Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

a short way, what the contents are of the Holy Scriptures, or the Old and New Testament.

The book of Gerresis, you know, stands at the head of the Bible. It was written (together with the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) by Moses, full three thousand two hundred years ago, far before the time of any other book in the world. It relates, in a short and simple, but sublime manner, the history of the creation of the universe; of the formation of man; his fall; and the change for the worse, which then took place in his nature and circumstances; but which was immediately followed by a merciful promise, from God; of a great Saviour or deliverer, to appear in after times, who should rescue mankind from the dreadful consequences of Adam's transgression, and finish his benefits to our race, by finally triumphing over sin, death, and hell. It relates a few particulars of Adam's family, and of the patriarchs who lived before the flood; gives a more full account of that dreadful event which the wickedness of man brought upon the world ; of the confusion of languages, and dispersion of mankind, by which the whole earth became peopled'; tells the history of Abrahum, (to whom the gracious promise of the

Saviour was renewed,) and of the patriarchs after him, more especially that of Jacob and Joseph, a narrative full of extraordinary and affecting adventures ; and concludes with an account of the death of the latter great, good, and wise man.

Exodus, the second book in the Bible, opens with the account of the Israelites slavery in Egypt ; and of the birth, and early history of Moses, the type of JESUS CHRIST. It then mentions his appointment, by the `ALMIGHTY, to the grand office of freeing the Israelites from the cruel bondage of Pharaoh and the Egyptians ; relates the awful manner in which he accomplished his commission; the insti. tution of the Passover, an emblem of the sacrifice of Christ; the Exodus, or going out of the Israelites from Egypt; their disobedience in the wilderness, and the adventures which befel them there; the delivery of the Ten Commandments, or moral law ; the making of the tabernacle ; and the appointment of Aaron to the priesthood.

The book of Leviticus describes the office and duties of the Levites, or the persons apopinted to serve in the tabernacle, and conduct the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish religion; the Jewish sacrifices and ceremonial laws; the consecration of Aaron and his sons; the impiety and punishment of the latter ; and some remarkable prophe, cies of Moses..

The book of Numbers, so called from the numbering or mustering of the people, contains an account of the wanderings of the children of Israel for nearly forty years in the wilderness, a punishment to which they had been condemned for their ingratitude and murmurings on their quitting Egypt; the miraculous destruction of Koralı, Datlan,' and Abiram, for rebelling against God; the battles and conquests: of the Israelites during their wanderings ; the.' appointment of Joshua to succeed Moses as leader of Israel ; the repetition of several of God's former laws, and the delivery of new ones; and, above all, that remark, able prophecy of Jesus Christ, by Balaam, under the image of " the Star that should “ come out of Jacob, and the sceptre that , 66 should rise out of Israel."

The last of the books written by Moses, called Deuteronomy, or the repetition of the law, consists chiefly of solemn discourses to the Israelites by Moses, in which he repeats the divine laws to them; recounts their backslidings, punishments, and deliverances; enters into a new covenant be. tween God and his people; and exhorts

them, in the most earnest manner, future obedience. He delivers in the 18th, 28th, and four following chapters, several extraordinary prophecies; one of the Messiah (or CHRIST) who “ should be raised up" in after times, and others of the destruction of the Jewish nation by the Romans, and their dispersion through the world. The last chapter of the book (probably written by Joshua) gives an account of the death of Moses, in the one hundred and twentieth year of his age ; and finishes the writings of that great man, which contain the history of the world for the first 2552 years.

The next twelve books of the Bible, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the first and second books of Samuel, the first and second of Kings, the first and second of Chronicles, and those of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, are properly historical books, and give a most interesting account of the settlement of the Israelites in the promised land ; their history while under God's government ; their desire of having a king to rule over them, instead of God, and that desire being granted them; and their wars and distresses under some of their kings ; and victories and greatness under others, particularly David and Solomon ; the building and dedi. cation of the temple under the latter prince;

the division of the kingdom in the reign of his son Rhehoboam ; the history of the two distinct nations of Judah and Israel ; the entire destruction of the latter by Shalmanezar; the taking of Jerusalem, the burning of the temple, and the captivity of the Jews, by Nebuchadnezzar ; the preservation of the nation from destruction, while in captivity, through the means of Esther ; the return of the Jews from their captivity to Jerusalem; and the rebuilding of their temple :-all these books contain, more or less, types and prophecies of Jesus Christ.

The book of Job comes next in order in the sacred canon, and is full of piery, grandeur, and beauty; teaching us how to behave under afflictions sent by God, and shewing what great rewards will follow a pious submission to his holy will.

The book of Psalms, written chiefly by David, is a most glorious treasure of devotion, prophecy, spiritual comfort, and instruction; calculated at once to spiritualize the heart, console the spirit, and improve the conduct.

The book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon, were written by that wise and good king ; the two former in his old age, when he was brought back, by the grace of God, from the wickedness he had unhappily fallen into, and found by expe

« AnteriorContinuar »