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more immoral, worldly-minded, or proud any persons become, the more they neglect it.
Fletcher, It is a fact, that this Book has been, and still is, the grand instrument of reforming a degenerate world; and in proportion to the degree in which this evangelical scheme is received and relished, it is evident that the interest of true virtue and holiness flourishes, and the mind is formed to manly devotion, diffusive benevolence, and true fortitude.
Would to God, therefore, that, forgetting all party names, and unscriptural phrases and forms, wbich have divided the Christian world, we might all agree to sit down together, as humble, loving disciples, at the feet of our common Master, to hear his word, imbibe his spirit, and transcribe his life in our own. Dr. Doddridge.
God has condescended to become an Author, that we might be endowed with knowledge; and bath diversified the subjects, to make them the more grateful. By the contents of this blessed Book we have great variety:-history, ethics, poetry, and prose, philosophy, and divinity, are to be met with in this precious volume. The design of its being given, is not only to inform us, but to make us wise unto salvation. What signifies all the learning that ever was amassed by man, if he knows not what he should do to be saved ? Acquainted with every thing but this, and dying iga norant of this, he dies as a fool dies, without essential instruction ; and in the greatness of his folly be goes astray.
We cannot kuow the grace of God in truth, but by the Scriptures ; they enable us to steer our course through this life, to life eternal; they bring us to the knowledge of bim who is the true. God, and his Son Jesus Christ. They are not like a book that clogs our attention; but like our daily bread, which nature never loathes while we are in healtb.
The Scriptures bave something in them ever new; we may read them again and again, and discover fresh beauties: they are the book of life, and the book for life. It will afford us pleasure when no other book will; its precious contents will be acceptable to the mind in dying moments, and prove a source of comfort when bothing else will.
I have many books that I cannot sit down to read; they are good and sound, but like half-pence, there go a great many to a little amount. There are silver books, and a very few golden books ; but I have one book, the Bible, worth more than them all, and that is a book of bank notes.
Newton, What is this majesty which Heaven has stamped on the divine Word ? It is her noble simplicity. Sbe every where speaks the language of the heart: she opens a field to the most sublime eloquence; she furnishes an inexbaustible source to every person who descends into himself, and penetrates his heart with the torch of these sacred volumes.
Besplus. The statements of this book, as to their origin, are not now to be received with suspicion and caution, as though they were yet under trial; for they have stood the test of all ages, have been viewed from every point, examined by minds of every description, assailed in every part; and have proved themselves invincible to every attack. Infidelity has long since exhausted her quiver; and though her deluded champions may gather up the arrows, and discharge them again, newly feathered with wit, their point is irrecoverably gone, and they fall harmless to the ground,
Leifchild. If a book was professedly to come from God, to teach mankind his will, what should we expect its contents to be ? Should we expect to be told the nature and perfections of God ? The nature aud perfections of God are in the Bible alone made known. Should we expect to know bow all things came into being at first? The Bible declares it. Should we wish to know what the Lord requires of bis creatures? This the Bible makes known-supreme love. Should we wish to know the reward of obedience ? The Bible points ont eternal joys. Would curiosity lead us to enquire the reward of disobedience ? The Bible reveals extreme everlasting misery. Should we enquire what is our duty to each other? In the Bible it is written, as with a sum-beam, Love all men as yourselves. Would we know the orgival of those miseries and disorders we observe in the world, how a merciful and good God can inflict them? The Bible points to the cause; and loudly proclaims death and every evil to be the wages of sin.
Would we know whence are those strange disorders we each of us feel in our natures? The Bible informs us we are in a state of ruin--we are fallen creatures. Would we discover how sin is or can be pardoned, our natures restored, and God's perfections glorified ? Tho' this was hid from ages and generations of the leathens, the Bible makes it clear as the sun, by the death of Christ and the operation of the Spirit. What then could we require in a book from God, that is not to be found in the Bible ? Secret things indeed are therein concealed, but useful things are clearly revealed.
