The Bible — Its Perfection

The Bible must be perfect. Being God's words they could not be otherwise, for all His works, whether in creation or redemption, bear the stamp of being perfect. "The law [or doctrine] of Jehovah is perfect converting the soul;" and "His way is perfect.” (Ps. 18:30; Ps. 19:7.) Again we read, "The words of Jehovah are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times," and that "Every word of God is pure." (Ps. 12:6; Prov. 30:5.) The Bible must be perfect, because, as we hope we have fully proved, it emanates from God.

It is also perfect in being able not only to make wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus, but because it is sufficient to furnish the believer completely unto every good work. (2 Tim. 3:15-17.)

The holy scriptures are infinite too in their quality because divinely perfect. Take up another book, and you may soon master most of its contents, but the written word who can grasp? If an inspired Apostle had to say, "We know in part, and we prophesy in part," we can surely add, "that the little we know we know very imperfectly." Who can say he has fully learned the divinely-given ministry of any part of scripture? And why? Because being God's word it is infinite in its height, and depth, and length, and breadth. We do well to remember this; and that because we are finite creatures we can know only in part, and give out to others but in part.

Few things show more the divine perfection stamped upon the Bible than its infallible accuracy as to what has been already fulfilled. Let us look at a few instances. More than four thousand years ago, Jehovah said, "While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Gen. 8:22); and do they not continue to this day?

Again we read, that Abram's seed (therefore reckoned from Isaac's birth) should be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, etc., for "four hundred years" which would be consequently four hundred and thirty years after the promise made to Abram; hence we read, "It came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of Jehovah went out from the land of Egypt." (Gen. 15:13; Ex. 12:41; Acts 7:6; Gal. 3:16-17.)

Again, in the time of Jeroboam's abominations, a man of God came unto Bethel by the word of Jehovah, and cried, saying, "O altar, altar, thus saith Jehovah; Behold a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which Jehovah has spoken; Behold the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. And it came to pass when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand which he put forth against him dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of Jehovah. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the face of Jehovah thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought Jehovah, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before." (1 Kings 13:1-6.) Now look at the accurate fulfilment of this saying of the man of God about three hundred years after. We read of King Josiah, "Moreover, the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove. And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of Jehovah, which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel." (2 Kings 23:15-17.) Were words ever more solemnly and more accurately fulfilled? How little men think they are refusing God's word, and dishonouring His holy name when they speak of their opinions of the scriptures, instead of bowing implicitly to their authority and instruction!

In reference also to God's dealings with some of the ancient cities recorded in scripture, we have the most accurate and solemn fulfilment. Look, for instance, at one of the finest cities the world ever knew, and one which existed very early after the Deluge — Nineveh. We know from the book of Jonah that it was "a very great city." Historians tell us that it extended in length about eighteen miles, and was surrounded with a wall more than a hundred feet high, wide enough to drive three chariots abreast, and ornamented with fifteen hundred towers. The breadth of the city was about twelve miles. Hence Jonah speaks of it as an exceeding great city of three days' journey; and if the "six score thousand persons in it, who could not discern between their right hand and their left," refer to young children, the population of the city must have been very large. The "much cattle" also intimates that there were fields, or parks and palaces, within the enclosure of its high and massive wall; and its ruins show there must have been extensive and magnificent buildings in it. The modern excavations prove the magnificence of the past and fallen greatness of Nineveh. With all her worldly and royal splendour Jehovah said, "I will make thy grave, for thou art vile … Nineveh is laid waste, who will bemoan her … her young children were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets; and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains." (Nahum 1 and 3.) Another prophet said, He "will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations; both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. This is the rejoicing city, that dwelt carelessly; that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me; how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! Every one that passes by her shall hiss, and wag his hand." (Zeph. 2:13-15.) It is said that the whole surface of the country is now covered with fragments of bricks and pottery. Not only is it "desolate," but it has long appeared a huge misshapen mound, like a large grave, covered with rank vegetation, and a place for beasts to lie down in; so literally has the prophetic word been fulfilled. It is probable that Nineveh was built soon after the confusion of tongues.

