« PreviousContinue »
he words of "Bis such, the compilation
ed fears his work sbe thankful of the 18 of the para Horne, that firankly
but I have done it with what care I could, and desire to be thankful to God, who by his grace hath carried me on in his work so far.”
To those who may have entertained fears of the design and tendency of the present compilation, (if this preface shall meet the eye of any such,) the writer frankly and honestly declares, in the words of Bishop Horne, that he has adopted the several combinations of the parallel passages as connected with the First Book of the Old, and the First of the New Testament, “ Without any design to gratify any sector party, but for the common service of all who call on the name of Jesus." And he declares likewise, that in the prosecution of the delightful task which he has marked out for himself, and which will in the next publication comprise the invaluable treasures of the Evangelical prophet Isaiah, he has been solely guided (and with humble but earnest prayer he has implored the guidance from above) by a deep sense of the interests of true religion, and the most scrupulous and uncompromising regard to the great and fundamental doctrines of Christianity, as founded on the corrupt and fallen nature of man, the freedom and fulness of Divine Grace, and the utter inability of the unrenewed soul to approach the Almighty Father of all spirits, or even to turn unto him without the inspiration, the teaching, and guidance of his most Holy Spirit. i
To the general reader, perhaps, the frequent repetitions of the samre Scriptural passages, as illustrative of the different portions of the same sacred volume, may appear superfluous and inexpedient; to some, perhaps, tiresome and tedious. But upon due consideration of the different bearings of the same sentence, or at least, the different clauses or words of the same sentence may admit of, it should rather be an occasion of wonder and amazement at the comprehensiveness and compass of the Divine Word, and be regarded as an additional internal and incontrovertible evidence of its immediate dictation, or inspiration from God.
At all events, the repetition of the same sentence, in its different positions and allusions to other texts of Scripture, will contribute much to fix it, with all its various parallels, indelibly on the memory, and convey by a regular and closely-connected association, to the mind of the reader, the various trains of distinct references with which it is united.
In quoting these references, or parallel passages, the writer has endeavoured, by short connecting parentheses (expressed as nearly as possible in Scripture language) to bring to the mind of the Biblical student the original position of each quotation in the Holy Bible ; not only regarding it as illustrative of the immediate clause or sentence under consideration, but also examining it as it stands in connexion with its own contexts in that particular book from whence it is extracted.
It may be truly said, then, of the present compilation, given exclusively in the words of Scripture, that it speaks not “in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost
teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual! For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so, the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” As the prophet Jeremiah expresses it
“What is the chaff to the wheat ? Is not my word like as fire, saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces.”. And as the Apostle to the Hebrews declares—
“ The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart.”
The truth of this passage filled the mind of St. Augustine, who in another part of his work on “ The Christian Doctrine," asserts,
“ In those things that are plainly laid down in Scripture, are found all things containing faith and manners'. And places obscure are to be illustrated by those that are manifest ?."
And the author of " Clavis Bibliorum,” whose authority the writer has already quoted, and whose suggestion is fully in accordance with the arrangement of the present work, admonishes Bible readers in the following words,
“ Parallel, heedfully” (says he), “the Old and New Testament together, and especially all those places in the Old Testament, which are, in any respect, alleged in the New Testament, whether the phrase and words only, or the sense and matter only be cited. This would give wonderful light to many hundreds of passages in the Bible.”
It would fill many volumes to quote the passages from the Scriptures and other writings of the most learned and pious men, recommendatory of a systematic reading of the Scriptures, in which the Scriptures themselves are made to explain and comment on themselves. A work like the present, then, whilst it is especially intended (as Bishop Horne says of his most instructive Commentary)" to serve for them who believe, for them who will exercise their faculties in discerning and contemplating the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and who are going on to perfection, to increase their faith, and inflame their charity ; to delight them in prosperity, to comfort them in adversity, and to edify them at all times,” is likewise calculated from the very novelty : of its arrangement, and its illustrative, and, at the same time, unpresuming character, to attract the notice of those who have, from prejudice, from self-sufficiency, from pride of intellect, from deficiency of early cultivation in the knowledge of Christ's most holy religion, or from any other cause, been too much inclined to treat all revelation with neglect or contumely, and to scoff at the most sacred and solemn truths, contained in the word of God; to such men, “ The Christian Lecturer's Guide" will afford a facility without much trouble or research, of comparing the different portions of the Holy Scripture, with each other; and treating them, at least with the same fairness and candour, which they bring to the perusal of any other book, which demands their critical study, and discriminating attention.
i In iis quæ apertè in Scripturâ posita sunt, inveniuntur illa omnia quæ continent fidem moresque vivendi.-- August. de Doctrin. Christ, lib. ii. cap. 9.
' Ad obscuriores locutiones illustrandas de manifestioribus sumontur exempla.-Ibid.
3 A work by an anonymous writer, entitled, “ Scientia Biblica," confined, however, to the New Testament, which was published some years ago in three columes, price 31. 3s. bears certainly a striking similitude to the plan of the present work: but which was never seen by the writer, until his manuscript was fully completed. There will be found, however, many important improvements in the present compilation, as better suited to the general reader, not only in the peculiar arrangement, but also in the manner of quoting the references, and in their increased number.
