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´╗┐Title: Pleasure & Profit in Bible Study
Author: Moody, Dwight Lyman, 1837-1899
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Pleasure & Profit in Bible Study

BY

D. L. MOODY

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart . . . More to be
desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than
honey and the honey-comb.--_Psalm xix:8-10_.

Fleming H. Revell Company

Chicago, New York Toronto

_Publishers of Evangelical Literature_



COPYRIGHTED 1895, by FLEMING H. REVELL CO.



PREFACE.

It is always a pleasure to me to speak on the subject of this volume. I
think I would rather preach about the Word of God than anything else
except the Love of God; because I believe it is the best thing in this
world.

We cannot overestimate the importance of a thorough familiarity with the
Bible. I try to lose no opportunity of urging people by every means in
my power to the constant study of this wonderful Book. If through the
pages that follow, I can reach still others and rouse them to read their
Bibles, not at random but with a plan and purpose, I shall be indeed
thankful.

D. L. Moody.



   When thou goest, it shall lead thee;
   When thou sleepest, it shall keep thee;
   When thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
                           --Prov. vi. 22.



CHAPTER I.

Close Contact with the Word of God--Word and Work--The Christian's
Weapon--Young Converts and Bible Study--Up to Date--Every Case
Met--"Great Peace"--Starving the Soul--The Guide-Book to Heaven.

A QUICKENING that will last must come through the Word of God. A man
stood up in one of our meetings and said he hoped for enough out of the
series of meetings to last him all his life. I told him he might as well
try to eat enough breakfast at one time to last him his lifetime. That
is a mistake that people are making; they are running to religious
meetings and they think the meetings are going to do the work. But if
these don't bring you into closer contact with the Word of God, the
whole impression will be gone in three months. The more you love the
Scriptures, the firmer will be your faith. There is little backsliding
when people love the Scriptures. If you come into closer contact with
the Word, you will gain something that will last, because the Word of
God is going to endure. In the one hundred and nineteenth psalm David
prayed nine times that God would quicken him--according to His word, His
law, His judgment, His precepts, etc.

If I could say something that would induce Christians to have a deeper
love for the Word of God, I should feel this to be the most important
service that could be rendered to them. Do you ask: How can I get in
love with the Bible? Well, if you will only arouse yourself to the study
of it, and ask God's assistance, He will assuredly help you.

WORD AND WORK.

Word and Work make healthy Christians. If it be all Word and no work,
people will suffer from what I may call religious gout. On the other
hand if it be all work and no Word, it will not be long before they will
fall into all kinds of sin and error; so that they will do more harm
than good. But if we first study the Word and then go to work, we shall
be healthy, useful Christians. I never saw a fruit-bearing Christian who
was not a student of the Bible. If a man neglects his Bible, he may pray
and ask God to use him in His work; but God cannot make use of him, for
there is not much for the Holy Ghost to work upon. We must have the Word
itself, which is sharper than any two-edged sword.

We have a great many prayer meetings, but there is something just as
important as prayer, and that is that we read our Bibles, that we have
Bible study and Bible lectures and Bible classes, so that we may get
hold of the Word of God. When I pray, I talk to God, but when I read the
Bible, God is talking to me; and it is really more important that God
should speak to me than that I should speak to Him I believe we should
know better how to pray if we knew our Bibles better. What is an army
good for if they don't know how to use their weapons? What is a young
man starting out in the Christian work good for it he does not know how
to use his Bible? A man isn't worth much in battle if he has any doubt
about his weapon, and I have never found a man who has doubts about the
Bible who has amounted to much in Christian work. I have seen work after
work wrecked because men lost confidence in the spirit of this Old Book.

YOUNG CONVERTS.

If young converts want to be used of God, they must feed on His Word.
Their experience may be very good and very profitable at the outset, and
they may help others by telling it; but if they keep on doing nothing
else but telling their experience, it will soon become stale and
unprofitable, and people will weary of hearing the same thing over and
over again. But when they have told how they have been converted, the
next thing is to feed on the Word. We are not fountains ourselves; but
the Word of God is the true fountain.

And if we feed on the Word, it will be so easy then to speak to others;
and not only that, but we shall be growing in grace all the while, and
others will take notice of our walk and conversation. So few grow,
because so few study. I would advise all young converts to keep as much
as they can in the company of more experienced Christians. I like to
keep in the society of those who know more than I do; and I never lose a
chance of getting all the good I can out of them. Study the Bible
carefully and prayerfully; ask of others what this passage means and
what that passage means, and when you have become practically acquainted
with the great truths it contains, you will have less to fear from the
world, the flesh, and the devil. You will not be disappointed in your
Christian life.

SOMETHING NEW.

People are constantly saying: We want something new; some new doctrine,
some new idea. Depend upon it, my friends, if you get tired of the Word
of God, and it becomes wearisome to you, you are out of communion with
Him.

When I was in Baltimore last, my window looked out on an Episcopal
Church. The stained-glass windows were dull and uninviting by day, but
when the lights shone through at night, how beautiful they were! So when
the Holy Spirit touches the eyes of your understanding and you see
Christ shining through the pages of the Bible, it becomes a new book to
you.

A young lady once took up a novel to read, but found it dull and
uninteresting. Some months afterwards, she was introduced to the author
and in the course of time became his wife. She then found that there was
something in the book, and her opinion of it changed. The change was not
in the book, but in herself. She had come to know and love the writer.
Some Christians read the Bible as a duty, if they read it at all; but as
soon as a man or woman sees Christ as the chiefest among ten thousand,
the Bible becomes the revelation of the Father's love and becomes a
never-ending charm. A gentleman asked another, "Do you often read the
Bible?" "No," was the answer, "I frankly admit I do not love God." "No
more did I." the first replied, "but God loved me."

A great many people seem to think that the Bible is out of date, that it
is an old book, and they think it has passed its day. They say it was
very good for the dark ages, and that there is some very good history in
it, but it was not intended for the present time; we are living in a
very enlightened age and men can get on very well without the old book;
we have outgrown it. Now you might just as well say that the sun, which
has shone so long, is now so old that it is out of date, and that
whenever a man builds a house he need not put any windows in it, because
we have a newer light and a better light; we have gaslight and electric
light. These are something new; and I would advise people, if they think
the Bible is too old and worn out, when they build houses, not to put
windows in them, but just to light them with electric light; that is
something new and that is what they are anxious for.

EVERY CASE MET.

Bear in mind there is no situation in life for which you cannot find
some word of consolation in Scripture. If you are in affliction, if you
are in adversity and trial, there is a promise for you. In joy and
sorrow, in health and in sickness, in poverty and in riches, in every
condition of life, God has a promise stored up in His Word for you. In
one way or another every case is met, and the truth is commended to
every man's conscience. It is said that Richard Baxter, author of "The
Saints' Everlasting Rest," felt the force of miracles chiefly in his
youth; in maturer years he was more impressed by fulfilled prophecy; and
towards the end of his life he felt the deepest satisfaction in his own
ripe experience of the power of the Gospel.

"If you are impatient, sit down quietly and commune with Job.

If you are strong-headed, read of Moses and Peter.

If you are weak-kneed, look at Elijah.

If there is no song in your heart, listen to David.

If you are a politician, read Daniel.

If you are getting sordid, read Isaiah.

If you are chilly, read of the beloved disciple.

If your faith is low, read Paul.

If you are getting lazy, watch James.

If you are losing sight of the future, read in Revelation of the
promised land."

"GREAT PEACE."

In Psalm 119:165, we find these words: "Great peace have they which love
Thy law; and nothing shall offend them." The study of God's Word will
secure peace. Take those Christians who are rooted and grounded in the
Word of God, and you will find they have great peace; but those who
don't study their Bible, and don't know their Bible, are easily offended
when some little trouble comes, or some little persecution, and their
peace is all disturbed; just a little breath of opposition and their
peace is all gone.

Sometimes I am amazed to see how little it takes to drive all peace and
comfort from some people. A slandering tongue will readily blast it. But
if we have the peace of God, the world cannot take that from us. It
cannot give it; it cannot destroy it. We must get it from above the
world, it is the peace which Christ gives. "Great peace have they which
love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them." Christ says, "Blessed is
he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me." Now, you will notice that
where ever there is a Bible-taught Christian, one who has his Bible well
marked, and who daily feeds upon the Word with prayerful meditation, he
will not be easily offended.

Such are the people who are growing and working all the while. But it is
the people who never open their Bibles, who never study the Scriptures,
who become offended, and are wondering why they are having such a hard
time. They are the persons who tell you that Christianity is not what it
has been recommended to them; that they have found it is not all that we
claim it to be. The real trouble is, they have not done as the Lord has
told them to do. They have neglected the Word of God. If they had been
studying the Word of God, they would not be in that condition, they
would not have wandered these years away from God, living on the husks
of the world. They have neglected to care for the new life, they haven't
fed it, and the poor soul, being starved, sinks into weakness and decay,
and is easily stumbled or offended. If a man is born of God, he can not
thrive without God.

I met a man who confessed his soul had fed on nothing for forty years.
"Well," said I, "that is pretty hard for the soul--giving it nothing to
feed on!" That man is a type of thousands and tens of thousands to-day;
their poor souls are starving. We take good care of this body that we
inhabit for a day, and then leave; we feed it three times a day, and we
clothe it, and deck it, and by and by it is going into the grave to rot;
but the inner man, that is to live on and on forever, is lean and
starved. "Man shall not Live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

THE GUIDEBOOK TO THE CHRISTIAN'S HOME.

If a man is traveling and does not know where he is going to, or how he
is going to get there, you know he has a good deal of trouble, and does
not enjoy the trip as much as if he has a guidebook at hand. It is not
safe traveling, and he does not know how to make through connections.
Now, the Bible is a guidebook in the journey of life, and the only one
that points the way to Heaven. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a
light unto my path." Let us take heed then not to refuse the light and
the help it gives.



CHAPTER II.

Doubting and Inquiring--Proving--A Savour of Life unto Life, or Death
unto Death--Understanding the Scriptures--Cavilling--Using the
Penknife--The Supernatural--Inspiration.

WE DO NOT ask men and women to believe in the Bible without enquiry. It
is not natural to man to accept the things of God without question. If
you are to be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a
reason of the hope that is within you, you must first be an enquirer
yourself. But do not be a dishonest doubter, with your heart and mind
proof against evidence. Do not be a doubter because you think it is
"intellectual;" do not ventilate your doubts. "Give us your
convictions," said a German writer, "we have enough doubts of our own."
Be like Thomas who did not accept Jesus' offer to feel the nail-prints
in His hand and side; his heart was open to conviction. "Faith," says
John McNeill, "is not to be obtained at your finger-ends."

If you are filled with the Word of God, there will not be any doubts. A
lady said to me once, "Don't you have any doubts?" No, I don't have
time--too much work to be done. Some people live on doubt. It is their
stock in trade. I believe the reason there are so many Christians who
are without the full evidence of the relationship, with whom you only
see the Christian graces cropping out every now and then, is that the
Bible is not taken for doctrine, reproof and instruction.

PROVING.

Now the request comes: "I wish you would prove to me that the Bible is
true." The Book will prove itself if you will let it; there is living
power in it. "For this cause also we thank God without ceasing, because
when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it
not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which
effectually worketh also in you that believe." It does not need defence
so much as it needs studying. It can defend itself. It is not a sickly
child that needs nursing. A Christian man was once talking to a skeptic
who said he did not believe the Bible. The man read certain passages,
but the skeptic said again, "I don't believe a word of it." The man kept
on reading until finally the skeptic was convicted; and the other added:
"When I have proved a good sword, I keep using it." That is what we want
to-day. It is not our work to make men believe: that is the work of the
Holy Spirit.

CONVICTED--LOST--SAVED.

A man once sat down to read it an hour each evening with his wife. In a
few evenings he stopped in the midst of his reading and said: "Wife, if
this Book is true, we are wrong." He read on, and before long, stopped
again and said: "Wife, if this Book is true, we are lost." Riveted to
the Book and deeply anxious, he still read on, and soon exclaimed:
"Wife, if this Book is true, we may be saved." It was not many days
before they were both converted. This is the one great end of the Book,
to tell man of God's great salvation. Think of a book that can lift up
our drooping spirits, and recreate us in God's image!

It is an awful responsibility to have such a book and to neglect its
warnings, to reject its teachings. It is either the savour of death unto
death, or of life unto life. What if God should withdraw it, and say: "I
will not trouble you with it any more?"

CAN'T UNDERSTAND.

You ask what you are going to do when you come to a thing you cannot
understand. I thank God there is a height in that Book I do not know
anything about, a depth I have never been able to fathom, and it makes
the Book all the more fascinating. If I could take that Book up and read
it as I can any other book and understand it at one reading, I should
have lost faith in it years ago. It is one of the strongest proofs that
that Book must have come from God, that the acutest men who have dug for
fifty years have laid down their pens and said, "There is a depth we
know nothing of." "No scripture," said Spurgeon, "is exhausted by a
single explanation. The flowers of God's garden bloom, not only double,
but seven-fold: they are continually pouring forth fresh fragrance." A
man came to me with a difficult passage some time ago and said, "Moody,
what do you do with that?" "I do not do anything with it." "How do you
understand it?" "I do not understand it." "How do you explain it?" "I do
not explain it." "What do you do with it?" "I do not do anything." "You
do not believe it, do you?" "Oh, yes, I _believe_ it." There are lots of
things I do not understand, but I believe them. I do not know anything
about higher mathematics, but I believe in them. I do not understand
astronomy, but I believe in astronomy. Can you tell me why the same kind
of food turns into flesh, fish, hair, feathers, hoofs, finger-nails
--according as it is eaten by one animal or another? A man told me a
while ago he could not believe a thing he had never seen. I said,
"Man, did you ever see your brain?"

Dr. Talmage tells the story that one day while he was bothering his
theological professor with questions about the mysteries of the Bible,
the latter turned on him and said: "Mr. Talmage, you will have to let
God know some things you don't."

A man once said to an infidel: "The mysteries of the Bible don't bother
me. I read the Bible as I eat fish. When I am eating fish and come
across a bone. I don't try to swallow it, I lay it aside. And when I am
reading the Bible and come across something I can't understand, I say,
'There is a bone,' and I pass it by. But I don't throw the fish away
because of the bones in it; and I don't throw my Bible away because of a
few passages I can't explain."

Pascal said, "Human knowledge must be understood in order to be loved;
but Divine knowledge must be loved to be understood." That marks the
point of failure of most critics of the Bible. They do not make their
brain the servant of their heart.

CAVILLERS.

Did you ever notice that the things that men cavil most about are the
very things to which Christ has set His seal? Men say, "You don't
believe in the story of Noah and the flood, do you?" Well, if I give it
up, I must give up the Gospel, I must give up the teachings of Jesus
Christ. Christ believed in the story of Noah, and connected that with His
return to earth. "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of
the Son of man be." Men say, "You don't believe in the story of Lot and
Sodom, do you?" Just as much as I believe the teachings of Jesus Christ.
"As it was in the days of Lot . . . . . even thus shall it be in the day
when the Son of man is revealed." Men say, "You don't believe in the
story of Lot's wife, do you?" Christ believed it. "Remember Lot's wife."
"You don't believe the story of Israel looking to a brass serpent for
deliverance, do you?" Christ believed it and connected it with His own
cross. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must
the Son of man be lifted up: that whosever believeth in Him should not
perish but have eternal life." Men say, "You don't believe the children
of Israel were fed with manna in the desert, do you?" "Our fathers did
eat manna in the desert; . . . Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses
gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true
bread from heaven." Men say, "You don't believe they drank water that
came out of a rock?" Christ believed it and taught it. Men say, "You
don't believe in the story of Elijah being fed by the widow, do you?"
Certainly. Christ said there were many widows in the days of Elijah, but
Elijah was fed by only one widow. Christ referred to it Himself, He set
His seal to it. The Son of God believed it, and, "shall the servant be
above his master?"

JONAH AND THE WHALE.

