Dean Thomas

Dean Thomas And His New Testament.   


How strange the world would seem without the Bible: to have no ten commandments, showing us what is right and what wrong; to hear no Saviour speaking the tender words, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest; to have no God to fear, and no Redeemer to keep us; to have to bear our sins without forgiveness, our sorrows without comfort, and to die with out the hope of heaven.

     How very, very dark would the world be without the Bible. And yet, there have been some periods and some places almost as bad off as if there really had been no Bible, because it was kept from the people, and indeed was so scarce that a Bible was a great curiosity. Let us see how it used to be in Scotland 300 years ago. The Scots were then under the Pope's yoke, which you well know is a pretty heavy one. Ignorant bishops and wicked monks governed the people, and taught them pretty much what they had a mind to. Indeed, it is said that the chief thing, which the priest did in those days was cursing. If any thing was lost, even to a porridge-stick or horn spoon, the people went to the priest and got him to curse the thief in his prayers on Sabbath-day; like this, for example:

  The gude wife on the other side of the gate has lost a horn spoon. God's curse and mine I give to them that knows of this gear, and restores it not." Is not that a very strange passage to put into a prayer? Sometimes a whole string of such curses followed, one after the other.    Ah, but the priest was paid for every one; and so much money did the priests rob the people of that they were called a "greedy pack." No wonder there was so much darkness; the light of the Bible was not there.

     But there was one good priest, called Dean Thomas, who in some way or other got hold of a New Testament; he was overjoyed at what he found in it, and began quickly to preach its truths to his flock.   This course soon reached the bishop's ears, and he sent for Dean Thomas to appear immediately before him.

     ''Dean Thomas," said the bishop, "I love you well, therefore I must tell you what you ought to do."

     "I thank your lordship heartily," answered Dean Thomas.

     Dean Thomas," continued the bishop. “they tell me you preach the gospel every Sunday to the parishioners a thing very hurtful to churchmen.

    It is too much to preach every Sunday, for you will make the people think that all should do so likewise. It is enough for you when you find any good epistle setting up the rights of the church, to preach that, and let the rest be."

     Truly, my lord," answered Thomas, "I have read the New Testament and Old all the epistles and gospels and among them I could never find any evil epistle or any evil gospel. But if your lordship will show me the good and the evil epistles and gospels, then I will preach the good and leave out the evil.'

     "I thank God," cried out the bishop, lifting up his hands. "I have lived well these many years, and never knew either the Old or New Testament."

     Just think of that from a bishop, who had the care of souls! " New Testament!" he said; "he would have no New Testament; it was a bad book, written by Martin Luther; give them the old one."

     Good Dean Thomas made a poor stand before these ignorant men, who became his judges. At his trial he happened to quote some of the Apostle Paul's words; and where did you find that?"  they asked angrily.

     "In my book, which is in my sleeve," answered Thomas.

     One of the priests then started up, and pulling the New Testament out of his sleeve, held it up before the people, crying out. " See! see! Here is the wicked book, the book of heresy, which makes such foul play. See! See!"

     "God forgive you, brother," said Thomas mildly, "you ought to know better than to call the life of Jesus Christ a book of heresy;" then he tried to tell them about the holy and precious truths which it was full of; but they stopped their ears, and would not hear.     They commanded him to repent having preached the   New Testament, and never do so again. No, no. Dean Thomas could not repent of that; he gloried in having been able to preach it. Then what do you suppose his judges did? A great stake was driven into the ground, and wood and fagots were piled up around it. Dean Thomas and his Testament were tied fast to the stake; a fire was kindled, which soon roared and raged around them, burning him and his precious book together. Dean Thomas was a Bible martyr. What is a martyr, children? One who suffers death for the sake of his belief. There have been, sad to tell, a great army of martyrs. When called upon to give up their Bible or their lives, they answered, "Here are our lives take them if you will; but our Bible faith we will never give up." The sight of the roaring flames and their roasting companions did not frighten them. No; the Bible, they said, was dearer than life, because it gave them eternal life. No tears or groans escaped them, but often the flames and smoke stifled the songs of joy, which issued from their lips.    Think of it. Songs of joy through scenes like these! Here is an idea which I want you to think of, if you stand by the Bible, the Bible will stand by you; and it can do for you what no other book and no other friend can do. It can give you, joy and courage, and strength, when nothing else will; it can support you in the darkest hour, and through the severest trials. Ah, is there not reason to fear that many, many children, brought up to revere the Bible, yet do not stand by it, nay, do almost neglect and despise it; and why must we think so? Because, they keep putting off giving the best and only evidence which they can give of prizing it, that is to obey it.—

Am Messenger

Speaking without 

thinking is like shooting

without taking aim.