and our lives answerable to them, we can by God, containing a true history of facts, in never please God, though we perform the which we are deeply concerned—a true recital externals of religion with ever so much ex- of the laws given by God to Moses, and of actness. We may err in our notions about the precepts of our bleffed Lord and Saviour, she sacraments: the world has long been di- delivered from his own mouth to his disciplesa vided on these subjects; and a gracious God, and repeated and enlarged upon in the edifyit may be hoped, will pardon opr errors. But ing epiftles of his apostles-who were men in matters of practice we have no apology for chosen from amongft those who had the aderror. The great lines of our duty are drawn vantage of conversing with our Lord, to bear so strong, that a deviation here is not error, witness of his miracles and resurrection--and but guilt.

who, afer his afcenfion, were allifted and inLet us then, to conclude from the whole, spired by the Holy Ghost. This sacred vomake it our principal care to purify our hearts lume must be the rule of your life. In it you in the fight of God. Let us befeech him to will find all truths necessary to be believed; increase the influence of his Holy Spirit with- and plain and easy directions for the practice in us, that our faith may be of that kind of every duty. Your Bible, then, must be t" which worketh by love;" that all our af- your chief study and delight: but, as it confections, and from them our actions, may flow tains many various kinds of writing--some in a steady course of obedience; that each day parts obscure and difficult of interpretation, may correct the last by a fincere repentance of others plain and intelligible to the meanest caour mistakes in life; and that we may con- pacity-I would chiefly recommend to your tinue gradually to approach nearer the idea of frequent perufal such parts of the facred writchristian pertection. Let us do this, dif- ings as are most adapted to your understandclaiming after all, any merits of our own; ing, and most neceffary for your instruction. and not trusting in ourward obfervances; but, Our Saviour's precepts were fpoken to the trusting in the merits of Christ to make up common people amongst the Jews; and were our deficiencies; and we need not fcar our therefore given in a manner easy to be underacceptance with God.

Gilpin." stood, and equally striking and instructive to $61. Of the Scriptures, as the Rule of Life. noraut may.comprehend them, whiltthe wifeft

the learned and unlearned; for the most igAs you advance in years and understand must be charmed and awed by the beautiful ing, I hope you will be able to examine for and majestic simplicity with which they are yourself the evidences of the Christian reli- expresied. Of the same kind are the Ten gion ; and that you will be convinced, on ra- Commandments, delivered by God to Morional grounds, of its divine authority. At ses; which, as they were designed for unipresent, such enquiries would demand more versal laws, are worded in the most conciso Audy, and greater powers of reasoning, than and simple manner, yet with a majefty which your age admits of. It is your part, therc-commands our utmost reverence. fore, till you are capable of understanding the I think you will receive great pleasure, as proofs, to believe your parents and teachers, well as iinprovement, from the historical that the holy Scriptures are writings inspired books of the Old Testament provided you


read them as an history, in a regular course, If the feelings of your heart, whilft you and keep the thread of it in your mind as you read, correspond with those of mine, whilft go on. "I know of nonc, true or fictitious, I write, I lhall not be without the advantage that is equally wonderful, interesting, and af- of your partial affection, to give weight to my fecting; or that is told in fo short and fimple advice ; for, believe me, my heart and eyes a manner as this, which is, of all histories, overflow with tenderness, when I tell you how the most authentic.

warm and carnest my prayers are for your I shall give you some brief directions, con- happiness here and hereafter. cerning the method and course I wish you to

Mrs. Chapone. pursuc, in rcading the Holy Scriptures. May you be enabled to inake the best use of this

$ 62. Of Genesis. most precious gift of God—this sacred trca I now proceed to give you some short furc of knowledge !--May you read the Bi- sketches of the matter contained in the different ble, not as a task, nor as the dull employment books of the Bible, and of the course in which of that day only, in which you are forbidden they ought to be read. more lively entertainments--but with a sin. The first book, Genesis, contains the most cere and ardent defire of instruction : with grand, and, to us, the most interesting events, that love and delight in God's word, which that ever happened in the univerfe : The the holy Psalmist lo pathetically felt and de- creation of the world, and of man :The deScribed, and which is the natural confequence plorable fall of man, from his first state of of loving God and virtuc! Though I Ipeak excellence and bliss, to the distressed condition this of the Bible in general, I would not be in which wc fcc all his descendants continue : understood to mean, that every partof the vo- |-The sentence of death pronounced on Adann, lume is equally intcrcfting. I have already and on all his race-with the reviving promise laid that it consists of various matter, and of that deliverance which has since been various kinds of books, which must be read wrought for us by our blessed Saviour :

