Albert Leverett Gridley.

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Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, "Sirs,
what must I do to be saved?"

But what did he know about salvation or of the fact
that he needed it? The example of his prisoners showed
him that they had something that he did not have, and
that he needed. The answer is recorded above. It was
simple, straightforward, perfect plain. The jailor be-
lieved and the result was not only wonderful, it was mi-
raculous, as coming directly as an act of God. The
change was instantaneous. He was an entirely different
man. Not simply in a sense that is often understood
when some change in the outward conduct is observed,
but in his spiritual nature and, after all, that is what con-
stitutes the man. He was in very fact a different man,
for a new nature had been imparted to him ; he was a
new creature. And that new nature showed itself at
once. The Divine life had been imparted to him and its
activities began at once. Instead of being the hard-heart-
ed, cruel man that he had been, delighting in torture, he
was tender, compassionate, kind. He took them that
same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and
gave them food and to the limit of his power showed
kindness to them.

The Divine Life : Its Development and Activities 65

This incident, so simple and beautifully recorded,
illustrates two things :the simplicity of the way of salva-
tion, and the activity of the new, the Divine life, that
had been imparted to him. He simply reversed the oper-
ation by which Adam lost it ; he believed and obeyed.
The result to our first parents of losing that life was fear
and trembling when God appeared ; the results of its
restoration in the jailor was a change from fear and
trembling into fervent rejoicing, and acts of kindness to
two of God's servants. It was the natural, the inevita-
ble outworking of that new life.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached so as to
convince men of their need of salvation, and to persuade
them to accept it upon the simple terms of belief in him
whom they had crucified, and there was added to the
church in one day three thousand souls. The same re-
sults followed the preaching of others of the Apostles.
It seems as if there could not possibly be a mistake about
the way in which this salvation is to be obtained.

But, for one thing, where men are not guilty of any
outbreaking sins, they are not conscious of their need.
And, too, they may not realize the real demerit of what
they have done. A curious incident illustrates this. A
friend of the present writer was once staying in a foreign
city. His attention was attracted to a man who every
morning came into the lobby of the hotel and silently
read very carefully the papers from America. One day
this friend was summoned to visit this stranger who was
reported to be dying. He asked him what his prospects
were for the next world, and he said that he expected to
go to heaven. Being asked as to the grounds for his hope,
he replied his own goodness. He never had done any-
thing very bad, but had, of course, been guilty of some
peccadilloes, some trifling offenses as everybody was like-
ly to be. Nothing could shake his confidence in his own

66 The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities

merit. He died in that confidence, leaving some mes-
sages to friends in America. Inquiry revealed the fact
that he had committed offenses against the law, which,
though not extraditable, would have sent him to prison
in this country and so he remained abroad. This may,
and does, seem to be an extraordinary case. Really,
however, there are multitudes who have no better grounds
for hope than that man. Yet they think that they are
good enough, without the humiliation of accepting some-
thing that they do not need. It is only as men are con-
vinced by the Holy Spirit that they realize their true con-
dition. One of the functions of that Spirit is to con-
vince of sin because they do not believe on Christ. That
unbelief is the great sin. the mother sin of all sins. Note
the words of Christ in that wonderful third chapter of
John, verse 18, "He that believeth on him is not con-
demned ; but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only be-
gotten Son of God."

The doctrine of salvation by faith is not simply
Paul's. It is the doctrine that Christ himself constantly
taught. The "Dark ages" were because of the eclipse of
the doctrine of salvation by faith.

When Luther, while crawling on his hands and knees
up the steps in the Vatican, caught a glimpse of the
truth that salvation is by faith alone, he sprang to his
feet and a new era dawned upon the world, the era of
the great reformation. Then set in an age of advance-
ment, improvement in everything that pertains to physi-
cal, intellectual and moral improvement that has made
the eighth golden age of the world, the climax of all
ages since men have inhabited the world.

But in the last few years there has been, and is now,
a great current of thought against belief as a source of
life. This current of thought first showed itself in "the

The Dknnc Life: Its Development and Activities 67

cry against creeds." There is some truth in that cry
where creeds are drawn out to minute and non-essential
particulars so as to be divisive among bodies of Chris-
tians. The great movement now is toward bringing to-
gether the various bodies of the followers of Christ. But
we must never, in our zeal for union, ignore the terms
which Christ himself, either directly, or through the in-
spired writers, has laid down.

The terms laid down by the apostles to the Phillipian
jailor are very simple. In accepting them the jailor ac-
cepted them with their entire content, and which was,
doubtless explained to him so far as was necessary.

But unbelief in some of the very most essential things
is getting to be so common that it is necessary to draw
out, to some extent, the teachings of the Author of our

There is no passage, perhaps, more often quoted
than John 3 :16. "For God so loved the world that he
gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in
him should not perish but have everlasting life." But it
is so often forgotten that the word believeth is in the
passage. But it is there and the only condition of receiv-
ing the benefit of God's gift is believing on him. What
of those who do not believe on him?

