he i The King’s Business -;iin=3ih — .. z ni.
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" Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood/* — Rev. 1:5
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BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, U. S. A.
O N E D O L L A R A Y E A R
Elrr King's Knstesa MOTTO : “I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.”—Isa. 27:3. R. A. TORREY, Editor T. C. H o r t o n , J. H. H u n t e r and J. H. S a m m is , Associate Editors A. M. Row, Manager Organ of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Inc. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Entered as Second-Class Matter November 17, 1910, at the postoffice at Los Angeles, California, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Copyright by R. A. Torrey and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, 1915
Lyman Stewart, President. William Thorn, Secretary. T. C. Horton, Superintendent. E. A. K. Hackett. J. M. Irvine.
Rev. A. B. Prichard, "Vice-President. Leon V. Shaw, Treasurer. R. A. Torrey.
Giles Kellogg. H. A. Getz.
DOCTRINAL STATEMENT We hold to the Historic Faith of the Church as expressed in the Common Creed of Evangelical Christendom and including: The Maintenance of Good Works.
The Trinity of the Godhead. The Deity of the Christ.
The Second Coming of Christ. The Immortality of the Spirit. The Resurrection of the Body.
The Personality of the Holy Ghost. The Supernatural and Plenary au thority of the Holy Scriptures. The Unity in Diversity of the Church, which is the Body and Bride of Christ. The Substitutionary Atonement. The Necessity of the New Birth. P u r p o s e The Institute trains, free of cost, accredited men and women, in the knowledge and use of the Bible. Departments: (£) The institute Classes held daily exceptSaturdays and Sundays. (2) Extension work. Classes and con ferences held in neighboring cities and towns. (3) Evangelistic. Meetings conducted by our evangelists. (4) Spanish Mission. Meetings every night. (5) Shop Work. Regular services in shops and factories. (6) Jewish Evangelism. Personal work among the Hebrews.
The Life Everlasting of Believers. The Endless Punishment of the Im penitent. The Reality and Personality of Satan, House-to-house visitation and neighborhood classes. (8) Oil Fields. A mission to men on the oil fields. (9) ' Books and Tracts. Sale and dis tribution of selected books and tracts. (10) Harbor Work. For seamen in Los Angeles harbor. (11) Yoke Fellows Hall. Thoroughly manned. Our Mission for men with Boot Black and Newsboys Class and Street Meetings. (12) Print Shop. For printing Testa ments, books, tracts, etc. A complete establishment, profits going to free dis tribution of tracts. (7) Bible Women.
THE KING’S BUSINESS Vol. VI. ' DECEMBER, 1915 No. 12 TAB LE O F CONTENTS E d ito ria l: A U niversal W e ek o f P ray e r— In teresting New D e p a rtm e n t— W ho W ill H e lp T h em ?— Igno ran ce of th e B ible— A m e ric a ’s P re sen t D u ty -1—D estruction of th e A rm en ian s— H a v e Y ou Been Bo rn A g a in ?— So- called C on trad ic tio n s in th e S crip tu res— Science an d th e B ible— S c rip tu re H isto ry C o rro b o ra te d .................... 1037 T h e B ible as an A u th o rity . By W . H . Griffith T hom as, D. D ............................................................................. 1043 A uspicious O p en ing of T ra in ing S choo l....................................... 1050 G re a t R ev ivals an d Evangelists— IV . Chas. G . F inney (C o n tin u e d ). By J o h n H . H u n te r.................................... 1051 O u rs in th e F ie ld .................................................................................... 1059 S ad D e a th of Mrs. C o lb y .................................................................... 1060 Je su s’ P ic tu re o f G o d th e F a th e r. By T hom a s G u thrie, D. D ........................... .................................................. 1061 W e ek o f P ra y e r P ro g ram m e ............................. | ............................ 1066 L igh t on Puzzling P assages an d P ro b lem s................................. 1067 P rog ress of T h o u g h t in th e Gospels. By T hom a s B arnard , M. A . ...........................................| .................................................. 1069 A t H om e an d A b ro a d ........................ 1...^..,..................................... 1075 B ible In stitu te A ctivities. By th e S u p e rin ten d en ts............... 1079 H in ts a n d H e lp s..... ............................................................................. 1085 M em orizing S c r ip tu r e ....... ............................... .................................. 1089 In te rn a tio n a l S u n d ay Sghpol Lessons. By R. A . T o rre y an d T . C. H o rto n .........................._.............................„......... . 109 1 D aily D ev o tio n a l S tud ies in th e New T e stam e n t fo r In d i v id u a l M ed ita tio n an d F am ily W orship. By R. A . T o rre y ............................... ................ :...... .................... .............. 1104 f SUBSCRIPTION PRICE In the United States and its Possessions, Mexico, Canada and points in the Central American Postal Union, $1 per year. In all other foreign countries, $1.12 (4s. 8d.). Single copies, 10 cents.