Let our thoughts now turn for a moment toward another ancient city — Tyre. It was a maritime city, and its prosperity, riches, pride, and costliness have been abundantly described by the prophet Ezekiel; and Zechariah has also spoken of the awful doom that then awaited it from the hand of God. Hiram, king of Tyre, was well known in David's and Solomon's days, for from him they obtained much of the material for their buildings at Jerusalem. From all accounts, Tyre was a large and magnificent city, with a profusion of wealth, and all its usual accompaniments of vice and ungodliness; and it is said to have had all the chief merchandise of India and other countries. So elegant was the city in her own esteem, that the inspired penman describes her as saying, "I am of perfect beauty," and adds, "All thy men of war that are in thee; and all thy company, which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin … what city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea? … The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more … . By thy great wisdom, and by thy traffic, hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; behold, therefore, I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness … They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas." (Ezek. 27:3, 27, 32, 36; 28:5, 8.) Another prophet describes this city, saying, "Tyrus did build herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Behold the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire." (Zech. 9:3, 4.) Referring to her fall and terrible doom, Ezekiel further said, "Thus saith the Lord God to Tyrus … at the sound of thy fall … the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments; they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee. And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! … Thus saith the Lord God, When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited … I will make thee a terror, and thou shall be no more, though thou be sought for, yet shall thou never he found again." And in the beginning of the same chapter we read, "Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causes his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God." (Ezek. 26.)

From modern travellers we learn how truly literal has been the accomplishment of these most solemn prophetic utterances. They have described the town as "environed by rocks, on the ledges of which are scattered the fragments of ancient columns." They have expressed their conviction, that the waves of the sea now roll where once stood the vast and magnificent palaces of Tyrian wealth and luxury; and that the monuments of commercial enterprise and prosperity have been overwhelmed by the storm of divine indignation, and are as if they had never been. Another traveller says, he found it a mere Babel of broken walls, pillars, vaults, etc., there being not so much as one entire house left! Its present inhabitants are only a few poor wretches harbouring themselves in the vaults, and subsisting chiefly by fishing; who seem to be preserved in the place by divine Providence, as a visible argument how God has fulfilled His word concerning Tyre, namely, that it should be "like the top of a rock; thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon." To this hour all has been accomplished according to the word of the Lord God, and as to the future, He has declared, "thou shalt be built no more." (Ezek. 26:14.) We cannot forbear quoting also a few sentences of a Mr. Hardy on this solemn matter. He says, speaking of the scenes of joyousness and of wealth that have been exhibited on these shores, "They have passed away, like the feverish dream of a disturbed sleep. Ships may be seen at a distance; no merchant of the earth ever enters the name of Tyre upon his books; and where thousands once assembled in pomp and pride, I could discover only a few children and a party of Turks. It was impossible," says the writer, "not to think of another people, still more favoured in their privileges, and whose commercial transactions are as extended as the world. Cities of my country! shall it ever be said of you, that ye are no more? The patriot may sing exultingly over his cups the praises of Britannia, ruler of the waves; but the Christian will fear and tremble, and offer up prayer to God, that what we deserve in justice may be withheld from us in mercy."

