The Bible In The Home
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
We have gathered here the weighty words of a few of our thinkers and workers on this subject. Such a collection of wise and helpful utterances might of course have been vastly extended.
The studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens. — Thomas Jefferson.
In regard to the Great Book, I have only to say that it is the best gift which God has given to man. — Abraham Lincoln.
So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members 'of society. — John Quincy Adams.
Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties; write its precepts on your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for the progress made in civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future. — U.S. Grant.
The more profoundly we study this wonderful book, and the more closely we observe its divine precepts the better citizens we will become and the higher will be our destiny as a nation. — Wm. McKinley.
The teaching of the Bible to children is, of course, a matter of especial interest to those of us who have families—and incidentally, I wish to express my profound belief in large families. Older folks often fail to realize how readily a child will grasp a little askew something they do not take the trouble to explain. We cannot be too careful in seeing that the biblical learning is not merely an affair of rote, so that the child may understand what is being taught. And, by the way, I earnestly hope that you will never make your children learn parts of the Bible as punishment. Do you know families where this is done? For instance : "You have been a bad child—learn a chapter of Isaiah." And the child learns it as a disagreeable task, and in his mind that splendid and lofty poem and prophecy is for-ever afterward associated with an uncomfortable feeling of disgrace. I hope you will not make your children learn the Bible in that way, for you can devise no surer method of making a child revolt against all the wonderful beauty and truth of Holy Writ..
Probably there is not a mother or school teacher here who could not, out of her own experience, give instance after instance of the queer twists that the little minds give to what seem to us perfectly simple sentences. Now, I would make a very strong plea for each of us to try and see that the child understands what the words mean. I do not think that it is ordinarily necessary to explain the simple and beautiful stories of the Bible; children understand readily the lessons taught therein; but I do think it necessary to see that they really have a clear idea of what each sentence means, what the words mean. —Theodore Roosevelt.
If our children are to be trained to righteousness : if their minds are to be enlightened with the highest ideals of life and their souls enriched with the knowledge of God and His salvation, then, from their earliest years they must be taught to read and love the Bible. For the study of the Bible is indispensable to the best intellectual culture and to the development of the loftiest moral and spiritual character. —T. F. Gailor, Bishop of Tenn.
It is necessary nowadays to know something about Christianity as well as to be a Christian. The study of history and geography in connection with the spread and development of Christianity is fascinating.. The study of biography in connection with the people of Israel, and Old Testament history generally, may be made to put plenty of life into much that is now dead facts to be memorized. For older children the study of church history, and of the part played by religious beliefs and religious differences, in the history of European dynasties, politics, and literature will make it plain how moving a force religion is, and has been, in the development of civilization. Such Raising Children, too, are able to appreciate the Bible as literature if it is put before them from that point of view. It is too often treated as a treasury of texts only, and not as living literature which stands, as literature, by the side of the world's greatest achievements in poetry and in prose. —Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia University, New York.
"The Bible, unquestionably, contains the finest literature to which we have access. . . . As a treasury of sublime thoughts expressed with simple, direct, and eloquent force, it heads the literature of the world. No measure can be made of the influence of its precepts upon the souls of men. That influence can be stated in finite terms. Its words of wisdom, its sublime utterances, its divine promptings have enriched the speech and thought, directly or indirectly, of every writer whose works are known and valued. All profane writings, using the words in their literal signification, abound in scriptural speech and illustration. Their most inspiring paragraphs are such as have origin in the lessons worded in Holy Writ." —Alston Ellis, Ph. D., EL. D., President Ohio University.
"Children and adults, alike, find pleasure and instruction in reading the story of Joseph, of Ruth, of Esther, and of Daniel. The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount suggest the highest ideals of living that mortal mind can translate into action.
"Mortal tongue never uttered such noble, such soul-moving, sentiments as those with which the teachings of Christ abound. The parables of our Saviour are incomparable."There is no book that more truly deserves the title of `The Children's Book' than The Holy Bible. It is full of incident, of biography, of wonderstories the most thrilling and packed with high ethical and intensely spiritual teaching." John H. Vincent, Chancellor Chautauqua Inst.
The Bible, says the Rev. Chas. A. Young, is the great text-book of civilization. As Daniel Webster said : "There is no solid basis for civilization but in the Word of God." Horace Mann wrote: "Our system earnestly inculcates all Christian morals; . . . It welcomes the religion of the Bible." And even Professor Huxley, certainly no pietist, says : " True science and true religion are twin sisters, and the separation of either from the other is sure to prove death to both."