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Let Those Who Lightly Esteem Their Bibles Think On These Things 

    John G. Paton, early missionary to the New Hebrides Islands, tells how the first converts there obtained the Bible.

    “The Christians of Aneityum, having glimpses of this Word of God, determined to have a Holy Bible in their own mother tongue, wherein before no book or page ever had been written in the history of their race.  The consecrated brain and hand of their missionaries kept toiling day and night in translating the Book of God; and the willing hands and feet of the natives kept toiling through fifteen long but unwearying years, planting and preparing arrowroot to pay the 1,200 pounds required to be laid out in the printing and publishing of the book.

    “Year after year the arrowroot, too sacred to be used for their daily food, was set apart as the Lord’s portion; the missionaries sent it to Australia and Scotland, where it was sold by private friends, and the whole proceeds consecrated to this purpose.

    “On the completion of the great undertaking by the Bible Society, it was found that the natives had earned as much as to pay every penny of the outlay; and their first Bibles went out to them, purchased with the consecrated toils of fifteen years!...

    “Let those who lightly esteem their Bibles think on these things.  The labor and proceeds of fifteen years for the Bible entire, did not appear to these poor converted natives too much to pay for that Word of God, which had sent to them the missionaries, which had revealed to them the grace of God in Christ, and which had opened their eyes to the wonders and glories of redeeming love!

    “They had felt, and we had observed, that in all lands and amongst all branches of the human family, the Holy Bible is, wheresoever received and obeyed, the power of God unto salvation.  It had lifted them out of savagery, and set them at the feet of the Lord Jesus.

    “Oh, that the pleasure-seeking men and women of the world could only taste and feel the real joy of those who know and love the true God – a heritage which the world and all that pertains thereto cannot give to them, but which the poorest and humblest followers of Jesus inherit and enjoy!”