For there are only two divisions in this world of ours, only two companies, only two flocks. The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light, the Lord’s people and those who are none of His, the sheep and the goats. From which division, from which company, from which flock shall I choose my friends?
’Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?’
Especially careful should we be in that nearest and dearest of friendships, in the choice of the one who is to be to us our other self. Would we be made one, would we link ourselves by that firm and sacred tie, whilst knowing all the time that the one who is to be dearer to us than life itself is outside the fold? No blessing can surely rest on such a marriage. Jesus cannot be an invited guest at that marriage feast. For clear and unmistakable is the trumpet call of the great Captain of our salvation:
’Come out from among them, and be ye separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’
How fond people are of collecting old books, and what a large price old books will fetch! Those who are so fortunate as to obtain possession of a book which is four or five hundred years old may put their own price upon it, for some antiquarian will be sure to purchase it.
But how modern, how very far from being ancient, the oldest of our English books, printed in the most primitive black letter, appears, when it is laid side by side with that curious old book which travellers, visiting the little village of Nablus, are shown this very day. Well may the old white-headed man who has charge of that book bring it out with pride, for it is one of the oldest books in the world.
The book is in the form of a roll of parchment. It is made of goat skins, twenty-five inches broad, and about fifteen feet long. The skins are neatly joined together, but in many places they have been torn and rather clumsily mended. The roll is kept in a grand silver-gilt case in the form of a cylinder, embossed and engraved. On this case are carved representations of the Tabernacle, of the ark, of the two altars, of the trumpets, and of the various instruments used in sacrifice. A crimson satin cover, on which inscriptions are worked in gold thread, is thrown over this precious book.