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Literature a Pillar of Strength
			
         LITERATURE A PILLAR OF STRENGTH.         149

neglected her letters; the minds of the people were
diverted from intellectual splendor to shallow sports
and gay amusements.  Instead of drafting men for
service at home in the quiet literary pursuits, she
armed them for war and conquest. They became
blinded to the beauty within, and went wild after the
splendor of others. Dumb to the voice of reason, and
drunken with the spirit of ungodly gain, they rushed
madly into strife and contentions, and there lost all.
This same spirit was dominant in the mind of the
Assyrian. Her government began as a despotism ruled
by force and conquest. Obligation, tribute and hom-
age were the requirements. There was no centraliza-
tion, nothing to inspire love and gratitude, and the
king found himself losing his grip. The attention of
the people was turned away from home. Youthful
minds were thirsting for nourishment. Esarhaddon,
with his keen political insight, saw the trouble, and
threw himself in the gap by establishing at Nineveh
that library from which have been taken so many
tablets now in the British Museum. And what is
the testimony of history? Evidently that this was
the one step that saved the Assyrian youth to their
country.
  The political influence of Babylon and Borsippa,
whither they went, was considered dangerous, and the
only hope for cultivating a love of home, nativity and
self-government, lay in establishing their own libraries,
producing their own literature and infusing Assyrian
thought and Assyrian feelings into the life of the
nation.
  A part of the palace of Assurbanipal was dedicated
as a public library, and among the things found in the
ruins thereof, says one, " are tablets containing inscrip-
tions such as a Bacon or Franklin might have written,"
to the effect that " knowledge is power and the founda-
    11




			
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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 10, Num. 1

Literature a Pillar of Strength

R.

Volume:  10
Issue Number:  01
Page Number:  146
Date:  07/1893


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