Men say, "Well, you don't believe in the story of Jonah and the whale,
do you?" I want to tell you I _do_ believe it. A few years ago there was
a man whom some one thought a little unsound, and they didn't want him
to speak on the Northfield platform. I said, "I will soon find out
whether or not he is sound." I asked him, "Do you believe the whale
swallowed Jonah?" "Yes," he said, "I do." I said "All right, then I want
you to come and speak." He came and gave a lecture on Jonah. In Matthew
they twice asked Jesus for a sign, and He said the only sign this
generation shall have shall be the sign of Jonah in the whale's belly.
He connected that with His resurrection, and I honestly believe that if
we overthrow the one, we must overthrow the other. As you get along in
life and have perhaps as many friends on the other side of the river as
you have on this side, you will get about as much comfort out of the
story of the resurrection as any other story in the Bible. Christ had no
doubt about the story. He said His resurrection would be a sign like
that given unto the Ninevites. It was the resurrected man Jonah who
walked through the streets of Nineveh. It must be supposed that the men
of Nineveh had heard of Jonah being thrown overboard and swallowed by a
great fish. I think it is a master-stroke of Satan to make us doubt the
resurrection. But these modern philosophers have made a discovery. They
say a whale's throat is no larger than a man's fist, and it is a
physical impossibility for a whale to swallow a man. The book of Jonah
says that _God prepared a great fish_ to swallow Jonah. Couldn't God
make a fish large enough to swallow Jonah? If God could create a world,
I think He could create a fish large enough to swallow a _million_ men.
As the old woman said, "Could He not, if He chose, prepare a man that
could swallow a whale?" A couple of these modern philosophers were going
to Europe some time ago, and a Scotch friend of mine was on board who
knew his Bible pretty well. They got to talking about the Bible, and one
of them said: "I am a scientific man, and I have made some investigation
of that Book, and I have taken up some of the statements in it, and I
have examined them, and I pronounce them untrue. There is a statement in
the Bible that Balaam's ass spoke. I have taken pains to examine the
mouth of an ass and it is so formed that it could not speak." My friend
stood it as long as he could and then said, "Eh, mon, you make the ass
and I will make him speak." The idea that God could not speak through
the mouth of an ass!

CLIPPING THE BIBLE.

There is another class. It is quite fashionable for people to say, "Yes,
I believe the Bible, but not the supernatural. I believe everything that
corresponds with this reason of mine." They go on reading the Bible with
a pen-knife, cutting out this and that. Now, if I have a right to cut
out a certain portion of the Bible, I don't know why one of my friends
has not a right to cut out another, and another friend to cut out
another part, and so on. You would have a queer kind of Bible if
everybody cut out what he wanted to. Every adulterer would cut out
everything about adultery; every liar would cut out everything about
lying; every drunkard would be cutting out what he didn't like. Once, a
gentleman took his Bible around to his minister's and said, "That is
your Bible." "Why do you call it _my_ Bible?" said the minister. "Well,"
replied the gentleman, "I have been sitting under your preaching for
five years, and when you said that a thing in the Bible was not
authentic, I cut it out." He had about a third of the Bible cut out; all
of Job, all of Ecclesiastes and Revelation, and a good deal besides. The
minister wanted him to leave the Bible with him; he didn't want the rest
of his congregation to see it. But the man said, "Oh, no! I have the
covers left, and I will hold on to them." And off he went holding on to
the covers. If you believed what some men preach, you would have nothing
but the covers left in a few months. I have often said that if I am
going to throw away the Bible, I will throw it all into the fire at
once. There is no need of waiting five years to do what you can do as
well at once. I have yet to find a man who begins to pick at the Bible
that does not pick it all to pieces in a little while. A minister whom I
met awhile ago said to me, "Moody, I have given up preaching except out
of the four Gospels. I have given up all the Epistles, and all the Old
Testament; and I do not know why I cannot go to the fountain head and
preach as Paul did. I believe the Gospels are all there is that is
authentic." It was not long before he gave up the four Gospels, and
finally gave up the ministry. He gave up the Bible, and God gave him up.

A prophet who had been sent to a city to warn the wicked, was commanded
not to eat meat within its walls. He was afterwards deceived into doing
so by an old prophet, who told him that an angel had come to him and
said he might return and eat with him. That prophet was destroyed by a
lion for his disobedience. If an angel should come and tell a different
story from that in the Book, don't believe it. I am tired and sick of
people following men. It is written, "though an angel from heaven preach
any other gospel, let him be accursed." Do you think with more light
before us than the prophet had that we can disobey God's Word with
impunity?

THE SUPERNATURAL IN THE BIBLE.

It is a most absurd statement for a man to say he will have nothing to
do with the supernatural, will not believe the supernatural. If you are
going to throw off the supernatural, you might as well burn your Bibles
at once. You take the supernatural out of that Book and you have taken
Jesus Christ out of it, you have taken out the best part of the Book.
There is no part of the Bible that does not teach supernatural things.
In Genesis it says that Abraham fell on his face and God talked with
him. That is supernatural. If that did not take place, the man who wrote
Genesis wrote a lie, and out goes Genesis. In Exodus you find the ten
plagues which came upon Egypt. If that is not true, the writer of Exodus
was a liar. Then in Leviticus it is said that fire consumed the two sons
of Aaron. That was a supernatural event, and if that was not true we
must throw out the whole book.

In Numbers is the story of the brazen serpent. And so with every book in
the Old Testament; there's not one in which you do not find something
supernatural. There are more supernatural things about Jesus Christ than
in any other portion of the Bible, and the last thing a man is willing
to give up is the four Gospels. Five hundred years before His birth, the
angel Gabriel came down and told Daniel that He should be born. "And
whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen
in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me
about the time of the evening oblation." Again, Gabriel comes down to
Nazareth and tells the Virgin that she should be the mother of the
Saviour. "Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son,
and shalt call his name Jesus." We find, too, that the angel went into
the temple and told Zacharias that he was to be the father of John the
Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah; Zacharias was struck dumb for
nine months because of his unbelief. Then when Christ was born, we find
angels appearing to the shepherds at Bethlehem, telling them of the
birth of the Saviour. "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a
Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." The wise men seeing the star in the
east and following it was surely supernatural. So was the warning that
God sent to Joseph in a dream, telling him to flee to Egypt. So was the
fact of our Lord's going into the temple at the age of twelve,
discussing with the doctors, and being a match for them all. So were the
circumstances attending His baptism, when God spake from heaven, saying:
"This is my beloved Son." For three and a half years Jesus trod the
streets and highways of Palestine. Think of the many wonderful miracles
that He wrought during those years. One day He speaks to the leper and
he is made whole; one day He speaks to the sea and it obeys Him. When He
died the sun refused to look upon the scene; this old world recognized
Him and reeled and rocked like a drunken man. And when He burst asunder
the bands of death and came out of Joseph's sepulchre, that was
supernatural. Christmas Evans, the great Welsh preacher, says: "Many
reformations die with the reformer, but this reformer ever lives to
carry on His reformation." Thank God we do not worship a dead Jew. If we
worshipped a dead Jew, we would not have been quickened and have
received life in our souls. I thank God our Christ is a supernatural
Christ, and this Book a supernatural Book, and I thank God I live in a
country where it is so free that all men can read it.

Some people think we are deluded, that this is imagination. Well, it is
a glorious imagination, is it not? It has lasted between thirty and
forty years with me, and I think it is going to last while I live, and
when I go into another world. Some one, when reading about Paul, said he
was mad. Well, it was replied, if he was he had a good keeper on the
way, and a good asylum at the end of the route. I wish we had a lot of
mad men in America just now like Paul.

INSPIRATION.

When Paul wrote to Timothy that _all_ Scripture was given by inspiration
of God and was profitable, he meant what he said. "Well," some say, "do
you believe all Scripture is given by inspiration?" Yes, every word of
it; but I don't believe all the actions and incidents it tells of were
inspired. For instance, when the devil told a lie he was not inspired to
tell a lie, and when a wicked man like Ahab said anything, he was not
inspired; but some one was inspired to write it, and so all was given by
inspiration and is profitable.

Inspiration must have been verbal in many, if not in all, cases. Peter
tells us, regarding salvation through the sufferings of Christ:

"Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently,
who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you. Searching what or
what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify,
when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory
that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves,
but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto
you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost
sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."

So that the prophets themselves had to enquire and search diligently
regarding the words they uttered under the inspiration of the Spirit.

A man said to a young convert: "How can you prove that the Bible is
inspired?" He replied, "Because it inspires me." I think that is pretty
good proof. Let the Word of God into your soul, and it will inspire you,
it can not help it.



CHAPTER III.

_The Old and the New Testaments_.

I WANT to show how absurd it is for anyone to say he believes the New
Testament and not the Old. It is a very interesting fact that of the
thirty-nine books of the Old Testament, it is recorded that our Lord
made quotations from no less than twenty-two. Very possibly He may have
quoted from all of them; for we have only fragments reported of what He
said and did. You know the Apostle John tells us that the world could
scarcely contain the books that could be written, if all the sayings and
doings of our Lord were recorded. About eight hundred and fifty passages
in the Old Testament are quoted or alluded to in the New; only a few
occurring more than once.

In the Gospel by Matthew there are over a hundred quotations from twenty
of the books in the Old Testament. In the Gospel of Mark there are
fifteen quotations taken from thirteen of the books. In the Gospel of
Luke there are thirty-four quotations from thirteen books. In the Gospel
of John there are eleven quotations from six books. In the four Gospels
alone there are more than one hundred and sixty quotations from the Old
Testament. You sometimes hear men saying they do not believe all the
Bible, but they believe the teaching of Jesus Christ in the four
Gospels. Well, if I believe that, I have to accept these hundred and
sixty quotations from the Old Testament. In Paul's letter to the
Corinthians there are fifty-three quotations from the Old Testament;
sometimes he takes whole paragraphs from it. In Hebrews there are
eighty-five quotations, in that one book of thirteen chapters. In
Galatians, sixteen quotations. In the book of Revelation alone, there
are two hundred and forty-five quotations and allusions.

A great many want to throw out the Old Testament. It is good historic
reading, they say, but they don't believe it is a part of the Word of
God, and don't regard it as essential in the scheme of salvation. The
last letter Paul wrote contained the following words: "And that from a
child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are _able to make thee
wise unto salvation_ through faith which is in Christ Jesus." All the
Scriptures which the apostles possessed were the Old Testament.

When skeptics attack its truths, these find it convenient to say, "Well,
we don't endorse all that is in the Old Testament," and thus they avoid
an argument in defence of the Scriptures. It is very important that
every Christian should not only know what the Old Testament teaches, but
he should accept its truths, because it is upon this that truth is
based. Peter said the Scriptures are not given for any private
interpretation, and in speaking of the Scriptures, referred to the Old
Testament and not to the New.

If the Old Testament Scriptures are not true, do you think Christ would
have so often referred to them, and said the Scriptures must be
fulfilled? When told by the tempter that He might call down the angels
from heaven to interpose in His behalf, he said: "Thus it is written."
Christ gave Himself up as a sacrifice that the Scriptures might be
fulfilled. Was it not said that He was numbered with the transgressors?
And when He talked with two of His disciples by the way journeying to
Emmaus, after His resurrection, did He not say: "Ought not these things
to be? am I not to suffer?" And beginning at Moses He explained unto
them in all the Scriptures concerning Himself, for the one theme of the
Old Testament is the Messiah. In Psalm 40:7, it says: "In the volume of
the book it is written of me." "What _Book?_" asks Luther, "and what
_Person?_ There is only one book--the Bible; and only one person--Jesus
Christ." Christ referred to the Scriptures and their fulfillment in Him,
not only after He arose from the dead, but in the book of Revelation He
used them in Heaven. He spoke to John of them on the Isle of Patmos, and
used the very things in them that men are trying to cast out. He never
found fault with or rejected them.

If Jesus Christ could use the Old Testament, let us use it. May God
deliver us from the one-sided Christian who reads only the New Testament
and talks against the Old!



CHAPTER IV.

"My Word shall not Pass Away"--Printing the Revised Version in
Chicago--Circulation of the Bible.

CHRIST speaking of the law, said: "One jot or one tittle shall in no
wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled." In another place He
said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall not pass
away." Now, let us keep in mind that the only Scripture the apostles and
Christ had was the Old Testament. The New Testament was not written. I
will put that as the old and new covenant. "One jot or tittle of the law
shall in no wise pass away until all be fulfilled,"--the old covenant;
and then Christ comes and adds these words: "Heaven and earth shall pass
away, but my Word shall not pass away,"--the new covenant. Now, notice
how that has been fulfilled. There was no short-hand reporter following
Him around taking down His words; there were no papers to print the
sermons, and they wouldn't have printed His sermons if there had been
any daily papers--the whole church and all the religious world were
against Him. I can see one of your modern free-thinkers standing near
Him, and he hears Christ say: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my
Word shall not pass away." I see the scornful look on his face as he
says: "Hear that Jewish peasant talk! Did you ever hear such conceit,
such madness? He says Heaven and earth shall pass away, but his Word
shall not pass away." My friend, I want to ask you this question--have
they passed away? Do you know that the sun has shone on more Bibles
to-day than ever before in the history of the world? There have been
more Bibles printed in the last ten years than in the first eighteen
hundred years. They tried in the dark ages to chain it, and keep it from
the nations, but God has preserved it, and the British and American
Bible Societies print thousands of Bibles every day. One house in New
York has sold one hundred thousand Oxford Bibles during the last year.

PRINTING THE REVISED VERSION.

Suppose some one had said that when we had a revised version of the New
Testament, it was going to have such a large circulation--men reading it
wherever the English language is spoken--the statement would hardly have
been believed. The new version came out in New York on a Friday--on the
same day that it was published in London. Chicago did not want to be
behind New York. At that time the quickest train between the two cities
could not accomplished the journey in less than about twenty-six hours.
It would be late on Saturday afternoon before the copies could reach
Chicago, and the stores would be closed. So one of the Chicago daily
papers set ninety operators at work and had the whole of the new
version, from Matthew to Revelation, telegraphed to Chicago on Friday;
it was put at once into print and sold on the streets of that city next
day. If some one had said years ago, before telegraphs were introduced,
that this would be done, it would have been thought an impossibility.
Yet it has been done.

Notwithstanding all that skeptics and infidels say against the old Book,
it goes on its way. These objectors remind one of a dog barking at the
moon; the moon goes on shining just the same. Atheists keep on writing
against the Bible; but they do not make much progress, do they? It is
being spread all abroad--silently, and without any blasts of trumpets.
The lighthouse does not blow a trumpet; it goes on shedding its light
all around. So the Bible is lighting up the nations of the earth. It is
said that a lecturer on Secularism was once asked, "Why can't you let
the Bible alone, if you don't believe it?" The honest reply was at once
made, "Because the Bible won't let me alone."

CIRCULATION OF THE BIBLE.

The Bible was about the first book ever printed, and to-day New
Testaments are printed in three hundred and fifty-three different
languages, and are going to the very corners of the earth. Wherever the
Bible has not been translated, the people have no literature. It will
not be long before the words of Jesus Christ will penetrate the darkest
parts of the earth, and the darkest islands of the sea. When Christ
said, "The Scriptures can not be broken," He meant every word He said.
Devil and man and hell have been in league for centuries to try to break
the Word of God, but they can not do it. If you get it for your footing,
you have good footing for time and eternity. "Heaven and earth shall
pass away, but my Word shall not pass away." My friends, that Word is
going to live, and there is no power in perdition or earth to blot it
out.

What we want to-day is men who believe in it from the crown of their
heads to the soles of their feet, who believe the whole of it, the
things they understand and the things they do not understand. Talk about
the things you understand, and leave the things you do not. I believe
that is one reason why the English and the Scotch Christians have got
ahead of us, because they study the whole Bible. I venture to say that
there are hundreds of Bible readings in London every night. You know
there are a good many Christians who are good in spots and mighty poor
in other spots, because they do not take the whole sweep of the Bible.
When I went to Scotland I had to be very careful how I quoted the Bible.
Some friend would tell me after the meeting I was quoting it wrong.



CHAPTER V.

Fulfilled Prophecy--Unexplored
Country--Babylon--Tyre--Jerusalem--Egypt--The Jew.

I KNOW nothing that will upset an honest skeptic quicker than _fulfilled
prophecy_. There are very few Christians who think of studying this
subject. They say that prophecies are so mysterious, and there is
question about their being fulfilled. Now the Bible does not say that
prophecy is a dark subject, to be avoided; but rather that "we have a
more _sure word_ of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as
unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the
daystar arise in your hearts." Prophecy is history unfulfilled, and
history is prophecy fulfilled.

When I was a boy I was taught that all beyond the Mississippi river was
the great American desert. But when the first pick-axe struck into the
Comstock lode, and they took out more than one hundred million dollars'
worth of silver, the nation realized that there was no desert: and
to-day that part of the country--Nevada, Colorado, Utah and other
western states--is some of the most valuable we possess. Think of the
busy cities and flourishing states that have sprung up among the
mountains! So with many portions of the Bible: people never think of
reading them. They are living on a few verses and chapters. The greater
part of the Bible was written by prophets, yet you never hear a sermon
preached on prophecy.

Between five and six hundred Old Testament prophecies have been
remarkably and literally fulfilled, and two hundred in regard to Jesus
Christ alone. Not a thing happened to Jesus Christ that was not
prophesied from seventeen hundred to four hundred years before He was
born.

Take the four great cities that existed in the days when the Old
Testament was written, and you will find that prophecies regarding them
have been fulfilled to the letter. Let me call your attention to a few
passages.

BABYLON.

First regarding Babylon--"And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty
of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and
Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from
generation to generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there;
neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of
the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful
creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And
the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and
dragons in their pleasant palaces; and her time is near to come, and her
days shall not be prolonged." And again: "The word that the Lord spake
against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the
Prophet. Declare ye among the nations, and publish and set up a
standard; publish and conceal not; say, Babylon is taken, Bel is
confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her
images are broken in pieces. For out of the north there cometh a nation
against her; which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell
therein; they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast."
"Because of the wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it
shall be wholly desolate; every one that goeth by Babylon shall be
astonished, and hiss at all her plagues." "How is the hammer of the
whole earth cut asunder and broken! How is Babylon become a desolation
among the nations! I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art taken, oh
Babylon, and thou wast not aware; thou art found, and also caught,
because thou hast striven against the Lord."

A hundred years before Nebucadnezzar ascended the throne, it was
foretold how Babylon should be destroyed, and it came to pass. Scholars
tell us that the city stood in the midst of a large and fruitful plain.
It was enclosed by a wall four hundred and eighty furlongs square. Each
side of the square had twenty gates of solid brass, and at every corner
was a strong tower, ten feet higher than the wall. The wall was
eighty-seven feet broad, and three hundred and fifty feet high. These
figures give us an idea of the importance of Babylon. Yet nothing but
ruins now remain to tell of its former grandeur. When Babylon was in its
glory, the queen of the earth, prophets predicted that it would be
destroyed; and how literally was it fulfilled!

A friend going through the valley of the Euphrates tried to get his
dragoman to pitch his tent near the ruins, and failed. No Arabian
pitches his tent there, no shepherd will dwell near the ruins.

NINEVEH.

Now take Nineveh. "And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make
thee vile, and will set thee as a gazing-stock. And it shall come to
pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say,
Nineveh is laid waste; who will bemoan her? Whence shall I seek
comforters for thee?" Now, how are you going to cover the city up? "I
will cast upon her abominable filth." How are you going to cast
abominable filth upon the city? And yet for 2,500 years Nineveh was
buried and an abominable filth lay upon her. But now they have dug up
the ruins, and brought them to Paris and London, and you go into the
British museum, and there is not a day except the Sabbath but what you
can see men from all parts of the world gazing upon the ruins. It is
just as the prophets prophesied. For 2,500 years Nineveh was buried, but
it is no longer buried.

TYRE.

Then look at Tyre: "Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am
against thee, Oh Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against
thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy
the walls of Tyrus and break down her towers; I will also scrape her
dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place
for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken it,
saith the Lord God, and it shall become a spoil to the nations." Coffin,
who was correspondent of the Boston _Journal_ during the war, went round
the world after the war was over in '68. One night he came to the site
of old Tyre, and he said the sun was just going down, and he got his
dragoman to pitch his tent right over by the ruins, where the rocks were
scraped bare, and he took out his Bible and read where it says, "It
shall be a place for the spreading of nets." He said the fishermen had
done fishing and were just spreading their nets or the rocks of Tyre,
precisely as it was prophesied hundreds and hundreds of years before.
Now mark you! When they prophesied against these great cities, they were
like London, Paris and New York in their glory, but their glory has
gone.

JERUSALEM.

Now take the prophecy in regard to Jerusalem: "And when He was come
near, He beheld the city, and wept over it saying, If thou hadst known,
even thou at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy
peace: But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come
upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and
compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side." Didn't Titus do
that? Didn't the Roman Emperor do that very thing? "And shall lay thee
even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not
leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time
of thy visitation."

I have read of two Rabbis going up to Jerusalem, and they saw a fox
playing upon the wall; one began to weep when he thus looked at the
desolation of Zion. The other smiled and rebuked him, saying that the
spectacle was a proof that the Word of God was true, and that this was
one of the prophecies which should be fulfilled--"Because of the
mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it." It was
also said that Jerusalem should be as a ploughed field. This prophecy
has also been fulfilled. The modern city is so restricted that outside
of the walls, where part of the old city stood, the plough has been
used.

EGYPT.

Now take the prophecies regarding Egypt: "It shall be the basest of the
kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations; for
I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations."
Now, mark you! Egypt was in its glory when this was prophesied. It was a
great and mighty empire, but for centuries it has been the basest of all
nations. They have not got a native prince or king to reign over them.
The man that is reigning over them now is not an Egyptian, but he is
some foreigner, and so it has been.

THE JEWS.

Then, again, the prophecy of Balaam with regard to the Jews has been
already greatly fulfilled. "Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall
not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and
the number of the fourth _part_ of Israel?" The Jews were not to be
reckoned amongst the nations. There is something in this people's looks
and habits that God continues to perpetuate, just, as I believe, to make
them witnesses in every land of the truth of the Bible.

The race has remained all these centuries separate and distinct from
other nations. In America there are all kinds of nationalities. Take an
Irishman, and in a generation he will have forgotten his nationality.
So, too, with the Germans, Italians, and French; but the Jew is as much
a Jew as he was when he came over one hundred years ago. See how the
race has been persecuted, yet the Jews control the finances of the world
and can not be kept down. Egypt, Edom, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Rome,
and all the leading nations of the earth have sought to crush out the
Jews. Frederick the Great said, "Touch them not, for no one has done so
and prospered." The people are the same now as they were in the days of
Pharaoh, when he tried to destroy all the male children. The prophecy is
fulfilled--God has made the nation numerous and united. The time is
coming when God will reinstate the Jew. "For the children of Israel
shall abide many days without a King, and without a Prince, and without
a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without
teraphim." Are they not without a King, without a nation, and without a
sacrifice? Are they not scattered among the nations of the earth, a
separate and distinct people? and they do not bow down to idols. Their
last King they crucified, and they will never have another until they
restore Him. He was Jesus Christ, as inscribed upon His cross, "The King
of the Jews."

OTHER PROPHECIES.

We see how it was prophesied that Eli should suffer. He was God's own
high priest, and the only thing against him was that he did not obey
God's word faithfully and diligently. He was like a good many nowadays.
He was one of these good-natured old men who don't want to make people
uncomfortable by saying unpleasant things, so he let his two boys go on
in neglect, and did not restrain them. He was just like some ministers.
Oh! let every minister tell the truth, though he preach himself out of
his pulpit. Everything went all right for twenty years, but then came
fulfilment of the prophecy. God's ark was taken, the army of Israel was
routed by the Philistines; Hophni and Phineas, old Eli's two sons, were
killed, and when the old man heard of it, he fell back in his chair,
broke his neck and died. So with King Ahab, taking the sinful advice of
Jezebel. Naboth would not sell him that piece of land, so they got him
out of the way. Three years afterwards the dogs licked Ahab's blood from
his chariot in the very spot where Naboth's had been murderously shed.



CHAPTER VI.

Text Preaching and Expository Preaching--Peter and Paul at
Jerusalem--Oratorical Preaching

HERE is a word of counsel for young men who have their eye on the
ministry. If you take my advice, you will seek not to be a text
preacher, but an expository preacher. I believe that what this country
wants is the Word of God. There is no book that will draw the people
like the Bible. One of the professors of the Chicago University gave
some lectures on the Book of Job, and there was no building large enough
to hold the people. If the Bible only has a chance to speak for itself,
it will interest the people. I am tired and sick of moral essays. It
would take about a ton of them to convert a child five years old. A man
was talking of a certain church once, and said he liked it because the
preacher never touched on politics and religion--just read nice little
essays. Give the people the Word of God. Some men only use the Bible as
a text book. They get a text and away they go. They go up in a balloon
and talk about astronomy, and then go down and give you a little
geology, and next Sunday they go on in the same way, and then they
wonder why it is people do not read their Bibles. I used to think
Charles Spurgeon was about as good a preacher as I ever knew, but I used
to rather hear him expound the Scripture than listen to all his sermons.
Why is it that Dr. John Hall has held his audience so long? He opens his
Bible and expounds. How was it that Andrew Bonar held his audience in
Glasgow? He had a weak voice, people could hardly hear him, yet thirteen
hundred people would file into his church twice every Sabbath, and many
of them took notes, and they would go home and send his sermons all over
the world. It was Dr. Bonar's custom to lead his congregation through
the study of the Bible, book by book. There was not a part of the Bible
in which he could not find Christ. I preached five months in Glasgow,
and there was not a ward or a district in the city in which I did not
find the influence of that man.

A REMINISCENCE OF DR. ANDREW BONAR.

I was in London in '84 and a barrister had come down from Edinburgh. He
said he went through to Glasgow a few weeks before to spend Sunday, and
he was fortunate enough to hear Andrew Bonar. He said he happened to be
there the Sunday Dr. Bonar got to that part of the Epistle of Galatians
where it says that Paul went up to Jerusalem to see Peter. "Then after
three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him
fifteen days." He let his imagination roam. He said one day he could
imagine they had been very busy and they were tired, and all at once
Peter turned to Paul and said, "Paul, wouldn't you like to take a little
walk?" And Paul said he would. So they went down through the streets of
Jerusalem arm in arm, over the brook Cedron, and all at once Peter
stopped and said, "Look, Paul, this is the very spot where He wrestled,
and where He suffered and sweat great drops of blood. There is the very
spot where John and James fell asleep, right there. And right here is
the very spot where I fell asleep. I don't think I should have denied
Him if I hadn't gone to sleep, but I was overcome. I remember the last
thing I heard Him say before I fell asleep was, 'Father, let this cup
pass from me if it is Thy will.' And when I awoke an angel stood right
there where you are standing, talking to Him, and I saw great drops of
blood come from His pores and trickle down His cheeks. It wasn't long
before Judas came to betray Him. And I heard Him say to Judas so kindly,
'Betrayest thou the Master with a kiss?' And then they bound Him and led
Him away. That night when He was on trial I denied Him." He pictured the
whole scene. And the next day Peter turned again to Paul and said,
"Wouldn't you like to take another walk to-day?" And Paul said he would.
That day they went to Calvary, and when they got on the hill, Peter
said, "Here, Paul this is the very spot where He died for you and me.
See that hole right there? That is where His cross stood. The believing
thief hung there and the unbelieving thief there on the other side. Mary
Magdalene and Mary His mother stood there, and I stood away on the
outskirts of the crowd. The night before when I denied Him, He looked at
me so lovingly that it broke my heart, and I couldn't bear to get near
enough to see Him. That was the darkest hour of my life. I was in hopes
that God would intercede and take Him from the cross. I kept listening
and I thought I would hear His voice." And he pictured the whole scene,
how they drove the spear into His side and put the crown of thorns on
His brow, and all that took place.

And the next day Peter turned to Paul again and asked him if he wouldn't
like to take another walk. And Paul said he would. Again they passed
down the streets of Jerusalem, over the brook Cedron, over Mount Olivet,
up to Bethphage, and over on to the slope near Bethany. All at once
Peter stopped and said, "Here, Paul, this is the last place where I ever
saw Him. I never heard Him speak so sweetly as He did that day. It was
right here He delivered His last message to us, and all at once I
noticed that His feet didn't touch the ground. He arose and went up. All
at once there came a cloud and received Him out of sight. I stood right
here gazing up into the heavens, in hopes I might see Him again and hear
Him speak. And two men dressed in white dropped down by our sides and
stood there and said, 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand Ye gazing into
heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so
come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.'"

My friends, I want to ask you this question: Do you believe that picture
is overdrawn? Do you believe Peter had Paul as his guest and didn't take
him to Gethsemane, didn't take him to Calvary and to Mount Olivet? I
myself spent eight days in Jerusalem, and every morning I wanted to
steal down into the garden where my Lord sweat great drops of blood.
Every day I climbed Mount Olivet and looked up into the blue sky where
He went to His Father. I have no doubt, Peter took Paul out on those
three walks. If there had been a man that could have taken me to the
very spot where thy Master sweat those great drops of blood, do you
think I wouldn't have asked him to take me there? If he could have told
me where I could find the spot where my Master's feet last touched this
sin-cursed earth and was taken up, do you think I wouldn't have had him
show it to me?

ORATORICAL PREACHING.

I know there is a class of people who say that kind of preaching won't
do in this country. "People want something oratorical." Well, there is
no doubt but that there are some who want to hear oratorical sermons,
but they forget them inside of twenty-four hours.

It a good thing for a minister to have the reputation of feeding his
people. A man once made an artificial bee, which was so like a real bee
that he challenged another man to tell the difference. It made just such
a buzzing as the live bee, and looked the same. The other said, "You put
an artificial bee and a real bee down there, and I will tell you the
difference pretty quickly." He then put a drop of honey on the ground
and the live bee went for the honey. It is just so with us. There are a
lot of people who profess to be Christians, but they are artificial, and
they don't know when you give them honey. The real bees go for honey
every time. People can get along without your theories and opinions,
"Thus saith the Lord"--that is what we want.



CHAPTER VII.

Reading and Studying--At Family Prayers--A Word in Season--Helpful
Questions.

MERELY reading the Bible is not what God wants. Again and again I am
exhorted to "search."

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received
the word with all readiness of mind, and _searched_ the Scriptures
daily, whether those things were so."

"So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the
sense, and caused them to understand the reading."

We must study it thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some
great truth. If a friend were to see me searching about a building, and
were to come up and say, "Moody, what are you looking for? have you lost
something?" and I answered, "No, I haven't lost anything; I'm not
looking for anything particular," I fancy he would just let me go on by
myself, and think me very foolish. But if I were to say, "Yes, I have
lost a dollar," why, then, I might expect him to help me to find it.
Read the Bible, my friends, as if you were seeking for something of
value. It is a good deal better to take a single chapter, and spend a
month on it, than to read the Bible at random for a month.

I used at one time to read so many chapters a day, and if I did not get
through my usual quantity I thought I was getting cold and backsliding.
But, mind you, if a man had asked me two hours afterward what I had
read, I could not tell him; I had forgotten it nearly all. When I was a
boy I used, among other things, to hoe corn on a farm; and I used to hoe
it so badly, in order to get over so much ground, that at night I had to
put down a stick in the ground, so as to know next morning where I had
left off. That was somewhat in the same fashion as running through so
many chapters every day. A man will say, "Wife, did I read that
chapter?" "Well," says she, "I don't remember." And neither of them can
recollect. And perhaps he reads the same chapter over and over again;
and they call that "studying the Bible." I do not think there is a book
in the world we neglect so much as the Bible.

FAMILY WORSHIP.

Now, when you read the Bible at family worship or for private devotions,
look for suitable passages. What would you think of a minister who went
into the pulpit on Sunday and opened the Bible at hazard and commenced
to read? Yet this is what most men do at family prayers. They might as
well go into a drug store and swallow the first medicine their eye
happens to see. Children would take more interest in family prayers if
the father would take time to search for some passage to suit the
special need. For instance, if any member of the family is about to
travel, read Psalm 121. In time of trouble, read Psalm 91. When the
terrible accident happened to the "Spree" as we were crossing the
Atlantic in November, 1892, and when none on board ship expected to live
to see the light of another sun, we held a prayer-meeting, at which I
read a portion of Psalm 107:

"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great
waters;

These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the
waves thereof.

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their
soul is melted because of trouble.

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their
wits' end.

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out
of their distresses.

He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their
desired haven.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness and for his wonderful
works to the children of men!"

A lady came to me afterwards and said I made it up to suit the occasion.

HELPFUL QUESTIONS.

I have seen questions that will help one to get good out of every verse
and passage of Scripture, They may be used in family worship, or in
studying the Sabbath School lesson, or for prayer meeting, or in private
reading. It would be a good thing if questions like these were pasted in
the front of every Bible:

1. What persons have I read about, and what have I learned about them?

2. What places have I read about, and what have I read about them? If
the place is not mentioned, can I find out where it is? Do I know its
position on the map?

3. Does the passage refer to any particular time in the history of the
children of Israel, or of some leading character?

4. Can I tell from memory what I have just been reading?

5. Are there any parallel passages or texts that throw light on this
passage?

6. Have I read anything about God the Father? or about Jesus Christ? or
about the Holy Spirit?

7. What have I read about myself? about man's sinful nature? about the
spiritual new nature?

8. Is there any duty for me to observe? any example to follow? any
promise to lay hold of? any exhortation for my guidance? any prayer that
may echo?

