Gilbert Tennet, 1744, and The Effects of Scripture Surpassing the Force of Nature

“Another Argument of the Divinity of the Scripture is their almost miraculous Preservation for so long a tract of Time, notwithstanding the rage of numerous, powerful and political Opposers, while many other esteemed composures, which never met with such opposition, have long since perished. Antiochus Epiphanes, in the days of the Maccabees, made diligent search for the Book of the Law, and where ever he found it, burnt it, and threatened those that concealed it with Death and Torture, And about the Year of Christ 300, the Emperor Diocletian being determined to root Christianity out of the World, used the fame Barbarities to destroy the Scriptures. But the gracious God has preserved them to this day, maugre [in spite of] the combined rage of Hell, and Earth! yea to preserve them whole and entire, so that those to whom they were committed, have not been suffered to corrupt them, although they fell into opinions inconsistent with them, they have therefore fled to unwritten traditions as the Patron of their erroneous Opinions. The Jews to their Talmud and Cabala, which, they say, Moses delivered by Word of Mouth. And the Papists to oral Traditions, which they say were delivered by St. Peter. But I proceed to observe,

That the early success of the Gospel notwithstanding of all the opposition and contempt which was made against it, and cast upon it, gives additional Force to what has been before offered. What less then Omnipotence could make such self-denying Doctrines, preached by illiterate Men, become victorious over the Pride and Prejudice of multitudes of divers Nations, and that without the Arts of Persuasion or Influence of civil Power? And indeed, that divine Energy that does frequently attend the Holy Scriptures, is a pregnant argument of their divine Authority. By these the minds of men are enlightened, their consciences alarmed, their hearts comforted and renewed, having their general bias turned towards God, and heavenly objects, and their lives reformed! These Effects which have appeared in millions of men, do surpass the Force of Nature, and must therefore be ascribed to an omnipotent Cause. And is it consistent with the Wisdom and Holiness of God to use a forgery to produce such noble Effects, and thereby to confirm an imposture? no surely! most certainly the Almighty uses Instruments adapted to the Effects produced.”

Gilbert Tennet, The Divine Authority of the Sacred Scriptures, the being and attributes of God, and the doctrine of the Trinity (Philadelphia: Printed by W. Bradford, 1744), 77-78.

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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