consistency of the 
works of the devil and caused them to break and fail. "How 
long, O Lord, how long?" is the cry of the heart of the saint 
today. Yet let us take heart as we look back and know that 
the victorious force has operated for nineteen centuries, and 
always toward consummation. Still, the works of the devil 
are manifest; the works of the flesh are manifest. Yes, but 
the fruit of the Spirit of life which has come through the ad- 
vent of Christ is also manifest. All over the world today on 
many a branch of the vine of the Father's planting, the rich 
clusters of fruit are to be found. All, so far, is but prelim- 
inary. It is twilight only. High noon has not arrived ; but it 
'is twilight, and the noon must come. 

Further, the Incarnation was the coming of the Stronger 
than the strong man armed to destroy the works of the devil 
in my own life. Are the works of the devil death, darkness, 
hatred, and rebellion the master forces of your being ? Then 
I bring you the Evangel. I tell you of One manifested to de- 
stroy all such works. I tell you not merely as a theory, but 
as having the testimony of history attesting the truth of the 
announcement of this text. 

The forces of this Christ have operated, and are operat- 
ing; and the things that were formerly established are loos- 
ened, and are falling to decay. He was manifested to destroy 
the works of the devil. If you are in the grip of forces of 
evil; if you realize that in your life His works are the things 
of strength, then I pray you, turn with full purpose of heart 
to the One manifested long ago, Who in all the power of His 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 49 

gracious victory, will destroy in you all the works of the devil, 
.and set you free. 

IV. To Prepare for a Second Advent. 

"Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of 
many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that 
wait for him, unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28). 

We are all conscious that nothing is perfect ; that the things 
which Christ came to do are not yet done; that the works of 
the devil are not yet finally destroyed; that sins are not yet 
experimentally taken awa> ; that in the spiritual consciousness 
of the race, God is not yet perfectly known. "Now we see 
not yet all things subjected to Him." The victory does not 
seem to be won. It is impossible to read the story of the 
Incarnation, and to believe in it, and to follow the history of 
the centuries that have followed upon that Incarnation with- 
out feeling in one's deepest heart that something more is need- 
ed, that the Incarnation was preparatory, and that the con- 
summation of its meaning can only be brought about by an- 
other coming, as personal, as definite, as positive, as real in 
human history as was the first. 

"Christ . . . shall appear a second time." There is no 
escape, other than by casuistry, from the simple meaning of 
those words. The first idea conveyed by them is that of an 
actual personal advent of Jesus yet to be. To spiritualize a 
statement like this and to attempt to make application of it in 
any other than the way in which a little child would under- 
stand it, is to be driven, one is almost inclined to say, to dis- 
honesty with the simplicity of the scriptural declaration. There 
may be diversities of interpretations as to how He will come, 
and when He will come ; whether He will come to usher in a 
millennium or to crown it; but the fact of His actual coming is 
beyond question. 

Paul in all his writings is conscious of this truth of the sec- 
ond advent. In some of them he does not dwell upon it at 

50 The Fundamentals. 

such great length, or with such clearness as in others, for the 
simple reason that it is not the specific subject with which he 
is dealing. In the Thessalonian letters we have most clearly set 
forth Paul's teaching concerning this matter. In the very cen- 
ter of the first letter we have a passage which declares in un- 
mistakable language that "the Lord himself shall descend from 
heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with 
the trump of God : and the dead in Christ shall rise first ; then 
we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be 
caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so 
shall we ever be with the Lord." 

James writing to those who were in affliction said, "Be ye 
also patient ; establish your hearts : for the coming of the Lord 
is at hand." 

Peter with equal clearness said to the early disciples, "Be 
sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be 
brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 

John, who leaned upon his Master's bosom, and who wrote 
the most wonderful of all mystic words concerning Him, said, 
"We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him ; 
for we shall see him even as he is. And every one that hath 
this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 

Jude said to those to whom he wrote, "Ye, beloved, building 
up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy 
Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the 
mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." . 

Every New Testament writer presents this truth as part of 
the common Christian faith. Belief in the personal actual sec- 
ond advent of Jesus gave the bloom to primitive Christianity, 
and constituted the power of the early Christians to laugh in 
the face of death, and to overcome all forces that were against 
them. There is nothing more necessary in our day than a 
new declaration of this vital fact of Christian faith. Think 
what it would mean if the whole church still lifted her face 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 51 

toward the east and waited for the morning; waited as the 
Lord would have her wait not star-gazing, and almanac ex- 
amining, but with loins girt for service, and lamps burning; 
waited as she served. If the whole Christian church were so 
waiting, she would' cast off her worldliness and infidelity, and 
all other things which hinder her march to conquest. 


This text does more than affirm the fact of the second ad- 
vent. In a somewhat remarkable way, it declares the meaning 
thereof, "Christ . . . shall appear a second time, apart 
from sin" To rightly understand this, we must look upon it 
as putting the second advent into contrast with the first. That 
is what the writer most evidently means, for the context de- 
clares that He was manifested in the consummation of the ages 
to bear sins. He now says that "Christ . . . shall appear 
a second time apart from sin." All the things of the first ad- 
vent were necessary to the second ; but all the things of the 
second will be different from the things of the first. 

By His first advent sin was revealed. His own cross was 
the place where all the deep' hatred of the human heart ex- 
pressed itself most diabolically in view of heaven and earth 
and hell. 

There was also revelation of darkness as contrary to light. 
"Men loved the darkness rather than the light," was the su- 
preme wail of the heart of Jesus. 

His presence in the world was, moreover, revelation of spir- 
itual death as contrary to life. In the perpetual attempt of 
men to materialize His work, the attempt of His own disciples 
as well as of all the rest, and their absolute failure to appre- 
ciate the spiritual teaching He gave, we see what spiritual 
death really is. 

In His first advent He not only revealed sin, but bore it. 
In the words, "Christ also, having been once offered to bear 
the sins of many," the reference is not merely to the final move- 

52 The Fimdamentals. 

ment of the cross. The word "offered" is used in reference to 
God's action in giving Him. It would be perfectly correct in- 
terpretation to supply the word "offered" by the word "gave ;" 
the word which we have in John's Gospel, "For God so loved 
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." Let us put 
that word here "Christ also, having been once -given to bear 
the sins of many, shall appear a second time." All through 
His life He was putting Himself underneath sin in order to 
take it away. He bore its limitations throughout the whole 
of His life. In poverty, in sorrow, in loneliness, He lived : and 
all these things are limitations resulting from sin. When Jesus 
Christ entered into the flesh, He entered into the limitations 
which follow upon sin, and He bore sin in His own conscious- 
ness through all the years; not poverty only, but sorrow in all 
forms, and loneliness. All the sorrows of the human heart 
were upon His heart until He uttered that unspeakable cry, 
"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?" 

Having finally dealt with sin, and destroyed it at its very 
root at His first advent, His second advent is to be that of vic- 
tory. He will come again ; not to poverty, but to wealth. He 
will come again ; not to sorrow, but with all joy. He will come 
again; not in loneliness, but to gather about Him all trusting 
souls who have looked and served and waited. All in His first 
advent of sorrow and loneliness, of poverty and of sin, will be 
absent from the second. The first advent was for atonement; 
the second will be for administration. He came, entering into 
human nature, and taking hold of it, to deal with sin and put 
it away. He has taken sin away, and He will come again to 
set up that kingdom, the foundations of which He laid in His 
first coming. 


This text declares the purpose of the advent: "It is ap- 
pointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment; 
so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of 

The Purposes of the Incarnation. 53 

many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that 
wait for him, unto salvation." A similarity is suggested. "It 
is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judg- 
ment." Over against that dual appointment stands, "So Christ 
also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall 
appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for 
him, unto salvation." 

There is a strange differentiation in the ending of the two 
declarations. We would expect that it would be written to 
complete the comparison, thus, it is appointed unto men once 
to die, and after this cometh judgment ; so Christ also, having 
been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a sec- 
ond time, apart from sin, unto judgment. That would seem 
to be a balanced comparison, but the writer does not so write. 
This very difference unfolds the meanings of the first and sec- 
ond advents. It is appointed to men to die, He was offered 
to bear the sins of many. After death judgment, He is com- 
ing again unto salvation. As the first advent negatived the 
death appointed unto men, the second advent will turn the 
judgment into salvation. 

"It is appointed unto men once to die." It is often some- 
what carelessly affirmed that men must die. While admitting 
the truth of this statement we inquire, why must they die? 
Science can no more account for death than it can account for 
life. It has never yet been able to say why men die. How 
they die, yes ; why they die, no ! I will tell you why. Death is 
the wage of sin. Science will admit that death comes by the 
breaking of certain laws, but Science will use some other word 
than the word sin. "It is appointed unto men once to die," by 
the fiat of God Almighty because they are sinners, and no man 
can escape that fiat. 

But He was offered by God to bear the sins of many. That 
was the answer of the first advent to man's appointment to 

54 The Fundamentals. 

Beyond death there is another appointment, that of judg- 
ment. Who shall appeal against the absolute justice of that 
appointment ? 

He "shall appear a second time, apart from sin ... 
unto salvation." To those who have heard the message of the 
first advent and have believed it, and trusted in His great work, 
and have found shelter in the mystery of His manifestation 
and bearing of sin to such, salvation takes the place of judg- 
ment. But to the man who will not shelter beneath that first 
advent and its atoning value judgment abides. All the things 
begun by His first advent will be consummated by the second. 

At His second advent there will be complete salvation for 
the individual righteousness, sanctification, redemption. We 
believed, and were saved. We believe, and are being saved. 
We believe, and we shall be saved. The last movement will 
come when He comes. 

Those who have fallen on sleep are safe with God, and He 
will bring them with Him when He comes. They are not yet 
perfected, "God having provided some better thing concerning 
us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect." They 
are at rest, and consciously at rest. They are "absent from 
the body ... at home with the Lord," but they are not 
yet perfected ; they are waiting. We are waiting in the midst 
of earth's struggle they in heaven's light and joy, for the 
second advent. Heaven is waiting for it. Earth is waiting for 
it. Hell is waiting for it. The universe is waiting for it. 

That coming will be to those who wait for Him. Who are 
those who wait for Him? "Ye turned unto God from idols, 
to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from 
heaven." The first thing is the turning from idols. Have we 
done that? The second thing is serving the living God. Are 
we doing that ? Then because we have turned from idols, and 
are serving Him, we are waiting. That is the waiting the New 
Testament enjoins, and to those who wait, His second advent 
will mean salvation. "Christ shall appear." Glorious Gospel ! 






One of the most characteristic and distinctive doctrines of 
the Christian faith is that of the personality and deity of the 
Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the personality of the Holy 
Spirit is of the highest importance from the standpoint of wor- 
ship. If the Holy Spirit is a divine person, worthy to receive 
our adoration, our faith and our love, and we do not know and 
recognize Him as such, then we are robbing a divine Being of 
the adoration and love and confidence which are His due. 

The doctrine of the personality of the Holy Spirit is also of 
the highest importance from the practical standpoint. If we 
think of the Holy Spirit only as an impersonal power or influ- 
ence, then our thought will constantly be, how can I get hold 
of and use the Holy Spirit; but if we think of Him in the 
Biblical way as a divine Person, infinitely wise, infinitely holy, 
infinitely tender, then our thought will constantly be, "How 
can the Holy Spirit get hold of and use me?" Is there no 
difference between the thought of the worm using God to 
thrash the mountain, or God using the worm to thrash the 
mountain? The former conception is low and heathenish, not 
differing essentially from the thought of the African fetich 
worshipper who uses his god to do his will. The latter con- 
ception is lofty and Christian. If we think of the Holy Spirit 
merely as a power or influence, our thought will be, "How can 
I get more of the Holy Spirit?"; but if we think of Him as a 
divine Person, our thought will be, "How can the Holy Spirit 
get more of me ?" The former conception leads to self-exalta- 


56 The Fundamentals. 

tion; the latter conception to self-humiliation, self -emptying,, 
and self-renunciation. If we think of the Holy Spirit merely 
as a Divine power or influence and then imagine that we have 
received the Holy Spirit, there will be the temptation to feel 
as if we belonged to a superior order of Christians. A woman 
once came to me to ask a question and began by saying, "Be- 
fore I ask the question, I want you to understand that I am a 
Holy Ghost woman." The words and the manner of uttering 
them made me shudder. I could not believe that they were 
true. But if we think of the Holy Spirit in the Biblical way as 
a divine Being of infinite majesty, condescending to dwell in 
our hearts and take possession of our lives, it will put us in the 
dust, and make us walk very softly before God. 

It is of the highest importance from an experimental stand- 
point that we know the Holy Spirit as a person. Many can 
testify of the blessing that has come into their own lives from 
coming to know the Holy Spirit, as an ever-present, living, 
divine Friend and Helper. 

There are four lines of proof in the Bible that the Holy 
Spirit is a person. 


1. All the distinctive characteristics of personality art 
ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Bible. 

What are the distinctive characteristics or marks of per- 
sonality ? Knowledge, feeling and will. Any being who knows 
and feels and wills is a person. When you say that the Holy 
Spirit is a person, some understand you to mean that the Holy 
Spirit has hands and feet and eyes and nose, and so on, but 
these are the marks, not of personality, but of corporeity. 
When we say that the Holy Spirit is a person, we mean that 
He is not a mere influence or power that God sends into our 
lives but that He is a Being who knows and feels and wills. 
These three characteristics of personality, knowledge, feeling 

The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit. 57 

and will, are ascribed to the Holy Spirit over and over again 
in the Scriptures. 


In 1 Cor. 2:10, IT we read, "But God hath revealed them 
unto us by His Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, 
the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of 
a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the 
things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." Here 
"knowledge" is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is 
not merely an illumination that comes into our minds, but He 
is a Being who Himself knows the deep things of God and who 
teaches us what He Himself knows. 


We read again in 1 Cor. 12:11, R. V., "But all these work- 
eth the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally 
as He will." Here "will" is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The 
Holy Spirit is not a mere influence or power which we are to 
use according to our wills, but a Divine Person who uses us 
according to His will. This is a thought of fundamental im- 
portance in getting into right relations with the Holy Spirit. 
Many a Christian misses entirely the fullness of blessing that 
there is for him because he is trying to get the Holy Spirit to 
use Him according to his own foolish will, instead of surren- 
dering himself to the Holy Spirit to be used according to His 
infinitely wise will. I rejoice that there is no divine power that 
I can get hold of and use according to my ignorant will. But 
how greatly do I rejoice that there is a Being of infinite wis- 
dom who is willing to come into my heart and take possession 
of my life and use me according to His infinitely wise will. 


We read in Romans 8:27, "And He that searcheth the 
hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He 
maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of 

58 The Fundamentals. 

God." Here "mind" is ascribed to the Holy Spirit The word 
here translated "mind" is a comprehensive word, including the 
ideas of thought, feeling and purpose. It is the same word 
used in Romans 8 :7, where we read, "The carnal mind is en- 
mity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, 
neither indeed can be." So then, in the passage quoted we 
have personality in the fullest sense ascribed to the Holy 


We read still further in Romans 15 :30, "Now I beseech you. 
brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake and for the love of 
the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to 
God for me." Here "love" is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The 
Holy Spirit is not a mere blind, unfeeling influence or power 
that comes into our lives. The Holy Spirit is a person who 
loves as tenderly as God, the Father, or Jesus Christ, the Son. 
Very few of us meditate as we ought upon the love of the 
Spirit. Every day of our lives we think of the love of God, 
the Father, and the love of Christ, the Son, but weeks and 
months go by, with some of us, without our thinking of the 
love of the Holy Spirit. Every day of our lives we kneel down 
and look up into the face of God, the Father and say, "I thank 
Thee, Father, for Thy great love that led Thee to send Thy 
only begotten Son down into this world to die an atoning sacri- 
fice upon the cross of Calvary for me." Every day of our lives 
we kneel down and look up into the face of our Lord and 
Saviour, Jesus Christ, and say, "I thank Thee, Thou blessed 
Son of God, for that great love of Thine that led Thee to turn 
Thy back upon all the glory of heaven and to come down to all 
the shame and suffering of earth to bear my sins in Thine own 
body upon the cross." But how often do we kneel down and 
say to the Spirit, "I thank Thee, Thou infinite and eternal 
Spirit of God for Thy great love that led Thee in obedience tc 
the Father and the Son to come into this world and seek m* 

The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit. 59 

out in my lost estate, and to follow me day after day and week 
after week and year after year until Thou hadst brought me 
to see my need of a Saviour, and hadst revealed to me Jesus 
Christ as just the Saviour I needed, and hadst brought me to 
a saving knowledge of Him." Yet we owe our salvation just 
as truly to the love of the Spirit as we do to the love of the 
Father and the love of the Son. 

If it had not been for the love of God, the Father, looking 
down upon me in my lost condition, yes, anticipating my fall 
and ruin, and sending His only begotten Son to make full 
atonement for my sin, I should have been a lost man today. 
If it had not been for the love of the eternal Word of God, 
coming down into this world in obedience to the Father's com- 
mandment and laying down His life as an atoning sacrifice for 
my sin on the cross of Calvary, I should have been a lost man 
today. But just as truly, if it had not been for the love of the 
Holy Spirit, coming into this world in obedience to the Father 
and the Son and seeking me out in all my ruin and following 
me with never-wearying patience and love day after day and 
week after week and month after month and year after year, 
following me into places that it must have been agony for Him 
to go, wooing me though I resisted Him and insulted Him and 
persistently turned my back upon Him, following me and never 
giving me up until at last He had opened my eyes to see that I 
was utterly lost and then revealed Jesus Christ to me as an all- 
sufficient Saviour, and then imparted to me power to make this 
Saviour mine; if it had not been for this long-suffering, pa- 
tient, never-wearying, yearning and unspeakably tender love 
of the Spirit to me ; I should have been a lost man today. 


Again we read in Neh. 9 :20, R. V., "Thou gavest also Thy 
good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna 
from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst." 
Here "intelligence" and "goodness" are ascribed to the Holy 

60 The Fundamentals. 

Spirit. This does not add any new thought to the passages 
already considered, but we bring it in here because it is from 
the Old Testament. There are those who tell us that the per- 
sonality of the Holy Spirit is not found in the Old Testament. 
This passage of itself, to say nothing of others, shows us that 
this is a mistake. While the truth of the personality of the 
Holy Spirit naturally is not as fully developed in the Old Tes- 
tament as in the New, none the less the thought is there and 
distinctly there. 


We read again in Ephesians 4 :30, "And grieve not the Holy 
Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemp- 
tion." In this passage "grief" is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. 
The Holy Spirit is not a mere impersonal influence or power 
that God sends into our lives. He is a person who comes to 
dwell in our hearts, observing all that we do and say and think. 
And if there is anything in act or word or thought, or fleeting 
. imagination that is impure, unkind, selfish, or evil in any way, 
He is deeply grieved by it. 

This thought once fully comprehended becomes one of the 
mightiest motives to a holy life and a careful walk. How many 
a young man, who has gone from a holy, Christian home to 
the great city with its many temptations, has been kept back 
from doing things that he would otherwise do by the thought 
that if he did them his mother might hear of it and that it 
would grieve her beyond description. But there is One who 
dwells in our hearts, if we are believers in Christ, who goes 
with us wherever we go, sees everything that we do, hears 
everything that we say, observes every thought, even the most 
fleeting fancy, and this One is purer than the holiest mother 
that ever lived, more sensitive against sin, One who recoils 
from the slightest sin as the purest woman who ever lived upon 
this earth never recoiled from sin in its most hideous, forms; 
and, if there is anything in act, or word, or thought, that has 

The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit. 61 

the slighest taint of evil in it, He is grieved beyond description. 
How often some evil thought is suggested io us and we are 
about to give entertainment to it and then the thought, "The 
Holy Spirit sees that and is deeply grieved by it," leads us to 
banish it forever from our mind. 


2. The second line of proof in the Bible of the personality 
of the Holy Spirit is that many acts that only a person can 
perform are ascribed to the Holy Spirit. 


For example, we read in 1 Cor. 2:10 that the Holy Spirit 
searcheth the deep things of God. Here He is represented not 
merely as an illumination that enables us to understand the 
deep things of God, but a person who Himself searches into 
the deep things of God and reveals to us the things which He 
discovers. In Rev. 2:7 and many other passages, the Holy 
Spirit is represented as speaking. In Gal. 4:6, He is repre- 
sented as crying out. In Romans 8:26, R. V., we read, "And 
in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we 
know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself 
maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be 
uttered." Here the Holy Spirit is represented to us as pray- 
ing, not merely as an influence that leads us to pray, or an 
illumination that teaches us how to pray, but as a Person Who 
Himself prays in and through us. There is immeasurable com- 
fort in the thought that every regenerate man or woman has 
two Divine Persons praying for him, Jesus Christ, the Son f 
God at the right hand of the Father praying for us (Heb. 
7:25; 1 John 2:1) ; and the Holy Spirit praying through us 
down here. How secure and how blessed is the position of the 
believer with these two Divine Persons, whom the Father 
always hears, praying for him. 

62 The Fundamentals. 


In John 15:26, 27, we read, "But when the Comforter is 
come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the 
Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall 
testify of me : And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have 
been with me from the beginning." Here the Holy Spirit is 
very definitely set forth as a Person giving testimony, and a 
clear distinction is drawn between His testimony and the testi- 
mony which those in whom He dwells give. Again in John 
14:26 we read, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, 
whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all 
things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever 
I have said unto you." And again in John 16:12-14, "I have 
yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 
Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide 
you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but 
whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak : and He will 
show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall 
receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (cf. also Neh. 
9:20.) In these passages, the Holy Spirit is set forth as a 
teacher of the truth, not merely an illumination that enables 
our mind to see the truth, but One who personally comes to us 
and teaches us the truth. It is the privilege of the humblest 
believer to have a divine person as his daily teacher of the 
truth of God. (cf . 1 John 2 :20, 27.) 

In Romans 8:14 ("For as many as are led by the Spirit of 
God, they are the sons of God") the Holy Spirit is represented 
as our personal guide, directing us what to do, taking us by the 
hand, as it were, and leading us into that line of action that is 
well-pleasing to God. In Acts 16 :6, 7 we read these deeply 
significant words, "Now when they had gone throughout Phry- 
gia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy 
Ghost to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to 
Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia : but the Spirit suffered 

The Personality and Deity 6f the Holy Spirit. 63 

them not." Here the Holy Spirit is represented as taking com- 
mand of the life and conduct of a servant of Jesus Christ. In 
Acts 13 :2 and Acts 20 :28, we see the Holy Spirit calling men 
to work and appointing them to office. Over and over again in 
the Scriptures actions are ascribed to the Holy Spirit which 
only a person could perform. 


3. The third line of proof of the personality of 'the Holy 
Spirit is that an office is predicated to the Holy Spirit that 
could only be predicated of a person. 


We read in John 14:16, 17, "And I will pray the Father, 
and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide 
with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world 
cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth 
Him : but ye know Him ; for He dwelleth with you, and shall 
be in you." Here we are told it is the office of the Holy Spirit 
to be "another Comforter" to take the place of our absent 
Saviour. Our Lord Jesus was about to leave His disciples. 
When He announced His departure to them, sorrow had filled 
their hearts (John 16:6). Jesus spoke words to comfort them. 
He told them that in the world to which He was going there 
was plenty of room for them also (John 14:2). He told them 
further that He was going to prepare that place for them 
(John 14:3) and that when He had thus prepared it, He was 
coming back for them; but He told them further that even 
during His absence, while He was preparing heaven for them, 
He would not leave them orphaned (John 14:18), but that He 
would pray the Father and the Father would send to them 
another Comforter to take His place. Is it possible that Jesus 
should have said this if that One Who was going to take His 
place after all was not a person, but only an influence or pow- 
er, no matter how beneficent and divine? Still further, is it 

64 The Fundamentals. 

conceivable that He should have said what He does say in John 
16:7, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for 
you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will 
not come unto you; but, if I depart, I will send Him unto 
you," if this other Comforter that was coming to take His 
place was only an influence or power ? 


This becomes clearer still when we bear in mind that the 
word translated "Comforter" means comforter plus a great 
deal more beside. The revisers found a great deal of difficulty 
in translating the Greek word. They have suggested "advo- 
cate," "helper" and a mere transference of the Greek word 
"Paraclete" into the English. The word so translated is 
Parakleetos, the same word that is translated "advocate" in 
1 John 2:1; but "advocate" does not give the full force and 
significance of the word etymologically. Advocate means 
about the same as Parakleetos, but the word in usage has ob- 
tained restricted sense. "Advocate" is Latin; Parakleetos is 
Greek. The exact Latin word is "advocatus" which means 
one called to another. (That is, to help him or take his part 
or represent him.) Parakleetos means one called alongside, 
that is, one who constantly stands by your side as your helper, 
counsellor, comforter, friend. It is very nearly the thought 
expressed in the familiar hymn, "Ever present, truest friend." 
Up to the time that Jesus had uttered these words, He Him- 
self had been the Parakleetos to the disciples, the Friend at 
hand, the Friend who stood by their side. When they got into 
any trouble, they turned to Him. On one occasion they de- 
sired to know how to pray and they turned to Jesus and said, 
"Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). On another occasion 
Peter was sinking in the waves of Galilee and he cried, say- 
ing, "Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth 
His hand, and caught him," and saved him (Matt. 14:30, 31). 
In every extremity they turned to Him, Just so now that Jesus 

The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit. 65 

has gone to be with the Father, while we are awaiting His re- 
turn, we have another Person just as divine as He, just as wise, 
just as strong, just as able to help, just as loving, always by our 
side and ready at any moment that we look to Him, to counsel 
us, to teach us, to help us, to give us victory, to take the entire 
control of our lives. 


This is one of the most comforting thoughts in the New 
Testament for the present dispensation. Many of us, as we 
have read the story of how Jesus walked and talked with His 
disciples, have wished that we might have been there ; but to- 
day we have a Person just as divine as Jesus, just as worthy of 
our confidence .and our trust, right by our side to supply every 
need of our life. If this wonderful truth of the Bible once gets 
into our hearts and remains there, it will save us from all 
anxiety and worry. It is a cure for loneliness. Why need we 
ever be lonely, even though separated from the best of earthly 
friends, if we realize that a divine Friend is always by our side ? 
It is a cure for breaking hearts. Many of us have been called 
upon to part with those earthly ones whom we most loved, and 
their going has left an aching void that it seemed no one and 
no thing could ever fill ; but there is a divine Friend dwelling 
in the heart of the believer, who can, and who, if we look to 
Him to do it, will fill every nook and corner and every aching 
place in our hearts. It is a cure from the fear of darkness and 
of danger. No matter how dark the night and how many foes 
we may fear are lurking on every hand, there is a divine One 
who walks by our side and who can and will protect us from 
every danger. He can make the darkest night bright by the 
glory of His presence. 

But it is in our service for Christ that this thought of the 
Holy Spirit comes to us with greatest helpfulness. Many of us 
do what service we do for the Master with fear and trembling. 
We are always afraid that we may say or do the wrong thing; 

66 The Fundamentals. 

and so we have no joy or liberty in our service. When we 
stand up to preach, there is an awful sense of responsibility 
upon us. We tremble with the thought that we are not compe- 
tent to do the work that we are called to do, and there is the 
constant fear that we shall not do it as it ought to be done. 
But if we can only remember that the responsibility is not really 
upon us but upon another, the Holy Spirit, and that He knows 
just what ought to be done and just what ought to be said, and 
then if we will get just as far back out of sight as possible and 
let Him do the work which He is so perfectly competent to do, 
our fears and our cares will vanish. All sense of constraint 
will go and the proclamation of God's truth will become a joy 
unspeakable, not a worrying care. 


Perhaps a word of personal testimony would be pardonable 
at this point. I entered the ministry because I was obliged to. 
My conversion turned upon my preaching. For years I re- 
fused to be a Christian because I was determined that I would 
not preach. The night I was converted, I did not say, "I will 
accept Christ," or anything of that sort. I said, "I will preach." 
But if any man was never fitted by natural temperament to 
preach, it was I. I was abnormally timid. I never even spoke 
in a public prayer meeting until after I had entered the theo- 
logical seminary. My first attempt to do so was an agonizing 
experience. In my early ministry I wrote my sermons out and 
committed them to memory, and when the evening service 
would close and I had uttered the last word of the sermon, I 
would sink back with a sense of great relief that that was over 
for another week. Preaching was torture. But the glad day 
came when I got hold of the thought, and the thought got hold 
of me, that when I stood up to preach another stood by my side, 
and though the audience saw me, the responsibility was really 
upon Him and that He was perfectly competent to bear it, and 
all I had to do was to stand back and get as far out of sight as 

The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit. 67 

possible and let Him do the work which the Father sent Him 
to do. From that day preaching has not been a burden nor a 
duty but a glad privilege. I have no anxiety nor care. I 
know that He is conducting the service and doing it just as it 
ought to be done, and even though things sometimes may not 
seem to go just as I think they ought, I know they have gone 
right. Often times when I get up to preach and the thought 
takes possession of me that He is there to do it all, such a joy 
fills my heart that I feel like shouting for very ecstasy. 


4. The fourth line of proof of the personality of the Holy 
Spirit is : a treatment is predicated of the Holy Spirit that could 
only be predicated of a person. 

We read in Isa. 63:10, R. V., "But they rebelled and 
grieved His Holy Spirit : therefore he was turned to be their 
enemy, and Himself fought against them." Here we see that 
the Holy Spirit is rebelled against and grieved. (Cf. Eph. 
4:30.) You cannot rebel against a mere influence or power. 
You can only rebel against and grieve a person. Still further 
we read injHeb. 10 :29, "Of how much sorer punishment, sup- 
pose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under 
foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the cove- 
nant wherewith He was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath 
done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" Here we are told 
that the Holy Spirit is "done despite unto," that is "treated 
with contumely." (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the 
New Testament.) You cannot "treat with contumely" an in- 
fluence or power, only a person. Whenever a truth is pre- 
sented to our thought, it is the Holy Spirit who presents it. 
If we refuse to listen to that truth, then. we turn our backs 
deliberately upon that divine Person who presents it; we in- 
sult Him. 

Perhaps, at this present time, the Holy Spirit is trying to 
bring to the mind of the reader of these lines some truth that 

68 The Fundamentals. 

the reader is unwilling to accept and you are refusing to lis- 
ten. Perhaps you are treating that truth, which in the bottom 
of your heart you know to be true, with contempt, speaking 
scornfully of it. If so, you are not merely treating abstract 
truth with contempt, you are scorning and insulting a Person, 
a divine Person. 


In Acts 5 :3, we read, "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath 
Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep 
back part of the price of the land ?" Here we are taught that 
the Holy Spirit can be lied to. You cannot tell lies to a blind, 
impersonal influence or power, only to a person. Not every 
lie is a lie to the Holy Spirit. It was a peculiar kind of lie that 
Ananias told. From the context we see that Ananias was 
making a profession of an entire consecration of everything. 
(See ch. 4:36 to 5 :11.) As Barnabas had laid all at the apos- 
tles' feet for the use of Christ and His cause, so Ananias pre- 
tended to do the same, but in reality he kept back part; the 
pretended full consecration was only partial. Real consecra- 
tion is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The profession 
of full consecration was to Him and the profession was false. 
Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit. How often in our consecra- 
tion meetings today we profess a full consecration, when in 
reality there is something that we have held back. In doing 
this, we lie to the Holy Spirit. . 


In Matt. 12:31, 32, we read, "Wherefore I say unto you, 
All manner of sin and blasphemy shall -be forgiven unto men : 
but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be for- 
given unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the 
Son of man, it shall be forgiven him ; but whosoever speaketh 
against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither 
in this world, neither in the world to come." Here we are 

The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit. 69 

told that the Holy Spirit may be blasphemed. It is impossible 
to blaspheme an influence or power; only a Person can be 
blasphemed. We are still further told that the blasphemy of 
the Holy Spirit is a more serious and decisive sin than even 
the blasphemy of the Son of Man Himself. Could anything 
make more clear that the Holy Spirit is a person and a divine 


To sum it all up, THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON. 
The Scriptures make this plain beyond a question to any one 
who candidly goes to the Scriptures to find out what they 
really teach. Theoretically, most of us believe this, but do we 
in our real thought of Him, in our practical attitude toward 
Him, treat Him as a Person? Do we regard Him as indeed 
as real a Person as Jesus Christ, as loving, as wise, as strong, 
as worthy of our confidence and love and surrender as He? 
The Holy Spirit came into this world to be to the disciples 
and to us what Jesus Christ had been to them during the days 
of His personal companionship with them. (John 14:16, 17.) 
Is He that to us? Do we walk in conscious fellowship with 
Him? Do we realize that He walks by our side every day and 
hour? Yes, and better than that, that He dwells in our hearts 
and is ready to fill them and take complete possession of our 
lives? Do we know the "communion of the Holy Ghost?" 
(2 Cor. 13:14.) Communion means fellowship, partnership, 
comradeship. Do we know this personal fellowship, this part- 
nership, this comradeship, this intimate friendship of the Holy 
Spirit? Herein lies the secret of a real Christian life, a life of 
liberty and joy and power and fullness. To have as one's 
ever-present Friend, and to be conscious that one has as his 
ever-present Friend, the Holy Spirit, and to surrender one's 
life in all its departments entirely to His control, this is true 
Christian living. 




In Psalm 68:4, we are bidden to "extol Him who rideth 
upon the heavens by His name, JAH, and to rejoice before 
Him;" and in the next verse, He is declared to be "a father of 
the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, in His holy habita- 

The name, "Jah," here only found, is not simply an abbre- 
viation of "Jehovah;" but the present tense of the Hebrew 
verb to be; and expresses the idea that this Jehovah is the 
Living, Present God; and, as the heavens are always over our 
heads, He is always a present Helper, especially to those who, 
like the widow and the orphan, lack other providers and pro- 

George Miiller, of Bristol, undertook to demonstrate to the 
unbelieving world that God is such a living, present God, and 
that He proves it by answering prayer; and that the test of 
this fact might be definite and conclusive, he undertook to 
gather, feed, house, clothe, and also to teach and train, all 
available orphans, who were legitimate children, but deprived 
of both parents by death and destitute. 


This work, which he began in 1833, in a very small and 
humble way, by giving to a few children, gathered out of the 
streets, a bit of bread for breakfast, and then teaching them 
for about an hour and a half to read the Scriptures, he carried 
on for sixty-five years, with growing numbers until there were 
under his care, and in the orphan houses which he built, twen- 
ty-two hundred orphans with their helpers ; and yet, during all 


The Proof of the Living God. 71 

that time, Mr. Mutter's sole dependence was Jah, the Living, 
Present God. He appealed to no man for help ; and did not 
even allow any need to be known before it had been supplied, 
even his intimate co-workers being forbidden to mention any 
existing want, outside the walls of the institution. His aim 
and purpose were to effectually apply the test of prayer to the 
unseen God, in such a way as to leave no doubt that, in these 
very days in which we live it is perfectly safe to cut loose from 
every human dependence and cast ourselves in faith upon the 
promises of a faithful Jehovah. To make the demonstration 
more absolutely convincing, for some years he withheld even 
the annual report of the work from the public, although it 
covered only work already done, lest some should think such a 
report an indirect appeal for future aid. 

A human life thus filled with the presence and power of 
God is one of God's choicest gifts to His church and to the 


Things unseen and eternal are, to the average man, dis- 
tant and indistinct, while what is seen and temporal is vivid 
and real. Practically, any object in nature that can be seen 
or felt is thus more actual to most men than the Living God. 
Every man who walks with God, and finds Him a present Help 
in every time of need, who puts His promises to the practical 
proof and verifies them in actual experience; every believer, 
who, with the key of faith, unlocks God's mysteries and with 
the key of prayer unlocks God's treasuries, thus furnishes to 
the race demonstration and illustration of the fact that "He is, 
and is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." 

George Muller was such an argument. and example a man 
of like passions, and tempted in all points, as we are, but who 
believed God and was established by believing; who prayed 
earnestly that he might live a life and do a work, which 
should be a convincing proof that God hears prayer, and that 

72 The Fundamentals. 

it is safe to trust Him at all times; and who furnished just 
such a witness as he desired. Like Enoch, he truly walked 
with God, and had abundant testimony borne to him that he 
pleased God. And, when on the tenth day of March, 1898, it 
was told us of George Miiller, that "he was not," we knew that 
"God had. taken him" : it seemed more like a translation than 
like death. 


To those familiar with his long life story, or who inti- 
mately knew him and felt the power of personal contact, he 
was one of God's ripest saints, and himself a living proof that 
a life of faith is possible ; that God may be known, communed 
with, found, and become a conscious companion in the daily 
life. He proved for himself and for all others who will re- 
ceive his witness, that to those who are willing to take God at 
His word and to yield self to His will, He is "the same yester- 
day and today and forever ;" that the days of divine interven- 
tion and deliverance are past only so far as the days of faith 
and obedience are past; that believing prayer works still the 
wonders of which our fathers told in the days of old. 

All we can do in the limited space now at our disposal, is 
to present a brief summary of George Muller's work, the de- 
tails of which are spread through the five volumes of his care- 
fully written "Journal," and the facts of which have never 
been denied or doubted, being embodied in five massive stone 
buildings on Ashley Down, and incarnated in thousands of 
living orphans who have been, or still are, the beneficiaries 
upon the bounty of the Lord, as administered by this great 


One sentence from Mr. Muller's pen marks the purpose 
which was the very pivot of his whole being: "I have joy- 
fully dedicated my whole life to the object of exemplifying 
how much may be accomplished by prayer and faith." This 

The Proof of the Living God. 73 

prepared both for the development of the character of him 
who had such singleness of aim and for the development of 
the work in which that aim found action. Mr. Muller's oldest 
friend, Robert C. Chapman, of Barnstaple, beautifully says 
that "when a man's chief business is to serve and please the 
Lord, all his circumstances becomes his servants ;" a maxim 
verified in Mr. Muller's life work. 


Mr. James Wright, Mr. Muller's son-in-law and successor, 
said, in reviewing the sixty-five years of work, "It is written 
(Job 26:7) 'He hangeth the earth upon nothing 3 that is, no 
visible support. And so we exult in the fact that The Scrip- 
tural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad' hangs, as 
it has ever hung, since its commencement, 'upon nothing/ that 
is, upon no visible support. It hangs upon no human patron, 
upon no endowment or funded property, but solely upon the 
good pleasure of the blessed God." 

Blessed lesson to learn: that to depend upon the invisible 
God is not to hang "upon nothing," though it be upon nothing 
visible. The power and permanence of the invisible forces 
that hold up the earth after sixty centuries of human history 
are sufficiently shown by the fact that this great globe still 
swings securely in space and is whirled through its vast orbit, 
and without variation of a second still moves with divine ex- 
actness in its appointed path. Mr. Miiller therefore trusted 
the same invisible God to sustain with His unseen power all 
the work which faith suspended upon His truth and love and 
unfailing word of promise, though to the natural eye all these 
may seem as nothing. 


In the comprehensive summary contained in the fifty-ninth 
report, remarkable growth is apparent during the sixty-four 
years since the outset of the work in 1834. 

74 The Fundamentals. 

During the year ending May 26, 1898, the number of day 
schools was seven and of pupils 354; the number of children 
in attendance from the beginning 81,501. The number of 
home Sunday Schools, twelve, and of children in them 1,341 ; 
but, from the beginning, 32,944. 

The number of Sunday Schools aided in England and 
Wales, twenty-five. The amount expended in connection with 
home schools, 736. 13s. 10d.; from the outset, 109,992. 19s. 

The Bibles and parts thereof circulated, 15,411; from the 
beginning 1,989;266. Money expended for this purpose the 
past year 439; from the first, 41,090. 13s. 3d. 

Missionary laborers aided, 115. Money expended 2,082. 
9s. 6d. ; from the outset, 261,859. 7s. 4d. 

Circulation of books and tracts, 3,101,338; money spent 
1,100. Is. 3d.; and from the first, 47,188. 11s. lOd. 

The number of orphans on Ashley Down 1,620, and from 
the first 10,024. 

Money spent that year, 22,523. 13s. Id., and from the be- 
ginning 988,829. 

To carry conviction into action sometimes requires a costly 
sacrifice; but, whatever Mr. Miiller's fidelity to conviction 
cost in one way, he had stupendous results of his life work to 
contemplate even while he lived. 


Let any one look at these figures and facts, and remember 
that one poor man who had been solely dependent on the help 
of God and only in answer to prayer, could look back, over 
more than three score years and see how he had built five large 
orphan houses, and taken under his care over ten thousand 
orphans, expending for them within twelve thousand pounds 
of a round million! This same man had given aid to day 
schools and Sunday Schools, in Britain and other lands, where 
nearly one hundred and fifty thousand children have been 

The Proof of the Living God. 75 

taught, at a cost of over one hundred and ten thousand pounds 
more. He had also circulated nearly two million Bibles and 
parts thereof, at cost of over forty thousand pounds ; and over 
three million books and tracts, at a cost of nearly fifty thou- 
sand pounds more. Besides all this, he had spent over two 
hundred and sixty thousand pounds to aid missionary labor- 
ers in various lands. The sum total of the money thus ex- 
pended during sixty years thus reached very nearly the aston- 
ishing aggregate of one and a half million of pounds sterling 
($7,500,000). Mr. Mullet's own gifts to the service of the 
Lord found, only after his death, full record and recognition. 
In the annual reports, an entry recurring with strange fre- 
quency, suggested a giver that must have reached a very ripe 
age: "from a servant of the Lord Jesus, who, constrained by 
the love of Christ, seeks to lay up treasure in heaven." If 
that entry be carefully followed throughout and there be added 
the personal gifts made by Mr. Mutter to various benevolent 
objects, the aggregate sum from this "servant" reaches, up to 
March 1, 1898, a total of eighty-one thousand, four hundred 
and ninety pounds, eighteen shillings and eight pence. After 
his death, it first became known that this "servant of the Lord 
Jesus" was no other than George Miiller himself who thus do- 
nated, from money given to him or left to him for his own 
use by legacies, an amount equal to more than one-fifteenth of 
the entire sum expended from the beginning upon all five de- 
partments of the work (1,448,959). This is a record of 
personal giving to which we know no parallel. 


Mr. Miiller had received increasingly large sums from the 
Lord which he invested well and most profitably, so that for 
over sixty years he never lost .a penny through a bad specula- 
tion ! But his investments were not in lands, or banks, or 
railways, but in the work of God. He made "friends of the 
mammon of unrighteousness," and, when he failed, they re- 

76 The Fundamentals. 

ceived him into everlasting habitations. He continued year 
after year to make provision for himself, his beloved wife and 
daughter only by laying up treasure in heaven. Such a giver 
had a right to exhort others to systematic beneficence. He 
gave as not one in a million gives not a tithe, not any fixed 
proportion of annual income, but all that was left after the 
simplest and most necessary supply of actual wants. While 
most disciples regard themselves as doing their duty if, after 
they have given a portion to the Lord, they spend all the rest 
on themselves, God led George Muller to reverse this rule and 
reserve only the most frugal sum for personal needs that the 
entire remainder might be given to him that needeth. An utter 
revolution in our habits of giving would be necessary were 
such a rule adopted. Mr. Miiller's own words are : "My aim 
never was, how much I could obtain, but rather how much I 
could give" Yet this was not done in the spirit of an ascetic, 
for he had no such spirit. 


He kept continually before him his stewardship of God's 
property ; and sought to make the most of the one brief life on 
earth and to use for the best and largest good the property 
held by him in trust. The things of God were deep realities, 
and, projecting every action and decision and motive into the 
light of the judgment seat of Christ, he asked himself how it 
would appear to him in the light of that tribunal. Thus he 
sought prayerfully and conscientiously so to live and labor, so 
to deny himself, and, by love, serve his Master, and his fellow- 
men that he should not be "ashamed before Him at His com- 
ing." But not in a spirit of fear; for if any man of his gen- 
eration knew the perfect love that casts out fear it was he. 
He felt that God is love and love is of God. He saw that love 
manifested in the greatest of gifts His only begotten Son ; at 
Calvary he knew and believed the love that God hath to us ; he 
received it into his own heart ; it became an abiding presence 

The Proof of the Living God. 77 

manifested in obedience and benevolence; and, subduing him 
more and more, it became perfected so as to expel all torment- 
ing fear and impart a holy confidence and delight in God. 


Among the texts which strongly impressed and moulded 
Mr. Miiller's habits of giving was Luke 6 :38 : "Give, and it 
shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and 
shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your 
bosom." He believed this promise and he verified it. His 
testimony is, "I had given, and God had caused to be given 
to me again, and bountifully." Again he read, "It is more 
blessed to give than to receive." He says that he believed 
what he found in the word of God and by His grace sought 
to act accordingly, and thus again records that he was blessed 
abundantly and his peace and joy in the Holy Spirit in- 
creased more and more. 

It will not be a surprise, therefore, that, as has been al- 
ready noted, Mr. Miiller's entire personal estate at his death, 
as sworn to, when the will was admitted to probate, was only 
169. 9s. 4d., of which books, household furniture, etc., were 
reckoned at over 100 pounds, the only money in his posses- 
sion being a trifle over sixty pounds, and even this only await- 
ing disbursement as God's steward. 


To summarize Mr. Muller's service we must understand 
his great secret. Such a life and such a work are the result 
of one habit more than all else daily and frequent com- 
munion with God. He was unwearied in supplications and 
intercessions. In every new need and crisis, the one resort 
was the prayer of faith. He first satisfied himself that he 
was in the way of duty, then he fixed his mind on the un- 
changing word of promise; then, in the boldness of a suppli- 
ant who comes to a throne of grace in the name of Jesus 

78 The Fundamentals. 

Christ, and pleads the assurance of the immutable Promiser, 
he presented every petition. He was an unwearied interces- 
sor. No delay discouraged him. This is seen particularly in 
the case of individuals for whose conversion or special guid- 
ance into the paths of full obedience he prayed. On his prayer 
list were the names of some for whom he had besought God 
daily by name, for from one to ten years before the answer 
was given. There were two parties, for whose reconciliation 
to God he prayed, day by day, for over sixty years, and who 
had not at the time of his death, turned unto God; but he 
said, "I have not a doubt that I shall meet them both in 
heaven ; for my Heavenly Father would not lay upon my heart 
a burden of prayer for them for over three score years, if 
He had not concerning them purposes of mercy." 

This is a sufficient example of his almost unparalleled per- 
severance and importunity in intercession. However long 
the delay, he held on, as with both hands clasping the very 
horns of the altar; and his childlike spirit reasoned simply 
but confidently that the very fact of his own spirit being so 
long drawn out in prayer for one object, and of the Lord's 
enabling him so to continue patiently and believingly to wait 
on Him for the blessing, was a promise and prophecy of the 
answer; and so he waited on, so assured of the ultimate result 
that he praised God in advance, as having already received 
that for which he asked. 

One of the parties for whom for so many years he had 
unceasingly prayed, shortly after his departure, died in faith, 
having received the promises and embraced them and con- 
fessed Jesus as his Lord. 


Mr. Muller frequently in his Journal and reports warned 
his fellow disciples not to regard him as a miracle worker, 
or his experience as so exceptional as to have little applica- 
tion to the ordinary spheres of life and service. With patient 

The Proof of the Living God. 79 

repetition he affirms that, in all essentials, such an experience 
is the privilege of all believers. God calls disciples to various 
forms of work, but all alike to the same faith. To say, there- 
fore, "I am not called to build orphan houses, etc., and have 
no right to expect answers to my prayers as Mr. Miiller did," 
is wrong and unbelieving. Every child of God is first to get 
into the sphere appointed of God, and therein to exercise full 
trust, and live by faith upon God's sure word of promise. 

Throughout all the thousands of pages written by his pen, 
he teaches that this experience of God's faithfulness is both 
the reward of past faith and prayer and the preparation of 
the servant of God for larger work, more efficient service, 
and more convincing witness to his Lord. 


No one can understand this work who does not see in it 
the supernatural power of God; without that, it is an enigma, 
defying solution; with that, all the mystery is an open mys- 
tery. He himself felt, from first to lost, that this supernat- 
ural factor was the whole key to the work, and without that 
it would have been to himself a problem inexplicable. How 
pathetically he often compared himself and his work for God 
to the "burning bush in the wilderness," which always aflame 
and always threatened with apparent destruction, was not 
consumed, so that not a few turned aside, wondering to see 
this great sight. And why was it not burnt? Because Je- 
.hovah of Hosts who was in the bush dwelt in the man and in 
his work; or, as Wesley said with almost his last breath, 
"Best of all God is with us." 

This simile of the burning bush is the more apt, when we 
consider the rapid growth of the work. At first so very 
small as to seem almost insignificant, and conducted in one 
small rented house, accommodating thirty orphans; then en- 
larged until other rented premises became necessary; then 
one, two, three, four and even five immense structures being 

80 The Fundamentals. 

built until three hundred, seven hundred, eleven hundred and 
fifty, and finally two thousand and fifty inmates could find 
shelter within them ; seldom has the world seen any such vast 
and rapid enlargement. Then look at the outlay! At first a 
trifling expenditure of perhaps four hundred pounds for the 
first year of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution, and of 
five hundred pounds for the first twelve months of the or- 
phan work, and in the last year of Mr. Miiller's life a grand 
total of over twenty-six thousand pounds for all the purposes 
of the work. 

The cost of the houses built on Ashley Down might have 
staggered even a man of large capital, but this poor man only 
cried and the Lord helped him. The first house cost fifteen 
thousand pounds, the second over twenty-one thousand, the 
third over twenty-three thousand, and the fourth and fifth 
from fifty thousand to sixty thousand more so that the 
total cost reached about one hundred and fifteen thousand 
pounds. Besides all this there was a yearly expenditure which 
rose as high as twenty-five thousand for the orphans alone, 
irrespective of those occasional outlays made needful for 
emergencies, such as improved sanitary precautions. 

Here is a burning bush indeed, always in seeming danger 
of being consumed, yet still standing on Ashley Down, and 
still preserved because the same presence of Jehovah burns 
in it. Not a branch of this many sided work has utterly per- 
ished, while the whole work still challenges unbelievers to 
turn aside and see the great sight, and take off their shoes 
from their feet ; for is not all ground holy where God abides 
and manifests Himself? 


In attempting a survey of this great life work we must 
not forget how much of it was wholly outside of the Scrip- 
tural Knowledge Institution; namely, all that service which 
Mr. Miiller was permitted to render to the church of Christ 

The Proof of the Living God. 81 

and the world at large, as preacher, pastor, witness for truth 
and author of books and tracts. 

His preaching period covered the whole time from 1826 to 
1898, the year of his departure over seventy years ; and with 
an average through the whole period of probably three ser- 
mons a week, or over ten thousand for his lifetime, which is 
probably a low estimate, for, during his missionary tours, 
which covered over two hundred thousand miles and were 
spread through seventeen years, he spoke on an average once 
a day, even at his already advanced age. 

Probably those brought to the knowledge of Christ by his 
preaching would reach into the thousands, exclusive of or- 
phans converted at Ashley Down. Then when we take into 
account the vast numbers addressed and impressed by his 
addresses given in all parts of the United Kingdom, on the 
continent of Europe, and in America, Asia and Australia, and 
the still vaster numbers who have read his narrative, his 
books and tracts, or who have in various other ways felt the 
quickening power of his example and life, we shall get some 
inadequate conception of the range and scope of the influ- 
ence wielded by his tongue and pen, his labors and his life. 
Much of the best influence defies all tabulated statistics and 
evades all mathematical estimate it is like the fragrance of 
the alabaster flask which fills all the house, but escapes our 
grosser senses of sight, hearing and touch. This part of 
George Miiller's work belongs to a realm where we cannot 
penetrate. But God sees, knows and rewards it. 



Yet there are those who doubt or deny the sufficiency of 
even this proof, though so full and convincing. In a promi- 
nent daily newspaper, a correspondent, discussing the efficacy 
of prayer, thus referred to the experience of George Miiller: 

"I resided in that country during most of the seventies, 
when he was often described as the best-advertised man in 

82 The Fundamentals. 

the Three Kingdoms. By a large number of religious people 
he was more spoken of than were Gladstone and Disraeli, 
and accordingly it is not miraculous that, although he said 
he had never once solicited aid on behalf of his charitable 
enterprise, money in a continuous stream flowed into his 
treasury. Even to non-religious persons in Great Britain his 
name was quite as familiar as that of Moody. 

"Doubtless Miiller was quite sincere in his convictions, 
but, by the very peculiarity of his method, his wants were 
advertised throughout the world most conspicuously, thus 
receiving the benefit of a far larger publicity than would 
otherwise have obtained, and it being known that he was 
praying for money, money, of course, came in to him. 

"But were Miiller's prayers answered invariably? Ac- 
cording' to a memoir by a personal friend, which has lately 
been published, this was far from having been the case, and 
he often felt aggrieved at what he considered a slight on the 
part of the Almighty, one of whose 'pets' (to quote Mr. 
Savage) he evidently, imagined himself to be. For example, 
he prayed for two of his 'unconverted' friends for nearly 
fifty years without avail. There was absolutely nothing in 
his career which could not be accounted for as the result of 
purely natural causes. 

"If it was possible to admit that what he looked upon as 
answers to his prayers were due to special interventions of 
Providence in his behalf (in other words, to favoritism), the 
question would inevitably arise, Why have the prayers of 
thousands of other Christian people, whose faith is quite as 
strong as Miiller's, been disregarded? What are we to think 
of the little band of enthusiasts who left this country for 
Jerusalem a few months ago to see Christ 'appear in the 
clouds/ and who, at last accounts, were reported to be 
starving, with no immediate prospect of a return to their 
homes ?" 


"Lector" takes an easy way to evade the force of Mr. 
Miiller's life witness. He contends that "the peculiarity" of 
his method, and the great "publicity" thus obtained, made him 
the "best advertised man in the Three Kingdoms," and so 
money poured in upon him from all quarters. Thus the 

The Proof of the Living God. 83 

most conspicuous testimony to a prayer-hearing God, fur- 
nished by any one individual in the century, is dismissed 
with one sweep of the pen, affirming that "there was abso- 
lutely nothing in his career which could not be accounted for 
as the result of purely natural causes." 


In answer I beg to submit twelve facts, all abundantly 

1. For sixty years and more he carried on a work for 
God, involving at times an average annual expenditure of 
$125,000, and never once, privately or publicly, made any 
direct appeal for money. 

2. Of all his large staff of helpers no one is ever allowed 
to mention to an outside party any want of the work, how- 
ever pressing the emergency. 

3. Thousands of times correspondents inquired as to 
the existing wants, but in no case did they receive informa- 
tion, even though at a crisis of need, the object being to prove 
that it is safe to trust in God alone. 

4. Reports of the work, annually published, have no 
doubt largely prompted gifts; but even these cannot account 
for the remarkable way in which the work has been sup- 
ported. In order to show that dependence was not placed on 
these reports, they were not issued in one case, for over two 
years, yet there was no cessation of supplies. 

5. The coincidences between the need and the, supply can 
be accounted for on no law of chance or awakened public 
interest. In thousands of cases the exact sum or supply re- 
quired has been received at the exact time needed, and when 
donors could have had no knowledge of the facts. 

6. The facts spread over too long a time and too broad 
a field of details to be accounted a wide advertising system. 
Mr. Muller recorded thousands of cases of prayer for definite 
blessings, with equally definite answers. 

84 The Fundamentals. 

7. Many interpositions and deliverances were independ- 
ent of any human gifts or aid, as when a break in the heating 
apparatus necessitated a new boiler. No sooner had the 
repairs begun than a cold north wind set in which risked the 
health and even the^lives of over four hundred orphans liv- 
ing in the house, which there was no other mode of heating. 
Mr. Miiller carried the case to the Father of the fatherless, 
and the wind shifted to the south and blew soft and warm 
till. the repairs were complete. 

8. Hundreds of cases occurred, in course of sixty-five 
years, when there was not food for the next meal, yet God 
only was appealed to, and never but twice was it needful to 
postpone sTmeal, and then only for half an hour ! Even direct 
and systematic appeals to the public could not have brought 
supplies for hundreds of orphans and helpers with such 
regularity for all those years. 

9. Again, the supplies always kept pace with growing 
wants. Mr. Miiller began on a very small scale, and the orphan 
work was only the last of five departments of the work of the 
Scriptural Knowledge Institution. Can it be accounted for 
on any purely natural basis that the popular heart and purse, 
without even full information of the progress of the five-fold 
enterprise, responded regularly to its claims? 

10. Again, many a crisis, absolutely unknown to contrib- 
utors, was met successfully by adequate supplies; without 
which, at that very time, the work must have ceased. Once, 
when a single penny was lacking after all available funds 
were gathered, that one penny was found in the contribution 
box, and it was all there was. 

11. Again, Mr. Miiller found that his relations with God 
always determined the measure of his help from man; unless 
his fellowship with his Heavenly Father was closely main- 
tained, all else went wrong. The more absolute his depend- 
ence on God, his separation unto Him and his faith in Him, 

The Proof of the Living God.. 85 

the more abundant and manifest His deliverances, so that, 
as he became more independent of man, he received the more 
from God through man. 

12. Since his death in 1898, the work has been carried 
on by his successors and helpers on the same principles and 
with the same results. Though his strong personality is re- 
moved, the same God honors the same mode of doing His 
work, independent of the human instruments. 

Mr. Miiller's life purpose was to furnish to the world and 
the Church a simple example of the fact that a man can not 
only live, but work on a large scale, by faith in the living 
God; that he has only to trust and pray and obey and God 
will prove his own faithfulness. The reports were published 
with sole reference to the work already done, and because 
donors were entitled to such knowledge of the way in which 
their money was expended. He never used his reports as 
appeals for help in work yet to be begun or carried on. Nor 
was his personal presence or influence necessary, for he 
traveled for eighteen years in forty-two countries, mention- 
ing his work only at urgent request; and during all this time 
the work went on just as when at home. 


One thing is obvious there is a wide field still open for 
experiment. Let those who honestly believe that so great a 
life work may be entirely accounted for on a natural basis 
give us a practical proof. Let an institution be founded in 
some of our great cities similar to that in Bristol. Let there 
be no direct appeal made to anyone beyond the circulation of 
annual reports; or let there be the widest advertising of the 
fact that such a work is carried on, and that dependence is on 
public aid without direct solicitation. Of course, there must 
be no prayer, and no acknowledgment of God, lest someone 
think it to be religious and unscientific, and pious people 
should be moved to respond! Unbelievers outnumber Chris- 

86 The Fundamentals. 

tian disciples five to one and the constituency is therefore very 
large. Let us have the experiment conducted, not on the 
faith basis, but in strictly scientific method ! When we see an 
infidel carrying on such a work, building five great orphan 
houses and sustaining over 2,000 orphans from day to day 
without any direct appeal to human help, yet finding all sup- 
plies coming in without even a failure in sixty years, we shall 
be ready to reconsider our present conviction that it was 
because the living God heard and helped George Miiller, that 
he who began with a capital of one shilling, took care of 
more than ten thousand orphans, aided hundreds of mission- 
aries, scattered millions of Bibles and tracts, and in the course 
of his long life expended about $7,500,000 for God and hu- 
manity; and then died with all his possessions valued at less 
than eight hundred dollars. 






What is the meaning of the Higher Criticism f Why is 
it called higher f Higher than what? 

At the outset it must be explained that the word "Higher" 
is an academic term, used in this connection in a purely special 
or technical sense. It is not used in the popular sense of the 
word at all, and may convey a wrong impression to the ordi- 
nary man. Nor is it meant to convey the idea of superiority. 
It is simply a term of contrast. It is used in contrast to the 
phrase, "Lower Criticism." 

One of the most important branches of theology is called 
the science of Biblical criticism, which has for its object the 
study of the history and contents, and origins and purposes, 
of the various books of the Bible. In the early stages of the 
science Biblical criticism was devoted to two great branches, 
the Lower, and the Higher. The Lower Criticism was em- 
ployed to designate the study of the text of the Scripture, and 
included the investigation of the manuscripts, and the dif- 
ferent readings in the various versions and codices and man- 
uscripts in order that we may be sure we have the original 
words as they were written by the Divinely inspired writers. 
(See Briggs, Hex., page 1.) The term generally used now-a- 
days is Textual Criticism. If the phrase were used in the 
twentieth century sense, Beza, Erasmus, Bengel, Griesbach, 
Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorff, Scrivener, Westcott, and 


88 The Fundamentals. 

Hort would be called Lower Critics. But the term is not now- 
a-days used as a rule. The Higher Criticism, on the con- 
trary, was employed to designate the study of the historic 
origins, the dates, and authorship of the various books of the 
Bible, and that great branch of study which in the technical 
language of modern theology is known as Introduction. It 
is a very valuable branch of Biblical science, and is of the 
highest importance as an auxiliary in the interpretation of 
the Word of God. By its researches floods of light may be 
thrown on the Scriptures. 

The term Higher Criticism, then, means nothing more 
than the study of the literary structure of the various books 
of the Bible, and more especially of the Old Testament. Now 
this in itself is most laudable. It is indispensable. It is just 
such work as every minister or Sunday School teacher does 
when he takes up his Peloubet's Notes, or his Stalker's St. 
Paul, or Geikie's Hours with the Bible, to find out all he can 
with regard to the portion of the Bible he is studying; the 
author, the date, the circumstances, and purpose of its writing. 


How is it, then, that the Higher Criticism has become 
identified in the popular mind with attacks upon the Bible 
and the supernatural character of the Holy Scriptures? 

The reason is this. No study perhaps requires so devout 
a spirit and so exalted a faith in the supernatural as the pur- 
suit of the Higher Criticism. It demands at once the abi|ity 
of the scholar, and the simplicity of the believing child of God. 
For without faith no one can explain the Holy Scriptures, 
and without scholarship no one can investigate historic 

There is a Higher Criticism that is at once reverent in 
tone and scholarly in work. Hengstenberg, the German, and 
Home, the Englishman, may be taken as examples. Perhaps 
the greatest work in English on the Higher Criticism is Home's 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 89 

Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy 
Scripture. It is a work that is simply massive in its scholar- 
ship, and invaluable in its vast reach of information for the 
study of the Holy Scriptures. But Home's Introduction is 
too large a work. It is too cumbrous for use in this hurry- 
ing age. (Carter's edition in two volumes contains 1,149 
pages, and in ordinary book form would contain over 4,000 
pages, i. e., about ten volumes of 400 pages each.) Latterly, 
however, it has been edited by Dr. Samuel Davidson, who prac- 
tically adopted the views of Hupfield and Halle and inter- 
polated not a few of the modern German theories. But 
Home's work from first to last is the work of a Christian 
believer; constructive, not destructive; fortifying faith in 
the Bible, not rationalistic. But the work of the Higher 
Critic has not always been pursued in a reverent spirit nor in 
the spirit of scientific and Christian scholarship. 


In the first place, the critics who were the leaders, the 
men who have given name and force to the whole movement, 
have been men who have based their theories largely upon 
their own subjective conclusions. They have based their con- 
clusions largely upon the very dubious basis of the author's 
style and supposed literary qualifications. Everybody knows 
that style is a very unsafe basis for the determination of a 
literary product. The greater the writer the more versatile 
his power of expression; and anybody can understand that 
the Bible is the last book in the world to be studied as a mere 
classic by mere human scholarship without any regard to the 
spirit of sympathy and reverence on the part of the student. 
The Bible, as has been said, has no revelation to make to un- 
Biblical minds. It does not even follow that because a man 
is a philological expert he is able to understand the integrity 
or credibility of a passage of Holy Scripture any more than 
the beauty and spirit of it. 

90 The Fundamentals. 

The qualification for the perception of Biblical truth is 
neither philosophic nor philological knowledge, but spiritual in- 
sight. The primary qualification of the musician is that he 
be musical; of the artist, that he have the spirit of art. So 
the merely technical and mechanical and scientific mind is 
disqualified for the recognition of the spiritual and infinite. 
Any thoughtful man must honestly admit that the Bible is to 
be treated as unique in literature, and, therefore, that the 
ordinary rules of critical interpretation must fail to interpret 
it aright 


In the second place, some of the most powerful exponents 
of the modern Higher Critical theories have been Germans, 
and it is notorious to what length the German fancy can go in 
the direction of the subjective and; of the conjectural. For 
hypothesis- weaving and speculation, the German theological 
professor is unsurpassed One of the foremost thinkers used 
to lay it down as a fundamental truth in philosophical and 
scientific enquiries that no regard whatever should be paid 
to the conjectures or hypotheses of thinkers, and quoted as an 
axiom the great Newton Hmself and his: famous- words, "Non 
fingo hypotheses": I do: not frame hypotheses. It is notori- 
ous that some of the most learned German- thinkers are men 
who lack in a singular degree the faculty of common sense 
and knowledge of human nature. Like many physical scien- 
tists, they are so preoccupied with a theory that their conclu- 
sions seem to the average mind curiously warped. In fact, a 
learned man in a letter to Descartes once made an observation 
which, witli slight verbal alteration, might be applied to some 
of the German critics: "When. men sitting in their closet and 
consulting only their books attempt disquisitions into the 
Bible, they may indeed tell how they would have made the 
Book if God had given them that commission. That is, they 
may describe chimeras which correspond to the fatuity of 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 91 

their own minds, but without an understanding truly Divine 
they can never form such an idea to themselves as the Deity 
had in creating it." "If," says Matthew Arnold, "you shut a 
number of men up to make study and learning the business 
of their lives, how many of them, from want of some discip- 
line or other, seem to lose all balance of judgment, all com- 

mon sense/' 

The learned professor of Assyriology at Oxford said that 
the investigation of the literary source of history has been a 
peculiarly German pastime. It deals with the writers and 
readers of the ancient Orient as if they were modern German 
professors, and the attempt to transform the ancient Israelites 
into somewhat inferior German compilers, proves a strange 
want of familiarity with Oriental modes of thought. (Sayce, 
"Early History of the Hebrews," pages 108-112.) 


In the third place, the dominant men of the movement 
were men with a strong bias against the supernatural. This 
is not an ex-parte statement at all. It is simply a matter of 
fact, as we shall presently show. Some of the men who have 
been most distinguished as the leaders of the Higher Critical 
movement in Germany and Holland have been men who have 
no faith in the God of the Bible, and no faith in either the 
necessity or the possibility of a personal supernatural revela- 
tion. The men who have been the voices of the movement, 
of whom the great majority, less widely known and less 
influential, have been mere echoes ; the men who manufac- 
tured the articles the others distributed, have been notoriously 
opposed to the miraculous. 

We must not be misunderstood. We distinctly repudiate 
the idea that all the Higher Critics were or are anti-super- 
naturalists. Not so. The British- American School embraces 
within its ranks many earnest believers. What we do say, as 
we will presently show, is that the dominant minds which have 

92 The Fundamentals. 

led and swayed the movement, who made the theories that 
the others circulated, were strongly unbelieving. 

Then the higher critical movement has not followed its 
true and original purposes in investigating the Scriptures for 
the purposes of confirming faith and of helping believers to 
understand the beauties, and appreciate the circumstances of 
the origin of the various books, and so understand more com- 
pletely the Bible? 

No. It has not; unquestionably it has not. It has been 
deflected from that, largely owing to the character of the men 
whose ability and f orcef ulness have given predominance to 
their views. It has become identified with a system of criti- 
cism which is based on hypotheses and suppositions which 
have for their object the repudiation of the traditional theory, 
and has investigated the origins and forms and styles and 
contents, apparently not to confirm the authenticity and credi- 
bility and reliability of the Scriptures, but to discredit in most 
cases their genuineness, to discover discrepancies, and throw 
doubt upon their authority. 


Who, then, were the men whose views have moulded the. 
views of the leading teachers and writers of the Higher Crit- 
ical school of today? 

We will answer this as briefly as possible. 

It is not easy to say who is the first so-called Higher Critic, 
or when the movement began. But it is not modern by any 
means. Broadly speaking, it has passed through three great 
stages : 

1. The French-Dutch. 

2. The German. 

3. The British-American. 

In its origin it was Franco-Dutch, and speculative, if not 
skeptical. The views which are now accepted as axiomatic 
by the Continental and British-American schools of Higher 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 93 

Criticism seem to have been first hinted at by Carlstadt in 
1521 in his work on the Canon of Scripture, and by Andreas 
Masius, a Belgian scholar, who published a commentary on 
Joshua in 1574, and a Roman Catholic priest, called Peyrere 
or Pererius, in his Systematic Theology, 1660. (LIV. Cap. i.) 

But it may really be said to have originated with Spinoza, 
the rationalist Dutch philosopher. In his Tractatus Theologico- 
Politicus (Cap. vii-viii), 1670, Spinoza came out boldly and 
impugned the traditional date and Mosaic authorship of the 
Pentateuch and ascribed the origin of the Pentateuch to Ezra 
or to some other late compiler. 

Spinoza was really the fountain-head of the movement, 
and his line was taken in England by the British philosopher 
Hobbes. He went deeper than Spinoza, as an outspoken antag- 
onist of the necessity and possibility of a personal revelation, 
and also denied the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. A 
few years later a French priest, called Richard Simon of 
Dieppe, pointed out the supposed varieties of style as indica- 
tions of various authors in his Historical Criticism of the 
Old Testament, "an epoch-making work." Then another 
Dutchman, named Clericus (or Le Clerk), in 1685, advocated 
still more radical views, suggesting an Exilian and priestly 
authorship for the Pentateuch, and that the Pentateuch was 
composed by the priest sent from Babylon (2 Kings, 17), 
about 678, B. C, and also a kind of later editor or redactor 
theory. Clericus is said to have been the first critic who set 
forth the theory that Christ and his Apostles did not come 
into the world to teach the Jews criticism, and that it is only to 
be expected that their language would be in accordance with 
the views of the day. 

In 1753 a Frenchman named Astruc, a medical man, and 
reputedly a free-thinker of profligate life, propounded for 
the first time the Jehovistic and Elohistic divisive hypoth- 
esis, and opened a new era, (Briggs' Higher Criticism of the 

94 The Fundamentals. 

Pentateuch, page 46.) Astruc said that the use of the two 
names, Jehovah and Elohim, shewed the book was composed 
of different documents. (The idea of the Holy Ghost em- 
ploying two words, or one here and another there, or both 
together as He wills, never seems to enter the thought of the 
Higher Critic!) His work was called "Conjectures Regarding 
the Original Memoirs in the Book of Genesis," and was pub- 
lished in Brussels. 

Astruc may be called the father of the documentary the- 
ories. He asserted there are traces of no less than ten or 
twelve different memoirs in the book of Genesis. He denied 
its Divine authority, and considered the book to be disfigured 
by useless repetitions, disorder, and contradiction. (Hirsch- 
f elder, page 66.) For fifty years Astruc' s theory was unno- 
ticed. The rationalism of Germany was as yet undeveloped, 
so that the body was not yet prepared to receive the germ, or 
the soil the weed. 


The next stage was largely German. Eichhorn is the great- 
est name in this period, the eminent Oriental professor at 
Gottingen who published his work on the Old Testament 
introduction in 1780. He put into different shape the docu- 
mentary hypothesis of the Frenchman, and did his work 
so ably that his views were generally adopted by the most dis- 
tinguished scholars. Eichhorn's formative influence has been 
incalculably great. Few scholars refused to do honor to the 
new sun. It is through him that the name Higher Criticism 
has become identified with the movement. He was followed 
by Vater and later by Hartmann with their fragment theory 
which practically undermined the Mosaic authorship, made 
the Pentateuch a heap of fragments, carelessly joined by one 
editor, and paved the way for the most radical of all divisive 

In 1806 De Wette, Professor of Philosophy and Theology 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 95 

at Heidelberg, published a work which ran through six. edi- 
tions in four decades. His contribution to the introduction 
of the Old Testament instilled the same general principles as 
Eichhorn, and in the supplemental hypotheses assumed that 
Deuteronomy was composed in the age of Josiah (2 Kings 
22:8). Not long after, Vatke and Leopold George (both 
Hegelians) unreservedly declared the post-Mosaic and post- 
prophetic origin of the first four books of the Bible. Then 
came Bleek, who advocated the idea of the Grundschift or 
original document and the redactor theory; and then Ewald, 
the father of the Crystallization theory; and then Hupfield 
(1853), who held that the original document was an inde- 
pendent compilation; and Graf, who wrote a book on the 
historical books of the Old Testament in 1866 and advocated 
the theory that the Jehovistic and. Elohistic documents were 
written hundreds of years after Moses' time. Graf was a 
pupil of Reuss, the redactor of the Ezra hypothesis of Spinoza. 

Then came a most influential writer, Professor Kuenen of 
Leyden in Holland, whose work on the Hexateuch was edited 
by Golenso in 1865, and his "Religion of Israel and Prophecy 
in Israel," published in England in 1874-1877. Kuenen was" 
one of the most advanced exponents of the rationalistic school. 
Last, but not least, of the continental Higher Critics is Julius 
Wellhausen, who at one time was a theological professor in 
Germany, who published in 1878 the first volume of his his- 
tory of Israel, and won by his scholarship the attention if not 
the allegiance of a number of leading theologians. (See 
Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch, Green, pages 59-88.) 

It will be observed that nearly all these authors were 
Germans, and most of them professors of philosophy or the- 


The third stage of the movement is the British- American. 
The best known names are those of Dr. Samuel Davidson, 

96 The Fundamentals. 

whose "Introduction to the Old Testament," published in 1862, 
was largely based on the fallacies of the German rationalists. 
The supplementary hypothesis passed over into England 
through him and with strange incongruity, he borrowed fre- 
quently from Baur. Dr. Robertson Smith, the Scotchman, 
recast the German theories in an English form in his works on 
the Pentateuch, the Prophets of Israel, and the Old Testament 
in the Jewish Church, first published in 1881, and followed the 
German school, according to Briggs, with great boldness and 
thoroughness. A man of deep piety and high spirituality, he 
combined with a sincere regard for the Word of God a critical 
radicalism that was strangely inconsistent, as did also his name- 
sake, George Adam Smith, the most influential of the present- 
day leaders, a man of great insight and scriptural acumen, 
who in his works on Isaiah, and the twelve prophets, adopted 
some of the most radical and least demonstrable of the Ger- 
man theories, and in his later work, "Modern Criticism and 
the Teaching of the Old Testament," has gone still farther in 
the rationalistic direction. 

Another well-known Higher Critic is Dr. S. R. Driver, the 
Regius professor of Hebrew at Oxford, who, in his "Intro- 
duction to the Literature of the Old Testament," published ten 
years later, and his work on the Book of Genesis, has elabo- 
rated with remarkable skill and great detail of analysis the 
theories and views of the continental school. Driver's work 
is able, very able, but it lacks originality and English inde- 
pendence. The hand is the hand of Driver, but the voice is 
the voice of Kuenen or Wellhausen. 

The third well : known name is that of Dr. C. A. Briggs, for 
some time Professor of Biblical Theology in the Union The- 
ological Seminary of New York. An equally earnest advo- 
cate of the German theories, he published in 1883 his "Bu> 
Heal Study"; in 1886, his "Messianic Prophecy," and a little 
later his "Higher Criticism of the Hexateuch." Briggs studied 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 97 

the Pentateuch, as he confesses, under the guidance chiefly of 
Ewald. (Hexateuch, page 63.) 

Of course, this list is a very partial one, but it gives most 
of the names that have become famous in connection with 
the movement, and the reader who desires more will find a 
complete summa'ry of the literature of the Higher Criticism 
in Professor Bissell's work on the Pentateuch (Scribner's, 
1892). Briggs, in his "Higher Criticism of tl^e Hexateuch" 
(Scribner's, 1897), gives an historical summary also. 

We must now investigate another question, and that is the 
religious views of the men most influential in this movement. 
In making the statement that we are about to make, we desire 
to deprecate entirely the idea of there being anything unchar- 
itable, unfair, or unkind, in stating what is simply a matter 
of fact. 


Regarding the views of the Continental Critics, three 
things can be confidently asserted of nearly all, if not all, of 
the real leaders. 

1. They were men who denied the validity of miracle, 
and the validity of any miraculous narrative. What Chris- 
tians consider to be miraculous they considered legendary or 
mythical; "legendary exaggeration of events that are entirely 
explicable from natural causes." 

2. They were men who denied the reality of prophecy 
and the validity of any prophetical statement. What Chris- 
tians have been accustomed to consider prophetical, they called 
dexterous conjectures, coincidences, fiction, or imposture. 

3. They were men who denied the reality of revelation, 
in the sense in which it has ever been held by the universal 
Christian Church. They were avowed unbelievers of the super- 
natural. Their theories were excogitated on pure grounds of 
human reasoning. Their hypotheses were constructed on 
the assumption of the falsity of Scripture. As to the inspira- 

98 The Fundamentals. 

tion of the Bible, as to the Holy Scriptures from Genesis to 
Revelation being the Word of God, they had no such belief. 
We may take them one by one. Spinoza repudiated abso- 
lutely a supernatural revelation. And Spinoza was one of 
their greatest. Eichhorn discarded the miraculous, and con- 
sidered that the so-called supernatural element was an Ori- 
ental exaggeration; and Eichhorn has been called the father 
of Higher Criticism, and was the first man to use the term. 
De Wette's views as to inspiration were entirely infidel. Vatke 
and Leopold George were Hegelian rationalists, and regarded 
the first four books of the Old Testament as entirely myth- 
ical. Kuenen, says Professor Sanday, wrote in the interests 
of an almost avowed Naturalism. That is, he was a free- 
thinker, an agnostic; a man who did not believe in the 
Revelation of the one true and living God. (Brampton Lec- 
tures, 1893, page 117.) He wrote from an avowedly natural- 
istic standpoint, says Driver (page 205). According to Well- 
hausen the religion of Israel was a naturalistic evolution from 
heathendom, an emanation from an imperfectly monotheistic 
kind of semi-pagan idolatry. It was simply a human religion. 


In one word, the formative forces of the Higher Critical 
movement were rationalistic forces, and the men who were its 
chief authors and expositors, who "on account of purely philo- 
logical criticism have acquired an appalling authority," were 
men who had discarded belief in God and Jesus Christ Whom 
He had sent. The Bible, in their view, was a mere human 
product. It was a stage in the literary evolution of a religious 
people. If it was not the resultant of a fortuitous concourse 
of Oriental myths and legendary accretions, and its Jahveh 
or Jahweh, the excogitation of a Sinaitic clan, it certainly 
was not given by the inspiration of God, and is not the Word 
of the living God. "Holy men of God spake as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost," said Peter. "God, who at sundry 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 99 

times and in diverse manners spake by the prophets," said 
Paul. Not so, said Kuenen ; the prophets were not moved to 
speak by God. Their utterances were all their own. (San- 
day, page 117.) 

These then were their views and these were the views that 
have so dominated modern Christianity and permeated modern 
ministerial thought in the two great languages of the modern 
world. We cannot say that they were men whose rationalism 
was the result of their conclusions in the study of the Bible. 
Nor can we say their conclusions with regard to the Bible 
were wholly the result of their rationalism. But we can say, 
on the one hand, that inasmuch as they refused to recognize 
the Bible as a direct revelation from God, they were free to 
form hypotheses ad libitum. And, on the other hand, as they 
denied the supernatural, the animus that animated them in 
the construction of the hypotheses was the desire to construct 
a theory that would explain away the supernatural. Unbe- 
lief was the antecedent, not the consequent, of their criticism. 

Now there is nothing unkind in this. There is nothing 
that is uncharitable, or unfair. It is simply a statement of fact 
which modern authorities most freely admit. 


When we come to the English-writing Higher Critics, we 
approach a much more difficult subject. The British-American 
Higher Critics represent a school of compromise. On the 
one hand they practically accept the premises of the Conti- 
nental school with regard to the antiquity, authorship, authen- 
ticity, and origins of the Old Testament books. On the other 
hand, they refuse to go with the German rationalists in alto- 
gether denying their inspiration. They still claim to accept 
the Scriptures as containing a Revelation from God. But 
may they not hold their own peculiar views with regard to 
the origin and date and literary structure of the Bible with- 
out endangering either their own faith or the faith of Chris- 

100 The Fundamentals. 

tians ? This is the very heart of the question, and, in ordei 
that the reader may see the seriousness of the adoption of the 
conclusions of the critics, as brief a resume as possible of 
the matter will be given. 


According to the faith of the universal church, the Penta- 
teuch, that is, the first five books of the Bible, is one con- 
sistent, coherent, authentic and genuine composition, inspired 
by God, and, according to the testimony of the Jews, the state- 
ments of the books themselves, the reiterated corroborations of 
the rest of the Old Testament, and the explicit statement of 
the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:44, John 5:46-47) was written by 
Moses (with the exception, of course, of Deut. 34, possibly 
written by Joshua, as the Talmud states, or probably by Ezra) 
at a period of about fourteen centuries before the advent of 
Christ, and 800 years or so before Jeremiah. It is, moreover, 
a portion of the Bible that is of paramount importance, for it 
is the basic substratum of the whole revelation of God, and 
of paramount value, not because it is merely the literature of 
an ancient nation, but because it is the introductory section 
of the Word of God, bearing His authority and given by 
inspiration through His servant Moses. That is the faith of 
the Church. 


But according to the Higher Critics: 

1. The Pentateuch consists of four completely diverse doc- 
uments. These completely different documents were the pri- 
mary sources of the composition which they call the Hexa- 
teuch: (a) The Yahwist or Jahwist, (b) the Elohist, (c) the 
Deuteronomist, and (d) the Priestly Code, the Grundschift, 
the work of the first Elohist (Sayce Hist. Heb., 103), now 
generally known as J. E. D. P., and for convenience desig- 
nated by these symbols. 

2. These different works were composed at various peri- 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 101 

ods of time, not in the fifteenth century, B. C, but in the 
ninth, seventh, sixth and fifth centuries; J. and E. being 
referred approximately to about 800 to 700 B. C. ; D to about 
650 to 625 B. C., and P. to about 525 to 425 B. C. According 
to the Graf theory, accepted by Kuenen, the Elohist docu- 
ments were post-exilian, that is, they were written only five 
centuries or so before Christ. Genesis and Exodus as well as 
the Priestly Code, that is, Leviticus and part of Exodus and 
Numbers were also post-exilic. 

3. These different works, moreover, represent different 
traditions of the national life of the Hebrews, and are at 
variance in most important particulars. 

4. And, further. They conjecture that these four sup- 
positive documents were not compiled and written by Moses, 
but were probably constructed somewhat after this fashion: 
For some reason, and at some time, and in some way, some 
one, no one knows who, or why, or when, or where, wrote J. 
Then someone else, no one knows who, or why, or when, or 
where, wrote another document, which is now called E. And 
then at a later time, the critics only know who, or why, or 
when, or where, an anonymous personage, whom we may call 
Redactor I, took in hand the reconstruction of these docu- 
ments, introduced new material, harmonized the real and 
apparent discrepancies, and divided the inconsistent accounts 
of one event into two separate transactions. Then some time 
after this, perhaps one hundred years or more, no one knows 
who, or why, or when, or where, some anonymous personage 
wrote another document, which they style D. And after a 
while another anonymous author, no one knows who, or 
why, or when, or where, whom we will call Redactor II, took 
this in hand, compared it with J. E., revised J. E., with con- 
siderable freedom, and in addition introduced quite a body 
of new material. Then someone else, no one knows who, or 
why, or when, or where, probably, however, about 525, or 

102 The Fundamentals. 

perhaps 425, wrote P. ; and then another anonymous Hebrew, 
whom we may call Redactor III, undertook to incorporate 
this with the triplicated composite J. E. D., with what they 
call redactional additions and insertions. (Green, page 88, 
cf. Sayce, Early History of the Hebrews, pages 100-105.) 

It may be well to state at this point that this is not an 
exaggerated statement of the Higher 'Critical position. On the 
contrary, we have given here what has been described as a 
position "established by proofs, valid and cumulative" and 
"representing the most sober scholarship." The more ad- 
vanced continental Higher Critics, Green says, distinguish the 
writers of the primary sources according to the supposed ele- 
ments as Jl and J2, El and E2, PI, P2 and P3, and Dl and 
D2, nine different originals in all. The different Redactors, 
technically described by the symbol R., are Rj., who com- 
bined J. and E. ; Rd., who added D. to J. E., and Rh., who 
completed the Hexateuch by combining P. with J. E. D. (H. 
C. of the Pentateuch, page 88.) 


5. These four suppositive documents are, moreover, al- 
leged to be internally inconsistent and undoubtedly incom- 
plete. How far they are incomplete they do not agree. How 
much is missing and when, where, how and by whom it was 
removed; whether it was some thief who stole, or copyist 
who tampered, or editor who falsified, they do not declare. 

6. In this redactory process no limit apparently is as- 
signed by the critic to the work of the redactors. With an utter 
irresponsibility of freedom it is declared that they inserted 
misleading statements with the purpose of reconciling incom- 
patible traditions; that they amalgamated what should have 
been distinguished, and sundered that which should have 
amalgamated. In one word, it is an axiomatic principle of 
the divisive hypothesizers that the redactors "have not only 
misapprehended, but misrepresented the originals" (Green, 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 103 

page 1.70). They were animated by "egotistical motives." 
They confused varying accounts, and erroneously ascribed 
them to different occasions. They not only gave false and col- 
ored impressions ; they destroyed valuable elements of the 
suppositive documents and tampered with the dismantled rem- 

7. And worst of all. The Higher Critics are unanimous in 
the conclusion that these documents contain three species of 

(a) The probably true. 

(b) The certainly doubtful. 

(c) The positively spurious. 

"The narratives of the Pentateuch are usually trustworthy, 
though partly mythical and legendary. The miracles recorded 
were the exaggerations of a later age." (Davidson, Introduc- 
tion, page 131.) The framework of the first eleven chapters 
of Genesis, says George Adam Smith in his "Modern Criti- 
cism and the Preaching of the Old Testament," is woven from 
the raw material of myth and legend. He denies their 
historical character, and says that he can find no proof in 
archaeology for the personal existence of characters of the 
Patriarchs themselves. Later on, however, in a fit of apolo- 
getic repentance he makes the condescending admission that 
it is extremely probable that the stories of the Patriarchs 
have at the heart of them historical elements. (Pages 90- 

Such is the view of the Pentateuch that is accepted as 
conclusive by "the sober scholarship" of a number of the lead- 
ing theological writers and professors of the day. It is to 
this the Higher Criticism reduces what the Lord Jesus called 
the writings of Moses. 


As to the rest of the Old Testament, it may be briefly said 
that they have dealt with it with an equally confusing hand. 

104 The Fundamentals. 

The time-honored traditions of the Catholic Church are set at 
naught, and its thesis of the relation of inspiration and genu- 
ineness and authenticity derided. As to the Psalms, the harp 
that was once believed to be the harp of David was not 
handled by the sweet Psalmist of Israel, but generally by some 
anonymous post-exilist ; and Psalms that are ascribed to David 
by the omnicient Lord Himself are daringly attributed to some 
anonymous Maccabean. Ecclesiastes, written, nobody knows 
when, where, and by whom, possesses just a possible grade 
of inspiration, though one of the critics "of cautious and well- 
balanced judgment" denies that it contains any at all. "Of 
course," says another, "it is not really the work of Solomon." 
(Driver, Introduction, page 470.) The Song of Songs is an 
idyl of human love, and nothing more. There is no inspira- 
tion in it; it contributes nothing to the sum of revelation. 
(Sanday, page 211.) Esther, too, adds nothing to the sum of 
revelation, and is not historical (page 213). Isaiah was, of 
course, written by a number of authors. The first part, 
chapters 1 to 40, by Isaiah; the second by a Deutero-Isaiah 
and a number of anonymous authors. As to Daniel, it was 
a purely pseudonymous work, written probably in the second 
century B. C. 

With regard to the New Testament: The English writ- 
ing school have hitherto confined themselves mainly to the 
Old Testament, but if Professor Sanday, who passes as a 
most conservative and moderate representative of the critical 
school, can be taken as a sample, the historical books are "yet 
in the first instance strictly histories, put together by ordi- 
nary historical methods, or, in so far as the methods on 
which they are composed, are not ordinary, due rather to the 
peculiar circumstances of the case, and not to influences, which 
need be specially described as supernatural" (page 399). The 
Second Epistle of Peter is pseudonymous, its name counter- 
feit, and, therefore, a forgery, just as large parts of Isaiah, 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 105 

Zachariah and Jonah, and Proverbs were supposititious and 
quasi-fraudulent documents. This is a straightforward state- 
ment of the position taken by what is called the moderate 
school of Higher Criticism. It is their own admitted posi- 
tion, according to their own writings. 

The difficulty, therefore, that presents itself to the average 
man of today is this: How can these critics still claim to 
believe in the Bible as the Christian Church has ever be- 
lieved it? 


There can be no doubt that Christ and His Apostles ac- 
cepted the whole of the Old Testament as inspired in every 
portion of every part; from the first chapter of Genesis to 
the last chapter of Malachi, all was implicitly believed to be 
the very Word of God Himself. And ever since their day the 
view of the Universal Christian Church has been that the 
Bible is the Word of God; as the twentieth article of the 
Anglican Church terms it, it is God's Word written. The 
Bible as a whole is inspired. "All that is written is God-in- 
spired." That is, the Bible does not merely contain the Word 
of God; it is the Word of God. It contains a revelation. 
"All is not revealed, but all is inspired." This is the con- 
servative and, up to the present day, the almost universal 
view of the question. There are, it is well known, many the- 
ories of inspiration. But whatever view or theory of inspira- 
tion men may hold, plenary, verbal, dynamical, mechanical, 
superintendent, or governmental, they refer either to the inspi- 
ration of the men who wrote, or to the inspiration of what 
is written. In one word, they imply throughout the work of 
God the Holy Ghost, and are bound up with the concomitant 
ideas of authority, veracity, reliability, and truth divine. (The 
two strongest works on the subject from this standpoint are 
by Gaussen and Lee. Gaussen on the Theopneustia is pub- 
lished in an American edition by Hitchcock & Walden, of 

106 The Fundamentals. 

Cincinnati; and Lee on the Inspiration of Holy Scripture is 
published by Rivingtons. Bishop Wordsworth, on the "In- 
spiration of the Bible," is also very scholarly and strong. 
Rivingtons, 1875.) 

The Bible can no longer, according to the critics, be viewed 
in this light. It is not the Word in the old sense of that term. 
It is not the Word of God in the sense that all of it is given 
by the inspiration of God. It simply contains the Word of 
God. In many of its parts it is just as uncertain as any 
other human book. It is not even reliable history. Its rec- 
ords of what it does narrate as ordinary history are full of 
falsifications and blunders. The origin of Deuteronomy, e. g., 
was "a consciously refined falsification." (See Holier, page 


But do they still claim to believe that the Bible is inspired? 
Yes. That is, in a measure. As Dr. Driver says in his 
preface, "Criticism in the hands of Christian scholars does not 
banish or destroy the inspiration of the Old Testament; it 
pre-supposes it." That is perfectly true. Criticism in the 
hands of Christian scholars is safe. But the preponderating 
scholarship in Old Testament criticism has admittedly not 
been in the hands of men who could be described as Chris- 
tian scholars. It has been in the hands of men who disavow 
belief in God and Jesus Christ Whom He sent. Criticism in 
the hands of Home -and Hengstenberg does not banish or 
destroy the inspiration of the Old Testament. But, in the 
hands of Spinoza, and Graf, and Wellhausen, and Kuenen, 
inspiration is neither pre-supposed nor possible. Dr. Briggs 
and Dr. Smith may avow earnest avowals of belief in the 
Divine character of the Bible, and Dr. Driver may assert that 
critical conclusions do not touch either the authority or the 
inspiration of the Scriptures of the Old Testament, but from 
first to last, they treat God's Word with an indifference almost 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 107 

equal to that of the Germans. They certainly handle the Old 
Testament as if it were ordinary literature. And in all their 
theories they seem like plastic wax in the hands of the 
rationalistic moulders. But they still claim to believe in Bib- 
lical inspiration. 