9. How is this Scripture profitable for doctrine? for reproof? for
correction? for instruction in righteousness?

10. Does it contain the gospel in type or in evidence?

11. What is the key verse of the chapter or passage? Can I repeat it
from memory?



CHAPTER VIII.

How to Study the Bible--Feeding one's self--The Best Law--Three Books
Every Christian Should Possess--The Bible in the Sabbath School.

SOMEONE has said that there are four things necessary in studying the
Bible: Admit, submit, commit and transmit. First, admit its truth;
second, submit to its teachings; third, commit it to memory; and fourth,
transmit it. If the Christian life is a good thing for you, pass it on
to some one else.

Now I want to tell you how I study the Bible. Every man cannot fight in
Saul's armor; and perhaps you cannot follow my methods. Still I may be
able to throw out some suggestions that will help you. Spurgeon used to
prepare his sermon for Sunday morning on Saturday night. If I tried
that, I would fail.

FEED YOURSELF.

The quicker you learn to feed yourself the better. I pity down deep in
my heart any men or women who have been attending some church or chapel
for, say five, ten, or twenty years, and yet have not learned to feed
themselves.

You know it is always regarded a great event in the family when a child
can feed itself. It is propped up at table, and at first perhaps it uses
the spoon upside down, but by and by it uses it all right, and mother,
or perhaps sister, claps her hands and says, "Just see, baby's feeding
himself!" Well, what we need as Christians is to be able to feed
ourselves. How many there are who sit helpless and listless, with open
mouths, hungry for spiritual things, and the minister has to try to feed
them, while the Bible is a feast prepared, into which they never
venture.

There are many who have been Christians for twenty years who have still
to be fed with an ecclesiastical spoon. If they happen to have a
minister who feeds them, they get on pretty well; but if they have not,
they are not fed at all. This is the test as to your being a true child
of God--whether you love and feed upon the Word of God. If you go out to
your garden and throw down some sawdust, the birds will not take any
notice; but if you throw down some crumbs, you will find they will soon
sweep down and pick them up. So the true child of God can tell the
difference, so to speak, between sawdust and bread. Many so-called
Christians are living on the world's sawdust, instead of being nourished
by the Bread that cometh down from heaven. Nothing can satisfy the
longings of the soul but the Word of the living God.

THE LAW OF PERSEVERANCE.

The best law for Bible study is the law of perseverance. The Psalmist
says, "I have _stuck_ unto thy testimonies." Application to the Word
will tend to its growth within and its multiplication without. Some
people are like express-trains, they skims along so quickly that they
see nothing.

I met a lawyer in Chicago who told me he had spent two years in studying
up one subject; he was trying to smash a will. He made it his business
to read everything on wills he could get. Then he went into court and he
talked two days about that will; he was full of it; he could not talk
about anything else but wills. That is the way with the Bible--study it
and study it, one subject at a time, until you become filled with it.

Read the Bible itself--do not spend all your time on commentaries and
helps. If a man spent all his time reading up the chemical constituents
of bread and milk, he would soon starve.

THREE BOOKS REQUIRED.

There are three books which I think every Christian ought to possess.

The first, of course, is the Bible. I believe in getting a good Bible,
with a good plain print. I have not much love for those little Bibles
which you have to hold right under your nose in order to read the print;
and if the church happens to be a little dark, you cannot see the print,
but it becomes a mere jumble of words. Yes, but some one will say you
cannot carry a big Bible in your pocket. Very well, then, carry it under
your arm; and if you have to walk five miles, you will just be preaching
a sermon five miles long. I have known a man convicted by seeing another
carrying his Bible under his arm. You are not ashamed to carry
hymn-books and prayer-books, and the Bible is worth all the hymn-books
and prayer-books in the world put together. If you get a good Bible you
are likely to take better care of it. Suppose you pay ten dollars for a
good Bible, the older you grow the more precious it will become to you.
But be sure you do not get one so good that you will be afraid to mark
it. I don't like gilt-edged Bibles that look as if they had never been
used.

Then next I would advise you to get a Cruden's Concordance. I was a
Christian about five years before I ever heard of it. A skeptic in
Boston got hold of me. I didn't know anything about the Bible and I
tried to defend the Bible and Christianity. He made a misquotation and I
said it wasn't in the Bible: I hunted for days and days. If I had had a
concordance I could have found it at once. It is a good thing for
ministers once in a while to tell the people about a good book. You can
find any portion or any verse in the Bible by just turning to this
concordance.

Thirdly, a Topical Text Book. These books will help you to study the
Word of God with profit. If you do not possess them, get them at once;
every Christian ought to have them.[1]

SUNDAY SCHOOL QUARTERLIES AND THE BIBLE.

I think Sunday school teachers are making a woeful mistake if they don't
take the whole Bible into their Sunday school classes. I don't care how
young children are, let them understand it is one book, that there are
not two books--the Old Testament and the New are all one. Don't let them
think that the Old Testament doesn't come to us with the same authority
as the New. It is a great thing for a boy or girl to know how to handle
the Bible. What is an army good for if they don't know how to handle
their swords? I speak very strongly on this, because I know some Sabbath
schools that don't have a single Bible in them. They have question
books. There are questions and the answers are given just below; so that
you don't need to study your lesson. They are splendid things for lazy
teachers to bring along into their classes. I have seen them come into
the class with a question book, and sometimes they get it wrong side up
while they are talking to the class, until they find out their mistake,
and then they begin over again. I have seen an examination take place
something like this:

"John, who was the first man?"

"Methuselah."

"No; I think not; let me see. No, it is not Methuselah. Can't you guess
again?"

"Elijah."

"No."

"Adam."

"That's right, my son; you must have studied your lesson hard."

Now, I would like to know what a boy is going to do with that kind of a
teacher, or with that kind of teaching. That is the kind of teaching
that is worthless, and brings no result. Now, don't say that I condemn
helps. I believe in availing yourself of all the light you can get. What
I want you to do, when you come into your classes, is to come prepared
to explain the lesson without the use of a concordance. Bring the word
of God with you; bring the old Book.

You will often find families where there is a family Bible, but the
mother is so afraid that the children will tear it that she keeps it in
the spare room, and once in a great while the children are allowed to
look at it. The thing that interests them most is the family
record--when John was born, when father and mother were married.

I came up to Boston from the country and went into a Bible class where
there were a few Harvard students. They handed me a Bible and told me
the lesson was in John. I hunted all through the Old Testament for John,
but couldn't find it. I saw the fellows hunching one another, "Ah,
greenie from the country." Now, you know that is just the time when you
don't want to be considered green. The teacher saw my embarrassment and
handed me his Bible, and I put my thumb in the place and held on. I
didn't lose my place. I said then that if I ever got out of that scrape,
I would never be caught there again. Why is it that so many young men
from eighteen to twenty cannot be brought into a Bible class? Because
they don't want to show their ignorance. There is no place in the world
that is so fascinating as a live Bible class. I believe that we are to
blame that they have been brought up in the Sunday school without Bibles
and brought up with quarterlies. The result is, the boys are growing up
without knowing how to handle the Bible. They don't know where Matthew
is, they don't know where the Epistle to the Ephesians is, they don't
know where to find Hebrews or any of the different books of the Bible.
They ought to be taught how to handle the whole Bible, and it can be
done by Sunday school teachers taking the Bible into the class and going
right about it at once. You can get a Bible in this country for almost a
song now. Sunday schools are not so poor that they cannot get Bibles.
Some time ago there came up in a large Bible class a question, and they
thought they would refer to the Bible, but they found that there was not
a single one in the class. A Bible class without a Bible! It would be
like a doctor without physic; or an army without weapons. So they went
to the pews, but could not find one there. Finally they went to the
pulpit and took the pulpit Bible and settled the question. We are making
wonderful progress, aren't we? Quarterlies are all right in their
places, as helps in studying the lesson, but if they are going to sweep
the Bibles out of our Sunday schools, I think we had better sweep them
out.



CHAPTER IX.

The Telescopic and Microscopic Methods--Job--The Four
Gospels--Acts--Psalm 52:1.

THERE are two opposite ways to study the Bible. One is to study it with
a telescope, taking a grand sweep of a whole book and trying to find out
God's plan in it; the other, with a microscope, taking up a verse at a
time, dissecting it, analyzing it. If you take Genesis, it is the
seed-plant of the whole Bible; it tells us of _Life, Death,
Resurrection;_ it involves all the rest of the Bible.

THE BOOK OF JOB.

An Englishman once remarked to me: "Mr Moody, did you ever notice this,
that the book of Job is the key to the whole Bible? If you understand
Job you will understand the entire Bible!" "No," I said, "I don't
comprehend that. Job the key to the whole Bible! How do make that out?"
He said: "I divide Job into seven heads. The first head is: _A perfect
man untried_. That is what God said about Job; that is Adam in Eden. He
was perfect when God put him there. The second head is: _Tried by
adversity_. Job fell, as Adam fell in Eden. The third head is: _The
wisdom of the world_. The world tried to restore Job; the three wise men
came to help him. That was the wisdom of the world centred in those
three men. You can not," said he, "find any such eloquent language or
wisdom anywhere, in any part of the world, as those three men displayed,
but they did not know anything about grace, and could not, therefore,
help Job." That is just what men are trying to do; and the result is
that they fail; the wisdom of man never made man any better. These three
men did not help Job; they made him more unhappy. Some one has said the
first man took him, and gave him a good pull; then the second and third
did the same; the three of them had three good pulls at Job, and then
flat down they fell. "Then in the fourth place," said he, "in comes _the
Daysman_, that is Christ. In the fifth place, _God speaks;_ and in the
sixth, _Job learns his lesson_. 'I have heard of Thee by the hearing of
the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and
repent in dust and ashes.' And then down came Job flat on the dunghill.
The seventh head is this, that _God restores him_." Thank God, it is so
with us, and our last state is better than our first.

A friend of mine said to me: "Look here, Moody, God gave to Job double
of everything." He would not admit that Job had lost his children; God
had taken them to heaven, and He gave Job ten more. So Job had ten in
Heaven, and ten on earth--a goodly family. So when our children are
taken from us, they are not lost to us, but merely gone before.

Now, let me take you through the four Gospels. Let us begin with
Matthew.

MATTHEW.

Men sometimes tell me when I go into a town: "You want to be sure and
get such a man on your committee, for he has nothing to do and he will
have plenty of time." I say: "No, thank you, I do not want any man that
has nothing to do." Christ found Matthew sitting at the receipt of
custom. The Lord took some one He found at work, and he went right on
working. We do not know much about what he did, except that he wrote
this Gospel. But, what a book! Where Matthew came from we do not know,
and where he went to we do not know. His old name, Levi, dropped with
his old life.

The Key. The Messiah of the Jews and the Saviour of the world. Supposed
to have been written about twelve years after the death of Christ, and
to be the first Gospel written. It contains the best account of the life
of Christ. You notice that it is the last message of God to the Jewish
nation. Here we pass from the old to the new dispensation.

Matthew does not speak of Christ's ascension, but leaves Him on earth.

Mark gives His resurrection and ascension.

Luke gives His resurrection, ascension and the promise of a comforter.

John goes a step further and says he is coming back.

There are more quotations in Matthew than in any of the others; I think
there are about a hundred. He is trying to convince the Jews that Jesus
was the son of David, the rightful king. He talked a good deal about the
_kingdom_, its mysteries, the example of the kingdom, healing the sick,
etc., the principles of the kingdom as set forth in the sermon on the
mount; also, the rejection of the king. When anyone takes a kingdom they
lay down the principles upon which they are going to rule or conduct it.

Now, let me call your attention to five great sermons. In these you have
a good sweep of the whole book:

1. The sermon on the mount. See how many things lying all around Him He
brings into His sermon, salt, light, candle, coat, rain, closet, moth,
rust, thieves, eye, fowls, lilies, grass, dogs, bread, fish, gate,
grapes, thorns, figs, thistles, rock, etc.

Someone, in traveling through Palestine, said that he did not think
there was a solitary thing there that Christ did not use as an
illustration. So many people in these days are afraid to use common
things, but don't you think it is better to use things that people can
understand, than to talk so that people can't understand you? Now, a
woman can easily understand a candle, and a man can easily understand
about a rock, especially in a rocky country like Palestine. Christ used
common things as illustrations, and spoke so that everyone could
understand Him. A woman in Wales once said she knew Christ was Welsh,
and an Englishman said, "No, He was a Jew." She declared that she knew
He was Welsh, because He spoke so that she could understand Him. Christ
did not have a short-hand reporter to go around with Him to write out and
print His sermons, and yet the people remembered them. Never mind about
finished sentences and rounded periods, but give your attention to
making your sermons clear so that they stick. Use bait that your hearers
will like.

The Law was given on a mountain, and here Christ lays down His
principles on a mountain. The law of Moses applies to the outward acts,
but this sermon applies to the inward life. As the sun is brighter than
a candle, so the sermon on the mount is brighter than the law of Moses.
It tells us what kind of Christians we ought to be--lights in the world,
the salt of the world, silent in our actions but great in effect.

"I say unto you," occurs twelve times in this sermon.

2. The second great sermon was delivered to the twelve in the tenth
chapter. You find over and over again the sayings in this sermon are
quoted by men viz.: "Shake off the dust off your feet against them."
"Freely ye have received, freely give," etc.

3. The open air sermon. You want the best kind of preaching on the
street. You have to put what you say in a bright, crisp way, if you
expect people to listen.

You must learn to think on your feet. There was a young man preaching on
the streets in London when an infidel came up and said: "The man who
invented gas did more for the world than Jesus Christ." The young man
could not answer him and the crowd had the laugh on him. But another man
got up and said: "Of course the man has a right to his opinion, and I
suppose if he was dying he would send for the gasfitter, but I think I
should send for a minister and have him read the fourteenth chapter of
John;" and he turned the laugh back on the man.

This sermon contains seven parables. It is like a string of pearls.

4. The sermon of woes; Christ's last appeal to the Jewish nation.
Compare these eight woes with the nine beatitudes. You notice the
closing up of this sermon on woes is the most pathetic utterance in the
whole ministry of Christ. "Your house is left unto you desolate." Up to
that time it had been "_My Father's_ house," or "_My_ house," but now it
is "_your house_." It was not long until Titus came and leveled it to
the ground. Abraham never loved Isaac more than Jesus loved the Jewish
nation. It was hard for Abraham to give up Isaac, but harder for the Son
of God to give up Jerusalem.

5. The fifth sermon was preached to His disciples. How little did they
understand Him! When His heart was breaking with sorrow, they drew His
attention to the buildings of the temple.

The first sermon was given on the mount; the second and third at
Capernaum; the fourth in the Temple; the fifth on Olivet.

In Matthew's Gospel there is not a thing in hell, heaven, earth, sea,
air or grave that does not testify of Christ as the Son of God. Devils
cried out, fish entered the nets under His influence, wind and wave
obeyed Him.

Summary:--Nine beatitudes; eight woes; seven consecutive parables; ten
consecutive miracles; five continuous sermons; four prophecies of His
death.

MARK.

The four Gospels are independent of each other, no one was copied from
the other. Each is the complement of the rest, and we get four views of
Christ, like the four sides of a house.

Matthew writes for Jews.

Mark writes for Romans.

Luke writes for Gentile converts.

You don't find any long sermons in Mark. The Romans were quick and
active, and he had to condense things in order to catch them. You'll
find the words "Forthwith," "Straightway," "Immediately," occur
forty-one times in this gospel. Every chapter but the first, seventh,
eighth and fourteenth begins with "And," as if there was no pause in
Christ's ministry.

Luke tells us that Christ received little children, but Mark says He
took them up in His arms. That makes it sweeter to you, doesn't it?

Perhaps the high water mark is the fifth chapter. Here we find three
very bad cases, devils, disease and death, beyond the reach of man,
cured by Christ. The first man was possessed with devils. They could not
bind him, or chain or tame him. I suppose a good many men and women had
been scared by that man. People are afraid of a graveyard even in
daylight, but think of a live man being in the tombs and possessed with
devils! He said: "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the
most high God? I adjure thee by God that thou torment me not." But Jesus
had come to do him good.

Next, the woman with the issue of blood. If she had been living to-day,
I suppose she would have tried every patent medicine in the market. We
would have declared her a hopeless case and sent her to the hospital.
Some one has said: "There was more medicine in the hem of His garment
than in all the apothecary shops in Palestine." She just touched Him and
was made whole. Hundreds of others touched Him, but they did not get
anything. Can you tell the difference between the touch of faith and the
ordinary touch of the crowd?

