Mr. Barnstaple sat up in his bed in a state of extreme

That Quaker influence was far stronger in America than it ever proved to be in England. George Fox himself visited the colonies and extended its influence. Three great effects are easily traceable. The very presence of the Quakers in the New England colonies, notably in Massachusetts, and the persecutions which they endured, did more to purify the Puritans than any other one influence. One is only loyal to the Puritan character and teaching in declaring that in the manner of the Puritans toward the Quakers they were wrong; they were wrong because they were untrue to their own belief, untrue to their own Bibles, and when the more thoughtful among them found that they were taking the attitude toward the Quakers which they had resented toward themselves, remembering that the Quakers were drawing their teaching from the same Bible as themselves, they were naturally checked. And, while the Quakers in New England suffered greatly, their suffering proved the purification of the Puritans. It accented and so it removed the narrowness of Puritan practice. Further, the Quaker movement gave to American history William Penn and the whole constitution of Pennsylvania. It was there that a state first lived by the principle which William Penn pronounced: "Any government is free where the people are a party to the laws enacted." So it came about that Independence Hall is on Quaker soil. The Declaration of Independence appeared there, and not on Puritan soil. It may be there was more freedom of thought in Pennsylvania. It may be explained on purely geographical ground, Philadelphia being the most convenient center for the colonies. But it remains significant that not on Cavalier soil in Virginia, not on Dutch soil in New York, not on Puritan soil in Boston, but on Quaker soil in Philadelphia the movement for national independence crystallized around a general principle that "any government is free where the people are a party to the laws enacted," but that no government is free whose people have not a voice. That is not minimizing the power of Puritanism, nor forgetting Fanueil Hall and the Tea Party. It only accents what should be familiar: that Puritanism drew into itself more of the fighting element of Scripture, while the Quaker movement drew into itself more of the uniting, pacifying element of Scripture. The third effect of the Quaker movement is John Greenleaf Whittier, with his gentle but never weak demand that national freedom should not mean independence of other people alone, but the independence of all people within the nation. So that while the Quaker spirit helped the colonies to break loose from foreign control and become a nation, it helped the nation in turn to break loose from internal shackles. The nation stood free within itself as well as free from others. Yet the Quaker movement--and this is the argument--is itself the result of the English Bible, and the Quaker influence is the influence of the English Bible on history.

Mr. Barnstaple sat up in his bed in a state of extreme

There is not need for extended word about the great Wesleyan movement in the midst of this period, which has so profoundly affected both English and American history. It has not worked out into such visible political forms. But any movement that makes for larger spiritual life makes for the strengthening of the entire life of the nation. The mere figures of the early Wesleyan movement are almost appalling. Here was a man, John Wesley, an Oxford scholar, who spent nearly fifty years traveling up and down and back and forth through England on horseback, covering more than two hundred and fifty thousand miles, preaching everywhere more than forty thousand times, writing, translating, editing two hundred works. When death ended his busy life there were in his newly formed brotherhood one hundred and thirty-five thousand members, with five hundred and fifty itinerants who were following his example with incessant preaching and Bible exposition. It was the old Wiclif-Lollard movement over again. And here was the other Wesley, Charles, teaching England to sing again, teaching the old truths of the Bible in rhyme to many who could not read, so that they became familiar, writing on horseback, in stage-coaches, everywhere, writing with one passion, to help England back to the Bible and its truth. Such activity could not leave the nation unmoved; all its religious life felt it, and its political life from serf to king was deeply affected by it. It is a common saying that the Wesleyan movement saved English liberty from European entanglement. Yet the Wesleyan movement issued from the Bible and led England back to the Bible.

Mr. Barnstaple sat up in his bed in a state of extreme

But apart from these wide movements and the great souls who led them, there is time for thought of one typical character on each side of the sea who did not so much make a movement as he proved the point around which a great fluid idea crystallized into strength. Across the sea the character shall be that man whom Carlyle gave back to us out of obloquy and misunderstanding, Oliver Cromwell. Choosing him, we pass other names which crowd into memory, names of men who have served the need of England well-Wilberforce, John Howard, Shaftesbury, Gladstone--who drew their strength from this Book. Yet we choose Cromwell now for argument. On this side it must be that best known, most beloved, most typical of all Americans, Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Barnstaple sat up in his bed in a state of extreme

