« PreviousContinue »
habit of aiming to win souls, before senseless etiquette has quenched their first love, or the business and cares of life have deprived them of opportunities, which the unmarried have of pleasing Christ.-Chap. 2.
GENERALLY speaking, whenever the effort is made in a right spirit to help and comfort the poor, and elevate their condition, without attempting to interfere with their independence, and make them slaves by charity, good results will follow ---Chap. 3.
AMONG all the schemes which the Christian church has proposed, in order to augment the piety of its members, none are more efficient than those which aim to sanctify and direct the influence of mothers, for on their temper and habits depend principally, the happiness of domestic life.-Chap. 5.
All who would be blessed must settle it in their hearts, that the must seek to be blessed. Station, education, talent, are allowed to have certain influence, but not so great as is generally supposed. Had our Saviour thought much of them. he would have selected a higher class than fishermen to proclaim his gospel, and lay the foundation of his kingdom." Knowledge is power," has become a household phrase, but it is feebleness itself, compared with piety. “If God be for us, who can be against us ?” Therefore, the renovation of the most degraded of our species, and the sanctification of the un. holiest, which the scientific have failed to accomplish, have been effected by the humble Christian. O! ye females, who are the ornaments of our churches, and the most powerful helpers in establishing the kingdom of Christ, suffer the word of exhortation. You cannot speak like men—nor rule like him “ who was first formed ;” but you have influence of your own, which all acknowledge—the more mighty, because the more gentle—the more efficacious, because the less visible. The most potent agents in nature are the most simple and noiseless--the least seen and the most mysterious—yet they are in constant and mighty operation.—Chap. 14.
HENRY AND SCOTT'S COMMENTARY.
A man that is endued with the powers of reason, by which he is capable of knowing, serving, glorifying, and enjoying his Maker, and yet “lives without God in the world," is certainly the most despicable and the most miserable creature under the sun.- Preface.
NATURAL light is of use, but it is necessary that there be a Divine revelation, to rectify its mistakes, and make up its deficiencies, to show us the way and method of man's recovery from his fallen state, and his restoration to his Maker's favour; of the loss of which he cannot but be conscious to himself, finding, by sad experience, his own present state to be sinful and miserable. It may be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that there is but one book in the world which even appears to be of Divine origin. This we call The Bible, that is, The Book, by way of eminence. And such is the internal and external evidence which proves its claims to be authentic, that upon fair and impartial examination no one can reject it. Numbers of the wisest, and best, and most learned men, in many countries, and during many generations, have agreed in receiving this book as the Word of God.—The miracles recorded in Scripture, and the indisputable truth of the histories in which they are related, which stand upon surer ground, even only by human reasoning, than any other records—The prophecies of Scripture and their fulfilment—The manner in which the Bible speaks of the being, perfections, and government of God—The tendency of the truths and precepts of the Bible; for wicked men could never bave written a book which condemns them in every page, and gond men would never have stated a falsehood— The agreement among all the penmen of Holy Scripture, by which it is plainly seen that all of them give exactly the same view of the Divine character, of human nature, of sin, of holiness, of the promised Saviour and salvation, and of every subject upon which they touch, though living through a period of many hundred years, and under a rast diversity of rank and circumstances—The fulness which is not to be found in any other work, which is such that the most learned and diligent student, during the longest life, cannot exhaust—The good effects produced by the contents of that book where it has been attended to :-All these and many other arguments, are plain proofs that the Holy Scriptures contain a Divine revelation.- Id.
SCARCELY anything can tend more effectually to blind the mind and harden the heart, than searching the Scriptures in a merely critical or philosophical way, regarding only or chiefly the outward sense of the passage.- Id.
Christ Jesus being the great subject and end of Scripture revelation, we ought everywhere to search if we can find him. His name is the Word of God, and the Scripture is but "the testimony of Jesus.”—Id.
Genesis is a name taken from the Greek; it is the title of this book in the Septuagint translation, and signifies "the book of generation or production;" it is properly so called, as containing an account of the production or original of all things. Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch or five books of Moses, and was undoubtedly written by him. The narrative reaches to the death of Joseph, 713 years after the deluge, or 2369 years from the creation, and 1635 years before Christ. No other history of equal antiquity has been preserved. There is nothing in the most ancient that exist which contradicts it, while many circumstances and traditions recorded by the oldest heathen writers, or to be traced in the customs of different nations, confirm the evidence of the particulars recorded in the book of Genesis. We are taught by the examples of the patriarchs in this book, that God's mercies never fail bis church, those who profess his name on earth ; but in all their afflictions and persecutions be ever assists and delivers them.—General Prelude.
The first verse of the Bible gives us a surer and better, a more satisfying and useful knowledge of the origin of the universe, than all the volumes of the philosophers. The lively faith of humble Christians understands this matter better than the elevated fancy of the most learned.—Gen. i. 1, 2.
