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The admission that the Bible is indeed the word of God—that it was given by the express inspiration of God-brings with it consequences of the highest practical importance. Is it the word of God ?-then its decisions, the result of omniscience itself, must be right; and to call them in question were worse than folly. Its claims, too, on the regard of created beings, must be paramount. No suggestion of our own-no opinion of our fellow men-can have any counter-authority. The simple announcement of any duty, in its pages, ought to be sufficient to command our obedience. Nothing can be more unreasonable and inexcusable, than to deny it in practice the place of authority which we allow it in theory; and nothing more perilous, since the volume which has been given as the rule of our life in this world, must in the next be employed as the only proper standard of judgment.
Argument to induce compliance with the requirements of a volume which we believe to contain an immediate revelation from the Most High, appears altogether out of place: consistency with our own admission leaves us no other course than to obey. Our duty resolves itself into a careful study of the sacred page, with much prayer for the Holy Spirit; that we may understand its meaning, and be made willing to practise it. There are cases in which the judgment of the world is manifestly opposed to the precepts of the Bible: some of the more prominent of these instances are subjoined, in the hope that it will be felt how simple, in regard to these, is the course we have to pursue. It is enough to say, God must be obeyed at all events: before a Divine decision, all other rules—all other maxims-must bow. The Psalmist's rule is the only safe one: “I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way." “ Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law: yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.”—Ps. cxix. 128, 33, 34.
The world says: “Charity begins at home.”
But God says: “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”—Philip. ii. 4. “Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.” -1 Cor. x. 24. 66 Charity seeketh not her own.”—1 Cor. xiv. 5.
The world says: “Young people must amuse themselves.”
But God says: “Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth ; while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”—Eccl. xii. 1. “Flee also youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord.”—2 Tim. ii. 22
The world says: “As long as we are in the world, we must live as the world lives:-one cannot bury oneself alive ;-we must do as others do."
But GOD “ Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil.”—Exod. xxiii. 2. “ Be not conformed to this world : but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”_Rom. xii. 2. 66 Enter
ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”—Matt. vii. 13, 14. “ Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”—2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.
The world “ A man is a fool, who suffers himself to be ill-treated without resenting it." But God
resist not evil: but whosoever will smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”—Matt. v. 39.* Recompense to no man evil for evil.” — Rom. xii. 17. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves.”-Rom. xii. 12.
The world sulys :
“ One must kill time.” But God says: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”—Ephes. v. 16. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”—Psalm xc. 12.
But God says :
The world says : “Sunday is a day for recreation.”
“ Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.”—Exod. xx. 8. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon
* That is,' When you meet with ill usage in the world, do not immediately set yourselves against the injurious person in a posture of hostile opposition, and with a resolution to return evil for evil. Choose rather to pass it by-though possibly it might, on that account, be repeatedthan to enter into a vigorous prosecution of the offender.' Turn to him the other also.—The action is here put for the disposition: it is a proverbial phrase, expressive of a meek disposition under injuries and affronts.—Isa. 1. 6; Lam. iii. 30.-Doddridge.
high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." -Isaiah lviii. 13, 14.
The world says :
“ That which is worth taking is worth keeping."
But God says : “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”—Prov. iii. 27; Luke xix. 8.
The world says: “Money does everything."
But God says : “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?”—Matt. xvi. 26. “Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord.”—Ezek. vii. 19. “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many
foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil : which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”—1 Tim. vi. 9, 10.
The world says:
“One must enjoy life:” (“ a short life and a merry one.")
But God says: “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth: and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways
of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment."-Eccles. xi. 9. “Use this world as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away.”—1 Cor. vii. 31. “Delight thyself also in the Lord.”—Psalm xxxvii. 4.
The world says: “God does not interfere in little things." But God says :
hairs of your head are all numoered. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing ? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your
Father.”—Matt. X. 29, 30. “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.