Remarks On Certain Erroneous Methods And Principles In Biblical Criticism -- By: B. B. Edwards

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 006:21 (Feb 1849)
Article: Remarks On Certain Erroneous Methods And Principles In Biblical Criticism
Author: B. B. Edwards


Remarks On Certain Erroneous Methods And Principles In
Biblical Criticism

B. B. Edwards

A more sober and just method of studying the Bible may be among the favorable results which will flow from the political revolutions which are taking place in various parts of Germany. Some essential and salutary changes in the general habits of thinking and modes of investigation may be expected. We confidently look for this valuable moral product from these political strifes. The grounds for this encouragement are various. In the first place, a profounder and more practical religious feeling may be awakened. This was one result of the wars which followed the first French Revolution. It is said that there are indications in various parts of Germany of more earnest religious emotion. The “present distress,” the uncertainties which hang over all earthly things, have led some to look for “a city which hath foundation.” A natural consequence of these awakened sensibilities will be a more reverential regard to God’s written word, a profounder conviction that it is infallible and eternal truth. In the multifarious and conflicting systems of morals — each containing more or less of important truth — which have rapidly succeeded each other, in the attractive and exciting political theories which are now brought forward, not a few of which, on experiment, will be found insufficient or baseless, there may be a yearning of the heart for the simple truths of the Bible, a desire to place the feet on the rock of ages, a craving for an objective guide that cannot mislead. In other words, a revived sense of practical religion implies that serious state of mind without which the Scriptures will not be used aright, and will, therefore, be misinterpreted.

In the second place the Germans will become a more practical people. They now enjoy a much larger degree of civil liberty than at any former time. The responsibility of governing masses of people, of maintaining order, security and the rights of property, will be devolved, to a great extent, on the people themselves or their direct representatives. Now it may be safely asserted that ail who undertake to govern men, or in other words to maintain law and public order, will find the Christian religion indispensable, not a vague, shadowy, merely subjective religion, but a positive faith, which has definite articles, and is susceptible of external proof. A republican government of any considerable duration, is inconsistent with the effects of a rationalist interpretation of the Scriptures. A despotism may be sustained in the absence of Divine revelation, or in methods of interpreting such a revelation which really undermine all its authority. But the supreme power cannot be...

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