“For truth" (says Doctor Watts) “ doth not always strike the soul at first sight.”
And well may it be hoped, through the Divine blessing, that the result of such a due attention, and such a patient examination of the Sacred Volume, will be a full and satisfying conviction of its truth and of its dictation from the God of all truth, elicited from the clear, indisputable, and miraculous harmony of all its parts.
The two present Volumes, forming “ The First Part of the Scripture References," are presented to the public with all that diffidence which becomes a writer whose pretensions are only those of great diligence and persevering research. They were commenced (as it is expressed in the original prospectus of the work) “ with the hope solely of extending the boundary of the writer's own knowledge of the insearchable riches of the word of God; and the idea of publication was first entertained" through a hope that his humble engagement, so profitable to himself, might be found not altogether useless to other readers of the Bible.”
And here the compiler avails himself of the earliest opportunity of expressing publicly, with the liveliest feelings of a grateful heart, bis humble, but most sincere acknowledgments to his learned, and bigbly-gifted Diocesan, the Lord Bishop of Cork and Ross, who, in addition to repeated instances of marked attention, kind advice, and unvarying encouragement, which the writer has experienced since his Lordship's elevation to the see of Cork, &c., gave yet still greater proof of kindness and condescension, by permitting these Volumes to appear before the public under the auspices and sanction of his Lordship's highly influential name, as a scholar and a Christian dirine 1.
There is another name highly distinguished for learning and piety which the writer is most anxious to acknowledge as one, which contributed much, by its early appearance on the list of his subscribers, to recommend the work to the notice of the public, and more especially to the highly respectable clergy of his own diocese, where (as well as in the Archdiocese of Cashel) his Lordship's name is justly venerated. The truly Christian prelate, Doctor Jebb, Bishop of Limerick, has laid the compiler of these sheets under manifold ano substantial obligations, the public expression of which is only restrained by a fear of giving pain.
To the steady, uniform, and much-valued kindness of the venerable,
1 Since writing the above, Doctor Coghlan has been presented by the Bishop of Cork to the vicarage of Kilcaskin, in his Lordship's Diocese of Ross.
pions, and truly leamed Doctor Burtores, the Dean of Cork, whose early counsel, after a perusal of a portion of the manuscript, had much to do with the present pablication, the writer is at a loss to express himself in suitable terms of gratitude and profound respect. The imprension, however, on his mind is deep and lasting.
The compiler has, likewise, to express his unfeigned thanks to that erainent and highly-talented scholar, and conscientious prelate, the Lord Bishop of Cloyne (to whom a portion of the manuscript was also submitted), and the other prelates, dignitaries, and clergy of the Established Church'; and to those especially of the dioceses of Cork, Ross, Cloyne, and Limerick-in fine, to the noblemen, and numerous list of distinguished names which are placed at the head of this work,who have by their prompt and timely contributions enabled the writer to carry a work of such considerable extent, through the London Press, to its full, and (it is hoped satisfactory completion.
For the very long, but unavoidable delay occasioned by the necessity (arising from the writer's sacred duties at home) of having the proof-sheets transmitted from London to Ireland for revision and correction, the writer has to apologise; a delay which was not at all contemplated when the work was first announced for publication, as it was supposed that the sheets might be struck off in Ireland.
As it has been already stated, the compiler of the following pages continues his long-cherished employment of Scriptural research; and he hopes with an unchanging reliance on the Divine assistance, and under the patronage of those who have hitherto contributed, in such numbers, to forward his views, to present to them and to the public, in the course of the succeeding year, “ The Second Part of the Scripture References; or, the Christian Lecturer's Guide to the Book of the Prophet Isaiah,” arranged precisely on the same plan of exclusively Scriptural Commentary, together with a Copious Index to it, and the preceding Volumes, and a concise but comprehensive Chronological Table of the Kings and Prophets of Israel and Judah. And the writer, duly impressed with the great responsibility of his engagement, and the sacred nature of his continued employment, ceases not to pray with unfeigned earnestness, and deep consciousness of his own infirmity, to the Author and giver of every good and perfect gift, for the aid and helping grace of his Divine Spirit. That “he may be constrained through the love of Christ, that nothing be done through vain glory, but in lowliness of mind," that he may be “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man," looking only to him who hath said, “ I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye ;" it continues to be his constant supplication, that “ He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, may shine into his
I 'To his brethren of the Church of Rome, the compiler would, with great deference, suggest, that the parallelism of the word of God must be as valuable to them as to the members of the Asta Mished CANTA, and he would humbly hope that the difference of VERSION will not be considered as an obstacle to their deriving some advantage (at least, a saving of valuable time in scriptural researth) thuun his labours
heart, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ;" that he may be enabled to discharge the delightful task which he has cheerfully imposed on himself, faithfully, conscientiously, and in the fear of God; “not as though he had already attained, but pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," forwarding, by his humble efforts, that great and desirable consummation of all godliness, that “all may know the truth," that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."
Aramount, May 15, 1832.