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(p. 145.)

[How the Inspired authors of the New Testament handle the writings of the Inspired authors of the Old.]

“LET me repeat:—The question is, how we should address ourselves to the study of the sacred page? For example, how am I to regard, and how to deal with, the great diversities there are between the several sacred writers? For there is the greatest diversity of mind appearing between them. St. Paul is no more the same with St. John, than any two Food men now are perfectly alike in their constitution of mind. Nay, the diversity seems especially great in the car of the sacred writers: as if to forbid us to adopt any theory which should ignore or neglect that diversity. It is striking. How shall I deal with these and like circumstances? . . . Can it be suggested to me what a good and wise man would do in this matter?

“In answer; it can apparently be suggested; and through that which is the best and safest of arguments, the argument from analogy. For there has been a parallel case; the case of the inspired writers of the New Testament dealing with the Scriptures of the Old. To this parallel I now invite your attention. If we can observe how and. upon what great principles, piety and wisdom, guided by Inspiration, dealt with the volume of the Holy Scriptures which were then its whole volume, namely the Old Testament; we have so far 272forth a parallel case to the case of Christians now. The first Christians looked back on the Old Testament as their sacred Scriptures. If we can discern how they regarded their sacred volume, and how they proceeded in interpreting it, we have a pattern to guide us in regard of the question, how we shall regard the sacred volume, and how proceed in the study and interpretation of it; they with the Bible that they had,—we with the Bible that we have, the completed volume.—In this point of view I cannot but regard it as most distinctly providential that there are introduced in the pages of the New Testament so many quotations from the pages of the Old. For they furnish us with an answer applicable in every age of the Church to the question, How shall piety and wisdom deal with a sacred volume; that volume being from the pen of many writers; but with this aggravated difficulty in the former case, that the writers there were widely separated from one another in point of time, were in contact therefore with most difficult forms of fife and stages of society P How in approaching a volume so originated, did the New Testament writers regard and deal with its contents?”—Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 183-5.

“And it is impossible for us to imagine—I say the thoughtful reader of the Holy Scriptures will find it impossible to imagine,—an Evangelist or Apostle, evoking out of its grave the Human Element of the ancient prophetic communications; disinterring it once more as if to gaze upon it. I am sure the impression left on the mind by the passages in the New Testament where the Old is referred to, is in accordance with what I say. In other words,—(for it is but in other words the same,)—these divinely instructed students,—these inspired readers of the sacred page,—are aware of that which they read, being inspired; God its author, awl not Alan. And they shew this consciousness, putting off their shoes from their feet, as if on holy ground. A divinely instructed mind, interprets a divinely indited Scripture; the Spirit His own interpreter; and we are taught,—not by man but by the Author of Inspiration,—how Inspiration is to be dealt with.—Let him who would deal aright with the sacred pages of the New Covenant, observe in due seriousness what instruction he may gain from the consideration now suggested to his thoughts. Let him learn from the sacred page, how to deal with the sacred page. And if he has observed these things; if he has seen how the writers of the New Testament, discern in lines and words of the Old Testament, that which speaks to them,—(for it speaks to Christ, and in Him to His Church, i.e. to 273them:) . . . . how these utterers of inspired sounds are found, when their words receive at length an authentic interpretation, to have been speaking of the Christian Church, its terms of Salvation, its spiritual gifts;—a reader of the Holy Scriptures practised in these observations will have learned in some measure how to approach the sacred volume; with a sense not only of its unfathomed depth, but also of its unity of scope; and a conscious interest rather in its universal truths,—its ever present truths,—than in those transitory imports which some of its pages can be shewn to have had, over and above their Evangelical meaning.”—(Ibid., pp. 186-9.)

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