Excerpt from Young Folks' Bible in Words of Easy Reading: The Sweet Stories of God's Word in the Language of Childhood and in the Beautiful Delineations of Christian Art; The Whole Designed to Impress the Mind and Heart of the Youngest Readers, and Kindle a Genuine Love for the Book o... f Books
Not far from the same time, a young man bathed in tears lay writh Ing In agony under a fig tree in the garden of his house at Milan. His devout mother, Monica, in their Numidian home, had taught him the way of life written in God's Word; but as he grew to manhood he strove to shake Off the in¿uence and authority of her instruction; became a lib ertine, reached forth to grasp the crown of heathen eloquence and learn ing, and for more than ten years wrought steadily to undo the sacred work his mother had performed for him asa child. But the lesson she had taught him lay deeper than his surging passwns, Imperious intellect, and haughty will, and because of their power over him he could find no rest night or day. He journeyed to Carthage, Rome, Milan, the chief cities of the western world, to study art and eloquence, to drench his soul with the pleasures of sense and lay the ghost of his disquiet; but in vain. In his anguish under the fig tree he heard, or seemed to hear, again and again, Take it up and read, Take it up and read. Springing to his feet, he ran to a friend near by who was reading the Word. Seizing the volume, his eyes rested on the words, Let us walk honestly as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wanton ness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provisions for the ¿esh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. The birth pangs of his conversion were ended; he found peace in believing; and that incident makes an era in the history of the world, for that man was none other than Saint Augustine, the in¿uence of whose writings has swayed with more might than that of an imperial sceptre the destinies of western Christendom for ages. Therefore, whosoever heareth these say ings of mine and doeth them, saith the Lord, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the ¿oods came, and the Winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareththese sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a fool ish man which built his house upon the sand; and the rains descended, and the ¿oods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell, and great was the fall of it. Woe to Randolph! He heard and would not, and his house fell, and great was the fall of it. Mankind with one voice calls Augustine and Chrysostom blessed; they heard, obeyed, and their houses stand forever; they were built upon the rock. Their Rock is not as our Rock, our enemies themselves being judges was the boast of Israel at an early day. With how much fuller emphasis may Christendom utter it to-day. Compare India with Britain, China with the United States, and after all other forces are measured and allowed, it will be found that the significant and self-renewing causes for the su periority of the western nations over the eastern are the presence, author ity and in¿uence of the Old and New Testament. And he shewed me a pure river of water of life clear as crystal proceeding out: of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
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