Friday, April 20, 2018

His Name Is Jesus

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

       In one sense, there is nothing in a name. The nature of the thing is independent of it. It is not in the power of any name to make evil good, or good evil; and our Savior, Jesus Christ, would have been what He is, by whatever name He had been called. But in another view there is something in a name. It stands for the thing, and, through frequent use, comes to be identified with it. It is therefore of the highest moment that the name should correspond with the thing, and convey a correct idea of it. Exactness of thought requires exactness of language. Knowledge depends for its accuracy on the right use of words, and the great instructors of mankind are as careful of the expression as of the idea. Words are things. We deal with them, not as sounds but as substances, and look not so much at them as at the verities in them. Names are persons. When one is mentioned in our hearing, it brings the man before us, and awakens the feelings which would be excited if he were present himself.
       Now, we may see this, above all, in the adorable name of Jesus. That name, above all others, ought to show us what a name means; for it is the name of the Son of Man, the one perfect and sinless man, the pattern of all men; and therefore it must be a perfect name, and a pattern for all names. And it was given to the Lord not by man, but by God; and therefore it must show and mean not merely some outward accident about Him, something which He seemed to be, or looked like, in men's eyes; no, the name of Jesus must mean what the Lord was in the sight of His Father in Heaven; what He was in the eternal purpose of God the Father; what He was, really and absolutely, in Himself; it must mean and declare the very substance of His being. And so, indeed, it does; for the adorable name of Jesus means nothing else but God the Savior - God who saves. This is His name, and was, and ever will be. This name He fulfilled on earth, and proved it to be His character, His exact description, His very name, in short, which made Him different from all other beings in heaven or earth, create or un-create; and therefore He bears His name to all eternity, for a mark of what He has been, and is, and will be forever - God the Savior; and this is the perfect name, the pattern of all other names of men. Amiel's Journal

Focus Your Thinking & Lather up with a bit of SOAP:
Scripture: "and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
Observation: It is interesting here that the illustrator chooses to begin the book of Matthew by illustrating a cross in the very place where the scripture is describing the birth of Jesus. But it is also fitting in that the whole story of Jesus' life revolves around it's end. We are given a clue by an angelic messenger in the scripture I have chosen to focus on. The angel tells Joseph in a dream that he is to name his first born son Jesus because the name means "deliverance." And the angel goes even further to explain to Joseph that this is the purpose for him being born, to deliver his people from their sins, not to deliver them from political forces, human kingdoms or even pain and suffering... but from themselves. He was born to deliver us from the very nature of sin itself.
Application: And so the very mystery of both our beginning long ago in the garden of Eden, as a fallen people and the mysterious story of Jesus as our deliverer begin in this collected work we call the Bible. Our story in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament and His story in Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.
Prayer: My dear, sweet Lord, open my heart and mind to the mysteries of your testaments as I study and illuminate your precious words. Amen

Focus On Illustrating & Illuminating The Scripture:
      The illustrator chose to begin the book of Matthew with the end of Christ's life, as shown his hand nailed to the cross, in my Creative Bible. I included a little traced sketch of baby Jesus on tracing paper next to my colored interpretation of the crucifixion scene because the name Jesus means deliverer. This is the cycle of the life of Christ at a glance.
      My Creative Bible shown below is a coloring bible, but it also comes as a note taker's bible as well, for those who would prefer it without illustrations. Of all the coloring bibles I own, this one is in my opinion, the most challenging to finish. However, each coloring bible has it's own unique perspective and I will be sharing more of these in the future.
Above, you can see the beginning pages that I am working on in the Gospel of Matthew.
On the left is the tipped in, drawing of baby Jesus from the back side and on the right is what it looks like from the front. I used a permanent ink pen to trace my image (a baby in a basket of bunting and cotton) on tracing paper.
Focus On Listening
"His Name is Jesus" sung by Fred Hammond

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Eve and The Serpent

"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." James 1:14

Eve and The Serpent
Serpent. Not eat? not taste? not touch?
not cast an eye
Upon the fruit of this fair tree? and why?
Why eat'st thou not what Heav'n ordained
for food?
Or canst thou think that bad which Ileav'n
called good?
Why was it made, if not to be enjoyed?
Neglect of favors makes a favor void ;
Blessings unused pervert into a waste
As well as surfeits. Woman, do but taste.
See how the laden boughs make silent suit
To be enjoyed; look how their bending fruit
Meet thee half-way; observe but how they
crouch
To kiss thy hand; coy woman, do but touch;
Mark what a pure vermilion touch has dyed
Their swelling cheeks, and how for shame
they hide
Their palsy heads, to see themselves stand by
Neglected: woman, do but cast an eye.
What bounteous Heav'n ordained for use
refuse not;
Come, pull and eat: y' abuse the thing ye
use not.

Eve. Wisest of beasts, our great Creator
did
Reserve this tree, and this alone forbid ;
The rest are freely ours, which doubtless are
As pleasing to the taste, to the eye as fair;
But, touching this, His strict commands are
such,
'Tis death to taste, no less than death to
touch.

Serpent. Pish! death's a fable; did not
Heav'n inspire
Your equiil elements with living fire.
Blown from the spring of life? Is not that
breath
Immortal? Come, ye are as free from death
As He that made you. Can the flames
expire
Which He has kindled? Can ye quench His
fire?
Did not the great Creator's voice proclaim
Whate'er He made, from the blue-spangled
frame
To the poor leaf that trembles, very good?
Blessed He not both the feeder and the
food?
Tell, tell me, then, what danger can accrue
From such blessed food, to such half gods
as you?
Curb needless fears, and let no fond conceit
Abuse your freedom; woman, take and eat.

Eve. 'Tis true we are immortal; death is
yet
Unborn, and, till rebellion make it death,
Undue; I know the fruit is good, until
Presumptuous disobedience make it ill.
The lips that open to this fruit 's a portal
To let in death, and make immortal mortal.

Serpent. You cannot die; come, woman,
taste and fear not.

Eve. Shall Eve transgress? I dare not,
oh! I dare not.

Serpent. Afraid? why draw'st thou back
thy tim'rous arm?
Harm only falls on such as fear a harm.
Heav'n knows and fears the virtue of this
tree;
'Twill make you perfect gods as well as He.
Stretch forth thy hand, and let thy fondness
never
Fear death; do, pull and eat, and live for-
ever.

Eve. 'Tis but an apple; and it is as good
To do as to desire. Fruit's made for food:
I'll pull, and taste, and tempt my Adam too
To know the secrets of this dainty.

Serpent. Do.

Francis Quarles.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Responsibility of The Christian

"To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel." Luke 1: 79, 80

       The question, Where is thy brother? comes to those who follow Christ, not only as it comes to other men, but also with another meaning, a meaning which enables us to give a very blessed answer to it. Abel was a type of Christ. Abel's sacrifice is the first recorded type of the sacrifice on Calvary. He who died on the cross is our Brother. As we hear the voice of God calling to us, Where is thy brother? we answer, Here is our Brother, crucified for sin, buried, risen, ascended, seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, ever interceding for us. It is a new demand, a new question.

O sweetest Blood, that can implore
Pardon of God, and heaven restore,
The heaven which sin had lost:
While Abel's blood for vengeance pleads,
What Jesus shed still intercedes
For those who wrong Him most.

