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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,
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
“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,
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.