Thirdly, Jarius' daughter raised. You see the manifestation of Jesus'
power is increasing, for when He arrived the child was dead and He
brought her to life. I do not doubt but that away back in the secret
councils of eternity it was appointed that He should be there just at
that time. I remember once being called to preach a funeral sermon, and
looked the four gospels through to find one of Christ's funeral sermons,
but do you know He never preached one? He broke up every funeral He
ever attended. The dead awaked when they heard His voice.

LUKE.

We now come to Luke's gospel. You notice his name does not occur in this
book or in Acts. (You will find it used three times, viz.; in
Colossians, Timothy and Philemon). He keeps himself in the background.
I meet numbers of Christian workers who are ruined by getting their
names up. We do not know whether Luke was a Jew or a Gentile.

The first we see of him is in Acts 16:10 "And after he had seen the
vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly
gathering that the Lord had called _us_ for to preach the gospel unto
them." He did not claim to be an eye-witness to Christ's ministry nor
one of the seventy. Some think he was, but he does not claim it. It is
supposed that his gospel is of Paul's preaching, the same as Mark's, was
of Peter. It is also called the Gospel of the Gentiles, and is supposed
to have been written when Paul was in Rome, about 27 years after Christ.
One-third of this gospel is left out in the other gospels. It opens with
a note of praise: "And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall
rejoice at His birth;" "And they worshipped Him, and returned to
Jerusalem with great joy. And were continually in the temple, praising
and blessing God;" and closes the same way.

Canon Farrar has pointed out that we have a seven-fold gospel in Luke:

1. It is a gospel of praise and song. We find here the songs of
Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon, the angels, and others. Some one has
written beautifully of Simeon as follows: "What Simeon wanted to see was
the Lord's Christ. Unbelief would suggest to him, 'Simeon you are an old
man, your day is almost ended, the snow of age is upon your head, your
eyes are growing dim, your brow is wrinkled, your limbs totter, and
death is almost upon you: and where are the signs of His coming? You are
resting, Simeon, upon imagination--it is all a delusion.' 'No,' replied
Simeon, 'I shall not see death till I have seen the Lord's Christ; I
shall see Him before I die.' I can imagine Simeon walking out one fine
morning along one of the lovely vales of Palestine, meditating upon the
great subject that filled his mind. Presently he meets a friend: 'Peace
be with you; have you heard the strange news? What news?' replies
Simeon. 'Do you not know Zacharias the priest?' 'Yes, well.' 'According
to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense in the
temple of the Lord, and the whole multitude of the people were praying
without. It was the time of incense, and there appeared unto him an
angel, standing on the right side of the altar, who told him that he
should have a son, whose name should be called John; one who should be
great in the sight of the Lord, who should go before the Messiah and
make ready a people prepared for the Lord. The angel was Gabriel who
stands in the presence of God, and because Zacharias believed not, he
was struck dumb.' 'Oh,' says Simeon, 'that fulfills the prophecy of
Malachi. This is the forerunner of the Messiah: this is the morning
star: the day dawn is not for off: the Messiah is nigh at hand.
Hallelujah! The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple!' Time rolls on.
I can imagine Simeon accosted again by one of his neighbors: 'Well,
Simeon, have you heard the news?' 'What news?' 'Why there's a singular
story in everybody's mouth. A company of shepherds were watching their
flocks by night on the plains of Bethlehem. It was the still hour of
night, and darkness mantled the world. Suddenly a bright light shone
around the shepherds, a light above the brightness of the midday sun.
They looked up, and just above them was an angel who said to the
terrified shepherds, Fear not, I bring you glad tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people!' 'This is the Lord's Christ,' said Simeon,
'and I shall not taste death till I have seen him.' He said to himself,
'They will bring the child to the Temple to present Him to the Lord.'

Away went Simeon, morning after morning, to see if he could get a
glimpse of Jesus. Perhaps unbelief suggested to Simeon, 'You had better
stop at home this wet morning: you have been so often and have missed
Him: you may venture to be absent this once.' 'No,' said the Spirit, 'go
to the Temple.' Simeon would no doubt select a good point of
observation. See how intently he watches the door! He surveys the face
of every child as one mother after another brings her infant to be
presented. 'No,' he says, 'That is not He.' At length he sees the Virgin
appear, and the Spirit tells him it is the long-expected Saviour. He
grasps the child in his arms, presses him to his heart, blesses God and
says: 'Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to
Thy word. For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast
prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles,
and the glory of Thy people Israel.'"

2. It is a gospel of thanksgiving. They glorified God when Jesus healed
the widow's son at Nain, when the blind man received sight, etc.

3. It is a gospel of prayer. We learn that Christ prayed when he was
baptised, and nearly every great event in His ministry was preceded by
prayer. If you want to hear from Heaven you must seek it on your knees.
There are two parables about prayer--the friend at midnight and the
unjust judge.

4. Here is another thing that is made prominent, namely, the gospel of
womanhood. Luke alone records many loving things Christ did for women.
The richest jewel in Christ's crown was what he did for women. A man
tried to tell me that Mohammed had done more for women than Christ. I
told him that if he had ever been in Mohammedan countries, he would be
ashamed of himself for making such a remark. They care more for their
donkeys than they do for their wives and mothers.

A man once said that when God created life He began at the lowest forms
of animal life and came up until He got to man, then he was not quite
satisfied and created a woman. She was lifted up the highest, and when
she fell, she fell the lowest.

5. This is the gospel of the poor and humble. When I get a crowd of
roughs on the street I generally teach from Luke. Here are the
shepherds, the peasant, the incident of the rich man and Lazarus. This
gospel tells us He found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of
the Lord is upon me--to preach the gospel to the poor." It is a dark day
for a church when it gets out that they do not want the common people.
Whitfield labored among the miners, and Wesley among the common people.
If you want the poor, let it get out that you want them to come.

6. It is a gospel to the lost. The woman with the seven devils, the
thief on the cross illustrate this. Also, the parables of the lost
sheep, the lost piece of silver, and the lost son.

7. It is a gospel of tolerance.

"He that winneth souls is wise." Do you want to win men? Do not drive or
scold them. Do not try to tear down their prejudices before you begin to
lead them to the truth. Some people think they have to tear down the
scaffolding before they begin on the building. An old minister once
invited a young brother to preach for him. The latter scolded the
people, and when he got home, asked the old minister how he had done. He
said he had an old cow, and when he wanted a good supply of milk, he fed
the cow; he did not scold her.

Christ reached the publicans because nearly everything he said about
them was in their favor. Look at the parable of the Pharisee and
publican. Christ said the publican went down to his house justified
rather than that proud Pharisee. How did He reach the Samaritans? Take
the parable of the ten lepers. Only one returned to thank Him for the
healing, and that was a Samaritan. Then there is the parable of the Good
Samaritan. It has done more to stir people up to philanthropy and
kindness to the poor than anything that has been said on this earth for
six thousand years. Go into Samaria and you find that story has reached
there first. Some man has been down to Jerusalem and heard it, and gone
back home and told it all around; and they say "If that Prophet ever
comes up here, we'll give Him a hearty reception." If you want to reach
people that do not agree with you, do not take a club to knock them down
and then try to pick them up. When Jesus Christ dealt with the erring
and the sinners, He was as tender with them as a mother is with her sick
child. A child once said to his mother, "Mamma, you never speak ill of
any one. You would speak well of Satan." "Well," said the mother, "you
might imitate his perseverance."

JOHN.

John was supposed to be the youngest disciple, and was supposed to be
the first of all that Christ had to follow Him. He is called the bosom
companion of Christ. Someone was complaining of Christ's being partial.
I have no doubt that Christ did love John more than the others, but it
was because John loved him most. I think John got into the inner circle,
and we can get in too if we will. Christ keeps the door open and we can
just go right in. You notice nearly all his book is new. All of the
eight months Christ spent in Judea are recorded here.

Matthew begins with Abraham; Mark with Malachi; Luke with John the
Baptist; but John with God Himself.

Matthew sets forth Christ as the Jew's Messiah.

Mark as the active worker.

Luke as a man.

John as a personal Saviour.

John presents Him as coming from the bosom of the Father. The central
thought in this gospel is proving the divinity of Christ. If I wanted to
prove to a man that Jesus Christ was divine, I would take him directly
to this gospel. The word _repent_ does not occur once, but the word
_believe_ occurs ninety-eight times. The controversy that the Jews
raised about the divinity of Christ is not settled yet, and before John
went away he took his pen and wrote down these things to settle it.

A seven-fold witness to the divinity of Christ:

1. Testimony of the Father. "The Father that sent me beareth witness of
me."

2. The Son bearing testimony. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Though
I bear record of myself, yet my record is true; for I know whence I
came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I came, and whither I
go."

3. Christ's works testify: "If I do not the works of my Father, believe
me not. But if I do, though you believe not me, believe the works, that
ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him."

No man can make me believe that Jesus Christ was a bad man; because He
brought forth good fruit. How any one can doubt that He was the Son of
God after eighteen centuries of testing is a mystery to me.

4. The Scriptures: "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me,
for he wrote of me."

5. John the Baptist: "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of
God."

6. The Disciples: "And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been
with me from the beginning."

7. The Holy Ghost: "But when the comforter is come, whom I will send
unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth
from the Father, he shall testify of me."

Of course there many others that show His divinity, but I think these
are enough to prove it to any man. If I went into court and had seven
witnesses that could not be broken down, I think I would have a good
case.

Notice the "I am's" of Christ.

"I am from above."

"I am not of this world."

"Before Abraham was, I am."

"I am the bread of life."

"I am the light of the world."

"I am the door."

"I am the Good Shepherd."

"I am the way."

"I am the truth." Pilate asked what truth was, and there it was standing
right before him.

"I am the resurrection and the life."

In the gospel of John, we find eight gifts for the believer: the bread
of life; the water of life; eternal life; the Holy Spirit; love; joy;
peace; His words.

ACTS.

A good lesson to study is how all through the book of Acts defeat was
turned to victory. When the early Christians were persecuted, they went
every where preaching the Word. That was a victory, and so on all
through.

Luke's gospel was taken up with Christ in the body, Acts with Christ in
the church. In Luke we read of what Christ did in His humiliation, and
in Acts what He did in His exaltation. With most men, their work stops
at their death, but with Christ it had only begun. "Greater works than
these shall ye do, because I go to My Father." We call this book the
"Acts of the Apostles," but it is really the "Acts of the Church
(Christ's body)."

You will find the key to the book in chapter 1:8: "But ye shall receive
power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

We would not have seen the struggles of that infant church if it had not
been for Luke. We would not have known much about Paul either if it had
not been for Luke.

There were four rivers flowing out of Eden; here we have the four
gospels flowing into one channel.

Three divisions of the Acts:--

I. Founding of the church.

II. Growth of the church.

III. Sending out of missionaries.

I believe that the nearer we keep to the apostles' way of presenting the
gospel, the more success we will have.

Now there are ten great sermons in Acts, and I think if you get a good
hold on these you will have a pretty good understanding of the book and
how to preach. Five were preached by Peter, one by Stephen and four by
Paul. The phrase, "We are witnesses," runs through the entire book. We
say, to-day, "We are eloquent preachers." We seem to be above being
simple witnesses.

I. Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost. Someone said that now it
takes about three thousand sermons to convert one Jew, but here three
thousand were converted by one sermon. When Peter testified of Christ
and bore witness that he had died and had risen again, God honored it,
and he will do the same with you.

II. Peter preaches in Solomon's porch. A short sermon, but it did good
work. They did not get there till three o'clock, and I believe the Jews
could not arrest a man after sundown, and yet in that short space of
time five thousand were converted. What did he preach? Listen:

"But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be
granted unto you;

And killed the Prince of Life, whom God hath raised from the dead:
whereof we are witnesses.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted
out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the
Lord."

III. Peter preaches to the high priests. They had arrested them and were
demanding to know by what power they did these things. "By the name of
Jesus Christ, . . . doth this man stand here before you whole." When
Bunyan was told he would be released if he would not preach any more, he
said, "If you let me out I will preach to-morrow."

IV. Peter's testimony before the council. They commanded them not to
preach in the name of Christ. I don't know what they could do if they
were forbidden that. Some ministers to-day would have no trouble; they
could get along very well. About all the disciples knew was what they
had learned in those three years with Jesus, hearing His sermons and
seeing His miracles. They saw the things and knew they were so, and when
the Holy Ghost came down upon them, they could not help but speak them.

V. Stephen's sermon. He preached the longest sermon in Acts. Dr. Bonar
once said, "Did you ever notice, Brother Whittle, that when the Jews
accused Stephen of speaking blasphemous words against Moses, the Lord
lit up his face with the same glory with which Moses' face shone?"

An old Scotch beadle once warned his new minister, "You may preach as
much as ye like about the sins of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but stick to
them and don't come any nearer hand if ye want to stay here." Stephen
began with them, but he came right down to the recent crucifixion, and
stirred them up.

VI. Peter's last sermon and the first sermon to the Gentiles. Notice the
same gospel is preached to the Gentiles as to the Jews, and it produces
the same results. "To him give all the prophets witness, that through
His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.
While Peter spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all of them which
heard the word."

Now the leading character changes and Paul comes on.

VII. Paul's sermon at Antioch, in Pisidia. An old acquaintance once said
to me, "What are you preaching now? I hope you are not harping on that
old string yet." Yes, thank God, I am spreading the old gospel. If you
want to get people to come to hear you, lift up Christ; He said, "I, if
I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." "Be it known unto you,
therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you
the forgiveness of sins."

VIII. Paul's sermon to the Athenians. He got fruit at Athens by
preaching the same old gospel to the philosophers.

IX. Paul's sermon at Jerusalem.

X. Paul's defence before Agrippa. I think that is the grandest sermon
Paul ever preached. He preached the same gospel before Agrippa and
Festus that he did down in Jerusalem. He preached everywhere the mighty
fact that God gave Christ as a ransom for sin, that the whole world can
be saved by trusting in Him.

"Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day,
witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those
which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should
rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people and to the
Gentiles."

THE MICROSCOPIC METHOD.

Let me show what I mean by the microscopic method by taking the first
verse of Psalm 52: "Why boastest thou thyself in iniquity, O mighty man?
The goodness of God endureth continually." This verse naturally falls
into two divisions, on the one side being--man, on the other--God.
Man--mischief; God--goodness. Is any particular man addressed? Yes: Doeg
the Edomite, as the preface to the psalm suggests. You can therefore
find the historic reference of this verse and Psalm in 1 Samuel 22:9.
Now take a concordance or topical text-book, and study the subject of
"boasting." What words mean the same thing as "boasting"? One is
glorifying. Is boasting always condemned? In what does Scripture forbid
us to boast? In what are we exhorted to boast? "Thus saith the Lord: Let
not the wise man glory in his wisdom; let not the rich man glory in his
riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this: that he understandeth
and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving-kindness,
judgment and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight,
saith the Lord." Treat the subject "mischief," in a similar manner. Then
ask yourself is this boasting, this mischief, always to last? No: "the
triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for
a moment." "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself
like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: Yea, I
sought him, but he could not be found." The other half of the text
suggests a study of goodness (or mercy) as an attribute of God. How is it
manifested temporally and spiritually? What Scripture have we for it? Is
God's goodness conditional? Does God's goodness conflict with His
justice? Now, as the end of Bible study as well as of preaching is to
save men, ask yourself is the Gospel contained in this text in type or
in evidence? Turn to Romans 2:4: "Despiseth thou the riches of his
goodness and forbearance and long suffering: not knowing that _the
goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?_" Here the verse leads
directly to the subject of repentance, and you rise from the study of
the verse ready at any time to preach a short sermon that may be the
means of converting some one.



CHAPTER X.

One Book at a Time--Chapter Study--The Gospel of John.

I KNOW some men who never sit down to read a book until they have time
to read the whole of it. When they come to Leviticus or Numbers, or any
of the other books, they read it right through at one sitting. They get
the whole sweep, and then they begin to study it chapter by chapter.
Dean Stanley used to read a book through three separate times: first for
the story, second for the thought, and third for the literary style. It
is a good thing to take one whole book at a time.

How could you expect to understand a story or a scientific text-book if
you read one chapter here and another there?

Dr. A. T. Pierson says: Let the introduction cover five P's; place where
written; person by whom written; people to whom written; purpose for
which written; period at which written.

Here it is well to grasp the leading points in the chapters. The method
is illustrated by the following plan by which I tried to interest the
students at Mt. Hermon school and the Northfield Seminary. It provides
a way of committing Scripture to memory, so that one can call up a
passage to meet the demand whenever it arises. I said to the students
one morning at worship: "To-morrow morning when I come I will not read a
portion of Scripture, but we will take the first chapter of the Gospel
of John and you shall tell me from memory what you find in that chapter
and each learn the verse in it that is most precious to you." We went
through the Whole book that way and committed a verse or two to
memory-out of each one.

