The Use of the Bible

The Bible constitutes a perpetual commentary on God’s providential government, and shows us, by innumerable examples, how to interpret those lessons which the varying events of life, its joys and sorrows, its temptations and trials, are calculated to teach us. There is hardly an event, hardly a character that has not its parallel in that immense picture gallery of historic and biographic sketches which the Scripture opens to us. The whole of life seems mirrored there; the examples range through all the ranks of social life, embrace all varieties of character, and illustrate by analogous cases almost every conceivable combination of circumstances in which man can be placed. It is hardly possible to imagine ourselves in any situation in which that immense repertory and storehouse of monitory or touching examples will not furnish a precedent either for our warning, consolation, or guidance. (Prof. H. Rogers.)

It is no vain or goody counsel, that urges us to approach the study of the Bible with reverence and with faith. It is no spirit which seeks to evade difficulties by sealing up the understanding, or silencing the natural or reasonable expression of difficulties. These must always be felt: they need never be stifled. But what is ever of importance is, that we should not allow our criticism of the gateway or vestibule to keep us lingering in the porch or the corridors. There may be much left that needs explaining, but it is not necessary that everything should be explained before we pass on to the winning of the moral and spiritual help which the Bible can undoubtedly afford. We need sincere hearts. Scripture resembles a sundial, which is in itself perfect and complete, graven with all the hours, and with a gnomon which casts an exact shadow. But the indispensable condition of the sundial’s usefulness is light. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” “Pray, before all things, that the gates of light be opened to you, for the truths for which you seek are not comprehensible by the eye or mind of man, unless God and His Christ give him understanding.” (Bp. Boyd Carpenter.)