Page images
PDF
EPUB

From Dr. Woods. DEAR SIR–After attending very carefully to your Scripture Manual, I am free to say, that the work appears to me to be one of uncommon importance; and I shall be much gratified, if the thought and lime I have devoted to it may contribute to render it more acceptable to tho public, and more permanently useful. I consider your Text Book to be remarkably well suited to the object in view, and likely to be the book which will satisfy not only common people, but ministers, and all men of logical minds and a cultivated taste. It is my confident opinion, that it will take the place of all other works of the kind, and that nothing elso will be called for or attempted for a great while to come.

LEONARD WOODS. Theol. Seminary, Andover, Feb. 3, 1845.

From Dr. Weeks. Having spent considerable time in a careful examination of the third edition of Mr. Simmons's Scripture Manual, I am happy to state, that I think it contains important improvements upon the former edi. tions. The statement and arrangement of the great subjects of doctrina and duty, and the selection of the most appropriate texts on each subject, cannot fail, I think, to render this work highly acceptable and useful. Ministers of the gospel, instructors in Sabbath Schools, and all who make the Bible their study, will find their labors greatly facilitated by it. As a family book, I know of no work of human compilation so full of instruction, admonition, and consolation, and so worthy of a place in every house.

WM. R. WEEKS. Newark, Feb. 1845.

From a Notice by Dr. Ide of Medway, Ms. The diligent author of the Scripture Manual deserves the thanks of the Christian public, for his seasonable and valuable work, so well suited, not only to aid Christians and ministers in the investigation and defenco of the truth, but to meet and counteract a host of destructive errors, now prevalent in our land. It is hoped that he will receive the liberal patronage of the public in this very commendable effort to do good.

From a Notice by Dr. Storrs, Braintree, Ms. The Scripture Manual is a work of unquestionable value. None of the questions it proposes are unimportant, and the answers given to them in the words of the Holy Spirit are select, full, and judicious. I know of no other compilation of God's truth, prepared by uninspired mind, that I should so heartily rejoice to find in the hands of every family of my charge-indeed, in every family in the land.

From Dr. Pond. I have run my eye over your Scripture Manual, and think it an excellent book of reference for ministers and private Christians. As a help in the selection of proof texts, on almost any subject in the Bible, I know of nothing of equal value.

ENOCH POND. Theo. Seminary, Bangor, Me.

From Dr. Nott, President of Union College. A work in which the teaching of the Bible, on the great questions of faith and practice are fully and impartially presented, has long been a desideratum. The Scripture Manual (so far as I have been able to examine it) appears in an eminent degree to be such a work; and presuming that it is so throughout, I do not hesitate to recommend it as a useful Manual, to all who desire to become acquainted with the teachings of unerring wisdom on questions of this sort ; especially to Ministers of the Gospel, to Sabbath School teachers, and heads of families. From Dr. Humphrey, late President of Amherst College, April 14,

1845. I have looked over the Rev. Charles Simmons's Scripture Manual with some care, and am free to say, I consider it eminently adapted to the use for which it is designed. I have seen no Scripture "help" of this class, which I regard as so happily conceived and admirably arranged. It bears the marks throughout, of great industry and good judgment, in the selection and arrangement of appropriate texts, under their proper heads.

I do not know where to find any young Timothy, who has “known the Holy Scriptures so well from a child," as not to be aided and benefited, by keeping this Manual upon his table. Nor ought the help which it affords, to be confined exclusively to ministers' studies. Teachers of Bible Classes and Sabbath Schools, as well as other pious laymen in the church, who love to study the word of God, ought to possess it.

From Rev. Albert Barnes, of Philadelphia, April 11, 1845. I have examined with some care Mr. Simmons's “ Scripture Manual,” and regard it as a very valuable work. It is evidently composed with great care, and much judgment has been evinced in the arrangeinent of the topics, and in the selection of texts of Scripture. It is incomparably superior to any thing of the kind with which I am acquainted, and its extensive circulation and use cannot but have a happy intluence. It is in itself an admirable system of theology, in which there can be no error, and in which Christians inay learn, in a short compass, what are the leading doctrines of religion, and what are their own duties and privileges. I have no doubt that the work will soon supersede every other of the kind, as I am clearly of the opinion that it should

From Rev. Dr. Eddy, of Newark, N. J., April 8, 1845. I have examined the “ Scripture Manual,” by the Rev. Charles Simmons, and can most cheerfully recoinmend it as unquestionably the best work of the kind that has been published. It will be found useful, not only to clergymen and Sabbath School teachers, but to all who seek to make themselves familiar with the truths of the sacred Scriptures.

From Dr. Cogswell, of Gilmanton, N. H. The Scripture Manual, by Rev. Charles Simmons, is the best work of the kind I have ever seen. The subjects which it presents are important; and are well illustrated by the passages of Scripture selected. This book should be the companion of all, as it affords great facility for ascertaining the mind and will of God on the greatest subjects in morals and religion.

5

From Dr. Krebs, of New York. I have examined and used the Scripture Manual, and I am sure it will be a valuable auxiliary to all who engage in the systematic study of the Scriptures.

From Rev. Mr. McEwen, of New London, Ct. In order and symmetry, I think the Scripture Manual is not surpassed by any other work. The importance of the book, and the ingenuity of the author in treating articles of theology, and prevalent questions in ethics, will be more and more apparent to the reader, as he progresses in reading the volume.

From Rev. Samuel Spring, E. Hartford, Ct. The Scripture Manual is one of the few books which I can heartily commend. It is an ablc and judicious arrangement of those passages which teach the doctrines and inculcate the duties of the word of God. To the diligent, and especially to the systematic reader of the Bible, and to the Sabbath school teacher, the aid it will render is above price.

