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The friends of this translation have never claimed for it inspiration or infallibility. Yet it is the concurrent testimony of all who are competent to express an opinion, that no translation of the Bible into any language has preserved so faithfully the sense of the original as the English. Phrases there may be, and it is confessed there are, which modern criticism has shown not to express all the meaning of the original; but as a whole, it indubitably stands unrivalled. Nor is it probable that any translation can now supply its place, or improve upon its substantial correctness. The fact that it has, for two hundred years, poured light into the minds of millions, and guided the steps of generation after generation in the way to heaven, has given to it somewhat of the venerableness which appropriately belongs to a book of God. Successive ages may correct some of its few unimportant errors; may throw light on some of its obscure passages; but, to the consummation of all things, it must stand, wherever the English language is spoken, as the purest specimen of its power to give utterance to the meaning of ancient tongues, and of the simple and pure majesty of the language which we speak. Albert Barnes.
1. By the command of what king, was the translation of the authorized English bible made?
2. When did he accede to the English throne?
3. What was the bible then in use called? 4. To how many learned men was the task committed?
5. But what was the actual number of translators?
6. State the qualifications of these men for the duty.
7. Into how many classes was this company of distinguished men divided?
8. Into how many portions was the bible divided for the purpose of being translated?
9. Tell me the books in the first portion, the second, the third. &c.
10. Within what limits were they kept by the king's instructions?
11. How did the king's instructions run with regard to each man's, and each company's duty?
12. When was the translation commenced, and when completed?
13. Who wrote the preface to it? 14. Name the first printer of it. 15. Is it not evident that the greatest care was taken in making this translation? 16. Is not the Christian world greatly more divided now, than it was in those days?
17. Will any boy tell me why a translation of the bible could not now be made so happily as it was then?
18. Should we not be thankful to God that we have so faithful a translation of His Word?
19. Of what glorious personage do the Scriptures mainly speak?
20. Who will quote to me the words of John v. 39?
ANECDOTES OF ALFRED THE GREAT.
ALFRED, surnamed the Great, sixth king of England, of the Saxon dynasty, born in 849, ascended the throne in 871, at the age of 23. He at first conquered the Danes-by which term we ought to understand all the Scandinavian nations, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, indiscriminately, but having been defeated by them, he, concealing himself under the garb of a minstrel, entered their camp in order to gain such knowledge as might enable him to conquer them. This bold step was rewarded with success. Aided by the knowledge he had gained, he succeeded in overcoming his
formidable enemies. London, which was still in their power, he took (894); and. by his skill, secured the tranquillity of England. He civilized the country, established laws, introduced trial by jury, and divided the land into counties. He also revived arts, sciences, and letters; composed several works with his own pen; made commerce and navigation flourish, and laid the foundation of the maritime power of England. In his will it is written that the English ought to be as free as their thoughts.-Biographical Dictionary.
ALFRED the Great had reached his twelfth year before he had even learned his alphabet. An interesting anecdote is told of the occasion on which he was first prompted to apply himself to books. His mother had shown him and his brothers a small volume, illuminated in different places with coloured letters, and such other embellishments as were then in fashion. Seeing that it excited the admiration of her children, she promised that she would give it to the boy who should first learn to read it. Alfred, though the youngest, was the only one who had spirit enough to attempt obtaining it on such a condition. He immediately went and procured a teacher, and in a very short time was able to claim the promised reward. When he came to the throne, notwithstanding his manifold duties, and a tormenting disease, which seldom allowed him an hour's rest, he employed his leisure time either in reading or hearing the best books. His high regard for the best interests of the people he was called to govern, and the benevolence of his conduct, are well known. He encountered many difficulties in obtaining scriptural knowledge, which the people of the present day have never experienced, and manifested an attachment to the sacred volume not often seen now. In those dark ages learning was considered rather a reproach than an honour to a prince. In addition to which, his kingdom, for many years, was the seat of incessant war. Notwithstanding all this, Alfred found opportunity, not only to read the word of God, but actually to copy out all the Psalms of David: which book he constantly carried in his bosom. That he profited greatly from reading the Scriptures is no matter of surprise, when we learn, that, after the example of David, he earnestly sought divine teaching, and prayed that the Lord would open his eyes that he might understand his law. He frequently entered the churches secretly in the night for prayer; and there lamented, with sighs, the want of more acquaintance with divine wisdom. Having drunk into the spirit of the Bible, and experienced the rich consolation it affords, in setting before the
burdened sinner a free and full salvation in Jesus, he wished it published to all around; he therefore commenced a translation of the Psalms into Anglo-Saxon, though he did not, however, live to finish the work. He died in the year 900. During his retreat at Athelney, in Somersetshire, after his defeat by the Danes, a beggar came to his little castle, and requested alms. His queen informed Alfred that they had but one small loaf remaining, which was insufficient for themselves and their friends, who were gone in search of food, though with little hope of success. The king replied, "Give the poor Christian one half of the loaf. He that could feed five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, can certainly make the half loaf suffice for more than our necessity." The poor man was accordingly relieved, and Alfred's people shortly after returned with a store of fresh provisions!
