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bor and every man his brother, saying


the Lord," for they shall know Me from the least of them and unto the greatest of them.'


Adopted by the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society February 4, 1904.



And now let me say that the President, in his hearty message of good cheer, and the American Bible Society in their more formal address, have but spoken the sentiments of the entire people of the United States, who have justified from the beginning the cordial and hearty support which you have given to the American Bible Society for the last eighty-six years.

I was going to say that the American Bible Society is your own offspring, but, inasmuch as you yourselves were only twelve years old when it came into being, I must regard you as our elder sister, and our elder sister it was who showed us the way, who encouraged us in our small beginning, who sent us a grant of five hundred pounds from her treasury to start with, which was a tremendous help in those days, and who has ever since been leading the way which we have been glad to follow.

Let me say one word more about the American Bible Society. Like yourselves, it has had its struggles and its triumphs. Like yourselves, it has an immense work on hand. Like yourselves, it finds the demand far greater than the supply

that it is able to furnish. It is no small undertaking to keep eighty millions of people supplied with a Bible in every house, and that has been their ambition. And then they have to meet about eight hundred thousand immigrants from foreign lands every year as they land in New York and other parts of the country, and I am sorry to say that they are not always provided with Bibles, and the Society has to take care of them. But with all that, I think its records will show, as in the past, that now and in the future, it can be relied on to do almost as much for foreign lands as it does for its own people at home.

Now this great harvest which this centenary demonstrates, is only, after all, what has grown up from the little seed which, nearly three hundred years ago, your fathers and our fathers united in planting in the distant wilderness. When the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in the Mayflower in 1620, and when, eight years afterwards, the great Puritan immigration from old England to New England set in, they carried with them, our fathers and the brothers of your fathers, carried with them, as their best possession - in fact, the only one which was to have a lasting value King James's Bible, upon which their infant State was built. It was their only book - their only readable book. I have read catalogues of the books which some who were best off among them had, and the Bible was the only readable book, and that was readable by every man, woman and child. It was the ark of their covenant, and, really, they

did find, within those sacred covers, their shelter from the stormy blast and their eternal home. Their faith was founded upon it, and having no other book, you can realize how there they stood to find, not their religion only, but their literature, their biographies, their voyages and travels, their poetry, such as no poets have ever since produced, and that magnificent march of history from the beginning, and they searched and found in it the golden rules of life.

I do not know that I can more forcibly bring before you how completely the Bible was their one treasure, than by describing one of the few family Bibles that have come down from those days to ours the only legacy that has reached the remote posterity of the family to which it belonged. It was read twice a day in every family by the head of the household, with all the members gathered about him, going in at Genesis and coming out at Revelations, the whole journey being accomplished twice every year between January and December. Dog's-eared? Dog's-eared?-that is a mild term to express its condition, for its leaves were absolutely worn away by the pious thumbs that had turned them. It was really the fact that New England, in its first generation, was the most biblical community on the face of the earth. Their laws, their customs, their language, their habits, were founded upon it, and in it they found their sole guide of life.

Let me read a word from one of the greatest of their descendants, Phillips Brooks, that most

noble product of New England culture, himself a true descendant of their blood. He said worthily of them (I could not begin to find language equal to his in point of expression): "It never frightened a Puritan when you bade him stand still and listen to the voice of God. His closet and his church were full of the reverberations of the awful, gracious, beautiful voice for which he listened. He made little, too little, of sacraments and priests, because God was so intensely real to him. What should he do with lenses who stood thus full in the torrent of the sunshine?"

Our New England fathers, with the Bible as the basis of their lives, realized that prayer of Erasmus, uttered one hundred years before they found foothold upon Plymouth Rock, a prayer which it was often dangerous to breathe in those early days: "I wish the Gospels were translated into the languages of all people, that they might be read and known not only by the Scotch and the Irish and the English, of course, but even by the Turks and the Saracens. I wish that the husbandman may sing parts of them at his plow; that the weaver may warble them at his shuttle; that the traveler may, with their narration, beguile the weariness of the way."

Well, our Pilgrim Fathers were exactly the kind of men that you might expect them to have been. I wish you would just imagine, for one moment, what our lives would be if, like them, the Bible were our only book. No newspapers, no weeklies, no magazines, no novels, no libraries, no school

reading of any kind. I only hope that we, like them, would find our refuge where they so safely found theirs.

In the days of their greatest poverty and distress, they founded Harvard College, in order, as they said, that the supply of learned and godly ministers might never fail, and they gave it a motto which holds to this day: "To Christ and the Church," and, what means the same thing, Veritas " (truth), and then they founded the great State of Massachusetts, which I shall not ask you for one moment to hear about. I can only say what Mr. Webster says of her: "Massachusetts, she needs no eulogy. There she stands; behold her and judge for yourselves."

If you ask me what more has come of it, what other good things founded upon the Bible, besides Plymouth Rock and Boston, I should say that a very large share of the good which has been wrought out in America from the beginning is traceable to their pious efforts, that if the common schools have found their way from the Atlantic to the Pacific; if slavery has been abolished; if the whole land has been changed from a wilderness into a garden of plenty, from ocean to ocean; if education has been fostered according to the best light of each generation since then; if industry, frugality and sobriety are the watchwords of the nation, as I believe them to be, I say it is largely due to those first emigrants, who landing with the English Bible in their hands and in their hearts, and assisted by men like themselves here

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