From Whitla’s introduction to Isaac Newton, Observations Upon The Prophecies Of Daniel and The Apocalypse Of St. John – Back to Table of Contents of the Introduction
THE central pivot on which the whole scheme of Divine Revelation rests or revolves is to be found by a study of the prophecies which foretold the advent of Jesus Christ.
Professor Flint, in his St. Giles Lecture, condenses the whole subject into a few pregnant sentences : ” All the parts of the Old Testament system contribute each in its place to raise, sustain, and guide faith in the coming of a mysterious and mighty Saviour a perfect Prophet, perfect Priest, and perfect King, such as Christ alone of all men can be supposed to have been. This broad general fact, this vast and strange correlation of correspondence cannot be in the least affected by questions of the Higher Criticism as to the authorship, time of origination, and mode of composition of the various books of the Old Testament…. Answer all these questions in the way which the boldest and most rationalistic criticism of Germany or Holland ventures to suggest; accept in every properly critical question the conclusions of the most advanced critical schools, and what will follow? Merely this, that those who do so will have, in various respects, to alter their views as to the manner and method in which the ideal of the Messiah’s Person, work and Kingdom was, point by point, line by line, evolved and elaborated. There will not, however, be a single Messianic word or sentence, not a single line or feature the fewer in the Old Testament.”
As I said once before, as regards fundamentals, in contrast to these alterations of dates, textual corrections, etc., there can be no compromise with the German Higher Criticism. Either the Book of God, as we call it, is an inspired record or it is a fraud like the lost book of the Law found in the dilapidated Temple or the imposition of the other books of Moses on the Jewish people by Ezra.
If you wish a demonstration of where the compromising spirit will lead you, read some of the papers, delivered recently at the Conference of Churchmen at Girton College, Cambridge. The pure, undiluted doctrine of advanced Unitarianism is unblushingly unfolded, running through some of the addresses I have read every one of them in the official report. There is advanced the compromise ” Jesus was the Son of God,” but every Christian is also a Son of God in the same sense, and so on, and so on. Pages of hair-splitting metaphysical speculation about the extent of His much manhood and little Godhead. How His knowledge of the demoniacal possessions which He conquered was no better than that of the men around Him, and His knowledge of the future was limited and imperfect. But, incredible as it may seem, though there are sceptical references to the Virgin Birth which cannot be proved, there is scarcely a word about His own prediction of His death and rising again in three days, or of the unquestionable fact of His resurrection and ascension witnessed by so many. We cannot but hang down our heads in shame when we think that the repudiation of such heresy was left to the prelates of the Roman Church.