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IMPORTANCE OF SCRIPTURAL KNOWLEDGE.
MULTITUDES, with less wisdom than Solomon, will respond to his language, that " for the soul to be without knowledge is not good.”—“Wisdom is the principal thing." Scientific knowledge expands and enriches ihe intellectual powers of man. It qualifies him for higher degrees of enjoyment, and greater measures of usefulness, than could fall to his lot without it. But it must not be forgotten, that all our knowledge except that which respects God, and the concerns of his moral kingdom, will terminate with mortal existence. The admission that the Scriptures are the word of God, must of itself imply, that the knowledge they reveal is pre-eminently impor. tant Without rank infidelity, who can deny that the truths and even the words of divINE REVELATION, should be riveted in the memories and engraven on the hearts of all ages, but especially the young;
, Every word of God is pure," " and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
Mere human composition abounds with imperfection and error ; " but the Law of the Lord is perfect.” Eternal truth diffuses light and glory from every sentence. The human mind is ever active. If it be pot conversant with useful truths, it will be with pernicious errors. Since the oracles of God reveal upadulterated truths of eternal importance to the human race, they must unquestion. ably, be the best companion and the safest guide of souls. “ Therefore shall ye lay up my words," (saith Jehovah)
heart and in your soul." We are required to have every avenue to our souls oceupied with dirine revelation. Our memories must be stored to the extent 2d Edit.
of their capacities, with truths of essential and practical importance. Our understandings must be filled with this divine light. All our affections must be elicited and regulated, and all the volitions of our wills must be governed, by the word of God. How exceeding broad is this divine requirement. If obedience to it be difficult, it is necessary;
Do our readers wish to worship God acceptably? You must obtain right apprehensions of his attributes and government from his word. Would you feel yourselves sinners? let the divine law convince
you tremble in view of your guilt and danger? Pass near the foot of Sinai, and let its thunders arouse your sleeping consciences. Do you desire deliverance from condemnia. tion ? Prostrate yourselves beneath the cross and let the blood of the expiring Redeemer wash away your guilt. In one word, do you desire to have your views 'correct, your affections pure, your hopes stable, and your joys real? You must draw all your articles of faith, your rules of practice, your incitements to obedience, your hopes and consolations entirely from the Scriptures. The traths of the Bible must be uppermost in your minds and govern your actions, words and thoughts.
Christians need to have their minds richly replenished with the very words of inspiration, that they may precisely understand the foundations of their faith and be able to explain and defend it; that they may know the grounds of their hopes, and be ready at all times to as. sign the reasons of their hopes to the inquiring Pertinent texts of Scripture, judiciously selected and adduced in the spirit of meekness, will sooner silence the cavils of unbelief in mere speculative believers, than all the studied arguments of mere polemic theology Minds richly stored with portions of Scripture, are better prepared to resist temptation, to enjoy prosperity, to sustain the shocks of adversity, to be comfortable when sight and hearing fail, and even to triumph over death, than other minds are.
When false teachers are beguiling unstable souls, the hearer whose mind is replenished with eternal truth will involuntarily bring them to "the law and the testimony" and reject their errors. And the sword of the Spirit is mighty to parry temptations and vanquish the adversary.
Besides, how often will passages of Scripture which have been treasured in the memory occur to guide in duty, to humble in prosperity, and to comfort under trials, when the word of God would not otherwise have had access to the mind. And will not under these circumstances be eminently useful, and to the pious, peculiarly precious. Gu to the pillow of sickness or infirmity. Observe an immortal being too sick or too blind to read; too weak or too deaf to hear others read; that soul may be awakened and sanctified through truths treasured in the memory. Or if pious, what unspeakable satisfaction would it then derive from revolving in the mind loved and comforting truths of the Bible. And when the spirit should be quivering on the cold lips, uneonscious to surrounding objects, how could it reeline on some immutable promise of God, and be wafted on its angelic wings to the abodes of celestial glory.
