The Bible: The Universal Book

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
This Book contains: the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy.
It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter.
Here, heaven is opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. CHRIST IS ITS GRAND SUBJECT, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.
Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemn ail who trifle with its sacred contents.
Live with it. Deeply and trustfully encourage its entrance into the soul; then you will know whether it gives light. Make the testimonies your delight; then they will become your counselors. Eat the Word, and see if it does not become the joy and rejoicing of your heart (Jer. 15:1616Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)).
The Bible is the full revelation of the mind and heart of God, and the Incarnate Word is the answer, confirmation, and fulfillment of the written Word. The more that is known of the story and scenes of the Bible, the more the spell and the splendor of the Book is increased in its magnetism and majesty. It holds the reader, while it awes him; it comforts him, though it condemns him; it woos him, but it wins him; it saves him, and is able to sanctify him as he reverently reads its message in humble reliance upon the constant and gracious ministry of the Holy Spirit, whose mission is to take of the things of Christ and reveal them unto us. The Bible finds its way where the living voice does not penetrate; it enters the sick chamber, and can minister to the weak and suffering, who are kept in seclusion; and it is at hand when oral teaching is not available.
It is history, poetry, prophecy, consisting of that which was spoken by the Lord in the past, is His voice for today, and His herald of tomorrow. It weaves the warp of the past into the woof of the future, telling alike of joy and sorrow; songs and lamentations; reward and punishment; danger and safety; light and darkness; life and death; salvation and judgment; and grace and law. It is living, and it will never cease to operate infallibly (Heb. 4:1212For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12); J.N.D. Trans.); its gospel shall be preached and men shall be convicted of sin, and brought to Christ and joyfully and royally welcomed, until He shall rise up and shut the door (Luke 13:2525When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: (Luke 13:25)).
This Book is the greatest traveler in the world. It penetrates to every country, civilized and uncivilized. It is seen in the royal palace and in 'the humble cottage. It is the friend of emperors and beggars. It is read by the light of the dim candle amid Arctic snows. It is read under the glare of the equatorial sun. It is read in city and country, amid the crowds and in solitude; and wherever the message is received, it frees the mind from bondage, and fills the heart with gladness.
Men need life; therefore men need the Bible. It is the only Book this world has ever had that brings spiritual and eternal life to men; it is the only Book that is itself living—alive. "The word of God... liveth and abideth forever." Men need a Book like this, and they could not write it themselves; so God provided it, and "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (1 Pet. 1:2323Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23); 2 Pet. 1:2121For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21).) The Bible reveals what men could never discover for themselves; and it is written, that "Ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name." John 20:3131But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31). Adapted