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A Hero and Some Other Folks by William A. Quayle

This solitary virtue has breathed into the Rubaiyat life


And

one of earth's gentlemen was welcomed home to heaven.

XII

The Drama of Job

The sun monopolizes the sky. Stars do not shine by day, not because they have lost their luster, but because the sun owns the heavens, and erases them as the tide erases footprints from the sands. In similar fashion a main truth monopolizes attention to the exclusion of subordinate truths. The Bible's main truth is its spiritual significancy, containing those ethical teachings which have revolutionized this world, and which are to be redemptive in all ages yet to come. The Bible, as God's Book for man's reading and redemption, has proven so amazing as a moral force, illuminating the mind; purifying the heart; freeing and firing the imagination; attuning life itself to melody; peopling history with new ideas; seeding continents with Magna Chartas of personal and political liberties; making for religious toleration; creating a new ideal of manhood and womanhood; presenting, in brief biographical sketches, perfect pictures of such men as the world has seen too few of; and portraying Christ, whose face once seen can never be forgotten, but casts all other faces and figures into shadow, leaving Him solitary, significant, sublime,--this is the Bible. So men have conceived the Scriptures as a magazine of moral might; and the conception has not been amiss. This is the

Bible's chief merit and superior function, and this glory has blinded us to lesser glories, which, had they existed in any other literature, would have stung men to surprise, admiration, and delight. "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" is a pleasure simply as an expression of sensuous delight set to music. The poem is a bit of careless laughter, ringing glad and free as if it were a child's, and passing suddenly to a child's tears and sobbing. This solitary virtue has breathed into the Rubaiyat life. The Bible is a series of books bound in a single volume, because all relate to a single theme: history, biography, letters, proverbial philosophy, pure idyls, lofty eloquence, elegiac poetry, ethics, legal codes, memorabilia, commentaries on campaigns more influential on the world's destiny than Caesar's, epic poetry, lyrics, and a sublime drama. The Bible is not a book, but a library; not a literary effort, but a literature. It sums up the literature of the Hebrew race, aside from which that race produced nothing literary worthy of perpetuation. One lofty theme stung them to genius, their mission and literature converging in Christ and there ending. The Bible as literature marks the book as unique as a literary fact as it is as a religious fact; in either, standing solitary. That lovers of literature have passed these surprising literary merits by with comparative inattention is attributable, doubtless, to the over-shadowing moral majesty of the volume. The larger obscured the lesser glory. But, after all, can we feel other than shame in recalling how our college curricula contain the masterpieces of Greek, Latin, English, and German literature, and find no niche for the Bible, superior to all in moral elevation and literary charm and inspiration? "Ruth" is easily the superior of "Paul and Virginia" or "Vicar of Wakefield." "Lamentations" is as noble an elegy as sorrow has set to words; the Gospels are not surpassed by Boswell's "Johnson" in power of recreating the subject of the biography; the Psalms sing themselves without aid of harp or organ; "The Acts" is a history taking rank with Thucydides; and Job is the sublimest drama ever penned. If these encomiums are high, they must not be deemed extravagant, rather the necessary eulogy of truth.

What are the sublimest


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