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in harmony and gives a cumulative force to all its contents, so that we do well to call it all a book—one book—the book. Yet it is the work of many authors; its composition was extended over many generations—nearly sixteen hundred years. It reflects the features of a great variety of outward circumstances, and has the marks of many stages of civilization. Its literary form is varied in every possible way: it consists of history and poetry, philosophy and story, drama and parable, and precept and visions. Every phase of life is portrayed on its pages. It is the most realistic of books, yet contains the loftiest ideals. It is the most profound in its doctrine and the simplest in its style.

While we do well to call it a book, we also do well to remember that it is a library, a collection of independent volumes bound together in the perfect unity of a common purpose and a consistent doctrine. Our word Bible by its etymology very fitly illustrates this diversity and unity. Bible is derived from Bibliov, a library or collection of books, from BiBloe, a book. Our Bible consists of sixty-six small volumes so intimately joined in harmony of contents as to be fitly called a book the book.

The third peculiar feature of these books is their marvelous revelation of spiritual truth not otherwise discovered to the human mind. This quality we call inspiration; and by this term we mean that the men who wrote these books had some peculiar illumination in spiritual things, by which they were enabled to see and to appreciate the things of the spirit, and to open them to our understanding.

It is not easy to define exactly what this inspiration is, nor to apprehend distinctly how this influence of God's Spirit differed from that which is, to some degree, the privilege of all spiritually minded men; nor is it necessary to our present purpose that we should define it, or explore the problems of psychology involved.

We are here concerned only with the facts which are abundantly attested by induction from our own experiences and observation. Somehow the contents of these books do find our conscience, do appeal to what we recognize as noblest and highest in our nature, do satisfy our instincts of justice and mercy, approve themselves to our judgment and stand the test of time and experience as no other books have done, or approached.

The doctrine of infallibility rests on the simple fact that the teaching of these books has never failed. As Gamaliel shrewdly observed of the teaching of the apostles, “If this doctrine be of men it will come to nought, but if it be of God, you can do nothing against it." And now, some nineteen centuries after those words were uttered, we fling the same bold challenge to the world; Wherein have these books failed? Which one of all their promises has ever been broken? or what hope they offered been made ashamed ? In view of these facts it seems quite within the bounds of simple history and common sense to speak of these books as the words of men who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; and to regard this Bible as the very word of God.

The word of God it is in very truth; but this assertion must be used with intelligence. It means that the teaching of the Bible is from God, and true as God is true. But it does not mean, as some men carelessly assume, that everything recorded here is true and to be commended. It does not mean that “Bible words” and “Bible characters” have some peculiar sancity because they are reported in these sacred pages. "Skin for skin. Yea all that a man hath will he give for his life” are words of the Bible, that is, they are recorded there as the utterance of Satan in the Book of Job, but the whole of that book is a demonstration of their utter falsity. The sins of David are faithfully recorded, but we are not left in doubt as to God's hatred of sin.

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It is important also to remember that our interpretation of this record may be in error, and that our mistakes must not be charged against the Scriptures, even though such mistakes come down to us with all the authority of godly men and goodly scholarship. Mistakes do not become correct by growing old, nor falsehood grow less false by being long accounted true. The church may well continue to regard the Bible as the only infallible rule of faith and conduct until it fails in some respect of this high office; and to speak of it as the work of inspiration, so long as it stands so well distinguished from all other books in its spiritual teaching.

The list of books to be included in the Bible, and to be accounted parts of Holy Scripture is called the canon; and the selection of these books is spoken of as the formation of the canon. We do not know just where, nor how, nor by whom the canon of the Old Testament was formed, but sometime before the coming of our Lord the canon of the Old Testament was settled and contained the books, and only those, which we include today. The canon of the New Testament was completed during the life time of the apostles of our Lord, and was generally recognized and accepted early in the second century. The books included in the canon are as follows

Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel, I and II Kings, I and II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obediah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus. Philemon, Hebrews, James, I and II Peter, I, IỊ and III John, Jude, Revelations,

We are here concerned only with the facts which are abundantly attested by induction from our own experiences and observation. Somehow the contents of these books do find our conscience, do appeal to what we recognize as noblest and highest in our nature, do satisfy our instincts of justice and mercy, approve themselves to our judgment and stand the test of time and experience as no other books have done, or approached.

The doctrine of infallibility rests on the simple fact that the teaching of these books has never failed. As Gamaliel shrewdly observed of the teaching of the apostles, “If this doctrine be of men it will come to nought, but if it be of God, you can do nothing against it." And now, some nineteen centuries after those words were uttered, we Aing the same bold challenge to the world; Wherein have these books failed? Which one of all their promises has ever been broken? or what hope they offered been made ashamed? In view of these facts it seems quite within the bounds of simple history and common sense to speak of these books as the words of men who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; and to regard this Bible as the very word of God.

The word of God it is in very truth; but this assertion must be used with intelligence. It means that the teaching of the Bible is from God, and true as God is true. But it does not mean, as some men carelessly assume, that everything recorded here is true and to be commended. It does not mean that “Bible words” and “Bible characters” have some peculiar sancity because they are reported in these sacred pages. “Skin for skin. Yea all that a man hath will he give for his life" are words of the Bible, that is, they are recorded there as the utterance of Satan in the Book of Job, but the whole of that book is a demonstration of their utter falsity. The sins of David are faithfully recorded, but we are not left in doubt as to God's hatred of sin.

It is important also to remember that our interpretation of this record may be in error, and that our mistakes must not be charged against the Scriptures, even though such mistakes come down to us with all the authority of godly men and goodly scholarship. Mistakes do not become correct by growing old, nor falsehood grow less false by being long accounted true. The church may well continue to regard the Bible as the only infallible rule of faith and conduct until it fails in some respect of this high office; and to speak of it as the work of inspiration, so long as it stands so well distinguished from all other books in its spiritual teaching.

The list of books to be included in the Bible, and to be accounted parts of Holy Scripture is called the canon; and the selection of these books is spoken of as the formation of the canon. We do not know just where, nor how, nor by whom the canon of the Old Testament was formed, but sometime before the coming of our Lord the canon of the Old Testament was settled and contained the books, and only those, which we include today. The canon of the New Testament was completed during the life time of the apostles of our Lord, and was generally recognized and accepted early in the second century. The books included in the canon are as follows

Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel, I and II Kings, I and II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obediah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus. Philemon, Hebrews, James, I and II Peter, I, II and III John, Jude, Revelations.

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