I will give the main headings we found in the chapters.

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, BY CHAPTERS.

Chapter 1. The call of the first five disciples.

It was about four o'clock in the afternoon that John stood and said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God." Two of John's disciples then followed Jesus,
and one of them, Andrew, went out and brought his brother Simon. Then
Jesus found Philip, as he was starting for Galilee, and Philip found
Nathaniel, the skeptical man. When he got sight of Christ his skeptical
ideas were all gone. Commit to memory verses 11 and 12: "He came unto
his own and his own received him not, but as many as received him, to
them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe
on his name." Key word, Receiving.

Chapter 2. "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." We had a good time in
this chapter on Obedience, which is the key word.

Chapter 3. This is a chapter on Regeneration. It took us more than one
day to get through this one. This gives you a respectable sinner, and
how Jesus dealt with him. Commit verse 16: "God so loved the world, that
He gave His Only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life." Key word, Believing.

Chapter 4. A disreputable sinner, and how Jesus dealt with her. If we
had been dealing with her, we would have told her what Jesus told
Nicodemus, but He took her on her own ground. She came for a water-pot
of water, and, thank God, she got a whole well full. Key word,
Worshipping. Memorize verse 24: "God is a Spirit; and they that worship
him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

Chapter 5. Divinity of Christ. Commit verse 24: "Verily, verily, I say
unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me,
hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death unto life." Key word, Healing.

Chapter 6. We called that the _bread_ chapter. If you want a good loaf
of bread, get into this sixth chapter. You feed upon that bread and you
will live forever. Key verse: Christ the bread of life. "I am the living
bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he
shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I
will give for the life of the world." Key word, Eating.

Chapter 7 is the _water_ chapter. "If any man thirst let him come unto
me and drink." You have here living water and Christ's invitation to
every thirsty soul to come to drink. Key word, Drinking.

Chapter 8. The _Light_ chapter. "I am the light of the world." Key,
Walking in the light. But what is the use of having light if you have no
eyes to see with, so we go on to

Chapter 9. The Sight chapter. There was a man born blind and Christ made
him to see. Key word, Testifying. Memory verse: "I must work the works
of Him that sent me while it is day: the night cometh when no man can
work."

Chapter 10. Here you find the Good Shepherd. Commit to memory verse 11:
"I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the
sheep." Key word, Safety.

Chapter 11. The Lazarus chapter. Memorize verse 25: "I am the
resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live." Key word, Resurrection.

Chapter 12. Verse 32: "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."
Here Christ closes up his ministry to the Jewish nation. Key word,
Salvation for all.

Chapter 13. The Humility chapter. Christ washing the feet of his
disciples. Learn verse 34: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye
love one another." Key word, Teaching.

Chapter 14. The Mansion chapter. Commit to memory verse 6: "I am the
way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."
Key words, Peace and comfort.

Chapter 15. The Fruit chapter. The vine can only bear fruit through the
branches. Verse 5: "I am the vine; ye are the branches: He that abideth
in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me
you can do nothing." Key word, Joy.

Chapter 16. The promise of the Holy Ghost. Here you find the secret of
Power, which is the key word.

Chapter 17. This chapter contains what is properly the "Lord's prayer."
Learn verse 15: "I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the
world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil." Key word,
Separation.

Chapter 18. Christ is arrested.

Chapter 19. Christ is crucified.

Chapter 20. Christ rises from the dead.

Chapter 21. Christ spends some time with his disciples again, and
invites them to dine with him.



CHAPTER XI.

Study of Types--Types of Christ--Leprosy a Type of Sin--Bible
Characters--Meaning of Names.

ANOTHER way of studying is to take five great divisions--History, Type,
Prophecy, Miracle, Parable.

It is a very interesting thing to study the types of the Bible. Get a
good book on the subject and you will be surprised to find out how
interested you will become. The Bible is full of patterns and types of
ourselves. That is a popular objection against the Bible--that it tells
about the failings of men. We should, however, remember that the object
of the Bible is not to tell how good men are, but how bad men can become
good. But more especially the Bible is full of types of Christ. Types
are foreshadowings, and wherever there is a shadow there must be
substance. As John McNeill says, "If I see the shadow of a dog, I know
there's a dog around." God seems to have chosen this means of teaching
the Israelites of the promised Messiah. All the laws, ceremonies and
institutions of the Mosaic dispensation point to Christ and His
dispensation. The enlightened eyes see Christ in all. For instance, the
tabernacle was a type of the incarnation of Jesus; John 1:14, "and the
word was made flesh, and _tabernacled_ amongst us." The laver typified
sanctification or purity: Ephesians 5:26, "that he might sanctify and
cleanse the Church with the washing of water by the word." The
candlesticks typified Christ as the Light of the world. The shewbread
typified Christ as the Bread of Life. The High Priest was always a type
of Christ. Christ was called of God, as was Aaron; He ever liveth to
make intercession; He was consecrated with an oath, and so on. The
Passover, the Day of Atonement, the Smitten Rock, the sacrifices, the
City of Refuge, the Brazen Serpent--all point to Christ's atoning work.
Adam was a beautiful type. Think of the two Adams. One introduced sin
and ruin into the world, and the other abolished it. So Cain stands as
the representative natural man, and Abel as the spiritual man. Abel as a
shepherd is a type of Christ the heavenly Shepherd. There is no more
beautiful type of Christ in the Bible than Joseph. He was hated of his
brethren; he was stripped of his coat; he was sold; he was imprisoned;
he gained favor; he had a gold chain about his neck; every knee bowed
before him. A comparison of the lives of Joseph and Jesus shows a
startling similarity in their experience.

The disease of leprosy is a type of sin. It is incurable by man; it
works baneful results; it is insidious in its nature, and from a small
beginning works complete ruin; it separates its victims from their
fellow-men, just as sin separates a man from God; and as Christ had
power to cleanse the leper, so by the grace of God His blood cleanseth
us from all iniquity.

Adam represents man's innate sinfulness.

Abel represents Atonement.

Enoch represents communion.

Noah represents Regeneration.

Abraham represents Faith.

Isaac represents Sonship.

Jacob represents Discipline and Service.

Joseph represents Glory through suffering.

BIBLE CHARACTERS.

Another good way is to study Bible characters--take them right from the
cradle to the grave. You find that skeptics often take one particular
part of a man's life--say, of the life of Jacob or of David--and judge
the whole by that. They say these men were queer saints; and yet God did
not punish them. If you go right through these men's lives you will find
that God did punish them, according to the sins they committed.

A lady once said to me that she had trouble in reading the Bible, that
she seemed to not feel the interest she ought. If you don't keep up your
interest in one way, try another. Never think you have to read the Bible
by courses.

PROPER NAMES.

Another interesting study is the meaning of proper names. I need hardly
remark that every name in the Bible, especially Hebrew names, has a
meaning of its own. Notice the difference between Abram (a high father),
and Abraham (father of a multitude), and you have a key to his life.
Another example is Jacob (supplanter), and Israel (Prince of God). The
names of Job's three daughters were Jemima (a dove), Kezia (cassia), and
Keren-happuch (horn of paint). These names signify beauty; so that Job's
leprosy left no taint.



CHAPTER XII.

Study of
Subjects--Love--Sanctification--Faith--Justification--Atonement
--Conversion--Heaven--Revivals--Separation--Grace--Prayer--Assurance
--God's Promises.

I FIND some people now and then who boast that they have read the Bible
through in so many months. Others read the Bible chapter by chapter, and
get through it in a year; but I think it would be almost better to spend
a year over one book. If I were going into a court of justice, and
wanted to carry the jury with me, I should get every witness I could to
testify to the one point on which I wanted to convince the jury. I would
not get them to testify to everything, but just to that one thing. And
so it should be with the Scriptures.

I took up that word "_Love_" and I do not know how many weeks I spent in
studying the passages in which it occurs, till at last I could not help
loving people. I had been feeding so long on Love that I was anxious to
do everybody good I came in contact with.

Take _Sanctification_. I would rather take my concordance and gather
passages on sanctification and sit down for four or five days and study
them than have men tell me about it.

I suppose that if all the time that I have prayed for _Faith_ was put
together, it would be months. I used to say when I was President of the
Young Men's Christian Association in Chicago, "What we want is faith; if
we only have faith, we can turn Chicago upside down"--or rather, right
side up. I thought that some day faith was going to come down, and
strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read
in the tenth chapter of Romans, "Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing
by the Word of God." I had closed my Bible, and prayed for faith. I now
opened my Bible, and began to study, and faith has been growing ever
since.

Take the doctrine that made Martin Luther such a power,
_Justification_--"The just shall live by faith." When that thought
flashed through Martin Luther's mind as he was ascending the Scala Santa
on his knees (although some people deny the truth of this statement), he
rose and went forth to be a power among the nations of the earth.
Justification puts a man before God as if he had never sinned; he stands
before God like Jesus Christ. Thank God, in Jesus Christ we can be
perfect, but there is no perfection out of Him. God looks in His ledger,
and says, "Moody, your debts have all been paid by Another; there is
nothing against you."

In New England there is perhaps no doctrine assailed so much as the
_Atonement_. The Atonement is foreshadowed in the garden of Eden; there
is the innocent suffering for the guilty, the animals slain for Adam's
sin. We find it in Abraham's day, in Moses' day; all through the books
of Moses and the prophets. Look at the fifty-third of Isaiah, and at the
prophecy of Daniel. Then we come into the Gospels, and Christ says, "I
lay down My life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me,
but I lay it down of Myself."

CONVERSION.

People talk about _Conversion_--what is conversion? The best way to find
out is from the Bible. A good many don't believe in sudden conversions.
You can die in a moment. Can't you receive life in a moment?

When Mr. Sankey and myself were in one place in Europe a man preached a
sermon against the pernicious doctrines that we were going to preach,
one of which was sudden conversion. He said conversion was a matter of
time and growth. Do you know what I do when any man preaches against the
doctrines I preach? I go to the Bible and find out what it says, and if
I am right I give them more of the same kind. I preached more on sudden
conversion in that town than in any town I was in in my life. I would
like to know how long it took the Lord to convert Zaccheus? How long did
it take the Lord to convert that woman whom He met at the well of
Sychar? How long to convert that adulterous woman in the temple, who was
caught in the very act of adultery? How long to convert that woman who
anointed His feet and wiped them with the hairs of her head? Didn't she
go with the word of God ringing in her ears, "Go in peace"?

There was no sign of Zaccheus being converted when he went up that
sycamore tree, and he was converted when he came down, so he must have
been converted between the branch and the ground. Pretty sudden work,
wasn't it? But you say, "That is because Christ was there." Friends,
they were converted a good deal faster after He went away than when He
was here. Peter preached, and three thousand were converted in one day.
Another time, after three o'clock in the afternoon, Peter and John
healed a man at the gate of the Temple, and then went in and preached,
and five thousand were added to the church before night, and Jews at
that. That was rather sudden work. Professor Drummond describes a man
going into one of our after-meetings and saying he wants to become a
Christian. "Well, my friend, what is the trouble?" He doesn't like to
tell. He is greatly agitated. Finally he says, "The fact is, I have
overdrawn my account"--a polite way of saying he has been stealing. "Did
you take your employer's money?" "Yes." "How much?" "I don't know. I
never kept account of it." "Well, you have an idea you stole $1,500 last
year?" "I am afraid it is that much." "Now, look here, sir, I don't
believe in sudden work; don't you steal more than a thousand dollars
this next year, and the next year not more than five hundred, and in the
course of the next few years you will get so that you won't steal any.
If your employer catches you, tell him you are being converted; and you
will get so that you won't steal any by and by." My friends, the thing
is a perfect farce. "Let him that stole, steal no more," that is what
the Bible says. It is right about face.

Take another illustration. Here comes a man and he admits that he gets
drunk every week. That man comes to a meeting and he wants to be
converted. I say, "Don't you be in a hurry. I believe in doing the work
gradually. Don't you get drunk and knock your wife down more than once a
month." Wouldn't it be refreshing to your wife to go a whole month
without being knocked down? Once a month, only twelve times in a year!
Wouldn't she be glad to have you converted in this new way! Only get
drunk after a few years on the anniversary of your wedding, and at
Christmas; and then it will be effective because it is gradual. Oh! I
detest, all that kind of teaching. Let us go to the Bible and see what
that old Book teaches. Let us believe it, and go and act as if we
believed it, too. Salvation is instantaneous. I admit that a man may be
converted so that he can not tell when he crossed the line between death
and life, but I also believe a man may be a thief one moment and a saint
the next. I believe a man may be as vile as hell itself one moment, and
be saved the next.

Christian growth is gradual, just as physical growth is; but a man
passes from death unto everlasting life quick as an act of the mind--"He
that believeth on the Son _hath_ everlasting life."

People say they want to become heavenly-minded. Well, read about
_heaven_ and talk about it. I once preached on "Heaven," and after the
meeting a lady came to me and said, "Why, Mr. Moody, I didn't know there
were so many verses in the Bible about heaven." And I hadn't taken one
out of a hundred. She was amazed that there was so much in the Bible
about heaven.

When you are away from home, how you look for news! You skip everything
in the daily paper until your eye catches the name of your own town or
country. Now the Christian's home is in heaven. The Scriptures contain
our title-deeds to everything we shall be worth when we die. If a will
has your name in it, it is no longer a dry document. Why, then, do not
Christians take more interest in the Bible?

Then, again, people say thy don't believe in _revivals_. There's not a
denomination in the world that didn't spring from a revival. There are
the Catholic and Episcopal churches claiming to be the apostolic
churches and to have sprung from Pentecost; the Lutheran from Martin
Luther, and so on. They all sprung out of revivals, and yet people talk
against revivals! I'd as soon talk against my mother as against a
revival. Wasn't the country revived under John the Baptist? Wasn't it
under Christ's teachings? People think that because a number of
superficial cases of conversion occur at revivals that therefore
revivals ought to be avoided. They forget the parable of the sower,
where Jesus himself warns us of emotional hearers, who receive the word
with joy, but soon fall away. If only one out of every four hearers is
truly converted, as in the parable, the revival has done good.

Suppose you spend a month on _Regeneration_, or _The Kingdom of God_, or
_The Church_ in the New Testament, or the _divinity of Christ_ or the
_attributes of God_. It will help you in your own spiritual life, and
you will become a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the
word of truth.

Make a study of the _Holy Spirit_. There are probably five hundred
passages on the Holy Spirit, and what you want is to study this subject
for yourself. Take the _Return of our Lord_. I know it is a controverted
subject. Some say He is to come at the end of the Millennium, others say
this side of the Millennium. What we want is to know what the Bible
says. Why not go to the Bible and study it up for yourself; it will be
worth more to you than anything you get from anyone else. Then
_Separation_. I believe that a Christian man should lead a separated
life. The line between the church and the world is almost obliterated
to-day. I have no sympathy with the idea that you must hunt up an old
musty church record in order to find out whether a man is a member of
the church or not. A man ought to live so that everybody will know he is
a Christian. The Bible tells us to lead a separate life. You may lose
influence, but you will gain it at the same time. I suppose Daniel was
the most unpopular man in Babylon at a certain time, but, thank God, he
has outlived all the other men of his time. Who were the chief men of
Babylon? When God wanted any work done in Babylon, He knew where to find
some one to do it. You can be in the world, but not of it. Christ didn't
take His disciples out of the world, but He prayed that they might be
kept from evil. A ship in the water is all right, but when the water
gets into the ship, then look out. A worldly Christian is just like a
wrecked vessel at sea.

I remember once I took up the _grace of God_. I didn't know the
difference between law and grace. When that truth dawned upon me and I
saw the difference, I studied the whole week on grace and I got so
filled that I couldn't stay in the house. I said to the first man I met,
"Do you know anything about the grace of God?" He thought I was a
lunatic. And I just poured out for about an hour on the grace of God.

Study the subject of _Prayer_. "For real business at the mercy seat,"
says Spurgeon, "give me a homemade prayer, a prayer that comes out of
the depths of your heart, not because you invented it, but because the
Holy Spirit put it there. Though your words are broken and your
sentences disconnected, God will hear you. Perhaps you can pray better
without words than with them. There are prayers that break the backs of
words; they are too heavy for any human language to carry."

Some people say, "I do not believe in _Assurance_." I never knew anybody
who read their Bibles who did not believe in Assurance. This Book
teaches nothing else. Paul says, "I know in whom I have believed." Job
says, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." It is not "I hope," "I trust."