From Professor Goodrich, of New Haven. I have examined your Scripture Manual, and am pleased with the plan. There is a great deal of judgment and discrimination in the belection of topics, and the development of truth. You have succeeded excellently in avoiding the trammels of human systems, and bringing out the mind of God on almost every important topic.

From Rev. Tryon Edwards, of New London, Ct. The Scripture Manual is remarkable for its order, its adaptedness to the times, and the practical aspect in which it presents the great truths of God's word. On all important subjects it is an ample concordance of the Scriptures, and a clear and authoritative commentary of the Bible upon itself; and in the selection and arrangement of its topics, it goes further than any similar work towards presenting the teachings of Revelation as a well-digested science. I know of no work of the kind as thoroughly and judiciously prepared, or as well fitted to interest and profit in the study, the closet, the family, or the Sabbath School.

From Professor Stowe. I like your plan, and think it far preferable to Gaston's. In this day of unbelief and fanaticism, of death slumber and convulsive fits, I hope your book will be an efficient help in bringing men back to the only God-given rule of faith and practice, the BIBLE.

From Rev. Calvin E. Park. The somewhat careful attention which I have had occasion to pay to the Scripture Manual has convinced me of its great utility. Its su- . periority to other works of a similar character, is, to my own mind, very apparent. The clear light in which it places the most important truths of religion, the ample evidence it exhibits in their favor, and especially the prominence which is given to the duties of religion, together with the close connection which is made to apppear between the doctrines of the gospel and its practical precepts, are striking excellences of the work. My earnest wish is, that it may have a wide circulation.

07 See last page for editorial notices.

PREFACE TO THE STEREOTYPE EDITION.

It was said even before the art of printing, "of making many books there is no end.” But a well-selected and arranged Text Book would fill a chasm in theological literature, and is greatly needed. It is unaccountable that this object has been so long neglected, when its utility is 80 obvious. The manner in which Gaston and some others have thrown together numerous texts of Scripture, having more affinity of phraseology than of meaning, and with too little regard to system and order, has caused many persons to lay their works aside for the Concordance, and Reference Bible. The SCRIPTURE MANUAL owes its origin to a strong conviction of the need of a book that should more fully embrace the distinctive features of the evangelical system-bear more effectually against the modern and deceitful forms of error and vice, and assume a more convenient order. The two first editions were the result of individual effort. The second edition (nearly twice the size of the first) met with so favorable a reception as not only enabled me to devote my time during most of the past year to making additions, but led me to secure efficient aid, by promising a generous compensation. One of the oldest professors of theology in the country, contrary to his first intentions, employed several weeks, principally in improving the order of the work. Another, with much experience in teaching both theological and classical science, and well versed in the original languages of the Bible, has repeatedly examined every part and feature of the work, and made critical and general remarks, both upon the proof-texts and the arrangement. An esteemed brother in the ministry looked over all the letters from the correspondents for the work, and helped me much in deciding upon proposed additions and alterations, and in making improvements. The more attention any correspondent has given the subject, the deeper has appeared his conviction of its importance, and the more has he been disposed to make exertions to help it forward. This aid, with more or less help from near twenty others, several of whom devoted considerable time and thought to the subject, has been of very great service in preparing the present edition. The copy has been cut from Bibles issued by the American Bible Society, so as to secure accuracy in the italic words, pointing, and reference to verses.

İn selecting topics, care has been taken to embrace those which havo a prominence in the Bible, and which in all ages have been considered of primary importance in theological and moral inquiry. Such manifestly are those which relate to the perfections, prerogatives, designs, providence, and law of God—the character, rights, and destiny of man-the economy of grace, or way and terms of salvation through Christ-our essential duties towards God and each other, and civil and religious insti. tutions. And on subjects where there is a prevailing disposition to overlook the lessons of past experience, and to run into manifest errors, disorders, and delusions, there I have aimed to be the more particular in collecting the testimony of the sacred writers, to counteract them.

Christian nations are far more indebted to the Bible for their elevation above heathenism than is commonly believed. The revealed facts respecting God and his designs and government-the precepts of his law, clothed with infinite authority—the promises of his grace and the threatenings of his justice, when properly impressed upon the hearts and consciences of mankind, are the best safeguards against disgraceful and ruinous vices. It is of the greatest consequence to the cause of civil order, and earthly happiness, as well as to the interests of the soul, that these truths and facts should be kept prominently before the public mind. All past experience and history confirms this observation. And it is certainly desirable to have a well-arranged and copious selection and classification of Bible truths, for the use of the pastor's study, the editorial closet, the family circle, and the school-room, for occasional use. Comparatively few persons have a good Concordance, and those who have will find it a great saving of time to have an alphabetical and systematic Text Book, embracing the principal subjects of the Bible, with a sufficient number of proof-texts for common use. Who can calculate the importance of such a book in a family of children, with a faithful parent to see that each child is often directed to read such select portions of the Bible as bear with the greatest effect against those errors, vices, or faults to which he is particularly exposed ? The influence of Sabbath Schools would also be more salutary and permanent, should their teachers and nanagers give a greater prominence in their instructions to the didactic parts of the Bible, and labor more to make their pupils understand the true gospel of the grace of God, in distinction from all its counterfeits. Such a course of instruction, or any course adapted to fortify the juvenile mind against ruinous errors and vices, would find frequent use for a Text Book adapted to that end.

I now commit the success of this work to the overruling providence of that Being who has mercifully sustained and helped me during its preparation. If it shall tend to confirm the public mind in revealed truth, and become a guard against those errors and vices which lead to death, as is confidently hoped, the labor of preparing it will not have been in vain.

CHARLES SIMMONS. North Wrentham, Mass., March, 1845.

NOTICE. Where two or more references follow from the same book, the last reference to

book, connected with a verse, is the guide.

« PreviousContinue »