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when the son is found, the sheep brought back, and the piece of silver recovered; there is "joy,” not merely among the angels, but in the presence of them; joy in the heart of the Father; joy in the heart of the Good Shepherd, Christ; joy in the Church, as symbolised by the woman possessing the Spirit, or "light;' for neither God nor Christ are ever symbolised by a woman, but the Church always is: a “virgin," the “ bride," etc.

The prodigal had tasted the bread of the father's house, and knew the plentiful supply; but he did not know the fulness of blessing, till he had tasted restoring grace. Then he knew, not only relationship, but divine righteousness, “ the best robe,” etc. The elder brother is a thorough sample of Pharisaism among saints. . He had no idea of what was becoming in his Father, as the “God of all grace.” And the Father's grace is shown to him, for he says, going out to him, “ Son, thou art ever with me,"—thou hast not wandered from the house--" and all that I have is thine." What a foolish thought, that his Father never gave

him “ a kid,_" all that I have is thine ; but here was the point, “it was meet that we should be glad," etc. And this is just where saints need instruction now; for, like the elder brother, they are very slow in entering into God's joy in " grace." Paul had to write to the Corinthians to restore the excommunicated person who was sorry for his sin, “ lest Satan should get an advantage." Would that we could say “we are not ignorant

” of his devices" (see 2 Cor. ii. 7–11). Many a poor sheep has not only not been “sought after,” in this cloudy and dark day; but when it has run bleating to the threshold, as it were, it has been hunted off. This is not exhibiting God. It is making the table ours instead of the Lord's.

Were I asked for an Old Testament instance of restoring grace, I should point to David ; if asked for a New Testament one, I should point to Peter.

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I weary? Oh no! I am unweary: it is the world all around me that is weary-not I.”. So said one. “A weary one, indeed, I am,” said another; "but one in whose soul hope ever lives. One spirit, but two different experiences.

No. VIII.

REMARKS ON REVELATION; INSPIRATION; SCRIPTURE; THE INFALLIBILITY OF SCRIPTURE AS WRITTEN, ETC.

I HAVE thought that a few remarks upon these subjects might, at the present moment, tend to help some to discern things that differ. In conscious weakness (such, indeed, as none but the God of all grace could stoop to use and own), I make the attempt.

1.-REVELATION. By revelation, so far as man is concerned, I understand the uncovering before man of truth which man is capable of recognising, but which he could never have attained to the knowledge of by his natural faculties as man. The nature of that which is thus made known (whether things past, present, or to come,-persons or doctrines, etc.), matters not; neither, as we shall see, does the mode in which the knowledge is communicated, etc., enter into the definition of revelation.

• The Jews used to speak of four degrees in divine communications :-/st. Prophecy ; 2ndly. The Holy Spirit; 3rdly. The Urim and Thummim; and, 4thly. A voice from heaven. The first two of these may, at first sight, seem to be identical. But while both of them may flow from within map through the Holy Spirit, there is this important difference between the two; the former are what flow forth before men, whether teaching or prediction. The Spirit may reveal in a man that which was not to go beyond himself as before God. It might not be understood, as a tongue, etc. (1 Cor. xiv. 6, 28); it might be as the seven thunders which uttered their voices (Rev. x. 4), or (as 2 Cor. xii. 2-4) things which were blessing to the individual

, but not to be reported. The great work of the prophets of old was preaching; and their labour was, by no means, confined to predicing. The prophets of the New Testament time wrote the Scriptures. VOL. XII. PT.II.

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It must be clear to any simple mind, that a man does not, and cannot, intuitively know what preceded His existence here on earth, or what will follow after the moment actually present. And man-Adam in the garden of Eden—could not know intuitively, of the creation of that part of the world which preceded his own existence, as the account of it is given to us in Scripture (Gen. i. 1-26). If Adam knew it at all, it was by a divine communication. So, again, as to the revelation given to John in Patmos. The great mass of the things revealed were lying in the distant future. It was only by a divine communication, that John could know them.

