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has more clearly brought to light in his blessed Gospel. The matters of faith and doctrine that might, be, it is confessed, in some considerable degree, obscure to the Jews before our Saviour's coming, and even till the completion of his great work on earth, are not obscure to us, in any one point, that respects our relation to him, or the benefits we may derive from his atonement and mediation, Whatsoever things were written aforetime, either in the Old Testament or in the New, “ were written for our learning ; that we through patience, and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.” We should therefore, study them with a diligence and an earnestness suitable to their paramount importance. If we read them for mere curiosity, or to furnish us with matter for debate and argument, we shall pervert them from that holy use for which they were intend. ed: -and this perversion will itself be imputed to us as a sin. If we read them with humble and docile minds, and accompany their perusal with prayers to our heavenly Father for the aids of his suggesting grace; if “we cry to him for knowledge, and lift up our voice to him for understanding,” if we seek his divine wisdom as silver, and search for it as for hid treasure,—then he will bless us with the aid of his holy spirit till we come to understand, gradually but savingly, “the wonderful things of his law." From those divine sources and records of inspiration, we shall derive every thing that can be profitable for our spiritual condition,-doctrines, that will teach us to eschew all things that are evil, and to follow those things only that are good,-reproofs, that will check us after having committed any sin, and will rouse our hearts and consciences against committing sins in future,-corrections, that, in our state of ignorance or of infirmity, will check our presumption and increase our diligent cautiousness,—and instruction in righteousness,—that righteousness which includes all the active and meditative duties of our holy religion, so that we may, as St. Paul expresses himself to his beloved Timothy, “ be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Amidst the cares and the calamities of life, the Scriptures,—the consoling truths of divine love and wisdom, will administer to the comfort and refreshment of our souls. They will withdraw our thoughts from worldly objects to those higher and beatific scenes, where the happiness and the reward of good men are placed. They will enable us also to bear our portion of worldly care and industry with less danger to our innocence, with more effectual vigour and constancy, and with cheerful peace of heart. For as we delight more and more in God's law, he will more and more befriend us. He will enable us, like the trees planted by the rivers of water to bring forth our fruit in their season ;-our leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever we do in obedience to his holy will, shall prosper.
ECCLESIASTES viï. 16.
Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise:
why shouldst thou destroy thyself?
Though the author of this verse is acknowledged to have had a great insight into human nature, and much sagacity in discovering the real motives of men's actions and professions, yet the precept of the text seems, at the first glance, to be somewhat contrary to our general opinion of things. We may not easily comprehend how a man can be “ righteous overmuch,” or how he can be “ over-wise ;” because goodness can never be immoderate, nor can wisdom run into excess :-indeed, they are generally found to be deficient rather than superabundant in the hearts and mind of men. The precept, however, is applicable, not to such as are extraordinary proficients in righteousness or wisdom, but to such
to eschew all things that are
inded like a flood,” (Ecctus. xxi, 13.) eeply examined the natural and the f things, acknowledges, in the text, height of wisdom is destructive and
afterwards, upon seriously comatters that engage men's attention Os the whole amount to this wise ar God and keep his commandduty of man.”
to bring this subject a little more .) ughts ; and, in order to it, let us on :- If we were to be suddenly ind, and dropped into a ship in in-how should we employ our
uld we do? Should we begin e particular manner in which the