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THE KING’S BUSINESS
E D I T O R I A L Elsewhere in this issue of T h e K ing ’ s B usiness will be found the earnest call of the World’s Evangel- ical Alliance) requesting that all God’s servants may unite, during the first week of January, 1916, in special
A Universal Week of Prayer.
intercession for the blessings of peace between alb nations and in prayers of thanksgiving and humiliation. The suggested topics for consideration will be found both comprehensive .and interesting.
In our January number we will begin a new depart- ment conducted by Dr. William Evans, Associate Dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. The title of the department will be “Through the New Testa
ment Book by Book.” The purpose of these studies will be to give a general synopsis of each book in the New Testament. Of course, many of the books will require more than a single article. The Homiletical Department, now called “Hints and Helps,” will also be conducted by Dr. Evans. The purpqse of this department will be to provide general suggestions and helps for preachers and those engaged in various form's of Christian service. We have been greatly encouraged by the many letters that have come to us from min isters and missionaries -and Christian workers in many lands speaking of the great help in their work that they have found in the various departments of T h e K ing ’ s B u sine ss .
A considerable number of subscribers have been placed upon our list through the benevolence of persons whose hearts were touched by the appeal of ministers and missionaries in foreign fields, stating their in
Who Will- Help Them?
ability to pay the subscription price. The fund is now exhausted but we have prayerful anticipations of its replenishment. The appeals continue to come, among the most recent being from a minister in India. Among other things he writes: “The sermons, sermon outlines and expositions on the International Sun day School Lessons, published in your very valuable magazine, T h e K ing ’ s B usiness , are especially useful to me. I receive a salary equivalent to only $5 a month and it is not possible for me to subscribe. My request to you is to kindly arrange with some other brother or sister so that I may receive it regu larly. It is a great disappointment to me to be "without it. For this charity I shall be ever grateful.”
THE KING’S BUSINESS Much is said today, and rightly so,- of the great amount of harm done to the Bible and the Christian faith by destructive higher criticism. It is natural that those who are zealous for the preservation of
Ignorance of the Bible.
“the faith once for all delivered to the saints” .should be greatly concerned ovet; such a state of affairs. But one sometimes wonders whether the Bible does not suffer as much, even if nob more, at the hands of those who do not read the Bible or know enough of its contents to be critics in any sense of the word. We can easily understand how disastrous results to some people may come from the destructive critical method of Bible study. We should not for get, however, that very bad results must always come from the lack of a defi nite knowledge of the contents of the Bible. A current religious magazine refers to a Sunday school teacher^ mistakes in teaching his class. One of his scholars asked who Sampson was. The teacher replied: “Sampson was a boy who studied with Eli. When he grew up he was very strong, and one day he went out and killed Goliath.” Are there not many such teachers in our Sunday schools ? Do we not need a more thor ough knowledge of the Bible?
Thus far God in wondrous grace has kept America out of actual participation in the present war that is desolating so many lands and homes across the sea. •Not a few of us are inclined to sit in judgment on the
America’s Present Duty.
nations involved in the war, and to think of ourselves as ,a people of superior righteousness because we have kept out of it. Many see in the war and its calamities and in our separation from it, an opportunity to boast of our superi ority to the other nations. We do well to deeply ponder our Lord’s words, “suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered these things ? I tell you nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2, 3). No, it is not of our righteousness but of God’s grace that thus far we'have escaped, and in these awful calamities that are overtaking other lands and peoples we should see, not an occasion to boast, but we should rather hear a call of God to us to repent. America is frequently spoken of as a Christian nation but it is not a Christian nation. It is not gov erned by Christian principles either in its commercial life or its political life, or in its international relations.' As a nation we have departed from God. Our religious life is largely formal; our prayer simply a means of securing some selfish end. God is speaking to us in thunder tones, “except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” There is also a call in these appalling horrors which are devastating the European world, not merely to us as a nation, but to us as individuals; a call for us to examine ourselves; to go carefully into our lives, not merely our out ward lives, but our inward lives; a call to discover whether we are really right with God or not, and if not, to repent. God is showing us how little worth liv ing for, ^nd how fleeting are earthly wealth and honor and pleasure. He is bidding us by His providences as He has already bidden us in His word, “If then, ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not upon the things that are upon earth.” (Col. 3:2, 3),
THE KING’S BUSINESS 1039 Everywhere there has been deep sympathy for the Belgians in the awful calamities that have overtaken them in the present war, and for the Poles for the ap palling sufferings which they have endured, but ap
Destruction of the Armenians.
