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fying the heart, rather than in convincing the understanding. The evidence of the truth of Christianity is so plain and so cogent, that every unprejudiced mind with the smallest attention must yield to it; but the lusts of the flesh, the pride of the heart, and the temptations of the world operate so strongly, that a right practice does not always accompany a firm belief in the divine mission of Christ. The best correctives against this depravity of our nature are, the awful display of the attributes of God which is to be found in the Bible, and the momentous truth revealed by the Gospel that we shall be called to a strict account for all our thoughts, words, and actions at the tribunal of Christ. The consciousness that men are ever in the presence and under the inspection of an all-righteous Judge will be the most powerful restraint upon their conduct, and will deter them from the commission of crimes which they might hope would escape human observation, and from the indulgence in vices which fall not within the cognizance of human laws, or which they in vain endeavour to prevent.
In the Gospel instruction is conveyed by means of examples and similitudes the most familiar, of obvious meaning and of easy application. The duties required of those who occupy the lower ranks of society are plain and intelligible; they are commanded to be sober, honest, chaste, diligent, and industrious; contented with their lot; quiet and peaceable in their demeanor; kind to their neighbours; grateful to benefactors; loyal to the king; obedient to magistrates, and respectful to all who move in a higher sphere.
Nothing proves more decisively the tendency of the Gospel precepts to improve the morals and dispositions of men than the effects which were produced upon
the first Christians; and this is of itself a sufficient argument, even to those who confine their views to this world, for promoting Christian knowledge among the common people. A part of the inhabitants of every country were then Heathens, and a part 'were Chris. tians; and there was therefore an opportunity of comparing the characters of those who lived under the same civil laws, but who professed the very different religious systems of Paganism and Christianity. Upon this very important point we may appeal not only to the undoubted history of the early Christian Church and to the uncontradicted statement of facts in the apologies for Christianity presented to the Roman Emperors, but to the testimony of Heathen writers themselves, to the inveterate enemies of the Gospel, and even to the most malignant and most powerful of all apostates from the Christian faith. Upon these authorities we may pronounce that those who were converted to Christianity became more peaceable in their outward deportment, more benevolent, more virtuous, and in every respect better subjects and better men.
These effects were indeed so obvious and so important, that Julian himself, at the time he was anxious to extirpate all belief of Christianity, recommended to one of his pagan priests the manners and lives of the Christians as worthy of imitation.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
A Help to the unlearned in the Study of the Holy Scrip
tures; being an Attempt to explain the Bible in a fumiliar Way: adapted to common Apprehensions, and according to the Opinions of approved Commentators. By Mrs. TRIMMER, Author of “ Sacred History, selected from the Scriptures, with Annotations and Reflections ;' and other Works; and Editor of the Guardian of Edu
cation:-Rivingtons and Hatchard. Large 8vo. Pp.822. IS N order to judge properly of the merits of a book, it
should be looked at in the light in which it was intended to be viewed. If the author fulfil the promise made in the title-page, the reader and the critic ought to be satisfied. This book is styled " An Help to the unlearned ;” it would ill become the scholar to peruse it with fastidious eyes; it was not written for him, but readers of another cast, and an humbler character. To their use it is most excellently well adapted; and forms a very useful family-book, which may be resorted to on Sundayevenings with great advantage ; and whether the explanation it affords of each chapter in the bible, including the apocrypha, be resorted to before or after reading the portion of scripture allotted for the evening's exercise, it cannot fail of opening to young minds, or the unjustructed of all ages, the meaning of the sacred writings. Mrs, Trimmer, in explaining the bible, never forgets ibat she is a Christian ; and whether prophecies be unfolded, at doctrines ascertained, or morality laid down and inforced, she constantly shows how they, respectively, bear upon, comport, or harmonize with christianity. We shall bere print the whole of the introduction; which will shew with what care the indefatigable author provides information for the unlearned,” suffering hardly any thing, how. ever minute, to escape unnoticed :
“ The following book was composed with the hope of render. ing the study of THE BILE easy and profitable to those who have but little leisure, or wou may not be able to understand expositions of Scripture in which niore learning is displayed. The endeavour of the compiler has been to explain what is difficult, as far as is necessary for Christians in general to understand it; änd to direct the attention of the Bible student to such passages and texts, as require particular consideration, in order to produce a rational faith, and a right practice, founded immediately upon the WORD OF GOD.
“ But before any person begins to study the chapters of the BIBLE with the Explanation, it may be useful to examine thatpart of the volume which is not scRIPTURE, namely, the TitlePage, Epistle Dedicatory, and the Nannes und Orders of all the Books, &c.
“ The TITLE PAGE is the first printed leaf. The book is here called the Holy Bible, because it was not written by the wisdom of men, but by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, who put into the minds of the writers what they were to write, for the instruction, admonition, and comfort of mankind, cons cerning holy and divine things.
“ The Bible consists of two principal parts, the OLD TESTAMENT, and the New TesTAMENT: the first of these contains what God saw fit to have written before the coming of CHRIST; the latter contains the history of our LORD Jesus CHRIST, his divine discourses, and the doctrine of his Apostles.
