Gospels truly report that which an incarnation of the God of Truth communicated to the world, then it surely is absurd to attend to any other evidence touching matters about which he made any clear statement, or the truth of which is distinctly implied by his words. If the exact historical truth of the gospel is an axiom of Christianity, it is as just and right for a Christian to say, Let us "close our ears against suggestions" of scientific critics, as it is for the man of science to refuse to waste his time upon circle-squarers and flat-earth fanatics.
It is commonly reported that the manifesto by which the Canon of St. Paul's proclaims that he nails the colors of the straitest biblical infallibility to the mast of the ship ecclesiastical, was put forth as a counterblast to Lux Mundi; and that the passages which I have more particularly quoted are directed against the essay on The Holy Spirit and Inspiration in that collection of treatises by Anglican divines of high standing, who must assuredly be acquitted of conscious "infidel" proclivities. I fancy that rumor must, for once, be right, for it is impossible to imagine a more direct and diametrical contradiction than that between the passages from the sermon cited above and those which follow:
While insisting on the flow of inspiration through the whole of the Old Testament, the essayist does not admit its universality. Here, also, the new apologetic demands a partial flood:
It would appear, therefore, that there is nothing to prevent our believing that the record, from Abraham upward, consists of stories in the strict sense unhistorical, and that the pre-Abrahamic narratives are mere moral and religious "types" and parables.
I confess I soon lose my way when I try to follow those who