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Religious Books, Bibles, Hyms, etc. 0449: William Todd, The New Testament Explained and Illustrated

Author: Todd, William
Title: The New Testament explained and illustrated, in two parts: containing, first, a brief account of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension, of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; secondly, the acts, miracles, etc. of the holy Evangelists and Apostles, particularly that of St. Paul at large; with an account of his travels, sufferings, etc., carefully collected from the Holy Scriptures, suited to the meanest capacity, by the most familiar way of question and answer, and peculiarly adapted for the instruction and entertainment of young gentlemen and ladies. By William Dodd. The third edition, revised, corrected, improved, and adorned with plates, by G. Wright, Esq., author of 'The young moralist', etc. Search the scriptures
Cat. Number: 0449
Date: No date but c.1764
1st Edition:
Pub. Place: London
Publisher: Homan Turpin
Price: 1s (see p.ii)
Pages: 1 vol., 136pp.
Size: 17 x 10 cm
Illustrations: Engraved frontispiece plus four wood-cuts
Note: Inscription on inside back cover: 'Susan Deane / Jan'y 6 1821'

Images of all pages of this book

Page 002 of item 0449

Introductory essay

Almost nothing is known about William Todd, author of The New Testament explained and illustrated. He appears to have produced just one other book, The Youth's Guide and Instructor to Virtue and Religion (0450 in the Hockliffe Collection). Also published by Homan Turpin, this is dated 1764, which gives a fair idea of when The New Testament explained and illustrated might first have appeared. Todd was probably the Oxford school-teacher whose establishment was rather cheekily advertised on p.x of Youth's Guide.

'The Author's Advertisement' on p.ii gives no indication that his is a book aimed primarily at children. Rather, Todd has produced his compendium, he says, for any of the 'poorer sort of Christian' who have neither money to purchase, nor time to read, 'large books'. All families should have at least a Bible, a common prayer book, and a book such as this is, he insists. And, since, particularly in the country, there are many who cannot read, he argues for 'rich landlords to imitate, in some respect, those worthy establishments ... in London and other parts, and see that the children of their poor tenants and neighbours be put out to school' and provided with Bibles and books such as The New Testament explained and illustrated. Such reading, he insists, 'would make greatly for the good and welfare of both church and state; it would make men humble and meek, quiet and peaceable, obedient to magistrates and ministers, full of charity to their neighbours, and ready to every good work.' (pp.iv-v) What follows this prefatorial material is a combination of short catechisms on particular areas of Christianity, and extended commentaries on specific themes in Bible history.