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Truth, The Instrument of Regeneration.

Truth, The Instrument of Regeneration.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY AUSTIN PHELPS



IT is the misfortune of some of the doctrmes
of our religion that theological inquiry has
often confounded their speculative with their
practical elements. Questions respecting
them which never can be answered in this
world have stood side by side, as if of equal mo-
ment, with those which must be answered if an
earnest mind would find peace.
BY AUSTIN PHELPS



IT is the misfortune of some of the doctrmes
of our religion that theological inquiry has
often confounded their speculative with their
practical elements. Questions respecting
them which never can be answered in this
world have stood side by side, as if of equal mo-
ment, with those which must be answered if an
earnest mind would find peace.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 09, 2014
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TRUTH, THE ISTRUMET OF REGEERATIO. BY AUSTI PHELPSIT is the misfortune of some of the doctrmes of our religion that theological inquiry has often confounded their speculative with their practical elements. Questions respecting them which never can be answered in this world have stood side by side, as if of equal mo- ment, with those which must be answered if an earnest mind would find peace. The views of truth which are commended to the faith of an inquirer often exhibit, therefore, a singular med- ley of knowledge and conjecture. Volumes have been compiled of the Curiosities of Literature. A good service would be rendered to practical religion if the curiosities of theology could be detached from its essential facts, yet without abridgment of legitimate theological inquiry. The necessity of such a distinction becomes 103 Hosted by Google 104 THE EW BIRTH,
 
the more obvious the nearer we approach to any one of those centres of theological thought which represent an intermingling of agencies in human destiny. Such a centre of truth is the doctrine of The ew Birth. In the spirit of these re- marks, let us now consider the Instrumentality of Truth in Regeneration. I. BIBLICAL VIEW OF TRUTH AS A POWER, The scriptural representations on this subject are not recondite; yet they cover all those points of inquiry on which we need instruction, that we may form a consistent theory of the working of Divine Grace. They may be cited, not so much for their force as proof-texts, as for their pertinence in. giving us the inspired do'c- trine in inspired expression. Fortunately, the most salient of the passages declarative of this doctrine need no comment. To utter them is to explain them. It is diiBcult to mistake the import of the text : "Of his own will begat He us with the word of truth." To the same effect Hosted by Google EMBLEMS OF TBUTH. 105 is the Psalmist's declaration : " The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." The
 
entire burden of the one hundred and nine- teenth Psalm is a .tribute of adoration to Truth as an instrument of Divine purposes. Why was Paul " not ashamed of the gospel of Christ " ? Because " it is the power of God unto salvation." Dogmatic statements of doctrine, however, are not the favorite forms of inspiration. The most emphatic representations of doctrine in the Scriptures are pictures. Their forces of expres- sion depend on the significance of figurative language. Scriptural style is thus hieroglyphic. "I have heard of Thee," one might say, in com- paring the biblical revelation of God with unin- spired theology, — "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the car, but now mine eye seeth Thee." We must, therefore, often interpret calm and literal declarations by the light of other texts, in which the same truths are more intensely expressed or implied in metaphor. We must gain vividness of impression at the ex- pense of literal accuracy of formula. Thus Truth, as an instrument of God's will, is Hosted by Google 106 THE EW BIETH, at one time a lamp to the feet of a wanderer ; it is a light shining in a dark place. Then it is a

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