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DIAGRAM OF THE KING8.-The design of the first table of the kings of Israel and Judah, on pages 84, 85, is to represent to the eye the order in which the kings reigned, and the dates and lengths of their reign.
The period of Jewish history covered by the first table is froin Saul, the first king, to Zedekiah, the last king, of Judah--that is, from 1095 B. C. to 586 B.C., or about 507 years.
The centuries B. C. are indicated in a line at the right-hand side of the page; the name of each king is given, and opposite his name the years or months of his reign are represented in two lines, standing close together, from Saul to the end of Solomon's reign, indicating the unity of the kingdom until that time (975 B. C.]; then the two united lines separate, and the names of the kings ruling in both portions of the divided kingdom are given in their proper order. The lengths of their respective reigns are indicated by the lines and figures opposite their names. The table also shows at a glance the kings who were ruling in “ Israel” and in “Judah” about the same time,
Where the reigns were very short (as one month or six months) it was necessary to make the "lines" or "steps" representing their reigns somewhat out of the exact proportion, but otherwise the diagram will convey a correct impression of the reigns according to the latest conclusions of trustworthy biblical writers. The more prominent kings of other nations noticed in the Scripture during this period are also given in a separate column.
CHRONOLOGICAL TABLES.-- For the benefit of thoso teachers and scholars who may wish to know the precise year in which each of the kings of Israel and Judah is supposed to have begun and closed his reign, another table of these facts is given on page 88. The dates given are chiefly those found in Smith's “ Old Testament History."
A few dates reqnire special explanation. Frequently parts of years are counted in round numbers as if full years. For example, Nadab's reign is given as “2 years,” though it was not probably two full years, but only parts of them; hence the dates 954-953. This will explain several of the dates given. Jehoshaphat associated Johoram with him during the last two years of his reign, 80 Jehoshaphat's “ 25 years" and Jehoram's “6 years each other two years, accounting for the apparently short dates opposite Jehoram, Jehoash also reigned 2 years while Jehoahaz lived, explaining the short dates opposite Jehoahaz. The dates opposite Amon appear to give him over three years, because of a cor. rection of the received chronology adopted by historians, and intro. duced at that point.
THE TABLE OF THE PROPHETS has been prepared in order to present more inpressively to the eye the length of time which the several prophets held that office, and how far they were contemporary with each other,
Perfect accuracy in dates cannot be attained in our present knowJedge of this portion of biblical history. But with two or three exceptions which are noted in the diagrams, the dates are generally agreed upon by the best historical scholars, and are therefore comm. monly received as probably correct.
OPENING EXERCISES. AFTER calling the school to order, the following texts may be repeated, the whole school standing :
Leader.-The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.
School.-Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. L.-The Lord will give strength unto his people. Sch.-The Lord will bless his people with peace. Then sing the hymn suggested in the lesson for the day, or some other appropriate one. This may be followed by an alternate reading of the lesson, or of some selections like the following
BIBLE TEXTS, based on the lessons for the first quarter.
L.-Say ye to the righteous, It shall be well with him;
; Sch.-For the reward of his hands shall be given him.
L.-And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook tho old men's counsel.
Sch. For the cause was from the Lord. ... So Israel rebelled against the house of David.
L-And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin and who made Israel to sin.
Sch.-But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
L.- Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
Sch.-And Elijah said unto Ahab, ... There shall not be dew nor rain these years but according to my word.
L.-In famine he shall redeem thee from death.
Sch.- And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening.
L.-When Ahab saw Elijah, . ... Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
Sch.-And he answered, I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house; in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.
L.-And Elijah came unto all the people and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.
Sch.-Elijah the prophet came near, and said, .. Ilear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God.
L.-Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
Sch.-And when the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, The Lord he is the God! the Lord he is the God!
L.-And he came thither unto a cave, ... and behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah ? Sch.--And the Lord said unto him, Go return, ... and Elisha
shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. L.-And Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.
Sch.-And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
L.-As they still went on, and talked, behold there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Seh.-When he also had smitten the waters, thoy parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
AU.-And when the sons of the prophets ... saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.
The superintendent may then offer a brief prayer, or call on some one to whom he has already spoken to do so, closing with the Lord's Prayer, in which all the school may join.
After singing another suitable hymn, and the announcement of notices, the teachers should be given at least thirty minutes to instruct their classes in the lessons without interruption.
CLOSING EXERCISES. At the end of the time allotted to the teachers, and after the usual missionary collections are taken, the superintendent may anDonnce two or three verses of some fitting hymu to be sung.
Then in a talk of two or three minutes by the pastor, superintendent, or some other person appointed beforehand, let some iinportant truths of the lesson be impressed upon the school.
Then let these texts be repeated, the whole school stauding:
Teachers. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
AU.-The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give theo peace. (Num. vi. 24, 25, 26.)
Close by a brief prayer (and by the benediction when the pastor is present).
OPENING EXERCISES (No. 2).
AFTER the entire school has become quiət, let a brief opening prayer be offered, followed by the recital of the Lord's Prayer, the school uniting therein.
THE LORD'S PRAYER.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen. (Matt. vi. 9-13.)
Then sing some appropriate hymn, after which the following selections of Scripture may be read alternately,
Leader.-Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
School.-Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing.
L.-Know ye that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Sch.-Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him and bless his name.
L.-For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Sch.—The Lord reigneth. He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself; the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.
L.-Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
Sch.-For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
L. O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things; his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory.
Sch.-He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
L.-Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Sch.-Praise him for his mighty acts : praise himn according to his excellent greatness.
L.-Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Leader and School.- Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
After singing another hynın the teachers may be given the usual time for instructing their classes.
When the teachers have concluded their work, and the collections for missionary or other purposes have been made and the necessary notices given by the superintendent, let some of the teachings of the lesson be presented in remarks of about three minutes' length, followed by prayer.
After singing a few verses of some suitable hymn, let all the school reverently bow their heads and close by reciting these Scripture texts:
Supt.-The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another. (Gen. xxxi. 49.)
Teachers.-God be merciful unto us and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us.
All.--Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. (Eph. vi. 24.)