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But now the Second Mate of Captain Glib’s vessel took up the argument and said, Ah well! all well, if we only know what part of Scripture is really God's Bible, and what not. If we only know where to find the inspired parts in it, and what chapters of it are really God's truth, and what are only man's additions. No doubt the Bible is a book that contains, somewhere, some of God's words; and so are Shakespeare's plays, that quote from them. must ask the learned critics of the manuscripts what they are, before we can be certain.
Well, said Peter, one thing is certain at any rate, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all,19 neither in his Word, in which he would never set forth anything contrary to his own righteousness, for that would be to deceive mankind with lies, which is the work of the Father of lies from the beginning. He hath himself said, Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way.20 But he cannot ever have permitted a forgery to stand in the volume of divine inspiration, to lead the blind into darkness and death.
Why, Captain Glib, this is equal to a malediction upon God himself, if he should give to man a false compass for Eternity, seeing the safety of the soul for ever would depend upon it. It stands to reason that God's Word for man must the whole of it be God's Word not man's. And if any man made any addition to it, or should take anything away from it on his own assertion or “scholarly" conjecture, the least that God could do with such a man would be to blot out his name from the Book of Life, and add to him the plagues written in the Book, against unbelievers and false teachers, and makers of lies.
19 1 John i. 5.
30 Deut. xxvii. 13.
Do you suppose that God himself would invent a compass, and put all its signs round the circle, so plain that every seaman could box it, and yet never show sailors how to use it, not even himself knowing its variations, the Magnet from the pole, nor what to a second was North, nor what South, nor what was West nor' West, nor East by South, nor what way the Sun riseth or goeth down, nor how to take the ships latitude and longitude at noon by the quadrant? And when he tells us to search the Scriptures of the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, because in them we have eternal life through his Son and they are the records that testify of Christ, do you suppose that he does not mean that all things contained in them are really God's records?
Moreover, the Lord both of judgment and redemption hath said, He that rejecteth me and my Words hath one that judgeth him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 21 And again, He that despised Moses' law died without mercy, under two or three witnesses, of how much sorer punishment suppose ye shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace ? 22
21 John xii. 48.
Now as they thus reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come, Captain Glib seemed as though he would fain make answer to this also; and he said, We will hear thee again of this matter when we have a convenient season. We will talk together at the Cape of Good Hope, for around that Cape our voyage as well as yours is directed; and by that time we shall have gained greater experience and assurance. And so he gave orders to put about his vessel, and stand on her course.
And Peter, seeing that, gave orders to square the yards, not wishing to force the truth upon unwilling and impatient listeners; but praying in his heart that the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance might give them repentance, to the acknowledgment of the truth, and that they might recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, even though they had been taken captive by him at his will.23
22 Heb. x. 28.
23 2 Tim. ii. 26.
THE WORK OF EXPLAIN-AWAY AND PICK-FLAW.—WHAT
IS NO BETTER THAN MUTINY.-HANDLING THE
WORD OF GOD DECEITFULLY.
With this prayer for the blessing of God upon the teachings of his word, Peter and John, and all the company that had been listening, bade farewell to Captain Glib and his company; but with vain regrets and fears, lest the warnings and promises they had discussed so fully might have been lost upon their hearers.
And so the two vessels took a new departure, and whether they ever came together again none can tell; for the King's Craft put the helm to the wind, and there being a stiff breeze just then, the ship shot forward like an Arab courser, and was speedily beyond hailing distance. But looking back, they could see by the foam in the stern of the False Confidence, that she was plying her propeller with all earnestness, as if determined on making headway against the wind that was now blowing fresh for the Celestial Country
Alas, alas, said Peter, it brings tears to mine eyes to see how these obstinate foolish men are bent upon their own destruction. For I know that evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. And they seem verily like those of whom it is said, that even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.
Then said John, Was it not rather rough in us to dismiss them in this manner??
But Peter answered, These are of those who, having the form of godliness, are denying the power thereof, those who, as Jambres and Jandes withstood Moses, do likewise resist the truth, and from such we are commanded to turn away, for they are men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.s Think of their refusing the letter of the Word because God had no right to govern and to teach. sinners by stark and sheer authority! Why! this is no better than mutiny.
But said John, Might we not have done more to persuade them of the folly and madness of their career?
PETER.–And what could we have done more or
1 2 Tim. iii. 13.
2 Rom. i. 28.
3 2 Tim, iii, 8.