V. IT HAS UNIQUE CLAIMS UPON US.
A unique book deserves and demands unique
attention. Like Job, we ought to be able to say, "I have esteemed the words of
His mouth more than my necessary food." If history teaches us anything at all,
it teaches that those nations which have most honored God's Word have been most
honored by God. And what is true of the nation is equally true of the family
and of the individual. The greatest intellects of the ages have drawn their
inspiration from the Scripture of Truth. The most eminent statesmen have
testified to the value and importance of Bible study. Benjamin Franklin said:
"Young man, my advice to you is that you cultivate an acquaintance with and
firm belief in the Holy Scriptures, for this is your certain interest." Thomas
Jefferson gave it as his opinion, "I have said and always will say, that the
studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better
fathers, and better husbands."
When the late Queen Victoria was asked the secret
of England's greatness, she took down a copy of the Scriptures, and pointing to
the Bible she said, "That Book explains the power of Great Britain." Daniel
Webster once affirmed, "If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our
country will go on prospering and to prosper; but, if we and our posterity
neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a
catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity. The
Bible is the Book of all others for lawyers as well as divines, and I pity the
man who cannot find in it a rich supply of thought and rule of conduct."
When Sir Walter Scott lay dying he summoned to
his side his man in waiting and said, "Read to me out of the Book." Which book?
answered his servant. "There is only one Book," was the dying man's response -
"The Bible!" The Bible is the Book to live by and the Book to die by. Therefore
read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. As another
has said: "Know it in the head, store it in the heart, show it in the life, sow
it in the world."
"All Scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Tim. 3:16-17).