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THE OLD BIBLE NOT OUT OF DATE.
The Bible Society Record, published America. In this fistieth year of the queen's monthly by the American Bible Society, reign there is only one great language which gives, in its July number, some addresses
has not a complete translation of the Scripdelivered at the eighty-seventh anniversary tures, namely, the Japanese. I am told that of the British and Foreign Bible Society. its place in the Japanese language. ...
take This was an anniversary of more than ordi
Probably most of you know that colportnary interest on account of its falling within
age by devoted Christian men is one of the the year of the Victorian jubilee, the semi- most interesting branches of Bible work. centennial of the present reign.
These men go about with apostolic zeal, unThe Earl of Harrowby, president of the dergoing hardships worthy of the first censociety, in his address illustrated the prog
tury of Christianity, offering the Bible to
whoever will buy it, and explaining from ress of the Bible Society's work in the half
their own personal experience its value. century by some striking comparisons, a
Fifty years ago this branch of the work was part of which we quote:
in its infancy. Two French bankers, I beFifty years ago our receipts were £100,000; lieve, had the honor of beginning the movenow they are nearly £225,000. Fifty years ment. In the year 1887 you have in Europe ago the auxiliary societies amounted at home three hundred natives of the various counto 2370; now they are over 5300. Abroad tries employed in this blessed work. Elseyou had 260 auxiliaries and branches fifty where, chiefly in India, there are two hunyears ago.
You have now 1500. Fifty dred. years ago the annual issue of the Bible and
England and Wales take annually 1,400,portions of it from this society was 600,000; 000 copies of the blessed book. Australia, now it is about 4,000,000. The cheapest India and the Cape take 600,000. People copy of the book, half a century back, was tell
that the Continent does not care for issued at about two shillings; now the price the Bible. Remember, when we are talking is sixpence. The cheapest Testament then of this matter, that nineteen-twentieths of was tenpence; the cheapest is now Lord our books are sold at their proper value. Shaftesbury's, and the price is a penny.
We do not give them away except in very And that is not done by any grinding of the peculiar cases; so that the people who take people who produce these works. One of them show that they value them by being the first questions I asked when I had the willing to make sacrifices to obtain them. honor of being called to occupy this chair Does the Continent not care for the Bible? was, how were the work people treated who France alone, that great sister country, takes manufactured the cheap Bibles; and by the 124,000 copies of the Scriptures annually. testimony, not only of ourselves, but of the Belgium, which we suppose would not be outside press, I have assured myself that very anxious on the subject, consumes 7000; there is neither overwork nor underpay. Holland, 30,000; Germany and Switzerland, Fifty years ago the Scriptures were circu- 363,000; Italy, so long closed to us, 130,000; lated in one hundred and thirty-six lan- Spain even, 56,000; Denmark, 46,000; and, guages; now they are circulated in two hun- marvel of marvels, Russia, 450,000. Turkey dred and eighty. Fifty years ago fourteen takes 50,000; Egypt something like the fresh languages of Europe had been honored same number; India, 250,000. This is a by Bible publication. Now the Bible has sort of rough picture of where your books been published in twelve fresh languages in go; and as they are books calling for some central Asia and Siberia, twelve in India, little sacrifices on the part of the individuals fourteen in China and Mongolia, nineteen to obtain them, it is a picture, not of dry in the Pacific, thirty in Africa and thirty in statistics, but of a subject holding forth great encouragement, for which we ought to thank that blessed book is the way in which it has Almighty God.
been found to suit every race, every tongue,
every nation and every class in the last fifty He frankly confesses that this progress years. Take the most degraded races that ought to be greater, and that in view of the commerce could not modify and politicians increase of population, wealth and luxuries, could not improve; when the Bible was there is even some reason for shame. Yet brought to them they were raised at oncehe properly assumes that the progress actu
placed in a higher intellectual and moral ally made calls for devout thankfulness to
The same thing has happened
with regard to classes. You have taken him by whose grace it has been accom
the Bible to every class, from the highest to plished.
