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FROM a desire to imbue the mind, particularly of the youthful Reader, with some right estimate of the surpassing importance of true religion ; and to present to its view the sublime truths of divine revelation, in an attractive, as well as instructive form, the writer of this little volume is induced to offer it, as an epitome of Scriptural history and doctrine, embracing the most striking characteristics of the Christian covenant.
The purpose of God, in calling us into existence, is that we may promote His glory by becoming holy and happy. In order that we may fulfil this most gracious purpose, we must obey His commandments, and endeavour to perform His righteous will. This we can do only through the assistance of His grace, which, if not slighted or resisted, operates in the heart, and brings salvation.
There is no peace—no solid enjoymentto be attained by immortal beings, without an experience of the mercy of God in Christ; and we can never become the blessed partakers of this mercy, unless we yield to the convictions of the Holy Spirit, who shows us our sinful state by nature, reproves us in the secret of the soul when we act contrary to the divine law, and inclines us to “ cease to do evil,” and to “ learn to do well.” These operations of the grace of God are often sensibly felt in early life-even in infantile years—and, dear young Readers, be assured that they are designed, by your Almighty Creator, to draw you to Himself, the Fountain of eternal life and happiness. If you co-operate with these visitations of His love, you will be brought into a state of humiliation and contrition of soul, in which you will availingly seek an interest in that glorious redemption, which Christ hath purchased for us by the sacrifice of Himself. If you thus become of the
number of His true disciples, you will delight to meditate in his precepts; your hearts will respond to the prayer of the Psalmist, “ Open Thou mine
that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law :" and, if lengthened years be added to your term of earthly probation, you will be able, with grateful joy, to adopt his acknowledgment, “ Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage:" and the contents of this little book will be read by you in the spirit of reverent devotion: you will not study its pages, merely as a medium of obtaining Biblical knowledge -you will feel the seriousness of the subjects on which they treat. May the love of your Heavenly Father so prevail in your hearts, and may the Holy Spirit so apply to your understandings the sacred instruction which they convey, as that you may become “wise unto salvation,” and experience the truth of the Apostle's declaration,“Whatsoever things were written afore-time, were written for our learning, that we through patience, and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.”
These Scriptural lessons are designed for such young persons as have attained an age sufficiently mature to admit of some appreciation of their high importance. It may not be needful that they should be verbally recitedsuitable questions may be proposed by the teacher. And to the parent, or the tutor, as well as to the learner, if imbued with a desire to become instructed in the things that pertain unto life and godliness,” this small volume may prove an humble instrument in promoting an increase of that knowledge of God, and of His Christ, which is life eternal.
To every one of us is the animating exhortation applied, “ Acquaint thyself with God, and be at peace."