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mer as divine.
Nothing more, then, can now be reasonably demanded from us, than to shew, that the New Testament, of the inspiration of which we are already convinced, gives its sanction to the Old.
I may begin with observing, that the New Testament is founded on the Old, proceeds on the supposition of its divinity, and professes to be an accomplishment of the plan laid down in its prophecies and typical institutions. “ Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days."* It might be remarked, that when we see an extensive and complex plan executed, at the distance of many ages, even in its minutest parts, by the agency of persons, too, many of whom were totally unacquainted with it, while nothing was farther from the intention of the rest than to contribute to its accomplishment, we must pronounce the book, in which it is detailed, to have been dictated by the Spirit of prophecy. But another opportunity will occur of introducing and illustrating this argument.
Our reasoning from the New Testament is not confined to the general argument drawn from its connexion with the Old, but extends to a variety of passages, in which the inspiration of the Jewish scriptures is acknowledged. Among the privileges of the Jews it is mentioned by Paul as the chief, that to them were committed “the oracles of God.”+ By these oracles are evidently meant, writings con
* Acts iii. 22. 24,
+ Rom. üi. 2
taining the revelations which God had made of his will to their fathers ; and that these writings were the same which were in common use among the Jews in his time, is evident from the references to them, in other parts of his epistles. In the second epistle to Timothy, he gives an express attestation to their divinity. “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteous
The scriptures, which he declares to be inspired, are chiefly, if not solely, the Jewish ; for they are the same which Timothy had known from his childhood ; and, in the early part of his life, no part of the New Testament was written. When our Saviour says to the Jews, “ Search the scriptures,” or, as the word would be more properly rendered, “ Ye search the scriptures; for in them ye have eternal life, and they are they that testify of me :” he means, by the scriptures, those writings which were held sacred among them; and he is so far from blaming them for believing their inspiration, that he justifies their esteem and respect for them, by subjoining, that they testified of him. The Jews, as we have already observed, divided their scriptures into the law, the prophets, and the holy writings. This arrangement was, in some respects, extremely inaccurate ; but under these three classes all the books of the Old Testament were comprehended. The following words, which have been already mentioned as a proof, that we possess the same books which in the days of Christ were received by the Jews, may be again brought forward to shew, that they come to us under the sanction of his approbation. 6 These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me."* The greater part of the books of the Old Testament are quoted in the New : and the quotations are often introduced under the title of the scripture," the writing, by way of eminence, that is, the inspired writing, as is plain from the passage in the second epistle to Timothy, mentioned above ; and they are always represented as of equal authority with the sayings of the apostles. “The scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying, In thy seed shall all nations be blessed." “ But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." " What saith the scripture ? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." “ The scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." “ Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning ; that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”+ To enumerate all the instances of the same kind would be endless, and is perfectly unnecessary. I shall only add on this point, that neither Christ nor his apostles ever charged the Jews with having lost or suppressed any part of the scriptures ; with having inserted any human composition into the sacred canon ; or with having adulterated the inspired writings with a mixture of their own opinions ; so that we are cer
* 2 Tim. iii. 16. † John v. 39.
tain that the ancient revelation hath been transmitted to us pure and entire.
The conclusion from these premises is obvious and incontrovertible. If the books of the Old Tese tament be declared in the New to be inspired, the necessity of any farther proof of their inspiration is superseded. We are authorized, by the argu. ments in the two preceding chapters, to assert, that the apostles and evangelists wrote under the impulse and by the assistance of the Holy Ghost. When they say, therefore, that the Old Testament is inspired, their testimony has equal authority, and claims equal credit, as when they publish any of the doctrines, or inculcate any of the duties of the christian religion. It was not more possible that they should err in the one case than in the other. In truth, their testimony ought to be considered as the testimony of the same Spirit, by whom the writers of the Old Testament were assisted. It is the Holy Ghost speaking by them, who affirms, that the Jewish scriptures are not the unassisted compositions of either pious or impious men; but were framed under his immediate direction and by the aid of his inspiration. They could not, therefore, without manifest inconsistency, be rejected by any person who is previously convinced of the divine authority of the New Testament. Indeed, if we be fully persuaded of the inspiration of the latter, as we cannot reasonably doubt, so we will feel no inclination to doubt, the inspiration of the former.
Here then, we might close our proof, and proceed to the next branch of the subject. That I may not seem, however, to pass too slightly over a matter so important, and that nothing may be omit
ted through haste, by which the faith of the reader might be established, I shall, in the following part of the chapter, give a concise view of the arguments, which seem to prove, independently of the authority of the New Testament, that the books of the Old are inspired. In order to bring forward distinctly the different species of arguments which are applicable to different books, I shall divide them into three classes; the Books of Moses, the Historical Books, and the Prophetical. Under these divisions they will all be comprehended, except a few, concerning which I shall subjoin soine separate remarks.
I. I begin with the Books of Moses, which are first in order.
In proving their divinity, I shall pursue a train of reasoning similar to that employed in the second argument for the inspiration of the New Testament. . I beg leave, then, to lay down and illustrate the two following propositions, of which the second is a native and indisputable inference from the first. Moses was the writer of those books which are universally ascribed to him. If he wrote those books, they are inspired.
The first of these propositions is not only highly probable, from the spirit of ancient simplicity which breathes in the books, and renders it very unlikely that they were fabricated in a later age ; but it is as certain as any thing of this nature can be, from the unanimous testimony of the Jews. If we believe other nations, with respect to the antiquity and authors of their laws, no reason can be assigned, why we should not give equal credit to them. Their testimony is as good as that of the Athe