[R516 : page 3]


"We hear so much said of this suspected text, and that doubtful passage; of this probable interpolation from the margin, and of the long quarrel which scholars have waged over that Greek letter, mark, or accent, that we sometime forget that God, in his constitution of the Bible, has made it impossible to seriously pervert it. Of course there will be erroneous transcriptions. The hand of the scribe is not inspired. Of course there may be, here and there, insertions, or marginal note written into the text. Of course there may be a word dropped out, or a vowel omitted, in one passage or another. The eye of the scribe will sometimes fail to discern distinctly what it sees or what it omits; and there must be of necessity more or less liability to minute error in making of so many writings. But the great course of doctrine cannot be eliminated from the Scriptures, except as you tear the whole fabric into tatters. It is interwoven, each part with every other—story, law, precept, proverb, the biographies of Christ by the evangelist, and the argument of Christ by the Apostles, and the vision of Christ in Apocalypse; until, if you throw away one part, you must equally throw away many others. You may get rid of the story of Balaam; though, if you do, you will miss one of the most picturesque and impressive stories in all the Old Testament. But, what then will you do with the reference to him in Micah, in Peter, and in Revelation? You may get rid, perhaps, of the miracle of the passage of the Red Sea, and suppose a mere shift of the wind when Pharaoh's army was divinely destroyed. But, what then are you to do with the Song of Moses and of Miriam? and what with the seventy-sixth Psalm, and the one hundred and fourteenth? and what with the Song of Moses and the Lamb, in the crowning book of the Apocalypse? They are inter-braided, like threads that have been woven so closely together that you cannot tear them apart without destroying the fabric. You cannot extract one and leave the rest, with any ingenuity or by any force.—H. L. Hastings.


"LOVING words will cost but little,
Journeying up the hill of life;
But they make the weak and weary
Stronger, braver for the strife.
Do you count them only trifles?
What to earth are sun and rain?
Never was a kind word wasted,
Never one was said in vain."