Young Folks’ Bible in Words of Easy Reading
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The Bible has great stories and powerful messages, but it can be too long and overwhelming for many readers to enjoy. Get the stories and learn the lessons from the Bible's greatest tales in Young Folks’ Bible in Words of Easy Reading. A perfect way to introduce young readers to the Bible or add further understanding to some of the most important stories in Christianity. Share the Bible so it can be interpreted and understood even by those who rarely read.

Young Folks’ Bible

Josephine Pollard

Young Folks’ Bible in Words of Easy Reading


The word Bible is from the Greek, and means The Book. It is made up of several small books, and when bound in two parts is known as the Old Testament and the New Testament. A Testament is a will; and the Bible is God’s will made for man’s good, and for his guide through life. The Old Testament tells of God’s love and care for the Jews, and His thought of Christ can be traced through all its pages. There is a good deal in the Bible that a child cannot understand, and the queer names make it very hard reading.

It has been the Author’s aim to tell the story simply, and in Bible language, so that the little ones can read it themselves, and learn to love and prize it as the best of all books.

J. P.

Young Folks’ Bible in Words of Easy Reading


By Rev. William Henry Milburn, D. D.

NO man of his time filled a larger space in the public eye of this country than John Randolph of Roanoke. His eccentricities, audacity and brilliancy, — his pride of birth and race, fearlessness and self-assertion, — his incisive and trenchant speeches set off with sparkling wit, keen satire, fierce invective, clothed in perfect English, and uttered with the style of a master, his sharp criticisms of the faults and short-comings of his fellow-Congressmen, which gained for him the title, “schoolmaster of Congress,” together with his political consistency and fitfulness of temper, invested all his movements and sayings with a peculiar charm for the people. In his earliest years he had been carefully taught by his beautiful mother, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and many parts of God’s Word, until he had them by heart, and yet, in his haughty youth and early manhood he strove to set at naught these teachings: furnished himself with a “whole body of infidelity,” as he styled his collection of the writings of Voltaire and other French authors, as well as British, who strove to abolish the Bible, and for many years it seemed at once his pride and delight to wield the weapons drawn from these arsenals against the truths which make men wise unto Eternal Life, and to jeer with flout and scoff at all he had learned from his mother’s lips. But later on he confessed, with heart-breaking sobs and bitter tears, that with all his arrogance and insolence, his stern resolve to become and continue a Deist, he had never been able to put aside for a single day or night the lessons taught him by his mother, and that the hallowed forms of sound words, learned on her lap or at her knee, had dwelt with him, and were ever sounding in his ears, to admonish, counsel and reprove. There have been few more pathetic scenes than that in which Randolph came to die; a gaunt old man, old before his time; worn out by misery, shrivelled and haggard, sitting upright in his bed, covered by a blanket, even his head enveloped and his hat on top of it; unutterable despair looking out at his eyes, his pinched lips and squeaking voice uttering, “Let me see it; get a dictionary; find me the word Remorse.” A dictionary could not be found. “Write it; I must see it,” he almost shrieked with failing voice. The word was written on his visiting card below his name; he demanded that it should be written above as well. The card was handed to him. “Remorse, John Randolph of Roanoke, Remorse.” With horror in his face and that card in his hand, his eyes staring at the word, he breathed his last. From that mournful death-bed seemed to come floating the solemn words, “Take fast hold of instruction; keep her; let her not go, for she is thy life,” and “He that sinneth against wisdom wrongeth his own soul.”

Long centuries ago, a young man of aristocratic birth, handsome person, polished manners, brilliant and highly cultivated intellect, was walking, on a day in the reign of the Emperor Julian, by the bank of the river Orontes, not far from the stately city of Antioch, the Paris of that age, — and saw something floating in the stream. The branch of a tree enabled him to drag it ashore; it proved to be a copy of the sacred Scriptures; Julian, the mad master of the world, had issued an edict, annexed to which were heavy penalties, that all copies of that book should be destroyed. The young man who drew the manuscript to shore had been taught the lessons of that volume from a child, by his pious mother, Anthusa; but he had thrown off the yoke of his mother’s faith; had become a devotee of heathen philosophy, poetry and rhetoric, and at the same time steeped himself in the licentious pleasures and dissipations of the Grove of Daphne, the Hippodrome and Theatre, and resolved that “the man Christ Jesus should not reign over him.” He opened the parchment, some words on the page caught his eye; they were familiar, yet shone with a new light and were armed with irresistible power: he read on; his mother’s prayers were answered; he embraced the truth, bowed his neck to the yoke he had foresworn, and the volume he rescued from the flood became a treasure-trove for the world, — through fifteen centuries alike in the east and west, — that man has been known as St. John Chrysostom, the “Mouth of Gold,” one of the most saintly and eloquent preachers, whose life, genius, sufferings and death for conscience’s sake adorned the history of mankind.

