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AN

ESSAY

ON THE

INSPIRATION

. OF THE

HoLr SCRIPTURES

OF THE

OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT.

BY JOHN DAM.
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL IN SLATEFORD.

EDINBURGH:

PRINTED BY J. RITCHIE,
FOR OGLE AND AIKMAN; M. OGLE, GLASGOW;

AND R, OGLE, LONDON.

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THE inspiration of the holy Scrip.

1 tures is a subject, on which it is of great importance to form just and accurate ideas. If they be the compositions of men, who, though honest, and upon the whole, well informed, were under no in. fallible aslistance and direction, they are not entitled to the fame reverence, as if they had been dictated by the Spirit of God; nor can we read them with the fame confidence in their counsels and in. structions. Their contents must be subjected to a strict examination, and the truth of their doctrines must be ascertained by

other fures. That idea has become unfashionable; it is claffed with other opinions of our fathers, which are exploded as the fooleries of enthusiasm, and superstitious credulity; and he only is reckoned to think rationally, on the subject, who looks upon the sacred books as partly human, and partly inspired ; as a heterogeneous compound of the oracles of God, and the stories and sentiments of men. There are even some, by whom this partial inspiration is denied, and the Scriptures are regarded as the writings of faith. ful, but fallible men, who had nothing to preferve them from error but the accura. cy of their information, and the integrity of their hearts. The spirit of infidelity is working among Christians themselves. · The inspiration of the Scriptures is a point which Christians are too generally chargeable with taking upon trust. Few of them study the arguments by which it is evinced, and provide themselves with

answers

answers to the objections which infidels oppose to it. It is a doctrine which hath been received by tradition from their fathers, and which, upon their authority, the greater part believe to be true. We need not wonder, then, that, in a time of trial like the present, when the efforts of infidelity are unusually bold and vigorous, there should be a great falling away among the professors of religion; nor can such apostacy be deplored on any other ground, than as it affects the immortal interests of those who are involved in it. It is attended with no real loss to the cause of revelation, and it reflects no dishonour upon it :. for of what advantage are numbers, if they be deftitute of principle; and what dif. credit can arise to the Scriptures from the desertion of persons, whose attachment was less the effect of deliberate choice than of accident ? There is no reason for being alarmed, as if such an event portended a general defection. Raw,

undisciplined

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