Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Entered in Stationers Hall.

GODLEIAN LIBRARY

12 NOV 85

OXFORD

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

MARTHA Countefs of ELGIN and

KINCARDINE.

MADAM,

THE

HE publication of the following Lectures affords me an agreeable opportunity of teftifying the high eftcem which I entertain of your Ladyship's amiable character, and of the illustrious example whereby you have adorned your elevated ftation;-and of expreffing my grateful fenfe of the favour and patronage which I have received from your Noble Family.

IMPELLED by fentiments of refpect and gratitude, I have the honour of presenting this small offering to your Ladyfhip, whofe well-known facred regard to the word of God, and whose warm attachment to the interefts of true religion, fully justify my infcribing to you an Ex

pofition

pofition of a moft fublime and interesting part of the Holy Scriptures.-With fervent prayers to the God of all grace for your temporal and eternal felicity, and for every bleffing to all the Eranches of amiable Family, I am,

your

MADAM,

With great regard,

Dairfie, Sept. 20,

1791.

Your Ladyfhip's moft obliged

and moft humble fervant,

ROBERT MACCULLOCH.

THE

PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE.

VAR

ARIOUS methods have been employed, by the wisdom of God, for the inftruction. of mankind. Hiftories have been written, in which the great events of antiquity are distinctly recorded, the moft illuftrious characters are faithfully delineated, and the most important leffons are forcibly inculcated. Laws have been published, ftamped with divine authority, fhowing the good and acceptable will of God, in the keeping of which there is a great reward; and serving as a lamp to guide our feet into the ways of righteousness and peace. Poetry hath displayed its attractive beauties and graces, with the happydefign of captivating our hearts to the love and obedience of facred truth, and ftimulating our ardour in the practice of goodness. The greatprinciples and duties of morality have been enforced in fhort proverbial fentences, furnishing" excellent practical rules of action, and recommending, by the most powerful motives, every part of good conduct. Sublime truths, and interefting difcoveries, have been prefented to view, refpecting the Eternal God, the operations of his providence, the difpenfations of his grace, and the glory of his kingdom, calculated to pro

A

duce

duce the most falutary effects. Prophecies have been delivered, at the diftance of ages from the predicted events, unfolding a scheme fo aftonishingly vaft, and altogether unparalleled, as should ftrike awe and wonder into the hearts of men ; and make us conclude, that the fubject, in which we are thus inftructed, must be of the highest moment, and greatest concern to mankind.

This mode of inftruction, though prefumptuously affumed by fome Heathen oracles, is peculiar to the Moft High God, with whom a thousand years are as one day, and to whom are known all his works from the beginning of the world. For this purpose he raised up fucceffively a race of men, under the fpecial direction of his Holy Spirit, who, for many ages, delivered one prediction after another, giving notice of the great events which, commencing in early ages, reacheth to the confummation of all things; particularly defcribing the dignity of our Redeemer's perfon, and the glorious purposes for which he came into the world. This method of conveying knowledge by prophecy, is, above all others, attended with many important advantages. It ferves to raise admiration of that beneficent fcheme devifed by infinite wisdom for our recovery, and to convince men that the fubject to which it relates must be of the laft confequence to the inhabitants of this earth. It fhows the truth of the facred oracles in the moft ftriking light; and affords a proof, that is continually growing stronger, that the scriptures are the word of God. It alfo encourages us to entertain the pleafing hope, that the bleffed defigns

« PoprzedniaDalej »