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How Moody was Blessed--"Mark Your Bible."
I want to tell you how I was blessed a few years ago, upon hearing a discourse upon the thirtieth chapter of Proverbs. The speaker said the children of God were like four things. The first thing was: "The ants are a people not strong," and he went on to compare the children of God to ants. He said the people of God were like ants. They pay no attention to the things of the present, but go on steadily preparing for the future. The next thing he compared them to was the conies. "The conies are but a feeble folk." It is a very weak little thing. "Well," said I, "I wouldn't like to be as a coney." But he went on to say that it built upon a rock. The children of God were very weak, but they laid their foundation upon a rock. "Well," said I, "I will be like a coney and build my hopes upon a rock." Like the Irishman who said he trembled himself, but the rock upon which his house was built never did. The next thing the speaker compared them to was a locust. I didn't think much of locusts; and I thought I wouldn't care about being like one. But he went on to read, "They have no king, yet they go forth all of them by bands." There were the Congregationalist, the Presbyterian, the Methodist bands going forth without a king, but by and by our King will come back again, and these bands will fly to Him. "Well, I will be like a locust; my King is away," I thought. The next comparison was a spider. I didn't like this at all, but he said if we went into a gilded palace filled with luxury, we might see a spider holding on to something, oblivious to all the luxury below. It was laying hold of the things above. "Well," said I, "I would like to be a spider." I heard this a good many years ago, and I just put the speaker's name to it, and it makes a sermon. But take your Bibles and mark them. Don't think of wearing them out. It is a rare thing to find a man wearing his Bible out now-a-days--and Bibles are cheap, too. You are living in a land where they are plenty. Study them and mark them, and don't be afraid of wearing them.
Moody Visits Prang's Chromo Establishment.
When I went to Boston, I went into Mr. Prang's chromo establishment. I wanted to know how the work was done. He took me to a stone several feet square, where he took the first impression, but when he took the paper off the stone I could see no sign of a man's face there. "Wait a little," he said. He took me to another stone, but when the paper was lifted I couldn't see any impression yet. He took me up, up to eight, nine, ten stones, and then I could see just the faintest outlines of a man's face. He went on till he got up to about the twentieth stone, and I could see the impression of a face, but he said it was not very correct yet. Well, he went on till he got up, I think, to the twenty-eighth stone, and a perfect face appeared, and it looked as if all it had to do was to speak and it would be human. If you read a chapter of the Bible and don't see anything in it, read it a second time, and if you cannot see anything in it read it a third time. Dig deep. Read it again and again, and even if you have to read it twenty-eight times do so, and you will see the Man Christ Jesus, for He is in every page of the Word.
Get the Key to Job.
An Englishman asked me some time ago, "Do you know much about Job?" "Well, I know a little," I replied. "If you've got the key of Job, you've got the key to the whole Bible." "What?" I replied, "I thought it was a poetical book." "Well," said he, "I will just divide Job into seven heads. The first is the perfect man--untried; and that is Adam and Eve before they fell. The second head is tried by adversity--Adam after the fall. The third is the wisdom of the world--the three friends who came to try to help Job out of his difficulties. They had no power to help him at all." He could stand his scolding wife, but he could not stand them. The fourth head takes the form of the Mediator, and in the fifth head God speaks at last. He heard him before by the ear, but he hears Him now by the soul, and he fell down flat upon his face. A good many men in Chicago are like Job. They think they are mighty good men, but the moment they hear the voice of God they know they are sinners, they are in the dust. There isn't much talk about their goodness then. Here he was with his face down. Job learned his lesson. That was the sixth head, and in these heads were the burdens of Adam's sin. The seventh head was when God showed him His face. Well, I learned the key to the Bible. I cannot tell how this helped me. I told it to another man, and he asked me if I ever thought how he got his property back and his sheep back. He gave Job double what he had and gave him ten children besides, so that he should have ten in heaven besides his ten on earth.
Jesus Blessing Children; Gustave Dore. Mark, x, 13-16
One Book at a time.
I have found it a good plan to take up one book at a time. It is a good deal better to study one book at a time than to run through the Bible. If we study one book and get its key, it will, perhaps, open up others. Take up the book of Genesis, and you will find eight beginnings; or, in other words, you pick up the key of several books. The gospel was written that man might believe on Jesus Christ, and every chapter speaks of Him. Now, take the book of Genesis; it says it is the book of beginnings. That is the key; then the book of Exodus--it is the book of redemption; that is the key word of the whole. Take up the book of Leviticus, and we find that it is the book of sacrifices. And so on through all the different books; you will find each one with a key. Another thing: We must study it unbiased. A great many people believe certain things. They believe in certain creeds and doctrines, and they run through the book to get Scripture in accordance with them. If a man is a Calvinistic man he wants to find something in accordance with his doctrine. But if we go to seek truth the Spirit of God will come. Don't seek it in the blue light of Presbyterianism, in the red light of Methodism; or in the light of Episcopalianism, but study it in the light of Calvary.
Note what Jesus Says.
Some people say to me, "Moody, you don't believe in the flood. All the scientific men tell us it is absurd." Let them tell us. Jesus tells us of it, and I would rather take the word of Jesus than that of any other one. I haven't got much respect for those men who dig down for stones with shovels, in order to take away the word of God. Men don't believe in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, but we have it sealed in the New Testament. "As, it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah." They don't believe in Lot's wife, but He says, "Remember Lot's wife." So there is not a thing that men to-day cavil at but the Son of God indorses. They don't believe, in the swallowing of Jonah. They say it is impossible that a whale could swallow Jonah--its throat is too small. They forget that the whale was prepared for Jonah; as the colored woman said, "Why, God could prepare a man to swallow a whale, let alone a whale to swallow a man."
I remember I took up the word "love," and turned to the Scriptures and studied it, and got so that I felt I loved everybody, I got full of it. When I went on the street, I felt as if I loved everybody I saw. It ran out of my fingers. Suppose you take up the subject of love and study it up. You will get so full of it that all you have got to do is to open your lips and a flood of the love of God flows upon the meeting. If you go into a court you will find a lawyer pleading a case. He gets everything bearing upon one point, heaped up so as to carry his argument with all the force he can, in order to convince the jury. Now it seems to me a man should do the same in talking to an audience; just think that he has a jury before him, and he wants to convict a sinner. If it is love, get all you can upon the subject and talk love, love.
The "I Ams," "I Wills," Etc.
A favorite way to study the Bible with me, is first to take up one expression, and run through the different places where they are found. 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 to His children a blank; and on it they can write whatever they most want and He will fill the bill. And then the promises. A Scotchman found out thirty one thousand distinct promises in the Word of God. There is not a despondent soul but God has a promise just to suit him.
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