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THE

BIBLE CLASS BOOK;

FOR SCHOOLS, PUPIL TEACHERS, AND FAMILIES ;

WITH

EXPLANATORY NOTES ON PLACES, CUSTOMS, ARTS, ANTIQUITIES,

AND NATURAL HISTORY;

AND

POEMS ON THE SUBJECTS OF THE LESSONS.

BY

CHARLES B A KER;

AUTHOR OF THE BOOK OF BIBLE HISTORY, BIBLE GEOGRAPHY, BIBLE CHARACTERS,

THE CIRCLE OP KNOWLEDGE, ETC.

LONDON:
THOMAS VARTY, EDUCATIONAL DEPOSITORY,

31, STRAND.

ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL. PRE FACE.

THERE are few but will admit that the Bible History ought to be taught both in the School and in the Family. Some time ago, a Graduated Series of Lessons was published to adapt that History to classes in different stages of advancement, and to children of different ages in families. The transition from the highest of these gradations to the Sacred Volume will present no difficulty to pupils, while it is certain that many of the words and phrases in that gradation require elucidation by notes on eastern manners and customs, on arts, antiquities, and natural history, in order that they may be fully understood. One of the chief objects of the present volume is to supply such notes, so that the pupil and the class-teacher may find within the moderate compass of an instruction-book, that information which would have to be sought from numerous sources.

In preparing these notes and explanations, recourse has been had to the Pictorial Bible, Jahn's Biblical Antiquities, several Bible Dictionaries, the Notes of D'Oyley and Mant, Kitto's Palestine, Geneste’s Parallel Histories of Judah and Israel, and many volumes intended to illustrate the customs of the East. The work is therefore not only a Bible History, but also a preparatory expositor of that history.

Its use as a Class Book, with advanced pupils, will enable them to prepare themselves for a rigid examination by the teacher. As a Teacher's Book, in popular schools, where the Third Gradation is used as a class book, it will enable the teacher to impart much information connected with each lesson, and save him the trouble of reference to many costly volumes. The Poems are chiefly on historical subjects, and it may be inferred that they will prove an additional charm to young persons, and aid in winning their attention to the subjects they illustrate.

It is scarcely expected that in these days parties will be found to object to the blending of secular with religious instruction. We have the highest authority for it; our Lord himself constantly referred in his discourses to the common things around him ; "the lilies of the field,' the merchant man,'

the new cloth on the old garment,' observations on the weather, and even the secular proverbs of the people,-furnished illustrations and analogies of which He availed Himself in his teaching. The habits and customs of the West are so different to those which prevailed, and many of which still prevail, in the East, that certain allusions in the bible cannot be understood without explanations of them.

It is very desirable, that when possible, the lessons should be illustrated by means of pictures and maps. In schools this will be easy; in families not difficult, so numerous and portable are the atlases now prepared ; and so abundant and accessible the illustrated works published. Should the demand arise, a future edition of this little volume will be illustrated with maps and engravings.

It was intended to comprise in an appendix “ a sketch of the History of the Jews" from their return to Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah ; a little work has however been recently published under this title, by the Rev. G. B. Johns, headmaster of the Grammar School of God's Gift, Dulwich ; which is written with great elegance and simplicity, and which requires only to be known to be appreciated.

C. B.

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