Revelation And Inspiration -- By: E. P. Barrows

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 026:101 (Jan 1869)
Article: Revelation And Inspiration
Author: E. P. Barrows

Revelation And Inspiration

Rev. E. P. Barrows

Genuineness Of The Gospel Narratives

In the two preceding numbers we examined some false assumptions against the supernatural in the sphere of nature, and revelation in the sphere of mind. The survey was of necessity very cursory. We could only indicate certain lines of argument, the exhaustive development of which would expand itself into volumes. It is not on the side of hyper-orthodoxy alone that a “pestilent metaphysics” has been employed. There is current at the present day a destructive metaphysics, whose grand aim is to throw doubt and suspicion on all our primitive intuitions, and thus to unsettle all truth — especially all moral and religious truth — at its very foundations, and which is abundantly employed in the service of a false cosmology, a false anthropology and psychology, and a false theology. This must be met on its own ground by a true constructive metaphysics. But we cannot pause to attempt this work in its details. We plant our feet firmly on the great primal truth that there is a

personal God, who is before nature, above nature, and the free Author of nature in her inmost essence, with all the systems of being that belong to nature. Standing on this immovable foundation, as on a mighty rock rising up out of the unfathomable abyss of eternity, we raise, first of all, the inquiry whether the supernatural manifestation of himself to men is a part of God’s plan for the administration of human affairs. This is a question of fact, not of theory. Nevertheless, it is proper to begin with certain

A Priori Considerations In Respect To Revelation

We may reasonably assume, then, that if God makes a supernatural manifestation of himself to men, the manner of his procedure will be in harmony with the general course of his providential government,, that is, it will not be at hap-hazard and in isolated, unconnected fragments, but according to some self-consistent plan; in other words, that the revelation will take the form of a supernatural economy, having a. beginning, progress, and consummation. This feature will at once separate it entirely from the dreams, divinations, and omens of heathenism, which have no systematic unity looking to a common result.

We may assume, again, that such supernatural manifestations will have some high moral end, transcending the sphere of physical good and evil and also the pure teachings of natural theology. They will not be made, for example, to instruct men in the medical art or in natural science, nor simply to inculcate upon them the duty of truth and justice.

Once more, it seems necessary to the idea of a supernatural revelati...

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