The object of these pages is simple, clear, holy. It is to arouse attention to the blessed truth, that Christ pervades all Scripture, as salt all waters of the sea, as light the brightest day, as fragrance the garden of choice flowers.
To see this is my prime delight. To testify it is my happiest duty. Devoted loyalty to Him who is the first and last, the sum and substance of all Scripture, impels me. Earnest zeal for the undying souls of men constrains me. I know, and am intensely persuaded, that all peace, all joy, all salvation, are in Jesus. My eyes are widely open to the fact that men are blessed, and are blessings, just in proportion as they live, ever gazing on Christ, ever listening to His voice.
Shame, then, and guilt and woe would be my portion, if I should leave any effort untried to unfold His glorious image. Let me rather use every power of life and pen to magnify and exalt Him—to beseech men to ponder Him—to search for Him—to receive Him—to love Him—to follow Him—to serve Him—to commend Him—to live in Him, and through Him, and for Him. I would thus strive, the Spirit helping, to assail and melt and conquer hearts, that Christ may there be enthroned, in all His rightful majesty, a beloved and adored Lord.
There can be no excess in the faith and love and adoration and obedience of the only Savior, the King of kings and Lord of lords! Has there ever lived the saint, whose moan it has not been, that, always striving to learn, he still was miserably ignorant in the full purpose of the Bible? What is there comparable to the profit of this knowledge? It is helpful to men in everything, hurtful in nothing. Whatever be the station or employment, if the duties are performed with loving eye intent on Jesus, with mind rejoicing in His discovery, with heart luxuriating in His riches, then toil will be no toil, because of the constant refreshment.
Who will deny that the happiest man on earth is he who is most enriched with enlightened views of Christ, and acts out most devotedly this faith? He lives at heaven's high gate. He holds close communion with Him, through whom his transgressions are forgiven, his sins are covered, his person accepted, his soul saved. He knows in whom he believes. He discerns the glories of His person, the redeeming worth of His wounds, the ransoming efficacy of the pierced hands and feet, the sheltering shadow of the cross. He reads the assuring language of Calvary. He sees his name written on the God-man's heart. To him the morning sweetly dawns, because it awakens to the renewed light of Jesus' grace. To him the day gladly speeds on, because its advance is progress in divine instruction. To him the night is calm repose, because he rests on the pillow of atoning love. The darkest cloud is fringed with rays of joy, while he meditates on salvation's Lord, and all events drop gladness. Can I know this, and not beseech men to make Christ their All?
Until this is truly done, how dreary is the present state, and the future prospect! Without Christ, religion is a sunless sky; public service a casket without the jewel; life is a dreary passage to a dreadful end; the home is no abode of peace; the family has no strong bond of lasting love; the trade yields no returns of worthy profit; death is a downfall into the unfathomable abyss; eternity is a prolongation of unutterable woe.
Without Christ, prosperity is an adverse tide, and adversity is a foreshadowing of deeper misery. Birth is no benefit, if Christ is never born within. Life is no gain, except to live is Christ. Without Christ, God is an adversary; Scripture sounds condemnation; and Satan is waiting for his victim, which his prison-house is ready to receive. Can I know this, and not beseech men to make Christ their All?
We live, too, in days when countless fallacies court men in garb of truth. How shall we meet, expose, expel them? Wisdom is needed, for theological error is shrewd and bold. It often is opposed by error, and then victory leaves darkness more dark. The conquering champion's panoply is full intelligence of Christ. Christ is the sword, before which Roman frauds and novel sophistries fall low. He is the shield which guards the heart from all the poisoned arrows of the deceiving and deceived. In Him there is reply for every error's every wile. Christ truly seen is an impregnable fort. Christ well applied smashes all falsehood's weapons. He is God's wisdom in the highest. The man is safe on wisdom's high ground who is well versed in Him.
Therefore my desire in these pages is to turn minds to clear discoveries of the Lord Jesus. The Father's eye moves not from Him. The Spirit never wearies to reveal Him. Angelic intellect pants to dive more into His depths. The saints in light find Him increase of everlasting light. May the unfolding Spirit help each reader to glean more in the golden field of Scripture; and may the Pentateuch be found a boundless treasury of Christ!
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