Psalm 25:5--"Lead me in your truth, and teach me."

The Bible is the Christian pilgrim's guide-book. It points out the path he is to follow; it reveals the mountains of difficulty, and the valleys of doubt and fear along which he is to traverse; it tells him of the dangers he has to encounter, and the enemies that lie in ambush to assail and overcome him. It encourages his heart, by directing the eye of faith to Him who has already trodden every step of the wilderness journey, and to the noble band of followers whom He has safely conducted to the heavenly Canaan. It traces man's progress, from the corruptible to the incorruptible--from the feeble and dishonored to the mighty and the glorious--from the companionship of the worm to the presence of God and the enjoyment of celestial communion. It gives him the assurance of strength for the journey, and blessing at its close--of redemption begun, carried forward, and completed.

Blessed be God! the time has gone by, when the pages of this sacred volume were shut by the tyranny of man--when the light was hidden, which God intended should give comfort and peace to myriads. The poorest in our land can now make it his morning and his evening companion--he can there satisfy the yearnings of his heart, and find a rich and sufficing and gracious provision for all his needs. He can cling to it in his darkest and saddest times--in his hours of trial--in the day of his strife and his struggle with inbred corruption, and with the powers of darkness--and he may bear witness at the close of his experience, that "nothing has failed him of any good thing which the Lord has promised," and, with glowing language, though it be with the faint and the faltering voice of a dying man, bear his testimony in the confession, "Your Word, O God, is Truth."

But the Bible is a sealed book--it is dark, unmeaning, profitless, without Divine teaching. Our eyes must be opened by a heavenly agency, before we can perceive, much less embrace, its truths as we ought--before we can adopt and apply them--as our guide and stay, amid the wilderness of this world--our hope and expectation of life and immortality in the world that is to come. Ours must be the prayer of the Psalmist, "Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law." We must read our Bibles with the prayer to the God of all grace, that He would reveal to us the wisdom, and love, and blessedness contained in the sacred volume--that He would impress them on our hearts, and enable us to make them "our song in the house of our pilgrimage." If thus we pray, and read, and look for the Spirit, He will meet us in the Book of God--He will shine upon the sacred page--He will testify of Christ to us, we will find Jesus in the Bible--our Savior, our God, our Lord, our All in All. Truths will flash in upon our minds we never knew before--comfort will be derived from promises we had often read with little interest, and, gradually, the volume of inspiration will become more plain--in every season of doubt or emergency, we well know where to look for guidance, and strength, and comfort.

Christian! is it thus you read the Word of God, with the prayer that God would teach you, that He would unfold the riches of His grace in Christ, that He would open up the wondrous page of revelation to your heart, and give you grace to believe those deeper truths, whose meaning you are now, while in the infancy of your being, unable fully to comprehend? We doubt not, you can recall many "wondrous things," already revealed to your soul--revealed, not by the mere perusal of the words, but by the inspiration and teaching of God's Holy Spirit. You can remember that sweet PROMISE which calmed your troubled heart, and made you erect an Ebenezer in your pathway. Was it not "wondrous" in its power?

You can remember, when the world and the things of the WORLD were drawing you farther and farther from God--when your gourd withered in a night--when, perhaps, some cherished idol was dashed in pieces--how these words appeared on the sacred page, invested with new and mightier power, "It is I, be not afraid."

You can remember when TEMPTATION assailed you, or when summer friends deserted you, or when the enemy came in like a flood--how "wondrous" were the disclosures of God's Word--how exactly suited to your case--how comforting to your soul. Not until then, had the verses struck you--not until then, had the words been invested with living power. You had read them often, but you needed not their comfort--only when that wound was open and bleeding--only when that cross became heavy and painful--only when that grief was sorest and most overwhelming, did you take them to your heart; and then, impressed by the Spirit of the living God, they were full of peace and comfort, "immediately there was a great calm."

Believer! continue to implore that Spirit's help, and still "wondrous" things will come to you in your hours of need. Still, the longer you live, you will get the promise, when it is required--the comfort, when nothing else can soothe--the assurance, when doubt and disquietude are doing their worst to harass and agitate your soul--and, onwards still, through all eternity, these "wondrous" things will be revealed. You will read in the open volume of God's Word, explanations of difficulties--the wisdom of appointments--the love and tenderness of a Father in all your Father's dealings. You will realize then how needful was the discipline you had to undergo on earth--how needful the heavy trial, and the heartrending bereavement--the blighting of fond hopes and the failure of cherished plans. No longer will be heard the murmur, "All these things were against me," but the willing, grateful acknowledgment, "All these things wrought together for my good." "Faithful is He that promised." He knew the path which would certainly conduct to glory--the path which He Himself had trodden, and He led me by "the right way."

Yes, Christian! there will be bright unfoldings in yonder world. Ardently as you loved your Savior on earth, oh, what will be your ardor!--what the overflowing of your love in heaven!--when you find His every promise fulfilled--His every assurance realized--His every word made good--and the whole of your earthly experience stamped with the seal of Divine faithfulness and Divine love! No more doubts or fears--no more unbelieving questionings--no more dark and mysterious moments--no more sad and sorrowful days, but, "fullness of joy and pleasures at God's right hand for evermore."

Believer, these joys yet await you. They may not be far distant. But your journey is not ended, your home is not reached. If, then, you would have comfort by the way--if you would have courage, and skill, and strength, to surmount the obstacles which may lie in your path--oh, let your daily prayer be–

"Lead me in Your truth, and teach me. Lord–'teach me' that You have loved me, and given Yourself for me--that You have bought me with Your blood--that I am Yours. 'Teach me' that You are my Wisdom, my Righteousness, my Sanctification, my Redemption, my Help in difficulty, my Refuge in danger, my Ark of safety across the swelling Jordan, and my All in All throughout eternity. 'Teach me' that Your Spirit is my Comforter, my Counselor, my Guide. 'Teach me' that the promises of Your Word are mine--its precepts, and testimonies, and statutes, all mine--its entreaties, and warnings, and preservatives, all mine--mine by the free gift of the Father--mine by the purchase of the blood of God's dear Son--mine by the teaching of the Holy Spirit the Comforter--mine by a perpetual covenant, never to be violated or forgotten--mine whereby to live, and mine wherein to die."

"There are those who sigh that no fond heart is theirs;
None loves them best. Oh vain and selfish sigh!
Out of the bosom of His love He spares–
The Father spares the Son, for you to die.
For you He died. For you He lives again;
O'er you He watches in His boundless reign."

"Lord, many times I am aweary quite
Of mine own self, my sin, my vanity;
Yet be not You, or I am lost outright,
Weary of me.

"And hate against myself I often bear,
And enter with myself in fierce debate;
Take not my part against myself, nor share
In that just hate.

"Best friends might loathe us, if what things perverse
We know of our own selves, they also knew:
Lord, Holy One! if You, who know worse,
Should loathe us too!"
–R. C. Trench


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