Just before this classic passage occurs one as remark-
able, and one in which the vital word is often overlooked.
"For as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up ; that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life."
The condition is again believe. Before this, John 1 :12,
"As many as receive him, to them gave he power to be-
come the sons of God even to them that believe on his
name." Belief is the vital factor. "He that believeth
on him is not condemned ; but he that believeth not is con-

68 The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities

demned already, because he hath not believed in the name
of the only begotten Son of God." Again, "He that be-
lieveth on the Son hath everlasting life ; and he that be-
lieveth not shall no :t see life ; but the wrath of God abid-
eth on him."

Jesus staid away from Bethany until Lazarus was
dead so that he might perform a miracle, "To the in-
tent that ye may believe." He says to Martha, "He that
believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live ;
and whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never

When asked, "What shall we do that we might
work the works of God," the reply of Christ was, "This
is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath
sent." It is believe, believe, believe, all through the gos-
pels, and the Epistles echo the same word. Toward the
close of John's gospel he says, "And many other signs
did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not
written in this book : but these are written, that ye may
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God ; and that
believing ye might have life through his name." The
whole of John's gospel was written to convey the truth
that salvation is by faith. But faith is merely belief, and
if we must believe, there must be something to be believed.

Not long ago an influential newspaper man remark-
ed in effect : "When will people know that true religion
does not depend upon any scientific, or historical fact?"
But a religion that does not depend upon the historical
facts of Christ's redeeming work is not the Christian re-
ligion, nor any religion of saving power.

But according to Christ there are some facts recorded
that, it would seem, must be believed. Jesus says to the
Pharisees and those gathered with them, "If ye believe
not that I am he," that is the Messiah, "Ye shall die in

The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities 69

your sins." Of the Messiah it was written that he should
be born of a Virgin, that his name should be called Won-
derful, Councellor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting
Father, the Prince of Peace. If they did not believe in
him as such they did not believe in him as the Messiah.
Instead of believing in him as such, they accused him of
blasphemy, "for making himself equal with God." This
he most unequivocally claimed to be, while they believed
him to be a mere man. Read the history of the destruc-
tion of Jerusalem and of the dispersion of the Jews for
evidence whether they were saved for this world or not.
None of those who accepted his claims perished in that
terrible destruction, for, believing in him they believed
his words, took warning from the signs that he had fore-
told, and fled to a place of safety. Not one Christian
perished in that catastrophe. That was the greatest that
had ever occurred. Were those opposers saved for the
future world? Evidently not; for in that same connec-
tion he told them, "Whither I go ye cannot come."

Note his denunciation of those classes. Yet, they
all believed that there was such a man as Jesus, they be-
lieved in him as a mere man like themselves, of simply
human paternity. Many could not but believe that he was
a good man ; and the only fault they could find in him
was expressed, "yea, but he deceiveth the people," in
claiming to be more than a common man, and trying
to convince them that he was the Messiah.

They not only believed in him as a man, but they ad-
mitted that he performed miracles, too. After the rais-
ing of Lazarus we read, "Then gathered the chief priests
and the Pharisees a council and said. What do we? for
this man doeth many miracles. If we let him alone all
men will believe on him." (John 11 :47-48.)

Instead of being convinced by the raising of Laz-
arus from the dead, that Jesus was what he claimed to

70 The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities

be, "they consulted that they might put Lazarus also to
death : because that by reason of him, many of the Jews
went away and believed on Jesus." How remarkably they
proved the truth of what Jesus said in the parable of
Dives and Lazarus, "They have Moses and the prophets ;
if they believe not them, neither would they believe even
if one should rise from the dead." And how much more
wonderfully was that truth confirmed when he himself
rose from the dead.

None of them, so far as we know, ever denied the
fact of his miracles, not even that of his resurrection;
but that did not convince them. Instead of being con-
vinced, "They gave large money to the soldiers, saying,
'say ye his disciples came by night and stole him away
while we slept." But that would have been a terrible
admission for a Roman soldier to make. The death
sentence could have been immediately imposed. There
must have been some great inducement to persuade
those soldiers to run so awful a risk. But they were re-
assured, "And if this come to the governor's ears, we will
persuade him and secure you." (Mat. 28:13. 14.) Yes,
they most decidedly believed in miracles.

They were also compelled to admit that others
wrought them in the name of Christ. When the man,
lame from birth, was healed by Peter and John ; and the
knowledge of the fact was rapidly spreading, and win-
ning adherents to their cause, these same scribes and
Pharisees, — the religious teachers — conferred among
themselves, saying, "What shall we do to these men? for
that a notable miracle has been done by them is manifest
and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no farther
among the people let us straightly threaten them that
they speak henceforth to no man in this name."

