The Baldwin Library
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" A man o learning, a jphilosopher and a great reader of books
was sitting in his library.-p. 5. Talking Bibie.
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
No. 146 CHe Tir SB T.
Nzw YoKx, No. 147 Namau Sreet.....BosTON, No. 9 Cbraha.
LomUvaLL, No. 103 burth Stret.
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1851, by the
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of
N4 No books are published by the AxusoAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION
without the sanction of the Committee of Publication, consisting of
members, from the following denominations of Christians, via
n hbodist, Congregationalist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Re-
n h. Not more than three of the members can be of the
ss nation, and no book can be published to which any mem-
ber of the Committee shall object.
THE TALKING BIBLE.
A MAN of learning, a philosopher, and a
great reader of books, was sitting in his library
one day, and the thought came into his mind
that all his knowledge would be of little use to
him if he should lose his reason, or if his life
should be suddenly ended. He was persuaded
that there must be some better portion for his
immortal nature than worldly wisdom could
supply, and he sought counsel of a Christian
friend, who faithfully opened to him the pre-
cious doctrines of the Bible. It seemed almost
a miracle to the inquiring philosopher that the
Scriptures should contain such pertinent an-
swers to his doubts and queries. In order that
the reader may easily see the force and appro-
priateness of these answers, we haw thrown
them into the form of a dialogue, and have
only to fancy that the Bible becomes a talking
volume; opens the conversation, and carries it
on in its own inspired language.
6 THE TALKING BIBLE.
The Bible. I have a message from God unto
thee. Judges iii. 20.
Inquirer. I will hear it some other time. A
friend expects me to meet him to-day ; perhaps
I may spend an hour with you to-morrow.
The Bible. Boast not thyself of to-morrow;
for thou knowest not what a day may bring
forth. Prov. xxvii. 1.
Inquirer. True, but I hope death is far
enough away: my health is good; I am not
The Bible. One dieth in his full strength,
being wholly at ease and quiet. And another
dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never
eateth with pleasure. Job xxi. 23, 25. Now
therefore hear thou the word of the Lord.
Inquirer. Well, I will listen to what you
have to say. What is it you have to tell me ?
THE TALKING BIBLE. 7
The Bible. Prepare to meet thy God. Amos
Inquirer. I shall not be afraid to meet God.
I have always done my duty; have harmed no
one, and have noting to accuse myself of.
What more preparaion can be necessary?
The Bible. Thou knowest the command-
ments. Mark x. 19.
Inquirer. Yes, and I have kept them as
perfectly as human nature can. Allowance
must be made for slight breaches and failures,
when the heart is sincere.
The Bible. All have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God. Rom. iii. 23.
Inquirer. Well, I admit there may have been
short-comings in my obedience, but they were
unavoidable, and God will make allowance for
small deviations from his law.
The Bible. God will by no means clear the
guilty. Num. xiv. 18. The soul that sianeth,
it shall die. Ezek. xviii. 4.
Inquirer. But that must mean those who are
guilty of great sins, and have provoked God
8 THE TALKING BIBLE.
by frequent and wilful transgression ; not those
who have offended only in some small points.
The Bible. Whosoever shall keep the whole
law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty
of all. James ii. 10.
Inquirer. I never thought that God would
be so severe. Will nothing less than perfect,
sinless obedience do ?
The Bible. Cursed is every one that con-
tinueth not in all things which are written in
the book of the law to do them. Gal. iii. 10.
Deut. xxvii. 26.
Inquirer. Who then can be saved ?
The Bible. By the deeds of the law there
shall no flesh be justified in his sight. Rom. iii.
Inquirer. Has God then given a law which
it is impossible for man to keep, on purpose to
condemn him ? Can there be such unrighteous-
ness with God ?
The Bible. But now the righteousness of God
without the law is manifested, being witnessed
by the law and the prophets. Rom. iii. 21.
THE TALKING BIBLE. 9
Inquirer. I do not understand you. What
is the righteousness of God, which the law and
the prophets witnessed of?
The Bible. Even the righteousness of God
which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and
upon all them that believe. Rom. iii. 22.
