As used in theology the word Inspiration is employed to indicate a modus operandi whereby God imparts to man some message or prophecy. The most prevalent theory is that in times past God selected various persons to whom He dictated certain words or statements in order to make known His will or judgment, and that this was done by way of special enactment or interposition.

It has also been assumed that God limited the exercise of this particular function of His changeless nature to a few men out of the countless millions who lived during what has been called Bible times. The wellnigh universal thought concerning the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures is that God dictated to the different writers the express statements contained therein, and that for this reason every word must be regarded as inspired. Moreover, it is assumed that all Scriptural inspiration ceased with the Revelation of St. John. Such superficial views of revelation do not define any modus operandi whatever, or presuppose any special preparation, or mental or spiritual volition on the part of the writer. They seem to go no further than to suppose that God selected the man and told him just what to say. Furthermore, they involve the supposition that God ceased to communicate with man eighteen centuries ago; that He ceased to reveal the truth and to impart His word; in fine, that He stopped inspiring men with the knowledge of His will, His nature, and His law.

It is not strange that such blind reasoning should lead to the conclusion that no utterances of man have been inspired, save those which are contained in the Bible.

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The Trend of Thought
June 20, 1901

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