Now, how Moses learnt about the creation of the world we know not. Were it through a vision, in which the scenes were made to pass before him; or were it by tradition, handed down to him from Adam, of what God revealed to him; or were it by thoughts breathed into him by God, through a “ Thus saith the Lord,” as in Old Testament times; or were it that God told Moses himself about it, as one man speaketh face to face with a friend -as, indeed, He did communicate to Moses all about the tabernacle, etc., when on the mountthe mode of communication matters not; the how the revelation was made to Moses, who wrote the account of it for us, this is not the important thing. Again, John, in the Apocalypse, learnt by seeing and hearing, and so far, the mode of the revelation being made to him was unlike the mode in which the Spirit of the Lord came upon a Balaam, a Saul, an Isaiah, etc., with a “ Thus saith the Lord.”

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" Balaam and Saul had, though they were wicked men, a flow of truth breathed through them, of truth which no mere man could ever have attained to as mere man. It was a divineb communication. Now, the mode of communication to Moses in the Mount, and to David (as to the patterns of the tabernacle, the temple, etc.) were of

b 1 Pet. i. 10–12, shews us, that the divine communication of truth to man was quite distinct, in Old Testament times, at least, from the communication of intelligence in that truth.

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other kinds altogether from a “ Thus saith the Lord.” Again, the four evangelists saw and heard all that they wrote

, apparently, as following their Master upon earth, and conversant with others that did so likewise. Much of what they wrote about was perfect as a revelation. They had seen and heard; “God manifest in the flesh, full of grace and truth." They had, as men in the body, had the Christ of God as their Leader and Master. НЕ was the revelation of God in the highest sense of the term. But then there were a number of outside facts which were not in themselves revelations (Acts i. 21, 22), which, also, they had to write about.

Enough has been said to shew what revelation is. And, if we consider the person of our blessed Lord while upon earth, we shall see how the purest, fullest, most perfect revelation

, even that of God himself in His Son (Heb. i. !), can exist and be before man in open display quite independently of inspiration, or of sacred scripture. No man hath seen God at any time. “ The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him (John i. 18; 1 John i. 1, 2).

INSPIRATION. We have seen, then, that there may be revelation without inspiration. The blessed Lord Jesus was in His own person, as God manifest in the Aesh, a pure revelation of the truth. Yet because of his very

fulness-in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodilywe could not say he was inspired. To say so, would be an injurious limitation to His glory; for He was not one merely breathed into; but the one who could breathe upon and into man. Of whom but Himself alone could it have been written, “ Then said He to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father

hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and

God shewed Moses the patterns (Ex. xxv. 9, 40; Num. viii. 09; David gave Solomon the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit” (1 Ch. xxviii. 12). « All the Lord made me to understand in writing by his hand upon me, all the works of this pattern” * The word here is not " revealed” but “ declared,éényéopai.

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saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained” (John xx. 21-23). Again, I think it may fairly be said, that inspiration is based upon revelation; so that wherever there is inspiration, there, of necessity, revelation is presupposed. There may be, as was shewn before, revelation independently of inspiration; but there is never inspiration independent of revelation.

When Paul wrote (2 Tim. iii. 16), All scripture is (OCOTTVEVOTOS) given-by-inspiration-of-God (God-inspired; literally, breathed of God), he gave us, from God Himself, a very solemn peculiarity of the scriptures. He is speaking of the scriptures, they are God-breathed. The essential distinctive quality « θεοπνευστος” attaches there to scripture; and so is distinguishable from what is written in 2 Peter i. 21, “ The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy MEN of God SPAKE as they were moved (carried) by the Holy Ghost." For here—in a retrospective view taken of prophecy, and prophecy as spoken in olden times to Israel-he speaks of the inspiration of the speaker. In the other passages (2 Tim. iii. 16) it is said the scripture—all scripture—is inspired. The words of a man God-breathed, and the writings of a man God-breathed, are very distinguishable. To the faith of an individual believer, Scripture is much more; for, as used by the Spirit of God, it is, as the breath of God; giving life, nourishment, defence, etc., all instrumentally that faith needs (2 Tim. iii. 17). I notice this, here, because it is important, and is connected with inspiration, not in the action of inspiring, but in an effect which is of immeasurable importance to man. There is a standard measure of truth; standard and touchstone which was given by inspiration, in the highest, and, as I believe, purest sense; there is one Book, the writing of which, and the book as written, is inspiration, and inspiration without alloy. The movement, by the Holy Ghost, of holy men, who spake, was, in itself, both divine and

pure; but over and beyond this-grace gave A BOOK which contained all that truth which God saw

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