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perspicuity of method and argument, are most important requisites. Hence the Author has carefully avoided every thing like learned disquisition; and whilst he hopes that what he has written will be intelligible to all, he trusts that he has not admitted an expression which can be offensive to any.
That the coincidence between the types and the ministry of the person or persons by whom they have been fulfilled, should be clearly and correctly proved, is essential to the establishment of the truth of revelation; and is connected with the very foundation of our holy religion. That the doctrines taught by the church in former ages, are the same as those received and maintained by her in these latter, is a fact equally necessary of proof. The divine attribute of truth is in its own nature immutable : consequently, the principles of instruction, and the means of salvation revealed in one age, must belong to every other, so long as man continues a fallen creature, and God the dispenser of mercy. Hence the symbols in which the promises are conveyed, and the events and operations by which they are fulfilled, mutually reflect light on each other; and how great benefit is derived from the diligent investigation and comparison of these is evident, from the fact, that our most eminent divines have generally been distinguished by their intimate acquaintance with the figurative lessons of wisdom communicated to the church in her infant days. They have found in them the milk by which they were prepared to receive and digest the strong meat of the gospel, as conveyed to the heirs of the promise in later periods.
It must also be observed, that these typical institutions were closely interwoven with the customs, manners, and habits of that peculiar people, from whom all the inspired writers derived their birth. The effects of such circumstances on the feelings and minds of the latter, must necessarily have influenced their style and mode of expression; and, to understand the latter, we must be familiar with the former. But, a very large portion of the sacred volume, all the praise, and most of the prophesy, is recorded in poetry, replete with the noblest figures and metaphors, borrowed from, and coupled with the sublimest strains of allusion to these symbolical rites and institutions : consequently, no one ought to presume to interpret the Scriptures, and especially the prophecies, without an intimate acquaintance with the nature of that figurative language, in which they were written.
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