Lord, I have made thy word my choice,
My lasting heritage;
There shall my noblest powers rejoice,
My warmest thoughts engage.
I'll read the histories of thy love,
And keep thy laws in sight,
While through the promises I rove,
With ever fresh delight.
'Tis a broad land of wealth unknown,
Where springs of life arise,
Seeds of immortal bliss are sown,
And hidden glory lies.
The best relief that mourners have,
It makes our sorrows blest;
Our fairest hope beyond the grave,
And our eternal rest.
Let me say there are three books which every Christian ought to have, and if you haven't them, go and buy them before you get your tea. The first, is a good Bible—a large-print Bible.....Get a good Bible, then a good concordance, and then a scriptural text-book. Whenever you come to something in the Word of God that you don't know, hunt for its meaning in those books. Suppose, after the meeting, I am looking all over the platform, and Dr. Kittredge says, "What are you looking for?" and I answer, "Oh, nothing, nothing," he would go off. If he thought I hadn't dropped something he wouldn't stay. But suppose I had lost a very valuable ring, which some esteemed friend had given me, and I told him this, he would stay with me, and he would move this organ, and those chairs, and look all over, and by looking carefully we would find it. If a man hunts for truths in the Word of God, and reads it as if he was looking for nothing in particular, he will get nothing. When the men went to California in the gold excitement they went to dig for gold, and they worked day and night with a terrible energy just to get a little gold. Now, my friends, if they wanted to get the pure gold they had to dig for it, and when I was there I was told that the best gold was got by digging deep for it. So the best truths are got by digging deep for them.
.....If you read a chapter of the Bible and don't see anything in it, read it a second time; and if you can not see anything in it, read it a third time. Dig deep. Read it again and again, and even if you have to read it twenty-eight times, do so, and you will see the man Christ Jesus, for he is in every page of the Word; and if you take Christ out of the Old Testament you will take the key out of the Word.
Many men in the churches nowadays are saying that the teachings in the New Testament are to be believed, but those in the Old are not. Those who say this don't know anything about the New. There is nothing in the Old Testament that God has not put his seal upon. "Why," some people say to me, "Moody, you don't believe in the flood? All the scientific men tell us it is absurd." Let them tell us. Jesus tells us of it, and I would rather take the word of Jesus than that of any other one. I haven't got much respect for those men who dig down for stones with shovels, in order to take away the Word of God. Men don't believe in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, but we have it sealed in the New Testament. "As it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah." They don't believe in Lot's wife, but he says, "Remember Lot's wife." So there is not a thing that men to-day cavil at but the Son of God indorses. We find that he indorses all the points in the Old Testament, from Genesis to Revelation. We have only one book—we haven't two. The moment a man begins to cut and slash, away it all goes. Some don't believe in the first five books. They would do well to look into the third chapter of John, where they will see the Samaritan woman at the well looking for the coming of Christ from the first five books of Moses. I tell you, my friends, if you look for him you will find him all through the Old Testament. You will find him in Genesis—in every book in the Bible. Just turn to Luke 24:27, you will find him, after he had risen again, speaking about the Old Testament prophets: "And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scripture the things concerning himself." Concerning himself. Don't that settle the question? I tell you, I am convinced in my mind that the Old Testament is as true as the New. "And he began at Moses and all the prophets." Mark that "all the prophets." Then in the forty-fourth verse: "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms concerning me. Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scripture." If you take Christ out of the Old Testament, what are you going to do with the psalms and prophets? The book is a sealed book, if we take away the New from it. Christ unlocks the Old and Jesus the New. Philip, in teaching the people, found Christ in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Why, the earthly Christians had nothing but the Old Testament to preach the gospel from—at Pentecost they had nothing else. So if there is any man or woman in this assembly who believes in the New Testament, and not in the Old, dear friends, you are deluded by Satan, because if you read the Word of God you will find him spoken of throughout both books. I notice if a man goes to cut up the Bible and comes to you with one truth and says, "I don't believe this and I don't believe that"—I notice when he begins to doubt portions of the Word of God he soon doubts it all.
.....It is a good deal better to study one book at a time than to run through the Bible. If we study one book and get its key, it will, perhaps, open up others. Take up the book of Genesis, and you will find eight beginnings; or, in other words, you pick up the key of several books. The gospel was written that man might believe on Jesus Christ, and every chapter speaks of it. Now, take the book of Genesis; it says it is the book of beginnings. That is the key; then the book of Exodus—it is the book of redemption; that is the key-word of the whole. Take up the book of Leviticus, and we find that it is the book of sacrifices. And so on through all the different books; you will find each one with a key. Another thing: we must study it unbiased. A great many people believe certain things. They believe in certain creeds and doctrines, and they run through the book to get Scripture in accordance with them. If a man is a Calvinistic man, he wants to find something in accordance with his doctrine. But if we seek truth, the Spirit of God will come. Don't seek it in the blue light of Presbyterianism, in the red light of Methodism, or in the light of Episcopalianism, but study it in the light of Calvary. Another way to study it is, not only to take one book at a time; but I have been wonderfully blessed by taking up one word at a time. Take up the word, and go to your concordance and find out all about it.....
There is another thing which has wonderfully helped me. That is, to mark my Bible whenever I hear anything that strikes me.....If ministers saw people doing this they would preach a good deal better sermons. Not only that, but if we understand the Bibles better the ministers would preach better. I think if people knew more about the Word than they do, so many of them would not be carried away with false doctrine. There is no place I have ever been in where people so thoroughly understand their Bibles as in Scotland. Why, little boys could quote Scripture and take me up on a text. They have the whole nation just educated, as it were, with the Word of God. Infidelity cannot come there. A man got up, in Glasgow, at a corner, and began to preach universal salvation. "Oh, sir," said an old woman, "that will never save the like of me." She had heard enough preaching to know that it would never save her. If a man comes among them with any false doctrine, these Scotchmen instantly draw their Bibles on him. I had to keep my eyes open, and be careful what I said there. They knew their Bibles a good deal better than I did. And so if the preachers could get the people to read the Word of God more carefully, and note what they heard, there would not be so much infidelity among us.
.....But take your Bibles and mark them. Don't think of wearing it out. It is a rare thing to find a man wearing his Bible out nowadays—and Bibles are cheap too. You are living in a land where there are plenty. Study them and mark them, and don't be afraid of wearing them. Now don't you see now much better it would be to study it? And it you are talking to a man, instead of talking about your neighbors, just talk about the Bible; and when Christian men come together, just compare notes, and ask one another: "What have you found new in the Word of God since I saw you last?".....
D. L. Moody