-The with different views and sentiments. The account of the early state of the world :-Of having some general notion of what you are the universal deluge - The division of man. to expect from each book, may pollibly help kind into different nations and languages:you to understand them, and will heighten The story of Abraham, the founder of the your relish of them. I shall crcat you as if Jewish people; whofe unshaken faith and you were perfectly new to the whole; for foobedience, under the leverest trial human na: I wish you to consider yourself; because the cure could sustain, obtained fuch favour in the time and manner in which children usually fight of God, that he vouchsafed to fyle him read the Bible, arc very ill calculatcd to make his friend, and promised to make of his por them really acquainted with ic; and too many terity a great nation, and that in his feed people who have read it thus, without under that is, in one of his descendants all the îtanding it in their youth, fatisfy themselves kingdoms of the earth should be blefed. that they know cnough of it, and never af. This, you will eafily fee refers to the Merterwards ftudy it with attention, when they liah, who was to be the blefling and deliver corre to a macurer age.

ance of all nation. It is amazing that the


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Jews, posfelling this prophecy, among many which pronounced the command, and not a others, should have been so blinded by preju- delusion, might be made certain to Abraham's dice, as to have expected, from this great per- mind, by means we do not comprehend, but sonage, only a temporal deliverance of their which we know to be within the powerof hima own nation from the subjection to which they who made our souls as wellas bodies, and whe were reduced under the Romans: It is equally can controul and direct every faculty of the amazing, that some Christians thould, even human mind : and we may be assured, that if now, confine the blessed effects of his appear he was pleased to reveal himself fo miracuance upon earth, to this or that particular fect lously, he would not leave a possibility of or profeffion, when he is so clearly and em- doubting whether it was a real or an imaginary phatically described as the Saviour of the whole revelation. Thus the sacrifice of Abrahama world. The story of Abraham's proceeding appears to be clear of all: fuperftition: and to facrifice his only fon, at the command of remains the noblest instance of religious faitlr God, is affecting in the highest degree; and and fubmiffion that was ever given by a mere sets forth a pattern of unlimited refignation, man: we cannot wonder that the blessings that every one ought to imitate, in those trials bestowed on him for it should have been ex. of obedience under temptation, or of acquief: tended to his posterity. This book proceeds cence under aftli&ting dispensațions, which fall with the history of Ifaac, which become very to their lot. Of this we may be assured, that interesting to us, from the touching scene Í our trials will be always proportioned to the have mentionerlu and still more fo, if we conpowers afforded us : if we have not Abra- sider him as the type of our Saviour. It rea ham's strength of mind, neither thall we be counts his marriage with Rebecca--the birth called upon to lift the bloody knife against and history of his two fons, Jacob, the father the bosom-of an only child; but if the al- of the twelve tribes, and Efau, the father of mighty arm should be lifted up against him, the Edomites, or I doumeanshe exquisitely we must be ready to resign him, and all we affeEting story of Joseph and his brethrenhold dear, to the divine will.--This action of and of his tranfplanting the Israélites into Abraham has been censured by some, who do Egypt, who there multiplied to a great nation. not attend to the distinction between obedience

Mrs. Chapone. to a special command, and the deteftably cruel facrifices of the Heathens, who sometimes vo

$ 63. Of Exodus. luntarily, and without any divine injunctions, In Exodus, you read of a feries of wonders, offered up their own children, under the no- tvrought by the Almighty to rescue the opcion of appealing the anger of their gods. An preffed Israelites from the cruel tyranny of absolute command from God himself-as in the Egyptians, who, having first received them the case of Abraham-entirely álters the mo- as guests, by degrees reduced them to a state ral nature of the action; since he and he only, of Xavery. By the most peculiar mercies and has a perfect right over the lives of his crea- exertions in their favour, God prepared his tures, and may appoint whom he will, either chosen people to receive, with reverent and angel or men, to be his instrument of destruc- óbedient hearts, the solemn reftitution of those zion. That it was really the voice of God primitive laws, which probably hc had re

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revealed to Adam and his immediate descend-, far greater than himfelf, whom God would . ants, or which, at least, he had made known one day raise up to his people. by the dictates of conscience; but which time, Thus did Mofes, by the excellency of his and the degeneracy of mankind, had much faith, obtain a glorious pre-eminence among obscured. This important revelation was the saints and prophets in heaven; while on made to them in the Wilderness of Sinah; earth, he will be ever revered as the first of there, assembled before the burning mountain, those benefactors to mankind, whose labours surrounded “ with blackness, and darkness, for the public good have endeared their meand tempeft,” they heard the awful voice of mory to all ages. Mrs. Cbapene. God pronounce the eternal law, impressing it on their hearts with circumstances of terror, $ 64. Of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deubut without those encouragements, and those

teremony. excellent promises, which were afterwards of The next book is Leviticus, which contains fered to mankind by Jesus Christ. Thus were little besides the laws for the peculiar ritual the great laws of morality restored to the Jews, observance of the Jews, and therefore affords and through them transmitted to other na- no great instruction to us now: you may pass tions; and by that means a great restraint was it over entirely—and, for the same reason, you opposed to the torrent of vice and impiety, may omit the first eight chapters of Numbers. which began to prevail over the world. The rest of Numbers is chiefly a continuation

