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the right way, we can urge a prayer that they may be alike taught.
We would observe here, that it is our intention in future to present gratis to our Correspondents three copies of the Number in which their several communications may be inserted. This we do from a conviction, that while our communications are unbought, it is but fair that the writers should be able to peruse their own productions unpaid for.
In taking a survey of the period since we closed our last Volume, the important events which have passed rush thickly on our memories—events big with political importance, and many not less important when viewed in a religious light. “The latter days,” in which we live, are pictured with awful scenery. Happy is the man, who, while with Habakkuk, he is standing on his watch tower, hath his bosom calmed, while the roar of earth's tempests echo round him with the sweet thought that God, his “ GOD reigneth!”
What fresh occurrences the new leaf which time is preparing to unfold to our view may contain, we know not, neither are we anxious to pry into it. In the place of endeavouring to search out, or with some of the fanatics of the present day professing to have learnt much that shall happen, let it be our humble ambition to sit at the feet of Jesus, and feel assured that He in whose hand are the times and seasons, will cause all things to work together for his own glory, and his church's good.
Again, dear Reader, farewell! Nearly nine years have rolled by, since thee and us were first acquainted. While we assert that the acquaintance hath been profitable to us, in that while we have been catering for thy spiritual nourishment we have thence gathered strength to our own souls, suffer us to inquire what benefit hast thou gained thereby? Hath the Eternal Spirit, who commanded his servants to write, been pleased to bless the perusal to thee of this Work? If so, let us be mutually thankful, and give to Him, the Father and the Word, Israel's triune Jehovah, continual praise !
“ Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which
testify of me.-Jesus Christ.»- John v. 39.
THE Holy Bible, which contains all the treasures of wisdom and
We cannot read it too carefully-study it too exactly-meditate on
Vol. VIII.-No. 86.] B
The spirituality of God's written word- the things discovered in it-the divine efficacy which hath attended and ever will attend the proper reading of it-whereby the soul is quickened, the mind enlightened, the heart renewed, the life reformed, the believer in Jesus strengthened and furnished for every good word and work, proves the divine original,
By them we understand that " the worlds were framed by the word of God,”-that the eternal Three who exist in the unity of the incomprehensible Jehovah had a joint concern in the creation of all things, calling them out of nothing into a state of being and existence: " who spake, and it was done; who commanded, and it stands fast.” The ultimate end of all being Jehovah's glory—" thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
The equal influence and concurrence of the three Persons in the Godhead, in the preservation of all things, in the government of the world, and in directing and disposing of every thing in it, together with the peculiar care, delight, and providence Jehovah exerciseth towards his church upon earth, are the grand subjects of the whole.
This being premised, it leads me to observe, that the holy scriptures demand our most careful attention, and our utmost diligence in the perusal of them, as they contain every thing in them which is sufficient “ to make us wise unto 'salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
In order to our being profited by reading the word of God, it is absolutely necessary for us to be looking up to the Holy Spirit for his divine influences and enlightening beams, that he, shining upon olir understandings and upon his own truths, we may thereby filled with the knowledge of the Lord's will in all wisdom and understanding."
I would begin this essay by observing, first, that the scripture is wholly of divine revelation, which will appear from positive declarations. “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God-prophecy came not of old time by the will of man : but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” As also from the things revealed in them; such as the self-existence of God, whose nature is revealed therein as incomprehensible-his being eternal- his holiness essential and immutable-his perfections boundless, immense, and infinite.
Though the works of God in nature and providence are as a glass, in which we may see and behold with wonder and admiration some shine of his glorious attributes—yet his incomprehensible, incommunicable, essential perfections- his eternity, immensity, independency, eternal and absolute sovereignty over all worlds, beings, and things, are chiefly discovered in his written word—which yet, being infinite subjects, and our minds finite, can never be fully comprehended by us.
So likewise, as it respects the unity of the incomprehensible nature of God, that “ the Lord our God is one Lord;” and that in the infinite essence, there should be an existence of a trinity of persons,
Father, Word, and Holy Ghost, who are co-equal, co-essential, and co-substantial; who, by essential union with the Godhead, are possessed of the same infinite nature, essence, perfections, power, and glory. This being a part of sacred writ, is a proof of the divine original of the scriptures. God himself being alone capable of revealing himself in the word of revelation, in the unity of his Godhead, in his distinct personal subsistencies, in the one undivided essence of Jehovah.
