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THE AUTHOR OF “GOSPEL STORIES.”
AND 63 PATERNOSTER ROW.
Tas following Stories do not profess to be any thing like a consecutive History of the Old Testament, or even of the principal facts narrated in it; they have been written with a view to interest children in some of the most striking events contained in Sacred Scripture, and, by giving them some little idea of the earlier history of the Jews, and of the dealings of God with His chosen people, to throw a greater light upon, and give a yet deeper interest to, the Gospel histories. Thus, like some of the old tales from the History of England, and others, many of the narratives are less to connect together the fragments of Jewish history than to detail some of the more interesting stories which are to be found in it, and which, in larger Bible Histories, are beyond the comprehension of very youthful readers.
It is hardly necessary to add, that this little book has been written as a companion to the Gospel StoryBook. It is not perhaps in such strictly childlike language in all parts, but that was thought by some even very young auditors to be an improvement. If the present work contains any reflections or ideas of piety which may conduce to the good of those who read it, the writer owes them simply and entirely to the spiritual teaching and guidance of one whose benefits can never be repaid on this earth.
• THE OLD TESTAMENT.
THE CREATION. THERE was once a time when this large world in which we live did not exist; that is, God had not made it. It is so many years ago since God made this world that we cannot count them even by hundreds of years, for they amount to thousands; the
world is more than five thousand years old, indeed it · is nearly six thousand years since God created it.
We cannot tell exactly how God created the world; we only know that, as the Catechism tells us, the word create means to make out of nothing; so that God made this world out of nothing. The Scripture says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This was the beginning of the heavens and the earth; for God, we know, had no beginning: the Ever-Blessed Trinity always was, is, and always will be.
The Scripture goes on to say that this earth, which God had now created, was void and empty and dark. There were no beautiful trees or fields, no bright shining sun, nor moon, nor stars; but the