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TABLE OF CONTENTS.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
DAVID SPARES SAUL. I Samuel.
THE HEROES OF THE WELL. 2 Samuel.
NABOTH'S VINEYARD. I Kings.
INTRODUCTORY LESSON. HERALD AND MESSENGER.
XXI. THE PRIVILEGE OF LOVING SERVICE. Fourth Gospel.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
XXV. THE SPIRIT OF JESUS. I Corinthians.
The Ground already Covered.
The graded series has already treated nearly the whole of the Bible.
First, we have the Old Testament Narratives, dealing mainly with the Pentateuch and Joshua, and carrying the early history of Israel down to the time when prophecy makes its appearance in the person of Amos.
Then The Story of Israel takes up the thread, and surveys the record as preserved for us in the Book of Kings and in the writings of the great prophets, from the appearance of Amos to the great restoration under Nehemiah in the middle of the fifth century before Christ. It then, in more rapid survey, carries us on to the building of the temple by Herod the Great, and ends with a sketch of the time of Jesus.
Great Thoughts of Israel treats of the wonderful literature which arose between the return from captivity and the time of Herod. Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Chronicles, Ruth, Esther, Jonah, Daniel, and those two gems of the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon, are all reviewed.
Then come Scenes from the Life of Jesus, and the Leaflets for Teachers which supplement this series. Together they treat of the Gospel narratives, and present an outline of the simple life which underlies the later elaboration which is so prominent in the Bible records.
The Teaching of Jesus covers the same ground from a different point of view and is followed by The Beginning of Christianity, with its account of Paul and his work.
The Present Course.
The lessons this winter propose to glance at the Bible as a whole, and to consider more in detail particular passages from all its varied contents, which stand out because of their special value and beauty. The selection has been largely determined by the necessity of avoiding ground already covered in previous courses. As a result, a great deal of attention has been given to extracts from the Epistles.
An endeavor has also been made to present the variety which is one of the most marked characteristics of the Bible,
and to leave no part unrepresented.
The most noteworthy exception is the Book of Psalms. But, as this has had a course by itself, prepared by Mr. Fenn, it was thought wise to leave that noble collection of the religious songs of Israel to him. Plan of the Lessons.
Each lesson will commence with the passage under consideration printed in full. These passages have of course in many cases had to be curtailed by the omission of unessential matter, and in one or two instances two passages from different parts of the book have been put together.
The translation followed is that of the revised version, the only version universally accessible which is fairly accurate and still preserves to a very great extent the unparalleled rhythm of the great translation we know as the Authorized Version, Here and there the alternative reading of the margin has been preferred as giving greater clearness; and in one or two cases a conjunction has been added or deleted, so as to enable the passage under consideration to run smoothly and consecutively.
The series will open with two lessons on the Old Testament as a whole. Preceding the selections from the New Testament come two lessons surveying in the same way the New Testament books.
The Result Aimed at.
The course ought to afford us a general idea of the nature and origin of the books which, as a collected whole, we call the Bible. It ought also to help us to know for ourselves some of its noblest passages, and to gain a fresh sense of its power.
These lessons will, of course, rely much on the historical and other matter already published, to which constant reference will be made; and they may lead us to feel how the general treatment of the books naturally leads up to the more detailed study which in some thirty selected instances this series attempts.
If this course results in a better understanding of what the Bible is, and even in small measure in a closer acquaintance with some of the memorable utterances it contains, it will prove a fitting supplement to the series of lessons already issued. But more even than these it seems to afford material rich in suggestions for that "instruction in righteousness" which is ever the main aim of our Sunday-schools.
There are no songs comparable to the songs of Zion, no orations equal to those of the prophets, and no politics like those which the Scriptures teach.— Milton.
The Bible goes equally to the cottage of the plain man and the palace of the king.- Theodore Parker.
The Bible begins gloriously with Paradise, the symbol of youth, and ends with the everlasting kingdom, with the holy city.- Novalis.
We search the world for truth, we cull
Is in the book our mothers read.
WHAT WE ARE STUDYING, AND WHY.
book called "Nature," and we can learn It teaches all the time; and there is never a part of our lives where we may not become wiser and better
by trying to hear what the mountains, and air, say to us. and reveal his glory.
There is a great many truths from it.
voices of the stars, sun, ocean, The works of God tell his laws
But we also learn from books. Some books give us knowledge about nature, others describe the world of human nature: these are the ones we are to consider now.
Every strong, leading people has had sacred books. In these writings were gathered the best thoughts then known about God, Man, Duty, and Immortality. These holy books were taught to children, honored by kings, made into laws, and read in services of worship. It was said that God revealed these books to certain good men, who wrote the messages down and told them to the people. We respect the piety of those who claim honor for their sacred books, but we also say that the Bible which we have is somewhat different. Our sacred book is more to us, and we find help in it which does not come