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places the whole living man before you. The student of the Bible sees Jonathan, the friend of David, as plainly as ever an American saw Lafayette, the friend of Washington. He knows Ahithophel as perfectly as an enlightened Frenchman knows Talleyrand. He understands Hushai the Archite as well as an old Virginian understands the character of Patrick Henry. And he becomes as well acquainted with Joab as the Tennesseean is acquainted with General Jackson.

The following book was prepared with a view of introducing the reader to the great men and the thrilling scenes of the Bible, and with a belief that thus many might be led to take a deeper interest in the sacred volume. The experiment has been successful. Rev. Thomas Brainard, pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, writes, June 6, 1849, "I have reason to love the book. Mrs. Judge Burnet, of Cincinnati, sent a single copy to my little son in Philadelphia, when he was eight years old. He read it six times through and through. He literally devoured its contents; he learned to repeat its dialogues; he set to work to search out the Bible history on which it is founded ; — and after three

eyes still sparkle when any thing in the Bible recalls to his mind Adam and David's Pilgrimage. His book has been lent with a similar result in other families. It is now lent in Massachusetts. This is the only copy I have personally seen; but I hope the youth of our land will see thousands."

A Missouri senator met me in the streets of St. Louis. “Why, sir,” said he, “I have been reading your book. I never knew there were such interesting characters and scenes in the Old Testament. I thought it was all fulfilled and done away. But now I have set in to read it through, and I am greatly interested, and I hope profited.” Such testimony has been received from many others. May the Lord cause the publication to promote his glory and the prosperity of his Zion.

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The writer of the following work respectfully presents his book to you. His object is, to encourage you to study the Bible; not as a book of religion merely, but as the great storehouse of general knowledge. No book takes hold of the four corners of the human mind, and “ lifts it up,” like the book that God has written.

Almost every American has felt that there was an intellectual superiority possessed by Dr. Franklin, which caused him to shine as a luminary of the first magnitude among the worthies of the revolution. You take up a newspaper ; you cast your eye on the first

Debates in Congress.” Perhaps you will not read them. On the second page you see, “ Dissertation on Political Economy." This, also, you pass over. On the third page you find, “ Anecdote of Franklin." You are sure to read it. Among Americans, nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand will read it.


and see

There is an intellectual charm about Franklin, that is felt by the whole American people.

Why is this? What was it that imparted to the mind of Franklin that clearness and power which were so conspicuous through all his history?

I answer, that one prominent reason is this : Early in life, his fine intellect was enriched with an uncommonly intimate and thorough acquaintance with the sacred Scriptures; and the Bible-reading habit, which he formed when very young, he continued to cultivate until old age. This appears on almost every page of his public life. Few, if any, of the political men of that day, approached him in the accuracy and extent of his scriptural knowledge; and this is one chief reason why Franklin towered “ a head and shoulders" above his fellows, in, perhaps, every assembly of which he was a member.

An anecdote or two will illustrate this subject.

When quite a youth, Franklin went to London, entered a printing-office, and inquired if he could get employment as a printer ?

“Where are you from?” inquired the foreman of the establishment.

America,” was the reply.

The English, at that time, had an opinion, sufficiently prevalent among them yet, that America is a land of wild, uncultivated forests, and of wild, uncultivated minds.

“Ah,” said the foreman, “from America ? A lad from America seeking employment as a printer. Well, do you really understand the art of printing? Can you set type ? "

Franklin stepped to one of the cases, and in a very brief space, set up the following passage, from the first chapter of the Gospel by St. John: “Nathanael saith unto him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.” It was done so quick, so accurately, and contained a delicate reproof, so appropriate and powerful, that it at once gave him standing and character with all who were in the office.

Similar anecdotes, in great numbers, might be given. I shall at present, however, mention but one more.

When, after the declaration of independence, Franklin was minister from the United States to France, he was invited to dine with a French nobleman, in company with the British ambassador. After dinner, they were taking a glass of wine, and it was proposed that each should give a sentiment, or toast. The Englishman led the way, and gave, "George the Third: like the Sun in his meridian glory, he is the admiration of the world !”

The French nobleman followed next, and gave,

“ The Queen of France: like the Moon in her bright path through the heavens, she enlightens and influences the earth."

Both now turned to Franklin, confident that he was thrown very far into the back ground. But Franklin, with great composure, took up his glass, and gave,

George Washington : like Joshua of old, he commands the Sun and the Moon to stand still, and they obey him.”

Many have an impression, that as the Bible is a book of religion, religious improvement is the only benefit to be derived from its perusal. The mistake is mischievous. It is true, the Bible is the great source of religious instruction. Its chief design is to teach us to glorify God and prepare for a future world. But it is also true, that it is the great magazine of useful knowledge; and that an intimate acquaintance with its sacred pages, is immensely profitable for the “life that now is," as well as for the “life that is to come.”

You have never seen a man "mighty in the Scriptures,' but that man was very respectable for his general knowledge. You have never seen a grossly ignorant man, a grossly ignorant family, a grossly ignorant neighborhood, but that man, that family, that neighborhood, had grossly neglected the book of God

Now, the Bible is not read. This is a reading age. But alas! a large portion of the reading community do not read the Bible. Their time is spent in reading light, frothy, vapid trash, "written by a moonbeam, and dictated by the nightmare," while the golden treasures of God's book are neglected. There are many instances of men, in public life, who go halting all their days, because, in their education, that best foundation of general knowledge was not laid. They go through life a laughing-stock to Sabbath school children, because they are ignorant of the book of God.

I will give a few examples.

An editor of one of our newspapers, when giving an obituary notice of a worthy man, remarks,“ We may say of him, as the Holy Scriptures have so beautifully expressed it,

“ An honest man 's the noblest work of God."

A certain lawyer, pleading for an old culprit, makes this appeal : “ You know, gentlemen of the jury, that the Bible says,

“While the lamp holds out to burn,
The vilest sinner may return.”

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Two members of a state legislature, at the close of the session, addressed a circular to their constituents: “We hope the course we have pursued, and the votes we have given, will meet your approbation. We hope you will say to us, as Nathan said to David, 'Well done, good and faithful servants.'

“Mr. Speaker,” said a member of a legislative body, earnestly opposing a measure before the house, —“Mr. Speaker, I would no more vote for that bill, than I would fall down and worship the golden calf that Abraham made.”

“Mr. Speaker,” said another member, “the gentleman is wrong. It was not Abraham that made the golden calf; it was Nebuchadnezzar."

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