parently neither Belgians nor Poles have suffered anything comparable to the calamities that have overtaken the Armenians. It seems that they are being practically exterminated. In a recent article the Journal de Genieve says: “The extermination is being carried out by three means: massacre, deporta tion, and forced conversion to Islam. Throughout the whole of .the country it is the same story . . . . . The Government has released from prison crim inals whom it has organized and enrolled. - It is these criminals who are in charge of the Armenian convoys, and there is no brutality they do not commit.” A SwiSs correspondent recently returned from Constantinople writes to the Manchester Guardian: “In the street the insolence of the Mussulmans toward the Christians knows no limit; the sons of Turkish families gather in bands and go to the houses of Armenians to decide which of the young women they will rape. In the same way Turkish housewives choose their future residence in Armenian houses under the eyes of the owners. Hooligans threaten and insult Christians in the street. Massacres are stated, on reliable authority, to have already taken place in the city. No Armenians dare to leave their houses..................In the provinces the violence of events surpasses all that can be imagined. Whole towns have been sacked and the inhabitants sent to the interior. At Marsovan the men were told they need not take provisions with them; they would be fed on the, way. Be fore their eyes the town was then burned, and they were taken to a series of graves already prepared, and poleaxed. Some escaped, but were caught. ‘Kill us with your guns,’ they said, as they were taken back. ‘Never,’ was the answer; ‘ bullet costs a hundred paras; you aren’t worth it; better as it is.’ As for the women, they were sold in all the villages on the way to Mosul, so that at the end there were only left cripples, hunchbacks, and other deformed people.” . The Italian Consul at Trebizond, Signor Corrini, writes in the Rome Messagero : ^ ; U ■ • “From June 24 the Armenians in Trebizond were interned; they were then f sent under escort to distant regions, but the fate of at least four-fifths of thefn was death. The local authorities,.and even some of the Mohammedan popula tion, tried to resist and to decrease the number of victims by hiding them, but in vain. The orders from Constantinople were categorical and all had to obey. .................. The scenes of desolation, tears, curses, suicides to savevhonor, sud den insanity, fires, shooting in the streets, in the houses, are impossible to de scribe. “When one has Witnessed for a month daily scenes of this terrible character without being in a position to do anything, one wonders—Have all the wild beasts of the world congregated in Constantinople? Such massacres cry out for the vengeance of all Christendom. If people knew what I know, had seen what I have seen, and heard ivhat I have heard, then all the Christian Powers yet neutral would rise against Turkey and cry anathema against that barbarous Gov ernment.” Nothing so appalling has overtaken any nation in recent years. Who is -responsible? There can be no doubt that whoever is responsible will reap what they have sown, -for God’s law, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 5 :7J) is just as true of nations as it is of individuals.
“The mills of God grind slowly, But they grind exceeding small, And though with patience waits He, With exactness grinds He all.”
THE KING’S BUSINESS The Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle John gives us a test whereby we may all know whether we have passed from death unto life. He says, “We know that we have passed from death unto life because we
Have You Been Born Again?
love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). This is the supreme test of the reality of our Christian experience, love. “Every one that loveth is begotten of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7, 8). No matter what creed one may hold, or what ceremonies he may have performed, or what professions he makes, if he does not love he is not a child of God, and he has not passed out of death into life. Love is life, ab sence of love is death. The present days are sorely testing our love for the brethren. Christians are pitted against Christians, oftentimes in -actual and awful w ar; oftentimes in sympathy with, or hostility against those who are at war in other lands. Many of us are tempted to love thcfse of the brethren who are on the same side that we are, but the proof that we have passed out of death into life is that we “love the brethren” irrespective of their nationality; we love them because they are children of God.” Whosoever loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him” (1 John 5:1). An Englishman who is truly born of God will leve a German who is born of God as truly as he will an Englishman who is born of God; and a German who is truly born of God will love an Englishman who is born of God as truly as he will a Ger man who is born of God. This is a severe test of our sonship in these days, and many of us need to go to God for grace that He will lift us above the temp tations of the present time into a life that is truly Christian, and a life of love that triumphs over all temptation to hatred and bitterness. Each one of us in the light of these Scriptures needs to ask ourselves, “have I indeed passed out of death into life? Am i really a child of God? Do I love the brethren?” detail, the prophet Ezekiel (cf. Ezekiel 12; 2 Kings 25; Jeremiah 52) had foretold the captivity of Zedekiah (cf. Ezekiel 12:13). We are told by the historian Josephus that the prophet Ezekiel, who resided in . Mesopotamia “among the captives of the River of Chebar,” sent a copy of this prediction to Zedekiah, the king, who at onee began to compare the words of Ezekiel with the language of Jeremiah (cf. Jeremiah 32:4; 38:23), On comparing the two accounts Zedekiah came to the conclusion that while Jeremiah had predicted that he should be carried to Babylon, Ezekiel had affirmed that he should not see Babylon. The king at once cáme to the conclusion that the predictions of Ezekiel and Jeremiah were contradictory and were not inspired by God. He determined, therefore, to pursue his own course, ignoring altogether the pre dictions of the prophets who claimed to speak to him the mind of God. Both prophetic utterances were rejected by the king because of their seeming incon sistency. It was not long, however, before Zedekiah knew, as we do today, that both predictions were true. Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning the king was as follows: “My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall There are no real contradictions in the Bible, although there may be what seem such. A diligent compari- son of one scripture with another, however, reveals the fact that any seeming discrepancy is but apparent and not real. For example: With the most minute So-Called Contradictions in the Scriptures.