Their theory of inspiration must be, then, a very different 
one from that held by the average Christian. 

In the Bampton Lectures for 1903, Professor Sanday of 
Oxford, as the exponent of the later and more conservative 
school of Higher Criticism, came out with a theory which he 
termed the inductive theory. It is not easy to describe what 
is fully meant by this, but it appears to mean the presence of 
what they call "a divine element" in certain parts of the Bible. 
What that really is he does not accurately declare. The lan- 
guage always vapours off into the vague and indefinite, when- 
ever he speaks of it. .In what books it is he does not say. "It 
is present in different books and parts of books in different 
degrees." "In some the Divine element is at the maximum; 
in others at the minimum." He is not always sure. He is sure 
it is not in Esther, in Ecclesiastes, in Daniel. If it is in the 
historical books, it is there as conveying a religious lesson 
rather than as a guarantee of historic veracity, rather as inter- 
preting than as narrating. At the same time, if the histories 
as far as textual construction was concerned were "natural 
processes carried out naturally," it is difficult to see where the 
Divine or supernatural element comes in. It is an inspiration 
which seems to have been devised as a hypothesis of compro- 
mise. In fact, it is a tenuous, equivocal, and indeterminate 
something, the amount of which is as indefinite as its quality. 
(Sanday, pages 100-398; cf. Driver, Preface, ix.) 

But its most serious feature is this : It is a theory of 
inspiration that completely overturns the old-fashioned ideas 
of the Bible and its unquestioned standard of authority and 

108 The Fundamentals. 

truth. For whatever this so-called Divine element is, it ap- 
pears to be quite consistent with defective argument, incorrect 
interpretation, if not what the average man would call forgery 
or falsification. 

It is, in fact, revolutionary. To accept it the Christian will 
have to completely readjust his ideas of honor and honesty, 
of falsehood and misrepresentation. Men used to think that 
forgery was a crime, and falsification a sin.. Pusey, in his 
great work on Daniel, said that "to write a book under the 
name of another and to give it out to be his is in any case a 
forgery, dishonest in itself and destructive of all trustworthi- 
ness." (Pusey, Lectures on Daniel, page 1.) But according 
to the Higher Critical position, all sorts of pseudonymous ma- 
terial, and not a little of it believed to be true by the Lord 
Jesus Christ Himself, is to be found in the Bible, and no ante- 
cedent objection ought to be taken to it. 

Men used to think that inaccuracy would affect reliability 
and that proven inconsistencies would imperil credibility. But 
now it appears that there may not only be mistakes and 
errors on the part of copyists, but forgeries, intentional omis- 
sions, and misinterpretations on the part of authors, and yet, 
marvelous to say, faith is not to be destroyed, but to be placed 
on a firmer foundation. (Sanday, page 122.) They have, 
according to Briggs, enthroned the Bible in a higher position 
than ever before. (Briggs, "The Bible, Church and Reason," 
page 149.) Sanday admits that there is an element in the 
Pentateuch derived from Moses himself. An element! But 
he adds, "However much we may believe that there is a gen- 
uine Mosaic foundation in the Pentateuch, it .is difficult to 
lay the finger upon it, and to say with confidence, here Moses 
himself is speaking." "The strictly Mosaic element in the 
Pentateuch must be indeterminate." "We ought not, per- 
haps, to use them (the visions of Ex. 3 and 33) without 
reserve for Moses himself" (pages 172-174-176). The ordi- 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 109 

nary Christian, however, will say: Surely. if we deny the 
Mosaic authorship and the unity of the Pentateuch we must 
undermine its credibility. The Pentateuch claims to be Mosaic. 
It was the universal tradition of the Jews. It is expressly 
stated in nearly all the subsequent books of the Old Tes- 
tament. The Lord Jesus said so most explicitly. (John 
5 :46-47.) 


For this thought must surely follow to the thoughtful 
man: If Moses did not write the Books of Moses, who did? 

If there were three or four, or six, or nine authorized orig- 
inal writers, why not fourteen, or sixteen, or nineteen? And 
then another and more serious thought must follow that. Who 
were these original writers, and who originated them? If 
there were manifest evidences of alterations, manipulations, 
inconsistencies and omissions by an indeterminate number 
of unknown and unknowable and undateable redactors, then 
the question arises, who were these redactors, and how far 
had they authority to redact, and who gave them this author- 
ity? If the redactor was the writer, was he an inspired writer, 
and if he was inspired, what was the degree of his inspira- 
tion; was it partial, plenary, inductive or indeterminate? 
This is a question of questions : What is the guar- 
antee of the inspiration of the redactor, and who is its 
guarantor? Moses we know, and Samuel we know, and 
Daniel we know, but ye anonymous and pseudonymous, who 
are ye? The Pentateuch, with Mosaic authorship, as Scrip- 
tural, divinely accredited, is upheld by Catholic tradition and 
scholarship, and appeals to reason. But a mutilated cento or 
scrap-book of anonymous compilations, with its pre- and post- 
exilic redactors and redactions, is confusion worse confounded. 

At least that is the way it appears to the average Chris- 
tian. He may not be an expert in philosophy or theology, but 
his common sense must surely be allowed its rights. And 

110 The Fundamentals. 

that is the way it appears, too, to such an illustrious scholar 
and critic as Dr. Emil .Reich. (Contemporary Review, April, 
1905, page 515.) 

It is not possible then to accept the Kuenen-Wellhausen 
theory of the structure of the Old Testament and the Sanday- 
Driver theory of its inspiration without undermining faith in 
the Bible as the Word of God. For the Bible is either the 
Word of God, or it is not. The children of Israel were the 
children of the Only Living and True God, or they were not. 
If their Jehovah was a mere tribal deity, and their religion a 
human evolution; if their sacred literature was natural with 
mythical and pseudonymous admixtures; then the Bible is 
dethroned from its throne as the exclusive, authoritative, Di- 
vinely inspired Word of God. It simply ranks as one of the 
sacred books of the ancients with similar claims of inspiration 
and revelation. Its inspiration is an indeterminate quantity 
and any man has a right to subject it to the judgment of his 
own critical insight, and to receive just as much of it as 
inspired as he or some other person believes to be inspired. 
When the contents have passed through the sieve of his 
judgment the inspired residuum may be large, or the inspired 
residuum may be small. If he is a conservative critic it may 
be fairly large, a maximum ; if he is a more advanced critic it 
may be fairly small, a minimum. It is simply the ancient lit- 
erature of a religious people containing somewhere the Word, 
of God; "a revelation of no one knows what, made no one 
knows how, and lying no one knows where, except that it is 
to be somewhere between Genesis and Revelation, but probably 
to the exclusion of both." (Pusey, Daniel, xxviii.) 


Another serious consequence of the Higher Critical move- 
ment is that it threatens the Christian system of doctrine and 
the whole fabric of systematic theology. For up to the pres- 
ent time any text from any part of the Bible was accepted as 

The History of the Higher C riticism. Ill 

a proof-text for the establishment of any truth of Christian 
teaching, and a statement from the Bible was considered an 
end of controversy. The doctrinal systems of the Anglican, 
the Presbyterian, the Methodist and other Churches are all 
."based upon the view that the Bible contains the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (See 39 Articles 
Church of England, vi, ix, xx, etc.) They accept as an axiom 
that the Old and New Testaments in part, and as a whole, 
"have been given and sealed by God the Father, God the Son, 
and God the Holy Ghost. All the doctrines of the Church of 
Christ, from the greatest to the least, are based on this. All 
the proofs of the doctrines are based also on this. No text 
was questioned; no book was doubted; all Scripture was re- 
ceived by the great builders of our theological systems with 
that unassailable belief in the inspiration of its texts, which 
was the position of Christ and His apostles. 

But now the Higher Critics think they have changed all 

They claim that the science of criticism has dispossessed 
the science of systematic theology. Canon Henson tells us 
that the day has gone by for proof-texts and harmonies. It. is 
not enough now for a theologian to turn to a book in the 
Bible, and bring out a te,xt in order to establish a doctrine. 
It might be in a book, or in a portion of the Book that the 
German critics have proved to be a forgery, or an anachronism. 
It might be in Deuteronomy, or in Jonah, or in Daniel, and in 
that case, of course, it would be out of the question to accept 
it. The Christian system, therefore, will have to be re-adjusted 
if not revolutionized, every text and chapter and book will 
have to be inspected and analyzed in the light of its date, and 
origin, and circumstances, and authorship, and so on, and only 
after it has passed the examining board of the modern Franco- 
Dutch-German criticism will it be allowed to stand as a proof- 
text for the establishment of any Christian doctrine. 

112 The Fundamentals. 

But the most serious consequence of this theory of the 
structure and inspiration of the Old Testament is that it over- 
turns the juridic authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. 


The attitude of Christ to the Old Testament Scriptures 
must determine ours. He is God. He is truth. His is the 
final voice. He is the Supreme Judge. There is no appeal 
from that court. Christ Jesus the Lord believed and affirmed 
the historic veracity of the whole of the Old Testament 
writings implicitly (Luke 24:44). And the Canon, or collec- 
tion of Books of the Old Testament, was precisely the same 
in Christ's time as it is today. And further. Christ Jesus 
our Lord believed and emphatically affirmed the Mosaic 
authorsip of the Pentateuch (Matt. 5:17-18; Mark 12:26-36; 
Luke 16:31; John 5:46-47). That is true, the critics say, 
But, then, neither Christ nor His Apostles were critical schol- 
ars ! Perhaps not in the twentieth century sense of the term. 
But, as a German scholar said, if they were not critici doc- 
tores, they were doctores veritatis who did not come into the 
world to fortify popular errors by their authority. But then 
they say, Christ's knowledge as man was limited. He grew in 
knowledge (Luke 2:52). Surely that implies His ignorance. 
And if His ignorance, why not His ignorance with regard to 
the science of historical criticism? (Gore, Lux Mundi, page 
360; Briggs, H. C. of Hexateuch, page 28.) Or even if He 
did know more than His age, He probably spoke as He. did 
in accommodation with the ideas of His contemporaries t 
(Briggs, page 29.) 

In fact, what they mean is practically that Jesus did know 
perfectly well that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, but 
allowed His .disciples to believe that Moses did, and taught 
His disciples that Moses did, simply because He did not want 
to upset their simple faith in the whole of the Old Testament 
as the actual and authoritative and Divinely revealed Word 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 113 

of God. (See Driver, page 12.) Or else, that Jesus imagined, 
like any other Jew of His day, that Moses wrote the books 
that bear his name, and believed, with the childlike Jewish be- 
lief of His day, the literal inspiration, Divine authority and his- 
toric veracity of the Old Testament, and yet was completely 
mistaken, ignorant of the simplest facts, and wholly in error. 
In other words, He could not tell a forgery from an original, 
or a pious fiction from a genuine document. (The analogy of 
Jesus speaking of the sun rising as an instance of the theory 
of accommodation is a very different thing.) 

This, then, is their position : Christ knew the views He 
taught were false, and yet taught them as truth.. Or else, 
Christ didn't know they were false and believed them to be 
true when they were not true. In either case the Blessed One 
is dethroned as True God and True Man. If He did not know 
the books to be spurious when they were spurious and the 
fables and myths to be mythical and fabulous ; if He accepted 
legendary tales as trustworthy facts, then He was not and is 
not omniscient. He was not only intellectually fallible, He was 
morally fallible ; for He was not true enough "to miss the 
ring of truth" in Deuteronomy and Daniel. 

And further. If Jesus did know certain of the books to 
be lacking in genuineness, if not spurious and pseudonymous ; 
if He did know the stories of the Fall and Lot and Abraham 
and Jonah and Daniel to be allegorical and imaginary, if not 
unverifiable and mythical, then He was neither trustworthy 
nor good. "If it were not so, I would have told you." We 
feel, those of us who love and trust Him, that if these 
stories were not true, if these books were a mass of historical 
unveracities, if Abraham was an eponymous hero, if Joseph 
was an astral myth, that He would have told us so. It is a 
matter that concerned His honor as a Teacher as well as His 
knowledge as our God. As Canon Liddon has conclusively 
pointed out, if our Lord was unreliable in these historic and 

114 The Fundamentals. 

documentary matters of inferior value, how can He be fol- 
lowed as the teacher of doctrinal truth and the revealer of 
God? (John 3:12.) (Liddon, Divinity of Our Lord, pages 


Men say in this connection that part of the humiliation of 
Christ was His being touched with the infirmities of our 
human ignorance and fallibilities. They dwell upon the so- 
called doctrine of the Kenosis, or the emptying, as explaining 
satisfactorily His limitations. But Christ spoke of the Old 
Testament Scriptures after His resurrection. He affirmed 
after His glorious resurrection that "all things must be ful- 
filled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the 
prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke 24:44). 
This was not a statement made during the time of the Kenosis, 
when Christ was a mere boy, or a youth, or a mere Jew after 
the flesh (1 Cor. 13 :11). It is the statement of Him Who has 
been declared the Son of God with power. It is the Voice 
that is final and overwhelming. The limitations of the Kenosis 
are all abandoned now, and yet the Risen Lord not only does 
not give a shadow of a hint that any statement in the Old 
Testament is inaccurate or that any portion thereof needed 
revision or correction, not only most solemnly declared that 
those books which we receive as the product of Moses were 
indeed the books of Moses, but authorized with His Divine 
imprimatur the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures from be- 
ginning to end. 

There are, however, two or three questions that must be 
raised, as they will have to be faced by every student of 
present day problems. The first is this: Is not refusal of 
the higher critical conclusions mere opposition to light and 
progress and the position of ignorant alarmists and obscur- 
antists ? 

The History of the Higher Criticism., 115 


It is very necessary to have our minds made perfectly clear 
on this point, and to remove not a little dust of misunder- 

The desire to receive all the light that the most fearless 
search for truth by the highest scholarship can yield is the 
desire of every true believer in the Bible. No really healthy 
Christian mind can advocate obscurantism. The obscurant 
who opposes the investigation of scholarship, and would throt- 
tle the investigators, has not the spirit of Christ. In heart 
and attitude he is a Medievalist. To use Bushnell's famous 
apologue, he would try to stop the dawning of the day by 
wringing the neck of the crowing cock. No one wants to put 
the Bible in a glass case. But it is the duty of every Christian 
who belongs to the noble army of truth-lovers to test all 
things and to hold fast that which is good. He also has rights 
even though he is, technically speaking, unlearned, and to any view that contradicts his spiritual judgment simply 
because it is that of a so-called scholar, is to abdicate his 
franchise as a Christian and his birthright as a man. (See that 
excellent little work by Professor Kennedy, "Old Testament 
Criticism and the Rights of the Unlearned," F. H. Revell.) 
And in his right of private judgment he is aware that while 
the privilege of investigation is conceded to all, the conclu- 
sions of an avowedly prejudiced scholarship must be subjected 
to a peculiarly searching analysis. The most ordinary Bible 
reader is learned enough to know that the investigation of 
the Book that claims to be supernatural by those who are 
avowed enemies of all that is supernatural, and the study 
of subjects that can be understood only by men of humble 
and contrite heart by men who are admittedly irreverent in 
spirit, must certainly be received with caution. (See Parker's 
striking work, "None Like It," F. H. Revell, and his last 
address.) , 

116 The Fundamentals. 


The second question is also serious: Are we not bound 
to receive these views when they are advanced, not by ration- 
alists, but by Christians, and not by ordinary Christians, but 
by men of superior and unchallengeable scholarship? 

There is a widespread idea among younger men that the 
so-called Higher Critics must be followed because their schol- 
arship settles the questions. This is a great mistake. No 
expert scholarship can settle questions that require a humble 
heart, a believing mind and a reverent spirit, as well as a 
knowledge of Hebrew and philology; and no scholarship can 
be relied upon as expert which is manifestly characterized by 
a biased judgment, a curious lack of knowledge of human 
nature, and a still more curious deference to the views of men 
with a prejudice against the supernatural. No one can read 
such a suggestive and sometimes even such an inspiring writer 
as George Adam Smith without a feeling of sorrow that he 
has allowed this German bias of mind to lead him into such 
an assumption of infallibility in many of his positions and 
statements. It is the same with Driver. With a kind of sic 
volo sic jubeo airy ease he introduces assertions and proposi- 
tions that would really require chapter after chapter, if not 
even volume after volume, to substantiate. On page after 
page his "must be," and "could not possibly be," and "could 
certainly not," extort from the average reader the natural ex- 
clamation: "But why?" "Why not?" "Wherefore?" "On 
what grounds ?" "For what reason ?" "Where are the 
proofs?" But of proofs or reason there is not a trace. The 
reader must be content with the writer's assertions. It re- 
minds one, in fact, of the "we may well suppose," and "per- 
haps" of the Darwinian who offers as the sole proof of the 
origination of a different species his random supposition! 
("Modern Ideas of Evolution," Dawson, pages 53-55.) 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 117 


There is a widespread idea also among the younger stu- 
dents that because Graf and Wellhausen and Driver and 
Cheyne are experts in Hebrew that, therefore, their deduc- 
tions as experts in language must be received. This, too, is a 
mistake. There is no such difference in the Hebrew of the 
so-called original sources of the Hexateuch as some suppose. 
The argument from language, Says Professor Bissell ("Intro- 
duction to Genesis in Colors," page vii), requires extreme 
care for obvious reasons. There is no visible cleavage line 
among the supposed sources. Any man of ordinary intelli- 
gence can see at once the vast difference between the English 
of Tennyson and Shakespeare, and Chaucer and Sir John de 
Mandeville. But no scholar in the world ever has or ever 
will be able to tell the dates of each and every book in the 
Bible by the style of the Hebrew. (See Sayce,s "Early His- 
tory of the Hebrews," page 109.) The unchanging Orient 
knows nothing of the swift lingual variations of the Occi- 
dent. Pusey, with his masterly scholarship, has shown how 
even the Book of Daniel, from the standpoint of philology, 
cannot possibly be a product of the time of the Maccabees. 
("On Daniel," pages 23-59.) The late Professor of Hebrew 
in the University of Toronto, Professor Hirschfelder, in his 
very learned work on Genesis, says: "We would search in 
vain for any peculiarity either in the language or the sense 
that woud indicate a two- fold authorship." As far as the 
language of the original goes, "the most fastidious critic could 
not possibly detect the slightest peculiarity that would indi- 
cate it to be derived from two sources" (page 72). Dr. Emil 
Reich also, in his "Bankruptcy of the Higher Criticism," in 
the Contemporary Review, April, 1905, says the same thing. 


A third objection remains, a most serious one. It is that 
all the scholarship is on one side, The old-fashioned conserva- 

118 The Fundamentals. 

tive views are no longer maintained by men with pretension to 
scholarship. The only people who oppose the Higher Critical 
views are the ignorant, the prejudiced, and the illiterate. 
(Briggs' "Bible, Church and Reason," pages 240-247.) 

This, too, is a matter that needs a little clearing up. In 
the first place it is not fair to assert that the upholders of 
what are called the old-fashioned or traditional views of the 
Bible are opposed to the pursuit of scientific Biblical investi- 
gation. It is equally unfair to imagine that their opposition 
to the views of the Continental school is based upon ignorance 
and prejudice. 

What the Conservative school oppose is not Biblical criti- 
cism, but Biblical criticism by rationalists. They do not op- 
pose the conclusions of Wellhausen and Kuenen because they 
are experts and scholars; they oppose them because the Bib- 
lical criticism of rationalists and unbelievers can be neither 
expert nor scientific. A criticism that is characterized by the 
most arbitrary conclusions from the most spurious assump- 
tions has no right to the word scientific. And further. Their 
adhesion to the traditional views is not only conscientious 
but intelligent. They believe that the old-fashioned views are 
as scholarly as they are Scriptural. It is the fashion in some 
quarters to cite the imposing list of scholars on the side of 
the German school, and to sneeringly assert that there is not 
a scholar to stand up for the old views of the Bible. 

This is not the case. Hengstenberg of Basle and Berlin, 
was as profound a scholar as Eichhorn, Vater or De Wette; 
and Keil or Kurtz, and Zahn and Rupprecht were competent 
to compete with Reuss and Kuenen. Wilhelm M oiler, who 
confesses that he was once "immovably convinced of the irre- 
futable correctness of the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis," has 
revised his former radical conclusions on the ground of 
reason and deeper research as a Higher Critic; and Profes- 
sor Winckler, who has of late overturned the assured and 
settled results of the Higher Critics from the foundations, is, 

The History of the Higher Criticism. 119 

according to Orr, the leading Orientalist in Germany, and a 
man of enormous learning. 

Sayce, the Professor of Assyriology at Oxford, has a right 
to rank as an expert and scholar with Cheyne, the Oriel Pro- 
fessor of Scripture Interpretation. MargoKouth, the Laudian 
Professor of Arabic at Oxford, as far as learning is concerned, 
is in the same rank with Driver, the Regius Professor of 
Hebrew, and the conclusion of this great scholar with regard 
to one of the widely vaunted theories of the radical school, is 
almost amusing in its terseness. 

"Is there then nothing in the splitting theories," he says 
in summarizing a long line of defense of the unity of the book 
of Isaiah; "is there then nothing in the splitting theories? 
To my mind, nothing at all!" ("Lines of Defense," page 

Green and Bissell are as able, if not abler, scholars than 
Robertson Smith and Professor Briggs, and both of these 
men, as a result of the widest and deepest research, have come 
to the conclusion that the theories of the Germans are unsci- 
entific, unhistorical, and unscholarly. The last words of Pro- 
fessor Green in his very able work on the "Higher Criticism 
of the Pentateuch" are most suggestive. "Would it not be 
wiser for them to revise their own ill-judged alliance with 
the enemies of evangelical truth, and inquire whether Christ's 
view of the Old Testament may not, after all, be the true 

Yes. That, after all, is the great and final question. We 
trust we are not ignorant. We feel sure we are not malignant. 
-We desire to treat no man unfairly, or set down aught in 

But we desire to stand with Christ and His Church. If 
we have any prejudice, we would rather be prejudiced against 
rationalism. If we have any bias, it must be against a teach- 
ing which tmsteadies heart and unsettles faith. Even at the 
expense of being thought behind the times, we prefer to 

120 The Fundamentals. 

stand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in receiving the 
Scriptures as the Word of God, without objection and with- 
out a doubt. A little learning, and a little listening to ration- 
alistic theorizers and sympathizers may incline us to uncer- 
tainty; but deeper study and deeper research will incline us 
as it inclined Hengstenberg and Moller, to the profoundest 
conviction of the authority and authenticity of the Holy 
Scriptures, and to cry, "Thy word is very pure; therefore, 
Thy servant loveth it." 


It may not be out of place to add here a small list of reading 
matter that will help the reader who wants to strengthen his 
position as a simple believer in the Bible, As I said before, a 
large list would be altogether too cumbersome. I would only 
put down those that I have personally found most valuable and 
suggestive. If one can afford only one or two, I would sug- 
gest Green and Kennedy; or Munhall and Parker; or Saphir 
and Anderson; or Orr and Urquhart. 

The most massive and scholarly are Home's Introduction, 
and Pusey on Daniel, but they are deep, heavy and suitable 
only for the more -cultured and trained readers. 

GREEN. "The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch." (Scrib- 


GREEN. "General Introduction to the Old Testament," in 

two volumes; the Text and the Canon. (Scrib- 

GREEN. "Unity of Genesis." (Scribner's.) 

The foregoing are very good. Green was a great 
scholar, the Princeton Professor of Oriental and 
Old Testament Literature, a man who deeply loved 
the Bible and the Lord Jesus. He is perhaps the 
strongest of the scholarly opponents of the ration- 
alistic Higher Critics. 













"The Bible under Trial" (Armstrong & Son, 
New York.) 

"The Problem of the Old Testament^ (Nesbit 
& Co.) 

Dr. Orr is one of the ablest and most scholarly 
writers in the English-speaking world today. 

"The Pentateuch. Its Origin and Structure,* 


"Introduction to Genesis." Printed in colors. 

Bissell is a careful scholar, and writes from the 

conservative side. Able, but not so firm as Green. 

"The Highest Critic vs. the Higher Critics;" 


By an evangelist, and therefore from the earnest 

rather than the expert standpoint. More to the 

level of the average reader than Green or Bissell. 

"Are the Critics Right?" (Revell.) 

By a former follower of Graf-Wellhatisen and 

most interesting to the scholarly. Hardly suitable 

for the average reader, as it assumes familiarity 

with the technicalities of the German critical 


"Lines of Defence of the Biblical Revelation/' 
(Hodder & Stoughton.) Academic and technical; 
intensely interesting. His reasoning is not equally 
powerful throughout, however. 

"The Bible and Modern Criticism." (Revell.) 
The work of a layman, vigorous and earnest He 
gives no uncertain sound. 

"None Like It," A plea for the old sword. 

Vigorous and slashing, too, but grand in the elo- 
quence of its pleadings. Every minister should 
read it. Brimming with sanctified common sense. 

"The Early History of the Hebrews." (Riving- 


The chapter on the composition of the Pentateuch 

is very strong. 

"Moses and the Prophets." (Nisbet) 

A vigorous and unanswerable criticism of Driver's 

treatment of the Pentateuch. 

"Old Testament Criticism and the Rights of the 

Unlearned." (Revell.) 

A small and cheap book, but well worth study. 

"The Higher Criticism." (The Tract Society, To- 

A most valuable little work. Thoroughly up-to- 



The following works also, although they are not exactly 
along the line of the Higher Criticism, are most valuable and 

suggestive : 




"Christ and the Scriptures." (Revell.) 
A little book, but a multum in parvo. To my 
mind for its size the best thing ever written on 
the subject 

"The Divine Unity of Scripture." (Revell.) 

A great book. Full of well cooked meat. Most 

scholarly, deeply spiritual, always suggestive. 

"Many Infallible Proofs." (Revell.) 

Earnest, full, illustrative; most helpful. 

"The Inspiration and Accuracy of the Holy 

Scriptures." (Marshall Bros.) 

Excellent and scholarly. 

"The Ages before Moses." (Oliphant's, Edin- 

A most valuable and suggestive work. Especially 
useful to young ministers. 

"The Mosaic Era." (Randolph, New York.) 
Spiritual and suggestive also. 

A scholarly friend suggests also the following : 

Rev. Thos. Whitelaw, M. A., D. D., LL. D,, on "The Old Testa- 
ment Problem." 

James W. Thurtle, LL. D., D. D., on "Old Testament Problems." 

C. H. Rouse, M. A., LL. B., D. D., on "Old Testament Criticism 
in New Testament Light." 

Rev. Hugh M'Intosh, M. A., on "Is Christ Infallible and The Bible 




(To those who have believed that faith in the Bible and the 
God of the Bible does not harmonize with the modern scien- 
tific spirit the following testimony from a distinguished physi- 
cian and surgeon should be of great value. 

The Editor of Appleton's Magazine says of Dr. Kelly: 
"Dr. Howard Kelly, of Baltimore, holds a position almost 
unique in his profession. With academic, professional, and 
honorary degrees from the Universities of Pennsylvania, 
Washington and Lee, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh, his rank as 
a scholar is clearly recognised. For some twenty years Pro- 
fessor of obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity, his place as a worker and teacher in the applied science of 
his profession has been beyond question the highest in Amer- 
ica and Europe. At least a dozen learned societies in England, 
Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria, France and the 
United States have welcomed him to membership as a master 
in his specialty in surgery. Finally, his published works have 
caused him to be reckoned the most eminent of all authorities 
in his own field"} 

I have, within the past twenty years of my life, come out 
of uncertainty and doubt into a faith which is an absolute 
dominating conviction of the truth and about which I have 
not a shadow of doubt. I have been intimately associated with 
eminent scientific workers; have heard them discuss the pro- 
foundest questions; have myself engaged in scientific work, 
and so know the value of such opinions. I was once profound- 
ly disturbed in the traditional faith in which I have been 
brought up that of a Protestant Episcopalian by inroads 
which were made upon the book of Genesis by the higher 
critics. I could not then gainsay them, not knowing Hebrew 


124 A Personal Testimony. 

nor archaeology well, and to me, as to many, to pull out one 
great prop was to make the whole foundation uncertain, 

So I floundered on for some years trying, as some of my 
higher critical friends are trying today, to continue to use the 
Bible as the Word of God and at the same time holding it 
of composite authorship, a curious and disastrous piece of 
mental gymnastics a bridge over the chasm separating an 
older Bible-loving generation from a newer Bible-emanci- 
pated race. I saw in the bpok a great light and glow of heat, 
yet shivered out in the cold. 

One day it occurred to me to see what the book had to say 
about itself. As a short, but perhaps not the best method, I 
took a concordance and looked out "Word," when I found that 
the Bible claimed from one end to the other to be the authori- 
tative Word of God to man. I then tried the natural plan of 
taking it as my text-book of religion, as I would use a text- 
book in any science, testing it by submitting to its conditions. 
I found that Christ Himself invites men (John 7:17) to do 

I now believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, 
inspired in a sense utterly different from that of any merely 
human book. 

I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, without human 
father, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born, of the Virgin 
Mary. That all men without exception are by nature sinners, 
alienated from God, and when thus utterly lost in sin the Son 
of God Himself came down to earth, and by shedding His 
blood upon the cross pai.d the infinite penalty of the guilt of 
the whole world. I believe he who thus receives Jesus Christ 
as his Saviour is born again spiritually as definitely as in his 
first birth, and, so born spiritually, has new privileges, appe- 
tites and affections ; that he is one body with Christ the Head 
and will live with Him forever. I believe no man can save 
himself by good works, or what is commonly known as a 

The Fundamentals. 125 

"moral life," such works being but the necessary fruits and 
evidence of the faith within. 

Satan. I believe to be the cause of man's fall and sin, and 
his rebellion against God as rightful governor. Satan is the 
Prince of all the kingdoms of this world, yet will in the end be 
cast into die pit and made harmless. Christ will come again 
in glory to earth to reign even as He went away from the 
earth, and I look for His return day by day. 

I believe the, Bible to be God's Word, because, as I use it 
day by day as spiritual food, I discover in my own life as well 
as in the lives of those who likewise use it a transformation 
correcting evil tendencies, purifying affections, giving pure de- 
sires, and teaching that concerning the righteousness of God 
which those who do not so use it can know nothing of. It is 
as really food for the spirit as bread is for the body. 

Perhaps one of my strongest reasons for believing, the 
Bible is that it reveals to me, as no other book in the world 
could do, that which appeals to me as a physician, a diagnosis 
of my spiritual condition. It shows me clearly what I am by 
nature one lost in sin and alienated from the life that is in 
God. I find in it a consistent and wonderful revelation, from 
Genesis to Revelation, of the character of God, a God far re- 
moved from any of my natural imaginings. 

It also reveals a tenderness and nearness of God in Christ 
which satisfies the heart's longings, and shows me that the 
infinite God, Creator of the world, took our very nature upon 
Him that He might in infinite love be one with His people to 
redeem them. I believe in it because it reveals a religion 
adapted to all classes and races, and it is intellectual suicide 
knowing it not to believe it. 

What it means to me is as intimate and difficult a question 
to answer as to be required to give reasons for love of father 
and mother, wife and children. But this reasonable faith gives 
me a different relation to family and friends; greater tender- 

126 A Personal Testimony. 

ness to these and deeper interest in all men. It takes away 
the fear of death and creates a bond with those gone before. 
It shows me God as a Father who perfectly understands, who 
can give control of appetites and affections, and rouse one to 
fight with self instead of being self -contented. 

And if faith so reveals God to me I go without question, 
wherever He may lead me. I can put His assertions and 
commands above every seeming probability in life, dismissing 
cherished convictions and looking upon the wisdom and ratio- 
cinations of men as folly if opposed to Him. I place no limits 
to faith when once vested in God, the sum of all wisdom and 
knowledge, and can trust Him though I should have to stand 
alone before the world in declaring Him to be true. 


As already stated in the Foreword (page 4), the present book 
is the first in a series of volumes to be sent to those throughout 
the English speaking world whose time is wholly or largely em- 
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receipt on the part of those to whom it in sent. 

It is possible that the addresses of some who are engaged'in 
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matter with the full address accompanying and line of Christian 
work in which the person is engaged, we will gladly place such 
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Any change of address should be promptly reported in order 
that there may be no delay in receiving succeeding volumes. 
Write plainly both old and new address in full. 


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A Testimony 

Volume II 

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Besides the main topic this book also treats of 
Subject No. On page Subject No. On page 




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A Testimony to the Truth 

Volume II 

Compliments of 
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This book is the second of a series which will 
be published and sent to every pastor, evangelist, 
missionary, theological professor, theological stu- 
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and Y. W. C. A. secretary in the English speaking 
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Two intelligent, consecrated Christian laymen 
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Their earnest desire is that you will carefully 
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(See Publishers' Notice, Page 127.) 





By Prof. George Frederick Wright, D. D., LL. D., 
Oberlin College. 



By M. G. Kyle, D. D., LL. D., Egyptologist. 

Professor of Biblical Archaeology, Xenia Theological Seminary. 

Consulting Editor of the Records of the Past, Washington, D. C. 


By Franklin Johnson, D. D., LL. D. 


By Sir Robert Anderson, K. C. B., LL. D. 

Author of "The Bible and Modern Criticism," Etc., Etc., 

London, England. 


By Philip Mauro, Counsellor-At-Law, New York City. 


ByH. C. G.Moule, D.D., 
Bishop of Durham, England. 








All history is fragmentary. Each particular fact is the cen- 
ter of an infinite complex of circumstances. No man has in- 
telligence enough to insert a supposititious fact into circum- 
stances not belonging to it and make it exactly fit. This only 
infinite intelligence could do. A successful forgery, therefore, 
is impossible if only we have a sufficient number of the orig- 
inal circumstances with which to compare it. It is this prin- 
ciple which gives such importance, to ; the cross-examination of 
witnesses. If the witness is truthful, the more he is ques- 
tioned the more perfectly will his testimony be seen to accord 
with the framework of circumstances into which it is fitted. 
If false, the more will his falsehood become apparent. 

Remarkable opportunities for cross-examining the Old Tes- 
tament Scriptures have been afforded by the recent uncover- 
ing of long-buried monuments in Bible lands and by decipher 
ing the inscriptions upon them. It is the object of this essay 
to give the results of a sufficient .portion of this cross-examina- 
tion to afford a reasonable test of the competence and honesty 
of the historians of the Old Testament, and of the faithfulness 
with which their record has been transmitted to us. But the 
prescribed limits will not permit the half to be told ; while room 

8 The Fundamentals. 

is left for an entire essay on the discoveries of the last five 
years to be treated by another hand, specially competent for 
the task. 

Passing by the monumental evidence which has removed 
objections to the historical statements of the New Testament, 
as less needing support, attention will .be given first to one of 
the Old Testament narratives, which is nearest to us in time, 
and against which the harshest judgments of modern critics 
have been hurled. We refer to the statements in the Book of 
Daniel concerning the personality and fate of Belshazzar. 


In the fifth chaper of Daniel Belshazzar is called the "son 
of Nebuchadnezzar," and is said to have been "king" of Baby- 
lon and to have been slain on the night in which the city was 
taken. But according to the other historians he was the son 
of Nabonidus, who was then king, and who is known to have 
been out of the city when it was captured, and to have lived 
some time afterwards. 

Here, certainly, there is aBout as glaring an apparent dis- 
crepancy as could be imagined. Indeed, there would seem to 
be a flat contradiction between profane and sacred historians. 
But in 1854 Sir Henry Rawlinson found, while excavating in 
the ruins of Mugheir (identified as the site of the city of Ur, 
from which Abraham emigrated), inscriptions which stated 
that when Nabonidus was near the end of his reign he asso- 
ciated with him on the throne his eldest son, Bil-shar-uzzur, 
and allowed him the royal title, thus making it perfectly credi- 
ble that Belshazzar should have been in Babylon, as he is said 
to have been in the Bible, and that he should have been called 
king, and that he should have perished in the city while Na- 
bonidus survived outside. That he should have been called 
king while his father was still living is no more strange than 
that Jehoram should have been appointed by his father, Je- 
hoshaphat, king of Judah, seven years before his father's death 

Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures. 9 

(see 2 Kings 1 :17 and 8:16), or that Jotham should have been 
made king before his father, Uzziah, died of leprosy, though 
Uzziah is still called king in some of the references to him. 

That Belshazzar should have been called son of Nebuchad- 
nezzar is readily accounted for on the supposition that he was 
his grandson, and there are many things to indicate that Nabo- 
nidus married Nebuchadnezzar's daughter, while there is noth- 
ing known to the contrary. But if this theory is rejected, there 
is the natural supposition that in the loose use of terms of re- 
lationship common among Oriental people "son" might be ap- 
plied to one who was simply a successor. In the inscriptions 
on the monuments of Shalmaneser II., referred to below, Jehu, 
the extirpator of the house of Omri, is called the "son of 

The status of Belshazzar implied in this explanation is 
confirmed incidentally by the fact that Daniel is promised in 
verse 6 the "third" place in the kingdom, and in verse 29 is 
given that place, all of which implies that Belshazzar was sec- 
ond only. 

Thus, what was formerly thought to be an insuperable 
objection to the historical accuracy of the Book of Daniel 
proves to be, in all reasonable probability, a mark of accuracy. 
The coincidences are all the more remarkable for being so 
evidently undesigned. 


From various inscriptions in widely separated places we 
are now able to trace the movements of Shalmaneser II. 
through nearly all of his career. In B. C. 842 he crossed the 
Euphrates for the sixteenth time and carried his conquests to 
the shores of the Mediterranean. Being opposed by Hazael 
of Damascus, he overthrew the Syrian army, and pursued it 
to the royal city and shut it up there, while he devastated the 
territory surrounding. But while there is no mention of his 
fighting with the Tyrians, Sidonians, and Israelites, he is said 

10 The Fundamentals. 

to have received tribute from them and "from Jehu, the son 
of Omri." This inscription occurs on the celebrated Black 
Obelisk discovered many years ago by Sir Henry Rawlinson 
in the ruins of Nimroud. On it are represented strings of 
captives with evident Jewish features, in the act of bringing 
their tribute to the Assyrian king. Now, though there is no 
mention in the sacred records of any defeat of Jehu by the 
Assyrians, nor of the paying of tribute by him, it is most 
natural that tribute should have been paid under the circum- 
stances; for in the period subsequent to the battle of Karkar, 
Damascus had turned against Israel, so that Israel's most likely 
method of getting even with Hazael would have been to make 
terms with his enemy, and pay tribute, as she is said to have 
done, to Shalmaneser. 


One of the most important discoveries, giving reality to 
Old Testament history, is that of the Moabite Stone, discov- 
ered at Dibon, east of the Jordan, in 1868, which was set up 
by King Mesha (about 850 B. C.) to signalize his deliverance 
from the yoke of Omri, king of Israel. The inscription is 
valuable, among other things, for its witness to the civilized 
condition of the Moabites at that time and to the close simi- 
larity of their language to that of the Hebrews. From this 
inscription we learn that Omri, king of Israel, was compelled 
by the rebellion of Mesha to resubjugate Moab ; and that after 
doing so, he and his son occupied the cities of Moab for a 
period of forty years, but that, after a series of battles, it was 
restored to Moab in the days of Mesha. Whereupon the cities 
and fortresses retaken were strengthened, and the country re- 
populated, while the methods of warfare were similar to 
those practiced by Israel. On comparing this with 2 Kings 
3 :4-27, we find a parallel account which dovetails in with this 
in a most remarkable manner, though naturally the biblical nar- 
rative treats lightly of the reconquest by Mesha, simply stating 

Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures. 11 

that, on account of the horror created by the idolatrous sacri- 
fice of his eldest son upon the walls before them, the Israelites 
departed from the land and returned to their own country. 



In the fourteenth chapter of 1 Kings we have a brief ac- 
count of an expedition of Shishak, king of Egypt, against Je- 
rusalem in the fifth year of Rehoboam. To the humiliation of 
Judah, it is told that Shishak succeeded in taking away the 
treasures of the house of Jehovah and of the king's house, 
among them the shields of gold which Solomon had made; 
so that Rehoboam made shields of brass in their stead. To 
this simple, unadorned account there is given a wonderful air 
of reality as one gazes on the southern wall of the court of the 
temple of Amen at Karnak and beholds the great expanse of 
sculptures and. hieroglyphics which are there inscribed to rep- 
resent this campaign of Shishak. One hundred and fifty-six 
places are enumerated among those which were captured, the 
northernmost being Megiddo. Among the places are Gaza, 
Adullam, Beth-Horon, Aijalon, Gibeon, and Juda-Malech, in 
which Dr. Birch is probably correct in recognizing the sacred 
city of Jerusalem, Malech being the word for royalty. 


The city of Tahpanhes, in Egypt, mentioned by Jeremiah 
as the place to which the refugees fled to escape from Nebu- 
chadnezzar, was discovered in 1886 in the mound known as 
Tel Defenneh, in the northeastern portion of the delta, where 
Mr. Flinders Petrie found not only evidences of the destruc- 
tion of the palace caused by Nebuchadnezzar, but apparently 
the very "brick work x or pavement" spoken of in Jer. 43 :8 : 
"Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, 
saying, Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in mor- 
tar in the brickwork, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house 
in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men qf Judah," adding that 

12 The Fundamentals. 

Nebuchadnezzar would "set his throne upon these stones," 
and "spread his royal pavilion over them." 

A brick platform in partial ruins, corresponding to this de- 
scription, was found by Mr. Petrie adjoining the fort "upon 
the northwest." In -every respect the arrangement corre- 
sponded to that indicated in the Book of Jeremiah. 

Farther to the north, not a great way from Tahpanhes, on 
the Tanitic branch of the Nile, at the modern village of San, 
excavations revealed the ancient Egyptian capital Tanis, which 
went under the earlier name of Zoan, where the Pharaoh of 
the oppression frequently made his headquarters. According 
to the Psalmist, it was in the field of "Zoan" that Moses and 
Aaron wrought their wonders before Pharaoh ; and, according 
to the Book of Numbers, "Hebron" was built only seven years 
before Zoan. As Hebron was a place of importance before 
Abraham's time, it is a matter of much significance that Zoan 
appears to have been an ancient city which was a favorite 
dwelling-place of the Hyksos, or Shepherd Kings, who pre- 
ceded the period of the Exodus, and were likely to be friendly 
to the Hebrews, thus giving greater credibility to the precise 
statements made in Numbers, and to the whole narrative of 
the reception of the patriarchs in Egypt. 

The Pharaoh of the Oppression, "who knew not Joseph," 
is generally supposed to be Rameses II. , the third king of the 
nineteenth dynasty, known among the Greeks as Sesostris, one 
of the greatest of the Egyptian monarchs. Among his most 
important expeditions was one directed against the tribes of 
Palestine and Syria, where, at the battle of Kadesh, east of 
the Lebanon Mountains, he encountered the Hittites. The en- 
counter ended practically in a drawn battle, after which a treaty 
of peace was made. But the whole state of things revealed 
by this campaign and subsequent events shows that Palestine 
was in substantially the same condition of affairs which was 
found by the children of Israel when they occupied it shortly 
after, thus confirming the Scripture account. 

Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures. 13 


This Rameses during his reign of sixty-seven years was 
among the greatest builders of the Egyptian monarchs. It is 
estimated that nearly half of the extant temples were built in 
his reign, among which are those at Karnak, Luxor, Abydos, 
Memphis, and Bubastis. The great Ramesseum at Thebes is 
also his work, and his name is found carved on almost every 
monument in Egypt. His oppression of the children of Israel 
was but an incident in his remarkable career. While engaged 
in his Asiatic campaigns he naturally made his headquarters 
at Bubastis, in the land of Goshen, near where the old canal 
and the present railroad turn off from the delta toward the 
Bitter Lakes and the Gulf of Suez. Here the ruins of the 
temple referred to are of immense extent and include the frag- 
ments of innumerable statues and monuments which bear the 
impress of the great oppressor. At length, also, his mummy 
has been identified; so that now we have a photograph of it 
which illustrates in all its lineaments the strong features of 
his character. 


But most interesting of all, in 1883, there were uncovered, 
a short distance east of Bubastis, the remains of vast vaults, 
which had evidently served as receptacles for storing grain pre- 
paratory to supplying military and other expeditions setting out 
for Palestine and the far East. Unwittingly, the engineers of 
the railroad had named the station Rameses. But from the 
inscriptions that were found it is seen that its original name 
was Pithom, and its founder was none other than Rameses II., 
and it proves to be the very place where it is said in the Bible 
that the children of Israel "built for Pharaoh store-cities, 
Pithom and Raamses" '(Ex. 1 :11), when the Egyptians "made 
their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick." It 
was in connection with the building of these cities that the 
oppression of the children of Israel reached its climax, when 
they were compelled (after the straw with which the brick 

14 The Fundamentals. 

were held together failed) to gather for themselves stubble 
which should serve the purpose of straw, and finally, when 
even the stubble failed, to make brick without straw (Ex. 5). 

Now, as these store pits at Pithom were uncovered by Mr. 
Petrie, they were found (unlike anything else in Egypt) to 
be built with mortar. Moreover, the lower layers were built 
of brick which contained straw, while the middle layers, were 
made of brick in which stubble, instead of straw, had been 
used in their formation, and the upper layers were of brick 
made without straw. 'A more perfect circumstantial confirma- 
tion of the Bible account could not be imagined. Every point 
in the confirmation consists of unexpected discoveries. The 
use of mortar is elsewhere unknown in Ancient Egypt, as is 
the peculiar succession in the quality of the brick used in the 
construction of the walls. 

Thus have all Egyptian explorations shown that the writer 
of the Pentateuch had such familiarity with the country, the 
civilization, and the history of Egypt as could have been ob- 
tained only by intimate, personal experience. The leaf which 
is here given is in its right place. It could not have been in- 
serted except by a participant in the events, or by direct Di- 
vine revelation. 


In Joshua 1 :4, the country between Lebanon and the Eu- 
phrates is called the land of the Hittites. In 2 Sam. 24:6, 
according to the reading of the Septuagint, the limit of Joab's 
conquests was that of "the Hittites of Kadesh," which is in 
Coele Syria, some distance north of the present Baalbeck. 
Solomon is also said to have imported horses from "the kings 
of the Hittites" ; and when the Syrians were besieging Samaria, 
according to 2 Kings 7:6, they were alarmed from fear that 
the king of Israel had hired against them "the kings of the 
Hittites." These references imply the existence of -a strong 
nation widely spread over the northern part of Syria and the 
regions beyond. At the same time frequent mention is made 

Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures. 13 

of Hittite families in Palestine itself. It was of a Hittite 
(Gen. 23:10) that Abraham bought his burying-place at He- 
bron. Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, had been the wife 
of Uriah the Hittite, and Esau had two Hittite wives. Hittites 
are also mentioned as dwelling with the Jebusites and Ainorites 
in the mountain region of Canaan. 

Until the decipherment of the inscriptions on the monu- 
ments of Egypt and Assyria, the numerous references in the 
Bible to this mysterious people were unconfirmed by any other 
historical authorities, so that many regarded the biblical state- 
ments as mythical, and an indication of the general untrust- 
worthiness of biblical history. A prominent English biblical 
critic declared not many years ago that an alliance between 
Egypt and the Hittites was as improbable as would be one at 
the present time between England and the Choctaws. But, 
alas for the over-confident critic, recent investigations have 
shown, not only that such an alliance was natural, but that it 
actually occurred. 

From the monuments of Egypt we learn that Thothmes ILL 
of the eighteenth dynasty, in 1470 B. C., marched to the banks 
of the Euphrates and received tribute from "the Greater Hit- 
tites" to the amount of 3,200 pounds of silver and a "great 
piece of crystal." Seven years later tribute was again sent 
from "the king of the Greater Hittite land." Later, Ame- 
nophis III. and IV. are said, in the Tel el-Amarna tablets, to 
have been constantly called upon to aid in repelling the at- 
tacks of the Hittite king, who came down from the north 
and intrigued with the disaffected Canaanitish tribes in Pales- 
tine; while in B. C. 1343, Rameses the Great attempted to 
capture the Hittite capital at Kadesh, but was unsuccessful, and 
came near losing his life in the attempt, extricating himself 
from an ambuscade only by most heroic deeds of valor. Four 
years later a treaty of peace was signed between the Hittites 
and the Egyptians, and a daughter of the Hittite king was given 
in marriage to Rameses. 

16 The Fundamentals. 

The Assyrian monuments also bear abundant testimony to 
the prominence of the Hittites north and west of the Euphrates, 
of which the most prominent state was that with its capital 
at Carchemish, in the time of Tiglath-pileser I., about 1100 
B. C. In 854 B. C. Shalmaneser II. included the kings of Is- 
rael, of Ammon, and of the Arabs, among the "Hittite" princes 
whom he had subdued, thus bearing most emphatic testimony 
to the prominence which they assumed in his estimation. 

The cuneiform inscriptions of Armenia also, speak of nu- 
merous wars with the Hittites, and describe "the land of the 
Hittites" as extending far westward from the banks of the 

Hittite sculptures and inscriptions are now traced in abun- 
dance from Kadesh, in Coele Syria, westward to Lydia, in Asia 
Minor, and northward to the Black Sea beyond Marsovan, 
Indeed, the extensive ruins of Boghaz-Keui, seventy-five miles 
southwest of Marsovan, seem to mark the principal capital 
of the Hittites. Here partial excavations have already re- 
vealed sculptures of high artistic order, representing deities, 
warriors and amazons, together with many hieroglyphs which 
have not yet been translated. The inscriptions are written 
in both directions, from left to right, and then below back 
from right to left. Similar inscriptions are found in numer- 
ous other places. No clue to their meaning has yet been found, 
and even the class of languages to which they belong has not 
been discovered. But enough is known to show that the Hit- 
tites exerted considerable influence upon the later civilization 
which sprung up in Greece and on the western coasts of Asia 
Minor. It was through them that the emblem of the winged 
horse made its way into Europe. The mural crown carved 
upon the head of some of the goddesses at Boghaz-Keui also 
passed into Grecian sculpture ; while the remarkable lions sculp- 
tured over the gate at Mycenae are thought to represent Hittite, 
rather than Babylonian art. 

It is impossible to overestimate the value of this testimony 

Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures. 17 

in confirmation of the correctness of biblical history. It shows 
conclusively that the silence of profane historians regarding 
facts stated by the biblical writers is of small account, in face 
of direct statements made by the biblical historians. All the 
doubts entertained in former times concerning the accuracy of 
the numerous biblical statements concerning the Hittites is now 
seen to be due to our ignorance. It was pure ignorance, not 
superior knowledge, which led so many to discredit these rep- 
resentations. When shall we learn the inconclusiveness of neg- 
ative testimony? 


In 1887 some Arabs discovered a wonderful collection of 
tablets at Tel el-Amarna, an obscure settlement on the east 
bank of the Nile, about two hundred miles above Cairo and 
about as far below Thebes. These tablets were of clay, which 
had been written over with cuneiform inscriptions, such as are 
found in Babylonia, and then burnt, so as to be indestructi- 
ble. When at length the inscriptions were deciphered, it ap- 
peared that they were a collection of official letters, which had 
been sent shortly before 1300 B. C. to the last kings of the 
eighteenth dynasty. 

There were in all about three hundred letters, most of which 
were from officers of the Egyptian army scattered over Pales- 
tine to maintain the Egyptian rule which had been established 
by the preceding kings, most prominent of whom was Tahu- 
times III., who flourished about one hundred years earlier. 
But many of the letters were from the kings and princes of 
Babylonia. What surprised the world most, however, was that 
this correspondence was carried on, not in the hieroglyphic 
script of Egypt, but in the cuneiform script of Babylonia. 

All this was partly explained when more became known 
about the character of the Egyptian king to whom the letters 
were addressed. His original title was Amenhotep IV., in- 
dicating that he was a priest of the sun god who is worshiped 

18 The Fundamentals. 

at Thebes. But in his anxiety to introduce a religious reform 
he changed his name to Aken-Aten, Aten being the name of 
the deity worshiped at Heliopolis, near Cairo, where Joseph 
got his wife. The efforts of Aken-Aten to transform the re- 
ligious worship of Egypt were prodigious. The more perfectly 
to accomplish it, he removed his capital from Thebes to Tel el- 
Amarna, and there collected literary men and artists and archi- 
tects in great numbers and erected temples and palaces, which, 
after being buried in the sand with all their treasures for more 
than three thousand years, were discovered by some wander- 
ing Arabs twenty-two years ago. 

A number of the longest and most interesting of the let- 
ters are those which passed between the courts of Egypt and 
those of Babylonia. It appears that not only did Aken-Aten 
marry a daughter of the Babylonian king, but his mother and 
grandmother were members of the royal family in Babylonia, 
and also that one of the daughters of the king of Egypt had 
been sent to Babylonia to become the wife of the king. All 
this comes out in the letters that passed back and forth relat- 
ing to the dowry to be bestowed upon these daughters and 
relating to their health and welfare. 

From these letters we learn that, although the king of Baby- 
lon had sent his sister to be the wife of the king of Egypt, 
that was not sufficient. The king of Egypt requested also 
the daughter of the king of Babylon. This led the king of 
Babylon to say that he did not know how his sister was treated ; 
in fact, he did not know whether she was alive, for he could 
not tell whether or not to believe the evidence which came 
to him. In response, the king of Egypt 'wrote: "Why don't 
you send some one who knows your sister, and whom you can 
trust?" Whereupon the royal correspondents break off into 
discussions concerning the gifts which are to pass between the 
two in consideration of their friendship and intimate relations. 

Syria and Palestine were at this time also, as at the pres- 
ent day, infested by robbers, and the messengers passing be- 

Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures. 19 

tween these royal houses were occasionally waylaid. Where- 
upon the one who suffered loss would claim damages from the 
other if it was in his territory, because he had not properly pro- 
tected the road. An interesting thing in connection with one 
of these robberies is that it took place at "Hannathon," one of 
the border towns mentioned in Josh. 19; 14, but of which noth- 
ing else was ever known until it appeared in this unexpected 

Most of the Tel el-Amarna letters, however, consist of those 
which were addressed to the king of Egypt (Amenhotep IV.) 
by his officers who were attempting to hold the Egyptian for- 
tresses in Syria and Palestine against various enemies who 
were pressing hard upon them. Among these were the Hit- 
tites, of whom we hear so much in later times, and who, com- 
ing down from the far north, were gradually extending their 
colonies into Palestine and usurping control over the northern 
part of the country. 

About sixty of the letters are from an officer named Rib- 
addi, who is most profuse in his expressions of humility and 
loyalty, addressing the king as "his lord" "arid "sun," and call- 
ing himself the "footstool of the king's feet," and saying that 
he "prostrates himself seven times seven times at his feet." He 
complains, however, that he is not properly supported in his 
efforts to defend the provinces, of the king, and is constantly 
wanting more soldiers, .more cavalry, more money, more pro- 
visions, more everything. So frequent are his importunities 
that the king finally tells him that if he will write less and fight 
more he would be better pleased, and that there would be more 
hopes of his maintaining his power. But Rib-addi says that 
he is being betrayed by the "curs" that are surrounding him, 
who represent the other countries that pretend to be friendly 
to Egypt, but are not. 

From this correspondence, and from letters from the south 
of Palestine, it is made plain that the Egyptian power was 
fast losing its hold of the country, thus preparing the way for 

20 The Fundamentals. 

the condition of things which prevailed a century or two later, 
when Joshua took possession of the promised land, and found 
no resistance except from a number of disorganized tribes then 
in possession. 

In this varied correspondence a large number of places are 
mentioned with which we are familiar in Bible history, among 
them Damascus, Sidon, Lachish, Ashkelon, Gaza, Joppa, and 
Jerusalem. Indeed, several of the letters are written from Je- 
rusalem by one Abd-hiba, who complains that some one is slan- 
dering him to the king, charging that he was in revolt against 
his lord. This, he says, the king ought to know is absurd, 
from the fact that "neither my father nor my mother appointed 
me to this place. The strong arm of the king inaugurated 
me in my father's territory. Why should I commit an offense 
against my lord, the king?" The argument being that, as his 
office is not hereditary, but one which is held by the king's 
favor and appointment, his loyalty should be above question. 

A single one of these Jerusalem letters may suffice for an 

"To My Lord the King : Abd-hiba, your servant. At the 
feet of my lord the king, seven and seven times I fall. Behold 
the deed which Milki-il and Suardata have done against the 
land of my lord the king they have hired the soldiers of Gazri, 
of Gimti and of Kilti, and have taken the territory of Rubuti. 
The territory of the king is lost to Habiri. And now, indeed, 
a city of the territory of Jerusalem, called Bit-Ninib, one of 
the cities of the king, has been lost to the people of Kilti. Let 
the king listen to Abd-hiba, his servant, and send troops that 
I may bring back the king's land to the king. For if there are 
no troops, the land of the king will be lost to the Habiri. This 
is the deed of Suardata and Milki-il * * * [defective], 
and let the king take care of his land." 

The discovery of these Tel el-Amarna letters came like a 
flash of lightning upon the scholarly world. In this case the 
overturning of a few spadefuls of earth let in a flood of light 

Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures. 21 

upon the darkest portion of ancient history, and in every way 
confirmed the Bible story. 

As an official letter-writer, Rib-addi has had few equals, 
and he wrote on material which the more it was burned the 
longer it lasted. Those who think that a history of Israel 
could not have been written in Moses' time, and that, if written, 
it could not have been preserved, are reasoning without due 
knowledge of the facts. Considering the habits of the time, 
it would have been well nigh a miracle if Moses and his band 
of associates coming out of Egypt had not left upon imperisha- 
ble clay tablets a record of the striking events through which 
they passed. 


Many persons doubtless wonder why it is that the Bible 
so abounds in "uninteresting" lists of names both of persons 
and places which seem to have no relation to modern times or 
current events. Such, however, will cease to wonder when 
they come to see the relation which these lists sustain to our 
confidence in the trustworthiness of the records containing 
them. They are like the water-marks in paper, which bear in- 
delible evidence of the time and place of manufacture. If, 
furthermore, one should contemplate personal explorations in 
Egypt, Canaan, or Babylonia, he would find that for his pur- 
poses the most interesting and important portions of the Bible 
would be these very lists of the names of persons and places 
which seemed to encumber the historical books of the Old Tes- 

One of the most striking peculiarities of the Bible is the 
"long look" toward the permanent wants of mankind which is 
everywhere manifested in its preparation ; so that it circulates 
best in its entirety. No man knows enough to abridge the 
Bible without impairing its usefulness. The parts which the 
reviser would cut out as superfluous are sure, very soon, to be 
found to be "the more necessary." If we find that we have 
not any use for any portion of the Bible, the reason doubtless 

22 The Fundamentals. 

is that we have not lived long enough, or have not had suffi- 
ciently wide experience to test its merits in all particulars. 

Gezer was an important place in Joshua's time, but it after- 
ward became a heap of ruins, and its location was unknown 
until 1870, when M. Clermont-Ganneau discovered the site in 
Tel Jezer, and, on excavating it, found three inscriptions, which 
on interpretation read "Boundary of Gezer." 

Among the places conquered by Joshua one of the most im- 
portant and difficult to capture was Lachish (Josh. 10:31). 
This has but recently been identified in Tel el-Hesy, about 
eighteen miles northeast of Gaza. Extensive excavations, first 
in 1890 by Dr. Flinders Petrie, and finally by Dr. Bliss, found 
1 a succession of ruins, one below the other, the lower founda- 
tions of which extended back to about 1700 B. C., some time be- 
fore the period of conquest, showing at that time a walled 
city of great strength. In the debris somewhat higher than 
this, there was found a tablet with cuneiform inscriptions cor- 
responding to the Tel el-Amarna tablets, which are known to 
have been sent to Egypt from this region about 1400 B. C. At 
a later period, in the time of Sennacherib, Lachish was as- 
saulted and taken by the Assyrian army, and the account of 
the siege forms one of the most conspicuous scenes on the 
walls of Sennacherib's palace in Nineveh. These sculptures 
are now in the British Museum, 

Among the places mentioned in the Tel el-Amarna corre- 
spondence from which letters were sent to Egypt about 1400 
B. C., are Gebal, Beirut, Tyre, Accho (Acre), Hazor, Joppha, 
Ashkelon, Makkadah, Lachish, Gezer, Jerusalem; while men- 
tion is also made of Rabbah, Sarepta, Ashtaroth, Gaza, Gath, 
Bethshemesh) all of which are familiar names, showing that the 
Palestine of Joshua is the Palestine known to Egypt in the 
preceding century. Two hundred years before this (about 
1600 B. C.) also, Thothmes III. conquered Palestine, and -gives 
in an inscription the names of more than fifty towns which 
can be confidently identified with those in the Book of Joshua. 

Monuments, to the Truth of the Scriptures. 23 

Finally, the forty-two stations named in Num. 33 as camp- 
ing places for the children of Israel on their way to Palestine, 
while they cannot all of them be identified, can be determined 
in sufficient numbers to show that it is not a fictitious list, nor 
a mere pilgrim's diary, since the scenes of greatest interest, 
like the region immediately about Mount Sinai, are specially 
adapted to the great transactions which are recorded as taking 
place. Besides, it is incredible that a writer of fiction should 
have encumbered his pages with such a barren catalogue of 
places. But as part of the great historical movement they are 
perfectly appropriate. 

This conformity of newly discovered facts to the narrative 
of Sacred Scripture confirms our confidence in the main tes- 
timony ; just as the consistency of a witness in a cross-examina- 
tion upon minor and incidental points establishes confidence in 
his general testimony. The late Sir Walter Besant, in addi- 
tion to his other literary and philanthropic labors, was for 
many years secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund. In 
reply to the inquiry whether the work of the survey under his 
direction sustained the historical character of the Old Testa- 
ment, he says : "To my mind, absolute truth in local details, 
a thing which cannot possibly be invented, when it is spread 
over a history covering many centuries, is proof almost ab- 
solute as to the truth of the things related." Such proof we 
have for every part of the Bible. 


The fourteenth chapter of Genesis relates that "In the 
days of Amraphel, king of. Shinar, Arioch, king of Ellasar, 
Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of Goiim (na- 
tions), they made war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with 
Bersha, king of Gomorrah, and Shinab, king of Admah, and 
Shemeber, king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela (the same is 
Zoar)." The Babylonian kings were successful and the region 
about the Dead Sea was subject to them for twelve years, when 

24 The Fundamentals. 

a rebellion was instigated and in the following year Chedor- 
laomer and the kings that were with him appeared on the scene 
and, after capturing numerous surrounding cities, joined battle 
with the rebellious allies in the vale of Siddim, which was full 
of slime pits. The victory of Chedorlaomer was complete, and 
after capturing Lot and his goods in Sodom he started home- 
ward by way of Damascus, near which place Abraham over- 
took him, and by a successful stratagem scattered his forces by 
night and recovered Lot and his goods. This story, told with 
so many details that its refutation would be easy if it were not 
true to the facts and if there were contemporary records with 
which to compare it, has been a special butt for the ridicule of 
the Higher Critics of the Wellhausen school, Professor N61- 
deke confidently declaring as late as 1869 that criticism had 
forever disproved its claim to be historical. But here again 
the inscriptions on the monuments of Babylonia have come 
to the rescue of the sacred historian, if, indeed, he were in 
need of rescue. (For where general ignorance was so pro- 
found as it was respecting that period forty years ago, true 
modesty should have suggested caution in the expression of 
positive opinions in contradiction to such a detailed historical 
statement as this is.) 

From the inscriptions already discovered and deciphered 
in the Valley of the Euphrates, it is now shown beyond rea- 
sonable doubt that the four kings mentioned in the Bible 
as joining in this expedition are not, as was freely said, "etymo- 
logical inventions," but real historical persons. Amraphel is 
identified as the Hammurabi whose marvelous code of laws> 
was so recently discovered by De Morgan at Susa. The "H" 
in the latter word simply expresses the rough breathing so 
well known in Hebrew. The "p" in the biblical name has 
taken the place of "b" by a well-recognized law of phonetic 
change. "Amrap" is equivalent to "Hamrab." The addition 
of "il" in the biblical name is probably the suffix of the di- 
vine name, like "el" in Israel. 

Monuments to the Truth of, the Scriptures. 25 

Hammurabi is now known to have had his capital at Baby- 
lon at the time of Abraham. Until recently this chronolgy was 
disputed, so that the editors ' and , contributors of the New 
Schaff-Herzog Cyclopedia dogmatically asserted that as Abra- 
ham lived nearly 300 years later than Hammurabi, the bib- 
lical story must be unhistorical. Hardly had these statements 
been printed, however, when Dr. King of the British Museum 
discovered indisputable evidence that two of the dynasties 
which formerly had been reckoned as consecutive were, in 
fact, contemporaneous, thus making it easy to bring Hammu- 
rabi's time down exactly to that of Abraham. 

Chedorlaomer is pretty certainly identified as Kudur-Laga- 
mar (servant of Lagamar, one of the principal Elamite gods). 
Kudur-Lagamar was king of Elam, and Was either the father 
or the brother of Kudur-Mabug, whose son, Eri-Aku (Ari- 
och), reigned over Larsa and Ur, and other cities of southern 
Babylonia. He speaks of Kudur-Mabug "as .the father of the 
land of the Amorites," i. e., of Palestine and Syria. 

Tidal, "king of nations," was supposed by Dr. Pinches to 
be referred to on a late tablet in connection with Chedor- 
laomer and Arioch under the name Tudghula, who are said, 
together, to have "attacked and spoiled Babylon." 

However much doubt there may be about the identifica- 
tion of some of these names, the main points are established, 
revealing a condition of things just such as is implied by the 
biblical narrative. Arioch styles himself king of ' Shumer 
and Accad, which embraced Babylon, where Amraphel (Ham- 
murabi) was in his early years subject to him. This furnishes 
a reason for the association of Chedorlaomer and Amraphel 
in a campaign against the rebellious subjects in Palestine. 
Again, Kudur-Mabug, the father of Arioch, styles himself 
"Prince of the land of Amurru," i. e., of Palestine and Syria. 
Moreover, for a long period before, kings from Babylonia 
had claimed possession of the whole eastern shore of the 
Mediterranean, including the Sinaitic Peninsula. 

26 The Fundamentals. 

In light of these well-attested facts, one reads with aston- 
ishment the following words of Wellhausen, written no longer 
ago than 1889: "That four 'kings from the Persian Gulf 
should, 'in the time of Abraham/ have made an incursion into 
the Sinai tic Peninsula, that they should on this occasion have 
attacked five kinglets on the Dead Sea Littoral and have car- 
ried them off prisoners, and finally that Abraham should have 
set out in pursuit of the retreating victors, accompanied by 
318 men servants, and have forced them to disgorge their 
prey, all these incidents are 'sheer, impossibilities which gam 
nothing in credibility from the fact that 'they are placed in a 
world which, had passed away." 

And we/ can have little respect for the logic of a later 
scholar (George Adam Smith), who can write the following: 
"We must admit that while archaeology has richly illustrated 
the possibility of the main outlines of the Book of Genesis 
from Abraham to Joseph, it has not one whit of proof to 
offer for the personal existence or the characters of the patri- 
archs themselves. This is the whole change archaeology has 
wrought ; it has given us a background and an atmosphere for 
the stories .of Genesis; it is unable to recall of certify their 

But the name Abraham does appear in tablets of the age 
of Hammurabi. (See Professor George Barton in Journal of 
Biblical Literature, Vol. 28, 1909, page 153.) It is true that 
this evidently is not the Abraham of the Bible, but that of a 
small farmer who had rented land of a well-to-do land owner. 
The preservation of his name is due to the fact that the most 
of the tablets preserved contain contracts relating to the 
business of the times. There is little reason to expect that we 
should find a definite reference to the Abraham who in early 
life migrated from his native land. But it is of a good deal of 
significance that his name appears to have been a common one, 
in the time and place of his nativity. 

In considering the arguments in the case, it is important to 

Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures. 27 

keep in mind that where so few facts are known, and general 
ignorance is so great, negative evidence is of small account, 
while every scrap of positive evidence has great weight. The 
burden of proof in such cases falls upon those who dispute 
the positive evidence. For example, in the article above re- 
ferred to, Professor Barton argues that it is not "quite cer- 
tain" that Arioch ,(Eri-Agu) was a real Babylonian king. But 
he admits that our ignorance is such that we must admit its 
"possibility." Dr. Barton further argues that "we have as 
yet no evidence from the inscriptions that Arad-Sin, even if 
he were called Iri-Agu, ever had anything to do with Ham- 
murabi." But, he adds, "Of course, it is possible that he may 
have had, as their reigns must have overlapped, but that re- 
mains to be proved." 

All such reasoning (and there is any amount of it in the 
critics of the prevalent school) reveals a lamentable lack in 
their logical training. When we have a reputable document 
containing positive historical statements which are shown by 
circumstantial evidence to be possible, that is all we need to 
accept them as true. When, further, we find a great amount 
of circumstantial evidence positively showing that the state- 
ments conform to the conditions of time and place, so far as 
we know them, this adds immensely to the weight of the tes- 
timony. We never can fill in all the background of any his- 
torical fact. But if the statement of it fits into the background 
so far as we can fill it in, we should accept the fact until posi- 
tive contrary evidence is produced. No supposition can be 
more extravagant than that which Professor Barton seems to 
accept (which is that of the German critic, Meyer) that a Jew, 
more than 1,000 years after the event, obtained in Babylon the 
amount of exact information concerning the conditions in 
Babylonia in Abraham's time, found in the fourteenth chapter 
of Genesis, and interpolated the story of Chedorlaomer's ex- 
pedition into the background thus furnished. To entertain such 

28 The Fundamentals. 

a supposition discredits the prevalent critical scholarship, rather 
than the Sacred Scriptures. 

But present space forbids further enumeration of particu- 
lars. It is sufficient to say that while many more positive con- 
firmations of the seemingly improbable statements of the sa- 
cred historians can be adduced, there have been no discoveries 
which necessarily contravene their statements. The cases al- 
ready here enumerated relate to such widely separated times 
and places, and furnish explanations so unexpected, yet natu- 
ral, to difficulties that have been thought insuperable, that their 
testimony cannot be ignored or rejected. That this history 
should be confirmed in so many cases and in such a remarka- 
ble manner by monuments uncovered 3,000 years after their 
erection, can be nothing else than providential. Surely, God 
has seen to it that the failing faith of these later days should 
not be left to grope in darkness. When the faith of many 
was waning and many heralds of truth were tempted to speak 
with uncertain sound, the very stones have cried out with a 
voice that only the deaf could fail to hear. Both in the writ- 
ing and in the preservation of the Bible we behold the handi- 
work of God. 




BY M. G. KYLE, D. D., LL. D., 




(The numbers in parentheses throughout this article refer to the 
notes at the end of the article.) 


"Recent" is a dangerously capacious word to intrust to an 
archaeologist. Anything this side of the Day of Pentecost is 
"recent" in biblical archaeology. For this review, however, 
anything since 1904 is accepted to be, in a general way, the 
meaning of the word "recent." 

"Recent testimony of archaeology" may be either the testi- 
mony of recent discoveries or recent testimony of former dis- 
coveries. A new interpretation, if it be established to be a 
true interpretation, is a discovery. For to uncover is not al- 
ways to discover; indeed, the real value of a discovery is not 
its emergence, but its significance, and the discovery of its 
real significance is the real discovery. 

The most important testimony to the Scriptures of this five- 
year archaeological period admits of some classification : 


The reception in Egypt accorded to Abraham and to Jacob , 
and his sons (1) and the elevation of Joseph there (2) per- 


30 The Fundamentals. 

emptorily demand either the acknowledgment of a mythical 
element in the stories, or the belief in a suitable historical set- 
ting therefor. Obscure, insignificant, private citizens are not 
accorded such recognition at a foreign and unfriendly court. 
While some have been conceding a mythical element in the 
stories (3) , archaeology has uncovered to view such appropriate 
historical setting that the patriarchs are seen not to have 
been obscure, insignificant, private citizens, nor Zoan a foreign 
and unfriendly court. 

The presence of the Semitic tongue in Hyksos' territory 
has long been known (4) ; from still earlier than patriarchal 
times until much later, the Phoenicians, first cousins of the He- 
brews, did the foreign business of the Egyptians (5) , as the 
English, the Germans, and the French do the foreign business 
of the Chinese of today; and some familiarity, even sympa- 
thy, with Semitic religion has been strongly suspected from 
the interview of the Hyksos kings with the patriarchs (6) ; 
but the discovery in 1906 (7) , by Petrie, of the great fortified 
camp at Tel-el- Yehudiyeh set at rest, in the main, the biblical 
question of the relation between the patriarchs and the Hyksos. 
The abundance of Hyksos scarabs and the almost total ab- 
sence of all others mark the camp as certainly a Hyksos 
camp (8) ; the original character of the fortifications, before 
the Hyksos learned the builders' craft from the Egyptians, 
shows them to have depended upon the bow for defense (9) ; 
a'nd, finally, the name Hyksos, in the Egyptian Haq Shashu (10) 
"Bedouin princes," brings out, sharp and clear, the harmonious 
picture of which we have had glimpses for a long time, of the 
Hyksos as wandering tribes of the desert, of "Upper and 
Lower Ruthen" (11) ; i. e., Syria and Palestine, northern and 
western Arabia, "Bow people" (12) , as the Egyptians called 
them, their traditional enemies as far back as pyramid 
times (13) . 

Why, then, should not the patriarchs have had a royal re- 
ception in Egypt? They were themselves also the heads of 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 31 

wandering tribes of "Upper and Lower Ruthen," in the tongue 
of the Egyptians, Haq Shashu, "Bedouin princes" ; and among 
princes, a prince is a prince, however small his principality. 
So Abraham, the Bedouin prince, was accorded princely con- 
sideration at the Bedouin court in Egypt; Joseph, the Bedouin 
slave, became again the Bedouin prince when the wisdom of 
God with him and his rank by birth became known. And 
Jacob and his other sons were welcome, with all their follow- 
ers and their wealth, as a valuable acquisition to the court 
party, always harassed by the restive and rebellious native 
Egyptians. This does not prove racial identity between the 
Hyksos and the patriarchs, but very close tribal relationship. 
And thus every suspicion of a mythical element in the nar- 
rative of the reception accorded the patriarchs in Egypt dis- 
appears when archaeology has testified to the true historical 


A second recent testimony of archaeology gives us the great 
H'ittite vindication. The Hittites have been, in one respect, 
the Trojans of Bible history; indeed, the inhabitants of old 
Troy were scarcely more in need of a Schliemann to vindicate 
their claim to reality than the Hittites of a Winckler. 

In 1904 one of the foremost archaeologists of Europe said 
to me: "I do not believe there ever were such people as the 
Hittites, and I do not believe 'Kheta' in the Egyptian inscrip- 
tions was meant for the name Hittites." We will allow that 
archaeologist to be nameless now. But the ruins of Troy vin- 
dicated the right of her people to a place in real history, and 
the ruins of Boghatz-Koi bid fair to afford a more striking 
vindication of the Bible representation of the Hittites. 

Only the preliminary announcement of Winckler's great 
treasury of documents from Boghatz-Koi has yet been 
made (14) . The complete unfolding of a long-eclipsed great 
national history is still awaited impatiently. But enough has 

32 The Fundamentals. 

been published to redeem this people completely from their 
half-mythical plight, and give them a firm place in sober history 
greater than imagination had ever fancied for them under the * 
stimulus of any hint contained in the Bible. 

There has been brought to light a Hittite empire (15) in 
Asia Minor, with central power and vassal dependencies round 
about and with treaty rights on equal terms with the greatest 
nations of antiquity, thus making the Hittite power a third 
great power with Babylonia and Egypt, as was, indeed, fore- 
shadowed in the great treaty of the Hittites with Rameses II., 
inscribed on the projecting wing of the south wall of the 
Temple of Amon at Karnak (16) , though Rameses tried so hard 
to obscure the fact. The ruins at the village of Boghatz-Koi 
are shown also to mark the location of the Hittite capital (ir) , 
and the unknown language on the cuneiform tablets recovered 
there to be the Hittite tongue (18) , while the cuneiform method 
of writing, as already upon the Amarna tablets (19) , so still more 
clearly here, is seen to have been the diplomatic script, and in 
good measure the Babylonian to have been the diplomatic lan- 
guage of the Orient in that age (20) . And the large admixture 
of Babylonian words and forms in these Hittite inscriptions 
opens the way for the real decipherment of the Hittite lan- 
guage (21) , and imagination can scarcely promise too much to 
our hopes for the light which such a decipherment will throw 
upon the historical and cultural background of the Bible. 

Only one important point remains to be cleared up, the 
relation between the Hittite language of these cuneiform tab- 
lets and the language of the Hittite hieroglyphic inscrip- 
tion^^. That these were identical is probable; that the hiero- 
glyphic inscriptions represent an older form of the language, 
a kind of "Hieratic," is possible; that it was essentially dif- 
ferent from the language of these tablets is improbable. There 
has been the Hittite vindication ; the complete illumination of 
Hittite history is not likely to be long delayed. 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 33 


Other recent testimony of archaeology brings before us 
the Palestinian civilization of the conquest period. Palestinian 
explorations within the last few years have yielded a start- 
ling array of "finds" illustrating things mentioned in the Bible, 
finds of the same things, finds of like things, and finds in har- 
mony with things (23) . Individual mention of them all is here 
neither possible nor desirable. Of incomparably greater impor- 
tance than these individually interesting relics of Canaanite 
antiquity is the answer afforded by recent research to two 
questions : 

1. First in order, Does the Canaanite culture as revealed 
by the excavations accord with the story of Israel at the con- 
quest as related in the Bible ? How much of a break in culture 
is required by the Bible account, and how much is revealed by 
the excavations? For answer, we must find a standpoint 
somewhere between that of the dilettante traveler in the land 
Vf *the microscopic scientist thousands of miles away. The 
careful excavator in the field occupies that sane and safe mid- 
dle point of view. Petrie (24) , Bliss (25) , Macalister (26) , Schu- 
macker (27) and Sellin( 28) these are the men with whom to 
stand. And for light on the early civilization of Palestine, the 
great work of Macalister at Gezer stands easily first. 


In determining this question of culture, too much impor- 
tance has been allowed to that estimate of time and chrono- 
logical order which is gained exclusively from the study of 
pottery. The pottery remains are not to be undervalued, arid 
neither are they to be overvalued. Time is only one thing 
that shows itself in similarity or dissimilarity in pottery. Dif- 
ferent stages of civilization at different places at the same 
time, and adaptation to an end either at the same time or at 
widely different times, show themselves in pottery, and render 
very uncertain any chronological deduction. And, still more, 

34 The Fundamentals. 

available material may result in the production of similar pot- 
tery in two very different civilizations arising one thousand 
years or more apart. This civilization of pots, as a deciding 
criterion, is not quite adequate, and is safe as a criterion at 
all only when carefully compared with the testimony of loca- 
tion, intertribal relations, governmental domination, and liter- 
ary attainments. 

These are the things, in addition to the pots, which help 
to determine indeed, which do determine -how much of a 
break in culture is required by the Bible account of the Con- 
quest, and how much is shown by excavations. Since the 
Israelites occupied the cities and towns and vineyards and 
olive orchards of the Canaanites, and their "houses full of all 
good things" (29) , had the same materials and in the main 
the same purposes for pottery and would adopt methods of 
cooking suited to the country, spoke the "language of Ca- 
naan" (30) , and were of the same race as many of the people 
of Canaan, intermarried, though against their law (31) , with 
the people of the land, and were continually chided for lapses 
into the idolatry and superstitious practices of the Canaan- 
ites (32) , and, in short, were greatly different from them only in 
religion, it is evident that the only marked, immediate change 
to be expected at the Conquest is a change in religion, and 
that any other break in culture occasioned by the devastation 
of war will be only a break in continuance of the same kind 
of culture, evidence of demolition, spoliation, and reconstruc- 
tion. Exactly such change in religion and interruption in cul- 
ture at the Conquest period excavations show. 


(a) The rubbish at Gezer shows history in distinct layers, 
and the layers themselves are in distinct groups (33) . At the 
bottom are layers Canaanite, not Semitic ; above these, layers 
Semitic, Amorite giving place to Jewish ; and higher still, lay- 
ers of Jewish culture of the monarchy and later times. 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 35 

(b) The closing up of the great tunnel to the spring with- 
in the fortifications at Gezer is placed by the layers of his- 
tory in the rubbish heaps at the period of the Conquest (34) . 
But when a great fortification is so ruined and the power it 
represents so destroyed that it loses sight of its water-supply, 
surely the culture of the time has had an interruption, though 
it be not much changed. Then this tunnel, as a great engineer- 
ing feat, is remarkable testimony to the advanced state of 
civilization at the time of its construction; but the more 
remarkable the civilization it represents, the more terrible must 
have been the disturbance of the culture which caused it to 
be lost and forgotten (35) . 

(c) Again, there is apparent an enlargement of the popu- 
lated area of the city of Gezer by encroaching upon the Temple 
area at the period of the Conquest (36) , showing at once the 
crowding into the city of the Israelites without the destruction 
of the Canaanites, as stated in the Bible, and a corresponding 
decline in reverence for the sacred inclosure of the High Place. 
While, at a time corresponding to the early period of the Mon- 
archy (37) , there is a sudden decrease of the populated area 
corresponding to .the destruction of the Canaanites in the city 
by the father of Solomon's Egyptian wife (88) . 

(d) Of startling significance, the hypothetical Musri 
Egypt in North Arabia, concerning which it has been said (39) 
the patriarchs descended thereto, the Israelites escaped there- 
from, and a princess thereof Solomon married, has been final- 
ly and definitely discredited. For Gezer was a marriage 
dower of that princess whom Solomon married (40) , a por- 
tion of her father's dominion, and so a part of the supposed 
Musri, if it ever existed, and if so, at Gezer, then, we should 
find some evidence of this people and their civilization. Of 
such there is not a trace. But, instead, we find from very 
early times, but especially at this time, Egyptian remains in 
great abundance (41) . 

(e) Indeed, even Egyptian refinement and luxuries were 

36 The Fundamentals. 

not incongruous in the Palestine of the Conquest period. The 
great rock-hewn, and rock-built cisterns at Taannek (42) , the 
remarkable engineering on the tunnel at Gezer C43) , the great 
forty-foot city wall in an Egyptian picture of Canaanite 
war (44) , the list of richest Canaanite booty given by Thothmes 
III. (45) , the fine ceramic and bronze .utensils and weapons 
recovered from nearly every Palestinian excavation (46) , and 
the literary revelations of the Amarna tablets (47) , together 
with the reign of law seen by a comparison of the scriptural 
account with the Code of Hammurabi, show (48) Canaanite 
civilization of that period to be fully equal to that of Egypt. 

(f) Then the Bible glimpses of Canaanite practices and 
the products of Canaanite religion now uncovered exactly 
agree. The mystery of the High Place of the Bible narrative, 
with its sacred caves, lies bare at Gezer and Taannek. The 
sacrifice of infants, probably first-born, and the foundation 
and other sacrifices of children, either infant or partly grown, 
appear in all their ghastliness in various places at Gezer and 
"practically all over the hill" at Taannek (49) . 

(g) But the most remarkable testimony of archaeology 
of this period is to the Scripture representations of the spirit- 
ual monotheism of Israel in its conflict with the horrible idola- 
trous polytheism of the Canaanites, the final overthrow of the 
fetter and the ultimate triumph of the former. The history 
of that conflict is as plainly written at Gezer in the gradual 
decline of the High Place and giving way of the revolting sac- 
rifice of children to the bowl and lamp deposit as it is in the 
inspired account of Joshua, Judges and Samuel. And he line 
that marks off the territory of divine revelation in religion 
from the impinging heathenism round about is as distinct as 
that line off the coast of Newfoundland where the cold waters 
of the North beat against the warm life-giving flow of the Gulf 
Stream. The revelation of the spade in Palestine is making to 
stand out every day more clearly the revelation that God made. 
There is no evidence of a purer religion growing up out of 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 37 

that vile culture, but rather of a purer religion coming down 
and overwhelming it. 

2. Another and still more, important question concerning 
Palestine^civilization is, What was the source and course of the 
dominant civilization and especially the religious culture re- 
flected in the Bible account of the millennium preceding and the 
millennium succeeding the birth of Abraham? Was it from 
without toward Canaan or from Canaan outward? Did Pal- 
estine in her civilization and culture of those days, in much 
or in all, but reflect Babylonia, or was she a luminary ? 


The revision of views concerning Palestinian civilization 
forced by recent excavations at once puts a bold interrogation 
point to the opinion long accepted by many of the source and 
course of religious influence during this formative period of 
patriarchal history, and the time of the working out of the 
principles of Israel's religion into the practices of Israel's 
life. If the Palestinian civilization during this period was equal 
to that of Egypt, and so certainly not inferior to that of Baby- 
lonia, then the opinion that the flow of religious influence was 
then from Babylonia to Palestine must stand for its defense. 
Here arises the newest problem of biblical archaeology. 

And one of the most expert cuneiform scholars of the day, 
Albert T. Clay (50) , has essayed this problem and announces 
a revolutionary solution of it by a new interpretation of well- 
known material as well as the interpretation of newly acquired 
material. The solution is nothing less, indeed, than that in- 
stead of the source of religious influence being Babylonia, and 
its early course from Babylonia into Palestine, exactly the 
reverse is true. "That the Semitic Babylonian religion is an 
importation from Syria and Palestine (Amurru), that the crea- 
tion, deluge, ante-diluvian patriarchs, etc., of the Babylonian 
came from Amurru, instead of the Hebraic stories having come 
from Babylonia, as held by nearly all Semitic scholars." 

38 The Fundamentals. 

This is startling and far reaching in its consequences. 
Clay's work must be put to the test ; and so it will be, before it 
can be finally accepted. It has, however, this initial advantage, 
that it is in accord with the apparent self-consciousness of the 
Scripture writers and, as we have seen, exactly in the direction 
in which recent discoveries in Palestinian civilization point. 


Again archaeology has of late furnished illumination of 
certain special questions of both Old and New Testament 

. 1. "Light from Babylonia" by L. W. King< 51 > of the 
British Museum on the chronology of the first three dynasties 
helps to determine the date of Hammurabi, and so of Abra- 
ham's call and of the Exodus, and, indeed, has introduced a 
corrective element into the chronology of all subsequent his- 
tory down to the time of David and exerts a far-reaching 
influence upon many critical questions in which the chron- 
ological element is vital. 


2. The entire absence from the offerings of old Egyptian 
religion of any of the great Pentateuchal ideas of sacrifice, 
substitution, atonement, dedication, fellowship, and, indeed, of 
almost every essential idea of real sacrifice, as clearly estab- 
lished by recent very exhaustive examination of the offering 
scenes (52) , makes for the element of revelation in the Mosaic 
system by delimiting the field of rationalistic speculation on the 
Egyptian side. Egypt gave nothing to that system, for she 
had nothing to give. 


3. Then the grossly materialistic character of the Egyp- 
tian conception of the other world and of the future life, and 
the fact, ever.y day becoming clearer, that the so-called and 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 39 

so-much-talked-about resurrection in the belief of the Egyp- 
tians was not a resurrection at all, but a resuscitation to the 
same old life on "oxen, geese, tyread, wine, beer, and all good 
things," is furnishing a most complete solution of the prob- 
lem of the obscurity of the idea of the resurrection in the 
Pentateuchal documents. For, whether they came from Moses 
when he had just come from Egypt or are by some later author 
attributed to Moses, when he had just come from Egypt, the 
problem is the same: Why is the idea of the resurrection so 
obscure in the Pentateuch? Now to have put forth in revela- 
tion the idea of the resurrection at that time, before the 
growth of spiritual ideas of God and of worship here, of the 
other world and the future life there, and before the people 
under the influence of these new ideas had outgrown their 
Egyptian training, would have carried over into Israel's relig- 
ious thinking all the low, degrading materialism of Egyptian 
belief on this subject. The Mosaic system made no use of 
Egyptian belief concerning the future life because it was not 
by it usable, and it kept away from open presentation of the 
subject altogether, because that was the only way to get the 
people away from Egypt's conception of the subject. 


4. The discovery of the Aramaic papyri at Syene {53) 
made possible a new chapter in Old Testament criticism, raised 
to a high pitch hopes for contemporary testimony on Old 
Testament history which hitherto hardly dared raise their 
heads, and contributed positive evidence on a number of im- 
portant points. Tolerable, though not perfect, identifications 
are made out for Bagoas, Governor of the Jews ; of Josephus 
and Diodorus; Sanballat, of Nehemiah and Josephus; and 
Jochanan, of Nehemiah and Josephus. But more important 
than all these identifications is the information that the Jews 
had, at that period, built a temple and offered sacrifice far 
from Jerusalem. Wellhausen (54) lays down the first stone 

40 The Fundamentals. 

of the foundation of his Pentateuchal criticism in these words : 
"The returning exiles were thoroughly imbued with the ideas 
of Josiah's reformation and had no thought of worshiping 
except in Jerusalem. It cost them no sacrifice of their feel- 
ings to leave the ruined High Places unbuilt. From this date, 
all Jews understood, as a matter of course, that the one God 
had only one sanctuary." So much Wellhausen. But here 
is this' petition of the Jews at Syene in the year 407 B. C. after 
Nehemiah's return declaring that they had built a temple there 
and established a system of worship and of sacrifices, and evi- 
dencing also that they expected the approval of the Jews at 
Jerusalem in rebuilding that temple and re-establishing that 
sacrificial worship, and, what is more, received from the gov- 
ernor of the Jews permission so to do, a thing which, had it 
been opposed by the Jews at Jerusalem was utterly incon- 
sistent with the Jewish policy of the Persian Empire in the 
days of Nehemiah. 


5. Then the redating of the Hermetic writings (55> whereby 
they are thrown back from the Christian era to 500-300 
B. C. opens up a completely new source of critical mate- 
rial for tracing the rise and progress of theological terms 
in the Alexandrian Greek of the New Testament. In a recent 
letter from Petrie, who has written a little book on the sub- 
ject, he sums up the whole case, as he sees it, in these words : 
"My position simply is that the current religious phrases and 
ideas of the B. C. age must be grasped in order to under- 
stand the usages of religious language in which the New Tes- 
tament is written. And we can never know the real motive of 
New Testament writings until we know how much is new 
thought and how much is current theology in terms of which 
the Eu-angelos is expressed." Whether or not all the new 
dates for the writings shall be permitted to stand, and Petrie's 
point of view be justified, a discussion of the dates and a criti- 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 41 

cal examination of the Hermetic writings from the standpoint \ 
<i their corrected dates alone can determine; but it is certain 
that the products of the examination cannot but be far- 
reaching in their influence and in the illumination of the teach- 
ings of Christ and the Apostles. 


Last and more generally, of recent testimony from arch- 
aeology to Scripture we must consider the identification of 
places, peoples, and events of the Bible narrative. 

For many years archaeologists looked up helplessly at the 
pinholes in the pediment of the Parthenon, vainly speculating 
about what might have been the important announcement in 
bronze once fastened at those pinholes. At last an ingenious 
young American student carefully copied the pinholes, and 
from a study of the collocation divined at last the whole im- 
perial Roman decree once fastened there. So, isolated identi- 
fication of peoples, places, and events in the Bible may not 
mean so much ; however startling their character, they may be, 
after all, only pinholes in the mosaic of Bible history, -but the 
collocation of these identifications, when many of them have 
been found, indicates at last the whole pattern of the mosaic. 