Inquirer. This is new to me. But what did
the law and the prophets say of this way of
The Bible. Of which salvation the prophets
have inquired and searched diligently, who
prophesied of the grace that should come unto
you: searching what, or what manner of time
the Spirit of Christ which was in them did
signify, when it testified beforehand the suffer-
ings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1 Pet. i. 10, 11.
Inquirer. But still, what was the intention
or use of giving a law which man was not able
to keep, and then provide another way of free-
ing him from its curse ? Could not the law
have been less strict, or man more capable 9f
10 THE TALKING BIBLE.
The Bible. If there had been a law given
which could have given life, verily righteous-
ness should have been by the law. But the
Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the
promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given
to them that believe. But before faith came,
we were kept under the law, shut up unto the
faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal. iii. 21, 23.
Inquirer. But how comes it that all men so
offend, that the law condemns them, and ren-
ders another way of being saved necessary ?
The Bible. God made man upright, but they
have sought out many inventions. Eccles. vii.
29. By the offence of one judgment came upon
all men to condemnation. Rom. v. 18. By one
man sin entered into the world, and death by
sin; and so death passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned. Rom. v. 12.
Inquirer. Then man is not in his original
state, and sin and death continue in conse-
quence of Adam's sin ?
The Bible. Not as the offence, so also is the
free gift. For if through the offence of one
THE TALKING BIBLE. 11
many be dead, much more the grace of God, and
the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus
Christ, hath abounded unto many. Rom. v. 15.
Inquirer. Then the sinfulness of mankind is
to be traced to their connection with Adam;
and is it just to punish his descendants for his
The Bible. I the Lord search the heart, I
try the reins, even to give every man according
to his ways, and according to the fruit of his
doings. Jer. xvii. 10. And thinkest thou this,
0 man, that thou shalt escape the judgment of
God ? who will render to every man according
to his deeds. Rom. ii. 3, 6.
Inquirer. Then every one is punished for
his own sin; and if any of Adam's family are
without sin, they will have no judgment to fear.
The Bible. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity;
and in sin did my mother conceive me. Ps.
li. 5. Who can bring a clean thing out of an
unclean ? Not one. Job xiv. 4. There is none
righteous, no, not one: there is none that un-
derstandeth, there is none that seeketb after
God. They are all gone out of the way, they
12 THE TALKING BIBLE.
are together become unprofitable; there is none
that doeth good, no, not one. Rom. iii. 10, 12.
Inquirer. Then if all are guilty, all may be
justly condemned; and I see, if the law must
be perfectly kept, that I have not so kept it,
and cannot escape the sentence by anything I
The Bible. By the deeds of the law there
shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by
the law is the knowledge of sin. Rom. iii. 20.
Inquirer. I wish you would explain to me
how I, as under the sentence of God's broken
law, may be saved; for you spoke of justifica-
tion and salvation.
The Bible. When the fulness of the time was
come, God sent forth his Son, made of a wo-
man, made under the law, to redeem them that
were under the law, that we might receive the
adoption of sons. Gal. iv. 4, 5. For God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begot-
ten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life. John iii.
Inquirer. And what did the Son of God do
to redeem sinners ?
THE TALKING BIBLE. 13
The Bible. He suffered, the just for the un-
just. 1 Pet. iii. 18. He made himself of no
reputation, and took upon him the form of a
servant, and was made in the likeness of men;
and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled
himself, and became obedient unto death, even
the death of the cross. Phil. ii. 7, 8. Surely he
hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God,
and afflicted. But he was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniqui-
ties; the chastisement of our peace was upon
him; and by his stripes we are healed. Isa. liii.
Inquirer. This is to me strange and new
doctrine. I am desirous to hear more about it:.
you must instruct me more fully when we next
Inquirer. I have been longing to see you
again; your conversation with me yesterday
has let some light break in upon me, enough to
show me that I have been wrong. I need more
to guide me clearly into the right and safe wayy
which I am anxious to learn.
14 THE TALKING BIBLE.
The Bible. Receive my instruction, and not
silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
Prov. viii. 10.
Inquirer. At what period of the world's his-
tory did the Son of God, the Saviour you speak
of, appear? At the beginning of time ?
The Bible. In the end of the world hath he
appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of
himself. Heb. ix. 26.
