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MR. MOODY ON THE BIBLE
At one of his recent meetings in New York, Mr. Moody quoted this sentiment in beginning his address: “The Bible is a lamp to direct us; a guide to conduct us; a bit to restrain us; a sword to defend us; water to wash us; fire to inflame us; salt to season us; milk to nourish us; rain to refresh us; treasures to enrich us; and a key to unlock for us heaven’s gate.” All this it is, he added, and much more. The man who came to a meeting to get an anointing that would last a lifetime was compared to the man who ate a breakfast to last a lifetime. Daily, hourly feeding on the Word is necessary, if the soul would grow.
The higher critic and the scientific skeptic would not receive much encouragement at these meetings. From cover to cover Mr. Moody believes the Bible. A man brought a difficult passage to him with this question:
“How do you explain that, Mr. Moody?”
“I don’t explain it.”
“Well, how do you interpret it?”
“I don’t interpret it.”
“How do you understand it?”
“I don’t understand it.”
“Well, what do you do with it?”
“I don’t do anything with it.”
“You don’t believe it, do you?”
“Certainly, I believe it. There are lots of things I believe that I don’t understand. There are a good many things in astronomy, a good many things about my own system that I don’t understand, yet I believe them. I am glad there are heights in that Book which I haven’t been able to climb. I am glad there are depths I haven’t been able to fathom. It is the best proof that the Book came from God.”
“But you don’t believe in the old Testament just as you do in the New Testament?”
“Yes, I do. We have one Bible, not two. The very things in the Old Testament that men cavil at the most to-day are the things the Son of Man set his seal to when he was down here, and it isn’t good policy for a servant to be above his master. The Master believed these things.”
The stories of the Deluge, the Destruction of the Cities of the Plain, Balaam’s Ass, and Jonah and the Whale, were next taken up, the objections to them considered, and Christ’s own references to these very matters given. Mr. Moody advised every one of his hearers to buy a concordance before luncheon, and then to take up the study of the Bible systematically, prayerfully. He commended highly a study of prophecy, especially those given by the so-called Minor Prophets. Glancing hastily at the prophecies concerning Babylon, Nineveh and Tyre, he showed how one after another had been fulfilled, and added:
“The best way to convert an infidel is to take him to the prophecies fulfilled. Look at the prophecies concerning Christ. There are over two hundred about him in the Old Testament. Think of those which concern his life on earth: His miraculous birth, not at Nazareth, but in Bethlehem, ‘that the Scriptures might be fulfilled;’ his dwelling at Nazareth, in Egypt, his riding into Jerusalem, his cruel treatment, his death. The Bible is not worn out, any more than the sun is worn out. Let us study the Book more and ourselves less.”
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We rejoice that many of God’s children are able to stand firmly on the Bible and realize its superhuman wisdom who cannot understand it to any great degree. We are glad that this is, and during all the past of this age has been true. It is a fresh illustration of the Lord’s words—”Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear (understand) the sayings of this book.” (Rev. 1:3.) And now that we are living in “the time of the end,” when the knowledge of God’s plan, as well as general knowledge, was to be and is being increased, the greater blessing of understanding is daily being realized by larger and larger numbers.
Therefore, while commending Brother Moody’s faith in things not yet understood, we believe that he would endorse our statement, that none should be satisfied with saying, I don’t understand and cannot explain certain parts of God’s Word; but, knowing that we are in the time of the uncovering of God’s truth, each child of God should earnestly seek to grow in knowledge as well as in the grace of the Lord. Alas! too many of the teachers, as well as the church in general, are in the condition mentioned with reproof in Isa. 29:10,18. —EDITOR.
— May, 1890 —