No gold mine in the world, nor all the world's gold mines together, can compare in riches with the sayings of the Bible.
This book brings the greatest and best-known of those sayings together,—fifteen hundred of them.
If you will become familiar with these fifteen hundred sentences, you will possess yourself of the soul of the Bible.
You will gain its wit and wisdom, you will have its practical sagacity and its insight into spiritual things. You will come to know God and Christ and to dwell with the Holy Spirit. You will obtain courage for the trials of earth and a happy place in the mansions of heaven.
The Bible contains 31,173 verses. This book has selected one-twentieth of these. It is too much to say that it includes all the most memorable, but it does include probably all that one is likely to meet in ordinary references, in reading or speech. Learning these fifteen hundred verses will give you a substantial working knowledge of the Bible.
The question-and-answer form has been chosen as the most vivacious and practical, and pains have been taken to vary the questions so as to prevent monotony.
For private use, spaces are left for the copying of the answers from the back of the book, if that is desired; but it is better not to do this, but to keep at it till the answers leap to your mind at once in reply to the questions.
For use in the home or in a Sunday-school class, one person will give out the questions and keep a record of the success or failure of the answers. At first it will be well to accept incomplete or vague replies, but after a while increased accuracy should be required until the verses can be repeated just as they stand in the Bible, word by word.
After a while you may add to the study the names of the books where the different verses are found, then the chapters, and some of you may be able to go on to the verse numbers. Your great-great-grandparents had no difficulty even with the last feat.
I have used the King James version rather than any of the later translations, because it is the version used by the vast majority of persons, and quite universally quoted in literature.
One caution. Do not allow yourself to be discouraged. At first you will be dismayed to find how little of the Bible you actually know, with anything approaching accuracy. You may go through an entire series of twenty-five questions and not be able to answer one of them, though pains have been taken to intersperse the most familiar verses with those less familiar.
But persevere. It is well worth while. The second time you go over a series of questions you will be able to answer more of them, and so with every time you review them, until by and by you will be letter perfect; and then what joy and pride and enrichment!
While putting this book together I wrote the following verses, which may serve as a concluding bit of stimulus for the study:WHO SAID?
Who said, "Blessed are the mourners"?
Who said, "Happy arc the poor"?
Who declared himself the Shepherd?
Who declared himself the Door?
Who, when tempests darkly lower,
Is the Dayspring of the day?
Who, in all our tangled courses,
Whose the saying, "God is light"?
Whose the saying, "God is love"?
Who commanded, "Set your heart
On the things that are above"?
Who compared the tongue to fire?
Who compared God's grace to snow?
Who compared to growing light
Paths whereon God's people go?
Who said, "The Lord my Shepherd is"?
Who said, "My Tower he"?
Who said, "He is my Strength and Song
And evermore shall be"?
Who said, "The Lord my God is good,
His blessings aye endure,
And all his glorious promises
Are lasting and secure"?
"Who said—?" Behold, a mirror shows
Redoubled what is fair,
And all the world of loveliness
Increases glory there.
So words and speaker, let them live
Together in our mind,
Each in the other's beauteousness
An echoing joy to find.
AMOS R. WELLS