       And not only is Jesus the Brother about whom the question is asked of each of us, Where is thy brother? but in Him we all are brethren. Again, the question comes with a new meaning. "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." Accordingly the perfect life does not consist in the cultivation of an isolated personal perfection. Christ lived in God; He was detached from the world, He spent whole nights in prayer; but the account of Him is incomplete until we add, "He went about doing good." "He came to seek and to save the lost." "As I have loved you," He said. In these solitary hours which He spent in communion with the Father He renewed the fires of His love for men, maintained and augmented His strength for serving them. While deepening His own delight in the Father's love. He added intensity to His passion for raising the most miserable of mankind into the same transcendent blessedness. And so the true imitation of Christ includes not only the discovery of the immeasurable strength which a devout soul may find in God, but the actual use of that strength for the service of mankind. Divall, A Believer's Rest 

Focus Your Thinking & Lather up with a bit of SOAP:
Scripture: "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel."
Observation: This child Jesus grew stronger everyday in his spirit while exiled with his parents in Egypt and again when tested in the desert by the evil one. He was prepared for ministry and service to us in these lonely, dry places. But he was not truly alone. He was with God.
Application: God prepares us in our solitude, quietly, tenderly, and He waits for us to grow through our devotions and study, so that someday we all will return to the world to share our faith with others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to take full advantage of our quiet moments together. Lead me forward on a path of deeper reflection, so that I may be made more like Christ. So that I may be made better prepared to share your wisdom with others. Amen.

Focus On Illuminating The Scripture: 
      I've created a free sample of an illuminated text that I colored for my personal copy of The Praise Bible. Because this coloring bible emphasizes garden motifs among it's illustrations, I have chosen to highlight planting, growth and harvest scriptures among it's pages in my copy.
     There are literally hundreds of literary motifs in the pages of scripture. Any number of these motifs may be selected among the Bible's pages to illustrate the faithfulness of God and the fruitfulness of the believer.
Print the following free illuminated scripture from kathy grimm. She hand-colored it with pencils and tipped it into her Praise Bible with copper washi-tape.
 
Free design of Luke 1:80 for Bible journaling by kathy grimm.

Focus On Listening:
"Come Holy Spirit" sung by City Harvest Church

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Two Rounded Scripts for Tracing

      
       These two rounded, script samples are for personal use only and are distributed here for those of you who are using them as templates for journaling in your Bible only.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee
by William B. Tappan

O Jesus! once on Galilee
Thy voice of power was heard,
When madly that dark heaving sea
Through all its depths was stirred.

The forky lightnings Thee revealed,
Calm, 'mid the storm's increase,
And far above where thunders pealed
Was heard the whisper, "Peace!"

How drooped at once that foaming sheet
Of waters, vexed and wild!
Each wave came falling at Thy feet,
Just like an humbled child.

So rages my tumultuous breast,
So chafes my maniac will;
Speak! and these troubled seas shall rest:
Speak; and the storm is still.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Rush of Translations

