This Day in Presbyterian History:
If You Cannot Find a Suitable One, Write it Yourself
Catherine Vos was the wife of the famous Princeton Seminary professor of Biblical theology, Geerhardus Vos, and an author in her own right. Her daughter once said that the sentiment reflected in our title above summed up what her mother experienced as she sought to train up her children in the truths of the Bible. She had gone though bookstore after bookstore looking for a book which would present the excitement and warmth of the stories found in the Bible. When she came up empty, she made it a life-long project to write one herself. And did she ever? The Child’s Bible Study originally was published in three volumes but has more recently been released as a one volume edition, as revised by her daughter. No matter which one you purchase, this study has stood the test of time, in that it has been close to seventy years plus since it was first written.
Catherine Francis Smith married Geerhardus Vos in 1894 at Grand Rapids, Michigan, just two years after he had become the first professor of Biblical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. They were married for 43 years and produced a family of three sons and one daughter. One of the sons was J.G. Vos who studied at his father’s alma mater, Princeton Seminary, and became a Reformed Presbyterian minister.
The Child’s Study Bible is different from many children study Bibles in that it goes far beyond just treating a few of the major characters in the Bible. Catherine Vos’s book treats 110 stories from the Old Testament and 92 stories from the New Testament. In every way, children are pointed to the gospel and the Redeemer of the gospel.
Catherine Vos would pass into glory on September 14, 1937, and was buried near the Vos summer home in Roaring Branch, Pennsylvania. Her husband Geerhardus would join her in that small cemetery near the summer home twelve years later.
Words to live by: If the readers of this devotional guide are parents of young children, there is no better means to “train up your children in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6) than by a daily reading of the Bible. And for young children around the age of four and five years of age, and upward, the Child’s Bible Study an invaluable tool for that purpose. The book employs the King James Version, and there are some pictures of Jesus which some readers might find objectionable. But overall, this writer recommends it highly.
Through the Scriptures: Ezekiel 12 – 14
Through the Standards: The fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, according to the Larger Catechism
WLC 193 — “What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. In the fourth petition, (which is, Give us this day our daily bread,) acknowledging, that in Adam, and by our own sin, we have forfeited our right to all the outward blessings of this life, and deserve to be wholly deprived of them by God, and to have them cursed to us in the use of them; and that neither they of themselves are able to sustain us, nor we to merit, or by our own industry to procure them; but prone to desire, get, and use them unlawfully: we pray for ourselves and others, that both they and we, waiting upon the providence of God from day-to-day in the use of lawful means, may, of his free gift, and as to his fatherly wisdom shall seem best, enjoy a competent portion of them; and have the same continued and blessed unto us in our holy and comfortable use of them, and contentment of them; and be kept from all things that are contrary to our temporal support and comfort.”
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