Inquirer. Then what became of the good
men who lived before his coming: Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and others, whose
histories you relate?
The Bible. These all died in faith, not hav-
ing received the promises, but having seen them
afar off, and were persuaded of them, and em-
braced them, and confessed that they were
strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Heb. xi.
13. Jesus answered, Abraham rejoiced to see
my day: and he saw it, and was glad. John
Inquirer. So the Jews must have had a pro-
mise of Christ's coming. Was that the promise
you said was testified by the law and the pro-
THE TALKING BIBLB. 15
The Bible. Moses truly said unto the fa-
thers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise
up unto you of your brethren, like unto me;
him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he
shall say unto you. Yea, and all the prophets
from Samuel and those that follow after, as
many as have spoken, have likewise foretold
of these days. Acts iii. 22, 24.
Inquirer. Was Christ the Saviour, then, the
prophet whom Moses referred to? and if so,
did the Jews receive him as such ?
The Bible. There is one that accuseth you,
even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye
believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for
he wrote of me. John v. 45, 46.
Inquirer. But the Jews certainly did not
believe that Moses had pointed them to Jesus
Christ, and taught them that through him they
could be justified from all things from which
they could not be justified by his laJ'
The Bible. But their minds were blinded; for
until this day remaineth the same vail untaken
away in the reading of the Old Testament;
which vail is done away in Christ. But even
It0 THE TALKING BIBLE.
unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is
.upon their hearts. 2 Cor. iii. 14, 15.
Inquirer. So then it was not because the Old
Testament did not teach the doctrine of the
Saviour, but because the people's minds were
blinded, that they could not perceive the truth.
Let me hear some of these teachings of the pro-
phets respecting Christ, and salvation through
The Bible. Unto us a child is born, unto us
a son is given; and the government shall be
upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the
Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of
the increase of his government and peace there
shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and
upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish
it with judgment and with justice from hence-
forth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of
hosts will perform this. Isa. ix. 6, 7. Behold,
I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried
stone, a precious corner stone, a sure founda-
tion: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Isa. xxviii. 16. Behold my servant, whom I
uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delight-
eth; I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall,
THE TALKING BIBLE. 17
bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. Isa. xlii.
1, also verses 2-7.
Inquirer. This is more like history than
prophecy; but still some things I do not under-
stand. Since upon that Saviour was "laid the
iniquity of us all," and since "by his stripes
we are healed," are all men saved through him ?
The Bible. He that believeth on him is not
condemned; but he that believeth not is con-
demned already, because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John iii. 18. He that believeth on the Son hath
everlasting life: and he that believeth not the
Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God
abideth on him. John iii. 36. As many as re-
ceived him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on
his name. John i. 12. By him all that believe
are justified from all things. Acts xiii. 39.
Inquirer. If all depends upon believing, then
why do any, who know this, remain without
The Bible. This is the condemnation; that
light is come into the world, and men loved
18 THE TALKING BIBLE.
darkness rather than light, because their deeds
were evil. John iii. 19.
Inquirer. But why is all made to depend
upon believing ? And why are men to be con-
demned for not believing?
The Bible. He that believeth not God hath
made him a liar; because he believeth not the
record that God gave of his Son. And this is
the record, that God hath given to us eternal
life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John v.
Inquirer. Then if sinners are saved by be-
lieving, may they live as they please, without
regard to the law of God ?
The Bible. How shall we, that are dead to
sin, live any longer therein ? Rom. vi. 2.
Inquirer. And is this the language of those
who are saved by the grace of God ?
The Bible. The grace of God that bringeth
salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching
us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly,
in this present world, looking for that blessed
THE TALKING BIBLE. 19
hope, and the glorious appearing of the great
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave
himself for us, that he might redeem us from
all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar
people, zealous of good works. Tit. ii. 11-14.
Inquirer. So love to Christ for his suffering
and dying in the room of the guilty, and desire
to please him, operate as motives to give up
sin and follow holiness. How do the saved
feel and speak on this point?
The Bible. The love of Christ constraineth
us, because we thus judge, that if one died for
all, then were all dead: and that he died for
all, that they which live should not henceforth
live unto themselves, but unto him who died for
them, and rose again. 2 Cor. v. 14, 15.