It is much to be lamented, that eren Christians in general are but babes in Seripture knowledge, when they vught to be men. Must we not pronounce this ignon rance inexcusable, wbile the inexhaustable mines of divine knowledge are opened before us, and inestimable treasures might be obtained would we but " search the Serip!ures." If guilt stare us in the face in view of our past lives, let us resolve that in future we will be more obedient to the requirement of Jehovah. “ Ye shall lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Like those persons of treacherous memories, who are aceustomed to bind some. thing on their hands to remind them of things which they
are particuarly solicitous may not be forgotten ; let us make every member of our bodies and every object with which we are conversant, a memento of some Scripture truth. When we consider the human form; let it remind us, that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made." When we contemplate the infinitude of that wisdom and power which spread oot the heavens as a curtain, let us be reminded, that “God telleih the number of the stars and calleth them out by their paines." Whenever we tread the dust, let us remember, that “ dust we are, and upto dust we must soon return." The truths of God's word must be as frontlets between our eyes. Our code
tenances must always express our veneration and love for the sacred Scriptures. We must prove to all around us that they are our study by day and our meditation by night.
But if ALL are required to have their minds richly stored with the word of God, how manifest that the period of life most favourable for acquiring Seriptural knowledge, should be faithfully improved. The morning of life is that season. With many youths it is their only time of probation. The motives for daily and de. voutly searching the Scriptures, are therefore peculiarly pressing upon the young. Be entreated then, ye dear youth who may peruse this ; be persuaded to let the word of Christ dwell in you riebly in all wisdom. Imm prove every convenient opportunity, alone and associated, on the Sabbath and in the week, for increasing religious knowledge. Establish regular habits of committing the truths and the language of Scripture to memory. Give them access to your consciences and to your hearts. Let their motives govern every affection of your souls and every action of your lives. In one word, only love, study and obey the word of God and all its most precious promises are yours.
ANALOGIES BETWEEN THE KINGDOMS OF NATURE
ESSAY No. III.
The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and
more unto the perfect day.
The inspired volume abounds with metaphorical language. But truth, simplicity, elevation and grandeur, eharacterize the figurative language of the Bible. The Wise man's language used as our motto, is proof of this.
The most critical examination of this passage, will leave the deepest impression, of the many points of coincidenre between the constant course of the just and the dawning of the day. Besides, what more easy anbject
for the comprehension even of the unlearned, than the gradually inereasing twilight as descriptive of the Chrislian's progress towards the light of eternal day. This is that simplieity which so eminently contributes to the universal utility of the word of God. Yet while the meta. phor is taken from an object familiar with our whole race, it is elevated, and pleasing, and grand to the most cultivated taste. Creation seems to smile and rejoice when day is ushered in anew. To connoisseurs of taste, the sublime and beautiful in nature, appear to the highest advantage when viewed by the morning twilight. On this 'account scientific travellers choose to climb the heights of Mount Ætna in the night, that from the elevation of its summit they may witness the gradual disclosure of the surrounding scenery. The beauty and sublimity of the prospect is indiscribable when they be. hold the darkness of night progressively dispelled, the brown forests and the variegated landscapes suecessively appearing, and the whole crowned with an unclouded sun emerging from the ocean.
But Pisgah's top in the path of the just, presents scenes still more delightful to the eye of spiritual discernment. Let us then turn our attention to the striking coincidences between the path of the just and the morning twilight, in their commENCEMENT, their PROGRESS and their con
A few words of exposition may here be useful. By " the path of the just" we are to understand the general course, the settlerl customary way of the pious. Religion does not therefore consist in a sudden change of speculative views, in temporary impulses of the passions, or in a mere formal regard to certain religions rites and modes, or in them all united. But it habitually affects the head, the heart, and the life. The term just is in the Hebrew plural, signifying justified persons, those who on account of the Saviour's mediation, are justified before God. Such persons are gradually progressing towards perfection in the divine life. Let us now proceed,
FIRST; To consider some coincidences in the morning twilight and the COMMENCEMENT of the Christian's
They are both from God. It is HE that caus. eth the day-spring from on high to know its place, and