Not far from the same time, a young man bathed in tears lay writhing in agony under a fig tree in the garden of his house at Milan. His devout mother, Monica, in their Numidian home, had taught him the way of life written in God’s Word; but as he grew to manhood he strove to shake off the influence and authority of her instruction; became a libertine, reached forth to grasp the crown of heathen eloquence and learning, and for more than ten years wrought steadily to undo the sacred work his mother had performed for him as a child. But the lesson she had taught him lay deeper than his surging passions, imperious intellect, and haughty will, and because of their power over him he could find no rest night or day. He journeyed to Carthage, Rome, Milan, the chief cities of the western world, to study art and eloquence, to drench his soul with the pleasures of sense and lay the ghost of his disquiet; but in vain. In his anguish under the fig tree he heard, or seemed to hear, again and again, “Take it up and read, Take it up and read.” Springing to his feet, he ran to a friend near by who was reading the Word. Seizing the volume, his eyes rested on the words, “Let us walk honestly as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provisions for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” The birth-pangs of his conversion were ended; he found peace in believing; and that incident makes an era in the history of the world, for that man was none other than Saint Augustine, the influence of whose writings has swayed with more might than that of an imperial sceptre the destinies of western Christendom for ages. “Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them,” saith the Lord, “I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand; and the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Woe to Randolph! he heard and would not, and his house fell, and great was the fall of it. Mankind with one voice calls Augustine and Chrysostom blessed; they heard, obeyed, and their houses stand forever; they were built upon the rock. “Their Rock is not as our Rock, our enemies themselves being judges” was the boast of Israel at an early day. With how much fuller emphasis may Christendom utter it to-day. Compare India with Britain, China with the United States, and after all other forces are measured and allowed, it will be found that the significant and self-renewing causes for the superiority of the western nations over the eastern are the presence, authority and influence of the Old and New Testament. “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life clear as crystal proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

In this beautiful book, Miss Pollard, with admirable tact and skill, has made a path by which the children may draw near to that river and drink of the water of life; and the artists whose genius has been laid under such effective contribution by the liberality of the publisher, will help the little ones to gather the leaves and pluck the fruit of that tree.

Every home in the land blessed by the presence of boys and girls will be illumined and enriched by this volume; every mother who strives to train her children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” will be signally helped by its ministry.

The letter-press will quicken the understanding and attune the ear, and the treasures of art contained in these pages will arouse the imagination and stimulate the memory of the young to lay hold upon and receive all that is contained in “the one Book — ” “Oldest Choral melody as of the heart of mankind; soft and great as the summer midnight, as the world with the seas and stars.”

No man’s education can be complete, no human life can have its full store of flowers and fruits, which is not begun, continued and ended in the ever deepening study and love of the articulate word of God.

I cannot better close this introduction than with this remarkable passage, modified to suit my purpose. “Who will say that the uncommon beauty and marvelous English of the household Bible is not the stronghold and safeguard of the literary taste and culture of this country as well as its character. It lives like a music that can never be forgotten, like the sound of church bells which the reader hardly knows how he can forego. Its felicities often seem to be almost things rather than mere words. It is part of the national mind, and the anchor of national seriousness. The memory of the dead passes into it. The potent traditions of childhood are stereotyped into its phrases. The power of all the man’s griefs and trials are hidden beneath its words. It is the representative of his best moments; and all that there has been about him of soft and gentle and pure and penitent and good, speaks to him forever out of his English Bible. It is his sacred thing, which doubt has never dimmed and controversy never soiled. It has been to him all along as the silent, yet oh, how intelligible! voice of his guardian angel, and in the length and breadth of the land there is not a Christian, with one spark of religiousness about him, whose spiritual Biography is not in his Saxon Bible.”

