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

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 027:107 (Jul 1870)
Article: Revelation And Inspiration
Author: B. P. Barrows


Revelation And Inspiration

Rev. B. P. Barrows

No. VI

Sequel To The Gospel History

By the Sequel to the Gospel History we mean the collection of writings known as the Acts of the Apostles, the apostolic Epistles, and the Apocalypse. We apply to them the epithet “sequel,” not as implying that they were all written after the Gospel narratives (for the fourth Gospel, at least, is later than most of them), but as indicating that they followed naturally from the facts recorded by the four evangelists. The genuineness, integrity, and credibility of the Gospel narratives have been shown, in preceding Articles, to rest on an immovable foundation of testimony. We are thus prepared beforehand to expect not only a record of the labors of the apostles, and writings emanating from them, but also a record and writings resting on the same basis of supernatural facts as that which underlies the evangelic narratives. If the truth of the Gospel narratives can be denied, or the supernatural element eliminated from them, then the truth of the supernatural events recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, and

implied in the Pauline and catholic Epistles, becomes of itself improbable. But if the reality of the facts recorded in the four Gospels is admitted, there is an antecedent probability that the bright train of miraculous events inaugurated in connection with our Lord’s ministry will flow on, in greater or less measure, into the history of the primitive church, and also that we shall find written discussions and instructions, relating to the doctrines and duties of Christianity, such as those contained in the apostolic Epistles, It is very important to remember that the Saviour established his church only in its fundamental principles. He left to his apostles the work of publishing his gospel, and organizing churches among Jews and Gentiles. Some truths, moreover, of the highest importance, he gave only in outline, because the time for their full development had not yet come. Such were especially the doctrine of his atoning sacrifice on Calvary, with the connected doctrine of justification by faith; and the divine purpose to abolish the Mosaic economy, and with it the distinction between Jews and Gentiles. It must be obvious to all, that, for the accomplishment of the work thus committed to them, the apostles needed the supernatural illumination of the Holy Spirit, and also a supernatural seal of their authority. The Acts of the Apostles show us how both these wants were supplied.

First, in respect to the supernatural illumination of the Spirit, the Saviour had taught them, in plain terms, that the Holy Ghost could not come (that is, in his special and full influence...

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