It is no dishonour to the Scriptures that they keep to their professed end. Though they give us no system of astronomy, yet they urge us to study the works of God, and teach us to adore him upon every discovery. Though they give us no system of geography, yet they encourage us to avail ourselves of observation and experience to obtain one; seeing the whole earth is in prophecy given to the Messiah, and is marked out as the field in which his servants are to labour. Though they determine not upon any mode or system of civil government, yet they teach obedience in civil matters to all. And though their attention be mainly directed to things which pertain to the life to come, yet, by attending to their instructions, we are also fitted for the labours and sufferings of the present life.
The Scriptures are written in a powerful style, as best adapted to their great end. If the salvation of philosophers only had been their object, the language might possibly have been somewhat different; though even this may be a matter of doubt, since the style is suited to the subject, and to the great end which they had in view; but being addressed to men of every degree, it was highly proper that the language should be fitted to every capacity, and suited to their common modes of conception. They speak of the foundations of the earth, the ends of the earth, the greater and less lights in the heavens, the sun rising, standing still, and going down, and many other think in the same way. If deists object to these modes of speaking, as conveying ideas which are inconsistent with the true theory of the heavens and the earth, let them, if they can, substitute others which are consistent: let them, in their common conversation, when describing the revolutions of evening and morning, speak of the earth as rising and going down, instead of the sun; and the same with regard to the revolution of the planets; and see if men, in common, will better understand them, or whether they would be able even to understand one another. The popular ideas on these subjects are as much “worked up” in the common conversation of philosophers as they are in the Scriptures; and the constant use of such language, even by philosophers themselves, in common conversation, sufficiently proves the futility and unfairness of their objecting to revelation on this account.”
Excerpt From “The Gospel Its Own Witness”, 1799
Fuller, Andrew, The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.