       In gland in Spenser's days was a nest of singing birds; in the days of Tyndale it was the home of scholars who laid their gifts and graces on the altar for the translation and dissemination of the Holy Scriptures In the years after Tyndale led the way so splendidly, translations came in like a flood. Almost all of that, however, as we have seen, were based on his work-all of them, indeed, which were of real importance and they are often closely connected with each being for the most part revisions rather than distinct translations.
       In the year 1534, Archbishop Cranmer, a true friend of the Evangel, persuaded Convocation to petition for an English version of the Bible; and in the following year. Thomas Cromwell, likewise a true friend of faith and freedom, persuaded Miles Coverdale to undertake the The outcome was what is usually called Coverdale's Bible, and sometimes also the Treacle Bible, because of its translation of Jeremiah 8:22, 'Is there no 'triale in Gilead?' It was issued on October 4, 1535, with dedication to King Henry and Queen Anne, which was afterwards changed as the royal consorts changed. Important as it is, however, as the first complete Bible printed in the English language, it can hardly be admitted to be in the full line of the true apostolic succession . It was not based on a study of the originals, but in the Vulgate and on Luther's German Bible, three volumes of which were printed in 1524 and the remaining two in 1532, and which was now pursuing its triumphant career.
       "To help me," he said, "herein I have had sundry translations not only in Latin, but also of the Dutch interpreters, whom because of their singular gifts, and special diligence in the Bible, I have been the more glad to follow for the most part." But although a translation from the Vulgate had been a great achievement in Wycliff's day, when no better text was available, it was far otherwise at a time when Tyndale was showing every scholar the better path. The 1537 edition of Coverdale's Bible bore the announcement set forth with the King's most gracious license. Because of this, as well as because of its intrinsic worth, it had a large circulation. Its circulation was also helped by the fact that it was used at first by the clergy in their obedience to the injunction to put a copy of the English Bible in a prominent place in every church.
       In the year 1537, there appeared what is known as Matthew's Bible, which has already been described as being practically Tyndale 's. Matthew was in reality John Rogers, who was the first martyr in Queen Mary's reign. The pseudonym may have been adopted to withdraw attention from the fact that his Bible was so largely Tyndale's, his writings having been condemned by the authorities. Rogers was a friend of Tyndale; his literary executor in fact. His Bible may be regarded as the first Authorized Version, although later on in the same year the second edition of Coverdale's also appeared with the royal licence. It contained numerous notes and woodcuts, as well as a considerable amount of matter resembling modern 'Bible Helps.' If we take Tyndale's version as the standard and starting-point, as we should, this may be taken as the first revision of it.
       In 1539, there appeared what is known as Taverner's Bible, the work of Richard Taverner, another scholarly friend of the truth., Less is known of his version than of any other in that era of versions; but it may be noted that in 1549, an edition of it was published in five small volumes, for the convenience of those who were unable to purchase an entire Bible at one time. Like its predecessors, it had notes, which were, however, less polemical than those in Matthew's Bible, some of which were vehemently anti-Roman.
       In the same year as Taverner's, there appeared what has ever since been known as the Great Bible, because of its size, and which may be taken as the second revision in the Tyndale succession. Its pages are fifteen inches in length and more than nine in breadth. It is also known as Cranmer's, because of the preface which he wrote to the second edition ; as Cromwell's, because he had most to do with its preparation ; and in the royal instructions to the translators of the Authorized Version, as Whitchurch's, from the name of one of the printers. By a royal proclamation made during one of the high tides when the study of Scripture was approved by the authorities, a copy of this Bible was ordered to be put in every church. In some cases they were chained to desks; and a few of these  chained Bibles have been preserved in some old churches. This version was due to the desire of Cromwell and Cranmer, and their friends, to have an English Bible which might become national like Luther's translation into German. It is probable also, and in no way to be wondered at, that the controversial notes in Matthew's Bible were held to disqualify it for this great position. Coverdale was again appealed to for this new service and he was assisted by 'divers excellent learned men,' of whose names, however, there is no record.
       As a matter of fact, the Great Bible is little more than a revision of Matthew's revision. When it appeared it had a wonderful reception. Crowds gathered round the copies in the churches, one reading while the rest listened or discussed or even wrangled. Bishop Bonner complained that the Bible had become more attractive than the Service, and threatened to have it removed. Before 1541, seven large editions of the Great Bible were sold in addition to many issues of the earlier versions, which likewise held on their way; and although there was a reaction against the circulation of the Scriptures during the later years of Henry VIII., the short reign of his son saw at least thirteen new editions of the Bible, and thirty-five of the New Testament. The Great Bible still lives in the Psalms in the Prayer Book, and in the 'Comfortable Words' in the Communion Service of the Church of England.
       In the year 1560, yet another version appeared which was destined to play a great part in the stirring times which were at hand; and which may be taken as the third revision of Tyndale's work. This was what is known as the Geneva Bible, from the city where it was prepared. It is also known as the Breeches Bible from its rendering of Genesis 3.7: 'And they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves breeches.' It has several features which commended it for popular use, and it became the Bible of the people as no other version did until the Authorized Version appeared. Not the least of its attractions were its sturdy, lucid notes; and in 1649 an edition of the Authorized Version was brought out with these Genevan notes appended. Fuller says that when they were finally withdrawn, the people complained that they could not see into the sense of the Scriptures for lack of the spectacles of the Genevan annotations. Indeed, as late as 1810, an edition of the Authorized Version appeared with short notes by several learned and pious Reformers, which were virtually the old Genevan notes formerly so much prized.
        Other attractions of this Geneva version were the adoption of Roman type instead of the black letter in which all English Bibles had previously been printed, and the division of the chapters into verses. The use of italics was also introduced to indicate those words not in the original, which had been supplied in the translation to suit the English idiom. They were, how- ever, often introduced where they were not required, since the words supplied were involved in the original if not actually expressed. The division into verses, so far as the New Testament was concerned, had been made by Robert Stephen, the French printer, for his Greek New Testament of 1551; but with all its convenience, it sometimes interferes with the sense, and is often very arbitrary. The division into chapters had appeared as early as Wycliff's time, and was used by him. Some ascribe it to Cardinal Hugo, and others to Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury. It also is sometimes done without discrimination, especially in the Epistles of St. Paul.
       The Geneva Bible unquestionably stands next to the Authorized Version alike for its historical importance, and for its accuracy and scholarship . Among those who shared in its preparation were William Whittingham, whose New Testament has a place in the succession, Thomas Sampson, and Anthony Gilby, along with Cole, Goodman, Coverdale, and others, who, like Paul in the Roman prison and Luther in the Wartburg, turned their enforced leisure to good account. It is unlikely that John Knox took part in the work, as has sometimes been claimed. Its version of the Apocrypha, which it is frequently said to have omitted, was largely influenced by a French translation due to Beza. In the original edition there was a good Bible index, a series of maps, and much other prefatory and helpful matter, along with its admirable notes. For sixty years it was the most popular version in England and Scotland, at least one hundred and fifty editions of it having been issued; some say as many as two hundred. In one year, 1599, no fewer than ten large editions were printed. It was the only serious rival the Authorized Version encountered, and was the favorite version of the Puritans. It is noteworthy that it left the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews an open question. The name of Paul is not only omitted, but it is argued in a prefatory note that seeing the Spirit of God is the Author thereof, it diminisheth nothing the authority, although we know not with what pen He wrote it.
       The fourth and final revision of Tyndale's work, prior to 1611, was the Bishops' Bible, which appeared in 1568. It was due to the desire of Parker, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and others to provide a version which would rival the Geneva Bible in popular favor, and be free from the Calvinism which characterized so many of its pithy notes. 'Its mischievous glosses' were thought to be 'undermining the Church of England.'
       The Bishops' Bible was the work of Anglican divines, mostly bishops as the name indicates; but it is said to be the most unsatisfactory and useless of the old translations. It was so expensive as to be practically inaccessible to the people, and it did not commend itself to scholars. It held its place as long as it did because it took the place of the Great Bible in the services of the Church, and was the only version recognized by Convocation. As early as 1571, Convocation ordered a folio copy to be placed in the hall or dining-room of every Bishop, for the use of his servants ; and also that each church should be supplied with this version. The Puritans, however, never acknowledged its authority or made much use of it.
       The only other version which falls to be mentioned is that issued by the Roman Catholics; and as it, like Coverdale's, was not derived from the original tongues, it likewise is not in the apostolic succession but is of secondary importance, although it played its part in the final result in 1611. It was prepared by the scholars of the English seminary at Douai, who hoped by the use of appropriate ecclesiastical terms and the addition of notes on Romish lines to guard readers against error. The New Testament was issued at Rheims in 1582, and the Old Testament at Douai in 1609; and the work is spoken of as the Rhemish, or as the Rheims and Douai version. It professed to be based on a greater respect for the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and other ancient translations than previous English versions; it" being roundly declared that the Latin version had been made before the Greek and Hebrew texts had been 'foully corrupted by Jews and heretics.' It was very deficient in purity of English diction ; but since 1750 it has been brought nearer the Authorized Version; and since then its notes have also been fewer in number. The late Lord Bute said that it did not commend itself to the English ear; but on the other hand it must be acknowledged that many of the felicities of our Authorized Version are due to it, and that many of its theological terms, such as propitiation, victim, remission, and impenitent, were adopted by King James's translators.
       So the good work of revision and translation went on in a fashion which makes it all the more remarkable that for nearly two centuries and three-quarters after 1611 no further revision was seriously attempted. The truth is that, so far as the English of the Authorized Version is concerned, these frequent revisions had made it such that no further revision on that score could have been seriously proposed ; such had been the satisfactory result of the various revisions of the work done by Tyndale. Had it not been that valuable manuscripts and versions unknown or unavailable in the seventeenth century had come to light and had been so collated that scholars became increasingly able to arrive at a text far nearer the original than was possible three centuries ago, it is more than probable that the Authorized Version would not only still have been reigning among the English-speaking peoples, but would have been reigning without a rival. But as the revisers of 1611 themselves asked, 'To whom was it ever imputed for a failing' (by such as were wise) to go over that which he had 'done, and to amend it where he saw cause?' Reverence for God's Word, loyalty to the eternal verities, and patient pressing on in the fullest light we have to Him who is the Light, all involve a readiness to revise whenever the need for revision really comes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Loss of Fellowship

"And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto man, and said unto him, Where are thou? Genesis 3: 8,9

       "If It is only in the cool of the day that I can hear Thy footsteps, my God. Thou art ever walking in the garden. Thy presence is abroad everywhere and always; but it is not everywhere or always that I can hear Thee passing by. The burden and heat of the day are too strong for me. The struggles of life excite me, the ambitions of life perturb me, the glitter of life dazzles me; it is all thunder and earthquake and fire. But when I myself am still, I catch Thy still small voice, and then I know that Thou art God. Thy peace can only speak to my peacefulness, Thy rest can only be audible to my calm; the harmony of Thy tread cannot be heard by the discord of my soul. Therefore, betimes I would be alone with Thee, away from the heat and the battle. I would feel the cool breath of Thy Spirit, that I may be refreshed once more for the strife. I would be fanned by the breezes of heaven, that I may resume the dusty road and the dolorous way. Not to avoid them do I come to Thee, but that I may be able more perfectly to bear them. Let me hear Thy voice in the garden in the cool of the day."  George Matheson

