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REV. CHARLES BRIDGES, M.A.
VICAR OF OLD NEwron, SUFFOLK.
MARY JANE GRAHAM," ETC.
FROM THE SEVENTEENTH LONDON EDITION.
ROBERT CARTER & BROTHERS,
No. 28 5 BRO A D W A Y.
A CONSIDERABLE portion of the Sacred Volume (as the Books of Psalms and Canticles in the Old Testament, and a large part of the several Epistles in the New Testament) is occupied with the interesting subject of Christian Experience; and exhibits its character, under different dispensations of religion, and diversified with an endless variety of circumstances, as ever essentially the same. As the same features of countenance and elevation of stature have always marked the human species in the midst of the creation of God; so an identity of feature and “ measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ ” has, in all ages, and under every shade of outward difference, distinguished the family of God as "the people that should dwell alone, and should not be reckoned among the nations." This indeed was to have been expected. Human nature has undergone no change since the fall. In its unrenewed state it is still captivated in the same chains of sin; and,
when renewed, it is under the influence of the same Spirit of grace. “ That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” We might therefore have conceived, that the modern believer, when employed in tracing the records of Patriarchal or Mosaical experience, will mark in the infirmities of the ancient people of God a picture of his own heart, "answering, as in water face answereth to face;' and in comparing their external exercises with his own, will be ready to acknowledge, “ All these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
In this view, it is the object of this work to exhibit an Old Testament believer in a New Testament garb, as one “ walking in the same spirit, and in the same steps” with ourselves; and, in bringing his features of character to the Evangelical standard, it is presumed, that the correspondence will be found to be complete. “Faith which worketh by love" —the fundamental distinction of the Gospel-pervades the whole man ; with at least an implied reference to the one way of access to God, and a distinct regard alike to the promises, and to the precepts, of Divine revelation. Nor are the workings of this principle delineated with less accuracy. In all the variety of Christian feelings and holy conduct, we observe its operations leading the soul into communion with God, and moulding every part into a progressive conformity to his image. When we view the “man after God's own heart”-taking God for his portion 1 Numbers xxiii. 9.
2 John iii. 6.
3 Prov. xxvii. 19. 4 1 Cor. xii. 11.
5 Gal. v. 6.
6 Verses 41, 88, 132, 135. i Verses 25, 32, 49, 74, 169, 170.
166. 9 Verse 57.
8 Verses 66,