During World War I, the thousands to American soldiers heading to France and Belgium were given pocket Bibles with the forward written by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917:
“The Bible is the Word of Life. I beg that you will read it and find this out for yourselves, -read, not little snatches here and there, but long passages that will really be the road to the heart of it.You will find it full of real men and women not only, but also of the things you have wondered about and been troubled about all your life, as men have been always; and the more you read the more it will become plain to you what things are worth while and what are not, what things make men happy,-loyalty, right dealing, speaking the truth, readiness to give everything for what they think their duty, more it will become plain to you what things are worth while and what are not, what things make men happy,-loyalty, right dealing, speaking the truth, readiness to give everything for what they think their duty, and, most of all, the wish that they may have the approval of the Christ, who gave everything for them, -and the things that are guaranteed to make men unhappy,-selfishness, cowardice, greed, and everything that is low and mean. When you have read the Bible you will know it is the Word of God, because you will have found in it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty. -(signed) Woodrow Wilson.“
General John J. Pershing also wrote a Preface of the New Testament & Book of Psalms, August 10, 1917, which was given to soldiers:
“To the American Soldier aroused against a nation waging war in violation of all Christian principles.Our people are fighting in the cause of Liberty. Hardships will be your lot, but trust in God will give you comfort; temptation will befall you, but the teachings of our Savior will give you strength. Let your valor as a soldier and your conduct as a man be an inspiration to your comrades and an honor to your country.
-(signed) Pershing, Comdg.”
lso in 1917, the New York Bible Society had Theodore Roosevelt write a message which was inscribed in a pocket New Testament & Book of Psalms given to World War I soldiers:
“The teachings of the New Testament are foreshadowed in Micah’s verse (Micah vi. 8): ‘What more does the Lord require of thee than to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’ DO JUSTICE; and therefore fight valiantly against the armies of Germany and Turkey, for these nations in this crisis stand for the reign of Moloch and Beelzebub on this earth. LOVE MERCY; treat prisoners well, succor the wounded, treat every woman as if she was your sister, care for the little children, and be tender to the old and helpless. WALK HUMBLY; You will do so if you study the life and teachings of the Saviour. May the God of justice and mercy have you in His keeping. -(signed) Theodore Roosevelt.”
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