AT THE ROOT OF THE WHOLE MISCHIEF OF THESE LAST DAYS LIES DISBELIEF IN THE BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD. THIS IS THE FUNDAMENTAL ERROR (Preface, p. xvii).
YOU ARE NEVER TO FORGET THE GREAT FUNDAMENTAL POSITION, THAT THE BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE THE WORD OF GOD; AND THAT GOD'S WORD CAN NEVER CONTRADICT OR BE CONTRADICTED BY GOD'S WORKS (Sermon II, p. 41).
DESTROY MY CONFIDENCE IN THE BIBLE AS AN HISTORICAL RECORD, AND YOU DESTROY MY CONFIDENCE IN IT ALTOGETHER; FOR BY FAR THE LARGEST PART OF THE BIBLE IS AN HISTORICAL RECORD. If the Creation of Man, -- the longevity of the Patriarchs, -- the account of the Deluge; -- if these be not true histories, what is to be said of the lives of Abraham, of Jacob, of Joseph, of Moses, of Joshua, of David, -- of our Saviour Christ Himself? ... Will you then reject one miracle and retain another? Impossible! You can make no reservation, even in favour of the incarnation of our Lord, -- the most adorable of all miracles, as it is the very keystone of our Christian hope. EITHER, WITH THE BEST AND WISEST OF ALL AGES, YOU MUST BELIEVE THE WHOLE OF HOLY SCRIPTURE; OR, WITH THE NARROW-MINDED INFIDEL, YOU MUST DISBELIEVE THE WHOLE. THERE IS NO MIDDLE COURSE OPEN TO YOU (Sermon II, p. 46).
HE WHO SURRENDERS THE FIRST PAGE OF HIS BIBLE, SURRENDERS ALL. (Sermon II, p. 51?).
THE BIBLE (BE PERSUADED) IS THE VERY UTTERANCE OF OF THE ETERNAL; -- AS MUCH GOD'S WORD, AS IF HIGH HEAVEN WERE OPEN, AND WE HEARD GOD SPEAKING TO US WITH HUMAN VOICE. Every book of it, is inspired alike; and is inspired entirely. ... THE BIBLE IS NONE OTHER THAN THE VOICE OF HIM THAT SITTETH UPON THE THRONE! EVERY BOOK OF IT, -- EVERY CHAPTER OF IT, -- EVERY VERSE OF IT, -- EVERY WORD OF IT, -- EVERY SYLLABLE OF IT, -- (WHERE ARE WE TO STOP?) -- EVERY LETTER OF IT -- IS THE DIRECT UTTERANCE OF THE MOST HIGH! (Sermon III, p. 76?)
[The above are all copied from David Cloud's For Love of the Bible, pp. 131, 135, 136, 137. All the emphases are his. Where I've put a question mark after a page number, what I've copied is only a portion of a long segment and I don't know which of the page numbers noted refers to what I copied out.].
Cloud sums up, p. 137:
What we see in the previous excerpts [from which I've taken the few quotations above] is one of the most brilliant scholars of the nineteenth century boldly testifying of his faith in a perfect Bible before the student body of the university. We can be sure that such a testimony has not been heard at that university in many a decade, probably not in this century. Burgon's views did not prevail. His earnest pleas were ignored. The soul-destroying gloom of rationalism has long settled over Oxford.Often we worry about how many are drawn away from the truth by the claims of science, which is what motivates many Christians to try to argue against those claims scientifically. But as I've reported recently, I've finally pulled back from that effort because no matter what one says, no matter how telling a point you make on that level, they will deny it one way or another. The evidence for the Flood is everywhere, for instance, but they are blind to it and rationalize it away. The evidence for the degeneration of life is good but they deny it and won't even consider doing what it would take to demonstrate it. They are under the spell of their theory, perhaps irrevocably doomed to delusion.
[p. 138] Burgon was a scholar, but he refused to dance to the scholar's tunes. We will see that today's Rationalists -- Metzger, Bruce, Kenyon, Aland, and that gang -- treat Burgon as if he were some kind of tradition-bound crank. In fact, a great many who profess to be evangelical today hold rationalistic views on the Bible, denying the literalness of the first three chapters of Genesis, rejecting the absolute perfection of the inspired text, claiming that the Bible is inaccurate when it deals with "scientific matters." Burgon's defense of the verbal-plenary inspiration of Holy Scripture steps on the toes of the vast majority of today's Christian scholars and theologians.
It must be God's will, then, that we simply hold up His Word to them instead of spending so much time on the scientific questions. God's Word is sharper than a two-edged sword and if they ignore it they will be finally judged by it. Burgon's defense is a wonderful model for us.
There is no doubt also a great deal of pride and fear of man that motivates those who abandon parts of the Bible to Science-so-called while claiming they can hold onto the rest. This is a great snare. We have to hold to the Bible no matter what they say against us, no matter what it does to our reputation in the eyes of the worldly. God's word is "foolishness" to fallen humanity. They lack the "ears to hear" and we can't give them that, we can only give them the Word and either they can hear it or they can't. That's just the way it is. They will call us "morons" and worse, and eventually they may even persecute us here in the Land of the Free, just as they do in the rest of the world. When we are called to Christ we are called to die to this world, and this is one way we must die to it.
What a glorious testimony Burgon has. We should all aim for that faithfulness to God's word in denial of our standing in this world.