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THE HISTORY OF DEBORAH, RUTH, AND HANNAH,
AND ALSO THE
HISTORY OF JESUS CHRIST.
A COURSE OF LECTURES DELIVERED AT THE SCOTCH CHURCH, LONDON-WALL.
BY HENRY HUNTER, D. D.
COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME.
Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.-JOHN viii. 58,
: am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to
come, the Almighty.-REVELATION I. 8.
cide with our own, 'we cheerfully allow him of truth, of pleasure, and of improvement, to be in the right; when they differ, without instantly disappear. Length of duration hesitation we pronounce him to be mis- can oppose no cloud to that intelligence, taken.
| with which “a thousand years are as one Most of the writers of profane ancient day, and one day as a thousand years.” The history are chargeable with an absurdity, human heart is there unfolded to our view, which greatly discredits the facts they relate, by Him “who knows what is in man,” and and reduces their works almost to the level“ whose eyes are in every place, beholding of fable. They attempt too much; they the evil and the good.” The men and the must needs account for every thing; they events therein represented are universally conjecture when light fails them; and be- and perpetually interesting, for they are cause it is probable or certain that eminent blended with “ the things which accompany men employed eloquence on important pub- salvation," and affect our everlasting peace. lic occasions, their historians at the distance There, the writers, whether they speak of of many centuries, without record, or writ- themselves or of other men, are continually ten document of any kind whatever, have, under the direction of the Spirit of all truth from the ample store of a fertile imagination, and wisdom. These venerable men, though furnished posterity with the elaboraté ha- subject to like passions with others, there rangues of generals, statesmen, and kings. speak not of themselves, but from God; “for These, it is acknowledged, are among the the prophecy came not in old time by the most ingenious, beautiful, and interesting of will of man; but holy men of God spake as the traces of antiquity which they have they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”* And transmitted to us: what man of taste could "all scripture is given by inspiration of bear to think of stripping these elegant per-God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reformances of one of their chief excellencies? proof, for correction, for instruction in rightBut truth is always injured, by every the eousness; that the man of God may be perslightest connexion with fable. The mo- fect, thoroughly furnished unto all good ment I begin to read one of the animated works." + speeches of a hero or a senator, which were Having premised these things, we will never composed, delivered, or written, till proceed next Lord's day, if God permit, to the historian arose, I feel myself instantly the execution of our plan; and shall begin, transported from the real theatre of human as the order both of nature and of scripture life, into a fairy region; I am agreeably prescribe, with the history of Adam, the amused, nay, delighted; but the sacred im- venerable father and founder of the human press of truth is rendered fainter and feebler race. to my mind; and when I lay down the book, Men, brethren, and fathers, we are about it is not the fire and address of the speaker, to study the lives of other men; but it conbut the skill and ingenuity of the writer cerns us much more to look well to our own. that I admire. Modern history, more cor- Our forefathers were; we are. The curtain rect and faithful than ancient, has fallen, has dropped, and has hid ages and generahowever, into an absurdity not much less tions past from our eyes. Our little scene censurable. I mean that fanciful delinea- is going on; and must likewise speedily Lion of character, with which the account close. We are not, indeed, perhaps, furof certain periods, and the lives of distin- nishing materials for history. When we gushed personages, commonly conclude; die, obscurity will probably spread the veil in which we often find a bold hypothesis of oblivion over us. But let it be ever rebazarded for the sake of a point; and a membered by all, that every man's life is of strong feature added to, or taken away from importance to himself, to his family, to his a character, merely to help the author to friends, to his country, and in the sight of round his period.
