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recorded in the Old, as merely incidents in an historical narrative which they read indeed with interest, but without sufficiently reflecting how they may be made practically applicable to themselves.
It has been my object in this little volume to shew how the various incidents related of the earliest period of man's history may be turned to our profit as Christians—proving St. Paul's assertion that “whatsoever things were “ written aforetime, were written for our learn"ing
upon whom the ends of the world
In regard to the history of the Jews in particular, (more especially that portion of it, to which this book is limited,) whether we view it with reference to God's dealings towards his sinful creatures, or to the many trials and difficulties under which they laboured, it is impossible to read it with attention, without deriving much that must tend to our own advancement in spiritual knowledge.
I have endeavoured to point out how beau
tifully the different parts of scripture harmonize with each other, by selecting such texts, (from the New Testament especially) as bear upon a variety of passages in the Old. By this means the young reader becomes familiarized with many important texts, which are thereby more firmly impressed upon the mind in their true meaning.
I have likewise attempted to elucidate many obscure passages by consulting different religious works, more especially Scott's Commentary, and D'Oyly and Mant, but although I have occasionally adopted their sentiments, I have generally clothed them in language which I considered best adapted to the comprehension of my youthful readers.
It may be scarcely necessary to add, that I have not presumed to offer any opinions, which are not sanctioned by these or other divines of established reputation, but where such have fallen in with my own views, I have not hesitated to adopt them, even though they may be at variance with many expositions of the same text.
I have only to add that if this little volume should be the humble means of leading one individual to give more attention than he may hitherto have done, to the word of God, if it may have advanced him one step in the only road to holiness, then will my end be fully answered, my fondest hope be realized.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS.
THERE is no book like the Holy Scriptures. They contain every thing to make us good and wise in this world, and eternally happy next. No one can expect to go to Heaven whọ neglects the truths in the Bible. “Strait is the gate, and narrow “is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be " that find it;" (Matt. vii. 14.) and how can we expect to have the door of Heaven opened unto us, if we refuse to ask admission ? It is the word of God which alone points the way to salvation, and if we would attain unto the one, we must not neglect the other,
We read in the Bible, that he that believeth in Jesus Christ shall be saved: that is, saved from the punishment due to his sins; but what does believing in Jesus Christ mean? It does not surely mean believing only that he lived once upon earth, and that he was crucified by the Jews; many people believe that, calling themselves Christtians, and yet in their general conduct towards each other appear very little actuated by a real spirit of Christianity.
No, it means a great deal more than this: we must not only believe that he died upon the Cross for our sakes, we must also believe every thing else he has told us, and he tells us, that unless we repent of our sins, we cannot be saved.
Now repenting of our sins, is not only being very sorry for them, but striving to conquer them, and to do what is right, which will prove we are really in earnest. Nevertheless we must remember that we can do nothing of ourselves; God's Holy spirit can alone direct our minds and cleanse our hearts from sin: and we are not only commanded in our Bibles to ask for his assistance, but have even the encouraging assurance held out to us, that “if we knock, it shall be opened unto us, if we seek, we "shall find.” (Matt. vi. 7.)
In every page of Scripture we may find texts adapted to all our wants, promises held out to us, strength to assist us, and encouragement to support us under all the trials of this life. I would especially recommend the book of Psalms as the source from which we may derive the greatest assistance in our devotions, but even in those portions of the Bible which relate more particularly to the Jewish religion, we may gather much instruction from the histories they contain of different nations and individuals, applying practically to our own conduct such rules, and injunctions as have been delivered "at sundry times "and in divers manners” (Heb. i. 1.) through the inspiration of the holy Spirit, often by the voice of God himself.
It is with the hope of explaining some passages which may be difficult for you to understand, and thereby