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'LECTURE I.

THE

INTRODUCTION:

IN WHICH IT IS SHEWN, HOW THE LAN

GUAGE OF THE SCRIPTURE DIFFERS FROM

THAT OF OTHER BOOKS; AND WHENCE ITS

OBSCURITY ARISES.

WHEN the maker of the world becomes an author, his word must be as perfect as his work : the glory of his wisdom must be declared by the one as evidently as the glory of his power is by the other : and if nature repays the philosopher for his experiments, the scripture can never disappoint those who are properly exercised in the study of it.

The world which God hath made is open to every eye; but to look upon the works of nature, and to look into the ways of nature, are very different things : the latter of which is the

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result of much labour and observation. If the economy of nature is not to be learned from a transient inspection of the heavens and the earth; and if the ground will not yield its strength but to those who diligently turn it up and cultivate it; who can imagine that the wisdom of God's word can be discovered at sight by every common reader ? Nature must be compared with itself; and the scripture must be compared with itself, by those who would understand either the one or the other.

Every science hath its own elements ; it hath a sort of alphabet peculiar to itself ; which must be learned in the first place, before any judgment can be formed, or any pleasure received when that science is treated of: for none but fools are enamoured with what they do not understand; and few things can be understood without being first learned. How can I understand, said the Ethiopian Eunuch, unless some man should guide me? When he looked into the prophet Isaiah, he had a book before him, in which it frequently happens that the thing spoken of is not the thing intended; and he knew not how to distinguish : of whom speaketh the Prophet this? said he ; of himself, or of some other man? Therefore he wanted one to guide him. But the case is so particular, that

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