Washington, April, 1889.

The Child and the Bible

By Prof. David Swing.

THAT reading and study are very imperfect which do not bring to all our young people a knowledge of the general contents of the Bible. The Old and New Testaments contain the best moral and religious thought and belief of two important epochs in man’s history — the Hebrew and Christian periods. It contains the history, the wisdom, the morality, the piety and the hope of that part of the human race that made religion the chief aim of the nation and the individual. The Hebrew people was set apart for the special task of carrying forward the idea of God. That race gradually separated the real Creator from the many false divinities of the barbarian tribes and slowly built up that conception of Deity which is seen set forth in the Book of Job and in the twenty-third and nineteenth Psalms. The Book of Job and the Psalms of David are the grand autumnal fruitage of that vineyard of worship in which Enoch and Abraham were toilers in the early springtime of our world.

No such advance toward the true God would have taken place had the Mosaic race moved out of Egypt only to found a State which might build elsewhere duplicates of the pyramids of the Nile, or a State which, like Babylonia, might live only for luxury, or which, like Greece, might live only for the fine arts, or which, like Rome, might find a reason of being in wars of conquest. Divinely led, the Hebrew people migrated from Egypt that beyond the Red Sea and the Jordan they might found a republic or empire for the study and founding of the true religion. Israel stands as the wonder of the past, the only nation in all history that elected God for its king and went up into a high mountain so as to deduce its laws from the thunder and storm and from the sunlight and peace of His presence. With what success it achieved its task may be learned from reading the meditations in Job and the Psalms, and from the lofty rhapsodies of Isaiah and Malachi. When to the sacred records of that long day and night of toil and progress are added the coming of the divine Christ and the moral phenomena of the first Christian century, a book is composed at which to scoff is a proof of a weak or a wicked mind, and in which to read often and thoughtfully is evidence of a willingness to seek after the living God and to find the best answers to the many problems of life and death.

Much that is valuable in these two testaments is recorded in events or in parables, and for all young minds and for nearly all older intellects, the doctrines, the alarms, the benedictions, the promises, the hopes are treasured up in incidents which might be thrown upon canvas or carved out of marble. Faith is seen in the picture of Abraham; patriotism, courage, honor, piety in Moses; justice in the story of Lot’s wife; eternal friendship in Ruth; reckless ambition in Absalom; resignation in Job; faithfulness in Daniel; while in the New Testament the pictures offered in the Christ, the Marys, the Johns and St. Paul have been too many and too great for art to equal.

These incidents and persons of the Bible form in the mind of the one who knows them a perfect treasure-house filled with the gems of true religion. When that gifted writer who composed the hymn “Nearer my God to Thee” sat down to her task, what an imperfection would have marked her poem had she not known of Jacob’s stony pillow and beautiful dream!

Though like a wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone.

And the two following stanzas would have been wanting; nor is it probable that the writer, although a woman most gifted, could have found in all literature any compensation for her loss and our loss. In the “Battle-Hymn of the Republic,” the eloquent writer shows in her first line her memory of Simeon, and through his eyes she looked and said: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,” and in the last verse, back comes one of the most beautiful incidents in the New Testament: “In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea.”

Thus have thousands of years, in all, acted as the great time-space for attaching the Hebrew and Christian mind and heart to the persons and incidents found in the Holy Scriptures. Not to know all these Heaven-sent emblems of virtue, wisdom, piety and salvation is not only not to be a Christian, but it is to stand afar off from the honor of even a common education and the most needful culture.

For the youth of our country Josephine Pollard, a wonderful friend of all those who are living their early years, and as good a writer as she is a friend, has detached from the Bible this volume of historic incidents, and while they make a continuous record of the old and the new dispensations, they are separated from that which is too abstract to detain and impress the youngest readers. To these interesting events she has made the engraver add his art, and the picture of the pencil comes to help the picture more hidden in the words. While Christ is speaking of the “lost sheep” the picture reveals the lonely mountains and the lamb missed from the flock. While the great Teacher is speaking of the foolish virgins, the picture appears of the thoughtless ones attempting in vain to find oil for their lamps. Thus the pictures of history combine with the suggestive sketches of the artist and engraver, to make, indeed, a Bible for Young People. The authoress came to her task with rare fitness, and while the young folks are reading her volume they will find not only the religious truths they all need, but they will also find the simplicity and power of their own English language.