They believed many things concerning Christ, but,,
evidently their belief was not of a saving character.

The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities 71

Not only did men, wicked men, believe many things
concerning him, but demons, also. We read, "There
met him two possessed with devils coming out of the
tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass that
way. And they cried out saying, 'What have we to do
with thee, Jesus thou Son of God ?" The faith of demons
went farther than that of some men, but they did not ren-
der him due obedience as their Lord. And James says,
"Thou believest there is one God, thou doest well ; the
devils also believe and tremble." Many now believe that
there is one God, but that Jesus is not God.

What, then, is necessary? When Jesus asked his
disciples who he was, Peter answered and said, "Thou
art the Christ, the son of the living God." Thomas ex-
claimed, "My Lord and my God," The true nature of
Christ was revealed to them. "Blessed art thou, Simon
Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto
thee, but my Father which is in heaven," was the Sav-
iour's declaration. That is the faith that complies with
the condition "As many as believed on him, to them gave
he power to become the sons of God, even to those that
believe on his name."

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be


"77: v uord have I hid in my heart that I might not
sin against thee.". (Ps. 119:11.)

The "Word" to which the Psalmist refers is, with-
out doubt, the Old Testament scriptures that had been
written up to that time. The Psalm from which the
above words are taken is a wonderful eulogium upon
that word. We do not know how much of the Old Tes-
tament that we now have, was in existence at that time ;
but any additions that have been made since then have
only added to their value. Of the Old Testament that
we now have Paul writes to Timothy, "From a child thou
hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make
thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ

But it would seem almost absurd to write a single
chapter upon a book concerning which volumes, libraries
have been written. That "Word" now contains not only
the "Scriptures," to which the apostle refers, but the New
Testament of which the apostle himself wrote so large
a portion. If it was able to make, "wise unto salvation"
then how much more so now.

But the benefit one is to receive from it depends upon
the attitude in which it is approached. And that is my
apology for this chapter. Upon that attitude depends
whether the sacred volume is to be a savor of life unto
life, or of death unto death. So a consideration of that
attitude is important. For many years it has been grow-
ing upon me, more and more, that the Bible was written
for free, moral agents. What one gets from it depends
upon the attitude he assumes toward it. One may be
many years with the Bible and yet land in the camp
of Thomas Paine. He may feed upon it as the bread of

The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities 73

life, and become as near being a saint as one can well be
in this life. If one would enter the kingdom of science,
he must enter it upon his knees, that is, he must bow to
the authority of his books and teachers. With reference
to science the writer of these words has always been a
little independent for he found so many mistakes and
demonstrable errors that he has to use his own judgment
to a great extent.

But entering the kingdom of God one must bow ab-
solutely before the text book, the Bible, and to the teach-
er, the Holy Spirit. But it must be remembered that
the Bible is so written that one may find fault with it,
quarrel with it, criticise it if he chooses. One will find
difficulties in it that will test his moral attitude toward
it. If it did not contain such it would not be adapted to
develop moral character, for it would require no exercise
of faith in it, or exercise of the will toward it. A teach-
er of theology once remarked to his class that he had lit-
tle patience with a student who did not find difficulties
in the book, as it would indicate a lack of observation.

But, as may appear later, the difficulties may lie in a
superficial reading when a more careful, critical reading
would remove them. Still, it is true that there are real
difficulties ; if there were not, as has been before observed,
it would not be adapted to the purpose it is designed to
serve — the development of moral character. One cannot
read "The Age of Reason," without experiencing a kind
of subtle power, a' kind of Satanic influence emanating
from its pages, that calls for the strongest exercise of
will power, and the help of the Spirit of Truth to resist,
and keep his essential faith unshaken. The same may be
said of many, many books now coming from our nomin-
ally, religious teachers. Sometimes one's safety may de-
pend upon the fact that he is not able to understand the
teachings, or their drift, to be really influenced by them.

74 The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities

As one eminently pious and useful Christian remark-
ed that he did not know enough to see their drift or be
influenced by them. But it is too sadly true that many
are influenced by them.

But to encourage general confidence in the book
there are outward, or objective, evidences of its truth-
fulness. A merchant does not have to prove the correct-
ness of every item in his books to establish his claim in
some particular instance. He can prove his books by
proving that some of the entries are correct.

So to prove the correctness of the Bible one does
not have to prove the truth of every individual state-
ment. We may believe statements in the Bible that we
could not be asked to believe if they were only in some
other book. President Harper was once asked whether
we should believe the contents because they were in the
Bible or believe the Bible because of its contents. He
replied, both. They mutually sustain each other.

