The Indivisible Nature Of Revelation -- By: E. P. Barrows
BSac 10:40 (Oct 1853) p. 764
The Indivisible Nature Of Revelation1
Nothing is more common than the explicit admission of principles, when they are stated abstractly in their naked form, and the implicit denial of the same by the maintenance of opinions which are irreconcilably at variance with them. The principles themselves are, perhaps, apprehended only in a dim and shadowy way, and their logical consequences are not so much as thought of. Hence the necessity of laying down first truths in a clear and definite manner, even though they be generally admitted, and following them out to their legitimate results. In all investigations of a moral nature this is necessary, but especially in the momentous question of Revelation; for here, more than anywhere else, we continually find men contradicting and disowning the necessary inferences from principles which they themselves admit, or, at least, will not venture to deny.
The proposition that Jesus of Nazareth was a Teacher sent from God, few of the present day would care to deny. Yet multitudes are for enough from acknowledging the weighty truths which this proposition wraps up in itself. To exhibit all these in detail does not come within the scope of the present Article, which has for its object to set forth the indivisible nature of Revelation. Taking the above-named proposition for our central point, we propose to consider the high and
BSac 10:40 (Oct 1853) p. 765
glorious truths that cluster around it, so far as these have a bearing upon our theme.
With the man who openly denies that Jesus was a messenger from God to men, we have at present no concern; but if any one acknowledges this as a true proposition, the first question (and a main question it is) will be, in what sense he holds it; since it is a custom with some of the present day first to eviscerate a proposition of its true and proper contents, and then admit it. Thus, to the question: Was Jesus a messenger sent from God to men? one of these modern philosophers might answer: “He was, for he had a mission to execute for the good of mankind, as had Confucius, and Zoroaster, and Alfred the Great, and Washington.” But the mission he makes to be purely providential, utterly excluding from it the supernatural element. And if it were again asked: Was Jesus an inspired teacher? he might reply: “He was, for all genius is inspired. It is a scintillation of the Infinite, a beam of the great universal Mind, Homer and Milton and Shakspeare were inspired to sing; Socrates and Plato, to teach men the philosophy of mind and morals; Newton and Laplace, to investigate the laws of nature; Tell and Washington, to vindicate the cause of liberty.” But inspiration is with him...
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