Focus Your Thinking & Lather up with a bit of SOAP:
  • Scripture: "Where are thou?" Genesis 3:9
  • Observation: It is interesting that God asks where Adam is after he has eaten the fruit of knowledge between good and evil? We know that God can anticipate what we think/feel and hear every word we speak, let alone know where we are at. I think, perhaps that this is a form of a rhetorical question on God's part. He is drawing Adam's attention to the fact that he is no longer in communion with Himself. Adam is hiding. Adam is rebelling. He is frightened of God for the very first time. His fear is not one of "respect" but of the variety of fear that lives in dread of imminent danger. Adam is in panic mode: he no longer trusts God.
  • Application: But a God who would sacrifice so much for us all, would surely be happy to forgive? I see this forgiving love so obviously in the life of Christ, and also in his death, and again in him who could not remain dead for long. The one man fully capable of resurrecting himself because his goodness and righteousness would and did defeat death itself. When Adam and Eve fell, it was not simply a problem involving Eve's envy of God's wisdom, but a problem of distrust. She did not trust you, Lord, enough to believe what you told her, even though you were her creator and loving father. Adam, in turn, did not trust you enough to report the incident instead of making it worse by participation. And last, but not least, the snake... (satan) who knowing fully how much you loved them, led your beloved children into distrusting your word. He did this so that they would die and your heart would be crushed by it. He deceived them because of his desire to hurt the father he had betrayed earlier himself.
  • Prayer: Dear Lord, I see now that the fall is something all humans experience because we lack trust in you. I am so very thankful that my ancestors were chased from the garden of Eden in order to prevent them from making their fallen state permanent. To prevent all of us from eating of the tree of eternal life while we were yet still prisoners of distrust.  Never let me forget that in you alone, I can completely trust. Amen.
Focus On Illustrating A Poem.

       Lilies are traditional symbols in the Christian church. These symbolize both humility and devotion. I have paired these stargazer lilies along with the poem, Eden Lost to craft a large bookmark for my notetaker's bible/journal. However, if you reproduce a similar pattern onto thinner paper, it would be just as simple to tip-in near Genesis 3:8,9.
Left, is the front side of my poem. I illustrated two lilies using watercolors, trimmed the painting with paper lace, and backed the small painting with pink paper. Right you can see that I wrote the following poem on the backside of the painting and colored the outer edges with a soft pink pencil.
Above, I've included a template for those of you who
would like to paint a watercolor of lilies similar
to my own (above.) Trace the pattern with a soft pencil
directly into the margins of your Bible or onto a piece
of watercolor paper to tip-into your journal.


Eden Lost
by Isaac Williams 
Unto the East we turn, in thoughtful gaze, 
Like longing exiles to their ancient home, 
Mindful of our lost Eden. Thence may come
Genial, ambrosial airs around the ways
Of daily life, and fragrant thoughts that raise
Home sympathies: so may we cease to roam,
Seeking some resting-place before the tomb,
To which on wandering wings devotion
strays.
But true to our high birthright, and to Him
Who leads us by the flaming cherubim,
Death's gate, our pilgrim spirits may arise
O'er earth's affections, and 'mid worldlings
rude,
Walk loosely in their holier solitude, 
And breath the air of their lost paradise.

Focus On Listening.
Brandon Heath sings about "Leaving Eden"