104-1 THE KING’S BUSINESS he not see it, though he shall die there.” What really happened is described in Jeremiah s words: “Then tire king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon (39:7; 52:11). So we see how perfectly fulfilled were the predic tions of Ezekiel and Jeremiah and how completely they harmonize. Zedekiah was carried to Babylon, but he did not see Babylon, for his eyes were put out .before he was taken to that city. § Alfred Russell Wallace, the co-discoverer with Dar- Scienceand win of “Natural Selection,” says: “Things as they the Bible. are cannot be accounted for except by a divine influx \ . of three different stages.” And so this great scientist t f s us again, as other scholars have done before, the story of the creation of the heavens and the earth and the reconstruction of an earth as revealed to and recorded by Moses in Genesis 1, and both science and the Bible agree. It is remarkable to note that Moses records three distinct stages in the creation story of Genesis 1, each of which is characterized by the peculiar use of the Hebrew word bara, which means to create out of nothing, or to bring into existence a new thing. This word is used in the creation of matter (Genesis 1 :1), in the creation of life (Genesis 1 :21), and in the creation of man (Genesis 1 :27). Thus science and revelation harmonize in setting forth these three .different stages. God s Book and God’s world have both the same author. . Recent explorations in Palestine disclose an ancient Scripture History papyrus confirming the Scripture story of the passage Corroborated of the Israelites through the Red Sea. These historical . . confirmations are assurances that the Scriptures are the infallible and authentic Word of God. History and science will continue to corroborate and confirm this truth. Theology and archaeology have joined hands, and what God hath joined-together may criticism not be allowed-fo put asunder. The following appears in Dr. Bloch’s Wochenscrift: The latest report of the Palestine Exploration Fund brings the transla tion of a lately'discovered ancient Egyptian papyrus which sheds new light on the story of the exodus. According to the American Magazine the papyrus is a geographical lexicon of the chief places of the eastern Niledelta, from where the^ Jews began their journey into the promised land. The papyrus mentions the places enumerated in Exodus almost in the same succession. As is w ell known, the Israelites took their way from the land of .Goshen which is a tract of land in Eastern Niledelta called by the Egyptians “Gesem.” To be exact, they began their wanderings from the town Raineses and, ac cording to Exodus, they made their .first stop in Succoth. The papyrus makes this place and Pitham, which is also mentioned in the Bible, one place. Its Egyptian name is “Pe-Atum-Zuktu” from which can readily be read the double name “Pithom-Succoth.” Then the Israelites wandered - southeast and camped against the valley Hiroth, between Migdol and the sea near “Baal-Zephon.” There they were overtaken by the hosts of Pharaoh and it was here that Moses at the command of God stretched out his hands so that the children of Israel were able to go over dry shod to the other shore while the warriors of Pharaoh who attempted to follow them, perished miser ably in the waters which returned to their bed. In the Papyrus a sea, Kharta, is spoken of. The word Kharta is undoubtedly the biblical “Hiroth.” Further the Papyrus mentions a “Migdol of- Baal-Zephon” while the Bible speaks of “Migdol Baal-Zephon.” A Migdol was in ancient Egypt a fort or fortified tower and probably this Migdol stood without the gates of the city Baal Zephon. And so this lately discovered papyrus confirms perfectly the geo graphy of Exodus.
H. J. BALDWIN New Superintendent of Men Bible Institute of Los Angeles
The Bible as
By W. H. Griffith Thomas, D. D. • Member of the Faculty of Wycliffe College, Toronto, Canada
Note: —The following address was delivered by Dr. Thomas on A ugust 2, 1915, at the Montrose Bible Conference, during its summer session a t Montrose, Pa. Another of his addresses, “The Bible as a R evelation/’ delivered at the same session, was published in our October number.