Now the progress of important identifications has of late 
been very rapid. It will suffice only to mention those which 
we have already studied for their intrinsic importance togeth- 
er with the long list of others within recent years. In 1874, 
Clermont-Ganneau discovered one of the boundary stones of 
Gezer (B6) , at which place now for six years Mr. R. A. Stew- 
art Macalister has been uncovering the treasures of history of 
that Levitical city <57> ; in 1906, Winckler discovered the Hit- 
tites at their capital city; in 1904-5, Schumacker explored 
Megiddo; in 1900-02, Sellin, Taannek; Jericho has now been 
accurately located by Sellin and the foundations of her walls 
laid bare; the Edomites, long denied existence in patriarchal 
times, have been given historical place in the time of Meremp- 

The Fundamentals. 

tah by the papyrus Anastasia (58) ; Moab, for some time past 
in dispute, I identified beyond further controversy at Luxor in 
1908, in an inscription of Rameses II., before the time of the 
Exodus (59) ; while Hilprecht at Nippur (60) , Glaser in Arabia (61) , 
Petrie at Maghereh and along the route of the Exodus (62) , and 
Reisner at Samaria have been adding a multitude of geograph- 
ical, ethnographical and historical identifications. 

The completion of the whole list of identifications is rap- 
idly approaching, and the collocation of these identifications 
has given us anew, from entirely independent testimony of 
archaeology, the whole outline of the biblical narrative and 
its surroundings, at once the necessary material for the his- 
torical imagination and the surest foundation of apologetics. 
Fancy for a moment that the peoples, places and events of the 
wanderings of Ulysses should be identified: all the strange 
route of travel followed; the remarkable lands visited and de- 
scribed, the curious creatures, half human and half monstrous, 
and even unmistakable traces of strange events, found, all just 
as the poet imagined, what a transformation in our views of 
Homer's great epic must take place ! Henceforth that romance 
would be history. Let us reverse the process and fancy that 
the peoples, places, and events of the Bible story were as lit- 
tle known from independent sources as the wanderings of 
Ulysses; the intellectual temper of this age would unhesitat- 
ingly put the Bible story in the same mythical category in 
which have always been the romances of Homer. If it were 
possible to blot out biblical geography, biblical ethnology, and 
biblical history from the realm of exact knowledge, so would 
we put out the eyes of faith, henceforth our religion would be 
blind, stone blind. 

Thus the value of the rapid progress of identifications 
appears. It is the identifications which differentiate history 
from myth, geography from the "land of nowhere," the rec- 
ord of events from tales of "never was," Scripture from folk- 
lore, and the Gospel of the Saviour of the world from the de- 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 43 

lusions of hope. Every identification limits by so much the 
field of historical criticism. When the progress of identifica- 
tion shall reach completion, the work of historical criticism 
will be finished. 


The present status of the testimony from archaeology to 
Scripture, as these latest discoveries make it to be, may be 
pointed out in a few words. 


1. The history, of civilization as everywhere illuminated 
is found to be only partially that of the evolutionary theory 
of early Israelite history, but very exactly that of the biblical 
narrative ; that is to say, this history, like all history sacred or 
profane, shows at times, for even a century or two, steady 
progress, but the regular, orderly progress from the most 
primitive state of society toward the highest degree of civiliza- 
tion, which the evolutionary theory imperatively demands, if 
it fulfill its intended mission, fails utterly. The best ancient 
work at Taannek is the earliest. From the cave dwellers to 


the city builders at Gezer is no long, gentle evolution; the 
early Amorite civilization leaps with rapid strides to the great 
engineering feats on the defenses and the water-works. 
Wherever it has been possible to institute comparison between 
Palestine and Egypt, the Canaanite civilization in handicraft, 
art, engineering, architecture, and education has been found 
to suffer only by that which climate, materials arid location 
impose ; in genius and in practical execution it is equal to that 
of Egypt, and only eclipsed, before Graeco-Roman times, by 
the brief glory of the Solomonic period. 


2. When we come to look more narrowly at the details of 
archaeological testimony, the historical setting thus afforded 
for the events of the Bible narrative is seen to be exactly in 

44 The Fundamentals. 

harmony with the narrative. This is very significant of the 
final outcome of research in early Bible history. Because 
views of Scripture must finally square with the results of 
archaeology ; that is to say, with contemporaneous history, and 
the archaeological testimony of these past five years well in- 
dicates the present trend toward the final conclusion. The 
Bible narrative plainly interpreted at its face value is every- 
where being sustained, while, of the great critical theories pro- 
posing to take Scripture recording events of that age at other 
than the face value, as the illiteracy of early Western Semitic 
people, the rude nomadic barbarity of Palestine and the Desert 
in the patriarchal age, the patriarchs not individuals but per- 
sonifications, the Desert "Egypt," the gradual invasion of Pal- 
estine, the naturalistic origin of Israel's religion, the incon- 
sequence of Moses as a law-giver, the late authorship of the 
Pentateuch, and a dozen others, not a single one is being defi- 
nitely supported by the results of archaeological research. In- 
deed, reconstructing criticism hardly finds it worth while, for 
the most part, to look to archaeology for support. 

The recent testimony of archaeology to Scripture, like all 
such testimony that has gone before, is definitely and uniform- 
ly favorable to the Scriptures at their face value, and. not to the 
Scriptures as reconstructed by criticism, 


O. L. Z. Orientalistischen Litteratur-Zeitung. 
Q. S.=Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Soci- 


(1) Gen. 12:10-20; 13:1; 47:1-12. 

(2) Gen. 41 :14-46. 

(3) Orr, "The Problem of the Old Testament," pp. 57-58, 

quoting Schultz, Wellhausen, Kuenen, W. R. Smith, 
G. B. Gray, H. P. Smith, F. H. Woods. 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 45 

(4) Brugsch, "Egypt under the Pharaohs," Broderick edi- 

tion, Chap. VI. 

(5) Ibid. 

|6) Gen. 41 :25-?9. 

(7) Petrie, "Hyksos and Israelite Cities." 

f8) Ibid, pp. 3 and 10, Plate IX. 

(9) Ibid, pp. 5-9. Plates II, III, IV. 

(10) Budge, "History of Egypt," Vol. Ill, pp. 137-138. 

(11) Kyle, Recueil de Travaux, Vol. XXX, "Geographic 

and Ethnic Lists of Rameses II." 

(12) Miiller, "Asien und Europa." 2 tes Kapitel. 

(13) Ibid. 

(14) Winckler, O. L. Z. ?/ December 15, 1906. 

(15) Ibid. 

(16) Bouriant, Recueil de Travaux, Vol. XIII, pp. 15 if. ; 

Budge, "History of Egypt," Vol. V, pp. 48 if. ; Good- 
win, "Records of the Past," 1st Series, Vol. IV, pp. 
25 if. 

(17) Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen Gesselschaft : 1902, p. 

5. Miiller, Recueil de Travaux, Vol. VIII, 126 ff. 
'Budge, "History of Egypt," V, 30 ff. 

(18) Winckler, 0. L. Z., December 15, 1906. (Sonderabzug, 

p. 15.) 

(19) Ibid. (Sonderabzug, p. 22.) 

(20) Conder. "Tel Amarna Tablets." Budge, "History of 

Egypt," Vol. IV, pp. 184-241. 

(21) Winckler, O. L. Z., December 15, 1906. Sonderabzug. 

(22) Messersmidt, Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen Ges- 

selchaft; Corpus, Unscrip. Het. 1902. 

(23) Vincent, "Canaan." 

(24) Petrie, "Lachish." 

(25) .Bliss, "A Mound of Many Cities." 

(26) Macalister, "Bible Side Lights from the Mound of 


(27) Schumacker, "Excavations at Megiddo." 

46 The Fundamentals. 

(28) Sellin, Tel-Taannek, "Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen 

Akademie in Wien." 

(29) Deut. 6:10-11; Josh. 24:13; Neh. 9:25. 

(30) Isa. 19:18. 

(31) Ezek. 16:44-46; Deut. 7:3. 

(32) Judges 2:11-15; 3:7; 8:33-35; 18:30-31. 

(33) Macalister, Q. S., 1903, pp. 8-9, 49. 

(34) Macalister, Q. S., 1908, p. 17. 

(35) Vincent, in Q. S., 1908, p. 228. 

(36) Macalister, Q. S., 1903, p. 49. 

(37) Ibid. 

(38) I. Kings 9:16. 

(39) Winckler, Orientalistische Forschungen, Series I, pp. 


(40) I. Kings 9: 16. 

(41) Macalister, Q. S., 1903, p. 309. 

(42) Sellin, "Tel-Taannek," p. 92. 

(43) Macalister, Q. S., 1908, Jan.-Apr. 

(44) Petrie, "Deshasha," Plate IV. 

(45) Birch, "Records of the Past/' 1st Series, Vol. II, pp. 

35-52, "Battle of Megiddo." Also Lepsius, "Denk- 
maler." Abth. III. BL 32, 31st, 30th, 30B, "Aus- 
wahl," XII, L. 42-45. 

(46) Macalister-Vincent, Q. S., 1898-08. 

(47) Budge, "History of Egypt," Vol. IV, pp. 184-241. 

(48) Gen. 21-38. King, "Code of Hammurabi." 

(49) Macalister, Q. S., 1903, ff., and "Bible Side Lights," 

Chap. III. Also Sellin, "Tel-Taannek," pp. 96-97. 

(50) Clay, "Amurru, The Home of the Northern Semites." 

(51) King, "Chronology of the First Three Babylonian Dy- 


(52) Kyle, Recueil de Travaux. "Egyptian Sacrifices." Vol. 

XXVII, "Further Observations," Vol. XXXI. Biblio- 
theca Sacra, Apr., 1905, pp. 323-336. 

(53) Margoliouth, "Expository Times," December, 1907. Jo- 

Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures. 47 

sephus, "Antiquities," 11:7; Deadorus Siculus. Sec. 3; 
17-35. Neh. 13:28; 12:22; 2 Esdras 5:14. 

(54) Wellhausen, Ency. Brit., Vol. 18, p. 509. 

(55) Petrie, "Personal Religion in Egypt Before Christian- 


(56) Clermont-Ganneau in "Bible Side Lights," p. 22. 
(57)' Macalister, "Bible Side Lights." Also Q. S., 1902-09. 

(58) Miiller, "Asien und Europa." 

(59) Kyle, Recueil de Travaux, Vol. XXX. "Ethnic and 

Geographical Lists of Rameses II." 

(60) Hilprecht, "Explorations in Babylonia." 

(61) Weber, Forschungsreisen Edouard Glaser; also "Stu- 

dien zur Sudarabischen Altertumskunde," Weber. 

(62) Petrie, "Researches in Sinai." 




The errors of the higher criticism of which I shall write 
pertain to its very substance. Those of a secondary character 
the limits of my space forbid me to consider. My discussion 
might be greatly expanded by additional masses of illustra- 
tive material, and hence I close it with a list of books which 
I recommend to persons who may wish to pursue the subject 


As an introduction to the fundamental fallacies of the 
higher criticism, let me state what the higher criticism is, and 
then what the higher critics tell us they have achieved. 

The name "the higher criticism" was coined by Eichhorn, 
who lived from 1752 to 1827. Zenos,* after careful con- 
sideration, adopts the definition of the name given by its 
author: "The discovery and verification of the facts regard- 
ing the origin, form and value of literary productions upon 
the basis of their internal characters." The higher critics are 
not blind to some other sources of argument. They refer to 
history where they can gain any polemic advantage by doing 
so. The background of the entire picture which they bring 
to us is the assumption that the hypothesis of evolution is 
true. But after all their chief appeal is to the supposed evi- 
dence of the documents themselves. 

Other names for the movement have been sought. It has 
been called the "historic view," on the assumption that it rep- 
resents the real history of the Hebrew people as it must have 
unfolded itself by the orderly processes of human evolution. 

*"The Elements of the Higher Criticism." 


Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 49 

But, as the higher critics contradict the testimony of all the 
Hebrew historic documents which profess to be early, their 
theory might better be called the "unhistoric view." The high- 
er criticism has sometimes been called the "documentary hy- 
pothesis." But as all schools of criticism and all doctrines of 
inspiration are equally hospitable to the supposition that the 
biblical writers may have consulted documents, and may have 
quoted them, the higher criticism has no special right to this 
title. We must fall back, therefore, upon the name "the high- 
er criticism" as the very best at our disposal, and upon the 
definition of it as chiefly an inspection of literary productions 
in order to ascertain their dates, their authors, and their value, 
as they themselves, interpreted in the light of the hypothesis 
of evolution, may yield the evidence. 


I turn now to ask what the higher critics profess to have 
found out by this method of study. The "assured results" on 
which they congratulate themselves are stated variously. la 
this country and England they commonly assume a form less 
radical than that given them in Germany, though sufficiently 
startling and destructive to arouse vigorous protest and a vig- 
orous demand for the evidences, which, as we shall see, have 
not been produced and cannot be produced. The less startling 
form of the "assured results" usually announced in England 
and America may be owing to the brighter light of Christian- 
ity in these countries. Yet it should be noticed that there are 
higher critics in this country and England who go beyond the 
principal German representatives of the school in their zeal 
for the dethronement of the Old Testament and the New, in so 
far as these holy books are presented to the world as the very 
Word of God, as a special revelation from heaven. 

The following statement from Zenos* may serve to intro- 
duce Us to the more moderate form of the "assured results" 

*Page 205. 

50 The Fundamentals. 

reached by the higher critics. It is concerning the analysis of 
the Pentateuch, or rather of the Hexateuch, the Book of Joshua 
being included in the survey. "The Hexateuch is a composite 
work whose origin and history may be traced in four distinct 
stages: (1) A writer designated as J. Jahvist, or Jehovist, or 
Judean prophetic historian, composed a history of the people 
of Israel about 800 B. C. (2) A _writer designated as E. Elo- 
hist, or Ephraemite prophetic historian, wrote a similar work 
some fifty years later, or about 750 B. C. These two were 
used separately for a time, but were fused together into JE 
by a redactor [an editor], at the end of the seventh century. 
(3) A writer of different character wrote a book constituting 
the main portion of our present Deuteronomy during the reign 
of Josiah, or a short time before 621 B. C. This writer is 
designated as D. To his work were added an introduction and 
an appendix, and with these accretions it was united with JE 
by a second redactor, constituting JED. (4) Contemporane- 
ously with Ezekiel the ritual law began to be reduced to writ- 
ing. It first appeared in three parallel forms. These were 
codified by Ezra not very much earlier than 444 B. C., and 
between that date and 280 B. C. it was joined with JED by a 
final redactor. Thus no less than nine or ten men were engaged 
in the production of the Hexateuch in its present form, and 
each one can be distinguished from the rest by his vocabulary 
and style and his religious point of view." 

Such is the analysis of the Pentateuch as usually stated in 
this country. But in Germany and Holland its chief represen- 
tatives carry the division of labor much further. Wellhausen 
distributes the total task among twenty-two writers, and Kuen- 
en among eighteen. Many others resolve each individual writer 
into a school of writers, and thus multiply the numbers enor- 
mously. There is no agreement among the higher critics con- 
cerning this analysis, and therefore the cautious learner may 
well wait till those who represent the theory tell him just what 
it is they desire him to learn. 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 51 

While some of the "assured results" are thus in doubt, cer- 
tain things are matters of general agreement. Moses wrote lit- 
tle- or nothing, if he ever existed. A large part of the Hexa- 
teuch consists of unhistorical legends. We may grant that 
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael and Esau existed, or we may 
deny this. In either case, what is recorded of them is chiefly 
myth. These denials of the truth of the written records fol- 
low as matters of course from the late dating of the books, 
and the assumption that the writers could set down only the 
national tradition. They may have worked in part as collec- 
tors of written stories to be found here and there ; but, if so, 
these written stories were not ancient, and they were diluted 
by stories transmitted orally. These fragments, whether writ- 
ten or oral, must have followed the general law of national tra- 
ditions, and have presented a mixture of legendary chaff, with 
here and there a grain of historic truth to be sifted out by care- 
ful winnowing. 

Thus far of the Hexateuch. 

The Psalms are so full of references to the Hexateuch 
that they must have been written after it, and hence after the 
captivity, perhaps beginning about 400 B. C. David may pos- 
sibly have ..written one or two of them, but probably he wrote 
none, and the strong conviction of the Hebrew people that he 
was their greatest hymn-writer was a total mistake. 

These revolutionary processes are carried into the New 
Testament, and that also is found to be largely untrustworthy 
as history, as doctrine, and as ethics, though a very good book, 
since it gives expression to high ideals, and thus ministers to 
the spiritual life. It may well have influence, but it can have 
no divine authority. The Christian reader should consider 
carefully this invasion of the New Testament by the higher 
criticism. So long as the movement was confined to the Old 
Testament many good men looked on with indifference, not 
reflecting that the Bible, though containing "many parts" by 
many writers, and though recording a progressive revelation 

52 The Fundamentals. 

is, after all, one book. But the limits of the Old Testament 
have long since been overpassed by the higher critics, and it is 
demanded of us that we abandon the immemorial teaching of 
the church concerning the entire volume. The picture of 
Christ which the New Testament sets before us is in many 
respects mistaken. The doctrines of primitive Christianity 
which it states and defends were well enough for the time, 
but have no value for us today except as they commend 
themselves to our independent judgment. Its moral precepts 
are fallible, and we should accept them or reject them freely, 
in accordance with the greater light of the twentieth century. 
Even Christ could err concerning ethical questions, and neither 
His commandments nor His example need constrain us. 

The foregoing may serve as an introductory sketch, all too 
brief, of the higher criticism, and as a basis of the discussion 
of its fallacies, now immediately to follow. 


I. The first fallacy that I shall bring forward is its analy- 
sis of the Pentateuch. 

1. We cannot fail to observe that these various documents 
and their various authors and editors are .only imagined. As 
Green* has said, "There is no evidence of the existence of 
these documents and redactors, and no pretense of any, apart 
from the critical tests which have determined the analysis. All 
tradition and all historical testimony as to the origin of the 
Pentateuch are against them. The burden of proof is wholly 
upon the critics. And this proof should be clear and convinc- 
ing in proportion to the gravity and the revolutionary char- 
acter of the consequences which it is proposed to base upon it" 

2. Moreover, we know what can be done, or rather what 
cannot be done, in the analysis of composite literary produc- 
tions. Some of the plays of Shakespeare are called his "mixed 
plays," because it is known that he collaborated with another 

*"Moses and His Recent Critics," pages 104, 105. 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 53 

author in their production. The very keenest critics have 
sought to separate his part in these plays from the rest, but 
they confess that the result is uncertainty and dissatisfaction. 
Coleridge professed to distinguish the passages contributed by 
Shakespeare by a process of feeling, but Macaulay pronounced 
this claim to be nonsense, and the entire effort, whether made 
by the analysis of phraseology and style, or by esthetic percep- 
tions, is an admitted failure. And this in spite of the fact 
that the style of Shakespeare is one of the most peculiar and 
inimitable. The Anglican Prayer Book is another composite 
production which the higher critics have often been invited to 
analyze and distribute to its various sources. Some of the 
authors of these sources lived centuries apart. They are now 
well known from the studies of historians. But the Prayer 
Book itself does not reveal one of them, though its various 
vocabularies and styles have been carefully interrogated. Now 
if the analysis of the Pentateuch can lead to such certainties, 
why should not the analysis of Shakespeare and the Prayer 
Book do as much? How can men accomplish in a foreign lan- 
guage what they cannot accomplish in their own ? How can 
they accomplish in a dead language what they cannot accom- 
plish in a living language? How can they distinguish ten or 
eighteen or twenty-two collaborators in a small literary produc- 
tion, when they cannot distinguish two ? These questions have 
been asked many times, but the higher critics have given no 
answer whatever, preferring the safety of a learned silence; 
"The oracles are dumb." 

3. Much has been made of differences of vocabulary in the 
Pentateuch, and elaborate lists of words have been assigned to 
each of the supposed authors. But these distinctions fade away 
when subjected to careful scrutiny, and Driver admits that "the 
phraseological criteria * * * are slight." Orr,* who quotes 
this testimony, adds, "They are slight, in fact, to a degree of 
tenuity that often makes the recital of them appear like tri- 
fling." . 

*"The Problem of the Old Testament." oaee 230. 

54 The Fundamentals. 


II. A second fundamental fallacy of the higher criticism is 
its dependence on the theory of evolution as the explanation 
of the history of literature and of religion. The progress of 
the higher criticism towards its present state has been rapid 
and assured since Vatke 1 discovered in the Hegelian philosophy 
of evolution a means of biblical criticism. The Spencerian 
philosophy of evolution, aided and reinforced by Darwin- 
ism, has added greatly to the confidence of the higher critics. 
As Vatke, one of the earlier members of the school, made the 
hypothesis of evolution the guiding presupposition of his crit- 
ical work, so today does Professor Jordan, 2 the very latest rep- 
resentative of the higher criticism. "The nineteenth century," 
he declares, "has applied to the history of the documents of 
the Hebrew people its own magic word, evolution. The 
thought represented by that popular word has been found to 
have a real meaning in our investigations regarding the relig- 
ious life and the theological beliefs of Israel." Thus, were 
there no hypothesis of evolution, there would be no higher 
criticism. The "assured results" of the higher criticism have 
been gained, after all, not by an inductive study of the biblical 
books to ascertain if they present a great variety of styles and 
vocabularies and religious points of view. They have been 
attained by assuming that the hypothesis of evolution is true, 
and that the religion of Israel must have unfolded itself by 
-a process of natural evolution. They have been attained by 
an interested cross-examination of the biblical books to con- 
strain them to admit the hypothesis of evolution. The imag- 
ination has played a large part in the process, and the so-called 
evidences upon which the "assured results" rest are largely 

But the hypothesis of evolution, when applied to the'his^ 

Biblische Theologie Wissenschaftlich Dargestellt." 

2"Biblical Criticism and Modern Thought," T. and T. Clark, 1909. 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 55 

tory of literature, is a fallacy, leaving us utterly unable to 
account for Homer, or Dante, or Shakespeare, the greatest 
poets of the world, yet all of them writing in the dawn of the 
great literatures of the world. It is a fallacy when applied to 
the history of religion, leaving us utterly unable to account for 
Abraham and Moses and Christ, and requiring us to deny that 
they could have been such men as the Bible declares them to 
have been. The hypothesis is a fallacy when applied to the 
history of the human race in general. Our race has made prog- 
ress under the influence of supernatural revelation; but prog- 
ress under the influence of supernatural revelation is one thing, 
and evolution is another. Buckle* undertook to account for 
history by a thorough-going application of the hypothesis of 
evolution to its problems ; but no historian today believes that 
he succeeded in his effort, and his work is universally regarded 
as a brilliant curiosity. The types of evolution advocated by 
different higher critics are widely different from one another, 
varying from the pure naturalism of Wellhausen to the recog- 
nition of some feeble rays of supernatural revelation; but the 
hypothesis of evolution in any form, when applied to human 
history, blinds us and renders us incapable of beholding the 
glory of God in its more signal manifestations. 


III. A third fallacy of the higher critics is the doctrine 
concerning the Scriptures which they teach. If a consistent 
hypothesis of evolution is made the basis of our religious 
thinking, the Bible will be regarded as only a product of human 
nature working in the field of religious literature. It will be 
merely a natural book. If there are higher critics who recoil 
from this application of the hypothesis of evolution and who 
seek to modify it by recognizing some special evidences of the 
divine in the Bible, the inspiration of which they speak rises 
but little higher than the providential guidance of the writers. 


*"History of Civilization in England." 

56 ' The Fundamentals. 

The church doctrine of the full inspiration of the Bible is 
almost never held by the higher critics -of any class, even of 
the more believing. Here and there we may discover one and 
another who try to save some fragments of the church doc- 
kine, but they are few and far between, and the salvage to 
which they cling is so small and poor that it is scarcely worth 
while. Throughout their ranks the storm of opposition to the 
supernatural in all its forms is so fierce as to leave little place 
for the faith of the church that the Bible is the ver) Word 
f God to man. But the fallacy of this denial is evident to 
every believer who reads the Bible with an open mind. He 
knows by an immediate consciousness that it is the product of 
$ie Holy Spirit. As the sheep know the voice of the shep- 
herd, so the mature Christian knows that the Bible speaks with 
a divine voice. On this ground every Christian can test the 
value of the higher criticism for himself. The Bible manifests 
kself to the spiritual perception of the Christian as in the full- 
est sense human, and in the fullest sense divine. This is true 
f the Old Testament, as well as of the New. 


IV. Yet another fallacy of the higher critics is found in 
their teachings concerning the biblical miracles. If the hy- 
pothesis of evolution is applied to the Scriptures consistently, it 
will lead us to deny all the miracles which they record. But 
if applied timidly and waveringly, as it is by some of the Eng- 
Msh and American higher critics, it will lead us to deny a 
large part of the miracles, and to inject as much of the nat- 
ural as is any way possible into the rest. We shall strain 
out as much of the gnat of the supernatural as we can, and 
swallow as much of the camel of evolution as we can. We 
shall probably reject all the miracles of -the Old Testament, 
explaining some of them as popular legends, and others as 
coincidences. In the New Testament we shall pick and choose, 
and no two of us will agree concerning those to be rejected 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 57 

and those to be accepted. If the higher criticism shall be 
adopted as the doctrine of the church, believers will be left in a 
distressing state of doubt and uncertainty concerning the narra- 
tives of the four Gospels, and unbelievers will scoff and mock. 
A theory which leads to such wanderings of thought regard- 
ing the supernatural in the Scriptures must be fallacious. God 
is not a God of confusion. 

Among 'the higher critics who accept some of the miracles 
there is a notable desire to discredit the virgin birth of our 
Lord, and their treatment of this event presents a good exam- 
ple of the fallacies of reasoning by means of which they would 
abolish many of the other miracles. One feature of their argu- 
ment may suffice as an exhibition of all. It is the search for 
parallels in the pagan mythologies. There are many instances 
in the pagan stories of the birth of men from human mothers 
and divine fathers, and the higher critics would create the 
impression that the writers who record the birth of Christ 
were influenced by these fables to emulate them, and thus to 
secure for Him the honor of a celestial paternity. It turns 
out, however, that these pagan fables do not in any case pre- 
sent to us a virgin mother; the child is always the product 
of commerce with a god who assumes a human form for the 
purpose. The despair of the higher critics in this hunt for 
events of the same kind is well illustrated by Cheyne,* who 
cites the record of the Babylonian king Sargon, about 3,800 
B. C. This monarch represents himself as having "been born 
of a poor mother in secret, and as not knowing his father." 
There have been many millions of such instances, but we do 
not think of the mothers as virgins. Nor does the Baby- 
lonian story affirm that the mother of Sargon was a virgin, 
or even that his father was a god. It is plain that Sargon 
did not intend to claim a supernatural origin, for, after say- 
ing that he "did not know his father," he adds that "the 
brother of his father lived in the mountains." It was a case 

*"Bible Problems," page 86. 

58 The Fundamentals. 

like multitudes of others in which children, early orphaned, 
have not known their fathers, but have known the relations 
of their fathers. This statement of Sargon I quote from a 
translation of it made by Cheyne himself in the "Encyclo- 
pedia Biblica." He continues, "There is reason to suspect that 
something similar was originally said by the Israelites of 
Moses." To substantiate this he adds, "See Encyclopedia Bib- 
lica, 'Moses/ section 3 with note 4." On turning to this ref- 
erence the reader finds that the article was written by Cheyne 
himself, and that it contains no evidence whatever. 



V. The limitation of the field of research as far as pos- 
sible to the biblical books as literary productions has ren- 
dered many of the higher critics reluctant to admit the new 
light derived from archaeology. This is granted by Cheyne.* 
"I have no wish to deny," he says, "that the so-called 'higher 
critics' in the past were as a rule suspicious of Assyriology as 
a young, and, as they thought, too self-assertive science, and 
that many of those who now recognize its contributions to 
knowledge are somewhat too mechanical in the use of it, and 
too skeptical as to the influence of Babylonian culture in rela- 
tively early times in Syria, Palestine and even Arabia." This 
grudging recognition of the testimony of archaeology may be 
observed in several details. 

1. It was said that the Hexateuch must have been formed 
chiefly by the gathering up of oral traditions, because it is 
not to be supposed that the early Hebrews possessed the art 
of writing and of keeping records. But the entire progress of 
archaeological study refutes this. In particular the discovery 
of the Tel el-Amarna tablets has shown that writing in cunei- 
form characters and in the Assyrio-Babylonian language was 
common to the entire biblical world long before the exodus. 

*"Bible Problems," page 142. 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 59 

The discovery was made by Egyptian peasants in 1887. There 
are more than three hundred tablets, which came from vari- 
ous lands, including Babylonia and Palestine. Other finds 
have added their testimony to the fact that writing and the 
preservation of records were the peculiar passions of the an- 
cient civilized world. Under the constraint of the overwhelm- 
ing evidences, Professor Jordan writes as follows: "The 
question as to the age of writing never played a great part 
in the discussion." He-falls back on the supposition that the 
nomadic life of the early Hebrews would prevent them from 
acquiring the art of writing. He treats us to such reasoning 
as the following: "If the fact that writing is very old is such 
a powerful argument when taken alone, it might enable you to 
prove that Alfred the Great wrote Shakespeare's plays." 

2. It was easy to treat 'Abraham as a mythical figure 
when the early records of Babylonia were but little known. 
The entire coloring of those chapters of Genesis which refer 
to Mesopotamia could be regarded as the product of the imag- 
ination. This is no longer the case. Thus Clay,* writing of 
Genesis 14, says: "The theory of the late origin of all the 
Hebrew Scriptures prompted the critics to declare this narra- 
tive to be a pure invention of a later Hebrew writer. "* * * 
The patriarchs were relegated to the region of myth and 
legend. Abraham was made a fictitious father of the Hebrews. 
* * * Even the political situation was declared to be incon- 
sistent with fact. * * * Weighing carefully the position 
taken by the critics in the light of what has been revealed 
through the decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions, we 
find that the very foundations upon which their theories rest, 
with reference to the points that could be tested, totally dis- 
appear. The truth is, that wherever any light has been thrown 
upon the subject through excavationSj their hypotheses have 
invariably been found wanting." But the higher critics are 

*"Light on the Old Testament from Babel." 1907. Clay is Assistant 
Professor and Assistant Curator of the Babylonian Section, Depart- 
ment of Archaeology, in the University of Pennsylvania. 

6(1 The Fundamentals. 

still reluctant to admit this new light. Thus Kent 1 says, "The 
primary value of these stories is didactic and religious, rather 
than historical." 

3. The books of Joshua and Judges have been regarded by 
the higher critics as unhistorical on the ground that their por- 
traiture of the political, religious, and social condition of Pal- 
estine in the thirteenth century B. C. is incredible. This can- 
not be said any longer, for the recent excavations in Palestine 
have shown us a land exactly like that of these books. The 
portraiture is so precise, and is drawn out in so many minute 
lineaments, that it cannot be the product of oral tradition 
floating down through a thousand years. In what details the 
accuracy of the biblical picture of early Palestine is exhibited 
may be seen perhaps best in the excavations by Macalister 2 at 
Gezer. Here again there are absolutely no discrepancies 
between the Land and the Book, for the Land lifts up a thou- 
sand voices to testify that the Book is history and not legend. 

4. It was held by the higher critics that the legislation 
which we call Mosaic could not have been produced by Moses, 
since his age was too early for such codes. This reasoning 
was completely negatived by the discovery of the code of 
Hammurabi, the Amraphel 3 of Genesis 14. This code is very 
different from that of Moses; it is more systematic; and it is 
at least seven hundred years earlier than the Mosaic legisla- 
tion. . ' . 

In short, from the origin of the higher criticism till this 
present time the discoveries in the field of archaeology have 
given it a succession of serious blows. The higher critics were 
shocked when the passion of the ancient world for writing and 
the preservation of documents was discovered. They were 
shocked when primitive Babylonia appeared as the land of 
Abraham. They were shocked when early Palestine appeared as 
the land of Joshua and the Judges. They were shocked when 

iBiblical World, Dec., 1906. 

2 "Bible Side-Lights from the Mound of Gezer." 

tfeis matter see any dictionary of the Bible, art. "Amraphel." 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 6.1 

Amraphel came back from the grave as a real historical charac- 
ter, bearing his code of laws. They were shocked when the stele 
of the Pharaoh of the exodus was read, and it was proved that 
he knew a people called Israel, that they had no settled place 
of abode, that they were "without grain" for food, and that 
in these particulars they were quite as they are represented by 
the Scriptures to have been when they had fled from Egypt 
into the wilderness.* The embarrassment created by these 
discoveries is manifest in many of the recent writings of the 
higher critics, in which, however, they still cling heroically to 
their analysis and their late dating of the Pentateuch and their 
confidence in the hypothesis of evolution as the key of all 



VI. The Psalms are usually dated by the higher critics 
after the exile. The great majority of the higher critics are 
agreed here, and tell us that these varied and touching and 
magnificent lyrics of religious experience all come to us from 
a period later than 450 B. C. A few of the critics admit an 
earlier origin of three or four of them, but they do this wav- 
eringly, grudgingly, and against the general consensus of opin- 
ion among their fellows. In the Bible a very large number 
of the Psalms are ascribed to David, and these, with a few 
insignificant and doubtful exceptions, are denied to him and 
brought down, like the rest, to the age of the second temple. 
This leads me to the following observations : 

*The higher critics usually slur over this remarkable inscription, 
and give us neither an accurate translation nor a natural interpreta- 
tion of it I have, therefore, special pleasure in quoting the follow- 
ing from Driver, "Authority and Archaeology," page 61 : "Whereas 
the other places named in the inscription all have the determinative 
for 'country,' Ysiraal has the determinative for 'men': it follows that 
the reference is not to the land of Israel, but to Israel as a tribe or 
people, whether migratory, or on the march." Thus this distinguished 
higher critic sanctions the view of the record which I have adopted. 
He represents Maspero and Naville as doing the same. 

62 The Fundamentals. 

1. Who wrote the Psalms? Here the higher critics have 
no answer. Of the period from 400 to 175 B. C. we are in 
almost total ignorance. Josephus knows almost nothing about 
it, nor has any other writer told us more. Yet, according to 
the theory, it was precisely in these centuries of silence, when 
the Jews had no great writers, that they produced this mag- 
nificent outburst of sacred song. 

2. This is the more remarkable when we consider the well 
known men to whom the theory denies the authorship of any 
of the Psalms. The list includes such names as Moses, David, 
Samuel, Nathan, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the long list 
of preexilic prophets. We are asked to believe that these men 
composed no Psalms, and that the entire collection was con- 
tributed by men so obscure that they have left no single name 
by which we can identify them with their work. 

3. This will appear still more extraordinary if we con- 
sider the times in which, it is said, no Psalms were produced, 
and contrast them with the times in which all of them were 
produced. The times in which none were produced were the 
great times, the times of growth, of mental ferment, of con- 
quest, of imperial expansion, of disaster, and of recovery. The 
times in which none were produced were the times of the 
splendid temple of Solomon, with its splendid worship. The 
times in which none were produced were the heroic times of 
Elijah and Elisha, when the people of Jehovah struggled for 
their existence against the abominations of the pagan gods. 
On the other hand, the times which actually produced them 
were the times of growing legalism, of obscurity, and of infer- 
ior abilities. All this is incredible. We could believe it only 
if we first came to believe that the Psalms are works of slight 
literary and religious value. This is actually done by Well- 
hausen, who says,* "They certainly are to the smallest extent 
original, and are for the most part imitations which illustrate 
the saying about much writing." The Psalms are not all of an 

*Quoted by Orr, "The Problem of the Old Testament," page 435. 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 63 

equally high degree of excellence, and there are a few of them 
which might give some faint color of justice to this deprecia- 
tion of the entire collection. But as a whole they are exactly 
the reverse of this picture. Furthermore, they contain abso- 
lutely no legalism, but are as free from it as are the Sermon 
on the Mount and the Pauline epistles. Yet further, the writ- 
ers stand out as personalities, and they must have left a deep 
impression upon their fellows. Finally, they were full of 
the fire of genius kindled by the Holy Spirit. It is impossible 
for us to attribute the Psalms to the unknown mediocrities of 
the period which followed the restoration. 

4. Very many of the Psalms plainly appear to be 
ancient. They sing of early events, and have no trace of allu- 
sion to the age which is said to have produced them. 

5. The large number of Psalms attributed to David have 
attracted the special attention of the higher critics. They are 
denied to him on various grounds. He was a wicked man, and 
hence incapable of writing these praises to the God of righte- 
ousness. He was an iron warrior and statesman, and hence not 
gifted with the emotions found in these productions. He was 
so busy with the cares of conquest and administration that he 
had no leisure for literary work. Finally, his conception of 
God was utterly different from that which moved the psalmists. 

The larger part of this catalogue of inabilities is mani- 
festly erroneous. David, with some glaring f aults, and with a 
single enormous crime, for which he was profoundly penitent, 
was one of the noblest of men. He was indeed an iron war- 
rior and statesman, but also one of the most emotional of all 
great historic characters. He was busy, but busy men not 
seldom find relief in literary occupations, as Washington, dur- 
ing the Revolutionary War, poured forth a continual tide of 
letters, and as Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, and Gladstone, while 
burdened with the cares of empire, composed immortal books. 
The conception of God with which David began his career was 
indeed narrow (I. Sam. 26:19). But did he learn nothing 

64 The Fundamentals. 

in all his later experiences, and his associations with holy 
priests and prophets? He was certainly teachable: did God 
fail to make use of him in further revealing Himself to His 
people ? To deny these Psalms to David on the ground of his 
limited views of God in his early life, is this not to deny that 
God made successive revelations of Himself wherever He 
found suitable channels? If, further, we consider the unques- 
tioned skill of David in the music of his nation and his age 
(L Sam. 16:14-25), this will constitute a presupposition in 
favor of his interest in sacred song. If, finally, we consider 
his personal career of danger and deliverance, this will appear 
as the natural means of awakening in him the spirit of varied 
religious poetry. His times were much like the Elizabethan 
period, which ministered unexampled stimulus to the English 

From all this we may turn to the singular verdict of Pro- 
fessor Jordan : "If a man says he cannot see why David could 
not have written Psalms 51 and 139, you are compelled to reply 
as politely as possible that if he did write them then any man 
can write anything." So also we may say, "as politely as pos- 
sible," that if Shakespeare, with his "small Latin and less 
Greek," did write his incomparable dramas, "then any man 
can write anything"; that if Dickens, with his mere elemen- 
tary education, did write his great novels, "then any man can 
write anything" ; and that if Lincoln, who had no early school- 
ing, did write his Gettysburg address, "then any man can write 



VII. One of the fixed points of the higher criticism is 
its theory of the origin of Deuteronomy. In I. Kings 22 we 
have the history of the finding of the book of the law in the 
temple, which was being repaired. Now the higher critics 
present this finding, not as the discovery of an ancient docu- 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 65 

ment, but as the finding of an entirely new document, which 
had been concealed in the temple in order that it might be 
found, might be accepted as the production of Moses, and 
might produce an effect by its assumed authorship. It is not 
supposed for a moment that the writer innocently chose the 
fictitious dress of Mosaic authorship for merely literary pur- 
poses. On the contrary, it is steadfastly maintained that he 
intended to deceive, and that others were with him in the 
plot to deceive. This statement of the case leads me to the 
following reflections: 

1. According to the theory, this was an instance of pious 
fraud. And the fraud must have been prepared deliberately. 
The manuscript must have been soiled and frayed by special 
care, for it was at once admitted to be ancient. This supposi- 
tion of deceit must always repel the Christian believer. 

2. Our Lord draws from the Book of Deuteronomy all 
the three texts with which He foils the tempter, Matt. 4:1-11, 
Luke 4:1-14. It must always shock the devout student that 
his Saviour should select His weapons from an armory founded 
on deceit. 

3. This may be called an appeal to ignorant piety, rather 
than to scholarly criticism. But surely the moral argument 
should have some weight in scholarly criticism. In the sphere 
of religion moral impossibilities are as insuperable as physical 
and mental. 

4. If we turn to consideration of a literary kind, it is to 
be observed that the higher criticism runs counter here to the 
statement of the book itself that Moses was its author. 

5. It runs counter to the narrative of the finding of the 
book, and turns the finding of an ancient book into the forgery 
of a new book. 

6. It runs counter to the judgment of all the intelligent 
men of the time who learned of the discovery. They judged 
the book to have come down from the Mosaic age, and to be 
from the pen of Moses. We hear of no dissent whatever. 

66 The Fundamentals. 

7, It seeks support in a variety of reasons, such as style, 
historical discrepancies, and legal contradictions, all of which 
prove of little substance when examined fairly. 


VIII. Another case of forgery is found in the origin of 
the priestly legislation, if we are to believe the higher critics. 
This legislation is contained in a large number of passages 
scattered through Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It has to 
do chiefly with the tabernacle and its worship, with the duties 
of the priests and Levites, and with the relations of the peo- 
ple to the institutions of religion. It is attributed to Moses in 
scores of places. It has a strong coloring of the Mosaic age 
and of the wilderness life. It affirms the existence of the tab- 
ernacle, with an orderly administration of the ritual services. 
But this is all imagined, for the legislation is a late production. 
Before the exile there were temple services and a priesthood, 
with certain regulations concerning them, either oral or writ- 
ten, and use was made of this tradition ; but as a whole the leg- 
islation was enacted by such men as Ezekiel and Ezra during 
and immediately after the exile, or about 444 B. C. The name 
of Moses, the fiction of a tabernacle, and the general coloring 
of the Mosaic age, were given it in order to render it authori- 
tative and to secure the ready obedience of the nation. But 
now : 

1. The moral objection here is insuperable. The supposi- 
tion of forgery, and of forgery so cunning, so elaborate, and 
so minute, is abhorrent. If the forgery had been invented and 
executed by wicked men to promote some scheme of selfish- 
ness, it would have been less odious. But when it is presented 
to us as the expedient of holy men, for the advancement of 
the religion of the God of righteousness, which afterwards 
blossomed out into Christianity, we must revolt. 

2. The theory gives us a portraiture of such men as 

Fallacies of the Higher Criticism. 67 

Ezekiel and Ezra which is utterly alien from all that we know 
of them. The expedient might be worthy of the prophets 
of Baal or of Chemosh; it was certainly not worthy of the 
prophets of Jehovah, and we dishonor them when we attribute 
it to them and place them upon a low plane of craft and cun- 
ning of which the records concerning them are utterly ignorant. 

3. The people who returned from the exile were among the 
most intelligent and enterprising of the nation, else they would 
not have returned, and they would not have been deceived by 
the sudden appearance of Mosaic laws forged for the occasion 
and never before heard of. ' 

4. Many of the regulations' of this legislation are drastic. 
It subjected the priests and Levites to a rule which must have 
been irksome in the extreme, and it would not have been lightly 
accepted. We may be certain that if it had been a new thing 
fraudulently ascribed to Moses, these men would have detected 
the deceit, and would have refused to be bound by it. But we 
do not hear of any revolt, or even of any criticism. 

Such are some of the fundamental fallacies of the higher 
criticism. They constitute an array of impossibilities. I have 
stated them in their more moderate forms, that they may be 
seen and weighed without the remarkable extravagances which 
some of their advocates indulge. In the very mildest interpre- 
tation which can be given them, they are repugnant to the 
Christian faith. 


But might we not accept a part of this system of thought 
without going to any hurtful extreme ? Many today are seek- 
ing to do this. They present to us two diverse results. 

1. Some, who stand at the beginning of the tide, find them- 
selves in a position of doubt. If they are laymen, they know 
not what to believe. If they are ministers, they know not what 
to believe or to teach. In either case, they have no firm foot- 
ing, and no Gospel, except a few platitudes which do little 
harm and little good. 

68 The Fundamentals. 

2. The majority of those who struggle to stand here find 
it impossible to do so, and give themselves up to the current. 
There is intellectual consistency in the lofty church doctrine 
of inspiration. There may be intellectual consistency in the 
doctrine that all things have had a natural origin and history, 
under the general providence of God, as distinguished from 
His supernatural revelation of Himself through holy men, 
and especially through His co-equal Son, so that the Bible is 
as little supernatural as the "Imitation of Christ" or the "Pil- 
grim's Progress." But there is no position of intellectual con- 
sistency between these two, and the great mass of those who 
try to pause at various points along the descent are swept 
down with the current. The natural view of the Scriptures 
is a sea which has been rising higher for three-quarters of a 
century. Many Christians bid it welcome to pour lightly over 
the walls which the faith of the church has always set up 
against it, in the expectation that it will prove a healthful and 
helpful stream. It is already a cataract, uprooting, destroying, 
and slaying. 


Those who wish to study these fallacies further are advised 
to read the following books : 

ORR. "The Problem of the Old Testament," and 

"The Bible Under Fire." 

HOLLER. "Are the Critics Right?" 

SCHMAUK. "The Negative Criticism and the Old Testa- 


CROSLEGH. "The Bible in the Light of Today." 

VARIOUS AUTHORS. "Lex Mosaica." 

GREEN. "The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch." 

CHAMBERS. "Moses and His Recent Critics." 

BLOMFIELD. "The Old Testament and the New Criticism." 

RAVEN. "Old Testament Introduction." 

SAYCE. "The Early History of the Hebrews." 





In his "Founders of Old Testament Criticism" Professor 
Cheyne of Oxford gives the foremost place to Eichhorri. He 
hails him, in fact, as the founder of the cult. And according 
to this same authority, what led Eichhorn to enter on his task 
was "his hope to contribute to the winning back of the edu- 
cated classes to religion." The rationalism of Germany at 
the close of the eighteenth century would accept the Bible 
only on the terms of bringing it down to the level of a human 
book, and the problem which had to be solved was to get rid 
of the element of miracle which pervades it. Working on the 
labors of his predecessors, Eichhorn achieved this to his own 
satisfaction by appealing to the oriental habit of thought, which 
seizes upon ultimate causes and ignores intermediate processes. 
This commended itself on two grounds. It had an undoubted 
element of truth, and it was consistent with reverence for Holy 
Scripture. For of the founder of the "Higher Criticism" it 
was said, what cannot be said of any of his successors, that 
"faith in that which is holy, even in the miracles of the Bible, 
was never shattered by Eichhorn in any youthful mind." 

In the view of his successors, however, Eichhorn's hypothe- 
sis was open to the fatal objection that it was altogether in- 
adequate. .So the next generation of critics adopted the more 
drastic theory that the Mosaic books were "mosaic" in the 
sense that they were literary forgeries of a late date, composed 
of materials supplied by ancient documents and the myths and 
legends of the Hebrew race. And though this theory has been 


70 The Fundamentals. 

modified from time to time during the last century, it remains 
substantially the "critical" view of the Pentateuch. But it is 
open to two main objections, either of' which would be fatal. 
It is inconsistent with the evidence. And it directly challenges 
the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ as a teacher ; for one 
of the few undisputed facts in this controversy is that our 
Lord accredited the books of Moses as having divine authority. 


It may be well to deal first with the least important of these 
objections. And here we must distinguish between the true 
Higher Criticism and its counterfeit. The .rationalistic 
"Higher Criticism," when putting the Pentateuch upon its trial, 
began with the verdict and then cast about to find the evidence ; 
whereas, true criticism enters upon its inquiries with an open 
mind and pursues them without prejudice. The difference 
may be aptly illustrated by the position assumed by a typical 
French judge and by an ideal English judge in a criminal trial. 
The one aims at convicting the accused, the other at elucidating 
the truth. "The proper function of the Higher Criticism is 
to determine the origin, date, and literary structure of an an- 
cient writing." This is Professor Driver's description of true 
criticism. But the aim of the counterfeit is to disprove the 
genuineness of the ancient writings. The justice of this state- 
ment is established by the fact that Hebraists and theologians 
of the highest eminence, whose investigation of the Penta- 
teuch problem has convinced them of the genuineness of the 
books, are not recognized at all. 

In Britain, at least and I am not competent to speak of 
Germany or America no theologian of the first rank has 
adopted their "assured results." But the judgment of such 
men as Pusey, Lightfoot and Salmon, not to speak of men who 
are still with us, they contemptuously ignore; for the ration- 
alistic Higher Critic is not one who investigates the evidence, 
but one who accepts the verdict. 

Christ and Criticism. 71 


If, as its apostles sometimes urge, the Higher Criticism is 
a purely philological inquiry, two obvious conclusions follow. 
The first is that its verdict must be in favor of the Mosaic 
books ; for each of the books contains peculiar words suited to 
the time and circumstances to which it is traditionally assigned. 
This is admitted, and the critics attribute the presence of such 
words to the Jesuitical skill of the priestly forgers. But this 
only lends weight to the further conclusion that Higher Criti- 
cism is wholly incompetent to deal with the main issue on 
which it claims to adjudicate. For the genuineness of the 
Pentateuch must be decided on the same principles on which 
the genuineness of ancient documents is dealt with in our 
courts of justice. And the language of the .documents is only 
one part of the needed evidence, and not the most important 
part. And fitness for dealing with evidence depends upon 
qualities to which Hebraists, as such, have no special claim. 
Indeed, their writings afford signal proofs of their unfitness 
for inquiries which they insist on regarding as their special 

Take, for example, Professor Driver's grave assertion that 
the presence of two Greek words in Daniel (they are the names 
of musical instruments) demand a date for the book subse- 
quent to the Greek conquest. It has been established by Pro- 
fessor Sayce and others that the intercourse between Babylon 
and Greece in, and before, the days of Nebuchadnezzar would 
amply account for the presence in the Chaldean capital of mu- 
sical instruments with Greek names. And Colonel Conder, 
moreover, a very high authority considers the words to be 
Akkadian, and not Greek at all ! But apart from all this, we 
can imagine the reception that would be given to such a state- 
ment by any competent tribunal. The story bears repeating it 
is a record of facts that at a church bazaar in Lincoln some 
years ago, the alarm was raised that pickpockets were at work, 

72 The Fundamentals. 

and two ladies had lost their purses. The empty purses were 
afterwards found in the pocket of the Bishop of the Dioeese ! 
On the evidence of the two purses the Bishop should be con- 
victed as a thief, and on the evidence of the two words the 
book of Daniel should be convicted as a forgery! 


Here is another typical item in the Critics' indictment of 
Daniel. The book opens by recording Nebuchadnezzar's siege 
of Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, a statement the 
correctness of which is confirmed by history, sacred and secu- 
lar. Berosus, the Chaldean historian, tells us that during this 
expedition Nebuchadnezzar received tidings of his father's 
death, and that, committing to others the care of his army and 
of his Jewish and other prisoners, "he himself hastened home 
across the desert." But the German skeptics, having decided 
that Daniel was a forgery, had to find evidence to support 
their verdict. And so they made the brilliant discovery that 
Berosus was here referring to the expedition of the following 
year, when Nebuchadnezzar won the battle of Carchemish 
against the army of the king of Egypt, and that he had not 
at that time invaded Judea at all. But Carchemish is on the 
Euphrates, and the idea of "hastening home" from there to 
Babylon across the desert is worthy of a schoolboy's essay ! 
That he crossed the desert is proof that he set out from Judea ; 
and his Jewish captives were, of course, Daniel and his com- 
panion princes. His invasion of Judea took place before his 
accession, in Jehoiakam's third year, whereas the battle of Car- 
chemish was fought after his accession, in the king of Judah's 
fourth year, as the biblical books record. But this grotesque 
blunder of Bertholdt's "Book of Daniel" in the beginning 
of the nineteenth century is gravely reproduced in Professor 
Driver's "Book of Daniel" at the beginning of the twentieth 

Christ and Criticism. 73 


But to return to Moses. According to "the critical hypoth- 
esis," the books of the Pentateuch are literary forgeries of the 
Exilic Era, the work of the Jerusalem priests of those evil 
days. From the Book of Jeremiah we know that those men 
were profane apostates ; and if "the critical hypothesis" be true, 
they were infinitely worse than even the prophet's inspired de- 
nunciations of them indicate. For no eighteenth century athe- 
ist ever sank to a lower depth of profanity than is displayed 
by their use of the Sacred Name. In the preface to his "Dark- 
ness and Dawn," Dean Farrar claims that he "never touches 
the early preachers of Christianity with the finger of fiction." 
When his story makes Apostles speak, he has "confined their 
words to the words of a revelation." But ex. hyp., the authors 
of the Pentateuch "touched with the finger of fiction" not only 
the holy men of the ancient days, but their Jehovah God. "Je- 
hovah spake unto Moses, saying." This and kindred formulas 
are repeated times without number in the Mosaic books. If 
this be romance, a lower type of profanity is inconceivable, 
unless it be that of the man who fails to be shocked and re- 
volted by it. 

But no ; facts prove that this judgment is unjust. For'men 
of unfeigned piety and deep reverence for divine things can 
be so blinded by the superstitions of "religion" that the im- 
.primatur of the church enables them to regard these discred- 
ited books as Holy Scripture. As critics they brand the Pen- 
tateuch as a tissue of myth and legend and fraud, but as re- 
ligionists they assure us that this "implies no denial of its in- 
spiration or disparagement of its contents."* 


In controversy it is of the greatest importance to allow op- 
ponents to state their position in their own words; and here 

*"The Higher Criticism: Three Papers," by Professors Driver and 

74 The Fundamentals. 

is Professor Driver's statement of the case against the Books 
of Moses: 

"We can only argue on grounds of probability derived from 
our view of the progress of the art of writing, or of literary 
composition, or of the rise and growth of the prophetic tone 
and feeling in ancient Israel, or of the period at which the 
traditions contained in the narratives might have taken shape, 
or of the probability that they would have been written down 
before the impetus given to culture by the monarchy had taken 
effect, and similar considerations, for estimating most of which, 
though plausible arguments on one side or the other may be 
advanced, a standard on which we can confidently rely scarcely 
admits of being fixed." ("Introduction," 6th ed., page 123.) 

This modest reference to "literary composition" and "the 
art of writing" is characteristic. It is intended to gloss over 
the abandonment of one of the chief points in the original 
attack. Had "Driver's Introduction" appeared twenty years 
earlier, the assumption that such a literature as the Pentateuch 
could belong to the age of Moses would doubtless have been 
branded as an anachronism. For one of the main grounds on 
which the books were assigned to the latter days of the mon- 
archy was that the Hebrews of six centuries earlier were an 
illiterate people. And after that error had. been refuted by 
archaelogical discoveries, it was still maintained that a code 
of laws so advanced, and so elaborate, as that of Moses could 
not have originated in such an age. This figment, however, 
was in its turn exploded, when the spade of the explorer 
brought to light the now famous Code of Khammurabi, the 
Amraphel of Genesis, who was king of Babylon in the time 
of Abraham. 

Instead, however, of donning the white sheet when con- 
fronted by this new witness, the critics, with great effrontery, 
pointed to the newly-found Code as the original of the laws of 
Sinai. Such a conclusion is natural on the part of men who 
treat the Pentateuch as merely human. But the critics cannot 
have it both ways. The Moses who copied Khammurabi must 

Christ and Criticism. 75 

have been the real Moses of the Exodus, and not the mythical 
Moses of the Exile, who wrote long centuries after Khammu- 
rabi had been forgotten ! 


The evidence of the Khammurabi Code refutes an impor- 
tant count in the critics' indictment of the Pentateuch; but we 
can call another witness whose testimony demolishes their 
whole case. The Pentateuch, as we all know, and the Pen- 
tateuch alone, constitutes the Bible of the Samaritans. Who, 


then, were the Samaritans? And how and when did they 
obtain the Pentateuch? Here again the critics shall speak 
for themselves. Among the distinguished men who have cham- 
pioned their crusade in Britain there has been none more es- 
teemed, none more scholarly, than the late Professor Robert- 
son Smith; and here is an extract from his "Samaritans" ar- 
ticle in the "Encyclopedia Britannica" : 

"They (the Samaritans) regard themselves as Israelites, de- 
scendants of the ten tribes, and claim to possess the orthodox 
religion of Moses * * * The priestly law, which is 
throughout based on the practice of the priests in Jerusalem 
before the. Captivity, was reduced to form after the Exile, and 
was published by Ezra as the law of the rebuilt temple of Zion. 
The Samaritans must, therefore, have derived their Pentateuch 
from the Jews after Ezra's reforms." And in the same para- 
graph he says that, according to the contention of the Samari- 
tans, "not only the temple of Zion, but the earlier temple of 
Shiloh and the priesthood of Eli, were schismatical." And 
yet, as he goes on to say, "the Samaritan religion was built on 
the Pentateuch alone." 

Now mark what this implies. We know something of ra- 
cial bitterness. We know more, unfortunately, of the fierce 
bitterness of religious strife. And both these elements com- 
bined to alienate the Samaritans from the Jews. But more 
than this, in the post-exilic period distrust and dislike were 

76 The Fundamentals. 

turned to intense hatred "abhorrence" is Robertson Smith's 
word by the sternness and contempt with which the Jews 
spurned their proffered help in the work of reconstruction at 
Jerusalem, and refused to acknowledge them in any way. And 
yet we are asked to believe that, at this very time and in 
these very circumstances, the Samaritans, while hating the 
Jews much as Orangemen hate the Jesuits, and denouncing 
the whole Jewish cult as schismatical, not only accepted these 
Jewish books relating to that cult as the "service books" of 
their own ritual, but adopted them as their "Bible," to the ex- 
clusion even of the writings of their own Israelite prophets, 
and the venerated and sacred books which record the history 
,of their kings. In the whole range of controversy, religious 
or secular, was there ever propounded a theory more utterly 
incredible and preposterous! 


No less preposterous are the grounds on which this conclu- 
sion is commended to us. Here is a statement of them, quoted 
from the standard textbook of the cult, Hasting's "Bible Dic- 
tionary" : 

"There is at least one valid ground for the conclusion that 
the Pentateuch was first accepted by the Samaritans after the 
Exile. Why was their request to be allowed to take part in 
the building of the secpnd temple refused by the heads of the 
Jerusalem community ? Very probably because the Jews were 
aware that the Samaritans did not as yet possess the Law- 
Book. It is hard to suppose that otherwise they would have 
met with this refusal. Further, anyone who, like the present 
writer, regards the modern criticism of the Pentateuch as es- 
sentially correct, has a second decisive reason for adopting 
the above view." (Professor Konig's article, "Samaritan Pen- 
tateuch," page 68.) 

Here are two "decisive reasons" for holding that "the Pen- 
tateuch was first accepted by the Samaritans after the Exile." 
First, because "very probably" it was because they had not 

Christ and Criticism. 77 

those forged books that the Jews spurned their help; and so 
they went home and adopted the forged books as their Bible! 
And, secondly, because criticism has proved that the books 
were not in existence till then. To characterize the writings 
of these scholars as they deserve is not a grateful task but the 
time has come to throw off reserve, when such drivel as this is 
gravely put forward to induce us to tear from our Bible the 
Holy Scriptures on which our Divine Lord based His claims 
to Messiahship. 


The refutation of the Higher Criticism does not prove that 
the Pentateuch is inspired of God. The writer who would 
set himself to establish such a thesis as that within the limits 
of a Review Article might well be admired for his enthusiasm 
and daring, but certainly not for his modesty or discretion. 
Neither does it decide questions which lie within the legitimate 
province of the true Higher Criticism, as ex. gr., the author- 
ship of Genesis. It is incredible that for the thousands of 
years that elapsed before the days of Moses, God left His 
people on earth without a revelation. It is plain, moreover, 
that many of the ordinances divinely entrusted to Moses were 
but a renewal of an earlier revelation. The religion of Baby- 
lon is clear evidence of such a primeval revelation. How else 
can the universality of sacrifice be accounted for ? Could such 
a practice have originated in a human brain ? 

If some demented creature conceived the idea that killing 
a beast before his enemy's door would propitiate him, his neigh- 
bors would no doubt have suppressed him. And if he evolved 
the belief that his god would be appeased by such an offensive 
practice, he must have supposed his god to be as mad as him- 
self. The fact that sacrifice prevailed among all races can 
be explained only by a primeval revelation. And the Bible 
student will recognize that God thus sought to impress on 
men that death was the penalty of sin, and to lead them to 

78 The Fundamentals. 

look forward to a great blood shedding that would bring life 
and blessing to mankind. But Babylon was to the ancient 
world what Rome has been to Christendom. It corrupted 
every divine ordinance and truth, and perpetuated them as thus 
corrupted. And in the Pentateuch we have the divine re-issue 
of the true cult. The figment that the debased and corrupt 
version was the original may satisfy some professors of He- 
brew, but no one who has any practical knowledge of human 
nature would entertain it. 


At this stage, however, what concerns us is not the divine 
authority of the books, but the human error and folly of the 
critical attack upon them. The only historical basis of that at- 
tack is the fact that in the revival under Josiah, "the book of 
the law" was found in the temple by Hilkiah, the high priest, 
to whom the young king entrusted the duty of cleansing and 
renovating the long neglected shrine. A most natural discov- 
ery it was, seeing that Moses had in express terms commanded 
that it should be kept there (2 Kings 22 :8 ; Deut. 31 :26) . But 
according to the critics, the whole business was a detestable 
trick of the priests. For they it was who forged the books 
and invented the command, and then hid the product of their 
infamous work where they knew it would be found. 

And apart from this, the only foundation for "the assured 
results of modern criticism," as they themselves acknowledge, 
consists of "grounds of probability" and "plausible arguments" ! . 
In no civilized country would an habitual criminal be convicted 
of petty larceny on such evidence as this; and yet it is on these 
grounds that we are called upon to give up- the sacred books 
which our Divine Lord accredited as "the Word of God" and 
made the basis of His doctrinal teaching. 


And this brings us to the second, and incomparably the 

Christ and Criticism. 79 

graver, objection to "the assured results of modern criticism." 
That the Lord Jesus Christ identified Himself with the He- 
brew Scriptures, and in a very special way with the Book of 
Moses, no one disputes. And this being so, we must make 
choice between Christ and Criticism. For if "the critical hy- 
pothesis" of the Pentateuch be sustained, the conclusion is 
seemingly inevitable, either that He was not divine, or that 
the records of His teaching are untrustworthy. 

Which alternative shall we adopt? If the second, then 
every claim to inspiration must be abandoned, and agnosticism 
must supplant faith in the case of every fearless thinker. In- 
spiration is far too great a question for incidental treatment 
here; but two remarks with respect to it may not be inoppor- 
tune. Behind the frauds of Spiritualism there lies the fact, at- 
tested by men of high character, some of whom are eminent 
as scientists and scholars, that definite communications are re- 
ceived in precise words from the world of spirits.* And this 
being so, to deny that the Spirit of God could thus communi- 
cate truth to men, or, in other words, to reject verbal inspira- 
tion on a priori grounds, betrays the stupidity of systematized 
unbelief. And, secondly, it is amazing that any one who re- 
gards the coming of Christ as God's supreme revelation of 
Himself can imagine that (to put it on no higher ground than 
"Providence") the Divine Spirit could fail to ensure that man- 
kind should have a trustworthy and true record of His mis- 
sion and His teaching. 


But if the Gospel -narrative be authentic, we are driven back 
upon the alternative that He of whom they speak could not 
be divine. "Not so," the critics protest, "for did He not Him- 
self confess His ignorance? And is not this explained by the 
Apostle's statement that in His humiliation He emptied Him- 
self of His Deity?" And the inference drawn from this (to 

*The fact that, as the Christian believes, these spirits are demons 
who personate the dead, does not affect the argument. 

80 The Fundamentals. 

quote the standard text-book of the cult) is that the Lord of 
Glory "held the current Jewish notions respecting the divine 
authority and revelation of the Old Testament." But even if 
this conclusion as portentous as it is profane could be estab- 
lished, instead of affording an escape from the dilemma in 
which the Higher Criticism involves its votaries, it would only 
serve to make that dilemma more hopeless and more terrible. 
For what chiefly concerns us is not that, ex. hyp., the Lord's 
doctrinal teaching was false, but that in unequivocal terms, and 
with extreme solemnity, He declared again and again that His 
teaching was not His own but His Father's, and that the very 
words in which He conveyed it were God-given. 

A few years ago the devout were distressed by the pro- 
ceedings of a certain Chicago "prophet," who claimed divine 
authority for his lucubrations. Kindly disposed people, reject- 
ing a severer estimate of the man and his platform utterances, 
regarded him merely as a profane fool. Shall the critics be- 
tray us into forming a similarly indulgent estimate of 

My pen refuses to complete the sentence ! 

And will it be believed that the only scriptural basis offered 
us for this astounding position is a verse in one of the Gospels 
and a word in one of the Epistles ! Passing strange it is that 
men who handle Holy Scripture with such freedom when it 
conflicts with their "assured results" should attach such enor- 
mous importance to an isolated verse or a single word, when 
it can be misused to support them. The verse is Mark 13 :32, 
where the Lord says, with reference to His coming again : "Of 
that day and hour knoweth no one; no, not the angels which 
are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." But this fol- 
lows immediately upon the words: "Heaven and earth shall 
pass away, but My words shall not pass away." 


The Lord's words were not "inspired" ; they were the words 
of God in a still higher sense. "The people were astonished 

Christ and Criticism. 81 

at His teaching," we are told, "for He taught them as one 
having exousia." The word occurs again in Acts 1 :7, where 
He says that times and seasons "the Father hath put in His 
own exousia" And this is explained by Phil. 2:6, 7: "He 
counted it not a prize (or a thing to be grasped) to be on 
an equality with God, but emptied Himself" the word on 
which the kenosis theory of the critics depends. And He not 
only stripped Himself of His glory as God; He gave up His 
liberty as a man. For He never spoke His own words, but 
only the words which the Father gave Him to speak. And this 
was the limitation of His "authority"; so that, beyond what 
the Father gave Him to speak, He knew nothing and was silent. 

But when He spoke, "He taught them as one who had 
authority, and not as their scribes." From their scribes they 
were used to receive definite teaching, bu.t it was teaching based 
on "the law and the prophets." But here was One who stood 
apart and taught them from a wholly different plane. "For," 
He declared, "I spake not from Myself ; but the Father which 
sent Me, He hath given Me a commandment what I should say 
and what' I should speak. * * * The things, therefore, 
which I speak, even as the Father hath said unto Me, so I 
speak" (John 12:49, 50, R. V.). 

And let us not forget that it was not merely the substance 
of His teaching that was divine, but the very language in 
which it was conveyed. So that in His prayer on the night of 
the betrayal He could say, hot only "I have given them Thy 
word," but "I have given them the words which Thou gavest 
Me."* His words, therefore, about Moses and the Hebrew 
Scriptures were not, as the critics, with such daring and seem- 
ing profanity, maintain, the lucubrations of a superstitious and 
ignorant Jew ; they were the words of God, and conveyed truth 
that was divine and eternal. 

When in the dark days of the Exile, God needed a prophet 

*Both the UYO$ and the p^ara John 17:8, 14; as again in Chap. 
14:10, 24. 

82 The Fundamentals. 

who would speak only as He gave him words, He struck Eze- 
kiel dumb. Two judgments already rested on that people 
the seventy years' Servitude to Babylon, and then the Captivity 
and they were warned that continued impenitence would 
bring on them the still more terrible judgment of the seventy 
years' desolations. And till that last judgment fell, Ezekiel 
remained dumb (Ezek. 3:26; 24:27; 33:22). But the Lord 
Jesus Christ needed no such discipline. He came to do the 
Father's will, and no words ever passed His lips save the 
words given Him to speak. 

In this connection, moreover, two facts which are strangely 
overlooked claim prominent notice. The first is that in Mark 
13 the antithesis is not at all between man and God, but be- 
tween the Son of God and the Father. And the second is 
that He had been re-invested with all that, according to Phil. 
2, He laid aside in coming into the world. "All things 
have been delivered unto Me of My Father," He declared ; and 
this at a time when the proofs that "He was despised and re- 
jected of men" were pressing on Him. His reassuming the 
glory awaited His return to heaven, but here on earth the. all 
things were already His (Matt. 11:27). 


The foregoing is surely an adequate reply to the kenosls 
figment of the critics; but if any should still doubt or cavil, 
there is another answer which is complete and crushing. 
Whatever may have been the limitations under which He rested 
during His ministry on earth, He was released from them when 
He rose from the dead. And it was in His post-resurrection 
teaching that He gave the fullest and clearest testimony to the 
Hebrew Scriptures. Then it was that, "beginning at Moses, 
and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scrip- 
tures the things concerning Himself." And again, confirming 
all His previous teaching about those Scriptures, "He said unto 
them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was 

Christ and Criticism. . 83 

yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were writ- 
ten in the law of Moses? and in the prophets, and in the psalms, 
concerning Me." 

And the record adds: "Then opened He their mind that 
they might understand the Scriptures." , And the rest of the 
New Testament is the fruit of that ministry, enlarged and un- 
folded by the Holy Spirit given to lead them into all truth. 
And in every part of the New Testament the Divine authority 
of the Hebrew Scriptures, and especially of the Books of 
Moses, is either taught or assumed. 


Certain it is, then, that the vital issue in this controversy 
is not the value of the Pentateuch, but the Deity of Christ. 
And yet the present article does not pretend to deal with the 
truth of the Deity. Its humble aim is not even to establish 
the authority of the Scriptures, but merely to discredit the 
critical attack upon them by exposing its real character and its 
utter feebleness. The writer's method, therefore, has been 
mainly destructive criticism, the critics' favorite weapon being 
thus turned against themselves. 


One cannot but feel distress at having to accord such treat- 
ment to certain distinguished men whose reverence for divine 
things is beyond reproach. A like distress is felt at times by 
those who have experience in dealing with sedition, or in sup- 
pressing riots. But when men who are entitled -to considera- 
tion and respect thrust themselves into "the line of fire," they 
must take the consequences. These distinguished men will not 
fail to receive to the full the deference to which they are en- 
titled, if only they will dissociate themselves from the dishon- 
est claptrap of this crusade ("the assured results of modern 
criticism" ; "all scholars are with us" ; and so on bluster and 
falsehood by which the weak and ignorant are browbeaten or 

84 The Fundamentals. 

deceived) and acknowledge that their "assured results" are 
mere hypotheses, repudiated by Hebraists and theologians as 
competent and eminent as themselves. 


The effects of this "Higher Criticism" are extremely grave. 
For it has dethroned the Bible in the home, and the good, old 
practice of "family worship" is rapidly dying out. And great 
national interests also are involved. For who can doubt that 
the prosperity and power of the Protestant nations of the world 
are due to the influence 'of the Bible upon character and con- 
duct? Races of men who for generations have been taught 
to think for themselves in matters of the highest moment will 
naturally excel in every sphere of effort or of enterprise. And 
more than this, no one who is trained in the fear of God will 
fail in his duty to his neighbor, but will prove himself a good 
citizen. But the dethronement of the Bible leads practically to 
the dethronement of God ; and in Germany and America, and 
now in England, the effects of this are declaring themselves 
in ways, and to an extent, well fitted to cause anxiety for the 


If a personal word may be pardoned in conclusion, the 
writer would appeal to every book he has written in proof 
that he is no champion of a rigid, traditional "orthodoxy." 
With a single limitation, he would advocate full and free criti- 
cism of Holy Scripture. And that one limitation is that the 
words of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be deemed a bar to criti- 
cism and "an end of controversy" on every subject expressly 
dealt with in His teaching. '"The Son of God is come" ; and 
by Him came both grace and TRUTH. And from His hand 
it is that we have received the Scriptures of the Old Testament. 




"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain de- 
ceit after (according to) the tradition of men, after the rudiments 
of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the ful- 
ness of the Godhead bodily ; and ye are complete in Him, who is the 
Head of all principality and power." Col. 2:8-10. 

In the foregoing passage occurs the only mention which 
the Scriptures make of philosophy. Nothing is more highly 
esteemed among men than philosophy. It is on all hands re- 
garded as the supreme exercise and occupation of the human 
mind, and is indeed an occupation for which but very few men 
have the requisite intellectual equipment. As far back as 
the tradition of men goes, philosophy has held this high place 
in human estimation; and it is, therefore, a fact of much sig- 
nificance that, in all the Bible, philosophy is but once named. 

Even in our day the deference paid to philosophy is such 
that there are not many teachers of the Bible who would ven- 
ture to warn their fellow-men of its dangers ; for philosophers 
have managed to maintain in Christendom the same eminence 
which they occupied in heathendom. Indeed, a course in phi- 
losophy is now, and for some generations has been, considered 
an essential part of the education of a man who is preparing 
for the Christian ministry; and this is not the only one of the 
"rudiments of the world" which has found its way into our 
theological seminaries. It is, therefore, not surprising that, 
in the teaching imparted by these seminary graduates, philoso- 
phy holds a very different place from that assigned to it by 
the Bible. 


86 The Fundamentals. 


We may be very sure, then, that the passage quoted above 
is not a human utterance. It does not express man's estimate 
of philosophy far from it. In pronouncing that warning Paul 
is not repeating what he learned while pursuing his course in 
philosophy at the school of Gamaliel. No man would ever 
have coupled philosophy with vain deceit, or characterized it 
as a dangerous process against which God's people should be 
cautioned, lest thereby they should be despoiled of their pos- 
sessions. No man ever defined philosophy, as being according 
to human tradition and the basic principles of this evil world, 
and not according to Christ. This warning is from God Him- 
self ; but, alas, like many other of His solemn warnings, it 
has been despised and utterly disregarded. The thing against 
which this earnest warning was spoken has been welcomed with 
open arms, and incorporated into the theological machinery of 
our ecclesiastical systems. The consequences of this con- 
temptuous disregard of God's warning are such as might have 
been expected. 

This word "beware" (sometimes rendered "take heed" in 
our version) does not occur very often in the New Testament. 
There are not many things whereof believers are bidden to 
"beware." Some of these are "the scribes," "dogs," "evil- 
workers," "the concision," and an "evil heart of unbelief" 
(Mark 12 :38 ; Phil. 3 :2 ; Acts 13 :40 ; Heb. 3:12). The warn- 
ing of our text is addressed to believers who have been in- 
structed as to their oneness with Christ in His death (at the 
hands of the world), His burial, and His resurrection. Addi- 
tional emphasis is given to the warning by the connection in 
which it occurs. The word rendered "spoil" signifies literally- 
to make a prey o/, as when one falls into the hands of robbers 
and is stripped by violence of his goods, or into the hands of 
smooth-tongued and plausible swindlers who gain his confi- 
dence, and by means of their arts fleece him of his valuables. 
It is heavenly treasure that is in contemplation here, even the 

Modern Philosophy. 87 

believer's portion of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Hence 
empty deceit is contrasted with the -fulness of the Godhead 
which dwells in Christ ; and the despoiled condition of one who 
has been victimized through philosophy is contrasted with the 
enrichment of those who have apprehended by faith their com- 
pleteness in Him who is the Head of all principality and power. 
But why, we may profitably inquire, is philosophy described 
as an instrument of spoliation in the hands of artful men? 
And why is it characterized as being after (i. e., according to) 
the rudiments, or basic principles, of the world? The word 
rendered "rudiments" occurs four times in Scripture. In Col. 
2:20 it is again rendered "rudiments." In Gal. 4:3 and 9 it 
is rendered "elements." It seems to convey the idea of basic or 
foundation principles of the world-system. These elements 
are described in Gal. 4:9 as "weak and beggarly." They do 
not strengthen and enrich, but weaken and impoverish those 
who resort to them. 


The reason is perceived, in a general way at least, when 
we ascertain what philosophy is, namely, the occupation of at- 
tempting to devise, by the exercise of the human reason, an 
explanation of the universe. It is an interminable occupation 
for the reason that, if the explanation which philosophy is for- 
ever seeking were to be found, that discovery would be the end 
of philosophy. The occupation of the philosopher would be 
.gone. It is interminable for the stronger reason that the phi- 
losopher is bound, by the rules of his profession, to employ in 
his quest only human wisdom, and it is written that the world, 
by its wisdom, does not come to the knowledge of God ( 1 Cor. 
1:19-21, 2:14). Incidentally, a large part of the time of the 
philosopher is occupied in criticising and demonstrating the un- 
reasonableness or absurdity of all philosophical systems except 
-that espoused by himself. This, however, is merely the de- 
structive part of his work, the constructive part being, as has 

88 The Fundamentals. 

been said, the employment of his reasoning faculties in the 
task of devising a system which will account, after a fashion, 
for the existence and origin of, and for the changes which ap- 
pear to take place in, the visible universe. Having settled upon 
such a system, the philosopher must thenceforth defend it from 
the attacks, of philosophers of opposing "Schools" (who will 
put forth weighty volumes demonstrating to their entire satis- 
faction that his philosophical system is a tissue of absurdities), 
and in replying to their many and various objections and 


We may thus see at a glance that philosophy is, in its essen- 
tial character, in accordance with human tradition and the fun- 
damental or primary principles of the world-system; and that 
it is not according to Christ, who is hated by the world, and 
who has laid the axe at the root of all its principles. Promi- 
nent among the elements of the world and of human tradition 
is the principle that the world reflects the grandeur of man, 
and that human reason is the highest and mightiest factor in 
it. In our day it has become a tenet of popular theology that 
the human reason is the final court of appeal in all matters 
of doctrine. In man's world human achievement is exalted to 
the highest place, and no limit is set to what may be accom- 
plished by human ingenuity. "Let us build us a city and a 
tower whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a 
name" (Gen. 11 :4), is the program of humanity, as announced 
by those who established the basic principles of the world. In 
the great world-system that only is valued and lauded which 
is attained by the effort of man and redounds to his credit. 
Philosophy adheres strictly to this tradition and to these prin- 
ciples in that its various explanations, in order to receive 
recognition as "philosophical," must be purely the products 
of human reason exercised upon the results of human inves- 

Modern Philosophy. 89 


It follows of necessity that philosophy and divine revela- 
tion are utterly irreconcilable. The very existence of philos- 
ophy as an occupation for the human mind depends upon the 
rigid exclusion of every explanation of the universe which is 
not reached by a speculative process. If a philosophy admits 
the existence of a God (as the philosophies just now in favor 
do), it is a god who either is dumb, or else is not permitted 
to tell anything about himself, or how he made and sustains 
the universe. Should the philosopher's god break through 
these restrictions, there would be straightway an end of his 
philosophy. For it is not the pursuit of truth that makes one 
a philosopher. The pursuit of truth, in order to be philosoph- 
ical, must be conducted in directions in which truth cannot pos- 
sibly be found. For the discovery of what philosophers pre- 
tend to be seeking would bring their philosophies to an end, 
and such a calamity must, of course, be .avoided. Therefore, 
the moment one receives an explanation of the universe as 
coming from God who made it, he can have no further use 
for philosophy. One who has obtained the truth is no longer 
a seeker. The value of philosophy, therefore, lies not in its 
results, for there are none, but solely in the employment which 
its unverifiable speculations afford to those whose tastes and 
intellectual endowments qualify them to engage in it. 


Again, philosophy is "not according to Christ" for the sim- 
ple and sufficient reason that the testimony of Christ puts an 
end, for all who accept it, to all philosophical speculations con- 
cerning the relations of humanity to God and to the universe. 
Christ set His seal to the truth and divine authority of the Old 
Testament Scriptures. He, moreover, revealed the Father; 
and finally H : promised further revelations of truth through 
His apostles under the immediate teaching of the Holy Spirit. 
These revelations are not only directly opposed to philosoph- 

90 The Fundamentals. 

ical speculations, but they cut the ground from under them, 
The testimony and teaching of Christ were not communicated 
to men for -the purpose of informing them how man and the 
world came to be what they are though they do reveal the 
truth as to that. The purpose of the doctrine of Christ and 
of His personal mission to the world was to show to men 
their true condition, as under the dominion of sin and death, 
and to accomplish eternal redemption for all who believe the 
good tidings and accept the gift of God's grace. The doctrine 
of Christ not only instructs men as to the way into the king- 
dom of God, but also entitles those who accept it to the imme- 
diate possession and enjoyment of many and valuable rights 
and privileges which can be acquired in no other way. If, 
therefore, you are a believer in Christ Jesus, trusting the merit 
of His sacrifice for your acceptance with God, beware lest 
any man despoil you of these inestimable rights and privileges 
through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the principles 
of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him, and 
not elsewhere, dwells the fulness of the Godhead; and in Him, 
and not elsewhere, the believer may be filled to his utmost ca- 
pacity. Philosophy can strip men of part of the inheritance 
of faith. It has nothing to offer them in exchange. 


It would be quite possible, for one who had the requisite 
leisure and curiosity, to trace the main developments of phi- 
losophy, and to examine the many different "Schools" to which 
it has given rise during a period of several thousand years. 
Having done so, he would find that philosophy consists, as 
already said, in the pursuit of the unattainable, and that, among 
all the varied fields of human activity there is none which has 
witnessed such an absolutely futile and barren expenditure of 
energy as the field of speculative philosophy. A philosopher of 
repute at the present time has declared that "philosophy has 
been on a false scent ever since the days of Socrates and Plato." 

- Modern Philosophy. 91 

The following of a false scent for more than two thousand 
years is surely not a record to boast of ; and yet it is true that, 
so far as results are concerned, philosophy has nothing more 
encouraging than this to offer as an inducement for engaging 
in it. 

We do not, however, propose anything so stupendous (and 
so unprofitable) as a review of the history of philosophy, but 
merely a brief statement setting forth the status of philosophy 
at the present day. And this we undertake in order that the 
non-philosophical reader may be able to ascertain the charac- 
ter of the influence which philosophy is exerting, in these times 
of change and mental unrest, upon the immediate problems of 
humanity, and upon what is called "the progress of human 

The great majority of men do no thinking beyond the mat- 
ters which lie within the little circle of their personal interests. ' 
This unthinking majority takes its thoughts and opinions from 
an intellectual and cultured few, or from leaders who manage 
to gain their confidence. It is important, therefore, to ascer- 
tain what ideas are prevalent among those who are in a posi- 
tion to influence the opinions of the mass of mankind. This 
may easily be done by sampling the current philosophical teach- 
ing at the great universities of the English-speaking countries. 


The various schools of .philosophy which have flourished 
through the ages may be divided into two main classes, namely, 
theistic and atheistic. The former class embraces all philo- 
sophic systems which assume a god of some sort as the origi- 
nator and sustainer of the universe. It may be remarked in 
passing that theistic philosophies are more dangerous to hu- 
mankind than the atheistic class, for the reason that the former 
are well calculated to ensnare those who, by nature or training, 
have a repugnance to atheism. We need pay no attention to 
atheistic philosophy, for the reason that it is quite out of favor 

92 The Fundamentals. ' 

at the present day, and shows no sign of ever recovering a 
respectable status. 


Confining our attention, therefore, to theistic philosophies, 
we find several classes of these, namely, "Dualistic" and "Pan- 
theistic." Dualism is the name which philosophers have been 
pleased to bestow upon those systems which maintain that God 
(or the "First Cause") created the universe as an act of His 
will, and has an existence distinct and apart from it. These 
systems are called "dualistic" because they count God as one 
entity, and the universe or creation as another entity, thus mak- 
ing two entities. The reader should understand clearly that 
when a learned professor of philosophy speaks of "dualism" . 
he has Christianity in mind. 


Pantheism, on the other hand, maintains that God and the 
universe are one being. There are several varieties of pan- 
theism which have followers among living philosophers, e. g., 
monism and pluralism. Monism is that variety of pantheism 
which is most in favor at the present day. This system as- 
sumes as the basis of reality an "absolute" or "all-knower" a 
monstrosity which comprehends in its vast being all things 
and all their relations and activities. Monism, therefore, as- 
serts that there is but one entity. God has no existence apart 
from the universe, and never had. The latter is, therefore, 
eternal, and there has been no creation. 

It is a remarkable and highly significant fact that the basic 
principle of this ruling philosophy of our day is also the basic 
principle of the rapidly rising religio-economic system of so- 
cialism. For socialism is grounded upon the proposition that 
man is organically and essentially one with God and with the 
universe. From this strange agreement this strange meeting 
of extremes far-reaching results may be expected. 

Modern Philosophy. 93 


In order to obtain for our consideration a fair and accurate 
statement of the position of present-day philosophy, reference 
will be made to the "Hibbert Lectures" of 1909, on "The Pres- 
ent Situation in Philosophy," delivered by Professor William 
James, of Harvard University, at Manchester College, Oxford. 
These lectures have been published in a volume entitled "A Plu- 
ralistic Universe" (Longmans, Green & Co.). 

Professor James is one of the very few philosophers of note 
who reject the teaching of monism. He advocates a theory 
styled "Pluralism," of which a sufficient idea may be gained 
from the quotations to follow. It is of first importance to us 
to learn from Professor James what is the present status of 
dualism, since, as we have seen, that class embraces old-fash- 
ioned or Bible Christianity. As to this^ he says : 

"Dualistic theism is professed as firmly as ever at all Cath- 
olic seats of learning, whereas it has of late years tended to 
disappear at our British and American Universities, and be 
replaced by a monistic pantheism more or less open or dis- 
guised" (page 24). 

According to this competent authority, the Roman Catholic 
colleges are the only ones of any consequence wherein the state- 
ments of the Bible regarding the creation and government of 
the universe, the origin of living creatures, including man, the 
origin of evil, etc., are even "professed." The great universi- 
ties of England and America, which were founded for the pur- 
pose of maintaining the doctrines of Scriptures, and spreading 
knowledge of them as the revelations of the living God, and 
as the foundations of all true learning, have been despoiled 
of all that made them useful for the nurture of young minds, 
and that made them valuable to the communities wherein they 
have flourished; and this momentous change has been accom- 
plished through the agency of philosophy and vain deceit, ac- 
cording to the ancient tradition of men, according to the rudi- 
ments of the world, and not according to Christ. 

94 The Fundamentals. 


Herein, as it seems to the writer, we have an explanation 
for the strange phenomenon that Romanism is gaining ground 
rapidly in Protestant England and America, while steadily los- 
ing influence in those countries where it has had almost exclu- 
sive sway over the consciences of the people. The latter coun- 
tries have never enjoyed the privileges of the open Bible. 
They have never had any links attaching them to the living 
Word of God. All they have had is "the church," and that 
they are now judging by its fruits. 

But in England and America it is far otherwise. For many 
generations, from father to son, the people have been knit by 
many strong and tender ties and associations to the Word of 
the living God. Its influences upon the customs and life of 
the people have been many and potent. Only those whose 
minds are blinded will deny the mighty influence which the 
Bible has exerted as a factor in the national prosperity of the 
English-speaking countries. The great universities have been 
their pride, and have been counted among the national bul- 
warks ; and the Bible has been the foundation stone of the uni- 
versities. But now a change has come so swiftly and so 
stealthily that we can scarcely realize what has happened. The 
universities have discarded the teaching of the Bible, and have 
repudiated its authority as the divinely inspired teacher. Only 
at "Catholic seats of learning" is its teaching professed. What 
wonder, then, in a time of general disintegration and unrest, 
that the children of Bible-loving ancestors should be drawn 
by thousands to a system which has the appearance of stability, 
where all else is falling to pieces, and which, with all its errors, 
does proclaim the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures! Whoso 
is wise will consider these things. 


Professor James, in his lectures at Manchester, treats the 
teaching of the Bible as being now so utterly discredited and 

Modern Philosophy. 95 

out of date as to call for only a brief, passing reference in a dis- 
cussion purporting to deal with "the present situation in phi- 
losophy." He says: 

"I shall leave cynical materialism entirely out of our dis- 
cussion as not calling for treatment before this present audi- 
ence, and I shall ignore old-fashioned dualistic theism for 
the same reason" (page 30). 

It is also important for our purpose to note the suddenness 
of the great change which has taken place at our universities, 
whereby Christian doctrine has been relegated to a position 
of obscurity so profound that it calls for no consideration in a 
discussion of this sort. The lecturer, after remarking that he 
had been told by Hindoos that "the great obstacle to the spread 
of Christianity in their country was the puerility of our dogma 
of creation," added: "Assuredly, most members of this audi- 
ence are ready to side with Hinduism in this matter." And 
then he proceeded to say that "those of us who are sexa- 
genarians" have witnessed such changes as "make the thought 
of a past generation seem as foreign to its successor as if 
it were the expression of a different race of men. The theo- 
logical machinery that spoke so livingly to our ancestors, 
with its finite age of the world, its creation out of nothing, 
its juridical morality and eschatology, its treatment of God 
as an external contriver, an intelligent and moral governor, 
sounds as odd to most of us as if it were some outlandish 
savage religion" (page 29). 


Let the reader not fail to grasp the significance of the state- 
ment. For hundreds of years the instruction imparted to the 
youths of England and America has been grounded upon the 
Scriptures as the oracles of God ; and, in fact, the work of 
teaching has been carried on mainly by ministers of the Word. 
The positions which England and America have gained among 
the nations during those centuries is known to every one. God 
has greatly blessed them .with national prosperity and world- 

96 The Fundamentals. 

wide dominion. But now, we are told (and it is true), that 
within a single generation the framework of our educational 
systems has been so changed that the language which expressed 
the abiding convictions of our ancestors sounds as strange in 
the atmosphere of our great universities as the language of a 
"different race of men," uttering the formulas of some "out- 
landish savage religion." Whether the change is for the bet- 
ter or for the worse is not, for the moment, in question. What 
we wish to impress upon our readers' minds at this point is 
simply the fact that a tremendous change has taken place, with 
amazing suddenness, and in regard to matters that are of vital 
importance to the whole world, and particularly to the Eng- 
lish-speaking people. 


The effect upon the plastic minds of undergraduates of such 
words as those last quoted can easily be imagined. They art- 
fully convey the suggestion that these young men are, in re- 
spect of their philosophical notions, vastly superior to the men 
of light and learning of past generations, and that it is by the 
repudiation of Christianity and its "lively oracles" that they 
furnish convincing proof of their intellectual superiority. 
There are few minds among men of the age here addressed, or 
of any age except they be firmly grounded and established 
in the truth which could resist the insidious influence of such 
an appeal to the innate vanity of men. 

Such being then the influences to which the students at our 
universities are now exposed, is there not urgent need of im- 
pressing upon Christian parents (there are yet a few remain- 
ing) the warning of our text, and exhorting them to beware 
lest their children be despoiled through philosophy and empty 


What does this sudden and stupendous change portend? 
Is not the very existence of Christianized civilization (i. e., the 

Modern Philosophy. 97 

social system which has been reared under the influence and 
protection of Christianity) imperiled by it? Beyond all doubt 
it is. Nor is our reasonable apprehension in this regard in any 
wise allayed by Professor James' statements that the principal 
factors of this change are "scientific evolutionism" and "the 
rising tide of social democratic ideals/' Great is the mischief 
already accomplished by these mighty agencies of evil, and we 
are as yet but at the beginning of their destructive career. 

One, more word Professor James speaks on this point; 

"An external creator and his institutions may still be ver- 
bally confessed at Church in formulas that linger by their 
mere inertia, but the life is out of them" (page 34). 

And with this agree the words of the risen Christ to the 
church in its Sardis stage, "Thou hast a name that thou livest, 
and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things that re- 
main that are ready to die 3 ' (Rev. 3 :1, 2). 


It is now in order to inspect briefly that system of philos- 
ophy which, in its several forms, has crowded out of our uni- 
versities the doctrine of Christ (and which has incidentally 
made Him a liar). We have already stated that this reign- 
ing system, now holding almost undisputed sway in "Chris- 
tian" England and America, is pantheism, which has flourished 
for thousands of years as the philosophical religious cult of 
India. We have seen how Professor James defers to the Hin- 
doo estimate of the Bible doctrine of creation, and sides with 
it. If the test of a doctrine is the way it is regarded by the 
Hindoos, it is quite logical to go to them for the interpretation 
of the universe which is to be taught at our schools and col- 

The philosophers of today have, therefore, nothing to offer 
to us that our ancestors did not understand as well as they,. and 
that they were not as free to choose as we are. Did our an- 
cestors then prefer the worse thing to the better when they 

98 The Fundamentals. 

chose, and founded great universities to preserve, the doctrines 
taught by Jesus Christ and His Apostles, rather than (as they 
might have done) the doctrines associated with the name of 
Buddha? Our present-day teachers of philosophy appear to 
say so. But if there remains any judgment at all in the twen- 
tieth-century man, he will remember, before lightly acquiescing 
in the removal of the ancient foundations, that whatever there 
may be of superiority in the social order of Christianized Eng- 
land and America over that of pantheistic India is due to the 
choice which our forefathers made when they accepted the 
teaching of the Gospel of Christ, and to the fact that every 
subsequent generation until the present has ratified and adhered 
firmly to that choice. 