An Address to Children

By John H. Barrows, D.D.

The Bible the Book for the Young

GOD once said: “And thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children.” The whole Bible, Old Testament and New, was meant to be taught to the boys and girls all over the world. When I was in Egypt, fifteen years ago, I lay one beautiful moonlight night on the white sand of an island in the river Nile. It was an island away up near the equator, and as I lay there I saw beautiful trees with their long, leafy branches above me; I saw green fields reaching out on either side; I heard the old river Nile rippling over the stones in its bed; and I thought of the rich fields of cotton and wheat and sugar-cane and of the thousands of palm trees which I had seen along the river, and of all the people who had gotten their bread from the waters of the Nile, which, covering the sand of the desert, make it fertile and fruitful, and I blessed God for the Nile. Where does it come from? You have learned that the Nile springs from the snows of very high mountains away up in Abyssinia, and from two immense lakes in the center of Africa, and it carries the waters from these mountains and lakes down through Egypt, and turns a desert into a garden.

But there is another river more wonderful than the river of old Egypt. It flows down from God out of heaven, and flows over this world, and brings with it all that is beautiful and healthful and good. The waters of this river are carried off in little canals, and are brought into the homes and churches and Sunday-schools; and wherever they go tend to make lives good and happy. Little children love this River of God, and dip their cups into it and drink, and there is a voice speaking in their ears and saying: “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” There are some people who have traveled round the world and seen many very interesting lands and strange and curious people — white men, red men, black men, copper-colored men, yellow men, but they will tell you that they never saw men where the children were happy, where the homes were happy, and where people were trying to do each other good, unless this River of God went there first. This beautiful river that is doing so much for all who live on its banks, — it is the Bible, the Word of God, which tells us about Himself and about ourselves, which speaks to us of a Savior and of the life after death.

Some years ago a black prince in Africa sent a messenger to Queen Victoria, a man who was to ask her what was the reason that England was so rich and prosperous; and she sent back to this African savage something that told the whole story. What do you suppose it was? Not a rifle, not a sword, not a steam-engine, not a plow, not a sewing-machine, but a copy of the Bible. Let me tell you five things about this book, and if you know how to spell the word Bible you will find them easy to remember — B-I-B-L-E.

First, then, the Bible is a beautiful book. I do not mean as to its shape and color. It may be very lovely or it may be very plain, as it looks to your eye. I have seen Bibles that you could buy for a sixpence, and I have a New Testament that I bought for a penny. I have seen Bibles which were copied with a pen and filled with pictures on which men labored for years, and which you couldn’t buy for a thousand dollars. When I say that the Bible is a beautiful book, I mean that it is full of beautiful thoughts and beautiful pictures and beautiful stories that speak to our minds. God often talks with children through pictures. You love things that speak to you through the eye, like flowers and birds, and your dear mother’s face. Just think of some of the pictures God has given us in this Book.

I see, with my mind’s eye, a garden, large, fair, with great trees and beautiful walks, pure, clear streams with lovely flowers, with animals playing about, with two trees that were set apart from the rest, one called the Tree of Life and the other the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I see a man in this garden, and animals passing before him and hear him giving them names. Now I see a city with twelve gates, each gate a pearl. The city has walls made of twelve kinds of jewels, and the streets are of pure gold, and there is no temple in the city and no sun, but it is very glorious and wonderful. I see a beautiful River and a glorious Sea, and a great multitude of shining ones with harps in their hands, and I see a throne and One that sits thereon, more lovely and beautiful and mighty and glorious than any words can say.

