A CONSIDERABLE portion of the Sacred Volume (as the Books of Psalms
and Canticles in the Old Testament, and a large part of the several Epis-
tles in the New Testament) is occupied with the interesting subject of
Christian Experience; and exhibits its character, under different dispen.
sations of religion, and diversified with an endless variety of circumstan-
ces, as ever essentially the same. As the same features of countenance
and elevation of stature have always marked the human species in the
midst of the creation of God; so an identity of feature and measure of
the stature of the fulness of Christ” has, in all ages, and under every
shade of outward difference, distinguished the family of God as
people that should dwell alone, and should not be reckoned among the
nations." This indeed was to have been expected. Human nature has
undergone no change since the fall. In its unrenewed state it is still
captivated in the same chains of sin; and, when renewed, it is under the
influence of the same Spirit of grace.
“ That which is born of the flesh
is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
We might therefore have conceived, that the modern believer, when employed in tracing the records of Patriarchal or Mosaical experience, will mark in the infirmities of the ancient people of God a picture of his own heart, " answering, as in water face answereth to face ;: and in comparing their external exercises with his own, will be ready to acknowledge, “ All these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
In this view, it is the object of this work to exhibit an Old Testament
believer in a New Testament garb, as one “walking in the same spirit,
and in the same steps” with ourselves; and, in bringing his features of
character to the Evangelical standard, it is presumed, that the correspon.
dence will be found to be complete. “Faith which worketh by love"
—the fundamental distinction of the Gospel-pervades the whole man ;
with at least an implied reference to the one way of access to God, and
a distinct regard alike to the promises, and to the precepts, of Divine
revelation. Nor are the workings of this principle delineated with less
accuracy. In all the variety of Christian feelings and holy conduct, we
observe its operations leading the soul into communion with God, and
moulding every part into a progressive conformity to his image. When
we view the “man after God's own heart”-taking God for his portion
1 Numbers xxiii. 9.