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11MAY 1930

LIBRARY

THE following plan was originally drawn up by the Rev. Dr. Romeyn, of New York, and recommended by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America: it has been revised for this work.

I. Observe the historical part of the scripture lessons, relating to the two great divisions of mankind-the church and the world. II. The biographical part, embracing the two distinct classes, believers and unbelievers; with the different effects which their good and bad example have had upon the church and the world.

III. The doctrinal part, teaching the nature and perfections of God; the character, person, offices, and work of Christ; the influences of the Holy Spirit; the actual state of man by the fall, and his renovated character by grace, marking distinctly the gradual increase of knowledge on these points from age to age, through the patriarchal and levitical dispensations, till the christian revelation furnished mankind with the clear and full developement of God's merciful purposes towards our world.

IV. The preceptive part, including the whole range of our duties agreeably to the moral law.

V. The positive ordinances, comprising the sacrifices, types, the priesthood, the temple-service, and the sacraments; distinguishing between these positive institutions and moral duties,— the first dependent on the will of God, and therefore mutable ; the last on his nature, and therefore immutable: marking the changes of the first from time to time, with the reasons for the change, and unfolding the influence which they were obviously intended to have upon the spiritual exercises of our hearts, and our obedience to the moral law.

VI. The practical lessons which the historical and biographical parts furnish for the regulation of human conduct, in all the relations of life.

In these outlines it will be understood, that general questions, under each division, should be proposed to the pupils, and full instruction given by the teacher.

COMPANION TO THE BIBLE.

PART I.

CHAPTER I.-TITLE OF The Bible.

THE word Bible is taken from the Greek word Biblos which signifies book; and the volume to which christians give that title, by way of eminence, is called The Bible, because of its supreme excellency, being the book of books, the best book.

The Bible is called The Scriptures, from the Latin word Scriptura, which signifies a writing; and it is called The Holy Scriptures, because it contains the collection of the writings of holy men, who, at different times, were raised up and inspired of God, for the purpose of publishing his commandments and promises, and the records of his mercies and judgments, for the instruction and salvation of mankind.

The two parts of the Bible are called the Old and New Testaments, (2 Cor. iii. 6. and 14.) or covenants. They are so named because they contain the revelations or testaments of God's covenant of mercy, for the redemption and glorification of sinful man, by the interposition of the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the only Mediator between God and man.

CH. II. THE ANTIQUITY Of the Bible. /

THAT the Bible has existed from very remote ages, will not be disputed, except by those who are grossly ignorant. The proofs of its antiquity are, beyond all comparison, more numerous and convincing, than can be advanced in It has never been favour of any other book in existence.

without its intelligent witnesses, and zealous guardians ; though some of them have been the greatest perverters of its peculiar principles, or the bitterest enemies of the christian name.

The Old Testament has been preserved by the Jews, in every age, with a scrupulous jealousy, and with a veneration for its words and letters, bordering on superstition; demonstrating their regard for it as divinely inspired. The Hebrews never were guilty of negligence in relation even to the words of their sacred books; for they used to transcribe and compare them so carefully, that they could tell how often every letter came over again in writing any book of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament contains, besides the account of the former ages of the world, the code of the Jewish laws, both civil and religious; and the records of their national history, for more than one thousand nine hundred years, from the call of Abraham; as well as prophecies, which regarded a distant futurity, and which have respect to times yet to come. The celebrated Roman historian Tacitus, who lived in the apostolic age, speaks of the Jewish books as very ancient in his time. They were translated from the Hebrew into the Greek language more than two thousand and one hundred years ago; and they were possessed in both those languages by the Jews. By those Jews who lived among the Greeks, they were read in their synagogues every sabbath day, in the translation, the same as the Hebrew Scriptures were read by the native Jews: commentaries were written upon them by their learned doctors; copies of them were circulated in every nation where the Jews were scattered, and thus the sacred books were multiplied without number.

The books of Moses, including Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, were written more than three thousand and three hundred years ago, and nearly fifteen hundred years before the christian era: many of the other books were published above a thousand years, and those of the elder prophets about eight hundred years before the advent of Christ.

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