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BEING A SELECTION FROM THE
Old and New Testaments,
REMARKS AND BRIEF DISSERTATIONS,
DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF
CHRISTIANS IN GENERAL,
AND PARTICULARLY FOR THE USE OF
AND FOR THE
IMPROVEMENT OF YOUTH.
BY EZRA SAMPSON,
THIRD HUDSON EDITION.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED ACCORDING TO ACT OF CONGRESS.
“These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart;
PRINTED BY HARRY CROSWELL,
FOR WILLIAM E. NORMAN.
IN a few inftances, for obvious reafons, the words and phrafes of the Bible tranflation are altered in this work, while the fenfe or meaning is carefully preferved; and this alteration is marked with Italic characters: And alfo, where a word, or phrafe is added for explanation, fuch additions are in the Italic characters, and are included in parentheses.
THE title " BEAUTIES of the BIBLE," that has been given to this Selection, only means that it contains a part of those matchlefs beauties, with which that Divine Volume abounds.
Ir would be improper to apologise for undertaking a work, which
is designed to be useful to the best interests of mankind. That a book of this kind is necessary will be generally allowed by Christians of every denomination, who have thought carefully on the subject.
Time was in our country, when the Bible was almost the only school book. By frequently reading the sacred writings in schools, a large portion of the doctrine and precepts of our holy religion was imperceptibly lodged in the memory, and often continued there through life, as the seed of piety, and as a happy preventive to error and vice.
At length, objections were started against the use of the Bible in schools. Other books were introduced, and the sacred writings for several years past, have been almost totally excluded from having any share in school instruction: and by reason of this almost total disuse of the bible in schools, thousands of children have grown, and are growing up in gross ignorance of the contents of that sacred book.
It is an astonishing thought and should be humbling to Christians, that while we have neglected to make the knowledge of the bible any part of the school education of our children, the Mahometans have been teaching their children the Alcoran with most diligent care. Will not Mabomerans rise up in judgment against us and condemn rs?
"While men slept the enemy came and sowed tares." innumerable other books of pernicious tendency, it has been asserted that twenty thousand copies of what some have called "Thomas Paine's bible" were imported into this country at one time. They have been distributed over the country, and have been read with eagerness their poison has struck deep, particularly into those minds which had not been sown with the seeds of religious instruction. Thus multitudes have been desperately wounded, not indeed by the paw of the lion, but by the sting of the despicable asp.
"As we sow we may expect to reap." If the bible should continue to be excluded from schools, and the religious instruction of children be neglected, the bitter fruits will be experienced in the demoralized condition of all classes of people. To obviate, in some degree, this threatening evil, is the object of the present publication. This selection is not liable to any of those objections which have been urged against the scholastic use of the whole bible. Such mat
Inaccuracies in point of grammar, it may be pronounced a com. plete standard of pure English.
We read or hear, not for the sound of words, or for the sake of observing a stately structure of language, but to obtain informa tion: so that, in general, that is the best style, by which thoughts are communicated with the greatest plainness and in the fewest words. And the scripture language, in our English translation, is, in a remarkable degree, both concise and clear.
It may justly be called the perfection of style, to speak or write in Duch a manner that the hearer, or reader, without noticing the lan guage, is led to yield up his whole attention to the thoughts which it communicates.And this is the case, when we read the Bible in its English dress while the thoughts strike our minds, we scarcely think of the language in which those thoughts are conveyed to us : whereas an affected style ever turns the attention on itself rather than on the sentiment. Every attempt to embellish the sublime thoughts of scripture, by divesting them of their simple dress, and adding the decorations of florid language, has debased the sacred writings, and manifested the folly of the attempter. As well might one attempt to varnish the colours of the rainbow.
The language of our Bible translation may, in particular, be considered as a very excellent model for youth. An affectation in language is no less disgusting than an affectation in dress and manners;
for language is the dress of thought."-Now it is observable that youth who have an ambition to excel, are very apt, through a desire to distinguish themselves, to run into an affectation in language; or to endeavor to make their style glitter with ornaments. It is therefore proper that their style should at first be formed upon a most simple plan.
I will subjoin some remarks of Mr. in point of language, is indisputable.
Addison, whose authority,
There is a certain coldness and indifference in the phrases of our European languages, when they are compared with the oriental forms of speech; and it happens very luckily, that the Hebrew idi. oms run into the English tongue with a particular grace and beauty. Our language has received innumerable elegancies and improvements, from the infusion of Hebraisms which are derived to it out of the poetical passages in Holy Writ. They give a force and energy to our expression, warm and animate our language, and convey our thoughts in more ardent and intense phrases than any that are to be met with in our own tongue.
"There is something so pathetic in this kind of dicton, that it often sets the mind in a flame, and makes our hearts burn within us. How cold and dead does a prayer appear, that is composed in the most elegant and polite forms of speech, which are natural to our tongue, when it is not heightened by that solemnity of phrase, which may be drawn from the sacred writings."
BEAUTIES OF THE BIBL
-A SELECTION FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT.
HISTORY OF THE CREATION.
A. C. or before Chrift, 4004 Years.
i..... N the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darknets was upon the face of the deep; and the fpirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God faid, Let there be light, and there was light. And God faw the light that it was good and God divided the light from the darknefs. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night and the evening and the morning were the first day.
2....And God faid, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it Iwas fo. And God called the firmament heaven; and the evening and the morning were the fecond day.
3....And God faid, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dr land appear, and it was fo. And God called the