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God, and the reason is just that they do not study the word of God. You are little acquainted with this precious book. I don't see how Christians can habitually read the newspapers on Sunday. I wouldn't advise you even to read your religious weeklies on that day. I find too many are making these take the place of the Bible. Let us have one day exclusively to study and read the Word of God. If we can't take time during the week, we will have Sunday uninterrupted. What can botanists tell you of the lily of the valley? you must study this book for that. What can geologists tell you of the Rock of Ages, or mere astronomers about the Bright Morning Star? In these pages we find all knowledge unto salvation; there we read of the ruin of man by nature, redemption by the blood, and regeneration by the Holy Ghost. These three things run up all through and through them.
But let us stick to the thought, how to study this Bible. A favorite way with me is just to take up one word or expression, and run through the different places where they are. Take the "I ams" of John; "I am the bread of life :" "I am the water of life;" "I am the way, the truth, and the life;" "I am the resurrection;" "I am all, and in all." God gives his children a blank, and on it they can write what they most want, and He will fill the bill.
And then the promises. A Scotchman found out 31,000 distinct promises in the Word of God. There is not a despondent soul in this Tabernacle, this morning, but God has a promise just to suit him. They abound even in the books of Job and Jonah.
And now let us follow on the thought "What is God able to do." Just get the blessed texts on that subject to heart, and you can't help speaking to God. Then you can indeed say "God is my Father, Jesus is my Saviour, and heaven is my home." There is a blessed verse in the gospel of John. There is no more fruitful subject in the Bible than is opened up there. The conversions there and through the Bible, notice, are different from each other, though all redounding to the glory of God. Think of Nicodemus, the woman at the well, and Matthew the publican. And then the conversions in the Acts, and those of the Philippian jailer and Cornelius. We make a great deal more ado about this simple act than the Bible teaches. Conversion is just to believe on Christ and follow Him, and may be but the work of a moment.
Mr. Moody went on to say: Take up these texts of Peter having the word precious; "precious blood," "precious Christ,"
precious faith," ". precious trial of faith," ". 'precious promises of God." Just take one word of the apostle and trace it out.
Many persons do not believe in assurance as to salvation. Turn to the third chapter of the first epistle of John, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." The fifth verse of that chapter says, "And ye know he was manifested to take away our sins," and then we come to "I know that my Redeemer liveth." All the Bible puts it in that way. When it speaks of hope, it means a certain hope, not a doubtful hope. The "hope of a glorious resurrection" was a sure hope. Then the nineteenth verse, "Hereby we know that we are of the truth;" and then, "We know that we have passed from death unto life," and "Ye know that no murderer hath eternal life," and also, “Hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the spirit which He hath given us." There is no reason, nay, there is no excuse, for Christians doubting that they are saved; it is presumptuous not to take God at His word. Again, the second verse of the third chapter of the epistle of John says: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be ; but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him."
So I find great comfort and advantage in just taking up the Word of God in this way, and studying it with a view to some single truth. Take up in this way a single name or life or character. Thus Lazarus, in his different stages, is the type of the dead soul-the soul dead in trespasses and sins; then he is the saved soul; then the feasting rejoicing soul; then he testifies to the goodness of God. Galatians shows how we are first called, then justified, then sanctified; all through there is a beautifuĺ connection, and you have only to stand right with one of these thoughts, and follow the trail out.
And then take up the Christian's growth in grace, Psalm 33, verse 2, "Lie down in green pastures;" "Sitting at the feet of Jesus;" Ephesians, chapter 6, verses 13 and 14, "He is able to make us stand;" Psalms, "Walk through the valley of the shadow of death;" Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 1, "Run with patience the race that is set before us;" Psalms 18, verse 21, and in Isaiah, chapter 40, verse 31, "They shall mount up with wings as eagles." The Christian, these verses show, goes up higher and higher, like a balloon, till the world is lost to sight; till he becomes like Christ, and possessed of eyes that can gaze unblinded on the glory of the City of God. But I have spoken too long at this time, and will finish my subject hereafter.
