Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Bible Stories and Religious Classics   By:

Book cover

First Page:

BIBLE STORIES AND RELIGIOUS CLASSICS

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ANSON PHELPS STOKES, JR.

ILLUSTRATED BY BEATRICE STEVENS

1903

INTRODUCTION

There never was a time when the demand for books for young people was so great as it is to day or when so much was being done to meet the demand. "Children's Counter," "Boys' Books," are signs which, especially at the Christmas season, attract the eye in every large book shop. Tales of adventure, manuals about various branches of nature study, historical romances, lives of heroes in fact, almost every kind of book is to be found in abundance, beautifully illustrated, attractively bound, well printed, all designed and written especially for the youth of our land. It is indeed an encouraging sign. It means that the child of to day is being introduced to the world's best in literature and science and history and art in simple and gradual ways.

In the Middle Ages stories of the martyrs and legends of the Church, along with some simple form of catechetical instruction, formed the basis of a child's mental and religious training. Later, during and after the Crusades, the stories of war and the mysteries of the East increased the stock in trade for the homes of Europe; but still the horizon remained a narrow one. Even the invention of printing did not bring to the young as many direct advantages as would naturally be expected. To day, when Christian missionaries set up a printing press in some distant island of the sea, the first books which they print in the vernacular are almost invariably those parts of the Bible, such as the Gospels and the stories of Genesis, which most appeal to the young, and, what is of special importance, they have the young directly and mainly in mind in their publishing work. This was not true a few centuries ago. The presses were, perhaps naturally and inevitably, almost exclusively occupied with books for the learned world. To be sure, the Legenda Aurea, of which I shall speak later, although not intended primarily for children, proved a great boon to them. So did the Chap Books of England. But it was not until the middle of the eighteenth century, when John Newbery set up his book shop at St. Paul's Churchyard, London, that any special attention was given by printers to the publication, in attractive form, of juvenile books. Newbery's children's books made him famous in his day, but the world seems to have forgotten him. Yet he deserves a monument along with Æsop, and La Fontaine, and Kate Greenaway, and Andersen, and Scott and Henty, and all the other greater and lesser lights who have done so much to gladden the heart and enlarge the mind of childhood and youth.

But from Newbery's day to this year of our Lord nineteen hundred and three is a very long jump in what we may call the evolution of juvenile literature, for the preparation of reading matter for young people seems now almost to have reached its climax. There is one field, however, and that the one which this volume tries to cover, which strangely enough seems to have been almost neglected. Of "goody goody" Sunday School library books of an old fashioned type, which are insipid and lacking both in virility of thought and literary form, there are, alas, already too many. What we need is something to take their place, something which will furnish real literature, and yet which from subject matter and manner of handling is specially adapted to what I still like to call Sunday reading, a phrase which unfortunately seems to mean little to most people to day. Bearing this in mind, it is the purpose of this book to gather together, in attractive form, such religious classics as are specially fitted to interest and uplift young people.

There is a wide variety in so far as subject matter , source and form are concerned, but a certain unity is given to the contents of the volume by the religious note, which, whether brought prominently forward or not, is found alike in all the selections.

The Bible has furnished directly or indirectly most of the subject matter here used... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books