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Without attempting to produce further proof of this now, we would rather refer the reader to the following pages, in which numerous quotations from Holy Scripture of a similar character will be found.
But the main design of this little volume is to set forth the moral condition of man in the sight of his Holy and Merciful Creator—what he was originally, when first introduced into the delightful existence which awaited him in that lovely Paradise which had been already prepared by Infinite Goodness for his reception—how he by transgression fell from this high and holy position, into one of sin, and guilt, and woe—the wonderful provision made by consummate wisdom and boundless benevolence for his restoration -the help offered to aid him in his return to God, and the glorious reward which awaits his obedience in the regions of immortal life.
These Great Facts, so important to the destinies of human beings, are set forth in the following pages in a new form; and hence it is ardently hoped that they may attract the attention of some. It should also be mentioned, that free use has been made, in the first chapters, of quotations from those approved writers who have written best on the very serious subjects under discussion. The quotations from Holy Scripture have been made, not from memory, but in every instance, we believe, from the Word itself; the italics in the quotations being copies of the original and not given for emphasis. The chapters and verses of the books from which the passages are quoted are not generally given ; but with help from good old Cruden (blessed be his memory!) they may easily be found.
Of course the following pages were printed before this short Preface was written; and this affords an opportunity for pointing out the phraseology of one short sentence which is not exactly what, upon again looking at it, we wish it had been. The sentence to which we refer is at page 124, the top paragraph, which reads thus :-“But so much for the Hypocrites -for I would fain bave done with them; and could wish that the whole breed were frowned out of existence by the virtuous indignation of an enlightened world. Spirit of the living God! may thy breath consume them.” Now as this has the “appearance" of cursing, and we are told to “ bless and curse not," we would prefer that it should be made to express a wish, not that the persons of hypocrites, but the system of hypocrisy might be “frowned out of existence," and that the breath of the Spirit of the living God might consume it, according to 2 Thes. ii. 8.
We now leave this humble effort in the hands of the public. It will be a small matter to us what judgment is passed upon it by a certain class of readers. If it should happily be the means of fixing the attention of but one reader to things of everlasting importance to himself, leading him to seek to be invested in that “robe of righteousness" in which alone he can make an appearance in the court of heaven, we shall be amply rewarded. May the Giver of every good gift, and of every perfect gift, bestow his divine and holy influence upon every reader, so that the eyes of his understanding being opened, he may be led to glorify God for his abundant mercy in Christ Jesus.
THE BEAUTIFUL GARMENT.
“I find that holy writ, in many places,
THE ALLEGORY OPENED, AND SHEWING HOW THE
BEAUTIFUL GARMENT WAS LOST.
ONE evening I had been reading, as my custom is, a good old book of wisdom, when my chance was to light on the words, “I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on ?"* Ah, thought I, this thing is an allegory, there is more here than there seems to be: and after much musing, I was led into a certain track, along which my thoughts ran swifter than light can travel, to the time when the first father of the world, having lost his robe of inno
Canticles v. 3.
cence—a most beautiful garment-stood naked and guilty before his Maker. He had put off this robe; how could he put it on ?
But, in order to explain myself, I must go back a little further in the history of our world, and of its first progenitor.
And even before I do this, should we not cast a humble and reverential glance towards Him, who, before the mountains were brought forth, or ever he had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, is GOD OVER ALL AND BLESSED FOR EVER! The first lesson we are taught is to hallow his name.
“Harps of Eternity! begin the song,
earing unheard ! all-knowing and unknown !