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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
                   EDUCATION.                       341

able phrase. Does it mean that we are merely to be taught to
read English well, and a little Latin, and Greek, and Hebrew
badly? Does it mean to own a few commentaries on the old
Bible, and some on the New Testament, and a concordance and
condensed Bible dictionary, as works of weekly or monthly
reference, that are not called upon even that often? Does it mean
in adldition to this, that we shall have a history of the Methodist
Church, and the history of no other church in the world ? Or
does a theological education mean a universal history and
knowledge of religion, that takes us into Assyria, Babylon,
Egypt, Greece, Rome and Palestine ? The Bible is a big book,
and you will find all these places mentioned in it; but it does
not stop to tell you all about them, whether of their geography,
history or science. The Bible speaks of very many things; but
does not stop to tell you much about many of them It runs
right along, like a great tide, bearing ten thousand things and
events on its course, without stopping to explain. It lies right
open and wide, just like the big book of nature with its worlds
of air, and sky, and sea, and land, and mountain, and river, and
woods, and vales; and it invites to study, to examination and
  A man may own one, just like he owns the book of Nature,
and yet never know anything about it; just as many a man lives
all his life here on the earth and does not learn anything of rocks
and trees, or the air he breathes, or water he drinks. Why ?
Simply because he is not a student of Nature.  He does not seem
to know how to study. He will turn over a stone a thousand
times and never observe that it has a shell encrusted in it. He
will plow a field for forty years, with a thousand pebbles on
every square yard, and yet not find out that any pebble has a
pearl in it, though every pebble contained one. And so a man
may read his Bible over forty times during life, and brag about
it, and know but little about that book. Now, this is not study-
ing the Bible, or religion, or anything else; it is a sort of habit
of wasting time; and under a wrong notion that the Bible ex-
plains every word in itself so clearly that we need no other
light to help us.
 But we can't read the Bible, as we ought, without some help.
We can't read it at night without a light, nor in a darkened room
by day.  We can't read it in Greek, unless we know the Greek
alphabet, or in Hebrew, without the Hebrew alphabet, if it had
 twice as much wisdom and morals and religion in it as it has.
We might be the greatest linguists in the world, and yet be un-
able to read a word of the bible without our eyeglasses.  You
we, now, what trivial things might shut us off from all educa-
tion in the Bible, and you begin to see, I doubt not, that all the
education we have hinted at in this address is necessary to bring
up to the threshold of this high school, where religious educa-
tions begins to be thoroughly taught. Oh, what a man a preacher
might to be, in physical, intellectual and moral training ! What
a man he must be, if he would begin aright to read the deep


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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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