"Paul who had learned from his own experience that God had not spoken his last word, could say with the unction of personal conviction, 'The word of god is not bound.'...This scriptural view of the word of God is important for many reasons.
It liberates the Scriptures from the necessity of infallibility, which the old views of plenary inspiration imposed upon them and which has proved a stumbling-block to so many, honest and earnest seekers after divine truth; and so enables us to read and study them with entire freedom, and with the full and rightful excercise of the reason which God has given us...But it will be asked, "What is the Bible worth, it it be not infallible?...This objection, perfectly natural and most sincerely made, overlooks the fact that the divine method of educating the race, in every other department of knowledge, is not by infallible books, or infallible teachers, but by books and teachers which reflect the best light of the past, and stimulate to fresh study and research for the new light yet to be revealed."
Tilden the shipbuilder turned minister then uses a nautical illustration:
"Indeed, to be anchored in any other branch of knowledge, except religion is no thought at all desirable. Anchored ships can only hold on where they are, and swing lazily with wind and tide; to do their legitimate work,-the work for which they were built, and launched and rigged, and provided with a costly outfit,-they must weigh anchor, set sail, and head for the open sea, trusting to such knowledge as they are able to gain from charts not infallible, and compass not free from variations; and reckonings not above mistakes; all needing to be rectified by daily observations of the log, the chronometer, and the heavenly bodies too, it they would make the voyage in safety. Why should we not expect it to be so in religion? Why should we look for infallibility here, when we find it nowhere else?"