WHILE I was engaged in writing the following brief work, again and again the question arose in my mind, “Can I make subjects so deep and difficult really interesting and intelligible to the young? The importance of reading Old Testament types in the light thrown on them by the Gospel cannot, indeed, be overrated, especially in these perilous times; but can a child be taught thus to read them?”
The attempt thus to teach is made in the following pages; and I would earnestly request parents and teachers not merely to place the little volume in the hands of children as a prettily-illustrated story-book, but to read it with them, prepared to answer questions and to solve difficulties. Sun-day books should supplement, not take the place of, oral instruction. A writer may give earnest thought and labor to the endeavor to make religious subjects interesting to the young; but what influence has the silent page compared with that of a father expressing his own settled convictions, or that of a mother who has the power to speak at once to the head and the heart?
"YOU have no right to spoil my desk, you tiresome, mischievous boy!”
“I’ve not spoilt it, Agnes; I’ve only ornamented it by carving that little pattern all round.”
“I don’t call that carving, nor ornamenting neither!” cried Agnes, in an angry voice; “you’ve nicked it all round with your knife, you’ve spoilt my nice little desk, and I’ll”— What threat Agnes might have added remains unknown, for her sentence was broken by a violent fit of coughing, whoop after whoop—a fit partly brought on by her passion.
“What is all this, my children?” asked Mrs. Temple, drawn into the room called the study by the noise of the quarrel between her son and her eldest daughter.
Lucius, a boy more than twelve years of age, and there-fore a great deal too old to have made so foolish a use of his knife, stood with a vexed expression on his face, looking at his poor sister, who, in the violence of her distressing cough, had to grasp the table to keep herself from falling; Amy, her kind younger sister had run to support her; while Dora and little Elsie, who had both the same complaint, though in a milder form than their sister, coughed with her in chorus.."