God first created light, that by it we might see his works, and his glory in them. He that doth truth, and doth good, cometh to the light, and coveteth it, that his deeds may be made manifest; John iï. 21. In the new creation, the first thing wrought in the soul is light : the blessed Spirit capti. vates the will and affections by enlightening the understand. ing.-Gen. i. 3-5.
SOME writers have considered that the word “ day," in the brief account of the creation, given in the book of Genesis, was not to be restricted to a period of twenty-four hours, but was rather a term used to express an indefiuite period of time, perhaps a thousand years, which idea has also been supposed to be countenanced by Psalm xc. 4. Sharon Turner notices this difficulty, as arising from appearances in the state and nature of the masses of the earth, and of their organical remains, which in the present state of our geological knowledge seem to have required a longer period for their occurrence, and the revolutions they indicate our globe to have undergone, than the short space of six natural days would have admitted. -Gen. i. 5.
Tue word firmament means expanse--the air or atmosphere, in which birds fly and clouds are formed.-Gen. i. 6.—P. H. Horne.
Signs—tokens of God's tender care for man and his continual miraculous interference. Seasons—the times when the sacred festivals should be held.—Gen. i. 14.-A. Clarke.
“ ABUNDANTLY.” The eggs in one codfish have been esti. mated at more than nine millions.-Gen. i. 20.—Henry and Scott.
It is the soul of man that especially bears God's image.Gen. i. 26-28.
OBSERVE the food provided for man. Herbs and fruits must be his meat, including corn, and all the products of the earth; these were allowed him, but it should seem) not flesh, till after the flood; (Gen. ix. 3.)-Gen. i. 29, 30.
The glory and goodness, the beauty and harmony of God's works, both of providence and grace, will best appear when perfected.-Gen. i. 31.
The word “rested” may rather be understood as ceased." The original word does not denote what is the opposite to weariness, but to acting or doing.--Gen. i. 2, 3.
HERE is a name given to the Creator which we have not before met with, and that is Jehovah ; the Lord in capital letters, which are commonly used in our English translation to intimate that in the original the word is Jehovah. Jehovah is that name of God, which denotes his having his being of himself, and his giving being to all things; fitly is he called by that name, now heaven and earth were finished.-Gen. i. 4-7.
OBSERVE that paradise itself was not a place of exemption from work. Note here, that none of us were sent into the world to be idle. He that made our souls and bodies has giren us something to work with; and he that gave us this earth for our habitation, has made us something to work on. He that gave us being, has given us business, to serve him and our generation, and to work out our salvation. If we do not mind our business, we are unworthy of our being and maintenance. Note also that secular employments well consist with a state of innocency, and a life of communion with God. The sons and heirs of heaven, while here in this world, have something to do about this earth, which must have its share of their time and thoughts ; and if they do it with an eye to God, they as truly serve him in it, as when they are upon their knees. Observe that the husbandman's calling is an ancient and honourable calling; it was needful even in Paradise. The garden of Eden, though it needed not to be weeded, for thorns and thistles were not yet a nuisance, yet it must be dressed and kept. Nature, even in its primitive state, left room for improvements of art and industry. Also, there is true pleasure in the business God calls us to, and employs us in. Adam's work was an addition to the pleasures of paradise ; he could not have been happy if he had been idle : it is still a law, He that will not work, has no right to eat; 2 Thess. jï. 10.-Gen. ii. 8-15.
PROBABLY the use of the tree of life might have been the means of preserving the body of man in a state of vital energy. -A. Clarke. The eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge Vitringa considers would not have increased the moral faculty, but the prohibition was to exercise the powers already possessed.-Gen. ii. 9.
They were both naked: they needed no clothes for defence against cold or heat; they needed none for ornament; Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. -Gen. ii. 18-25.
One of the most striking confirmations of the Mosaic history of the creation from heathen sources is the general adoption of the division of time into weeks, which extends from the Christian states of Europe to the remote shores of Hipdostan, and has equally prevailed among the Hebrews, the Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and Northern barbarians. Other divisions of time rise from natural causes respecting the sun and moon. The division into weeks, on the contrary, seems arbitrary, and to have been derived some remote tradition, as that of the creation, which was never totally obliterated from the memory even of the Gentiles.-T. H. Horne.
No condition will of itself bring contentment, unless the mind be brought to it. -- Gen. iii. 1-5.-Henry and Scott.
We have reason to be afraid of approaching God, if we are not clothed and fenced with the righteousness of Christ; nothing but that will be armour of proof, or cover the shame of our nakedness.—Gen. iii. 9-13.
Though God knows all our sins, yet he will know them from us, and requires from us an ingenuous confession of them ; not that he may be informed, but that we may be humbled.
THERE is a strange proneness in those that are tempted, to say, they are tempted of God; as if our abuse of God's gifts would excuse our violation of God's laws.
ONE species of thistle commonly bears more than 20,000 seeds; if these were all sown and vegetated they would pro,