and where is the last and supreme word concerning God, life, and eternity-? 1. Thet Need of Authority .—The neces sity of authority is seen in every walk of life—-the authority of the parent over his boys and girls, the authority of the school master over the child, the authority of the college over the student ; authority in pro fessional, in artistic, in scientific life. Au thority is recognized as vital and essential everywhere. It is also essential in con nection with religion. Authority has been rightly described as the existence of an ethical standard. MAN NEEDS A GUIDE. Man, even as man, needs a guide. We were never intended to be independent. Our very nature is limited, and requires guidance and authority. But still more, man as a sinner needs authority. Amidst all the sins and sorrows of life, its diffi culties, its problems, its perplexities, man needs an authoritative guide concerning things spiritual and eternal. Two things are necessary for every life-—truth, and the eye to see it. 2. The Source of Authority .—Where is this need to be satisfied? The answer
¡\"elll W GOD has spoken, then obviously His word .must be authoritative. “Where the *s>” there is Z§1 authority and power. This a
P P 'S h /ftii wor<^
subject naturally leads into fields of diffi culty, and, unfortunately, of controversy. We want, as far as possible, to avoid any thing purely controversial, and yet at the same time to show where we stand in regard to the Bible as _an authority in connection with our spiritual life. We must not hesi tate to face modern difficulties, contro versies, and problems; because they neces sarily come before us at all times, in every part of the way, and in almost every as pect of Christian life and experience. It will never do for any Christian man or woman to ignore difficulties. It- would be easy to do so. It is sometimes called the ostrich policy of burying the head in the sand, but it does not work well. The question of authority is vital, and touches us at every point. The funda mental question is: What is the ultimate and final authority in religion? What is truth ? Where can it be found ? What
THE KING’S BUSINESS
of course, is that God is the Source of all authority. He is the Source of truth, of righteousness, and of all guidance; and au thority is expressed by revelation. God’s own revelation must of necessity be our authority; and for our present purpose it will suffice to say that Christ, as repre senting and revealing God, is our ultimate authority. The Source of all authority is the Lord Jesus Christ. So far, I do not suppose there will be any real difficulty. But at once the ques tion arises: God is invisible. Christ is no longer here. Where, then, can this Divine authority be found? Where is it.embodied? How can I be sure of God as the Source of all authority? How can I be sure of Christ as the expression of the mind and will of God? 3. The Seat of Authority .—We have to face this question as to where the revela tion of God is to be found. I suppose there are only three usual, perhaps only three possible, answers. It is in connection with these three answers that controversy to some extent seems inevitable. There are those who say that the seat of authority is in human reason. I am using the word reason to. represent what . is sometimes spoken of as human life, including reason and conscience ; but reason will suffice. Some say that the consent of the mind is the condition and foundation of all certi tude. Let us be very clear on this point. Reason is valuable and necessary. “Thou sha.lt, love the Lord thy God with, all thy mind.” The mind is ,essential as part of human nature, and is required to test the claims of any professed revelation, and then to receive the revelation thus tested. Long ago Butler said that reason is the only faculty for judging anything, even revelation, and there can be no authority that destroys, human reason; there can be no authority that subverts and v-stultifies' .the mind that God has given us. The right of every man to verify is inalienable; it is a prerogative that is essential. “Prove all things,” Said the Apostle, as well as “hold fast that which is good.” Indeed, it is only possible to hold fast that which is good, when we have proved it; and again
and again St. Paul speaks of discernment. We are first to prove, then to apprbve. But this is very different from claiming that reason, is the seat of authority. After all, reason is only one of several faculties; and all these have been affected by sin. Besides, there is such a thing as •reality, independent of reas'on. What is truth ? Truth is not what I trow, though that definition, So etymologically suggestive, has often been given. No, truth is fact. Truth is not dependent upon the changing opin ions of men. Truth is true whether I ac cept it or not. A thing must be true before 1 can accept it as truth1. So that reason is not originative^ not creative, it is only a channel. It is not a source, but a medium. REASON NpT CREATIVE. Our reason never creates anything; it only weighs data, and settles things as the result of weighing them. Authority, there fore, is not- against reason, but in accord ance with reason; and so we conclude that reason is not the seat of authority. Others say the Church is the seat of au thority. Well, of course, we ask: What Church?.. Where is that' Church- to be found? The Church in the fullest Sense of the word is best described as “the blessed company jjf all faithful people;” and as such it is the product of Divine revelation. The Church came into existence on the day of Pentecost by accepting Divine rev- ' elation. If we go further back, the Jew ish Church came into existence as a be liever, as a result of'this revelation. “The word of the Lord came to Abraham” (Gen. 15:1) . Indeed, we can go back, to ’Adam, and find that everything presupposes a. Divine revelation, which is the foundation of all the religion, whether,individual or corporate, that 'the world has ever seen. 1 Divine revelation, it is difficult to see how it can be the seat of authority. The Church cannot embody, certainly: cannot create its Creator. So we come back to this, that the seat of authority is the Bible.^ And if God has spoken pre-eminently through the Bible, then the Bible is pre-eminently our au thority.