What benefit, then, can any sane man expect as the result 
of this sudden and wholesale repudiation of teachings which 
are vital to Christianity, and the acceptance in their stead of 
the ancient doctrines of heathendom ? Surely there never was 
a generation of men so unwise, so blinded by its own conceit, 
as this foolish generation, in thus casting away the guidance 
of that Book which has put England and America at the head 
of the nations, and which has been the source of everything 
that is commendable in so-called "civilized society," and in ac- 
cepting in its place the brutalizing and degrading doctrines of 

In whatever our eyes can rest upon with satisfaction in our 
past history or our present institutions,, our art, literature, 
ethics, standards of family life and national life, etc., etc., we 
see the evidences of the influence of those teachings which 
have now been discarded by the wise men of our day as "puer- 
ile" in comparison with those of heathen philosophy. How 
long will it be before the righteous judgment of God overtakes 
the peoples who have thus turned with contempt from the 
source of all their greatness ? 

Modern Philosophy. 99 

The warning, therefore, should be sounded out, not only 
to the young men and women who are likely to be the direct 
victims of the "higher education" of the day, but to every 
dweller in civilized lands, to beware lest any man make a prey 
of them through philosophy and vain deceit. For the matter 
we are considering vitally affects the interests of every civilized 


From the Bible and from secular history we learn that God 
deals not only with individuals on the ground of privilege and 
responsibility, but with nations also. Because of the extraor- 
dinary privileges granted to the Israelites, a heavier responsi- 
bility rested upc . them than upon other nations, and they were 
visited for *heir unfaithfulness with corresponding severity. 
And now we are living in that long stretch of centuries known 
as "the times of the Gentiles," during which the natural 
branches of the olive tree (Israel) are broken off, and the 
branches of the wild olive tree are grafted into their place; 
that is to say, the period wherein the Gentiles are occupying 
temporarily Israel's place of special privilege and responsibility. 
The diminishing of them has become the riches of the Gen- 
tiles (Rom. 11:11-25). 

In dealing with a nation God looks to its rulers or leaders 
as responsible for its actions. The justice of this is specially 
evident in countries where the people choose their own rulers 
and governors. In our day the people are all-powerful. Rul- 
ers are chosen for the express purpose of executing the popu- 
lar will. Likewise also the time has come when the people 
not only elect their rulers, but also heap to themselves teachers, 
because they will not endure sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3, 4). 
We may be sure, then, that the persons we find in the pro- 
fessional chairs of our colleges are there by the mandate of 
the people, who have turned away their ears from the truth and 
give heed to fables which please their itching ears. 

100 The Fundamentals. 

By the very constitution of a democratic social order the 
teachers must teach what the people like to hear, or else give 
place to those who will. 

God will surely judge the privileged nations for this. The 
change has been great and sudden. The judgment will be swift 
and severe. Until our day, whatever may have been the moral 
state of the masses of people of England and America, gov- 
ernments were established on the foundations of Christian doc- 
trine ; kings and other rulers were sworn to defend the faith ; 
the Bible was taught in the schools ; and no one was regarded 
as fit for a position of public responsibility who was not a 
professed follower of Jesus Christ. As for the teachers in 
our schools and colleges, not one could have been found who 
did not hold and teach as the unchanging truth of God the doc- 
trines of Bible Christianity. 


Recognizing these facts, which all must admit to be facts, 
however much they may differ as to the significance of them, 
it follows that we are living under the dark shadow of .the 
greatest national apostasy that has ever taken place. During 
all the history of mankind there has never been such a whole- 
sale turning away from the Source of national blessings, in 
order to take up with the gods of the heathen. 


We have already stated that the regnant philosophy, i. e., 
pantheism, is expounded in our universities in two forms, 
known respectively as "monism" and "pluralism." Professor 
James, although a vigorous critic of monism, admits that the 
latter has almost complete possession of the field, and that his 
own cult of "pluralism" has very few adherents. These two 
species of pantheism are, however, alike in the essential mat- 
ter that "both identify human substance with divine substance." 
From a Christian standpoint, therefore, it is not very important 

Modern Philosophy. 101 

to distinguish between them. The principal difference is that 
monism (or "absolutism") "thinks that said substance be- 
comes fully divine only in the form of totality, and is not its 
.real self in any form but the a//-form"; whereas pluralism 
maintains "that there may ultimately never be an a//-form at 
all, that the substance of reality may never get totally collected 
* * * and 'that a distributive form of reality, the each- 
form, is logically as acceptable, and empirically as probable, as 
the all- form" (page 34). 

"For monism the world is no collection, but one great all- 
inclusive fact, outside of which there is nothing;" "And when 
the monism is idealistic, this all-enveloping fact is represented 
as an absolute mind that makes the partial facts by thinking 
them, just as we make objects in a dream by dreaming them, 
or personages in a story by imagining them." 

"The world and the all-thinker thus compenetrate and soak 
each other up without residuum." "The absolute makes us by 
thinking us." "The absolute and the world are one fact." 
"This is the full pantheistic scheme, the immanence of God in 
His creation, a conception sublime from its tremendous unity." 

On the other hand, pluralism says that "reality may exist 
in a distributive form in the shape not of an all, but of a set 
of eaches." "There is this in favor of the caches, that they are 
at any rate real enough to have made themselves at least ap- 
pear to. every one, whereas the absolute has as yet appeared 
immediately to only a few mystics, and indeed to them very 
ambiguously" (page 129). 

I have transcribed the foregoing specimens of this solemn 
nonsense in order that the reader may be informed of the 
choice which our great universities now set before the thou- 
sands of eager and receptive minds that throng them in quest 
of knowledge. The rulers of these educational institutions vir- 
tually say to their students, You must accept a pantheistic con- 
ception of the universe, but you may choose between a monistic 

102 The Fundamentals. 

universe and a pluralistic universe between a universe which 
consists of a single ponderous "All," or one comprising an in- 
definite number of miscellaneous "Eaches." 


Whichever of these "weak and beggarly" conceptions our 
young student adopts, he must be prepared to hear it assailed 
by the adherents of the rival school and criticized as highly 
irrational and absurd; and for this his course in philosophy 
prepares him. Thus the advocates of monism declare that plu- 
ralism is "infected and undermined by self-contradiction." 
On the other hand, Professor James maintains that the "ab- 
solute" pf the monist "involves features of irrationality pe- 
culiar to itseii." He points out that, upon the theory of ab- 
solute idealism, the all-knower must know, and be always dis- 
tinctly conscious of, not only every fact, characteristic, and 
relation of every object in the whole universe, but. also all that 
the object is not as that a "table is not a chair, not a rhinoce- 
ros, not a logarithm, not a mile away from the door, not worth 
five hundred pounds sterling, not a thousand centuries old," 
etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam. 

"Furthermore, if it be a fact that certain ideas are silly, 
the absolute has to have already thought the silly ideas to 
establish them in silliness. The rubbish in its mind would 
thus appear easily to outweigh in amount the more desirable 
material. One would expect it fairly to burst with such an 
obesity, plethora, and superf oetation of useless information" 
(page 128). 

And how about things that are criminal, vicious, 'and im- 
pure? These are of necessity just as much the thought-forms 
of the absolute as their opposites. 


Again, after mentioning certain difficulties of the idealist 
theory, Professor James speaks disparagingly of "the oddity of 
inventing as a remedy for the inconveniences resulting from 

Modern Philosophy. 103 

this situation a supernumerary conceptual object called an 'ab- 
solute/ into which you pack the self-same contradictions un- 
reduced" (page 271). 
Once more we quote : 

"When I read transcendentalist literature * * * I get 
nothing but a sort of marking of time, champing of jaws, paw- 
ing of the ground, and resettling into the same attitude, like 
a weary horse in a stall with an empty manger. It is but a 
turning over the same threadbare categories, bringing the 
same objections, and urging the same answers and solutions, 
with never a new fact or new horizon coming into sight" 
(page 265). 

This is what a philosopher of the front ranks says of the 
ruling philosophy of the day, whose speculations are being 
impressed upon the minds of our brightest college students. 
One comment may be permitted, namely, that if a foolish ab- 
solute did not create men by thinking them, certainly foolish 
men have created an absolute by thinking it ; and it is difficult 
to conceive how they could have employed their minds more 


This is the situation brought about, now that Christianity 
has been politely bowed out of our schools and seminaries in 
order to make room for the irrational philosophy of Hindoo- 
. ism ! Very pertinent in- this connection are the words of the 
prophet: "The wise men are ashamed; they are dismayed and 
taken. Lo, they have rejected the Word of the Lord, and what 
wisdom is in them ?" ( Jer. 8 :9.) For the occupation in which 
our philosophers are engaged is the impossible task of trying 
to establish an explanation of the visible universe after having 
rejected the true account thereof received from its Creator. 
The god of the ruling philosophy is one who is not permitted 
to speak or make himself known in any way. Philosophy 
must needs put these restraints upon Kim for its own protec- 
tion; for, should he break through them, the occupation of the 

104 , The Fundamentals. 

philosopher would be gone. So he must remain in impenetra- 
ble obscurity, speaking no word, and making no intelligible 
sign or motion, in order that philosophers may continue their 
congenial business of making bad guesses at what he is like. 


It is not difficult for one who has come to the knowledge 
of the truth through receiving the Word of God, "not as the 
word of men, but as it is in truth the Word of God" (1 Thess. 
2:13), to perceive the folly and futility of all this. But who 
shall deliver the ignorant, the innocent, and the unwary from 
being victimized and eternally despoiled by these men who, 
professing themselves to be wise, have become fools? We 
can but sound the alarm and give warning, especially to those 
who are responsible for bringing up children, of the dangers 
which infect the intellectualistic atmosphere of our universi- 
ties, colleges and seminaries. 


In closing we may with profit to our readers point out a 
profound reason why the enemy of Christ, and of the men 
whom He seeks to save, should be desirous of impressing 
upon the minds of the latter the conception of pantheism. 
That doctrine wholly excludes the idea that man is a sinner, 
and hence it puts redemption outside the pale of discussion. 
Under the influence of that doctrine man would never dis- 
cover his corrupt nature and his need of salvation, and hence, 
if not delivered from it, he would die in his sins. An enemy 
of man could devise against him no greater mischief than this. 


But the doctrine which the philosophy of our day has im- 
ported from India works not only destruction to men, but 
also dishonor to God. Herein may its satanic character be 
clearly perceived by all who have eyes to see. Its foundation 

Modern Philosophy. ' 105 

principle is that God and man are truly one in substance and 
being, and that the character of God is revealed in the history 
of humanity. This evil doctrine makes God the partner with 
man in all the manifold and grievous wickednesses of human- 
kind. It makes Him particeps criminis in all the monstrous 
crimes, cruelties, uncleannesses and unnamable abominations, 
that have stained the record of humanity. It makes Him really 
the prime actor in all sins and wickednesses, since the thought 
and impulses prompting them originate with Him. Thus God 
is charged with all the evil deeds which the Bible denounces, 
and against which the wrath of the God of the Bible is de- 


It may be that, somewhere in the dark places of this sinful 
world, there lurks a doctrine more monstrously wicked, more 
characteristically satanic than this, which is now installed in 
our seats of learning and there openly venerated as the last 
word of matured human wisdom; but, if such there be, the 
writer of these pages is not aware of its existence. That doc- 
trine is virtually the assurance, given under the seal of those 
who occupy the eminences of human culture, learning and wis- 
dom, that the pledge of the serpent given to the parents of the 
race of what would result if they would follow his track, has 
at last been redeemed. "Ye shall become as God," he de- 
clared; and now the leaders of the thought of the day unite 
in proclaiming that man and God are truly one substance 
and nature. Beware ! Beware ! This teaching is, indeed, ac- 
cording to human tradition the most ancient of all human tra- 
ditions ; it is according to the basic principles of the world and 
of the god of this world, and not according to Christ. No 
greater danger menaces the younger men and women of the 
present generation than the danger that some man, some 
smooth-tongued, learned and polished professor, may make a 
prey of them by means of philosophy and vain deceit. 



BY H. C. G. MOULE, D. D., 

"Justification by Faith"; the phrase is weighty alike with 
Scripture and with history. In Holy Scripture it is the main 
theme of two great dogmatic epistles, Romans and Galatians. 
In Christian history it was the potent watchword of the Ref- 
ormation movement in its aspect as a vast spiritual upheaval 
of the church. It is not by any means the only great truth 
considered in the two epistles ; we should woefully misread 
them if we allowed their message about Justification by Faith 
to obscure their message about the Holy Ghost, and the strong 
relation between the two messages. It was not the only great 
truth which moved and animated the spiritual leaders of the 
Reformation. Nevertheless, such is. the depth and dignity of 
this truth, and so central in some respects is its reference to 
other truths of our salvation, that we may fairly say that 
it was the message of St. Paul, and the truth that lay at the 
heart of the distinctive messages of the non-Pauline epistles 
too, and that it was the truth of the great Reformation of the 
Western church. 

With reason, seeing things as he was led in a profound 
experience to see them, did Luther say that Justification by 
Faith was "the articles of a standing or a falling church." 
With reason does an illustrious representative of the older 
school of "higher" Anglicanism, a name to me ever bright 
and venerable, Edward Harold Browne, say that Justification 
by Faith is not only this, but also "the article of a standing 
or a falling soul."* 

*"Messiah Foretold and Expected," ad finem. 


Justification by Faith. 107 


Let us apply ourselves first to a study of the meaning of 
our terms. Here are two great terms before us, Justification 
and Faith. We shall, of course, consider in its place the word 
which, in our title, links them, and ask how Justification is 
"by" Faith. But first, what is Justification, and then, what is 

By derivation, no doubt, JUSTIFICATION means to . make 
just, that is to say, to make conformable to a true standard. 
It would seem thus to mean a process by which wrong is cor- 
rected, and bad is made good, and good better, in the way 
of actual improvement of the thing or person justified. In 
one curious case, and, so far as I know, in that case only, the 
word has this meaning in actual use. "Justification" is a term 
of the printer's art. The compositqr "justifies" a piece of 
typework when he corrects, brings into perfect order, as to 
spaces between words and letters, and so on, the types which 
he has set up. 

But this, as I have said, is a solitary case. In the use of 
words otherwise, universally, Justification and Justify mean 
something quite different from improvement of condition. 
They mean establishment of position as before a judge or jury, 
literal or figurative. They mean the winning of a favorable 
verdict in such a presence, or again (what is the same thing 
from another side) the utterance of that verdict, the sen- 
tence of acquittal, or the sentence of vindicated right, as the 
case may be. 

I am thinking of the word not at all exclusively as a re- 
ligious word. Take it in its common, everyday employment ; 
it is always thus. To justify an opinion, to justify a course 
of conduct, to justify a statement, to justify a friend, what does 
it mean? Not to readjust and improve your thoughts, or your 
actions, or your words ; not to educate your friend to be wiser 
or more able. No, but to win a verdict for thought, or ac- 

108 The Fundamentals. 

tion, or word, or friend, at some bar of judgment, as for ex- 
ample the bar of public opinion, or of common conscience. 
It is not to improve, but to vindicate. 

Take a ready illustration to the same effect from Scrip- 
ture, and from a passage not of doctrine, but of public Israel- 
ite law: "If there be a controversy between men, and they 
come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them, then 
they shall justify the righteous and condemn the wicked" 
(Deut. 25:1). Here it is obvious that the question is not 
one of moral improvement. The judges are not to make the 
righteous man better. They are to vindicate his position as 
satisfactory to the law. 

Non-theological passages, it may be observed, and generally 
non-theological connections, are of the greatest use in determin- 
ing the true, native meaning of theological terms. For with 
rare exceptions, which are for the most part matters of open 
history, as in the case of the Homoiision, theological terms are 
terms of common thought, adapted to a special use, but in 
themselves unchanged. That is, they were thus used at first, 
in the simplicity of original truth. Later ages may have de- 
flected that simplicity. It was so as a fact with our word 
Justification, as we shall see immediately. But at first the 
word meant in religion precisely what it meant out of it. It 
meant the winning, or the consequent announcement, of a fa- 
vorable verdict. Not the word, but the application was al- 
tered when salvation was in question. It was indeed a new 
and glorious application. The verdict in question was the ver- 
dict not of a Hebrew court, nor of public opinion, but of the 
eternal Judge of all the earth. But that left the meaning of 
the word the same. 


It is thus evident that the word Justification, alike in re- 
ligious and in common parlance, is a word connected with 
law. It has to do with acquittal, vindication, acceptance before 

Justification by Faith. 109 

a judgment seat. To use a technical term, it is a forensic 
word, a word of the law-courts (which in old Rome stood in 
the forum). In regard of "us men and our salvation" it 
stands related not so much, not so directly, to our need of 
spiritual revolution, amendment, purification, holiness, as to 
our need of getting, somehow in spite of our guilt, our lia- 
bility, our debt, our deserved condemnation a sentence of 
acquittal, a sentence of acceptance, at the judgment seat of 
a holy God. 

Not that it has nothing to do with our inward spiritual 
purification. It has intense and vital relations that way. But 
they are not direct relations. The direct concern of Justifi- 
cation is with man's need of a divine deliverance, not from 
the power of his sin, but from its guilt. 


Here we must note accordingly two remarkable instances 
of misuse of the word Justification in the history of Chris- 
tian thought. The first is found in the theology of the School- 
men, the great thinkers of the Middle Ages in Western Chris- 
tendom Peter Lombard, Thomas Aquinas, and others.* To 
them Justification appears to have meant much the same as 
regeneration, the great internal change in the state of our na- 
ture wrought by grace. The other instance appears in the 
sixteenth century, in the Decrees of the Council of Trent, a 
highly authoritative statement of Romanist belief and teach- 
ing. There Justification is described (vi. c. 7) as "not the mere 
remission of sins but also the sanctification and renovation 
of the inner man." In this remarkable sentence the Roman- 
ist theologians seem to combine the true account of the word, 
though imperfectly stated, with the view of the Schoolmen. It 
is not too much to say that a careful review of the facts sum- 
marized above, as regards the secular use of the word Justi- 
fication, and the Scriptural use of it in the doctrine of salva- 

*See T. B. Mozley, "Baptismal Controversy," Chap. VII. 

110 The Fundamentals. 

tion, is enough to negative these explanations. They are curi- 
ous and memorable examples of misinterpretation of terms; 
that most fruitful source of further, wider and deeper error. 


The problem raised then, in religion, by the word Justifica- 
tion, is, How shall man be just before God? To use the words 
of our Eleventh Article, it is, How shall we be "accounted 
righteous before God ?" In other words, How shall we, hav- 
ing sinned, having broken the holy Law, having violated the 
will of God, be treated, as to our acceptance before Him, as 
to our "peace with Him" (Rom. 5:1), as if we had not done 
so ? Its question is not, directly, How shall I a sinner become 
holy, but, How shall I a sinner be received by my God, whom 
I have grieved, as if I had not grieved Him? 

Here let us note, what will be clear on reflection, that 
Justification means properly no less than this, the being re- 
ceived by Him as if we had not grieved Him. It is not only, 
the being forgiven by Him. We do indeed as sinners most 
urgently need forgiveness, the remission of our sins, the put- 
ting away of the holy vengeance of God upon our rebellion. 
But we need more. We need the voice which says, not mere- 
ly, you may go; you are let off your penalty; but, you may 
come; you are welcomed into My presence and fellowship. 
We shall see later how important this difference is in the 
practical problems of our full salvation. But one thing is 
evident at first sight, namely, that this is implied in the very 
word Justification. For Justification, in common speech, nev- 
er means pardon. It means winning, or granting, a position 
of acceptance. "You are justified in taking this course of 
action," does not mean, you were wrong, yet you are for- 
given. It means, you were right, and in the court of my 
opinion you have proved it. In religion accordingly our Jus- 
tification means not merely a grant of pardon, but a verdict 
in favor of our standing as satisfactory before the Judge. 

Justification by Faith. ill 


Here in passing let us notice that of course the word Jus- 
tification does not of itself imply that the justified person is 
a sinner. To see this as plainly as possible, recollect that 
God Himself is said to be justified, in Psalm 51 :4, and Christ 
Himself, in 1 Tim. 3:16. In a human court of law, as we 
have seen above, it is the supreme duty of the judge to "jus- 
tify the righteous" (Deut. 25:1), and the righteous only. In 
all such cases Justification bears its perfectly proper meaning, 
unperplexed, crossed by no mystery or problem. But then, 
the moment we come to the concrete, practical question, how 
shall we be justified, and before God, or, to bring it closer 
home, how shall I, I the sinner, be welcomed by my offended 
Lord as if I were satisfactory, then the thought of Justifica- 
tion presents itself to us in a new and most solemn aspect. 
The word keeps its meaning unshaken. But how about its 
application. Here am I, guilty. To be justified is to be pro- 
nounced not guilty, to be vindicated and accepted by Lawgiver 
and Law. Is it possible? Is it not impossible? 

Justification by Faith, in the actual case of our salvation, 
is thus a "short phrase," It means, in full, the acceptance 
of guilty sinners, before God, by Faith. Great is the prob- 
lem so indicated. And great is the wonder and the glory 
of the solution given us by the grace of God. But to this solu- 
tion we must advance by some further steps. 


We may now fitly approach our second great term, Faith, 
and ask ourselves, What does it mean? As with Justifica- 
tion, so with Faith, we may best approach the answer by first 
asking, What does Faith mean in common life and speech? 
Take such phrases as, to have faith in a policy, faith in a 
remedy, faith in a political leader, or a military leader, faith 
in a lawyer, faith in a physician. Here the word Faith is 
used in a way obviously parallel to that in which, for exam- 

112 The Fundamentals. 

pie, our Lord uses it -when He appeals to the Apostles, in the 
Gospels, to have faith in Him; as He did in the storm on the 
Lake. The use is pa allel also to its habitual use in the epistles ; 
for example, in Romans 4, where St. Paul makes so much of 
Abraham's faith, in close connection with the faith which he 
seeks to develop in us. 

Now is it not plain that the word means, to all practical 
intents and purposes, trust, reliance ? Is not this obvious 
without comment when a sick man sends for the physician in 
whom he has faith, and when the soldier follows, perhaps 
literally in utter darkness, the general in whom he has faith? 
Reliance upon thing or person supposed to be trustworthy, 
this is Faith. 


To note a further aspect of the word. Faith, in actual 
common use, tends to mean a practical confidence. Rarely, if 
ever, do we use it of a mere opinion, however listinct, lying 
passive in the mind. To have faith in a commander does not 
mean merely to entertain a conviction, a belief, however posi- 
tive, that he is skillful and competent. We may entertain 
such a belief about the commander of the enemy with very 
unpleasant impressions on our minds in consequence. We 
may be confident that he is a great general in a sense the very 
opposite to a personal confidence in him. No, to have faith 
in a cc:nmander implies a view of him in which we either 
actually do, or are quite ready to, trust ourselves and our 
cause to his command. And just the same is true of faith, 
in a divine Promise, faith in a divine Redeemer. It means 
a reliance, genuine and practical. It means a putting of our- 
selves and our needs, in personal reliance, into His hands. 

Here, in passing, we observe that Faith accordingly al- 
ways implies an element, more or less, of the dark, of the 
unknown. Where everything is, so to speak, visible to the 
heart and mind there scarcely can be Faith. I am on a dan- 

Justification by Faith. 113 

gerous piece (>fc water, in a boat, with a skilled and experi- 
enced boatman. I cross it, not without tremor perhaps, but 
with faith. Here faith is exercised on n a trustworthy and 
known object, the boatman. But it is ^xercised regarding 
what are more or less, to me, uncertain circumstances, the 
amount of peril, and the way to handle the boat in it. Were 
there no uncertain circumstances my opinion of the boatman 
would not be faith, but mere opinion; estimate, not reliance. 
Our illustration suggests the remark that Faith, as con- 
cerned with our salvation, needs a certain and trustworthy 
Object, even Jesus Christ. Having Him, we have the right 
condition for exercising Faith, reliance in the dark, trust in 
His skill and power on our behalf in unknown or mysterious 


It seems well to remark here on that great sentence, Heb. 
11:1, sometimes quoted as a definition of Faith: "Now faith 
is certainty of things hoped for, proof of things not seen." If 
this is a definition, properly speaking, it must negative the 
simple definition of Faith which we have arrived at above, 
namely, reliance. For it leads us towards a -totally different 
region of thought, and suggests, what many religious think- 
ers have held, that Faith is as it were a mysterious spiritual 
sense, a subtle power of touching and feeling the unseeji and 
eternal, a "vision and a faculty divine/' almost a "^econd- 
sight" in the soul. We on the contrary maintain that it is 
always the same thing in itself, whether concerned with com- 
mon or with spiritual things, namely, reliance, reposed on a 
trustworthy object, and exercised more or less in the dark. 
The other view would look on Faith (in things spiritual) 
rather as a faculty in itself than as an attitude towards an 
Object. The thought is thus more engaged with Faith's own 
latent power than with the power and truth of a Promiser. 
Now on this I remark, first, that the words of Heb. 11 :1 

114 The Fundamentals. 

scarcely read like a definition at all. For a definition is a 
description which fits the thing defined and it alone, so that 
the thing is fixed and settled by the description. But the 
words "certainty of things hoped for, proof of things not 
seen," are not exclusively applicable to Faith. They would be 
equally fit to describe, for example, God's promises in their 
power. For they are able to make the hoped-for certain and 
the unseen visible. 

And this is just what we take the words to mean as a 
description of Faith. They do not define Faith in itself ; they 
describe it in its power. They are the sort of statement we 
make when we say, Knowledge is power. That is not a defi- 
nition of knowledge, by any means. It is a description of it 
in one of its great effects. 

The whole chapter, Heb. 11, illustrates this, and, as it 
seems to me, confirms our simple definition of Faith. Noah, 
Abraham, Joseph, Moses they all treated the hoped-for and 
the unseen as solid and certain because they all relied upon 
the faithful Promiser. Their victories were mysteriously 
great, their lives were related vitally to the Unseen. But 'the 
action to this end was on their part sublimely simple. It was 
reliance on the Promiser. It was taking God at His Word. 

I remember a friend of mine, many years ago, complain- 
ing of the skeptical irreverence of a then lecturer at Oxford, 
who asked his class for a definition of Faith. Heb. 11:1 was 
quoted as an answer, and he replied, "You could not have 
given me a worse definition." Now this teacher may have 
been really flippant. But I still think it possible that he meant 
no contempt of the Scripture. He may merely have objected, 
though with needless roughness, to a false use of the Scrip- 
ture. He felt, I cannot but surmise, that Heb. 11 :1 was really 
no definition at all. 


It is all-important to remember alike this simplicity of 

Justification by Faith. 115 

definition and this grandeur of effect in the matter of Faith. 
It is all-important in the great question of our salvation. Here 
on the one side is an action of the mind and will, in itself 
perfectly simple, capable of the very homeliest illustration. 
We all know what reliance means. Well, Faith is reliance. 
But then, when the reliance is directed upon an Object infi- 
nitely great and good, when it reposes upon God in Christ, 
upon Him in His promise, His fidelity, His love, upon His 
very Self, what is not this reliance in its effects? It is the 
creature laying hold upon the Creator. It is our reception of 
God Himself in His Word. So, it is the putting ourselves in 
the way of His own almighty action in the fulfilment of His 
Word, in the keeping of His promise. 

"The virtue of Faith lies in the virtue of its Object." That 
Object, in this matter of Justification, so the Scriptures as- 
sure us abundantly and with the utmost clearness, is our Lord 
Jesus Christ Himself, who died for us and rose again. 

Here the simplest reliance, so it be sincere, is our point 
of contact with infinite resources. When lately the vast dam 
of the Nile was completed, with all its giant sluices, there 
needed but the touch of a finger on an electric button to swing 
majestically open the gates of the barrier and so to let through 
the Nile in all its mass and might. There was the simplest 
possible contact. But it was contact with forces and appli- 
ances adequate to control or liberate at pleasure the great 
river. So Faith, in reliance of the soul, the soul perhaps of 
the child, perhaps of the peasant, perhaps of the outcast, is 
only a reliant look, a reliant touch. But it sets up contact 
with JESUS CHRIST, in all His greatness, in His grace, merit, 
saving power, eternal love. 


One momentous issue from this reflection is as follows: 
We are here warned off from the temptation to erect Faith 
into a Saviour, to rest our reliance upon our Faith, if I may 

116 The Fundamentals. 

put it so. That is a real temptation to many. Hearing, and 
fully thinking, that to be justified we must have Faith, they, 
we, are soon occupied with an anxious analysis of our Faith. 
Do I trust enough? Is my reliance satisfactory in kind and 
quantity ? But if saving Faith is, in its essence, simply a 
reliant attitude, then the question of its effect and virtue is 
at once shifted to the question of the adequacy of its Object. 
The man then is drawn to ask, not, Do I rely enough ? but, Is 
Jesus Christ great enough, and gracious enough, for me to 
rely upon? The introspective microscope is laid down. The 
soul's open eyes turn upward to the face of our Lord Jesus 
Christ; and Faith forgets itself in its own proper action. In 
other words, the man relies instinctively upon an Object seen 
to be so magnificently, so supremelyj able to sustain him. 
His feet are on the Rock, and he knows it, not by feeling for 
his feet, but by feeling the Rock. 

Here let us note that Faith, thus seen to be reliance, is 
obviously a thing as different as possible from merit. No 
one in common life thinks of a well-placed reliance as meri- 
torious. It is right, but not righteous. It does not make a 
man deserving of rescue when, being in imminent danger, he 
implicitly accepts the guidance of his rescuer. And the man 
who, discovering himself, in the old-fashioned way (the way 
as old as David before Nathan, Isaiah in the vision, the pub- 
lican in the temple, the jailor at Philippi, Augustine at Milan), 
to be a guilty sinner, whose "mouth is shut" before God, relies 
upon Christ as his all for pardon and peace, certainly does 
not merit anything for closing with his own salvation. He 
deserves nothing by the act of accepting all. 

"God," says Richard Hooker, in that great "Discourse" of 
his on Justification, "doth justify the believing man, yet not 
for the worthiness of his belief but for the worthiness of 
Him which is believed."* So it is not our attitude which we 
rely on. Our attitude is just our reliance. And reliance 
means the going out upon Another for repose. 
' *"A Discourse of Justification," Chap. 33. 

Justification by Faith. 117 

Once for all let us remember that we may make the falsest 
use, even under the truest definitions, of both ideas, Justifica- 
tion and Faith. We may think of either of them as the 
object of our hope, the ultimate cause of our salvation. So 
thought of, they are phantoms, nay, they are idols. Seen 
truly, they are but expressions for Jesus Christ our Lord as 
He is given and taken. Justification is no Saviour, nor is 
Faith. Justification by Faith what is it? It is the accept- 
ance of the guilty by reason of a Trusted Christ. 


So now we may take up the question of that middle and 
connective word in our title, "by." Justification by Faith, 
what does it mean? This divine welcome of the guilty as if 
they were not guilty, by reliance upon Jesus Christ, what have 
we to think about this ? 

We have seen a moment ago that one meaning most cer- 
tainly cannot be borne by the word "by." It cannot mean "on 

account of," as if Faith were a valuable consideration which 


entitled us to Justification. The surrendering rebel is not 
amnestied because of the valuable consideration of his sur- 
render, but because of the grace of the sovereign or state 
which amnesties. On the other hand, his surrender is the 
necessary means to the amnesty becoming actually his. It is 
his only proper attitude (in a supposed case of unlawful rebel- 
lion) towards the offended power. That power cannot, in 
the nature of things, make peace with a subject who is in a 
wrong attitude towards it. It wishes him well, or it would 
not provide amnesty. But it cannot make peace with him 
while he declines the provision. Surrender is accordingly not 
the price paid for peace, but it is nevertheless the open hand 
necessary to appropriate the gift of it. 

In a fair measure this illustrates our word "by" in the 
matter of Justification by Faith. Faith, reliance, is, from one 
side, just the sinful man's "coming in" to accept the sacred 

118 The Fundamentals. 

amnesty of God in Christ, taking at His Word his benignant 
King. It is the rebel's putting himself into right relations 
with his offended Lord in this great matter of forgiveness 
and acceptance. It is not a virtue, not a merit, but a proper 


The word "by," per, lends itself meantime to the expres- 
sion of another aspect of the subject. One of the great prob- 
lems attaching to the mighty truth of Christ our Righteous- 
ness, our Merit, our Acceptance, is that of the nexus, the 
bond, which so draws us and Him together that, not in fiction 
but in fact, our load can pass over to Him and His wealth to 
us. The New Testament largely teaches, what lies assuredly 
in the very nature of things, as it puts the facts of salvation 
before us, that we enter "into" Christ, we come to be "in" 
Him, we get part and lot in the life eternal, which is in Him 
alone, by Faith. "He gave power to become the sons of 
God, to them that believed on His Name." "Believing, we 
have life in His Name" (John 1:12; 20:31). Faith is our 
soulrcontact with the Son of God, setting up (upon our side) 
that union with Him in His life of which Scripture is so full. 
And thus it is open to us, surely, to say that Justification by 
Faith means, from one momentous aspect, Justification be- 
cause of the Christ with whom through Faith we are made 
mysteriously but truly one. Believing, we are one with Him, 
one in the common life with which the living members live 
with the Head, by the power of His Spirit. One with Him 
in life, we are therefore, by no mere legal fiction but in vital 
fact, capable of oneness with Him in interest also. 


"Faith," says Bishop Hopkins of Derry, "is the marriage- 
bond between Christ and a believer; and therefore all the 
debts of the believer are chargeable upon Christ, and the 

Justification by Faith. 119 


righteousness of Christ is instated upon the believer. * * * 
Indeed this union is a high and inscrutable mystery, yet plain 
it is that there is such a close, spiritual, and real union 
between Christ and a believer. *' * * So Faith is the 
way and means of our Justification. By Faith we are united 
to Christ. By that union we truly have a righteousness. And 
upon that righteousness the justice as well as mercy of God 
is engaged to justify and acquit us."* 

*E. Hopkins, "The Doctrine of the Covenants." 



"Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies them- 
selves being judges" Deut. 32:31. 


"Young man, my advice to you is that you cultivate an 
acquaintance with and firm belief in the Holy Scriptures, for 
this is your certain interest. I think Christ's system of morals 
and religion, as He left them with us, the best the world ever 
saw or is likely to see." 


"I have said and always will say that the studious perusal 
of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, 
and better husbands." 


"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our coun- 
try will go on prospering and to prosper; but, if we and our 
posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell 
how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our 
glory in profound obscurity. The Bible is the book of all 
others for lawyers as well as divines, and I pity the man who 
cannot find in it a rich supply of thought and rule of conduct. 
I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. The miracles 
which He wrought establish in my mind His personal authority 
and render it proper for me to believe what He asserts." 


"Jesus is the most perfect of all men that have yet ap- 


Tributes to the Bible by Brainy Men. 121 


"I know men, and I tell you Jesus Christ was not a man. 
Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the 
founders of empires and the gods of other religions. That 
resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and 
other religions the distance of infinity. Alexander, Caesar, 
Charlemagne and myself founded empires. But on what did 
we rest the creations of our genius ? Upon sheer force. Jesus 
Christ alone founded His empire upon love; and at this hour 
millions of men will die for Him. In every other existence but 
that of Christ how many imperfections ! From the first day 
to the last He is the same; majestic and simple; infinitely firm 
and infinitely gentle. He proposes to our faith a series of mys- 
teries and commands with authority that we should believe 
them, giving no other reason than those tremendous words, 'I 
am God.' 

"The Bible contains a complete series of acts aiid of his- 
torical men to explain time and eternity, such as no other relig- 
ion has to offer. If it is not the true religion, one is very excus- 
able in being deceived ; for everything in it is grand and worthy 
of God. The more I consider the Gospel, the more I am 
assured that there is nothing there which is not beyond the 
march of events and above the human mind. Even the impious 
themselves have never dared to deny the sublimity of the Gos- 
pel, which inspires them with a sort of compulsory veneration. 
What happiness that Book procures for those who believe it !" 


"It is a belief in the Bible which has served me as the guide 
of my moral and literary life. No criticism will be able to 
perplex the confidence which we have entertained of a writing 
whose contents have stirred up and given life to our vital 
energy by its own. The farther the ages advance in civiliza- 
tion the more will the Bible be used." 

122 The Fundamentals. 


"Jesus is our divinest symbol. Higher has the human 
thought not yet reached. A symbol of quite perennial, infinite 
character : whose significance will ever demand to be anew in- 
quired into and anew made manifest." 


"The most perfect being who has ever trod the soil of this 
planet was called the Man of Sorrows." 


"I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ, and exhort my dear children humbly 
to try to guide themselves by the teachings of the New Testa- 


"I commend my soul into the hands of God, my Creator, 
hoping and assuredly believing, through the only merits of 
Jesus Christ my Saviour, to be made partaker of life ever- 


"If ever man was God, or God man, Jesus Christ was 


"To the Bible men will return because they cannot do with- 
out it. The true God is and must be pre-eminently the God of 
the Bible, the eternal who makes for righteousness, from whom 
Jesus came forth, and whose spirit governs the course of hu- 


"No better lessons can I teach my child than those of the 

Tributes to the Bible by Brainy Men. 123 


"I have always been strongly in favor of secular education 
without theology, but I must confess that I have been no less 
seriously perplexed to know by what practical measures the 
religious feeling, which is the essential basis of moral conduct, 
is to be kept up in the present utterly chaotic state of opinion 
on these matters without the use of the Bible." 


"Who among His disciples, or among their proselytes, was 
capable of inventing the sayings of Jesus, or imagining the life 
and character ascribed to Him ? Certainly not the fishermen of 
Galilee; as certainly not Saint Paul, whose character and 
idiosyncrasies were of a totally different sort ; and still less the 
early Christian writers. When this pre-eminent genius is com- 
bined with the qualities of probably the greatest moral reformer 
and martyr to His mission who ever existed upon earth, religion 
cannot be said to have made a bad choice in pitching on this 
man as the ideal representative and guide of humanity; nor 
even now would it be easy, even for an unbeliever, to find a 
better translation of the rule of virtue from the abstract into 
the concrete, than to endeavor so to live that Christ would 
approve his life." 


"Can it be possible that the sacred personage whose history 
the Scriptures contain should be a mere man? Where is the 
man, where the philosopher, who could so live and so die with- 
out weakness and without ostentation? When Plato describes 
his imaginary righteous man, loaded with all the punishments 
of guilt, yet meriting the highest rewards of virtue, he exactly 
describes the character of Jesus Christ. What an infinite dis- 
proportion between the son of Sophroniscus and the Son of 
Mary. Socrates dies with honor, surrounded by his disciples 

124 The Fundamentals. 

listening to the most tender words the easiest death that one 
could wish to die. Jesus dies in pain, dishonor, mockery, the 
object of universal cursing the most horrible death that one 
could fear. At the receipt of the cup of poison, Socrates 
blesses him who could not give it to him without tears ; Jesus, 
while suffering the sharpest pains, prays for His most bitter 
enemies. If Socrates lived and died like a philosopher, Jesus 
lived and died like a god. 

"Peruse the books of philosophers with all their pomp of 
diction. How meager, how contemptible are they when com- 
pared with the Scriptures! The majesty of the Scriptures 
strikes me with admiration." 


"Christ's moral character rose beyond comparison above 
that of any other great man of antiquity. No one was ever so 
gentle, so humble, so kind as He. In His spirit He lived in the 
house of His heavenly Father. His moral life is wholly pene- 
trated by God. He was the master of all, because He was 
really their brother." 


"All history is incomprehensible without Him. He created 
the object and fixed the starting point of the future faith of 
humanity. He is the incomparable man to whom the universal 
conscience has decreed the title of Son of God, and that with 
justice. In the first rank of this grand family of the true sons 
of God we must place Jesus. The highest consciousness of 
God which ever existed in the breast of humanity was that of 
Jesus. Repose now in Thy glory, noble founder! Thy work 
is finished, Thy divinity established. Thou shalt become the 
corner-stone of humanity so entirely that to tear Thy name 
from this world would rend it to its foundations. Between 
Thee and God there will no longer be any distinction. Com- 
plete Conqueror of death, take possession of Thy kingdom, 

Tributes to the Bible by Brainy Men. 125 

whither shall follow Thee, by the royal road which Thou hast 
traced, ages of adoring worshipers. Whatever may be the sur- 
prises of the future, Jesus will never be surpassed. His wor- 
ship will grow young without ceasing; His legend will call forth 
tears without end ; His sufferings will melt the noblest hearts ; 
and all ages will proclaim that among the sons of men there is 
none born greater than Jesus. Even Paul is not Jesus. How 
far removed are we all from Thee, dear Master! Where is 
Thy mildness, Thy poetry ? Thou to whom a flower didst bring 
pleasure and ecstasy, dost Thou recognize as Thy disciples 
these wranglers, these men furious over their prerogatives, and 
desiring that everything should be given to them? They are 
men ; Thou art a god." 


"The wildest dreams of their rabbis have been far exceeded. 
Has not Jesus conquered Europe and changed its name to 
Christendom ? All countries that refuse the cross wither, and 
the time will come, when the vast communities and countless 
myriads of America and Australia, looking upon Europe as 
Europe now looks upon Greece, and wondering how so small 
a space could have achieved such great deeds, will find music 
in the songs of Zion and solace in the parables of Galilee." 


"The experiences of life, its sufferings and grief, have 
shaken my soul and have broken the foundation upon which 
I formerly thought I could build. Full of faith in the suffi- 
ciency of science, I thought to have found in it a sure refuge 
from all the contingencies of life. This illusion is vanished; 
when the tempest came, which plunged me in sorrow, the moor- 
ings, the cable of science, broke like thread. Then I seized 
upon that help which many before me have laid hold of. I 
sought and found peace. in God. Since then I have certainly 
not abandoned science, but I have assigned to it another place 
in my life." 

When a man of brains speaks well of the Bible and Christ 
he consciously or unconsciously bears tribute to the inspira- 
tion of the one and the deity of the other. 

The Bible claims to be a revelation from God, and its char- 


acter sustains its claim. "The Word of the Lord came express- 
ly to Ezekiel." (Ezek. 1:13.) "The Lord said unto me," 
exclaimed Jeremiah. (Jer. 1:7.) "Hear the Word of the 
Lord," says Isaiah. (Isa. 1 :10.) "Thus saith the Lord," rings 
through the Old Testament. And the New Testament puts 
the seal of inspiration upon the Old. "The Holy Ghost spake 
by the mouth of David." (Acts 1:16.) "All Scripture is 
.given by inspiration of God." (2 Tim. 3:16.) "The prophecy 
came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God 
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Pet 1 :21.) 
If the men who wrote this Book were not inspired, they 
were liars, and we have to explain how the Book which con- 
tains the highest morality ever given to earth could be written 
by a set of liars. And these bad men at the same time wrote 
their own doom, for there is no vice more severely condemned 
in the Bible than deception. To claim that good men wrote 
the Bible, and deny its inspiration, is on a par with the claim 
that Christ was a good man, while He pretended to be what He 
was not. 


As stated in the "Foreword" (page 4), of FUNDAMENTALS, 
Volume I, this series of books is being sent to every pastor, evan- 
gelist, missionary, theological professor, theological student, Sun- 
day school superintendent, Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. secre- 
tary in the English-speaking world, so far as the addresses of all 
these may be obtained. No expense attaches itself to those who 
receive the book. 

It is quite probable that the addresses of some who are en- 
gaged in the foregoing various lines of work have been over- 
looked. And if so, as soon as our attention is called to the matter 
with the full address accompanying and line of Christian work in 
which the person is engaged, we will gladly place such address on 
the list for future issues. 

There has been a demand for the book by the laity, and to 

meet this demand each volume will be furnished at a cost of 
fifteen cents per copy, eight copies for one dollar, or one hundred 

copies for ten dollars. 

Any change of address should be promptly reported in order 
that there may be no delay in receiving succeeding volumes. 
Write plainly both the old and new addresses in full. 


808 La Salle Ave., Chicago, 111., U. S. A. 


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iw m n mi 9 * im im n 

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ume 3 




v - 


A Testimony 

Volume III 

Complments of 
Two Christian Laymen 



University of Chicago Library 


Besides the main topic this book also treats of 
Subject No, On page Subject No. . On page 

A Testimony to the Truth 

Volume III 

Compliments of 
Two Christian Laymen 

" ; -- %; 


(Not Inc.) 
808 La Salle Ave., Chicago, 111., U. S. A. 

The Committee, to whom the two Christian 
laymen entrusted the editing and publishing of this 
series of books, have been greatly encouraged by 
the more than 10,000 letters of appreciation, which 
have come from all parts of the world; and the ad- 
verse criticisms have been almost equally encourag- 
ing, because they indicate that the books have been 
read by some who need the truth they contain, and 
their criticism will attract the attention of others. 
All we desire is that the truth shall be known, and 
we believe that the God of Truth will bless it. 

This volume goes to about 250,000 pastors, 
evangelists, missionaries, theological professors, 
theological students, Y. M. C. A. secretaries, 
Y. W. C. A. secretaries, college professors, Sunday 
School superintendents, and religious editors in the 
English speaking world; and we earnestly request 
all whose faith is in the God who answers prayer, to 
pray daily that the truth may " run and be glorified. 

(See Publishers' Notice, Page 127.) 





By Rev. James M. Gray, D. D., 
Dean of the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, 111. 



By Rev. Wm. G. Moorehead, D. D., 
President of Xenia Theological Seminary, Xenia, Ohio. 



By Robert E. Speer, ' 

Secretary Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian 

Church, U. S. A. 


By Rev. E. Y. Mullins, D. D., LL. D., 
President Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky. 


By Rev. Thomas Whitelaw, M. A., D. D., 
Kilmarnock, Scotland. 



By Professor J. J. Reeve, 
Southwestern Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. 


Of Charles T. Studd. ...,.' 119 






In this paper the authenticity and credibility of the Bible 
are assumed, by which is meant (1), that its books were writ- 
ten by the authors to whom they are ascribed, and that their 
contents are in all material points as when they came from their 
hands; and (2), that those contents are worthy of entire ac- 
ceptance as to their statements of fact. Were there need to 
prove these assumptions, the evidence is abundant, and abler 
pens have dealt with it. 

Let it not be supposed, however, that because these things 
are assumed their relative importance is undervalued. On the 
contrary, they underlie inspiration, and, as President Patton 
says, come in on the ground floor. They have to do with the 
historicity of the Bible, which for us just now is the basis of 
its authority. Nothing can be settled until this is settled, but 
admitting its settlement which, all things considered, we now 
may be permitted to do, what can be of deeper interest than 
the question as to how far that authority extends? 

This is the inspiration question, and while so many have 
taken in hand to discuss the others, may not one be at liberty to 
discuss this? It is an old question, so old, indeed, as again in 
the usual recurrence of thought to have become new. Our 

8 The Fundamentals 

fathers discussed it, it was the great question once upon a time, 
it was sifted to the bottom, and a great storehouse of fact, and 
argument, and illustration has been left for us to draw upon in 
a day of need. 

For a long while the enemy's attack has directed our ener- 
gies to another part of the field, but victory there will drive 
us back here again. The other questions are outside of the 
Bible itself, this is inside. They lead men away from the con- 
tents of the book to consider how they came, this brings us back 
to consider what they are. Happy the day when the inquiry 
returns here, and happy the generation which has not forgot- 
ten how to meet it. 


1. Inspiration is not revelation. As Dr. Charles Hodge 
expressed it, revelation is the act of communicating divine 
knowledge to the mind, but inspiration is the act of the same 
Spirit controlling those who make that knowledge known to 
others. In Chalmer's happy phrase, the one is the influx, the 
other the efflux. Abraham received the influx, he was granted 
a revelation; but Moses was endued with the efflux, being in- 
spired to record it for our learning. In the one case there was 
a flowing in and in the other a flowing out. Sometimes both 
of these experiences met in the same person, indeed Moses him- 
self is an illustration of it, having received a revelation at an- 
other time and also the inspiration to make it known, but it 
is of importance to distinguish between the two. 

2. Inspiration is not illumination. Every regenerated 
Christian is illuminated in the simple fact that he is indwelt 
by the Holy Spirit, but every such an one is not also inspired, 
but only the writers of the Old and New Testaments. Spir- 
itual illumination is subject to degrees, some Chrisitans pos- 
sessing more of it than others, but, as we understand it, inspi- 
ration is not subject to degrees, being in every case the breath 
of God, expressing itself through a human personality. 

The Inspiration of the Bible 9 

3. Inspiration is not human genius. The latter is simply 
a natural qualification, however exalted it may be in some cases, 
but inspiration in the sense now spoken of is supernatural 
throughout. It is an enduement coming upon the writers of 
the Old and New Testaments directing and enabling them to 
write those books, and on no other men, and at no other time, 
and for no other purpose. v No human genius of whom we ever 
heard introduced his writings with the formula, "Thus saith 
the Lord," or words to that effect, and yet such is the common 
utterance of the Bible authors. No human genius ever yet 
agreed with any other human genius as to the things it most 
concerns men to know, and, therefore, however exalted his 
equipment, it differs not merely in degree but in kind from the 
inspiration of the Scriptures. 

In its mode the divine agency is inscrutable, though its 
effects are knowable. We do not undertake to say just how 
the Holy Spirit operated on the minds of these authors to pro- 
duce these books any more than we undertake to say how He 
operates on the human heart to produce conversion, but we 
accept the one as we do the other on the testimony that appeals 
to faith. 

4. When we speak of the Holy Spirit coming upon the 
men in order to the composition of the books, it should be 
further understood that the object is not the inspiration of the 
men but the books not the writers but the writings. It termi- 
nates upon the record, in other words, and not upon the human 
instrument who made it. 

To illustrate : Moses, David, Paul, John, were not always 
and everywhere inspired, for then always and everywhere they 
would have been infallible and inerrant, which was not the 
case. They sometimes made mistakes in thought and erred 
in conduct. But however fallible and errant they may have been 
as men compassed with infirmity like ourselves, such fallibility 
or errancy was never under any circumstances communicated 
to their sacred writings. 

10 The Fundamentals 

Ecclesiastes is a case in point, which on the supposition of 
its Solomonic authorship, is giving us a history of his search 
for happiness "under the sun." Some statements in that book 
are only partially true while others are altogether false, there- 
fore it cannot mean that Solomon was inspired as he tried this 
or that experiment to find what no man has been able to find 
outside of God. But it means that his language is inspired as 
he records the various feelings and opinions which possessed' 
him in the pursuit. 

This disposes of a large class of objections sometimes 
brought against the doctrine of inspiration those, for exam- 
ple, associated with the question as to whether the Bible is 
the Word of God or only contains that Word. If by the 
former be meant that God spake every word in the Bib 1 ' 1 , and 
hence that every word is true, the answer must be no; out if 
it be meant that God caused every word in the Bible, true or 
false, to be recorded, the answer should be yes. There are 
words of Satan in the Bible, words of false prophets, words of 
the enemies of Christ, and yet they are God's words, not in 
the sense that He uttered them, but that He caused them to 
be recorded, infallibly and inerrantly recorded, for our profit. 
In this sense the Bible does not merely contain the Word of 
God, it is the Word 'of God. 

Of any merely human author it is the same. This paper is 
the writer's word throughout, and yet he may quote what 
other people say to commend them or dispute them. What 
they say he records, and in doing so he makes the record his 
in the sense that he is responsible for its accuracy. 

5. Let it be stated further in this definitional connection, 
that the record for whose inspiration we contend is the orig- 
inal record the autographs or parchments of Moses, David, 
Daniel, Matthew, Paul or Peter, as the case may be, and not 
any particular translation or translations of them whatever. 
There is no translation absolutely without error, nor could 
there be, considering the infirmities of human copyists, unless 

The Inspiration of the Bible 11 

God were pleased to perform a perpetual miracle to secure it. 

But does this make nugatory our contention ? Some would 
say it does, and they would argue speciously that to insist on 
the inerrancy of a parchment no living being has ever seen is 
an academic question merely, and without value. But do they 
not fail to see that the character and. perfection of the God- 
head are involved in that inerrancy? 

Some years ago a "liberal" theologian, deprecating this 
discussion as not worth while, remarked that it was a matter 
of small consequence whether a pair of trousers were originally 
perfect if they were now rent. To which the valiant and witty 
David James Burrell replied, that it might be a matter of small 
consequence to the wearer of the trousers, but the tailor who 
made them would prefer to have it understood that they did 
not leave his shop that way. And then he added, that if the 
Most High must train among knights of the shears He might 
at least be regarded as the best of the guild, and One who drops 
no stitches and sends out no imperfect work. 

Is it not with the written Word as with the incarnate 
Word? Is Jesus Christ to be regarded as imperfect because 
His character has never been perfectly reproduced before us ? 
Can He be the incarnate Word unless He were absolutely 
without sin ? And by the same token, can the scriptures be the 
written Word unless they were inerrant? 

But if this question be so purely speculative and valueless, 
what becomes of the science of Biblical criticism by which 
properly we set such store today ? Do builders drive piles into 
the soft earth if they never expect to touch bottom? Do 
scholars dispute about the scripture text and minutely examine 
the history and meaning of single words, "the delicate color- 
ing of mood, tense and accent," if at the end there is no ap- 
proximation to an absolute? As Dr. George H. Bishop says, 
does not our concordance, every time we take it up, speak 
loudly t us of a once inerrant parchment? Why do we not 
possess concordances for the very words of other books ? 

12 The Fundamentals 

Nor is that original parchment so remote a thing as some 
suppose. Do not the number and variety of manuscripts and 
versions extant render it comparatively easy to arrive at a 
knowledge of its text, and does not competent scholarship 
today affirm that as to the New Testament at least, we have in 
999 cases out of every thousand the very word of that orig- 
inal text? Let candid consideration be given to these things 
and it will be seen that we are not pursuing a phantom in con- 
tending for an inspired autograph of the Bible. 


. 1. The inspiration of scripture includes the whole and 
every part of it. There are some who deny this and limit it 
to only the prophetic portions, the words of Jesus Christ, and, 
say, the profounder spiritual teachings of the epistles. The 
historical books in their judgment, and as an example, do 
not require inspiration because their data were obtainable from 
natural sources. 

The Bible itself, however, knows of no limitations, as we 
shall see : "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." The 
historical data, most of it at least, might have been obtained 
from natural sources, but what about the supernatural guid- 
ance required in their selection and narration ? Compare, for 
answer, the records of creation, the fall, the deluge, etc., 
found in Genesis with those recently discovered by excavations 
in Bible lands. Do not the results of the pick-axe and the 
spade point to the same original as the Bible, and yet do not 
their childishness and grotesqueness often bear evidence of 
the human and sinful mould through which they ran? Do 
they not show the need of some power other than man him- 
self to lead him out of the labyrinth of error into the open 
ground of truth ? 

Furthermore, are not the historical books in some respects 
the most important in the Bible ? Are they not the bases of 
its doctrine ? Does not the doctrine of sin need for its starting 

The Inspiration of the Bible 13 

point the record of the fall? Could we so satisfactorily un- 
derstand justification did we not have the story of God's deal- 
ings With Abraham? And what of the priesthood of Christ? 
Dismiss Leviticus and what can be made of Hebrews? Is not 
the Acts of the Apostles historical, but can we afford to lose its 

And then, too, the historical books are, in many cases, 
prophetical as well as historical. Do not the types and symbols 
in them show forth the Saviour in all the varying aspects of 
His grace? Has not the story of Israel the closest relation as 
type and anti-type to our spiritual redemption ? Does not Paul 
teach this in 1 Cor., 10:6-11? And if these things were thus 
written for our learning, does not this imply their inspiration ? 

Indeed, the historical books have the strongest testimony 
borne to their importance in other parts of the Bible. This 
will appear more particularly as we proceed, but take, in pass- 
ing, Christ's use of Deuteronomy in His conflict with the 
tempter. Thrice does He overcome him by a citation from 
that historical book without note or comment. Is it not diffi- 
cult to believe that neither He nor Satan considered it in- 

Thus without going further, we may say, with Dr. DeWitt 
of Princeton, that it is impossible to secure the religions infal- 
liability of the Bible which is all the objector regards as nec- 
essary if we exclude Bible history from the sphere of its in- 
spiration. But if we include Bible history at all, we must include 
the whole of it, for who is competent to separate its parts? 
^.2. The inspiration includes not only all the books of the 
Bible in general but in detail, the form as well as the substance, 
the word as well as the thought. This is sometimes called the 
verbal theory of inspiration and is vehemently spoken against 
in some quarters. It is too mechanical, it degrades the writers 
to the level of machines, it has a tendency to make skeptics, 
and all that. 

This last remark, however, is not so alarming as it sounds. 

14 The Fundamentals 

The doctrine of the eternal retribution of the wicked is said 
to make skeptics, and also that of a vicarious atonement, not to 
mention other revelations of Holy Writ. The natural mind 
takes to none of these things. But if we are not prepared to 
yield the point in one case for such a reason, why should we 
be asked to do it in another ? 

And as to degrading the writers to the level of machines, 
even if it were true, as it is not, why should fault be found 
when one considers the result ? Which is the more important, 
the free agency of a score or two of mortals, or the divinity 
of their message ? The whole argument is just a spark from 
the anvil on which the race is ever trying to hammer out the 
deification of itself. 

But we are insisting upon no theory not even the verbal 
theory if it altogether excludes the human element in the 
transmission of the sacred word. As Dr. Henry B. Smith says, 
"God speaks through the personality as well as the lips of His 
messengers," and we may pour into that word "personality" 
everything that goes to make it the age in which the person 
lived, his environment, his degree of culture, his temperament 
and all the rest. As Wayland Hoyt expressed it, "Inspira- 
tion is not a mechanical, crass, bald compulsion of the sacred 
writers, but rather a dynamic, divine influence over their 
freely-acting faculties" in order that the latter in relation to 
the subject-matter then in hand may be kept inerrant, i. e., 
without mistake or fault. It is limiting the Holy One of Israel 
to say that He is unable to do this without turning a human 
being into an automaton. Has He who created man as a free 
agent left himself no opportunity to mould his thoughts into 
forms of speech inerrantly expressive of His will, without de- 
stroying that which He has made ? 

And, indeed, wherein resides man's free agency,, in his mind 
or in his mouth ? Shall we say he is free while God controls 
his thought, but that he becomes a mere machine when that 
control extends to the expression of his thought? 

The Inspiration of the Bible 15 

But returning to the argument, if the divine influence upon 
the writers did not extend to the form as well as the substance 
of their writings ; if, in other words, God gave them only the 
thought, permitting them to express it in their own words, 
what guarantee have we that they have done so ? 

An illustration the writer has frequently used will help 
to make this clear. A stenographer in a mercantile house was 
asked by his employer to write as follows : 

"Gentlemen: We misunderstood your letter and will now 
fill your order." 

Imagine the employer's surprise, however, when a little 
later this was set before him for his signature : 

"Gentlemen : We misunderstood your .letter and will not 
fill your order." 

The mistake was only of a single letter, but it was entirely 
subversive of his meaning. And yet the thought was given 
clearly to the stenographer, and the words, too, for that mat- 
ter. Moreover, the latter -was capable and faithful, but he was 
human, and it is human to err. Had not his employer con- 
trolled his expression down to the very letter, the thought 
intended to be conveyed would have failed of utterance. 

In the same way the human authors of the Bible were 
men of like passions with ourselves. Their motives were pure, 
their intentions good, but even if their subject-matter were 
the commonplaces of men, to say nothing of the mysterious and 
transcendent revelation of a holy God, how could it be an ab- 
solute transcript of the mind from which it came in the absence 
of miraculous control? 

In the last analysis, it is the Bible itself, of course, which 
must settle the question of its inspiration and the extent of it, 
and to this we come in the consideration of the .proof, but we 
may be allowed a final question. Can even God Himself give 
a thought to man without the words that clothe it? Are not 
the two inseparable, as much so "as a sum and its figures, or a 
tune and its notes ?" Has any case been known in human his- 

16 The Fundamentals 

tory where a healthy mind -/has been able to create ideas with- 
out expressing them to its own perception ? In other words, as 
Dr. A. J. Gordon once observed: "To deny that the Holy 
Spirit speaks in scripture is an intelligible proposition, but to 
admit that He speaks, it is impossible to know what He says 
except as we have His Words." 


1. The inspiration of the Bible is proven by the philosophy, 
or what may be called the nature of the case. 

The proposition may be stated thus : The Bible is the his- 
tory of the redemption of the race, or from the side of the 
individual, a supernatural revelation of the will of God to men 
for their salvation. But it was given to certain men of one 
age to be conveyed in writing to other men in different ages. 
Now all men experience difficulty in giving faithful reflections 
of their thoughts to others because of sin, ignorance, defective 
memory and the inaccuracy always incident to the use of 

Therefore it may be easily deduced that if the revelation 
is to be communicated precisely as originally received, the 
same supernatural power is required in the one case as in the 
other. This has been sufficiently elaborated in the foregoing 
and need not be dwelt upon again. 

2. It may be proven by the history and character of the 
Bible, i. e., by all that has been assumed as to its authenticity 
and credibility. All that goes to prove these things goes to 
prove its inspiration. 

To borrow in part, the language of the Westminster Con- 
fession, "the heavenliness of its matter, the efficacy of its doc- 
trine, the unity of its various parts, the majesty of its style and 
the scope and completeness of its design" all indicate the divin- 
ity of its origin. 

The more we think upon it the more we must be convinced 
that men unaided by the Spirit of God could neither have con- 

The Inspiration of the Bible 17 

ceived, nor put together, nor preserved in its integrity that 
precious deposit known as the Sacred Oracles. 

3. But the strongest proof is the declarations of the Bible 
itself and the inferences to be drawn from them. Nor is this 
reasoning in a circle as some might think. In the case of a 
man as to whose veracity there is no doubt, no hesitancy is 
felt in accepting what he says about himself; and since the 
Bible is demonstrated to be true in its statements of fact by 
unassailable evidence, may we not accept its witness in its 
own behalf ? 

Take the argument from Jesus Christ as an illustration. 
He was content to be tested by the prophecies that went before 
on Him, and the result of that ordeal was the establishment 
of His claims to be the Messiah beyond a peradventure. That 
complex system of prophecies, rendering collusion or counter- 
feit impossible, is the incontestable proof that He was what 
He claimed to be. But of course, He in whose birth, and life, 
and death, and resurrection such marvelous prophecies met 
their fulfilment, became, from the hour in which His claims 
were established, a witness to the divine authority and infalli- 
ble truth of the sacred records in which these prophecies are 
found. (The New Apologetic, by Professor Robert Watts, 
D. D.) 

It is so with the Bible. The character of its contents, the 
unity of its parts, the fulfilment of its prophecies, the miracles 
wrought in its attestation, the effects it has accomplished in 
the lives of nations and of men, all these go to show that it is 
divine, and if so, that it may be believed in what it says about 
itself. . 


To begin with the Old Testament, (a) consider how the 
writers speak of the origin of their messages. Dr. James H. 
Brookes is authority for saying that the phrase, "Thus saith 
the Lord" or its equivalent is used by them 2,000 times. Sup- 

18 The Fundamentals 

pose we eliminate this phrase and its necessary context from 
the Old Testament in every instance, one wonders how much 
of the Old Testament would remain. 

(&) Consider how the utterances of the Old Testament 
writers are introduced into the New. Take Matthew 1 :22 as 
an illustration, "Now all this was done that it might be ful- 
filled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet." It 
was not the prophet who spake, but the Lord who spake 
through the prophet. 

(c) Consider how Christ and His apostles regard the Old 
Testament. He came "not to destroy but to fulfill the law and 
the prophets." Matt. 5 :17. "The Scripture cannot be broken." 
John 10 :35. He sometimes used single words as the bases of 
important doctrines, twice in Matthew 22, at verses 31, 32 and 
42-45. The apostles do the same. See Galatians 3:16, He- 
brews 2:8, 11 and 12:26, 27. 

(d) Consider what the apostles directly teach upon the 
subject. Peter tells us that "No prophecy ever came by the 
will of man, but men spake from God, being moved by the 
Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1 :21, R. V.). "Prophecy" here applies 
to the word written as is indicated in the preceding verse, and 
means not merely the foretelling of events, but the utterances 
of any word of God without reference as to time past, present 
or to come. As a matter of fact, what Peter declares is that 
the will of man had nothing to do with any part of the Old 
Testament, but that the whole of it, from Genesis to Malachi, 
was inspired by God. 

Of course Paul says the same, in language even plainer, in 
2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, 
and is profitable." The phrase "inspiration of God" means 
literally God-breathed. The whole of the Old Testament is 
God-breathed, for it is to that part of the Bible the language 
particularly refers, since the New Testament as such was not 
then generally known. 

The Inspiration of the Bible 19 

As this verse is given somewhat differently in the Revised 
Version we dwell upon it a moment longer. It there reads, 
"Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable," and the 
caviller is disposed to say that therefore some scripture may 
be inspired and some may not be, and that the profitableness 
extends only to the former and not the latter. 

But aside from the fact that Paul would hardly be guilty of 
such a weak truism as that, it may be stated in reply first, that 
the King James rendering of the passage is not only the more 
consistent scripture, but the more consistent Greek. Several 
of the best Greek scholars of the period affirm this, including 
some of the revisers themselves who did not vote for the 
change. And secondly, even the revisers place it in the margin 
as of practically equal authority with their preferred transla- 
tion, and to be chosen by the reader if desired. There are not 
a few devout Christians, however, who would be willing to 
retain the rendering of the Revised Version as being stronger 
than the King James, and who would interpolate a word in 
applying it to make it mean, "Every scripture (because) in- 
spired of God is also profitable." We believe that both Gaus- 
sen and Wordsworth take this view, two as staunch defenders 
of plenary inspiration as could be named. 


We are sometimes reminded that, however strong and con- 
vincing the argument for the inspiration of the Old Testament, 
that for the New Testament is only indirect. "Not one of the 
evangelists tells us that he is inspired," says a certain theo- 
logical professor, "and not one writer of an epistle, except 

We shall be prepared to dispute this statement a little fur- 
ther, but in the meantime let us reflect that the inspiration of 
the Old Testament being assured as it is, why should similar 
evidence be required for the New? Whoever is competent 
to speak as a Bible authority knows that the unity of the Old 

20 The Fundamentals 

and New Testaments is the strongest demonstration of their 
common source. They are seen to be not two books, but only 
two parts of one book. 

To take then the analogy of the Old Testament. The fore- 
going argument proves its inspiration as a whole, although 
there were long periods separating the different writers, Moses 
and David let us say, or David and Daniel, the Pentateuch and 
the Psalms, or the Psalms and the Prophets. As long, or long- 
er, than between Malachi and Matthew, or Ezra and the Gos- 
pels. If then to carry conviction for the plenary inspiration of 
the Old Testament as a whole, it is not necessary to prove it 
for every book, why, to carry conviction for the plenary inspi- 
ration of the Bible as a whole is it necessary to do the same? 
We quote here a paragraph or two from Dr. Nathaniel 
West He is referring to 2 Timothy 3:16, which he renders, 
"Every scripture is inspired of God," and adds : 

"The distributive word 'Every' is used not only to par- 
ticularize each individual scripture of the Canon that Timothy 
had studied from his youth, but also to include, along with the 
Old Testament the New Testament scriptures extant in Paul's 
day, and any others, such as those that John wrote after him. 
"The Apostle Peter tells us that he was in possession, not 
merely of some of Paul's Epistles, but 'all his Epistles,' 
and places them, canonically, in the same rank with what he 
calls 'the other scriptures,' i. e., of equal inspiration and 
authority with the 'words spoken before by the Holy Prophets, 
and the commandment of the Lord and Savior, through the 
Apostles.' 2 Peter 3:2, 16. 

"Paul teaches the same co-ordination of the Old and New 
Testaments. Having referred to the Old as a unit, in his 
phrase 'Holy Scriptures/ which the revisers translate 'Sacred 
Writings,' he proceeds to particularize. He tells Timothy 
that 'every scripture,' whether of Old or New Testament 
production, 'is inspired of God.' Let it be in the Pentateuch, 
the Psalms, the Prophets, the Historical Books, let it be a 

The Inspiration of the Bible 21 

chapter or a verse ; let it be in the Gospels, the Acts, his own 
or Peter's Epistles, or even John's writings, ye to be, still 
each part of the Sacred Collection is God-given and because 
of that possesses divine authority as part of the Book of 

We read this from Dr. West twenty years ago, and rejected 
it as his dictum. We read it today, with deeper and fuller 
knowledge of the subject, and we believe it to be true. 

It is somewhat as follows that Dr. Gaussen in his exhaus- 
tive "Theopneustia" gives the argument for the inspiration of 
the New Testament. 

(a) The New Testament is the later, and for that reason 
the more important revelation of the two, and hence if the 
former were inspired, it certainly must be true of the latter. 
The opening verses of the first and second chapters of 
Hebrews plainly suggest this : "God, who at sundry times and 
in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the 
prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son 
* * * Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed 
to the things which we have heard." 

And this inference is rendered still more conclusive by the 
circumstance that the New Testament sometimes explains, 
sometimes proves, and sometimes even repeals ordinances of 
the Old Testament. See Matthew 1 :22, 23 for an illustration 
of the first, Acts 13:19 to 39 for the second and Galatians 5 :6 
for the third. Assuredly these things would not be true if 
the New Testament were not of equal, and in a certain sense, 
even greater authority than the Old. 

(fc) The writers of the New Testament were of an equal 
or higher rank than those of the Old. That they were proph- 
ets is evident from such allusions as Romans 16:25-27, and 
Ephesians 3 :4, 5. But that they were more than prophets is 
indicated in the fact that wherever in the New Testament 
prophets and apostles are both mentioned, the last-named is 
always mentioned first (see 1 Cor. 12:28, Ephesians 2:20, 

22 The Fundamentals 

Ephesians 4:11). It is also true that the writers of the New 
Testament had a higher mission than those of the Old, since 
they were sent forth by Christ, as he had been sent forth by 
the Father (John 20 :21 ) . They were to go, not to a single nation 
only (as Israel), but into all the world (Matthew 28:19). They 
received the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19). 
And they are to be pre-eminently rewarded in the regeneration 
(Matthew 19:28). Such considerations and comparisons as 
these are not to be overlooked in estimating the authority by 
which they wrote. 

(c) The writers of the New Testament were especially 
qualified for their work, as we see in Matthew 10:19, 20, Mark 
13:11, Luke 12:2, John 14:26 and John 16:13, 14. These 
passages will be dwelt on more at length in a later division of 
our subject, but just now it may be noticed that in some of 
the instances, inspiration of the most absolute character was 
promised as to what they should speak the inference being 
warranted that none the less would they be guided in what 
they wrote. Their spoken words were limited and temporary 
in their sphere, but their written utterances covered the whole 
range of revelation and were to last forever. If in the one 
case they were inspired, how much more in the other? 

(d) The writers of the New Testament directly claim 
divine inspiration. See Acts 15:23-29, where, especially at 
verse 28, James is recorded as saying, "for it seemed good to 
the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden 
than these necessary things." Here it is affirmed very clearly 
that the Holy Ghost is the real writer of the letter in question 
and simply using the human instruments for his purpose. Add 
to this 1 Corinthians 2:13, where Paul says: "Which things 
also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, 
but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things 
with spiritual," or as the margin of the Revised Version puts 
it, "imparting spiritual things to spiritual men." In 1 Thessa- 
lonians 2 : 13 the same writer says : "For this cause also thank 

The Inspiration of the Bible 23 

we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word 
of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word 
of man, but as it is in truth the word of God." In 2 Peter 
3 :2 the apostle places his own words on a level with those of 
the prophets of the Old Testament, and in verses 15 and 16 
of the same chapter he does the same with the writings of 
Paul, classifying them "with the other scriptures." Finally, in 
Revelation 2 :7, although it is the Apostle John who is writing, 
he is authorized to exclaim: "He that hath an ear let him 
hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches," and so on 
throughout the epistles to the seven churches. 


The evidence that the inspiration includes the form as well 
as the substance of the Holy Scriptures, the word as well as 
the thought, may be gathered in this way. 

1. There were certainly some occasions when the words 
were given to the human agents. Take the instance of Balaam 
(Numbers 22:38, 23:12, 16). It is clear that this self-seeking 
prophet thought, i. e. t desired to speak differently from what 
he did, but was obliged to speak the word that God put in 
his mouth. There are two incontrovertible witnesses to this, 
one being Balaam himself and the other God. 

Take Saul (1 Samuel 10:10), or at a later time, his mes- 
sengers (19:20-24). No one will claim that there was not an 
inspiration of the words here. And Caiaphas also (John 
11 :49-52), of whom it is expressly said that when he prophe- 
sied that one man should die for the people, "this spake he 
not of himself." Who believes that Caiaphas meant or really 
knew the significance of what he said? 

And how entirely this harmonizes with Christ's promise to 
His disciples in Matthew 10:19, 20 and elsewhere. "When 
they deliver you up take no thought (be not anxious) how or 
what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that hour 
what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak but the Spirit 

24 The Fundamentals 

of your Father which speaketh in you." Mark is even more 
emphatic: "Neither do ye premeditate, but whatsoever shall 
be given you in that hour, that speak ye, for it is not ye that 
speak, but the Holy Ghost." 

Take the circumstance of the day of Pentecost (Acts 2 :4- 
11), when the disciples "began to speak with other tongues as 
the Spirit gave them utterance." Parthians, Medes, Elamites, 
the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, 
Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, in the parts of Libya about 
Cyrene, the strangers of Rome, Cretes and Arabians all testi- 
fied, "we do here them speak in our tongues the wonderful 
works of God !" Did not this inspiration include the words ? 
Did it not indeed exclude the thought ? What clearer example 
could be desired? 

To the same purport consider Paul's teaching in 1 Corin- 
thians 14 about the gift of tongues. He that speaketh in an 
unknown tongue, in the Spirit speaketh mysteries, but no man 
understandeth him, therefore he is to pray that he may inter- 
pret. Under some circumstances, if no interpreter be present, 
he is to keep silence in the church and speak only to himself 
and to God. 

But better still, consider the utterance of 1 Peter 1 :10, 11, 
where he speaks of them who prophesied of the grace that 
should come, as "searching what, or what manner of time, 
the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify when He 
testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that 
should follow, to whom it was revealed," etc. 

"Should we see a student who, having taken down the lec- 
ture of a profound philosopher, was now studying diligently to 
comprehend the sense of the discourse which he had written, 
we should understand simply that he was a pupil and not a 
master; that he had nothing to do with originating either the 
thoughts or the words of the lecture, but was rather a disciple 
whose province it was to understand what he had transcribed, 
and so be able to communicate it to others. 

The Inspiration of the Bible 25 

"And who can deny that this is the exact picture of what we 
have in this passage from Peter ? Here were inspired writers 
studying the meaning of what they themselves had written. 
With all possible allowance for the human peculiarities of the 
writers, they must have been reporters of what they heard, 
rather than f ormulators of that which they had been made to 
understand." A. J. Gordon in "The Ministry of the Spirit," 
pp. 173, 174. 

2. The Bible plainly teaches that inspiration extends to 
its words. We spoke of Balaam as uttering that which God 
put in his mouth, but the same expression is used by God Him- 
self with reference to His prophets. When Moses would 
excuse himself from service because he was not eloquent, He 
who made man's mouth said, "Now therefore go, and I will 
be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say" (Exo- 
dus 4:10-12). And Dr. James H. Brookes' comment is very 
pertinent. "God did not say I will be with thy mind, and 
teach thee what thou shalt think ; but I will be with thy mouth 
and teach thee what thou shalt say. This explains why, forty 
years afterwards, Moses said to Israel, 'Ye shall not add unto 
the word I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from 
it.' (Deut. 4 :2.)" Seven times Moses tells, us that the tables of 
stone containing the commandments were the work of God, 
and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables 
(Exodus 31:16). 

Passing from the Pentateuch to the poetical books we find 
David saying, "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His 
word was in my tongue" (2 Samuel 23:1, 2). He, too, does 
not say, God thought by me, but spake by me. 

Coming to the prophets, Jeremiah confesses that, like 
Moses, he recoiled from the mission on which he was sent 
and for the same reason. He was a child and could not 
speak. "Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my 
mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold I have put My 
word in thy mouth" (Jeremiah 1 :6-9). 

26 The Fundamentals 

All of which substantiates the declaration of Peter quoted 
earlier, that "no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but 
man spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit." Sure- 
ly, if the will of man had nothing to do with the prophecy, he 
could not have been at liberty in the selection of the words. 

So much for the Old Testament, but when we reach the 
New, we have the same unerring and verbal accuracy guar- 
anteed to the apostles by the Son of God, as we have seen. 
And we ,have the apostles making claim of it, as when Paul in 
1 Corinthians 2:12, 13 distinguishes between the "things" or 
the thoughts which God gave him and the words in which he 
expressed them, and insisting on the divinity of both ; "Which 
things also we speak," he says, "not in the words which man's 
wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth." In 
Galatians 3:16, following the example of His divine Master, 
he employs not merely a single word, but a single letter of a 
word as the basis of an argument for a great doctrine. The 
blessing of justification which Abraham received has become 
that of the believer in Jesus Christ. "Now to Abraham and his 
seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as 
of many ; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." 

The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews bases a similar 
argument on the word "all" in chapter 1 :8, on the word "one" 
in 1 :11, and on the phrase "yet once more" in 12 :26, 27. 

To recur to Paul's argument in Galatians, Archdeacon 
Farrar in one of his writings denies that by any possibility 
such a Hebraist as he, and such a master of Greek usage could 
have argued in this way. He says Paul must have known that 
the plural of the Hebrew and Greek terms for "seed" is never 
used by Hebrew or Greek writers to designate human off- 
spring. It means, he says, various kinds of grain. 

His artlessness is amusing. We accept his estimate of 
Paul's knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, says Professor 
Watts, he was certainly a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and as to 
his Greek he could not only write it but speak it as we know, 

The Inspiration of the Bible 27 

and quote what suited his purpose from the Greek poets. But 
on this supposition we feel justified in asking Dr. Farrar 
whether a lexicographer in searching Greek authors for the 
meanings they attached to spermata, the Greek for "seeds," 
would not be inclined to add "human offspring" on so good an 
authority as Paul ? 

Nor indeed would they be limited to his authority, since 
Sophocles uses it in the same way, and Aeschylus. "I was 
driven away from my country by my own offspring" (sper- 
mata} literally by my own seeds, is what the former makes 
one of his characters say. 

Dr. Farrar's rendering of spermata in Galatians 3 :16 on the 
other hand would make nonsense if not sacrilege. "He saith 
not unto various kinds of grain as of many, but as of one, and 
to thy grain, which is Christ." 

"Granting then, what we thank no man for granting, that 
spermata means human offspring, it is evident that despite all 
opinions to the contrary, this passage sustains , the teaching of 
an inspiration of Holy Writ extending to its very words." 

3. But the most unique argument for the inspiration of 
the words of scripture is the relation which Jesus Christ bears 
to them. In the first place, He Himself was inspired as to His 
words. In the earliest reference to His prophetic office (Deut. 
18:18), Jehovah says, "I will put My words in His mouth, 
and He shall speak * * * all that I shall command Him." 
A limitation on His utterance which Jesus everywhere recog- 
nizes. "As My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things ;" 
"the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment 
what I should say, and what I should speak;" "whatsoever I 
speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak;" 
"I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me;" 
"the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are 
life." (John 6:63; 8:26, 28, 40; 12:49, 50.) 

The thought is still more impressive as we read of the 
relation of the Holy Spirit to the God-man. "The Spirit of 

28 ' The Fundamentals 

the Lord is upon Me because He hath annointed Me to preach 
the gospel to the poor;" "He through the Holy Ghost had 
given commandments unto the apostles ;" "the revelation of 
Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him ;" "these things saith 
He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand;" "He that 
hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the 
churches" (Luke 4:18; Acts 1 :2; Rev. 1 :1 ; 2:1, 11). If the 
incarnate Word needed the unction of the Holy Ghost to give 
to men the revelation He received from the Father in Whose 
bosom He dwells; and if the agency of the same Spirit ex- 
tended to the words He spake in preaching the gospel to the 
meek or dictating an epistle, how much more must these things 
be so in the case of ordinary men when engaged in the same 
service ? With what show of reason can one contend that any 
Old or New Testament writer stood, so far as his words were 
concerned, in need of no such agency." The New Apologetic, 
pp. 67, 68. 

In the second place He used the scriptures as though they 
were inspired as to their words. In Matthew 22:31, 32, He 
substantiates the doctrine of the resurrection against the skep- 
ticism of the Sadducees by emphasizing the present tense of 
the verb "to be," . e., the word "am" in the language of 
Jehovah to Moses at the burning bush. In verses 42-45 of the 
same chapter He does the same for His own Deity by allud- 
ing to the second use of the word "Lord" in Psalm CX. "The 
LORD said unto my Lord * * . * If David then call him 
Lord, how is he his son?" In John 10:34-36, He vindicates 
Himself from the charge of blasphemy by saying, "Is it not 
written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If He called them 
gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture 
cannot be broken ; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sancti- 
fied, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest ; because I 
said, I am the Son of God?" 

We have already seen Him (in Matthew 4) overcoming the 
tempter in the wilderness by three quotations from Deiiter- 

The Inspiration of the Bible 29 

onomy without note or comment except, "It is written" Re- 
ferring to which Adolphe Monod says, "I know of nothing in 
the whole history of humanity, nor even in the field of divine 
revelation, that proves more clearly than this the inspiration of 
the scriptures. What ! Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven and 
earth, calling to his aid in that solemn moment Moses his serv- 
ant? He who speaks from heaven fortifying himself against 
the temptations of hell by the word of him who spake from 
earth ? How can we explain that spiritual mystery, that won- 
derful reversing of the order of things, if for Jesus the words 
of Moses were not the words of God rather than those of 
men? How shall we explain it if Jesus were not fully aware 
that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy 

"I do not forget the objections which have been raised 
against the inspiration of the scriptures, nor the real obscurity 
with which that inspiration is surrounded; if they sometimes 
trouble your hearts, they have troubled mine also. But at 
such times, in order to revive my faith, I have only to glance 
at Jesus glorifying the scriptures in the wilderness ; and I have 
seen that for all who rely upon Him, the most embarrassing of 
problems is transformed into a historical fact, palpable and 
clear. Jesus no doubt was aware of the difficulties connected 
with the inspiration of the scriptures, but did this prevent Him 
from appealing to their testimony with unreserved confidence ? 
Let that which was sufficient for Him suffice for you. Fear 
not that the rock which sustained the Lord in the hour of His 
temptation and distress will give way because you lean too 
heavily upon it." 

In the third place, Christ teaches that the scriptures are 
inspired as to their words. In the Sermon on the Mount He 
said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the 
prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I 
say unto you/Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle 
shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." 

30 The Fundamentals 

Here is testimony confirmed by an oath, for "verily" on' 
the lips of the Son of Man carries such force. He affirms the 
indestructibility of the law, not its substance merely but its 
form, not the thought but the word. 

"One jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law." The 
"jot" means the yod, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alpha- 
,bet, while the "tittle" means the horn, a short projection in 
certain letters extending the base line beyond the upright one 
which rests upon it. A reader unaccustomed to the Hebrew 
needs a strong eye to see the tittle, but Christ guarantees that 
as a part of the sacred text neither the tittle nor the yod 
shall perish. 

The elder Lightfoot, the Hebraist and rabbinical scholar of 
the Westminster Assembly time, has called attention to an 
interesting story of a certain letter yod found in the text of 
Dent. 32:18. It is in the word teshi, to forsake, translated in 
the King James as "unmindful." Originally it seems to have 
been written smaller even, than usual, i. e., undersized, and yet 
notwithstanding the almost infinite number of times in which 
copies have been made, that little yod stands there today just 
as it ever did. Lightfoot spoke of it in the middle of the 
seventeenth century, and although two more centuries and a 
half have passed since then with all their additional copies of 
the book, yet it still retains its place in the sacred text. Its 
diminutive size is referred to in the margin, "but no hand has 
dared to add a hair's breadth to its length," so that we can 
still employ his words, and say that it is likely to remain there 

The same scholar speaks of the effect a slight change in the 
form of a Hebrew letter might produce in the substance of 
the thought for which it stands. ' He takes as an example two 
words, "Chalal" and "Halal," which differ from each other 
simply in their first radicals. The "Ch" in Hebrew is expressed 
by one letter the same as "H," the only distinction being a 
slight break or opening in the left limb of the latter. It 

The Inspiration of the Bible 31 

seems too trifling to notice, but let that line be broken where 
it should be continuous, and "Thou shalt not profane the 
Name of thy God" in Leviticus 18:21, becomes "Thou shalt not 
praise the Name of thy God." Through that aperture, how- 
ever small, the entire thought of the Divine mind oozes out, so 
to speak, and becomes quite antagonistic to what was designed. 
This shows how truly the thought and the word express- 
ing it are bound together, and that whatever affects the one 
imperils the other. As another says, "The bottles are not the 
wine, but if the bottles perish, the wine is sure to be spilled." 
It may seem like narrow-mindedness to contend for this, and 
an evidence of enlightenment or liberal scholarship to treat it 
with indifference, but we should be prepared to take our stand 
with Jesus Christ in the premises, and if necessary, go out- 
side the camp bearing our reproach. 


That there are difficulties in the way of accepting a view 
of inspiration like this goes without saying. But to the finite 
mind there must always be difficulties connected with a revela- 
tion from the Infinite, and it can not be otherwise. This has 
been mentioned before. Men of faith, and it is such we are 
addressing, and not men of the world, do not wait to under- 
stand or resolve all the difficulties associated with other mys- 
teries of the Bible before accepting them as divine, and why 
should they do so in this case ? 

Moreover, Archbishop Whately's dictum is generally ac- 
cepted, that we are not obliged to clear away every difficulty 
about a doctrine in order to believe it, always provided that 
the facts on which it rests are true. And particularly is this 
the case where the rejection of such a doctrine involves greater 
difficulties than its belief, as it does here. 

For if this view .of inspiration be rejected, what have its 
opponents to give in its place? Do they realize that any 
objections to it are slight in comparison with those to any 

32 The Fundamentals 

other view that can be named ? And do they realize that th 
is true because this view has the immeasurable advantage c 
agreeing with the plain declarations of Scripture on the sul 
ject? In other words, as Dr. Burrell says, those who asse 
the inerrancy of the scripture autographs do so on the autho 
ity of God Himself, and to deny it is of a piece with tl 
denial that they teach the forgiveness of sins or the resurre 
tion from the dead. No amount of exegetical turning ar 
twisting can explain away the assertions already quoted : 
these pages, to say nothing of the constant undertone of ev 
dence we find in the Bible everywhere to their truth. 

And speaking of this further, are we not justified in requi 
ing of the objector two things? First, on any fair basis c 
scientific investigation, is he not obliged to dispose of the ev 
dence here presented before he impugns the doctrine it sui 
stantiates? And second, after having disposed of it, is he n< 
equally obligated to present the scriptural proof of whatev< 
other view of inspiration he would have us accept? Has 1 
ever done this, and if not, are we not further justified 
saying that it can not be done ? But let us consider some < 
the difficulties. 

1. There are the so-called discrepancies or contradiction 
between certain statements of the Bible and the facts of hi 
tory or natural science. The best way to meet these is 
treat them separately as they are presented, but when you a: 
for them you are not infrequently met with silence. Th< 
are hard to produce, and when produced, who is able to s; 
that they belong to the original parchments? As we are n< 
contending for an inerrant translation, does not the burden < 
proof rest with the objector? 

But some of these "discrepancies" are easily explaine 
They do not exist between statements of the Bible and fac 
of science, but between erroneous interpretations of the Bib 
and immature conclusions of science. The old story of Galil< 
is in point, who did not contradict the Bible in affirming th 

The Inspiration of the Bible 33 

the earth moved round the sun but only the false theological 
assumptions about it. In this way advancing light has removed 
many of these discrepancies, and it is fair to presume with Dr. 
Charles Hodge that further light would remove all. 

2. There are the differences in the narratives themselves. 
In the first place, the New Testament writers sometimes 
change important words in quoting from the Old Testament, 
which it is assumed could not be the case if in both instances 
the writers were inspired. But it is forgotten that in the scrip- 
tures we are dealing not so much with different human authors 
as with one Divine Author. It is a principle in ordinary liter- 
ature that an author may quote himself as he pleases, and 
give a different turn to an expression here and there as a 
changed condition of affairs renders it necessary or desirable. 
Shall we deny this privilege to the Holy Spirit? May we not 
find, indeed, that some of these supposed misquotations show 
such progress of truth, such evident application of the teach- 
ing of an earlier dispensation to the circumstances of a later 
one, as to afford a confirmation of their divine origin rather 
than an argument against it? 

We offered illustrations of this earlier, but to those would 
now add Isaiah 59:20 quoted in Romans 11:26, and Amos 
9:11 quoted in Acts 15:16. And to any desiring to further 
examine the subject we would recommend the valuable work 
of Professor Franklin Johnson, of Chicago University, entitled 
"The Quotations in the New Testament from the Old." 

Another class of differences, however, is where the same 
event is sometimes given differently by different writers. Take 
that- most frequently used by the objectors, the inscription on 
the cross, recorded by all the evangelists and yet differently by 
each. How can such records be inspired, it is asked. 

It is to be remembered in reply, that the inscription was 
written in three languages calling for a different arrangement 
of the words in each case, and that one evangelist may have 
translated the Hebrew, and another the Latin, while a thin? 

34 The Fundamentals 

recorded the Greek. It is not said that any one gave the full 
inscription, nor can we affirm that there was any obligation 
upon them to do so. Moreover, no one contradicts any other, 
and no one says what is untrue. 

Recalling what was said about our having to deal not with 
different human authors but with one Divine Author, may 
not the Holy Spirit here have chosen to emphasize some one 
particular fact, or phase of a fact of the inscription for a 
specific and important end? Examine the records to deter- 
mine what this fact may have been. Observe that whatever 
else is omitted, all the narratives record the momentous cir- 
cumstances that the Sufferer on the cross was THE KING 

Could there have been a cause for this? What was the 
charge preferred against Jesus by His accusers? Was He 
not rejected and crucified because He said He was the King 
of the Jews ? Was not this the central idea Pilate was provi- 
dentially guided to express in the inscription ? And if so, was 
it not that to which the evangelists should bear witness ? And 
should not that witness have been borne in a way to dispel the 
thought of collusion in the premises ? And did not this involve 
a variety of narrative which should at the same time be in 
harmony with truth and fact ? And do we not have this very 
thing in the four gospels.? 

These accounts supplement, but do not contradict each 
other. We place them before the eye- in the order in which 
they are recorded. 



Jesus of Nazareth THE KING OF THE JEWS 

The entire inscription evidently was "This is Jesus of Naz- 
areth the King of the Jews," but we submit that the foregoing 
presents a reasonable argument for the differences in the 

The Inspiration of the Bible 35 

3. There is the variety in style. Some think that if all 
the writers were alike inspired and the inspiration extended 
to their words, they must all possess the same style as if the 
Holy Spirit had but one style ! 

