The inspirations which we feel from the Bible-words are the breathings of the Eternal Spirit. The Divine whispers, which are too often inarticulate in nature and even in our souls, are articulate in the great Bible-words—the words proceeding from out of the mouth of God, on which man liveth. The power of the Bible is that the deafest souls can therein hear—GOD.
9. God speaks in A MAN.
The Bible centres in the story of a life which was so filled with the Holy Ghost that this Man became the symbol of the Most High, the sacrament of His Being and Presence, the sacred shrine of Deity. As when the long-drawn travail of instrumentation labors through the opening movements of the ninth symphony, with a strain too fine for any voicing save by man, there bursts at length upon the tumultuous storm of sound the clear, high, song of joy from human lips; so from the mounting efforts of a nation’s insufficient utterance there rises at last a voice, which takes up every groaning of the Spirit in humanity into the perfect beauty of a human life divine.
And so the Word hath breath,
With human hands the creed of creeds,
In loveliness of perfect deeds,
More strong than all poetic thought.
The light of the Son of Man is the life of men; the light for our minds and the warmth for our hearts. In the Power in whom we live and move and have our being, we see “Our Father who art in Heaven.” In the laws of life we read the methods of His schooling of our souls. In the sorrows of life we receive His disciplinings. In the sins that cling so hard upon us we feel the evils of our imperfection, from which He is seeking to deliver us through His training of our spirits. In the shame of sin we are conscious of the guilt that His free forgiveness wipes away, when we turn saying, Father, I have sinned. In death we face the door-way to some other room of the Father’s house, where, it may be, just beyond the threshold our dear ones wait for us! In Christ himself we own our heaven-sent Teacher, Master, Saviour, Friend; our elder Brother, who in our sinful flesh lives our holy aspirations, and, smiling, beckons us to follow Him, whispering in our ears—To them that receive me I give “power to become the sons of God.”
The power of the Bible is—CHRIST.
When Sir Walter Scott lay in his last illness, he asked Lockhart one day to read to him. “From what book shall I read?” said Lockhart. “There is but one book,” was Scott’s answer. Those who have sought the “power to become the sons of God” will understand this hyperbole of the most healthy human mind in modern English literature. Tested by experience there is indeed, in the wide range of the literature of power, no book to be mentioned with the Bible for feeding the life of God in man. Our fathers found this true, and their children cannot correct their judgment. The substitute for the Bible, as an ethical and spiritual instructor, is not out.