The First Woman

THE FIRST WOMAN 
by Dr. Thomas De Witt Talmage

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat." Genesis 3:6

       It is the first Saturday afternoon in the world's existence. Ever since sunrise Adam has been watching the brilliant pageantry of wings and scales and clouds, and in his first lessons in zoology and ornithology and ichthyology he has noticed that the robins fly the air in twos, and that the fish swim the water in twos, and that the lions walk the fields in twos, and in the warm redolence of that Saturday afternoon he falls off into slumber; and as if by allegory to teach all ages that the greatest of earthly blessings is sound sleep, this paradisaical somnolence ends with the discovery on the part of Adam of a corresponding intelligence just landed on the new planet. Of the mother of all the living I speak, Eve, the first, the fairest, and the best.
       I make me a garden. I inlay the paths with mountain moss, and I border them with pearls from Ceylon and diamonds from Golconda. There are woodbine and honeysuckle climbing over the wall, and starred spaniels sprawling themselves on the grass. And yet the place is a desert filled with darkness and death as compared with the residence of the woman of the text, the subject of my story. Never since have such skies looked down through such leaves into such waters! Never has river wave had such curve and sheen and bank as adorned the Pison, the Havilah, the Gihon, and the Hiddekel, even the pebbles being bdellium and onyx stone! What fruits, with no curculio to sting the rind! What flowers, with no slug to gnaw the root! What atmosphere, with no frost to chill and with no heat to consume! Bright colors tangled in the grass. Perfume in the air. Music in the sky. Great scene of gladness and love and joy. Right there under a bower of leaf and vine and shrub occurred the first marriage. Adam took the hand of this immaculate daughter of God and performed the ceremony when he said: "Bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh."
 (1.) She examined the fruit. She said: "I do not think there can be any harm in my just breaking the rind of it." She put the fruit to her teeth, she tasted, she allowed Adam also to taste the fruit, the door of the world opened, and then Sin entered. Let the heavens gather blackness, and the wind sigh on the bosom of the hills and cavern and desert and earth and sky join in one long, deep, hell-rending howl - "The world is lost!"
"And when the woman saw that
the tree was good for food, and
 that it was pleasant to the eyes,
 and a tree to be desired to make
 one wise, she took of the fruit
thereof, and did eat, and gave
 also unto her husband with her;
 and he did eat.     Genesis 3:6
      A forbidden tree stood in the midst of that exquisite park. Eve sauntering out one day alone, looks up at the tree and sees the beautiful fruit, and wonders if it is sweet, and wonders if it is sour, and standing there, says: "I think I will just put my hand upon the fruit; it will do no damage to the tree; I will not take the fruit to eat, but I will just take it down to examine it."
       Beasts that before were harmless and full of play put forth claw and sting and tooth and tusk. Birds whet their beak for prey. Clouds troop in the sky. Sharp thorns shoot up through the soft grass. Blastings on the leaves. All the chords of that great harmony are snapped. Upon the brightest home this world ever saw, our first parents turned their back and led forth on a path of sorrow the brokenhearted myriads of a ruined race.
       Do you not see, in the first place, the danger of a poorly regulated inquisitiveness? She wanted to know how the fruit tasted. She found out, but six thousand years have deplored that unhealthful curiosity.(2.) Healthful curiosity has done a great deal for letters, for art, for science, and for religion. It has gone down into the depths of the earth with the geologist, and seen the first chapter of Genesis written in the book of nature illustrated with engraving on rock, and it stood with the antiquarian while he blew the trumpet of resurrection over buried Herculaneum and Pompeii, until from their sepulcher there came up shaft and terrace and amphitheater. Healthful curiosity has enlarged the telescopic vision of the astronomer until worlds hidden in the distant heavens have trooped forth and have joined the choir praising the Lord. Planet weighed against planet and wildest comet lassooed with resplendent law. I say nothing against healthful curiosity. May it have other Leyden jars and other electric batteries and other voltaic piles and other magnifying-glasses with which to storm the barred castles of the natural world, until it shall surrender its last secret. We thank God for the geological curiosity of Professor Hitchcock, and the chemical curiosity of Liebig, and the zoological curiosity of Cuvier, and the inventive curiosity of Edison; but we must admit that unhealthful and irregular inquisitiveness has rushed thousands and tens of thousands into ruin.
       Eve just tasted the fruit. She was curious to find out how it tasted, and that curiosity blasted her and blasted all nations. So there are clergymen in this city, inspired by unhealthful inquisitiveness, who have tried to look through the key-hole of God's mysteries - mysteries that were barred and bolted from all human inspection, and they have wrenched their whole moral nature out of joint by trying to pluck fruit from branches beyond their reach, or have come out on limbs of the tree from which they have tumbled into ruin without remedy. A thousand trees of religious knowledge from which we may eat and get advantage; but from certain trees of mystery how many have plucked their ruin! Election, free agency, trinity, resurrection - in the discussion of these subjects hundreds and thousands of people ruin the soul. There are men who actually have been kept out of the kingdom of heaven because they could not understand who Melchisedec was not!
       Oh, how many have been destroyed by an unhealthful inquisitiveness! It is seen in all directions. There are those who stand with the eye-stare and mouth-gape of curiosity. They are the first to hear a falsehood, build it another story high and add two wings to it. About other people's apparel, about other people's business, about other people's financial condition, about other people's affairs, they are over-anxious. Every nice piece of gossip stops at their door, and they fatten and luxuriate in the endless round of the great world of tittle-tattle. Whoever hath an innuendo, whoever hath a scandal, whoever hath a valuable secret, let him come and sacrifice it to this goddess of Splutter. Thousands of Adams and Eves do nothing but eat fruit that does not belong to them. Men quite well known as mathematicians failing in this computation of moral algebra: good sense plus good breeding, minus curiosity, equals minding your own affairs!
       Then, how many young men through curiosity go through the whole realm of French novels, to see whether they are really as bad as moralists have pronounced them! They come near the verge of the precipice just to look off. They want to see how far it really is down, but they lose their balance while they look, and fall into irremediable ruin; or, catching themselves, clamber up, bleeding and ghastly, on the rock, gibbering with curses or groaning ineffectual prayer. By all means encourage healthful inquisitiveness, but by all means discourage ill-regulated curiosity.
       This subject also impresses me with the fact that fruits that are sweet to the taste may afterward produce great agony. Forbidden fruit for Eve was so pleasant she invited her husband also to take of it; but her banishment from Paradise and six thousand years (2.) of sorrow and wretchedness and war and woe paid for that luxury. Sin may be very sweet at the start, and it may induce great wretchedness afterward. The cup of sin is sparkling at the top, but there is death at the bottom. Intoxication has great exhilaration for a while, and it fillips the blood, and it makes a man see five stars where others can see only one star, and it makes the poor man think himself rich, and turns cheeks which are white red as roses; but what about the dreams that come after, when he seems falling from great heights, or is prostrated by other fancied disasters, and the perspiration stands on the forehead - the night dew of everlasting darkness - and he is ground under the horrible hoof of nightmares shrieking with lips that crackle with all-consuming torture? "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth; but know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment!" Sweet at the start, horrible at the last. Go into that hall of revelry, where ungodly mirth staggers and blasphemes. Listen to the senseless gabble, see the last trace of intelligence dashed out from faces made in God's own image. "Aha! aha!" says the roistering inebriate; "this is joy for you; fill high your cups, my boys. I drink to my wife's misery and my children's rags and my God's defiance." And he knows not that a fiend stirs the goblet in his hand and that adders uncoil from the dregs and thrust their forked tongues hissing through the froth on the rim. Sin rapturous at the start, awful at the last. (3.)
       That one Edenic transgression did not seem to be much, but it struck a blow which to this day makes the earth stagger. To find out the consequences of that one sin, you would have to compel the world to throw open all its prison doors and display the crime, and throw open all its hospitals and display the disease, and throw open all the insane asylums and show the wretchedness, and open all the sepulchres and show the dead, and open all the doors of the lost world and show the damned. That one Edenic transgression stretched chords of misery across the heart of the world and struck them with dolorous wailing, and it has seated the plagues upon the air and the shipwrecks upon the tempest, and fastened, like a leech, famine to the heart of the sick and dying nations. Beautiful at the start, horrible at the last. Oh, how many have experienced it!
       Are there among us those who are votaries of pleasure? Let me warn you, my brother. Your pleasure boat is far from shore, and your summer day is ending roughly, for the winds and the waves are loud-voiced, and the overcoming clouds are all awrithe and agleam with terror. You are past the "Narrows," and almost outside the "Hook," and if the Atlantic take you, frail mortal, you shall never get to shore again. Put back! row swiftly, swifter, swifter! Jesus from the shore casts a rope. Clasp it quickly, now or never. Are there not some of you who are freighting all your loves and joys and hopes upon a vessel which shall never reach the port of heaven? You near the breakers. One heave upon the rocks. What an awful crash was that! Another lunge may crush you beneath the spars or grind your bones to powder amid the torn timbers. Overboard for your life, overboard! Trust not that loose plank nor attempt the wave, but quickly clasp the feet of Jesus walking on the watery pavement, shouting until he hear you: "Lord, save me, or I perish." Sin beautiful at the start - oh, how sad, how distressful at the last! The ground over which it leads you is hollow. The fruit it offers to your taste is poison. The promise it makes to you is a lie. Over that ungodly banquet the keen sword of God's judgment hangs, and there are ominous hand writings on the walls.
       Observe also in this subject how repelling sin is when appended to great attractiveness. Since Eve's death there has been no such perfection of womanhood. You could not suggest another attractiveness to the body or suggest any added refinement to the manner. You could add no gracefulness to the gait, no lustre to the eye, no sweetness to the voice. A perfect God made her a perfect woman, to be the companion of a perfect man in a perfect home, and her entire nature vibrated in accord with the beauty and song of Paradise. But she rebelled against God's government, and with the same hand with which she plucked the fruit she launched upon the world the crimes, the wars, the tumults that have set the universe a-wailing. A terrible offset to all her attractiveness. We are not surprised when we find men and women naturally vulgar going into transgression. We expect that people who live in the ditch shall have the manners of the ditch; but how shocking when we find sin appended to superior education and to the refinements of social life! The accomplishments of Mary Queen of Scots make her patronage of Darnley, the profligate, the more appalling. The genius of Catherine II of Russia only sets forth in more powerful contrast her unappeasable (4.) ambition. The translations from the Greek and the Latin by Elizabeth, and her wonderful qualifications for a queen, make the more disgusting her capriciousness of affection and her hotness of temper. The greatness of Byron's mind makes the more alarming Byron's sensuality. Let no one think that refinement of manner or exquisiteness of taste or superiority of education can in any wise apologize for ill-temper, for an oppressive spirit, for unkindness, for any kind of sin. Disobedience Godward and transgression manward can have no excuse. Accomplishment heaven-high is no apology for vice hell-deep.
       My subject also impresses me with the regal influence of woman. When I see Eve with this powerful influence over Adam and over the generations that have followed, it suggests to me that great power all women have for good or for evil. I have no sympathy, nor have you, with the hollow flatteries showered upon woman from the platform and the stage. They mean nothing; they are accepted as nothing. Woman's nobility consists in the exercise of a Christian influence; and when I see this powerful influence of Eve upon her husband and upon the whole human race, I make up my mind that the frail arm of woman can strike a blow which will resound through all eternity down among the dungeons or up among the thrones. I am not now speaking of representative women - of Eve, who ruined the race by one fruit-picking; of Jael, who drove a spike through the head of Sisera, the warrior; of Esther, who overcame royalty; of Abigail, who stopped a host by her own beautiful prowess; of Mary, who nursed the world's Savior; of Grandmother Lois, immortalized in her grandson Timothy; of Charlotte Corday, who drove the dagger through the heart of the assassin of her lover; or of Marie Antoinette, who by one look from the balcony of her castle quieted a mob, her own scaffold the throne of forgiveness and womanly courage. I speak not of these extraordinary persons, but of those who, unambitious for political power, as wives and mothers and sisters and daughters, attend to the thousand sweet offices of home.
       When at last we come to calculate the forces that decided the destiny of nations, it will be found that the mightiest and grandest influence came from home, where the wife cheered up despondency and fatigue and sorrow by her own sympathy, and the mother trained her child for heaven, starting the little feet on the path to the Celestial City; and the sisters by their gentleness refined the manners of the brother; and the daughters were diligent in their kindness to the aged, throwing wreaths of blessing on the road that leads father and mother down the steep of years. God bless our homes!

