Wants of the Spiritual Nature met in the Bible alone

If you can manage to show a person what he can find in the Bible, he is not likely (if he be a sensible person) to distress himself very much about what he cannot find. Suppose you do not find anything satisfactory in the Bible on the subject of astronomy, or of any physical science whatever, what will that matter, so long as you find what your conscience needs, what your heart needs, what your immortal spirit is craving for? I am one of those who believe there is nothing in the Bible, when it is properly understood, which contradicts astronomy, or geology, or any of the sciences; but it seems to me of far less importance to try to convince people of this, than to try to show what there is in the Bible on its own great theme of man’s wants as a dying sinner, and the eternal life which has been provided for him in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. The Bible itself, with its wonderful stories of grace and truth, is the best answer to all the objections which have been made to its Divine origin; and while questions of authority and authenticity are of great importance, and our obligations should be always acknowledged to those scholars who have explored the recesses of these difficult subjects, it will always be the case that to the vast majority the Bible is its own best witness. Once let a man’s eyes be opened to see what is really in it--bread for his soul-hunger, medicine for his soul-sickness, comfort for his sorrow, light in his darkness, hope in his death--and he will have proofs enough of its divinity, which are altogether independent of any questions as to its authorship or origin in history. (J. M. Gibson, D. D.)

The Bible addresses itself to the most special circumstances of each single soul. It is all true, the picture that Burns has drawn of the holy influence of the Bible by the cottar’s humble hearth; it is all true, what we often hear of its transforming power over the illiterate. No other book does this; but the Bible, wherever it goes, is ever followed by some examples of this strange effect. But much more than this is true. Men profoundly learned in the Scriptures, and in all that wide field of knowledge that relates to them, have not been prevented by their critical and philological investigations from feeling the same quickening spiritual energy of the Word. Bible scholars like Ussher, classical scholars like Erasmus, philosophers like Bacon, divines like Edwards, metaphysicians like Leibnitz and Hamilton, men of loftiest scientific as well as spiritual insight like Pascal, men of highest human culture, like Wilberforce and Guizot, have sought knowledge, not merely historical, or literary, or speculative, but soul-saving knowledge, from this fountain so full and running over for all. As the child sits down to learn his lesson from the lips of a beloved teacher, so have they betaken themselves to the study of the Scriptures, with the deep conviction, that in their human was to be found the superhuman and the Divine. Given by the Divine mind, these holy books must have in them a depth and a fulness of meaning that the human intellect can never exhaust. If they are holy books, then can there be thrown away upon them no amount of study, provided that study is ever chastened by a sanctified, truth-loving spirit that rejoices more in the simplest teaching, and in the simplest method of teaching from God, than in the most lauded discoveries of any mere human science. (Tayler Lewis, LL. D.)

One day a mixed company of men of different creeds and opinions were met together: Romanists and protestants, philosophers and materialists, were there when this question was started--Supposing a man, doomed to imprisonment for life, were allowed to choose one book only as the companion of his solitude, what book should he choose? In reply, all agreed that his choice should be the Bible. The story is told by a French rationalist. It is a singular testimony to the charm of the Bible, and to the confidence which men feel in it as in a companion whose friendship would never weary. The truth is that the Bible does supply a great variety of mental and moral nutriment. In so small a compass, one can move through scenes which display all sides of life. It reaches our various moods: its maxims on the conduct of life, no less than its outbursts as from the depths of the human spirit--its devotional, no less than its intellectual spirit, meet the wants of our nature. (Bp. Boyd Carpenter.)