Simple Bible Stories: Adapted to the Capacity of Young Children, and Designed For Use in Sabbath Schools, Primary Associations, and for Home Reading

Simple Bible Stories: Adapted to the Capacity of Young Children, and Designed For Use in Sabbath Schools, Primary Associations, and for Home Reading

by Edwin F. Parry

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Overview

There never was a time when the demand for books for young people was so great as it is to-day or when so much was being done to meet the demand. "Children's Counter," "Boys' Books," are signs which, especially at the Christmas season, attract the eye in every large book shop. Tales of adventure, manuals about various branches of nature study, historical romances, lives of heroes--in fact, almost every kind of book--is to be found in abundance, beautifully illustrated, attractively bound, well printed, all designed and written especially for the youth of our land. It is indeed an encouraging sign. It means that the child of to-day is being introduced to the world's best in literature and science and history and art in simple and gradual ways. In the Middle Ages stories of the martyrs and legends of the Church, along with some simple form of catechetical instruction, formed the basis of a child's mental and religious training. Later, during and after the Crusades, the stories of war and the mysteries of the East increased the stock in trade for the homes of Europe; but still the horizon remained a narrow one. Even the invention of printing did not bring to the young as many direct advantages as would naturally be expected. To-day, when Christian missionaries set up a printing press in some distant island of the sea, the first books which they print in the vernacular are almost invariably those parts of the Bible, such as the Gospels and the stories of Genesis, which most appeal to the young, and, what is of special importance, they have the young directly and mainly in mind in their publishing work. This was not true a few centuries ago. The presses were, perhaps naturally and inevitably, almost exclusively occupied with books for the learned world. To be sure, the Legenda Aurea, of which I shall speak later, although not intended primarily for children, proved a great boon to them. So did the Chap Books of England. But it was not until the middle of the eighteenth century, when John Newbery set up his book shop at St. Paul's Churchyard, London, that any special attention was given by printers to the publication, in attractive form, of juvenile books. Newbery's children's books made him famous in his day, but the world seems to have forgotten him. Yet he deserves a monument along with AEsop, and La Fontaine, and Kate Greenaway, and Andersen, and Scott and Henty, and all the other greater and lesser lights who have done so much to gladden the heart and enlarge the mind of childhood and youth. But from Newbery's day to this year of our Lord nineteen hundred and three is a very long jump in what we may call the evolution of juvenile literature, for the preparation of reading matter for young people seems now almost to have reached its climax. There is one field, however, and that the one which this volume tries to cover, which strangely enough seems to have been almost neglected. Of "goody-goody" Sunday School library books of an old-fashioned type, which are insipid and lacking both in virility of thought and literary form, there are, alas, already too many. What we need is something to take their place, something which will furnish real literature, and yet which from subject matter and manner of handling is specially adapted to what I still like to call Sunday reading, a phrase which unfortunately seems to mean little to most people to-day. Bearing this in mind, it is the purpose of this book to gather together, in attractive form, such religious classics as are specially fitted to interest and uplift young people. There is a wide variety in so far as _subject matter_, source_and form_are concerned, but a certain unity is given to the contents of the volume by the religious note, which, whether brought prominently forward or not, is found alike in all the selections. The Bible has furnished directly or indirectly most of the _subject matter_ here used. The biographies of various Scripture characters appear in large numbers. Adam and Noah head the list, and Peter and Paul bring up the end of a procession of worthies whose heroic deeds as the servants of Jehovah will always appeal to the imagination of youthful minds. But it is not with Bible characters only that this book deals. The lives of Christian saints who entered upon their inheritance, such as Christopher and Sylvester and Francis of Assisi, also have their place, while yet more prominent are stories and poems based on some Bible incidents. Even selections such as Hawthorne's Great Stone Face or Wordsworth's Ode to Duty have their roots deep in the Bible, for they can be understood and explained only by those who know the Revelation it contains. In so far, then, as the subject matter of the volume is concerned, either it or its inspiration can always be traced back to the Bible. When we turn from the Bible material which, as we have seen, supplies both subject and inspiration, to the _source_ from which the selections in their literary form as here giv

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013955080
Publisher: Parry
Publication date: 02/18/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

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