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other work, excepting where he has had occasion to refer for historical facts; nor has he ever read any treatise on the subject, for the reasons above stated, excepting Mr. Pike's Philosophia Sacria ; which, although an able work, he considers, after having carefully perused it, to be rather too much strained, and the Hebrew quotations too much accommodated to suit that author's peculiar sentiments. Therefore, in this work he has been very careful that his deductions should be natural ideas, drawn from the common sense meaning of the original Hebrew text; and as such he presents them to the public—with remarks likewise upon the responsibility of man, his fall, his restoration, &c. &c. - sincerely hoping that his humble effort may prove a blessing to his fellow-creatures, and be the means of inducing many to search the scriptures for themselves; which, if set about with an humble mind, dependent upon God for the light of his Spirit, and with the sincere desire of finding the truth, will amply repay them for their labour, and be the means of bringing their minds into a state of perfect peace in these perilous and troublesome times ;-times pregnant with infidel blasphemy, religious hypocrisy, papistical treachery, Sensual socialism, political anarchy, &c.
And, if ever there was a time in which it was especially needful for the true church of Christ to be circumspect and watchful, it is the time
present, when Satan her adversary is presenting himself as an angel of light; when the hellish trio of infidelity, popery, and socialism, are undermining the protestant institutions of the land; and the poor grievously oppressed and persecuted by the professed advocates of liberty : when turbulent men are all busily engaged at the work of reforming their neighbours, while their personal reformation is quite neglected; when nominal professors of christianity with one hand subscribe to the support of church and state, and with the other oppress their servants in their wages, and rob their tradesmen of their lawful profits. Surely these are times for those who love Christ to be up and doing, by standing forth valiantly for the truth, in this effeminate and adulterous generation, full of idolatry and oppression.
The Lord Jesus Christ calls upon all his soldiers to do their duty, to cry
aloud and spare not; for the day draweth nigh when all must give an account of the talents committed to their
Therefore the author warns the wicked of their danger, and earnestly beseeches them to fly to the banner of Christ, who alone is the true refuge to shelter us from the stormy blast which is fast approaching; when “the sinners in Zion” will be afraid, and fearfulness will surprise the hypocrites; for “who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell
with everlasting burnings?" Who? “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing of evil; he shall dwell on high; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure." Isa. xxxiii. 14.
Such, and only such, are they whose confidence remaineth firm in the most calamitous times. Therefore the author being firmly convinced that nothing but submission to the righteous government of Jesus Christ-by whom God hath made known his love, good will, and mercy, to our ruined world—can restore mankind to perfect happiness, he, depending upon the assistance of the Holy Spirit to direct him, has, according to the ability which God has given him, set about this work, with the sincere desire that it may prove a blessing to his fellow-creatures, by inducing many of them to study that which alone can (under the blessing of God) make them wise unto salvation. Such is the hearty desire of the author,
In commencing this work, I am not attempting to make an apology for the Bible, because it needs none; therefore I shall begin where the word of God begins.
At the first chapter of Genesis, first verse, “ In the beginning God created the heavens and the
But who is God? asks the atheist. Is not nature God, and God nature ? has not nature always existed, and will it not always exist ? Oh, what fools are atheists ! What would be thought of a person producing a watch before a number of individuals, and, because no one could tell who made it, declare that it always had existed in that form ; and if one should reply, it could not have been in existence unless some watchmaker had manufactured it, the other should make answer, why, is not the watch the maker, and the maker the watch? Would not such a person be instantly condemned as a fool and a madman? Yet such fools are atheists; who, because they cannot comprehend God, deny his existence, and jeeringly scoff at the idea of spiritual power, by vainly attempting to reduce every thing to materialism; whereas the word of God, and all nature, declares, that spirit alone is the
only thing containing intelligence and power. But the grand mystery how spiritual agency is carried on, or what the abstract principle of intelligence is, we know not, as all that we can know about the subject is only as it is manifested by its operations in matter; of which I shall treat at large as I
THE AGITATION OF THE WATERS. I would herc remark, that God, the universal, omnipresent, omnipotent, Almighty Spirit, is alone the only true fountain of all spiritual lifeand spirit alone is life; and the world without spirit would be nothing but an inanimate chaos, enveloped in total darkness. Such the Bible declares was the state of our earth, when God by his Spirit began to operate upon it.
Verse 2. • And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The
“ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” seems to have reference to the component parts of the confused chaos, namely, the earth and the waters. Now, the natural condition of water, if divested of that power of expansion which it acquired by virtue of the perfect fluid, (light,) the principle of heat or fire, would be ice, as the condition of the earth at the poles fully testifies ; consequently, the dark chaos must have been covered or incrusted therewith, and the waters being in an icy or congealed condition, were in a state of inanimation ; and, as the waters were the matter, part of which were destined to compose the substance of the forthcoming atmosphere, the Spirit