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Metadata for text 180
No. words in text26240
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 N/A (Translated work)
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1774
Date Of Language 18th c.
Publisher Gavin (Gabhin) Alston
Place Published Edinburgh (Duneidin)
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 132
Gaelic Text By Unknown from English of Isaac Watts
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 in or about 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 talent 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 after 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 the Abney 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 other 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 Gaelic translator responsible for the present work is unknown.
Contents The text of this work is presented in Gaelic and English on facing pages, with English on the left and Gaelic on the right. The work is divided into two ‘setts’ or parts (each called Leabhar in the Gaelic version), 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): This part begins with some general questions Christian faith (pp. 4/5-8/9). These are followed by questions relating to Na h ainmeana tha ann SCRIOTUIRE na SEIN-TIOMNA (pp. 10/11-14/15) and Na h ainmeanna ata ann SCRIOBTUIR an TIOMNADH NUADH (pp. 14/15-20/21). This section is concluded by Urnuighean airson Cloinn Bhig (pp. 20/21-26/27), 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 part opens with some general questions about Christian faith, the answers in this part being supported by scriptural quotations (pp. 28/29-82/83). This is followed by An Leabhar Ceasnuich Eachdaireachd. Air son Cloinne agus Oìgridh (pp. 82/83-100/101) and Eachdaireachd an Tiomnadh Nuadh (pp. 102/103-122/123). This part is concluded by Eisimpleirean Urnuigh \ Air an Cumadh airson Cloinne, o Ochd bliadhna, gu Deich no Dà Bhliadhna Dheug Aois (pp. 122/123-130-131), 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 in English and Gaelic explaining to parents how this text should be used. There are also a number of footnotes in the Gaelic text only, to gloss or explain words deemed difficult for children.
Language This text is written in a catechistic style and is full of religious terms and expressions. The first part is written in somewhat simpler language, e.g.: [Ceist.An urrainn thu innseadh dhamh, a leinibh, co rinn thu? Freagradh. An Dia mòr a rinn neamh agus talamh (p. 5), and C[eist]. Ciod tha Dia a’ deanamh air do shon? F[reagradh]. Tha è ga m’ choimhid o olc a là agus a dh’ oidhche, agus tha è do ghna’ ag deanamh maith dhamh (ibid.). The sections on the Old and New Testaments contain simple questions relating to various biblical characters, e.g.: C[eist]. Co è Golia? F[reagradh]. Am Fuamh-fhear a mharbh Daibhi le crann[-]tabhuill agus le cloich (p. 13); C[eist] Co ì Muire Magdalan? F[reagradh]. 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 part is slightly more demanding. Additionally, there are references to Biblical passages in the answers, e.g.: C[eist]. Ciod a thig air na deamhanaibh fa dheirreadh? F[reagradh]. 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, there are questions relating not only to people but also to events, e.g.: C[eist]. Cionnas a shaor Maois an pobull o ’n tràilealachd? F[reagradh]. 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); C[eist]. C’ uin a thainig Spiorad Dhe air na h abstola, agus na deiscipil eile? F[reagradh]. Aig feìst na caingis, mu thuairmse deich la ta’ reìs do Chriosd dol suas gu neamh, Ginomh. [sic, for Gniomh.] ii I. &c. (p. 119).
Orthography The orthography is characteristic of the mid-to-late eighteenth century. There are occasional examples of reduplicated consonants, e.g. deirreadh … peannas (p. 77), including some inconsistencies, e.g. ainmeana tha ann (p. 11) but ainmeanna ata ann (p. 15). The grave accent is occasionally used, e.g. Co ì (p. 13). There are a number of printing errors, as can be seen above.
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
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