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Metadata for text 180
No. words in text28071
Title Da leabhar Cheistin agus Urnuighean; no Crabhadh Chloinne bige fuidh Dha Bhliadhna Dheug Aois. \ Two Setts of Catechisms and Prayers; or, the Religion of Little Children under Twelve Years of Age
Author Watts, Isaac
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1774
Date Of Language 18th c.
Publisher Gabhin Alston \ Gavin Alston
Place Published Duneidin \ Edinburgh
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Unknown
Register Religion, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 17cm x 11cm
Short Title Da Leabhar Cheistin
Reference Details NLS: L.32.a
Number Of Pages 131, [1]
Gaelic Text By Unknown
Illustrator N/A
Social Context This text is a Gaelic translation of Isaac Watts’s Two Sets of Catechisms for Children, first published in English during the author’s lifetime (1730?).

Isaac Watts was born in Southampton in 1674. His father was a nonconformist, who had twice been sent to prison for his views. Watts was educated at the free grammar school in Southampton between 1680 and 1690, learning Greek, French, Latin, and Hebrew. He showed an early propensity for composing verse. For the next four years, Watts studied at the dissenting academy which had been moved to London from Stoke Newington a few years previously. Under Thomas Rowe, Watts studied the classics, divinity and modern philosophy. In June 1694 Watts returned home and spent more than two years there reading, writing, and composing verse and prose. In October 1696, Watts took up a post as tutor to Sir John Hartropp’s son in Newington. He remained there for six years, and in 1699 he was appointed assistant to Isaac Chauncy, the minister of the Independent church at Mark Lane in London. On taking up this post, Watts became ill and his poor health lasted for a number of years. He resumed preaching in November 1701, six months afer Chauncy had resigned. Watts was appointed to the post of minister at Mark Lane in early 1702, and he was ordained on 18th March. His ill health continued to plague him throughout his life. In 1703, Samuel Price was appointed as his assistant, and in 1712, Price became his co-pastor, when Watts’s health broke down for a period of around four years.

Watts spent most of his life living with the family of Sir Thomas Abney at Lime Street in London, at Theobalds in Hertfordshire, and at Abney Park in Stoke Newington. Watts tutored their children, and continued his pastoral duties where possible, but he spent a large amount of his time writing. Watts was a prolific poet and hymn-writer, and he published a number of books of verse, including Horae Lyricae in 1706 and Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language, for the Use of Children, in 1715. Watts also wrote a number of books on theology and logic, including Logick, published in 1724, The Improvement of the Mind, in 1741, and Short View of the Whole Scripture History, published in 1732. He also wrote a number of works for children, both secular and religious, including The Art of Reading and Writing English, published in 1721, and the Catechisms, published in 1730. Isaac Watts died at Abney Park in November 1748.

The translator of this work is unknown.
Contents The text is presented in Gaelic and English on facing pages, with English on the left and Gaelic on the right. The text is presented in two ‘books’ as follows:

Ceud Leabhar Ceasnuich, an Leinibh Oig; no Leabhar Ceasnuich airson Leanabh Og, gu Toìseach mu Thri, no Ceithir Bliadhna dh’Aois (pp. 4-27): The first book begins with some general questions about doctrine. We then find questions relating to Na h ainmeana tha ann SCRIOTUIRE na SEIN-TIOMNA (pp. 10-15) and Na h ainmeanna ata ann SCRIOBTUIR an TIOMNADH NUADH (pp. 14-21). This book finishes with Urnuighean airson Cloinn Bhig (pp. 20-27), which includes prayers to be said in the morning, prayers to be said in the evening, and prayers to be said before and after meals.

An Dara Leabhar Cheistin agus Urnuighean; No, Cail-eigin a Chuideacha do Chràbhdah Cloinne, agus an Eolas air an Scrioptuir, o Sheachd Bhliadhna gu Da Bhliadhna Dheùg dh’Aois (pp. 28-131): The second book begins with some general questions about doctrine (pp. 28-83), followed by An Leabhar Ceasnuich Eachdaireachd. Air son Cloinne agus Oìgridh (pp. 82-101) and Eachdaireachd an Tiomnadh Nuadh (pp. 102-23). This book ends with Eisimpleirean Urnuigh \ Air an Cumadh airson Cloinne, o Ochd bliadhna, gu Deich no Dà Bhliadhna Dheug Aois (pp. 122-31), which includes prayers to be said in the morning, prayers to be said in the evening, and prayers to be said before and after meals.

There are occasional footnotes explaining to parents how this text should be used, or explaining terminology in Gaelic (i.e. offering alternative terms in Gaelic).
Sources
Language This text is written in a religious register. The first book is written in somewhat simpler language. For example, in the first book we find questions such as An urrainn thu innseadh dhamh, a leinibh, co rinn thu? \ Freagradh. An Dia mòr a rinn neamh agus talamh (p. 5), and C. Ciod tha Dia a’ deanamh air do shon? \ F. Tha è ga m’ choimhid o olc a là agus a dh’ oidhche, agus tha è do ghna’ ag deanamh maith dhamh (p. 5). In the sections on the Old and New Testaments, we find simple questions relating to the different people who appear in the Bible. For example, C. Co è Golia? \ F. Am Fuamh-fhear a mharbh Daibhi le crannta-bhuill agus le cloich (p. 13) and Co ì Muire Magdalan? \ F. Bana-pheacair mhòr, a nigh cosa Chriosd le a deuraibh, agus a thiormaich iad le folt a cinn (p. 17).

The language of the second book is slightly more demanding. There are frequent references to Biblical passages in the answers, e.g. C. Ciod a thig air na deamhanaibh fa dheirreadh? \ F. Tha iad san àm so air an gleidheadh mar phriosanaich chum peannas is mò an deidh la a bhreitheàamhnais. \ Eph. iv. 8.—Thug è brùid am braighdeanas. Jude 6. Na h aingil nach do ghleidh an ceud inbhe,—a’ta iad air an coimhid ann geimhlibh siorruidh fuidh dhorchadas, fa chomhair breitheanais an là mhòir. Faic Foils xx. 10 (p. 77). In the sections on the Old and New Testament, we find questions relating not just to people but also to events. For example, we find C. Cionnas a shaor Maois an pobull o ’n tràilealachd? \ F. An nuair a dhiult Pharao leigeadh leis an t shluagh siubhal, thug Dia cumhachd dha ’n Eiphte bhualadh le iommad plaigh. Faic an viiamh, viiiamh, ixamh, xamh, agus an t aon caibdeil deug do Exodus (p. 91) and C. C’ uin a thainig Spiorad Dhe air na h abstola, agus na deiscipil eile? \ F. Aig feìst na caingis, mu thuairmse deich la ta’ reìs do Chriosd dol suas gu neamh, Ginomh. ii I. &c. (p. 119).
Orthography The orthography is that of the late eighteenth century, with traces of certain earlier traits visible (e.g. the -mm- in iommad, p. 91). There are a number of printing errors, as can be seen above. There are also some inconsistencies, e.g. the use of ata and tha, as can be seen in the titles of the two sections on the Old and New Testaments in the first book: ainmeana tha ann SCRIOTUIRE [sic] (p. 11) and ainmeanna ata ann SCRIOBTUIR (p. 15).
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/28888?docPos=1
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