texts of The Chosen People
Google scan of a Bodley copy: includes downloadable PDF
Charlotte Yonge's own Preface to The Chosen
IN drawing up this little book, at the request of several friends, the
Author has been chiefly guided by experience of what children require
to be told, in order to come to an intelligent perception of the scope
of the Scripture narrative treated historically. Since a general view
can hardly be obtained without brevity, many events have been omitted
in the earlier part, and those only touched upon which have a peculiar
significance in tracing the gradual preparation for the work of Redemption;
and though one'great object has been'the illustration of Prophecy, the
course of types has been passed over, lest the plain narrative should
be confused, since types are rather subjects of devotional contemplation
than of history, and they should be perfectly comprehended as facts, before
being treated as allegorical.
The next portion is little save an abridgement from Prideaux's Connexion,
taken in connection with the conclusions drawn by modern discoveries,
as detailed in Mr. G. Rawlinson's valuable edition of Herodotus. It is
hoped that by thus filling up the interval between the New and Old Testaments,
that children may thus be fairly able to understand what they read in
the Gospels of the Roman dominion, the relation to Herod, the mutual hatred
of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the enmity to the Samaritans.
The concluding lessons are offered with great diffidence, and with many
doubts whether the absence of detail may not prevent them from being easily
remembered; but it has been felt important that the connection of the
actual Church with that of the Apostles and Martyrs, should be made evident
to the general mind, and the present condition of the Church accounted
for. The choice of subjects has been very difficult; but it is hoped that
those selected may be those most needful to be known as evidence that
our present-Church has every claim to the promise of Him Who will abide
with her for ever.
If older and more critical persons than those for whom the little work
is intended should cast an eye over it, the author hopes that they will
bear in mind how the need of being both brief and clear is apt to render
statements apparently bolder, and sometimes harsher, than where there
is room for qualification or argument; and that they will not always accuse
the work of unthinking boldness of assertion, where the softening is omitted
for fear both of wearying and perplexing the young reader.
The chronology, for the sake of the convenience of teachers and scholars,
is that of the margin of our Bibles.
The questions at the end are chiefly intended to direct the mind of the
learner to the point of each lesson. It will be perceived that the answers
must be prepared as well from the Bible as from the book; and in most
cases the teacher will in use have to multiply, and perhaps to simplify
them. One of their especial objects has been to show the ever brightening
stream of prophecy, and afterwards, its accomplishment alike with regard
to heathen nations, to the history of the Jews, of the Church, and, above
all, to the Life of our Blessed Lord; and it is hoped that those who examine
into them, cannot fail to be struck with the full and perfect accordance
of the beginning with the end; and if they learn no other lesson, will
have it impressed on them, how "the counsel of the Lord endureth
Two tables have been added for the convenience of the scholar, one giving
the contemporary kings and prophets, the other the course of historical
chapters, with, as far as possible, the prophetical, didactic, or poetical
books, of the same date ranged in parallel lines. It is hoped that these
may be found useful in arranging lessons for upper classes or pupil teachers.
May 20th, 1859.