Yes, even I have an opinion.
(1.) Hey, where's that *##** bloomin' snake? Ah, I think he in the verse previous to the one noted above. I refuse to let Eve be given the credit for the entire fall!
3:1 - Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:1-5
(2.) I don't know where Dr. Talmage came up with the figure of 6 thousand years, but I've got news for him, we've been sinning alot longer than six thousand years.... Oh, well, I guess he knows that now!
(3.) Finally, the snake shows up in this sermon. But, not until alcohol gets mentioned, eh?
(4.) Addiction...
 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Bone Of My Bones

"And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Genesis 2: 23

       God made the light and the sun, and they were very good. He made the seas and the mountains, and they were very good. He made the fishes of the water, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field - all that wonderful creation of life, which, dull and unbelieving as we are, daily more and more excites our endless wonder and awe and praise - and He saw that it was all very good. He made the herb of the field, everything that grows, everything that lives on the face of this beautiful and glorious world, and all was very good. But of all this good the end was not yet reached. There was still something better to be made. Great lights in the firmament, and stars beyond the reach of the thought of man in the depth of space, sea and mountain, green tree and gay flower, tribes of living creatures in the deep below and the deep above of the sky, four-footed beasts of the earth in their strength and beauty, and worms that live out of the sight and knowledge of all other creatures - these were all as great and marvelous as we know them to be; these were all said to be "very good" by that Voice which had called them into being. Heaven and earth were filled with the majesty of His glory. But they were counted up, one by one, because they were not enough for Him to make, not enough for Him to satisfy Him by their goodness. He reckoned them all up; He pronounced on their excellence. But yet there was something which they had not reached to. There was something still to be made, which should be yet greater, yet more wonderful, yet more good than they. There was a beauty which, with all their beauty, they could not reach; a perfection which, with all their excellence, they were not meant, or made, to share. They declared the glory of God, but not His likeness. They displayed the handiwork of His wisdom, but they shared not in His spirit, His thoughts. His holiness. So, after their great glory, came a yet greater glory. The living soul, like unto God, had not yet been made. Then said God, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." There was made the great step from the wonder and beauty of the world, to the creation of man, with a soul and spirit more wonderful, more excellent, than all the excellence and wonders of the world, because it was made in the likeness of that great and holy and good God who made the world. Hastings

Focus Your Thinking & Lather up with a bit of SOAP.
  • Scripture: "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:"
  • Observation: So she was with him prior to the fall, she was one with him, they played side by side, they worshiped side by side, they, he and she walked side by side in the garden with God their father.
  • Application: Now I toil side by side with him, raise our children side by side, weep with him side by side. We will not part until one of us must return to our father first before the other. That loneliness, I don't know if either he or I will survive. My mother told me once that both she and my father used to lay side by side in bed and pray that the Lord would take them together. But, the answer to that prayer was . . . no. How my mother has grown so very fond of my father, even after his departure. She has learned the measure of true love.
  • Prayer: Lord, help my husband and I to endure whatever present or future plans you have made for us and transform our love into something that reflects your devotion to us both, a relationship that glorifies your idea of holy matrimony, not the world's . . . but yours alone. Amen.
Focus Illustrating the Scripture.
       I used a few little stickers of birds and apples for this illustration based on three text excerpts from Genesis chapter 2 and 3. "& Adam gave names to all cattle and to the fowl of the air" Genesis 2:20 and "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh" Genesis 2:23 and "Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3: 1.
       Below are the tiny black and white illustrations that I traced using a waterproof, black ink pen. Then I highlighted a bit of the text.
Eve and Adam before there was shame.
snake from the garden

Focus On Listening.
Good (Adam and Eve) from Music Inspired by The Story.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Genesis 1:22 journal page

"And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth." Genesis 1:22

       In the Old Testament the spirit of man is the principle of life, viewed especially as the seat of the stronger and more active energies of life; and the "spirit" of God is analogously the Divine force or agency, to the operation of which are attributed various extraordinary powers and activities of men, as well as supernatural gifts. In the later books of the Old Testament, it appears also as the power which creates and sustains life. It is in the last-named capacity that it is mentioned here. The chaos of verse 2 was not left in hopeless gloom and death; already, even before God "spake," the Spirit of God, with its life-giving energy, was "brooding" over the waters, like a bird upon its nest, and (so it seems to be implied) fitting them in some way to generate and maintain life, when the Divine fiat should be pronounced.
       This, then, is the first lesson of the Bible; that at the root and origin of all this vast material universe, before whose laws we are crushed as the moth, there abides a living conscious Spirit, who wills and knows and fashions all things. The belief of this changes for us the whole face of nature, and instead of a chill, impersonal world of forces to which no appeal can be made, and in which matter is supreme, gives us the home of a Father. Hastings

Focus Your Thinking & Lather up with a bit of SOAP.
  • Scripture: "... and fill the waters in the seas,"
  • Observation: Our God certainly enjoys blessing us with an abundance of life! His generosity always exceeds our expectations. The world is full of people who want to limit the way God creates, or the how God creates, or the why God creates, but He is an artist, that owns His own power and answers to no one.
  • Application: Apart from God, I am not nearly generous enough. But with God, I can give life enough to fill many hearts, worlds apart from my own.
  • Prayer: LORD help me to remember your generosity whenever I admire the works of your creative mind and spirit. Let nature be an obvious teacher to me. Let me see your abundant glory, your generous blessings whenever I view the open sea or the vast skies above. Amen
Left, you can see the tip-in from my previous post. Right, The text in my paper cut page reads, "fill the waters in the seas..."
   Focus on Paper Cutting.
        For this scripture, I cut two carp to swim in my bible's margins. I selected a few sheets of origami paper to design the fish and a transparent blue pattern paper from Erin Bassett's book, "The Art of Bible Journaling." I also cut and folded a bit of tissue paper for the fish fins.
       
You may print and integrate this fish into your own personal Bible journals.

Focus On Listening.

