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The Bible, A Progressive Revelation.

The Bible, A Progressive Revelation.

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Published by glennpease

" God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past
unto the fathers by the prophets, hath ia these kit days spoken unto us by

" God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past
unto the fathers by the prophets, hath ia these kit days spoken unto us by

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 09, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE BIBLE, A PROGRESSIVE REVELATIO.BY JOH CORDER, " God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath ia these kit days spoken unto us by hisSon."— The Bible is beyond our human praise. Its fruits are its witness. It carries a light to enlighten, and a power to impress humanity which have left their marks deep and strong upon the world. ot only by those who have regarded its contents with unquestioning ve- neration, but by those, also, who have questioned every line and criticised its contents with the utmost freedom, has testimony been rendered to its wonderful excel- lence and power. How its familiar words ring in the ears of the successive generations, laden with comfort, hope, strength and joy ! The generations have called it blessed ; and a blessed book, indeed, it is. For it con- veys a divine word uttered for human help and guidance in what pertains to the greatest and gravest interests which concern man. . ^ -^-^ - 72 SERMO V. From the words of our text I propose to offer some remarks on the Bible as the Record of a Progressive Divine Revelation. Two modes of treatment are open to me, a formal method and a way less formal. The subject is too large to be satisfactorily treated in formal order within the limits of a single discourse. If my chief purpose, however, were to urge conclusions I should be compelled to proceed formally, but as my pur- pose is rather to excite enquiry I may follow the leadings of my thought without reducing them to formal method.
The text is familiar and frequently cited : " God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." And the utter- ances of his prophets and his Son are on record for our use in this volume, which we call the Bible. o volume can have such claim on our regard as this one, and as we value it, we should seek to reach an mtelligent appre- ciation of its contents. Who honors the Bible most? He who uses it blindly, without giving diligence in this direction, or he who presses every faculty into this ser- vice, and seeks to know truly what the will of the Lord is ? When we find utterances in the Bible, which bear clear marks of human infirmity and imperfection do we honor it in any way, by blindly insisting that such utterances are divine ? Do we not rather honor it when with reverent and discriminating thought we distinguish between the divine element in the Bible and its humaa accessories, and thus divesting the divine word of such perplexities, we have it in its simplicity to hide in our THE BIBLE, A PROGRESSIVE REVELATIO. 73 hearts ? And to this end, the tendencies of our best modern thought are steadily setting. There is a moving upon the face of the waters in this age, which is destined to lift theology out of the chaos and confusion of obsolete ecclesiastical formulas, and bring it more into harmony with God's gifts of reason and love bestowed on man. And this accomplished, humanity will rejoice with a  joy unknown before. With a science of God, i.e. a theo- logy, brought into open and declared harmony with the character of God and with God's gifts of reason and love bestowed on man, ?:eligion will shine with a new meaning in the world, and burn with a new force in the hearts of men. Christianity, w^hich is a spiritual religion, will then come to be spiritually apprehended.
Christianity, which is a universal religion, will then come to be universally accepted. The spirit of schism and sectarism — developing itself in Calvinism, Armi- nianism, Congregationalism, Presbyterianism, Church- ism, Wesleyanism, and the like — will then be broken. And then may we look for the advent of the new heavens and the new earth. If we look for the topic which now most agitates the English-speaking Protestant world, we shall find that it relates to the Bible. What is the Bible and how is it to be regarded ? What is the nature and measure of its inspiration and authority ? These are questions which are now uppermost, discussed in popular tracts, in learned treatises, and brought into the highest courts of the English realm. o questions can be of graver import. During many years past they have 74 SERMO V. been forcing themselves on public attention. They have been long evaded or ignored by those who ought to have met them, but the time for ignoring them is past. How are they to be met ? I answer they ought to be met honestly, and with an honest purpose of serving the cause of truth rather than the cause of tradition. Parties are widely separated in this dis- cussion. And nowhere is the diflference of view seen to be wider than among those who have signed the same church creeds and articles of faith. The matter stands thus : all concede to the Bible the highest regard and veneration — all affirm that to it, more than to any other book, the human race is indebted for moral advancement and spiritual elevation. All con- cede that it conveys to man a divine revelation of the first importance to him for his present guidance and eternal safety. But a marked difference exists as to the character of the record itself, and the manner in

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