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My humble labour was begun long ago. I ask nothing for it but the belief that it has been executed with such judgement as a wholly unlearned person could exercise;— at all events, with such care and reverence as the matter itself, much more than the hope of praise or fear of criticism, suggested to me. My sole object has been to put together all that presented itself to my own heart and mind as most persuasive, consolatory, or elevating, in such a form and order as to be easy of reference, conveniently arranged and divided, and freed from matter either hard to be understood, unattractive, or unprofitable (to say the least) for young and pure eyes. I am fully aware that there are defects of arrangement, some few repetitions, and the like. Few will perhaps be aware how much patient labour has been employed to bring it even to such a degree of perfection as it has now acquired. The variety of styles, and the change of persons and times, often rendered the difficulty of making the passages on a given subject (extracted as they are from every part of the Bible,) read with any degree of continuity and coherence, almost insurmountable. Traces of this will be seen. I have not affected to go in search of other—perhaps better—interpretations than the translation in common use offers. In my own total ignorance of the original, I might but stumble on blind guides. I must confess, strange and paradoxical as the opinion sounds in this age, that I have no confidence in the usefulness of half-lights on any subject—least of all on this; and it appeared to me that any faint and partial glimmerings I could catch from the works of others, would profit little, and might mislead much.

PREFACE, W

I have omitted the narrative parts of the Bible, because they have been so often extracted and published, that I thought it needless to swell my volume with them.

Some brief sketches of the general history and fortunes of the Jewish nation, as rehearsed by David in his songs, will however be found at the end.

The Apocryphal Books are, I believe, little in the hands of the young; yet they contain passages of great beauty and splendour, and precepts which cannot too often be recalled. I have therefore subjoined an Appendix extracted from them.

The reasons which have confined my selection to the

Hebrew Scriptures are so obvious, that it is not needful to

- enlarge upon them here.

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On the Excellency of the Holy Scriptures ..............................

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Section Page

XVIII. Trust in God .......... • * * * * * * - - - - - - - ---------------------- ........ 123

XIX. Penitence................. ----------------- ------------- --------- ... 141

XX. Frailty of Man ........ ------ -------------------------------------- 156

XXI. Death ............. ------------- ------------------- ------- ------------ 161

BOOK III.

LYRICAL AND PROPHETICAL PIEcEs.

I. Psalms of Praise .................................................. 165

II. Historical Poems and Orations.................................. 172

Prophecies concerning Babylon, Jerusalem, &c. ............ 195

III. Prophecies of the Messiah, and of his Kingdom ............ 225

—o-

APPENDIX.

THE APOCRYPHA.

I. God the Creator.................................. --- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 238

II. God's Power and Mercy ....... e - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * * * * 243

III. God all-seeing ................................ --------------------- 248

IV. God inscrutable ............ --------------------------------------- 249

V. Frailty of Man ............................ ------------------------ 251

VI. Death ......... --------------- --------------------------------------- 252

VII. Penitence .......... ------------------------ ------------------------ 254

VIII. Trust in God.......... --------------------- ------------ ------------ 257

IX. Fate of the Righteous and of the Wicked contrasted ....... 259

X. Duty to Parents........................ ---------- ------------------ 265

XI. Duty to Friends ............... e - - - - - - - ---------------------------- 266

XII. Honesty and Veracity ............. ------------------------------- 268

XIII. Humility ................ - - - - - - - - - - - - ------------------------------- 269

XIV. Humanity ......................... ------------------- -------------- 270

XV. Moderation and Liberality .............. ------------------------ 272

XVI. Discretion .......................................................... 274

XVII. Excellency of Wisdom ...................... --------------------- 2SO

XVIII. History of the Jews ................ ------------------------------ 290

XIX. Promises to Israel............... ---------------------------------- 294

XX. Vision of Esdras................ -------------------------------- ... 296

XXI. Destruction of Babylon ...... • * - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 297

XXII. Song of Judith ....... --------------------- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ..... 298

XXIII. The Origin of Idolatry ........................ ------------------ 299

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