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What is the relation of God to man; and what the relation of man to God? An inquiry of higher importance, one of more vital and eternal interest to every individual, never has been, nor ever can be proposed to the human understanding. It has engaged the attention of mankind in every age, and the reply—always corresponding with the existing degree of mental culture—has varied in each progressive stage of civilization.
It is intended in the following pages to examine what were the opinions entertained concerning these relations of God to man, and of man to his Maker, by the Ancient Hebrews. We shall endeavour to place before the reader an impartial investigation of their ideas of God, and their notions of his Providence : to trace the history of their religion, as it is to be collected from the Books of the sacred writers, through each successive stage of its development. We shall thus attempt to give a brief sketch of the theological doctrines and representations contained in the Old Testament.
The importance of such an examination is obvious. Christianity is the offspring of Judaism, and an accurate knowledge of the theology of the New Testament can be attained by those only who are acquainted with the theology of the Old Testament.