Inquirer. And is this principle sufficient and
effectual to overcome the love of sin and the
influence of the world ?
The Bible. This is the victory that over-
cometh the world, even our faith. Who is he
that overeometh the world, but he that be-
lieveth that Jesus is the Son of God ? 1 John
20 THE TALKING BIBLE.
Inquirer. Then it must follow from this that
obedience to God's law is the test of character
and the proof of salvation ?
The Bible. He that saith, I know Him, and
keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and
the truth is not in him. 1 John ii. 4.
Inquirer. I now see that I have all along
been in error as to the way of acceptance with
God. I thought my own good works would
recommend me to his favour, and flattered my-
self that, though my obedience was imperfect,
my heart was good.
The Bible. The heart is deceitful above all
things, and desperately wicked: who can know
it ? Jer. xvii. 9.
Inquirer. I begin to feel that this is indeed
the case. Oh, that I were worthy to come to
God, and that with a penitent heart and a re-
solved spirit I could set myself to do what
pleases him ?
The Bible. Can the Ethiopian change his
skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye
also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
Jer. xiii. 23.
THE TALKING BIBLE. 21
Inquirer. But I cannot think of coming to
God as I am; I must become better before I
can hope to be accepted.
The Bible. I [Jesus Christ] am not come
to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matt. ix. 13.
Inquirer. Then, as a sinner ready to perish,
I am to come to him for salvation ?
The Bible. This is a faithful saying, and
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i.
Inquirer. If so, I have nothing to do but to
accept of salvation. But how shall I get my
heart made pure and clean-its weakness and
darkness removed ? I have no strength, and
fear I shall not be able to break off what is evil,
and learn and follow what is good.
The Bible. I will put a new spirit within
you; and I will take the stony heart out of
their flesh, and give them an heart of flesh.
Ezek. xi. 19. Sin shall not have dominion over
you: for ye are not under the law, but under
grace. Rom. vi. 14.
22 THE TALKING BIBLE.
Inquirer. Then God has provided for all the
sinner needs: he bestows pardon on the guilty,
and gives a new heart to the polluted; and all
this for Christ's sake !
The Bible. Whom God hath set forth to be
a propitiation through faith in his blood, to
declare his righteousness:-that he might be
just, and the justifier of him which believeth in
Jesus. Rom. iii. 25, 26. For whom he did fore-
know, he also did predestinate to be conformed
to the image of his Son, that he might be the
firstborn among many brethren. Rom. viii. 29.
But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but
ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. vi. 11.
Inquirer. And thus all the glory of salva-
tion belongs to God, and the sinner being saved
by grace has nothing to boast of!
The Bible. Where is boasting then? It is
excluded. By what law? Of works ? Nay;
but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude
that a man is justified by faith without the
deeds of the law. Rom. iii. 27.
Inquirer. But tell me,-if the Holy Spirit is
THE TALKING BIBLE. 28
needed to enlighten and sanctify the soul, do
all who believe enjoy his Divine teaching?
The Bible. If any man have not the Spirit
of Christ, he is none of his. Rom. viii. 9.
Inquirer. I do not quite understand how this
is; but I am convinced of the necessity of
such teaching. I suppose only they who re-
ceive the Spirit of God can know these things.
The Bible. The natural man receiveth not
the things of the Spirit of God: neither can he
know them, because they are spiritually dis-
cerned. 1 Cor. ii. 14.
Inquirer. That is as much as to say, the
Spirit is only known and experienced by the
effects of his teaching.
The Bible. The wind bloweth where it list-
eth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but
canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it
goeth: so is every one that is born of the
Spirit. John iii. 8.
Inquirer. Even so. Oh, may I know this
mystery, enjoy this Divine influence, be taught
24 THE TALKING BIBLE.
of God, believe in Christ as my Saviour, and
yield myself to him as his child, and follow his
instructions and examples. Lord, what I know
not, teach thou me!
"Oh, may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight;
And still new beauty may I see,
And still increasing light!
Divine Instructor gracious Lord !
Be thou for ever near;
Teach me to love thy sacred word,
And view my Saviour there."
The Bible. Search the Scriptures. John