"Rabbi," says Nicodemus to Christ, "we know that thou art a teacher come from God." Now that which was here truly said of Christ in the flesh, is the very truth that must be said of the scripture teaching in ink and paper; it is a teacher come from God, and therefore fully to be believed, highly reverenced, and strictly followed. But as Christ's teaching in the flesh was only preparatory to his future vital teaching by the Spirit, so the teaching of scripture by words written with ink and paper is only preparatory, or introductory to all that inward essential teaching of God, which is by his Spirit and truth within us. Every other opinion of the holy scripture, but that of an outward teacher and guide to God's inward teaching and illumination in our souls, is but making an idol-god of it: I say an idol-god; for to those who rest in it as the constant abode and supreme illumination of God with them, it can be nothing else. For, if nothing of divine faith, love, hope, or goodness, can have the least birth, or place in us, but by divine inspiration, they who think these virtues may be sufficiently raised in us by the letter of scripture, do in truth and reality make the letter of scripture their inspiring god. The apostles preached and wrote to the people by divine inspiration. But what do they say of their inspired doctrine and teachings? What virtue and power was there in them? Do they say that their words and teachings were the very promised comforter, the spirit of truth, the true abode and supreme illumination of God in the souls of men? So far from such a blasphemous thought, that they affirm the direct contrary, and compare all their inspired teachings and instructions to the dead works of bare planting and watering, and which must continue dead, till life comes into them from another and much higher power. "I have planted," says St. Paul, "Apollos has watered, but God gave the increase." And then further to show that this planting and watering, which was the highest work that an inspired apostle could do, was yet in itself to be considered as a lifeless, powerless thing, he adds, "So then, neither is he that planteth anything, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase." But now, if this must be said of all that which the inspired apostles taught in outward words, that it was nothing in itself, was without power, without life, and only such a preparation towards life, as is that of planting and watering, must not that same be said of their inspired teachings, when left behind them in writing? For what else are the apostolical scriptures, but those very instructions and teachings put into writing, which they affirmed to be but bare planting and watering, quite powerless in themselves, till the living Spirit of God worked with them? Or will anyone say, that what Paul, Peter, John, spoke by inspiration from their own mouths, was indeed bare planting and watering, in order to be capable of receiving life from God; but when these apostolical teachings and instructions were written on paper, they were raised out of their first inability, got the nature of God himself, became spirit and life, and might be called the great quickening power of God, or, as the doctor says, the constant abode and supreme illumination of his Spirit with us?