This version of "For the Beauty of The Earth" is
 sung by Michelle Swift, I have also posted another

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Golden Age of Adam And Eve

Adam all day 'mid odorous garden bowers
Had lightly toiled, while many a tender
word,
With murmurs of the brook and song of bird.
Fell on Eve's ear at work amongst her flowers;
When lo! where grove of pine and cedar
towers.
As with a gentle breeze the leaves are
stirred.
And walking in the garden God is heard.
With voice of love charming those evening
hours.
With conscious innocence, and hand in hand.
That goodly pair approach their awful
Friend,
Like children with beloved father stand;
Then at His feet in adoration bend.
O golden age! O days of heaven on earth!
When life was piety and labor mirth.
by R. Wilton

Saturday, March 24, 2018

All Creatures of Our God and King

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so." Genesis 1:24

       Francis of Assisi believed that nature itself was the mirror of God. He called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters”, and even preached to the birds and supposedly persuaded a wolf to stop attacking some locals if they agreed to feed the wolf. In his Canticle of the Creatures (“Praises of Creatures” or “Canticle of the Sun”), he mentioned the “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon”, the wind and water, and “Sister Death”. He referred to his chronic illnesses as his “sisters". His deep sense of brotherhood under God embraced others, and he declared that “he considered himself no friend of Christ if he did not cherish those for whom Christ died”.

Focus Your Thinking & Lather up with a bit of SOAP.
  • Scripture: "... beast of the earth after his kind " from Genesis 1:24
  • Observation: God doesn't bring beast, fish, or fowl into the world without companions.
  • Application: The creator makes us plural just as he makes the beasts plural. He never intends for us to live, create or resolve our problems by "living inside a vacuum." We are created to be in communion with both God and our extended families. 
  • Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to remember to spend quality time with you and my loved ones, apart from the noisy distractions of my day. Please make sure that I give you my undivided attention at dawn and my undivided attention at dusk. Also provide me with opportunities to listen carefully to my family and respond respectfully to their needs. Amen.
Focus on Illustrating A Hymn and a Scripture.
       I chose to illustrate both a hymn and the scripture above with a simple print of a zebra mamma and her young. I carved a piece of linoleum and printed the image you see here with only two colors: black and teal.
       After the print dried I tipped-it-into my Bible after sewing it between a sheet of light weight plastic. Then I used a sparkling, copper washi tape to attach it near to the Genesis 1:24 text.

How to make a simple linoleum print:
       All creatures of our God and King was written by Francis of Assisi in 1225. I wrote the first stanza of the hymn behind my print of two zebras.

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam,
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
ye clouds that sail in heav'n along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
ye lights of ev'ning find a voice!
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

And all ye men of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on Him cast your care!
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

Let all things their Creator bless
and worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Focus On Listening.
A contemporary version of the ancient hymn 
"All Creatures of Our God and King"
Prayers of the Saints Live sung by Sovereign Grace Music

Friday, March 23, 2018

God's Word For The Ploughboy

"Read God's Word diligently, and with a good heart, and it shall teach thee all things.'' William Tyndale 