The little three-year-old boy before he can read, loves to take his picture book and see things that are to him very wonderful, and when he gets a little older he loves to take a box of paints and a brush and color the pictures in some of his books. The first book I ever colored was full of Bible pictures. There was the picture of a man on the top of a hill with his son laid on a heap of stones. The father’s face was sad, and the old man was lifting a knife in his hand; and there was a sheep caught in a bush near by; and there was the figure of an angel in the sky. Then there was the picture of a young man lying on the ground, with stones under his head for a pillow, and a stairway or ladder reaching up to the heavens above, with angels going up and down. There was the picture of a boy whose father gave him a coat of many colors, and how I liked to daub on the red and yellow and blue paint, and I am afraid I took a pin and punched out the eyes in the pictures of the brothers of this boy — those brothers who, as you remember, cast him into a dry well and afterward sold him as a slave. There was a picture of a little boy lying in a little boat which was among the tall grasses of a river. There was the picture of a great tent in the desert, with altars on which fire was burning, and a great pillar of cloud resting down on it in the midst of the tent. And then far over in the book was the picture of the best Man who ever lived, taking little children in His arms, putting His hands on them and blessing them.

The Bible is a beautiful book for a great many reasons that I can’t speak of now. Its beauty is not like that of an apple blossom, which soon fades away. It grows more and more lovely as you grow older. I like to see a little child reading with happy face from this book which tells of God’s love; but it is lovelier still to see the old grandmother, who loved the Bible in childhood, putting on her spectacles and reading these words of David: “Oh, how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day. How sweet are thy words to my taste, yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Two of the most beautiful things that we ever see are gold and honey — gold, bright shining, and the honey which looks like liquid gold, shut up in little boxes of pearl. Now I am going to end what I have to say about the Bible as beautiful, by telling you what David said of the words of the Lord that are found in this book: “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honey comb.”

But the Bible is not only a beautiful book for children, but it is an interesting book. You like to read it and hear it, partly because it tells so much about children, boys and girls like you. You read in this book about two brothers, one of whom loved God, and the other did not love his brother, and slew him because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. You read about a little girl who was taken off in a certain war, and became a servant for the wife of a great general. He was a leper, and this little girl, believing in God and in God’s prophet, Elisha, told her mistress that the prophet in Israel could heal her master of his awful disease. You read the story of a little boy whose mother gave him early to the Lord, and who went to live with an old man in a great tent, which was God’s house, and who heard the voice of the Lord calling to him in the night. Did you never hear God’s voice speaking to your heart, and do you always answer as did this boy in the tabernacle at Shiloh: “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth”?

And in this Book you have read of four boys in the court of the great king of Babylon who would not defile themselves with the rich meats and the fiery wines, and who formed a boys’ temperance society in the court of the king, and who rose to high honor and great fame. Above all, you read of the perfect Child who was obedient to his earthly father and mother, and who did the will of his Heavenly Father, and who grew into the bravest, noblest, truest, most manly man that ever lived, and who died for us all — that Man whose words are, I think, the first words of the Bible that you learned by heart. I have heard of a little girl who lived where the Bible is not permitted to be read by the children. But she had a present of the good Book from her Sunday School teacher. It was discovered that she had this book; it was snatched from her and thrown into the fire. She watched it burn, while the tears rolled down her cheeks, and turning sadly away, said: “Thank God, there are fourteen chapters of the Gospel of John which they can’t burn up, for I have committed them to memory.”

The Bible interests you because it is full of wonderful things. It tells of a wonderful God who doeth marvelous things for His people. It tells of the flood which swept away the wicked world; of the plagues which fell on wicked Egypt; of the march of two millions of people through the Red Sea which God divided; it tells you of the wonderful life of the children of Israel in the desert, with God’s hand feeding them with the birds and the bread; it leads you to the foot of a great mountain, on which God came down in a chariot of fire, while the thunders roared and the trumpet blown by some mighty angel sounded loud and long, and the mountain shook and smoked like a great furnace, and all the people trembled while God gave the law which begins: “I am the Lord that brought thee out of Egypt. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

This Bible has more wonderful things than you will find anywhere else. It tells of great battles, of the sun and moon standing still, of cities falling down at the blowing of trumpets; of fire descending from heaven; it tells of shipwrecks and storms, and cruel kings, and men willing to die for the name of Jesus. It tells of God’s wonderful love, and how the Son of God came from heaven to earth and died for us on the Cross and rose from the grave. And the best thing, children, about all these Bible wonders, is this, that they are true. A wonderful God doeth wonderful things. This is a wonderful world we live in. You children know it and feel it, and some older people have got to become much wiser than they now are to be as wise as you are. Is not the Bible an interesting Book? My children will listen longer to the story of the Bible than anything else. And as you grow older, if you will only keep on studying the Bible, it will keep its interest till you die.

