« EdellinenJatka »
ALTHOUGH a work of so light a nature as the present may not seem to call for any formal preface, I am unwilling that it should go forth to the world without some few remarks,—not so much in defence of its contents, as in explanation of my own views in having written it. It has often appeared to me, that in our interpretation of the Scriptures, we do not go up sufficiently to first principles ; and from a fear of offending against commonly received opinions, lose much of their real power and spirit. We are also too much inclined, in our comments on that Holy Volume, to regard it as we should any other book which we have long been accustomed to venerate. But the Bible is not like any other book. On the contrary, it is written on a plan, and on principles peculiar to itself, and totally different from every composition which has come down to us. quires therefore an assimilation in the mind of the Student,-a perception of its peculiarities; an entrance into its internal Spirit, in order that it may come forth in its true power, as the Inspired Wisdom of God.
In some cases, from a want of due attention to these points ; and in others, from an over partiality to merely moral comments, — which, successively transcribed age after age, form so large a portion of our Editions of the Bible,-many of the very finest types and correspondencies of Scripture, and very much of the grandeur of Christianity, as the one religion given by God to man, remain a dead letter to the minds of the generality.
On the other hand it must be confessed, that the Rabbinical form of interpretation has been carried out, by some writers, to such unmeasured extremes ; --and this without any initiatory steps ;--that the mind has felt a revulsion at the outset; and from the injudiciousness of a part, condemned the whole.
My own views are these. I look upon the Bible like the Courts of the Temple. All are alike sacred; -but it is in the inmost recess—the Holy of Holies, that God resides. The mind of the uneducated draws life from it by an adaptation of its morality, joined to the simple faith that Jesus is his Saviour. The mind of one more advanced in knowledge receives these points of belief in a more intense degree, and strengthens them by some of the higher doctrines of Christianity. A third perceives types and shadows in persons and deeds of old, which, to the eye of the former supposed instances, appeared simply as mat