The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Friday, December 9, 2016

God's Testimony in the Bible

But God’s great testimony for himself is his Bible. It is said of the believer, that “he hath the witness in himself.” And so of the Word of God. Considering the early periods of the world, in which it was composed, the nature of the remarkable events which are recorded in it, the imposing character of the moral and religious doctrines which are proclaimed, the illustration of these doctrines in the lives and actions of a series of men such as the world never saw before, and of which the world was not worthy, looking at the subject in this point of view, the candid mind cannot fail to see and to acknowledge, that it is a Book, of which God himself, in some important sense, must have been the author. It seems to us, independently of the external evidence of miracles, that neither the Book, nor the things contained in the Book, could have come into existence without God. It is here, that God proclaims himself, in language both written and acted, in the language of the precept given and the language of the precept lived, which cannot fail to be understood. And hence it is, that Lord Bacon has remarked with so much truth and beauty: “Thy creatures have been my books, but thy scriptures much more. I have sought thee in fields and gardens; but have found thee in thy temples.”

The Bible may be regarded as a sort of proclamation on the part of God, to those who have revolted from him and have gone off in the ways of sin, that He is still the God, and will continue to be the God of those, who will return and acknowledge him to be such. If man is only willing to be saved by the surrender of himself into God’s hands, to be his always and his alone, to be out of his own keeping and subject to the divine keeping, God is willing and desirous to save him. All we have to do is to give ourselves to God; and he will give himself to us in return, in all which is necessary for us. And accordingly it is worthy of notice, that we have in this Book abundant promises, that those, who will sincerely seek to obtain knowledge, shall have assistance. God says in various forms of expression, try to know, and I will help you to know; seek me and ye shall be found of me.

We cannot admit, therefore, any pleas or excuses of the unbeliever, on the ground of a defect of evidence. “We do not believe, that he can deliberately offer such excuses, without compelling his own inward nature to cry out against him. His declaration of unbelief is neither more nor less, than a declaration, that he is too indolent to open his eyes, that he may read what is written not only in God’s Word, but stands out legibly inscribed upon the hands and feet and face of universal nature. Such excuses, which even heathenism rejects, will not stand the final test. Those, who make them, will be found wanting.

The Life of Faith (1852) Part 1, Chapter 4.

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