Confidence, The Youngest Daughter Of Caution -- By: Leonard Withington
BSac 21:81 (Jan 1864) p. 180
Confidence, The Youngest Daughter Of Caution
Evitando vivit anima, quae adpetendo moritur.
Augus. Conf. Lib. XIII § 21.
One of the proofs of the Bible’s being the word of God is, that it everywhere gives tokens of its coming from an omniscient mind. The test of omniscience is foresight. None can see into the future but God. The prophecies, therefore, as they roll on to their accomplishment, speak the wisdom of him who gave them. But it is not in the direct prophecies alone that the foresight of God is seen. We often find in human writings, and sometimes in authors of eminence, remarks that are sparkling and ingenious, but their truth can by no means endure the test of time. The ink is hardly dry on the paper before the teaching has lost its application and the author’s reputation has gone to ruin. As the hill that arises highest into the air is apt to stand upon the strongest granite foundation, so the permanency of a doctrine is the signal of the strength of its origination. The editorials of a partisan newspaper, the speech of a pleader in a private trial, a funeral sermon, and often a political oration, are calculated only for the hour. Their best beauties are like the hues on a cloud after a vernal sunset, dependent not only on a fading ray, but the direction of that fading ray, and soon to be followed by a darkness which obliterates their form and memorial, until they return, on another day, to an existence as transient and as soon to be forgotten.
It is one of the proofs of the divinity of the Bible, that ail its principles rest on a permanent foundation. Even when the transient appears, it is only a vesture to wrap up an immortal form. Generally speaking, we everywhere find the
BSac 21:81 (Jan 1864) p. 181
vestiges of far-reaching foresight. It is the professed object of the prophecies to foresee and foretell; and every coming age, until the coming of the millennial kingdom, is to magnify the wisdom which prepared its foundation and predicted its accomplishment But it is not in professed prophecy alone that this permanent wisdom is seen: The Bible never outlives its principles. The oldest book in the world is never out of date. “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.” How many instances of this divine permanency may be brought from the sacred record! It seems to us that most of the popular objections to the high truths of revelation have been anticipated, showing the foresight that secures their future existence. When Paul says “I speak...
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