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THE HISTORY OF OUR LORD,
QUESTION AND ANSWER.
DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF BIBLE CLASSES.
By MRS. HENDERSON,
IN TWO VOLUMES,
HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.
THESE Scripture Lessons are not a hasty production. They were commenced in 1827, and have been used with advantage in several Bible Classes during the eight years of their progressive advancement. They possess no claim to originality of design, being no more than an attempt to improve upon an already existing and increasingly diffused system of catechetical instruction. The principal motive to their publication is the want of a Gospel Manual, sufficiently full, clear, and connected, to furnish a platform for the allimportant work of opening and practically applying New Testament truths to the understandings
and consciences of those for whose benefit Bible Classes are instituted and maintained.
Simplicity and adaptation to general usefulness have been chiefly aimed at in the present compilation. The questions are framed to draw out the fulness of the text, so far as may be done in a brief compass; and the answers are studiously condensed, to render them easy of retention to the most unpractised memory. Many able works have been consulted, as those of Bloomfield, Horne, Henry, Scott, Doddridge, Campbell, Macknight, Whitby, Michaelis, &c., and in many instances the very words of one or other of the most approved authorities have been adopted as peculiarly appropriate for conveying the sense of the text. This has been done without reference; indeed plagiarism of the kind will be found too frequent for specific acknowledgment; and it is here avowed with no other feeling than that of obligation for the aid thus afforded.
The Gospel of Matthew has been chosen as the basis of these Lessons, partly because it furnishes 30 complete an account of our Lord's life, from the manger to his ascension from Mount Olivet, and partly because it is accounted to be more systematic, in a chronological point of view, than the Gospels of the other Evangelists. Occasion has been taken, however, to fill in the narrative
of this apostolic writer, by references to parallel passages of Mark, Luke, and John, whenever such references appeared essential to a harmonious view of the historic details of inspiration, or to the removal of those apparent discrepancies which are found to exist between the distinct and independent testimonies of the four Evangelists. Whether it be judicious to present difficulties of this kind to the consideration of youthful minds, though for the express purpose of removing them, as so many stumbling-blocks, out of their way for ever after, is a question that cannot here be discussed: but with deference to those who deem it inexpedient to do so, the author cannot but think, that, as no individual, in the present day of free inquiry, can pass through the world without hearing Christianity impugned, on some ground or other, by captious criticism or infidel insinuation, it must be advisable to fortify the intellect, by teaching it to grapple with a few of the most common weapons by which the present confidence and immortal hopes of the believer are too frequently assailed. At the same time, the author is fully persuaded that Bible-classes ought not to be converted into polemical arenas; and that the great benefit to be proposed to ourselves, or others, from the study of holy writ, is rather the improvement of the heart than of the intellectual