An English historian has said that the most influential, the most unescapable years in English history are those of the Protectorate. That is a strong saying. They were brief years. There were many factors in them. Oliver Cromwell was only one, but he was chief of all. He was not chief in the councils which resulted in the beheading of Charles I. on that 30th of January, 1649, though he took part in them. Increasingly in the movements which led to that event and which followed it he was growing into prominence. After Marston Moor, Prince Rupert named him Ironsides, and his regiment of picked men, picked for their spirit, went always into battle singing psalms, "and were never beaten." As he rode out to the field at Naseby (1645) he knew he faced the flower of the loyalist army, while with him were only untrained men; yet he smiled, as he said afterward, in the "assurance that God would, by things that are not, bring to naught things that are." Then he adds, "God did it." Never did he raise his flag but in the interests of the liberty of the people, and back of every movement of his army there was his confidence in the Bible, which was his mainstay. They offered him the throne; he would not have it. He dissolved the Parliament which had dragged on until the patience of the people was exhausted. He called another to serve their need. The evening before it met he spent in meditation on the One hundred and third Psalm. The evening before the second Parliament of his Protectorate he brooded on the Eighty-fifth Psalm, and opened the Parliament next day with an exposition of it. The man was saturated with Scripture. Yes, the times were rude. It was an Old Testament age, and in right Old Testament spirit did Cromwell work. And it seemed that his work failed. There was no one to succeed him, and soon after his death came the Restoration and the return of Charles II., of which we have already spoken, in which occurred that hint of the real sentiment of the English people which a wise man had better have taken. Yet, recall what actually happened. Misunderstanding the spirit of the English people, which Cromwell had helped to form, but which in turn had made Cromwell possible, the servile courtiers of the false king unearthed the Protector's body, three years buried, hanged it on a gallows in Tyburn for a day, beheaded it, and threw the trunk into a pit. His head they mockingly set on a pinnacle of the Parliament Hall, whence for some weeks it looked over the city which he had served. Then, during a great storm, it came clattering down, only a poor dried skull, and disappeared no one knows where. But when you stand opposite the great Parliament buildings in London to-day, the most beautiful buildings for their purpose in the world, the buildings where the liberties of the English express themselves year after year, whose is the one statue that finds place within the inclosure, near the spot where that poor skull came rattling down? Not Charles II.--you shall look in vain for him. Not George Monk, who brought back the King--you shall not find him there. The one statue which England has cared to plant beside its Parliament buildings is that of Oliver Cromwell, its Lord Protector. There he stands, warning kings in the interests of liberty. John Morley makes no ideal of him. He thinks he rather closed the medieval period than opened the modern period; but he will not have Cromwell compared to Frederick the Great, who spoke with a sneer of mankind. Cromwell "belonged to the rarer and nobler type of governing men, who see the golden side, who count faith, piety, hope among the counsels of practical wisdom, and who for political power must ever seek a moral base." That is a rare and noble type of men, whether they govern or not. But no man of that type governs without red blood in his veins; and the iron that made this man's blood run red came from the English Bible.

It is a far cry from Oliver Cromwell to Abraham Lincoln--far in years, far in deeds, far in methods, but not far in spirit. Great men are kindred, generations over. We pass from the Old Testament into the New when we pass from Cromwell to Lincoln; but we still feel the spirit of liberty. From the days of the Puritans, the Quakers and the Dutch, history had been preparing for this time. Benjamin Franklin had done his great work for human liberty; he had summed up his hope for the nation in his memorable address in 1787, when he stood eighty- one years old, before the convention assembled to frame a constitution for the new government. He reminded them that at the beginning of the contest with the British they had had daily prayers in that room in Philadelphia for the Divine protection, and said: "I have lived for a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proof I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that 'Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall proceed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."

George Washington sounded a familiar note in his farewell address: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. A volume could not trace all their connection with private and public felicity. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles." Thomas Jefferson, of whom it is sometimes said that he was indifferent to religion, had yet done his great work under inspiration, which he himself acknowledges in his inaugural address, when he speaks of the nation as "enlightened by a benign religion, professed indeed, and practised in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensation proves that it results in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter." Greater than Jefferson had appeared John Marshall, greatest of our Chief Justices, like in spirit to that John Marshall Harlan, whose death marked the year which has just closed, of whom his colleagues said that he went to his rest each night with one hand on the Bible and the other on the Constitution of the United States, a description which could almost be transferred to his great predecessor in that court. Moreover, when Lincoln came, Joseph Story, the greatest teacher of law which our country had produced, had only just died from his place on the Supreme Bench, In his Phi Beta Kappa address at Harvard (1826), in a brilliant and masterful analysis of "The Characteristics of the Age," he had paid tribute after tribute to the power of religion and the Bible. He had declared his belief that the religion of the Bible had "established itself in the hearts of men by all which genius could bring to illumine or eloquence to grace its sublime truths." Of the same period with Lincoln was also Webster, who was called the "concordance of the House." Many of his stately periods and great ideas came from the Bible. Indeed, there is no oratory of our history, which has survived the waste of the years, which does not feel and show the power of the Scriptures. The English Bible has given our finest eloquence its ideas, its ideals, its illustrations, its phrases.

The line is unbroken. And it leads to this tall figure, crowned with a noble head, his face the saddest in American history, who knew Gethsemane in all its paths. The heart of the American people has always been touched by his early years of abject poverty. But there were compensations. He had few books, and they entered his blood and fiber. In his earliest formative years there were six books which he read and re-read. Nicolay and Hay name the Bible first in the list, with Pilgrim's Progress as the fourth. Mr. Morse calls it a small library, but nourishing, and says that Lincoln absorbed into his own nature all the strong juice of the books.[1] How much he drew from the pages of the Holy Book let any reader of his speeches say. Quotation, reference, illustration crowd each other. The phrases are familiar. The man is full of the Book. And what the man does is part of the work of the Book.

[1] American Statesman Series, Abraham Lincoln, i, 12, 13.

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