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Holy Ghost in the teacher himself. I say not discernible to him; but still it is there; for, if it be not there, then the energy that is there, is that which is born of the flesh, and is flesh; and human intellect is left to use known Scripture, and the gift of aptitude to talk.d
It has been quietly assumed by some, that the truth of God is a theory which is committed to man's care to hold, and to the teacher's intellect only to communicate. Because, in natural things, a man cannot give you what he does not possess, or teach that which he does not know, I cannot assume this to be true in divine things. I admit that I could not give the first principles of Hebrew grammar, and arithmetic, etc., unless I possessed them and knew them thoroughly myself. But is this true as to divine things? I say No: a young believer, whose heart and conscience has been reached by truth, through the Spirit of all grace, will often (if he does not go beyond his own experience, but, modestly, presents merely what himself has felt) be found to be a wise teacher. He cannot speak as a doctor; but he speaks of that which he has felt and known. Then, again, some of the best teaching that I ever heard was impromptu; the teacher learping in his chapter as he taught others. The Lord giving quite as much to him in teaching ; yea, sometimes, more than to the taught, though all might get a portion. And, again, when I am taught, that which the teacher presents may blend itself with matter previously in my mind ; matter which is altogether beyond the teacher's ken, or even standing, and which elicits truth new to me: truth which the teacher never thought of.
To degrade a teacher given of God to a mere com
If it is necessary that I, as an individual believer, should be strengthened with might by the Spirit in the inner man, that Christ
may dwell in my heart by faith, etc. (Eph. iii. 17); much more, if I am a teacher (and not being plenarily inspired as a writer of Scripture) must I have the holy Spirit's leading and guidance (iv. 14-16).
Ex. iii. 11-iv. 16; Jer. i. 6, 7; 2 Cor. ii. 6; x. 10, show with what weakness, and fear, and trembling, and (alas !) even guilty unbelief, the service of the most highly-endowed may be mixed,
municator of mentally known truth, is not to honour God, or to exalt oneself as His servant.
God has His own way of making a standard of truthset forth, in vindication of Himself and in warning to all, before all. But He never left that standard to accredit itself, nor His servants (prophets, apostles, or gifted men) to themselves in applying it.
" Paul may plant, Apollos water; it is God that giveth the increase” (1 Cor. iii. 6). “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zech. iv. 6). Apollos—how was it that he came to listen to an Aquila and a Priscilla (Acts xviii. 26), disciples of Paul, as they were (ver. 2)—when he afterwards had no ear to hear Paul (1 Cor. xvi. 12)? I suppose, that Paul was not one whit behind the chiefest of the apostles; but he found, with all his knowledge, gifts, and faithfulness, that he could not breathe into any soul, either gospel for sinners or truth for saints. He had to be faithful; and God was honoured, and man's wickedness was shown out, when he was faithful: for he was a sweet-smelling savour to God, both in them that are saved, and in them that perish. But the being a savour of life unto life; the building up, too, in the most holy faith, supposes a present action of the Holy Ghost attending the word, and this may not be ignored any more than the overruling and suggestion, by the Spirit, in the teacher.
NOTE ON INSPIRATION. In English, the word inspiration, usually, and not incorrectly, drops from the lips and pens of common people, and of accurate scholars too, as meaning "a breathing into."
The Church of England Prayer-book may fairly be quoted in this connection; viz., in proof of what both learned and unlearned mean by “inspiration."
“ Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Thee, and worthily magnify Thy name, etc. See the Collect in the Communion Service.
The idea is simple, and, as stated here, is scriptural: we need not only the written word, but, also, the inbreathing of the Holy Ghost, if love and holiness are to be perfected in us. Each believer is a temple of the Holy Ghost-truly: but who can read Rom. viii. 26 and 27, and Heb. iv. 12 and 13, without admitting that the Scripture theory is, that the Holy Ghost does form desires and prayers; and does apply a word to the heart in secret; and that this is not of man but of God. See, also, Phil. i. 19, “ through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ;" also ii. 12, 13.
