"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—

"Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them." Psalm 119:140

This is the precious dew of the Spirit dripping from the branches of the heavenly Palm. As Jonathan, when faint and downcast and weary, found strength and refreshment in partaking of the honey dropping from the trees in the tangled thicket (1 Sam. 14:27); so can every true believer—every true Jonathan ("the beloved of God,") tell as their experience, "Your Word is sweet unto my taste." "Sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb" (Ps.19:10).

In the midst of our duties and difficulties, our cares and perplexities, how many a pang and tear would it save us, if we went with chastened and inquiring hearts to these sacred pages! How many trials would be eased—how many sorrows soothed, and temptations avoided, if we forestalled every step in existence with the inquiry, "What says the scripture?"—if we preceded every desert encampment with the inquiry what the will of the Lord is? How few, it is to be feared, make (as they should do), the Bible a final court of appeal—a judge for the settlement of all the vexed questions in the consistory of the soul; allaying all misgivings with the resolve, "I will hear what God the Lord will speak." May we be preserved from that saddest phase of modern infidelity, the Sacred Volume classed among the worn and barren books of the past, regarded only with that misnamed "veneration" which the collector bestows on some piece of mediaeval armor—a relic and memorial of bygone days, but unsuitable for an age which has superseded the cruder views of these old "chroniclers," and inaugurated a new era of religious development. Vain dreamers! "Forever, O God, Your Word is settled in heaven." "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." "The Word of the Lord is tried."

What a crowd of witnesses could be summoned to give personal evidence of its preciousness and value. How many aching heads would raise themselves from their pillows and tell of their obligations to its soothing messages of love and power! How many deathbeds could send their occupants with pallid lips to tell of the staff which upheld them in the dark valley. How many, in the hour of bereavement, could lay their finger on the promise that first dried the tear from their eye and brought back the smile to their saddened countenances! How many voyagers in life's tempestuous ocean, now landed on the heavenly shore, would be ready to hush their golden harps, and descend to earth with the testimony that this was the blessed beacon-light which enabled them to avoid the treacherous reefs—perilous rocks of temptation—and guided them to their desired haven!

Reason, with your flickering torch, you have never yet guided to such sublime mysteries as these! Philosophy, you have never yet, as this Book has done, taught a man how to die! Science, you have penetrated the mysteries of nature, sunk your shafts into earth's recesses, unburied its stores, counted its strata, measured the height of its massive pillars down to the very pedestals of primeval granite; you have tracked the lightning, traced the path of the tornado, revealed the distant planet, foretold the coming of the comet and the return of the eclipse. But you have never been able to gauge the depths of the human soul, with its mighty cravings and yearnings, or to answer the question, "What must I do to be saved?"

No; this antiquated Volume is still the "Book of books," the oracle of oracles, the beacon of beacons; the poor man's treasury, the sick man's health, the dying man's life. It has shallows for the child to walk in, depths for giant intellect to explore and adore! Philosophy, if she would admit it, is indebted here for the noblest of her maxims. Poetry, for the loftiest of her themes. Painting has gathered here her noblest inspiration. Music has ransacked these golden stores for the grandest of her strains. And if there be life in the Church of Christ—if her ministers and missionaries are carrying the torch of salvation through the world, where is that torch lighted but at these same altar fires? When a philosophy, "falsely so called," shall become dominant, and seek, with its proud dogmas, to supersede this divine system; when the old Bible of Augustine and Luther, of Baxter and Bunyan, of Brainerd and Martyn, is clasped and closed—the only code of morality worth speaking of will have perished from the earth. Dagon will have taken the place of God's ark; the world's funeral pile may be kindled.

Let us value our Bibles, "dwelling," like Deborah, under these heavenly palm-trees. As they are the souvenirs of our earliest childhood, the gift of a mother's love, or the pledge of a father's affection, so let them be our fondest treasures—the directory of daily life, the friend of prosperity, the solace in adversity, the soothing in suffering, the balm in bereavement; and in the prospect of our own departure let them be the keepsakes and heirlooms which we are most desirous to transmit to our children's children. As we sat under this Elim shade in life's earliest morning, let us be found under it at life's sunset hour; when, stirred by the breath of evening, the fronds whisper to the last, the name of Jesus!

"We praise Thee for the radiance
Which from the hallowed page,
A lantern to our footsteps,
Shines on from age to age.

"It is the golden casket
Where gems of truth are stored;
The never-failing Treasure
Of the Eternal Word.

"It is the chart and compass
That o'er life's surging sea,
Mid mists and rocks and quicksands,
Still guide, O Christ, to Thee.

"Instruct Thy wandering pilgrims,
By this their path to trace,
Until, clouds and darkness ended,
They see Thee face to face."

"I wait on the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope."

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