"My Word shall not Pass Away"—Printing the Revised Version in Chicago—Circulation of the Bible.
CHRIST speaking of the law, said: "One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled." In another place He said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall not pass away." Now, let us keep in mind that the only Scripture the apostles and Christ had was the Old Testament. The New Testament was not written. I will put that as the old and new covenant. "One jot or tittle of the law shall in no wise pass away until all be fulfilled,"—the old covenant; and then Christ comes and adds these words: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall not pass away,"—the new covenant. Now, notice how that has been fulfilled. There was no short-hand reporter following Him around taking down His words; there were no papers to print the sermons, and they wouldn't have printed His sermons if there had been any daily papers—the whole church and all the religious world were against Him. I can see one of your modern free-thinkers standing near Him, and he hears Christ say: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall not pass away." I see the scornful look on his face as he says: "Hear that Jewish peasant talk! Did you ever hear such conceit, such madness? He says Heaven and ea"rth shall pass away, but His Word shall not pass away." My friend, I want to ask you this question—have they passed away? Do you know that the sun has shone on more Bibles to-day than ever before in the history of the world? There have been more Bibles printed in the last ten years than in the first eighteen hundred years. They tried in the dark ages to chain it, and keep it from the nations, but God has preserved it, and the British and American Bible Societies print thousands of Bibles every day. One house in New York has sold one hundred thousand Oxford Bibles during the last year.
PRINTING THE REVISED VERSION.
Suppose some one had said that when we had a revised version of the New Testament, it was going to have such a large circulation—men reading it wherever the English language is spoken—the statement would hardly have been believed. The new version came out in New York or. a Friday—on the same day that it was published in London. Chicago did not want to be behind New York. At that time the quickest train between the two cities could not accomplished the journey in less than about twentysix hours. It would be late on Saturday afternoon before the copies could reach Chicago, and the stores would be closed. So one of the Chicago daily papers set ninety operators at work and had the whole of the new version, from Matthew to Revelation, telegraphed to Chicago on Friday; it was put at once into print and sold on the streets of that city next day. If some one had said years ago, before telegraphs were introduced, that this would be 32 My Word Shall Not Pass Away.
done, it would have been thought an impossibility. Yet it has been done.
Notwithstanding all that skeptics and infidels say against the old Book, it goes on its way. These objectors remind one of a dog barking at the moon; the moon goes on shining just the same. Atheists keep on writing against the Bible; but they do not make much progress, do they? It is being spread all abroad—silently, and without any blasts of trumpets. The lighthouse does not blow a trumpet; it goes on shedding its light all around. So the Bible is lighting up the nations of the earth. It is said that a lecturer on Secularism was once asked, "Why can't you let the Bible alone, if you don't believe it?" The honest reply was at once made, "Because the Bible won't let me alone."
CIRCULATION OF THE BIBLE.
The Bible was about the first book ever printed, and to-day New Testaments are printed in three hundred and fifty-three different languages, and are going to the very corners of the earth. Wherever the Bible has not been translated, the people have no literature. It will not be long before the words of Jesus Christ will penetrate the darkest parts of the earth, and the darkest islands of the sea. When Christ said, "The Scriptures can not be broken," He meant every word He said. Devil and man and hell have been in league for centuries to try to break the Word of God, but they can not do it. If you get it for your footing, you have good footing for time and eternity. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall not pass away." My friends, that Word is going to live, and there is no power in perdition or earth to blot it out.
What we want to-day is men who believe in it from the cr&wn of their heads to the soles of their feet, who believe the whole of it, the things they understand and the things they do not understand. Talk about the things you understand, and leave the things you do not. I believe that is one reason why the English and the Scotch Christians have got ahead of us, because they study the whole Bible. I venture to say that there are hundreds of Bible readings in London every night. You know there are a good many Christians who are good in spots and mighty poor in other spots, because they do not take the whole sweep of the Bible. When I went to Scotland I had to be very careful how I quoted the Bible. Some friend would tell me after the meeting I was quoting it wrong.