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A Parable against Persecution.
I. AND it came to pass after these things, that Abraham sat in the door of his tent, about the going down of the sun.
2. And behold a man, bowed with age, came from the way of the wilderness, leaning on a staff.
3. And Abraham arose and met him, and said unto him, "Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night, and thou shalt arise early on the morrow and go on thy way."
4. But the man said, "Nay, for I will abide under this tree."
5. And Abraham pressed him greatly; so he turned, and they went into the tent, and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat.
6. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto him, "Wherefore dost thou not worship the most high God, Creator of heaven and earth?"
7. And the man answered and said, "I do not worship the God thou speakest of, neither do I call upon his name; for I have made to myself a god, which abideth alway in mine house and provideth me with all things."
8. And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose and fell upon him, and drove him forth with blows into the wilderness.
9. And at midnight God called unto Abraham, saying, "Abraham, where is the stranger?"
10. And Abraham answered and said, "Lord, he would not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name; therefore have I driven him out from before my face into the wilderness."
II. And God said, "Have I borne with him these hundred ninety and eight years, and nourished him, and clothed him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me; and couldst not thou, that art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night?"
12. And Abraham said, "Let not the anger of the Lord wax hot against his servant; lo, I have sinned; lo, I have sinned; forgive me, I pray thee."
13. And Abraham arose and went forth into the wilderness, and sought diligently for the man, and found him, and returned with him to the tent; and when he had entreated him kindly he sent him away on the morrow with gifts.
14. And God spake again unto Abraham, saying, "For this thy sin shall thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in a strange land;
15. "But for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they shall come forth with power, and with gladness of heart, and with much substance."
"This Parable was printed in the Boston Chronicle,' 1768, and six years afterwards in Lord Kames's Sketches of the History of Man.' Lord Kames introduced it with the following prefatory remark: 'It was communicated to me by Dr. Franklin of Philadelphia, a man who makes a great figure in the learned world.' . . . From Lord Kames's work it was taken by Mr. Vaughan, and included in his edition of Franklin's writings.
Although Lord Kames does not say that Dr. Franklin was the author of the Parable, yet from the manner in which he speaks of it, this inference was naturally drawn; and some degree of surprise was expressed when the discovery was made, not long afterwards, that there was a similar story in Jeremy Taylor's 'Liberty of Prophesying.' Curiosity was then excited as to its real origin, for Taylor vaguely says that he found it in the Jews' books.' Upon this hint, however, the learned commenced their researches, and the storehouses of Talmudic, Cabalistic, and Rabbinical lore was explored in vain. No such story could be found in any Jewish writing. It was at length discovered in the dedication of a book which was translated by George Gentius from a Jewish work, and which appeared in Amsterdam in the year 1651. More recently it has been found out that the Parable is of Eastern origin- from the second book of the 'Bostàn,' by the celebrated Persian poet Saadi. It is worthy of notice that Saadi relates the story not as his own, but as having been told to him. Thus its fountain remains yet to be ascertained.” — JARED SPARKS.
In a letter to Mr. Vaughan, dated November 2, 1789, Dr. Franklin says that he never published the story, and claimed no "other credit from it than what related to the style, and the addition of the concluding threat and promise."
The Hill of Science.
BY DR. JOHN AIKIN.1
In that season of the year when the serenity of the sky, the various fruits which cover the ground, the discolored foliage of the trees, and all the sweet but fading graces of inspiring autumn, open the mind to benevolence and dispose it for contemplation, I was wandering in a beautiful and romantic country till curiosity began to give way to weariness; and I sat down on the fragment of a rock overgrown with moss, where the rustling of the falling leaves, the dashing of waters, and the hum of the distant city soothed my mind into a most perfect tranquillity; and sleep insensibly stole upon me, as I was indulging the agreeable reveries, which the objects around me naturally inspired.
I immediately found myself in a vast extended plain, in the midst of which arose a mountain higher than I had before any conception of. It was covered with a multitude of people, chiefly youth, many of whom
1 Dr. John Aikin was born in Leicestershire, England, in 1747. He is best known as one of the authors of "Evenings at Home," a selection of instructive essays and stories for children. He was assisted in the preparation of this work by his sister, Mrs. Barbauld. The book has been translated into every European language. Dr. Aikin died in 1822.
pressed forward with the liveliest expressions of ardor in their countenance, though the way was in many places steep and difficult. I observed that those who had but just begun to climb the hill, thought themselves not far from the top; but as they proceeded, new hills were continually rising to their view, and the summit of the highest they could before discern seemed but the foot of another, till the mountain at length appeared to lose itself in the clouds. As I was gazing on these things with astonishment, a friendly instructor suddenly appeared: "The mountain before thee," said he, "is the Hill of Science. On the top is the temple of Truth, whose head is above the clouds, and a veil of pure light covers her face. Observe the progress of
her votaries; be silent and attentive."
After I had noticed a variety of objects, I turned my eye towards the multitudes who were climbing the steep ascent, and observed amongst them a youth of a lively look, a piercing eye, and something fiery and irregular in all his motions. His name was Genius. He darted like an eagle up the mountain, and left his companions gazing after him with envy and admiration; but his progress was unequal, and interrupted by a thousand caprices. When Pleasure warbled in the valley, he mingled in her train. When Pride beckoned towards the precipice, he ventured to the tottering edge. He delighted in devious and untried paths, and made so many excursions from the road, that his feebler companions often outstripped him. I observed that the muses beheld him with partiality; but Truth often frowned and turned aside her face. While Genius was thus wasting his strength in eccentric flights, I saw a person of very different appearance, named Applica