« EelmineJätka »
person, in his native village; but he did not think of it. He scarcely knew what to do. At length, however, he thought of his Bible, and pulled it out of his bosom, and put it into the captain's hand. He opened it and read on the blank page :
“Willie Graham, presented as a reward for regular and punctual attendance at Sabbath-school, and for his blameless conduct there and elsewhere. From his Sunday-school teacher."
The captain was not pious, but his heart was full. He had nothing more to say about letters.
“You are the boy for me : you shall sail with me; and, if you are as good a lad as I think you are, your pockets shan't be empty when you go back to your good mother."
The captain acted just as most other honourable men would probably have done. The Bible became a better recommendation to him, in the circumstances, than a score of letters.
We have ascribed the moral qualities of Lawrence, in part at least, to the Scriptures. We may safely go further than this, and assert that it had not a little to do with his intelligence and knowledge. No man is distinguished for his familiarity with the Scriptures, who has not also a good share of general knowledge. His information is more extensive than that of many around him. We risk nothing in making the assertion that those men and women who you know are best acquainted with the Bible, have the most general intelligence. This has been the view of
wise men. Some have gone even further in ascribing intellectual benefits this book. Fisber Ames, one of the most honoured American statesmen of his day, said:
“I will hazard the assertion that no man ever did, or ever will, become truly eloquent, without being a constant reader of the Bible, and an admirer of the beauty and sublimity of its language.” This was the opinion of William Collins, a celebrated English poet. In the last years of his life he withdrew from his usual studies, and travelled with no other book than this. A person one day saw him perusing this volume, and he inquired what book it was, as he would like to know what work a man of letters would select. Collins replied : “I have only one book, and that is the best.”
John Quincy Adams was equally impressed with its worth, even as a book to discipline the mind. He was accustomed to read it every morning, no matter how pressing were his secular duties. In his letters to his son upon the Bible, he said: “So great is my veneration for the Bible, and so strong my belief that, when duly read and meditated on, it is of all books in the world that which contributes most to make men good, wise, and happy—that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more steadily they keep up the practice of reading it throughout their lives, the more lively and confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens to their country, respectable members of society, and a real blessing to their parents.”
Sir William Jones said: "I have regularly and attentively read the Bible, and am of opinion that this volume, independently of its divine origin, contains more true sublimity, more exquisite beauty, purer morality, more impartial history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence, than could be collected within the same compass from all other books ever composed in any age.”
Sir Matthew Hale said : “ There is no book like the Bible for excellent wisdom, learning, and use."
Roger Sherman had such confidence in it, as adapted both to the intellect and the heart, that he was accustomed to purchase a copy at the beginning of every session of Congress; and, after having made it his daily companion to the close of the term, he carried it home, and presented it to one of his children.
Even some infidels have conceded this feature of God's Word. Rosseau said : “ Peruse the works of our philosophers; with all their pomp and diction, how mean, how contemptible, are they compared with the Scriptures! The Jewish authors were incapable of the diction, and strangers to the morality, contained in the Gospel, the marks of whose truths are so striking and immutable that the inventor would be a more astonishing character than the hero.”
We feel justified, then, in ascribing much of the intelligence of Mr Lawrence to his acquaintance with the Scriptures. His letters seemed to be imbued with the spirit which such acquaintance engenders, even when they relate to secular affairs. Surely, we may conclude that such a character as his could not have been formed, nor such success been enjoyed, without the Bible.
The late Judge Hubbard of Boston was distinguished for his knowledge of the Scriptures. He was a man of learning and extensive business in his profession; yet he found time to study the Bible closely. For many years
he was the teacher of a class of young men in the Sabbath-school; and generally, when any text was named, he could refer his pupils from memory to the chapter and verse where they would find it. Few men
494 vite young
alignant look, he the Bible? Th and grew pale as that suits my tas tossed the book turned the sacre well, and wend
here is no book like the
and diction, how compared with the e incapable of the
contained in the e so striking and a more astonish
makhle to use is
volume. Cut elioms book, ani I countries dates
te, and we have
much of the inintance with the mbued with the lers, even when
may conclude been formed, Bible. cuished