The address to God, as Inspirer and Hearer of prayer, is commonly known; and is not, that I am aware of, unscriptural.
Again, in Bunyan, we find this same idea. He describes one of his experiences, ere he found peace. A thought possessed his soul, which seemed breathed into him, concerning the Christ; the thought was “ Sell Him,
; sell Him, sell Him, sell Him." Which he endeavoured to outspeak, and speak down by the words: “Not for a thousand worlds, not for a thousand worlds, not for a thousand worlds." But in vain; for the thought which Satan had breathed-in (it was a Satan-inspired thought) could not be smothered by Bunyan's words. Satan's spirit was stronger than his. And are not fiery darts often spoken of as Satan-inspired, breathed into us by Satan.
The damsel possessed with a spirit of divination (Acts xvi. 6) was Satan-inspired. So were the oracles of old. See also Acts v. 3; and 1 Cor vii. 5: 2 Cor. xi. 14; xii. 7 ; 2 Thess. ii. 9, etc., etc. And what is witchcraft (Gal. v. 20) as still practised in the dark corners of the earth?
What, again, in the better sense, but inbreathing from Christ, does Mat. x. 19, 20 refer to? And who, that is Christ's does not know what it is, when “sometimes a light surprises the Christian on his road.” How, when heavy and cast down, some new thought will come like a breeze o'er his soul,—thought about Christ and heaven; and how, when fully set upon some coming action, a thought of danger and warning will come ove him, which, in the end, proves to have been of God,
There is nothing superstitious in trusting to God and the word of His grace. And it is not soundness of faith to despise impression and do violence to impulses without first judging them in God's presence by the word. If they are against His word, let them be despised.
I have no doubt that sober Christian men are quite correct in speaking of inspiration in the sense referred to, as a privilege of the believer; and yet, at the same time, dividing, as the intelligent do, between this and that fullest kind of divine inspiration, in which not only God breathes with the truth, but in which He adds quite ANOTHER THING; and that is infallible perfectness; so as to enable a prophet of old to say, and to say cor. rectly, " Thus saith the Lord;” so as to enable a Stephen to be so full of faith and the Holy Ghost, when he was a-dying, that (as I suppose) all that he then said was not only divinely breathed into him, but divinely expressed by him. This is what people mean by plenary inspiration. All Scripture is God-inspired (2 Tim. iii. 16).
2 Pet. i. 15–21 brings before us a variety of things conDected with this same subject
(1) Apostolic handing down (2) of teaching, (3) concerning a special revelation, (4) communicated in a most wonderful vision, (5) when Christ was on the Mount of Transfiguration, (6) according with a more sure word of written prophecy, which (7) came through a direct movement of the Holy Ghost as to the speaker.
2 Pet. i. 15–21: Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of His Majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there carne such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy ; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
REMARKS, SUGGESTED BY THE ADDRESS
TO THE CHURCHES OF EPHESUS AND SMYRNA.
THERE is a whole class of subjects, connected with that thread of truth that runs right through Scripture, which demands consideration from those who desire full light in reading the Apocalypse.
For instance, “ He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks” (Rev. ii. 1), would raise the question of
1st. The connection between light and the means of displaying light.
In following this out practically and according to Scripture, we should have to look carefully at the one candlestick of the sanctuary (Ex. xxv. 31); at the ten candlesticks of the temple (i Kings vii. 49; 2 Chron. iv. 7); at the one candlestick of Zech. iv. 2-14; at the seven candlesticks of the Apocalypse (Rev. i., ii., iii.); at the seven lamps of fire (Rev. iv. and v.); at the two can dlesticks (Rev. xi. 4); and at the light and the means o displaying it of the golden crystal city (Rev. xxi. xxii. 5).
What was common to them all? What was distinc tive and peculiar to each phase of the one commo truth?
I may note here, the difference between three word which is according to classical Greek, the Greek of th LXX, (speaking generally), and the Greek of the Ne Testament.
The words for candlestick, candleflame, and lamps, a three-Xvxvia (candlestick) occurs twelve times in t New Testament, and is always rendered “candlestic