Sunday, February 7, 2010

Still more quotes from Meyer

Here are a few more quotes from F. B. Meyers book entitled Expository Preaching Plans and Methods (Meyer, F. B. Expository Preaching Plans and Methods. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1910).

It has been truly said that no disciples of Browning or Tennyson, Milton or Shakespeare, Goethe or Dante, Virgil or Homer, were ever so saturated with their master s thoughts or so steeped in their spirit as Jesus was with Scripture.(76)

It was its sustenance of His own soul's life and the nourishment of His spiritual nature. His human character developed along its lines, whilst His moral and spiritual being was perfected by its indwelling up to the full stature of His glorious manhood. He performed His life-work under its inspiration, defended Himself by its examples, resisted His temptations in its strength, sustained His soul by its comfort, died with its blessed words upon His lips. To Him it was the true and faithful "Word of God, which could not be broken, but was the foundation and pillar of truth. So we may readily suppose, therefore, He was The Prince of Expositors. We are told that "He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." (76-7)

Our Lord was also careful to consider the text in relation to the context and the whole tenor and teaching of Scripture. The habit of taking a little snippet of a verse from any part of the Bible and making it the subject of discourse, exposes the preacher to the danger of an unbalanced state ment of truth, which is very prejudicial. Nothing is more perilous than the partial knowledge of God s truth, which is based on sentences torn from their rock-bed and viewed in isolation from their setting.(78)

It is possible to fasten the mind upon a single line, so as to miss the whole revelation of the Bible. We have to compare spiritual things with spiritual. It is written here, and it is written again ; and the one passage must be read in the light of the other. You must have the whole Bible, and not an isolated text, to rest upon. There is a Biblical spirit as well as a Biblical letter.(79)

Surely this Biblical spirit is more certainly imbibed, and the whole tenor of truth more certainly embraced, when a congregation is led consecutively through some noble argument like that of the Romans, or a series of ascents like those of the Hebrews, than would be possible if isolated topics were selected, apparently at haphazard.(79)

If God could still assert Himself as the God of Jacob two and a half centuries after he had been laid to sleep in Machpelah s ancient cave, then Jacob must still be alive! What light this casts on the possibilities that sleep under the simplest texts ! We pass and repass over them, like the prone gravestones of an old churchyard, which have become a well-worn pathway to hurrying feet, but we cannot exhaust the depths that lie under.(81)

So of literature ; however elevated its tone, lofty its thought, eloquent its expression,
it is not Scripture, because it is not, in any special sense, the organ and weapon of the Divine Spirit. The absence of the quickening energy and vitalizing power of the Holy Spirit from any writ ing constitutes an impassable gulf between it and Scripture.(82)

We must not speak of Scripture as having been once inspired of the Spirit of God, as though it were not so now, but as still being inspired. The bush burns with fire. The voice of God speaks in it. The Word gives living force to the words. The words are, as our Lord affirmed, both Spirit and life. As the sun burns in our furnaces, its heat having been for millenniums bottled up in the coal, which has been described as fossilized sunlight ; so the Holy Spirit is present in Scripture as in no other writing under heaven. Our Lord s perception of this made the Scripture His constant meditation and final court of appeal. And in proportion as we use them, enforcing and applying, we also shall discover that to a super-excellent degree they contain not only oracles, but the power of God.(82)

Whatever God has promised in Scripture He is prepared to make good by His power. Not only is there power in the Word, but with it. We must know the Scriptures and the power of God. In the proper balancing of these two in the study of Scripture on the one hand, and in the adoring contemplation of God s power on the other we shall find our best preservative against the errors of our age; and so we may await the hour when God will vindicate Himself. "What he has promised he is able also to perform." (83)

Not the Scriptures without the Power, or you will arrive at the dry-as-dust pedantries of Pharisee and scribe. Not the Power without the Scriptures, or you will drift into the ineptitudes of mysticism and fanaticism.(83-4)

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