The best book on Assurance was written by one called "John," at the back
part of the Bible. He wrote an epistle on this subject. Sometimes you
just get a word that will be a sort of key to the epistle, and which
unfolds it. Now if you turn to John 20:31, you will find it says, "These
are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God; and that, believing, ye might have life through His name." Then if
you turn to 1 John 5:13, you will read thus: "These things have I
written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may
_know_ that ye have eternal life; and that ye may believe on the name of
the Son of God." That whole epistle is written on assurance. I have no
doubt John had found some people who questioned about assurance and
doubted whether they were saved or not, and he took up his pen and said,
"I will settle that question;" and he wrote that last verse in the
twentieth chapter of his gospel.

I have heard some people say that it was not their privilege to know
that they were saved; they had heard the minister say that no one could
know whether they were saved or not; and they took what the minister
said, instead of what the Word of God said. Others read the Bible to
make it fit in and prove their favorite creed or notions; and if it does
not do so, they will not read it. It has been well said that we must not
read the Bible by the blue light of Presbyterianism; nor by the red
light of Methodism; nor by the violet light of Episcopalianism; but by
the light of the Spirit of God. If you will take up your Bible and study
"assurance" for a week, you will soon see it is your privilege to know
that you are a child of God.

Then take the _promises of God_. Let a man feed for a month on the
promises of God, and he will not talk about his poverty, and how
downcast he is, and what trouble he has day by day. You hear people say,
"Oh, my leanness! how lean I am!" My friends, it is not their leanness,
it is their _laziness_. If you would only go from Genesis to Revelation,
and see all the promises made by God to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob,
to the Jews and the Gentiles, and to all His people everywhere; if you
would spend a month feeding on the precious promises of God, you would
not go about with your heads hanging down like bulrushes complaining how
poor you are; but you would lift up your heads with confidence and
proclaim the riches of His grace, because you could not help it. After
the Chicago fire a man came up to me and said in a sympathizing tone, "I
understand you lost everything, Moody, in the Chicago fire." "Well,
then," said I, "some one has misinformed you." "Indeed! Why I was
certainly told you had lost all." "No; it is a mistake," I said, "quite
a mistake." "Have you got much left, then?" asked my friend. "Yes," I
replied, "I have got much more left than I lost; though I can not tell
how much I have lost." "Well, I am glad of it, Moody; I did not know you
were that rich before the fire." "Yes," said I," "I am a good deal
richer than you could conceive; and here is my title-deed, 'He that
overcometh shall inherit all things.'" They say the Rothschilds can not
tell how much they are worth; and that is just my case. All things in
the world are mine; I am joint heir with Jesus the Son of God. Some one
has said, "God makes a promise; Faith believes it; Hope anticipates it;
and Patience quietly awaits it."



CHAPTER XIII.

Word Study--"Blesseds" of Revelation--"Believings" of John--"The Fear of
the Lord" of Proverbs--Key Words.

ANOTHER way to study the Bible is to take one word and follow it up with
the help of a concordance.

Or take just one word that runs through a book. Some time ago I was
wonderfully blessed by taking the seven "_Blesseds_" of the Revelation.
If God did not wish us to understand the book of Revelation, He would
not have given it to us at all. A good many say it is so dark and
mysterious that common readers cannot understand it. Let us only keep
digging away at it, and it will unfold itself by and by. Some one says
it is the only book in the Bible that tells about the devil being
chained; and as the devil knows that, he goes up and down Christendom
and says, "It is no use your reading Revelation, you can not understand
the book; it is too hard for you." The fact is, he does not want you to
understand about his own defeat. Just look at the _blessings_ the book
contains:

1. "_Blessed is_ he that readeth, and they that hear the words of
this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the
time is at hand."

2. "_Blessed_ are the dead which die in the Lord. . . . . Yea, saith the
Spirit, that they may rest from their labors."

3. "_Blessed_ is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments."

4. "_Blessed_ are they which are called to the marriage supper of the
Lamb."

5. "_Blessed_ and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.
On such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God
and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

6. "_Blessed_ is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this
book."

7. "_Blessed_ are they that do His commandments, that they may have
right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the
city."

Or you may take the eight "_overcomes_" in Revelation; and you will be
wonderfully blessed by them. They take you right up to the throne of
heaven; you climb by them to the throne of God.

I have been greatly blessed by going through the "_believings_" of
John. Every chapter but two speaks of believing. As I said before, he
wrote his gospel that we might believe. All through it is "Believe!
_Believe!_" If you want to persuade a man that Christ is the Son of God,
John's gospel is the book for him.

Take the six "_precious_" things in Peter's Epistles. And the seven
"_walks_" of the Epistle to the Ephesians. And the five "_much mores_"
of Romans V. Or the two "_receiveds_" of John I. Or the seven "_hearts_"
in Proverbs XXIII, and especially an eighth. Or "_the fear of the Lord_"
in Proverbs:--

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.

The fear of the Lord prolongeth days.

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of Life.

Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and
trouble therewith.

The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom.

By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

The fear of the Lord tendeth to life.

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.

Be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long."

KEY WORDS.

A friend gave me some key words recently. He said Peter wrote about
_Hope:_ "When the Chief Shepherd shall appear." The keynote of Paul's
writings seemed to be _Faith_, and that of John's, _Love_. "Faith, hope
and charity," these were the characteristics of the three men, the
key-notes to the whole of their teachings. James wrote of _Good Works_,
and Jude of _Apostasy_.

In the general epistles of Paul some one suggested the phrase "_in
Christ_." In the book of Romans we find justification by faith _in
Christ_. Corinthians presents sanctification _in Christ_. The book of
Galatians, adoption or liberty _in Christ_. Ephesians presents fulness
_in Christ_. Philippians, consolation _in Christ_. In Colossians we have
completeness _in Christ_. Thessalonians gives us hope _in Christ_.

Different systems of key words are published by Bible scholars, and it
is a good thing for every one to know one system or other.



CHAPTER XIV.

Bible Marking--Borrowing and Lending Bibles--Necessity of
Marking--Advantages--How to Mark and What to Mark--Taking Notes--"Four
things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding
wise"--"Every eye shall see Him"--Additional Examples--Suggestions.

DON'T be afraid to borrow and lend Bibles. Some time ago a man wanted to
take my Bible home to get a few things out of it, and when it came back
I found this noted in it:

Justification, a change of state, a new standing before God.

Repentance, a change of mind, a new mind about God.

Regeneration, a change of nature, a new heart from God.

Conversion, a change of life, a new life for God.

Adoption, a change of family, new relationship towards God.

Sanctification, a change of service, separation unto God.

Glorification, a new state, a new condition with God.

In the same hand-writing I found these lines:

_Jesus only;_ the light of heaven is the face of Jesus.

The joy of heaven is the presence of Jesus.

The melody of heaven is the name of Jesus.

The theme of heaven is the work of Jesus.

The employment of heaven is the service of Jesus.

The fulness of heaven is Jesus himself.

The duration of heaven is the eternity of Jesus.

BIBLE MARKING: ITS NECESSITY.

An old writer said that some books are to be tasted, some to be
swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested. The Bible is one that you
can never exhaust. It is like a bottomless well: you can always find
fresh truths gushing forth from its pages.

Hence the great fascination of constant and earnest Bible study. Hence
also the necessity of marking your Bible. Unless you have an uncommon
memory, you cannot retain the good things you hear. If you trust to your
ear alone, they will escape you in a day or two; but if you mark your
Bible and enlist the aid of your eye, you will never lose them. The same
applies to what you read.

ITS ADVANTAGES.

Bible marking should be made the servant of the memory. If properly
done, it sharpens the memory; rather than blunts it, because it gives
prominence to certain things that catch the eye, which by constant
reading you get to learn of by heart.

It helps you to locate texts.

It saves you the trouble of writing out notes of your addresses. Once in
the margin, always ready.

I have carried one Bible with me a great many years. It is worth a good
deal to me, and I will tell you why; because I have so many passages
marked in it, that if I am called upon to speak at any time I am ready.
I have little words marked in the margin, and they are a sermon to me.
Whether I speak about _Faith, Hope, Charity, Assurance,_ or any subject
whatever, it all comes back to me; and however unexpectedly I am called
upon to preach, I am always ready. Every child of God ought to be like a
soldier, and always hold himself in readiness. If the Queen of England's
army were ordered to India to-morrow, the soldier is ready for the
journey. But we can not be ready if we do not study the Bible. So
whenever you hear a good thing, just put it down, because if it is good
for you it will be good for somebody else; and we should pass the coin
of heaven around just as we do the coin of the realm.

People tell me they have nothing to say. "Out of the abundance of the
heart, the mouth speaketh." Get full of Scripture and then you can't
help but say it. It says itself. Keep the world out of your heart by
getting full of something else. A man tried to build a flying machine.
He made some wings and filled them with gas. He said he couldn't quite
fly, but the gas was lighter than the air and it helped him over lots of
obstructions. So when you get these heavenly truths, they are lighter
than the air down here and help you over trouble.

Bible marking makes the Bible a new book to you. If there was a white
birch tree within a quarter of a mile of the home of your boyhood, you
would remember it all your life. Mark your Bible, and instead of its
being dry and uninteresting, it will become a beautiful book to you.
What you see makes a more lasting impression on your memory than what
you hear.

HOW TO MARK AND WHAT TO MARK.

There are many methods of marking. Some use six or eight colored inks or
pencils. Black is used to mark texts that refer to sin; red, all
references to the cross; blue, all references to heaven; and so on.
Others invent symbols. When there is any reference to the cross, they
put "+" in the margin. Some write "G", meaning the Gospel.

There is danger of overdoing this and making your marks more prominent
than the scripture itself. If the system is complicated it becomes a
burden, and you are likely to get confused. It is easier to remember the
text than the meaning of your marks.

Black ink is good enough for all purposes. I use no other, unless it be
red ink to draw attention to "the blood."

The simplest way to mark is to underline the words or to make a stroke
alongside the verse. Another good way is to go over the printed letters
with your pen, and make them thicker. The word will then stand out like
heavier type. Mark "only" in Psalm 62 in this way.

When any word or phrase is oft repeated in a chapter or book, put
consecutive numbers in the margin over against the text. Thus, in the
second chapter of Habakkuk, we find five "woes" against five common
sins; (1) verse 6, (2) verse 9, (3) verse 12, (4) verse 15, (5) verse
19. Number the ten plagues in this way. When there is a succession of
promises or charges in a verse, it is better to write the numbers small
at the beginning of each separate promise. Thus, there is a seven-fold
promise to Abraham in Gen. 12, 2-3: "(1) I will make of thee a great
nation, (2) and I will bless thee, (3) and make thy name great; (4) and
thou shalt be a blessing; (5) and I will bless them that bless thee, (6)
and curse him that curseth thee: (7) and in thee shall all families of
the earth be blessed." In Prov. 1, 22, we have (1) simple ones, (2)
scorners, (3) fools.

Put a "x" in the margin against things not generally observed: for
example, the laws regarding women wearing men's clothes, and regarding
bird-nesting, in Deut. 22, 5-6; the sleep of the poor man and of the
rich man compared, Ecc. 5, 12.

I also find it helpful to mark: 1. cross-references. Opposite Gen. 1, 1,
write "Through faith, Heb. 11, 3"--because there we read--"Through faith
we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God." Opposite
Gen. 28, 12, write--"An answer to prayer, Gen. 35, 3." Opposite Matt. 6,
33, write "1 Kings 3, 13" and "Lu. 10, 42," which give illustrations of
seeking the kingdom of God first. Opposite Gen. 37, 7, write--"Gen. 50,
18"--which is the fulfilment of the dream.

2. Railroad connections, that is, connections made by fine lines running
across the page. In Daniel 6, connect "will deliver" (v. 16), "able to
deliver" (v. 20), and "hath delivered" (v. 27). In Ps. 66, connect "come
and see" (v. 5) with "come and hear" (v. 16).

3. Variations of the Revised Version: thus Romans 8, 26 reads--"the
Spirit Himself" in the R. V., not "itself." Note also marginal readings
like Mark 6, 19, "an inward grudge" instead of "a quarrel."

4. Words that have changed their meaning; "meal" for "meat" in
Leviticus. Or where you can explain a difficulty: "above" for "upon" in
Num. 11, 31. Or where the English does not bring out the full meaning of
the original as happens in the names of God: "Elohim" in Gen. 1, 1,
"Jehovah Elohim" in Gen. 2, 4, "El Shaddai" in Gen. 17, 1, and so on.

5. Unfortunate divisions of chapters. The last verse of John 7
reads--"And every man went unto his own house." Chapter 8 begins "Jesus
went unto the mount of Olives." There ought to be no division of
chapters here.

6. At the beginning of every book write a short summary of its contents,
something like the summary given in some Bibles at the head of every
chapter.

7. Key words and key verses.

8. Make a note of any text that marks a religious crisis in your life. I
once heard Rev. F. B. Meyer preach on 1 Cor. 1, 9, and he asked his
hearers to write on their Bibles that they were that day "called unto
the fellowship of His Son Christ our Lord."

TAKING NOTES.

When a preacher gives out a text, mark it; as he goes on preaching, put
a few words in the margin, key-words that shall bring back the whole
sermon again. By that plan of making a few marginal notes, I can
remember sermons I heard years and years ago. Every man ought to take
down some of the preacher's words and ideas, and go into some lane or
by-way, and preach them again to others. We ought to have four ears--two
for ourselves and two for other people. Then, if you are in a new town,
and have nothing else to say, jump up and say: "I heard someone say so
and so;" and men will always be glad to hear you if you give them
heavenly food. The world is perishing for lack of it.

Some years ago I heard an Englishman in Chicago preach from a curious
text: "There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they
are exceeding wise." "Well," said I to myself, "what will you make of
these 'little things'? I have seen them a good many times." Then he went
on speaking: "The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their
meat in the summer." He said God's people are like the ants. "Well," I
thought, "I have seen a good many of them, but I never saw one like me."
"They are like the ants," he said, "because they are laying up treasure
in heaven, and preparing for the future; but the world rushes madly on,
and forgets all about God's command to lay up for ourselves
incorruptible treasures."

"The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make these their houses in the
rocks." He said, "The conies are very weak things; if you were to throw
a stick at one of them you could kill it; but they are very wise, for
they build their houses in rocks, where they are out of harm's way. And
God's people are very wise, although very feeble; for they build on the
Rock of Ages, and that Rock is Christ." "Well," I said, "I am certainly
like the conies."

Then came the next verse: "The locusts have no king, yet go they forth
all of them by bands." I wondered what he was going to make of that.
"Now God's people," he said, "have no king down here. The world said,
'Caesar is our king;' but he is not _our_ King; our King is the Lord of
Hosts. The locusts went out by bands; so do God's people. Here is a
Presbyterian band, here an Episcopalian band, here a Methodist band, and
so on; but by and by the great King will come and catch up all these
separate bands, and they will all be one; one fold and one Shepherd."
And when I heard that explanation, I said; "I would be like the
locusts." I have become so sick, my friends, of this miserable
sectarianism, that I wish it could all be swept away.

"Well," he went on again, "the spider taketh hold with her hands, and is
in kings' palaces." When he got to the spider, I said, "I don't like
that at all; I don't like the idea of being compared to a spider."
"But," he said, "If you go into a king's palace, there is the spider
hanging on his gossamer web, and look-down with scorn and contempt on
the gilded salon; he is laying hold of things above. And so every child
of God ought to be like the spider, and lay hold of the unseen things of
God. You see, then, my brethren, we who are God's people are like the
ants, the conies, the locusts, and the spiders, little things, but
exceeding wise." I put that down in the margin of my bible, and the
recollection of it does me as much good now as when I first heard it.

A friend of mine was in Edinburgh and he heard one of the leading Scotch
Presbyterian ministers. He had been preaching from the text, "Every eye
shall see Him," and he closed up by saying: "Yes, every eye. Adam will
see Him, and when he does he will say: 'This is He who was promised to
me in that dark day when I fell;' Abraham will see Him and will say:
'This is He whom I saw afar off; but now face to face;' Mary will see
Him, and she will sing with new interest that magnificat. And I, too,
shall see Him, and when I do, I will sing: 'Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.'"

ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES.

Turn to Exodus 6:6-7-8. In these verses we find seven "I wills."

_I will_ bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians.

_I will_ rid you out of their bondage.

_I will_ redeem you with a stretched-out arm.

_I will_ take you to me for a people.

_I will_ be to you a God.

_I will_ bring you in into the land [of Canaan].

_I will_ give it to you for a heritage.

Again: Isaiah 41:10. "Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not
dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help
thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
Mark what God says:

He is _with_ His servant.