Literary style is a method of selecting words and putting 
sentences together which stamps an author's work with the 
influence of his habits, his condition in society, his education, 
his reasoning, his experience, his imagination and his genius. 
These give his mental and moral physiognomy and make up 
his style. 

But is not God free to act with or without these fixed 
laws? There are no circumstances which tinge His views or 
reasonings, and He has no idiosyncrasies of speech, and no 
mother tongue through which He expresses His character, or 
leaves the finger mark of genius upon His literary fabrics. 

It is a great fallacy then, as Dr. Thomas Armitage once 
said, to suppose that uniformity of verbal style must have 
marked God's authorship in the Bible, had He selected its 
words. As the author of all styles, rather does he use them 
all at his pleasure. He bestows all the powers of mental indi- 
viduality upon His instruments for using the scriptures, and 
then uses their powers as He will to express His mind by them. 
Indeed, the variety of style is a necessary proof of the free- 
dom of the human writers, and it is this which among other 
things convinces us that, however controlled by the Holy 
Spirit, they were not mere machines in what they wrote. 

Consider God's method in nature. In any department of 
vegetable life there may be but one genus, while its members 
are classified into a thousand species. From the bulbous root 
come the tulip, the hyacinth, the crocus, and the lily in every 
shape and shade, without any cause either of natural chem- 
istry ,or culture. It is exclusively attributable to the variety 
of styles which the mind of God devises. . And so in the 
sacred writings. His mind is seen in the infinite variety of 
expression which dictates the wording of every book. To 

36 The Fundamentals 

quote Armitage again, "I cannot tell how the Holy Spirit sug- 
gested the words to the writers any more than some other 
man can tell how He suggested the thoughts to them. But if 
diversity of expression proves that He did not choose the 
words, the diversity of ideas proves that He did not dictate 
the thoughts, for the one is as varied as the other." 

William Cullen Bryant was a newspaper man but a poet; 
Edmund Clarence Stedman was a Wall Street broker and 
also a poet. What a difference in style there was between 
their editorials and commercial letters on the one hand, and 
their poetry on the other! Is God more limited than a man? 

4. There are certain declarations of scripture itself. 
Does not Paul say in one or two places "I speak as a man," 
or "After the manner of man ?" Assuredly, but is he not using 
the arguments common among men for the sake of elucidat- 
ing a point? And may he not as truly be led of the Spirit to 
do that, and to record it, as to do or say anything else? Of 
course, what he quotes from men is not of the same essential 
value as what he receives directly from God, but the record 
of the quotation is as truly inspired. 

There are two or three other utterances of his of this 
character in the 7th chapter of 1 Corinthians, where he is treat- 
ing of marriage. At verse 6 he says, "I speak this by per- 
mission, not of commandment," and what he means has no 
reference to the source of his message but the subject of it. 
In contradiction to the false teaching of some, he says Chris- 
tians are permitted to marry, but not commanded to do so. At 
verse 10 he says, "Unto the married I command, yet not I, 
but the Lord," while at verse 12 there follows, "but to the rest 
speak I, not the Lord." Does he declare himself inspired in 
the first instance, and not in the second? By no means, but in 
the first he is alluding to what the Lord spake on the subject 
while here in the flesh, and in the second to what he, Paul, is 
adding thereto on the authority of the Holy Spirit speaking 
through him. In other words, putting his own utterances on 

The Inspiration of the Bible 37 

equality with those of our Lord, he simply confirms their 

At verse 40 he uses a puzzling expression, "I think also 
that I have the Spirit of God." As we are contending only 
for an inspired record, it would seem easy to say that here he 
records a doubt as to whether he was inspired, and hence 
everywhere else in the absence of such record of doubt the 
inspiration is to be assumed. But this would be begging the 
question, and we prefer the solution of others that the answer 
is found in the condition of the Corinthian church at that time. 
His enemies had sought to counteract his teachings, claiming 
that they had the Spirit of God. Referring to the claim, he 
says with justifiable irony, "I think also that I have the Spirit 
of God" (R. V.). . "I think" in the mouth of one having 
apostolic authority, says Professor Watts, may be taken as 
carrying the strongest assertion of the judgment in question. 
The passage is something akin to another in the same epistle at 
the 14th chapter, verse 37, where he says, "If any man think 
himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that 
the things I write unto you are the commandments of the 

Time forbids further amplification on the difficulties and 
objections nor is it necessary, since there is not one that has 
not been met satisfactorily to the man of God and the child of 
faith again and again. 

But there is an obstacle to which we would call attention 
before concluding not a difficulty or objection, but a real 
obstacle, especially to the young and insufficiently instructed. 
It is the illusion that this view of inspiration is held only by 
the unlearned. An illusion growing out of still another as to 
who constitute the learned. 

There is a popular impression that in the sphere of theology 
and religion these latter are limited for the most part to the 
higher critics and their relatives, and the more rationalistic and 
iconoclastic the critic the more learned he is esteemed to be. 

38 The Fundamentals 

But the fallacy of this is seen in that the qualities which make 
for a philologist, an expert in human languages, or which give 
one a wide acquaintance with literature of any kind, in other 
words the qualities of the higher critic, depend more on mem- 
ory than judgment, and do not give the slightest guarantee 
that their possessors can draw a sound conclusion from what 
they know. 

As the author of "Faith and Inspiration" puts it, the work 
of such a scholar is often like that of a quarryman to an 
architect. Its entire achievement, though immensely valuable 
in its place, is just a mass of raw and formless material until 
a mind gifted in a different direction, and possessing the neces- 
sary taste and balance shall reduce or put it into shape for use. 
The perplexities of astronomers touching Halley's comet is in 
point. They knew facts that common folks did not know, 
but when they came to generalize upon them, the man on the 
street knew that he should have looked in the west for the 
phenomenon when they bade him look in the east. 

Much is said for example about an acquaintance with 
Hebrew and Greek, and no sensible man will underrate them 
for the theologian or the Bible scholar, but they are entirely 
unnecessary to an understanding of the doctrine of inspira- 
tion or any other doctrine of Holy Writ. The intelligent reader 
of the Bible in the English tongue, especially when illuminated 
by the Holy Spirit, is abundantly able to decide upon these 
questions . for himself. He cannot determine how the Holy 
Spirit operated on the minds of the sacred penmen because 
that is not revealed, but he can determine on the results secured 
because that is revealed. He can determine whether the inspi- 
ration covers all the books, and whether it includes not only 
the substance but the form, not only the thoughts but the 

We have spoken of scholars and of the learned; let us come 
to names. We suppose Dr. Sanday, of Oxford, is a scholar, 
and the Archbishop of Durham, and Dean Burgon, and Pro- 

The Inspiration of the Bible 39 

lessor Orr, of Glasgow, and Principal Forsyth, of Hackney 
College, and Sir Robert Anderson, and Dr. Kuyper, of Hol- 
land, and President Patton, of Princeton, and Howard Osgood 
of the Old Testament Revision Committee and Matthew B. Rid- 
dle of the New, and G. Frederick Wright and Albert T. Clay, 
the archaeologists, and Presidents Moorehead and Mullins, 
and C. I. Scofield, and Luther T. Townsend, for twenty-five 
years professor in the Theological School of Boston Univer- 
sity, and Arthur T. Pierson of the Missionary Review of the 
World, and a host of other living witnesses Episcopalians, 
Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Lutherans, Meth- 
odists, Reformed Dutch. 

We had thought John Calvin a scholar, and the distinguished 
Bengel, and Canon Faussett, and Tregelles, and Auberlen, and 
Van Oosterzee, and Charles Hodge and Henry B. Smith, and 
so many more that it were foolishness to recall them. These 
men may not stand for every statement in these pages, they 
might not care to be quoted as holding technically the verbal 
theory of inspiration for reasons already named, but they will 
affirm the heart of the contention and testify to their belief in 
an inspiration of the Sacred Oracles which includes the words. 

Once when the writer was challenged by the editor of a 
secular daily to name a single living scholar who thus believed, 
he presented that of a chancellor of a great university, and 
was told that he was not the kind of scholar that was meant ! 
The kind of scholar not infrequently meant by such oppos- 
ers is the one who is seeking to destroy faith in the Bible as 
the Word of God, and to substitute in its place a Bible of his 
own making. 

The Outlook had an editorial recently, entitled "Whom 
Shall We Believe?" in which the writer reaffirmed the plati- 
tudes that living is a vital much more than an intellectual 
process, and that truth of the deeper kind is distilled out of 
experience rather than logical processes. -T-his is the reason 
he said why many things are hidden from the so-called wise, 

40 The Fundamentals 

who follow formal methods of exact observation, and are re- 
vealed to babes and sucklings who know nothing of these meth- 
ods, but are deep in the process of living. No spectator ever 
yet understood a great contemporary human movement into 
which he did not enter. 

Does this explain why the cloistered scholar is unable to 
accept the supernatural inspiration of the scriptures while the 
men on the firing line of the Lord's army believe in it even 
to the very words? Does it explain the faith of our mission- 
aries in foreign lands ? Is this what led J. Hudson Taylor to 
Inland China, and Dr. Guinness to establish the work upon the 
Congo, and George Mueller and William Quarrier to support 
the orphans at Bristol and the Bridge of Weirs ? Is this the 
belief in the plenary inspiration of the Bible the secret of the 
evangelistic power of D. L. Moody, and Chapman, and Torrey, 
and Gipsy Smith, and practically every evangelist in the field, 
for to the extent of our acquaintance there are none of these 
who doubt it? Does this tell why "the best sellers on the mar- 
ket," at least among Christian people, have been the devotional 
and expository books of Andrew Murray, and Miller and 
Meyer, and writers of that stamp ? Is this why the plain peo- 
ple have loved to listen to preachers like Spurgeon, and 
McLaren, and Campbell Morgan, and Len Broughton and 
A. C. Dixon and have passed by men of the other kind ? It is, 
in a word, safe to challenge the whole Christian world for the 
name of a man who stands out as a winner of souls who does 
not believe in the inspiration of the Bible as it has been sought 
to be explained in these pages. 

But we conclude with a kind of concrete testimony that 
of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Amer- 
ica, and of a date as recent as 1893. The writer is not a 
Presbyterian, and therefore with the better grace can ask his 
readers to consider the character and the intellect represented 
in such an Assembly. Here are some of our greatest mer- 
chants, our greatest jurists, our greatest educators, our great- 

The Inspiration of the Bible 41 

est statesmen, as well as our greatest missionaries, evangelists 
and theologians. There may be seen as able and august a 
gathering of representatives of Christianity in other places 
and on other occasions, but few that can surpass it. For sobri- 
ety of thought, for depth as well as breadth of learning, for 
wealth of spiritual experience, for honesty of utterance, and 
virility of conviction, the General Assembly of the Presbyte- 
rian Church in America must command attention and respect 
throughout the world. And this is what it said on the subject 
we are now considering at its gathering in the city of Wash- 
ington, the capital of the nation, at the date named : 






The glories of the Lord Jesus Christ are threefold: Es- 
sential, official and moral. His essential glory is that which 
pertains to Him as the Son of God, the equal of the Father. 
His official glory is that which belongs to Him as the Media- 
tor. It is the reward conferred on Him, the august promo- 
tion He received when He had brought His great work to a 
final and triumphant conclusion. His moral glory consists of 
the perfections which marked His earthly life and ministry; 
perfections which attached to every relation He sustained, 
and to every circumstance in which He was found. His essen- 
tial and official glories were commonly veiled during His 
earthly sojourn. His moral glory could not be hid; He could 
not be less than perfect in everything; it belonged to Him; 
it was Himself. This moral glory now illumines every page 
of the four Gospels, as once it did every path He trod. 

The thesis which we undertake to illustrate and establish 
is this : That the moral glory of Jesus Christ as set forth in 
the four Gospels cannot be the product of the unaided human 
intellect, that only the Spirit of God is competent to execute 
this matchless portrait of the Son of Man. The discussion of 
the theme falls into two parts : I. A brief survey of Christ's 
moral glory as exhibited in the Gospels. II. The application 
of the argument. 



1. The moral glory of Jesus appears in His development 
as Son of Man. The nature which He assumed was our na- 


Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 43 

ture, sin and sinful propensities only excepted. His was a 
real and a true humanity, one which must pass through the 
various stages of growth like any other member of the race. 
From infancy to youth, from youth to manhood, there was 
steady increase both of His bodily powers and mental facul- 
ties; but the progress was orderly. "No unhealthy precocity 
marked the holiest of infancies." He was first a child, and 
afterwards a man, not a man in child's years. 

As Son of; Man He was compassed about with all the 
sinless infirmities that belong to our nature. He has needs 
common to all; need of food, of rest, of human sympathy and 
of divine. assistance. He is subject to Joseph and Mary, He 
is a worshiper in the synagogue and the Temple; He weeps 
over the guilty and hardened city, and at the grave of a loved 
one ; He expresses His dependence on God by prayer. 

Nothing is more certain than that the Gospel narratives 
present the Lord Jesus as a true man, a veritable member of 
our race. But we no sooner recognize this truth than we are 
confronted by another which sets these records alone and 
unapproachable in the field of literature. This second fact 
is this : At every stage of His development, in every relation 
of life, in every part of His service He is absolutely perfect. 
To no part of His life does a mistake attach, over no part of 
it does a cloud rest, nowhere is there defect. Nothing is more 
striking, more unexampled, than the profound contrast be- 
tween Jesus and the conflict and discord around Him, than 
between Him and those who stood nearest Him, the disciples, 
John Baptist, and the mother, Mary. All fall immeasurably 
below Him. 


2. The Gospels exalt our Lord infinitely above all other 
men as the representative, the ideal, the pattern man. Noth- 
ing in the judgment of historians stands out so sharply dis- 
tinct as race, national character nothing is more ineffaceable. 

44 The Fundamentals 

The very greatest men are unable to free themselves from the 
influences amid which they have been born and educated. 
Peculiarities of race and the spirit of the age leave in their 
characters traces that are imperishable. To the last fiber of 
his being Luther was German, Calvin was French, Knox was 
Scotch; Augustine bears the unmistakable impress of the 
Roman, and Chrysostom is as certainly Greek. Paul, with all 
his large heartedness and sympathies is a Jew, always a Jew. 
Jesus Christ is the only One who is justly entitled to be called 
the Catholic Man. Nothing local, transient, individualizing, 
national, or sectarian dwarfs the proportions of His won- 
drous character. "He rises above the parentage, the blood, 
the narrow horizon which bounded, as it seemed, His life; 
for He is the archetypal man in whose presence distinctions 
of race, intervals of ages, types of civilization and degrees of 
mental culture are as nothing" (Liddon). He belongs to all 
ages, He is related to all men, whether they shiver amid the 
snows of the arctic circle, or pant beneath the burning heat of 
the equator ; for He is the Son of Man, the Son of mankind, 
the genuine offspring of the race. 


3. The Lord's moral glory appears in His unselfishness 
and personal dignity. The entire absence of selfishness in any 
form from the character of the Lord Jesus is another remark- 
able feature of the Gospels. He had frequent and fair oppor- 
tunities of gratifying ambition had His nature been tainted 
with that passion. But "even Christ pleased not himself ;". He 
"sought not his own glory ;" He came not "to do his own will." 
His body and His soul with all the faculties and activities of 
each were devoted to the supreme aims of His mission. His 
self-sacrifice included the whole range of His human thought 
and affection and action ; it lasted throughout His life ; its 
highest expression was His ignominious death on the crpss of 

Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 45 

The strange beauty of His unselfishness as it is displayed 
in the Gospel narratives appears in this, that it never seeks to 
draw attention to itself, it deprecates publicity. In His humil- 
ity He seems as one naturally contented with obscurity; as 
wanting the restless desire for eminence which is common to 
really great men; as eager and careful that even His miracles 
should not add to His reputation. But amid all His self- 
sacrificing humility He never loses His personal dignity nor 
the self-respect that becomes Him. He receives ministry from 
the lowly and the lofty; He is sometimes hungry, yet feeds 
the multitudes in desert places; He has no money, yet He 
never begs, and He provides the coin for tribute to the gov- 
ernment from a fish's mouth. He may ask for a cup of water 
at the well, but it is that He may save a soul. He never flies 
from enemies; He quietly withdraws or passes by unseen. 
Hostility neither excites nor exasperates Him. He is always 
calm, serene. He seems to care little for Himself, for His 
own ease or comfort or safety, but everything for the honor 
and the glory of the Father. If multitudes, eager and expect- 
ant, press upon Him, shouting, "Hosanna to the son of Da- 
vid," He is not elated; if all fall away, stunned by His words 
of power, He is not cast down. He sought not a place among 
men, He was calmly content to be the Lord's Servant, the 
obedient and the humble One. It was invariably true of Him 
that "He pleased not Himself." 

And yet through all His amazing self-renunciation, there 
glances ever and anon something of the infinite majesty and 
supreme dignity which belong to Him because He is the Son 
of God. The words of Van Oosterzee are as true as they are 
beautiful and significant: "It is the same King's Son who 
today dwells in the palace of His Father, and tomorrow, out 
of love to His rebellious subjects in a remote corner of the 
Kingdom, renouncing His princely glory, comes to dwell 
amongst them in the form of a servant * * * and is 
known only by the dignity of His look, and the star of royalty 

46 The Fundamentals 

on His breast, when the mean cloak is opened for a moment 
apparently by accident." 


4. The Gospels exhibit the Lord Jesus as superior to th 
judgment and the intercession of men. When challenged b; 
the disciples and by enemies, as He often was, Jesus neve 
apologizes, never excuses Himself, never confesses to a mis 
take. When the disciples, terrified by the storm on the lake 
awoke Him saying, "Master, carest thou not that we perish ?' : 
He did not vindicate His sleep, nor defend His apparent indif 
ference to their fears. Martha and Mary, each in turn, wit! 
profound grief, say, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my broth 
er had not died." There is not a minister of the gospel th 
world over who would not in similar circumstances explain o 
try to explain why he could not at once repair to the house o 
mourning when summoned thither. But Jesus does not excus 
His not being there, nor His delay of two days in the plac 
"where He was when the urgent message of the sisters reachei 
Him. In the consciousness of the perfect rectitude of Hi 
ways, He only replies, "Thy brother shall rise again." Pete 
-once tried to admonish Him, saying, "This be far from thee 
Lord; this shall not be unto thee." But Peter had to lean 
"that it was Satan that prompted the admonition. Nor does H 
recall a word when the Jews rightly inferred from His Ian 
.guage that He "being man made Himself God" (John 10 :30 
36). He pointed out the application of the name Elohin 
(God) to judges under the theocracy; and yet He irresistibl; 
implies that His title to Divinity is higher than, and distinct ii 
kind from, that of the Jewish magistrates. He thus arrives ; 
second time at the assertion which had given so great offense 
"by announcing His identity with the Father, which involve 
His own proper Deity. The Jews understood Him. He di< 
mot retract what they accounted blasphemy, and they agaii 
sought His life. He is never mistaken, and never retracts. 

Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 47 

So likewise He is superior to human intercession. He 
never asks even His disciples nor His nearest friends, and 
certainly never His mother Mary, to pray for Him. In Geth- 
semane He asked the three to watch with Him, He did not 
ask them to pray for Him. He bade them pray that they might 
not enter into temptation, but He did not ask them to pray 
that He should not, nor that He should be delivered out of 
it. Paul wrote again and again, "Brethren, pray for us" 
"pray for me." But such was not the language of Jesus. It 
is worthy of note that the Lord does not place His own people 
on a level with Himself in His prayers. He maintains the 
distance of His own personal dignity and supremacy between 
Himself and them. In His intercession He never uses plural 
personal pronouns in His petitions. He always says, "I" and 
"me," "these" and "them that thou hast given me ;" never "we" 
and "us," as we speak and should speak in our prayers. 


5. The sinlessness of the Saviour witnesses to His moral 
glory. The Gospels present us with one solitary and unique 
fact of human history an absolutely sinless Man ! In His 
birth immaculate, in His childhood, youth and manhood, in 
public and private, in death and in life, He was faultless. Hear 
some witnesses. There is the testimony of His enemies. For 
three long years the Pharisees were watching their victim. As 
another writes, "There was the Pharisee mingling in every 
crowd, hiding behind every tree. They examined His disci- 
ples, they cross-questioned all around Him. They looked into 
His ministerial life, into His domestic privacy, into His hours 
of retirement. They came forward with the sole accusation 
they could muster^ that He had shown disrespect to Caesar. 
The Roman judge who ought to know, pronounced it void." 
There was another spy Judas'. Had there been one failure in 
the Redeemer's career, in his awful agony Judas would have 
remembered it for his comfort; but the bitterness of his de- 

48 The Fundamentals 

spair, that which made his life intolerable, was, "I ha\ie be- 
trayed the innocent blood." 

There is the testimony of His friends. Ills disciples affirm 
that during their intercourse with Him His life was unsullied. 
Had there been a single blemish they would have detected 
it, and, honest historians as they were, they would have re- 
corded it, just as they did their own shortcomings and blun- 
ders. The purest and most austere man that lived in that day, 
John the Baptist, shrank from baptizing the Holy One, and in 
conscious unworthiness he said, "I have need to be baptized of 
thee, and comest thou to me?" Nor is His own testimony 
to be overlooked. Jesus never once confesses sin. He never 
once asks for pardon. Yet is it not He who so sharply re- 
bukes the self -righteousness of the Pharisees? Does He not, 
in His teaching, seem to ignore all human piety that is not 
based upon a broken heart? But yet He never lets fall a 
hint, He never breathes a prayer which implies the slightest 
trace of blameworthiness. He paints the doom of incorrigible 
and unrepentent sinners in the most dreadful colors found in 
the entire Bible, but He Himself feels no apprehension, He 
expresses no dread of the penal future; His peace of mind, 
His fellowship with Almighty God, is never disturbed nor 
interrupted. If He urge sorrow upon others and tears of 
penitence, it is for their sins ; if He groan in agony, it is not for 
sins of His own, it is for others'. He challenges His bitterest 
enemies to convict Him of Sin (John 8:46). Nor is this all. 
"The soul," it has been said, "like the body has its pores," 
and the pores are always open. "Instinctively, unconsciously, 
-and whether a man will or not, the insignificance or the great- 
ness of the inner life always reveals itself." From its very 
center and essence the moral nature is ever throwing out 
about itself circles of influence, encompasses itself with an 
atmosphere of self -disclosure. In Jesus Christ this self -reve- 
lation was not involuntary, nor accidental, nor forced: it was 
in the highest degree deliberate. There is about Him an air of 

Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 49 

superior holiness, of aloofness from the world and its ways, a 
separation from evil in every form and of every grade, such as 
no other that has ever lived has displayed. Although de- 
scended from an impure ancestry, He brought no taint of sin 
into the world with Him; and though He mingled with sinful 
men and was assailed by fierce temptations, He contracted no 
guilt, He was touched by no stain. He was not merely unde- 
nted, but He was undefilable. He was like a ray of light which 
parting from the fountain of light can pass through the foulest 
medium and still be unstained and untouched. He came down 
into all the circumstances of actual humanity in its sin and 
misery, and yet He kept the infinite purity of heaven with 
Him. In the annals of our race there is none next to or like 


6. The exquisite assemblage and correlation of virtues 
and excellencies in the Lord Jesus form another remarkable 
feature of the Gospel narratives. There have been those who 
have displayed distinguished traits of character ; those who by 
reason of extraordinary gifts have risen to heights which are 
inaccessible to the great mass of men. But who among the 
mightiest of men has shown himself to be evenly balanced and 
rightly poised in all his faculties and powers? In the very 
greatest and best, inequality and disproportion are encoun- 
tered. Generally, the failings and vices of men are in the 
inverse ratio of their virtues and their powers. "The tallest 
bodies cast the longest shadows." In Jesus Christ there is no 
unevenness. In Him there is no preponderance of the imagin- 
tibn over the feeling, of the intellect over the imagination, of 
the will over the intellect. There is in Him an uninterrupted 
harmony of all the powers of body and soul, in which that 
serves which should serve, and that rules which ought to 
rule, and all works together to one adorable end. In Him 
every grace is in its perfectness, none in excess, none out 
of place, and none wanting. His justice and His mercy, His 

50 The Fundamentals 

peerless love and His truth, His holiness and His freest par- 
don never clash; one never clouds the. other. His firmness 
never degenerates into obstinacy/ or His calmness into in- 
difference. His gentleness never becomes weakness, nor His 
elevation of soul forgetfulness of others. In His best ser- 
vants virtues and graces are uneven and often clash. Paul 
had hours of weakness and even of petulance. He seems to 
have regretted that he called himself a Pharisee in the Jew- 
ish Sanhedrin and appealed to that party for help, for in his 
address before the proconsul Felix he said, "Or let these same 
here say, if they found any evil doing in me, while I stood 
before the Council, except it be for this one voice, that I cried 
standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead 
I am called in question by you this day." John the Apostle of 
love even wished to call down fire from heaven to consume 
the inhospitable Samaritans. And the Virgin mother must 
learn that even she cannot dictate to Him as to what He shall 
do or not do. In Jesus there is the most perfect balance,, the 
most amazing equipoise of every faculty and grace and duty 
and power. In His whole life one day's walk never contra- 
dicts another, one hour's service never clashes with another. 
While He shows He is master of nature's tremendous forces, 
and the Lord of the unseen world, He turns aside and lays 
His glory by to take little children in His arms and to bless 
them. While He must walk amid the snares His foes have 
privily spread for His feet, He is equal to every occasion, is in 
harmony with the requirements of every moment. "He never 
speaks where it would be better to keep silence, He never 
keeps silence where it would be better to speak; and He al- 
ways leaves the arena of controversy a victor." His unaf- 
fected majesty, so wonderfully depicted in the Gospels, runs 
through His whole life, and is as manifest in the midst of 
poverty and scorn, at Gethsemane and Calvary, .as on the 
Mount of Transfiguration and in the resurrection from the 


Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 51 


7. The evangelists dp not shrink from ascribing to the 
Lord Jesus divine attributes, particularly Omnipotence and 
Omniscience. They do so as a mere matter of fact, as what 
might and should be expected from so exalted a personage as 
the Lord Jesus was. How amazing the power is which He 
wields j when it pleases Him to do so ! It extends to the forces 
of nature. At His word the storm is hushed into a calm, 
and the raging of the sea ceases. At His pleasure He walks 
on the water as on dry land. It extends to the world of evil 
spirits. At His presence demons cry out in fear and quit 
their hold on their victims. His power extends into the 
realm of disease. Every form of sickness departs at His 
command, and He cures the sick both when He is beside them 
and at a distance from them. Death likewise, that inexorable 
tyrant that wealth has never bribed, nor tears softened, nor 
human power arrested, yielded instantly his prey when the 
voice of the Son of God bade him. 

But Jesus equally as certainly and as fully possessed a 
superhuman range of knowledge as well as a superhuman 
power. He knew men; knew them as God knows them. 
Thus He saw into the depths of Nathaniel's heart when he 
was under the fig tree; He saw into the depths of the sea, 
and the exact coin in the mouth of a particular fish; He read 
the whole past life of the woman at the well, although He 
had never before met with her. John tells us that "He needed 
not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was 
in man" (John ii:25). He knew the world of evil spirits. 
He was perfectly acquainted with the movements of Satan 
and of demons. He said to Peter, "Simon, Simon, behold, 
Satan asked to have you that he might sift you as wheat : I 
made supplication for thee that thy faith fail not" (Luke xxii: 
31,32). He often spoke directly to the evil spirits that had 
control of people, ordering them to hold their peace, to come 

52 The Fundamentals 

out and to enter no more into their victims. He knew the 
Father as no mere creature could possibly know Him. "All 
things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man 
knoweth the Son, save the Father ; neither doth any know the 
Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth 
to reveal Him" (Matt. xi:27). 

A difficulty will be felt when we attempt to reconcile this 
infinite knowledge of men, of the unseen world, and of God 
Himself, which the Son of God possessed, with the state- 
ment in Mark that He did not know the day nor the hour of 
His Second Advent. But the difficulty is no greater than 
that other in John, where we are told that His face was wet 
with human tears while the almighty voice was crying, "Laz- 
arus, come forth." In both cases the divine and the human 
are seen intermingling, and yet they are perfectly distinct. 

Such are some of the beams of Christ's moral glories as 
they shine everywhere on the pages of the Four Gospels. A 
very few of them are here gathered together. Nevertheless, 
what a stupendous picture do they form! In the annals of 
our race there is nothing like it. Here is One presented to 
us who is a true and genuine man, and yet He is the ideal, 
the representative, the pattern man, claiming kindred in the 
catholicity of His manhood with all men; sinless, yet full 
of tenderness and pity; higher than the highest, yet stooping 
to the lowest and to the most needy ; perfect in all His words 
and ways, in His life and in His death ! 

Who taught the evangelists to draw this matchless por- 
trait? The pen which traced these glories of Jesus could it 
have been other than an inspired pen? This question leads 
us to the second part of our task, which can soon be disposed 


Nothing is more obvious than the very commonplace 
axiom, that every effect requires an adequate cause. Given a 

Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 53 

piece of machinery, complex, delicate, exact in all its move- 
ments, we know that it must be the product of a competent 
mechanic. Given a work of consummate art, we know it 
must be the product of a consummate artist. None but a 
sculptor with the genius' of an Angelo could carve the "Moses." 
None but a painter with the hand, the eye, and the brain of a 
Raphael could paint the "Transfiguration." None but a poet 
with the gifts of a Milton could write "Paradise Lost." 

Here are four brief records of our Lord's earthly life. 
They deal almost exclusively with His public ministry; they 
do not profess even to relate all that He did in His official 
work (cf. John xxi:25). The authors of these memorials 
were men whose names are as household words the world 
over; but beyond their names we know little more. The first 
was tax collector under the Roman government; the sec- 
ond was, it is generally believed, that John Mark who for 
a time served as an attendant on Paul and Barnabas, and who 
afterward became the companion and fellow-laborer of Peter ; 
the third was a physician and the devoted friend and co- 
worker of Paul; and the fourth was a fisherman. Two of 
them, Matthew and John, were disciples of Jesus; whether 
the others, Mark and Luke, ever saw Him during His earthly 
sojourn cannot be determined. 

These four men, unpracticed in the art of writing, unac- 
quainted with the ideals of antiquity, write the memorials of 
Jesus' life. Three of them traverse substantially the same 
ground, record the same incidents, discourses and miracles. 
While they are penetrated with the profoundest admiration 
for their Master, they never once dilate on His great qualities. 
All that they do is to record His actions and His discourses 
with scarcely a remark, One of them indeed, John, inter- 
mingles reflective commentary with the narrative; but in 
doing this John carefully abstains from eulogy and panegyric. 
He pauses in His narrative only to explain some reference, to 
open some deep saying of the Lord, or to press some vital 

54 The Fundamentals 

truth. Yet, despite this absence of the smallest attempt to 
delineate a character, these four men have accomplished what 
no others have done or can do they have presented the world 
with the portrait of a Divine Man, a Glorious Saviour. Mat- 
thew describes Him as the promised Messiah, the glory of 
Israel, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham; the One in 
whom the covenants and the promises find their ample ful- 
filment; the One who accomplishes all righteousness. Mark 
exhibits Him as the mighty Servant of Jehovah who does 
man's neglected duty, and meets the need of all around. Luke 
depicts Him as the Friend of man, whose love is so intense 
and comprehensive, whose pity is so divine, that His saving 
power goes forth to Jew and Gentile, to the lowliest and the 
loftiest, to the publican, the Samaritan, the ragged prodigal, 
the harlot, the thief, as well as to the cultivated, the moral, 
the great. John presents Him as the Son of God, the Word 
made flesh ; as Light for a dark world, as Bread for a starving 
world, as Life for a dead world. Matthew writes for the Jew, 
Mark for the Roman, Luke for the Greek, and John, for the 
Christian ; and all of them write for every kindred, and tribe, 
and tongue and people of the entire globe, and for all time! 
What the philosopher, the poet, the scholar, the artist could 
not do; what men of the greatest mind, the most stupendous 
genius have failed to do, these four unpracticed men have 
done they have presented to the world the Son of Man and 
the Son of God in all His perfections and glories. 


How comes it to pass that these unlearned and ignorant 
.men (Acts iv:13) have so thoroughly accomplished so great 
a task? Let us hold fast our commonplace axiom, every 
effect must have an adequate cause. What explanation shall 
we give of this marvellous effect? Shall we ascribe their 
work to genius ? But multitudes of men both before and since 
their day have possessed genius of the very highest order; 

Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 55 

and these gifted men have labored in fields akin to this of 
our four evangelists. The mightiest minds of the race men 
of Chaldea, of Egypt, of India, of China, and of Greece have 
tried to draw a perfect character, have expended all their 
might to paint a god-like man. And with what result ? Either 
he is invested with the passions and the brutalities of fallen 
men, or he is a pitiless and impassive spectator of the world's 
sorrows and woes. In either case, the character is one which 
may command the fear but not the love and confidence of 

Again, we ask, How did the evangelists solve this mighty 
problem of humanity with such perfect originality and pre- 
cision? Only two answers are rationally possible: 1. They 
had before them the personal and historical Christ. Men 
could no more invent the God-man of the Gospels than they 
could create a world. The almost irreverent words of Theo- 
dore Parker are grounded in absolute truth: "It would have 
taken a Jesus to forge a Jesus." 2. They wrote by inspiration 
of the Spirit of God. It cannot be otherwise. It is not enough 
to say that the Divine Model was before them : they must have 
had something more, else they never could have succeeded. 

Let it be assumed that these four men, Matthew, Mark, 
Luke and John, were personally attendant on the ministry of 
Jesus that they saw Him, heard Him, companied with Him 
for three years. Yet on their own showing they did not un- 
derstand Him. They testify that the disciples, the Apostles 
among the number, got but the slenderest conceptions of His 
person and His mission from His very explicit teachings. 
They tell us of a wonderful incapacity and weakness in all 
their apprehensions of Him. The Sun of righteousness was 
shining on them and around them, and they could see only 
the less ! He told them repeatedly of His approaching death, 
and of His resurrection, but they did not understand Him; 
they even questioned among themselves what the rising from 
the dead should mean (Mark ix:10) poor men! And yet 

56 The Fundamentals 

these men, once so blind and ignorant, write four little pieces 
about the person and the work of the Lord Jesus which the 
study and the research of Christendom for eighteen hundred 
years have not exhausted, and which the keenest and most 
hostile criticism has utterly failed to discredit. 

But this is not all. Others have tried their hand at com- 
posing the Life and Deeds of Jesus. Compare some of these 
with our Four Gospels. 


The Gospel narrative observes an almost unbroken silence 
as to the long abode of Jesus at Nazareth. Of the void thus 
left, the church became early impatient. During the first four 
centuries many attempts were made to fill it up. Some of 
these apocryphal gospels are still extant, notably that which 
deals with the infancy and youth of the Redeemer; and it is 
instructive to notice how those succeeded who tried to lift 
the veil which covers the earlier years of Christ. Let another 
state the contrast between the New Testament records and the 
spurious gospels: "The case stands thus: our Gospels present 
us with a glorious picture of a mighty Saviour, the mythic gos- 
pels with that of a contemptible one. In our Gospels He exhib- 
its a superhuman wisdom ; in the mythic ones a nearly equal su- 
perhuman absurdity. In our Gospels He is arrayed in all the 
beauty of holiness; in the mythic ones this aspect of char-' 
acter is entirely wanting. In our Gospels not one stain of sin- 
fulness defiles His character ; in the mythic ones the Boy Jesus 
is both pettish and malicious. Our Gospels exhibit to us a 
sublime morality; not one ray of it shines in those of the 
mythologists. The miracles of the one and of the other stand 
contrasted on every point." (Row.) 

These spurious, gospels were written by men who lived 
not long after the apostolic age; by Christians who wished 
to honor the Saviour in all they said about Him ; by men who 
had the portraiture of Him before them which the Gospels 

Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 57 

supply. And yet these men, many of them better taught than 
the Apostles, with the advantage of two or three centuries of 
Christian thought and study, could not produce a fancy sketch 
of the Child Jesus without violating our sense of propriety, 
and shocking our moral sense. The distance between the Gos- 
pels of the New Testament and the pseudo-gospels is meas- 
ured by the distance between the product of the Spirit of God, 
and that of the fallen human mind. 


Let us take another illustration. The nineteenth century 
has been very fruitful in the production of what are commonly 
called "Lives of Christ." Contrast with the Gospels four 
such "Lives," perhaps the completest and the best, taken alto- 
gether, of those written by English-speaking people An- 
drews', Geikie's, Hanna's and Edersheim's. The authors of 
our Gospels had no models on which to frame their work. 
The path they trod had never before been pressed by human 
feet. The authors of the "Lives" have not only these incom- 
parable narratives as their pattern and the chief source of 
all their material, but numberless other such "Lives" sug- 
gestive as to form and construction, and the culture and the 
research of eighteen centuries lying behind them. But would 
any one venture for a moment to set forth these "Lives" as 
rivals of our Gospels? Much information and helpfulness are 
to be derived from the labors of these Christian scholars, and 
others who have toiled in the same field; but how far they all 
fall below the New Testament record it is needless to show. 
Indeed, all such writings are largely antiquated and scarcely 
read, though they are quite young in years, so soon does man's 
work decay and die. 

Let the contrast be noted as to size or bulk. Andrews' 
book contains 615 pages; Geikie's over 1,200; Hanna's over 
2,100; Edersheim's, 1,500 pages. The four combined have no 
less than 5,490 pages, enough in these busy days to require 

58 The Fundamentals 

months of reading to go but once through their contents. 
Bagster prints the Four Gospels in 82 pages; the Oxford, in 
104; Amer. Rev., 120. In the Bagster, Matthew has but 23 ; 
Mark, 13; Luke, 25; and John, 21. Less than one hundred 
pages of the Four Gospels against more than five thousand 
four hundred of the four "Lives." 

Countless volumes, great and small, in the form of com- 
mentary, exposition, notes, harmony and history are written 
on these brief records. How happens it that such stores of 
wisdom and knowledge lie garnered in these short pieces ? 
Who taught the evangelists this superhuman power of ex- 
pansion and contraction, of combination and separation, of 
revelation in the words and more revelation below the words? 
Who taught them so to describe the person and work of the 
Lord Jesus .as that the description satisfies the most illiterate 
and the most learned, is adapted to minds of the most limited 
capacity, and to those of the widest grasp? Whence did they 
derive the infinite skill they display in grouping together 
events, discourses, and actions in such fashion that vividly 
before us is the deathless beauty of a perfect Life? There is 
but one answer to these questions, there can be no other; The 
Spirit of the living God filled their minds with His unerring 
wisdom and controlled their human speech. To that creative 
"Spirit who has peopled the world with living organisms so 
minute that only the microscope can reveal their presence, 
it is not hard to give us in so brief a compass the sublime 
portrait of the Son of Man. To men it is impossible. 


Now if it be conceded that the Four Gospels are inspired, 
we are compelled by every rule of right reason to concede 
the inspiration of the rest of the New Testament. For all the 
later communications contained in the Acts, the Epistles, arid 
the Revelation, are already in germ form in the Gospels, just 
as the Pentateuch holds in germ the rest of the Old Testament. 

Moral Glory of Jesus Christ 59 

If the Holy Spirit is the author of the Four Gospels He is none 
the less the author of the entire New Testament. If He 
creates the germ, it is He also that must unfold it into mature 
fruit. If He makes the seed He must likewise give the in- 
crease. To this fundamental truth the writers of the later 
communications bear the most explicit testimony. Paul, John, 
James, Peter and Jude severally intimate that what they have 
to impart is from Christ by His Spirit 

Furthermore, if we admit the inspiration of the New 
Testament we must also admit that of the Old. For, if any 
one thing has been established by the devout and profound 
study and research of evangelical scholarship it is this, that 
the Scriptures of the Old Testament hold in germ the revela- 
tion contained in the New. The Latin Father spoke as pro- 
foundly as truly when he said, "The New Testament lies hid 
in the Old, and the Old stands revealed in the New." An- 
cient Judaism had one supreme voice for the chosen people, 
and its voice was prophetic. Its voice was the significant word, 
Wait. As if it kept reminding Israel that the Mosaic Institu- 
tions were only temporary and typical, that something infi- 
nitely better and holier was to take their place; and so it said, 
Wait. Wait, and the true Priest will come, the Priest greater 
than Aaron, greater than Melchizedek the Priest of whom 
these were but thin shadows, dim pictures. Wait, and the true 
Prophet, like unto Moses, greater than Moses, will appear. 
Wait, and the real sacrifice, that of which all other offerings 
were but feeble images, will be made and sin be put away. If 
any man deny the inspiration 'of the Old Testament, sooner or 
later he will deny that of the New. For the two are insepara- 
bly bound up together. If the one fall, so will the other. 
Already the disastrous consequences of such a course of pro- 
cedure are apparent in Christendom. For years the conflict 
has raged about the trustworthiness, the integrity and the 
authority of the Old Testament. Not long since one who is 
identified with the attacking party arrayed against that Scrip- 

60 The Fundamentals 

ture announced that the victory is won, and nothing now re- 
mains save to determine the amount of the indemnity. It is 
very noteworthy that the struggle has indeed measurably sub- 
sided as to the Old Testament, although there are no signs 
of weakening faith in it on the part of God's faithful chil- 
dren, and the fight now turns with increasing vigor on the 
New Testament, and pre-eminently about the Person of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. Men who are Christians at least in name, 
who occupy influential seats in great Universities and even 
Theological Schools, do not shrink from impeaching the New 
Testament record touching the Virgin Birth of the Lord 
Jesus, His resurrection from the dead, and His promise of one 
day returning to this earth in majesty and power. One can- 
not renounce the Scriptures of the Old Testament without 
relaxing his hold, sooner or later, on the New. 

Christ is the center of all Scripture, as He is the center of 
all God's purposes and counsels. The four evangelists take up 
the life and the moral glory of the Son of Man, and they place 
it alongside of the picture of the Messiah as sketched by the 
prophets, the historical by the side of the prophetic, and they 
show how exactly the two match. So long as the Four Gos- 
pels remain unmutilated and trusted by the people of God, 
so long is the doctrine of the Bible's supreme authority as- 

God spoke to the fathers in the prophets : He now speaks 
to us in His Son whom He hath made Heir of all things. In 
either case, whether by the prophets or by the Son, the Speaker 
is God. 




''They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour 
cometh, that whosoever killeth you shall think that he offereth 
service unto God. And these things will they do, because 
they have not known the Father nor me." (John 16:2, j.) 

These words suggest to us that it is not enough for a man 
just to believe in God. Everything depends on what kind of 
a god it is in whom he believes. It is a rather striking and sur- 
prising comparison at first that our Lord institutes here be- 
tween a mere belief in God and the possibly horrible moral 
consequences, on the one hand, and a knowledge of God in 
Christ and its sure moral effects, on the other. And the les- 
son would seem to be the inadequacy of any religious faith 
that does not recognize the revelation of the Father in Jesus 
Christ and that does not know Jesus Christ as God. It is a 
little hard for us to take such a great thought as this into our 
lives, and yet our Lord puts it in unmistakable clearness : on 
the one hand, the moral inadequacy of a mere belief in God; 
on the other hand, the moral and spiritual adequacy of a 
recognition of God as Father exposed in Christ as God. 


In the former of these two verses our Lord makes the 
first of these two points unmistakably clear. He saw no ade- 
quate guarantee of moral rectitude and justice in a naere theis- 
tic faith. He suffered in His own death the possibly bitter 
fruits of a mere theistic faith. The men wh put Him to 
death were ardent believers in God, and they thought they 


62 The Fundamentals 

were doing a fine thing for God when they crucified the Son 
of God. And He told His disciples that the day would come 
when conscientious men would take out service of God in 
executing them, and that those who would put them to death 
would not be bad men, but men who thought that by killing 
them they were doing God's will. 

We see exactly the same great error in our own day. It 
is no sufficient protection to a man to believe in one God. 
There are no more rigid monotheists in the world than Mo- 
hammedans, and there are some who tell us that in India 
the moral conditions of the Mohammedans are even worse 
than the moral conditions of the polytheistic Hindus around 
about them. It is not so much a matter of how many gods 
you believe in. I would rather believe in three good gods than 
in one bad one. One religion is superior to another religion, 
not because it has less or more gods than that other religion, 
but because the character of its gods is superior to the char- 
acter of the gods of that other religion. Our Lord under- 
stood completely that a mere faith in God was not going to 
make a good man, that a man might believe in God and be a 
murderer, or an adulterer, he might believe in God and put the 
very apostles of Jesus Christ to death and think that thus he 
was doing God a great service. 


It seems to me that it is worth while to stop here for a 
moment incidentally to note how easy a thing it is for a man 
to be guilty of conscientious error and crime. It is no defense 
of a man's conduct to say that he is conscientiously satis- 
fied with what he did. I suppose that most bad things have 
been done in all good conscience, and that most of the sins 
that we commit today we commit with a perfectly clean con- 
science. There is such a thing. as a moral color-blindness that 
is just as real as a physical color-blindness. I was visiting a 
little while ago one of our well-known girls' schools, and had 

Revelation of the Fatherhood of God 63 

a discussion with one of the teachers, who said that she 
thought it did not make so much difference what a pupil 
believed or did, provided only she was conscientious in her 
belief and conduct. I told her that it must be quite easy 
to go to school to her if it did not matter whether you answered 
right or not, if .only you were conscientiously honest in what 
you said. She might get two absolutely contrary answers to 
a question and mark each one of them perfect. The whole 
foundations of the moral universe fall out from beneath the 
man or the woman who will take that view of it, that there is 
not really any objective standard of right or wrong at all, that 
everything hinges on just how a person feels about it, and if 
they only feel comfortable over the thing it is all right. These 
men who were going to put the disciples of Jesus Christ to 
death had no qualms of conscience about it. They would 
think in doing it that they were doing God a service. The idea 
that our Lord means to bring out is this, that the standards of 
a man are dependent upon his conception of God, and He saw 
no guarantee of moral rectitude and justice in a man's life: 
except as that man grasped the revelation of God as Father- 
that had been made in Jesus Christ, and himself knew Jesus; 
Christ as God. 


There is no room here to trace this great thought through; 
all the teaching of our Lord, but it would be a good and helpful, 
thing if many of us would take the four Gospels and sit down, 
with two sheets of paper, and write down on one sheet every- 
thing that Jesus had to say about the Father, and on the other 
every mention in Christ's teaching of the name of God. Late- 
ly, I read through the last discourses of Jesus in John with; 
this in mind. Only f6ur times does Jesus so much as men- 
tion the name of God, while He speaks of the Father at least 
forty times. Evidently our Lord conceived that His great: 
message to men was a message of God as Father revealed in 

64 The Fundamentals 

His own life, and He conceived this to be a great practical 
moral truth, that was to save men from those errors of judg- 
ment, of act and of character about which a man has no sure 
guarantee under a mere monotheistic faith. 


1. I think we might just as well now go right to the heart 
of the thing by considering, first of all, THE RELATIONSHIP OF 


We begin our Christian creed with the declaration, "I believe in 
God the Father Almighty." I believe that no man can say 
those words sincerely and honestly, with an intellectual under- 
standing of what he is saying, who is not saying them with 
his feet solidly resting on the evangelical conviction; for we 
know practically nothing about God a.? Father except what 
we learn from the revelation of God as Father in Jesus Christ. 
Men say sometimes that the idea of God as Father was in the 
Old Testament, and there is a sense doubtless in which we 
can find it there: a patriotic sense for one thing, a poetic sense 
for another thing. The Hebrews thought of God as the 
Father, the national Father of Israel. 

Now and then there is some splendid burst in the prophets 
that contains that idea, as when Jeremiah, crying out for God, 
says, "I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first- 
born." Or when Israel is itself crying out through Isaiah, 
"Jehovah is our Father. He is the potter and we are the 
clay." But in each sense it is a sort of nationalistic concep- 
tion of God as the Father of the whole people Israel. And 
even when the note comes out poetically, it is patriotic still. 
Turn some time to the 103rd Psalm, where there is the best 
expression of it, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the 
Lord pitieth them that fear him," and even there it is the 
national cry. Or turn to the 89th Psalm, and there, too, it is 
national and patriotic: "And he shall cry unto me, Jehovah, 

Revelation of the Fatherhood of God 65 

thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation." 
And if in all the great body of the religious poetry of Israel 
there are only two or three distinct notes of the fatherhood of 
God, we cannot believe that that idea filled any very large 
place in the heart of Israel. And in the very last of all the 
Old Testament prophecies, the complaint of God is just this, 
that the Israelites would not conceive of Him as their Father, 
and that even the political conception of God as the Father of 
the nation was no reality in the experience of the people. 


The revelation of God as the Father of men was a prac- 
tically new conception exposed in the teaching and in the life 
of our Lord Jesus Christ not in His teaching alone. We 
should never have known God as Father by the message of 
Jesus Christ only ; we should never have been able to conceive 
what Christ's idea of God was if we had not seen that idea 
worked out in the very person of Jesus Christ Himself. It 
was not alone that He told us what God was. He said that 
when He walked before men, He was Himself one with* the 
Father on Whom the eyes of men might gaze: "I am the 
way, and the truth, and the life : no one cometh unto the 
Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye would have known 
my Father also; from henceforth ye have known Him and 
have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord show us the 
Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been 
so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? 
He that hath seen me hath seen the Father ; how sayest thou, 
Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the 
Father, and the Father in me? The words that I say unto 
you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me 
doeth His works." 


We cannot separate the Christological elements of the 
Gospel from the Gospel. The effort is made by throwing the 

66 The Fundamentals 

Gospel of John out of court, and then we are told that with 
the Gospel of John gone the real work of Christ was just in 
His message, making known the Father to men, and that the 
Christological character that we impose upon the Gospel was 
something foisted upon it later, and not something lying in 
the mind and thought of Jesus Christ Himself. But I do not 
see how men can take that view of it until they cut out also the 
llth chapter of Matthew. Christ sets forth there the essen- 
tially Christological character of His gospel just as unmis- 
takably as it is set forth anywhere in the Gospel of John : "No 
man knoweth the Son save the Father ; and no man knoweth 
the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth 
to reveal him." What I mean is just this, that the only 
defense of the Unitarian position is a ripping of the Gospel 
apart so that you cannot recognize it as the Gospel any more. 
You cannot tear Christ's revelation of the fatherhood of God 
away from the person of Christ. He did not expose the 
fatherhood of God by what He said; He exposed the father- 
hood of God by what He was ; and it is a species of intellectual 
misconception to take certain words of His and say those 
words entitle us to believe in God as our Father, while we 
reject Jesus Christ as His Divine Son, and think that it is pos- 
sible to hold to the first article of our Christian creed without 
going on to the second article of it, "And I believe in Jesus 
Christ, His only Son, our Lord." 


If you and I subtract from our conception of God what 
we owe to the person of Jesus Christ, we have practically 
nothing left. The disciples knew that they would have little 
left. When it was proposed that they should separate them- 
selves from Christ and the revelation that He was making, 
these men stood absolutely dumbfounded. "Why, Lord/' they 
said, "what is to become of us ? We have no place to go. Thou 
hast the words of eternal life. There is nothing for us in 

Revelation of the Fatherhood of God 67 

Judaism any more." Monotheism was in Judaism; the reve- 
lation of God was in Judaism; but that was nothing to the 
disciples now that they had seen that glorious vision of His 
Father made known to men in Jesus Christ His Son. It would 
seem to follow that our attitude towards Jesus Christ is deter- 
minative of our life in the Father, and that the imagination 
that we have a life in the Father that rests on a rejection of 
the claims of Jesus Christ is an imagination with no founda- 
tions under it at all. Take those great words of our Lord: 
"He that loveth me not keepeth not my words ; and the word 
which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me. If a 
man love me, he will keep my word : and my Father will love 
him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with 
him." All through these last discourses of Jesus you come 
upon the two terms, "word" and "words." In the Greek they 
are not just the singular and the plural of the same word. The 
word that is translated "word" here is the same word that in 
the beginning of this Gospel is translated "word," logos, which 
does not mean the utterances of Jesus, which does not mean 
the things that Jesus said, which does not mean the ideals of 
life that Jesus erected. We are not complying with that con- 
dition when we try to be kind and unselfish and to obey the 
Golden Rule. What Jesus is setting forth there as the condi- 
tion of a right attitude toward God is a man's acceptance of 
the inner secret of His own life, a man's deliberate committing 
of himself to the great principles that underlie the character 
and the person of Jesus, a sympathetic union with Himself. 
And He summed it all up in those words to Philip, "He that 
hath seen me hath seen the Father." It is in this sense, I say, 
that you and I cannot honestly declare that we "believe in God 
the Father" unless we go right on to say, "And in Jesus Christ, 
His only Son, our Lord," for we know practically nothing 
about God as Father except what was revealed of God as 
Father in Him Who said, "I and the Father are one." Do we 
believe in the fatherhood of God in that sense ? 

68 The Fundamentals 


2. Perhaps we can answer that question better by going on 
to ask, in the second place, whether we are REALIZING IN OUR 


one thing, think how it interprets the mystery and the testing 
of life. Now life is simply an enigma on the merely theistic 
hypothesis. We get absolutely no comfort, no light, no illumi- 
nation upon what we know to be the great problem of life from 
a simple belief in God. It only becomes intelligible to us as we 
understand God to be our Father in the sense in which Jesus 
Christ revealed Him. Dr. Babcock used to put it in the simple 
phrase: "You have got to take one of two interpretations of it. 
You have got to read your life in the terms of fate, or you 
have got to read it in the terms of fatherhood." Once I 
accept the revelation of God made in Jesus Christ, my life is 
still a hard problem to me. There are many things in it that 
are terribly confused and difficult still; but I begin to get a 
little light on its deep and impenetrable mysteries. It was just 
in this point of view that the writer of the great epistle to 
the Hebrews thought he had some clue to the mystery of his 
own life, to the chastening of it, to the hard and burning dis- 
cipline through which he sees we are all passing. It was only 
when he conceived of himself as being a son of the great Pot- 
ter Who was shaping the clay Himself that the mystery began 
to clear a little from his pathway. And it was just so, you 
remember, that Christ got light on the, mystery of His life: 
"Father, not my will, but thine be done." Only as He remem- 
bered and rested deeply upon the character of God as His 
Father did those great experiences through which He was 
passing have full intelligibility to Him. After all, it was no 
fancy that connected the two great ideas of Isaiah, the 
living idea of the fatherhood o'f God and the meta- 
phorical idea of God as the Potter shaping his clay. It is only 

Revelation of the Fatherhood of God 69 

so that we understand both aspects of our human life. We 
turn to Rabbi Ben Ezra and see the mystery wrought out 
there : 

"He fixed thee mid this dance 

Of plastic circumstance, 
This Present, them, forsooth, wouldst fain arrest: 

Machinery just meant 

To give thy soul its bent. 

Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed." 
When the wheel moves fast, and the hand of the Potter 
seems cruel upon the clay, and the friction is full of terrible 
heat, we begin to understand something of it all in realizing 
that the Potter's hand is the hand of a Father shaping in 
fatherly discipline the life of His son. "If ye endure chast- 
ening, God dealeth with you as sons." 


Or think, in the second place, how this conception of God 
inspires and rectifies the ideals of our lives. It was this that 
suggested the idea to Jesus here. He saw that there was 
absolutely no guarantee of right standards of life in a mere 
theistic faith, and there are none. We cannot morally trust 
Unitarianism if we take it away from living contact with the 
evangelical tradition. There is too much loose, subjective 
caprice in it ; there is not enough firm and unassailable anchor- 
age in the objective realities of a revelation of the character 
of God made known to us in His divine Son. We have no 
guarantee whatever of just and perfect moral ideals that we 
do not get from the exposure of the father-character of God 
'in the person of Jesus Christ and from personal union with 
God in Him. 

As a simple matter of fact the best ideals of our life we 
all owe to just that revelation. The ideal of purity the Jews 
never had it. They had an ideal of ritual cleanliness, but 
they had no Christian ideal of moral purity. You cannot find 

70 The Fundamentals 

the ideal of purity anywhere in the world where the conception 
of the father-revelation of God in Christ has not gone. Ex- 
plain it as you will, it is a simple fact of comparative religion. 
Can any man find the full ideal of moral purity anywhere in 
this world where it has not been created by the revelation of 
the father-character of God in Christ ? We owe it to that, and 
we can not be sure of its perpetuation save where the convic- 
tion of that great revelation abides in the faith of man. 

Or take our ideal of work. Where did Christ get His ideal 
of work? "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." On 
what ground did He rest His claim upon men to work? 
"Son, go work today in my vineyard." Our whole ideal of a 
workingman's life, of a man's using his life to the fullness of 
its power in an unselfish service is an ideal born of the revela- 
tion of the father-character of God in Christ. And forgive- 
ness is an ideal of the same kind. We owe all the highest and 
noblest ideals of our life to that revelation. And it seems to 
us something less than fair for a man to take those ideals and 
then deny their origin, trampling under foot the claims of Him 
from Whom those ideals came into our lives. 


And think how rational and sweet this conception of God 
makes obedience. There is something rational but hardly 
sweet in the thought of obedience to Him under the simple 
theistic conception. All the joy of obedience comes when I 
think of myself as my Father's son and sent to do my Father's 
will. Our Lord thought of His life just so. "Simon," He 
said that last night that Simon tried to defend Him by force 
"put up thy sword into its sheath. The cup which my Father 
hath given me, shall I not drink it?" We get our ideals of 
obedience and the joy and the delight of obedience from the 
thought that after all we are simply to obey our Father. In 
the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John, we get a little vision 
of what Christ conceives to be the sweetness and the tender- 

Revelation of the Fatherhood of God 71 

ness and the beauty that can come into life from a real accept- 
ance of this revealing of His. "In that day," He says, "ye 
shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 
He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is 
that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my 
Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself unto 
him. If a man love me, he will keep my word ; and my 
Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make 
our abode with him." 

I remember an interview I had some years ago at Ashe- 
ville. As we sat under the trees, the man with whom I was 
talking told me he had had a home; he was sure it was the 
sweetest home that could be found in all the Southern States ; 
and he did not have it any more. The eye that had marked 
his coming and brightened when he came watched for him no 
more, and little arms that had been thrown around his neck, 
and that made his home-coming in the evening a very taste of 
heaven to him, were no longer there to greet him, nor any 
little voice to. call to him as he came. And he told me that 
when first that great eclipse fell upon his life it seemed to him 
that the whole thing was done and that a man was not war- 
ranted in trying to live any more. But he found here in this 
14th chapter of John these great assurances of which I have 
just been speaking, that there was another eye that could take 
the place of that eye that had waited in the years that had 
passed, other arms that could take the place of those little 
arms that were now busy with the other children round 
about the throne of God in heaven. There had come back into 
life the tenderness and mark you, that too is a thought that 
came when Jesus Christ revealed the Father in Himself 
there had come back into his life the tenderness and the joy 
and the gentleness that he had known before, simply because 
now he had come a little more fully to realize what it was 
that Jesus Christ by His life and teachings had exposed for 
the life of man. 

72 The Fundamentals 


And what new courage and hope it brings into a man's life. 
You say to me, "Man, you have got to be like God," and I 
reply, "Take your preposterous blasphemy away. To be like 
God?" . But you say to me, "He is your own Father, and 
you are His son. We are not asking you to become like that 
to which you are essentially unlike ; we are simply asking you 
to become like your Father. It is His own nature in you that 
He will develop until restored to its full relationship to Him 
from Whom it came." You talk to us that way about our 
duty as men in the world, and it makes all the difference 
between death and life to us. If God the Father .did not 
come near to men in Jesus Christ, I do not know what I am 
going to do; I do not know where to find the help that I 
know I need. Nowhere else in the world has any voice arisen 
to offer it to men. But if God came near men in Jesus Christ 
and thereby guaranteed our own kinship to Him, I may be- 
lieve that I can become like Him Whose son I am. It is on 
just this ground that St. Paul makes his appeal: "Be ye 
therefore imitators of God as dear children" 


3. And, last of all, think on THE LIGHT THAT THIS CON- 

pect that prayer has been just a sham to many of us, or a 
thing that we have done because other people told us it was 
the thing to do. We never got anything out of it; it never 
meant anything to us. We might just as well have talked to 
stone walls as to pray the way we have prayed. We went out 
and said, "God," and we might just as well have said, "hills," 
or "mountains," or "trees," or anything else. Why have we 
not gone into the school of Christ and learned there, alike 
from His practice and His doctrine, what real prayer is and 
how a man can do it. You cannot find a single prayer of 
Christ addressed to God, not one; nor can you find a single 

Revelation of the Fatherhood of God 73 

prayer of Christ's in which He so much as mentions God. 
The third verse of the 17th chapter of John, which says, 
"And this is eternal life, that they might believe in thee, the 
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent," may 
be an exception, but you will find that Westcott, and others 
of the best New Testament commentators, regard that phrase 
as a parenthesis of John the Evangelist, and not part of our 
Lord's great prayer. 

I hope I am not misunderstood. I am meaning only that 
Christ's conception of God and His practice of prayer did not 
rest merely on the theistic interpretation of the universe and 
the nature of its Creator in His majesty and almightiness. 
They rested on the father conception which He revealed in 
Himself. Just run over in your thought His prayers: the 
prayer that He taught us to pray, "Our Father, who art in 
heaven ;" the prayer He offered Himself when the disciples of 
John the Baptist came to Him: "I thank thee, Father, lord 
of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from 
the wise and the understanding, and hast revealed them unto 
babes. Even so. Father, for it seemeth good in thy sight;" 
the prayer that He offered in the temple, when Philip and 
Andrew came to Him with the message about the Greeks 
who were seeking to see Him: "Now is my soul troubled, 
and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But 
for this cause came I unto this hour;" the prayer that He 
offered before the grave of Lazarus, "Father, I thank thv: 
that thou nearest me, and I know that thou nearest me al- 
ways;" the prayer that He put up in Gethsemane, "My 
Father, if this cup cannot pass from me except I drink it, thy 
will be done ;" and the last prayer of all, when, as a tired little 
child, He lay down in His Father's arms and fell asleep: 
"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." He never 
pushed God off into His almightiness ; not once in all His life 
of supplication can you find Him dealing with God in this 
way. He never smote the heart with the chill of the divine 

74 The Fundamentals 

attributes. You may be recalling, perhaps, that one cry of 
His from the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou for- 
saken me ?" a quotation from one of the Psalms and a shout 
of victory. I think that could be demonstrated to be a shout 
of victory and not a cry of isolation; but that alone would be 
your exception. All the other times it was, "Father," "my 
Father," "holy Father," "righteous , Father" sometimes, we 
may believe, in the quiet intimacy of His secret conscious- 
ness, "my dear Father." What a reality this conception of 
prayer gives to it. We are not praying to any cold theistic 
God alone; we are praying to our Father made real to us, 
warm with the warmth of a great tenderness for us, living 
with a great consciousness of all our human suffering and 
struggle and conflict and need. 

It makes prayer, for one thing, a rational thing. I can go 
to my Father and ask Him for the things that I need. There 
is an exquisite passage in Andrew Bonar's journals in which 
he speaks of sitting one day in his study and looking out 
of his window and seeing two of his children pass through 
the fields. He said as he saw those little children making their 
way across the fields, the love in his heart overcame him, and 
he pushed his books away from him on the table, and went 
to the door and called out across the field to them, and they 
came running eagerly in response to their father's loving call. 
And when they had come, and he had caressed them, he said 
he gave each one of them something simply because the 
ecstasy of his fatherly love made it impossible that he should 
not do something then for those two. children who were so 
dear to his heart. Do you suppose that God is an inferior 
sort of a father ? Do you suppose that there are impulses in 
us toward our children, or in our fathers toward us, that are 
not simply just the dim and the faded suggestion of nobler 
and diviner impulses of the father heart of God? -Prayer in 
the sense of supplication for real things becomes a rational 
reality to men who believe in God in Jesus Christ. 

Revelation of the Fatherhood of God 75 


And how sweet it makes prayer in the sense of living fel- 
lowship. Do you suppose that we are nobler characters than 
that great Father after Whom these human fatherhoods of 
ours are named? Do you suppose that if it is sweet to us to 
have our little children come creeping to us in the dark, it is 
not sweet to our heavenly Father here, everywhere, to have 
men, His sons, come stealing to His side and His love ? This 
is no excessive way of putting it. Is it not guaranteed to us 
by those words which our Lord spoke that Easter morning 
as He stood there by His open grave, and the woman who 
adored Him was about to clasp His feet, "Mary, go and tell 
my disciples that I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, 
my God and your God." Yes, that is the right way to put it 
today. No God for us, nowhere through the whole universe a 
real and satisfying God for us, except the God Who is dis- 
covered to us in Jesus Christ, and Who is calling to us today 
by the lips of Christ, "My son, O my son," and Who would 
have us call back to Him, if we be true men, "My Father, 
my Father." 




Human experience is the one datum of all philosophy, and 
all science. The experience of the individual and of the race 
is the grist which is poured into all the scientific and philo- 
sophic mills. Hence Christian experience as a distinct form 
of human experience ought to receive more attention than 
it has ever received before. 

Professor Bowne has emphasized the fact that whatever 
your philosophy, your experience is the same. You may call 
things by any names yon wish and it will not affect experience. 
Christian Science says that all is mind, that a cobble stone, 
for example, is simply an idea and not a real piece of matter. 
We will suppose that some one hurls it and it strikes your 
head and sends you off for relief. Then you have an experi- 
ence in the realm of the ideal. You have an ideal stone, strik- 
ing an ideal head, and raising an ideal bump and producing an 
ideal dizziness and pain, and requiring the application of an 
ideal liniment, which produces an ideal cure, and affords you 
an ideal satisfaction and peace of mind. But all this does 
not in the slightest degree alter the experience itself. And if 
you were going to rear a philosophic system on the principle 
deduced from sudden contact of cobble stones with human 
craniums, you would be compelled to take this concrete human 
experience to begin with. 


Science and philosophy are beginning to recognize the evi- 
dential value of Christian experience though they are very 


Testimony of Christian Experience 77 

slow about it and very reluctant about it even yet, apparently 
because it is not as obvious to the sense as the facts of the 
physical world. The world has laughed long at brother John 
Jasper who contends that the "Sun do move" around the 
earth because he sees it on one side of his house in the morn- 
ing and on the other side at night. But we know there is 
a system and set of motions in the background more compre- 
hensive and wonderful than the rising and setting sun alone 
can explain. Now to refuse to accept the testimony of Chris- 
tian experience because it lies in a realm behind sense expe- 
rience is to adopt the John Jasper attitude towards truth. 
Science and philosophy have both been guilty of this to a 
greater or lesser extent. They have been pursuing the Ptole- 
maic system of truth with brother Jasper instead of the Coper- 
nican with modern astronomy. 


Nobody now doubts the existence of radium, and yet as 
one says, it has been "bombarding" the universe for aeons 
and under the very nose of science, and yet it was only discov- 
ered yesterday and already threatens to revolutionize sci- 
ence. Now religious experience is the radium of the spiritual 
universe, which needs only discovery to revolutionize any 
man's thought as to life and destiny. 

Christian experience, the experience of regeneration and 
conversion, of moral transformation through Christian agen- 
cies, has evidential value in several directions. 


I. It is the supplemental link to complete philosophy. 
Philosophy is man reaching up towards God. Christian ex- 
perience is the effect of God reaching down to man. 

Philosophy seems always on the point of discovering the 
secret of the universe, but it never succeeds in doing it. We 

78 The Fundamentals 

thought awhile ago that idealism had come to the Kingdom to 
save us from materialistic science, and it did good service. 
But idealism has become so abstract and impersonal that it 
cannot be distinguished from Naturalism. These two phil- 
osophies are still debating and disputing, but their differences 
are chiefly imaginary. The dispute reminds one of the reply 
of the unlearned American who had traveled abroad. He 
was saying he had visited the Matterhorn and the Jung Frau, 
and Lake Geneva and Lake Leman. "But," a friend inter- 
posed, "Lake Geneva and Lake Leman are synonymous." 
"Oh, I know that, but Lake Geneva is a great deal more 
synonymous than Lake Leman," he replied. Idealism in its 
abstract form is perhaps just a little more "synonymous" than 
Naturalism, that is all. 


Now why is it that philosophy seems to expend so much 
labor for naught. To me it is clear that the reason why it 
seems to labor so long without satisfactory results is that it 
refuses to consider all human experience, including the re- 
ligious. It splits experience up into little bits and hunts among 
the bits for some single abstract principle which will explain 
all the rest. It is very much as if one were going to attempt 
to explain the ocean and all its contents, its variety and mar- 
velous abundance of life, and instead of searching its depths 
should take a single fish and scale off from the fish a single 
scale, and on that scale as a foundation build up his theory 
of the ocean and its contents; how accurate do you suppose 
his account would be? And yet this is analagous to what phil- 
osophers have done. Spinoza scaled off from the world of 
experience and being the idea of substance, and built a pan- 
theistic system on that scale. Hegel scaled off the concep- 
tion of reason or the idea and reared a vast idealistic system 
on that. Schopenhauer scaled off the conception of will and 
reared his pessimistic system of philosophy on that. Haeckel 

Testimony of Christian Experience 79 

has scaled off the conception of matter and builds his materi- 
alistic system on that. Another takes motion or energy and 
force, and so on, I had almost said ad infinitum. 

The result of the process is that the philosophers get clear 
away from human life and experience. They fix their gaze 
on the photograph of a dim and far away image of reality 
and become absorbed in excessive star-gazing, metaphysical 
cliff-climbing and transcendental soap-bubbleblowing. They 
are like the Indian juggler who hung his ladder on thin air 
without touching the ground below, sprang upon it, climbed 
out of sight, pulled the ladder after him, and disappeared in 
the clouds. 


All this ought not to discredit philosophy but teach it a 
lesson. Men fail to find the secret of the world until God 
and God's dealing with men are considered. Dr. Ashmore 
tells of some men on a raft floating down the Mississippi 
river who stopped for supper one night, and their float went 
on, but returned after awhile to the same place or a similar 
one. They did this several times until they discovered that 
they were caught in an eddy of vast dimensions and were being 
swept in a circle back again repeatedly to the starting point. 
So has philosophy moved in a circle, with way stations along 
the route but never able to escape from the circular movement 
of human thought. There is one way for philosophy to escape 
from its situation and find the current on the bosom of the 
river of thought which will carry it on to its destination. 
That current is religious experience wherein man's upward 
soaring thought is met by God's descending revelation and 
love. When this current of thought is once reached, a new 
day will dawn for philosophy and ere long the philosophers 
will see the gleam on the gates of pearl and the sparkle of 
the jasper walls of the city of God, whither they would find 
the way. 

80 The Fundamentals 


Christian experience takes all the abstractions of philoso- 
phy and recombines them and gives us the conception of the 
Fatherhood of God. The one substance of Monism comes 
back as the one person behind the world. The one idea of 
Hegel comes back as the thought and plan of eternal love. 
The one energy of those who glorify force and change comes 
back as the beneficent will of the Holy and loving Father. 
The plan and progress of nature and the moral ongoing of the 
world come back as the infinite and eternal design of the Holy 
and Loving. Thus when in our hearts we can say and know 
what we mean when we say it, the word "Abba" Father, we 
hold in our hands the clew to all the philosophies which re- 
main in a state of unstable equilibrium until we find this key. 
All philosophy is thus summed up as in the words of Dr. 
Fairbairn : "God is the Father, everlasting in His love. Love 
was the end for which He made the world, for which He made 
every human soul. His glory is to diffuse happiness, to fill 
up the silent places of the universe with voices that speak 
out of glad hearts. Because He made man for love He can- 
not bear man to be lost. Rather than see the loss, He will 
suffer sacrifice. In the place we call hell, love as really is 
as in the place we call heaven, though in the one place it is 
the complacency of pleasure in the holy and the happy which 
seems like the brightness of everlasting sunshine or the glad 
music of waves that break in perennial laughter, but in the 
other it is the compassion of pity for the bad and the mis- 
erable which seems like a face shaded with everlasting regret 
or the muffled weeping of a sorrow too deep to be heard. 
That grand thought of a God who is eternal Father, all the 
more regal and sovereign that lie is absolutely Father, can 
never fail to touch the heart of the man who understands it, 
be he savage or sage." And we may add, cannot fail to be- 
come the one generalization large enough and broad enough 

Testimony of Christian Experience 81 

to include all the data of life and history and of science and 


II. In the second place, Christian experience sheds light 
on all the unique claims of Christianity. 

Professor James, you know, and other scientific observers 
concede that religious experience is a witness to the supernat- 
ural; only he refuses to admit that Christ is the author of it, 
and does not concede the other unique Christian claims. The 
attempt is to find a common denominator, so to speak, be- 
tween Christianity and other religions and show that all are 
essentially alike and that the distinctive Christian ideas are 
over-beliefs. But these men have not thought through the 
problem of Christian experience, in particular they are shy 
of facing the actual claim of Christ and His relation to it all. 

Christ's place in Christian experience is the supreme mat- 
ter. All other Christian claims go with this. 


Now the spiritually regenerated and morally transformed 
man proves the deity of Christ, proves His presence in re- 
ligious experience for the following reasons: 

a. First of all because no man has moral resources to 
transform himself. The Indian myth that the Creator first 
laid the world egg and then hatched himself out of it will 
scarcely supply an explanation of the regenerated life. The 
law of moral gravitation in a man's life no more reverses itself 
suddenly than the law of physical gravitation. When apples 
begin to fall towards the clouds and Niagara Falls becomes 
a Niagara leap upwards, then we may look for men to be sud- 
denly changed from murderers into saints. You cannot jug- 
gle the immoral elements of a sinner's nature into the moral 
elements of a saint any more than you can combine the acid 
of an unripe lemon and an unripe apple and unripe grape fruit 

82 The Fundamentals 

and get the taste of a caramel. You cannot combine moral 
shadows by any sort of manipulation and produce moral sun- 

b. The morally transformed life proves the deity of 
Christ also because when the sinner turns to Christ he gets the 
response. Christ invites him and he responds. He calls and 
Christ answers. He calls to Mohammed and Mohammed does 
not come ; he calls to Confucius and Confucius does not come ; 
he calls to Buddha and Buddha does not come; he calls to 
Christ and Christ comes. The whole process is as simple 
as that. In his outward life also a new force begins to work 
a new design, a new labor working to an end. But especially 
within is there Another, one with whom there is fellowship, 
to whom he becomes passionately devoted, whose presence 
is happiness and whose absence is sorrow, who can sing with 
full meaning, "How tedious and tasteless the hours, when 
Jesus no longer I see," etc. 


Thus Christ acts upon the soul in experience as God and 
manifests all the power of God. 

Such a life proves Christ's claim again because intellectual 
difficulties die in the light of this experience. The mysteries 
are not all solved. But the difficulties cease to be relevant. 

Miracles do not trouble him now, because he has a sample 
of the miracle working power in his own soul. Hume's argu- 
ment that miracles cannot be true because contrary to ex- 
perience is exactly reversed and the Christian says miracles 
are true because they accord precisely with his experience. 

He cannot explain ultimately why the morning glory opens 
under sunlight and closes under darkness any more than he 
could before. Nor can he explain life and spirit. * He has 
what is better than explanation of life, life itself. 

In particular he has moral re-inforcement. This is the 
final test of any religion, what can it do with a bad man? 

Testimony of, Christian Experience 83 

None of them can compete with Christ in this respect. Look 
at Peter and Saul of Tarsus, and Augustine, and John Bunyan, 
and George Miiller, and S. H. Hadley and thousands of oth- 
ers. A sense of moral power comes with Christian experience. 
The moral heights lift themselves up to the very heavens, 
but they no longer seem impossible. The spirit of a strong 
runner enters a man, the spirit and sense of conquest and the 
moral transformation follows. There is not a grace or vir- 
tue that Christ cannot and has not produced in human char- 
acter, not all at the same time or in the same person, but all 
have been produced. 


In this way Christ becomes final for the man, final for his 
reason, final for his conscience, final for his will, final for his 
intellect and most of all, final for his faith, his hope and his 
love, his aspiration. Nothing higher can be conceived. 

He now understands why all the creeds of Christendom 
have Christ as their center. He becomes a judge and critic 
of other religious systems than the Christian discerning that 
their unworkableness is due to their lack of Christ. He under- 
stands the perennial and remarkable power of the Scriptures 
over the human heart as Christ's power. Ten thousand other 
witnesses and confessors around him and a long line of them 
running back to Christ confirm his experience and thus create 
a spiritual community the parts of which mutually support 
each other. 

Of course, this experience is convincing to the man who 
has it and should be to the outside observer. To the latter 
is presented a new spiritual cosmos, a great system with laws 
and forces analagous to the physical cosmos. There are not 
here planets revolving around a sun, but there are redeemed 
souls by the million revolving around a. Saviour. There is 
not a law of physical gravitation acting between bodies di- 
rectly as the mass and inversely as the square of the distance, 

84 The Fundamentals 

but there is a Kingdom of persons whose law of gravitation is 
love. There is not a physical law of the transformation of 
energy pervading the spiritual cosmos, but there is the law of 
the transfiguration of character, according, to which "we all 
with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the 
Lord are transfigured into the same image from glory unto 


Christ is the only key to this experience. Mr. James, 
seeking to discredit a certain kind of reasoning from design, 
says if you throw a handful of beans on a table you can, by., 
manipulating the beans, make any sort of figure your own 
design may wish to produce, and so with arguments from de- 
sign in nature, he says. But he fails to state that the re- 
verse is true. You can manipulate the beans so as to destroy 
a figure or design already present. Christ is the figure seen in 
religious experience, in Christian history, in the creeds of 
Christendom, in the Bible. You cannot get- rid of that figure 
except by manipulating the beans with a destructive purpose. 


III. In the third place Christian experience transfers 
the whole problem of Christian evidences to the sphere of 
practical life. 

In this phase of it, Christianity has a point of contact 
with the new philosophy of Pragmatism. The pragmatic 
philosophy says the ultimate question for every man is, "What 
shall I do to be saved ?", and that the ultimate task of philoso- 
phy is not to solve the insoluble riddle of the universe but to 
save men from pessimism. Now Pessimism, says the prag- 
matist, is just one of the two possible modes of reacting upon 
or interpreting the total experience of life. The optimist sees 
ground for hope, the pessimist does not. The boy who was 
asked while fishing how many fish he had caught, exempli- 

Testimony of Christian Experience 85 

fies the optimist. Unwilling to confess failure, he replied, 
"When I catch this one I am after and two more, I'll have 
three." As an interpreter of experience he was an adept 
and would endure the most searching tests of the pragmatic 
philosophy; it was an instance of a purpose to "create reality." 

Now the Christian method throughout is the practical 
method of answering the question, "What must I do to be 
saved?" Its answer is in Christian experience. It says to 
every man, You can test the reality and power of Christ 
practically. It says to every man, You have a "seeing spot" 
in your soul which God gives and which will recognize Christ, 
if you submit to Him, just as philosophy tells us we all have 
a blind spot and that if focused right we cannot see a black 
mark on a white card with our eyes open, and the card in 
front of us. 

Christianity does not say renounce reason but only waive 
your speculative difficulties in the interest of your moral wel- 


The Gospel is practical in its methods. The man born 
blind did not have to accept any theory of Christ, God or the 
universe, neither Monism or Idealism, nor any special form 
of theism. One thing only was required. Says Christ, "Let 
me anoint your eyes with clay and you go wash in the pool of 
Siloam." This he did. His faith worked. It grew by exer- 
cise. They plied him with questions and he said, "A man 
named Jesus .healed me." Later, "He was a good man." 
Later, "He is a prophet." And finally, "He worshipped him." 
He rose from faith to faith under the guidance and inspiration 
of Christ and this is the experience of all who put their trust 
in Him. 




I. The first mark of the truthfulness of Christianity is to 

be found in 


as a Religious System. The unapproachable beauty and re-* 
sistless charm of its conception, and the unique character of 
the means by which it seeks to carry out its aims, are not rec- 
oncilable with the notion of Fable. 

If, however, notwithstanding, Christianity is a Fable, then 
it is the Divinest Fable ever clothed in human speech. Nothing 
like it can be found in the literature of the world. Paul only 
spoke the unvarnished truth when he declared that eye had 
not seen nor ear heard, neither had the mind of man con- 
ceived the things which God had revealed to men in the 


1. The very conception of the Gospel as a scheme for 
rescuing a lost world from the guilt and power of Sin, for 
transforming men into servants of righteousness, followers of 
Christ, and children- of God, each one resembling Himself and 
partaking of His nature, and for eventually lifting them up 
into a state of holy and blessed immortality like that in which 
He Himself dwells that conception never took its rise in the 
brains of a human fable monger, and least of all in that of a 
crafty priest or political deceiver no, not even in that of the 
best and most brilliantly endowed thinker, poet, prophet or 
philosopher that ever lived. Men do not write novels and com- 
pose fictions in order to redeem their fellows from guilt and 


Christianity, No Fable 87 

sin, to comfort and support them in death, and to prepare 
them for immortality. Even those who regard Christianity as 
being based on delusions and deceptions do not assert that 
the object of its instructors was anything so lofty and spir- 
itual, but rather that its fabricators sought thereby to enrich 
themselves by imposing on their credulous fellows, blinding 
them to the truth by setting before them fictions' as if they 
were facts, ( frightening them with ghostly terrors and so se- 
curing a hold upon their services or their means. The latest 
sensation provided by German spculation as to the origin of 
Christianity is that it was manufactured in Rome in the time 
of Trajan, i. e., about the beginning of the second century, 
in order to help on a great liberation movement amongst the 
Jewish slave proletariat against their tyrannical masters, and 
that in fact it was an imaginary compound of Roman Social- 
ism, Greek. Philosophy and Jewish Messiahism. Neither of 
these, however, is the account furnished by Christianity itself 
in its accredited documents, of its aim, which, as already 
stated, is to deliver men from sin and death. The very gran- 
deur of this aim proves that Christianity has not emanated 
from the mind of man, but must have proceeded from the 
heart of God. And it may be safely contended that Infinite 
Wisdom and Love makes no use of fables and deceptions, 
legends and fictions to further its purposes and realize its 

2. If, in addition, the details of the Christian Scheme be 
considered, that is to say, the particular means by which it 
proposes to effect its aim, it will further appear that the idea 
of fiction and fable must be laid aside and that of reality 
and truth set in its place. It will not be seriously questioned 
that the details of the Christian Scheme are substantially and 
briefly these: (1) that God in infinite love and out of pure 
grace, from eternity purposed to provide salvation for the 
fallen race of man; (2) that in order to carry out that pur- 
pose He sent His own Son. only begotten and well-beloved, the 

88 The Fundamentals 

brightness of His Glory and the express image of His Per- 
son, into this world in the likeness of sinful flesh, to die for 
men's sins, thereby rendering satisfaction for the same, and 
to rise again from the dead, thereby showing that God had 
accepted the Sacrifice and could on the ground of it be just 
and the justifier of the ungodly, as well as bringing life and 
immortality to light; and (3) that on the ground of this 
atoning work Salvation is offered to all on the sole condition 
of faith. This being so, can any one for a moment believe that 
forgers and fable-mongers would or could have invented so 
divine a tale ? All experience certifies the contrary. 

Whensoever men have attempted to construct schemes of 
Salvation, they have not sought the origin of these schemes in 
God but in themselves. Human schemes have always been 
plans by which men might be able to save themselves, with 
such salvation as they have supposed themselves to need not 
always a Salvation from sin and death;. more frequently a 
salvation from material poverty, bodily discomfort, mental 
ignorance and generally temporal needs. Nor have they ever 
dreamt of a salvation that should come to them through the 
mediation of another, and certainly not of God Himself in 
the Person of His Son ; but always of a salvation through their 
own efforts. Never of a Salvation by grace through faith 
and therefore free; but always of a Salvation by works and 
through merit and therefore as a debt a Salvation by out- 
ward forms and magical rites, or by education and culture. 


3. Then, it may be added: If the Christian Scheme is a 
fable, who invented the idea of an Incarnation ? For to Jewish 
minds at any rate such an idea was foreign, being forbidden 
by their strong monotheism. Who put together the picture 
of Jesus as it appears in the Gospels? Who conceived the 
notion of making it that of a sinless man, and doing it so suc- 
cessfully that all subsequent generations of beholders, with a 

Christianity, No Fable 89 

few exceptions at most, have regarded Him as sinless? Yet 
a sinless man had never been seen before nor has ever been 
beheld since His appearance. Who supplied this Jesus with 
the superhuman power that performed works only possible to 
God, and with the superhuman wisdom that fell from His 
lips, if such wisdom was never spoken but only imagined? 
It is universally allowed that the power and wisdom of Jesus 
have never been surpassed or even equalled. Whose was the 
daring genius that struck out the notion not merely of making 
atonement for Sin, but of doing this by Christ's giving His 
life a ransom for many and demonstrating its reality through 
His rising from the dead? These conceptions were so in- 
credible to His followers at the first and have been so un- 
acceptable to natural man since that it is hard to believe any 
fable-monger would have selected them for his work, even 
though they had occurred to him. And who suggested the 
doctrine of a general resurrection at the end of time? a 
doctrine to which unaided human science or philosophy has 
never been able to attain. 

The Impartial reasoner must perceive that in all these 
themes we are dealing not with purely human thoughts but 
with thoughts that are divine and that it is idle to talk of them 
as fabulous or untrue. "God is not a man that He should lie." 
He is neither a tyrant that He should seek to oppress men, nor 
a false priest that He should want to cheat men, nor a novel- 
writer that He should study to amuse men, but a Father whose 
dearest interest is to save men, who is Light and in Him is 
no darkness at all, and whose words are like Himself, the 
same yesterday, today and forever. 

II. The second mark of truthfulness in the Christian 
Scheme is 


to the end for which it was designed. 

1. Assuming for the moment that the Christian System 
is entirely a product of the human mind, or a pure fabrication, 

90 The Fundamentals 

the question to be considered is, Whether it is at all likely that 
it would perfectly answer the end for which it was intended. 
If that end was to deceive men in order to enslave and degrade 
them, then its concocters have signally outwitted themselves; 
for no sooner does a man accept Christianity than he finds 
that if he is deceived thereby, it is a blessed deception which 
makes it impossible to keep him in subjection or degradation, 
since it illuminates his understanding, purifies his heart, 
cleanses his imagination, quickens his conscience, strengthens 
his will and ennobles his whole nature. "Ye shall know the 
truth and the truth shall make you free," said Christ. On 
the other hand if its end was to do this very thing, then un- 
doubtedly its end has been reached ; but the mere fact that it 
has been reached shows that the Scheme has not proceeded 
from the human mind as a work of fiction, but from the heart 
of God as a Scripture of truth. 

2. If there be one thing more characteristic of man's 
works than another, it is imperfection. Magnificent as some 
of man's inventions have been, few of them are absolutely 
free from defects, and those that are freest have been brought 
to their present state of excellence only by slow and short 
stages and after repeated modifications and improvements 
witness the printing press, the steam engine, telegraphy, elec- 
trical power and lighting, musical instruments, aeroplanes, 
etc. And what is more, however perfect any human invention 
may appear to be at the present moment, there is no guarantee 
that it will not be in time superseded by something more 
adapted to the end it has in view. 

The case, however, is different with God's works which, 
like Himself, are all perfect ; and if it shall turn out on exam- 
ination that the Christian System is perfectly adapted to the 
end it has in view, viz., Salvation, and has never needed to 
be changed, modified or improved, then the inference will be 
unavoidable that it is God's work and not man's, and as a con- 
sequence not a fiction but a fact, not fable but truth. 

Christianity, No Fable 91 

I am aware that at the present moment there are those who 
declare that Christianity is played out, that it has served its 
day, that it has lost its hold on men's minds and will require 
to give place to some other panacea for the ills of life. But 
for the most part that is the cry of those who have not them- 
selves tried Christianity and hardly understand what it means. 
And in any case no effective substitute for Christianity has 
ever been put forward by its opponents or critics. Nor has 
any attempt to modify or improve Christianity as a system of 
religious doctrine ever been successful. Perhaps one of the 
most strenuous efforts in this direction has been that of so- 
called liberal (alias rationalistic) theology which seeks to 
divest Christianity of all its supernatural elements, and in 
particular of its divine-human Jesus by reducing Him to the 
dimensions of an ordinary man in which case it is obvious, 
the whole superstructure of Christianity would fall to the 
ground. Yet a contributor to the Hibbart Journal (Jan. 
1910) who himself does not accept orthodox Christianity 
writes of "The Collapse of Liberal Christianity," and frankly 
confesses that "the simple Jesus of Liberal Christianity cannot 
be found," which amounts to an admission that the picture 
of Jesus in the Gospels as a Divine Man, a supernatural 
Christ, is no fiction but a sublime truth. 

3. A detailed examination of the Christian Scheme shows 
that means better fitted to secure its ends could not have been 

a. It will not be denied that part of the aim of Chris- 
tianity is to restore mankind in general and individuals in 
particular to the favor and fellowship of God, out of which 
they have been cast by sin. Whether the Bible is right in its 
explanation of the origin of sin need not now be argued. 
Common observation as well as individual conscience testi- 
fies to the fact of sin; and the disastrous condition of the 
race induced by sin Christianity proposes to remedy not 
by telling men that sin is only a figment of the imagination 

92 The Fundamentals 

(which men know better than believe); or, if a reality, so 
trifling a matter that God will overlook it (which men in their 
best moments doubt) ; and certainly not by asking men to save 
themselves (which they soon discover they cannot do) ; but 
by first setting forth sin in all its moral loathsomeness and 
legal guiltiness, and then announcing that God Himself had 
provided a lamb for a burnt-offering, even His own Son, upon 
whom He has laid the iniquity of us all, and that now He 
is in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing 
unto men their trespasses. 

b. A second thing proposed by Christianity is to make 
men holy, to free them from the love and practice of sin, to 
conform them in the love and practice of truth and righteous- 
ness ; and this it seeks to do by giving man a new heart and a 
right spirit, by changing his nature, implanting in it holy prin- 
ciples and putting it under the government of the divine and 
eternal spirit. 

That the means are adequate has been proved by the ex- 
perience of the past nineteen centuries, in which millions 
of human souls have been translated out of darkness into 
light and turned from the service of Satan to the service of the 
Living God. And what is more, other methods have been 
tried without effecting any permanent transformation of 
either hearts or lives. Magical incantations, meaningless mum- 
meries, laborious ceremonies, painful penances, legislations, 
education, philanthropy, have in turn been resorted to, but 
in vain. Never once has the Gospel method been fairly tried 
and proved inefficient 

c. A third thing Christianity engages to do, is to confer 
on those who accept it a blessed immortality to support them 
when they come to die, to cheer them with the prospect of a 
happy existence while their bodies are in the grave, to bring 
those bodies forth again and in the end to bestow "on their 
whole personality a glorious . unending life beneath a new 
heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. 

Christianity, No Fable 93 

And Christianity does this by first securing its adherents a 
title to eternal life through the obedience unto death of 
Christ, next by making them meet for the inheritance through 
the indwelling and operation of Christ's spirit, then by open- 
ing for them the gates of immortality through Christ's resur- 
rection, and finally by Christ's coming for them at the end of 
the age. 

Now can anything more complete be thought of as a 
Scheme of Salvation? Is there any part of it that is not ex- 
actly fitted to its place and suited to its end? So far is this 
from being the case that not a single pin can be removed from 
the building without bringing down the whole superstructure. 
Abstract from Christianity the Incarnation, or the Atonement, 
or the Resurrection, or the Exaltation, or the Future coming, 
and its framework is shattered. Take away Pardon or Pu- 
rity or Peace or Sonship or Heaven, and its value as a system 
of religion is gone. But these are not assertions that will hold 
good of fables and fictions, myths and legends, which might 
all be tampered with, taken from or added to, without endan- 
gering their worth. Hence, it is fair to argue, that a scheme 
so admirably adjusted in all its parts, so complete in its pro- 
visions and so exquisitely adapted to its design, could only 
have emanated from the mind of Him who is wonderful in 
counsel and excellent in working, who is the true God and 
the Eternal Life. 

III. A third mark of truthfulness in the Christian system 


in effecting the end for which it was designed. 

Had Christianity been a baseless imagination, or a super- 
stitious legend, is there reason to suppose either that it 
would have lived so long or that it would have achieved the 
wonders it has done during the past nineteen centuries 
either upon individuals or upon the world at large ? It is true 

94 The Fundamentals 

that mere length of time in which a religion has prevailed 
when considered by itself, is no sufficient guarantee of the 
truth of that religion, else Buddhism would possess a higher 
certificate of truthfulness than Christianity ; but when viewed 
in connection with the beneficial results in elevating mankind, 
both individually and collectively, which have followed from a 
religion, the length of time during which it has continued is 
no small testimony to its truth. Still the practical effects of 
a religion upon individuals and upon the world at large, as 
has been said, forms an argument in its favor which cannot 
easily be set aside. 

1. As to the INDIVIDUAL. Had the facts upon which 
Christianity is based been purely fictitious, had the story of 
the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Jesus been only 
a legend, and had the promise of pardon, purity and peace, 
of everlasting life and glory which Christianity holds out to 
men been a deception instead of a verity, does any one imag- 
ine it would have effected the transformations it has wrought 
on individual hearts and lives? I remember that the first lie 
told by the devil in Eden plunged the whole race of mankind 
into spiritual death. I have yet to learn that a lie hatched by 
even good people can save men from perdition and lift them 
to heaven, can bless them with inward happiness and assure 
them of divine favor, can comfort them in sorrow, strengthen 
them in weakness, sustain them in death and fit them for eter- 
nity. And yet that is what Christianity can do has done in 
past ages to millions who have tried it, and is doing to-day to 
thousands who are trying it. It will take more than has 
been said by critics and scoffers to persuade me that these 
things have been done by a fable. I have heard of fables and 
fictions, legends and superstitions amusing men and women, 
diverting them when wearied, occupying them when idle, tak- 
ing their thoughts off serious matters, and even helping them 
to shut their eyes against death's approach ; I never heard of 
their bringing souls to God, assuring them of His favor, 

Christianity, No Fable 95 

cleansing them from sin, blessing them with peace, preparing 
them for eternity. But these again are what Christianity can 
do and does; and so I reason it is not a fable, but a fact, 
not a legend but a history, not an imaginary tale, but a solid 

2. And when to this I add what it has done on the 
BROAD THEATRE OF THE WORLD, my faith in its 
truth is confirmed. Nineteen centuries ago Christianity started 
out on its conquering career. It had neither wealth nor power, 
nor learning, nor social influence, nor imperial patronage 
upon its side. It was despised by the great ones of the earth 
as a superstition. It was looked upon by Jew and Gentile 
as subversive of religion and morals. , Its adherents were col- 
lected from the dregs of the population, from the poor and 
the ignorant (at least in the world's estimation) ; and its 
apostles were a humble band, mostly of fishermen though 
they soon had their ranks enlarged by the accession of one 
(Paul) whose mental force and religious earnestness were 
worth to Christianity whole battalions of common disciples 
or of average preachers. But what was one, even though he 
was an intellectual and spiritual giant, to the mighty task set 
before it of conquering the world and making all nations 
obedient to the Faith? Yet that task was immediately taken 
in hand and with what success the annals of the past centuries 

In the first century, which may be called the Apostolic 
Age, it practically defeated Judaism, by establishing itself 
as an organized religion, not in Palestine alone, but in Asia 
Minor, and in some of the chief cities of Europe. To this 
it was no doubt helped by the destruction of Jerusalem in the 
year 70 by the armies of Titus ; but the undermining of Juda- 
ism was being gradually brought about by the spread of the 
Christian Faith. 

In the next two centuries, which may be called the Age 
of the Fathers, it overcame paganism, substituting in wide 

96 The Fundamentals 

circles the worship of Jesus for the worship of heathen divini- 
ties and of the Roman Emperor. Not without passing through 
fierce tribulation in the long succession of persecutions with 
which it was assailed did it achieve the victory, but in its ex- 
perience was repeated the experience of Israel in Egypt "the 
more it was afflicted the more it multiplied and grew," so that 
by the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth cen- 
tury it had within its pale about a fifth of the Roman Empire. 
From that time on Christianity applied itself to the task 
of making nominal Christians into real ones ; and but for the 
mercy of God at the Reformation it might have been defeated. 
But God's Spirit brooded upon the moral and spiritual waste 
as erst He did upon the material in the beginning, and God's 
Word said "Let there be light !" and there was light. Luther 
in Germany, Calvin in Geneva, and Knox in Scotland, with 
others in different parts arose as champions of the Truth and 
recalled men's thoughts to the simplicities and certainties of 
the Gospel; and a great awakening overspread the nominally 
Christian world. 

Thereafter Christianity took a forward step among the 
nations; and is now doing for the world what no other re- 
ligion has done or can do neither Buddhism, nor Confucian- 
ism, nor Mohammedanism what no modern substitute for 
Christianity can do whether materialism, or agnosticism, or 
spiritism, or socialism; and just because of this we may 
rest assured that Christianity is no cunningly devised fable 
but a divinely revealed truth that it alone contains hope for 
the world, as a whole, and for generation after generation as 
it passes, and that the day will yet come when it will fill the 

In short, when one remembers that Christianity has built 
up the Christian church and that the Christian church has 
been the most powerful factor in creating modern civiliza- 
tion, it becomes an impossibility to credit the allegation or 
even to harbor the suspicion, that it is founded on a lie. By 

Christianity, No Fable 97 

its fruits it may be tested. Notwithstanding the imperfections 
that adhere to the Christian church, so far as it is a human 
institution, few will deny that its existence in the world has 
been productive of preponderatingly good results; and on 
that certificate alone it may be claimed that the Christianity 
of which the church is a concrete and living embodiment is 
no "cunningly devised fable" but a "Scripture of Truth." 




The purpose of this article is to state in a very brief way 
the influences which led me to accept certain of the views of 
the Higher Criticism, and after further consideration, to reject 
them. Necessarily the reasons for rejecting will be given at 
greater length than those for accepting. Space will not per- 
mit me to mention names of persons, books, articles and vari- 
ous other influences which combined to produce these results. 
I shall confine myself to an outline of the mental processes 
which resulted from my contact with the Critical Movement. 

In outlining this change of view, I shall deal with 



These presuppositions and assumptions are the determining 
elements in the entire movement. Once they are understood, 
it is not difficult to understand the higher critics. It is their 
philosophy or world-view that is responsible for all their 
speculations and theories. Their mental attitude towards the 
world and its phenomena is the same as their attitude toward 
the Bible and the religion therein revealed. These presuppo- 
sitions appealed to me very strongly. Having spent some 
time at one of the great American universities, thus coming 
in contact with some of the leading minds of the country, 
the critical view was presented to me very ably and attrac- 
tively. Though resisted for a time, the forcefulness of the 
teaching and influence of the university atmosphere largely 
won my assent. The critics seemed to have the logic of 


My Experience with Higher Criticism 99 

things on their side. The results at which they had arrived 
seemed inevitable. But upon closer thinking I saw that the 
whole movement with its conclusions was the result of the 
adoption of the hypothesis of evolution. My professors had 
accepted this view, and were thoroughly convinced of its cor- 
rectness as a working hypothesis. Thus I was made to feel 
the power of this hypothesis and to adopt it. This world- 
view is wonderfully fascinating and almost compelling. The 
vision of a cosmos developing from the lowest types and stages 
upward through beast and man to higher and better man is 
enchanting and almost overwhelming. That there is a grain of 
truth in all this most thinkers will concede. One can hardly 
refuse to believe that through the ages "An increasing pur- 
pose runs/' that there is "One God, one law, one element, 
and one far-off divine event to which the whole creation 
moves." This world-view had to me at first a charm and 
witchery that was almost intoxicating. It created more of a 
revolution than an evolution in my thinking. But more care- 
ful consideration convinced me that the little truth in it served 
to sugar-coat and give plausibility to some deadly errors that 
lurked within. I saw that the hypothesis did not apply to a 
great part of the world's phenomena. 

That this theory of evolution underlies and is the inspira- 
tion of the Higher Criticism goes without saying. That there 
is a grain of truth in it we may admit or not, as we see fit, 
but the whole question is, what kind of evolution is it that 
has given rise to this criticism. There are many varieties of 
the theory. There is the Idealism of Hegel, and the Material- 
ism of Haeckel; a theistic evolution and an antitheistic ; the 
view that it is God's only method, and the view that it is only 
one "of God's methods; the theory that includes a Creator, 
and the theory that excludes Him; the deistic evolution, 
which starts the world with God, who then withdraws and 
leaves it a closed system of cause and effect, antecedent and 
consequent, which admits of no break or change in the natural 

100 The Fundamentals 

process. There is also the theory that on the whole there is 
progress, but allowance must be made for retrogression and 
degeneration. This admits of the direct action of God in 
arresting the downward process and reversing the current; 
that is, there is an evolution through revelation, etc., rather 
than a revelation by evolution. On examining the evolution 
of the leaders of the Critical School, I found that it was of a 
naturalistic or practically deistic kind. All natural and mental 
phenomena are in a closed system of cause and effect, and 
the hypothesis applies universally, to religion and revelation, 
as well as to mechanisms. 

This type of evolution may not be accepted by all adher- 
ents of the Critical School, but it is substantially the view 
of the leaders, Reuss, Graf, Vatke, Kuenen and Wellhausen. 
To them all nature and history are a product of forces within 
and in process of development. There has not been and 
could not be any direct action of God upon man, there could 
be no break in the chain of cause and effect, of antecedent 
and consequent. Hence there can be no miracle or anything 
of what is known as the supernatural. There could be no 
"interference" in any way with the natural course of events, 
there could be no "injection" of any power into the cosmic 
process from without, God is shut up to the one method of 
bringing things to pass. He is thus little more than a prisoner 
in His own cosmos. Thus I discovered that the Critical 
Movement was essentially and fundamentally anti-supernatural 
and anti-miraculous. According to it all religious movements 
are human developments along natural and materialistic lines. 
The religion of Israel and the Bible is no exception, as there 
can be no exception to this principle. The revelation con- 
tained in the Bible is, strictly speaking, no revelation; it is a 
natural development with God in the cosmic process behind 
it, but yet a steady, straight-lined, mechanical development 
such as can be traced step by step as a flight of stairs may 
be measured by a foot-rule. There could have been no epoch- 

My Experience with Higher Criticism 101 

making revelation, no revivals and lapses, no marvelous exhibi- 
tions of divine power, no real redemption. With these fore- 
gone conclusions fixed in their minds, the entire question is 
practically settled beforehand. As it is transparently clear 
that the Bible on the face of it does not correspond to this 
view, it must be rearranged so as to correspond to it. To do 
this, they must deny point-blank the claims and statements 
of most of the Bible writers. Now, if the Bible claims to 
be anything, it claims to be a revelation from God, a miracu- 
lous or supernatural book, recording the numerous direct acts 
of God in nature and history, and His interference with the 
natural course of events. Are the writers of the Bible cor- 
rect, or are the critics? It is impossible that both should be 

Reasoning thus, it became perfectly clear to me that the 
presuppositions and beliefs of the Bible writers and of the 
critics were absolutely contradictory. To maintain that the 
modern view is a development and advance upon the Biblical 
view, is absurd. No presupposition can develop a presupposi- 
tion which contradicts and nullifies it. To say that the critical 
position and the Biblical position, or the traditional evangelical 
view which is the same as the Biblical, are reconcilable, is the 
most fatuous folly and delusion. Kuenen and others have 
recognized this contradiction and have acknowledged it, not 
hesitating to set aside the Biblical view. Many of their dis- 
ciples have failed to see as clearly as their masters. They think 
the two can be combined. I was of the same opinion myself, 
but further reflection showed this to be an impossibility. I 
thought it possible to accept the results of the Higher Criticism 
without accepting its presuppositions. This is saying that one 
can accept as valid and true the results of a process and at the 
same time deny the validity of the process itself. But does 
not this involve an inner contradiction and absurdity? If I 
accept the results of the Kuenen-Wellhausen hypothesis as 
correct, then I accept as correct the methods and processes 

102 The Fundamentals 

which led to these results, and if I accept these methods, I 
also accept the presuppositions which give rise to these meth- 
ods. If the "assured results" of which the critics are so fond 
of boasting are true, then the naturalistic evolution hypothesis 
which produced these results is correct. Then it is impossible 
to accept the miraculous or supernatural, the Bible as an 
authoritative record of supernatural revelation is completely 
upset and its claims regarding itself are false and misleading. 
I can see no way of escaping these conclusions. There is no 
possible middle ground as I once fondly imagined there was. 
Thus I was compelled to conclude that although there is some 
truth in the evolutionary view of the world, yet as an explana- 
tion of history and revelation it is utterly inadequate, so 
inadequate as to be erroneous and false. A world-view must 
be broad enough to admit of all the facts of history and experi- 
ence. Even then it is only a human point of view and neces- 
sarily imperfect. Will any one dare to say that the evolutionary 
hypothesis is divine ? Then we would have a Bible and a phi- 
losophy both claiming to be divine and absolutely contradict- 
ing each other. To attempt to eliminate the miraculous and 
supernatural from the Bible and accept the remainder as 
divine is impossible, for they are all one and inextricably 
woven together. In either case the Book is robbed of its 
claims to authority. Some critics do not hesitate to deny its 
authority and thus cut themselves loose from historical Chris- 

In spite, however, of the serious faults of the Higher Criti- 
cism, it has given rise to what is known as the Scientific and 
Historical method in the study of the Old Testament. This 
method is destined to stay and render invaluable aid. To the 
scholarly mind its appeal is irresistible. Only in the light of 
the historical occasion upon which it was produced, can the 
Old Testament be properly understood. A flood of light has 
already been poured in upon these writings. The scientific 
spirit which gave rise to it is one of the noblest instincts in 

My Experience with Higher Criticism 103 

the intellectual life of man. It is a thirst for the real and the 
true, that will be satisfied with nothing else. But, noble as is 
this scientific spirit, and invaluable as is the historical meth- 
od, there are subtle dangers in connection with them. Every- 
thing depends upon the presuppositions with which we use the 
method. A certain mental attitude there must be. What shall 
it be ? A materialistic evolution such as Kuenen and his con- 
freres, or a theistic evolution which admits the supernatural? 
Investigating in the mental attitude of the first of these, the 
scholar will inevitably arrive at or accept the results of the 
critics. Another, working at the same problem with Chris- 
tian presuppositions, will arrive at very different conclusions. 
Which shall we have, the point of view of the Christian or the 
critic? I found that the critics' claim to possess the only 
really scientific method was slightly true but largely false. 
His' results were scientific because they fitted his hypothesis. 
The Christan scholar with his broader presuppositions was 
peremptorily ruled out of court. Anything savoring of the 
miraculous, etc., could not be scientific to the critic, and hence 
it could not be true, therefore, it must be discarded or branded 
as Myth, Legend, Poesy, Saga, etc. Such narrowness of view 
is scarcely credible on the part of scholars who claim to be 
so broad and liberal. 

Another question confronted me. How can so many Chris- 
tian scholars and preachers accept the views of the critics and 
still adhere to evangelical Christianity witk intense devotion? 
As we have seen, to accept the results of Criticism is to accept 
the methods and presuppositions which produced these results. 
To accept their assumptions is to accept a naturalistic evolu- 
tion which is fundamentally contradictory to the Biblical and 
Christian point of view. It is therefore essentially contradic- 
tory to Christianity, for what is the latter if it is not a super- 
naturally revealed knowledge of the plan of salvation, with 
supernatural power to effectuate that salvation ? All who have 
experienced the power of Christianity will in the main assent 

104 The Fundamentals 

to this definition. How then can Christians who are Higher 
Critics escape endorsing the presuppositions of the 'Critics? 
There is an inner contradiction between the assumptions of 
their scientific reason and the assumptions of their religious 
faith. A careful study of the attitude of these mediating 
critics, as they are called, has revealed a sense of contradic- 
tion somewhere of which they are vaguely conscious. They 
maintain their attitude by an inconsistency. Thus it is they 
have many difficulties which they cannot explain. This inner 
contradiction runs through much of their exegesis and they 
wonder that evangelical Christians do not accept their views. 
Already many of them are not quite so sure of their "assured 
results" as they were. Many evangelical Christians do not 
accept these views because they can "see through" them. 

The second line of thinking which led me to reject the 
Critics' view was a consideration of 


At first I was enthusiastic over the method. Now at last 
we have the correct method that will in time solve all diffi- 
culties. Let it be readily granted that the historical method 
has settled many difficulties and will continue to do so, yet 
the whole question lies in .the attitude of mind a man brings 
to the task. Among the critics their hypothesis is absolute 
and dominates every attempt to understand the record, shapes 
every conclusion, arranges and rearranges the facts in its own 
order, discards what does not fit or reshapes it to fit. The 
critics may deny this but their treatment of the Old Testa- 
ment is too well known to need any proof of it. The use of 
the Redactor is a case in point. This purely imaginary being, 
unhistorical and unscientific, is brought into requisition at 
almost every difficulty. It is acknowledged that at times he 
acts in a manner wholly inexplicable.* To assume such a per- 
son interpolating names of God, changing names and making 
explanations to suit the purposes of their hypothesis and 

My Experience with Higher Criticism 105 

imagination is the very negation of science, notwithstanding 
their boast of a scientific method. Their minds seem to be in 
abject slavery to their theory. No reason is more impervious 
to facts than one preoccupied with a theory which does not 
agree with these facts. Their mental attitude being biased and 
partial, their methods are partial and the results very one- 
sided and untrustworthy. They give more credence to the 
guesses of some so-called scholar, a clay tablet, a heathen 
king's boast, or a rude drawing in stone, than to the Scripture 
record. They feel instinctively that to accept the Bible state- 
ments would be the ruin of their hypothesis, and what they 
call their hard-won historical method. In this their instinct 
is true. The Bible and their hypothesis are irreconcilable. As 
their theory must not be interfered with, since it is identical 
with the truth itself, the Bible must stand aside in the interests 
of truth. 

For this reason they deny all historicity to Genesis 1-11, 
the stories of Creation, the Fall, the Flood, etc. No theory of 
naturalistic evolution can possibly admit the truth of these 
chapters. Likewise, there is but a substratum of truth in the 
stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. Nearly 
all legislation is denied to the latter, because it represents too 
rapid an advance, or a stage too advanced. But is such the 
case? Centuries before Moses, laws, government, civiliza- 
tion, culture, art, education, religion, temples, ritual and priest- 
hood had flourished in Babylonia and Egypt and were a chief 
factor in the education of Moses. With all this previous devel- 
opment upon which to build, what objections to ascribing 
these laws to Moses, who, during the forty years under divine 
guidance, selected, purified, heightened, and adopted such laws 
as best served the needs of the people. The development of 
external laws and customs had preceded Moses, and there is 
no need to suppose a development afterward in the history of 
the people. That history records the fitful attempts at the 
assimilation of these laws. To maintain that they were at first 

106 The Fundamentals 

put in the exact form in which they have come down to us is 
wholly unnecessary and contrary to certain facts in the records 
themselves. But to my mind one of the greatest weaknesses 
of the critical position is, that because there is little or no 
mention of the laws in the history that follows the death of 
Moses, therefore these laws could not have existed. To the 
critic this is One of the strongest arguments in his favor. Now 
he has found out how to make the history and the laws corre- 
spond. But does the non-mention or non-observance of a 
law prove its non-existence? All history shows that such is 
not the case. Moreover, the 'books of Joshua, Judges and 
Samuel make no pretence at giving a complete detailed history. 
If non-mention or non-observance were proof of non-exist- 
ence, then the Book of the Covenant and Deuteronomy could 
not have existed until the return from Exile ; for the laws 
against idolatry were not carried out until then. Apply this 
same method of reasoning to laws in general and the most 
absurd results will follow. The Decalogue could never have 
existed, for all of its laws are constantly being broken. No 
New Testament could have existed through the Dark Ages, for 
almost every precept in it was violated during that period. 
The facts of life plainly show that men with the law of God 
in their hands will continually violate them. But' why did not 
Joshua and those succeeding him for several centuries carry 
out the law of Moses? The answer is obvious. The circum- 
stances did not permit of it, and no one, not even Moses, 
had any idea of the law being fully observed at once. He 
looked forward to a time when they should be settled and 
should have a capital and central sanctuary. Moreover, a large 
portion of the laws was intended for the priest alone and 
may have been observed. The laws were flexible and to be 
fulfilled as the circumstances permitted. If the Book of 
Deuteronomy could not be observed, the Book of the Cove- 
nant could be followed. Changes and modifications were pur- 
posely made by Moses to meet the demands of the changing 

My Experience with Higher Criticism 107 

circumstances. If the non-fulfillment of these laws proved 
their non-existence, then the Book of the Covenant and Deut- 
eronomy were not in existence in the time of Jehoiakim, for 
idolatry was then rampant. 

By its arbitrary methods, Modern Criticism does whole- 
sale violence to the record of the discovery of the Law Book 
as recorded in 2 Kings 22:8-20. It denies any real discov- 
ery, distinctly implies fraud upon the part of the writers, 
assumes a far too easy deception of the king, the prophetess, 
the king's counsellors, Jeremiah and the people. It implies a 
marvelous success in perpetrating this forged document on the 
people. The writers did evil that good might come, and God 
seems to have been behind it all and endorsed it. Such a trans- 
action is utterly incredible. "The people would not hear 
Moses and the prophet, yet they were easily persuaded by a 
forged Mosaic document." The critics disagree among them- 
selves regarding the authorship of the Book of Deuteronomy. 
Some maintain it was by the priestly class and some by the 
prophetic class, but there are insuperable objections to each. 
They have failed to show why there were so many laws incor- 
porated in it which absolutely contradict a later date and why 
the Mosaic dress succeeded so well although contradictory to 
some of the genuinely Mosaic laws. 

According to the critics also, Ezra perpetrated a tremen- 
dous fraud when he palmed off his completed Code as of 
Mosaic origin. That the people should accept it as genuinely 
Mosaic, although it increased their burdens and contradicted 
many laws previously known as Mosaic, is incredible. That 
such a people at such a time and under such circumstances 
could be so easily imposed upon and deceived, and that such 
a man as Ezra could perform such a colossal fraud and have it 
all succeed so well, seems inconceivable except by a person 
whose moral consciousness is dulled or benumbed by some 
philosophical theory. According to the critics, the authors of 
Deuteronomy and the Levitical Code not only produced such 

108 The Fundamentals 

intensely religious books and laws, but were at the same time 
deliberate inventors and falsifiers of history as well as deceiv- 
ers of the people. What such views imply regarding the 
character of God who is behind it all we shall consider later. 

Space does not permit me to more than refer to the J. E. P. 
analysis. That certain documents existed and were ultimately 
combined to make up the five books of Moses no one need 
doubt. It in no way detracts from their inspiration or authen- 
ticity to do so, nor does it in any way deny the essentially 
Mosaic origin of the legislation. But the J. E. P. analysis 
on the basis of the different names for God I found to require 
such an arbitrary handling and artificial manipulation of the 
text, to need the help of so many Redactors whose methods 
and motives are wholly inexplicable, with a multitude of ex- 
ceptions to account for, that I was convinced the analysis 
could not be maintained. Astruc's clue in Exodus 6:3, which 
was the starting point for the analysis, cannot be made to decide 
the time of the use of the names of God, for the text is not 
perfectly certain. There is considerable difference between the 
two readings, "was known," "made myself known." Even if 
God had not previously revealed Himself by the name Jahveh, 
that does not prove the name unknown or that God was not 
known by that name. And even if he had so revealed Him- 
self, the earlier record would not be less authentic, for they 
were either written or rewritten and edited after the revela- 
tion to Moses in the light of a fuller revelation. Thus it was 
made perfectly clear that El, Elohim, El-Elyon, El-Shaddai, 
were identical with Jahveh. 

The methods of the critics in regarding the earlier his- 
tories as little more than fiction and invention, to palm off 
certain laws as genuinely Mosaic, found some lodgment in 
my mind for a time. But the more I considered it, the more 
I was convinced that it was the critics who were the inventors 
and falsifiers. They were the ones who had such a facile 
imagination, they could "manufacture" history at their "green 

My Experience with Higher Criticism 109 

tables" to suit their theories and were doing so fast and loose. 
They could create nations and empires out of a desert, and 
like the alchemists of the Middle Ages with their magic wand, 
transform all things into their own special and favorite metal. 
To charge the Scripture writers with this invention and falsi- 
fication is grossly to malign them and slander the God that 
wrought through them. The quality of their products does not 
lend countenance to such a view, and it is abhorrent to. the 
Christian consciousness. Such a conception cannot be long held 
by any whose moral and religious natures have not been dulled 
by their philosophical presuppositions. The habit of discard- 
ing the Books of Chronicles, because they give no history of 
Northern Israel, lay considerable emphasis upon the temple 
and priesthood, pass over the faults and sins of the kings, 
etc., and are therefore a biased and untrustworthy history, 
has appeared to me an aberration from common sense, and is 
scarcely credible among men of such intelligence. When the 
compiler of Chronicles covers the same history of Kings, he 
agrees with these histories substantially, though varying in 
some minor details. If he is reliable in this material, why not 
in the other material, not found in Kings ? The real reason is 
that he records many facts about the temple and its services 
which do not fit in with the critics' hypothesis, and therefore 
something must be done to discredit the Chronicler and get 
rid of his testimony. 

But my third reason for rejecting the critical standpoint 


Grant that there is a genuine scientific interest underlying 
it all, the real question is, what is the standpoint of the scien- 
tific mind which investigates. What is authoritative with 
him? His philosophical theory and working hypothesis, or 
his religious faith? In other words, does his religion or phi- 
losophy control his thinking? Is it reason or faith that is 
supreme? Is his authority human or divine? There is no 

110 The Fundamentals 

question here of having one without the other, that is, having 
faith without reason, for that is impossible. The question is, 
which is supreme ? For some time I thought one could hold 
these views of the Old Testament and still retain his faith 
in evangelical Christianity. I found, however, that this could 
be done only by holding my philosophy in check and within 
certain limits. It could not be rigorously applied to all things. 
Two supreme things could not exist in the mind at the same 
time. If my theories were supreme, then I was following 
human reason, not faith, and was a rationalist to that extent. 
If the presuppositions of my religious faith were supreme and 
in accordance with the Biblical presuppositions and beliefs, 
then my philosophy must be held in abeyance. The funda- 
mentals of our religious faith, as known in the Bible and his- 
tory, are a belief in divine revelation, the miraculous birth, the 
life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-Man. Insepa- 
rable from these there is also the fact of a supernatural power 
in regeneration. The philosophy of the critics cannot consist- 
ently make room for these. Thus the real question becomes 
one of authority, viz.: shall the scientific hypothesis be 
supreme in my thinking, or the presuppositions of the Chris- 
tian faith? If I make my philosophical viewpoint supreme, 
then I am compelled to construe the Bible and Christianity 
through my theory and everything which may not fit into that 
theory must be rejected. This is the actual standpoint of the 
critic. His is a philosophical rather than a religious spirit. 
Such was Gnosticism in the early centuries. It construed 
Christ and Christianity through the categories of a Graeco- 
Oriental philosophy and thus was compelled to reject some 
of the essentials of Christianity. Such was the Scholasticism 
of the Middle Ages, which construed Christianity through the 
categories of the Aristotelian Logic and the Neo-platonic Phi- 
losophy. Such is the Higher Criticism which construes every- 
thing through the hypothesis of evolution. The spirit of the 
movement is thus essentially scholastic and rationalistic. 

My Experience with. Higher Criticism 111 

it became more and more obvious to me that the movement 
was entirely intellectual, an attempt in reality to intellectualize 
all religious phenomena. I saw also that it was a partial and 
one-sided intellectualism, with a strong bias against the funda- 
mental tenets of Biblical Christianity. Such a movement does 
not produce that intellectual humility which belongs to the 
Christian mind. On the contrary, it is responsible for a vast 
amount of intellectual pride, an aristocracy of intellect with 
all the snobbery which usually accompanies that term. Do 
they not exactly correspond to Paul's word, "vainly puffed 
up in his fleshly mind and not holding fast the head, etc.?" 
They have a splendid scorn for all opinions which do not 
agree with theirs. Under the spell of this sublime contempt 
they think they can ignore anything that does not square with 
their evolutionary hypothesis. The center of gravity of their 
thinking is in the theoretical not in the religious, in reason, not 
in faith. Supremely satisfied with its self-constituted authority, 
the mind thinks itself competent to criticise the Bible, the 
thinking of all the centuries, and even Jesus Christ Himself. 
The followers of this cult have their full share of the frailties 
of human nature. Rarely, if ever, can a thoroughgoing critic 
be an evangelist, or even evangelistic ; he is educational. How 
is it possible for a preacher to be a power for God, whose 
source of authority is his own reason and convictions? The 
Bible can scarcely contain more than good advice for such a 

I was much impressed with their boast of having all schol- 
arship on their side. It is very gratifying to feel oneself abreast 
with the times, up to date, and in the front rank of thought. 
But some investigation and consideration led me to see that 
the boast of scholarship is tremendously overdone. Many 
leading scholars are with them, but a majority of the most 
reverent and judicious scholars are not. The arrogant boasts 
of these people would be very amusing, if they were not '?o 
influential. Certainly most of the books put forth of late by 

112 The Fundamentals 

Old Testament scholars are on their side, but there is a formid- 
able list on the other side and it is growing larger every day. 
Conservative scholarship is rapidly awakening, and, while it 
will retain the legitimate use of the invaluable historical meth- 
od, will sweep from the field most of the speculations of the 
critics. A striking characteristic of these people is a persistent 
ignoring of what is written on the other side. They think to 
kill their antagonist by either ignoring or despising him. They 
treat their opponents something as Goliath treated David, and 
in the end the result will be similar. They have made no 
attempt to answer Robertson's "The Early Religion of 
Israel;" Orr's "The Problem of the Old Testament;" Wiener's 
"Studies in Biblical Law" and "Studies in Pentateuchical 
Criticism," etc. They still treat these books which have under- 
mined the very foundations of their theories with the same 
magnificent scorn. There is a nemesis in such an attitude. 

But the spirit of the critical movement manifests some 
very doubtful aspects in its practical working out among the 
pastors and churches. Adherents of this movement accept 
the spiritual oversight of churches which hold fast to the 
Biblical view of the Bible, while they know that their own 
views will undermine many of the most cherished beliefs of 
the churches. Many try to be critics and conservative at the 
same time. They would "run with the hare and hunt with 
the hounds," professing to be in full sympathy with evangelical 
Christianity while abiding their opportunity to inculcate their 
own views, which, as we have seen, is really to forsake the 
Christian standpoint. The morality of such conduct is, to 
say the least, very doubtful. It has led to much mischief 
among the churches and injury to the work. A preacher who 
has thoroughly imbibed these beliefs has no proper place in 
an evangelical Christian pulpit. Such a spirit is not according 
to the spirit of the religion they profess to believe. 

But another weighty reason for rejecting the Higher Criti- 
cism is 

My Experience with Higher Criticism 113 


Ten or twenty years ago these scholars believed their views 
would immensely advance the cause of Christianity and true 
religion. They are by no means so sure of that now. It is 
not meeting with the universal acceptance they anticipated. 
Making a mere hypothesis the supreme thing in our thinking, 
we are forced to construe everything accordingly. Thus the 
Bible, the Christ and the religious experiences of men are sub- 
jected to the same scientific analysis. Carry this out to its 
logical conclusion and what would be the result ? There would 
be all science and no religion. In the array of scientific facts 
all religion would be evaporated. God, Christ, the Bible, and 
all else would be reduced to a mathematical or chemical 
formula. This is the ideal and goal of the evolutionary hypoth- 
esis. The rationalist would rejoice at it, but the Christian 
mind shrinks with horror from it. The Christian conscious- 
ness perceives that an hypothesis which leads to such results is 
one of its deadliest foes. 

Another danger also arises here. When one makes his 
philosophy his authority, it is not a long step until he makes 
himself his own god. His own reason becomes supreme in his 
thinking and this reason becomes his lord. This is the inevi- 
table logic of the hypothesis mentioned, and some adherents 
of the school have taken this step. They recognize no author- 
ity but their own moral instincts and philosophical reason. 
Now, as the evolution theory makes all things exist only in 
a state of change, of flux, or of becoming, God is therefore 
changing and developing, the Bible and Christ will be out- 
grown, Christianity itself will be left behind. Hence, there is 
no absolute truth, nothing in the moral religious world is fixed 
or certain. All truth is in solution; there is no precipitate 
upon which we can rely. There is no absolute standard of 
Ethics, no authority in religion, every one is practically his 
own god. Jesus Christ is politely thanked for His services in 

114 The Fundamentals 

the past, gallantly conducted to the confines of His world and 
bowed out as He is no longer needed and His presence might 
be very troublesome to some people. Such a religion is the 
very negation of Christianity, is a distinct reversion to hea- 
thenism. It may be a cultured and refined heathenism with a 
Christian veneer, but yet a genuine heathenism. 

I am far from saying that all adherents of this school go 
to such lengths, but why do they not? Most of them had an 
early training under the best conservative influences which 
inculcated a wholesome reverence for the Bible as an author- 
ity in religion and morals. This training they can never fully 
outgrow. Many of them are of a good, sturdy religious ances- 
try, of rigid, conservative training and genuine religious expe- 
rience. Under these influences they have acquired a strong 
hold upon Christianity and can never be removed from it. 
They hold a theoretical standpoint and a religious experience 
together, failing, as I believe, to see the fundamental contra- 
diction between them. Slowly the Christian consciousness and 
Christian scholarship are asserting themselves. Men are begin- 
ning to see how irreconcilable the two positions are and there 
will be the inevitable cleavage in the future. Churches are 
none too soon or too seriously alarmed. Christianity is begin- 
ning to see that its very existence is at stake in this subtle 
attempt to do away with the supernatural. I have seen the 
Unitarian, the Jew, the free thinker, and the Christian who 
has imbibed critical views, in thorough agreement on the Old 
Testament and its teachings. They can readily hobnob to- 
gether, for the religious element becomes a lost quantity; 
the Bible itself becomes a plaything for the intellect, a merry- 
go-round for the mind partially intoxicated with its theory. 

As has been already intimated, one of the results of the 
critical processes has been to rearrange the Bible according to 
its own point of view. This means that it has to "a large 
extent set it aside as an authority. Such a result is serious 
enough, but a much more serious result follows. This is 

My Experience with Higher Criticism 115 

the reflection such a Bible casts upon the character and meth- 
ods of God in His revelation of Himself to men. It will 
scarcely be doubted by even a radical critic, that the Bible is 
the most uplifting book in the world, that its religious teach- 
ings are the best the world has known. If such be the case, 
it must reflect more of God's character and methods than any 
other book. The writers themselves must exemplify many 
of the traits of the God they write about. What then must 
be the methods of a holy and loving God ? If He teaches men 
truth by parable or history or illustration, the one essential 
thing about these parables or histories is that they be true to 
life or history or nature. Can a God who is absolutely just 
and holy teach men truths about Himself by means of that 
which is false ? Men may have taught truth by means of false- 
hoods and other instruments and perhaps succeeded, but God 
can hardly be legitimately conceived of as using any such 
means. Jesus Christ taught the greatest of truths by means of 
parables, illustrations, etc., but every one was true to life or 
nature or history. The Christian consciousness, which is the 
highest expression of the religious life of mankind, can never 
conceive of Jesus as using that which was in itself untrue, as 
a vehicle to convey that which is true. In like manner if 
God had anything to do with the Old Testament, would He 
make use of mere myths, legends, sagas, invented and falsified 
history, which have no foundation in fact and are neither true 
to nature, history nor life ? Will God seek to uplift mankind 
by means of falsehood ? Will He sanction the use of such dis- 
honest means and pious frauds, such as a large part of the 
Pentateuch is, if the critics are right? Could He make use 
of such means for such a holy purpose and let His people feed 
on falsehood for centuries and centuries and deceive them into 
righteousness? Falsehood will not do God's will; only truth 
can do that. Is there nothing in the story of creation, of the 
fall, the flood, the call and promise to Abraham, the life of 
Jacob and Joseph and the great work of Moses? If all these 

116 The Fundamentals 

things are not true to fact or to life, then God has been an 
arch-deceiver and acts on the Jesuit maxim, "The end justifies 
the means." This would apply to the finding of the Law in 
Josiah's time, and the giving of the law under Ezra. That 
such a lot of spurious history, deceptive inventions and falsi- 
fying history should achieve such a success is most astonish- 
ing. Is it possible that a holy God should be behind all this 
and promote righteousness thereby? This surely is conniving 
at evil and using methods unworthy of the name of God. To 
say that God was shut up to such a method is preposterous. 
Such a conception of God as is implied in the critical position 
is abhorrent to one who believes in a God of truth. 

Perhaps the Book of Daniel at the hands of the critic 
best illustrates this point. No one can deny the religious qual- 
ity of the book. It has sublime heights and depths and has 
had a mighty influence in the world. No one can read the book 
carefully and reverently without feeling its power. Yet 
according to the modern view the first six or seven chapters 
have but a grain of truth in them. They picture in a wonder- 
fully vivid manner the supernatural help of God in giving 
Daniel power to interpret dreams, in delivering from the fiery 
furnace, in saving from the lion's mouth, smiting King 
Nebuchadnezzar, etc. All this is high religious teaching, has 
had a great influence for good and was intended for a mes- 
sage from God to encourage faith. Yet, according to the 
critics these events had no foundation in fact, the supernat- 
ural did not take place, the supposed facts upon which these 
sublime religious lessons are based could never have occurred. 
Yet the God of .. truth has used such a book with such teach- 


ing to do great good in the world. He thus made abundant 
use of fiction and falsehood. According to this view He has also 
been deceiving the best people of the world for millenniums, 
using the false and palming it off as true. Such a God may 
be believed in by a critic, but the Christian consciousness 
revolts at it. It is worthy of a Zeus, or perhaps the Demiurge 

My Experience with Higher Criticism 117 

of Marcion, but He is not the God of Israel, not the God and 
Father of Jesus Christ. "But," says the critic, "the religious 
lessons are great and good." Are they ? Can a story or illus- 
tration or parable teach good religious lessons when it is in 
itself essentially untrue to nature, history and life? To 'assert 
such a thing would seem to imply a moral and religious blind- 
ness that is scarcely credible. It is true there are many grave 
difficulties in the book of Daniel, but are they as great as the 
moral difficulty implied in the critical view? 

The foregoing embody my chief reasons for rejecting the 
position of the Critical School with which I was once in sym- 
pathy. Their positions are not merely vagaries, they are essen- 
tially attempts to undermine revelation, the Bible and evan- 
gelical Christianity. If these views should ultimately prevail, 
Christianity will be set aside for what is known as the New 
Religion, which is no religion, but a philosophy. All critics 
believe that traditional Christianity will largely, if not alto- 
gether, give place to the modern view, as it is called. But 
we maintain that traditional Christianity has the right of way. 
It must and will be somewhat modified by the conception of 
a developing revelation and the application of the historical 
method, but must prevail in all its essential features. It has 
a noble ancestry and a glorious history. The Bible writers are 
all on its side; the bulk of Jewish scholars of the past are 
in the procession; it has Jesus, the Son of God, in its ranks, 
with the apostles, prophets, the martyrs, the reformers, the 
theologians, the missionaries and the great preachers and evan- 
gelists. The great mass of God's people are with it. I prefer 
to belong to that goodly company rather than with the heathen 
Porphyry, the pantheistic Spinoza, the immoral Astruc, the 
rationalistic Reuss, Vatke, Graf, Kuenen and Wellhausen, 
with a multitude of their disciples of all grades. Theirs is a 
new traditionalism begun by those men and handed down to 
others in England and America. Most of these disciples owe 
their religious life and training almost entirely to the tradi- 

118 The Fundamentals 

tional view. The movement has quickened study of the Old 
Testament, has given a valuable method, a great many facts, a 
fresh point of view, but its extravagancies, its vagaries, its 
false assumptions and immoralities will in time be sloughed by 
the Christian consciousness as in the past it has sloughed off 
Gnosticism, Pantheism, Scholasticism and a host of other 
philosophical or scientific fads and fancies. 




I was brought up in the Church of England and was pretty 
religious so most people thought. I was taken to church and 
baptized the right day, and after a time Twas confirmed and 
took communion. But I did not know anything about Jesus 
Christ personally. I knew a little about Him, as I may know 
a little about President Taf t, but I did not know Him. There 
was not a moment in my life when I ever doubted that there 
was a God, or that Jesus Christ was the Saviour of the world ; 
but I did not know Him as my personal Saviour. We boys 
were brought up to go to church regularly, but, although we 
had a kind of religion, it was not a religion that amounted 
to much. It was just like having a toothache. We were 
always sorry to have Sunday come, and glad when we came 
to Monday morning. The Sabbath was the dullest day of 
the whole week, and just because we got hold of the wrong 
end of religion. A man may get hold of the wrong end of a 
poker, and I got hold of the wrong end of religion and had to 
pay dearly for it. We had lots of ministers and lots of 
churches all around us, but we never saw such a thing as a 
real convert. We didn't believe much in converts in those 
days. We thought that the Chinese and Africans had to be 
converted; but the idea of an Englishman being converted 
was absurd, because it made him out a heathen before he was 

My father was just a man of the world, loving all sorts 
of worldly things. He had made a fortune in India and had 
come back to England to spend it He was very fond of 
sports of all kinds. He would go into regular training that 


120 The Fundamentals 

he might go fox hunting, but above all he was an enthusiast 
on horse racing. He was passionately fond of horses to 
begin with and when he saw fine horses he would buy them 
and train them, and then he would race them. He had a large 
place in the country, where he made a race course, and he 
won the biggest steeple-chase in London three times. At last 
he got hold of a horse better than anyone he had ever had, 
and so certain was he of winning the race that he wrote to 
a friend in London and said, "If you are a wise man you 
will come to the race tomorrow and put every penny you 
have on my horse." 

Unknown to my father this man had been converted. Mr. 
Moody had come to England and had been preaching. Nobody 
believed very much at that time in a man getting up to preach 
the Gospel unless he had two things the title of Reverend, 
and a white tie round his neck. The papers could not under- 
stand such a preacher as Mr. Moody, who had neither, and 
of course they printed column after column against him. But 
they could not help seeing that he could get more people to 
his meetings than half a dozen archbishops, and that more 
were converted than by twenty ordinary ministers. Of course 
they did not put the right construction on things. They said 
that Mr. Sankey had come over to sell organs, and Mr. Moody 
to sell his hymn books. My father read the papers day after 
day and these things tickled him immensely. I remember one 
evening he threw the paper down and said, "Well, anyhow, 
when this man comes to London I am going to hear him. 
There must be some good about the man or he would never 
be abused so much by the papers." 

Well, father went up to London the next day according to 
promise, and met his friend. This man had been over to Ire- 
Jand when Mr. Moody was there, and as he was about to 
leave Dublin had missed his train. God was even in that, 
missing a train. It was Saturday night, and the man had to 
remain over Sunday. As he was looking about the streets 

A Personal Testimony 121 

that evening he saw the big bills advertising Moody and San- 
key, and he thought, "I will just go and hear those Americans." 
He went and God met him ; he went again and God converted 
him. He was a new man, and yet when my father wrote 
that letter he never said anything about it. When they met 
and drove along in a carriage father talked of nothing but 
horses, and told this man if he were a wise man he would put 
up every penny he had on that horse. After father had fin- 
ished his business he came back to this friend and said, "How 
much money have you put on my horse?" "Nothing." My 
father said, "You are the biggest fool I ever saw ; didn't I tell 
you what a good horse he was? But though you are a fool, 
come along with me to dinner." After dinner my father said, 
"Now, where shall we go to amuse ourselves?" His friend 
said, "Anywhere." My father said, "Well, you are the guest; 
you shall choose where we shall go." "Well, we will go and 
hear Moody." My father said, "Oh, no, this isn't Sunday. 
We will go to the theater, or concert." But the man said, 
"You promised to go wherever I chose." So my father had 
to go. They found the building was full and there were no 
seats in the hall except special ones. This man knew he would 
never get my father there again, so he worked himself into 
the crowd until he came across one of the committee. He 
said to him, "Look here; I have brought a wealthy sporting 
gentleman here, but I will never get him here again if we do 
not get a seat." The man took them in and put them right 
straight in front of Mr. Moody. My father never took his 
eyes off Mr. Moody until he finished his address. After the 
meeting my father said, "I will come and hear this man 
again. He just told me everything I had ever done." My 
father kept going until he was right soundly converted. 

That afternoon my father had been full of a thing that 
takes possession of a man's heart and head more than any- 
thing else that passion for horse racing; and in the evening 
he was a changed man. It was the same skin, but a new man 

122 The Fundamentals 

altogether inside. When we boys came home from college 
we didn't understand what had come over him, but father 
kept continually telling us that he was born again. We thought 
he was just born upside down, because he was always asking 
us about our soiils, and we didn't like it. Of course, he took 
us to hear Mr. Moody, and we were impressed a good deal, 
but were not converted. 

When my father was converted of course he could not 
go on living the same life as before. He could not go to balls, 
card parties, and all that sort of thing. His conscience told 
him so, and he said to Mr. Moody: "I want to be straight 
with you. If I become a Christian will I have to give up 
racing,. and shooting, and hunting, and theaters, and balls?" 
"Well," Mr. Moody said, "Mr. Studd, you have been straight 
with me; I will be straight with you. Racing means betting, 
and betting means gambling, and I don't see how a gambler 
is going to be a Christian. Do the other things as long as 
you like." My father asked again about the theater and cards, 
and Mr. Moody said, "Mr. Studd, you have children and 
people you love; and now you are a saved man yourself, 
and you want to get them saved. God will give you some 
souls and as soon as ever you have won a soul you won't 
care about any of the other things." Sure enough, we found 
to our astonishment that father didn't care for any of those 
things any longer ; he only cared about one thing, and that was 
saving souls. 

He took us to hear Mr. Moody and other men, and when 
Mr. Moody left England my father opened his country house, 
and held meetings there in the evenings. He asked ministers 
and business men from London to come down and speak to 
the people about their souls. The people would come for 
miles to attend the meetings, and many were converted. One 
of these gentlemen came down to preach one day and 'as I 
was going out to play cricket he caught me unawares and said, 
"Are you a Christian?" I said, "I am not what you call a 

A Personal Testimony 123 

Christian. I have believed on Jesus Christ since I was knee 
high. Of course I believe in the church, too." I thought by 
answering him pretty close I would get rid of him, but he 
stuck tight as wax and said, "Look here, God so loved the 
world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever 
believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
You believe Jesus Christ died?" "Yes." "You believe He 
died for you?" "Yes." "Do you believe the other half of 
the verse 'shall have everlasting life ?' " "No," I said, "I 
don't believe that." He said, "Don't you think you are a bit 
inconsistent, believing one half of the verse and not the other 
half ?" "I suppose I am." "Well," he said, "are you always 
going to be inconsistent?" "No," I said, "I suppose not 
always." He said, "Will you be consistent now ?" I saw that 
I was cornered and I began to think, "If I go out of this room 
inconsistent, I won't carry very much self-respect." I said, 
"Yes, I will be consistent." "Well, don't you see that eternal 
life is a gift ? When somebody gives you a present at Christ- 
mas, what do you do ?" "I take it and say, 'Thank you.' " 
He said, "Will you say Thank you' to God for this gift?" 
Then I got down on my knees and I did say "Thank you" 
to God. And right then and there joy and peace came into my 
soul. I knew then what it was to be born again, and the 
Bible, which had been so dry to me before, became every- 

One day when I was in London, a friend asked me to come 
to tea with him and his wife who were Christians. After 
'tea, when we were talking about the Bible around the open 
fire, this friend said, "Have you heard of the wonderful bless- 
ing Mrs. Watson has got lately ?" I said, "Why, she has been 
a Christian a long time." He said, "Yes, but she is quite dif- 
ferent now." I had heard people talking about getting other 
blessings besides conversion, but I would not believe it. Then 
my friend opened his Bible and showed plainly enough from 
the Scriptures that there were other blessings besides conver- 

124 The Fundamentals.. 

sion. Then he said, "Have you these other blessings ?" I said, 
"No, I have not." I was just angry because I wanted to know 
what I was going to do for God. We knelt down and asked 
God very simply that God would give us all He had for us. 
When I went back to my room I got hold of "The Christian's 
Secret of a Happy Life." That night I just meant business, 
and it seemed to come so plain old truths, it may be, but they 
seemed to grip me that time." I had known about Jesus Christ's 
dying for me, but I had never understood that if he had died 
for me, then I didn't belong to myself. Redemption means 
"buying back" so that if I belonged to Him, either I had to be 
a thief and keep what wasn't mine, or else I had to give up 
everything to God. When I came to see that Jesus Christ had 
died for me, it didn't seem hard to give up all to Him. It 
seemed just common, ordinary honesty. Then I read in the 
book : "When you have surrendered all to God, you have given 
him all the responsibility, as well as everything else. It is God 
who is responsible to look after you and all you have to do is 
to trust. Put your hand in His and the Lord will lead you. It 
seemed quite a different thing after that and in a very short 
time God had told me what to do and where to go. God 
doesn't tell a person first by his head; He tells him first by 
the heart. God put it in my heart and made me long to go 
to China. 

There were lots of difficulties in the way. Possibly some 
of you have difficulties in your way. Don't you turn aside 
because of the difficulties. There was not one of all my rela- 
tives but thought that I had gone clean mad. My elder brother, 
who was a true Christian, said to me one evening, "Charlie, 
I think you are making a great mistake." I said, "There is no 
mistake about it." He said: "You are away every night at 
the meetings and you do not see mother. I see her, and this is 
just breaking her heart. I think you are wrong." I -said, 
"Let us ask God. I do not want to be pig-headed and go 
out there of my own accord, I just want to do God's will." It 

A Personal Testimony 125 

was hard to have this brother, who had been such a help, think 
it was a mistake. We got down on our knees and put the 
whole matter in God's hands. That night I could not get to 
sleep, but it seemed as though I heard someone say this verse 
over and over, "Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen 
for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for 
thy possession." I knew it was God's voice speaking to me. 
When I got to China I knew why He said that verse so often. 
Winning souls out there is the same thing as here, only 
more difficult. The devil comes to one and says, "Why don't 
you go home? You can save more souls there than here." 
But I had received marching orders to go to China and I had 
God to give them as plain to go back. Not only did God make 
it right with the brother, but the night I was leaving home 
God made my mother willing that I should go to China. 

My father made me become of age at twenty-five. I was 
twenty-three when I went to China; and for two or three 
years it seemed as if God kept me walking up and down that 
country. Finally I was sent to a station where there had been 
a riot. Every missionary's house had been knocked down, 
and they had been sent away; but the British consul was 
there, although he had been nearly killed. When a friend and 
myself got into that town we meant to hold the fort. When 
the consul saw us it was as though he had seen a couple of 
ghosts. He said, "However did you get here? There are 
guards in every gate of the city to prevent any foreign devil 
from coming in." We said that God had brought us in and 
told him what we had come for. He said, "No; you cannot 
stay here; I can give you a passport up or down the river, but 
no foreigners are allowed here except myself." After a little 
he said, "If you would like to stay in that hovel there you 
can; but there is not room for more than one." Then we 
began to discuss which should stay. My friend was going 
to be married and I was not, but he wanted to stay. Finally, 
the consul asked us to dinner, and in the midst of dinner he 

126 The Fundamentals 

turned to me and said, "Studd, will you stay with me?" That 
settled the matter. I didn't know why God had sent me to 
that place until some time afterwards. 

One day when I was reading the harmony of the Gospels I 
came to where Christ talked with the rich young man. Then 
God seemed to bring all the vows I had made back to me. A 
few days later the post, which came only every half-month, 
brought letters from the solicitor and banker to show what I 
had become heir to. Then God made me just ordinarily hon- 
est and told me what to do. Then I learned why I had been 
sent to that particular place. I needed to draw up papers giv- 
ing the "power of attorney," and for that I had to have the 
signature of one of Her Majesty's officers. I went to this 
consul and when he saw the paper he said, "I won't sign it. 
You don't know what you are doing." Finally, he said that 
he would give me two weeks to think it over and then if I 
wished he would sign it. I took it back at the end of two 
weeks and he signed it and off the stuff went. 

God has promised to give a hundredfold for everything we 
give to him. An hundredfold is a wonderful percentage ; it is 
ten thousand per cent. God began to give me back the hun- 
dredfold wonderfully quick. Not long after this I was sent 
down to Shanghai. My brother, who had been very ill, had 
gone right back into the world again. On account of his 
health the doctors sent him round the world in search of better. 
He thought he would just come and touch at Shanghai and 
see me. He said he was not going to stay very long for he 
was mighty afraid he would get too much religion. He took 
his berth for Japan about the next day after he arrived. But 
God soon gave him as much religion as he could hold and he 
cancelled that passage to Japan and stayed with me six 
months. When I saw that brother right soundly converted I 
said, "This is ten thousand per cent and more." 


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MENT 46 

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The question as to whether or not the old Mosaic Taber- 
nacle ever existed is one of far greater consequence than most 
people imagine. It is so, particularly because of the very inti- 
mate connection existing between it and the truth or falsity of 
the higher-critic theory in general. If that theory is all that 
the critics claim for it, then of course the Tabernacle had no 
existence; and this is the view held by at least most of the 
critics. But if, on the other hand, the old Mosaic Tabernacle 
did really exist, and the story of it as given in the Bible is 
not, as the critics assert, merely a fiction, then the higher- 
critic scheme cannot be true. 

The question, therefore, to be discussed in the following 
pages, viz., whether the Mosaic Tabernacle really did or did 
not exist, is certainly one of great and wide-reaching signi- 
ficance; which significance will become more and more appar- 
ent as the discussion goes forward. With this brief intro- 

8 The Fundamentals 

duction we take up the subject; merely premising further, that 
this article was originally prepared as a booklet, in which shape 
it contained a considerable amount of matter not appearing 


One peculiarity of the higher criticism is what may be 
called its unbounded audacity in attacking and attempting to 
destroy many of the most solidly established facts of the 
Bible. No matter with what amount of evidence any partic- 
ular Scripture fact may be capable of demonstration, if it 
happens to oppose any of the more fundamental notions of 
the critical hypothesis, away it must go as unworthy of accept- 
ance by so-called "science," or at all events, the entire array 
of critical doubts and imaginings is brought to bear, in order 
to cast suspicion upon it, or to get rid of it in some way. 


A striking illustration of such procedure is furnished by 
the peculiar treatment accorded by the critics to that old relig- 
ious structure which, being built by Moses near Mt. Sinai, 
is usually named the Tabernacle, or the Tabernacle in the 
Wilderness. That such a structure not only existed, but was 
for some five hundred years a very conspicuous object in 
ancient Israelitish history, is a fact to which the Bible itself 
lends no small amount of evidence. For example, there are 
found in the book of Exodus alone some thirteen chapters 
devoted to a minute description of the plan and construction 
of that building. Then, as explanatory of the Tabernacle's 
services, its dedication, means of transportation, the work of 
the priests and Levites to some extent, and various other mat- 
ters connected with the structure, the entire book of Leviticus 
with some ten chapters in Numbers may be cited. Besides, 
scattered all through both the Old and New Testaments there 
.are many allusions and notices some of them merely inci- 
dental, but others more historical in nature all -of which go 
toward establishing the Tabernacle's historicity. And finally 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 9 

which is perhaps the most convincing testimony of all we 
have given us in the New Testament one whole book, the 
Epistle to the Hebrews, which concerns, especially explain- 
ing from a Christian point of view, the typology and religious 
significance of that old building. 


With so much evidence, therefore, to be adduced, even 
from the Scriptures, in support of the Tabernacle's historicity, 
one would think that it requires at least some literary bravery, 
not to say presumptuous audacity, for any individual or class 
of men to assail, with the expectation of overthrowing, a fact 
so solidly established as would seem to be that of the Taber- 
nacle's real existence. Nevertheless, difficult as such task may 
appear, the critics have not hesitated most vigorously to 
undertake it. According to their notion the whole story of 
the Tabernacle, as recorded in the Bible, is simply a fiction, 
or, more properly speaking, a literary forgery a concoction 
gotten up perhaps by some of those priestly scribes who 
returned with Ezra from the Babylonian exile; their special 
purpose in devising such a story being to help in the introduc- 
tion of a new temple ritual at Jerusalem, or perhaps it was 
also to glorify the distant past in the history of the Israelites.* 


Thus we have presented to us two widely different and 
opposing views respecting the Tabernacle's existence. One 
of them, which is the view of at least most higher critics/is 
that this old structure never existed at all ; while, on the other 
hand, the orthodox and Biblical conception is that not only 
in the days of Moses but long afterwards this fabric had a 
most interesting and important history. Which, then, of these 
two so widely different "doctrines are we pleased to accept ? 

*As explained by Nodelke, another purpose of this forgery was "to 
give pre-existence to the temple and to the unity of worship." But this 
is virtually included in the two purposes above named. 

10 l The Fundamentals 


1. Whichever one is accepted by us, certain it is that an 
earnest discussion, such as we hope to effect, of the question 
above stated, is a matter of no little consequence. Such a 
discussion is important, first of all, because of the light which 
it will throw upon all the history of God's first chosen people 
the Israelites. It will at least tell us something about the kind 
of civilization this ancient people must have had ; and more 
particularly will it tell us whether that civilization was, as the 
higher critics represent, one low down on the scale, or whether 
these Israelites had already made a good degree of progress 
in all the arts, disciplines, and branches of knowledge which 
usually belong to a moderately high state of civilization. 
Surely, then, there is at least some benefit to be derived from 
the study before us. 

2. But another advantage which will come from this same 
study is that it will help us to a solution of a somewhat 
curious, but yet important, historical problem; viz., whether 
as a matter of history the Temple preceded the Tabernacle, as 
the higher critics claim, and, therefore, that the Tabernacle 
must be regarded as only "a diminutive copy" of the Temple; 
or vice versa, whether, as is taught by the Bible, the Taber- 
nacle went first, and hence that the Temple was in its construc- 
tion patterned after the Tabernacle. To be sure, at first sight 
this does not appear to be a very important question ; yet when 
the historical, literary and other connections involved in it are 
considered, it does after all become a question of no little sig- 

3. But the most determinative and therefore the most sig-? 
nificant interest we have in a discussion of the question as 
proposed, is the bearing which it has upon the truth or falsity 
of the higher criticism. As is known to persons conversant 
with that peculiar method of Bible study, one of its main 
contentions is that the whole Levitical or ceremonial law 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 11 

that is, the law of worship as recorded especially in Exodus, 
Leviticus arid Numbers did not originate, or at all events did 
not make its appearance, until somewhere near the close of 
the Babylonian exile, or about the time when Ezra first 
appears in Jewish history. By thus removing all that part of 
the Pentateuch down the centuries, from the time of Moses to 
the time of Ezra, the critics are able not only to deny the 
Mosaic authorship of this Pentateuchal literature, but also to 
construct a scheme of their own by which all the separate 
"documents" into which they are accustomed to divide the 
Pentateuch can be put together in a kind of whole ; each par- 
ticular document being singled out and designated according 
to its date, authorship, and other peculiarities, such as the 
critics suppose belong to it. Moreover, in this way the Penta- 
teuch is all torn to pieces, and instead of its being really a 
connected, organic whole, such as the orthodox world has 
always conceived it to be, it is by this peculiar higher-critic 
method transformed into a mere patch-work, a disjointed 
affair, having no more divine authority or inspiration con- 
nected with it than any other piece of human literature that. 
has come into being through the law of evolution. 

Such, however, is exactly what the critics would make of 
the Pentateuch, and indeed of much else in the Bible, if they 
could have their way. 

But now suppose that after all the old Mosaic Tabernacle 
did really exist, what effect would that have upon the suc- 
cess of the critical hypothesis? It would absolutely frustrate 
all attempts to carry this hypothesis successfully through. 
Such would necessarily be the result, because, first of all, if 
. that portion of the Pentateuch which contains the ceremonial 
or Levitical law is transferred down to Ezra's time, the old 
Tabernacle, for the services of which this law was designed, 
must necessarily come with it But then, in the second place, 
a really existing Tabernacle so far down the centuries, or long- 
after the Temple at Jerusalem had been built and was regarded: 

12 The Fundamentals 

by the Jews as their great central place of worship, would have 
been not only an architectural curiosity, but an anachronism 
such as even the critical imagination could scarcely be accused 
either of devising or accepting. 

The only way, therefore, open for the critics, if they are 
still to hold fast their theory, is for them to do precisely what 
they have undertaken; namely, to blot out or destroy the 
Tabernacle as a real existence, and then to reconstruct the 
entire story of it, as given in the Bible, in the form of a fiction. 
This they have really attempted. 

But by so doing the critics must, after all, confess that the 
foundation upon which they build is very insecure, because it 
is simply an assumption. If, therefore, in opposition to such 
assumption, this article shall be able to demonstrate that the 
old Mosaic Tabernacle actually existed, then the underpinning 
of the critical hypothesis is. at once removed, and the entire 
edifice with all of its many stories must collapse. And if all 
this is true, then it is not too much to say, as is affirmed in 
the sub-title of this article, that the whole truth or falsity 
of the critical scheme depends upon what may be proven 
true respecting the Tabernacle's non-existence or existence. 

And thus, moreover, is made to appear the exceeding 
importance of the discussion we have undertaken. 


But what do the higher critics themselves say with regard 
to this matter of the Tabernacle's real existence? To quote 
from only a few of them, Wellhausen, e. g., who is the great 
coryphseus of the higher-critic doctrine, writes as follows: 
"The Temple, which in reality was not built until Solomon's 
time, is by this document [the so-called Priestly Code] re- 
garded as so indispensable, even for the troubled days of the 
wilderness before the settlement, that it is made portable, 
and in the form of a tabernacle set up in the very beginning 
of things. For the truth is that the Tabernacle is a copy, not 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 13 

the prototype, of the temple at Jerusalem" (Proleg., Eng. 
trans., p. 37). So also Graf, who preceded Wellhausen in 
higher-critic work, affirms that the Tabernacle is only "a 
diminutive copy of the Temple," and that "all that is said 
about this structure in the middle books of the Pentateuch 
is merely post-exilic accretion." Once more, to hear from a 
more recent authority, Dr. A. R. S. Kennedy, in Hastings' 
Dictionary of the Bible, has these words: "The attitude of 
modern Old Testament scholarship to the priestly legislation 
as now formulated in the Pentateuch, and in particular to 
those sections of it which deal with the sanctuary and its 
worship, is opposed to the historicity of P's [that is, the old 
Mosaic] Tabernacle." The same or a similar representation 
is given by Benzinger in the Encyclopaedia Biblica; and in 
fact this is, and must necessarily be, the attitude of all con- 
sistent higher critics toward the matter under consideration. 
For it would never do for the adherents of the critic theory 
to admit that away back in the old Mosaic times the Taber- 
nacle, with all its elaborate ritual, and with the lofty moral 
and spiritual ideas embodied in it, could have existed ; because 
that would be equivalent to admitting the falsity of their own 
doctrine. Accordingly with one voice the critics all, or nearly 
all, stoutly proclaim that no historicity whatever must be 
allowed to Moses' Tabernacle. 


To come then to the actual discussion of our subject, it 
might be said, in the first place, that there are certain great 
presumptions which lie in the way of our accepting the higher- 
critic theory as true. 

1. One of these presumptions is, that(j:his whole critic 
hypothesis goes on the assumption that what the Bible tells 
us regarding the real existence of the Tabernacle is not true,') 
or, in other words, that in a large part of its teachings the 
Bible speaks falsely. Can we believe that? Most assuredly 

14 The Fundamentals 

not/so long as we have any real appreciation of the lofty 
system of moral truth which is taught in this wonderful book 
a book which, more than any other ever produced, has taught 
the entire world common honesty, whether in literary work or 
other acts.) Therefore we say, regarding this whole matter 
of the Bible's speaking falsely, Judaeus Apella credat, non ego! 
(tet the higher critics believe that if they will, but surely 
not we ! 1 

Robert Burns has a poem, in which he says of lying in 
general: . 

"Some books are lies frae end to end, 
And some great lies were never penned; 
E'en ministers, they hae been kenned, 

In holy rapture, 
A rousing whid at tinies to vend, 

An' nail it wi' Scripture." 

Surely, the higher critics would not undertake to reduce our 
Christian Scriptures to the level of a book that has in it no 
truth from beginning to end; and yet it must be confessed 
that one serious tendency of their theory is greatly to lessen 
the general credibility of this sacred volume. 

2. But another presumption lying against the truthfulness 
of this higher criticism is, that it makes all the civilized ages 
from Ezra down to the present time to be so utterly lacking 
both in historic knowledge and literary sagacity, that, except- 
ing a few higher critics,(no one ever supposed the whole world 
was being deceived by this untrue story of the Tabernacle's 
real existence p when, if the facts were told, all these numer- 
ous ages have not only been themselves deceived, but have 
been also instrumental, one after another, in propagating 
that same old falsehood down the centuries ! Again we say : 
Judaeus Apella credat, non ego! The higher-critic preten- 
sions to having a greater wisdom and knowledge than is pos- 
sessed by all the rest of the world, are very well known; but 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 15 

this illustration of that peculiarity seems to us rather to cap 
the climax. 

3. And here, if we choose to go farther, it might be 
shown that, if this peculiar doctrine is true, then the Savior 
and all of his Apostles were mistaken. For certainly Christ 
(see Matt. 12:3, 4) and perhaps all the Apostles without 
exception, did believe in the Tabernacle as a real existence ; 
and one of the Apostles, or at least an apostolic writer, went 
so far, in the Book of Hebrews, as. to compose what may be 
termed an extensive and inspired commentary on that sacred 
structure on its apartments, furniture, priesthood and serv- 
ices; bringing out particularly, from a Christian point of view, 
the rich typical significance of all those 'matters, f Now that 
all these inspired men and the Savior Himself should either 
have been themselves deceived or should try to deceive others 
with regard to an important matter of Old Testament history 
is surely incredible.) 

1. Just here, however, we desire to introduce some con- 

*^ yi 

siderations of a different nature. I There exists, even outside 
of the Bible, a small amount of evidence in support of the 
Tabernacle's existence, and although we have already alluded 
to a part of this testimony, under the head of favoring pre- 
sumptions, /yet it will bear repetition or rather a fuller consid- 
eration. Now, as we conceive of this evidence! it consists, 
in the first place, of various notices or even of full descrip- 
tions of the Tabernacle as a real existence, which are found 
in very ancient writings, some of these writings being quite 
different from our Christian Scriptures) To be sure, a large 
part of this literature is copied in one way and another from 
the Bible, and none of it dates anything like so far back in 
time as do at least the earlier books of the Old Testament; 
and yet, as we shall see, some of it is very old, sufficiently 
so to give it a kind of confirmatory force in support of what 
the Bible has to say concerning the matter in hand. 

16 The Fundamentals 

The first testimony, then, of this sort to which we allude, 
is a full description of the Tabernacle in all its parts, services, 
priesthood and history, very nearly the same as that which 
is given in our modern Bibles, which can be found in the 
earliest translation ever made of the Old Testament that 
is, the Segtuagint. This translation appeared some two or 
three centuries before the time of Christ, and therefore it 
ought to be pretty good evidence of at least what its con- 
temporaries, or those far-off times, held to be true with 
regard to the matter under consideration. Then another 
testimony of like character comes from the Greek Apocrypha 
to the Old Testament, a work which appeared, or at least 
most of it, before the time of Christ; in which production 
there are found various allusions to the Tabernacle, and all 
of them to it as a real existence ; as, e. g., in Jud. 9:8; Wis. 
of Sol. 9:8; Eccl. 24:10, 15; and 2 Mac. 2:5. Moreover, in 
his Antiquities, Josephus, who wrote toward the end of the 
first century, gives another full description of that old struc- 
ture in its eytry .part,- including also something of its history. 
(See Antiq., Ik. III., Chs..VI. to XII.; also Bk. V., Ch. L, 
Sec. 19; Ch. a, Sec. 9; Ch. X., Sec. 2; Bk. VIIL, Ch. IV., 
Sec. 1.) And finally, in that vast collection of ancient Jew- 
ish traditions, comments, laws, speculations, etc., which goes 
under the name of the Talmud, there are not infrequent ref- 
erences made to this same old structure; and one of the 
treatises (part of the Bereitha)* in that collection is devoted 
exclusively to a consideration of this building. 

With so much literature, therefore, of one kind and an- 
other, all telling us something about the Tabernacle, and all 
or at least most of it going back for its origin to very near 
the time when at least the last part of the Old Testament was 

*The Bereitha (or Baraitha) is an apocryphal part of the Talmud; 
but it is very old, and embodies about the same quality of tradition 
in general as does the compilation made by Jehudah ha-Nasi, which 
is usually considered the genuine Mishna, or basis of the Talmud. 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 17 

written,, we have in these various sources, considered as a 
whole, if not an independent or direct testimony to the 
Tabernacle's existence, certainly something that points clearly 
in that direction. Or, in other words, inasmuch as these old 
writings, containing the various notices and descriptions which 
we have mentioned, existed away back so near tp Old Tes- 
tament times, these must have been acquainted with the best 
traditions of their day regarding what is taught in that part 
of our Bible; and, therefore, they must have known more 
about the truth of things as connected with the Tabernacle 
and its real existence than any authorities existing in these 
late times of ours possibly could. Or, at all events, they 
knew more about those matters than any of the mere guess- 
work speculations of modern higher critics possibly can, or 
are in a condition to know.* 

2. But there is another kind of evidence, of this external 
nature* which is more direct and independent, and therefore 
more significant with regard to the Tabernacle's existence. 
That evidence is what may be called the archaeological con- 
tribution to our argument. Part of it will be given later ;t but 
here we will simply call attention, first, to the fact that in 
all the region of Mt. Sinai there are to be seen at least some 
evidences of the possible presence there, even as is recorded 

*The value of this evidence is of course only that which belongs 
to tradition ; still it should be remembered that this tradition is a writ- 
ten one, dating away back to near the times of the Old Testament 
Moreover, it could be shown that this same kind of written tradition 
reaches back through the later books of the Old Testament, at least in a 
negative way, even to the time of Ezra; who surely. ought to know 
whether, as the critics say, the story of the Tabernacle as a fact of 
history was invented in his own day and generation. But inasmuch as 
Ezra does not tell us anything about that matter, it stands to reason, that 
as _ has since been reported by this long line of tradition, most of it 
being of a positive nature, no such invention ever took place, but that 
this story is simply a narrative of actual fact. At all events, as said in 
the text, it is far more likely that this old and long-cpntirtued tradition 
is correct in what it asserts, than is any of the denials of the higher 

fSee pp. 41-43. 

18 The Fundamentals 

in the Bible, of the Israelites, at the time when they built 
the Tabernacle.* Moreover, there have recently been made 
some discoveries in the Holy Land connected with the dif- 
ferent places where theTBTbTe locates the Tabernacle during- 
the long period of its history in that country, which, to say 
the least, are not contradictory, but rather confirmatory of 
Biblical statements.! One such discovery, as we will call it, 
is connected with a fuller exploration recently made of that 
old site where for some 365 years, according to Jewish tradi- 
tion, the old Mosaic Tabernacle stood, and where it underwent 
the most interesting of its experiences in the Holy Lan4* 
That site was, as is well known, the little city of Shiloh, 
located near the main thoroughfare leading up from Bethel 
to Shechem. In the year 1873 the English Palestine Explora- 
tion Fund, through some of its agents, made a thorough 
examination of this old site, and among other of its very 
interesting ruins was found a place which Colonel Charles 
Wilson thinks is the very spot where, once and for so long 
a time, the Tabernacle stood. That particular place is at the 
north of a rather low "tell," or mound, upon which the ruins 
are located; and, to copy from Colonel Wilson's description, 
this tell "slopes down to a broad shoulder, across which n 
sort of local court, 77 feet wide and 412 feet long, has beet) 
cut out. The rock is in places scarped to a height of five 
feet, and along the sides are several excavations and a few 
small cisterns." This is the locality where, as Colonel Wilson 
thinks, the Mosaic Tabernacle once really stood; and as con- 
firmatory of his conclusion he farther says that this spot is 
the only one connected with the ruins which is large enough 
to receive a building of the dimensions of the Tabernacle. 
Therefore his judgment is" that it is "not improbable" that this 
place was originally "prepared" as a site for that structure... 

-*See pp. 120-121. 
tSee pp. 122, 125. 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 19 

Now whether the general judgment of men either at pres- 
ent or in the future will coincide with Colonel Wilson as to 
the matter in hand we do not know; but we will simply repeat 
Colonel Wilson's words, and say that it is not improbable 
that this site, as indicated, is a real discovery as to the place 
where the old Tabernacle once stood. We need not dwell 
longer here on the matter, but will only observe that if the 
very ruins of the old Tabernacle, so far as its site is con- 
cerned, can still be seen, that surely ought to be pretty good 
evidence that this building once existed. 


(But to come now to the more positive and conclusive 
evidences regarding the matter under consideration, we may 
observe that these consist particularly of various historical 
notices scattered throughout the Old Testament \) and so 
numerous and clear in their testimony are these notices that 
they would seem to prove, beyond all possibility of doubt, that 
the old Mosaic Tabernacle really existed.* However, the 
critics claim here that it is only the earlier historical books 
of the Old Testament that can be legitimately used for proving 
a matter so far in the past as was this structure. 


Complying then with that requirement, at least in part, 
we begin our investigation with the First Book of Kings. 
This is a piece of literature against the antiquity and general 
credibility of which the critics can raise no valid objection; 
hence it should be considered particularly good evidence. 
Moreover, it might be said of this book, that having probably 
been constructed out of early court-records as they were kept 

* According to Bishop Hervey, in his Lectures on Chronicles (p. 
171), mention is made of the Tabernacle some eighteen times in the 
historical books following the Pentateuch that is, in Joshua, Judges, 
I and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles; and in the 
Pentateuch itself, which the higher critics have by no means proven to 
be unhistorical, that structure is mentioned over eighty times. 

20 The Fundamentals 

by the different kings of Judah and Israel, those original 
documents, or at least some of them, take us away back to 
the very , times of Solomon and David, or to the period when, 
as we shall soon see, the Mosaic Tabernacle was still standing 
at Gibeon. This was also, it may be observed, the general 
period during which the Tabernacle, having been taken down, 
was removed from Gibeon and stored away in Solomon's 
temple at Jerusalem; and it is to the account of this trans- 
ference that our attention is now, first of all, directed. In 
1 Kings, Chap. 8, v. 4, we read: "And they brought up the 
ark of Jehovah, and the tent of meeting, and all the holy 
vessels that were in the tent; even these did the priests and 
Levites bring up." A mere cursory reading of these words 
gives one the impression that the "tent of meeting," which 
was brought up from somewhere by the priests and Levites, 
was nothing else than the old Mosaic Tabernacle; and as to 
the place from which it was brought, that is not told us in 
the Scriptures; but a comparison of texts (see 2 Ghron. 1:3; 
1 Kings, 3 :1, 4) would seem to indicate that the Tabernacle 
was first transported from Gibeon to Mt. Zion, where the 
ark of the covenant was at this time, and then afterwards it 
was, with other sacred matters, carried up to Mt Moriah, 
where it was put away in the temple. 

All this seems to be sufficiently clear; only now the ques- 
tion arises whether, after all, this was really the old Mosaic 
structure or some other tent, as, e. g., the one built by David 
in Jerusalem, and which seems, at this time, to have been 
still in existence.* Most of the critics, including even Well- 
hausen, are agreed that the words, "tent of meeting" (ohel 
moed), as used in this and various other texts of Scripture, 
do really signify the old Mosaic structure; and one reason 
for their so holding is that those words form a kind of tech- 
nical expression by which that old structure was commonly, 

*See 2 Sam. 6:17 and 7:2; 1 Ghron. 15:1 and 16:1. Cf. 1 Kings 
1:29. / 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 21 

or at least often, denoted in the Bible.* Only one other term 
is used as frequently as this is to indicate that structure; 
this other term being, in Hebrew, mishkan, which is usually 
translated, in our English versions, "tabernacle," and means 
"dwelling-place." Now if this rendering of those words is 
correct, we would seem to have already reached the goal of 
our endeavor. That is to say, we have actually found the 
Tabernacle in existence. It existed, as an undeniable reality 
in the times of David and Solomon, or at least in those of 
Solomon; and a positive proof of that matter are these words 
we have just quoted from 1 Kings 8 :4. 

But the higher critics, or especially Wellhausen, are not 
so easily to be caught with an admission as to an interpreta- 
tion of words; for even though Wellhausen does concede 
that the words "tent of meeting" signify as we have stated ; 
nevertheless he undertakes to get rid of their real force by 
asserting that in this passage they are an interpolation, or 
that they do not belong to the original Hebrew text. How- 
ever, neither he nor any other higher critic has ever yet been 
able to give any textual authority for such an assertion ; 
they only try to argue the matter from internal evidence. 
But internal evidence alone, and especially such slim evidence 
of that kind as the critics have been able to adduce in this 
connection, is insufficient to establish the end desired. Be- 
sides, those words, "tent of meeting," are certainly found 
in our present Hebrew text, as also in the Septuagint version; 
both of which items being so, it is not at all likely that 
Wellhausen's ipse dixit will have the effect of changing them. 
Such being the case, we may conclude that the structure 

*The words ohel moed seem to have been used first to designate 
the smaller tent (see p. 37 with footnote) which Moses used as a 
place of communion between Jehovah and his people; hence it wafr 
called the "tent of meeting.'' But afterwards, when the regular taber- 
nacle became such a place, the words were applied also to that 

22 The Fundamentals 

which was carried by the priests and Levites tip to Mt Moriah 
and stored away in the temple, was really the old Mosaic 

We quote only one other passage from this First Book 
of Kings. It is a part of the account of Solomon's going to 
Gibeon, and of his offering sacrifice there. The words are 
foimd in v. 4, Chap. 3, and read as follows: "And the king 
went to Gibeon, to sacrifice there,* for that was the great 
high place." Then in the second verse of this same chapter 
the king's conduct in thus going to Gibeon is farther ex- 
plained by the statement that the people sacrificed in the high 
places, because "there was no house built for the name of 
Jehovah until those days." The "days" here indicated are, 
as is explained by the preceding verse, those in which "Solo- 
mon made an end of building his own house and the house 
of Jehovah;" and the entire passage then would signify that 
at least one reason why Solomon offered sacrifice in Gibeon 
was because this was the customary way among the people. 
They offered sacrifices in the high places before the temple 
at Jerusalem was built, but not ordinarily, or legitimately, 
afterwards. Then there is another reason indicated why 
Solomon went particularly t6 Gibeon because this was the 
"great high place." Why it was so called, must have been 
because of some special fact or circumstance connected with 
it ; and among the explanations given none appears so natural 
or to accord so well with other teachings of Scripture as 
the suggestion that this distinction was applied to Gibeon 
because the old Mosaic Tabernacle, with the brazen altar, was 
still there. That would certainly be a sufficient reason for 
accrediting peculiar eminence to this one of all the many 
high places which at that time seem to have existed in the 
Holy Land. Accordingly, Solomon went over to Gibeon, and 
offered sacrifice there; and then we read that, in the night 
following this devotional act, the king had a dream in which 
Jehovah appeared unto him and made to him very extraor- 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 23 

dinary promises. Now this epiphany of Jehovah at Gibeon 
is really another reason for one's believing that the Tabernacle 
was located at this place. .For it is not to be supposed that 
any Jewish author, writing after the temple was built (when 
this account of Solomon's dream was written), would allow 
it to be said that the great and idolatry-hating God of the 
Israelites had made a gracious and extraordinary revelation 
of himself at any of the common high places in the Holy 
Land, half-heathenish and largely devoted to the service of 
idols, as these places generally were. 

But if it must be admitted that the Tabernacle was really 
located at Gibeon, then all becomes clear, both why Solomon 
went there to offer sacrifice, and why Jehovah made at this 
place a gracious revelation of himself ; also why this, of all 
the high places in the Holy Land, was called emphatically 
"great" ( Then, moreover, it might be said that we have , 
surely demonstrated the existence of the Tabernacle, not only 
as taught by this passage from First Kings, but also by the 
other one which we have noticed. ) 


But now turning over to the two books of. Chronicles, we 
find here quite a number of passages which teach in the 
clearest and most positive manner that the Tabernacle existed 
at Gibeon not only in the time of Solomon, but also before. 
These two books of Chronicles, it should be remembered, 
are really a kind of commentary, or an extension made, upon 
Samuel and Kings. Such is the opinion of many competent 
scholars; and one reason for their so holding, is that very 
evidently the books of Samuel and Kings were among the 
principal sources from which the author of Chronicles drew 
his information ; although it must be acknowledged also that 
he used still other sources besides those named. Writing 
then at a somewhat distant date, say one or. two hundred 
years from the time of the final composition, or redaction, of 

24 The Fundamentals 

Kings and Samuel,* and doubtless having at his command a 
considerable amount of tradition, besides his written sources, 
the Chronicler must have been in very good condition to write 
what may be considered a kind of interpretive commentary 
upon not only the books of Samuel, but also upon the First 
Book of Kings, two passages from which we have just 
noticed. If that was so, and the two books of Chronicles are 
to be understood then as giving us some additional informa- 
tion as to what is found in Kings, then the historical notices 
in First Kings which we have examined become as it were 
illuminated and made stronger and more positive in their 
nature than when considered alone. For instance, in First 
Kings we were told that Solomon went to Gibeon and offered 
sacrifice there, because "that was the great high place ;" but 
now in 1 Chron. 1 :3 we have it all explained, both how Gibeon 
came to be so called, and what was Solomon's special reason 
for going there to offer sacrifice. It was, as is taught very 
plainly here in Chornicles, because "the tent of meeting of 
God which Moses the servant of Jehovah had made in the 
wilderness" was at that time in Gibeon. Thus the rather 
uncertain mention of matters at Gibeon which is given in 
First Kings is made clear and positive by what is said in 
Chronicles. So also in 1 Chron. 21 :29, which is a part of 
the account given of David's offering sacrifice on the thresh- 
ing-floor of Oman, we have again stronger language used 
than is found in Kings, telling us of the existence of the old 
Mosaic Tabernacle. For in explaining David's conduct the 
Chronicler says as follows: "For the tabernacle of Jehovah 

*It is claimed by the critics that all the historical books of the Old 
Testament underwent a revision during the exile; and according to 
the best authorities, Chronicles was composed shortly after the Persian 
rule, or about 330 B. C. Selecting, then, about the middle of the 
exilic period (586 to 444 B. C) as the date for the final revision of 
Kings and Samuel, this would make the composition of Chronicles fall 
near 200 years after that revision. But of course Samuel and Kings. 
were originally composed, or compiled, at a much earlier date; the 
former appearing probably about 900, and the latter about 600 B. C. 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 25 

which Moses made in the wilderness ' and the altar of burnt 
offering were at that time in the high place at Gib eon" What- 
ever of uncertainty, therefore, or lack of positive indication, 
may exist as connected with the passages we have quoted 
from Kings, there is no such uncertainty or lack of positive- 
ness here in Chronicles. On the contrary, these two books, 
which give us quite an amount of information respecting the 
Tabernacle, are always, or at least generally, very clear and 
positive; and on this account, it might be added, the state- 
ments made in Chronicles have sometimes been taken as a 
kind of guide to the study of the Tabernacle history in general. 
But here again the critics make their appearance, and are 
"all up in arms" against any use to be made of these two 
books of Chronicles for determining a matter of ancient 
history. Of all the untrustworthy historical literature to be 
found in the Old Testament there is nothing quite so bad, so 
the critics tell us, as is in general Chronicles; and Wellhausen 
goes so far as to say that one special purpose served by these 
two books is that they show how an author may use his 
original sources with such freedom as to make them say 
about what he pleases, or anything according to his own 
ideas. (See Proleg., Eng. trans., p. 49.) So also Graf, 
DeWette, and others, have very energetically attacked the 
credibility of these two books. But over against all that is 
said by the critics as to the Chronicler'is lack of veracity and 
his violent dealing with his sources, we will simply, or first, 
put the testimony of one of the higher critics themselves. 
It is what Dillman, who in point of learning and reliability 
is acknowledged to be among the very foremost of all the 
critics, says with regard to this very matter in hand: "It is 
now recognized," affirms that eminent critic, "that the Chron- 
icler has worked according to sources, and there can be no 
talk, with regard to him, of fabrications or misrepresentations 
of the history." So also Dr. Orr observes that there is no 
reason for doubting "the perfect igood faith" of the author of 

26 The Fundamentals 

Chronicles; and Prof. James Robertson, of Glasgow Univer- 
sity, farther adds that all such matters as the critics have urged 
against the Chronicler's veracity or misuse and even inven- 
tion of sources, are "superficial and unjust;" and that "there 
is no reason to doubt the honesty of the author in the use of 
such materials as he has command of, nor is there any to 
question the existence of the writings to which he refers." 

We take it/ therefore, that these two books of Chronicles 
embody not omy the best historical knowledge, but also the 
best traditions still in existence at their date ; and such being 
the case, it is dearly incontrovertible that, as is so unmis- 
takably taught in .these books, the old Mosaic Tabernacle 
must have existed. ) And so long as the critics are unable to 
impeach the testimony of these books, which would seem to 
be impossible, that testimony must stand, j 


Now, however, let us give attention to the books of Sam- 
uel. Here is certainly another piece of literature against 
the general credibility of which the critics can have but little 
to say. And what do these books tell us respecting the Taber- 

*It is claimed by the critics, and especially by Wellhausen, that 
during the exile the Jewish notions respecting the past of their national 
and tribal history underwent a radical change, so much so that nearly 
all the religious features of that history were conceived of as having 
been .very different from what they really were. Or in other words, 
the Jewish writers of the exilic period were, so the critics tell us, 
accustomed to project religious and priestly matters belonging to their 
history in a much later period away back to the earliest times. Conse- 
quently the general ideas of the temple and of the temple service were 
thus projected back even to the days of Moses; and in this way, it is 
explained, the notion of a Mosaic Tabernacle with an elaborate ritual- 
istic service came into being. But really there is no evidence in all 
the Old Testament writings, or at all events nd evidence that the Jews 
knew anything ( about, that such a change ever took place. Hence the 
critics are decidedly wrong when they represent that the author of 
Chronicles^was only influenced by the spirit of his age when he under- 
took to misrepresent, as it is claimed he did, numerous matters con- 
1 nected > with the past history of this people. The truth is that the 
Chronicler was either a base falsifier, or what he tells us in his history 
must be received as genuine facts. 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 27 

nacle's history ? Very much, indeed ; far more than we shall 
have space here fully to examine. In the first place, these 
books tell us that during at least part of the times which they 
in general describe, the Mosaic Tabernacle was located at 
Shiloh, up in the Ephraimite district. Then next we learn 
that at least one of the great festivals connected with the 
Tabernacle services the "yearly sacrifice" it is called was 
still being observed. Also we learn that this is the place 
where Samuel's parents, Elkanah and Hannah, went up every 
year, in order to take part in that sacrifice. Moreover, it 
was in the sanctuary at Shiloh, or in some one of its apart- 
ments, that Samuel slept at the time when he had those 
extraordinary revelations of Jehovah talking with him, and 
where also he came into such intimate and important relations 
with the aged Eli and his house. 

And among still other items reported in those books there 
is one that invites our special attention. In 1 Sam., Chap. 2, 
v. 22, mention is made of certain "women that did service at 
the door of the tent meeting," And it was with these women, 
as we farther learn, that Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, 
committed at least a part of their wickedness, for which they 
were so severely condemned, and afterward punished by 
Jehovah. Now whatever else this passage may signify, it 
certainly intends to teach, by its use of the words "tent of 
meeting," that in the time of Samuel the .old Mosaic Taber- 
nacle was in existence at Shiloh. For, as we have already 
seen, those words, "tent of meeting," formed a characteristic 
expression by which in Old Testament times the Tabernacle 
was, quite often at least, designated and known. This much, 
as we. have already noticed, even Wellhausen is willing 
to admit. 

However, the critics raise here two objections. One of 
them is that the sanctuary at Shiloh was not really a tent 
or tabernacle, but rather a solid structure, built perhaps out 
of stone, wood, or some other material ; and the special reason 

28 The Fundamentals 

given by the critics for this view is that, in Samuel's account 
of the structure at Shiloh, there are "posts," "doors," and 
some other matters usually indicative of a solid structure 
mentioned. But this difficulty can be very easily explained 
from a statement made in the Jewish Mishna,* which is that 
the lower part of the sanctuary at Shiloh "was of stone," 
but that above this there was a tent. Or a more decisive 
answer to this objection is that in various Scriptures (such 
as 2 Sam. 7:6; Psa. 78:60; 1 Kings 8:4; Josh. 18:1, and 
still others) the structure under consideration 'is positively 
called "a tent" and "a tabernacle." 

Then the other objection raised by the critics is that these 
words, "tent of meeting," as found in 1 Sam. 2:22, are an 
interpolation, or that the whole passage containing those 
words is spurious. The reason which they give for such an 
assertion is that this passage is not found in the Septuagint 
But in reply to such objection it may be said, first, that this 
is not the only passage in the Bible in which mention is made 
of these women "at the door of the tent of meeting." In 
Ex. 38 :8, like mention is made ; and, as Dr. Orr has observed, 
it is inconceivable even on the supposition, which he does not 
accept, of a post-exilic origin of the last indicated passage, 
that just this one mention of the matter alluded to should 
occur, unless there was behind this matter some old and well- 
established tradition; or, in other words, the genuineness of 
the text in Exodus argues for the genuineness of the text in 
Samuel. Besides, as Dr. Orr has again suggested, there may 
have been some special reason of delicacy or of regard for the 
good moral reputation of the Israelites, on the account of 
which the makers of the Septuagint version threw out this 
item respecting the wickedness of Hophni and Phinehas as 
connected with these women. Then, moreover, as an offset 
to the Septuagint's authority which, owing to the known 

*See Conder's "Tent Work in Palestine," Vol. 2, p. 84. 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 29 

f aultiness of its present text and its general inexactness as 
a translation, is surely not great it can be urged that the 
entire clause containing the words "tent of meeting" is found 
alike in the old Syriac or Peshito version, in the Vulgate, 
and in the only extant Targum (that of Jonathan Ben Uzziel) 
on this particular passage ; all of which very ancient author- 
ities* render it as certain as anything of a textual nature 
could well be made, that the old original text in 1 Sam. 2 :22 
was exactly as it is now in our present-day Hebrew Bible. 

And, finally, as perhaps the crowning feature of this array 
of evidence for the genuineness of the text under considera- 
tion, it can be affirmed that, for English readers at least, 
there exists one authority, easy to be consulted, which would 
seem to put beyond all reasonable doiibt the genuineness of 
this text. That authority is our Revised English Version of 
the Scriptures a literary work that in point of scholarship 
and general reliability stands perhaps second to none produced 
in recent years. And now, if anybody will take the trouble to 
consult this Revised Version, he will see that this entire 
disputed passage is retained, or that the many eminent schol- 
ars, both English and American, who wrought on this trans- 
lation are agreed that the words, "tent of meeting," or ohel 
mocd, as in Hebrew, are genuine, and properly belong to 
this passage. 

