Much has been said about the power of the gospel. It is |the power of God unto salvation.| By it millions have been redeemed and cheered and comforted and inspired. Others have been warned in tones of thunder to awakened consciences. It has been the greatest civilizer known. But however great its power and influence, however wonderful its accomplishments, there are conditions under which it is pitifully helpless, under which it can do nothing to help the perishing masses. You may take your Bible into a heathen land or to a race of another language, and though all its truth, its promises and warnings, its light and glory, are within its lids, yet it is dumb. It speaks not to them. They perish all around it. They remain in darkness, when light is there, heavenly, glorious light. Not a ray reaches them. It is helpless. It is voiceless; it speaks not to them its story of love. In your own home it may lie closed and silent. Visitors come and go, but it helps them not. Your children hear not its voice. Your neighbors receive not its counsel, warnings, nor promises. How helpless it is! Oh the many dumb Bibles in our land! If they only had tongues, what messages they would speak to the people! You have a tongue. Do you not often use it in a way that is of little profit either to you or to others? The Bible has no tongue to use. Will you lend it yours? Will you let it speak its message with your tongue? Must your neighbors be lost because your Bible has no voice? O brother, sister, let your Bible be no longer dumb. Give it a tongue. There are hearts all around you needing its truth. Will you speak for it? A silent and voiceless Bible -- what can be more helpless?
Again, if a tongue be lent it and its message be spoken and repeated again and again, what can it do if it is not believed? It is the power of God in this world only to |them that believe.| If we will not believe it, it can do us no good. It can not save or comfort or heal unless it is believed. Will you give it a believing heart? Unless you do, it is absolutely powerless to help you. Oh, how helpless is an unbelieved Bible!
And though it have a voice and speak ever so clearly, what can it do if the ears be closed against it? If |having ears, we hear not,| but close our minds and hearts against its voice, it will profit us nothing. It can help not the least. Oh, give it a listening ear and heart!
The Bible has no hands. It can not reach out to the needy nor go about doing good. It can not clothe the naked nor feed the hungry. Why not give your hands to the gospel's use, that it may not be longer helpless?
It has no feet. It can not go from place to place, but must remain supine wherever it is put. It is a poor |shut-in.| Who will pity its helplessness and give it feet, that it may go to the nations?
It has no money. It is as poor as a pauper. It can not pay its way to the yearning, hungry souls that await its coming. It needs its way paid to India, to Africa, to China. It needs to go to the ends of the earth. You can send some of its messages afar for a few cents, and perchance thus help it to reach a soul ready and waiting that will otherwise be lost. There are tongues ready to speak for it; there are feet ready to run with it; but who will pay its fare? Have you money and houses and cattle and lands, and yet are not helping this helpless gospel on its mission of mercy? Must it fail to reach the people, that you may consume your means for the gratification of the flesh? Might not the money you have spent the past year needlessly, have sent the gospel to a number of lost souls?
Oh! pity the poor Bible, which has no tongue, no hands, no feet, and no money! How will it reach the lost? Give it your hands, your feet, your tongue, your pocketbook. Behold the countless throngs going down the broad way. Listen to the groans of the lost. Behold your own friends and neighbors and perhaps your own kindred on the way to hell. Can you longer let the gospel be helpless and voiceless? What would you answer the lost in the judgment were they to say to you, |You had the Bible, but you did not tell us its truths. You did not carry or send it to us, and so we perish|? What will you do to help the Bible to save the world? The time is short. The shades of the evening are falling around us. |The night cometh, when no man can work.|