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states of progressive life, through which the human mind has to pass in the attainment of heavenly felicity, it has, therefore, stood the test of the most rigid investigation, and completely triumphed over all attempts to invalidate its testimony, or to remove it from the face of the earth.
The Divine Word, as to its real quality, is represented by the burning bush mentioned in Exodus, in which it is stated that “the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed," (iii. 2.) This BUSH, according to the universal language of correspondence, denotes the WORD in the sense of the LETTER, shining forth in everlasting freshness from the divinity of the hallowed fire of love within. This fire is the true cause of its integrity and imperishable nature; and those who, like Moses, will turn aside to see why the bush is not consumed, must discover that the Divine fire of love which constantly burns within, and is the ground
of its divinity, is the reason why it cannot be dissipated. If Holy Scripture is to be destroyed, its divinity and plenary inspiration must be withdrawn- if the bush is to be consumed, the fire must be put out.
If the reader feel disposed to peruse, with candour, the following pages, the author is led to hope that he will not, in his perusal, consider the Bible as a common book, but rather have his mind impressed with its spirituality and life. It is a truth which every man's own experience may prove for himself, that the Bible contains riches far superior to gold and silver. It sends forth into the soul a light brighter than the sun, and its wisdom throws into the shade the brightest gems of earthly lore.
It is to be lamented that, even in the religious world, vast numbers are to be found who are not fond of reading the Bible. Whenever it is read by such, the reading is considered a duty rather than a pleasure—a
labour rather than a delightful recreation. Hence they pass through their task as quickly as they conscientiously can, and rise up from it without any other gratification than what is felt from having finished a work which they thought duty constrained them to perform; but in which the heart felt no extatic sensations of delight. Such a state of mind is not at all favourable to the growth of spiritual religion in the soul, nor can it extract from the Word of Revelation any of those intellectual treasures with which it so richly abounds.
To have a right view of the Holy Word, as a Revelation from God to man, the reader should believe that the Divine Love and Wisdom are unitedly present in every part thereof, and that within the literal history of the creation, of the Jews, and their ceremonial worship, are contained the most clear and accurate descriptions of all those changes of state, both of affection and
thought, by which regeneration is accomplished and the kingdom of heaven obtained.
These are the great and mighty subjects treated of in the sacred page of Inspired Truth; and when these are seen, the devout Christian is led to recognize the Divine presence in every part of His Word, and thus to exclaim with the patriarch of old, "Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not." (Gen. xxviii. 16.)
With this exalted view of Scripture impressed upon the mind, it is hoped that the following pages will yield some assistance to the reader in his spiritual studies of those Divine Oracles which are still as a "lamp to his feet and a light to his path."
10th June, 1838.