Church History
The "Ask Spurgeon" Book Reviewer » The Rule of the Faith and the Doctrine of Inspiration. The Carey Lectures for 1884

In this volume we have the pleasure of greeting a Presbyterian of the old school; a professor of Theology in the Assembly's College, Belfast; and the appointed lecturer of the Carey Trust for 1884-1885. John Carey, of Antrim, Ireland, explained his motive for endowing this foundation. It was form a love of literature and learning and a desire to promote the interests of religion and morality." So he provides that the lecturer shall be at liberty to choose any "Theological, Geological, Biological, Anthropological, Philosophical, Religious, Moral or Social question or questions of general interest and pressing importance." There is scope for genius here. All honor then to Dr. Watts for seizing the opportunity to make "The Bible" his theme, and "the reassertion and vindication of the immemorial doctrine of the church in regard to the rule of Faith, and its relation to its divine Author" his aim. True to this purpose, he maintains pure and simple the plenary verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. And his courage is equal to his confidence, while his modesty is as evident as his manliness. He does not advance new ideas that our fathers knew not of nor startling discoveries of a historico-scientific process of investigation, nor fresh light of ten thousand candle power to illuminate an argument, without distributing any vital heat. Had he followed through he has not that old fashion, revised of late, of embellishing each lecture or chapter with a classical quotation, he might have selected the well known couplet form Horace's Ars Poetica:

Non fumum ex fulgore sed ex fumo dare lucem.

Cogitat, ut speiosa dehine miracula promat:

for he shines all the brighter because he makes no effort to be brilliant. In brushing away cobwebs that have been accumulating for the last half century, and in pricking bubbles which they have been blowing who boast that all the learning and philosophy of modern criticism are on the side of anti-verbalists a Doctor of Divinity is doing good service. Clever objections are here met by clear common sense. In conclusion, our author formulates our position very fairly. "The ground taken by all intelligent advocates of the doctrine of verbal inspiration is that the Scriptures themselves are the only reliable source of information; and their teaching in regard to it is to be ascertained in the same way as their teaching in regard to the doctrines of Regeneration, Justification, Sanctification or any other doctrine within the compass of the analogy of faith."