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Bible Selections. Eng
FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS.
PUBLISHED BY DIRECTION OF THE
COMMISSIONERS OF NATIONAL EDUCATION IN IRELAND.
FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE,
, as the name imports, are drawn from the Sacred Volunhe, and are almost entirely in the language of Scripture, translated literally from the original. When passages are introduced, not in Scripture language, (chiefly summaries of some portion of the narrative,) they are enclosed between brackets, and usually distinguished by veing printed in a smaller type.
These selections are offered, not as a substitute for the Sacred Volume itself, but as an introduction to it; and shey have been compiled in the hope of their leading to a more general and more profitable perusal of the Word of God. The passages introduced have been chosen, not as being of more importance than the rest of Scripture, but merely as appearing to be most level to the understandings of children and youth at School, and also as being the best fitted to be read under the direction of teachers not necessarily qualified, and certainly not recognized as teachers of Religion. No passage has either been introduced or omitted under the influence of any peculiar view of Christianity, doctrinal or practical.
The plan pursued in this compilation has been to take the historical narrative of Scripture as the foundation, and to attach to it other portions of Scripture relating to the narrative, either from the Old or New Testament. Thus, after the narrative of the Creation, extracts froin the book of Psalms referring to the Creation, have been introduced: and after the narrative of the Deluge, there have been inserted those comments on that event which are to be found in the New Testament. This method seems to be calculated at once to teach the use of the sacred bistory, and to fix much of moral and religious in. struction on the heart, by associating with it a recital 01 most interesting facts. The translation has been made by a comparison of the Authorised and Douay Versions, with the original. The language sometimes of the one, and sometimes of the other, has been adopted, and oc casionally deviations have been made from both. On this point the translator feels that he would require more
indulgence than is likely to be granted to him ; but he was compelled by the exigency of the case to undertake the task; lie has done his best to execute it with fidelity, and he has been constantly under the eye of persons perfectly competent to correct any errors into which he might inadvertently fall. This he avers, that he has not been influenced in his rendering of any passage by reference to any peculiar religious views. "A few notes, chietly explanatory and practical, have been added.
The present volume is one of a series, which it is proposed shall be compiled on similar principles. It brings down the history to the settlement for a time of the Israelites in Egypt, and the death of Joseph. The next number, it is intended, shall be drawn from the New Testament.
The Board of Commissioners of Education earnestly and unanimously recommend thiese Lessons to be used in all schools receiving aid from them. They would rather trust to a simple recommendation than adopt any rule for their use, even bordering upon compulsion ; persuaded that if the book be not received willingly, no compulsion will secure a cordial and beneficial use of it; and confident that an appeal to the good sense and good feeling of the Teachers and Conductors of Schools, by a Board that honestly desires to promote their wellbeing, and to be on the most friendly and affectionate terms with them, will be of more avail than the most rigid enactments.
The Commissioners offer these extracts from Scripture to the careful attention of Teachers and Children, not only as truth, but as truth recorded under the influence of inspiration; and truth with which it is of the utmost importance for them to be well acquainted. And to the religious instructors of the children they cheerfully leave, in communicating that instruction, the use of the Sacred Volume itself, as containing those doctrines and precepts, a knowledge of which must lie at the foundation of all true religion. “The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls ; thie testimony of the Lord is faithful, giving wisdoin to little ones.
* Psalm xviii. 8, Douay Version; xix. Authorised Version.
B. C. 4004.
FROM GENESIS 1. AND II.
God, in the beginning, created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was unformed and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said, Let light be, and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good, and he divided the light from the darkness, and he called the light Day, and the darkness Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament* amidst the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters; and God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament And it was so. And God called the firmament Heavens. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And God said, Let the waters that are under the heavens be gathered together into one place,
* A Firmament. By this name primarily meant the air or atmosphere, which divides the waters on the earth from the waters in the clouds; but the meaning was afterwards extended to denote the whole space between the earth and the most distant stars.