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“ With knowledge thereof my Servant will interpose for many,
And take up the load of their iniquities.
" Forasmuch as he poured out his life-blood,
And let himself be reckoned with the rebellious,
Did the Great Unknown, looking through the centuries, get a glimpse of Calvary, of the bloodstained face and the thorn-crowned brow, or did he only learn from the anguish of the past that all victory comes through battle and all salvation through suffering ? Did he only see the great generic truth, which too many men have failed to see, even though it is focused and centralized in the Passion of Jesus the Christ? I do not know; only this I know : that nowhere, not even by Paul, is that truth more splendidly illustrated in literature than in this fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, and nowhere has it such divine illustration in history as in the suffering and death of Jesus of Nazareth.
Of the great men of Hebrew history — save only Jesus of Nazareth, who can be classified with no race and no epoch, since he belongs to all humanity and all time - the three greatest are Moses, the Great Unknown, and Paul. The first is an indistinct figure; concerning his real relation to the Hebrew people much more has been imagined than is known; but history will always regard him as the great lawgiver, and always impute to him the foundations of those free institutions which the Jewish nation has given to the world. The second is still more indistinct. His name will never be known until God shall unroll the records of his servants' histories in the luminous glory of eternity. But he is of all the prophets the most majestic in his style, as the most spiritual in his message. The truth that God is one, and is a righteous God, and demands righteousness of his children, and will accept nothing less and asks for nothing more, he might bave learned from Amos and Hosea and Micah and Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel; but he added what none of them saw, the truth that the sorrowing ones are the triumphant ones, that suffering love is conquering love, that sorrow is victor. Christ's life and death will illustrate and exemplify this truth. Paul, the poet philosopher of the first century, will expound and apply it. But neither literature nor life has any higher message to give to the world than the message of this prophet, who has exemplified his own doctrine of self-abnegation by leaving his writings to be bound up with those of a predecessor, while he himself remains forever unknown.
1 Isa. liii., Polychrome Bible.
THE MESSAGE OF ISRAEL
Most of us can remember, and some of us still entertain, an opinion respecting the Bible something like the following: That there were in past history some thirty or forty men who were specially inspired of God to make known to the human race the truth respecting his nature and his law — truth which was undiscoverable by human reason, but which it was necessary to know in order to future salvation ; 1 that these men wrote what God told them to write, and what they thus wrote constitutes the Bible. Sometimes it was contended that they were simply amanuenses and wrote by dictation, word for word, what God directed them ; sometimes, and in later times more generally, it was believed that a certain human element entered into their writing, but it was supposed that they had what is called plenary inspiration, that is, that they were inspired upon all topics on which they wrote, and that on all topics on which they wrote they were infallibly accurate. Some of a more liberal or lax faith held that this inspiration did not extend to all the topics on which they wrote, but only to the moral and religious topics ; that they
1 See, for example, Westminster Confession of Faith, chap. i. $ 1.
might be in error in their figures, historical dates, or even scientific statements; but that in everything they said concerning the nature of God, the duties of man toward God, and the duties of men toward one another, they were infallibly accurate. Whichever of these views was taken, it was assumed that, so far as morals and religion are concerned, the Bible is an infallible standard of faith and practice, that whatever errors may have crept into it have been due to transmission, and not to original mistake on the part of the writers. The argument for this conclusion was very simple. The Bible, it is said, is the Word of God, and God is a God of truth, not of error. Into the Word of God, therefore, no errors can have crept; or if they have, it has been through human transmission, — in the original autographs there could be no error.
This view of the Bible leads into many intellectual and moral difficulties, so that to many of us it has become both intellectually and spiritually unthinkable. I do not propose to indicate those difficulties; there are enough engaged in that work; it is not necessary to duplicate their endeavors. My object in this closing chapter is to state the other and modern view, and in doing this, frankly to reaffirm that, in my judgment, between the ancient and the modern view there is a radical dif. ference; that those of us who hold the modern view do not merely hold that there are some errors in the Bible which have crept in by transmission, nor that there are some errors in the Bible in scientific and historical statements which are of no special consequence, nor even that here and there some errors may have crept in respecting moral and religious truth. We hold an entirely different conception of the origin, the nature, and the growth of the Bible.
In the new library building at Washington, the artist has undertaken to interpret by symbolic fig. ures upon the interior of the dome the several functions of the great nations in the world's history. Each nation is represented by an allegorical picture with a legend underneath. The legend for Judea is “Religion;" for Greece, “Philosophy;" for Rome, “ Administration ;” for Germany, “ Printing ;" for America, “Science.” The artist has perceived and interpreted a great fundamental spiritual truth — that to every nation God gives a special mission; that as the Washington Monument was built, every State contributing a stone to its erection, so the kingdom of God is built in the history of the world, every nation contributing something ; that in that great development of the human race, which the scientists call evolution and the Christian calls redemption, each nation has had some part to fulfill; that in that great progress toward what political economy calls democracy and religious faith perceives to be the kingdom of God, every nation has some share.
The message of the Hebrew people appears and reappears in the Hebrew writers. The Bible is not merely an anthology of Hebrew literature. It is