THE best way to defend a lion, shut up in a cage, is to let him out of it. He will then speedily devise ample and majestic means to defend himself. The best way to defend the Bible is to expound it. If ' you want to understand the Bible, read it. If you want to enjoy the Bible, read it. If you want to authenticate the Bible, read it. If you want to study the Bible, take pains with it. If you want to master the Bible, wrestle with it. If you want to wield the Bible, get possession of it. If you want to enthrone the Bible, get possessed by it. If you want to defend the Bible, let it speak for itself.
This does not mean that there is any weakness in the arguments which prove the truth of its astounding claims. On the contrary every attack upon the genuineness- and the authenticity of the various books, the integrity and the purity of the Text, and the Divine authority of the Canon, has been triumphantly repelled.
The science of Textual Criticism has amply vindicated the claim that the Bible, as it was held in the hands of our Lord, is the Bible as we hold it in our hands to-day. The "assured results" of the " Higher Criticism," reversing the traditional view of the date, authorship, and composition of the books of the Bible, and unduly emphasising the so-called "human element" in Scripture at the expense of the so-called " Divine element " in it, have been examined in detail and have been proved to be entirely dependent upon naturalistic assumptions and speculative presuppositions that would not be entertained for a moment by any person capable of pronouncing judgment upon evidence brought forward in a court of law ; whilst the vagaries of " Historical Criticism " have reached their climax and their reductio ad absurdum in the doubts now beginning to be entertained as to the historical character of the events of the life of our Lord, the surest and best-attested events in human history.
The critics have been refuted, and the Bible has been vindicated, but still the controversy goes on. The Book has always had its enemies. It has always been attacked. Christianity itself has always been opposed from the very first. The best defence of Christianity is not a clever argument, which can always be met by a cleverer one, but the life of a truly noble Christian man and in which its high principles are adequately realised and faithfully expressed, and the best defence of the Bible is the life of a truly devout, Bible student in which its holy precepts are lovingly enshrined.
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