Signs of the Times

["The English Bible from Bede to Tyndale," by Frederick Dixon—Reprinted by request, from The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, U.S.A., Nov. 24, 1909]

England, in a famous sentence, has been termed the country of a book, and, allowing for the perhaps inevitable looseness of an epigram, the phrase is as descriptive as it is picturesque. English prose, with all its melody, its thunder, and its rhythm, found its earliest expression in the English Bible and it found it in the Bible because it found there the inspiration of all that was most enduring and noblest in the national character. "To the Bible," wrote Matthew Arnold, "men will return; and why? Because they cannot do without it; because happiness is our being, end, and aim, and happiness belongs to righteousness, and righteousness is revealed in the Bible." The Bible, as we have it, is not, of course, the work of an individual or a generation. It is rather like an English oak, bursting from its tiny acorn, and adding, century by century, to its girth, its majesty, and its might.

March 19, 1921

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