Introduction To The Pastoral Epistles -- By: B. B. Edwards

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 008:30 (Apr 1851)
Article: Introduction To The Pastoral Epistles
Author: B. B. Edwards


Introduction To The Pastoral Epistles

B. B. Edwards

It is a gratifying fact, that amidst the prevalent scepticism in Germany, the Scriptures have found able defenders. If the authenticity and integrity of the sacred books have been assailed with great pertinacity and acuteness, they have also been vindicated with signal ability and success. Talent has been matched with equal talent; learning has been confronted with still ampler knowledge. In the benignant providence of God, the country which has supplied the poison has furnished the antidote.

But however important the defence of the Bible may be in Germany itself, it is thought by some to be a superfluous task in Great Britain and in this country. Why should English and American scholars trouble themselves with the Teutonic scepticism? Why should our periodical publications lay before their readers the results of inquiries which would never else be entered upon, the solution of doubts which would never else be started? A sufficient answer is, that the scepticism is not confined, and cannot be, to the continent of Europe any more than English or French infidelity in the last century, could be confined to London and Paris. Error flies on the wings of every wind. It is impossible to lay an embargo upon it in any country of Christendom. It will meet and battle with truth on every field. Papal and neological dogmas cannot be imprisoned in the countries of their birth. Our candidates and ministers would do well to resort to the great Protestant armories of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and be prepared on all points to meet the Bellarmins and Bossuets of the present day. Alike necessary will it be to encounter the sophistries of the “higher criticism,” which has had its Congenial soil in Germany. The emigration to this country from the German States is very large, and will occasion, no doubt, the influx of no inconsiderable amount of learned rationalism. The new States will be particularly obnoxious to this evil. To encounter it successfully, truth must have her numerous and well-trained champions. Besides, the mischief is widely propagated through the written page. It is stated, on high authority, that well prepared translations of Strauss’s “cunningly devised” work on the Gospels.

is largely circulated and read in England, in the form of tracts. It may soon be found that the elaborate work of Dr. Davidson on the New Testament, in which he has refuted (as some suggest unnecessarily) so many errors of the Strauss and Tübingen schools was published none too early.

Another answer would be that in discussing and overthrowing an error, valuable truths are elicited. The collision casts new light on some important doctrine. Fresh...

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