« ForrigeFortsett »
extracts be induced to refer to the source whence they are drawn.
The Psalms (the Bible version of which I i;ave preferred) are given entire. There is no course of prayer or exercise of devotion comparable to them. Equally adapted to individual as to public worship, these sublime effusions impart to man comfort, assistance, advice.—For every stage and situation in life may be found an appropriate appeal to the Almighty; every sentiment of piety may be encouraged by the warm and inspiring language of the Psalmist. It has been my endeavor to render them more useful for daily prayer by classing them, as well as their varied matter would admit, under different heads, upon the plan of Bishop Home, to whose excellent works, and to those of Dr. Hammond, I am much indebted in my notes and arguments. A few occasional Prayers and Hymns are added, and some pious addresses to the Almighty extracted from larger poems.
In that part of the compilation which relates to instruction, I have not presumed to take any passages from the New Testament; the precept and practice are there so united that they mutually enforce each other, and I could not separate the moral from the doctrinal part, without diminishing its force and injuring its effect; besides, the instructions conveyed throughout are easily referred to, and can be no where read to such advantage as in that volume where we receive them immediately from the mouth of our Divine Master and his disciples. The efficacy of prayer, and of regular habits of devotion and meditation, are there by him asserted, are enforced by his example, and have been practised by his most zealous and faithful followers through all ages.
I have not allowed myself the expression of a diffidence which I strongly feel, but which I could not suffer to prevail over my earnest wish of offering some little assistance towards the cultivation of habits essential to the support of true religion. Should my humble endeavor succeed but in a few instances, or afford the means of recalling the scattered thoughts of one heart astray, I shall *feel more real joy than could be derived from the praise and commendation which crown a work of original genius. To know God, and to know ourselves, is the true end of all knowledge; the highest learning is to be wise, and the greatest wisdom is to be good.
THE FIRST VOLUME.