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PAGE Lect. 1. INTRopcctory Lecture. Rom. xv. 4..... . .5 2. History of Adam. Gen. v. 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 3. Adam and Christ compared. 1 Cor. xv. 45..13 4. History of Cain and Abel. Heb. xi. 4......17 5. History of Cain. 1 John iii. 11, 12.... ... . . .20 • 6. History of Enoch. Gen. v.24. . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 7. History of Noah. Gen. v. 28, 29...... 8. History of Noah. Gen. vii. 1...... 9. Noah and Christ compared. Isaiah liv. 7–10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 10. History of Abram. Gen. xii. 1........... .41 11. History of Abram. Gen. xiii. 8........... .45 12. History of Melchizedec. Gen. xiv. 18. Psalm cz. 4. Heb. vi. 20............... .49 13. History of Abram. Gen. xv. 17, 18... 14. History of Abram. Isaiah xxviii. 16.. 15. History of Abraham. Heb. xiii. 2.. 16. History of Abraham. James ii. 23.. 17. History of Abraham. Heb. xi. 17–19.. 18. History of Abraham. Heb. xi. 13–16.. 19. Introductory Lecture. Zech. i. 5, 6... 20. History of Isaac. Gen. xxv. 11. ..
21. History of Isaac. Gen. xxvi. 23–25.. 22. History of Isaac. Gen. xxvii. 1–5.. 23. History of Jacob. Gen. xxv. 27–34.. 24. History of Jacob. Gen. xxviii. 5. 10..... 25. History of Jacob. Gen. xxix. 20..... ... ...104 26. History of Jacob. Gen. xxx. 25–30......107 * 27. History of Jacob. Gen. xxxii. 9–11......112 28. History of Jacob. Gen. xlii. 36–38...... 116 29. History of Jacob and Joseph. Gen. xxxvii. 3, 4. . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121 30. History of Joseph. Gen. xxxix. 2–6......125 31. History of Joseph. Gen. xli. 38–44. ... . .130 32. History of Joseph. Gen. xlv. 3—5........ 135
33. History of Jacob and Joseph. Gen. xlv. 24–28. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140 34. History of Jacob and Joseph. Gen. xlix.
35. History of Joseph. Gen. 1. 24–26...... 36. History of Moses. Exod. ii. 1–10........ 37. Introductory Lecture. Luke xx. 27–38..1
38. History of Moses. Heb. xi. 24–27........ 164
39. History of Moses. Exod. iii. 13, 14.......168
46. History of Moses.
Exod. xiv. 21, 22.....199
48. History of Moses. Exod. xv. 23–27..... .209
49. History of Moses.
Exod. xvi. 11–15. . . . . .213
53. History of Moses.
History of Moses.
History of Moses.
57. History of Moses.
History of Moses.
. History of Balaam.
. History of Balaam. Numb. xxiii. 10..... .315
Josh. i. 17. John i. 17. .237
Exod. xxiv. 15–18... .248
72. Introductory Lecture. Rev. xx. 11—13. .324
. History of Moses.
History of Moses.
. History of Moses.
History of Moses.
. History of Moses.
Acts ii. 22....
. Introductory Lecture. Gen. ii. 18....
History of Deborah.
History of Ruth. Ruth i. 1–5........
History of Ruth. R
History of Ruth. Ruth ii. 4.....
Numb. xxi. 4–9..... .329
Judges iv. 4, 5...
uth ii. 1–3... . .
. . . . . .431
History of Ruth. Ruth ii. 19–23; iii. 1....436
1 Samuel i. 1–8.
101. History of Hannah.
History of Hannah.
. History of Hannah.
1 Samuel i. 9–18. . . .448
1 Samuel ii. 26......
Lect. 120. History of Jesus Christ. Luke iv.20–32.528
*121*History of Jesus Christ. Matthew iv.
122. History of Jesus Christ.—Before the ad-
ministration of the Lord's Supper.—
Luke x. 17–22. ...................... .539
123. History of Jesus Christ. John ii. 1–11..546
124. History of Jesus Christ. Luke iv. 38–44. .553
125. History of Jesus Christ. John ii. 13–17. .558
126. History of Jesus Christ. John ii. 18–25. -564
127. History of Jesus Christ and the Resurrec-
tion.—After administering the Lord's
Supper.—1 Corinthians xv. 35–44. .... .570
128. History of Jesus Christ. John iv. 46–54.576
129. History of Jesus Christ. Matthew viii.
5–12. Luke vii. 1–10............... .583
130. History of Jesus Christ. John vi. 1–14.583
LECTUR. E. I.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written sor our learning, that we through latience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.—Romans xv. 4.
VARIous methods have been employed, at different periods and by different persons, to convey useful knowledge to mankind. The knowledge most useful and most important to man, is that of morals and religion. These sciences not only afford the most pleasant and elevating subjects of meditation, but evidently possess a very powerful influence over human happiness, both in the life which now is, and in that which is to come.
