This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spoke to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers…
I. THE EXCELLENCE OF THE SCRIPTURES.
1. They are lively oracles so called —
(1) In contradistinction to heathen oracles which proceeded from the pretended responses of senseless idols or departed spirits under the artful management of impostors. The Bible is the voice of the living and true God.
(2) Because they instruct men in the way of life.
(3) The Scriptures of both Testaments are called by this name because they are the means by which God communicates the knowledge of His will and of the way of salvation.
2. If we consider the sacred volume merely as history it is the most complete, entertaining, and instructive ever written. We have a view of the world from its creation to its final dissolution.
3. How grand, solemn, and interesting are its doctrines.
4. It exhibits the most correct view of human nature.
5. It prescribes the most excellent precepts and rules of life.
(1) It proposes the purest motives to virtue.
(2) It teaches the noblest virtues in the sublimest exercises.
(3) It furnishes the best defence against temptation, and the sweetest consolation in affliction.
(4) It has instituted the most excellent means of moral improvement in the order and discipline of the Church.
6. It gives us affecting illustrations of God's attributes and providence in His various dealings toward the children of men.
II. WE ARE BOUND TO CONVEY THE SCRIPTURES TO SUCCEEDING generations (Deuteronomy 4:5; Deuteronomy 6:7; Psalm 78:1).
1. If the Scriptures are of such importance to ourselves they are equally so to our children.
2. Their excellence demonstrates our obligation to transmit them.
3. If we regard the temporal much more ought we to regard the eternal happiness of posterity. The former is promoted, the latter essential depends on the knowledge of the Scriptures.
4. That we may transmit them
(1) We must make a pious use of them ourselves: family worship.
(2) Have them read in our schools.
(3) Take care never to treat them with disrespect.
(4) Never allow our children to read books which treat them with ridicule.
(5) Maintain the preaching of the Word.
(6) Show our belief in and reverence for the Bible by that holy and blameless life it requires.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: