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other is what men most need. It is not more light for the intellect that is wanted most; it is Divine power on the conscience and the heart; and this power is not to be had in "the wisdom of men," even when employed in making arguments and overthrowing objections. There is light in the evidences. Let any one carefully and earnestly study them, and he will find that there is light. But, alone, it is like the sunlight in winter-beautiful, it may be, and clear, but fruitless, perhaps frosty. Such is the light of the intellect alone. The sun may shine as brightly in December as it did in June; but it has no longer the power it then had to put life into dead nature, to bring out the verdure of the leaf, the beauty of the flower, the richness of the fruit. Why the difference? Simply this, that the pole of our northern hemisphere is then turned away from the sun, and his rays, though bright as ever, fall so obliquely on the surface of the ground as scarcely to affect it; they do not go down into it to warm its bosom. And so, too, as long as the pole of the human conscience is turned away from God, even truth itself, shining ever so clearly, will fail to arrest the advance of approaching winter. If the man would only turn to the Lord, then the power of the truth would reach the conscience, the love of the truth would reach the heart, there would be warmth as well as light, spring would be around him, and summer at hand.

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." Observe the order: in Him, life; that life, the light. Those who believe in Him shall live, and in their new life will find a better and brighter light than all the powers of the intellect, or the resources of the evidences. addressed to the intellect, can furnish. The "demonstration of the Spirit" is by far the best. It can stand all kinds

of objections, as is most strikingly illustrated in the case of the man blind from his birth whom the Saviour cured, and who, to all questions and cavils had one unanswerable reply, "Whether the man be a sinner or no, I know not; one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." Finally, this "demonstration" is within the reach. of all. It only requires hearty willingness, cordial consent, true and earnest desire. "For if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"

XII.

THE VITALITY OF THE BIBLE.

(A Speech delivered at the Eightieth Anniversary of the Bible Society.)

I WAS reading a little while ago in one of our high-class reviews an article by an exceedingly able writer, in which he made a most important statement. He made it so confidently in the name of the thinking people of the present day that there surely must be something in it, and yet it has seemed to me to be quite irreconcilable, by any logical process I can think of, with the facts of this Report. The statement was to the effect that Bible Christianity was, at the time of writing, in the very article of death. That was a good many weeks ago, and so I suppose it must be quite dead by this time. Now, I am perfectly aware that this is not the first or the second or the hundredth time that wise and learned men have told us that the Bible was dying or dead, but this distinguished writer had actually seen the grave-clothes in which it was to be buried, so there could be no mistake about it this time. Many of you may not have heard of this before, but that is not to be wondered at, for the same distinguished writer speaks with great contempt of Exeter Hall and of all the people who go there! You will not wonder, then, that one who has read this able article should be in a difficulty, and expect to hear to-day of diminished sales and decreasing income, and the approaching collapse of the Bible Society, and to find one.

of the resolutions a motion to go into liquidation.

But I have looked over the whole paper and can find no such motion. On the contrary, we are told of largely increased sales, finances advancing by leaps and bounds, and everything brisk and buoyant and hopeful. There must

be some mistake somewhere. It surely cannot be with the distinguished and able writer, considering the constituency for which he spoke. It must, then, be with the stupid people of Exeter Hall. And yet the millions of copies and the hundreds of thousands of pounds! I cannot exactly make out how the stupidity of Exeter Hall can account for all that. And then all other business is so dull, exceedingly dull. I can speak feelingly on that subject, for I have been trying to raise a little money for a church-building fund, and I have been told, with what may be called a painful iteration, that business is very, very dull. I do not know much about business, but I know enough to know that when business generally is dull, business in books is especially dull, and that those who deal in old books have the dullest time of all.

Now I am just coming to my difficulty. Here is a publishing Society that confines its operations to one book, and that book the oldest of all; a book with which the market is fairly glutted, hundreds of millions having been discharged into it; a book, moreover, which we learn, on excellent authority, is now quite dead; and yet the Society flourishes! It is not running down, it is running up, and if it were the fashion to quote this sort of stock in the newspapers, I fancy you would need a stronger term than "lively" to indicate the vitality of it.

You see the dilemma I am in. I am forced to one of two conclusions-either we have in all this a veritable miracle of the nineteenth century, to which I am afraid our learned friend would hardly give his assent, or-I

shrink from stating the alternative, but I must do it—the statement cannot be quite correct. The Bible cannot be quite dead after all. There must be some life in the old book yet. Perhaps it is the same with the Bible as with some of those who wrote it, who spoke of themselves in a strange fashion, like this: "As dying, and behold we live;"" persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." And it has occurred to me that possibly our learned friend may be somewhat like a certain rustic, whom the poet Horace, in a passage exceedingly well known and often quoted, speaks of as standing upon the bank of a river and waiting till it should have flowed past and disappeared; not considering that as the river had flowed on from age to age before he was there, so from age to age it still would flow on after he had vanished from the scene. The streams of the Water of Life are flowing still, and they still will flow; there is no sign of any slacking of the tide, for what is true of the little brook is no less true, but still more true, of this broad brimming river

"Men may come, and men may go,
But I go on for ever."

The constant and ever-increasing demand for the Bible, which is reflected in the wonderful history of this noble Society, is well worthy of consideration, quite apart from a publishing point of view; for what does it mean? It means that this old Book, which it is the work of this Society to circulate, is as young as ever-that it is a Book for the times as much as it ever was. No publisher's device is needed to make it pass off as fresh. Sometimes a publishing firm will take care to put no

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