He is his _God_.

He will _strengthen_.

He will _help_.

He will _uphold_.

Again: Psalm 103:2: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his
benefits." If you can not remember them all, remember what you can. In
the next three verses there are five things:

Who _forgiveth_ all thine iniquities.

Who _healeth_ all thy diseases.

Who _redeemeth_ thy life from destruction.

Who _crowneth_ thee with loving kindness and tender mercies.

Who _satisfieth_ thy mouth with good things.

We can learn some things about the mercy of the Lord from this same
Psalm:

v. 4.--Its quality, "tender."

v. 8.--Its measure, "plenteous."

v. 11.--Its magnitude, "great," "according to the height of the heaven
above the earth." See margin.

v. 17.--Its duration, "from everlasting to everlasting."

Twenty-third Psalm. I suppose I have heard as many good sermons on the
twenty-third Psalm as on any other six verses in the Bible. I wish I had
begun to take notes upon them years ago when I heard the first one.
Things slip away from you when you get to be fifty years of age. Young
men had better go into training at once.

With me, the Lord.

Beneath me, green pastures.

Beside me, still waters.

Before me, a table.

Around me, mine enemies.

After me, goodness and mercy.

Ahead of me, the house of the Lord.

"Blessed is the day," says an old divine, "when Psalm twenty-three was
born!" It has been more used than almost any other passage in the Bible.

v. 1.--A happy life.

v. 4.--A happy death.

v. 6.--A happy eternity.

Take Psalm 102:6-7: "I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an
owl of the desert. I watch and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop."
It seems strange until you reflect that a pelican carries its food with
it, that the owl keeps its eyes open at night, and that the sparrow
watches alone. So the Christian must carry his food with him--the
Bible--and he must keep his eyes open and watch alone.

Turn to Isaiah 32, and mark four things that God promises in verse 2:
"And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from
the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great
rock in a weary land." There we have:--

The hiding place from danger.

The cover from the tempest.

Rivers of water.

The Rock of Ages.

In the third and fourth verses of the same chapter: "And the eyes of
them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall
hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the
tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly." We have eyes,
ears, heart and tongue, all ready to pay homage to the King of
Righteousness.

Now turn into the New Testament, John 4:47-53.

The noble _heard_ about Jesus.

   _went_ unto Him.
   _besought_ Him.
   _believed_ Him.
   _knew_ that his prayer was answered.

Again: Matthew 11:28-30:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give
you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly
in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light." Someone has said these verses contain the only
description we have of Christ's heart.

Something to do, come unto Jesus.

Something to leave, your burden.

Something to take, His yoke.

Something to find, rest unto your soul.

Again: John 14:6. "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

The way, follow me.

The truth, learn of me.

The life, abide in me.

SUGGESTIONS.

Do not buy a Bible that you are unwilling to mark and use. An
interleaved Bible gives more room for notes.

Be precise and concise: for example, Neh. 13, 18: "A warning from
history."

Never mark anything because you saw it in some one else's Bible. If it
does not come home to you, if you not understand it, do not put it down.

Never pass a nugget by without trying to grasp it. Then mark it down.



CHAPTER XV.

Personal Work--Three Kinds of Church Services--Church
Members--Individual Experience--One Inquirer at a Time--Those who lack
Assurance--Backsliders--Not Convicted of Sin--Deeply Convicted--The
Divinity of Christ--Can't Hold Out--No Strength--Feelings--Can't
Believe--Can't be Saved all at Once--Not Now--Further Suggestions.

PERSONAL dealing is of the most vital importance. No one can tell how
many persons have been lost to the Kingdom of God through lack of
following up the preaching of the Gospel by personal work. It is
deplorable how few church-members are qualified to deal with inquirers,
yet that is the very work in which they ought most efficiently to aid
the pastor. People are not usually converted under the preaching of the
minister. It is in the inquiry-meeting that they are most likely to be
brought to Christ. They are perhaps awakened under the minister, but God
generally uses some one person to point out the way of salvation and
bring the anxious to a decision. Some people can't see the use of
inquiry-meetings, and think they are something new, and that we haven't
any authority for them. But they are no innovation. We read about them
all through the Bible. When John the Baptist was preaching he was
interrupted. It would be a good thing if people would interrupt the
minister now and then in the middle of some metaphysical sermon, and ask
what he means. The only way to make sure that people understand what he
is talking about is to let them ask questions. I don't know what some
men, who have got the whole address written out, would do if some one
should get up and ask: "What must I do to be saved?" Yet such questions
would do more good than anything else you could have. They would awake a
spirit of inquiry. Some of Christ's sweetest teachings were called forth
by questions.

THREE KINDS OF CHURCH SERVICES.

There ought to be three kinds of services in all churches: one for
worship--to offer praise, and to wait on the Lord in prayer; another for
teaching; and at these services there needn't be a word to the
unconverted, (although some men never close any meeting without
presenting the Gospel), but let them be for the church people; and a
third for preaching the Gospel. Sunday morning is the best time for
teaching, but Sunday night is the best night in the whole week, of the
regular church services, to preach the simple Gospel of the Son of God.
When you have preached that, and have felt the power of the unseen
world, and there are souls trembling in the balance, don't say, as I
have heard good ministers say: "_If_ there are any in this, place
concerned--at all concerned--about their souls, I will be in the
pastor's study on Friday night, and will be glad to see them." By that
time the chances are the impression will be all wiped out. Deal with
them that night before the devil snatches away the good seed. Wherever
the Gospel is proclaimed, there should be an expectation of immediate
results, and if this were the case the Church of Christ would be in a
constant state of grace.

"Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious
proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded
them to continue in the grace of God." How much would Paul and Barnabas
have accomplished if they had pronounced the benediction and sent these
people home? It is a thing to weep over that we have got thousands and
thousands of church members who are good for nothing towards extending
the Kingdom of God. They understand bazaars, and fairs, and
sewing-circles; but when you ask them to sit down and show a man or
woman the way into God's kingdom, they say: "Oh, I am not able to do
that. Let the deacons do it, or some one else." It is all wrong. The
Church ought to be educated on this very point. There are a great many
church-members who are just hobbling about on crutches. They can just
make out that they are saved, and imagine that is all that constitutes a
Christian in this nineteenth century. As far as helping others is
concerned, that never enters their heads. They think if they can get
along themselves, they are doing amazingly well. They have no idea what
the Holy Ghost wants to do through them.

No matter how weak you are, God can use you; and you cannot say what a
stream of salvation you may set in motion. John the Baptist was a young
man when he died; but he led Andrew to Christ, and Andrew led Peter, and
so the river flowed on.

In the closing pages of this book I want to give some hints in regard to
passing on the good to others, and thus profiting them by your knowledge
of the Bible. Every believer, whether minister or layman, is in duty
bound to spread the gospel. "Go ye into all the world and preach the
gospel to every creature" was the wide command of our parting Savior to
His disciples.

There are many Bible students, however, who utterly neglect the command.
They are like sponges, always sucking in the Water of Life, but never
imparting it to thirsty souls around.

A clergyman used to go hunting, and when his bishop reproved him, he
said he never went hunting when he was on duty.

"When is a clergyman off duty?" asked the bishop.

And so with every Christian: when is he off duty?

To be ready with a promise for the dying, a word of hope for the
bereaved and afflicted, of encouragement for the downhearted, of advice
for the anxious, is a great accomplishment. The opportunities to be
useful in these ways are numerous. Not only in inquiry-meetings and
church work, but in our everyday contact with others the opening
constantly occurs. A word, a look, a hand-clasp, a prayer, may have an
unending influence for good.

"Is your father at home?" asked a gentleman of a doctor's child.

"No," he said, "he's away."

"Where can I find him?"

"Well," he said, "you've got to look for him in some place where people
are sick or hurt, or something like that. I don't know where he is, but
he's helping somewhere."

That ought to be the spirit animating every follower of Him who went
about doing good.

LAYING DOWN RULES.

I admit one can't lay down positive rules in dealing with individuals
about their religious condition. Tin soldiers are exactly alike, but not
so men. Matthew and Paul were a good way apart. The people we deal with
may be widely different. What would be medicine for one might be rank
poison for another. In the 15th of Luke, the elder son and the younger
son were exactly opposite. What would have been good counsel for one
might have been ruin to the other. God never made two persons to look
alike. If we had made men, probably we would have made them all alike,
even if we had to crush some bones to get them into the mould. But that
is not God's way. In the universe there is infinite variety. The
Philippian jailer required peculiar treatment. Christ dealt with
Nicodemus one way, and the woman at the well another way.

YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE.

It is a great mistake, in dealing with inquirers, to tell your conversion
experience. Experience may have its place, but I don't think it has its
place when we are dealing with inquirers; for the first thing the man
you are talking to will do will be to look for your experience. He
doesn't want your experience. He wants one of his own.

Suppose Bartimeus had gone to Jerusalem to the man that was born blind,
and said:

"Now, just tell us how the Lord cured you."

The Jerusalem man might have said: "He just spat on the ground, and
anointed my eyes with the clay."

"Ho!" says Bartimeus, "I don't believe you ever got your sight at all.
Who ever heard of such a way as that? Why, to fill a man's eyes with
clay is enough to put them out!"

Both men were blind, but they were not cured alike. A great many men are
kept out of the kingdom of God because they are looking for somebody
else's experience--the experience their grandmother had, their aunt, or
some one in the family.

ONE INQUIRER AT A TIME.

Then it is very important to deal with one at a time. A doctor doesn't
give cod-liver oil for all complaints. "No," he says, "I must seek what
each one wants." He looks at the tongue, and inquires into the symptoms.
One may have ague, another typhoid fever, and another may have
consumption. What a man wants is to be able to read his Bible, and to
read human nature, too.

Those do best who do not run from one person in an inquiry-meeting to
another, offering words of encouragement everywhere. They would do
better by going to but one or two of an afternoon or evening. We are
building for eternity, and can take time. The work will not then be
superficial.

Try first to win the person's confidence, and then your words will have
more weight. Use great tact in approaching the subject.

It will be a great help to divide persons into classes as much as
possible, and bring certain passages of Scripture to bear upon these
classes. It is unwise, however, to use verses that you have seen in
books until you are perfectly clear in your own mind of their meaning
and application. Avail yourself by all means of suggestions from outside
sources, but as David could not fight in Saul's armor, so you possibly
may not be able to make good use of texts and passages which have proved
powerful in the hands of another. The best way is to make your own
classification, and select suitable texts, which experience will lead
you to adopt or change, according to circumstances. Make yourself
familiar with a few passages, rather than have a hazy and incomplete
idea of a large number.

The following classification may be found helpful:--

1. Believers who lack assurance; who are in darkness because they have
sinned; who neglect prayer, Bible study, and other means of grace; who
are in darkness because of an unforgiving spirit; who are timid or
ashamed to confess Christ openly; who are not engaged in active work for
the Master; who lack strength to resist temptation and to stand fast in
time of trial; who are not growing in grace.

2. Believers who have backslidden.

3. Those who are deeply convicted of sin, and are seeking salvation.

4. Those who have difficulties of various kinds. Many believe that they
are so sinful that God will not accept them, that they have sinned away
their opportunities and now it is too late, that the gospel was never
intended for them. Others are kept back by honest doubts regarding the
divinity of Christ, the genuineness of the Bible. Others again are
troubled by the mysteries of the Bible, the doctrines of election,
instant conversion, etc., or they say they have sought Christ in vain,
that they have tried and failed, they are afraid they could not hold
out. A large class is in great trouble about feelings.

5. Those who make excuses. There is a wide difference between a person
who has a _reason_ and one who had an _excuse_ to offer.

The commonest excuses are that there are so many inconsistent
Christians, hypocrites in the church; that it would cost too much to
become Christians, that they could not continue in their present
occupation, etc.; that they expect to become Christians some day; that
their companions hold them back, or would cast them off if they were
converted.

6. Those who are not convicted of sin. Some are deliberately sinful;
they want to "see life," to "sow their wild oats;" others are
thoughtless; others again are simply ignorant of Jesus Christ and His
work. A large number do not feet their need of a Savior because they are
self-righteous, trusting to their own morality and good works.

7. Those who hold hostile creeds, embracing sectarians, cranks, Jews,
spiritualists, infidels, atheists, agnostics, etc.

Always use your Bible in personal dealing. Do not trust to memory, but
make the person read the verse for himself. Do not use printed slips or
books. Hence, if convenient, always carry a Bible or New Testament with
you.

It is a good thing to get a man on his knees (if convenient), but don't
get him there before he is ready. You may have to talk with him two
hours before you can get him that far along. But when you think he is
about ready, say, "Shall we not ask God to give us light on this point?"
Sometimes a few minutes in prayer have done more for a man than two
hours in talk. When the spirit of God has led him so far that he is
willing to have you pray with him, he is not very far from the kingdom.
Ask him to pray for himself. If he doesn't want to pray, let him use a
Bible prayer; get him to repeat it; for example: "Lord help me!" Tell
the man: "If the Lord helped that poor woman, He will help you if you
make the same prayer. He will give you a new heart if you pray from the
heart." Don't send a man home to pray. Of course he should pray at home,
but I would rather get his lips open at once. It is a good thing for a
man to hear his own voice in prayer. It is a good thing for him to cry
out: "God be merciful to me a sinner!"

Urge an immediate decision, but never tell a man he is converted. Never
tell him he is saved. Let the Holy Spirit reveal that to him. You can
shoot a man and see that he is dead, but you can not see when a man
receives eternal life. You can't afford to deceive one about this great
question. But you can help his faith and trust, and lead him aright.

Always be prepared to do personal work. When war was declared between
France and Germany, Count von Moltke, the German general, was prepared
for it. Word brought to him late at night, after he had gone to bed.
"Very well," he said to the messenger, "the third portfolio on the
left"; and he went to sleep again.

Do the work boldly. Don't take those in a position in life above your
own, but as a rule, take those on the same footing. Don't deal with a
person of opposite sex, if it can be otherwise arranged. Bend all your
endeavors to answer for poor, struggling souls that question of all
importance to them. "What must I do to be saved?"



CHAPTER XVI.

SUMMARY OF SUGGESTIONS.

1. Have for constant use a portable reference Bible, a Cruden's
Concordance, and a Topical Text Book.

2. Always carry a Bible or Testament in your pocket and do not be
ashamed of people seeing you read it on trains, etc.

3. Do not be afraid of marking it, or of making marginal notes. Mark
texts that contain promises, exhortations, warnings to sinners and to
Christians, gospel invitations to the unconverted, and so on.

4. Set apart at least fifteen minutes a day for study and meditation.
This little will have great results and will never be regretted.

5. Prepare your heart to know the law of the Lord, and _to do it_.
Ezra 7:10.

6. Always ask God to open the eyes of your understanding that you may
see the truth; and expect that He will answer your prayer.

7. Cast every burden of doubt upon the Lord. "He will never suffer the
righteous to be moved." Do not be afraid to look for a reason for the
hope that is in you.

8. Believe in the Bible as God's revelation to you, and act accordingly.
Do not reject any portion because it contains the supernatural, or
because you can not understand it. Reverence all Scripture. Remember
God's own estimate of it: "Thou hast magnified thy Word above all
thy Name."

9. Learn at least one verse of Scripture each day. Verses committed to
memory will be wonderfully useful in your daily life and walk. "Thy word
have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." Some
Christians can quote Shakespeare and Longfellow better than the Bible.

10. If you are a preacher or a Sunday school teacher, try at any cost to
master your Bible. You ought to know it better than any one in your
congregation or class.

11. Strive to be exact in quoting Scripture.

12. Adopt some systematic plan of Bible study: either topical, or by
subjects, like "The Blood," "Prayer," "Hope," etc.; or by books; or by
some other plan outlined in the preceding pages.

13. Study to know for what and to whom each book of the Bible was
written. Combine the Old Testament with the New. Study Hebrews and
Leviticus together, the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles, the
Prophets and the historical books of the old Testament.

14. Study how to use the Bible so as to "walk with God" in closer
communion; also, so as to gain a working knowledge of Scripture for
leading others to Christ. An old minister used to say that the cries of
neglected texts were always sounding in his ears, asking why he did not
show how important they were.

15. Do not be satisfied with simply reading a chapter daily. _Study_ the
meaning of at least one verse.



Footnotes

[1] _The New Topical Text Book_. An aid to topical study of the Bible.
Cloth, 25 cents; by mail, 30 cents.

_The Bible Text Cyclopedia_, a complete classification of Scripture
texts in the form of an alphabetical list of subjects by Rev. James
Inglis. Large 8 vo. cloth, $1.75.

_Both issued by the publishers of this volume_.





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