The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8
Sir,—I have neither the ability nor the time to continue a controversy in your columns; but as I stated in my last letter that the Bible contained a Key to its own interpretation, I shall supply one, and only one, example in support of this assertion. Permit me, however, first, to assure Rob Roy that I am not a "worshipper" of the Bible, and that I do not "maintain it to be the very word of God." I look upon the Bible as—what Jesus Christ pronounced it to be—a Testimony of the Word; God himself being the "very word." Such being the case, and believing that the Bible was given by inspiration, we only claim for it, what is not denied to everything else in the universe, an internal structure, not visible to a merely casual observer, with the unassisted eye. Every one who can read may see a certain amount of light in the letter of the Scriptures, as all who have eyes may see light in the stars and beauty in the plants; but it is only by the study of Astronomy and Botany that we can discover the real dimensions and nature of the one, and the organisation and uses of the other. I need not pursue the analogy farther.
In giving an example of this inner meaning of the Bible, I shall not accept the suggestion of Rob Roy by explaining the passages quoted by him, and for this sole reason, that it would take up more of my time and your space than either perhaps can well afford, to place their true meaning intelligibly before your readers; I shall therefore (and without the aid of Dr. Bayley) select the very first passage that now meets my eye on opening the Bible, and which can be explained in fewer words than either of the passages referred to you by your correspondent. We read in Psalm cxxxvii., verses 8 and 9: "O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall lie be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." This, your correspondent will doubtless say, is not morally right, and—if construed literally—so say we. But when we bear in mind that Babylon denotes—all through the Bible—a false and perverted condition of the Church (as Jerusalem denotes truth, or the true Church), we have a Key to the whole passage.
By daughter hero is not meant a daughter, but affection. Affection is the characteristic of woman, and therefore it is so represented in the Scriptures. Hence the true church is called a Bride and a Wife; the false church is called a Widow and a Harlot. We read of the Daughter of Zion and the Daughter of Jerusalem, whereby Zion is denoted the Church as to good, and by Jerusalem the Church as to truth; and by the daughters thereof are signified the affections for those things. Now, by Babylon, as stated above, is denoted a false and perverted condition of the Church; consequently by the daughters of Babylon are denoted affections for such perversity, and by her little ones are signified all the progeny of false principles which thence arise. This being the case, we at once see the happiness which must result from their destruction.
Queensland, 30th June, 1871.
P. R. G.