the lowest, with the most beneficial results. Then, turning from this statistical view, Look at the bar; look at the church; look he calls attention to the hold which the at the navy. You will find man after man Bible has upon minds and hearts, thus : holding most prominent positions in secular
affairs, and proud to acknowledge that he What have the past fifty years done with bows down before the Bible. In the workregard to strengthening faith in the Bible? ing classes you find a marvellously-increasing Assuredly these years have been remarkable interest in the Bible. A few weeks ago
I - period of extraordinary intellectual act- was in a Staffordshire town, and I found a ivity and general unrest of mind; but if you hundred workingmen weekly attending the go now into the company of any men who Bible class. Last week, again, in a corner are conversant with the science of the day, of Whitechapel, I heard the same storywould
who would venture to one hundred artisans attending the Bible lay down boldly before his compeers the class week after week. Among your sailors proposition that the Bible had been proved there is a serious interest in the Bible. to be an imposture? Go to Germany, or Among the soldiers crowds of them are wherever you like, where criticism has been studying it. The fishermen in their most keen, and, instead of finding people weaker perilous voyages in the northern seas pay on the subject of faith in the Bible, you will large prices for the Holy Scriptures in order find them stronger than ever, in spite of the to study them. As for the poor, you find criticism to which the book has been sub- them putting by their pennies to buy the jected. The past fifty years have almost Bible. I say, therefore, that the evidence seen a repetition of the gift of tongues, be- of the last fifty years, whether you look at cause we have translations of the Bible in the upper classes, at the working classes, the something like a hundred and forty tongues. poorest of the poor, or whether you look at Many of these were previously unwritten the savage tribes, the evidence for the Bible tongues, which had known not a word of
is stronger than it ever has been before. literature before. Again, I say, what have Let us go on with our work, with our faith the fifty years done to strengthen our faith strengthened by the rich harvest of the half in the Bible? There is not a place in the century us not abate one jot or tittle East from which testimony does not come of faith in that book. Let us feel that it is from the mounds excavated, the old towns an enormous honor, and very cheering to us, investigated and the countries mapped out- to be enabled once a year to put aside all the to the truth of the Bible. Topographical differences that sever the Christian churches researches in Palestine, excavations in. Bab- and to unite in the most cordial and most ylon, Nineveh and the like, all have con- friendly way in this great work of circulating tributed to place the historical accuracy of that blessed Bible, to which England, our the Bible on a broader basis than ever. empire and the world owes so much, and And a much more touching testimony to will owe more in the future.
A Christian woman on the Pacific coast, latter direction. While we are urging the after reading our July number, especially church to consider whether there should not the article on page 21 entitled “ Begin at be greater readiness to furnish needed means Jerusalem,” was moved to write the vigor- for educating and supporting ministers, it ous and discriminating article which we behooves ministers and students for the give below. She was modest enough to ex- ministry to cultivate a brave and generous press her willingness that her manuscript readiness to go wherever they may be should go to the waste-basket if we should needed, wherever the Lord hath need of think that better than to send it to the them, and to endure hardness as good solprinter; but we think it right to give it the diers of Jesus Christ.
“ BEGIN AT JERUSALEM.” Yes, “ begin at Jerusalem,” but be sure igent in business, but fervent in spirit, seekand begin.
ing in every way to mould public sentiment Somebody says that we have in our synod for the future good of the country in the 165 ministers and 160 churches, with only way of good order, temperance and true 40 settled pastors.
What is the matter? Christianity. His name is revered throughIn the city we learn how plentiful ministers out the state which was so recently a terriare when a luncheon is given to a presby- tory. Is it harder for a disciple chosen of tery or synod. We women sometimes meet the Lord, and educated for the express purto make wearing apparel for a minister's pose of carrying his gospel to every creature, family who are trying to live on a small to bear such trials in a new country than for salary. That is well, but the core of the a business man? Christ preached the gospel matter is not reached in that way. Vacant in far-away towns, and sent his disciples out churches need to be supplied in frontier also, and afterward sent the seventy “into towns that are fast filling up with infidels every city and place." We Presbyterians are and Romanists from European countries. I very careful to follow apostolic teaching in have now in mind one dear little church many particulars. Let us be equally careful that is paid for, but no minister will stay about this matter. We all need more of the there. What is the reason? The salary is spirit and power of the Holy Ghost. good; it is a far-away place, but what of Some churches have bishops, who travel that? Business men are there, a plenty of through the by-ways of our continent and them, for purposes of gain. They can bear learn the needs of the people, and they have the isolation from the great centres of influ- the power to appoint preachers to fill the ence. I have now in mind a Christian man pulpits for a certain length of time. The who was a pioneer many years ago in a command is imperative, and the men must go. western wilderness, who in his travels fre- The question with our church with the quently met bears and wolves, and with his system which now prevails is, How shall we wife and daughter met hostile Indians who fill our pulpits, and thus do our work well were on the war path, but they were un- at home, that foreign lands may be blessed harmed. This man has not only been dil- thereby?
BABIES ON HORSEBACK. I am going to tell my little readers how babies, were living at Sidon on the sea little children travel in Syria. Two little coast, and their horseback journey was to girls, so young that they both may be called Schweifat, a village some way up the mount ain. A swift horse with a young man on
it can be carried in the arms of a man or his back could make that journey in four or woman, or the child can be in one box five hours, but such babies and their mother and the food or something else that they would have to ride more slowly, and to stop have to carry can balance it in the other. oftener to rest. So it took them eleven I have several times met a family in that hours and a half to make the journey. country travelling with a donkey, the man They started from Sidon at three o'clock in on foot leading the animal, on which his the morning, and they did not reach Schwei- wife rode carrying her babe in her arms. fat until after two o'clock in the afternoon. It always made me think of the journey
But how do you suppose such little ones which Joseph and Mary and the infant Jesus can ride on horseback? This is the way took, from Bethlehem to Egypt, almost 1900 their mother tells it:
years ago. You had the story of that jour“Mohammed arranged two boxes with a ney in one of the Sabbath-school lessons in light framework above each, so that we July, and you had all read or heard it many could cover them above and all around times before. Perhaps, after reading this, with blue calico curtains. How I wish you you will like to get a map and find Bethlecould have seen them !"
