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Jeshurun, whose very graves were in danger of
being disturbed by rulers who felt that their



Tlic Author of Sacred Letters. 119

power was departing from them, and would fain
take counsel with men who were wont to take
counsel with God ! These are the men who
speak to their own and later generations because
God has first spoken to them. Why should
men listen to Moses and the prophets for cen-
turies did they not believe that Moses and the
prophets were capable of handing down in rev-
elation what they had first received as inspira-
tion? God's Spirit first inspired the life which
is preserved for us in the book. King David is
worth listening to because he first listened to
God. His repentance was as deep as his sin.
His moisture was turned into the drought of
summer as God's hand was heavy upon him.
The oriental ruler listened to the voice of a
prophet from God as Nathan reminded him that
his sin was not to be measured by the custom of
kings, but by the law of the King of kings. If
there is a fathomless pathos in David's songs and
prayers, let it be remembered that the pathos
was first in his life. Surely all men might be
called after God's own heart if their broken
hearts could be heard sobbing like his, from his
pillow wet with tears, in the night watches the
prodigal's prayer, "Father I have sinned against



I20 The Holy Spirit

heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy
to be called thy son."

"And what shall I more say? For the time
would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak, Sam-
son and Jephthah ; of David also and Samuel and
the j)rophets : who through faith subdued king-
doms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises,
stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power
of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from
weakness were made strong, waxed mighty in
war, turned to flight armies of aliens." Oh, in
what divers manners did God speak unto the
fathers and unto us in the prophets whose in-
spired lives stood such tests and more! "For
they had trials of mockings and scourgings, yea,
moreover of bonds and imprisonment : they were
stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were
tempted, they were slain with the sword : they
went about (on their itinerant ministry) in sheep-
skins, in goatskins : being destitute, afflicted,
evil-entreated (of whom the world was not wor-
thy), wandering in deserts and mountains and
caves, and the holes of the earth." No wonder
these all had witness borne to them through their
faith, and hence have had such power to create
and strengthen faith in others. The hero will al-



The AutJwr of Sacred Letters. 121

ways have a hearing ! When the voice of the mob

would have hushed the voice of the mere orator

in Athens, the brother of /Eschylus dropped his

mantle and held up the stump of his arm, and

they beheld one of the heroes of Marathon and

of Salamis, and they listened for the sake of Weiearmen

his scars. So we listen to these holy men who J"''^'"^

scars,

have the right to speak, and we listen, too, be-
cause of their scars. They who suffered being
t€mpted may tell us how to escape when we are
tempted. They who come off more than con-
querors can point us to One able to save unto
the uttermost. Because we believe that the Holy
Spirit first spake to them and strengthened them,
we believe that whatever they wrote aforetime
was written for our learning that we through
patience and comfort of the Scriptures might
have hope. The Old Testament that contains
such inspired lives will never lose its place as
an inspired book. Reverent criticism hands us
back the books that live with such lives, that are
vital with such prayers and songs, and wet with
such tears and blood, declaring that questions
of dates cannot affect the essential question of
holy lives through which the Holy Spirit speaks
to men, lives still so full of power that the very



122 The Holy Spirit

record inspires men to follow them as they fol-
lowed Christ. That alone can inspire which is
itself inspired. A Holy Book means holy lives
and the Holy Spirit inspiring both. It takes a
holy man to give the story of a holy life, even
though it be that of another, while the annals
of his own life may be those of struggle, of
sins, of bitter tears, and of hope, as he prays,
"Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."
The character of Job makes one book inspired
regardless of its sublime reaches of thought.
Without inspiration no one could have lived a
life Hke Job's, or have written it.
chrtsfsBtbie j^ ^^^ •i\x


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Online LibraryE. R. (Eugene Russell) HendrixThe personality of the Holy Spirit → online text (page 7 of 11)