Babylon was another ancient city, and unsurpassed for its beauty and magnificence. It has been described as "a square of about fifteen miles on each side." The reader will remember that ambassadors were sent from it to Hezekiah to honour him on his recovery from sickness. The wall surrounding the city is said to have been three hundred and fifty feet high, and eighty-seven feet thick." The city was surrounded, too, with a very capacious ditch, which was kept full by the river Euphrates; so that it seemed with all this, and its many towers and gates of brass, to be quite impregnable; and so it was in man's account; but when God speaks all things are possible to Him, and this many men do not think of. Its palaces, hanging gardens, and wealth showed a profusion of luxury and of human achievement far beyond anything that has been known since. But pride and idolatry, and vice, after long patience, with its gross immoralities and idol worship, notwithstanding the testimony of Daniel and his associates, called for God's judicial interference. The testimony of an inspired prophet was, "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there: but wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces … For I will rise up against them, saith Jehovah of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith Jehovah. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith Jehovah of hosts. Jehovah of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand." (Isa. 13:19-22; 14:22, 24.) Where is now this magnificent city, the glory of kingdoms? Have its infidel maxims stood, or has God's word been fulfilled? Alas! alas! travellers tell us it is a mass of dust and barrenness, with heaps of bricks and broken pillars, instead of, as it once was, the fruitful valley of Shinar. So full is it of venomous creatures that no one is safe to approach it within a mile and a half, except for about two months in the year, when these animals never leave their holes.

What appalling facts are these we have thus far noticed in the history of some of the greatest cities that ever existed in the world, and how truly has the word of Jehovah been fulfilled! Well is it for those who so believe God's testimony as to tremble at His word!

But before leaving these examples of the predictions of the Bible, there is another city with which we are rather more familiar, which calls for a few remarks: we mean Jerusalem. A later prophet said, "Jerusalem shall become heaps" (Micah 3:12); and does not this agree with every description we have of its state ever since its destruction by Titus? Are not our Lord's words also truly fulfilled, "Behold your house is left unto you desolate"? Are not the stones of the temple so scattered, that there is not one stone upon another which has not been thrown down? Is not Jerusalem still trodden down of the Gentiles? Is it not well known that Arab boys break off pieces of stone from the heaps of scattered materials of the ancient temple to obtain a small gratuity from her visitors? And are we not assured that the treading down of the holy city by the uncircumcised will go on "till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled"? How surpassingly solemn then is the word of God, and how earnestly it admonishes us to adopt the motto of a less favoured and far less instructed servant of God in a past age, "Believe in Jehovah your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper!" This subject — "the times of the Gentiles" — now calls for a few remarks as a further and very striking example of the accurate fulfilment of the word of God by the prophet.

When the last two tribes of Israel were delivered by Jehovah into captivity to the king of Babylon, the sword of God's rule in the earth was handed over to Nebuchadnezzar, so that "whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive," and created things were also given unto his hands. The prophet said to him, "Thou art this head of gold" — the power derived in its purest state. The whole course of "the times of the Gentiles" was revealed to Daniel by Jehovah, and made known to the king, extending from that moment till the Lord will be revealed from heaven to judge, as "the stone cut out without hands." As our space only admits of a brief glance at this Gentile image as another example of the perfection of scripture, let it be especially noticed that it consisted of four empires, and is to terminate in ten kingdoms. It has been the ambition of some to have a fifth monarchy; and if it be true that the first Napoleon led an immense army into Russia with this view, it was painfully proved that God's mind is four empires among Gentiles and not five, and they have all long since been and gone. The head of gold — the Babylonian. The next inferior to this the Medo-Persian of silver; then the Grecian, of brass; then the Roman strong as iron; then the feet and toes of the image, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, with which there can be no union, strikingly showing the political conservative and radical elements so manifest unto this day. It is remarkable also, that when the ten toes, or ten kingdoms, are fully developed, then judgment falls upon it. And it is most solemnly true, that for many years past most of the political changes that have taken place on the continent in that part of Europe comprehended in Nebuchadnezzar's image, have more and more developed these ten kingdoms. (Dan. 2.)

We refer to this not merely to show how accurately scripture has been fulfilled, and is still being fulfilled as to the Gentile kingdoms, but because of our Lord's words, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." For when the Lord comes out of heaven with His saints in manifested glory, and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him, then He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob, be their Saviour and Deliverer, and establish them in their own land as their rightful King, and "the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings." The Lord's promised blessings to Israel will be accompanied with judgment; but when His saints are taken to heavenly glory, to the Father's house, the translation will be all of divine grace and to them power and blessing without judgment.

