The Bible is a living book. What it is to us depends on what we are to it. If we approach it with unbelief and sneers, it shudders like a wounded thing and closes up its heart, and we gaze only on a cold and gross exterior (Matt. 13:58, 2 Cor. 4:2). We behold the form of its words, but discern not the treasures hidden in them. It appears cold and lifeless and repellent,(1 Cor. 13:12) and we go away depressed and unbelieving.
If we approach it reverently, trustfully, and confidently, it opens up to us its hidden depths. It shows to us its wonders. We may see in it unequaled beauties, unfading glories, magnificent vistas of thought; we may hear its voice of love, tender beyond words; we may feel the warmth of its affection, be uplifted by its hopefulness, and thrilled with the tones of its joy-bells.
If we open to it our heart’s door and pour out our treasures of affection, it in turn opens to us a great storehouse, and we may eat and be satisfied, and drink and thirst not (Matt. 5:6, Jhn 5:39). We may revel in its rich perfume, the rhythmic cadences of its music, the splendor of its heavenly light, and to us there is no question whether it is the living truth.
The Bible is to the Christian what the forest is to him who delights in nature. He who walks through the forest laughing, talking, and singing, hears not the sweet notes of the songster nor sees the wild things. He who would see and hear the things that delight the nature-lover must steal softly and silently along, watching his footsteps, hiding in the shadows, and thus he may see nature as she is. Likewise he who comes to the Bible full of self-importance with mind and heart self-centered sees not the natural beauty of the Bible. We must come to it effacing self, seeking not our own but the things of Christ, and we shall find it a mine of spiritual gold, a fountain of living water, a balm for every sorrow, a light in every dark hour—the one and only book that meets and satisfies the needs of the human soul.