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valuable, (c) Fixity. There is a per manence about the Written Word that makes it essentially valuable and import ant for human, life, (d) Purity. We can have purity in connection with writing, in a way that we cannot possibly have by any other method. We cannot be sure of these four qual ities in reason, because that is unsafe and variable. We cannot be sure of them in any institution, for- it is always uncertain. This written form .of revelation is there fore the best available form. It is guar anteed to us by the fact that the New Testa ment has come from uniquely qualified men. I remember once when in conversation with a friend, asking him this question: “What is the ultimate reason why you ac cept the New Testament? Deep down below everything else; what is it that causes you to accept it, and reject other books?” My friend, said,he did not know that he had ever, really faced it in that way. S6 I went on: “Do you accept it because it is old? There are older books. Do you accept it because it contains truth? Well, there are other books that contain truth. No; beneath its age, beneath its helpful ness, beneath its truthfulness is the bed rock—this book came from men who were uniquely qualified to convey God’s will to men; and the bed-rock of our acceptance of the New Testament is what is called in technical language Apostolicity; because the books came, either from Apostolic au thors or through Apostolic sanction.” APOSTOLIC WRITERS. I am not now concerned with authorship, but with sanction. These books came from Apostolic men. Out of the eight writers of the New Testament, five were Apos tles, and the other three were immediate associates of the Apostles. Some one says: “Is not this what is called ‘Bibliolatry ?’ ” No, it is not. You do not interpose the Bible between your selves and Christ. You use the Bible as a medium by which you come to Christ. If I go out tonight and desire to see the stars with the telescope, will that be an inter-
We believe the Bible to-be our authority, the seat of authority, because it preserves the revelation of Christ in its purest and clearest form. Christianity is an historic religion. We are a long way from the commencement of Christianity. It started centuries ago, and has been ever since an historic religion. Now what we need to day, in this twentieth century, is the very best form of that historic religion which we can find. It does not at all matter where it is, or what it is, or how it has come, so'long as we can make sure that we have the best available form of God’s rev elation in Christ. It might come through a man, or it might come through an insti tution, or through a book'; but we need not mind in the least about the vehicle, so long as we can make sure that we have got the genuine revelation. GREATEST BOOK. • Now Christianity is at once life and liter ature. The-Ilfe seems to require the liter ature for its nourishment. As already no ticed, it is at least significant that all the great religions of ther world have their books.. It has seemed as though a book were really necessary for the maintenance and continuation of all religion. Literature is the nearest possible approach to reliabil ity. Truth in literary form has four qual ities which are pre-eminently necessary for a world-wide religion: (a) Durability; litera scripta manet: the Written Word abides. There is a durability about any written form of communication which stands the test of time, (b) Catholicity. There is a universal element in a written form which appeals and applies to the whole world. The Bible, by way of illus tration, is the easiest book to translate into universal language today. I wonder what China or Uganda would make of one of Shakespeare’s plays? Every one knows how impossible it is to translate Heine’s ballads into English. There are French poems of exquisite thought and expression that cannot possibly be put into our lan guage. But the Bible is a Book of uni versal—shall I . use the word ?—interpret- ability. And it is this catholicity of the Written Word that makes the Bible, so
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position ? It will be a medium. It will not be a hindrance, but a help. When a boy receives a letter „ from his mother, his school fellows may say: “Oh, how per fectly absurd for you to trouble about a bit of paper like th a t!” “Ah,” says the boy, “it is not the paper, it is what is on it. That paper represents my mother’s in terest, my mother’s love; and so far from being a hindrance, it represents and ex presses my mother’s love to me when I cannot be in her presence.” The. Scriptures do two things: They provide truth for our acceptance and ma terial for our experience. That brings us face to face with the Lord Jesus, Christ. So we conclude that it is not reason, not the Church, but the Bible which is the seat of authority. '4. The Nature of this Authority .—It is a spiritual authority.. Words familiar at least to some of us are these: “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation.” It is a bodk of salvation, it is*a guide to spiritual safety. It reveals the Lord Jesus Christ as bur Teacher, our Redeemer, and our Master; our Prophet, Priest, and King. SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY. Authority always declares itself by its 'moral and spiritual proofs. At one time in our Lord’s life His authority was defi nitely questioned: “By what authority doest Thou -these things? Who gave Thee this authority ?” And our Lord replied: “The baptism of John, was it from Heaven or of men?” They saw at once what the reply to that would involve, and said: “We cannot tell.” Quite so. The moral proofs of John’s authority were such, that if they had answered truly they would have com mitted apd condemned themselves. The authority of the Bible, therefore, is spirit ual, because it reveals Christ as the Saviour, and produces spiritual results. Then this authority is supreme. The Bible is supreme over reason. Reason is human. The Bible, though possessing human elements, is guaranteed by what we believe to be Divine inspiration. The Bible is our guide as the light of reason and of human thought. Revelation, because it