In nothing, perhaps, is the perfect accuracy of scripture more manifest than in the present state of the children of Israel; not but that the word of Jehovah as to the Gentile nations is also very solemnly being fulfilled — "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is." (Ezek. 21:27.) But as to Israel, the ten tribes are scattered to the four winds — "outcasts," no man knows where; a few of them were not carried away in the Assyrian captivity, and that is why we read of Anna, who was of the tribe of Asher, and now and then we meet with one of the remnant of these ten tribes which were left behind. (See 2 Chron. 34:9.) But most of the Israelites with whom we have intercourse are of Judah and Benjamin. This distinction is kept up in the prophets, and is important; for our Lord taught, that the ten tribes would not be gathered till He appears in manifested glory. Isaiah remarkably distinguishes them by speaking of the "outcasts of Israel," and of the "dispersed of Judah," instead of preserving their own nationality. But though one here and there repents, receives Christ as his Saviour, and openly confesses Him, and is really born anew and saved, "according to the election of grace," as the Apostle tells us, yet, as a people, they are still in unbelief; some are pious Jews, and others openly infidel, yet at this moment fulfilling the words of the prophet Hosea, "The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image [or pillar, margin], and without an ephod, and without teraphim." Thus it is to this day, though they have much of the wealth of the world, the word of God must be fulfilled, for it endures for ever; so the Jews have no king, no prince, no proper sacrifice, no pillar, no high priest with ephod, and no teraphim or idol. How appalling are these facts, and how the eternal verity of the written word should be endeared to our hearts! It is a serious blunder to suppose that the Jews, as a people, are to be converted by the present ministry of the gospel, for both Old and New Testaments assure us, that it will be by seeing their Saviour, and not like us by believing in One whom we have not seen, but for whom we look and wait. Hence Hosea goes on to say, "Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Jehovah their God, and David their king, and shall fear Jehovah and his goodness in the latter days." (Hosea 3:4-5.) Nothing is more plainly stated in scripture than Israel's future blessing, and that by the Lord's personal coming. The prophet Isaiah said, "The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith Jehovah" (Isa. 59:20); and an Apostle taught that, "all Israel [i.e., all the twelve tribes] shall be saved, as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." (Rom. 11:26-27.)

The faithfulness of God to His own word in all these ways is very precious to our souls. A story is published of two Rabbis approaching Jerusalem, who observed a fox running on the hill of Zion, when Rabbi Joshua wept, and Rabbi Eliezer laughed. "Wherefore dost thou laugh?" said he who wept. "Nay, wherefore dost thou weep?" demanded Eliezer. "I weep," replied the Rabbi Joshua, "because I see what is written in the Lamentations fulfilled, 'because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.' (Chap. 5:18.)" "And therefore," said Rabbi Eliezer, "do I laugh, for when I see with mine own eyes that God has fulfilled His threatenings to the very letter, I have thereby a pledge that not one of His promises shall fail, for He is ever more ready to show mercy than judgment."

In nothing, however, is the perfection of the scriptures more strikingly seen than in the use of the divine titles. As we have before noticed, God's creatorial title is simply God-Elohim; but when man and God's relationship to him are brought in, it is then Lord God, or Jehovah-Elohim. Afterward when Abraham is called out from idolatry to trust God, He then is revealed to him as "the Almighty God." (Gen. 17:1.) It is also to be remarked, that in the brief account of king Melchisedec he is also spoken of as priest of the Most High God — king and priest; and he was as we learn from Hebrews 7, eminently typical of the Lord Jesus in a future day, when He will "be a priest upon his throne;" and there God is spoken of as "the Most High God," and also that He is "possessor of heaven and earth." These titles will be asserted by our Lord in the millennial age, when He comes forth wearing His many crowns, and reigns in power and great glory. (Gen. 14:18-22.)