The principles of morality and religion have, by some, been delivered in short, plain, and . sentences; and have been left to produce their effect, by their own weight and evidence. Public teachers have, at other times, taken pains to explain and enforce these principles; have demonstrated their reasonableness and utility; and have exhibited the criminality, the danger, and the misery, of neglecting or transgressing them. The charms and graces of poetry have been employed to set off the native, modest beauties of truth and virtue, and allegory has spread her veil over them, in order to stimulate our ardour in the pursuit, and to heighten our pleasure in the discovery. The penetration of genius, the enchantment of eloquence, and the creative energy of fancy, have successively lent their aid to those gentle guides of human life, those condescending ministers to human comfort.
The historic page, that faithful and true witness, has been unfolded. Ages and generations elapsed and gone, have been made to pass in review; and the lessons of religion and virtue have been forcibly inculcated, by a fair and impartial disclosure of the effects, which the observance or neglect of them have produced on the affairs of men. And the pencil of history has enriched the canwas, not only with men in groups, but selecting distinguished individuals, delineating them in their just proportions, and enlivening them with the colours of nature, has ex
hibited a collection of striking portraits, for our entertainment and instruction. In contemplating these, we seem to expatiate in a vast gallery of family pictures, and take delight in observing and comparing the various features of the extensive kindred, as they resemble or differ from each other; and through the physiognomy piercing into the heart, we find them, though dead, yet speaking and pleasing companions. The holy scriptures possess an acknowledged superiority over all other writings, in all the different kinds of literary composition; and in none more than in that species of historical composition which is called BiograPHY, or a delineation of the fortunes, character, and conduct of particular persons: and that, whether the historians be themselves the men whom they describe and record; or whether, from proper sources of information, they record the lives and actions of others. These Lectures, undertaken at your request, and humbly submitted to your candid and patient attention; and, permit me to add, intended for your religious instruction and improvement, will, through the help of God, present you with a course of SACRED BroGRAPHY, that is, the more particular and detached history of the lives of those eminent and distinguished personages whom Providence raised up, o whom the Holy Spirit has in the scriptures of truth represented, either as patterns for us to imitate, or as objects of disesteem and aversion. We shall endeavour to compare together those which possess more obvious and striking marks of resemblance or of dissimilitude; and they shall be brought, one after another, into comparison with that pure and perfect example of all excellence, which was exhibited by Him, who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.” Happy will your Lecturer esteem himself if he shall in any measure *: what he 1*
ardently desires, the power of blending profit with delight, for your use: the power with which the lively oracles of God furnish him, that of rendering the errors and the vices, as well as the wisdom and the virtue of others, beneficial unto you. In order to justify the design, for we presume not to answer for the execution, we shall endeavour to show the propriety and usefulness of this mode of instruction in general, and the peculiar advantages which the sacred writers enjoy, in thus communicating useful knowledge; and which we of course possess, in the diligent and attentive perusal of their writings: and this shall serve as an Introductory Lecture to the Course. We begin with attempting to show the propriety and usefulness of conveying instruction by means of the historical representation of the character and conduct of individuals, as opposed to the object of general history. Now the professed purpose of all history is, without fear or favour, without partiality or prejudice, to represent men and things as they really are—that goodness may receive its just tribute of praise, and vice meet its deserved censure and condemnation. It is evident, that this end is most easily and most certainly attained, when our attention is o one particular object, or to a few at most. This may be j of by the feelings and operations of the mind, in the contemplation of other objects. When, from the summit of some lofty mountain, we survey the wide extended landscape; though highly delighted, we feel ourselves bewildered, and overwhelmed, by the profusion and variety of beauties which nature spreads around us. But when we enter into the detail of nature: when we attend the footsteps of a friend through some favoured, beautiful spot, which the eye and the mind can take in at once ; feeling ourselves at ease, with undivided, undistracted attention we contemplate the whole; we examine and arrange the parts; the imagination is indeed less expanded, but the heart is more gratified; our pleasure is less violent and tumultuous, but it is more intense, more complete, and continues much longer; what is lost in respect of sublimity, is gained in perspicuity, force, and duration. Take another instance:—The starry heavens present a prospect equally agreeable to every eye. The delights of a calm, serene evening, are as much relished by the simple and unlettered, as by the philosopher. But who will compare the vague admiration of the child or the clown with the scientific joy of the astronomer, who can reduce into order, what to the untutored eye is involved in confusion; who can trace the path of each little star: and, from their past appearances,