From the sacred word of inspiration we understand, that there is by a necessity of nature an essential union of persons in the Godhead—that the incomprehensible nature of Deity is the fountain of the divine personalities--that they have an essential, supreme, independent, incommunicable communion with each other, by their mutual inbeing and indwelling in each other: from whence arises, and in which consists, that life of essential blessedness, springing from their self-existence and boundless perfections : in their mutual interest and propriety which they have in each other-in their perfect knowledge of and acquaintance with each other-in mutual love and delight, and in their joint possession of one common and equal glory and blessedness.
The account which is given in the scriptures, concerning the thoughts, purposes, decrees, council, covenant, works, and word of God, concerning all things visible and invisible, is a proof of their divine origin.
In and by them we read of, and understand of what was done before all worlds-of what was in the heart of God from everlasting, concerning his love in Christ, towards the elect who were chosen by him in Christ before the foundation of the world. He was their head, and they were in him, and united to him by eternal election. They were blessed in him with all spiritual blessings. They were set apart, and fore-ordained to partake of grace in time, and glory in eternity.
We are informed in the word, concerning an everlasting covenant which obtained among the persons in the Godhead, proposed by the Father, entered into with the Son, who engaged to become the Surety and Saviour of the elect, which the Holy Ghost is a witness of, by whom it hath been revealed, and without whom it could never have been known; “ for what man knoweth the things of a man, save the Spirit of man which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
That the original of scripture is owing to divine revelation, will appear when we consider that they inform us, not only of what passed in eternity between “ the Three that bear record in heaven ;'' but they also acquaint us with the birth of time, the formation of man, his pristine glory, and paradisaical state : of the covenant of works which God proposed and entered into with bim, as the federal head, root, and parent of all his offspring-personal obedience to which was the natural tie between God and the creature--of his shameful fall and revolt from God-in which state' he needed a revelation of the divine will; 'for being alienated from the life of God ihrough the ignorance which was brought upon him by his transgression, he must have remained "ignorant and miserable, without hope, and without God in the world, had he not been favoured with a revelation of the Lord's most holy mind and will concerning him.
So that I close this head, intreating my reader to consider, that the scriptures are a revelation which the Lord hath been pleased to give us concerning our state by the fall, and of the covenant of grace made between Jehovah and the Branch on behalf of God's beloved ones, in which it was decreed, “ without shedding of blood there should be no remission of sins ;" and that “ the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head.” For the man having fallen from the Lord by transgression, could never have been brought to a knowledge of divine things, but by the revelation the Lord God gave
him. And the scriptures being the inspiration of God, they contain the mind and will of God, exhibiting the person, incarnation, and work of the Son of God, as the only foundation for peace and pardon.
This leads me, secondly, to observe the goodness of God to his church, having raised up and qualified many of his servants with the gifts and graces of his Holy Spirit, for the explaining of his most holy word, who by their notes, annotations, comments, paraphrases, and expositions, have cleared the history, and set it in its true light -elucidated the types, explained the prophecies, opened the truths, unfolded the promises, and explained and enforced the precepts of it upon such evangelical principles, in so spiritual a manner, as hath been to the profit of multitudes of the Lord's people, who have found a peculiar delight in knowing more of and in drinking deeper into the "scriptures of truth ;" they being, when spiritually explained, “ spirit and life.” Great care, therefore, should be taken in all attempts to open
and explain them, to preserve the majesty, purity, spirituality, and divine authority of them.
My design (in the following sheels) is, to give a brief and general view of the subjects which are chiefly treated of, in the several books of the inspired volume.
It will be readily acknowledged, that man's fall, and Christ's salvation--the miserable effects of the one, and the glorious consequences of the other, are the foundation of the whole subject.
It must also be owned, that the whole revelation which God hath made of himself in the word of his grace, the everlasting gospel, which is styled “the wisdom of God in a mystery," hath respect to man as fallen. Whatsoever revelation the Lord was pleased to make of himself to man in a state of innocency concerning his personalities, perfections, mind, will, worship, and obedience to be performed to his Majesty, all which some think could be known to Adam in his pure state only by divine revelation ; this we are sure of, that through the fall all that knowledge in Adamı was lost. And