When God has a people on earth, He is made known as Jehovah, or I AM; and when they are redeemed out of Egypt, He dwells among them, and maintains covenant relationship with them as Jehovah. This goes on as long as He can own them as His people, and when He can no longer say of them, "my people," even then, instead of utterly giving them up, Jesus is born into the world to "save his people from their sins." He is called Jesus, or Jehovah Saviour. He is spoken of in scripture as that Holy Thing born of Mary, Son of God, Son of man, Son of the Highest, the Christ, Messiah or Anointed, the Lord Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus, Jesus Christ, the Word, Lamb of God, King of Israel, etc., and each title is used with the most perfect accuracy and point. Take a few examples. Stephen full of the Holy Spirit looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God; and why did he say that he saw Jesus? Why not use another of His many titles? Because Jesus is His name as incarnate, and Stephen's special comfort when suffering for His truth was the contemplation of Him as Man, who after suffering for the truth unto death was now on the throne of God. His confession therefore was, "Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Though the faithful martyr beholds Him as glorified Man, yet be it also observed, that he bows to Him there as "Lord of all," and says, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" and again, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this he fell asleep." (Acts 7:55-60.) All true believers bow to Jesus as Lord.

Again, when an alarmed and sin-convicted man cried out, "What must I do to be saved?" Paul's reply was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house;" but why does he here repeat all these titles of the Saviour? Because he is presenting Him to this anxious soul as the Object of faith, and in such a way as to fully satisfy his awakened conscience. Jesus is not only Son of man in the glory, but has been there made "both Lord, and Christ." (Acts 2:36.) If the question of the troubled heart be, Is He willing to save me? The answer is, Yes; He is JESUS, and came into the world for the very purpose of saving sinners. If the inquiry be, Is He able to save me? The answer is, Yes; He is "LORD of all," and has all power in heaven and in earth; and His being the CHRIST, the anointed One in heaven, consequent upon His finished work on the cross, is the unquestionable proof that every one that has come as a sinner to Him the Saviour, is forgiven and blessed. How perfectly accurate, therefore, was the Apostle's reply, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

Again, when the same apostle is writing about the Lord's coming, he says, "We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ;" because he is then contemplating Him not in humiliation but in power, that power as Lord of all, by which "he is able even to subdue all things unto himself," and yet Saviour even to the changing and saving of our body.

Look at another instance, when saving faith is referred to. It is said, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus" — not simply Jesus, for many speak of Him as such who never savingly know Him, but Lord Jesus — the Son man in the glory in whom dwells "the fulness of the Godhead bodily," and who is "Head of all principality and power," — "and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Could anything be more precise and pointed in the use of titles?

It is well known that the book of Psalms consists of five divisions, or books. The Hebrew Bible is so arranged; and it is very striking to see how remarkably the titles of God are used in them. Look, for instance, at the first and second books. The first book consists of Psalm 1 to Psalm 41, and the second book from Psalm 42 to the end of Psalm 72.* In the first book the prevailing title by far is Jehovah, because the godly Jews are looked at as in Jerusalem, and still in association with the temple; whereas in the second book the title most commonly used is not Jehovah, but God. And why? Because the remnant of Jews are looked at there as having fled from Jerusalem, in fulfilment of our Lord's words, "Then let them which be in Judea flee to the mountains," and their covenant relationship with Jehovah is little realised by them. Far away from their beloved city and temple, in the hill Mizar, they feel cast down, as if God had forgotten them. Take a psalm in the first book, say Psalm 34, and Jehovah is mentioned sixteen times; and in a psalm in the second book, say Psalm 41 or Psalm 42, and we find God used nearly as many times as there are verses. The accuracy is most striking.

