"They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS."
To my dear grandchildren,
In France many years ago there was a family who loved the Bible. However, they lived in the times when people were forbidden to read the Bible, and if anyone was found reading it, they were threatened with punishment and even death.
In spite of this persecution, however, the father of this family felt that whatever else he must do without, he must have the Bible to read for himself and for his children. But he knew that unless he could hide it, it would soon be taken away from him. He knew, too, that if he expected to keep it, he must hide it where enemies would not think of looking for it. If he should put it in any of the drawers or in the cupboard or under the bed, they would be sure and look there and find it and carry it off.
So he got a wooden stool with sides around the top. He turned it upside down and fastened the back of the precious old Book to the underside of the top of the stool. When the stool was turned upside down, you could open the Bible and turn over the pages and read any part of it. Then he made a sliding lid to the underpart of the stool so that the Bible might be protected from evil eyes and injury. When that lid was pushed in, there was nothing about the stool that would lead anyone to suspect what a treasure there was inside of it. It was just a common looking wooden stool, and anyone might sit on it as he pleased.
If someone came in and did not know what was there, they would have thought it very strange to see the father take that stool every morning and evening, and carefully turn it upside down, lay it reverently on his knee, draw out the lid, and gaze very earnestly on something. In this way they kept their Bible for years and found salvation, comfort and happiness in reading it.
One day one of those who hated the bible came in the house looking for the precious Book, but he could not find it. He searched till he was so weary that he came and sat down on the very stool to rest himself. As he sat there, he wondered where the Bible could be; but he never succeeded in finding it.
Sometime after, the family heard of America and of the liberty people had there to read the Bible as they pleased and to worship God. So they all came over to this country in a ship, and the precious Book, the Bible, came with them. They loved it and guarded it. It was the greatest treasure they had in their new home. Then when the father died, he handed the Bible down to his children with a charge to keep it in remembrance of the sufferings and trials he had passed through in his native land.
That French family has long since passed away; but that old Bible which was hidden away in the stool, is still to be seen in the hands of their great grandchildren. We are told that the family who now owns it lives in Western Pennsylvania.
Why do you suppose this family loved that Bible so? Why, because it told of a Saviour who loved them and died for their sins upon the cross of Calvary. It told of the way to true happiness by trusting in this Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. It spoke words of comfort in times of trial and guided them in the right way.
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
"The world passes away . . . but he who does the will of God abides forever."
(1 John 2:17)
"If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved."