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ESSAYS ON THE BIBLE.
EDUCATED MEN IN INDIA.
"Prove all things: hold fast that which is good."
PRINTED FOR THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY.
At a meeting held in Calcutta in March, 1885, it was recommended that twelve ESSAYS ON THE BIBLE, for educated Hindus, should be written by as many persons in different parts of India. One of the twelve, engaged in Scripture translation, declined from the first t; a second went home on furlough during the course of the year; and when application was made to other two at the time when the Essays were due, it was found that pressing duties, connected with their own work, had prevented their compliance with the request made to them.
As the primary object of the volume was for presentation to University graduates, the editor, to prevent delay, compiled or selected from home publications Essays to supply the gaps in the original plan. Three of the Essays thus prepared are chiefly extracts from Archbishop Trench, Bishop Temple, Professor Fisher and other writers. The fourth, by the late Rev. T. R. Birks, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Cambridge, is extracted from the Appendix to his edition of Paley's Evidences of Christianity, published by the Religious Tract Society. While Essays written in India specially for Hindus have their advantages, some have thought that a selection from home publications would also be useful. The combination in this volume will help to test this question.
Christianity and Hinduism, by the Right Rev. Bishop Caldwell, is abridged from a Lecture published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
An INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE for the use of educated men in India, is a work at once very needful and very difficult to prepare. It is to be expected that only by a series of efforts can one be secured adequate to the wants of the case. As the first attempt of the kind, the present volume should meet with some indulgence. The writers did not see each other's compositions, and hence, in some cases, the same ideas are repeated. The editor, however, did not feel at liberty to omit them as they were more or less connected with other parts of the Essays; they were all on important points, and they were not numerous. should also be mentioned that, with one exception, the authors had not the opportunity of correcting the proofs, and are therefore not responsible for misprints.
But while allowance is solicited for a first attempt, searching criticism is also invited. The selection of the subjects as well as their treatment should be considered. Books should be named which would be suitable as models or to supply materials. The different classes of Colleges-Government, Christian, and Native -are another difficulty. Some important topics unobjectionable in one case may be distasteful under other circumstances.
Friends interested in the object are earnestly requested to send their suggestions to the Secretaries of the Tract Societies in their respective Provinces. It is thus hoped that in course of time a well-adapted work will be obtained. The object is worthy of the effort, for with the spread of Christianity such a volume will be increasingly necessary.
MADRAS, December, 1885.
RIGHT REV. BISHOP CALDWELL, D.D., LL.D.