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OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR
GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF
JEWISH AND OTHER SECTS;
ILLUSTRATING OBSCURE PASSAGES
OBSOLETE WORDS AND PHRASES;
FOR THE USE OF
SCHOOLS, ACADEMIES, AND PRIVATE FAMILIES.
BY J. A. CUMMINGS,
AUTHOR OF ANCIENT AND MODERN GEOGRAPHY.
Bible -N.T. § Eng. 7814.)
PUBLISHED AND SOLD BY CUMMINGS AND HILLIARD,
ANDOVER, FLAGG AND GOULD, PRINTERS.
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District of Massachusetts, to wit:
DISTRICT CLERK'S OFFICE.
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the sixteenth day of DeSeal.cember, A. D. 1813, and in the thirty eighth year of the Xx independence of the United States of America, J. A. CUMMINGS of the said district has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:-"The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. With an Introduction giving an account of Jewish and other sects; with Notes illustrating obscure passages, and explaining obsolete words and phrases; for the use of schools, academies, and private families. By J. A. CUMMINGS, author of ancient and modern geography."
In conformity to an act of the congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act entitled, "An act supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
W. S. SHAW, of Massachusetts.
It is much to be lamented, that the New Testament is not more generally used in our schools. There is no book better adapted to the improvement of youth. The style, for the most part, is plain and easy; and there is almost every variety in its composition; simple narrative, interesting and judicious parables, strong and convincing reasoning, and the most ardent and persuasive eloquence; and the subjects, of which it treats, are the most important, that the imagination can conceive; no less than life, death, and eternity; the knowledge and love of God, and the redemption and salvation of man.
It is said, children, who take their first lessons from the Bible, generally read with a disagreeable tone. If this be true, it is not to be attributed to the Bible, but to those employed to teach from it. No composition is better suited. to form correct habits of reading, and to correct bad ones. Much of the New Testament approaches near to simple dialogue, in which the sentences are short, and the transition from one speaker to another, is frequent and abrupt.
The interest of the narratives no one will question. What child can read the history of our Saviour without wishing to read it again and again, hoping on every perusal, that the scene of his sorrows and death may be reversed, and that the innocent sufferer may escape from the hands of his relentless persecutors? What child can read the parable of the prodigal, without dropping a tear at the affectionate embrace of the father and son? And who can read
the reasoning and eloquence of St. Paul, without trembling with Felix, and being almost persuaded with him to become a Christian ? Who can read and reflect on the sublime truths of Christianity-man estranged by sin from his Maker, and under sentence of death-God manifest in the flesh, and through the merits and death of Jesus Christ, offering pardon-the assurance of a resurrection-the general judgment-the award of the wicked to everlasting punishment, and of the righteous to the favour and enjoyment of God-who can read and reflect on these truths without feeling that concern in them, which will restrain from sin, and excite obedience, and the fear and love of God?
It may be said, these subjects are above the apprehension of children. This objection, if true, would prove too much; that the Scriptures are unfit for the perusal even of men; for who can fully understand the mysteries of godliness? But enough is intelligible for our instruction in righteousness, and for our salvation, if we read with a humble and teachable disposition, yield a ready and sincere obedience to the truth, and repose all our hopes on the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ; and we can never begin too early to learn the doctrines of life, and the terms of our acceptance with God.
There is reason to fear, that children left to grow up in ignorance of the sacred Scriptures, rarely feel a disposition to commence the study of them in maturer years, when the follies and cares of life engross attention and fill the mind; and there is reason to believe, that the scriptures, in proportion as children are taught them, will have a corresponding influence on their future lives. We all know that the Spirit of God is necessary to renew the heart and form the Christian; but we are assured this divine aid will accompany every sincere, though humble exertion.
That many things in the sacred volume are hard to be understood, is readily granted; but that many of these are