hem, and try to make out how many days She then explains that these two boxes it would take for such a family to travel to were fastened by straps or cords passing Egypt. It will help you in this to find over the back of the horse so as to hold Sidon on the map, and see about how far it them, one box on each side of his body. is along the coast to Beirut. If Schweifat
The babies were carried out of the city, is not on your map, you may know that it along its narrow and roughly-paved streets, is four or five miles from the coast, up the in the arms of their father and Mohammed, side of the mountain which there rises right and then they were laid in their boxes on up
and it is about as far souththe sides of the horse, under their blue calico ward of Beirut. They could have gone all curtains, and were soon asleep. Their the way along the coast; but it was better father and mother rode on saddles on other to go up the mountain side to Schweifat, so horses, and a man walked beside the horse as to ride from there in a carriage; and that carried the babies, to guide him and to perhaps it was a little cooler up there, in take care of them. Once the horse kicked the middle of the day, than it would be the man with both his hind feet, but did not down on the coast. hurt him much, and did not spill the chil- If Beirut is not on the map which you dren out of their boxes. They all came have, you can look at Tyre, which is nearly safely to Schweifat. From that place to as far south as Beirut is north of Sidon on Beirut there is a good road, and they made the coast. the rest of their journey comfortably in a You know how often “the coasts of Tyre carriage. Probably they could drive that and Sidon” are mentioned in the Bible; in about one hour.
and you know what great and powerful In only a few places in Syria do they cities Tyre and Sidon were. have carriage roads, and I wish to let you Perhaps I ought to tell you who the see how they do most of their travelling. Mohammed is of whom I have spoken.
I do not think that there is any better You know something about the great Moway for two little children to ride than in hammed who lived in Arabia more than such boxes. When there is only one child, twelve hundred years ago, and who claimed to be a prophet of God. The people who greater, and they do not acknowledge Jesus believe in him are called Mohammedans, as the Son of God. and sometimes Moslems. It is not uncom- This Mohammed in Sidon works for the mon for
any of them to name a son Moham- missionaries a great deal. He can oversee med, just as Jews and Christians name their the building of a house, or a school-house; sons Elijah, or Isaiah, or Moses.
he can make furniture for them; he can My friend Mohammed in Sidon is one of help them when they travel, and can do those. I call him my friend because when many kinds of business for them. He is I was in Sidon he was very kind to me, and faithful. I found him a very polite and gentlemanly There are such Mohammedans. I have
He does many kind and helpful met more than one. I have also seen a few things for the missionaries.
who have become Christians. Ought not He believes, as all Moslems do, in one we to pray
be God, who is a spirit and cannot be seen by that our missionary friends may be helped our eyes, and must not be represented by to live such good lives among them that images or pictures. Their name for God is they will say, as a Moslem woman in Persia Allah. They also believe that Jesus was a said to a Christian woman, “ Yours is a great prophet, but that Mohammed is a blessed religion"?
H. A. N.
A good number of our little readers have Farmers' boys who drive oxen know that written to me just as I asked them to do in sometimes a yoke of oxen get the bad habit the July number, telling me what they have of hauling. Instead of pulling together at found in the Bible about oxen. One little the load or the plough, so that the strength girl's mother writes, with her daughter, ex- of both will be united to draw it forward, pressing her thanks for “sending the chil- they pull apart, each trying to haul the dren upon pleasing errands to God's holy other toward his side. So a great part of word.” She kindly says, “The mothers their strength is wasted. In just such a welcome any such suggestion that familiar- way sometimes when two persons ought to be izes our children with the precious Book of yoke-fellows, instead of agreeing together books."
and using all their united strength to carry I believe that my little friends have been a good work right forward, each spends a surprised to find oxen spoken of in so many great part of his time and strength in tryplaces in the Bible, and in so many ways.
ing to make the other let it be done in just Oxen are made to teach us by their exam- his way. They make me think of hauling ple of patient obedience and of trust in their owners. Their bearing the yoke and their Oxen that are quite obedient to their pulling together in one yoke are made to driver do not get this bad habit. When the show how submissively we should yield our- driver says “Haw!” they both turn together selves to the service of Christ, and how we to the left; when he says “Gee!" they both should join ourselves helpfully to one an- turn together to the right; and when he has other in such service.
made them understand by his voice or the moI have seen oxen that did not do this. tions of his whip which way he wishes them