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small Geneva Bibles carried the scripture into every home.

“So far as the nation at large was concerned, no history, no romance, hardly any poetry save the little-known verse of Chaucer existed in the English tongue, when the Bible was ordered set up in the churches. Now from the Bible legend and annal, war-song and psalm, state-roll and biography, the mighty voices of prophets, the parables of evangelists, stories of mission journeys, of perils by land and sea; all were flung broadcast by minds unoccupied for the most part with any rival learning.

“ The fall of Constantinople a century earlier had given the start to Greek literature which wrought the revolution of the Renaissance. Now the disclosure of the older mass of Hebrew literature wrought the revolution of the Reformation. The power of the English Bible became the mightiest force in the literature and social life of the people. The Bible formed practically the whole accessible literature. A strange mosaic of Biblical work and phrase coloured English talk two hundred years ago, just as we use bits of Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens, and Thackeray. The mass of picturesque allusion which we borrow from a thousand books, our fathers were forced to borrow from one; and the borrowing was the easier and the more natural because the range of Hebrew fitted it for the expression of every feeling. When Spencer poured his warmest love notes in the 'Epithalamium' he adapted the very words of the psalmist, as he badę

the gates open for the reception of his bride. When Cromwell saw the mists break over the hills of Dunbar, he hailed the sunburst with the cry of David, 'Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered. Like as the smoke vanished so shalt thou drive them away. Far greater," continues Green, “ was the effect of the Bible on the people at large. The whole moral effect produced nowadays by the religious newspaper, the tract, the essay, the lecture, the missionary report, the sermon was then produced by the Bible alone. The effect was amazing —the whole temper of the nation felt the change. A new moral and religious impulse spread through

every class."

Could more telling testimony be borne to the masterful power of any book? If you would further grasp the masterful power of this book:

1. Note its Moral Grandeur.

We need no stronger evidence of the book's moral power than is already given in that statement of Green's, “No greater moral change ever passed over a nation than during those years of Elizabeth's reign . . . then England became the people of a book and that book was the Bible.” The same story comes from every land and every clime where the contents of the book have been loyally listened to. The story of the carving of our own nation out of the wilderness of forest and prairie and mountain testifies the same great truth. The taking of the book in prairie schooners on the far frontier and rough backwoods cabin and the living of its pre

cepts made our fathers a God-fearing, righteousliving, liberty-loving people. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” We know that Thomas Jefferson was speaking what our national history has proven true when he said, “I commend the study of the sacred page to all my countrymen. Its perusal can but make of them better husbands, better men, better citizens.” The book itself shows where such moral power lies. The grandeur of its moral ideal speaks to the human conscience from every page. If human frailty and human nature sometimes blot its ideal characters, if Abraham lies and David grievously sins, and the truthful record tells us so, it is a cause to commend the trustworthiness of the narrative and its true human portrayal, rather than to decry. Nowhere is sin pandered to, always is it held up for human ignominy and divine displeasure.

If social customs and barbaric cruelty find a higher recognition on some of its Old Testament pages than approve themselves to our Christian consciences, whence came the light of our Christian consciences? We should but be thankful again to the God of righteousness, who could reveal Himself step by step in the onward march of human development, until at last the full revelation of God's Fatherhood and man's brotherhood could be appreciated. We would not decry the England of today, because under Elizabeth, sheep-stealing and a hundred other crimes of like nature were punishable by death. Rather would we look to the end of

the development and admire the noble English manhood which so exalts and protects human life today. So would our admiration thrill at the development of morality and the unfolding of Himself, which God during the centuries gave through and to the one-time Egyptian slaves.

As we follow that gradual revelation of Himself through the life experience of men and a race, our hearts acknowledge allegiance, saying, What hath God wrought?” There was Moses, slave-born dweller in kings' palaces, self-exiled heir to a great throne, a shepherd dwelling in the wilderness, emancipator of people. He gives to the world the rubric of a moral and legal code which has lasted and will last through the centuries. He established the foundations on which rest the commonwealth of today. The “Ten Commandments,” summing up the Mosaic teachings, are the Rosetta stone of moral conduct, unlocking to every conscience the imperative of duty to God and duty to man. As you turn the pages of the rugged old Hebrew prophets and read their flaming sentences of moral obligation, of social righteousness and civil conduct, do not your consciences burn within you? Are you not smitten to your heart as Amos, the old farmer of Tekoa, tells of God's righteousness, as brokenhearted Hosea tells of God's love, as Joel tells of God's unavoidable Judgment? Where, out of pages in history, either ancient or modern, can you find such a matchless summation of right conduct as old Micah gives when he says, “What doth the

Lord thy God require of thee, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly before the Lord thy God”? Truly these moral messages shall quicken men of every race and clime. As Goethe says of Shakespeare, the very leaves of these passages seem to rustle and to be driven to and fro by the winds of destiny. The sermon on the mount and the golden rule complete what is lacking for the moral splendour of the golden age. If Mount Sinai's thunderous legislation seems too cold for winning men, let them look at the broken-hearted love on Mount Calvary's height. Through all the record the sublimity of moral grandeur calls man up to the highest.

2. Note the mastery of the book through its intellectual leadership.

The Bible has a natural attractiveness for the human mind because of its piercing truth. It distinctly recognizes its limitations and does not claim to give the final truth on all questions of science and history. But in the realm of religion and of morals it gives the last emphatic and authoritative word of truth, and it does it in a bold and decisive manner. “The Word of God is quick, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” There is no book in the realm of religion which so grips the mind with its truth as do the scriptures. The mightiest intellects from Augustine and John Calvin

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