Such being the case, the critics are put in a bad plight ; 
and anyway it does not argue much to the credit of their 
hypothesis when, in order to carry it through, it becomes 
necessary so often to make the claim of interpolation. Of 
course, anyone can make what he pleases of any passage of 
Scripture, provided he only has the privilege of doctoring it 

*The Targum on Samuel, which is attributed to Jonathan Ben 
Uzziel, is commonly believed to have been produced some time during 
the first century; the Peshito version of t$e Scriptures is thought to 
have been made somewhat later, probably in the second century; while 
the Latin Vulgate, by Jerome, was completed between the years 390 
and 405 AD. 

30 The Fundamentals 

sufficiently beforehand. And with regard to this particular 
passage it may be said that neither Wellhausen nor any other 
higher critic can do anything to alter it; because so long as 
those words, ohel moed, or "tent of meeting," remain in the 
various textual authorities which we have quoted, so long 
it will be impossible to expunge them from our present Hebrew 
Bible ; and no matter what authorities the critics may be able 
to quote as omitting these words, the preponderance of author- 
ity, as matters now stand, will always be in favor of their 
retention. We claim then a real victory here, in being able 
to substantiate so conclusively, as we think we have done, the 
genuineness of this text in Samuel. 

But what now is the general result of our examinations 
with regard to the testimony which Samuel gives us ? ( If 
our conclusion with regard to the passage just examined is 
correct, and we are fully persuaded that it is, then we surely 
have demonstrated in the clearest way that not only in the 
days of Samuel, but probably long v before, the Tabernacle 
did exist, and was located at Shiloh. / 


And here, if we care to go still further in this investigation 
of passages, we might find some very interesting testimony 
to the Tabernacle's historicity in Psalm 78 and in the prophecy 
of Jeremiah. But since we wish to be as brief as possible, 
while not neglecting the real strength of our argument, we 
will simply indicate, or quote, the Scriptures referred to, and 
leave the discussion or interpretation of them to the reader 
himself. One of these passages is found, as said, in Psa. 78, 
vs. 59, 60, and reads as follows : "When God heard this he 
was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel; so that he forsook 
the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among 
men." Another passage, from Jer. 7:12-14, reads thus : "But 
go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I caused 
my name to dwell at the first, and see what I did to it for 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 31 

the wickedness of my people Israel. Therefore will I do unto 
the house which is called by my name, wherein ye trust [the 
temple at Jerusalem], and unto the place which I gave to you 
and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh." Still another 
passage may be found in Jer. 26:6, and reads: "Then will 
I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city [Jeru- 
salem] a curse to all nations of the earth."* 

All these passages, it should be observed, compare the 
Temple at Jerusalem with the Tabernacle at Shiloh ; and they 
express the threat, that, unless the Israelites repented, God 
would destroy the Temple at Jerusalem, as he had long before 
destroyed, or removed, the Tabernacle at Shiloh. 


Yet once more, in order to make our story of the Taber- 
nacle complete, it is necessary for us to go back somewhat 
in history; and so we now quote from the books of Judges 
and Joshua. In Josh. 18:1 we read: "And the whole con- 
gregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves 
together at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there." 
Then, turning over to Judg. 18:31, we again read, about the 
idolatrous images set up in Dan, that these continued there 
"all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh." From 
these two passages we learn not only how the "house of God" 
came to be located at Shiloh because the children of Israel, 
probably under the leadership of Joshua, set it up there 
but we learn also that the two descriptive terms, "tent of 
meeting'* and "house of God," signify the same thing; for it 

"These passages in Jeremiah are very important as evidence in favor 
of the Tabernacle's real existence, since even the higher critics must 
admit that the chapters containing them were written a considerable 
time before the exile; and therefore these passages could not, except 
upon the violent theory of redaction, have been affected by writings 
appearing either during or after the exile. And as to Psalm 78, which 
is even more explicit about the structure at Shiloh's being the old 
Mosaic^ Tabernacle, ft is much easier to say, as the critics do, that this 
Psalm is post-exilic, than it is to prove such assertion. 

32 The Fundamentals 

is hardly possible that the "tent of meeting" erected at Shiloh 
in the days, of Joshua had been replaced in the time of the 
Judges by another structure, different in kind, and now called 
the "house of God." 


But now yet, before we give the entire story of the 
Tabernacle, we desire to notice another kind of argument, 
which is drawn .from the history of the sacred ark. There 
does not seem to be any notice of the Tabernacle as a struc- 
ture by itself in the book of Deuteronomy; but in the tenth 
chapter of this book, verses 1 to 5, there is given an account 
of the construction, not of the Tabernacle, but of what must 
be considered as its most important piece of furniture, that 
is, the Ark of the Covenant, as it is usually called, or as the 
critics prefer to term it, the Ark of Jahweh (Jehovah).^ Now, 
although the critics take a very different view regarding the 
date and authority of Deuteronomy from that which has 
always been accepted by orthodox scholars, yet especially 
upon the ground of the passage referred to, they are willing 
to admit that at least some kind of a sacred ark was con- 
structed even in the days of Moses.) Moreover, if consistent 
with the facts as recorded in the Bible, the critics cannot 
deny that this same sacred ark, whatever was its form or 
purpose, was not only carried by the Israelites on all their 
journeys through the wilderness, but was also finally located 
by them at Shiloh ; whence, after undergoing various fortunes, 
it was deposited in the holy of holies of Solomon's Temple. 
This the critics in general admit ; and they are compelled to 
do so by their own accepted documents of "J," "E," etc. 

Now, that being the case, it follows that if the history 
of the sacred ark can be traced' all the way through, or rather 
all the way back from the days of Solomon's Temple to tjie 
days of Moses, somewhat the same thing can be done i also 
with the Tabernacle, For the Tabernacle, as is very evident 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 33 

from what the critics call the Priestly Document, was built, 
among other purposes, for the housing of this sacred ark; 
and the same documentary evidence which establishes that 
fact establishes also the farther fact that for a long period 
such was really the case. That is to say, the sacred ark and 
the old Mosaic Tabernacle went together, according to Biblical 
history, down to the times of Shiloh; and they were, after 
some period of separation, even brought together again at 
the dedicatory services of Solomon's Temple. To be sure, not 
all of this is admitted by the critics ; but they cannot deny that 
the same old ark, which, according to Deut. 10:1-5, was built 
by Moses, was finally deposited in Solomon's Temple.* With 
this much conceded, all the rest that we have claimed must 
necessarily follow; or, in other words, the admitted history 
of the Ark of Jehovah establishes also the historicity of the 
Mosaic Tabernacle, or at least helps to do so. 


Now then we are prepared to give the entire story of that 
old structure which was built at Mt. Sinai; only one item 
being still lacking. This we can learn from 1 Sam., Chaps. 21 
and 22 ; and it is, that for a brief period the Tabernacle seems 
to have been located at Nob, some distance south of Shiloh. 
With this item then supplied, our story may go forward. As 
vouched for by the different historic notices we have been con- 
sidering, it is as follows : 

Built by the Israelites near Mt,_Sinai, it was afterward 
carried by that people all through the wilderness. Then, 
having crossed the Jordan with them, and being set up at 
Shiloh, it seems for a long time to have remained in that 

*Wellhausen positively states that according to the Law, that is, 
the Priestly Document, the Tabernacle is "the inseparable companion 
of the ark," and that "The two things necessarily belong to each other." 
He also admits, on the ground of other Biblical evidence, that toward 
the end of the period of Judges there are distinct traces of the ark as 
existing ; moreover, that this same "ark of Jehovah" was finally de- 
posited in Solomon's Temple. (See Proleg., Eng. Trans., pp. 41, 42) 

34 The Fundamentals. 

place. Next, fcr a brief period, it would appear to have been 
located at Nob, down in the Benjaminite country; and from 
this point eing carried a little to the north and west, it was 
set up at G\bepn, where it seems to have remained for many 
years. And finally upon the erection of the temple in Jeru- 
salem, it was transferred to that place, and stored away there 
for safe-keeping; and this is the last notice which the Bible 
gives of it as a matter of history. It had served its purpose, 
and the time came now for it to be laid aside as a memorial, 
or to give place for another and a more imposing structure. 



Speaking somewhere of the extraordinary influence exerted 
by Christianity in our world, Renan says that any attempt to 
separate this religion from the history of humanity would 
be like "tearing up the tree of civilization by its roots." Very 
much like that, it seems to us, is the intimacy of relation exist- 
ing between the history of the Tabernacle and all the rest of 
the history recorded in the Old Testament. / Any attempt, 
therefore, such as that which is made by the critics, to remove 
the Tabernacle as a matter of fact from Old Testament his- 
tory, or to turn it into a mere fiction, would necessarily result 
in failure. It would do so because the effect of it would 
be really to destroy all the surrounding and connected history 
given in the Old Testament; which is, of course, impossible) 
The very extravagance, therefore, of this higher-critic theory, 
or the vastness of its undertaking, is a sure proof of its 
inherent falsity. Dr. Valpy French, considering only the 
peculiar construction of this Tabernacle story, how wide- 
reaching it is, and how it is made to conform so accurately 
with many details of archseology and topography, pronounces 
it, if viewed as a mere fiction, "a literary impossibility;" and 
he suggests that a simpler method to be employed by the 
critics, in getting rid of this troublesome story, would be for 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 35 

them "to credit the last redactor with the authorship of the 
whole Old Testament Scriptures." So also Professor Sayce 
affirms that, regarded as an invention, the Tabernacle story is 
"too elaborate, too detailed to be conceivable." 


It remains for us yet, in order to render our discussion 
really complete, to notice a few of the many objections which 
the higher critics have brought forward against the Taber- 
nacle's historicity. These objections, however, are, for the 
most part, so very frivolous uTcharacter, or so utterly lack- 
ing in support either from fact or reason, that they do not 
really deserve an answer. Nevertheless, to furnish the reader 
with some notion of their real character, we will undertake 
to give them a cursory examination. 

They may all be divided into four classes. The first_class 
embraces all those objections which are based upon the idea 
that the account given in the Bible of the Tabernacle's con- 
struction and services, is very unrealistic or impractical in its 

A seconjdLclass proceeds on the notion that the Mosaic 
Tabernacle is altogether too costly, highly artistic, and pon- 
derous an affair, to have been produced by the Israelites at 
Mt. Sinai, and afterward carried by them all through the 

Another of these classes which is really only one objec- 
tion represents that in the very oldest sources out of which 
the Pentateuch was, according to the critic notion, constructed, 
there is mention made of another tent, much smaller than 
was the Mosaic Tabernacle, and different from that struc- 
ture also in other respects; and that, therefore, this second 
tabernacle, as it may be called, being better substantiated by 
literary documents than is the Mosaic structure, it is not 
consistent with an acceptance of all the facts in the case to 
allow that the larger or Mosaic tent really existed. 

36 The Fundamentals 

And finally, there is still one class, or a single objection, 
which makes bold to affirm that in all the earlier historic 
books of the Old Testament, even from Judges to 2 Kings, 
there is no sure mention made of the Tabernacle as a real 

Now, if we were to try to answer all these objections, it 
might be said of the last one, that it is already answered. 
We have answered that objection by showing not only that 
there is mention made in those earlier historic books of the 
Old Testament of the Tabernacle as a real existence, but also 
that this mention is both sure and abundant. The many 
historical notices which we have examined, all telling about 
the Tabernacle's construction and history, is positive proof 
to that effect. 

Then, furthermore, with regard to the alleged fact that in 
the earliest sources, out of which according to the critic 
theory the Pentateuch was constructed, there is mention 
made of another or second tent, different from the Mosaic 
structure, we have to say with respect to this objection, first 
of all, that it is far from being proven that there are in the 
Pentateuch any such oldest sources as the critics allege. 
That item is only a part of the still unproven theory of the 
higher critics, in their interpretation of the Old Testament* 
And then, secondly, we might say, respecting this objection 
that it is a difficulty which orthodox scholars have often 
noticed and which they have explained in various ways. 
Perhaps the best explanation is to allow the reality of the 
difficulty and to attribute it to some obscurity or even seem- 
ing contradiction existing in the Pentateuchal notices. But 

*The fact of the higher-critic theory being as yet in an unproven 
state might be urged as one important consideration in favor of the 
Tabernacle's real existence; and especially could such an argument 
be legitimately made, inasmuch as the proof of the correctness of that 
theory does not all come from an assured non-existence of the Mosaic 
structure. But since an argument of that kind would be, to some 
extent at least, "reasoning in a circle," we do not make use of it. 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 37 

whatever the real difficulty may be, it certainly is hot insuper- 
able; &nd a very good explanation of it is that there were 
really two tents, but one of them, that is, the smaller tent, was 
only a kind of provisional structure, perhaps the dwelling- 
place of Moses, which was used also for religious purposes, 
while the larger or Sinaitic Tabernacle was being prepared. 5 ^ 
With some allowance for one or two statements made in the 
Pentateuch which seem not fully to accord with this view, 
it will answer all the real exigencies of the case. Or, at all 
'events, nearly any explanation which preserves the integrity 
of the Pentateuchal literature, and tries to reconcile its seem- 
ing differences of statement, on the ground that this literature 
deals with facts, and is not in large share pure fiction, is 
vastly preferable to any of the theories which the critics 
have thus far advanced with regard to this matter. 

There remain then only two classes of objections which 
need still to be answered. And with regard to one of these 
classes, that is, the first in our list, it may be stated that 
although the objections put forward under this head are 
quite numerous, yet a single illustration of them will show 
how utterly lacking in substantial character or reasonableness 

^Notices of such smaller tent seem to be made in Ex. 33:7-11; 
Num. 11:16; 12:4, 5, and Deut. 31:14, 15; and from these various 
passages the critics claim that they can discover at least three points 
of difference existing between this smaller tent and the larger or 
Levitical one. These differences are as follows: (1) The smaller 
tent was always pitched outside the carnp ; but according to the priestly 
or Levitical history the larger tent was located within the camp. (2) 
The smaller tent was only a place of Jehovah's revelation, or of his 
communing with his people; but the larger or priestly structure was, 
besides, a place of most elaborate worship. (3) In the Levitical or 
larger tent the priests and Levites regularly served, but in the smaller 
structure it was only Joshua, the "servant" of Moses, who had 
charge of the building. 

All these differences, however, are easily explained by the theory, 
given above, of there having been really two tents. Besides, it should 
be observed that after Moses' death no further mention is made in the 
Scriptures of this smaller structure; which fact would seem to be a 
strong proof that the smaller one of the two tents was, primarily at 
least a private structure used by Moses. 

38 The Fundamentals 

each and all of them really are. The illustration of which 
we will make use is taken from Bishop Colenso's famous 
attack upon the truthfulness of the Pentateuch and the Book 
of Joshua. In that attack he puts forward the singular 
objection that the Tabernacle was, in its dimensions, far too 
small to accommodate all the vast host of the Israelites stand- 
ing before its door, as the Scriptures seem to indicate was the 
case with them on a few occasions.* That vast host must 
have numbered, according to the data given in the Pentateuch, 
as many at least as some two millions of people; and now 
Colenso makes the objection that this great host, standing 
in ranks, as he would make it, of nine, one rank behind 
another, in front of the Tabernacle door, would have formed 
a procession some sixty miles long; which, surely, would have 
been not only a practical impossibility so far as their gath- 
ering at the door of the Tabernacle was concerned, but 
would have been also a complete demonstration of the un~ 
truthfulness or unreliability of this Pentateuchal record. 

But there is one thing connected with this record which 
Bishop Colenso seems not to have understood. It is that 
when the author of it was speaking of the whole congregation 
of Israel as standing, or gathered, in front of the Tabernacle 
door, he was speaking only in general terms. /His language 
then would imply, not that every individual belonging to the 
vast Israelitish host stood at the place mentioned, but only 
that a large and representative multitude of these people 
was thus gathered, j Or the words might signify that even 
the whole congregation of the Israelites was, on a few occa- 
sions, gathered about the Tabernacle, as it had been gathered 
around Mt. Sinai when the law was given not all the people 
near the Tabernacle door, but only the leaders, while the 
great body of the congregation stood behind them, or around 

*Vid. Lev. 8:35; Num. 10:3, and 27:18-22. Also comp. Num. 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 39 

the structure, like a great sea of human beings stretching 
away in the distance. 

Either of these explanations would meet all the demands 
of the language used; and, as Dr. Orr has remarked, some 
least particle of common sense must be allowed to the writer 
of this Pentateuchal record ; otherwise, with the "crude absurd- 
ities" attributed to him by Bishop Colenso, he could 'never 
have written anything in the least degree rational, or that 
would bear a moment's reflection even by himself. Besides, 
as Dr. Orr has noticed^ it is only a customary way of speaking 
to say that a whole town or even a large city was gathered 
together in mass-convention,) when the place of such meet- 
ing was perhaps only some large hall or good-sized church. 
Before attacking, therefore, so eagerly with his arithmetical 
calculations the truthfulness of the Biblical account, this 
higher-critic bishop would have done well to have reflected a 
little upon the common use of language. That would have 
saved him from falling into a bigger blunder than he tries to 
fasten upon the writer of this Pentateuchal record. 


But there is still one objection raised by the critics which 
seems to be more serious in nature. It is an objection based 
upon what may be called a physical impossibility, or the 
(incompetency of the Israelites, While at Mt. Sinai or journey- 
ing through the desert, either to construct or carry with them 
such a ponderous, highly artistic and costly a fabric as was 
the Sinaitic Tabernacle. These people in the desert and at 
Mt. Sinai, we are told, were the merest wandering Bedouins, 
having but .little civilization and being "poor ..even to beg- 
gary;" and of course such a people possessed neither the 
means nor the intellectual capability necessary for the con- 
struction and transportation of the Tabernacle. 

This peculiar objection, however, rests upon at least two 
mistakes. The first one is that the Israelites at this time were 

40 The Fundamentals 

in such extreme poverty. The Bible tells us that when the 
children of Israel left Egypt they went out "every man 
armed;" and they carried with them all their herds and flocks, 
leaving "not a hoof behind." Moreover, by means of , the 
many gifts, or exactions of "jewels of silver" and "jewels 
of gold" which they received from the Egyptians, they "utterly 
spoiled" that people. Such is the representation given in 
the Bible. And then, too, when these Israelites came to Mt 
Sinai, here also, according to the reports of modern travelers 
and explorers, they could have found various materials necesr 
sary for constructing the Tabernacle, such as an abundance 
of copper existing in mines, various kinds of precious stones-, 
as well as, growing in this region in considerable abundance, 
the shittim-wood or acacia-^ree, out of which the boards and 
pillars and most of the furniture of the Tabernacle ' were 
actually constructed. So farj^ therefore, as possessing, or 
being able to get, the means necessary for a construction of 
the Tabernacle was concerned, these people would seem to 
have been pretty well supplied. \ 

And then, with regard to the other mistake made by the 
critics, viz., that these Israelites were intellectually incompetent 
to build the Tabernacle, this assertion also is not substantiated 
by facts. For, in the first place^ it should be remembered 
that all these Hebrews had from their birth dwelt in Egypt, 
a country which, of all lands in the world, was at that time 
the most advanced in all kinds of mechanical, architectural 
and industrial art. ^ This, e. g., was the country where the 
great pyramids had been produced, and where existed, at 
that time, at least most of the magnificent temples, tombs, 
obelisks, statues and palaces, the ruins of which still remain. 
Accordingly, when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, 
they must have brought with them a good amount of the 
architectural and mechanical wisdom peculiar to that country; 
Moreover, we are taught in the Bible that these people, while 
in Egypt, dwelt. in houses; which, of course, they must have 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 41 

built for .themselves ; also that, as slaves, their lives had been 
made bitter by "all manner of service in the field," and by 
"hard service in brick and in mortar/' and that they had 
built "store-cities," such as Pithom and Raamses. Putting, 
therefore, all these experiences which the Israelites had in 
Egypt together, it can be easily seen how they could have 
learned, even from the Egyptians, sufficient wisdom to con- 
struct and transport the Tabernacle. 

But if we are required yet to name any one particular 
achievement, ever accomplished by these people, that was 
great enough to warrant the belief of their being able to 
construct and carry with them all through the wilderness the 
Sinaitic Tabernacle, then, both with promptness and high 
appreciation, we point to that very extraordinary conquest 
which they made of the Holy Land, and also to the almost 
equally extraordinarily long march made by them through the 
wilderness; and we wish to say that any people who could 
accomplish two such prodigious deeds as were these could 
easily have accomplished tbe so much easier task of building 
and transporting the old Mosaic "tent of meeting." 

/ Our conclusion, therefore, is that, all teachings of the 
higher critics to the contrary notwithstanding, those Israelitish 
people were abundantly competent, both in point of intellectual 
ability and of material supplies, to accomplish each and all of 
the works which are accredited them in the Bible. \ 


But this line of argument is one that can be pursued to 
a much greater extent, and it can be shown that instead of 
the conditions surrounding the Israelites at Mt. Sinai and 
while they were in the wilderness being against the truthful- 
ness of the Biblical record appertaining to those matters, such 
conditions are really in favor of that record's truthfulness, 
as well as of the Tabernacle's real existence. For illustrar 
tion, we are told in the Bible that the wood out of which a 

42 The Fundamentals 

large part of the Tabernacle was constructed, was not taken 
from the lofty cedars growing in Lebanon, nor from the 
sycamores growing in the Palestinean valleys, but from the 
humble acacia or shittim-wood tree, which, as we have 
already seen, flourishes quite plentifully in the Sinaitic region; 
all of which particulars accord fully with the topographical 
facts in the case. So also, if we are to believe in the testi- 
monies of ancient Egyptian monuments and the results of 
modern Egyptian explorations, there is many a resemblance 
which can be found to exist between matters connected with 
old Egyptian temples, their structure, furniture, priesthood 
and services, and other like matters appertaining to the Taber- 
nacle. Indeed, some of these resemblances go so far in their 
minute details as to an arrangement of buildings according 
to the points of compass a peculiarity which was found both 
in Egypt and in connection with the Tabernacle; different 
apartments in the structure, graded according to sanctity; the 
possession of a sacred ark or chest, peculiarly built and 
located; strange winged figures, which as existing in the 
Tabernacle were called "cherubim ;" a gradation of the priests ; 
priestly dress and ornaments ; the breast-plate and mitre 
worn by the high-priest; different animals offered in sacri- 
fice; the burning of incense, etc., that the impression left 
upon the mind of a person who knows about these things 
as existing in ancient Egypt and then reads in the Bible about 
similar matters connected with the Tabernacle is, that who- 
ever wrote this Biblical account must himself have been in 
Egypt and have seen the old Egyptian worship and temples, 
in order to make his record conform in so many respects to 
what was found in that country.* 

*Prof. Sayce undertakes to show that the foreign influences affect- 
ing the structure of the Tabernacle and the nature of its services came 
rather from Babylonia and Assyria than from Egypt, yet, so far as 
all the topographical items mentioned above are concerned, they can 
all be abundantly substantiated by facts from history and archaeology. 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 43 

So also if we give attention to the peculiar experiences had 
by the Israelites during their march through the wilderness, 
we shall see from what the Bible tells us about their setting 
up and taking down the Tabernacle ; about the wagons fur- 
nished for its transportation; about the pillar of cloud going 
before it or resting upon it, in connection with their long 
march; also about the necessity of going outside of the camp 
in order to perform some of the Tabernacle services, from 
all these and various other indications given in the Bible, we 
can surely perceive that the conditions of these people were 
such as to warrant the belief that they did indeed, as the 
Bible represents, journey through a wilderness, and that they 
carried with them their tent of worship. 

In his book, entitled "Nature and the Supernatural," Dr. 
Horace Bushnell tells of an important legal case that once was 
gained by one of the lawyers noticing, in the web of a sheet 
of paper which he held in his hand, certain "water-marks" 
which had been made in the paper during the process of its 
manufacture. These water-marks being indelible, they served 
as the best kind of proof of certain facts which it was desired 
to establish. And so we would characterize all those evidences 
coming from a correspondence of the Bible account with 
archaeological facts, which have to do with the Israelites being 
in Egypt and their journeying through the Sinaitic desert, as 
so many water-marks left indelibly, not upon, but in the very 
web of the Biblical record; proving not only the undeniable 
truthfulness of this record, but also the real existence of the 


To sum up then the different points which we have en- 
deavored to make in our argument, it will be remembered 
that, in the first place, after having outlined our general 
proposition, and after having from various considerations 
shown the importance of its discussion, we affirmed that there 

4.4 . The Fundamentals 

are certain great presumptions which lie in the way of our 
accepting the higher-critic theory as true. Next we intro- 
duced some archaeological and other testimony external to 
the Bible, which we found to be helpful in proving the Taber- 
nacle's historicity. And then, by quite an extended examina- 
tion of the many historical notices respecting the Tabernacle, 
or respecting the sacred ark as connected with it, which are 
found in the Old Testament, we established, we think, as a 
matter beyond all reasonable doubt, the actual historicity 
of this structure ; showing how it was built near Mt. Sinai 
and then was known to exist continuously for some five 
hundred years, or from the time of Moses unto the time of 
David and Solomon. And then, finally, to make our argument 
as complete as possible, we noticed, somewhat briefly and yet 
with considerable fullness, the many objections which the 
higher critics have raised against the Tabernacle's existence, 
showing that none of these objections is really valid, and 
turning the last one into a positive proof on our side of the 


And now, if there remains yet anything which needs to be 
said, it seems to us it is only the assertion that, whether the 
higher critics will admit it or not, the old Mosaic Tabernacle 
surely did exist. Or if there are persons who, in spite of all 
the numerous important testimonies which we have adduced 
from the Bible and other sources to the Tabernacle's histor- 
icity, still persist in denying such evidence, and in saying 
that the whole matter was only a priestly fiction, then what 
the Savior says, with respect perhaps to some of the skeptics 
living in his day, is quite applicable : "If they believe not 
Moses and the prophets, neither would they believe though 
one rose from the dead." Or, to state the case a little differ- 
ently and somewhat humorously, it might be said that the 
fact of any person's denying the real existence of the Taber- 

Tabernacle in the Wilderness 45 

nacle, when so much positive evidence exists in favor of it, 
reminds one of what Lord Byron says with regard to Bishop 
Berkeley's philosophical denial of the existence of matter: 

"When Bishop Berkeley says it is no matter. 
Then 'tis no matter what he says." 

But if the Tabernacle in the wilderness did really exist, 
then what becomes of the peculiar theory of the higher critics ? 
That necessarily falls to the ground, or is proven to be untrue ; 
for, as was shown in the early part of this discussion, the 
entire critic hypothesis rests upon, or has for one of its main 
pillars, the assumed non-existence of the Tabernacle, or what 
Amounts to the same thing, the alleged late origin of the 
Mosaic ritualistic law. Both of these premises being now 
demonstrated to be unsound, the Tabernacle "which Moses 
made in the wilderness" will very likely rema&i where the 
Bible puts it among the great undeniable facts of the world's 
history, and not, as the critics would have it, among fictions 
or forgeries.* 

*For Addeda to this article, see pp. 120-125. 





Both Jews and Christians receive the Old Testament as 
containing a revelation from God, while the latter regard it 
as standing in close and vital relationship to the New Testa- 
ment Everything connected with the Old Testament has, 
of recent years, been subjected to the closest scrutiny the 
authorship of its several books, the time when they were 
written, their style, their historical value, their religious and 
ethical teachings. Apart from the veneration with which we 
regard the Old Testament writings on their own account, 
the intimate connection which they have with the Christian 
Scriptures necessarily gives us the deepest interest in the 
conclusions which may be reached by Old Testament criti- 
cism. For us the New Testament Dispensation presupposes 
and grows out of the Mosaic, so the books of the New Tes- 
tament touch those of the Old at every point: In vetere tes- 
tamento novum latet, et in novo vetus patet. (In the Old 
Testament the New is concealed, and in the New the Old is 

We propose to take a summary view of the testimony of 
our Lord to the Old Testament, as it is recorded by the 
Evangelists. The New Testament writers themselves largely 
quote and refer to the Old Testament, and the views which 
they express regarding the old economy arid its writings are 
in harmony with the statements of their Master; but, for 
various reasons, we here confine ourselves to what is related 
of the Lord Himself. 


Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 47 

Let us refer, first, to what is contained or necessarily 
implied in the Lord's testimony to the Old Testament Scrip- 
tures, and, secondly, to the critical value of His testimony. 


Our Lord's authority though this is rather the argu- 
mentum silentio may be citecl in favor of the Old Testament 
canon as accepted by the Jews in His day. He never charges 
them with adding to or taking from the Scriptures, or in any 
way tampering with the text. Had they been guilty of so great 
a sin it is hardly possible that among the charges brought 
against them, this matter should not even be alluded to. The 
Lord reproaches His countrymen with ignorance of the Scrip- 
tures, and with making the law void through their traditions, 
but He never hints that they have foisted any book into the 
canon, or rejected any which deserved a place in it. 

Now, the Old Testament canon of the first century is the 
same as our own. The evidence for this is complete, and 
the fact is hardly questioned. The New Testament contains, 
indeed, no catalogue of the Old Testament books, but the 
testimony of Josephus, of Melito of Sardis, of Origen, of 
Jerome, of the Talmud, decisively shows that the Old Testa- 
ment canon, once fixed, has remained unaltered. Whether 
the steady Jewish tradition that the canon was finally deter- 
mined by Ezra and the Great Synagogue is altogether correct 
or not, it is certain that the Septuagint agrees with the Hebrew 
as to the canon, thus showing that the subject was not in 
dispute two centuries before Christ. Nor is the testimony 
of the Septuagint weakened by the fact that the common Old 
Testament Apocrypha are appended to the canonical books; 
for "of no one among the Apocryphal books is it so much 
as hinted, either by the author, or by any other Jewish writer, 
that it was worthy of a place among the sacred books" 
(Kitto's Cyclo., art. "Canon"). The Lord, it is observed, 
never quotes any of the aprocryphal books, nor refers to them. 

48 The Fundamentals 


If our Lord does not name the writers of the books of the 
Old Testament in detail, it may at least be said that no word 
of His calls in question the genuineness of any book, and 
that he distinctly assigns several parts of Scripture to the 
writers whose names they pass' under, j The Law is ascribed 
to Moses; David's name is connected with the Psalms; the 
prophecies of Isaiah are attributed to Isaiah, and the proph- 
ecies of Daniel to Daniel. We shall afterward inquire whether 
these references are merely by way of accommodation, or 
whether more importance should be attached to them; in 
the meantime, we note that the Lord does not, in any instance, 
express dissent from the common opinion, and that, as to 
several parts of Scripture, He distinctly endorses it. 

The references to Moses as legislator and writer are such 
as these: To the cleansed leper He says, "Go thy way, shew 
thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded" 
(Matt. 8:4). "He saith unto them, Moses because of the 
hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives" 
(Matt. 19:8). "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, 
neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the 
dead" (Luke 16:31). " For Moses said, Honor thy father 
and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let 
him die the death" (Mark 7:10). "And beginning at Moses 
and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the 
Scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). "All 
things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of 
Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" 
(Luke 24:44). "There is one that accuseth you, even Moses, 
in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have 
believed Me: For he wrote of Me. But if ye believed not 
his writings, how shall ye believe My words?" (John 5 :45-47). 
"Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keep- 
eth the law?" (John 7:19). "Moses therefore gave unto 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 49 

you circumcision. * * * If a man on the Sabbath day 
receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be 
broken," etc. (John 7:22, 23). The omitted parenthetical 
words "not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers"- 
seem clearly to show, it may be remarked in passing, that the 
Lord is not unobservant of historical exactness. 

The Psalms are quoted by our Lord more than once, but 
only once is a writer named. The 110th Psalm is ascribed 
to David; and the vadidity of the Lord's argument depends 
on its being Davidic. The reference, therefore, so far as it 
goes, confirms the inscriptions of the Psalms in relation to 

Isa. 6:9 is quoted thus: "In them is fulfilled the prophecy 
of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall 
not understand" (Matt. 13:14, 15). Again, chapter 29:13 of 
Isaiah's prophecy is cited: "Well hath Esaias prophesied of 
you hypocrites. * * * This people honoreth me with their 
lips, but their heart is far from me" (Mark 7:6). When, 
in the beginning of His ministry, the Lord came to Nazareth, 
there was delivered unto Him in the synagogue "the book of 
the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he 
found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord 
is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel 
to the poor," etc. (Luke 4:17, 18). The passage read by 
our Lord is from the 61st chapter of Isaiah, which belongs 
to the section of the book very often, at present, ascribed to 
the second, or pseudo, Isaiah; but we do not press this point, 
as it may be said that the Evangelist, rather than Christ, 
ascribes the words to Isaiah. 

In His great prophecy respecting the downfall of the 
Jewish state the Lord refers to "the abomination of desola- 
tion, spoken of by Daniel the prophet:" As in Dan. 9:27, 
we read that "For the overspreading of abominations he shall 
make it desolate," and in chapter 12:11, that "the abomination 
v hnt maketh desolate (shall) be set up." ; 

50 The Fundamentals 


\ When Christ makes reference to Old Testament narratives 
and records, He accepts them as authentic, as historically 
true. He does not give or suggest in any case a mythical 
or allegorical interpretation)) The accounts of the creation, 
of the flood, of the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, as 
well as many incidents and events of later occurrence, are 
taken as authentic. It may, of course, be alleged that the 
Lord's references to the creation of man and woman, the 
flood, the cities of the plain, etc., equally serve His purpose 
of illustration whether He regards them as historical or not. 
But on weighing His words it will be seen that they lose much 
of their force and appropriateness unless the events alluded 
to had a historical character. 

Let us refer more particularly to this matter. When the 
Pharisees ask Christ whether it is lawful for a man to put 
away his wife for every cause, He answers them: "Have ye 
not read, that He which made them in the beginning made 
them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man 
leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and 
they twain shall be one flesh?" (Matt. 19:4, 5). Again: 
"As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son 
of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, 
they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in mar- 
riage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew 
not, until the flood came, and took them all away ; so shall also 
the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matt. 24:37, 39). Again: 
"And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt 
be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have 
been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have 
remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall 
be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judg- 
ment, than for thee" (Matt. 11:23, 24). These utterances, 
every one feels, lose their weight and solemnity, if there was 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 51 

no flood such as is described in Genesis, and if the destruc- 
tion of wicked Sodom may be only a myth. Illustrations and 
parallels may, for certain purposes, be adduced from fictitious 
literature, but when the Lord would awaken the conscience 
of men and alarm their fears by reference to the certainty 
of divine judgment, He will not confirm His teaching by 
instances of punishment which are only fabulous. His argu- 
ment that the Holy and Just God will do as He has done 
will make bare His arm as in the days of old is robbed, in 
this case, of all validity. 

A view frequently urged in the present day is that, as 
with other nations, so with the Jews, the mythical period 
precedes the historical, and thus the earlier narratives of the 
Old Testament must be taken according to their true char- 
acter. In later periods of the Old Testament we have records 
which, on the whole, are historical; but in the very earliest 
times we must not look for authentic history at all. An ade- 
quate examination of this theory (which has, of course, 
momentous exegetical consequences) cannot here be attempted. 
We merely remark that our Lord's brief references to early 
Old Testament narrative would not suggest the distinction 
so often made between earlier and later Old Testament rec- 
ords on the score of trustworthiness. 


We advance to say that Christ accepts the Old Dispensa- 
tion and its Scriptures as, in a special sense, from God; as 
having special, divine authority. Many who recognize no 
peculiar sacredness or authority in the religion of the Jews 
above other religions of the world, would readily admit that 
it is from God. But their contention is that all religions (espe- 
cially what they are pleased to call the great religions) have 
elements of truth in them, that they all furnish media through 
which devout souls have fellowship with the Power which 
rules the universe, but that none of them should exalt its 

52 The Fundamentals 

pretensions much above the others, far less claim exclusive 
divine sanction ; all of .them being the product of man's spirit- 
ual nature, as molded by his history and environment, in 
different nations and ages. This is the view under which 
the study of comparative religion is prosecuted by many 
eminent scholars. A large and generous study of religions 
their characteristics and history tends, it is held, to bring 
them into closer fellowship with each other; and only igno- 
rance or prejudice (say these unbiased thinkers) can isolate 
the religion of the Old Testament or of the New, and refuse 
to acknowledge in other religions the divine elements which 
entitle them to take rank with Judaism or Christianity. 

(The utterances of Jesus Christ on this question of the 
divinity of the Old Testament religion and cults are unmis- 
takable; and not less clear and decided is His language 
respecting the writings in which this religion is delivered. 
God is the source in the directest sense, of both the religion 
and the records of it. No man can claim Christ's authority 
for classing Judaism with Confucianism, Hinduism, Bud- 
dhism, and Parseeism^ There is nothing, indeed, in the 
Lord's teaching which forbids us to recognize anything that 
is good in ethnic religions any of those elements of spiritual 
truth which become the common property of the race and 
which were not completely lost in the night of heathenism; 
but, on the other hand, it is abundantly evident that the Jew- 
ish faith is, to our Lord, the one true faith, and that the 
Jewish Scriptures have a place of their own a place which 
cannot be shared with the sacred books of other peoples. 
Samaritanism, even though it had appropriated so largely 
from the religion of Israel, He will not recognize. "For sal- 
vation is of the Jews." 

Almost any reference of our Lord to the Old Testament 
will support the statement that He regards the Dispensation 
and its Scriptures as from God, (..He shows, e.g., that Old 
Testament prophecy is fulfilled in Himself, or He vindicates 

Testimony of Christ to tlie Old Testament 53 

His teaching and His claims by Scripture, or He enjoins 
obedience to the law (as in the case of the cleansed lepers), 
or He asserts the inviolability of the law till its complete 
fulfillment, or He accuses a blinded and self-righteous gener- 
ation of superseding and vacating a law which they were 
bound to observe. A few instances of explicit recognition 
of the Old Testament Scriptures as proceeding from God 
and having divine authority, may be here adduced. In His 
Sermon on the Mount the Lord makes this strong and com- 
prehensive statement: "Verily, I say unto you, Till heaven 
and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass 
from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matt 5:18). 

In the context the law is distinguished from the prophets 
and designates, therefore, the Pentateuch; and surely the 
divine origin of this part of Scripture is unquestionably 
implied. No such inviolability could be claimed for any 
merely human institution or production. When the hypocrit- 
ical and heartless son pretended to devote to God what should 
have gone to support his indigent parents, he "made the com- 
mandment of God of none effect," "for God commanded, say- 
ing, Honor thy father and mother" (Matt. 15:4). In purging 
the temple the Lord justifies His action in these words : "It 
is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer" 
(Matt. 21:13). Again: "As touching the resurrection of 
the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you 
by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of 
Isaac, and the God : of Jacob?" (Matt. 22:32). Again: "Lay- 
ing aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of 
men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such 
like things ye do" (Mark 7:8). So many passages of the 
Old Testament are quoted or alluded to by the Lord as having 
received, or as awaiting fulfillment, that it is scarcely neces- 
sary to make citations of this class. These all most certainly 
imply the divinity of Scripture; for no man, no creature, can 
tell what is hidden in the remote future. 

54 The Fundamentals 

We are not forgetting that the Lord fully recognizes the 
imperfect and provisional character of the Mosaic law and 
of the Old Dispensation. Were the Old faultless, no place 
would have been found for the New. Had grace and truth 
come by Moses, the advent of Jesus Christ would have been 
unnecessary. So when the Pharisees put the question to 
Christ why -Moses commanded to give to a wife who has 
found no favor with her husband a writing of divorcement 
and to put her away, He replied: "Moses, because of the 
hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives : 
but from the beginning it was not so" (Matt. 19:8).^ The 
Mosaic legislation was not in every part absolutely the best 
that could be given, but it was such as the divine wisdom 
saw best for the time being and under the special circum- 
stances of the Hebrew people.] Not only did the Old Testa- 
ment set forth a typical economy, which must give place to 
another, but it embodied ethical elements of a provisional 
kind which must pass away when the incarnate Son had fully 
revealed the Father. The Old Testament is conscious of its 
own imperfections, for Jeremiah thus writes: "Behold the 
days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant 
with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not 
according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in 
the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the 
land of Egypt." But in all this there is nothing to modify 
the proposition which we are illustrating, viz., that our Lord 
accepts the Old Testament economy and its Scriptures as 
from God, as stamped with divine authority, and as truly 
making known the divine mind and will, 

Marcion and the Gnostics did not receive any part of the 
Old Testament Scriptures, and the Old Dispensation itself 
they held to be of evil origin. So decided were they against 
the Old Testament that they would not admit into their New 
Testament canon the books which especially bear witness 
to the Old. \But the Christian Church has followed its Master 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 55 

in regarding the Old Testament as the Word of God, as the 
Bible of the ages before the Advent, and as still part of the 
Bible for the Christian Church. Not until the days of devel- 
oped rationalism was this position called in question, except 
among unbelievers^ But it is obvious that the style of criti- 
cism which, in our own time, is frequently applied to the 
Old Testament (not to say anything about the New), touch- 
ing its histories, its laws, its morality, is quite inconsistent 
with the recognition of any special divine characteristics 
or authority as belonging to it. The very maxim so often 
repeated, that criticism must deal with these writings precisely 
as it deals with other writings is a refusal to Scripture, in 
iimine, of the peculiar character which it claims, and which 
the Church has ever recognized in it. If a special divine 
authority can be vindicated for these books, or for any of 
them, this fact, it is clear, ought to be taken into account 
by the linguistic and historical critic./ Logically, we should 
begin our study of them by investigating their title to such 
authority, and, should their claim prove well founded, it 
should never be forgotten in the subsequent critical proc- 
esses) The establishment of this high claim will imply in 
these writings moral characteristics (not to mention others) 
which should exempt them from a certain suspicion which the 
critic may not unwarrantably allow to be present when he 
begins to examine documents of an ordinary kind. It is 
not, therefore, correct to say that criticism, in commencing 
its inquiries, should know nothing of the alleged divine origin 
or sacred character of a book. If the book has no good 
vouchers for its claims to possess a sacred character, criti- 
cism must proceed unhindered; but correct conceptions of 
critical methods demand that every important fact already 
ascertained as to any writings should be kept faithfully before 
the mind in the examination of them, f Science must here 
unite with reverential feeling in requiring right treatment of 
a book which claims special divine sanction, and is willing 

56 The Fundamentals 

to have its claims duly investigated. ) The examination of a 
witness of established veracity and rectitude would not be 
conducted in precisely the same manner as that of a witness 
whose character is unknown or under suspicion. Wellhausen's 
style of treating the history of Israel can have no justification 
unless he should first show that the claim so often advanced 
in "Thus saith the Lord" is entirely baseless. So far from 
admitting the validity of the axiom referred to, we distinctly 
hold that it is unscientific. A just and true criticism must 
have respect to everything already known and settled regard- 
ing the productions to which it is applied, and assuredly so 
momentous a claim as that of divine authority demands care- 
ful preliminary examination. 

But criticism, it may be urged, is the very instrument by 
.which we must test the pretensions of these writings to a 
special divine origin and character, and, hence, it cannot stand 
aside till this question has been considered. In requiring 
criticism to be silent till the verdict has been rendered, we 
are putting it under restrictions inconsistent with its func- 
tions and prerogatives. The reply, however, is that the prin- 
cipal external and internal evidences for the divine origin 
of the Scriptures can be weighed with sufficient accuracy to 
determine the general character and authority of these writ- 
ings before criticism, either higher or lower, requires to apply 
its hand. "The heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the 
doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, 
the scope of the whole (which is to give glory to God), the 
full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, 
the many other incomparable excellences, and the entire per- 
fection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly 
evince itself to be the word of God" (Conf. of Faith 1:5). 
But all of these considerations can, in all that is material, 
be weighed and estimated before technical criticism begins 
its labors, as they have been estimated to the entire conviction 
of the divinity of Scripture on the part of thousands who had 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 57 

no acquaintance with criticism. Should the fair application 
of criticism, when its proper time comes, tend to beget doubt 
as to the general conclusion already reached regarding the 
Bible, it will doubtless be right to review carefully the evi- 
dence on which our conclusion depends; but the substantive 
and direct proofs of the Scriptures being from God should first 
be handled, and the decision arrived at should be kept in 
mind, while criticism is occupied with its proper task. This 
seems to us the true order of the procedure. 


\Qur Lord certainly attributes to the Old Testament a far 
higher character than many have supposed. J God speaks 
in it throughout ; and while He will more perfectly reveal 
Himself in His Son, not anything contained in the older 
revelation shall fail of its end or be convicted of error. 
Christ does not use the term "inspiration" in speaking of the 
Old Testament, but when (we have adduced His words re- 
garding the origin and authority of these writings, it will 
be evident that to Him they are God-given in every part./ 
It will be seen that His testimony falls not behind that of 
His Apostles who say : "Every Scripture inspired of God" 
(2 Tim. 3:16), and "The prophecy came not in old time by 
the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pet. 1 :21). 


In speaking of Christ as teaching that the Old Testament 
is from God we have referred to passages in which He says 
that its words and commands are the words and commands 
of God; e. g., "God commanded, saying, Honor thy father 
and thy mother: and He that curseth father or mother, let 
him die the death" (Matt. 15:4). Again: "Have ye not read 
that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the 
God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?'' 

58 \ The Fundamentals 

In a comprehensive way the laws of the Pentateuch, or 
of the Old Testament, are called "the commandments of 
God." "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines 
the commandments of men. For laying aside the command- 
ment of God, ye hold the tradition of men. * * * Full 
well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep 
your own tradition" (Mark 7 :8, 9) ; and in the context of this 
last quotation the commandment of God is identified with 
what "Moses spake," showing that the words of Moses are 
also the words of God. 

Passages like these do more than prove that the Old 
Testament Scriptures express on the whole the mind of God, 
and, therefore, possess very high authority. If it can cer- 
tainly be said that God spake certain words, or that certain 
words and commandments are the words and commandments 
of God, we have more than a general endorsement; as when, 
e. g., the editor of a periodical states that he is responsible 
for the general character and tendency of articles which he 
admits, but not for every sentiment or expression of opinion 
contained in them. 

( It needs, of course, no proof that the words quoted in the 
New Testament as spoken by God are not the only parts 
of the Old which have direct divine authority.) The same 
thing might evidently be said of other parts of the book, 
(The impression left, we think, on every unprejudiced mind 
is that such quotations as the Lord made are only speci- 
mens of a book in which God speaks throughout.) There is 
not encouragement certainly to attempt any analysis of Scrip- 
ture into its divine and its human parts or elements to appor- 
tion the authorship between God and the human penman, for, 
as we have seen, the same words are ascribed to God and 
to His servant Moses. The whole is spoken by God and by 
Moses also. (All is divine and at the same time all is human^ 
The divine and the human are so related that separation is 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 59 


(Attention may be specially called to three passages in which 
the Lord refers to the origin and the absolute infallibility of 
Scripture.) Jesus asked the Pharisees, "What think ye of 
Christ? Whose Son is He? They say unto Him, The Son 
of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in 
spirit call Him Lord?" The reference is to Psalm 110, which 
the Lord says David spake or wrote "in spirit ;" i. e., David 
was completely under the Spirit's influence in the production 
of the Psalm, so that when he calls the Messiah his "Lord" 
the word has absolute authority. Such is clearly the Lord's 
meaning, and the Pharisees have no reply to His argument. 
The Lord does not say that the entire Old Testament was 
written "in the Spirit," nor even that all the Psalms were so 
produced; He makes no direct statement of this nature; yet 
the plain reader would certainly regard this as implied. His 
hearers understood their Scriptures to have been all written 
by immediate inspiration of God, and to be the word of God; 
and He merely refers to Psalm 110 as having the character 
which belonged to Scripture at large. 

In John 10:34-36 Christ vindicates Himself from the 
charge of blasphemy in claiming to be the Son of God: 
"Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, 
Ye are gods. If he called them gods unto whom the word 
of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken ; say ye of 
Him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, 
Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?** 
The Scripture cannot be broken ou dunatai luthenai. The 
verb signifies to loose, unbind, dissolve, and as applied to 
Scripture means to subvert or deprive of authority. ( The 
authority of Scripture is then so complete so pervasive 
as to extend to its individual terms.] "Gods" is the proper 
word because it is used to designate the Jewish rulers. If 
this ts not verbal inspiration, it comes very near it. One 

60 The Fundamentals 

may, of course, allege that the Lord's statement of inerrancy 
implies only that the principal words of Scripture must be 
taken precisely as they are, but that He does not claim the 
like authority for all its words. Without arguing this point, 
we merely say that it is not certain or obvious that the way 
is left open for this distinction. \In face of Christ's utterances 
it devolves on those who hold that inspiration extends to the 
thought of Scripture only, but not to the words, or to the 
leading words but not to the words in general, to adduce 
Very cogent arguments in support of their position.) The 
onus probandi, it seems to us, is here made to rest on them, 
The theory that inspiration may be affirmed only of the maiu 
views or positions of Scripture, but neither of the words nor 
of the development of the thoughts, cannot, it seems clear f 
be harmonized with the Lord's teaching. Before adverting to 
a third text we may be allowed to set down these words of 
Augustine in writing to Jerome: "For I acknowledge with 
high esteem for thee, I have learned to ascribe such reverence 
and honor to those books of the Scriptures alone, which are 
now called canonical, that I believe most firmly that not one 
of their authors has made a mistake in writing them. /And 
should I light upon anything in those writings, which may 
seem opposed to truth, I shall contend for nothing else, thac 
either that the manuscript was full of errors, or that the trans- 
lator had not comprehended what was said, or that I had not 
understood it in the least degree.'y 

In His sermon on the Mount our Lord thus refers to 
His own relation to the Old Testament economy and its 
Scriptures: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, 
or the prophets: I amjiot come to destroy but to fulfil. For 
verily I say unto you, (Jill heaven and earth pass, one jot or 
one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be ful- 
filled" (Matt. 5:17, 18). No stronger words -could be em- 
ployed to affirm the divine authority of every part of the Old 
Testament ; for the law and the prophets mean the entire 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 61 

Testament Scriptures] If this declaration contemplates the 
moral element of these Scriptures, it means that no part of 
diem shall be set aside by the New Dispensation, but "ful- 
filled" i. e., filled up and completed by Jesus Christ as a 
sketch is filled up and completed by the painter. If, as others 
naturally interpret, the typical features of the Old Testament 
are included in the statement, the term "fulfilled," as regards 
this element, will be taken in the more usual meaning. In 
either case the inviolability and, by implication, the divine 
origin of the Old Testament could not be more impressively 
declared. Mark how comprehensive and absolute the words 
are : "One jot or one tittle." "Jot" (iota) is yod, the 
smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet; "tittle," literally lit- 
tle horn or apex, designates the little lines or projections by 
which Hebrew letters, similar in other respects, differ from 
each other. We have here, one might say, the inspiration of 
letters of the Old Testament. Everything contained in it has 
divine authority, and must, therefore, be divine in origin ; for 
it is unnecessary to show that no such authority could be 
ascribed to writings merely human, or to writings in which 
the divine and the human interests could be separated an- 

Should it be said that the "law," every jot and tittle of 
which must be fulfilled, means here the economy itself, the 
ordinances of Judaism, but not the record of them in writing, 
the reply is that we know nothing of these ordinances ex- 
cept through the record, so that what is affirmed must apply 
to the Scriptures as well as to the Dispensation. 

The only questions which can be well raised are, first, 
whether the "law and the prophets" designate the entire Scrip- 
tures or two great divisions of them only; and, secondly, 
whether the words of Jesus can be taken at their full mean- 
ing, or, for some reason or other, must be discounted. The 
first question it is hardly worth while to discuss, for, if 
neither jot nor tittle of the "law and the prophets" shall 'fail, 

62 The Fundamentals 

it will hardly be contended that the Psalms, or whatever parts 
of the Old Testament are not included, have a less stable char- 
acter. The latter question, of momentous import, we shall 
consider presently. 


The inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures is clearly 
implied in the many declarations of our Lord respecting the 
fulfilment of prophecies contained in them. It is God's 
prerogative to know, and to make known, the future. Human 
presage cannot go beyond what is foreshadowed in events 
which have transpired, or is wrapped up in causes which we 
plainly see in operation. I f(f therefore, the Old Testament 
reveals, hundreds of years in advance, what is coming to 
pass, omniscience must have directed the pen of the writer; 
i. e., these Scriptures, or at least their predictive parts, must 
be inspired.) 

The passage already quoted from the Sermon on the 
Mount may be noticed as regards its bearing on prophecy: 
"I am not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but to 
fulfil." While plerosai, as referring to the law, has the 
special meaning above pointed out; as referring to the 
prophets, it has its more common import. We have here, 
then, a general statement as to the Old Testament contain- 
ing prophecies which were fulfilled by Christ and in Him. 
Here are examples. The rejection of Messiah by the Jewish 
authorities, as well as the ultimate triumph of His cause, is 
announced in the 118th Psalm, in words which Christ applies 
to Himself: "The stone which the builders rejected is be- 
come the head of the corner." The desertion of Jesus by 
His disciples when He was apprehended fulfils the prediction 
of Zechariah : "I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall 
all be scattered" (Matt. 26:31). Should angelic intervention 
rescue Jesus from death, "how then should the Scriptures 
be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" AH that related to His 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 63 

betrayal, apprehension, and death took place, "that the Scrip- 
tures of the prophets might be fulfilled" (Matt. 26:56). "Had 
ye believed Moses," said our Lord, "ye would have believed 
Me, for he wrote of Me" (John 5 :46). The 41st Psalm pre- 
announces the treachery of Judas in these words: "He that 
eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me.;" 
and the defection of the son of perdition takes place, "that 
the Scriptures may be fulfilled" (John 17:12). The persist- 
ent and malignant opposition of His enemies fulfils that which 
is written: "They hated Me without a cause" (John 15:25). 
Finally, in discoursing to the two disciples on the way to 
Emmaus, the Lord, "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, 
expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things con- 
cerning Himself. "And He said unto them: These are the 
words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, 
that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the 
law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, con- 
cerning Me. Then opened He their understanding that they 
might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them : "Thus 
it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to 
rise from the dead the third day" (Luke 24:44-46). 

It is not denied that in some instances the word "fulfil" 
is used in the New Testament merely as signifying that some 
event or condition of things corresponds with or realizes 
something that is written in the Old Testament; as when the 
words in Isaiah, "By hearing ye shall hear and shall not 
understand," are said to be fulfilled in the blind obduracy of 
the Pharisees. Nor, again, is it denied that "fulfil" has the 
meaning of filling, or expanding, or completing. But clearly 
our Lord, in the passages here cited, employs the term in 
another acceptation; He means nothing less than this: that 
the Scriptures which He says were "fulfilled" were intended 
by the Spirit of God to have the very application which He 
makes of them; they were predictions in the sense ordinarily 
meant by that term. If the Messiah of the Old Testament 

64 The Fundamentals 

were merely an ideal personage, there would be little force 
in saying that the Lord "opened the understanding" of the 
disciples that they might see His death and resurrection to 
be set forth in the prophecies. (But to teach that the Old 
Testament contains authentic predictions is, as we have said, 
to teach that it is inspired.) The challenge to heathen deities 
is, "Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may 
know that ye are gods" (Isa. 41 :23). 

We thus find that our Lord recognizes the same Old Tes- 
tament canon as we have, that so far as He makes reference 
to particular books of the canon He ascribes them to the writ- 
ers whose names they bear, that He regards the Jewish re- 
ligion and its sacred books as in a special sense a sense not 
to be affirmed of any other religion from God, that the 
writers of Scripture, in His view, spake in the Spirit, that 
their words are so properly chosen that an argument may 
rest on the exactness of a term, that no part of Scripture 
shall fail of its end or be convicted of error, and that the 
predictions of Scripture are genuine predictions, which must 
all in their time receive fulfilment. 

We cannot here discuss the doctrine of inspiration; but 
on the ground of the Lord's testimony to the Old Testament, 
as above summarized, we may surely affirm that He claims 
for it throughout all that is meant by inspiration when we 
use that term in the most definite sense. (No higher author- 
ity could well be ascribed to apostolic teaching, or to any 
part of the New Testament Scriptures, than the Lord attrib- 
ute's to the more ancient Scriptures when He declares that 
"jot or tittle shall not pass from them till all be fulfilled,"' and 
that if men "hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will 

they be persuaded though one rose from the dead" 



It remains that we should briefly advert to the value, if or 
*he scientific student of the Bible, of Christ's testimony to 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 65 

the Old Testament. The very announcement of such a topic 
may not be heard without pain, but in view of theories with 
which Biblical students are familiar, it becomes necessary 
to look into the question. Can we, then, accept the utter- 
ances of Christ on the matters referred to as having value 
as of authority in relation to the Biblical scholarship? Can 
we take them at their face value, or must they be discounted? 
Or again, are these words of Jesus valid for criticism on some 
questions, but not on others? 

There are two ways in which it is sought to invalidate 
Christ's testimony to the Old Testament. 


\ It is alleged that Jesus had no knowledge beyond that 
of His contemporaries as to the origin and literary character- 
istics of the Scriptures. The Jews believed that Moses wrote 
the Pentateuch, that the narratives of the Old Testament are 
all authentic history, and that the words of Scripture are all 
i-nspired.) Christ shared the opinions of His countrymen on 
these topics, even when they were in error. To hold this 
view, it is maintained, does not detract from the Lord's quali- 
fications for His proper work, which was religious and spirit- 
ual, not literary; for in relation to the religious value of the 
Old Testament and its spiritual uses and applications He may 
confidently be accepted as our guide. His knowledge was 
adequate to the delivery of the doctrines of His kingdom, but 
did not necessarily extend to questions of scholarship and 
criticism. Of these He speaks as any other man ; and to 
seek to arrest, or direct, criticism by appeal to His authority, 
is procedure which can only recoil upon those who adopt 
it. This view is advanced, not only by critics who reject the 
divinity of Christ, but by many who profess to believe that 
doctrine. In the preface to his first volume on the Penta- 
teuch and, Joshua, Colenso thus writes: "It. is perfectly 
consistent with the most entire and sincere belief in our 

66 The Fundamentals . 

Lord's divinity to hold, as many do, that when He vouch- 
safed to become a 'Son of man' He took our nature fully, and 
voluntarily entered into all the conditions of humanity, and, 
among others, into that which makes our growth in all 
ordinary knowledge gradual and limited. * * * It is not 
supposed that, in His human nature, He was acquainted more 
than any Jew of His age with the mysteries of all modern 
sciences, nor * * * can it be seriously maintained that, 
as an infant or young child, He possessed a knowledge sur- 
passing that of the most pious and learned adults of His 
nation, upon the subject of the authorship and age of the 
different portions of the Pentateuch. At what period, then, 
of His life on earth, is it to be supposed that He had granted 
to Him as the Son of man, supernaturally, full and accurate 
information on these points?" etc. (vol. i., p. 32). "It 
should also be observed," says Dr. S. Davidson, "that histor- 
ical and critical questions could only belong to His human 
culture, a culture stamped with the characteristics of His 
age and country." 

The doctrine of the Kenosis is invoked to explain the im- 
perfection of our Lord's knowledge on critical questions, as 
evidenced by the way in which He speaks of the Penta- 
teuch and of various Old Testament problems. The general 
subject of the limitation of Christ's knowledge during His 
life on earth is, of course, a very difficult one, but we do 
not need here to consider it. The Gospel of Mark does 
speak of the day and hour when the heaven and earth shall 
pass away as being known to the Father only, and not to 
the Son; but without venturing any opinion on a subject so 
mysterious, we may, at least, affirm that the Lord's knowledge 
was entirely adequate to the perfect discharge of His pro- 
phetical office. To impute imperfection to Him as the Teacher 
of the Church were indeed impious. Now the case stands 
thus : By a certain class of critics we are assured that, in 
the interests of truth, in order to an apologetic such as the 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 67 

present time absolutely requires, the traditional opinions 
regarding the authorship of the Old Testament books and 
. the degree of authority which attaches to several, if not all 
of them, must be revised. In order to save the ship, we must 
throw overboard this cumbrous and antiquated tackling. 
(Much more, we are assured, than points of scholarship are 
involved; for intelligent and truth-loving men cannot retain 
their confidence in the Bible and its religion, unless we dis- 
card the opinions which have prevailed as to the Old Testa- 
ment, even though these opinions can apparently plead in 
their favor the authority of Jesus Christ. 

Now mark the position in which the Lord, as our Teacher, 
is thus placed./ We have followed Him in holding opinions 
which turn out to be unscientific, untrue ; and so necessary 
is it to relinquish these opinions that neither the Jewish nor 
the Christian faith can be satisfactorily defended if we 
cling to them. Is it not, therefore, quite clear that the Lord's 
teaching is, in something material, found in error that His 
prophetical office is assailed? For the allegation is that, in 
holding fast to what He is freely allowed to have taught, 
we are imperiling the interests of religion. (The critics whom 
we have in view must admit either that the points in ques- 
tion are of no importance, or that the Lord was imperfectly 
qualified for His prophetical work/ Those who have rever- 
ence for the Bible will not admit either position.) For why 
should scholarship so magnify the necessity to apologetics of 
correcting the traditional opinion as to the age and author- 
ship of the Pentateuch, and other questions of Old Testament 
criticism, unless it means to show that the Old Testament 
requires more exact, more enlightened, handling than the 
Lord gave it? Should it be replied that the Lord, had He 
been on earth now, would have spoken otherwise on the 
topics concerned, the obvious answer is, that the Lord's teach- 
ing is for all ages, and that His word "cannot be broken." 

68 The Fundamentals 


The theory of accommodation is brought forward in 
explanation of those references of Christ to the Old Testa- 
ment which endorse what are regarded as inaccuracies or 
popular errors. He spake, it is said, regarding the Old Testa- 
ment, after the current opinion or belief. This belief would 
be sometimes right and sometimes wrong; but where no in- 
terest of religion or morality was affected where spiritual 
truth was not involved He allowed Himself, even where 
the common belief was erroneous, to speak in accordance 
with it. Some extend the principle of accommodation to the 
interpretation of the Old Testament as well as to questions 
of canon and authorship; and in following it the Lord is 
declared to have acted prudently, for no good end could 
have been served, it is alleged, by crossing the vulgar opinion 
upon matters of little importance, and thus awakening or 
strengthening suspicion as to His teaching in general. 

(As to the accommodation thus supposed to have been 
practiced by our Lord, we observe that if it implies, as the 
propriety of the term requires, a more accurate knowledge 
on His part than His language reveals, it becomes difficult, 
in many instances, to vindicate His perfect integrity) In 
some cases where accommodation is alleged, it might, indeed, 
be innocent enough, but in others it would be inconsistent 
with due regard to truth; and most of the statements of 
the Lord touching the Old Testament to which attention has 
been directed in this discussion seem to be of this latter 
kind. Davidson himself says: "Agreeing as we do in the 
sentiment that our Savior and His Apostles accommodated 
their mode of reasoning to the habitual notions of the 
Jews, no authority can be attributed to that reasoning except 
when it takes the form of an independent declaration or 
statement, and so rests on the speaker's credit." Now the 
statements of Christ respecting the Old Testament Scriptures 

Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament 69 

to which we desire specially to direct attention are precisely 
of this nature. Are not these "independent declarations" ? 
"One jot or one tittle shall not pass," etc.; "The Scripture 
cannot be broken;" "David in spirit calls him Lord;" "All 
things must be fulfilled which are written in the Law of 
Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concern- 
ing Me." 

Further, we may say as before, that if our Lord's state- 
ments His obiter dicta, if you will about the authorship of 
parts of Scripture give a measure of countenance to opinions 
which are standing in the way of both genuine scholarship 
and of faith, it is hard to see how they can be regarded as 
instances of a justifiable accommodation. It seems to us 
(may we reverently use the words) that in this case you 
cannot vindicate the Lord's absolute truthfulness except by 
imputing to Him a degree of ignorance which would unfit 
Him for His office as permanent Teacher of the Church. 
Here is the dilemma for the radical critic either he is agi- 
tating the Church about trifles, or, if his views have the 
apologetical importance which he usually attributes to them, 
he is censuring the Lord's discharge of His prophetic office ; 
for the allegation is that Christ's words prove perplexing and 
misleading in regard to weighty issues which the progress 
of knowledge has obliged us to face. (Surely we should be 
apprehensive of danger if we discover that views which 
claim our adhesion, on any grounds whatever, tend to depre- 
ciate the wisdom of Him whom we call "Lord and Master," 
upon whom the Spirit was bestowed "without measure," and 
who "spake as never man spake." It is a great thing in this 
controversy to have the Lord on our side. ) 

Are, then, the Lord's references to Moses and the law 
to be regarded as evidence that He believed the Pentateuch 
to be written by Moses, or should they be classed as instances 
of accommodation? When we take in cumulo all the pas- 
sages in which the legislation of the Pentateuch and the 

70 The Fundamentals, 

writing of it are connected with Moses, a very strong case 
is made out against mere accommodation. The obvious accur- 
acy of speech observed in some of these references cannot be 
overlooked; e. g,, "Moses, therefore, gave you circumcision 
(not because it is of 'Moses,' but of the fathers)" Again, 
"There is one that accuseth you, even Moses in whom ye 
trust; for had ye believed Moses ye would have believed 
Me, for he wrote of Me ; but if ye believe not his writings, 
how shall ye believe My words ?" This is not the style of 
one who does not wish his words to be taken strictly! 


Two positions may, I think, be affirmed: 1. The legisla- 
tion of the Pentateuch is actually ascribed to Moses by the 
Lord. If this legislation is, in the main, long subsequent to 
Moses, and a good deal of it later than the exile, the Lord's 
language is positively misleading, and endorses an error which 
vitiates the entire construction of Old Testament history and 
the development of religion in Israel. 2. Moses is to such 
extent the writer of the law that it may, with propriety, be 
spoken of as "his writings." All admit that there are passages 
in the Books of Moses which were written by another hand 
or other hands, and should even additions other than certain 
brief explanatory interpolations and the last chapter of Deu- 
teronomy have to be recognized (which has not yet been 
demonstrated) the Pentateuch would remain Mosaic. Should 
Moses have dictated much of his writings, as Paul did, they 
would, it is unnecessary to say, be not the less his. \The words 
of Jesus we consider as evidence that He regarded Moses as, 
substantially, the writer of the books which bear his name. 
Less than this robs several of our Lord's statements of their 
point and propriety/) 

( It is hardly necessary to say that we have no desire to see 
a true and reverent criticism of the Old Testament, and of 
the New as well, arrested in its progress, or in the least hin- 

Testimony of Christ to the' Old Testament 71 

dered. / Criticism must accomplish its task, and every lover 
of truth is more than willing that it should do so. Reluctance 
to see truth fully investigated, fully ascertained and estab- 
lished, in any department of thought and inquiry, and most 
of all in those departments which are highest, is lamentable 
evidence of moral weakness, of imperfect confidence in Him 
who is the God of truth. (, But criticism must proceed by 
legitimate methods and in a true spirit. It must steadfastly 
keep before it all the facts essential to be taken into account.) 
In the case of its application to the Bible and religion, it is 
most reasonable to demand that full weight should be allowed 
to all the teachings, all the words of Him who only knows 
the Father, and who came to reveal Him to the world, and 
who is Himself the Truth. If all Scripture bears testimony 
to Christ, we cannot refuse to hear Him when He speaks of 
its characteristics. It is folly, it is unutterable impiety, to de- 
cide differently from the Lord any question regarding the Bible 
on which we have His verdict; nor does it improve the case 
to say that we shall listen to Him when He speaks of spiritual 
truth, but shall count ourselves free when the question is one 
of scholarship. (Alas for our scholarship when it brings us 
into controversy with Him who is the Prophet, as He is the 
Priest and King of the Church, and by whose Spirit both 
Prophets and Apostles spake f) 

Nothing has been said in this paper respecting the proper 
method of interpreting the different books and parts of the 
Old Testament, nor the way of dealing with specific difficulties. 
(Our object has been to show that the Lord regards the 
entire book, or collection of books, as divine, authoritative, 
infallible. ) But in the wide variety of these writings there are 
many forms of composition, and every part, it is obvious 
to say, must be understood and explained in accordance with 
the rules of interpretation which apply to literature of its 
kind. We have not been trying in advance to bind up the 
interpreter to an unintelligent literalism in exegesis, which 

72 The Fundamentals 

should take no account of what is peculiar to different species 
of writing, treating poetry and prose, history and allegory, 
the symbolical and the literal, as if all were the same. The 
consideration of this most important, subject of interpretation 
with which apologetical interests are, indeed, closely connected, 
has not been before us. But nothing which we could be called 
upon to advance regarding the interpretation of the Old Testa- 
ment could modify the results here reached in relation to the 
subject of which we have spoken. Our Lord's testimony to 
the character of the Old Testament must remain unimpaired. 





It is undeniable that the universe, including ourselves, 
exists. Whence comes it all? For any clear-thinking mind 
there are only three possibilities. / Either the universe has 
existed always, it produced itself, or it was created by a 
Divine, a Supreme Being. ) 


The eternity of the universe is most clearly disproved by 
its evolution. From a scientific point of view that hypothesis 
is now discredited and virtually abandoned. Astronomers, 
physicists, biologists, philosophers, are beginning to recognize 
more and more, and men like Secchi, Dubois-Reymond, Lord 
Kelvin, Dr. Klein and others, unanimously affirm that creation 
has had a beginning. It always tends towards an entropy, 
that is, toward a perfect equilibrium of its forces, a complete 
standstill; and the fact that it has not yet reached such a 
condition is proof that it has not always existed. Should 
creation, however, ever come to a standstill, it could never 
again put itself in motion. It has had a beginning, and it will 
have an end. That is demonstrated most clearly by its still 
unfinished evolution. Should anyone say to us, of a growing 
tree or of a young child, that either of these forms of life 
has existed forever, we would at once reply, Why has it not 
then long ago, in the past eternity, grown up so as to reach 


74 The Fundamentals 

the heaven of heavens? In like manner, reasons that great 
astronomer, William Herschel, with regard to the Milky- Way, 
that just (as its breaking up into different parts shows that it 
cannot always endure, so we have, in this same fact, proof that 
it has not eternally existed.) 


There remains, therefore, only this alternative : either the 
world produced itself, or it was created. That all things came 
into existence spontaneously, and therefore that we must 
suppose an origination of immeasurably great effects with- 
out any cause, or believe that at some time a nothing, without 
either willing or knowing it, and without the use of means, 
became a something this is the most unreasonable assumption 
that could possibly be attributed to a human being. ^How 
could anything act before it existed ? or a thing not yet created 
produce something?) There is nothing more unreasonable 
than the creed of the unbeliever, notwithstanding all his prat- 
ing about the excellence of reason. 

But -if this world did not produce itself, then it must have 
been created by some Higher Power, some Cause of all causes, 
such as was that First Principle upon which the dying Cicero 
called. Or, to use the words of Dr. Klein, that originating 
cause must have been a "Supreme Intelligence that has at its 
command unlimited creative power" (Kosmologische Brief 'e, 
p. 27). Hence what that Intelligence does is both illimitable 
and unfathomable, and it can at any time either change this 
world or make a new one. /It is therefore prima facie silly 
for us, with our prodigiously narrow experience, to set any 
kind of bounds to the Supreme Being ; and a God who works 
no miracles and is the slave of his own laws implanted in 
nature, such a God as the New Theology preaches, is as much 
lacking in being a true Divinity as is the unconscious, but 
all-wise "cosmic ether" of Spiller, or the "eternal stuff" of 
other materialists. ) 

The Bible and Modern Criticism 75 

We conclude, then, that the universe was created, or that 
God is the author of all things. 


But now the question arises whether God, who is both the 
Creator of all things and the Father of spirits, has revealed 
Himself to his creatures, or to His own children, the work 
of His hands. Such a question might surely provoke one's 
laughter. For what is the ent're universe ? what is this created 
nature of which we form a part? what is air? and water? 
and fire? what are all organized beings, my body with its 
many parts put together in such a highly artistic and inscruta- 
ble fashion ; my soul with its infinite capabilities so little 
understood by myself? What are all these matters but a 
progressive revelation of God, given to us, as it were, in a 
.series of concentric circles rising one above another toward 
their Source? (For this purpose it was that God created the 
visible, so that through it we might perceive the invisible, and 
for this purpose the whole creation was made, so that through 
it might be manifested the invisible things of God, even his 
eternal power and godhead )( Rom. 1:20). Creation is only 
the language of "the Word that was in the beginning, and 
was with God, and was God, and by Whom all things were 
made" (John 1:1-3). What does this Word declare? What 
else but the great infinite name of God the Father, the primal 
source of all things, the name that must be hallowed? (There 
was a time, however, even before the world was, when there 
existed nothing but God and his name. All the different works 
of creation are only letters in this great name.^ 


/ But there is another revelation which God has given of 
Himself to men a more definite and personal one. ) Thus, 
e. g., he declared Himself to Adam, and through Enoch and 
Noah to the antediluvians, and again after the flood to other 

76 The Fundamentals 

generations through Noah and his sons. But because at the 
building of the tower of Babel men turned stubbornly away 
from God, He gave them up to the thoughts of their own 
heart, and selected one man, Abraham, to go out from his 
friends and kindred, so that in his seed all the nations of the 
world might be blessed. Then, first, out of Abraham came the 
people of Israel, to whom were committed the oracles of 
God; and from this period began the history of the written 
Word. Moses narrates the beginning of things, also records 
the law, and holy men of God speak and write as they are 
moved by the Holy Spirit. That is inspiration a divine 

But here a distinction must be made. The Bible reports 
matters of history, and in doing so includes many genealogies 
which were composed, first of all, not for us, but for those 
most immediately concerned, and for the angels (1 Cor. 4:9). 
Also it reports many sins and shameful deeds; for just as 
the sun first illuminates himself and then sheds his radiance 
upon the ocean and the puddle, the eagle and the worm, so 
(the Bible undertakes to represent to us not only God, but 
also man just as he is^ In giving us these narratives it may 
be said, moreover, that God, who numbers the very hairs of 
our head, exercised a providential control, so that what was 
reported by His chosen men should be the real facts, and 
nothing else. To what extent He inspired those men with 
the very words used by them, it is not for us to know, but 
probably more fully than we suspect. 

But when God, after having communicated the law to 
Moses on Mount Sinai and in the Tabernacle, communes with 
him as a friend with friend, and Moses writes "all the words 
of this law in a book" (Deut. 28:58; 31:24), then Moses 
really becomes the pen of God. When God speaks to the 
.prophets, "Behold, I put my words in thy mouth," and "all 
the words that thou hearest thou shalt say to this people," then 
these prophets become the very mouth of God. When Christ 

The Bible and Modern Criticism 77 

appears to John on Patmos, and says, "To the angel of the 
church write these things," this is an instance of verbal 

But just here we are amused at those weak-minded critics 
who, with hackneyed phrases, talk so glibly about "mechan- 
ical instruments" and "mere verbal dictation." Does then a 
self-revelation of the Almighty and a making known of His 
counsels, a gracious act which exalts the human agent to 
be a co-worker with Jehovah, annihilate personal freedom? 
Or does it not rather enlarge that freedom, and lift it up to 
a higher and more joyous activity ? Am I then a "mechanical 
instrument" when with deep devotion and with enthusiasm 
I repeat after Christ word for word, the prayer which He 
taught his disciples? (The Bible is, consequently, a book which 
originated according to the will and with the co-operation of 
God; and as such it is our guide to eternity, conducting man, 
seemingly without a plan and yet with absolute certainty, all 
the way from the first creation and from Paradise on to the 
second or higher creation and to the New Jerusalem )(Comp. 
Gen. 2:8-10 with Rev. 21 :1, 2). 


How does the Bible prove itself to be a divinely inspired, 
heaven-given book, a communication from a Father to His 
children, and thus a revelation? 

/First, by the fact that, as does no other sacred book in 
the world, it condemns man and all his works.) It does not 
praise either his. wisdom, his reason, his art, or any progress 
that he has made ; but it represents him as being in the sight 
of God, a miserable sinner, incapable of doing anything good, 
and deserving only death and endless perdition. Truly, a 
book which is able thus to speak, and in consequence causes 
millions of men, troubled in conscience, to prostrate them- 
selves in the dust, crying, "God be merciful to me a sinner," 
must contain more than mere ordinary truth. 

78 The Fundamentals 

Secondly, the Bible exalts itself far above all merely 
human books by its announcement of the great incomprehen- 
sible mystery that, "God so loved the world that He gave His 
only begotten Son ;) that whosover believeth in Him should 
not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Where 
is there a god among all the heathen nations, be he Osiris, 
Brahma, Baal, Jupiter or Odin, that would have . promised 
those people that, by taking upon himself the sin of the world 
and suffering its punishment, he would thus become a savior 
and redeemer to them? 

(Thirdly, the Bible sets the seal of its divine origin upon 
itself by means of the prophecies.^ Very appropriately does 
God inquire, through the prophet Isaiah, "Who, as I, shall 
call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me since I 
established the ancient people ? and the things that are coming 
and shall come to pass, let them declare" (Ch. 44:7). Or says 
again, "I am God, declaring the end from the beginning, and 
from ancient times, things not yet done, saying, My counsel 
shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure; calling a ravenous 
bird from the east, and the man of My counsel from a far 
country. Yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass ; I 
have purposed, I will also do it" (Ch. 46:10, 11). Or, 
addressing Pharaoh, "Where are thy wise men, and let them 
tell thee, and let them know what the Lord of Hosts hath 
purposed upon Egypt" (Ch. 19:12). Again we say, where 
is there a god, or gods, a founder of religion, such as Con- 
fucius, Buddha, or Mohammed, who could, with such cer- 
tainty, have predicted the future of even his own people? 
Or where is there a statesman who in these times can foretell 
what will be the condition of things in Europe one hundred 
or even ten years from now? Nevertheless/ the prophecies 
of Moses and his threatened judgments upon the Israelites 
have been literally fulfilled, j Literally also have been fulfilled, 
(although who at the time would have believed it ?) the proph- 
ecies respecting the destruction of those great ancient cities, 

The Bible and Modern Criticism 7.9 

Babylon, Nineveh and Memphis. Who in these times would 
believe a like prophecy respecting London, Paris, or New 
York? Moreover, in a literal way has been fulfilled what the 
prophets David and Isaiah foresaw concerning the last suffer- 
ings of Christ His death on the cross, His drinking of 
vinegar, and the casting of lots for His garments. And there 
are other prophecies which will still be most literally fulfilled, 
'such as the promises made to Israel, the final judgment, and 
the end of the world. "For," as Habakkuk says, "the vision 
is yet for an appointed time, and will not lie. Though it tarry, 
wait for it; it will surely come" (Ch. 2:3). 

Furthermore^ the Bible has demonstrated its peculiar 
power by its influence with the martyrs. Think of the hun- 
dreds of thousands who, at different times and among different 
peoples, have sacrificed their all, their wives, their children, 
all their possessions, and finally life itself, on account of this 
book.) Think of how they have, on the rack and at the stake, 
confessed the truth of the Bible, and borne testimony to its 
power. However, O ye critics and despisers of God's Word, 
if. you will only write such a book and then die for it,, we 
will believe you. 

Lastly, (the Bible shows itself every day to be a divinely 
given book by its beneficent influence among all kinds of 
people. ) It converts to a better life the ignorant and the 
learned, the beggar on the street and the king upon his throne, 
yonder poor woman dwelling in an attic, the greatest poet 
and the profoundest thinker, civilized Europeans and uncul- 
tured savages. Despite all the scoffing and derision of its 
enemies, it has been translated into hundreds of languages, 
and has been preached by thousands, of missionaries to mil- 
lions of people. It makes the proud humble and the dissolute 
virtuous.; it consoles the unfortunate, and teaches man .how 
to live patiently and die triumphantly. No other book or col- 
lection of books accomplishes for man the exceeding great 
benefits accomplished by this book of truth. 

80 The Fundamentals 


In these times there has appeared a criticism which, con- 
stantly growing bolder in its attacks upon this sacred book, 
now decrees, with all self-assurance and confidence, that it 
is simply a human production. Besides other faults found 
with it, it is declared to be full of errors, many of its books 
to be spurious, written by unknown men at later dates than 
those assigned, etc., etc. But we ask, upon what fundamental 
principle, what axiom, is this verdict of the critics based? 
/it is upon the idea that, as Renan expressed it, reason is 
capable of judging all things, but is itself judged by nothing] 
That is surely a proud dictum, but an empty one if its char- 
acter is really noticed. To be sure, God has given reason to 
man, so that, in his customary way of planting and building, 
buying and selling, he may make a practical use of created 
nature by which he is surrounded. But is reason, even as 
respects matters of this life, in accord with itself? By no 
means. For, if that were so, (whence comes all the strife)and 
contention of men at home and abroad, in their places of 
business and their public assemblies, in art and science, in 
legislation, religion and philosophy? (Does it not all proceed 
from the conflicts of reason ?| The entire history of our race 
is the history of millions of men gifted with reason who have 
been in perpetual conflict one with another. Is it with such 
reason, then, that sentence is to be pronounced upon a divinely 
given book? /A purely rational revelation would certainly be 
a contradiction of terms; besides, it would be wholly super- 
fluous. But when reason undertakes to speak of things 
entirely supernatural, invisible and eternal, it talks as a blind 
man does about colors, discoursing of matters concerning 
which it neither knows nor can know anything; and thus it 
makes itself ridiculous^ It has not ascended up .to heaven, 
neither has it descended"^ into the deep ; and therefore a purely 
rational religion is no religion at all. 

The Bible and Modern Criticism 81 


Reason alone has never inspired men with great sublime 
conceptions of spiritual truth, whether in the way of discovery 
or invention; but usually it has at first rejected and ridiculed 
such matters. And just so it is with these rationalistic critics, 
they have no appreciation or understanding of the high and 
sublime in God's Word.) They understand neither the maj- 
esty of Isaiah, the pathos of David's repentance, the audacity 
of Moses' prayers, the philosophic depth of Ecclesiastes, nor 
the wisdom of Solomon which "uttereth her voice in the 
streets." According to them ambitious priests, at a later date 
than is commonly assigned, compiled all those books to which 
we have alluded; also they wrote the Sinaitic law, and in- 
vented the whole story of Moses' life. ("A magnificent fic- 
tion" so one of the critics calls that story.) But if all this 
is so, then we must believe that cunning falsifiers, who were, 
however, so the critics say, devout men, genuine products of 
their day (although it calls for notice that the age in which 
those devout men lived, should, as was done to Christ, have 
persecuted and killed them, when usually an age loves its 
own children) ; that is to say, we must believe not only that 
shallow-minded men have uncovered for us eternal truths 
and the most distant future, but also that vulgar, interested 
liars, have declared to us the inexorable righteousness of a 
holy God! Of course, all that is nonsense; no one can be- 
lieve it. 

\ But if these critics discourse) as sometimes they do, with 
great self-assurance upon topics such as the history of Israel, 
the peculiar work of the prophets, revelation, inspiration, 
the essence of Christianity, the difference between the teach- 
ings of Christ and those of Paul, anyone who intelligently 
reads what they say is impressed with the idea that, although 
they display much ingenuity in their efforts( after all they do 
not really understand the matters concerning which they 

82 The Fundamentals 

speak/N In like manner they talk with much ingenuity and 
show of learning about men with whom they have only a 
far-off acquaintance; and they discuss events in the realm of 
the Spirit where they have had no personal experience. Thus 
they both illustrate and prove the truth of the Scripture 
teaching that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the 
Spirit of God." (These critics say that God, not being a man, 
cannot speak; consequently there is no word of God! Also, 
God cannot manifest Himself in visible form; therefore all 
the accounts of such epiphanies are mythical tales! Inspira- 
tion, they tell us, is unthinkable; hence all representations of 
such acts are diseased imagination! Of prophecy there is 
none ; what purports to be such was written after the events ! 
Miracles are impossible ; therefore all the reports of them, as 
given in the Bible, are mere fictions ! (Men always seek, thus 
it is explained, their own advantage and personal glory, and 

just so it was with those "prophets of Israel.*) 
I . . . . / 

VSuch is what they call "impartial science,' "unprejudiced 

research/' "objective demonstration."^ 


Moreover, these critics claim for their peculiar views that 
they are "new theology," and the "latest investigation." But 
that also is untrue. Even in the times of Christ the famous 
rabbi Hillel and his disciple Gamaliel substituted for the 
Mosaic law all manner of "traditions" (Matt. 15:2-9; 
23:16-22). Since then other learned rabbis, such as Ben 
Akiba, Maimonides and others, have engaged in Bible criti- 
cism ; not only casting doubts upon the genuineness of various 
books of the Old Testament, but also denying the miracles 
and talking learnedly about "myths." Even eighteen hundred 
years ago Celsus brought forward the same objections as 
those now raised by modern criticism; and in his weak and 
bungling production, the "Life of Jesus," David Strauss has 
in part repeated them. Also there have been other noted 

The Bible and Modern Criticism 83 

heretics, such as Arius (317 A. D.), who denied the divinity 
of Christ, and Pelagius in the fifth century, who rejected 
the doctrine of original sin. (Indeed this exceedingly new 
theology adopts even the unbelief of those old Sadducees who 
said "there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit" (Acts 
23:8), and whom Christ reproved with the words, "Ye do 
err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God" (Matt. 
22:29). It certainly does not argue for the spiritual progress 
of our race, that such a threadbare and outworn unbelieving 
kind of science should again, in these days, deceive and even 
stultify thousands of people. \ 


(^ Do these critics then, to ask the least of them, agree with 
one another? Far from it. To be sure, they unanimously 
deny the inspiration of the Bible, the divinity of Christ and 
of the Holy Spirit, the fall of man and the forgiveness of 
sins through Christ; also prophecy and miracles, the resurrec- 
tion of the dead, the final judgment, heaven and hell. But 
when it comes to their pretendedly sure results, not any two 
of them affirm the same things; and their numerous publica- 
tions create a flood of disputable, self-contradictory and 
mutually destructive hypotheses} For example, the Jehovah of 
the Old Testament is made to be some heathen god, either a 
nomadic or steppe god, the weather-god Jahu, or the god of 
West-Semitism. It was David who first introduced this divin- 
ity; and according to some authors the peculiar worship of 
this god was, with its human sacrifices ( !), only a continuation 
of the Baal-Moloch worship ! Of Abraham it is sometimes 
affirmed that he never existed, but at other times that he 
was a Canaanite chief, dwelling at Hebron. No ! he is the 
myth of the Aurora ; and Sarah, or Scharratu, is the wife 
of the moon-god Sin, and so on. The twelve sons of Jacob 
are very probably the twelve months of the year. As to 
Moses, some teach there never was such a man, also that 

84 The Fundamentals 

the ten commandments were composed in the time of Manas- 
seh. No ! the more moderate writers say that Moses is a 
historical character. It was in Midian that he learned about 
Jah, the tribal god of the Kenites; and he determined with 
this divinity to liberate his people. Elijah is simply a myth; 
or he was some unfortunate prophet who had perhaps been 
struck by lightning. And so, too, this modern criticism knows 
for sure that it was not Solomon, but a wholly unknown king, 
living after the time of Ezra, who wrote Ecclesiastes ; also 
that there never was a Daniel, but that again some unknown 
author wrote the book bearing that name. Moreover, Kautsch 
tells us that this book first made its appearance in January, 
164 B. C, while other critics are positive that it was in 165. 
Query: Why could not that unknown author have been named 

So also Wellhausen knows of twenty-two different au- 
thors all of them, to be sure, unknown for the books of 
Moses, while Kuenen is satisfied with sixteen. The noted 
English critic, Canon Cheyne, is said to have taken great 
pains to tear the book of Isaiah's prophecies into one hundred 
and sixty pieces, all by unknown writers; which pieces were 
scattered through ten different epochs including four and a 
half centuries ("Modern Puritan," 1907, -p. 400). Likewise 
this critic knows that the first chapter of 1 Samuel originated 
with an unknown writer living some five hundred years after 
the time of that prophet; also that Hannah's glory-song, as 
found in 2 Kings, was written by some other "unknown." 
That Eli ruled over Israel for forty years is, "in all likeli- 
hood," the unauthentic statement of a later day (Hastings' 
Bible Dictionary). Why so? we may ask. The book of 
Deuteronomy was written, we are told, in 561 B. C., and 
Ecclesiastes in 264 B. C. ; and a German critic, Budde, is 
certain that the book of Job has somehow lost its last chapter, 
and that fifty-nine verses of this book should be wholly ex- 

The Bible and Modern Criticism 85 

Such are a few illustrations of the way in which Holy 
Scripture is treated by the criticism we are considering. 

But, surely, it would not require much sagacity and intel- 
ligence for one, by applying such peculiar methods, say, to 
Goethe's works, to demonstrate critically that a good share 
of those productions, such as Erlkonig, Iphigenia, Gotz von 
Berlichingen, the Wahlverwandschaften, Faust (Parts I. and 
II.), belong, if judged of by their style of composition and 
their historical and philosophical views, to wholly different 
epochs, and that they originated with many different authors. 
Moreover, it could easily be shown that none of those authors 
lived in the times when Napoleon Bonaparte revolutionized 
Europe, since his name is not mentioned in any of the produc- 
tions specified. 


Of course this modern criticism does not stop short of 
the New Testament. This part of the Bible, Harnack says, 
narrates for us incredible stories respecting the birth and 
childhood of Christ. "Nevermore," he goes on to assert, 
"shall we believe that he walked upon the sea and commanded 
the storm." It stands to reason that He did not rise from 
the dead. The Fourth Gospel is spurious, and so also is 
(according to late critical authority) the Epistle to the 
Romans. The Book of Revelation is only the occasion for 
derisive laughter on the part of these skeptical critics; and 
because it is so, the curse mentioned in its last chapter is 
made applicable to them (vs. 18, 19) .( Nevertheless, these men 
sin most seriously against Christ. In their view the very 
Son of God, the Word that was in the beginning with God, 
and that was God, and without Whom nothing exists, is only 
a fanatical young rabbi; entangled in the peculiar views and 
superstitions of his people; and he died upon the cross only 
because he misconceived of the character of his own mission 
and the nature of his times.) Jesus "is not indispensable to 
the Gospel," so writes Harnack. 

86 The Fundamentals 

Now all this is what is denominated \piblical criticism. It 
is a jumble of mere hypotheses, imaginings and assertions, 
brought forward often without even the shadow of proof, 
and with no real certainty.") Still, in these times it j^gresents 
itself to thousands of nominal Christians and to hundreds of 
miserably deceived theological students who are to become 
preachers of God's word, as Jbeing the "assured results of 
the latest scientific research." May~God have mercy, if such 
is the case! 


