Proverbs & Short Articles
When saints come together (see 1 Cor. 14: 26–33), the occasion is not open to man. It is a meeting that is open to the Holy Spirit. He directs.
Where the progress of Christianity is arrested, it is because many of its preachers live in an unreal world. The truths they set forth are truths of utterance rather than truths of their lives.
The wonderful thing about man is that he can be changed. Some of the angels have fallen away from God, but we are not told anything about such beings to suppose that they are capable of change.
There is no doubt that a lack of humility has been at the root of a great many ecclesiastical troubles.
The most notable example of “cutting in a straight line the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2: 15) is the Lord Himself. He read from Isaiah 61, but rolled up the book without reading “the day of vengeance of our God” (v2). That, was for a different time.
The Gospel is not about letting sinners off the hook. The debt is paid and in full.
Man is alone in creation in blushing because of guilt. The wisdom of the world is trying to work out how such a feature could evolve.
“Many are the thoughts in a man’s heart, but the counsel of Jehovah, that doth stand” (Prov. 19: 21).
In the midst of the sorrows of this world, the Holy Spirit blends the name of Christ with what is bitter or painful in order to make the memory of the grief pleasant because of Christ. It was this that so often cheered the Apostle Paul’s heart. Thus on approaching Rome as a prisoner, he was comforted when he saw the brethren coming to greet him (see Acts 28: 15). Later, he was to experience the failure of brethren, and not one of them standing by him in his hour of need (see 2 Tim. 4: 16), but he was nonetheless able to say “the Lord stood with [me]” (v 17).
The Church and the Bible
About 100 years ago a Hebrew scholar was given a special introduction to the chief librarian of the Vatican library with a view to the study of its Hebrew manuscripts. The scholar requested that his friend (who was also learned in the ancient Hebrew language) be allowed to accompany him. During his time in the library, the friend examined the ceiling which was gaudily painted with pictures of all the councils of the Church from the Council of Nicaea to that of Trent. In the first picture, denoting the Council of Nicaea held in 325 AD, he noted that no prelate or potentate occupied the chair. The Bishop of Rome and the Emperor of Rome had both declined to preside over the council. Only the Bible was placed on the chair. In the succeeding pictures of the various councils, man became more and more prominent and the Bible more and more insignificant. In the second picture, the Bible was placed by the side of the chair. In the following pictures the Bible got smaller and smaller until at the Council of Trent in 1545 AD it had vanished altogether. While this was unintentional, it nonetheless provided a fitting symbolical representation of the relationship between the Church and the Bible. As the one increased in authority, the authority of the other decreased.