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which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me." Luke xxiv. 44. The canonical books of the Old Testament are the following:—the five books of Moses, or the Pentateuch; the book of Joshua; the books of Judges and Ruth, formerly one book; the two books of Samuel; the two books of Kings; the two books of Chronicles; the books of Ezra and Nehemiah; the book of Esther; the book of Job; the Psalms; the Proverbs of Solomon; the book of Ecclesiastes; the Canticles; the four greater Prophets; and the twelve minor Prophets. These are all the books that were admitted into the Jewish canon; and they were acknowledged by the primitive Christians as the only canonical books of the Old Testament.

Christians acknowledge the following canonical books of the New Testament:-the four Gospels; the Acts of the Apostles; fourteen Epistles of St. Paul; the Epistle of St. James; two Epistles of St. Peter; three Epistles of St. John; the Epistle of Jude; and the Apocalypse, or book of Revelation, written by St. John. These were received into the canon by the early Christians. Some of them were doubted by a few, but, after careful inquiry, it was universally allowed that they were all written by inspired men. Both Jews and Christians, with the exception of Roman Catholics, reject the Apocryphal books. "The Jews in every age have

manifested the strongest reluctance to admit any book into their canon, concerning the authority of which there could be any reasonable doubt. Hence they have still refused as canonical, or as divinely inspired, the books called Apocryphal; although some of these, particularly the two books of the Maccabees, bring no inconsiderable accession of honour to their nation, as they contain an account of some of the most illustrious actions recorded in history."*

God has revealed to man, in the holy Scriptures, every doctrine and duty which concerns him in the present state of things. He, "at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets," and "hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." Heb. i. 1, 2. And what was spoken by the Prophets, by Jesus, and by the inspired Apostles, is collected into that volume, which we call THE WORD OF GOD; and every doctrine which we believe, every work in which we engage, and every hope which we indulge, should be supported by this blessed book. It is a book of such importance, that it should be found in the hand of every man. By studying its matter, and conforming to its precepts, we attain true wisdom and substantial happiness. It will be "a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path." Ps. cxix. 105. Infidels deny its author* Jamieson on Sacred History.

ity; but cannot overturn the truth which it has brought to light. Let us be thankful for this book, and ever follow its guidance: then we shall be wise unto salvation, and God, even our God, will give us his blessing.

Unanswerable arguments may be produced to prove that the sacred records, both of the Old Testament and the New, were written by divine authority, and under a heavenly influence; and that we may safely rely on them as a revelation from God, to guide man in the paths of righteousness and peace. They open to his view the awful realities of the hidden and unseen world; that he may avoid the punishments of the wicked and gain the joys of the righteous. And the man who makes them the rule of his faith and practice, will assuredly find his way to heaven; for in them we have the words of eternal life, and they testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Saviour of apostate man.

II. God speaks to man, in the sacred books, by the instrumentality of men.

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All the Jewish Prophets, and all the Apostles of our Lord, "spake" and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Pet. i. 21. He moved them to speak and write; he furnished them with matter; and, under his influence, they were preserved from error. He revealed to them what was necessary to be known; they committed those revelations to writing; the books which they wrote have been collected

into one volume; and that volume is called the Bible, or the Book, by way of eminence.

The authors of these books were moved, in some instances, to write an account of things with which they were previously acquainted, that the works and ways of God might be transmitted to future ages. This was the case in those historical records which contain a faithful narration of events that had either passed under the eye of the writer, or had been communicated to him by competent and faithful witnesses. But there is this difference between the sacred record and history in general, the one was written under a divine influence and direction, and the other merely by human effort; and hence the record is complete and infallible, while the history is frequently defective and


Some things which had been formerly known to the sacred writers, but which had been forgotten, were brought to their remembrance by the special influence of the Holy Ghost. As a proof and illustration of this fact, we refer to the promise of our Saviour to his Apostles. "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to remembrance whatever I have said unto you." John xiv. 26. And we may rest assured, that all the Prophets and Apostles were favoured with similar assistance, when they wrote that

sacred volume which was published to the world as a rule of faith and practice; and that, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, nothing was either forgotten or omitted that was necessary for the instruction and edification of mankind.

But many important truths have been revealed to the Jewish Prophets, and to the Apostles of our Lord, which could not have been discovered by the utmost stretch of human reason; such as the creation of the world, before man was formed; the plan of redemption by Jesus Christ, who shed his blood on the cross to make atonement for sin; the work of the Holy Spirit on the human heart; the resurrection of the dead; the general judgment; and a future state of rewards and punishments. Heathen authors wrote many pretty trifles on a future state; but they were all filled with doubt and uncertainty on that most interesting subject; and the glimmering light which they had was borrowed, either from the Jewish Scriptures, or from obscure tradition.

In some instances, both the sentiments and the words of the sacred writings were given by the plenary inspiration of the Holy Ghost: and when that was the case, the composition was, in the highest sense, THE WORD OF GOD. On those occasions the writers were elevated above themselves; their style was sublime, and their addresses were dignified and authoritative.

There have been various methods of divine.

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