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can find this burning of heart in the doubting soul, we have at once a test by which to judge of these doubts, and a means of their removal. Let us apply the test to several classes of doubts.
1. Honest doubts in regard to the divine origin of Christianity. How shall such doubts be met? There are two courses, either of which may be adopted. We confront the doubter with the stupendous mass of the external evidence of Christianity. We may show him the mighty ramparts that eighteen hundred years have reared around the fountain that is unsealed beneath the cross, and show that these towers and battlements must rest on the Everlasting Rock, from which this living water flows. All this is well, but to the majority of men is impossible. A shorter and better way is to take the doubter within, and lead him to the fountain itself, thirsty, faint, and fevered with sin; and there, as he drinks of its cooling waters, and finds his thirst assuaged, and his fever cooled, he will need no other evidence than this inward experience that it is, in very deed, the water of life. Then as surely as he knows that light was made for the eye, water for the appetite of thirst, and food for that of hunger, does he know that the gospel was made by God for the heart of man.
Let the honest doubter take the Bible, and with a sincere and prayerful heart peruse it. He shall find it to lay bare his heart, as it was never laid bare before. It interprets the soul's secret motives, explains its vague yearnings, reconciles its seeming contradictions, and in its teachings concerning sin, and the fall, gives a satisfactory explanation of the strange facts of the human heart. In its doctrine of redemption, through a suffering and yet divine Saviour, it meets the hopes and fears of the spirit, as nothing else can do, and exerts a power over the heart that no other book has ever exerted. This wonderful adaptation to the facts of the human soul, proves that it came from the same hand with that soul itself.
This is after all the highest kind of evidence, for it is simply God shining on his own work. It is also adapted to the humblest and poorest. When Gilbert Tennent was travelling in Virginia, he visited a very aged negro man, who had for many years been a Christian, and plied him with the usual objections to the Bible. “How do you know that the Bible is the word of God, when you cannot read it ?" The reply was as simple as it was conclusive: "I know the Bible to be God's word, because it speaks to my heart." The reason was as cogent as it was simple. The Bible speaks to the heart as no other book does. It makes it to glow first with penitence, then with faith, then with love, and then with the ripe fruits of the Spirit, as no other book does, and as no
book could do, that came not from that divine hand, which created the heart. Hence as the heart glows and burns under the words of this holy book, we may know that it is because the divine word is thus speaking to the heart, and that therefore their doubts are all fallacious, and the Bible is of God.
2. Doubts concerning doctrines. These men of Emmaus were in doubt concerning the doctrine of a suffering Messiah. Such doubts have not yet ceased. Men are often in doubt in regard to the doctrines of the Trinity, the Atonement, Regeneration, and similar deep doctrines of revelation, because of certain difficulties that seem to environ them. How shall these doubts be removed ? Precisely as those of the men of Emmaus. Take the Scriptures, and beginning at Moses and the prophets, listen to the voice that speaks through them; study the passages that seem to bear on these points, and let the light in upon the heart; and the heart will be found to burn as it grasps these high and glorious teachings concerning man, the great sinner, and Christ, the great Saviour, The heart that feels duly its sin and helplessness, will glow with exulting hope, at the revelation of a divine Redeemer, a Saviour who has borne our sins in his own body and suffered as our substitute; a Holy Spirit who will create within us a new heart, and an unchanging love, that will en. fold us to the end. Then it will be found that the Bible is infinitely more than a book of ethics, and Christianity infinitely more than a moral system. It will be seen that Christianity is a new life, the life of Christ in the soul of a believer, and the Bible the inspired record of this great salvation. On this record we are simply to rest in faith, and in doing this we shall find our hearts to burn within us, as we are brought into living connection with the warm, throbbing heart of a loving Saviour, in his word and work of grace.
3. Doubts in regard to personal experience. The number of Christians who are in doubt concerning the validity of their hopes is wonderfully great, especially among those whose bodily health is infirm. A test that may solve these doubts in many cases, is furnished by this scene. We do not ask whether you are sure that you have been born again, whether your hope is cloudless or your faith developed to assurance, but simply, has not your heart burned within you as you read the Bible, sat in God's house, approached the Lord's table, bowed in your closet, or met in the prayer meeting? And has not that burning of heart been of penitence and shame for sin, of fervent gratitude for the love of Christ, of deep longing for a larger measure of holiness, and of glowing zeal for the advancement of Christ's cause? Now whence this burning of heart? Who or
what could have caused it ? Could any presence but that of Jesus, any words but his have produced a glow like this ? True, you do not see Christ as your Saviour; but if you have this holy burning of heart as you dwell on the words of Jesus, you may believe that he walks beside you, though your eyes are holden so that they cannot see him, and you may hope that ere long he will be made known to you, perhaps, “in the breaking of bread.” “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God," Isa. 1. 10.
4. Doubts in regard to the Providential dealings of God. We often speak of mysterious providences, when affliction comes upon us, as if it were mysterious that God should do as he has promised to do, and as he has always done to his people. We walk like the bereaved men of Emmaus, and are sad. We think, why was I singled out for such sorrow? Why have others been spared such trials, whilst I have been called to endure them ? Life thus becomes to us a pathway of sorrow, and we walk and are sad.
Then could our eyes be opened, we would see beside us one who walks unseen by eyes so dimmed with tears, and his words to us might be, “O slow of heart to believe all that is written in