View the Bible in another light. Do we want history ? The Bible is the most ancient, the most concise, the most entertaining, and the most instructive history in the world. Do we want poetry? The book of Job is an epic poem, not inferior to Homer, Virgil, or Milton. Does the lyric muse invite us? The psalms of David stand foremost in the list of fame. Are we in a melancholy mood ? Let us read David's lamentation over Saul, and Jeremiah's lamentations, every line of which warbles and bleeds. Do we want strains of oratory ? The Prophets and St. Paul are yet amongst mortals unrivalled. In short, the Bible is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect; thoroughly furnished unto every good work.
Simpson. Inestimable book! It heals the maladies of life, and subdues the fear of death. It strikes a lightsome vista through the gloom of the grave, and opens a charming, a glorious propect of immortality in the heavens. These, with many other excellencies peculiar to the scriptures, one would imagine more than sufficient to engage every sensible heart in their favour, and introduce them, with the highest esteem, into every improved conversation. They
effect the finest, most generous, and most accomplished person, that former or latter ages can boast; insomuch that be made, while living, this public declaration, and left it, when he
upon everlasting record : " How sweet are thy words to my taste, &c. O how I love thy law, &c. Mine eyesprevent the night-watches," &c. If David tasted so much sweetness in a small, and that the least
valuable part of the divine word, how much richer is the feast to us! since the Gospel is added to the Law, and the canon of scripture completed; since, to borrow the words of the prophet, “ the Lord God has sealed up the sum, has put the last hand to his work, and rendered it full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” Hervey.
Love and study the scriptures. He that avoids reading a portion of them daily, forsakes his own mercies, and is so far regardless of his own safety, welfare, and comfort; therefore, bind them continually on thy heart, and tie them about thy neck. “When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee ; when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee: for the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Precious Bible! like thy blessed Author, our sun and sbield; thou giver of grace and glory, thou guide through all this gloomy vale to our everlasting home, how many advantages bave we derived from thee? Thou bast been better to us in our distresses than thousands of gold and silver. Unless thou badst been our delight, we should bave perished in our afflictions. No wonder Job esteemed thee more than his necessary food; no wonder David chose thee as his heritage for ever, and found thee to be the rejoicing of his heart; no wonder the noble army of martyrs parted with their es. tates, and with their blood, rather than with thee. May we value thee as our richest jewel; may we love thee as our dearest good; may we consult thee as our surest counsellor; may we follow thee as our safest rule.
Jay of Bath. Read the scriptures constantly, let them be your daily companion. Your business is to be a Christian. Where can you learn your duties, but in that volume which expressly treats of them? Were you intended for a lawyer, a physician, or any particular profession, I would say, study those authors who bave discussed the subjects to which you are directing your attention ; but as a Christian, who wishes to know and do the will of God, I would say to you, constantly study your Bible; you will be amply recompensed for your labour. Fresh beauties will continually be discovered, fresh treasures will be brought to your view, you will enjoy the comfort of
the scriptures, and be established in the truth. Though your leisure moments be few, suffer not a day to pass witbout reading a portion of the Word of God.
Morgan. I use the scripture, not as an arsenal, to be resorted to only for arms and weapons, to defend this or that party, or defeat its enemies; bat as a matchless temple, where I delight to be, to contemplate the beauty, the symmetry, and the magnificence of the structure, and to increase my awe, and excite my devotion, to the Deity there preached and adored.
Hon. Robert Boyle. To unconverted persons, a great part of the Bible resembles a letter written in cipher. The blessed Spirit's office is to act as God's decipherer, by letting his people into the secret of celestial experience, as the key and clue to those sweet mysteries of grace, which were before as a garden shut up, or as a fountain sealed, or as a book written in an unknown character.
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And seek thy Saviour's face.
Bishop Ridley. Read the Bible frequently; have stated seasons for reading it; collect your wandering thoughts and passions, while you are reading it; consider well that it is the word of the living God you read, and that by the contents of it you are one day to be judged; read it with a view to profit by it; endeavour to lay it up in your memory; in fine, pray to God to enable you to transcribe it into your life. And the word, thus read, I may be bold to affirm, will do you real good. So it was the Psalmist made this sacred book, imperfect as the canon of scripture then was, the “man of bis counsel,” entertaining himself with it, as his “song in the house of his pil