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SAINTS, or Holy Men: and those who wrote the Gospels are called also EVANGELISTS.
“THE REVELATION OF Jonx TuE DIVINE contains prophecies relating to the Church of CHRIST, from the time of the Apostles to the end of the world.
“Such are the Contents of the BIBLE'; we should next consider tor what purposes God caused this Holy Book to be written, which we may learn from one text of Scripture; All Scripture, (says St. Paul,) is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the Man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works *. By which is meant, that the SCRIPTURES declare and confirm the truth; that they convince us of sin; that they teach us how to reform and amend our lives; that they instruct us in the knowledge of that righteousness by .which alone we can be saved, and put those who are desirous to please God, into the way of gaining the divine blessing and favour here, and an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of Heaven hereafter. Surely such a book as this should be read and studied by all to whom it is made known! And it has pleased God to cause the Holy SCRIPTURES to be written with such clearness and plainness, that all who will study them with humility and diligence may understand, at least as much of them as is necessary
for their comfort in this world, and their salvation in the next. Those who have but little leisure, therefore, have no occasion to puzzle themselves to find out hidden meanings in difficult passages; they should keep to the easier parts: but all must remember, that no one can become a good Christian merely by reading or hearing the Word of God. The way to profit by the Bible is so admirably pointed out in one of the Collects of our excellent Liturgy, that we will add it here for instruction and use, as it fully explains what every one ought to do, and at the same time furnishes words, which, when accompanied with the sincere wishes of the heart, cannot fail of being approved by the DIVINE AUThor of the SACRED VOLUME.
Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent, “ Blessed LORD, who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by pa. tience and comfort of thy holy word, we may embrace and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
“ Before we conclude this Introduction, it will be proper to add a few words concerning the inanner in which the following book is intended to be used, which is merely this. When any parti
* See & Timothy, chap. 3, ver. 16, 17.
cular chapter is to be read in the BIBLE, let the Book be opened where the chapter is explained; then let the reader look into the Explanation, and see how many verses are explained in the first paragraph, and read them in the BIBLE, stopping at the end of those verses, to read the Explanation, and then proceeding in the same manner to the end of the chapter.
“ May the grace of God supply every defect in this humble attempt to promote the knowledge of true religion, and the practice of piety and virtue; and render it conducive to the end for which it was composed."
Without meaning to depreciate the admitted excellence and utility of “ Ostervald's arguments,” we shall show, in the instance of the first and second chapters of Genesis, how well Mrs. Trimmer has performed the work she undertook; compared with Ostervald's Observations and Reflections:
“ This Book, with which the Bible begins, is the first of the Pentateuch, or five books written by Moses, the great prophet and law-giver of the Jews; who was inspired by the Holy GHOST to give an account of the beginning of all things, and of God's wonderful dealings with mankind in the early ages of the world, and with the Jewish nation in particular.
CHAPTER I. “ Read this chapter with great attention, for on what it reveals the whole of religion is founded; it teaches us that there is one God the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and acquaints us with many important particulars which could never have been known if the Creator himself had not been pleased to reveal them, for his ways are far above our ways, and we cannot by searching find out the Almighty to perfection.*
Ver. 1 “ Observe, that the heavens over our heads, and the earth we live on, had a beginning, and that all things were made by one Creator, the Almighty God.
Ver. 2 to 6.“ Observe, that the Creator has been graciously pleased to reveal the order he followed in bringing the world into form, and preparing it for the living creatures that were to dwell in it. Consider the great difference there is betwixt light and darkness, and how wonderful it was that God, by his word only, should bring light out of darkness. Observe, that the Creator divided the time he saw fit to employ in the works of the creation Ver: 6 to 9. « The firmament is that which is called the sky. Consider that this also is a great blessing, as it keeps the world from being entirely overflowed with water, and at the same time furnishes supplies for rain to water the earth when it is wanted. By making a firmament, the Creator also furnished air, without which no living creature could breathe; and it is equally necessary for trees and plants. We have therefore great cause to be thankful to God for the work of the second day.
into days and nights. This division of time is very comfortable, particularly to those who labour for their daily bread. The return of every morning and evening should therefore remind us to be thankful to God for the work of the first day.
* Job. vii, 11,
Ver. 9 to 14. “ Observe, God gathered the waters that were below the firmament into great hollow places which he prepared to receive thein, leaving dry land between, by which means the world became a fit habitation for the various kinds of creatures that were to live both in the water and on the earth. Observe, that the Creator graciously provided for the sustenance of all living creatures before he brought them into existence. Consi, der how wonderful it was that the earth should, in the course of one day, bring forth in perfection trees, prants, and herbs, of all kinds. Consider also, what a blessing it is to have food to eat, and seed to sow for future years; and surely you will be thanks ful to God for the work of the third day.
Ver. 14 to 20. 66 Consider how wonderful the sun, moon, and stars, are in themselves, how delightful it is to behold them. Consider also, how very comfortable and useful it is to have time divided as it is by means of these bright luminaries. And when you view the sun, and the moon, and the stars, shining in the firmament of the heavens, lift up your heart with gratitude to the glorious Creator of them for the works of the fourth day.
