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which is still used by the Protestants of Germany, and Wycliffe, Tyndale, and other Reformers in Great Britain did similar work for their countrymen. These early English versions, however, though they had great excellences and were an immense help to the Protestant cause, did not secure as permanent a hold on the people of England as Luther's did on the Germans, nor did the accuracy of their translation quite meet with the approval of biblical students of the time. James I., therefore, summoned together in 1607 a body of forty-seven clergy men, famed for their piety and scholarship, to prepare a new version, and the result of their labors (first printed in 1611) is the English Bible that we use to-day, and which, in dignity and beauty of language, is among the greatest of all literary productions. It has been so generally accepted everywhere by English-speaking Protestants as the Bible that it is commonly called the “authorized version,” though, as a matter of fact, it has never been formally authorized by any body of men having authority to do so. Every attempt to make any changes in this version has been fruitless. The most recent was the publication in 1881 and in 1884 of revisions of the New and Old Testaments prepared after much deliberation and with great care by eminent English and American divines, but though their work attracted great attention, and was examined with eager interest, it has failed to displace the King James version in popular affection.

The Old Testament may be divided into three general classes or divisions, one of an historical nature, one of a pro phetical nature, and one containing meditations, praises, and thanksgivings. The most important of the historical books are the five written by Moses, and which taken together are called the Pentateuch (penta in Greek meaning five). These are the first five books of the Bible, and give an account of the creation of the world and of all things in it; describe the temptation and fall of the first man and woman; show how the Jews became God's chosen people, and tell how he dealt with them. The Pentateuch also contains the laws and commands which God laid upon the Jews. The other bistorical parts of this Testament narrate the triumphs and sufferings of the chosen people, while the prophecies contain the warnings and messages which they received from on high, and foretell the coming of a Messiah or Saviour. The “sacred writings ” (as the Jews named the third division) comprise their songs of sorrow and gladness, their praises and psalms, their meditations and reflections.

The books of the New Testament also are usually divided into three classes. The first comprises the four Gospels (“good tidings”) with the Acts, and contains accounts of the life and teachings of Christ and the doings of his apostles. The second consists of the Epistles (“ letters ”) of advice and admonition, which the apostles wrote to the early Christians. The third contains only the prophetical Revelation of St. John-the last book in the Bible. These divisions, of course, in neither Testament are very exact or very clearly marked or defined. They are used simply to show in a general way the character of the writings of which the Bible is composed. All parts of it (the Old and New Testaments alike) are considered by Christians as of equal weight and authority, but the Jews pay this sacred reverence only to the Old Testament.

Many editions of the Bible contain, besides the Old and New Testaments, a part called the Apocrypha. This consists of a number of books of great antiquity (all being written before the birth of Christ), which were originally thought by all Christians to be equally inspired with the rest of the Scriptures. Roman Catholics still think most of them inspired and of the same authority as other parts of the Bible ; but Protestants no longer regard them as the word of God, though many recommend that they be carefully read and studied as the productions of learned and religious men, and because they make clearer some portions of the Old Testament. To distinguish the inspired books of the Bible from the Apocryphal ones, the former are called the Canonical books, or books containing the rules which God has given for our guidance, canon in Greek meaning rule. The decision as to which books were inspired (or canonical) was made by a great Council of the Christian Church which met in the year 397 A.D. at Carthage,

CHAPTER II.

THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.

In the beginning, or a very long time ago, God created the heaven and the earth. In the opening verses of the first book of the Bible we learn about the order in which all the wonderful and beautiful things which we see came from the hand of God.

Previous to the Creator's work as recorded in Genesis, death, and darkness, and an awful stillness reigned; but, when nothing else moved, "the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters."

It was the Spirit of God that brought the light, the beautiful, gladdening light; and it was he that drove back the darkness. God was so pleased with the light that he gave it a name, calling it Day. The darkness he called Night.

And the evening and the morning were the first day.

God then made the air, or the firmament, for nothing could live, or breathe, without air. This whole globe of ours is surrounded by the air, which is also called the atmosphere.

And God divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God called the dry land Earth ; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas.

After the dark and rushing waters were separated by the mighty power of God and given their place, the sky above looked calm, and clear, and beautiful; and the earth was covered with life and verdure—the springing grass, the herb, yielding seed, the fruit trees, yielding fruit of every description. And God saw that it was good.

And the evening and the morning were the third day.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness : and God saw that it was good.

And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

After God had made the big bright Sun, that pours his rich beams of warmth over our world ; and the fair and shining Moon, that moves through the blue sky, flooding her silver light over and through the darkness of the night; and the millions of stars that twinkle like diamonds away above our heads, he made the fish that swim in the sea, and all the bright birds that fly in the air, such as the eagle, the king of birds, and the sweet-singing lark and canary, the cooing dove, and the beautiful robin-redbreast.

There are many others, such as hens and chickens, partridges, pheasants, and quails. Some of these swim on the top of the water, as ducks, geese, and swans.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind : and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

On the following day the Creator said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind : and it was so."

This was the day when animals, wild and tame, were made, such as lions, tigers, bears, that prowl about in the dark forest; and the cow, the horse, the ox, and the sheep, the domestic animals.

It would have been a strange world had God stopped here and created nothing more. There would have been no head to govern, no strong hand to rule and guide the dumb creatures. So God, the All Wise and Good, as the last act but one of his creative power, made Man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over

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the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The work of this day was a double one. First the animals were made, and then God made man. His name was Adam, and God made him out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And in order that he might not feel lonely, God, while he was asleep, took a rib out of his side, and made that rib into a woman, and brought her to Adam, who was charmed with the gift ; and this perfect and lovely woman became his companion.

This closed the great work of God, which took six successive days to bring to a glorious completion.

And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

The next day, which was the seventh, was the Creator's Rest Day, or Sabbath.

CHAPTER III.

THE SERPENT IN THE GARDEN.

Our first parents were very happy as long as they obeyed the commands which God gave them. But Satan was jealous of their happiness, and envious of their purity and innocence; so he came in the form of a Serpent to Eve, that he might the more readily deceive her. He told her that what God had said, namely, that Adam and she would die if they ate of the fruit which he had forbidden, was not true, but that they would become as gods, knowing good and evil, and that this was the reason why God did not want them to touch it. Eve, instead of heeding the warning which God gave her, believed what the Tempter said, and, looking at the fruit, she desired it more and more, till finally she ate of it, and persuaded her husband to do likewise.

Evil effects quickly followed. They speedily fell into sin and were afraid of God when he called them to him in the Garden. When God asked them why they had disobeyed, Adam blamed his wife, and Eve blamed the serpent, while the blame rested upon them for not obeying the command. God drove them from the Garden and kept them out by

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