So anyway, as I approach the garage, there are only two tables and it appears to be a meager selection of books and some knick knacks. Sigh, another waste of time. Wait, what is this? An old Bible? I pick it up and run my hand over the gold gilded cover with brass edges and clip...the leather is so smooth. I think of the who might have owned it and how many years did they open and close this grand book full of wisdom...and more importantly, why wasn't it kept in the family! I carefully open the latch to find its age. It's marked with Roman Numerals--and I'm not so good with those--so I ask the woman working the sale. She and I decide (and we were right) that the book was published in 1873! As I flip through the pages I see it's illustrated with fabulous drawings.
She tells me that these Bibles came from a farmhouse in New Hampshire. Did she say "Bibles", as in plural? I look down again and that's when I realize that all the books on the table are Bibles!!! Oh my goodness...a bevy of gorgeous covers, worn leather, some with gold trim, some with handmade book covers. I didn't know which one to pick up next. So I gently choose the Daily Praise & Prayer Book, fabulous worn leather with gold gilded printing on the cover. Each page devoted to a single day's prayer. Here's today's...
As I open it an ancient book mark falls out...a needlepoint stitched with "Rest in the LORD". Oh my! And when did this little beauty come off the press? 1884.
The third one I pick up has leather so worn that it is almost glossy. The binding is damaged, and only bears a simple HOLY BIBLE on the spine.
As I turn the first page the paper is so thin I can barely feel it in my hands. Gasp! 1823!!!! This Bible is just shy of 200 years old!
The reverse side of this page is inscribed withthe words: The Property of Maj Irena Grover, Sandown, Nov 16th 1825. A piece of someone's history...I wish I knew who found such joy in this book.
The next is a small, almost pocket size Holy Bible, simple brown cover with black inscription.
The inside cover in inscribed with: James M. Taylor, Rock Lawn Farm, Foxboro, Mass. June 5, 1888 "Enter not into the path of the wicken, and go not in the way of evil men". Your true friend, Chas. N. Morse.
The last one I pick up is the largest and is covered in a homemade version of a bookcover, similar to the ones I made as a child out of a brown paper bag to protect my school books. Only this one is striped leather, and when I open it, the inside is stitched with thread! It is dated 1848--one hundred years before my husband was born! I am amazed. I so badly want to know what the cover looks like, but I don't dare remove the cover that someone long before me thought it needed.
As I stood there wondering who these belonged to, and why have they been separated from the family which once owned them, I kept feeling the smoothness of the leather, and running my fingertips over the ingraved covers. The beauty is striking. The content amazing. The beauty too much to describe. Which one should I buy? How can I not buy all of them? Needless to say I didn't buy all of them, but I did choose these five fabulous, gracious books of God...not only for what's on the outside, but also what's on the inside.