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The TAB L E.

1. As to the Hiftorical Books, the principal_matters are there recorded with fuch Circumstances as mutually confirm and fupport each other

20

2. The harmony and agreement between the old and new Teftament is a convincing proof of the truth of both

23

3. It was fit that the mystery of our redemption fhould be opened by degrees, according to the capacities and exigencies of feveral ages, 26 4. The plain and inartificial Style which the holy Writers make use of, is a great Argument of their Truth and Sincerity

30

A fhort defence of fuch Paffages as feem to contain trivial and inconfiderable Matters

35

CHA P. III.

An answer to another popular Objection against the reading of the Scriptures, taken from their obfcurity; and fome Rules laid down to remedy this Difficulty 38 All things neceffary to falvation are plainly reveal'd

39

General Reafons affign'd of the obfcurity of the

Scriptures

43

From hence appears the Obligation lying upon the unlearned to fubmit to the judgment of their lawful Paftors Four Rules laid down for the right understanding of the Scriptures

47

I. Rule

1. Rule, that we should begin with reading the plaineft Books

52

II. Rule, that we should have a regard to the analogy of Faith in judging of the fenfe of par-. ticular Texts

54

III. Rule, to compare one place of Scripture with another 59 IV. Rule, to have an especial regard to the judgment and practice of the primitive Church 63

This Rule of great ufe to filence the difputes about

Church-Government.

68

The inference from the whole, that we ought to read the Scriptures with humility and reve

rence

72

CHAP. IV.

Concerning the hiftorical Books of the old Teftament, and what things are chiefly obfervable in our reading of them

74

A general divifion of the Books of the old Teftament, into Hiftorical, Moral, the Pfalms and the Prophets

75

The advantages of the Scripture history above all other hiftories

77

Several paffages in the three first chapters of Genefis explain'd and vindicated from the exceptions in the Theoria Sacra, and Archæologia

79

84

Two fchemes or fyftems of Religion, laid down in the writings of Mofes Reafons affign'd for the ritual ordinances in the law of Mofes

87

Concerning

Concerning the account Mofes gives of God's chufing Abraham's family, and the promise of the Meffias

109

III

The old Teftament history an evident proof of an over-ruling providence The Scripture hiftory of the Jewish nation writ with greater care and fidelity than those of other countries.

I 14

CHAP. V.

Concerning the moral writings of the old Tefta

ment

118

The usefulness of the Book of Job

119

And of the Proverbs; and in what reSpects that book exceeds the writings of the heathen moralifts

120

The proper ufe of Ecclefiaftes

124

CHAP VI.

Concerning the book of Pfalms, and their useful

ness

128

Two objections against the use of them briefly confider'd

134, 135

CHAP. VII.

Concerning the prophetical writings, and their ufefulness

139

The hiftorical and prophetical books do mutually fupport and confirm each other The uses we ought to make of the plain prophecies

140

And of the obfcure ones

144

146

That

That feveral Prophecies have a mystical sense,

151

prov'd

The reafons affign'd why a mystical fenfe is fometimes involv'd under a literal

152

CHAP. VIII.

Obfervations upon the Gospels, in order to the more ufeful reading that part of holy Scripture

168

The difference between the new Covenant and the 169

old

In the Gospels four things chiefly to be observdî

1. Our Saviour's doctrine, which is deliver'd either in fermons or parables 2. His miracles

192

176 The difference between true and falfe miracles briefly stated

ibid.

3. Our Lord's manner of life and converfation

4. The circumstances of his death

The marks of integrity which appear in the evangelical writings

204

196

201

CHA P. IX.

The principle matters to be obferv'd in reading the Acts and Epiftles of the Apoftles

208

209

The fuccefs of the Apoftles preaching an evident proof of the truth of Christianity The feveral parts of the new Teftament do mutually confirm and support each other

212

The

The usefulness of the Acts and Epiftles confider'd in three particulars

1. As they are an authentic commentary upon the Gofpels

217

2.

229

As they give us an exact idea of the faith and manners of the first Chriftians -- And likewife of the graces and virtues of the Apostles themselves

3.

235

A brief furvey of the writings of St Peter, St James, and St John

247

CHAP. X.

The advantages of Revelation above natural light, or any fyftem of the law of nature This prov'd by three arguments.

252

1. Becaufe Revelation explains our duty more fully and diftinctly

254

2. It enforces it by a more commanding authority

261

3. The arguments it makes ufe of are more powerful, and withal better fuited to common capa

cities

264

The Conclufion

274

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