Posts Tagged ‘Scripture Biography’

Scripture Biography For The Young and Not So Young

October 16, 2009

 

Last time I spoke about Thomas H. Gallaudet, the father of deaf

educationScripture Biography for Young (5 Vol. Set) by Thomas H. Gallaudet in America. This morning I would like to speak to you about an outstanding series he wrote over the last 15 years of his life entitled Scripture Biography for the Young. Beginning with Adam he writes to the young about the leading characters of Holy Scripture in a way that is informative, entertaining and challenging all at the same time. I am now approaching 60 years of age and I have found myself moved to tears on many occasions as I have read his words. He never leaves the reader as a mere spectator of history, but always seeks to address us in light of the example he has set before us. I will give a couple brief examples to whet your appetite. By the way, the first five volumes will be available in the first week of November.

 

EXAMPLE ONE – Joseph’s Brothers Comforting Their Father After Selling Joseph

“Jacob’s sons, trying to comfort him for the loss of Joseph, whom they themselves had sold into bondage, and sent far away from his affectionate father! They pretending to mingle their sorrow with his, when they were secretly rejoicing at the event which occasioned it! They endeavoring to allay his grief, when the deception which they had practiced was the reason why that grief was so excessive! They calling upon him to dry up his tears, when they had it in their power, by simply telling him that Joseph was yet alive, to furnish a consolation which would have turned those tears of sadness into tears of joy!

 

What base deceivers! What wicked hypocrites! What ungrateful and cruel children! How is their guilt increasing; and how great must be the displeasure of God against them! You see in all this your own danger, if you go on indulging sinful thoughts and feelings, and committing sinful actions. Stop and think of this danger. Think especially of one striking thing which marked the progress of Joseph’s brethren in guilt. I mean their resort to deception and falsehood.

 

Remember that those who are guilty of wicked conduct, wish and strive to conceal it. Have you not always found it to be so, when you have said or done anything which you knew to be wrong? But those who wish to conceal their evil conduct are strongly tempted to do this by some kind of artifice, or even by a downright falsehood.

 

You know it is a common saying, that those who steal, will also lie. It is true—and it is equally true, that those who commit wickedness, of whatever kind, will practice deception, and tell a falsehood rather than be detected. How mean and cowardly, as well as sinful, it is, to be a liar! “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are his delight. Liars shall have their portion in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.”

 

Fear then to sin. Fear all wicked thoughts, and feelings, and conduct. For these will lead you to deceive, and if, in your opinion, there is great danger of detection—to lie. There is no security against this, but in loving and obeying God. Have you a heart thus disposed to love and obey him? If you have not—think of the sons of Jacob. Think of their very wicked conduct toward their brother and father. It all proceeded from their evil hearts.”

EXAMPLE TWO – Joseph’s Gracious Treatment of His Brothers

“What an interesting and affecting scene! God has given it to you, my young friends, in the Bible, for your instruction. And you can, indeed, derive a great deal of instruction from it. Mark the conduct of Joseph in it; for it deserves your imitation.

There stood his brethren before him, who had done him so many injuries; and they knew, at last, that in the mighty governor of Egypt they beheld their brother whom they had hated so bitterly, and treated so cruelly. How their guilt must have risen up before them in all its enormity! How mean and degraded they must have felt in his presence! How justly they must have thought they deserved his severest rebuke! They probably were expecting it, as the least punishment, even if he did not inflict any other, which was due to their wickedness!

 

But what amazement must have filled their breasts, to see, that instead of all this, their injured brother was about to treat them with the greatest kindness. He does not reproach them at all. He even tries to turn their thoughts from the recollection of their own guilt, to the merciful providence of God, who had over-ruled it for his good, and for that of themselves, and their father, and their whole family.

 

Perhaps, in this respect, Joseph may have been too lenient. But he knew there would be another, and probably a better season, for them to think over all that had happened. He wished to show them how freely and fully he forgave them. And, if anything could lead them to the deepest repentance for their past guilt, it was surely such generous and noble conduct on the part of a brother whom they had so grossly injured.

 

How have you felt toward those who have injured you; and how have you treated them? No one, I presume, has ever done you an injury anything like that which the brethren of Joseph inflicted upon him. He felt no revenge, no desire to injure those who had injured him. On the contrary, he wished to return them all the good in his power, for the evil which he had received from them. See, too, the kind and affectionate, the noble and generous manner in which he showed these feelings. There was no allusion to their cruel and wicked treatment of him; no exulting because he had them in his power; no boasting of his being willing to forgive them; not even a rebuke or a reproach, or a word said to make them feel their littleness and their meanness.

 

Have you felt so, and acted so, toward those who have injured you? Do you not think that the conduct of Joseph is worthy of your highest effort to imitate it? It is, indeed, so. If you have not felt and acted at all as he did, toward those who have injured you, then you are like his wicked brethren; and the evil passion of revenge still finds a place within your breasts. You have need, then, of sincere repentance before God on this account. And this should show you the exceeding sinfulness of your heart. For you have not the spirit of Joseph. You have not the spirit of Christ.

 

Christ forgave his enemies, even those wicked and cruel men who nailed him to the cross! He prayed for them in his dying moments, that God also would forgive them. And he has told us that if we do not forgive our enemies, those who have injured us in any way whatever, and pray for them, and return good for evil, God will not forgive us, but banish us, forever, from his presence.

 

Think of all this. And seriously ask yourselves the question, if these things are so, whether you must not become very different from what you are; whether you must not have your inmost soul renewed and made holy by the Spirit of God, before you can hope to enjoy his presence and favor in heaven?”

 

Gallaudet will lead you and your family constantly from the Old Testament narrative to the person and work of Jesus Christ. We are honored to bring these volumes back into print for the first time in more than 125 years. Soon the wait will be over and we will be able to feed our souls on the rich meat of God’s holy word, as we are fed by The Father of Deaf Education in America.