Ver. 2 to 24. “ Observe, that when the world was properly prepared for their comfortable dwelling and subsistence, and not till then, numbers of living creatures, were in one day brought into being from the waters, all in their proper places. Observe, ver. 21, that some of these creatures were of an amazing large size, yet they were produced at once, as well as the smallest of the fishes of the sea and of the feathered tribes. Consider how wonderful every one of these creatures was in itself, and of what use their different kinds have been to mankind, and admire and adore the Creator for the works of the fifth day.
Ver. 24 to 26. « Observe here, that numbers of different kinds of living creatures were produced from the earth, and that the strongest beast as well as the smallest insects were formed at once by the Creator, each perfect in its kind; and observe, that a blessing was bestowed upon all living creatures, that no kind might be lost.
Ver. 26 to 29.« Observe farther, that the world was com: pleted, and all the lower creatures were created before man was brought into being, and that then nne human pair only was? greated. · Take notice, that mankind were of a nature far above. Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. Jan. 1805. 1
the other creatures, being made in the image of God, beating some likeness to their Creator, and that they were to rule ovet the rest. Observe, also, ver. 28, the blessing which God pronounced upon the first pair, which signified that inultitudes of creatures like themselves should proceed from them, and that mankind should fill the earth with inhabitants, make use of its productions, and have rule and dominion over all the other creatures in it. Consider the great goodness of God in creating mankind, and bestowing such privileges upon them, and be thankful to him for the blessings of the sixth day.
Ver. 29 to 31. “Observe, that the Creator appointed to mankind the food they were to eat, and that God appointed food for all the lower creatures also, lest man should think all things were made for him alone ; and that, though mankind have dominion over the lower creatures, the latter have a right to feed upon the green herbs provided for their sustenance by the bounty of the Creator; so that mankind cannot withhold their proper food from the brute beasts without offending their Maker. Ver. 3.
“ Observe, that when God had ended his works of creation, te pronounced them good; every thing was perfect in its kind, and could not be improved by alteration in any respect; and consider what a delightful place the world must have been when it came out of the hands of the Creator, when mankind bore the image of their Maker, and when peace and harmony prevailed throughout. But the goodness of God to mankind did not stop here, as appears in the following chapter.
CHAPTER II. Ver. 2..“ Observe, from this verse, that every thing belonging to the world was created within six days ; from that time eyerys kind of creature has produced its like, and increased and multi: plied according to the blessing of the Lord, which is very won-i derful.
Ver. 2, 3. "To bless any thing is to make it the means of the greatest happiness to those who possess item to sanctify any things is to set it apart from .common uses for the peculiar service of: God. By blessing the seventh day, God ordained it to be a day of extraordinary comfort and happiness to mankind, and by sanctifying it; He set it apart as his own day, to be devoted to his peculiar service. How the sabbath day should be spent, iwe learn from the fourth commandment, and other parts of seripture.; those who add it to their days of labour, or make it a day of idleness, folly, and wickedness, will certainly bringia curse upon themselves, instead of the promised blessing, and greatly offend their Maker. Never forget that every human creature.ought to keep holy the seventh day, because it is the saba. bath of the Lord our God, who blessed the seventh day and sanctifedit. Qbservez ver. 5, some particulars not mentioned in,
the first chapter, which show that the Lord God formed erery kind of tree and plant, and caused them all to grow up to perfection before there was a man upon the earth to till the ground, and without employing the usual meun which is now employed of sending rain from heaven to water them, which shows that the Creator has no need of the help of any of his creatures to bring his works to perfection, but that, on the contrary, without the blessing of God, all the labour of man would be fruitless:
Ver. 7. “ Observe, that the man was created before the woman, and that he had an earthly nature, and a spiritual nature; his body was earthly, his soul was spiritual- in the first he was related to the beasts, in the latter he bore the image of God, for God is a spirit.
Ver. 8 to 15. “ Observe the great goodness of God to mankind in preparing for their abode a delightful garden, which was a paradise or place of bliss, a lively type or figure of Heaven; for in it grew the tree of life, the emblem of immortality, and it was sanctified by the visible presence of the Creator. The exact situation of Paradise cannot now be known; but, from the account we have of the rivers that flowed from it, we may understand that it was in the eastern part of the world. Observe, ver. 15, that to keep man from idleness the Lord alloted him an easy and a pleasant task, such an one as people, who know what true pleasure is, still choose as an añusement, that of dressing and keeping a garden.
Ver. 16 18 “ That man might have no fears of being deprived of the blessings of Paradise, or suppose on the other hand that he had a natural right to them, the Lord God made & covenant with him, that he would continue to mankind the blessings of Paradise, upon condition that they would keep from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, planted by the tree of life; and to encourage them to keep His commandment, the Lord God gave them leave freely to eat of every other tree in the garden. This was a very easy commandment, and if mankind had kept it they would have gained the reward of righteousness; which, as we learn from other parts of scripture, is eternal life and happiness in heaven, Observe, that this covenant, which God made with man when he placed him in the garden of Eder., is called the covenant of works ; because that, according to the condition of it, man's lite and happiness depended upon his own works. Observe also, that death was to be the punishment of man's disobedience to the law of God.
· Ver. 18 to 21. “ Observe, that the Lord knowing that, with. out a companion possessing the gifts of reason and specch, the man would lead a solitary life, graciously resolved to give him one of the same nature with himself; but, first, the Lord made the other creatures pass in review before Adam, that he might