« ZurückWeiter »
vive, as to you all, I am still bound by ties of undiminished interest, and claims upon undiminished gratitude. "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: " but the same friendliness and regard from both have been extended to me. "Having obtained help of God, I continue unto this day." Allow me therefore to request you will accept the dedication of these volumes to you, as a sincere. though feeble testimony of that grateful and cordial attachment with which I remain,
Your affectionate Pastor and Friend, in the
R. P. BUDDICOM.
THE Precepts and Promises of Scripture, glowing throughout its pages with brightness derived from the Sun of Righteousness, who is the Author and End of both, receive additional lustre from the Examples of Holy Writ. Those examples exhibit, as it were, a substance which renders all the doctrinal parts of the word of God more real and apprehensible by the mind. The historical portions of the Bible, therefore, which shew forth, not only the vicissitudes of nations, but condescend to the dealing of God with individuals, are peculiarly instructive. They embody those revelations of his will, which the Most High has made to man, instead of leaving them to be regarded as abstract de
clarations of divine truth. The power of temptation, acting upon the sinful bias of a fallen nature, and applied with every advantage of skill and efficiency, as well as every suggestion of malignity, by the unrelenting enemy of God and man, is exhibited in the inspired record, to warn us of the peril in which we stand. The doctrines which enlighten,—the precepts which guide, the omnipotent spiritual agency which upholds or restores,-the invitations which attract,-and the inviolable engagements of divine faithfulness, which at once encourage us to holiness, and transform us into the divine likeness, are thus exhibited, by a kind of personification, humanly speaking more effective than any thing merely didactic could offer. The All-wise God thus declares his will, shews how practically it has been fulfilled or contradicted; and brings before us instances the most delightful or solemn, of the consequences that flow from duty or disobedience.
Human nature has been substantially the same in all ages and in all climates of the world. Elias was not more absolutely a man of like passions with those whom the Apostle James addressed, than with ourselves. The family likeness through all generations is unquestion
able, however some of the features may be modified in the individuals who compose the great family of man. The genus is one, although the many species into which it is divided may have their characteristic distinctions. Whether we regard the highest or the lowest extreme of intellectual being-those, over whom philosophy, learning, and science have shed their most powerful lights, or those who are enchained in the darkest and most debasing fetters of ignorance, the whole offspring of fallen Adam is naturally under the influence and motive power of that carnal mind which is enmity against God. While therefore, the physical character of man is so exceedingly diversified, and his mental circumstances those of such continual change, the same spiritual truths and impulses (which in the revelation of God bore upon his heart and character, when salvation was first preached, to correct and remove the guilt, impotence, and misery, wherein the original lapse from righteousness had placed him, and to restore him to the divine image, with all its gracious and glorious privileges) still exist, and must be equally applicable to his state, until the end of the world.
One class of motives, rules, and aims, has in
variably swayed the children of God. And the very opposite class has influenced and guided the children of this world, for nearly six thousand years, whether through the dimmer light of the Patriarchal and Levitical economy, or through the full-orbed splendour of the Gospel day. The one bow down and worship, each man the idol of his physical, mental, or moral constitution with intense and devoted constancy: the other esteems Christ as all, and in all.
The great principle of all true and inward holiness is FAITH-" the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It is that victorious grace, which at once attests the presence and power of the life of God in the soul of man. Whatever examples, therefore, of this grace we find most illustrious in the Sacred Record, are those which we should diligently ponder, and endeavour, in the might of God to imitate; whether the patterns died just before the canon of Revelation was closed, or much farther upwards in the stream of time.
Now, no child of Adam hath ever more steadfastly endured, as seeing Him who is invisible, than the PATRIARCH ABRAHAM. He may be regarded, in trials undergone, and tri