The Preaching By Christ To The Spirits In Prison. Remarks On 1 Peter III 18—21 -- By: John Brown

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 004:16 (Nov 1847)
Article: The Preaching By Christ To The Spirits In Prison. Remarks On 1 Peter III 18—21
Author: John Brown

The Preaching By Christ To The Spirits In Prison.
Remarks On 1 Peter III 18—21

John Brown

Part I

Οτι καὶ Χριστὸς ἅπαξ περί ἁμαρτιῶν ἔπαθε, δίκαιος ὑπὲρ ἀδίκων, ἵνα ἡμᾶς προσαγὰγη τῷ, θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκὶ, ζωοποιηθεὶς δὲ τῷ πνεύματι: ἐνᾧ καὶ τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύ μασι πορευθεὶς ἐκήρυξεν, ἀπειθήσασί ποτε, —.1

The Bible has often been represented as a book full of obscurities and difficulties; by infidels who wish to disprove its divine

origin; by Roman Catholics who need an argument to prove the necessity of tradition, on which their system rests, and an apology for their apparently impious and paradoxical conduct in withholding a confessedly divine revelation from the unrestrained perusal of the common people and endeavoring to keep it covered by the veil of a dead language; and by mere nominal Christians among Protestants who equally need an excuse, for their habitual neglect of a volume, which they admit to be of divine authority, and profess to regard as the ultimate rule of religious faith and moral duty. And if the Bible was really so full of obscurity and difficulty, if it was the ambiguous and unintelligible book it has been represented, neither the careless Protestant nor the cautious Catholic would be much to be blamed except for inconsistency, and even with this minor fault the infidel would not be greatly chargeable, for if he can make out his premises that the Bible is an unintelligible book, there can be little difficulty in admitting his conclusion that it is not a divine one;—a book full of darkness cannot come from Him who “is light and in whom there is no darkness at all,” and it is certainly useless to read what it is impossible to understand.

But it is not true, that the Holy Scriptures are full of obscurities and difficulties. The Bible, generally speaking, is a very plain book. It would not be easy to find a book of its size, on its subjects, in which there is so much level to the apprehension of ordinary understandings. No person who sits down to its study, with an honest wish to apprehend its statements, will find any great difficulty in discovering what are the doctrines it unfolds, or what are the duties it enjoins. “The commandment of the Lord is pure,”2 i.e. clear as the light of heaven, “and it enlightens the eyes.” But though t...

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