Now, if these people were of the truth, and if they, would 
only believe Him who says, "I am the way, the truth and the 
life," they would not be under the necessity of tediously 
working their way through the numerous publications (statis- 
tics show that there appear in Europe and America annually 
some eight hundred of these works) ; but they would find in 
His teaching a simple and sure means for testing the character 
of these critical doctrines. ("Ye shall know them by their 
fruits," jis what Christ says of the false teachers who came 
in His name} "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of 
thistles?" (Matt. 7:16). Are the fruits of modern criticism 
good? Where are the grapes or figs that grow on this thorn- 
bush? Has not this criticism already robbed, and perhaps 
forever, thousands of people of their first love, their un- 
doubting faith, and their joyous hope ? Has it not sowed 
dissension, fostered pride and self-conceit, and injured before 
all the world the authority of both the church and its minis- 
ters? Has it not offended Christ's "little ones?" (Matt. 
18:6, 7). And does it not every day furnish the enemies of 
God with opportunities for deriding and scorning the truth? 
Where are the souls that it has led to God comforting, 
strengthening, purifying and sanctifying them? Where are 
the individuals who even in the hour of death have continued 
to rejoice in the benefits of this criticism ? ) 

The Bible and Modern Criticism 87 

In the study-room it ensnares, in lecture-halls it makes 
great pretenses, for mere popular lectures it is still service- 
able; but when the thunders of God's power break in upon 
the soul, when despair at the loss of all one has loved takes 
possession of the mind, when remembrance of a miserable lost 
life or of past misdeeds is felt and realized, when one is on a 
sick-bed and death approaches, and the soul, appreciating 
that it is now on the brink of eternity, calls for a Savior 
just at this time when its help is most needed, this modern 
religion utterly fails. In the year 1864, in Geneva, one of 
those modern theologians was summoned to prepare for exe- 
cution a young man who had committed murder and robbery. 
But he candidly exclaimed, "Call some one else, I have noth- 
ing to say to him." This incompetent criticism did not know 
of any consolation for the sin-burdened soul; therefore an 
orthodox clergyman was obtained, and the wretched man, 
murderer though he was, died reconciled to God through the 
blood of Christ. 

But suppose that all the teachings of this criticism were 
true, what would it avail us? It would put us in a sad con- 
dition indeed. For then, sitting beside ruined temples and 
, broken-down altars, with no joy as respects the hereafter, 
no hope of everlasting life, no God to help us, no forgiveness 
of sins, feeling miserable, all desolate in our hearts and 
chaotic in our minds, we should be utterly unable either to 
know or believe anything more. ( Can such a view of the 
world, such a religion, which, as was said of Professor 
Harnack's lectures in America, only destroys, removes and 
tears down, be true? No! If this modern criticism is true, 
then away with all so-called Christianity, which only deceives 
us with idle tales! Away with, a religion which has nothing 
to offer us but the commonplace teachings of morality ! Away 
with faith! Away with hope! Let us eat and drink, for 
tomorrow we die ! , 

88 The Fundamentals 


But let us hear what God's word has to say regarding 
this topic: 

2 Pet. 1 :21. "For no prophecy ever came by the will of 
man ; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the 
Holy Ghost." 

2 Tim. 3:16, 17. "All Scripture given by inspiration of 
God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, 
for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may 
be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 

Gal. 1:11, 12. "I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel 
which was preached by me is not after man, neither was I 
taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." 

Rom. 1:16. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; 
for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that 

Acts 20:30. But "of your own selves shall men arise, 
speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." 

2 Pet. 2:1. "There were false prophets also among the 
people, * * * who privily shall bring in damnable here- 
sies, even denying the Lord that bought them." 

1 Cor. 1 :20, 21. "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? 
where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made 
foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the 
wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased 
God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 

Col. 2 :4-8. "This I say, lest any man should beguile you 
with enticing words," or "spoil you through philosophy and 
vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world, and not after 

1 Cor. 3:19. "For the wisdom of this world is foolish- 
ness with God." 

1 Cor. 2 :5. "That your faith should not stand in the 
wisdom of men, but in the power of God." 

The Bible and Modern Criticism 89 

1 Cor. 2 :4. "And my speech and my preaching was not 
with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration 
of the Spirit and of power." 

1 Cor. 2 :12, 13. "Now we have received, not the spirit 
of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might 
know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which 
things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom 
teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing 
spiritual things with spiritual." 

Col. '1:21 and 2 Cor. 10:5. Therefore "you that were 
sometime alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked 
works," now "bring into captivity every thought to the obedi- 
ence of Christ." 

Gal. 1:9. "As we said before, so say I now again, If 
any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye 
have received, let him be accursed." 

1 Cor. 15:17. "Whosoever says that Christ is not risen, 
his faith is vain, he is yet in his sins." 

2 John, vs. 7, 9, 10, 11. "For many deceivers are entered 
into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in 
the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. * * * Who- 
soever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, 
hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he 
hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto 
you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your 
house, neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him 
God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." 

Luke 11:52. "Woe unto you lawyers! for ye have taken 
away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, 
and them that were entering in ye hindered." 


Let us then, by repudiating this modern criticism, show 
our condemnation of it What does it offer us? Nothing. 
What does it take away? Everything. Do we have any 

90 The Fundamentals 

use for it? No! It neither helps us in life nor comforts us in 
death; it will not judge us in the world to come. For our 
Biblical faith we., do not need either the encomiums of men, 
nor the approbation of a few poor sinners. We will not 
attempt. to improve the Scriptures and adapt them to our 
liking, but we will believe them. We will not criticize them, 
but we will ourselves be directed by them. We will not exer- 
cise authority over them, but we will obey them. We will 
trust Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. His word 
shall make us free. 

Respice finem, "consider the end" that is what even the 
old Romans said. True rationalism adjudges all things from 
the standpoint of eternity; and it asks of every religion, 
What can you do for me with regard to the great beyond? 
What does this Biblical criticism offer us here? Only fog 
and mist, or, at best, an endless state of indecision, some- 
thing impersonal and inactive, just like its god, whose very 
nature is inconceivable. "Eternal life," writes one of these 
modernists, "is only the infinitely weak vestige of the present 
life." ( !) Here also the maxim proves itself true, "By 
their fruits ye shall know them." Just as for our present 
life this criticism offers us no consolation, no forgiveness of 
sins, no deliverance from "the fear of death, through which 
we are all our lifetime subject to bondage," so also it knows 
nothing respecting the great beyond nothing with regard to 
that new heaven and new earth wherein righteousness shall 
dwell, nothing with regard to that golden city which shines 
with eternal light, nothing with regard to a God who wipes 
away all tears from our eyes. It is utterly ignorant of the 
glory of God, and on that account it stands condemned. 

"Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of 
eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that 
Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6:68, 69). And 
He answered, "Behold, I come quickly : hold that fast which 
thou hast; that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11). 




In many quarters the belief is industriously circulated that 
the advance of "science," meaning by this chiefly the physical 
sciences astronomy, geology, biology, and the like has 
proved damaging, if not destructive, to the claims of the Bible, 
and the truth of Christianity. Science and Christianity are 
pitted against each other. Their interests are held to be 
antagonistic. Books are written, like Draper's "Conflict 
Between Religion and Science/' White's "Warfare of Science 
with Theology in Christendom," and Foster's "Finality of 
the Christian Religion," to show that this warfare between 
science and religion has ever been going on, and can never 
in the nature of things cease till theology is destroyed, and 
science holds sole sway in men's minds. 

This was not the attitude of the older investigators of 
science. Most of these were devout Christian men. Naville, 
in his book, "Modern Physics," has shown that the great dis- 
coverers in science in past times were nearly always. devout 
men. This was true of Galileo, Kepler, Bacon, and Newton ; 
it was true of men like Faraday, Brewster, Kelvin, and a 
host of others in more recent times. The late Professor Tait, 
of Edinburgh, writing in "The International Review," said: 
"The assumed incompatibility of religion and science has been 
so often and confidently asserted in recent times that it has 
come * * * to be taken for granted by the writers of 
leading articles, etc., and it is, of course, perpetually thrust 
before their too trusting readers. But the whole thing is a 
mistake, and a mistake so grave that no truly scientific 

91 ' ' .' 

92 The Fundamentals 

man * * * runs, in Britain, at least, the smallest risk 
of making it. * * * With a few, and these very singular 
exceptions, the truly scientific men and true theologians of 
the present day have not found themselves under the neces- 
sity of quarrelling." The late Professor G. J. Romanes has, 
in his "Thoughts on Religion," left the testimony that one 
thing which largely influenced him in his return to faith was 
the fact that in his own university of Cambridge nearly all 
the men of most eminent scientific attainments were avowed 
Christians. "The curious thing," he says, "is that all the most 
illustrious names were ranged on the side of orthodoxy. Sir 
W. Manson, Sir George Stokes, Professors Tait, Adams, Clerk 
Maxwell, and Bayley not to mention a number of lesser 
lights, such as Routte, Todhunter, Ferrers, etc., were all 
avowed Christians" (page 137). It may be held that things 
are now changed. To some extent this is perhaps true, but 
anyone who knows the opinions of our leading scientific 
men is aware that to accuse the majority of being men of 
unchristian or unbelieving sentiment is to utter a gross libel 
If by a conflict of science and religion is meant that 
grievous mistakes have often been made, and unhappy mis- 
understandings have arisen, on one side and the other, in the 
course of the progress of science, that new theories and dis- 
coveries, as in astronomy and geology, have been looked on 
with distrust by those who thought that the truth of the Bible 
was being affected by them, that in some cases the dominant 
church sought to stifle the advance of truth by persecution, 
this is not to be denied. It is an unhappy illustration of how 
the best of men can at times err in matters which they 
imperfectly understand, or where their prejudices and tradi- 
tional ideas are affected. But it proves nothing against the 
value of the discoveries themselves, or the deeper insight 
into the ways of God of the men who made them, or of real 
contradiction between the new truth and the essential teaching 
of the Scriptures. On the contrary, as a minority generally 

Science and Christian Faith 93 

perceived from the first, the supposed disharmony with the 
truths of the Bible was an unreal one, early giving way to 
better understanding on both sides, and finally opening up 
new vistas in the contemplation of the Creator's power, wis- 
dom, and majesty. It is never to be forgotten, also, that 
the error was seldom all on one side; that science, too, has 
in numberless cases put forth its hasty and unwarrantable 
theories and has often had to retract even its truer specula- 
tions within limits which brought them into more perfect 
harmony with revealed truth, (if theology has resisted novel- 
ties of science, it has often had good reason for so doing. ) 

It is well in any case that this alleged conflict of Chris- 
tianity with science should be carefully probed, and that it 
should be seen where exactly the truth lies in regard to it. 


It is perhaps more in its general outlook on the world than 
in its specific results that science is alleged to be in conflict 
with .the Bible and Christianity. The Bible is a record of 
revelation. Christianity is a supernatural system. Miracle, in 
the sense of a direct entrance of God in word and deed into 
human history for gracious ends, is of the essence of it. On 
the other hand, /the advance of science has done much to 
deepen the impression of the universal reign of natural law. 
The effect has been to lead multitudes whose faith is not 
grounded in direct spiritual experience to look askance on the 
whole idea of the supernatural. God, it is assumed, has His 
own mode of working, and that is by means of secondary 
agencies operating in absolutely uniform ways; miracles, 
therefore, cannot be admitted.] And, since miracles are found 
in Scripture,-4-since the entire Book rests on the idea of a 
supernatural economy of grace, the whole must be dismissed 
as in conflict with the modern mind.) Professor G. B. Foster 
goes so far as to declare that a man can hardly be intellectually 

94 The Fundamentals 

honest who in these days professes to believe in the miracles 
of the Bible. 

, It is overstating the case to speak of this repugnance to 
miracle, and rejection of it in the Bible, as if it were really 
new. It is as old as rationalism itself. You find it in Spinoza, 
in.Reimarus, in Strauss, in numberless others. DeWette and 
Vatke, among earlier Old Testament critics, manifested it as 
strongly as their followers do now, and made it a pivot of 
their criticism. It governed the attacks on Christianity made 
in the age of the deists. David Hume wrote an essay against 
miracles which he thought had settled the question forever. 
But, seriously considered, can this attack on the idea of mir- 
acle, derived from our experience of the uniformity of nature's 
lawsj be defended? Does it not in itself involve a huge 
assumption, and run counter to experience and common sense ? 
The question is one well worth asking. 

First, what is a miracle? Various definitions might' be 
given, but it will be enough to speak of it here as (any effect 
in nature, or deviation from its ordinary course , due to the 
interposition of a supernatural cause. ) It is no necessary part, 
it should be observed, of the Biblical idea of miracle, that 
natural agencies should not be employed as far as they will go. 
If the drying of the Red Sea to let the Israelites pass over 
was due in part to a great wind that blew, this was none the 
less of God's ordering/and did not detract from the super- 
natural character of the event as a whole. It was still at 
God's command that the waters were parted, and that a way 
was made at that particular time and place for the people 
to go through. These are what theologians call "providential" 
miracles, in which, so far as one can see, natural agencies, 
under divine direction, suffice to produce the result. / There is, 
however, another and more conspicuous class, the .instanta- 
neous cleansing of the leper, e. g,,.or the raising of the dead, 
in 1 which' natural agencies are obviously altogether transcended. 

Science and Christian Faith 95 

It is this class about which the chief discussion goes on. They 
are miracles in the stricter sense of a complete transcendence 
of nature's laws, jj 

What, in the next place, is meant by the uniformity of 
nature f There are, of course, laws of nature no one dis- 
putes that. It is quite a mistake to suppose that the Bible, 
though not written in the twentieth century, knows nothing 
of a regular order and system of nature. (The world is God's 
world; it is established by His decree; He has given to every 
creature its nature, its bounds, its limits ; all things continue 
according to His ordinances )(Psa. 119:91). Only, law in the 
Bible is never viewed as having an independent existence. 
It is always regarded as an expression of the power or wisdom 
of God. And this gives the right point of view for consider- 
ing the relation of law to miracle. What, to begin with, 
do we mean by a "law" of nature ? It is, as science will 
concede, only our registered observation of the order in 
which we find causes and events linked together in our experi- 
ence. That they are so linked no one questions. If they were 
not, we should have no world in which we could live at all. 
But then, next, what do we mean by "uniformity" in this 
connection? We mean no more than this that, given like 
causes, operating under like conditions, like effects will follow. 
Quite true ; no one denies this either. 

But then, as J. S. Mill, in his Logic, pointed out long ago, 
a miracle in the strict sense is not a denial of either of these 
truths. /A miracle is not the assertion that, the same causes 
operating, a different result is produced. It is, on the contrary, 
the assertion that a new cause has intervened, and this a cause 
which the theists cannot deny to be a vera causa the will and 
power of God.' 1 Just as, when I lift my arm, or throw a stone 
high in the air, I do not abolish the law of gravitation but 
counteract or overrule its purely natural action by the intro- 
duction of a new spiritual force ; so, but in an infinitely higher 

96 The Fundamentals 

way, is a miracle due to the interposition of the First Cause 
of all, God Himself. ('What the scientific man, needs to prove 
to establish his objection to miracle is, not simply that natural 
causes operate uniformly, but that no other than natural causes 
exist; that natural causes exhaust all the causation in the 
universe.' And that, we hold, he can never do. 
f It is obvious from what has now been said that the real 


question at issue in miracle is not natural law, but Theism\ 
It is to be recognized at once that miracle can only profitably 
be discussed on the basis of a theistic view of the universe. 
It is not disputed that there are views of the universe which 
exclude miracle. The atheist cannot admit miracle, for he 
has no God to work miracles. The pantheist cannot admit 
miracle, for to him God and nature are one. The deist cannot 
admit miracle, for he has separated God and the universe so 
far that he can never bring them together again. The question 
is not, Is miracle possible on an atheistic, a materialistic, a 
pantheistic, view of the world, but, Is it possible on a theistic 
viewon the view of God as at once immanent in His world, 
and in infinite ways transcending it? I say nothing of intel- 
lectual "honesty," but I do marvel, as I have often said, 
at the assurance of any one who presumes to say that, for 
the highest and holiest ends in His personal relations with 
His creatures, God can work only within the limits which 
nature imposes ; that He cannot act without and above nature's 
order if it pleases Him to do so. Miracles stand or fall by 
their evidence, but the attempt to rule them out by any 
a priori dictum as to the uniformity of natural law must 
inevitably fail. The same applies to the denial of providence 
or of answers to prayer on the ground of the uniformity of 
natural law. Here no breach of nature's order is affirmed, 
but only a governance or direction of nature of which man's 
own use of natural laws, without breach of them, for special 
ends, affords daily examples. 

Science and Christian Faith 97 


Approaching more nearly the alleged conflict of the Bible 
or Christianity with the special sciences, a first question of 
importance is, What is the general relation of the Bible to 
science ? How does it claim to relate itself to the advances 
of natural knowledge? Here, it is to be feared, mistakes 
are often made on both sides on the side of science in affirm- 
ing contrariety of the Bible with scientific results where none 
really exists; on the side of believers in demanding that the 
Bible be taken as a text-book of the newest scientific dis- 
coveries, and trying by forced methods to read these into 
them. The truth on this point lies really on the surf ace. (-The 
Bible clearly does not profess to anticipate the scientific dis- 
coveries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries) ( Its design 
is very different; namely, to reveal God and His will and His 
purposes of grace to men, and, as involved in this, His 
general relation to the creative world, its dependence in all 
its parts on Him, and His orderly government of it in Provi- 
dence for His wise and good ends. \ Natural things are taken 
as they are given, and spoken of in simple, popular language, 
as we ourselves every day speak of them. The world it de- 
scribes is the world men know and live in, and it is described 
as it appears,, not as, in its recondite researches, science reveals 
its inner constitution to us. Wise expositors of the Scrip- 
tures, older and younger, have always recognized this, and 
have not attempted to force its language further. To take 
only one example, John Calvin, who wrote before the Coper- 
nican system of astronomy had obtained common acceptance, 
in his commentary on the first chapter of Genesis penned these 
wise words : "He who would learn astronomy and other 
recondite arts," he said, "let him go elsewhere. Moses wrote 
in a popular style things which, without instruction, all ordi- 
nary persons indued with common sense are able to under- 
stand. * . * * He does not call us up to heaven, he only 

98 The Fundamentals 

proposes things that lie open before our eyes." To this hour, 
with all the light of modern science around us, we speak of 
sun, moon and stars "rising" and "setting," and nobody mis- 
understands or affirms contradiction with science. There is 
no doubt another side to this, for it is just as true that in 
depicting natural things, the Bible, through the Spirit of reve- 
lation that animates it,, seizes things in so just a light still 
with reference to its own purposes that the mind is prevented 
from being led astray from the great truths intended to be 

It will serve to illustrate these positions as to the rela- 
tion of the Bible to science if we look at them briefly in 
their application to the two sciences of astronomy and geology, 
in regard to which conflict has often been alleged. 

1. The change from the Ptolemaic to the Copernican sys- 
tem of astronomy from the view which regarded the earth 
as the center of the universe to the modern and undoubtedly 
true view of the earth as moving round the sun, itself, with 
its planets, but one of innumerable orbs in the starry heavens 
of necessity created great searchings of heart among those 
who thought that the language of the Bible committed them 
to the older system. For a time there was strong opposi- 
tion on the part of many theologians, as well as of students 
of science, to the new discoveries of the telescope. Galileo 
was imprisoned by the church. But truth prevailed, and it 
was soon perceived that the Bible, using the language of 
appearances, was no more committed to the literal moving 
of the sun round the earth than are our modern almanacs, 
which employ the same forms of speech. One would have to 
travel far in these days to find a Christian who feels his faith 
in the least affected by the discovery of the true doctrine of 
the solar system. He rejoices that he understands nature 
better, and reads his Bible without the slightest sense of con- 
tradiction. Yet Strauss was confident that the Copernican 
system had given its death-blow to Christianity; as Voltaire 

Science and Christian Faith 99 

before him had affirmed that Christianity would be overthrown 
by the discovery of the law of gravitation and would not 
survive a century. Newton, the humble-minded Christian 
discoverer of the law .. of gravitation, had no such fear, and 
time has shown that it was he, not Voltaire, who was right. 
These are specimens of the "conflicts" of Christianity with 

The so-called "astronomical objection" to Christianity 
more specially takes the form of enlarging on the illimitable- 
ness of the universe disclosed by science in contrast with the 
peculiar interest of God in man displayed in the Christian 
Gospel. "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" (Psa. 
8:4).: Is it credible that this small speck in an infinity 
of worlds should be singled out as the scene of so tremendous 
an exhibition of God's love and grace as is implied in the 
Incarnation of the Son of God, the Sacrifice of the Cross, 
the Redemption of Man? The day is well-nigh past when 
even this objection is felt to carry much weight. Apart from 
the strange fact that up to this hour no evidence seems to 
exist of other worlds inhabited by rational intelligences like 
man no planets, no known systems (on this point A. R. 
Wallace's "Man and the Universe" may be consulted) 
thoughtful people have come to realize that quantitative big- 
ness is no measure of God's love and care; that the value of 
a soul is not to be estimated in terms of stars and planets; 
that sin is not less awful a fact even if it were proved that 
this is the only spot in the universe in which it has emerged. 
It is of the essence of God's infinity that He cares for the 
little as well as for the great ; not a blade of grass could wave, 
or the insect of a day live its brief life upon the wing, if 
God were not actually present, and minutely careful of it. 
Man's position in the universe remains, by consent, or rather 
by proof, of science, an altogether peculiar one. Link between 
the material and the spiritual, he is the one being that seems 
fitted, as Scripture affirms he is, to be the bond of unity in 

100 The Fundamentals 

the creation (Heb. 2:6-9). This is the hope held out to us 
in Christ (Eph. 1:10). One should reflect also that, while 
the expanse of the physical universe is a modern thought, 
there has never been a time in the Christian Church when 
God Himself infinite was not conceived of as adored and 
served by countless hosts of ministering spirits. Man was 
never thought of as the only intelligence in creation. The 
mystery of the divine love to our world was in reality as 
great before as after the stellar expanses were discovered. 
The sense of "conflict," therefore, though not the sense of 
wonder, awakened by the "exceeding riches" of God's grace 
to man in Christ Jesus, vanishes with increasing realization 
of the depths and heights of God's love "which passeth knowl- 
edge" (Eph. 3:19). Astronomy's splendid demonstration 
of the majesty of God's wisdom and power is undiminished 
by any feeling of disharmony with the Gospel. 

2. As it is with astronomy, so it has been with the reve- 
lations of geology of the age and gradual formation of the 
earth. Here also doubt and suspicion were naturally enough 
in the circumstances at first awakened. The gentle Cowper 
could write in his "Task" of those 

"* * * w ho drill and bore 
The solid earth and from the strata there 
Extract a register, by which we learn 
That He who made it, and revealed its date 
To Moses, was mistaken in its age." 

If the intention of the first chapter of Genesis was really to 
give us the "date" of the creation of the earth and heavens, 
the objection would be unanswerable. But things, as in the 
case of astronomy, are now better understood, and few are 
disquieted in reading their Bibles because it is made certain 
that the world is immensely older than the 6,000 years which 
the older chronology gave it. Geology is felt only to have 
expanded our ideas of the vastness and marvel of the Creator's 

Science and Christian Faith 101 

operations through the aeons of time during which the world, 
with its teeming populations of fishes, birds, reptiles, mammals, 
was preparing for man's abode when the mountains were 
being upheaved, the valleys being scooped out, and veins of 
precious metals being inlaid into the crust of the earth. 

( Does science, then, really, contradict Genesis I.?) Not 
surely if what has been above said of the essentially popular 
character of the allusions to natural things in the Bible be 
remembered. Here certainly is no detailed description of the 
process of the formation of the earth in terms anticipative 
of modern science terms which would have been unintelli- 
gible to the' original readers but a sublime picture, true to 
the order of nature, as it is to the broad facts even of geolog- 
ical succession. If it tells how God called heaven and earth into 
being, separated light from darkness, sea from land, clothed 
the world with vegetation, gave sun and moon their appointed 
rule of day and night, made fowl to fly, and sea-monsters to 
plow the deep, created the cattle and beasts of the field, and 
finally made man, male and female, in His own image, and 
established him as ruler over all God's creation, this orderly 
rise of created forms, man crowning the whole, these deep 
(ideas of the narrative, setting the world at the very beginning 
m its right relation to God, and laying the foundations of 
an enduring philosophy of religion, are truths which science 
does nothing to subvert, but in myriad ways confirms.) The 
"six days" may remain as a difficulty to some, but, if this is 
not part of the symbolic setting of the picture a great divine 
"week" of work one may well ask, as was done by Augustine 
long before geology was thought of, what kind of "days" 
these were which rolled their course before the sun, with its 
twenty-four hours of diurnal measurement, was appointed to 
that end? There is no violence done to the narrative in sub- 
stituting in. thought "aeonic" days vast cosmic periods for 
"days" on our narrower, sun-measured scale. Then the last 
trace of apparent "conflict" disappears. 

102 The Fundamentals 


In recent years the point in which "conflict" between Scrip- 
ture and science is most frequently urged is the apparent 
contrariety of the theory of evolution to the Bible story of 
the direct creation of the animals and man. This might be 
met, and often is, as happened in the previous cases, by 
denying the reality of any evolutionary process in nature. 
Here also, however/while it must be conceded that evolution 
is not yet proved, there seems a growing appreciation of the 
strength of the evidence for the fact of some form of evolu- 
tionary origin of species that is, of some genetic connection 
of higher with lower forms. Together with this, at the same 
time, there is manifest an increasing disposition to limit the 
scope of evolution, and to modify the theory in very essential 
points those very points in which an apparent conflict with 
Scripture arose.^ 

(Much of the difficulty on this subject has arisen from the 
unwarrantable confusion or identification of evolution with 
Darwinism.} Darwinism is a theory of the process of evolu- 
tion, and both on account of the skill with which it was pre- 
sented, and of the singular eminence of its propounder, 
obtained for a time a very remarkable prestige. In these 
later days, as may be seen by consulting a book like R. Otto's 
"Naturalism and Religion," published in "The Crown Library," 
that prestige has greatly declined. A newer evolution has 
arisen which breaks with Darwin on the three points most 
essential to his theory: 1. The fortuitous character of the 
variations on which "natural selection" works. Variations are 
now felt to be along definite lines, and to be guided to definite 
ends. 2. The insuffiency of "natural selection" (on which 
Darwin almost wholly relied) to accomplish the tasks Darwin 
assigned to it. 3. The slow and insensible rate of the. changes 
by which new species were supposed to be produced. Instead 
of this the newer tendency is to seek the origin of new species 

Science and Christian Faith 103 

in rapid and sudden changes, the causes of which lie within 
the organism in "mutations," as they are coming to be 
called so that the process may be as brief as formerly it was 
supposed to be long. "Evolution," in short, is coming to be 
recognized as but a new name for "creation," only that the 
creative power now works from within, instead of, as in the 
old conception, in an external, plastic fashion. It is, how- 
ever, creation none the less. 

In truth, no conception of evolution can be formed, com- 
patible with all the facts of science, which does not take 
account, at least at certain great critical points, of the entrance 
of new factors into the process we call creation. 1. One such 
point is the transition from inorganic to organic existence 
the entrance of the new power of life. It is hopeless to seek 
to account for life by purely mechanical and chemical agencies, 
and science has well-nigh given up the attempt. 2. A second 
point is in the transition from purely organic development to 
consciousness. A sensation is a mental fact different in kind 
from any merely organic change, and inexplicable by it. Here, 
accordingly, is a new rise, revealing previously unknown spir- 
itual powers. 3. The third point is in the transition to ration- 
ality, personality, and moral life in man. This, as man's 
capacity for self-conscious, self-directed, progressive life 
evinces, is something different from the purely animal con- 
sciousness, and marks the beginning of a new kingdom. Here, 
again, the Bible and science are felt to be in harmony. Man 
is the last of God's created works the crown and explana- 
tion of the whole and he is made in God's image. To account 
for him, a special act of the Creator, constituting him what 
he is, must be presupposed. This creative act does not relate 
to the soul only, for higher spiritual powers could not be put 
into a merely animal brain. There must be a rise on the phys- 
ical side as well, corresponding with the mental advance. 
In bodyy as in spirit, man comes from his Creator's hand. :' 

If this new evolutionary conception is accepted, 'most of 

104 The Fundamentals 

the difficulties which beset the Darwinian theory fall away. 
1. For one thing, man need no longer be thought of as a slow 
development 'from the animal stage an ascent through brut- 
ishness and savagery from an ape-like form. His origin may 
be as sudden as Genesis represents. 2. The need for assuming 
an enormous antiquity of man to allow for the slow develop- 
ment is no longer felt. And (3), the need of assuming; man's 
original condition to have been one of brutal passion and 
subjection to natural impulse disappears. Man may have 
come from his Creator's hand in as morally pure a state, and 
as capable of sinless development, as Genesis and Paul affirm. 
This also is the most worthy view to take of man's origin. 
It is a view borne out by the absence of all reliable evidence 
of those ape-like intermediate forms which, on the other 
hypothesis, must have intervened between the animal-progen- 
itors and the finished human being. It is a view not contra- 
dicted by the alleged evidences of man's very great antiquity 
100,000, 200,000, or 500,000 years frequently relied on; for 
most of these and the extravagant measurements of time con- 
nected with them, are precarious in the extreme. The writer's 
book, "God's Image in Man and Its Defacement," may be 
consulted on these points. 

The conclusion from the whole is, that, up to the present 
hour,/ Science and the Biblical views of God, man, and the 


world, do not stand in any real relation of conflict.) Each 
book of God's writing reflects light upon the pages of the 
other, but neither contradicts the other's essential testimony. 
Science itself seems now disposed to take a less materialistic 
view of the origin and nature of things than it did a decade, or 
two ago, and to interpret the creation more in the light of 
the spiritual. The experience of the Christian believer, with 
the work of missions in heathen lands, furnishes a 'testimony 
that cannot be disregarded to the reality of this .spiritual 
world, and of the regenerating, transforming forces proceed- 
ing from it. To God be -all the glory ! ; 




I came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ 
on May 24th, 1903, being then in my forty-fifth year. I 
did not at that time fully understand what had happened to 
me, and only learned subsequently, through the study of the 
Scriptures, that, by the grace of God through faith in His 
Son Jesus Christ, I had been quickened (Eph. 2:5), and had 
passed from death unto life (John 5:24). 


For many years previous to that time I had been drifting 
steadily away from even a formal profession of Christ. 
There was no aspiration in my soul beyond the gratification 
of self; and all the. exertion which I was putting forth had 
for its sole object the acquisition and accumulation of means 
for ministering to that gratification through life. I do not 
except from this category the consideration bestowed upon 
my family (who would doubtless give me a good character 
as an indulgent husband and father), for I count these as 
within the definition of "self ." 

The things which I valued, such as reputation, the good 
opinion of men, success in business enterprises and the like, 
engrossed my time and thought, and beyond these, which were 
all of a temporal nature, there was no object in view. I can 
now clearly see that I had unconsciously made money a god 
to .trust in and to bestow my affections upon, and can there- 
fore comprehend the statement of Scripture that covetousness 
is idolatry. 


106 The Fundamentals 

Whether or not there was an existence beyond the grave 
was a matter about which I had speculated much but had dis- 
missed it from my thought. Having become a thorough- 
going rationalist (and being no more irrational than the gener- 
ality of those who assume that self-flattering title) I took 
the ground that it was possible to believe only what could 
be made evident to the physical senses, and having rejected 
the witness of God, and so made Him a liar ( 1 John 5 :9, 10) , 
and having disregarded "the evidence of things not seen" 
(Heb. 11:1), I was perishing for lack of knowledge while 
passing, in my own estimation and that of others, as a "very 
well-informed man." 

I had become a church-member and communicant at the 
age of sixteen; had been for many years thereafter quite a 
regular attendant on church services, and had heard innumer- 
able sermons; yet I was as ignorant as any Hottentot con- 
cerning God's one and only way of salvation. Such is the 
wretched condition of millions of excellent people in this 
"Christian" land and in this "enlightened" century. The 
Gospel is hid from them because "the god of this age" hath 
blinded their minds "lest the light of the glorious Gospel of 
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" 
(2 Cor. 4:4). 


"Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again" 
(John 4:13). Let me add briefly, as touching my material 
circumstances, that in the practice of my chosen profession 
(law) I was sufficiently successful to gratify my own ambi- 
tion and to excite the envy of others ; that I was blessed with 
excellent physical health; and that my domestic relations were 
all that could be desired. Nothing seemed to be lacking that 
could insure or contribute to happiness and contentment. 

But peace of mind and rest of conscience are not to be 
found in what the world calls "easy circumstances." Not- 

A Personal Testimony 107 

withstanding that I had apparently every reason to be well 
satisfied with my lot, and every opportunity to enjoy the good 
things of this world, my mental condition was anything but 
satisfactory. It is hard to picture the state of a mind sub- 
ject to increasingly frequent and protracted spells of depres- 
sion, for which there seemed to be no reason or explanation. 
Certainly I was thoroughly discontented, desperately unhappy, 
and becoming more and more an easy prey to gloomy thoughts 
and vague, undefinable apprehensions. No longer could I 
find mental satisfaction and diversion in the places and things 
which once supplied them. My gratifications had been largely 
of an intellectual order, and my mind had been much occupied 
in efforts to pierce the veil of the material universe, and to dis- 
cover what, if anything, lay concealed behind it. This quest had 
carried me into the domains of science, philosophy, occultism, 
theosophy, etc., etc. All this pursuit had yielded nothing 
more reliable than conjecture, and had left the inquirer after 
the truth wearied, baffled and intellectually starved. Life had 
no meaning, advantage, purpose or justification; and the 
powers of the much-vaunted human intellect seemed unequal 
to the solution of the simplest mysteries. The prospect before 
me was unspeakably dark and forbidding. 

"WHERE is THE WISE?" (1 Cor. 1 :20) 

But some remedy against settled despair must be found. 
So I followed others in the attempt to find distraction in the 
gaieties, amusements and excitements of a godless, pleasure- 
seeking world, among whom I was as godless as any. Some 
good people who were interested in me, and who had an 
inkling of my condition, assured me that what I needed 
was more "diversion" and "relaxation," and that I was "work- 
ing too hard," etc. This view of the matter was urged by 
church members. No one told me the simple truth; namely, 
that I needed Christ and His salvation. O, the innumerable 
millions who are stumbling through life, vaguely conscious of 

108 The Fundamentals 

a great need, but ignorant of its nature, and having no one 
to tell them ! 

I have given this description of my unhappy state at 
some length in the belief that among those who may read it, 
many will recognize it as a description of the main features 
of their own condition. 

To such I can say with the utmost assurance that there 
is deliverance for you, full and complete, and that it is not far 
off, but it is close by. "The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth 
and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith which we preach; 
that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and 
shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from 
the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:8, 9). 

So completely has that old condition of mental distress and 
unrest passed away that I would not now be able to even 
recall and describe it, but for a record which I made within 
six months of my conversion. 

"Who shall deliver me? I thank God through Jesus Christ, 
our Lord" (Rom. 7 :24, 25) . One never-to-be-forgotten evening 
in New York City I strolled out in my usual unhappy frame of 
mind, intending to seek diversion at the theater. This purpose 
carried me as far as the lobby of a theater on Broadway, and 
caused me to take my place in the line of ticket purchasers. But 
an unseen hand turned me aside, and the next thing that I 
remember I had wandered far from the theater and my atten- 
tion was arrested by a very faint sound of singing which 
came to my ears amid the noises on Eighth Avenue, near 
Forty-fourth Street. There is no natural explanation of my 
being attracted by, and of my following up, that sound. 
Nevertheless, I pushed my way into the building (a very 
plain, unattractive affair, bearing the sign "Gospel Taber- 
nacle,") whence the sound emanated, and found myself in a 
prayer meeting. I was not much impressed by the exercises, 
and in fact was not at all in sympathy with what transpired. 
What did, however, make an impression upon me was ; the 

A Personal Testimony 109 

circumstance that, as I was making my way to the door after 
the meeting, several persons greeted me with a pleasant word 
and a shake of the hand, and one inquired about my spiritual 
state. I went away from that meeting still in complete igno- 
rance of the simple truth that my wretchedness was all due 
to the fact that I was an unreconciled and unpardoned sinner, 
and of the greater truth that there was One who had died 
for my sins, who had reconciled me to God by His blood, 
and through whom I could obtain forgiveness of sins and 
eternal life. Again I say that no natural explanation will 
account for the fact that I was constrained to return to a 
place so utterly devoid of attractions and so foreign to all 
my natural tastes and inclinations. The people were not in 
the social grade to which I had been accustomed, and I would 
have found nothing at all congenial in their society. 

And here I wish to call particular attention to a striking 
instance of the fact that God's ways are not as our ways, and 
that the wisdom of man is foolishness with God. I should 
have supposed that, in order to convince me of the truth of 
the Bible and of Christianity it would be necessary to employ 
the best efforts of a faculty of the profoundest theologians, 
versed in all the arguments of skeptical philosophy, and able 
to furnish plausible replies to them. But God, in His wisdom, 
sent me to learn the way of everlasting life from a company 
of exceedingly plain, humble people, of little education, to 
whom I regarded myself as immeasurably superior in all the 
higher branches of knowledge. It is true that these people 
knew very little of what is taught in colleges and seminaries ; 
but they did have that knowledge which is the highest and 
most excellent of all, that knowledge for which one of the most 
scholarly of men of his day was willing to sacrifice all his 
advantages, counting them but refuse, and to cast away all 
his brilliant prospects, saying, "I count all things but loss for 
the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" 
(Phil. 3:8). 

1 10 The Fundamentals 

So that my estimate of my own attainments was alto- 
gether wrong; and the actual truth was that, in comparison 
with the simplest of those who had knowledge of Jesus Christ 
as Savior and who confessed Him as Lord, I was but an 

I do not remember how many times I went to these meet- 
ings before I yielded to the Spirit's influence, and I do not 
remember that I was conscious of any benefit from attending 
the meetings, which, from the ordinary standpoint, would 
have been pronounced decidedly dull. The crisis in my life 
came on the evening of May 24th, 1903, when, yielding to 
an inward prompting which, gentle as it was, yet overpowered 
all my natural reluctance and repugnance to such an act, I 
went forward and knelt with a few others at the front of the 
meeting room. I took the sinner's place, and confessed myself 
in need of the grace of God. A Christian man (the same who 
at first asked me about my soul) kneeled by me and called on 
the Lord Jesus to save me. Of course, the act of publicly 
kneeling and calling on the name of the Lord is not a neces- 
sary part of the process of conversion. There is no specified 
place or manner in which the gift of eternal life is received. 
What is necessary, however, is that one should believe God, 
first as to the fact that he is a sinner and can do nothing for 
himself ; and second, that Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, 
the Eternal Son of God, is the Sin-Bearer for all who believe 
on Him "Who was delivered for our offenses, and raised 
again for our justification" (Rom. 4:25). 

I did not know the nature of what was happening, for I 
did not believe in sudden conversions. I supposed that a 
change of nature, if it occurred at all, must be very gradual 
an "evolution/' in fact. But my ignorance of the process did 
not stand in the way of the mighty power of God, acting 
in grace, to quicken me into new life (Eph. 1:19; .2:5). I 
called upon the name of the Lord, with a deep conviction of 
sin in my heart, and that was enough. . 

A Personal Testimony 111 


In the years that have elapsed I have come to a bet- 
ter understanding of the tremendous change which took 
place that night though only in eternity will I fully com- 
prehend it. Certainly it was life from the dead. Spiritual 
things from that moment became realities, and took a place 
in my thought and consciousness. The things that once had 
a hold upon me began to lose their attraction. I soon learned 
by a happy experience that if a man be in Christ, there is 
a new creation an entirely new environment that old things 
have passed away, and all things have become new; and that 
all things are of God (2 Cor. 5:17, 18). In a very short 
time the habits of my life, as well as the occupations of my 
heart and mind, underwent a great change. The habit of 
daily Bible reading, and of morning and evening prayer, was 
immediately established. Often previously I had tried to 
pray, as I felt the pressure of misery and distress of mind; 
and innumerable times both publicly and privately, I had 
"said my prayers;" but it was not praying, for I was in 
unbelief. I did not believe the Word of God, but criticized 
and rejected it. I did not believe in the virgin birth of our 
Lord, nor in His vicarious death, nor in His physical resur- 
rection. The doctrine of His blood-shedding for the sins of 
others, and of His being made sin for us, that we might be 
made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21) I 
regarded as unphilosophical and unworthy of belief. The 
only God I knew was the god of materialism, a creature of 
man's vain imagination. I had no knowledge of "the God 
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." 


Perhaps the most wonderful change which was manifest 
to my consciousness, when my mind began to resume its 
normal activity and to inquire into what had happened, was 

112 The Fundamentals 

this, that all my doubts, questionings, skepticism and criti- 
cism concerning God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, con- 
cerning the full inspiration, accuracy and authority of the 
Holy Scriptures as the incorruptible Word of God, concerning 
the sufficiency of Christ's atonement to settle the question of 
sin, and to provide a ground upon which God could, in per- 
fect righteousness, forgive and justify a sinner, and concerning 
an assured salvation and perfect acceptance in Christ, were 
swept away completely. From that day to this I have never 
/been troubled by doubts of God and His Word. 


This experience is to me, and will be to any one who 
reflects upon it, very wonderful and impressive. I had no 
notion at all that intellectual difficulties and questionings 
could be removed in any way except by being answered, one 
by one, to the intellectual satisfaction of the person in whose 
mind they existed. But my doubts and difficulties were not 
met in that way. They were simply removed when I believed 
on the Crucified One, and accepted Him as the Christ of God, 
and as my personal Savior. 

The explanation of this is that the seat of unbelief is 
not in the head, but in the heart (Rom. 10:9). It is the 
will that is wrong; and the bristling array of doubts and 
difficulties which spring up in the mind are mere disguises and 
pretexts supplied by the enemy of souls, behind which the 
unbelieving heart tries to shelter itself and to justify its 

This is the explanation of those words of our Lord, who 
knew what was in man, "Ye will not come to Me that ye might 
have life" (John 5:40). 

It is man's unbroken and unyielded will that prevents him 
from coming to the Fountain of eternal life and receiving 
that unspeakable gift of God. And this, too,; is why it is 
written, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteous- 

A Personal Testimony 113 

ness" (Rom. 10:9). The natural mind is the congenial .breed- 
ing place of doubts and questionings, and (as it deems these 
to be of great importance) it supposes that these must be dealt 
with seriatim. The natural man knows nothing about being 
"transformed by the renewing of the mind" (Rom. 12:2), 
and he "receives not the things of the Spirit of God; for they 
are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because 
they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). But when tlie 
heart, the center of man's being, that inmost place to which 
God alone has access, is persuaded, the whole man is changed, 
and the mind likewise renewed and purged of its pestilential 
brood of doubts and reasonings. 

Therefore, what had previously held me back from accept- 
ing the salvation that is freely offered through Christ Jesus 
was not the brood of doubts and reasonings with which my 
head teemed. In supposing that the difficulty lay there I 
was miserably deceived, as are myriads of others "in whom 
the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that 
believe not, lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, 
who is the image of God, should dawn upon them" (2 Cor. 
4:4, R. V.). God took no notice at all of the questionings 
of my puny mind, which seemed to me very formidable and 
worthy of the most respectful consideration. He dealt with 
them according to His own sovereign will and removed them 
in a moment. This was not difficult at all to Him who "taketh 
up the isles as a very little thing." 

Hence the stupendous change, whereby one dead in tres- 
passes and sins is quickened together with Christ (Eph. 2:5), 
is not accomplished through any process of reasoning, nor is 
it the outcome of any process of development. It is the 
immediate and mighty work of God "the working of His 
mighty power which He wrought in Christ when He raised 
Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in 
the heavenly places" (Eph. 1 :19, 20) ; arid it is a work which is 
done instantly in them that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. 

114 The Fundamentals 

I should, of course, be wholly at a loss to interpret this 
experience but for the Scriptures ; and thereby the Divine 
authorship of these is further confirmed. In the light of 
the Scriptures it is easy to see that what had occurred was 
an inwrought conviction produced by the Holy Spirit, the 
One now ministering in the world, testifying of a risen, 
ascended and glorified Christ, at the right hand of God, and 
convicting of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. 

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed 
on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee" (Isa. 26:3). Another 
marked result of believing "the witness of God which He 
hath testified of His Son" (1 John 5:9) has been the com- 
plete deliverance from the spells of mental depression, which 
were rapidly developing into a state of settled melancholia, 
or what is called "nervous prostration," from which so many 
are suffering in these times of high pressure, and concerning 
the cause of which they are totally ignorant. The mind cannot 
be kept in perfect peace that is "stayed" upon material and 
perishing things. It is manifestly a satisfactory and sufficient 
explanation of peace of mind that it is "stayed" upon the 
unchangeable God. This deliverance from mental depression 
was not immediate, for I did not learn at once to stay my 
mind on Him; but the change began immediately and pro- 
gressed until settled peace became the normal mental con- 

I have learned, in a word, that the redemption that is in 
Christ Jesus covers and meets all the consequences of sin 
whether manifested in soul, or mind, or body. Our salvation is 
of the Lord and is for the whole man, "spirit, soul and 

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, 
and thy house" (Acts 16:31). Within two months from the 
event related above (which, by the way, through timidity and 
fear of comment and ridicule I tried to keep as much as 
possible to myself) I was put in a position where I was com- 

A Personal Testimony 115 

pelled to open my lips to a beloved member of my own family, 
suffering, as I could plainly see, from what had formerly 
oppressed me, and to preach Christ for the first time. What 
effort the. delivery of this sermon cost me cannot be described. 
It consisted of these words : "What you need is the Lord 
Jesus Christ ;" and after their utterance the preacher had not 
another word to say, and the only visible result was a very 
awkward and constrained silence. Yet this simple, clumsily- 
given testimony, together with some verses of Scripture read 
at random, were used by the Spirit of God to quicken another 
dead soul. There were yet two more of the household to be 
brought to a knowledge of Christ, but it was not long before 
these likewise, and without any pressure from us, accepted 
Christ, and were translated out of darkness into His mar- 
velous light. 

"The path of the righteous is as the dawning light, that 
shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18, 
R. V.). It was a great and wonderful surprise to us to find 
that there was such a thing as an assurance of salvation, 
with immediate and unmistakable blessings given to believers 
as an earnest and first-fruits of the inheritance of the saints. 
All our previous theological instruction had been to the effect 
that if one lived "a good Christian life" (which many deluded 
souls are trying to do before they have got it) he might 
possibly be saved hereafter, but that there was no certainty 
for anybody until the "day of judgment." 

But even greater surprises awaited us. Blessed as it is 
to know upon the evidence of Christ's own statement,. prefaced 
by His "Verily, verily, I say unto you," that He who hears 
His Word and believes on Him who sent Him has everlasting 
life and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from 
death unto life (John 5:24), there was much more to follow. 
God's goodness toward us did not stop at revealing the truth 
as to our acceptance in Christ and our consequent eternal 
security. He led us to see that it was our duty and privilege 

116 The Fundamentals 

to take at once the place of rejection with Christ, who has 
been cast out of this age and all of its affairs and enterprises, 
the rulers (or leaders) of this age having crucified the Lord 
of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8). He showed us that Christ had given 
Himself for our sins for the express purpose "that He might 
deliver us from this present evil age" (Gal. 1:4); and that 
His will for the redeemed of this age is that they should 
go forth "unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach" 
(Heb. 13:13). 

The camp is, superficially at least, an attractive place, full 
of gaiety and revelry, with every possible device to delight 
the eye and gratify the mind of the flesh. By keeping the 
bright things as much as possible in evidence, and pushing 
the wretchedness, suffering and misery into the background, 
the camp manages to keep up appearances, particularly as its 
occupants are quite willing to be deceived, and are pretty well 
agreed that it is the duty of every dweller therein to be an 
"optimist." Having led the Christ of God outside the gate, 
and put Him to death, the leaders of this "present evil age" 
have devoted their great talents and energies, under the superb 
direction and management of the "god of this age," to the one 
object of making such "progress," and developing such a glori- 
ous "civilization," as will demonstrate that the world has no 
need of Christ. In carrying out this great undertaking the 
"leaders of this age" are sufficiently astute to provide a place 
inside the camp even for those "who profess and call them- 
selves Christians," making them welcome in the world, and 
even giving them positions of prominence therein, upon the 
single easy condition that they will accept the age's gospel of 
progress, and subscribe heartily to the doctrine that "the world 
is getting better every day." This condition the aforesaid 
"Christians" are for the greater part quite ready, not only 
to accept, but even to make it an article of religion, chang- 
ing the Scriptures so far as necessary to that end. 

A Personal Testimony 117 

ARE COMPLETE IN HIM" (Col. 2 :10) 

The Lord has further shown us that, so far from finding 
it a deprivation to withdraw ourselves from the pursuits and 
amusements of the camp and from its godless mirth, which 
is as the crackling of dry thorns under a pot, we have in fact 
gained unspeakably thereby. The new interests which now 
occupy us (having to do with Him in whose presence is full- 
ness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for ever- 
more,) are far more satisfying, and contribute far more real 
gratification than all the things in which, for want of knowl- 
edge of something better, we used to be interested, and in 
the pursuit of which we spent our time and money. It seems, 
humanly speaking, impossible to make our friends and asso- 
ciates in the old life understand that we have not suffered 
any deprivations whatever. "Having the understanding dark- 
ened," they can only see the worthless things which we have 
cast aside, and can take no cognizance of the riches of grace 
and glory which the believer in Christ has, "in whom it hath 
pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell" (Col. 1:19). 
It is as if a beggar were given, through kingly munificence, 
a suit of rich apparel, and should hasten to put it on, joyfully 
casting aside the rags with which he was previously clad, 
and some onlookers, likewise clad in dingy garments, should 
be able to see only the discarded rags, and should thereupon 
hasten away clasping their own rags tightly around them for 
fear a like experience might befall them. 

"IF i GO, i WILL COME AGAIN" (John 14:3) 

The Lord has also enabled us to look beyond -this present 
evil age," of which Satan is the god, to the age that is soon 
to come, in which Christ will return to earth, and all His 
redeemed with Him, as prophesied since Enoch's time (Jude 
14; Rev. 19:11-16, etc.), and "to the times of restitution of 
all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His 
holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21). 

118 The Fundamentals 

But, more than that, we have been led to look, not for 
earthly happiness or for bliss after death, but for that event, 
which is nearer still, and which it is the privilege of the 
believer to expect at any moment, when the Lord Himself shall 
call upon His own to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:16, 17; 
1 Gor. 15:51, 52). And so the grace of God, which brings 
salvation, hath appeared, "teaching us that, denying ungod- 
liness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, 
and godly in this present world ; looking for that blessed hope 
and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior 
Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us" (Titus 2:11-14). 

This is not the teaching of the wisdom of this age, nor of 
the leaders of this age ; nor is it the teaching of those professed 
ministers of Christ who have accepted the gospel of this age 
the gospel of its progress and betterment; but it is the teach- 
ing of "the grace of God" and of the Word of God, and we 
have accepted and rejoice in it. 

"Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall 
suffer persecution." It would not be a truthful representation 
of the matter to make it appear that there have been no 
unpleasant experiences attending and resulting from this 
departure from our old ways and entering upon "the one 
true and living way." There has been, of course, much 
adverse comment, much irritation, much hostility aroused, 
we have heard many references to "self-righteousness," 
"fanaticism," and the like. To desert the ways of the world 
is, of course, to condemn those ways ; and they who are walk- 
ing in them cannot be expected to take it kindly. They turn 
away exclaiming, " 'Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of 
Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?' (2 Kings 
5:12). Then why this narrow-mindedness and bigotry?" 
And, as might also be expected, the greatest resentment of our 
conduct has been aroused in those who, while professing to 
belong to Christ, are casting their lot indiscriminately with 
them who openly reject Him. 

A Personal Testimony 119 

This, of course, we can endure patiently, because He said, 
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it 
hated you" (John 15 :18) ; and the more so, because we know 
that those who cherish and display such feelings do it in 
ignorance of the truth. We remember that we were, and not 
so very long ago, in precisely the same darkness, and that it 
required the power and grace of God to let the light into 
our darkened minds. We know, too, that we can help these 
precious souls for whom Christ died, only by maintaining our 
separated path, and by praying that the scales may fall from 
their eyes also, that they may see what is the true "course 
of this world" (Eph. 2:2), of which its leaders are so boast- 
ful, and where it will inevitably carry them who pursue it 
to the end; and above all may see that there is eternal life 
only in Christ and through faith in His atoning sacrifice and 
in His resurrection from among the dead (Rom. 10:9; Acts 
17:3; Rom. 4:24, 25; 1 Cor. 15:1-4 and 13, 19, etc.). 

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and 
he that believeth not the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath 
of God abideth on him" (John 3 :36). 





Dr. J. W. Dawson, in his "Modern Science in Bible Lands," 
gives the following facts with regard to the location and present 
appearance of the mountain near which the Tabernacle was built. 

"The actual position of Mount Sinai has been a subject of keen 
controversy, which may be reduced to two questions : 1st, Was Mount 
Sinai in the peninsula of that name or elsewhere? 2d, Which of the 
mountains of the peninsula was the Mount of the Law? As to the 
first of these questions, the claims of the peninsula are supported by 
an overwhelming mass of tradition and of authority, ancient and 

"If this question be considered as settled, then it remains to inquire 
which of the mountain summits of that group of hills in the southern 
end of the peninsula, which seems to be designated in the Bible by 
the general name of Horeb, should be regarded as the veritable 
'Mount of the Law?' Five of the mountain summits of this region 
have laid claim to this distinction; and their relative merits the 
explorers [those of the English Ordnance Survey] test by seven 
criteria which must be fulfilled by the actual mountain. These are: 
(1) A mountain overlooking a plain on which the millions of Israel 
could be assembled. (2) Space for the people to 'remove and stand 
afar off' when the voice of the Lord was heard, and yet to hear that 
voice. (3) A defined peak distinctly visible from the plain. (4) A moun- 
tain so precipitous that the people might be said to stand under it 
and to touch its base. (5) A mountain capable of being isolated by 
boundaries. (6) A mountain with springs and streams of water in 
its vicinity. (7) Pasturage to maintain the flocks of the people for 
a year. 

"By these criteria the surveyors reject two of the mountains, 
Jebel el Ejmeh and Jebel Ummalawi, as destitute of sufficient water 


Addenda 121 

and pasturage. Jebel Katharina, whose claims arise from a statement 
of Josephus that Sinai was the highest mountain of the district, which 
this peak actually is, with the exception of a neighboring summit 
twenty-five feet higher, they reject because of the fact that it is not 
visible from any plain suitable for the encampment of the Israelites. 
Mount Serbal has in modern times had some advocates; but the sur- 
veyors allege in opposition to these that they do not find, as has been 
stated, the Sinaitic inscriptions more plentiful there than elsewhere, 
that the traces of early Christian occupancy do not point to it any 
more than early tradition, and that it does not meet the topographical 
requirements in presenting a defined peak, convenient camping-ground, 
or a sufficient amount of pasturage. 

"There only remains the long-established and venerated Jebel 
Musa the orthodox Sinai; and this, in a remarkable and conspicu- 
ous manner, fulfils the required conditions, and, besides, illustrates 
the narrative itself in unexpected ways. This mountain has, how- 
ever, two dominant peaks, that of Jebel Musa proper, 7,363 feet in 
height, and that of Ras Sufsafeh, 6,937 feet high; and of these the 
explorers do not hesitate at once to prefer the latter. This peak or 
ridge is described as almost isolated, as descending precipitously to the 
great plain of the district, Er Rahah, which is capable of accommo- 
dating two millions of persons in full view of the peak, and has 
ample camping ground for the whole host in its tributary valleys. 
Further, it is so completely separated from the neighboring mountains 
that a short and quite intelligible description would define its limits, 
which could be easily marked out 

"Another remarkable feature is, that we have here the brook 
descending out of the mount referred to in Exodus (Ch. 32:2(J) f 
and, besides this, five other perennial streams in addition to many 
good springs. The country is by no means desert, but supplies much 
pasturage ; and when irrigated and attended to, forms good gardens, 
and is indeed one of the best and most fertile spots of the whole 
peninsula. The explorers show that the statements of some hasty 
travelers who have given a different view are quite incorrect, and 
also that there is reason to believe that there was greater rainfall and 
more verdure in ancient times than at present in this part of the 
country. They further indicate the Wady Shreick, in which is the 
stream descending from the mount, as the probable place of the 
making and destruction of the golden calf, and a hill known as Jebel 
Moneijeh, the mount of conference, as the probable site of ihe Taber- 
nacle. They think it not improbable that while Ras Sufsafeh was 

,122 The Fundamentals 

the Mount of the Law, the retirement of Moses during his sojourn 
on the mount may have been behind the peak, in the recesses of 
'Jebei Musa, which thus might properly bear his name." 


Colonel Sir Charles Wilson thus describes the present ruins of 
Shiloh, in "Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement" for 1873, pp. 

"The ruins of Seilun (Shiloh) cover the surface of a 'tell,' or 
mound, on a spur which lies between two valleys, that unite about 
a quarter of a mile above Khan Lubban, and thence run to the sea. 
The existing remains are those of a fellahin village, with few earlier 
foundations, possibly of the date of the Crusades. The walls are 
built with old materials, but none of the fragments of columns men- 
tioned by some travelers can now be seen. On the summit are a 
few heavy foundations, perhaps those of a keep, and on the southern 
side is a building with a heavy sloping buttress. The rock is exposed 
over nearly the whole surface, so that little can be expected from 
excavation. Northwards, the 'tell' slopes down to a broad shoulder 
across which a sort of level court, 77 feet wide and 412 feet long, has 
been cut out. The rock is in places scarped to a height of five feet, 
and along the sides are several excavations and a few small cisterns. 
The lever portion of the rock is covered by a few inches of soil. 
It is not improbable that the place was thus prepared to receive the 
Tabernacle, which, according to Rabbinical traditions, was a structure 
O.f low stone walls, with the tent stretched over the top. At any rate, 
there is no other level space on the 'tell' sufficiently large to receive 
a tent of the dimensions of the Tabernacle. 

"The spring of Seilun is in a small valley which joins the main 
one a short distance northeast of the ruins. The supply, which is 
small, after running a few yards through a subterranean channel, 
was formerly led into a rock-hewn reservoir, but now runs to waste." 

To the above items Major Claude R. Gonder, R. E., in his "Tent 
Life in Palestine," Vol I, pp. 81, 82, adds as follows : 

'There is no site in the country fixed with greater certainty than 
that of Shiloh. The modern name Seilun preserves the most archaic 
form, which is found in the Bible in the ethnic Shilonite (1 Kings 
11:29). The position of the ruins agrees exactly with the very defi- 
nite description given in the Old Testament of the position of Shiloh, 

Addenda 123 

as 'on the north side of Bethel (now Beitin), on the east side of the 
highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of 
Lebonah' (Lubbin) (Judg. 21:19). It is just here that Shiloh still 
stands in ruins. The scenery of the wild mountains is finer than that 
in Jucjea; the red color of the cliffs, which are of great height, is 
far more picturesque than the shapeless chalk mountains near Jeru- 
salem; the fig gardens and olive groves are more luxuriant, but the 
crops are poor compared with the plain and round Bethlehem. A deep 
valley runs behind the town on the north, and in its sides are many 
rock-cut sepulchers. 

"The vineyards of Shiloh have disappeared, though very possibly 
once surrounding the spring, and perhaps extending down the valley 
westwards, where water is also found. With the destruction of the 
village, desolation has spread over the barren hills around." 


So thinks Rev. W. Shaw Caldecott. See his treatise on "The 
Tabernacle, Its History and Structure," pp. 53, 54: 

"Four miles to the north of Jerusalem, and at the distance of a 
quarter of a mile to the east of the main road, is a curiously knobbed 
and double-topped hill, named by the Arabs Tell (or Tuleil) el-Ftill. 
The crown of this hill is thirty feet higher than Mount Zion, and 
Jerusalem can be plainly seen from it. On its top is a large pyramidal 
mound of unhewn stones, which Robinson supposes to have been 
originally a square tower of 40 or 50 feet, and to have been violently 
thrown down. No other foundations are to be seen. At the foot 
of the hill are ancient substructions, built of large unhewn stones in 
low, massive walls. These are on the south side, and adjoin the 
great road. 

"If we take the Scriptural indications as to the site of Nob 
(height), this hill and these ruins fulfill all the conditions of the case. 

"(a) Nob was so far regarded as belonging to Jerusalem, as one 
of its villages (thus involving its proximity), that David's bringing 
Goliath's head and sword to the Tabernacle at Nob was regarded as 
bringing them to Jerusalem (1 Sam. 17:54). 

"(b) A clearer indication as to its situation is, however, gained 
by the record of the restoration towns and villages in which Nob 
is mentioned, the name occurring between those of Anathoth and 
Ananiah (Neh. 11:32). These two places still bear practically the 

124 The Fundamentals 

same names, and their sites are well known. In the narrow space 
between Anata and Hanina stands the hill Tell el-Full, which we 
take to be ancient Nob. 

"(c) Another indication is contained in Isaiah's account of Sen- 
nacherib's march on Jerusalem, the picturesque climax of which is, 
This very day shall he halt at Nob; he shaketh his hand at the 
mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem' (Isa. 10:28-32). 
There are only two hills on the north from which the city can be 
seen, so as to give reality to the poet's words. One of these is 
Neby Samwil, and the other is Tell el-Full" 



In Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, Art. Gibeon, J. F. Stenning 

says as follows: 

"The identity of Gibeon with the village of El-Jib, which lies some 
six or seven miles northwest of Jerusalem, is practically beyond dispute- 
The modern village still preserves the first part of the older name, 
while its situation agrees in every respect with the requirements of 
the history of the Old Testament. Just beyond Tell el-Full (Gibeah), 
the main road north from Jerusalem to Beitin (Bethel) is joined by 
a branch road leading up from the coast. The latter forms the con- 
tinuation of the most southerly of three routes which connect the 
Jordan valley with the Maritime Plains. * * * Now just before 
this road (coming up from the Jordan valley) leaves the higher 
ground and descends to the Shepheleh, it divides into two, the one 
branch leading down to the Wady Suleiman, the other running in a 
more southerly direction by way of the Bethhorens. Here, on this 
fertile, open plateau, slightly to the south of the main road, rises 
the hill on which the modern village of El-Jib is built, right on the 
frontier line which traverses the central range to the south of Bethel. 
It was the natural pass across Palestine, which in early times served 
as the political border between North and South Israel, and it was 
owing to its position that Gibeon acquired so much prominence in the 
reigns of David and Solomon. A short distance to the east of the 
village, at the foot of the hill, there is, further, a stone tank or 
reservoir of considerable size, supplied by a spring which rises in a 
cave higher up." . 

This spring, the explorers tell us, was probably the ancient "pool 
of Gibeon" mentioned in 2 Sam. 2:13. 

Addenda 125 

Also, respecting the "great high place," Smith's Dictionary has 
the following: 

"The most natural position for the high place of Gibeon is the 
twin mountain immediately south of El-Jib, so close as to be all but 
a part of the town, and yet quite separate and distinct. The testi- 
mony of Epiphanius, viz., that the 'Mount of Gibeon' was the highest 
round Jerusalem, by which Dean Stanley supports his conjecture 
(that the present Neby Samwil was the great high place), should be 
received with caution, standing, as it does, quite alone and belonging 
to an age which, though early, was marked by ignorance and by the 
most improbable conclusions." 

Some additional facts, as given by Rev. W. Shaw Caldecett (ibid, 
pp. 60-62), are as follows: 

"El- Jib is built upon an isolated oblong hill standing in a plain or 
basin of great fertility. The northern end of the hill is covered over 
with old massive ruins, which have fallen down in every direction, and 
in which the villagers now live. Across the plain to the south is the 
lofty range of Neby Samwil. * * * Gibeon was one of the four 
towns in the division of Benjamin given as residences for the sons 
of Aaron (Josh. 21:17). It was thus already inhabited by priests, and 
this, added to its other advantages, made it, humanly speaking, a not 
unsuitable place for the capital of the new kingdom. No remains of 
(very ancient) buildings have been discovered, such as those of er- 
Ramah and Tell el-Full." 


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It must be evident to all who pay close attention to 
the spiritual conditions of our day that there is being made 
at this time a very determined and widespread effort to set 
aside entirely the authority of the Bible. Let us note that 
one of the unique characteristics of that Book is that it claims 
the right to control the actions of men. It speaks "as one 
having authority." It assumes, and in the most peremptory 
and uncompromising way, to rebuke men for misconduct, 
and to tell them what they shall do and what they shall not 
do. It speaks to men, not as from the human plane, or even 
from the standpoint of superior human wisdom and morality ; 
but as from a plane far above the highest human level, and as 
with a wisdom which admits of no question or dispute from 
men. It demands throughout unqualified submission. 

But this assumption of control over men is a direct ob- 
stacle to the democratic spirit of the times, which brooks no 
authority higher than that of "the people," that is to say, 
of Man himself. ('To establish and to make universal the prin- 
ciples of pure democracy is the. object, whether consciously 
or unconsciously, of the great thought-movements of our era ; 
and the essence and marrow of democracy is the supreme 
authority of Man. Hence the conflict with the Bible.) 

Not only is the Bible, with its peremptory assertion of 
supremacy and control over mankind, directly counter to tfie 
democratic movement, but it is now the onlyrtal obstacle to 

(Copyrighted by the Fleming H. Revell Company, and published herewith by permission.) 


8 ' The Fundamentals 

the complete independence of humanity. If only the author- 
ity of the Scriptures be gotten rid of, mankind will have at- 
tained the long-coveted state of absolute independence, which 
is equivalent to utter lawlessness. 

The state of ideal democracy would be accurately de- 
scribed as "lawlessness," since it is manifest that an indi- 
vidual or a society which is under no restraint except such 
as is self-imposed, is really under no restraint at all. To at- 
tain this ideal state is the end and purpose of present day 
movements j and, in order to promote these movements, that 
mighty spiritual intelligence who is designated "the spirit that 
now works in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2) very 
wisely, and with consummate subtlety, directs the attack, from 
many different quarters, against the authority of the Bible. 

The great mass of men, including the majority of the 
leaders of the age, are already completely absorbed in the ac- 
tivities of the world and utterly indifferent to the claims of 
the Bible. As to these, it is only necessary to take care that 
they are not aroused from their indifference^ But the Bible 
nevertheless, by reason of its hold upon the consciences of 
the few, exerts, upon society as a whole, a mighty restraining 
influence, against which the assaults of the enemies of truth 
are now being directed. ) 

In some quarters the authority of the Bible is directly 
assailed and its Divine origin disputed in the name of "Science" 
and of "Scholarship." Much of the learning and theological 
activity of the day are concentrated upon the attempt to dis- 
credit the Bible, and to disseminate views and theories directly 
at variance with its claims of divine inspiration and authority. 

In other quarters the attack takes the form of a pretense 
of conceding the inspiration of the Bible, coupled with the 
claim that other writers and other great literary works were 
equally inspired. "God is not limited," we are told, "and can 
speak to man, and does speak to man, in our day, in like 
manner as in the days of Moses, Isaiah, or Paul." 

Life in the Word 9 

Manifestly it makes practically no difference whether the 
Bible be dragged down to the level of other books, or other 
books be exalted to the level of the Bible. The result is the 
same in both cases; namely, that the unique authority of the 
Bible is set aside. 

But even in quarters where the Divine origin of the Bible 
is fully recognized, the enemy is actively at work with a view 
to weakening its influence. There is much teaching abroad 
(heard usually in connection with certain spiritual manifesta- 
tions which have become quite common of late) to the effect 
that those who have the Spirit dwelling in them, and speaking 
directly to and through them, are independent of the Word of 
God. This is the form which the idea of a continuing revela- 
tion takes in quarters where a direct attack on the authority 
of Scripture would fail. But the result is the same. 

( In such a state of things it is manifestly of the very highest 
importance to insist unceasingly upon the sufficiency, finality > 
and completeness of the Revelation given by God in His Word.) 
With the desire to serve this purpose, even though it be in a 
very small degree, these pages are written. It would be, how- 
ever, a task far beyond the capacity of the writer to present 
all the unique characteristics of the Bible, whereby it is so 
distinguished from other books that it occupies a class by itself. 
The writer has, therefore, singled out for consideration one 
special attribute or characteristic of the Holy Scriptures; 
namely, that signified by the word "living." 

If one is able to apprehend, however feebly, the tre- 
mendous fact that fthe Word of God is a LIVING Wordjsuch 
knowledge will go far towards affording him protection from 
what is perhaps the greatest danger of these "perilous times." 



Of the many statements which the Bible makes concerning 
the Word of God, none is more significant, and surely none is 

10 The Fimdamentals 

of greater importance to dying men, than the statement that 
the Word of God is a LIVING Word. 

In Philippians 2:16 we have the expression, "The Word of 
Life." The 'same expression occurs in 1 John.l :1. It is here 
used of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, whereas in Phil- 
ippians it is apparently the Written Word that is spoken of. 
The Written Word and the Incarnate Word are so identified 
in Scripture that it is not always clear which is referred to. 
The same things are said of each, and the same characters 
attributed to each. The fundamental resemblance lies in the 
fact that each is the revealer or tangible expression of the 
Invisible God. As the written or spoken word expresses, for 
the purpose of communicating to another, the invisible and 
inaccessible thought, so Jesus Christ as the Incarnate Word,, 
and the Holy Scriptures as the Written Word, express and 
communicate knowledge of the invisible and inaccessible God. 
"He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." "Believe Me 
that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me" (John 

In Hebrews 4:12 we find the statement that "The Word 
of God is LIVING and powerful, and sharper than any two- 
edged sword" (R. V.). Clearly this refers to the Written 
Word. But the very^ next verse, without any change of sub- 
ject, directs our attention to the Searcher of hearts (Rev. 
2:23), saying, "Neither is there any creature that is not mani- 
fest in His sight: but all -things are naked and opened unto the 
eyes of Him with whom we have to do." 

Again in 1 Peter 1 :23 we read of "the Word of God which 
Hveth," or more literally, "the Word of God living." Here 
again there might be uncertainty as to whether the Incarnate 
Word or the Written Word be meant; but it is generally 
understood that the latter is in view, and the quotation from 
Isaiah 40 :6-8 would confirm this idea. 

From these passages we learn that the Word of God is 
spoken of as a "living" Word. This is a very remarkable 

Life in the Word 11 -j 

statement, and is worthy of our closest examination and most 
earnest consideration. Why is the Word of God thus spoken 
of? Why is the extraordinary property of LIFE, or vitality, 
attributed to it? In what respects can it be said to be a 
living Word? 

But the expression "living," as applied to the Word of 
God, manifestly means something more than partaking of the 
kind of life with which we are acquainted from observation. 
God speaks of Himself as the "Living God." The Lord Jesus 
is the "Prince of Life." (Acts 3 :15.) He announced Himself 
to John in the vision of Patmos as "He that liveth." Eternal 
life is in Him. (1 John 5:11.) 

It is clear, then, that when we read, "The Word of God is 
living," (we are to understand thereby that it lives with a 
spiritual, an inexhaustible, an inextinguishable, in a word a 
divine, life.) If the Word of God be indeed living in this sense, 
then we have here a fact of the most tremendous significance. 
In the world around us the beings and things which we call 
"living" may just as appropriately be spoken of as "dying." 
What we call "the land of the living" might better be described 
as the land of the dying. Wherever we look we see that death 
is in possession, and is working according to its invariable 
method of corruption and decay. (Death is the real monarch 
of this worldjand we meet at every turn the gruesome evidence 
and results of the universal sway of him who has "the power of 
death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14). "Death reigned" 
(Rom. 5:17), and still reigns over everything. The mighty 
and awful power of death has made this earth of ours a great 
burying ground a gigantic cemetery. 

Can it be that there is an exception to this apparently 
universal rule ? Is there, indeed, in this world of dying beings, 
where the forces of corruption fasten immediately upon 
everything into which life has entered, and upon all the works 
of so-called living creatures, ; one object which is really 
LIVING, an object upon which corruption cannot fasten 

12 The Fundamentals 

itself, and which resists and defies all the power of death? 
Such is the assertion of the passages of Scripture which we 
have quoted. Surely, then, if these statements be true, we 
have here the most astounding phenomenon in all the accessible 
universe; and it will be well worth while to investigate an 
object of which so startling an assertion is seriously, if very 
unobtrusively, made. 

Before we proceed with our inquiry let us note one of 
many points of resemblance between the Incarnate Word and 
the Written Word. When "the Word was made flesh and 
dwelt [tabernacled] among us" (John 1 :14), there was nothing 
in His appearance to manifest His Deity, or to show that "in 
Him was life" (John 1:4). That fact was demonstrated, not 
by His blameless and unselfish behavior, nor by His incom- 
parable teachings and discourses, but by His resurrection from 
the dead. The only power which is greater than that of death 
is the power of life. He had, and exercised, that power, and 
holds now the keys of death and of hades. (Rev. 1 :18, R. V.) 

Similarly, there is nothing in the appearance and behavior 
(so to speak) of the Bible to show that it has a characteristic, 
even divine life, which other books have not. It bears the 
same resemblance to other writings that Jesus, the son of Mary, 
bore to other men. It is given in human language just as He 
came in human flesh. ( Yet there is between it and all other 
books the same difference as between Him and all other men, 
namely, the difference between the living and the dying. J "The 
word of God is living." 

It will require, therefore, something more than a hasty 
glance or a casual inspection to discern this wonderful differ- 
ence ; but the difference is there, and with diligence and atten- 
tion we may discover some clear indications of it. 


Man's wisdom and learning are incapable of furnishing a 
definition of life. The attempts of the wisest and most learned 

Life in the Word 13 

to furnish such a definition only serve to exhibit the futility of 
the attempt. 

Herbert Spencer, who has made the most ambitious 
attempt of modern times to explain the visible universe 1 , gives 
this as the result of his best efforts to define life: "Life is the 
continuous adjustment of internal relations to external 

This definition manifestly stands as much in need of ex- 
planation as that which it purports to explain. But it will 
serve at least to remind us that the wisdom of men is foolish- 
ness with God. 

Another eminent man of science defined life as "the twofold 
internal movement of composition and decomposition, at once 
general and continuous."/ 

These modern definitions are scarcely an improvement upon 
that of Aristotle, who defined life as "the assemblage of the 
operations of nutrition, growth, and. destruction." 

(What a marvellous thing is life, and how far it transcends 
the comprehension of man, since his best icfforts to define it 
give results so ridiculously inadequate I J 

The ignorance of scientific men on this subject is frankly 
confessed by Alfred Russell Wallace, who in one of his latest 
books, "Man's Place in the Universe," says, "Most people give 
scientific men credit for much greater knowledge than they 
possess in these matters." And again : "As to the deeper prob- 
lems of life, and growth, and reproduction, though our physi- 
ologists have learned an infinite amount of curious and in- 
structive facts, they can give us no intelligible explanation of 

But, if none of us can say what life is, we can all distin- 
guish between that which is living (even in the ordinary sense 
of the word) and that which is not living; and our best idea 
of the meaning of life is obtained by comparing that whicrrhas 
life (whether animal or vegetable) with that which has not life, 
as minerals, or any non-living matter. We know that between 

14 The Fundamentals 

the two there is a great gulf, which only divine power can 
span ; for it is only the living God who can impart life to that 
which is lifeless. . 

We look then at the Written Word of God to see if it 
manifests characteristics which are found only in living things, 
and to see if it exhibits, not merely the possession of life of 
the perishable and corruptible sort with which we are so 
familiar by observation, and which is in each of us, but life of 
a different order, imperishable and incorruptible. 


(The Bible differs radically from all other books in its per- 
petual freshness.) This characteristic will be recognized only 
by those who know the Book in that intimate way which comes 
from living with it, as with a member of one's family. I men- 
tion it first because it was one of the first unique properties of 
the Bible which impressed me after I began to read it as a be- 
liever in Christ. It is a very remarkable fact that the Bible 
never becomes exhausted, never acquires sameness, never 
diminishes in its power of responsiveness to the quickened soul 
who comes to it. The most familiar passages yield as much 
(if not more) refreshment at the thousandth perusal, as at the 
first. It is indeed as a fountain of living water. The fountain 
is the same, but the water is always fresh, and always refresh- 
ing. We can compare this to nothing but what we find in a 
living companion, whom we love and to whom we go for help 
and fellowship. The person is always the same, and yet with- 
out sameness. New conditions evoke new responses; and so 
it is with- the Bible. As a living Book it adapts itself to the 
new phases of our experience and the new conditions in which 
we find ourselves. From the most familiar passage there 
comes again and again a new message; .just as our most 
familiar friend or companion will have something new to say, 
as changed conditions and new situations require it from time 
to time. 

Life in the Word 15 

This is true of no other book. What man's book has to say 
we can get the first time; and the exceptions arise merely from 
lack of clearness on the writer's part, or lack of apprehension 
on the part of the reader. Man can touch only the surface of 
things, and he cares only about surface appearances. So, in all 
his writings, whatever substance they contain lies on the sur- 
face, and can be gathered by a capable reader at once. If the 
Word of God may be compared in this particular to a living 
person, the books of men may be compared to pictures or 
statues of living persons. However beautifully or artistically 
executed, a single view may readily exhaust the latter, and a 
second and third look will be mere repetitions. The difference 
is that which exists between the living and the dead. The 
Word of God is LIVING. 

But while the Bible resembles in this important respect a 
living person, who is our familiar, sympathetic, and responsive 
companion,(it differs from such a human companion in that 
the counsel, comfort, and support it furnishes are far above 
and beyond what any human being can supply; and the only 
explanation of this is that the source of its life and powers is 
not human, but Divine. 


One of the most prominent characteristics of books written 
by men for the purpose of imparting information and instruc- 
tion is that they very quickly become obsolete, arid must be cast 
aside and replaced by others. This is particularly true of books 
on science, text-books, school-books and the like. Indeed it is 
a matter of boasting (though it would be hard to explain why) 
that "progress" is so rapid in all departments of learning as to 
render the scientific books of one generation almost worthless 
to the next. Changes in human knowledge, thought and 
opinion occur so swiftly, that books, which were the standards 
yesterday, are set aside today for others, which in turn will be 
discarded for yet other "authorities" tomorrow. In fact, every 

16 The Fundamentals 


book which is written for a serious purpose begins to become 
obsolete before the ink is dry on the page. This may be made 
the occasion of boasting of the great progess of humanity, and 
of the wonderful advances of "science;" but the true signifi- 
cance of the fact is that man's books are all, like himself, dying 

(The Bible, on the other hand, although it treats of the 
greatest and most serious of all subjects, such as God, Christ, 
eternity, life, death, sin, righteousness, judgment, redemption 
is always the latest, best, and only authority on all these and 
other weighty matters whereof it treats^) Centuries of 
"progress" and "advancement" have added absolutely nothing 
to the sum of knowledge on any of these subjects. The Bible is 
always fresh and thoroughly "up to date." Indeed it is far, far 
ahead of human science. Progress cannot overtake it, or get 
beyond it. Generation succeeds generation, but each finds the 
Bible waiting for it with its ever fresh and never failing stores 
of information touching matters of the highest concern, touch- 
ing everything that affects the welfare of human beings. 


Human teachers and teachings have, indeed, frequently set 
themselves in opposition to some of the statements of the Bible ; 
and it has often been announced, upon human authority, that 
errors in history and in matters of science have been detected in 
the Bible. Some, indeed, have endeavored to save the reputa- 
tion and authority of the Bible by saying that it was not written 
to teach men "science." In a sense this is true. The Bible was 
not written to impart that kind of knowledge which "puffeth 
up," but just the contrary. ( It was written to impart that kind 
of information which takes man down by showing him his 
true position as a ruined, perishing creature, under the con- 
demnation and power of death, and utterly "without strength," 
that is to say, incapable of doing anything to deliver himself 
out of this deplorable condition.) It declares that, "if any man 

Life in 'the Word 17 

think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he 
ought to know" (1 Cor. 8:2). Such is the plain declaration of 
Scripture as to the limitations of all human knowledge; and he 
who knows the most is most conscious of these limitations. 
But if, by the statement that the Bible was not written to teach 
"science," it be meant that the Bible is unscientific, that state- 
ment is not true. On the contrary, (the Bible is the only book 
in the world that is truly "scientific ;" for it is the only book 
which gives precise, accurate and absolutely reliable informa- 
tion upon every subject whereof it treats) It is the only 
book in the world upon every statement of which one may 
safely put implicit confidence. Countless millions have believed 
the statements of the Word of God, every one of them to his 
unspeakable advantage, not one of them to his hurt. 

We used to hear a great deal, some thirty years ago, about 
the many "mistakes of Moses," and the errors which "science," 
with her keen eye, had detected in the Scriptures. But we hear 
very little today from scientists themselves about the "conflicts 
between science and religion." These conflicts have, one by 
one, ceased, as "science" has revised her hasty conclusions and 
corrected her blunders. (The writer has been a diligent student 
of the physical sciences and of the philosophies based on them, 
for upwards of twenty-five years, and a practicing lawyer for 
a still longer period, and having now acquired a fair knowledge 
of the text of Scripture, he can say that he is aware of no 
demonstrated fact of science which is in conflict with a single 
statement of the Bible.) Among all the "assured results of 
science" there exists not, to his knowledge, evidence sufficient 
in character and amount to convict the Bible of a single error 
or misstatement. Of course, such evidence could not exist. 
The Lord Jesus said of the Word of God, "Thy Word is 
truth" (John 17:17) ; and of course, true knowledge of God's 
creation cannot conflict with His Word. 

A' recent book by Alfred Russel Wallace entitled, "Man's 
Place in the Universe" (1904), furnishes a striking illustration, 

18 The Fundamentals 

on a large scale, of the way in which "science," after leading 
the thought of cultured and highly educated minds away from 
the truth revealed by Scripture, sometimes leads it back again. 

The reading of Scripture undoubtedly gives, and was 
clearly intended to give, the impression that the earth is the 
center cf interest in the universe, and the object of the 
Creator's special care; that it was fitted with elaborate pains to 
be the habitation of living creatures, and especially of man; 
and that the sun, moon and stars were created with special 
reference to their service to the earth. Hence, for many cen- 
turies, man believed that the earth was the center of the uni- 
verse, and (though the Bible does not say so) that the sun and 
stars were relatively small bodies which moved around and 
waited upon it. 

But these ideas have been completely upset by the dis- 
coveries of modern astronomers, who ascertained, at least to 
their entire satisfaction, that not only is the sun enormously 
larger than the earth, but that it is attended by other planets, 
the largest of which is twelve hundred times larger than the 
earth. Moreover, it has also been learned, so we are told, that 
our sun itself is but one of an almost infinite number of stars, 
many of which are immensely greater in size, and which, it 
may be assumed, are themselves the centers of planetary sys- 
tems on a much grander scale than our little solar system. 

In such a universe as modern astronomy has brought into 
the view of man our little earth, once thought to be its center 
of interest and importance, shrinks into utter insignificance. 
In proportion to the vast universe of which it is a member its 
size is relatively less than that of a tiny particle of dust in 
proportion to the mass of the earth itself. How, therefore, 
can it be supposed that the Creator of so inconceivably great 
and complex a universe would have a special regard for this 
insignificant attendant of a fourth-rate sun, and for, the still 
more insignificant creatures who dwell upon it? The earth 
with all its occupants could drop out of the universe and be no 

Life in the Word 19 

more missed than a single grain of sand from the seashore or 
a single drop of water from the ocean. 

It is inevitable that these teachings of astronomy concern- 
ing the universe should have produced impressions directly 
opposite to those produced by Scripture, and should have 
placed obstacles in the way of Relieving the doctrine of redemp- 
tion by the incarnation and sacrificial death of the Son of God. 

But now comes Mr. Wallace, the contemporary of Charles 
Darwin, and probably at the present day one of the most prom- 
inent men of science, and reverses the ideas which have been so 
-widely disseminated in the name of science. Mr. Wallace 
masses a great body of evidence, derived both from astronomy 
and physics, to support the propositions, First, that the solar 
system occupies (and always has occupied) approximately the 
central portion of this vast universe, getting all the advantages 
due to such favorable position; Second, that the earth is 
certainly the only habitable planet in the solar system, and pre- 
sumably the only habitable spot in the whole universe. Mr. 
Wallace, by a vast accumulation of facts and inferences, shows 
that the physical conditions necessary for the maintenance of 
life depend upon a great variety of complex and delicate adjust- 
ments, such as distance from the sun, the mass of the planet, 
its obliquity to its orbit, the amount of water as compared with 
land, the surface distribution of. land and water, the perma- 
nence of this distribution, the density of the earth, the volume 
and density of the atmosphere, the amount of carbon-dioxide 
therein, etc. These, and other essential conditions, are met 
(says Mr. Wallace) only in. a planet such as this earth, situated 
and constructed as it is. From Mr. Wallace's premises, if the 
universe is assumed to be the work of an intelligent Creator, 
it would follow that everything in this inconceivably vast and 
complex universe has been planned and arranged with special 
reference to making this little earth of ours a place suitable for 
the habitation of living'beings, and especially of mankind. 

We give Mr. Wallace's conclusions in his own words. He 

20 The Fundamentals 

says: "This completes my work as a connected argument, 
founded wholly upon the facts and principles accumulated by 
modern science; and it leads, if my facts are substantially 
correct and my reasoning sound, to one great and definite con- 
clusion, that man, the culmination of conscious organic life, 
has been. developed HERE ONLY in the whole vast material 
universe we see around us" 

Thus we have the surprising fact that one of the foremost 
living exponents of the teachings of science, a man who cer- 
tainly attaches no importance to the teachings of Scripture, 
has been at great pains to show that the earth is, after all, the 
center of, v and most important place in, the whole universe ; 
and that,(so far as any purpose can be detected in it, the 
universe may well be supposed to exist for the sole benefit of 
the earth, and for the sake of producing therein those peculiar 
conditions necessary for the existence and maintenance of life.) 

We may say then that, considered merely as a book of in- 
struction, the Bible is, as to every subject whereof it treats, 
not merely abreast of, but far ahead of, the learning of these 
and all other times, whether past or future. ( The impressions 
it makes upon believing minds are the impressions of truth, 
even though (as in the instance we have just been considering) 
contemporary science may give, as its settled conclusions, im- 
pressions directly to the contrary.) 

Unlike other books of instruction THE BIBLE DOES 
NOT BECOME OBSOLETE. This is a fact of immense 
significance; and its only explanation is that the Bible is a 
LIVING book, the Word of the living God. All other books 
partake of the infirmity of their authors, and are either dying 
or dead. On the other hand, "The Word of God is living." 


(The Bible manifests the possession of inherent and im- 
perishable life in that it survives all the attempts that have 
been made to destroy it) 

Life in the Word 21 

Bible is the only book in the world that is truly hated./ 
The hatred it arouses is bitter, persistent, murderous. From 
generation to generation this hatred has been kept alive. There 
is doubtless a supernatural explanation for this continuous 
display of hostility towards the Word of God, for that Word 
has a supernatural enemy who has personally experienced its 
power. (Matt. 4:1-10.) 

But the natural explanation of this hatred is that the Bible 
differs notably from other books in that it gives no flattering 
picture of man and his world, but just the reverse. The Bible 
does not say that man is a noble being, ever aspiring towards 
the attainment of exalted ideals. It does ' not describe the 
career of humanity as "progress," as the brave and successful 
struggle of man against the evils of his environment; but 
quite the contrary, declares it to be a career of disobedience and 
departure from God, a preference for darkness rather than for 
light, "because their deeds are evil." 

The Bible does not represent man as having come, without 
any fault of his own, into adverse circumstances, and as being 
engaged in gradually overcoming these by the development and 
exercise of his inherent powers. It does not applaud his 
achievements, and extol his wonderful civilization. Quite the 
contrary. It records how God saw that the wickedness of man 
was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the 
thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen. 6:5.) 
It speaks of. man as "being filled with all unrighteousness, 
fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of 
envy, murder, strife, guile, evil dispositions ; whisperers, 
slanderers, hateful to God, insolent, proud, vaunting, inventors 
of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, 
perfidious, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful" 
(Rom. 1:29-31 Gr.). It says that "They are all under sin," 
that "There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that 
understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are 
all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable ; 

22 The Fundamentals 

there is none that doeth good, no not one" (Rom. 3:10-12). 
Man's condition by nature is described as "dead in trespasses 
and sins," "children of disobedience ; among whom also we all 
had our conduct in times past in the lusts of our flesh, ful- 
filling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by 
nature the children of wrath" (Eph. 2:1-3). 

The Bible has nothing to say in praise of man or of his 
natural endowments. On the contrary, it derides his wisdorii 
as "foolishness with God." It declares that God has made 
foolish the wisdom of this age (1 Cor. 1 :20) ; that the natural 
man is incapable of receiving the things of the Spirit of God 
(1 Cor. 2:14) ; and that if any man thinks that he knows any- 
thing, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. (1 Cor. 

Nor does the Bible predict the ultimate triumph of "civili- 
zation." It does not say that the progress of humanity shall 
bring it eventually to a vastly better state of things. It does not 
say that human nature shall improve under the influences of 
education and self-culture, even with that of Christianity 
added. On the contrary, it declares that evil men "shall wax 
worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Tirn. 

Even of "this present evil age" (Gal. 1:4), during which 
the professing church is the most conspicuous object on earth, 
and during which the world has the enormous benefit resulting 
from the light of revelation and an open Bible, it is not pre- 
dicted that man and his world would undergo any improve- 
ment, or that the developments of the age would be in the 
direction of better conditions on earth. On the contrary, the 
Bible declares that "in the last days perilous [or difficult] 
times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, 
lovers of money, vaunting; proud, evil speakers, disobedient 
to parents, untruthful, unholy, without natural affection, im- 
placable, slanderers, inconsistent, savage, not lovers of good, 
betrayers, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than 

Life in the Word 23 

lovers of God; having a form of piety, but denying the power 
of it" (2 Tim. 3:1-5 Gr.). 

Sucli is the character of man, and such is to be the result, 
as Scripture foretells it, of all his schemes of betterment, 
education, development, self-culture, civilization and char- 
acter-building. And because of this the Bible is heartily de- 
tested. Men have sought nothing more earnestly than they 
have sought to destroy this appallingly accurate portrait of 
themselves and their doings. How astonishing it is that any 
intelligent person should suppose that man drew this picture 
of himself, and predicted this as the outcome of all his own 
efforts ! No wonder the Bible is hated, and for the simple 
and sufficient reason that it declares the truth about man and 
his world. The Lord Jesus set forth clearly both the fact and 
its explanation when He said to His unbelieving brethren, 
"The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I 
testify of it that the works thereof are evil" (John 7:7). 

Again, the Bible is hated because it claims the right to ex- 
ercise, and assumes to exercise, authority over man. It speaks 
as one having authority. It issues commands to all. It says, 
"Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not." It does not simply advise 
or commend one course of action rather than another, as one 
would address an equal, but it directs men imperatively what 
they shall do, and what they shall not do. In this manner it 
addresses all ranks and conditions of men kings and gover- 
nors, parents and' children, husbands and wives, masters and 
servants, rich and poor, high and low, free and bond. In this, 
too, we have a characteristic of the Bible which distinguishes 
it from all other books. It is no respecter of persons. But 
for this cause also it is hated ; for men are becoming more and 
more impatient of all external authority. The principles of 
democracy, the essence of which is the supremacy (virtually 
the divinity) of man, has thoroughly leavened, all society in 
the progressive nations of the earth. There is a sentiment 

24 . The Fundamentals 

abroad, which finds frequent expression and meets always 
with a sympathetic reception, to the effect that man has been 
shackled through the ages by narrow theological ideas whereof 
the Bible is the source, and that the time has arrived for him 
to throw off this bondage, to arise in his true might and 
majesty, and to do great things for himself. 

^ It is a most impressive fact that, in all the visible universe, 
there is nothing that assumes authority over man, or that 
imposes laws upon him, except the Bible] Once thoroughly 
rid of that troublesome book, and man will be finally rid of all 
authority, and will have arrived at that state of lawlessness 
predicted in the New Testament prophecies, wherein society 
will be ready to accept the leadership of that "lawless one," 
whose coming is to be after the working of Satan, with all 
power, and signs, and wonders of falsehood, and with all 
deceit of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they 
received not a love of the truth that they might be saved. (2 
Thess. 2:7-10.) 

/ This is perhaps the main purpose of the persistent attempts 
inVour day, mostly in the name of scholarship and liberal 
theology, to break