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As the supreme

revealed to them. Just in so far as this consciousness of God awakens a corresponding consciousness of God in us, is it a revelation of God to us, and no further. The Bible is, therefore, to be conceived, not as an unnaturally divine book, nor as a book partly divine and partly human; it is a divine-inhuman book, and to us all the more divine because human. Through it God is revealed to our consciousness, because in it God is seen revealed in the consciousness of its writers. We see God in it, not apart from human consciousness, but in human consciousness, not as he is in himself, but as he was seen, felt, realized, by holy men. revelation of God to man in life is God dwelling in man in the incarnation, so the supreme revelation of God to man in literature is God dwelling in the writers of the books which constitute the literature.

When, therefore, he who is accustomed to the conception of an infallible and inerrant book asks the modern student how, on this conception of the Bible as a divine-in-human book, it is possible to separate the divine from the human, and tell what is divine and what human, the answer is that it is no more possible to make such a separation in the Bible than it is to separate the divine from the human in Christ. The Bible is not a composite of divine gold mixed with human alloy, which we must somehow separate from the alloy in order to get a standard degree of fineness. It is rather like oxygen mixed with nitrogen in the air that we may better breathe it. What reader can tell how much of his thinking

do so.

is inspired by Carlyle, how much by Robertson, how much by Thackeray, how much by Browning ? The more thoroughly he has thought over what he has read, and the more he has made that thought his own, the less he can distinguish the sources and the inspiration of his thinking. So the closer these holy men were to God, the less possible it was for them to tell what of their thoughts were divine in source and what were their own; still less can we make such a discrimination. Nor is it desirable to

What we need is not merely God, but God in and therefore a book which gives us a record of the experiences of men in whom God dwelt is a more valuable book to conduct us to God than a book which should give us, were such a book possible, a representation of God apart from men. The fact that the writers were men of like passions as we ourselves are, that they saw in part and prophesied in part, and saw as in a glass darkly, makes them the better interpreters of the life of God to us, in our partialism and our imperfection. This collection of books is a record of the experiences of men who had in larger or lesser degree the consciousness of God dwelling in them. It is a record of religious experience, and that is a record of the life of God in the soul of man; not of the life of God only, but of the life of God in the soul of man; and the man in whom God dwells is quite as essential to the religious revelation as the God who dwells in him, because religion is the combination of the two, God and man, dwelling together.


11 Cor. xiii. 9, 12.

It does not, therefore, disturb us in the least to find human error and imperfection in the collection. We find, and we should expect to find, writers holding the scientific opinions of their times, thinking the world was flat; that the province in which they lived was nearly the whole of it; that the Mediterranean was the “Great Sea”; that the stars and sun and moon revolved around the earth on which they lived, and were made simply to light it. We find them absolutely ignorant of the laws of nature; never, therefore, even entertaining the question whether laws of nature were violated or not, but looking at all phenomena with childlike interest, as little children look at such phenomena now. We find them with as little ability to exercise critical historical judgment as to exercise scientific judgment, accepting without criticism the legends that come down to them, and seeking in them for some vision or some modification of their vision of God in his world. We find them from the first believing that God is a righteous God, and demands righteousness of his children; but in the earlier stages not knowing what righteousness is, and growing to a broader and better conception of righteousness as the race grows in age and in experience. And to find such errors, scientific, historical, philosophic, in this record of the religious experience of a race, does not disturb in the least our faith that the collection contains a revelation of God in man and to man.1

1 See chapter ii., “The Evolution of the Bible,” in my Evolution

With this radical change in our theological conception comes a change scarcely less radical in our process of analysis and synthesis. We study the Bible no longer by texts; we analyze it no longer into texts; we no longer even print it in texts, or we indicate the texts by numbers in the margin, as in the Revised Version. We study the Bible by books and by authors; we compare, not text with text, but author with author. We endeavor to ascertain the character of the author, his temperament, the time in which he lived, the audience to which he spoke, the immediate purpose which animated him. Single texts are no longer conclusive ; they are valuable just in the measure in which they are an interpretation of what a devout soul thought under the inspiration of God about the truth of God. We no more go to the Bible for a text to settle for us what is the truth, or what the teaching of the Bible, or what even the teaching of the individual writer, than we go to a single sentence in a speech of Daniel Webster to settle for us what is his teaching. We measure Paul by entire Epistles ; the Psalmist by an entire Psalm ; each writer by the totality of his writing. In brief, we apply to this collection of writings the same methods of critical study which we apply to any other, sure that the best method of getting at the thought of God is to get at the life of the man in whom he dwelt and whose experience he inspired.1 of Christianity, for some illustrations of the principle embodied in this paragraph.

1 Excellent illustrations of the fruit of this method of study are

This method of study by literary, not textual, analysis, founded on the theological assumption that God's revelation to man is in and through a human experience, gives, of course, very different results from the former method. Subjecting this book to this literary analysis, we find it, not a book, but a collection of writings. If we suppose, as I do, that the oldest book of the Bible, the Book of the Covenant,2 is, as to its essential contents, though not as to its literary form, as old as Moses, say about B. c. 1250, and that the Epistles of John are probably the latest books of the Bible, and were written about the close of the first century, then a period of thirteen or fourteen centuries elapsed between the earliest and the latest of these writings 3; and if we can ascertain even approxi

furnished by Prof. J. F. Genung's monograph on Job, The Epic of the Inner Life; by Dr. W. E. Griffis's monograph on the Song of Songs, The Lily among Thorns; and by some of the volumes of The Expositor's Bible, especially that of Dr. Samuel Cox on The Book of Ecclesiastes and that of Dr. George Adam Smith on The Book of Isaiah.

1 Professor Moulton's Modern Reader's Bible (The Macmillan Company) represents this fact to the eye by printing the Bible in separate volumes, each of them arranged, as far as practicable, as a complete volume and in the literary form which he supposes would characterize it, in order to bring out its true literary character.

2 Exod. xx. 1-xxiv. 7. See post, chapter iv., 66 The Political Institutions of the Hebrews."

8 If modern scholars are correct in attributing the second epistle of Peter to the middle or late part of the second century (see A. C. McGiffert's Apostolic Age, pp. 602, 603) the period covered by the Biblical writings must be extended.

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