{*The third book embraces Psalms 72 to 89; the fourth book 90 to 106; and the fifth book 107 to 150. The subject of each book is remarkable, as well as the ending of them. We must, however, never forget when pondering these precious portions of divine truth, that David is spoken of as the "sweet psalmist of Israel," and not as the psalmist of the church. We do not find, therefore, in these sacred writings the believer's present relationship to God as his Father, or of His being indwelt and united to Christ by the Holy Ghost. The believer is looked at in bondage more or less, and not inside the veil, where we can be with boldness through the blood of Jesus. The piety and trust in God, with confidence in time of trouble, in the Psalms, have always been most encouraging to the faithful. But redemption accomplished, the Holy Spirit given because Jesus has been glorified, and the formation of the church, or assembly, by uniting all believers on earth to Christ the Head in heaven in "one body" by "one Spirit;" and every believer a child of God through faith in Christ Jesus — are precious truths which for obvious reasons we do not find in the Psalms.}

The precision and depth of meaning with which the divine titles are used all through scripture is very manifest. If in Proverbs we have Jehovah, is it not because those addressed are looked at in relationship with Him? If in Ecclesiastes we have God, is it not because it is for the most part man seeking on earth an object for his heart, and finds vanity and vexation of spirit? And if in the Song of Solomon we have neither, is it not because the heart has there found a satisfying Object? No doubt in its primary application it is Jewish, but who among the children of God has not delighted in our Lord Jesus Christ as the "altogether lovely," and rejoiced at realising that He has brought us into His banqueting house, and that His banner over us is love? By the Spirit we are able, while
"Gazing on the Lord in glory,"

to sing, I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine," and can surely add, "I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet unto my taste."

We have already observed how minutely and accurately the scripture has been fulfilled as to the birth, life, sufferings, atoning death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ; and we may be assured that not one jot or tittle shall fail of all that is written concerning His coming for His saints, His glorious appearing, judgments and reign. Few things have so obscured the simplicity of the truth, or been more misleading than the traditions that there will be one general resurrection, and a general judgment, till which no one can have the assurance of his eternal safety. The reception of such doctrines, which are unknown in scripture, can only be accounted for by persons going to the Reformation as the source of orthodoxy, instead of to the word of God, to that which was at the beginning, and has been treasured up for us in the inspired writings. As to the Reformation we have much to thank God for in the wonderful recovery of the grand foundation truth of justification by faith, and the diffusion of copies of the Bible for general reading; but with these and other blessings, a mass of doctrines were received from Papists, which are held by many Protestants to this day; and among them that the church will convert the world, that Christianity will triumph over infidelity and every opposing power. That a time will come when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea," is unquestionable, as we have seen; but in the same chapter we are told it is to be brought about by Christ reigning in righteousness," and not therefore by the preaching of the "gospel of the grace of God." (Isa. 11.) From scripture we learn that Christ is heir of all things," that, as the glorified Man, all things are to be put under His feet, and that all judgment is committed unto Him because He is the Son of man. His rightful place also, as having died for all, and triumphed over death and Satan is, that to Him every knee should bow, in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. How is it possible that these things can be otherwise than strictly and accurately fulfilled by His power, whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself! It is, we repeat, God's unfailing faithfulness to His own word that comforts our hearts and strengthens our confidence in Himself, for "He is faithful that promised: he cannot deny himself." Was He ever truer to the soul that seeketh Him than now? Was it ever a greater reality to souls than now, that, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them"? (Matt. 18:20.) Is it not to thousands in these days as real to their hearts as if they saw Him in the midst? Oh the untold blessedness of having to do with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, receiving His testimony, and setting to our seal that God is true!

Our gracious God having caused His word to be written for our instruction, how could we expect it otherwise than its being accurately fulfilled according to His own will? Nor is it surprising, because it is His word, the revelation of His own mind, that both Old and New Testaments give a note of most solemn warning to any who add to it or take from it. (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18-19.) Nothing surely could more truly authenticate the sacred writings, or more thoroughly show the infinite perfection of the Bible.

"What Christ has said must be fulfilled;
On this firm rock believers build;
His word shall stand, His truth prevail,
And not one jot nor tittle fail."