Among these objective evidences are its science, its
history, its ethics, its prophesy, its unity and harmony
and its self revealing character. These are some of the
things that not only assure its general truthfulness but
to an unbiassed reader, its divine origin.

A few words with regard to some of these may not
be out of place to assist in the correct attitude toward
it. Its science of cosmogony is correct, though few ad-
mit it. It is of such a nature, too, that at the time that
it was written, unaided knowledge could not have per-
ceived its truth. The way in which the world was made
must have been revealed by its Maker. But in other di-
rections, when men have been in the search for truth or
knowledge for use in some invention, perhaps, when they
could get some definite expression from the Book, they
knew that they were on the right track. Its Biogenesis

The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities 75

is absolutely in harmony with the records in the rocks.
It is only when one puts impossible interruptions upon the
records in the rocks that they find trouble with Genesis.

Its history is being constantly confirmed by the spade
of the archaeologist.

Its ethics are the base of everything noble or truly
useful in our modern civilization. If there is anything
wrong in the affairs of men, it is because its ethics are not
observed. Closely allied to this is the way in which some
simple seemingly casual, expression is seen to be the ex-
pression of some principle in the nature of things that is
immutable and eternal. For example, "Judge not that
ye be not judged, for with what judgment ye judge ye
shall be judged." Is that a simple tit for tat arrange-
ment that could be changed by authority? No. Our
judgment of others is but a revelation of what we, our-
selves are, and we are judged by what we are. If peo-
ple but realized that truth, how much less censoriouness
there would be. Many other such instances might be
mentioned that would show that the mind of the writer
must have been illuminated by some higher than human

Its self revealing, too would seem to indicate a
more than human origin. A missionary was once trans-
lating the Bible into a heathen language. He had a na-
tive helper assisting him but who seemed but little inter-
ested until he came to a passage that so reflected his own
inner life that he exclaimed "The one who wrote that
made me."

Incidently we may note that there are passages that
at first sight seem "hard to receive," and yet when un-
derstood are very illuminating and helpful. "Ye shall
not eat of anything that dieth of itself ; thou shalt give
it to the stranger that is within thy gates that he may eat
it; or thou mayest sell it to an alien." That passage was

76 The Divine Life: Its Development and Activities

once quoted in a discussion as against the ethics of the
Bible. At first I was nonplused and would have pre-
ferred that such a passage had not been put in the book.
But when it was understood it was very helpful for it
showed that Gentiles were not under the Jewish law,
and were at liberty to eat anything they chose so far as
that was concerned. Before that I had had some doubt
as to the right to eat pork, rabbits or anything else that
was prohibited by the Mosaic law. But that passage set
all such doubts aside. That law was for .the Jewish peo-
ple and for the Jewish dispensation.

Then there are seeming contradictions that arise
from a careless reading. One of these is with reference
to the 400 or 430 years of the wandering or sojourning
of the chosen people. Even an eminent Christian scholar
and commentator declared that any attempt to reconcile
the discrepancy was beneath notice. But a careful, criti-
cal reading shows that there is no difficulty, no discrep-
ancy. God tells Abraham that his seed should be a
stranger in a land that was not theirs for four hundred
years. Note that was Abraham's seed that should do this,
But "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." So the 400
years refers to the time after Isaac was born. In another
place we read the "sojourneying of them that sojourned"
was 430 years. But Abraham himself was a sojourner
with all his family for thirty years before Isaac was born
so that there is no discrepancy.

I should naturally be inclined to speak of many such
instances of seeming contradictions but will not. For
myself there are enough such instances to show the pos-
sibilities in others that have not yet been explained.
There may be many that never can be removed, but just
keep them in abeyance, until light dawns, or if it never
does — well, there is enough truth anyway to save those
who believe.

The Divine Life : Its Development and Activities 77

The fulfillment of prophesy is one of the unimpeach-
able evidences of Divine inspiration. Many, very many
have been strictly, literally fulfilled. But in general they
were not designed to gratify a curiosity as to what was to
be in the future. Much of it may be in the same spirit
in which Jesus speaks to his disciples, "And now I have
told you before it come to pass that when it is come to
pass, ye might believe."

Prophetic foresight did not come by human in-
sight. "Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man,
but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the
Holy Ghost."

Again, the unity and harmony of the Bible are such
that it must have had a single author. Sixty six books
written by many different penmen during fifteen centu-
ries and yet but one book, with vital connection between
all of its parts. But here I cannot do better than to quote
a few sentences from a lecture by the venerable H. L.
Hastings nearly forty years ago, and circulated by the
million copies.

"God's word declares the end from the beginning. It
is not only the chart that guides each weary wanderer to
his own eternal rest, but it is the record of the great plan
and purpose of the Almighty concerning the world which
he has made, and the church which he has redeemed. It
unfolds God's everlasting purpose, as manifested in Je-

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