comes from God, cannot possibly dishonor reason, which also comes from God. Rea son is the judge of our need of revelation. Reason examines the claims of revelation; but once those claims are accepted, reason takes a subordinate place, and revelation is supreme. An illustration I read years ago on this point may help us to understand i t : One morning in one of the prisons a warrant comes to the governor ordering that a cer tain criminal, who has been condemned, should be executed. What is the governor to do ? He has to examine the warrant. He has to look at its seal; he has to be sure of its signature; he has to take every possible precaution to see that it is gen uine, that it is not a fraud, but that it actually does comes from those in author ity. | When he has thus made sure of that warrant, he has to obey it. He cannot alter the date of the execution; he cannot alter the form of the execution; he cannot do anything but submit himself to that warrant, of whose authenticity he has be come convinced. That shows the place reason has in religion. Reason examines, tests, sifts, inquires, but the moment rea son has become convinced that this or that comes from God, then, like Joshua of old, it says: “What saith my Lord unto His servant ?’’ So though revelation is su preme over reason, reason examines the credentials of revelation and then submits to them. You have this illustrated in a well-known passage. Even an Apostle was not accepted without his message being tested.” At Berea, though St. Paul was heard with respect, yet the people searched the Scriptures daily whether these things were so (Acts xvii. 11). And when they were convinced that thq Apostle’s word and the Scriptures agreed, they bowed and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. So that Christ is our Authority, and when we are assured that the Bible is the form in which His word reaches us, we submit to it, and it becomes supreme over our reason and life. BIBLE IS SUPREME Again, the Bible is supreme over the Church. But some one says I “How can
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true that the written Word of the New Testament came after the Church, but the spoken Word came before thè Church. A SPOKEN GOSPEL By way of illustration let us- remember that there was a Church in Uganda before Mackay and Pilkington put the Gospel into writing. The missionaries preached the Word ; it was“ accepted by some; and a Church existed before anything could be put into writing. And so there was a Church on the day of Pentecost from the Word spoken by the Apostles, long before there was a written Word. This is where the fallacy comes in. The Church, there fore, is “a witness and a keeper,” but not a maker of Holy Scripture. One of the hymns we sing is: “The church from her dear Master, received the-gift divine.” Did the Church at Rome write the Epistle to the Romans? Was the Church at Rome the maker of that Epistle? Did the Church of the Ephesians make the Epistle to the Ephesians? No; it was the Apostle who wrote that Epistle to the Church of Rome, and it was Scripture to that Church froth the moment they ac cepted it from his hand. John the Apostle - says: “I wrote unto the Church, but Dio- trephes, who loveth to have the pre-emi nence, receiveth us not.” It was not the Church, but the Apostles representing Christ, who gave first the spoken and then the written Word of God. And so those familiar words in the Article of the Church' of England, “The Church is a witness and a~keeper,” are literally true. The Church is a witness of what is Scripture. The Church has kept the Scripture. But though the Church is a “witness and keeper," it is not thè autho^ or maker of Scripture, and the reasoning employed in support of the latter contention is falla cious. It seems to be as follows: “The Apostles were the authors of Holy Scripture.” “But all Apostles are members - of the Church of Christ.” “Therefore, the Church of Christ is the author of Scripture.”
this be? Surely it is impossible; the Church was in existence at least twenty years before the New Testament was writ ten.” The Church was certainly before the New Testament, but does it follow that the Church is above it? That is where a fallacy may creep in. But first, was the Church without a Bible? For those twenty years had the Church no Bible? One of our greatest scholars, C. H. Turner, in th e Journal of Theological Studies, has pointed out that while there is a truth in the statement that the Church is before the Bible, yet that if we had said it to àny early Christian he would have stared at us with amazement. He would have said: “We have got a Bible, the Old Testament, and it speaks to us of Christ.” The Apostle Paul says con cerning-the Old Testament that, with the simple addition of faith in Christ Jesus, it “is able to make wise unto salvation.” This is what St. Paul thought of the Old Testament. It is, however, perfectly true that the Church had no part of the New Testament for-at least twenty years. If we would like to add another twenty years we may do so. There was no complete New Testa ment for a long time after they had the truth; but we ought to notice this: while they had not the written Word they had the spoken Word from the day of Pente cost onwards. The Church came into ex istence by believing thé spoken Word ; and as long as the Apostles were at hand, the spoken Word was sufficient. But by and by, when they went from place to place, and afterwards died, it was essential to embody in another form the spoken revela tion; and thus came the written form. We see at once that it does not very much mat ter whether it is spoken or written, so long as we can be sure it is a revelation from God. I am perfectly certain that if the Apostle Paul were here, we should listen to him just as carefully as we should read one of his writings. The precise way in which the revelation comes does not mat ter so l o ^ as we can be certain that it comes from God. So that it is perfectly
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This has been well compared by the late Dr. Waller, of Highbury, to the following: “Mr. Balfour wrote a book on The Foundations of Belief." “Mr. Balfour is a member of the Privy Council.” “Therefore, the Privy Council is the author of the book called The Foundations of Belief." The fallacy, of course, lies in attributing to a body in its collective capacity certain acts of individual members of the body. The Church is not, and never was, the author of Scripture. The Scriptures are the law of God .for the Church, delivered to it by the Apostlès and Prophets. So we say. again that the Lord Jesus Christ is the supreme Authority, and we accept the Bible because it enshrines and embodies that authority. Take away Christ from the Bible, and there is no Bible left worth having. We do not bow down to the Book because it is a book; we do not re pudiate reason because it is reason ; we do not set aside the Church because it is the Church. We say that what we want is the best available form of Christ’s revelation, and we believe we get this in the Bible and not in any other way. THE WHOLE CHURCH The Word of God is therefore that which gives us a fixed and objective em bodiment of the revelation of God in JChrist; and as such it is, of course, supreme for everything connected with the Church. Let us not make any mistake. The witness of the whole Church is very important. When the whole Church bears testimony to the Deity of Jesus Christ, we are rash if we individually reject that doctrine; but still, when we have said everything for the moral authority of the Church, it is the work of a witness, not of a creator. Let me quote the words of the Bishop of Ox ford, Dr. Gore, on this point: “The Word of God in the Bible is the final testing- ground of doctrine.” Church belief, what we call Church tra dition, tends to deteriorate in the course of time. It never abides fired. Tradition is