1. To what dynasty of Kings did Alfred belong?
2. When was he born, and when did he ascend the throne?
3. How old was he when he ascended the throne, and when he died?
4. What enemies had he to encounter? 5. What people are comprehended under the term Danes?
6. When defeated by them, how did he obtain knowledge of their strength? 7. With what success was this step attended?
8. When became he master of London? 9. What did he do for England when he rid it of its enemies?
10. What noble statement is written in his will?
11. How old was he before he knew his letters?
12. What was the boy promised by his mother who should first learn to read the small volume?
13. Which of the sons won this noble race, and claimed the prize?
14. Of what book was Alfred particularly fond?
15. What did he find time to do, besides read the Bible?
16. Does not this reprove those boys among us, who grumble at learning 16 lines only, on the Mondays?
17. Who came to his little castle while he lay hid at Athelney?
18. What quantity of food was in the castle?
19. Now give me correctly the beautiful christian answer he gave his queen.
20. Did God forget Alfred for his kindness to the beggar ?
CHARLES. Will you now, Papa, explain the Mechanical
Father. I will: and you must bear in mind four things: 1st, that the power acting may be either the effort of men or animals, springs, weight, steam, &c.; 2. The resistance to be overcome by the power, is the weight or object to be moved; 3. The point about which all the parts of the body move is the prop or fulcrum; 4. Observe the respective velocities of the power, and of the resisting body. But first, I hope you have not forgotten what the Momentum of a body is.
Ch. No, Papa: It is that force of a moving body which is estimated by the weight, multiplied into its velocity.
Fa. May a small body, therefore, have an equal momentum with one much larger?
Ch. Yes, provided the smaller body move much swifter than the larger one, as the weight of the latter is greater than that of the former.
Fa. What do you mean when you say that one body moves swifter, or has a greater velocity than another?
Ch. I mean that it passes over a greater space in the same time. Your watch will explain my meaning. The minutehand travels round the dial-plate in an hour; but the hourhand takes twelve hours to perform its course; consequently the velocity of the minute-hand is twelve times greater than that of the hour-hand; because, in the same time, (viz. twelve hours) it travels over twelve times the space that is gone through by the hour-hand.
Fa. But this can be true only on the supposition that the two circles are equal. In my watch, the minute-hand is longer than the other, and consequently the circle described by it is larger than that described by the hour-hand.
Ch. I see at once that my reasoning holds good only in the case where the hands are equal.
Fa. There is, however, a particular point of the longer hand, of which it may be said, with the strictest truth, that it has exactly twelve times the velocity of the extreme point of the shorter hand.
Ch. That is the point at which, if the remainder were cut off, the two hands would be equal. And, in fact, every dif ferent point of the hand describes different spaces in the same time.
Fa. The little pivot on which the two hands seem to move
(for they are really moved by different pivots, one within another) may be called the centre of motion, which is a fixed point; and the longer the hand is, the greater is the space described.
Ch. The extremities of the vanes of a windmill, when they are going very fast, are scarcely distinguishable, though the separate parts, nearer the mill, are easily discerned. This is owing to the velocity of the extremities being so much greater than that of the other parts.
Em. Does not the swiftness of the round-abouts which we see at fairs depend on the same principle; viz. the length of the poles upon which the seats are fixed?
Fa. Yes; the greater the distance at which these seats are placed from the centre of motion, the greater is the space which the boys and girls travel for their halfpenny.
Em. Those in the second row then, had a shorter ride for their money than those at the end of the poles.
Fa. Yes; shorter as to space, but the same as to time. In the same way, when you and Charles go round the gravel walk for half an hour's exercise, if he run, while you walk, he will, perhaps, have gone six or eight times round in the same time that you have been but three or four times. Now, as to time, your exercise has been equal; but he may have passed over double the space in the same time.
Ch. How does this apply to the explanation of the mechanical powers?
Fa. You will find the application very easy. Without clear ideas of what is meant by time and space, it cannot be expected that you could readily comprehend the principles of Mechanics; but let us proceed :
There are six Mechanical powers: the Lever; the Wheel and Axle; the Pulley; the Inclined-plane; the Wedge; and the Screw; and one or more of them will be found employed in every machine; in fact, the great body of mechanism to be seen in our largest manufactories may be resolved into some one or more of these six powers.
Em. Why are they called Mechanical Powers?
Fa. Because by their means we are enabled mechanically to raise weights, move heavy bodies, and overcome resistances, which, without their assistance, could not be done.
Ch. But is there no limit to the assistance gained by