The following continues a series of excerpts from “An Introduction to the Right Understanding of the Oracles of God,” by the Rev. John Brown of Haddington, as published in his Self-Intepreting Bible (1859 edition).
II. The MANNER in which these subjects are exhibited in the Scriptures is evidently divine; –wise, condescending, and yet majestic. The discoveries have been gradual, as men stood in need of them or were in a proper condition to receive them (Gen. 3,9,12,17 & c.; Heb. 1:1). The principal points; as of God’s new-covenant grant of himself to sinful men; his full satisfaction in and with Christ as our Mediator; and the law of the ten commandments; were declared from heaven with uncommon solemnity (Mat. 3:17; 17:5; Ex. 20:1-18, &c.). And, while these and other similar truths are announced in a style the most plain and simple, there appears therein something astonishingly sublime and majestic. While the dictates are authorized with a THUS SAITH THE LORD, the very style, particularly in Scripture songs, Job, Psalms, Lamentations, and Isaiah, and in our Saviour’s discourses, &c., is at once surprisingly suited to the dignity of the Author, the nature of the subject, and the condition of the persons addressed.
III. The manifest SCOPE of the Scriptures is to render sin loathsome and hated, and to promote holiness and virtue; to humble men, and reform them from their beloved lusts and sinful practices, and to exalt and glorify God to the highest. No good angel or man could dare to personate God in the manner of the Scriptures; nor could bad angels or men publish, and so warmly inculcate, what is so remarkably contrary to their own vicious inclinations and honour. It therefore remains that God alone must be the author and inditer of them.
IV. Notwithstanding the dictates of Scripture are so extremely contrary to the natural inclinations of mankind, and were published without any concert by various persons, of very different conditions, and in different ages and places, yet such is the marvellous HARMONY of all the parts, in their whole matter and scope, as irrefragably demonstrates that these penmen must all have been directed by the same Spirit of God. One part of our Bible is so connected with, and tends to the establishment of another, that we cannot reasonably receive any part without receiving the whole. In the New Testament we have the historical narrative of the fulfillment of the typical and verbal predictions of the Old. In both Testaments the subsequent books, or subsequent parts of a book, are connected with that which went before, as a narrative of the execution of a scheme begun, or of the fulfillment of a prophecy declared. If we receive the history, we must also receive the prediction. If we admit the prediction, we must believe the history. To a diligent searcher of the Scriptures, it cannot fail to occasion a most pleasant astonishment, to find everywhere the same facts supposed, related or prepared for; the same doctrines of a gracious redemption through Jesus Christ exhibited, or supposed to be true; the same rules or exemplifications of piety and virtue, and motives thereto; the same promises of mercy, or threatenings of just misery, to persons, societies, or nations, exhibited without a single contradiction. When there is an appearance of contradiction, it will be found that the different passages do not respect the same thing or person, in the same respect, and in the same circumstances of time, place, or manner; and so there is no contradiction at all.