can calculate, to an instant of time, their future oppositions and conjunctions! Once more:–It is highly gratifying to find ourselves in the midst of a public assembly of agreeable people of both sexes, and to partake of the general cheerfulness and benevolence. But what are the cheerfulness and benevolence of a public assembly, compared to the endearments of friendship, and the meltings of love! To enjoy these, we must retire from the crowd, and have recourse to the individual. In like manner, whatever satisfaction and improvement may be derived from general histories of mankind, which we would not be thought by any means to depreciate; yet the history of particular persons, if executed with fidelity and skill, while it exercises the judgment less severely, so it fixes down the attention more closely, and makes its way more directly and more forcibly to the heart. To those who are acquainted with this kind of writing, much need not be said, to evince the superior excellency of the sacred penmen. Biographers merely human, necessarily lie under many disadvantages, and are liable to many mistakes. The lapse of time is incessantly thickening the veil which is spread over remote persons and events. The materials of history lie buried, confounded, dispersed, among the ruins of antiquity; and cannot be easily distinguished and separated, even by the eye of discernment, and the hand of honesty, from the rubbish of fiction. And as they are not always furnished by truth and nature, so neither are they always selected with judgment, nor employed with taste and discretion. Men, who only see the outside, must of necessity infer the principles of human actions from the actions themselves. And yet no rule of judgment is more erroneous: for experience assures us, that many, perhaps the greater part of our actions, are not the result of design, and are not founded on principle, but are produced by the concourse of incidents which we could not foresee, and proceed from passions kindled at the moment. Besides, every man sits down to write, whether of ages past or of the present, of characters near or remote, with a bias upon his mind, and this he naturally endeavours to communicate to his reader. All men have their favourite periods, causes, characters; which, of course, they strive, at any rate, to embellish, to support, to recommend. They are equally subject to antipathies on the other hand, under the influence of which, they as naturally strive to depress, to expose, and to censure what they dislike. And as men write and speak, so they read and hear, under the influence of prejudice and passion. Where the historian's opinions coin cide with our own, we cheerfully allow him to be in the right; when they differ, without hesitation we pronounce him to be mistaken. Most of the writers of profane ancient history are chargeable with an absurdity, which greatly discredits the facts they relate, and reduces their works almost to the level of fable. They attempt too much; they must needs account for every thing; they conjecture when light fails them; and because it is probable or certain that eminent men employed eloquence on important public occasions, their historians at the distance of many centuries, without record, or written document of any kind whatever, have, from the ample store of a fertile imagination, furnished posterity with the elaborate harangues of generals, statesmen, and kings. These, it is acknowledged, are among the most ingenious, beautiful, and interesting of the traces of antiquity which they have transmitted to us: what man of taste could bear to think of stripping these elegant performances of one of their chief excellencies! But truth is always injured, by every the slightest connexion with fable. The moment I begin to read one of the animated speeches of a hero or a senator, which were never composed, delivered, or written, till the historian arose, I feel myself instantly transported from the real theatre of human life, into a o region; I am agreeably amused, nay, delighted; but the sacred impress of truth is rendered fainter and feebler to my mind; and when I lay down the book, it is not the fire and address of the speaker, but the skill and ingenuity of the writer that I admire. Modern history, more correct and faithful than ancient, has fallen, however, into an absurdity not much less censurable. I mean that fanciful delineation of character, with which the account of certain periods, and the lives of distinished personages, commonly conclude; in which we often find a bold hypothesis hazarded for the sake of a point; and a strong feature added to, or taken away from a character, merely to help the author to round his period. Finally, a great part of profane history is altogether uninteresting to the bulk of mankind. The events recorded are removed to A vast distance, and have entirely spent their 'force. The actors exhibited are either too lofty to admit of our approach, with any interest or satisfaction to ourselves; too brutal to be considered without disgust, or too low to be worthy of our regard. The very scenes of action are become inaccessible or unknown; are altered, obliterated, or disregarded. Where Alexander conquered, and how Caesar fell, are to us mere nothings. But on opening the sacred volume, all these obstructions in the way of knowledge,
of truth, of pleasure, and of improvement, instantly disappear. Length of duration can oppose no cloud to that intelligence, with which “a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years.” The human heart is there unfolded to our view, by Him “who knows what is in man,” and “whose eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” The men and the events therein represented are universally and perpetually interesting, for they are blended with “the things which accompany salvation,” and affect our everlasting peace. There, the writers, whether they speak of themselves or of other men, are continually under the direction of the Spirit of all truth and wisdom. These venerable men, though subject to like passions with others, there speak not of themselves, but from God; “for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” And “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”? Having premised these things, we will proceed next Lord's day, if God permit, to the execution of our plan; and shall begin, as the order both of nature and of scripture prescribe, with the history of Adam, the venerable father and founder of the human race. Men, brethren, and fathers, we are about to study the lives of other men; but it concerns us much more to look well to our own. Our forefathers were; we are. The curtain has dropped, and has hid ages and generations past from our eyes. Our little scene is going on; and must likewise speedily close. We are not, indeed, perhaps, furnishing materials for history. When we die, obscurity will probably spread the veil of oblivion over us. But let it be ever remembered by all, that every man's life is of importance to himself, to his family, to his friends, to his country, and in the sight of God. They are by no means the best men, who have made most noise in the world; neither are those actions most deserving of praise, which have obtained the greatest share of fame. Scenes of violence and blood; the workings of ambition, pride, and revenge, compose the annals of men. But piety and purity, temperance and humility, which are little noticed and soon forgotten of the world, are held in everlasting remembrance before God. And happy had it been for many of those, whose names and deeds have been transmitted to us with renown, if they had never been born. - - One corruption subdued, is a victory infi* 2 Peter i. 21. f 2 Timothy iii. 16, 17