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interpretation and exposition of the Bible. And also there are natural men who reverently aim to exalt the Bible from a merely human stand-point, who endeavor to account for discrepancies, and who seek to explain difficulties. “But the natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. ii. 14).
And alas! there are writers of another school who disparage the written testimony and deny the Holy Ghost, while they irreverently discuss the Christ in art, in poetry, in story, and in philosophy; whose darkened understanding and sceptical tendencies can only lead their disciples into the mazes of doubt and infidelity. Some of these would fain boast that they compliment Jesus as the Ideal Man, while they rob Him of His inherent glory as “God manifest in the flesh.” Truly, “no man can call Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” So, also, “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.”
Let it, then, be our glad homage, brethren in the Lord, to give the Holy Spirit that honor due to Him. It is His prerogative to enlighten our minds, and to illuminate the Word, that we may behold wondrous things therein. “We have an Unction from the Holy One,” that we might know divine things. He will teach us, He will prophesy to us, He will bring past spiritual knowledge to our remembrance. Ile will reveal Christ to our inner life, when, through patient, diligent study of the divine Book we wait upon His ministry, and prayerfully seek His proffered help.
IV. Fourth proposition : THE HOLY SPIRIT INVARIABLY HONORS THE DIVINE WORD.
The promises are abundant insuring its success. * For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh
it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth : it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa.lv. 10, 11). We read in the book of Acts: “While Peter spake these words, the IIoly Ghost fell on all them that heard the word.” What words? Simply Old Testament words, rightly interpreted. The Apostles preached the word. Their sermons were Bible-readings. When Christ is exalted according to the Gospel, and by its announcement, the Holy Spirit will glorify Him in those that believe. He presents to them by the Gospel the things of Jesus, and thus Jesus becomes to the believing soul both real and personal. It need scarcely be added that pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and other preachers who trade largely with the Scriptures, and who earnestly invoke the Spirit's anointing, are the men and women whom the King delights to honor.
In conclusion : The knowledge of this relation between the Spirit and the Scriptures will save us from a twofold danger. 1. First, from searching the Word for purely mental gratification from an intellectual pursuit after truth. It is possible to be adepts in biblical science, and yet be as dry in our spiritual life as Gideon's fleece when no dew from heaven fell upon it. Gathered truth, unfelt in the soul, unknown by spiritual apprehension, can only corrupt like the unused manna. It is possible to preach biblical doctrine and be strangers to its vitalizing power. Such preaching is dreary, is drudgery, is delusive. The heart, not the head, is the home of the Word. It seeks admittance there. Confession with the mouth, or outward testimony, if real, must be the ontil w of a believing heart (Rom. x. 9). Heart-knowledge of the Word must be sought after by every Christian who would know
more of Jesus, who seeks to know the will of God, and who gladly recognizes the prerogative of the Spirit as the supreme, qualified, and infallible Bible-teacher.
2. Secondly: bearing in mind the relations of both, will also guard us from a dreaded mysticism, or a dead sentimentalism. Seeking revelations, or experiences from the Holy Spirit, outside of, and apart from, the Holy Scriptures, leads to fanatical extravagances. He needs a keen and watchful eye who can readily distinguish the operations of the Spirit from human fancies outside of the Word. And when the voice of God in His word is considered too feeble, and a more pronounced voice is demanded by the listening soul, let it be remembered that Satan can mimic to deceive, even as he can adopt the guise of a good angel for a like purpose. The canon of Scripture is closed and is complete. Within its range we may freely roam in search of truth, our trembling hand held in the strong hand of the Holy Spirit, our guide. Its pastures are our feeding-places; its still waters will slake our thirst. Rapt visions, celestial dreams, or mysterious inward impressions, must not be heeded when antagonistic to the revealed will of God, and the true teaching of the Spirit in the Bible. It is an evil work to attribute to the Spirit monitions and emotions for which He is not responsible. He has given as the Scriptures. By these He will teach us, and comfort us. In our study of the same, we shall have His promised aid ; in our Christian work, we shall have His needed help. And in distinguishing His personality, as co-equal with the Father and the Son, from the instrument of His official ministry in the Church, namely, His thoughts and words, let us not seek their divorce. For of the Spirit and the Word it may be truly said, “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
THE ORGANIC UNITY OF THE BIBLE.*
ARTHUR T. PIERSON, D.D.
The Armageddon—the final, decisive battle of the
ages --draws nigh. Out of the mouth of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet, issue the unclean spirits of demons, working wonders; and the kings of the earth rather for a last assault upon the religion of Jesus.
From every quarter come the foes of Christ and His Church. The kings of power, with the riches of empires at their command; the kings of science, with their atheistic philosophy; the kings of oratory, with the poison of asps under their silver tongues; the kings of letters, with their golden pens dipped in blasphemy, are marshalling their hosts unto the battle, while atheists and nihilists, the secretly hostile and the openly profane, unbelievers and disbelievers, the polished sceptic and the politic liberalist, the foes of manly sobriety and the betrayers of womanly virtue, the dynamite fiends and the traffickers in souls, swell the ranks of Satan's great army.
In this crisis, all that is precious to the believer is at stake; and because the Bible, as the Book of God, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, are vital to our holy faith, they are the centre of assault. All controversies as to other issties are of minor importance, mere skirmishes along the line of the outposts. Strifes about forms of church polity and statements of church doctrine, the use
* This address was delivered entirely without manuscript, but is essentially reproduced in all important particulars.EDITOR.
of uninspired hymns and elaborate ritual, clerical orders and laymen's prerogatives—these are only wars of words, often bitterest among disciples who, in face of such foes, should forget that in which they differ, and remember only in what they agree. A delegate to the Great Council at Belfast said: “I find you engaged in animated controversy over the lawfulness of singing Psalms: meanwhile, in France, our people are asking whether there be a God !”
The enemy is seeking to undermine the Word of God, to demolish the Gibraltar of our Christianity. Upon the Inspiration and Infallibility of the Holy Scriptures rest, also, the Divinity and Redemptive work of the Lord Jesus. They stand or fall together.
The argument I am to present is that drawn from the unity of the Bible. This unity may be seen in several conspicuous particulars, upon some of which it will be well to dilate.
1. The unity is structural. In the book itself appears, on close study, a certain archetypal, architectural plan. The two Testaments are built on the same general scheine. Each is in three parts: historie, didactic, prophetic, looking to the past, the present, and the future. The symmetry of structure appears even in details, as in the Old Testament, where five books of Moses are succeeded by twelve others, historical; then by five poetic, five of the major and twelve of the minor prophets.
Here is a collection of books; in their style and character there is great variety and diversity: some are historical, others poetical; some contain laws, others lyrics ; some are prophetic, some symbolic ; in the Old Testament we have historical, poetical, and prophetical divisions; and in the New Testament we have historic narratives, then twenty-one epistles, then a symbolic, apocalyptic poem in oriental imagery. And yet this is no artificial arrangement of fragments. We find “the