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Who Wrote The Bible?
by Washington Gladden
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Washington Gladden (1836-1918) was a leading American Congregational church pastor and early leader of the Social Gospel movement. He was a leading member of the Progressive Movement, serving for two years as a member of the Columbus and campaigning against Boss Tweed as acting editor of the New York Independent. Gladden was probably the first leading U.S. religious figure to support unionization of the workforce; he also opposed racial segregation. He was a prolific writer, with 40 books to his credit, as well as a number of hymns. He was born in Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania and became a journalist at the age of 16. However, he was keen to become a clergyman studying at the Owego Free Academy and graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Amongst his works are Plain Thoughts on Being a Christian (1868), Working People and their Employers (1876), Burning Questions (1890) and Who Wrote the Bible? (1891). He is also credited with having written a number of hymns including O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee.
These last sentences of Canon Farrar give the probable clew to the interpretation of the book. It is a dramatic poem, celebrating the story of a beautiful peasant girl, a native of the northern village of Shunem, who was carried away by Solomon's officers and confined in his harem at Jerusalem. But in the midst of all this splendor her heart is true to the peasant lover whom she has left behind, nor can any blandishments of the king disturb her constancy; her honor remains unstained, and she is carried home at length, heart-whole and happy, by the swain who has come to Jerusalem for her rescue. This is the beautiful story.
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