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shall appear, he may be enabled to say with rejoicing, "Behold I, and the children which God hath given me ;" and receive that crown of glory which God hath "prepared for them that love him."
THE sacred volume here behold!
When cares obtrude upon the mind,
In God's own Bible.
When sorrow's throbs the heart assail,
Where find an antidote to heal?
The hallowed Bible.
In doing good through life rejoice-
Believe in Christ-the Truth, the Way,
And love the Bible.
REV. H. A. SIMCOE, PENHEALE-PRESS.
The godly Father, Chrysostom, calleth upon the people to read and hear the Scriptures. ye men of the world; get ye the Bible, that most wholesome remedy for the soul; if ye will nothing else, yet at least get the New Testament, St. Paul's Epistles, the Gospels, and the Acts, that they may be your continual and earnest teachers.' And again,
Hearken not hereto only here in the Church, but also at home; let the husband with the wife, let the father with the child, talk together of these matters, and both to and fro, let them both inquire and give their judgments; and would God they would begin this good custom.'
In like sort saith Origen, Would God we would all do accordingly as it is written, Search the Scriptures.' It were a token that we do love Christ. Then would the Father love us, and Christ would love us, and shew himself unto us, and he and his Father would come unto us, and dwell in us.
Chrysostom saith, This is the cause of all ill that the Scriptures are not known. To know nothing of God's laws (saith he in another place) is the loss of salvation ignorance hath brought in heresies and vicious life, ignorance hath turned all things upside down.'
St. Jerome, expounding those words of the Apostle, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you plenteously," saith, Here we are taught that the lay-people ought to have the word of God, not only sufficiently, but also with abundance, and to teach and counsel one another.'
And now to conclude what the learned Fathers and ancient doctors have said in these matters. Theodoretus saith, 'Ye may commonly see that our doctrine is known not only of them that are the doctors of the Church, and the masters of the people, but also even of the tailors, and smiths, and weavers, and of all artificers; yea, and further also of women, and that not only of them that be learned, but also of labouring women, and sewsters, and servants, and handmaids; neither only the citizens, but also the country folks do very well understand the same. Ye may find, yea, even the very ditchers, and delvers, and cow-herds, and gardeners, disputing of the holy Trinity, and of the creation of all things.'
Thus we see there was a time before ignorance
crept into the Church, and got the upper hand, when the word of God was not counted hard, and dark, and doubtful; when children, and women, and servants, and men of the country, had the knowledge of God, and were able to reason of the works of God. Then went it well with them; they could not easily be deceived, because they had that word which bewrayeth the thief; they carried with them, like good exchangers, the weights and touchstone, and were able to try coins, whether they were true or false. Such were the people, such was the state of God's church in those days.
Gold, and silver, and lands, and possessions, are the portions but of few; they are not common to all alike. The wise man saith, Prov. xix., " House and riches come by inheritance of the fathers." But the word of God, the law and the prophets, the apostles, the evangelists, the gift of the Spirit, and the knowledge of God, are given unto all men, they are made common for all men. If the word were ordained but for a few, then Christ was given unto the world but for a few; the heaven was made but for a few; the mercy and love of God was but for a few But the mercy of God is over all, and upon all, and for all. All have right to hear the word of God, all have need to know the word of God. "All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God," Rom. iii. Therefore Christ calleth all, Matth. xi., "Come unto me all ye that be weary and laden." Young men and old men, men and women, rich and poor, come to me. "God is no respecter of persons," Acts x. "It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, (saith Christ, Matth. xviii.,) that one of these little one
should perish." Who wills that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim.
ii. "God will look to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at his words," Isa. lxvi. God will regard such a one, and make him a fit vessel to receive his truth. Upon him that is such a one shall the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of God, rest. Not only upon the rich, the wise, and the learned, but upon him that is poor, and of a contrite heart, and trembleth at his words; upon him that humbleth himself under the mighty hand of God; he is the temple and the tabernacle of the Holy Ghost. He that is humble in heart shall be saved; God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the lowly. Therefore Christ said, Matth. xi., "I give thee thanks, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and men of understanding, and hast opened them unto babes," to such as have no learning, which rejoice in nothing but in thee. The wise and learned of the world cannot hear them, cannot see them, but they to whom it pleased thee to give understanding. It is thy mercy. Flesh and blood cannot reach the knowledge of thy will. The Spirit of the Father hath revealed it.
Christ saith, John x., "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; they will not follow a stranger." My people are simple as sheep, they are rude, and know not what to do; yet they know my voice, and follow me; they know their shepherd from a thief; they follow not the call and voice of a stranger. So we see that God chaseth no man away from hearing his word; he loatheth