WHILE the Holy Bible is in the largest and truest sense a hook for all, there are some parts of it which are as milk for babes, and some as strong meat for men. We have, therefore, in the Child's Bible endeavoured to put into a consecutive form such portions of Holy Scripture as seem best adapted to the wants and capacities \ of childhood. The number of Bible Story Books which have from time to time been published shows how many attempts have been made to supply the want which has hitherto been felt of a work containing a carefully collated epitome of the Scripture narrative for the use of children. Such a mode of meeting the requirement is, however, open to two grave objections. It presents to the child merely isolated fragments of history and incident; and it clothes them in language widely differing in style and power from that which the child, when more advanced, will find in the sacred books themselves. The Child's Bible, we trust, will be found free from both those disadvantages. It will present to the young reader in their order all the leading points of the Old and New Testament narratives; and it will give those records of God's fatherhood and love in the words of our noble Authorised Version.
The selections from the Old Testament have been made not only with due regard to historical facts but to its religious and moral truths, precepts, and motives. In the choice from parallel passages preference has been given, as far as possible, to simplicity of language. Where the sense required it, words and clauses have been inserted in brackets, sometimes as summaries of what has been omitted, and sometimes as connecting links; but these occur very rarely. While we have, as a rule, followed a chronological order, we have placed the story of Job in the position which it occupies in our authorised version, believing mat, in our lack of certain knowledge as to the name of its author and the exact period at which it was written, very little indeed would be gained in chronological accuracy by interpolating it elsewhere, and that that little would not compensate for the interruption of the narrative.
In harmonising the Four Gospels in one consecutive history, it has not been found possible to prevent a little repetition, and also a slight departure from a completely chronological arrangement. The latter circumstance is due to the fact that notwithstanding the immense progress which has recently been made in Biblical criticism, there still remains some uncertainty respecting the precise historical position of some of our Saviour's words and works.
Into the narrative portion of the Acts of the Apostles several of St. Paul's Epistles, or large extracts from them, have been introduced in their proper historical places, according to the indications of Mr. Conybeare and Dean Howson.
Bearing in mind the highly figurative character of the Apocalypse, and the great difficulty which it consequently presents to the understanding of the young, and at the same time desirous of not leaving this sacred book unrepresented in our volume, we have thought it best to give very brief extracts from those portions of the Vision of St. John which seem to be most suited for the particular purpose which wre have in view.
We venture, in conclusion, to hope that this volume, containing as it does a large portion of Holy Scripture in Scripture words, will be the means, with God's blessing, of endearing to many young hearts "the sweet story of old," making them to love from childhood that Book which will in after years be a lamp unto their feet, and a light unto their path.