To those moral precepts, which are of per- of the history, with some ritual laws. petual and universal obligation, were fuper In Deuteronomy, Moses makes a recapitu. added, by the ministration of Moses, many lation of the foregoing history, with zealous peculiar institutions, wisely adopted to dif- exhortations to the people, faithfully to wor. ferent ends-either to fix the memory of those thip and obey that God, who had worked fuch past deliverances, which were figurative of a amazing wonders for them: he promises them future and far greater salvation--to place in the nobleft temporal bletfings, if they prove violable barriers between the Jews and the obedient; and adds the most awful and strikidolatrous nations by whom they were fur- ing denunciations against them, if they rebel, rounded or, to be the civil law by which or forsake the true God. I have before obo the community was to be governed.

served, that the sanctions of the Mofaic lav To conduct this series of events, and to were temporal rewards and punishments: those establish these laws with his people, God raised of the New Testament are eternal; these last, up that great prophet Moses, whose faith and as they are so infinitely more forcible than the piety enabled him to undertake and execute first, were reserved for the last, best gift to the most arduous enterprizes; and to pursue, mankind-and were revealed by the Meffiah, with unabated zeal, the welfare of his coun- in the fullest and clearest manner. Moses, in trymen. Even in the hour of death, this gc- this book, directs the method in which the nerous ardour still prevailed; his last mo- Ifraelites were to deal with the seven nations, ments were employed in fervent prayers for whom they were appointed to punith for their their prosperity, and in rapturous gratitude profligacy and idolatry, and whose land they for the 'glimple vouchlafed him of a Saviour, were to pofsels, when they had driven our the


ald inhabitants. He gives them excellent racer was by no means amiable, and we are laws, civil as well as religious, which were repeatedly told, that they were not chosen for ever after the standing municipal laws of that their fuperior righteousness" for they were people. This book concludes with Moses's a stiff-necked people, and provoked the Lord fong and death.

Mrs. Chapone. with their rebellions from the day they left

Egypt." L" You have been rebellious against 63. Of Yoshua.

the Lord,” says Mofes, " from the day that The book of Joshua contains the conquests I knew you." —And he vehemently exhorts of the Ifraelites over the seven nations, and them, not to flatter themselves that their suctheir establishment in the promised land. cess was, in any degree, owing to their own Their treatment to these conquered nations merits. They were appointed to þe the mult appear to you very cruel and unjust, if scourge of other nations, whose erimes rendered you consider it as their own act, unauthorised them fit objects of divine chastisement. For by a positive command: but they had the most the sake of righteous Abraham, their founder, obfolute injun&tions, not to spare these cor- and perhaps for many other wife reasons, una rupt people to make no covenant with discovered to us, they were selected from a them, nor shew mercy to them, but utterly to world over-run with idolatry, to preserve upon destroy them:"--and the reason is given - carth the pure worship of the one only God, " left they should turn away the Israelites and to be honoured with the birth of the Mesó from following the Lord, that they might fiah amongst them. For this end they were serve other gods." The children of Ísrael are precluded, by divine cottimand, from mixing to be considered as instruments, in the hands of with any other people, and defended by a great the Lord, to punith those, whose idolatry and number of peculiar rites and observances, from wickedness had deservedly brought destruction falling into the corrupt worship practised by on them: this example, therefore, cannot be their neighbours.

Ibid. pleaded in behalf of cruelty, or bring any imputation on the character of the Jews. With

$ 66. Of Yudges, Samuel, and Kings. regard to other cities, which did not belong The book of Judges, in which you will find to those seven nations, they were directed to the affcéting stories of Sampson and Jephtha, deal with them according to the common law carries on the history from the death of Joof arms at that time. If the city submitted, thua, about two hundred and fifty years ; but it became tributary, and the people were the facts are not cold in the times in which {pared ; if it reGifted, the men were to be hain, they happened, which makes fome confufion, but the women' and children faved. Yet, and it will be necessary to consult the marginal though the crime of cruelty cannot be juftly dates and notes, as well as the index in order laid to thcir charge on this occasion, you will l. to get any clear idea of the fucceffion of evsnts observe, in the course of their history, many during that period. things recorded of them, very different from The history then proceeds regularly through what you would expc&t from the chosen people the two books of Samuel and those of Kings; of God, if you supposed them selected on ac- nothing can be more interesting and entertainfount of their own merit: their national cha- ing than the reigns of Saul, David, and So

lomon :

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