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).
V. The manifest CHARACTER OF THE PENMEN further evinces the divine original of the Scriptures.
They everywhere discover the utmost candour and disinterestedness: they everywhere candidly publish the infirmities, or even faults of themselves, their friends, and nation. None of them ever gained anything in this world by their work but trouble and vexation; and, according to their own principles, they could obtain nothing in the next but everlasting destruction, if they indulged themselves in any imposture.
The matter and mannerof their work infinitely transcended their abilities. Setting their predictions aside for a moment, how could men of the best education, and especially men of no education, form such exalted schemes of sense, piety, and virtue? Or how could wicked men, inspired by Satan, publish and prosecute such a scheme of mystery, holiness, and morality?
Such is the character of Jesus Christ, drawn by the four evangelists, with every mark of simplicity and candour, and in which ignominious suffering is made a leading article, that the delineation thereof—and that too by persons of no uncommon knowledge—without a real and exactly answerable model, would, to every unbiased free-thinker, appear more incredible and impossible than even the incarnation, obedience, and death of the Son of God, therein attested, however astonishing. (emphasis mine)