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Graviora. 575 Authority. In all theological questions, it is fair to give due weight to early opinions, accredited confessions of faith, and established practices; though always with this limitation, that we learn from the New Testament how, already in those days, serious error had found its way into the church, and that the apostles predict fresh importations of false doctrine and malpractices. It is a most extraordinary fact that, in the Old Testament times, so essential a part of worship as the Passover should have fallen into disuse for a long period ; and that the rite of circumcision should have been neglected by a people who had little of worldly employments to divert them from the ceremonies of their divinely established religion. This should make Theo¬ logians cautious in asserting the impossibility of either negatives or positives, where their favourite doctrines are in question. One argument pressed into the question of Inspiration is drawn from the silence of the thirty-nine articles on the subject. It is alleged, not unreasonably, that the divines who compiled that celebrated code, either did not themselves hold the doctrine of verbal inspiration, or else most certainly did not consider it essential to orthodoxy, and therefore advisedly left it, by their silence, an open question to all who might have to subscribe to the articles in after times. On examining the sixth and seventh articles, however, in which alone the Holy Scriptures are spoken of, I feel quite convinced that the silence of those good men is better accounted for in another way. To them it was, I believe, an axiom that the inspired writings were transcripts, purs et simples, of a direct revelation from God; an opinion which is certainly at this and has been at every period of Church history, the undoubted and undoubting opinion of a great