       Like Caedmon and Bede and Wycliffe, William Tyndale occupies a commanding position in the history of English literature, as well as in the history of the English Bible. His translation of the New Testament, 1525, fixed our standard English once for all, and brought it finally into every English home. He held fast to pure English, and we owe our current religious vocabulary to him more than to any other. In his two volumes of political tracts, ' there are only twelve Teutonic words which are now obsolete a strong proof of the influence his translation of the Bible has had in preserving the old speech of England. Three out of four of his nouns, adverbs, and verbs, are Teutonic. There were those in his time who declared that the English language was so rude that the Bible could not be translated into it; and his reply was as direct as it was indignant.  It is not so rude as they are false liars. For the Greek tongue agreeth more with the English than the Latin; a thousand parts better may it be translated into the English than into the Latin.
       In many essentials the Authorized Version, when it came, was no more than a revision of Tyndale's Bible; and if there is to be  honor to whom honor is due, this must never be forgotten in our rejoicings over all it has achieved. "It is strange to think," said Dr. A. B. Davidson, "that we are still reading his words." Many portions of the New Testament, in spite of all the revisions it has undergone, are almost Tyndale's very words. In some of the shorter books, it has  been calculated that nine-tenths are his; while even in longer epistles, like the Hebrews, five-sixths remain unchanged. Or as Mr. Froude put it, in a passage which can hardly become hackneyed however often it may be quoted:  "The peculiar genius which breathes through the English Bible, the mingled tenderness and majesty, the Saxon simplicity, the grandeur, unequalled, unapproached, in the attempted improvements of modern scholars, ... all are here, and bear the impress of the mind of one man, and that man William Tyndale."
       "In rendering the sacred text," said Westcott, "he remained throughout faithful to the instincts of a scholar. From first to last his style and his interpretations are his own, and in the originality of Tyndale is included in a large measure the originality of our English version.  . . . It is of even less moment that by far the greater part of his translation remains intact in our present Bibles than that his spirit animates the whole. He toiled faithfully himself, and where he failed he left to those who should come after him the secret of success. His influence decided that our Bible should be popular and not literary, speaking in a simple dialect, and that so by its simplicity it should be endowed with permanence." According to the Revisers, the Authorized Version was the work of many hands and of several generations. But the foundation was laid by William Tyndale. His translation of the New Testament was the true primary version. The versions that followed were either substantially reproductions of Tyndale 's in its final shape, or revisions of versions that had been themselves almost entirely based on it.
       When Tyndale was still a young man, a tutor in a country house, during a heated discussion with some of the neighboring priests one day at his employer's table, he passionately exclaimed that if God spared his life, before many years he would cause the boy who drove the plough to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope knew. It was a noble ideal which was to be nobly realized, although he had to spend his life and at last lay it down in carrying it out. Erasmus, as we have seen, had the same ideal after his own fashion; but with Tyndale it was perhaps more definitely evangelical. Wycliffe had had it too, and with him also it was the desire of the man of God to give the Good News to the weary, perishing multitude which was supreme. These two great Englishmen both held that the Gospel had its message for all, and gave themselves up to the work of bringing it within reach of all in a form they could use and understand. Nor is any kind of evangelism more permanently fruitful than that of bringing men and women into touch with the Savior in His own Word.
       For centuries Rome had kept the Bible from the common people. Even where there is no sufficient proof that this was deliberately done in order that they might be kept in ignorance of the truth, the fact remains that that was the result both of what was left undone and of what was done. In England the ban had been very definite. The seventh of the Constitutions of Thomas Arundel ordains "that no one hereafter translates into the English tongue or into any other, on his own authority, the text of Holy Scripture, either by way of book, or booklet, or tract." This was directed against Wycliffe's translation, which had been severely proscribed; but it was applied all round.
       The popular knowledge of Scripture has so uniformly proved antagonistic to the doctrines and claims of Rome, that it is not surprising that she has never favored the spread of it; and it would appear that in proportion as men drift towards Rome in their sympathies and aspirations, their love for the free and unfettered circulation of the Bible diminishes. To hear the Church was to hear the Bible in its truest and only true sense. Was it not an abuse of the Bible to send shiploads of copies across the seas to convert the nations, is how one of those who in our own time have come under this tendency, expresses what is truly a striking and illuminating reversion to type. The recollection of these events should suffice to prove the mistake of supposing that the Sacred Scriptures, without note or comment, in the hands of all, are a sufficient guide to truth; the Bible thus used is not useless only, but dangerous to morality and truth, is how another of the same school illustrates the same attitude. Yet another has it that the crucifix should be the first book for their . . . English Home Missionaries . . . disciples; and the Holy Scriptures must never be put into the hands of unbelievers. When even a tendency to Romanism in the twentieth century gives rise to such sentiments, there need be no suggestion that it is ungenerous to hold that undiluted Romanism in the fifteenth century did not encourage men to read the Bible for themselves.
       The unwillingness of the Mediaeval Church to put God's Word in the vernacular into the hands of the people, based as it was on the theory that they ought to receive the Divine message through the priests, would have had greater justification of a sort if the priests themselves had known the Scriptures or loved them in such a way as to be able to expound them. But the notorious Bishop of Dunkeld who boasted of his ignorance of Scripture was probably not singular in his ignorance; nor were the priests in the diocese of Gloucester even in the Reformation era, who did not know accurately the Creed, or the Commandments, or the Lord's Prayer, alone in their incapacity. That such blind leaders of the blind should set themselves to stand between the people and God's message for them was indeed intolerable.
       It is full of significance that early in the conflict which ended in the English Reformation a new importance began to be put on the study of the Scriptures. Not only was the spirit of inquiry abroad, but the printing-press was at work to stimulate and satisfy it. Not a few of those in power in the English Church shared in the new spirit; while many who did not share in it saw that it could not be altogether ignored or defied. In the first set of Injunctions to the clergy, issued in 1536, they were enjoined to give themselves to the study of the Bible; while in the second set, issued two years later, they were enjoined to provide one whole Bible of the largest volume in English  and to put it in the church where the parishioners could most easily read it. That was the plan adopted by those who wished to meet the new strivings without any drastic reform, and above all without any breach with the See of Rome. Inevitably, however, it only increased the longings of the earnest and truth-loving for changes such as Rome at her best could never allow.
       All the Reformers believed that in the Scriptures God spoke to them, as in earlier days He had spoken to His prophets and apostles. In describing the authoritative character of Scripture, however, they always insisted that its recognition was awakened in believers by that operation which they called the witness of the Holy Ghost. Their description of what they meant by the Holy Scriptures is just another aspect of their doctrine that all believers have access to the very presence of God. No wonder, therefore, that a man like Tyndale should set himself to put even the ploughboy in possession of God's Word in his mother tongue. That was the ploughboy's birthright, what he was entitled to as made at first in the Divine likeness; and this was recognized by men of Tyndale 's spirit in other lands, so that translations into the vernacular began to appear in Germany, Denmark, Holland, France, Italy, and Spain, as well as in England. As for those who were hostile to all this, it could not but be assumed that they who objected to the ploughboy entering into his inheritance had never found the Word very vital or inspiring for themselves, and had never bowed to its supremacy over all human tradition and everything else which the ecclesiastics had put in its place.
       Scholar as he was, it was Tyndale's ambition to give his countrymen an English version which would be more than a translation of a translation, and would render the sacred Oracles into their tongue direct from the Hebrew and Greek originals, which were now at length available for such a purpose. This ambition he was able happily to realize, and although much of his work was done while he was a fugitive and concealed in secret hiding-places, it is of the very highest quality, as has already been shown from the mouth of many witnesses. There was no royal patronage or historic Jerusalem Chamber, nor any groups of sympathetic and competent colleagues for him; yet no other worker in this field has left his impress on all subsequent work as he did, and what he did can never become obsolete . In one sense his work was actually destroyed Of the original 3,000 quarto volumes of his New Testament only one mutilated fragment remains, and now lies in the British Museum. Of the first 3,000 octavo copies only two are now known to exist. Yet his work remains all the same, and will remain for ever. At the very time when he was dying for his loyalty to Scripture, in a foreign land, laying down his life that the ploughboy might come to his own, a complete edition of his Bible for which the royal licence was ere long to be obtained was actually being prepared, and about to be freely scattered abroad.
       All who have ever taken any part in continuing what he began have been impressed by the splendor of his inauguration of the work. He did not live to see the day of victory, but the dawn was at hand when he passed away. There is no grander figure than that of William Tyndale in all the English Reformation story; and in connection with the Tercentenary of the Authorized Version no name should be more gratefully remembered and reverenced than his. Its triumphs are in reality his. In a very real sense it is no more than his version revised, as those who have shared in one revision after another rejoice to proclaim.
       After he had begun his great work, Tyndale soon found that there was no room in England for what he was doing; and therefore he crossed to the Continent and finished his translation of the New Testament at Hamburg. While it was being printed at Cologne, he discovered that the authorities were about to seize it; and with such sheets as were ready he fled to Worms, where it was ultimately published in 1525. The new volume, so fraught with significance, first reached England in 1526. Every effort was put forth by those in power to suppress it; and it had to be smuggled into the country, where, however, there was no lack of purchasers. It was read in all sorts of places and under all kinds of circumstances; read by merchants, workmen, and scholars. Copies were bought up by its enemies, in the hope that the whole impression might be destroyed; but the effect of that was that Tyndale was enabled to print further improved copies, and to encourage him to go on with the translation of the Old Testament.
       In the year 1530, his New Testament was publicly burned in St. Paul's Churchyard, after it had been condemned at a Council summoned by King Henry VIII. Sir Thomas More, with extreme bitterness, attacked it as misleading and inaccurate; not, however, in reality, because the work had not been well done, but because to him the rendering of certain words and phrases with scholarly exactness seemed  a mischievous perversion of those writings intended to advance heretical opinions. Tyndale's fidelity, however, alike to scholarship and truth was not only vindicated at the time by himself, but has been still more amply vindicated throughout the ages; and the survival of the fittest has ensured the survival of what he did so nobly, so devotedly, and so prayerfully.
       In doing his work he made use of every available help; the Vulgate, the new Latin Version of Erasmus, and Luther's German Bible. But he translated directly from the text of the Greek Version of Erasmus. As regards his work in the Old Testament, it has been denied that he was a Hebrew scholar ; but in his last days we find him writing from prison pleading to be allowed to have his Hebrew Bible, grammar, and dictionary, that he might spend his time in that study. An eminent German scholar, too, Herman Buschius by name, described him as so skilled in seven languages, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, English, French, that whichever he spoke you would suppose it his native tongue; and this testimony does not stand alone.
       In the year 1534, Tyndale published a revised version of his New Testament with marginal notes; and two later editions are thought to bear traces of further revision by himself. Before he died, seven editions each representing several thousand copies had been issued; and there were "pirated" editions besides. At least thirty-three editions, practically reprints of his, are known to have appeared before 1560. He was not, however, spared to translate and issue the whole Bible. The Pentateuch was issued by him in 1530, and before he died he had got as far as Chronicles with his work. Two years after his death, there appeared what was called Matthew's Bible, but which was in reality Tyndale's. It contained his New Testament revised, and his translation of the Old Testament so far as he had carried it. The remainder of the Old Testament was taken from Coverdale's Bible, which had appeared shortly before, and was actually the first printed version of the whole Bible in English. It, however, was not a translation from the Hebrew and Greek, like Tyndale's; but from the Latin and German. In Matthew's Bible the Apocrypha was taken from a French translation; and as that was the Bible which was by and by sanctioned by the King, it may be described as the first Authorized Version. That it did not appear under his name, although so much of it was his work, would nowise have distressed Tyndale. It was not his own glory he sought, but the glory of his Savior and the well-being of men; and it was enough for him that the ploughboy and all others who cared to read it had now the Word of God in their own tongue and in their own hands.