Children who live in cities love to ride, in summer, in the parks and see the wonderful figures which the gardeners have made with their plants and flowers, the stars and stripes, an elephant, the ball-player, a giraffe, a sun-dial, a calendar, an obelisk, sphinxes, and so forth. Now, this book is a great garden on which God has made figures that will last as long as the world lasts. There is Adam, with his face dark and sorrowful because he had sinned; there is Abel, looking up to that heaven which he, first of all men, entered; there is Noah, a preacher of righteousness, who preached many years without converting a soul, but kept on believing God; there is Abraham with a staff in his hand; there is Moses holding the wondrous rod and the book of the law; there is David with his harp; there is Paul, going forth to preach Christ; there is John, looking into heaven. The children who have the Bible taught them will find great interest in these figures. But the greatest interest in the Bible is this, that it is a sign-board pointing us to our Father’s house in Heaven.

Now, I come to the third letter. The B-I-B-L-E — is not only a Beautiful book, and an Interesting book, but it is a Blessed book. That is, it makes people happy and good, good and happy. A poor man comes from England to Chicago with his wife and three children, expecting to get work and to make him a lovely home. But he fails to get work and he has to sell many things to get bread for his family. At last he is in despair, but a good man comes to his house, learns of his need, gives him bread and gets him work; and that night the Englishman says to his wife, “Wasn’t he a blessed man to help us at this time?” But in a few days the baby of the house is taken sick and soon dies, and the good man comes again and advances money to pay for the funeral of the dear little child; and they say, “Blessed man!” again. But that night, when all is over, and the baby is laid to sleep in the cemetery, the poor man takes down the Bible and reads to his wife of Christ’s love to children, and of the beautiful world beyond, where there is no more crying and death, and the wife says, “Oh, isn’t that a blessed Book!”

Blessed Book. So the mother thinks whose boy has gone off to school or to sea. How careful she was to put a copy of the Bible in his hands and to get from him the promise to read it every day. She knows perfectly well that no great harm can come to him, if he reads and obeys what is written in the Word of God. I know a young lady who was very much distressed when in Paris several years ago because her hand-bag, a little portmanteau, had been lost. And when, after much hunting, it was found, she confessed that what distressed her most of all in the thought of losing her hand-bag was this, that it contained the little Bible which had been given to her when a child and which she had made her daily companion ever since. I hope that each of you owns a Bible which, the gift of a mother or of some dear friend, is growing more and more blessed to you as you go forward into your lives. There is much darkness in the future. You will have sorrows as well as joys. The clouds will gather. The shadows will sometimes descend and you will wonder where you are to walk, or what you are to do. But remember what David has said of this blessed Book: “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a guide to my path.”

Now, we come to the fourth letter, B-I-B-L-E. Beautiful, Interesting, Blessed, L, Life-giving. This is something better than anything we have yet said to you about the Bible. It gives life to those who are dead. You have seen a patch of ground early in the spring on which nothing was growing. But the rain falls, and the warm sunshine pours down, and the seeds in that soil burst into life and spring up and cover the earth with living plants and flowers. And so God’s Word brings its dew and sunshine on our cold, dead hearts, and the flowers of love, hope, peace and joy spring up. The Bible is like bread, like the manna which came to the children of Israel in the desert. It feeds our souls. It gives us life. How does it give us life? It teaches us about God and his great love in Jesus, and when we come to get from Him the forgiveness of our sins, when we come to know God and love God and trust in God, we have life. “This is life eternal,” said Jesus, “that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Some of you are giving money to send this Book to the heathen people. Where this Book goes it gives life like bread sent to people who are starving.

