Page images

not have been omitted without loss, or altered with any improvement. This general and grateful acknowledgment of indebtedness is designed to look with speciality to the “ Scripture Help,” from the pen of the Rev. Edward Bickersteth, which reached the seventeenth London edition, and was republished in this country in 1833,- as well as to another little work, entitled “ Bible Remembrancer,” which has also an English author, (Rev. Ingram Cobbin), and which, so far as is known, has never been issued from the American press.

It is scarcely necessary to say, that the “Vade-Mecum” has nothing sectarian in it, except as this may be affirmed of the cardinal doctrines of the Scriptures, in the reception and maintenance of which all the evangelical branches of the Christian Church agree. With some who may be kind enough to look into the volume, this may be an objection to it, but to others it will probably prove an attraction. The lines of Cowper are applicable now, as well as when they were written:

« Were love, in these the world's last doting years,
As frequent as the want of it appears,
The churches warmed, they would no longer hold
Such frozen figures, stiff as they are cold;
Relenting forms would lose their power, or cease,
And e'en the dipped and sprinkled live in peace ;
Each heart would quit its prison in the breast,
And flow in free communion with the rest.

The truthfulness and force of these sentiments, praised be the Lord ! are now beginning to be perceived, and felt by the followers of the Lamb. God's dear people are coming to realize that it is what they agree in, that makes them Christians, and what they differ about, that makes them sectarians, as well as to look with a more solemn and searching eye upon their Saviour's

[blocks in formation]

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” They are awaking to the folly, mingled with guilt, of magnifying the separating bars between them, while they are minifying the bonds which should make them cohere. They are becoming inclined to yield more, in a spiritual sense, to the centripetal, and less to the centrifugal, force which is bearing upon them, and thus approximating their common center, they are coming nearer to one another. While they appreciate and guard, as they should, until a more excellent way is indicated, their several denominational organizations and formulas, they are getting ashamed of the too just reproach, that

“ With zeal we watch,
And weigh the doctrine, while the spirit ’scapes,
And in the carving of our cummin-seeds,
Our metaphysical hair-splittings, fail
To note the orbit of that star of love
Which never sets."

This tendency the author freely confesses he would much rather take the responsibility of helping than hindering, and hence, if any regrets should be felt by his friends as to the wholly unsectarian character of the work, it is certain that he will be troubled with none himself.

It may only be added that some of the chapters on distinctive peculiarities of the Bible, here given, were originally furnished as communications to a religious journal, but in their present form have been enlarged, and perhaps improved.

With all its imperfections, the volume is sent forth under the implored blessing of Him who receives the feeblest tribute to His praise, and every well-meant effort in. His service, and whom it is man's chief end to glorify and enjoy for ever. Thus attended and endorsed, may it prove at least to some, into whose possession it may come, a useful companion to the “ Book Divine,” which, it should never be forgotten, is best understood and most loved, when read in the spirit of the prayer prefixed to some editions of the early English versions of it:

“O gracious God and most merciful Father, which hast vouchsafed us the rich and precious jewel of thy Holy Word, assist us by the Spirit, that it may be written in our hearts, to our everlasting comfort, to reprove us, to renew us, according to thine own image, to build us up, and edify us, unto the perfect building of thy Christ, sanctifying and increasing in us all heavenly virtues. Grant this, O Heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen."

LANCASTER, Aug. 25th, 1857.


TAE PRESERVATION OF THE BIBLE.-The treatment of the Bible

by its enemies—now printed on the press used by Voltaire and

the French Institute to disseminate their infidelity-question

in regard to it at a dinner-party in Edinburgh-it has not even

been diluted by the lapse of ages—as the truth of God it shall

never expire........


THE UNITY OF THE BIBLE.—When, where, and by whom it was

written-its agreement with itself in the account of facts nar

rated—the unity of its representations of religious truth-har-

mony existing between the Old and New Testaments—what this

unity proves...... ..


THE FRESANESS OF THE BIBLE.-Anecdote of Queen Elizabeth

-the Bible wisely made as a field and not as a garden-testi-

monies of its inexhaustibleness from Cecil, Le Clerc, Bishop

Horne, John Newton, Dr. Arnold, and Robert Hall............... 28

SILENCE OF THE BIBLE.—Silence sometimes more significant than

speech-Bible like sun-dial teaches by its shadow as well as its

light-it is silent as to God's existence, heaven, &c.-does not

minister to human curiosity-its boldness in stating where it

cannot fully explain is indicative of its inspiration.....


THE AVOIDANCES OF THE BIBLE.-Illustration from a company

of navigators-sacred writers might have committed themselves

to some wrong theory—they always held fast the spiritual idea

—they avoided extravagance in style, any effort to conceal each

other's infirmities and sins, and any attempt to explain the

mystery of the Divine Nature.....


THE LITERATURE OF THE BIBLE.-Opinions of Milton, Sir Mat-

thew Hale, Hon. Robert Boyle, Sir William Jones, and Rous-

seau—the Bible's history-its laconic maxims and rules—its

parables—its narratives—its incidents of travel—its poetry--

the aid it has rendered in this species of composition-nothing

but its religious character prevents its universal and unbounded

admiration ......


THE BIBLE—The Patriot's Book.—Patriotism accounted for-

the mere diffusion of knowledge not sufficient for a nation's

prosperity-nor that morality which is the deduction of human

reason-nor laws—the Bible alone can produce and preserve

national freedom and happiness-opinions of Perrier, Washing-

ton, and Dugald Stewart.......


The MysterIOUSNESS OF THE BIBLE.-Infidels object to the

Scriptures in a wrong spirit-had there been no difficulties this

would have been carped at-a book for the world must have

secrets—there is mystery in every thing-there is a necessity

for mysteries.............


The Bible's TriumPH OVER SCRUTINY.-It has stood the test of

geology-astronomy-geography-various readings- antiqua-

rian research-statement of Sir H. Rawlinson-letter of Lieu.

tenant Maury..


The English BIBLE.–First translations of the Bible were pre-

vious to the invention of printing-Wickliffe’s translation-

Tindal's translation-Coverdale's printed edition-Taverner's

Bible—the Bishops' Bible-the Douay Bible-King James'

Bible--first Bible printed on the Continent of America-excel.

lence of the received English version of the Bible-ancient

divisions and order of the Bible-modern divisions of the



TESTIMONY FOR THE BIBLE. A Society of gentlemen in England

--opinions of Col. Allen-Lord Byron-Bonaparte-Lord

Bolingbroke-Rousseau-a Deist-Sir William Jones-Hon.

Robert Boyle - John Locke — Addison - Salmasius — Lord

Rochester--Sir Isaac Newton-Selden-Edward VI., of Eng-

land-Wilberforce - Sir Walter Scott-Fisher Ames - John

Quincy Adams.............



by its fruits--contrast of Rousseau with Voltaire-of Volney

with Schwartz—description of dying sceptic-death-scene of

Voltaire-Mirabeau-Paine - Hobbes - Emerson -- description

of dying Christian-death of Paul-John Knox--Addison-

Haly burton-Doddridge-Hervey—Toplady-Payson





The Books OF THE BIBLE (Old Testament ).-Some account of

their authors, their date, and their general character and design,

with references in each........




Books OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.-The number of chapters they

severally contain ......


Close OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.-Close of its history—its pro-

phecies--completion of the Canon ........





[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »