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BIBLE for the YOUNG.
With SIXTEEN BEAUTIFUL COLOURED PLATES and EIGHTY PAGES OF SEPARATE ENGRAVINGS.
With Questions and Explanations for Children.
N announcing the issue of a BIBLE FOR THE YOUNG, the Publishers wish to anticipate and reply to an objection which might be made on the part of many, based on a reverence for the integrity of the Holy Scriptures. They offer an Abridgment, not an alteration or a dilution of the Bible. Passages are omitted, but no word is changed. The beautiful phraseology, endeared to old and young, impressing the tender mind of the child, and invigorating and beautifying the spiritual perceptions of those who have already reached the twilight which prepares another dawn, is too sacred by association to be altered. But the Word of God may be "rightly divided," and those portions selected for special reading which are best adapted to special circumstances.
The child finds in the Historical Books some incidents which appeal to the imagination and arouse sympathy-the First Family in Paradise, the Expulsion, the Murder of Abel, the Flood, the Story of Joseph, the Wandering in the Desert, David and Jonathan. In the New Testament there is the Gracious Figure, so expressive of tenderness; the Saviour, who seems, as the "sweet story of old" is read, to smile on children as He did of old, when He taught that "of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." As taught by Him, the Gospel of eternal life is understood by children; and in their simple, trusting, loving faith, encouraged by His words, moved by the pathetic story of the Cross and the marvellous record of the Resurrec tion, they believe much, if they can understand little except that the Saviour spoke to them, lived and died for them.
The necessity of making Selections from the Bible is recognised by all religious teachers. A sermon or address to the young is based on a passage or incident in Scripture adapted to their comprehension and appealing to their sympathies. The milk for babes is distinguished from the meat for strong men. In this spirit the editor of the ILLUSTRATED BIBLE FOR THE YOUNG has endeavoured to accomplish the task assigned to him. The omission of certain passages is such as a father would make in his family reading of the Bible.
The headings adopted will, it is hoped, make the Biblical narrative and teaching more easily understood, and where it has been found advisable to omit lengthy passages, the story is carried on by brief summaries, in italic type, between brackets. The Questions and Explanatory Answers have been prepared with especial care for the explanation of difficulties which a child might experience; and the prefixed verses, mostly from familiar hymns and poems, may, perhaps, make the portions of Scripture even more intelligible and interesting by associating them with words already holding a place in the memory of the young reader.
PROSPECTUSES will be sent by the Publishers, post free, in any quantities required for Distribution.
London: WARD, LOCK & CO., Salisbury Square, E.C. New York: 10, Bond Street.
AN ABRIDGMENT OF THE
OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS
EXPLANATORY NOTES ADAPTED TO THE REQUIREMENTS
Illustrated with Coloured Plates and full-page Engravings.
WARD, LOCK AND CO.
N the instruction of children, the importance of Bible teaching is now more generally acknowledged and appreciated, and, in spite of the opposition of cavillers, the subject is more intelligently and systematically pursued than at any former period. But, while it is happily and cordially agreed that every child should become early acquainted with the Book that is able to render wise unto salvation, the difficulties that stand in the way of the reading of the Bible by children have been frankly acknowledged.
"Those that do teach young babes, do it with gentle means and easy tasks;" and this reflection may be profitably applied to the subject of Bible reading for children. To put a Bible into a child's hand, without abridgment, selection or simplification, is frequently to render the gift that should be a treasure and a continual fountain of delight, a bewilderment and a source of difficulty to the recipient. The child is puzzled by the division of the text into verses, in a manner to which it is not accustomed in any other book. Many parts are entirely above its comprehension, and others refer to subjects of which it has no knowledge, and which are unconnected with the Christian religion-as, for instance, the book of Leviticus. Again, in the New Testament, the natural variations in the narrative, as told by the different Evangelists, are sometimes a source of bewilderment. The child does not want the Book altered, but requires to have it shortened, arranged, and here and there explained.
On this principle the "CHILD'S BIBLE" has been carefully prepared; and especially, the difference between a book of "Bible Stories" and a "Child's Bible" has been kept in view. The historical or narrative portion of Sacred Writ has been so arranged as to be easily understood; that the young reader may acquire a clear and consecutive knowledge of the great events recorded, from the Creation and the Deluge, the patriarchal times, and the history of the chosen people, down to the time of the apostles. NONE OF THE BIBLE WORDS ARE ALTERED; for it is considered that the child ought to become familiar, from the beginning, with the very words that are to be the comfort and stay of the man. The reader of the "CHILD'S BIBLE" has before him the Book itself, or rather those portions. of it that he can understand, arranged in order, and connected here and there by a few bracketed sentences, where it has been thought necessary to keep the connection with the parts omitted.
In dealing with the Psalms, those have been selected that appeal most universally to the sympathies, and are within the comprehension of a child; and, in the portion devoted to THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHRIST, the incidents have been selected from the four Evangelists, according as one or another has related them most plainly and fully.
The parables and the teachings of the Saviour have been treated on the same principle. NO WORD OF THE DIVINE RECORD IS ALTERED; but the child will receive, from reading the Life of Christ thus arranged, a more clear and definite idea of the work and teaching of the Saviour, than from reading the four Gospels in succession.
Questions and explanations, such as would natnrally occur in family reading of the Bible, or in reading with a teacher, have been added to each division; but these are throughout elucidatory, not controversial; and are intended to stimulate the interest of the young readers by giving additional clearness to the text, and imparting information. The questions are simple, and such as a child or a teacher would naturally ask.
The illustrations, in so far as they set forth events in the history of the Bible, will be found to be drawn in the most reverend spirit; while those that represent scenes in Bible lands may be relied on as authentic.