A miracle is a supernatural event, whose antecedent forces are beyond our finite vision, whose design is the display of almighty power for the accomplishment of almighty purposes, and whose immediate result, as regards man, is his recognition of God as the Supreme Ruler of all things, and of His will as the only supreme law.
And this is the mission of the churchnot civilization, but salvationnot better laws, purer legislation, social elevation, human equality, and liberty, but first, the kingdom of God and His righteousness; regenerated hearts, and all other things will follow.
Christianity claims that the supernatural is as reasonable as the natural, that man himself is supernatural as truly as he is natural, and that the Bible is so clearly the word of God by proofs that are unanswerable, that it is unreasonable to disbelieve its divine truths.
Do you recall the laughter of the Philistines at the helpless SampsonYou can hear the echo of that laughter to-day, as the church, shorn of her strength by her own sin, is an object of ridicule to the world, who cry in derision, Where is your boasted triumph and your Millennial glory?
I believe that the fewer the laws in a home the better; but there is one law which should be as plainly understood as the shining of the sun is visible at noonday, and that is, implicit and instantaneous obedience from the child to the parent, not only for the peace of the home, but for the highest good of the child.
I know that with consecration on the part of believers, separation from the world, disentanglement from enslaving sins, and a mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit, the church would become a conquering power in the world, not by its constructed theology, not by its Sabbath services, not by its arguments to convince the intellect, but by its simple story of Jesus love, by the Cross, the CrossGods hammer, Gods fire.
I never hear parents exclaim impatiently, Children, you must not make so much noise, that I do not think how soon the time may come when, beside the vacant seat, those parents would give all the world, could they hear once more the ringing laughter which once so disturbed them.
I suppose that every parent loves his child; but I know without any supposing, that in a large number of homes the love is hidden behind authority, or its expression is crowded out by daily duties and cares.
My friend, there will come one day to you a Messenger, whom you cannot treat with contempt. He will say, Come with me; and all your pleas of business cares and earthly loves will be of no avail. When his cold hand touches yours, the key of the counting-room will drop forever, and he will lead you away from all your investments, your speculations, your bank-notes and real estate, and with him you will pass into eternity, up to the bar of God. You will not be too busy to die.
Parents, I urge you to make the Bible the sweetest, the dearest book to your children; not by compelling them to read so many chapters each day, which will have the effect of making them hate the Bible, but by reading its pages with them, and by your tender parental love, so showing them the beauty of its wondrous incidents, from the story of Adam and Eve to the story of Bethlehem and Calvary, that no book in the home will be so dear to your children as the Bible; and thus you will be strengthening their minds with the sublimest truths, storing their hearts with the purest love, and sinking deep in their souls solid principles of righteousness, whose divine stones no waves of temptation can ever move.
The wise men were journeying to the mangerwe to the throne. They to see a babewe to look upon the King in His beauty. They to kneel and worshipwe to sit with Him on His throne. That trembling star shone for them through the darkness of the night, lighting their wayJesus is always with us, our star of hope; and the pathway is never dark where He leads; for He giveth songs in the night.
The hoary centuries are full of Him; the echoes of His sweet voice are heard to-day; His love has perfumed the past eighteen hundred years, and He lives to-day, as the Head of His church; He lives to-day, the object of the warmest adoration, the most passionate love, for whom millions would die this very hour. Empires have fallen, thrones have crumbled; but Jesus lives, His empire extending every day, His throne gaining new trophies of His grace.
The whole history of Israel, its ritual and its government, is explicable only as it is typical of the spiritual Israel, of the sacrifice on Cavalry, of the precious blood which alone can wash away sin.
This Bible, then, has a mission, grander than any mere creation of God; for in this volume are infinite wisdom, and infinite love. Between its covers are the mind and heart of God; and they are for mans good, for his salvation, his guidance, his spiritual nourishment. If now I neglect my Bible, I do my soul a wrong; for the fact of this Divine message is evidence that I need it.