“ The original tongues from which the BIBLE was translated, signify the languages in whičh this Holy Book was first written, The original language of the OLD TESTAMENT was Hebrew. that of the New TESTAMENT, Greek.' To translate a book, is to put the sense of it into the words of another language. There have been a great many translations of the Bible into different languages; that which we now have in English, was done by a number of the most learned men the kingdom ever produced ; who, that they might be certain they gave the true sense and nieaning of every part, diligently compared it with other translations, and then revised it, or examined it over and over again, that there might be no errors in their translation. “? To prevent the English Bible from being altered and cor
supted, rupted, no persons are allowed to print it but those who have a privilege froin the King. At the bottom of the leaf we may always see where any particular Bible was printed, and who are appointed to sell it to the booksellers.
«« The next leaves after the Title Page contain the EPISTLE DEDICATORY, addressed to King James the first by the bishops and other learned men, who, in his reign, and by his authority, made this translation of the Bible. When the Roman Catholic Religión prevailed in the nation, the Pope forbad the reading of the Scriptures by the people, and they knew no more of them, than the Romish priests told them. After the death of Queen Elizabeth, thëre was great fear that some Roman Catholic Prince might be raised to the throne, but King James favoured the Protestant Religion, so called because those who professed it, protested against the errors of Popery, and the use of the Bible by the people at large was allowed.
"We should observe in the Epistle Dedicatory, what the learned and pious translators of the Bible thought of this holy book, after having studied it with the greatest care and diligence; and we should learn of them, to consider the “ sacred word of God,". that is the Bible, as thiat" inestimable treasure, which excelleth all the riches of the earth ; because the fruit thereof extendeth itself, not only to the time spent in this transitory world, but directeth and disposeth men unto that eternal happiness which is in heaven above. We should also consider how great must be the sin of those, who, being possessed of this “inestimable treasure," seldom look into the Bible, but spend the time th should be employed in studying the Scriptures, in reading books which corrupt the mind, and lead to the practice of wickedness.
“ The Names and Order of all the Books in the Old Testa: MENT, and New TESTAMENT, show how the different books follow one another in the BIBLE.
• All the writers of the OLD TESTAMENT were Israelites, per: sons descended from the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they were the chosen people of God, and the OLD TESTAMENT telates to them in a particular manner, though it was designed for all mankind. The first five Books are called the Books of Moses and the Law; they were written by Moses the great Law, giver of the Israeļites. The Books that follow as far as tlie Book of Esther are called the HỊSTORICAL Books. histories they contain differ from all the other histories that ever were written, for they give an account of the ways of God; anđ explain why God protected and rewarded some persons and nátions, and why he punished others; also, what led particular persons mentioned in Scripture to do certain things for which they were approved or condemned; whereas writers wlio com pose histories in a common way, without being inspired of God, can only form guesses and conjectures concerning God's dealings
with mankind, neither can they know what passed in the hearts of those they write about; such knowledge as, this belongs to God alone, whose ways are unsearchable and past finding out, and to whom all hearts are open, all desires known !
“ The Book of JoB contains a wonderful example of patievce under the severest temptations and trials that any mere man was ever exposed to.
“The Book of Psalms is a collection of Divine Hymns written by King David, and other inspired writers. This is a most valuable Book, as it instructs us how to worship God, and furnishes us with proper prayers, praises, and thanksgivings, inspired by the Holy GĦOST. The Psalins also contain many of God's Promises and Threatenings.
“ The Book of PROVERBS is a collection of wise maxims for the conduct of human life; written by King Solomon.
“ ECCLESIASTES is another book written by Solomon, in which is shown the vanity of all earthly enjoyments.
“Solomon's Song. This book is very difficult to be explained, but the learned understand it to relate to CHRIST and his Church,
" The remaining books of the Old TestAMENT, beginaing with Isaiah, and ending with MALACHI, are called the PROPHECIES, because they were written by the Prophets, persons inspired of God to foretel things to come. The Prophets did not all live at the same time, but followed one another in succession for above a thousand years. They give an account of God's government of nations, and show the righteousness of his dealings with mankind. There were many other Prophets besides those who wrote these books. The first four here named, are called the greater Prophets, the twelve last, the Minor or Lesser Prophets.
“ The Books called the APOCRYP!IA, are not reckoned as part of the Holy SCRIPTURES, because it is not known for a certainty that the writers of them were inspired by the Holy Ghost; but they are preserved with the Bible on account of their great antiquity, and valuable instruction they contain.
Of the BookS OF TŅE New TESTAMENT the first four are called Gospels. The word Gospel means Good Tidings. The tidings of the Gospel are Forgiveness and remission of Sins, sal. vation and everlasting life and happiness to mankind through Jesus Christ.
6. The book called TiỊe ACTS OF THE APOSTLES gives an aça count of what those Holy Men the Apostles of our LORD JESUS Curist did and suffered to prove the truth of the Gospel which they preached.
"Tue EPIstles which follow the book of the Acts are Letters which some of the Apostles, whose names are given, wrote to the different Churches, or Societies of Christians they established, The writers of the New TESTAMENT are all called