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ositions," said Dr. Samuel Harris, of Yale, "but God's majestic march through history, redeeming men from sin."
In every age God has been ruling and overruling, witnessing by His Spirit through the living word. The experiences recorded of past ages have their special lesson for the present time:
"Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Rom. 15:4.
"Let vs therfore all with feruent desyre," as the Old English of 1549 spelled the exhortation of Erasmus, "thyrste after these spirituall sprynges. . . . Let vs kisse these swete wordes of Christ with a pure affeccion. Let vs be newe transformed into them, for soche are oure maners as oure studies be."
The Book for All Mankind
It speaks in every tongue to the human heart. Its power to transform has been shown through all the centuries in every clime and among every race. One of the Gospels was put into the Chiluba tongue of Central Africa. After a time a Garenganze chief came to Dan Crawford, the missionary, changed from the spirit of a fierce, wicked barbarian to that of a teachable child. Explaining his conversion, the chief said: "I was startled to find that Christ could speak Chiluba. I heard him speak to me out of the printed page, and what he said was, 'Follow me!""
Of the Bible's universal speech to all mankind, Dr. Henry van Dyke has said:
"Born in the East, and clothed in Oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of all the world with familiar feet, and enters land after land to find its own everywhere. It has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man. It comes into the palace to tell the monarch that he is the servant of the Most High, and into the cottage to assure the peasant that he is the son of God. Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wise men ponder them as par
ables of life. It has a word of peace for the time of peril, a word of comfort for the day of calamity, a word of light for the hour of darkness. Its oracles are repeated in the assembly of the people, and its counsels whispered in the ear of the lonely. The wise and the proud tremble at its warnings, but to the wounded and penitent it has a mother's voice. . . .
"Its great words grow richer, as pearls do when they are worn near the heart. No man is poor or desolate who has this treasure for his own. When the landscape darkens and the trembling pilgrim comes to the valley named the Shadow, he is not afraid to enter; he takes the rod and
staff of Scripture in his hand; he says to friend and comrade, 'Good-by, we shall meet again,' and comforted by that support, he goes toward the lonely pass as one who climbs through darkness into light."- The Century Magazine.
In the days of His life on earth, Jesus was a welcome guest in humble homes in Judea and Galilee. "The common people heard Him gladly." His presence brought peace and comfort to the home. He is no longer with us in bodily presence; but He is the same Saviour still-"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Heb. 13:8. By
His Spirit, through the living word of Holy Scripture, He enters the home where faith receives Him, and speaks again the gracious salutation, "Peace be to this house."
Christ the Central Theme
All the Bible bears witness of Christ as the Saviour of the world. He Himself said of the Scriptures, "They are they which testify of Me." John 5:39. "To Him give all the prophets witness." Acts 10:43. We see Him as the coming Messiah in promise and prophecy, in type and shadow. His is the divine, living personality standing out in every book that makes up the Sacred Volume. As we read with loving heart, the Author seems near in every page.
"Reading, methinks I bend
Before the cross
Where died my King, my Friend.
For love of Him is gain."
And having beheld Him giving His life as the divine sacrifice, and rising in triumph over death to be our great High Priest in the heavenly temple, as we read these Sacred Scriptures yet again, in every book, from Genesis to Revelation, we see Him as the coming King of kings, coming to take His children to the eternal home of the saved. The whole book is a bright window through which we gaze on coming glory.
"And yet again I stand
Where the seer stood,
The gates of pearl afar,
The bright and morning Star
of God . . . liveth and abideth forever." 1 Peter 1:23. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away." Matt. 24:35.
THE WITNESS OF THE CENTURIES
The Sure Word of Prophecy
"WE have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed." 2 Peter 1:19.
The prophetic scriptures afford infallible evidence that the voice of the living God speaks in Holy Writ. One of the distinguishing marks of divinity is the power that foretells and records the course of history long ages before the events come to pass.
"Declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods." Isa. 41:22, 23.