so variable that we cannot depend upon it. There is modification and subtraction; there is often a positive inserted here and a superlative there if we depend upon tra dition. We find this in Jewish history. Mark vii. 13: “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition.” The Bishop of Oxford said some years ago concerning the Jewish Church, and the Mediaeval Church, that they had merged Scripture in a miscellaneous mass of au thorities. But we, do not believe in merging it that way. We insist on keeping it sepa rate and supreme. Here again an illustration will help us. When we -have a telegram, we require rea son to read, the message. The wire that brought the message may represent the Church that brought the Bible to our door ; but the message is the real thing. And so we have reason, the Church, and the Bible, but the message is the essential matter. IT IS FINAL That brings me to this: The Bible is our final authority. Spiritual, supreme, and final. The Old Testament could not claim finality for itself, because it was a gradual growth; and for the same reason the New Testament could not claim finality for itself ; but the whole tone of the Bible in volves and implies finality. Fathers are not always saying to their boys: “I am your father; I am supreme here.” They do not need to say that again and again. The boys know from their whole bearing and tone who are the masters. The atti tude of the father and mother is sufficient; and the attitude of Scripture shows that it is final. Isa. viii. 20: “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” or “there is no morning for them.” Matt. xxiv. 25: “Behold I have told you. 2 Cor, iv. 2: “Adulterating the Word of God.” Eph. yi. 17:' “The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” 1 Thess. ii. 13: “Ye received the Word of God.” 2 Tim. iii. 16: “All Scripture God- breathed is profitable for doctrW for cor rection, for instruction in righteousness.” However you take this last text, it refers
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to the authority of the Old Testament. 1 Peter i. 23: “The seed . . . the Word of God.” Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself in His life on earth bore testimony again and again to His own submission to that au thority :.“The" Scripture cannot be broken.” (See Matt. v. 18 and John x. 35). So we be lieve that the substance of Scripture bears testimony to its finality; and the. general tenor of the early Church is in the same direction. If we read the Fathers, of the first three centuries, we shall find witness after witness to the supremacy and finality ' of the Word of God. And at the Council of Chalcedon the'Gospels were placed in the center, as the final court of appeal. Then, too, every heresy opposed to ortho doxy was alleged to be based on Scripture; ancient liturgies- are simply saturated with the' .Scriptures, and the most severe at tacks of opponents have always been on Scripture. CHRIST AND THE BIBLE Experience tells the same story. It is - clear from Church history that the Lord Jesus Christ has never fully revealed Him self apart from the Bible. Where the Bible has been neglected, Christ has been neglected, and the light of Christianity has burned low. The oldest and truest view we have in ecclesiastical history is the su- £ premacy of the Bible, the finality of the Bible in relation to the revelation of God in Christ. V. The Power of this Authority —the power of the Bible. As an authority we use this book (a) against every form of what we call rationalism, or undue exer cise of the reason. Wp use it (b) against every .phase of what is called mysticism— I mean that which emphasises what is called “the inner light,” as against the written Word. We have to be very care ful about what is often called “inner light,” and about impressions which pome into the mind, which we think are the messages of God; when perhaps they are contrary to the Word of God. A man once went to Spurgeon and said that the Lord had told him he was to enter The Pastors’
College. That wise man replied: “I am in daily and almost hourly communication with the Lord, and He has not told me anything of the sort.” (c) We also use this authority against every form of scepticism. Here is a book of moderate compass which has moulded literature, colored civilization, affected every philosophy, transformed individuals and uplifted communities, and we say that a book for which this claim can, be made must be authoritative and divine. (d) We also use it against every form of individualism—l mean the attitude of people who are always thinking of the Bible as a book of rules. It is not a book of rules, it is a book of principles. It might be easy to think of it as a hook of rules, but it would not minister to our spiritual manhood and womanhood. God calls us to look at the great principles and apply them, and thus to turn them into rules for our daily life. And so against every form of pure individualism this au thority is supreme. (e) Then we say the Bible is our au thority against every form of ecclesiasticism. It is our supreme and final authority con cerning religion. When we are faced with anything concerning the Church, or Christ ianity, which: is said to be essential, we ask,' “What saith the Scriptures ?’’ (f) And, most important of all, .we use this book as, our authority fo r spiritual life and preaching and practice g Preachers must know this Book if they are to preach acceptably. If we are to go to our people with a “thus saith the Lord,” this Book must be in mind, heart, and life. There is no Christianity worthy of the name that is not based upon the Word of God; there is no real spiritual life that is not found suffused, permeated, dominated by the Holy Scriptures; and it is this beyond all else that gives the Bible its authority, and leads us to say: Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” So by this Book we stand, on it we rest, with it we fight, through it we shall con quer—because it is the Word of God that liveth and abideth for ever.Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104
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