R. MOODY said in opening his regular address he would make the sermon an inquiry room talk. He was not going to have any one in the congregation go away and say they hadn't an offer of salvation. He was going to turn the Tabernacle into an inquiry room. And first he would call attention to a verse in the Psalms. Some who had counted the verses in the Bible found that the eight and ninth verses of the one hundred and eighteenth Psalm were the middle verses of the Bible: "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." And also he read the third and fourth verses of the twenty-sixth chapter of Isaiah: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." A boy whose mother promises him anything knows how to trust her. If she promises him a pair of skates at Christmas, he don't begin to analyzo what trust is; he don't begin to ask what his feeling is. He simply says, "Mother said so, and that's enough." There was nothing miraculous about it; it was simply trust. This was the idea of trusting in God. They must trust God, even if they don't know what the result will be. In the Sixty-second Psalm, eighth verse it said: "Trust in Him at all times, ye people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us It was the same in the midnight darkness as in the daylight. child in the light whose father was in the dark. leaped into its father's arms though it didn't see him. the simple trust that the Father was there. Trust God at all times. Trust Him as one would trust a banker whom he had tried, a doctor whom he had confidence in; or a lawyer who had been tried and had never lost a case. They had an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the Righteous. How to trust Him was shown in Proverbs to be with "all the heart ;" not a little, but with the whole heart. Don't trust the minister with the soul's salvation, but God. God wants the whole heart; God hates half-heartedness; God detests half-heartedness. An incident of Alexander illustrated this, where the emperor was warned to beware of medicine. The emperor took the note of
It was the
warning in one hand and the medicine in the other, and because he trusted in his physician, took his draught. That was perfect trust. Paul said: "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him." The next step was, Who will trust Him? This is answered in the ninth Psalm at the tenth verse: "They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee." He must be known to be trusted; He must be believed to be trusted. No infidel could trust God because he didn't know Him. No one could go down to hell trusting in God. Then came the trust: “Thou wilt keep them in perfect peace that trust Thee." In the sixteenth chapter of Proverbs, at the twentieth verse, was described the joy of the one who trusted God: "Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." In the thirty-second Psalm, at the tenth verse again it was said: "Many sorrows shall be to the wicked, but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about." The joy is thus described in the fifth Psalm, at the eleventh verse: "But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice; let them even shout for joy, because Thou defendest them; let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee." The inquirer asked about feeling-how should he feel? He would say, "Let your feelings take care of themselves, you have only to come to God." They couldn't be saved by their feelings, nor by their good morals, by trying to break off their sins here and there; it was like lopping off the twigs of a tree, while Christ laid the axe to the root. In the twenty-ninth chapter of Proverbs it was said, "Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe," or in the margin "set on high." The next question was: Why didn't they get this trust? Was it pride, the fear of neighbors? Why didn't they get this trust? Again in the thirty-seventh Psalm reference was had to this: "Fret not thyself because of evil doers; commit thy way unto Him, and He shall bring it to pass." He was the widows' God, the orphans' God. Let none fret for the coming winter; the Lord will provide. He will be a present help. Mr. Moody told a number of illustrative incidents, and was especially practical in urging all who feared for the winter to trust in God, to rest in Him, and He would never leave, never forsake them.
PROPOSE to-night to take a subject rather than a text, and that subject is sudden conversion-instant salvation. One reason why I am led to take up this subject is because I have received a large number of letters asking me how it is that I can teach such a pernicious doctrine that a man can be saved all at once-that salvation is instantaneous. One of the writers goes on to say that it is clearly taught in the word of God that conversion is a gradual thing—that it is a life work-and that it is a dangerous thing to teach that a man can come into this Tabernacle a sinner and go out a saved man. Now, let us see what is taught in the word of God, and if it don't teach instantaneous salvation let us give up the idea. I hold to it as I do to my life, and I would as quickly give up my life as give up this doctrine, unless it can be proved that it is not according to the word of God. Now, I will admit that light is one thing and birth is another. A soul must be born before it can see light. A child must be born before it can be taught; it must be born before it can walk; it must be born before it can be educated. I think the grandest mistake among ministers is that they are talking to dead men; that they are talking to men in the flesh instead of men born of God. Now, let us get them into Christ, and then educate them and build them up to the highest faith. Let us not try to teach men who are not born of God. The Scripture is very clear on this point. It gives no uncertain sound. If a man is dead in sin you may as well talk to a corpse as talk to him about spiritual things. To tell an unrenewed man-an unregenerated man to worship, serve, and love God, is absurd; you may as well tell a man to leap over Lake Michigan as to tell a man not born of God to serve Him.
Now the first illustration I want to call your attention to is when the voice came down from heaven to Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark, for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." Now, there was a minute when Noah was outside the ark, and another when he was inside, and by being inside he was saved. As long as he was outside of the ark he was exposed to the wrath of God just like the rest of those antediluvians. If he stayed out, and remained with those