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ferred upon them; they also contain the precious doctrines of Christ, with his exhortations, declarations and sentences. There is a majesty of style, a coherence in parts, an equilibrium in sentiment, a brilliancy of imagery in the book of God, not to be found. in any other book in the world. Will any of the critics compare Homer's Ili. ad, or Virgil's Ænead to it? These beautiful epic poems when compared to the poetry of David, is like comparing a drop of water to the ocean. The world would have been better if neither Homer nor Virgil had ever composed a line; the object of the first seems to have been, the encouragement of war and blood-shed, and the object of the other, to flatter royalty with a cringing servility, and sycophantic adulation, which he most assuredly did, and for which he was superbly rewarded by the Roman emperor Augustus. Could the Scriptures be read in the languages in which they were written, and by those who were well versed
in those languages, their beauty, excellency and impartiality would more fully appear. But the fact is, the sentiments and doctrines written by the holy inspired pen-men, were transcribed by those, who, perhaps misconceived their words as well as doctrines; and the translators, pernaps, also mistook the meaning of those transcribers ; a sensibility of these things, caused St. Jerome to assert in his day, now about 1400 years ago, " that they (meaning the translators of Scripture,) :vrote not what they found, bu, what they understood.” Happy, thrice happy, therefore, is that man, who is directed by the immediate inspiration of the spirit of truth, the original dictator of the holy Scriptures; this is the uñerring guide, which no translator nor transcriber can gainsay, and which the most illiterate, as well as the most scientific, may be rightly informed by. Let no man think or say, I depreciate the sacred Scriptures; this would be as ungenerous as it is unjust, notwithstanding I
believe errors have, in some instances, been fathered upon the book of God, by the mistranscriptions, and mistranslations of
Yet, even in the present adulterated state of that blessed book, I believe, and am assured, it is far preferable to all the books in the world besides, and “ is able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith, which is in Jesus Christ. Finally, all Scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work." 2 Tim. ij. If therefore I find any thing in the Sacred Scriptures repugnant to truth, reason and common sense, I do not immediately condemn the whole as fabulous, but rather impute the error to some of the transcribers or translators, who, I fear, did not always give us the signification of the words of their authors, but rather strained them, in order to give the opinion they had of truth. And as for com
mentators, they often, instead of illucidating the sacred page, cast a gloom over it, and it is frequently harder to understand their expositions, than the things they attempt to expound. Hence, some parts of Scripture, are involved in such obscurities, that the aid of the Holy Spirit, which dictated them, is indispensably necessary in order to ascertain their excellency and spirituality ; with this divine aid, we will be drawn into piety, persuaded to practise virtue, taught the lessons of immortality, and illuminated with a ray from heaven. Those therefore, who seek spiritual illumination, from commentaries, or the books and sermons of college manufactured clergymen, are secking the living among the deal. Those who listen only to the voice of a man with the outward ear, may get their ears titilled, but their hearts can only be touched by the voice of God. A spicit can only be discerned by a spirit. As the sweetness of honey can be better ascei taided by tasting
it, than by the most elaborate and scientific disquisitions, on the pleasurable gratification resulting from the participation of it, so he best know's God, and discerns his will and word, who feels him in his soul with an intellectual touch; who beholds his sovereign beauty with his inward eyes; who hears the music of his voice with his inward ears; who tastes the celestial sweets of his love, with the lips of his soul; finally, who handles the word of life with his intellectual hands. “ Taste and see, (therefore, exclaims David) how good the Lord is,” not by speculation, but grateful sensation.
If the Scriptures are true, none are Christians, but those who are led by the spirit of God. How then will many of our doctors of divinity, and masters of arts appear, who claim so much power and superiority in the church of Christ? who not only live and die without the influence of this spirit themselves, but call all those