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Child's Christian Education;
ABLE READING THE
IN FIVE PARTS.
1. An ALPHABET, illustrated withiv. Rules for Speiling. The
Cuts; and easy Lessons of Mo Use of Stops, Bishop Kenn's three nofyllables, leading Children graa Hymns. Questions, with Andually from Spelling to Reading swers out of the Scripture. Prayin a very short Time.
ers for Children. ; The Bishop of II. Tasles of WORDS, from two Sodor and Mann's Admonitions
to five Syllables, with their pro to Masters of Families, &c.
per Divisions and Accents, V. An EXPOSITIon of the Church II. A plain and impartial Account Catechism, collected from the
of the whole FAITH and Duty beit Divinės; namely, Arch« of a Chriftian: Collected out of bishop Wake; Bishop. Williams, she Writings of the old and 'Bishop Burnet,' Bíthop BeveNew Teftament: Digested under ridge; Dr. Worthington, Dr. proper Heads, and delivered in Ilham, Dr. Stebbing, Dr. Bishop, the Words of Scripture, &c. &c.
THE SIXTEENTH EDITION.
By the Reverend Mr. FISHER,
(Late of Wurcell AM)
Designed for the Use of Schools and Familiesa
N. B. This Book is in the Litt of those recommended by the SOCIETY
PUR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
Train up a Child in the way he mould go, and when he is old
he will not depart from it. PROV, xxii. 6.
LONDON: Printed for F. and C. RIVINGTON, Booksellers to the Soctety for pro. moting Christian Knowledge, No. 62, St. Paul's Church.
yard ; and by the Booksellers in Great-Britain
Y little children come to me,
And learn the christian A, B, C.
• From T. à Kempis, recommended by Robert Nelson, Ery
Printed by Law and Gilbert, St. Johp's Square, London,
PREF A C E.
I T is a general complaint, that children are trained up in
reading idle romances, which fill their heads with wild and unnatural fancies; while the sacred scripture, the lively oracles of God, are neglected; though their usefulness and excellency, preferable to any thing else, both for informing the understanding, and securing the morals of children, be evident to every body. To remedy this complaint, was the design of drawing up this little book ; and in favour of this method, the judicious Locké well observes, “ That the promiscuous reading of the Holy Bible, by chapters, as they lie in order, is to far from being any advantage to children, either for the perfecting their reading, or principling their religion, that perhaps a worse could not be found.
sFor what pleasure (says he) or encouragement can it he to a child io exercife himself in reading those parts of a book whereof he understands nothing? And how little are the law of Mofis, the song of Solomon, the prophecies in the Old, and the epistles, and the apocalypse in the New Teftamens, suited to a child's capacity? And though the hiftory of the evangelifts, and the Aás, have fumething easier, yet, taken altogather, it is very disproportionale to the underllanding of children.”
Now, though this misfortune does attend the reading of all parts of scripture indifferently, yet, at the same time, it must be granted, that children are to be principled in their religion: and that those principles may be best drawn from scripture, and delivered in its own words.
And in order to this, nothing more is necessary than to propofe fuch portions of the Bible to children as are short,
and at the same time suited to their weak capacities; for by this means, that sacred book may be ftill retained in schools, and all the inconvenienses that arise from the promiscuous use of it avoided.
For this end it was, that the third part of the following Book was drawn up, wherein many of the most useful branches of holy writ, whether they be maiters of belief or practice, and all the 'several parts of our duty, are ranged under proper heads; and some few such passages as are most fhort, easy, and weighty, are respectively placed under that part of the duty they are intended to explain : So that although some passage may occur in this book, the scope of which is less obvious to the capacity of a child, yet the difficulty will in a great measure vanish, and the general meaning at least will appear, when the master explains to his young scholar,' under what head it is placed, and what branch of duty it is intended to enforce.
In prosecution of this design, it is supposed, that the passages quoted ander each head, where they are few, will, the first time of reading over, be sufficient exercise for the child at one lesson; and though each leffon may be thought short, yet no doubt the advantage may be greater, than from a much longer, where the matters treated of are obscure : And besides being short, they may both be better understood at present, and some of them poffibly, that are most taking with the genius of the child, treasured up in memory as fo many itanding and sacred rules of his life and actions ever afterwards.
And by this means children may learn many of the nobleit and most useful parts of fcripture, without that tedious ob. scurity which must needs render the reading of the Bible at large so irksome and discouraging to them.
In the use of the several passages of scripture, is followed the interpretation of a late excellent * prelate of our church in his Cbrifian Institutes, whose authority must be unexceptionable to all candid readers.
* Dr. Gastrell, lae Bithop of Chefter.
Seeing the scripture, promiscuoufly used, is attended with great obscurity to shallow understandings; and seeing it is objected, that a child cannot be perfected with what he does not understand, because he wants a certain pleasure, which is necessary to make him read to improvement; if this little book should be found to take off that obscurity of the scriptures considered in general; if it give a short view of the most useful parts of scripture, and in a manner almost level to the lowest capacities, then it is conceived, that the oba jection is entirely removed, and the scripture may be read with much pleasure, and consequently, as much to the improvement of their reading, as any little fables, ôr moral instructions whatever; and much more to the opening their understandings, and fashioning their manners, by gently and timely inclining them to every thing that is virtuous. and praise-worthy.
Indeed, some little moral or fabulous stories may be mixed with this, at the discretion of the master, but never to fuperfede the use of the scripture, especially in this or any other familiar method. Variety naturally strikes the mind; for that reason fome entertaining stories may be used, but sparingly; and always subordinate to the scripture. There are several little books, wherein several portions of scripture are scattered and interspersed; but then hey are either not expressed in. fcripture words, or at least are not used with any design to affix any fense to them, but only as con*taining so many syllables : But here care is taken, that all: the words of the scripture phrase, above one fyllable, are placed in the fecond part before the lessons in the third's. to that the child, having first been perfected in the Spelling the several words of these passages diftin&tly, comes duly prepared to the reading of them, and is hereby perfected in his reading, as much as he can,by any other way, at the fame time that he is learning many excellent scripture pree cepts, and the use and meaning of them..
God forbid any one should think, that the design of this: book is to undervalue the sacred writings in general:. Nos. it is only intended to give tender minds a more perfect knowledge of them than they are otherwise capable of, and to prevent their engaging in the scripture at random,