But why do we need the Bible to know about God? Do not the stars and the sun and the earth tell us that there must be a God who made all these wonderful things and rules them? Yes, they tell us that God is powerful, that He is very great, but they do not tell us that he loves us poor sinners. The Egyptians believed in God; yes, in many gods. They were, as we know, a very wise and learned people. And yet this people Moses found bowing down and worshiping cats and crocodiles and beetles. They did not know the one God who led His people, and who said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and who is not only holy, but merciful, forgiving our sins. Suppose that you were on an ocean steamer way out at sea, and she was sinking into the waves. To what or to whom would you pray? You wouldn’t pray to the waves. They would not have mercy on you. You wouldn’t pray to the stars. They wouldn’t have mercy on you. You would pray to the God who is revealed in this Book, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has said that nothing can take us from His love, neither life nor death, land nor ocean, nothing can separate us from His love.

Children, this Book tells us one thing which all need to learn, and that is, how we may gain life eternal, how we may escape from death. This Book is the story of God’s love. It is the story of Jesus, our Savior. He that has Christ in his heart has life. “I am the resurrection and the life,” said Jesus; “I am the way, the truth and the life.” If this Book does not lead you to Christ, you have failed to get from it what God gave it for. David said of the Bible: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”

We come now to the fifth letter, B-I-B-L-E Everlasting. The Bible is Beautiful, Interesting, Blessed, Life-giving, and Everlasting. It is something that does not wear out. “The word of the Lord endureth forever.” Children’s clothes wear out, as you well know. Your play-things break; your shoes don’t last; your books get torn; these bodies die; but the Bible lasts. It was good in David’s time. It was good when Christ was a child, and He read it. It was good in Paul’s time, and he added to it. It was good when Martin Luther translated it into the German language, and William Tyndale translated it into English. It lasts the way an oak tree lasts, that grows bigger and bigger and sends out little shoots that grow into other oaks and make a mighty forest. This Bible is now speaking to men in nearly three hundred different languages. It is going to be the one Book of the world. A hundred years ago a famous infidel in France, named Voltaire, foolishly published his opinion that the religion of the Bible would soon die out, but to-day men are using Voltaire’s printing-press in Geneva to publish this grand old Book. Here is something, children, that is going to last. You can stand on it safely. God is in it. When the little girl whose father was an infidel and whose mother was a Christian was dying, and she said to her father, “Shall I hold to your principles, father, or shall I turn now to my mother’s God?” the father said: “Believe in your mother’s God.”

Just before beginning a great battle on the sea, you remember that Admiral Nelson hung out a flag with these words for all to see: “England expects every man to do his duty.” And so our great General, the Captain of our salvation, expects that every boy trained up in a Christian church will do his duty. He expects that you will take this Beautiful, Interesting, Blessed, Life-giving and Eternal book and make it your guide, your compass, your rudder, your chart on the great ocean of life. He expects that you will be true men and women, honest, pure, obedient to God, loving your country and all the world. He expects that you will be faithful to duty, that you will be clean in body and in lips and mouth and eyes and heart. He expects to meet you and welcome you all in glory above.

A passenger on one of our ocean steamers found an old friend in the captain. They talked about one of their old classmates in school. Said the passenger: “I could never understand why Will did not succeed. He left college well educated, full of life and health, well-to-do. He gave up the ministry which he had intended to enter, having fallen in with some free-thinking fellows. He studied law, but gave that up and went to farming. He became a skeptic. He left his wife and farming and became a gold-seeker in California. He left this and went to Idaho. He had lost everything, and supported himself by odd jobs. I knew him there. He was not a drunkard or a gambler, but he had never succeeded. He tried something new several times a year. He was now almost mad in his opposition to the religion of the Bible. Soon he died, bitterly rebelling against God. It is wonderful that such a man should ever have come to such an end.”

The captain was silent for a while, but at last said: “Old sailors have a superstition that there are phantom ships (that is, ghosts of ships) which cross the sea. I saw a vessel once that showed me how this idea may have sprung up. It was a full-rigged bark, driving under full sail. There was no one on board. Some disease may have broken out, and all the sailors had left. I could not capture her, though I tried. Several months later I passed her again. Her topmast was gone; her sails were in rags; the wind drove her where it would. A year later she came in sight one stormy winter night. She was a shattered hulk and went down at last in the darkness and storm. She was a good ship at first, but,” added the captain, “she had lost her rudder.” Boys and girls, young men and women, I pray you, on this voyage of life, not to lose the rudder by which, in the storm, you may hold the ship true to the harbor.

History of the Old Testament

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