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the fewest difficulties; as accord best with the general analogy of faith; secure most effectually the interests of morality, and which conduce most to the honour of God, and to the present and eternal happiness of his rational and immortal creatures.
In concluding these observations on the study of the Holy Scriptures it may not be irrelevant to express a hope, that at no very distant period Biblical criticism may form a more prominent part than it hash itherto done of our system of education. We would not insinuate that either in our schools or at our universities it has altogether been neglected; but by every candid observer, it must at the same time be admitted, that the attention devoted to Biblical literature can scarcely be said to bear any proportion to the time and the care which are bestowed upon scientific and classical pursuits. Were the same attention paid to Biblical as to classical literature; were we as anxious that our children should become Biblical as we are that they should become classical scholars, what happy results might we not expect? Defended equally against the attacks of the infidel, the delusions
of the enthusiast, and the sophistry of false doctrine, we might commit them to the world with a confidence which we could not otherwise rationally experience, that thus trained up in the way they should chuse; thus taught to know and to remember their Creator, they would go forth under the protection and blessing of that God who hath promised to be the defence of their youth, the support of their age, and their guide even unto death.
To illustrate, on the contrary, the ill effects of the neglect of these studies, we have only to appeal to the observation of every reflecting man who has mixed in society, and who possesses a knowledge of the world. How many cases will have presented themselves not only of men in the common walks of life, of common advantages, and of common abilities, but of men distinguished for their acquirements, of cultivated minds, and even of the highest intellectual attainment, who from being comparatively uninformed on subjects of religion have been seduced by infidelity, or on some strong excitement operating on their religious fears, have become dupes to the knavery or folly of
such spiritual empiricks as have been in all ages the bane and the annoyance of the Christian church. Had the same attention on the other hand been devoted in early life to an extensive and accurate knowledge of scripture; had these early advantages been improved by the study and reflection of maturer age; instead of being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine; instead of being led away by the popular eloquence, or the address and influence of those about them; instead of attaching an undue importance to the degree of religious knowledge possessed by such persons; questionable it may be, and superficial in itself, though sufficiently imposing, and plausible to obtain an accidental superiority over minds not duly informed on such subjects, they would view the pretensions and attainments of such persons in their proper light, they would be rescued from the influence of incompetent teachers, and their faith would be found alike inaccessible to the assaults of the sceptic, and to the insidious and dangerous delusions of fanaticism and superstition.
MORNING PRAYER FOR A FAMILY.
LET US PRAY.
OUR Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven: give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
A General Confession.
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep: we have followed too much the