Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 42

5.—Not Required

5.—Not Required.

He tells us that inspiration is not required—
(a)By the observer to enable him to detail events which he has witnessed.
(b)By the historian who is careful of the statements which he accepts as trustworthy.
(c)By one who prophesies, "unless the prophecies are to infallibly occur, and are easily verifiable."
page 23

This argument is not pointed at the theological idea of inspiration, but simply against his own creation. Nothing can be more clear than this reasoning if we take Mr. Stout's mock definition of the term. If inspiration be "that which impels a man to write about things of which he is ignorant," its province most clearly is not with the recorder of observations. Nor does it find a sphere with the compiler of history from the recorded events of other observers, for having read these he knows all about them. And as to the false prophet, no man is mad enough to claim Divine inspiration for him. He does not write about things he is ignorant of, but about fancies and fiction, which are not "things." Then, after making these very unnecessary and truism remarks, he proceeded to deliver a laboured defence of their power in the overthrow of the "new doctrine" of inspiration. If Moses wrote about what he was conversant with he did not write about what he was ignorant of. If Moses kept a diary he only required to transcribe it. No impulse to write what he was ignorant of was required. If Ezra, Matthew, and Mordecai wrote what had come under their own vision, why, then, they were not ignorant of it: and of course, ignorance being a pre-requisite, they cannot have been inspired. And so on in this learned style, until, to bring his process to a climax, he comes to invoke the aid of Sir Wm. Hamilton, with whom he introduces the