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mus, will see nothing of all this; for which I heartily pity him, because I am sure he suffers a great loss. "To what purpose, O man, doth the sun shine upon thee, unless it teach thee to know more truly the Sun of Righteousness, and to rejoice in his light? If not, the sun shines upon thee, as upon beasts and reptiles, to give light to thy body, but none to thy understanding. Whereas the salvation of man, by Jesus Christ, is so great, so inestimable a subject, that the goodness of God throws every thing in our way, which may bring it to our minds, and recommend it to our affections. For this, the sun shines, the winds blow, the grass grows, the springs water the earth, the rain falls from hea« ven. But it is in the study of the Scripture, as in other sciences, all things are not equally obvious, nor will they appear of equal concern to different people; and there are those who may think I have been throwing away my thoughts, in exploring things too minute and obscure to be understood. When we use a microscope, to examine the minute objects of the creation,
ignorant ignorant minds may think we are idly employed, and that our objects are insignificant because they are small; but whoever shall examine small things, will find them full of wonders; and that God is every where great in the smallest of his works; agreeably to that wise observation of Pliny, Rerum natura tota est nusquam magls quam in minimis, his power and providence are as manifest in the ceconomy of an inse£r, as in the revolutions of an empire. The philosopher sees wonders in Nature, which the multitude pass by with unconcern; and the botanist explores minutely what others trample under their feet. The wisest and the most inquisitive, with the utmost of their application, can see but a part of the works of God; and the most studious reader can understand but a part of his word; among the treasures of which, as in the bowels of the earth, there are gems and precious ores, which lie so deep, that they have never been disturbed by the hand of man. "We can produce only so far as we can penetrate; and when we have
done our best, the work will not be acceptable to every mind; so far from it, that I dare not yet trust the following Discourse with the public; among whom there are two many persons, like the Jews of old, whose eyes if we attempt to open, we shall increase their blindness; and I know, from the experience of my past life, how critical and tender the case is. Such persons I do not mean to hurt, and I should be sorry to offend them. I, therefore, print this Discourse, with a desire, that it should fall into the hands of those only who are prepared, by what they have already seen in the other lectures, to give it due consideration.
A learned and judicious friend (now with God) whose prudence, in my estimation, was almost oracular, had a sight of all the lectures before their publication, and preferred this, in some respects, to the rest; but advised me not to publish it with them at first, lest evil-minded people should take advantage from it, to bring the whole plan into disrepute; but to reserve it till the rest had been considered, and then to
let it be seen by my readers. I took the former part of his advice twelve years ago, and now I think the time is come when I may take the latter; imploring the Divine blessing on what I now commit to the press; that, as we see more intimately into the ways of God, we may daily love him more, and serve him better. Amen,
JVlANY good Christians, who read the word of God with a desire to profit by it, and have been taught, that whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (Rom. xv. 4.), have their doubts concerning the use of many things they find in the Scripture ; not being able to see how they can answer that general design of adding to our learning, and thereby leading us to more patienceandcomfort. The apostle takes a passage from the psalms of David, and understands Jesus Christ to be the speaker of it; and lest we should wonder or be offended at this use of the Scripture, he tells us the rule is general, that the things written aforetime are to be thus applied to Jesus Christ; without