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II.

ON THE IMPEDIMENTS TO THE RIGHT UN-
DERSTANDING OF SCRIPTURE

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ESSAY I.

ON THE NATURE AND OBJECT OF REVELATION.

Modes of Revelation-it relates only to this world and the world to

come-its great subject, the fall and recovery of man-is it a duty to study what is unfulfilled ?

So far as any act of God has relation to intelligent beings, it is a revelation of himself; but when we use the word Revelation, we generally mean that manifestation of his nature, of his moral government, and of his purposes, which he has given to man.

This also is generally still farther restricted to that revelaEion of himself which God has been pleased to make by his written Word. Thus, we commonly find the epithet“ natural” applied to religion, in contradistinction to the epithet “revealed;" although what a man learns from the works of God is as truly learned by revelation,

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as what he comes to know by means of the written Word of God. I do not mean to cavil at the conventional use of words, or to object to any words being used in any manner that is understood; but I apprehend that it would be more correct to speak of the Revelation of God, as consisting of four parts; or rather, as made in four modes.

1. That revelation which is made by his works of CREATION; or that manifestation of his nature and will, which is offered to man by means of " the things which do appear” in the visible universe.

2. That revelation which is made by the manifestation of himself as the Governor of created things; by miracles, or sensible interpositions of his PROVIDENCE.

3. That revelation which is directly made to the spirit of man, by the SPIRIT OF GOD.

4. That revelation which forms, and exists only as, a written book.

The knowledge of God which may be derived from the first of these sources, has generally been considered as belonging to what is termed “natural” religion. It is, however, as I have already said, a matter of pure revelation; and it is a revelation absolutely necessary to our

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