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OUTLINES FOR BIBLE-CLASS INSTRUCTION.
“I. The historical part of the portion of scripture, which constitutes the lesson-including the two great divisions, the church and the world.
II. The biographical part, including the two great classes, believers and unbelievers ; with the effects which their good and bad example have had upon the church and the world.
III. The doctrinal part, including the nature and perfections of God—the character, person, offices, and work of Christ-the actual state of man by the fall, &c. &c.-marking distinctly the gradual increase of knowledge on these points from age to age, through the patriarchal and levitical dispensations, till the Christian dispensation furnished mankind with the clear, full development of God's gracious purposes towards our fallen state.
IV. T'he preceptive part, including the whole range of our duties, according to the moral law.
V. The positive ordinances, including the sacraments, types, sacrifices, the priesthood, the temple service : distin guishing between these positive institutions and moral duties——the first dependent on the will of God, and therefore mutable--the last on his nature, and therefore immutable: marking the changes of the first from time to time, with the reasons for the change, and unfolding the influence which they obviously were intended to have upon the spiritual exercises of our hearts, and our obedience to the moral law.
VI. The practical lessons which the historical and biographical parts furnish for the regulation of human conduct, in all the relations of life.”
N. B. In these outlines it will be understood that general questions should be asked the pupils; and full instruction given by the Pastors under each division.
HINTS. It is highly desirable, that all, who have the REFERENCE TESTAMENT, should become familiar with the KEY SHEET and TABLES subjoined. For this purpose, each reference letter should direct the eye to the corresponding letter with its questions in the Key sheet, till all those questions suggest themselves as soon as the letter is seen. Every proper name, about the pronounciation of which there can be any hesitancy, should be examined in the Table till the correct pronunciation of it becomes familiar. All words found in the Etymological, Geographical, and Miscellaneous Tables, should be traced' from the text to those Tables, and when found on the map which now accompanies the work, to that likewise. When reference is made to prophecy, the Reference and Chronological Tablés, are to be consulted.
KEY. were under obligations to What PROHIBITION observe it? Is it still obli- is here directly or indigatory on any? Is there rectly made? Why is this any connexion or corres- deed, or word, or thought pondence between this ( forbidden? and any other institution
What prophecy is here or ordinance?
RECORDED? At what WhatINSTRUCTIONS, period of time? Has it are imparted in this pa- been fulfilled?
How? i rable? or in this meta- When?
phor? What is their prac- What affecting SCENE is tical tendency?
$here exhibited? What feel. What KNOWLEDGE, ings should it produce? k or want of knowledge of
What SUBLIMITY of human nature is here particularly manifested?s thought or of language
is here? What inference What statute, rite, ser- follows?
vice, or appendage of the What doctrinal TRUTH L LEVITICAL DISPEN- is here inculcated?Is it diSATION is here men
rectlyorindirectlytaught? tioned? Why appointed? How illustrated?
How What LOFTY FLIGHTS applied? What practical
of devotional fervour? influence should it have? 1 What longings after inti- What TYPE of Christ, mate communion with
typical transaction God are here manifested? can be distinctly traced What MIRACLE is here
here? recorded? By whom,
UNJUSTIFIA. and for what purpose
BLE action in a virtuous m wrought? In whose name, character? Or what un
and by whose authority?" usual excellence in one What effect had it on the not pious, is here rewitnesses?
corded? What is worthy of par
What VISION is here ticular notice in this v described? To whom and NAME?
why given? What ORIENTAL or What WO is here deancient custom may here nounced or executed? or be learned? or what do warning given? What is
w you know of one which its import? Against whom will elucidate this pas
denounced, or to whom sage?
EXPLANATORY DIRECTIONS, 5 For using the Reference Bible and Reference Testament,
in communicating instruction to the young. THE Editor feels it due to Instructers and members of Bible Classes and Sunday Schools, to enter into some detail of illustration, respecting the manner in which these works were intended to aid their most benevolent and commendable efforts The questions in the Key page were never designed to be a substitute for thousands of other questions, but may considerably aid in suggesting the leading topics on which questions will be raised. Let a part of the 3d chapter of Matthew be used for illustrating the plan in more detail. A small f precedes the first verse. That directs the attention to FACTS. Let such questions as these be raised: Where did John Baptist begin his ministry? In the wilderness of Judea. What do you know of the wilderness of Judea? The pupil
will be prepared to answer this question by consulting the Tables and Maps accompanying these works. What was the object of John's ministry? To prepare the way for the Messiah's advent.
Before the 2d verse d is inserted, which directs the attention to DUTY. On the Key page is asked, What duty is here enjoined? Repentance. On whom? On all mankind. Can you repeat any other passage which will confirm this answer? God NOW commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent. Is it taught by precept, by example, or by inference? Here John Baptist taught it by direct precept; other ministers are bound to preach like him; like all the prophets, apostles, and the Master himself. All their hearers are bound to obey these messages. Therefore precept and inference both teach this duty. How enforced? It was then enforced by the near approach of the Gospel dispensation, called there the kingdom of heaven. It may now be enforced by the reasonableness of the duty, its necessity, and the near approach of death and eternity, Here let the instructer roll the subject on the consciences of the pupils. You have said that repentance is binding on ALL; then it is binding on each of you. Have you done your duty? We have seen that it is a reasonable duty; are you not acting a most unreasonable part if you are neglecting it? It is a necessary duty; for, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish: and dare any one of you longer neglect it? Since, without repentance, where Christ has gone no sinner can go, and liable as you are every moment to drop into eternity,
EXPLANATORY DIRECTIONS. Before the 3d verse a is inserted. The Key page asks, What prophecy is here ACCOMPLISHED? The voice of one crying in the wilderness, &c. Where is it found? By recurring to the Tables the answer will be found, viz. Isa. 40th chap. 3d verse. How many years had it been written? See Tables, viz. About 700 years. The instructer will then draw this inference: If such men as Isaiah could predict future events with minute accuracy several centuries before they took place, they must have been different from other men. Who can now foretell events for 3, or 5, or 7 centuries to come? These prophets were, therefore, what the New Testament calls them, holy men of God, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. In other words, they were inspired men. God has spoken by them to us. We must implicitly believe all he has revealed, and cheerfully obey all he has commanded. By some such process, young minds will more deeply revere the Bible; they will be more ready to believe all its doctrines, and have its high and holy claims press upon their consciences. Before the 4th verse f again occurs.
What account can you give of John Baptist's raiment? He was clad in a coarse garinent of camel's hair, bound about him with a girdle of leather. What was his diet? Locusts and wild Honey. Here the instructer can bring present oriental customs in confirmation that locusts are sometimes eaten; and he can show that in the days of Saul and Jonathan honey from wild bees abounded in the woods of Palestine. Is any doctrine or duty connected with them? We may learn the duty of plainness in dress, and abstemiousness in diet, when these will subserve our greatest usefulness.
In the indentation of the 6th verse you find g. This directs the attention to GEOGRAPHY. What geographical information is known of Jerusalem, Judea, the
Jordan, and the region beyond it? The Tables, and Maps, will enable pupils to reply with readiness and propriety.
Against the 7th verse there stands a t, the representative of doctrinal TRUTH. The questions are, what doctrinal TRUTH is here inculcated? The exceeding depravity of that generation directly; and since, as in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man, we indirectly learn the doctrine of universal depravity. How illustrated? By recurrence to natural history. Man is inclined to evil as the viper is to be venomous. What practical influence should this truth have? It ought to humble us. But is there not another doctrinal truth here? Yes; the doctrine of future