God. They are by no means the best men, inally, a great part of profane history is who have made most noise in the world; ogether uninteresting to the bulk of man- neither are those actions most deserving of · The events recorded are removed to praise, which have obtained the greatest Il distance, and have entirely spent their share of fame. Scenes of violence and blood;
The actors exhibited are either too the workings of ambition, pride, and revenge, admit of our approach, with any in-compose the annals of men. But piety and satisfaction to ourselves; too bru- / purity, temperance and humility, which are considered without disgust, or too little noticed and soon forgotten of the world, Worthy of our regard. The very are held in everlasting remembrance before
action are become inaccessible or God. And happy had it been for many of carded"are altered, obliterated, or disre- those, whose names and deeds have been
Where Alexander conquered, and transmitted to us with renown, if they had But on tell, are to us mere nothings. never been born.
opening the sacred volume, all One corruption subdued, is a victory infiuctions in the way of knowledge, 2 Peter i. 21. | 2 Timothy iii. 16, 17.
tal to be considered wit low to be worthy of our
garded. Where Alexander cong
But on opening. these obstructions in
nitely more desirable, and more truly ho-drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the nourable, than a triumph gained amidst the glory of God.” confused noise of ten thousand warriors, and We are about to review ages past, and to as many garments rolled in blood; for “he converse with men long since dead. And that is slow to anger is better than the the period is fast approaching, when time mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than itself shall be swallowed up; when Adam he that taketh a city."* Remember, my and his youngest son shall be contemporafriends, that to be a child of God is far more ries, when the mystery of providence shall honourable than to be descended from kings; be cleared up, the mystery of grace finished, and that a christian is a much higher cha- and the ways of God fully vindicated to racter than a hero. And let this considera- men. In the humble and solemn expectation influence all that you undertakę, all that/ tion of that great event, knowing and beyou do. Act as if the eyes of Cato were lieving the scriptures, and the power of God, always upon you, was the precept given, and let us study to live a life of faith and holithe motive urged, to the Roman youth, in ness upon the Son of God; “redeeming the order to excel in virtue. The eyes of God time, because the days are evil," and workare in truth continually upon you. Live ing out our own salvation with fear and then as in his sight; and knowing that every trembling." And may the God of our faaction as it is performed, every word as it is thers be our God and the God of our' offspoken, and every thought as it arises, is re- spring, and conduct us through the dangercorded in the book of God's remembrance, ous and difficult paths of human life, and and must come into judgment, “keep thy through the valley of the shadow of death, heart with all diligence," set a watch on the to his own “presence, where there is fuldoor of thy lips, “and whether you eat or ness of joy, and to his right hand, where * Prov. xvi. 32.
there are pleasures for evermore.”. Amen.
HISTORY OF ADAM.
And all the days that Adam lived, were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.—GENESIS V. 5
Ir to trace the origin of particular nations; (quences of whose actions we are all to this if to mark, and to account for, the rise and day involved ? progress of empire, the revolutions of states, In pursuing this important inquiry, we the discovery of new worlds, be an interest- have God himself for our guide, and we ing, pleasant, and useful exercise of the hu- plunge into the dark regions of the remotest man mind; how amusing, interesting, and antiquity, lighted by that gracious SPIRIT, to instructive must it be, to trace HUMAN NA- whom all nature stands confessed, and with TURE itself up to its source! Placed beneath whom the whole extent of time is a single the throne of God, it is pleasing to observe point, an unchanging now. how the heavens and the earth took their God having framed and fitted up this vast beginning; and by what means this globe fabric, this magnificent palace, the earth, was at first peopled, and continues to be worthy of the inhabitant whom he designed filled with men. If there be a natural, and to occupy it, and worthy of himself; having not illaudable propensity, in individuals, to formed, arranged, and fructified the varidive into the pedigree of their families; and ous and innumerable vegetable and animal in nations, to fix that of their princes, he-tribes; having created, suspended, and baroes and legislators; is it possible to want lanced the greater and the lesser lights, and curiosity, or to miss entertainment, when settled the economy of the whole host of the history of the venerable Father of all heaven; at length, with all the solemnity Men is presented to our attention—that of and majesty of Deity, as with the maturity Adam, to whom we feel ourselves closely of deliberation, as with a peculiar effort of allied by condition and by blood, however divine power and skill, he designs and prounconnected we may seem to be with most duces Adam, the first of men. When the of the collateral branches of the family: of earth is to be fashioned, and the ocean to be whose nature we all partake; by whose con- poured into its appointed bed; when the duct we are all affected, and in the conse- / firmament is to be expanded, and suns to be