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said, “Behold this dreamer cometh,” and cast him into a pit, and afterwards knew the dreamer as the master of Egypt and their own protector. They have not changed since Moses, accepting his own doom, said to Israel:

The eternal God is thy refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;

nor since Ruth said to her husband's mother:

Intreat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

They have not changed since David triumphed over Goliath or Samson succumbed to the craft of Delilah.

If we turn to the New Testament, where in all the literature of all peoples shall we find a more moving story than this?

And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering, said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a Prophet, mighty in deed and word before God, and all the people. And how the chief Priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he, which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the Sepulchre; and when they found not his body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of Angels, which said

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Photo: Hanfstaengl.


The Hermitage, St. Petersburg “And the Angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”—Genesis xxii.

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that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us, went to the Sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said, but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses, and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went, and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us, for it is towards evening, and the day is far spent: And he went in, to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him, and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one unto another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?

Simplicity and beauty of narrative can go no further.

Other Hebrew Poetry

The sacred associations of the New Testament make it difficult to treat some of its most sublime passages as literature. In a lower degree the same may be said of the Old Testament. But there is a portion of Hebrew literature which, being apart from the whole and yet of it, can be studied with deep advantage and may even be the best door by which to enter the subject. We refer, of course, to the Apocrypha. At the age of sixty-three Dr. Samuel Johnson, the best-read man of his time, and one of the best-read men of all time, wrote in his diary, “I have never yet read the Apocrypha.” Inasmuch as the Apocrypha contains literature of surpassing beauty, and a wisdom of life hardly less exalted than any that we find in the Old Testament, this was a strange confession. It went, indeed, a little farther than the facts, for Johnson added, “I have sometimes looked into the Maccabees, and read a chapter containing the question, Which is

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the strongest?—I think in Esdras.” The story is one of the finest in the Apocrypha. It tells how three young men of the guard of King Darius proposed that they should compete for the utmost favour of the King, to sit next to him, and to be called his cousin; and that the winner of this essay competition (for such in fact it was) should be he who most wisely answered the question, “What is the strongest thing in the world?”

The first wrote, “Wine is the strongest,” and gave his reasons; the second wrote, “The King is the strongest,” and gave his reasons; the third wrote, “Women are strongest, but above all things truth beareth away the victory.” They read their replies before the King and a great concourse. The third competitor showed that women had borne the King, and all rulers, and all people, and that they led and ruled all men by their love and beauty, and their spells. But he concluded:

Great is the truth, and stronger than all things. All the earth calleth upon the truth, and the heaven blesseth it, all works shake and tremble at it, and with it is no unrighteous thing.

Wine is wicked, the King is wicked, women are wicked, all the children of men are wicked, and such are all their wicked works, and there is no truth in them. In their unrighteousness also they shall perish.

As for the truth it endureth, and is always strong, it liveth and conquereth evermore.

With her there is no accepting of persons, or rewards, but she doeth the things that are just, and refraineth from all unjust and wicked things, and all men do well like of her works. Neither in her judgment is any unrighteousness,

. and she is the strength, kingdom, power and majesty of all ages. Blessed be the God of truth.

All the people shouted assent, and Darius told the young man to ask of him what he would, “and more than was appointed in the writing,” and to sit next to him, and be called his cousin.

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