Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.…
We are making history when we least think of it. That which seems a little matter to us may be a link in a chain that binds the ages. What we do to-day or to-morrow is done for all time. It cannot be undone. It and all its countless results must stand entailed to the latest generations; and we are to have honour or shame according as our part is now performed. The poor boy who drives the horse along a canal tow.path may think it makes little difference whether he does that work well or poorly. But forty years after, when he is in nomination for the presidency of a great nation, he will find that men go back to his boyhood story to learn whether he was faithful in that which was least, as proof that he would be faithful also in that which is much. There is no keeping out of history. We have got to be there. The only safe way of standing well in history is by doing well in all things. You are just now going to Boston, or to New York, or to Chicago, or to Savannah, or to London — will the record of your spirit and conduct as you go there read well ten years hence, or a hundred? That depends on what your spirit and conduct are at the present time. And if you stay at home your place in history — in God's record of history — is just as sure as if you went to Egypt or to the Holy Land. That record is making up to-day: "Now, these are the names of the children of —, which came into —, or, which stayed at —" If you want a record which shall redound to your honour, and of which your children's children shall be proud, you have no time to lose in getting things straight for it.
(H. C. Trumbull.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.