Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 2.djvu/33

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TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.

minds of many thoughtful readers of Holy Scripture to receiving the evidence which is drawn from its records, in support of the doctrine of "the Church." To such persons it is here suggested, that their difficulty arises from prejudice in favour of a particular theory. Scripture may be viewed from other points than that which they have chosen: and the theory which a different view suggests may perhaps be found to explain more phenomena, and unfold deeper mysteries, than theirs. The expression, or incident, or argument, which they overlook, and cast aside, may, to another, serve as a clue to a mysterious volume, and give "thoughts which do often lie too deep for tears." Only let not persons be startled and offended at finding truths of Scripture which they had entirely overlooked, or thought practically unimportant, assuming a prominent place in the system which is recommended to their consideration. This must be the case at first. If the interpretation given of a passage of Scripture seems agreeable to the natural sense of the words, to the context, or to other parts of Scripture; if it seem to give more meaning to passages or portions, than they had in our eyes before; let this be enough for us for the present; let us thankfully admit it, not lightly or hastily starting objections, or caring for its effect upon our pre-conceived opinions. "Every word of God is pure" (Prov. xxx. 5.); and if we are bidden not to "add to His words," lest He reprove us, and we be found liars (v. 6.); we are also warned, in the most mysterious, and, to many readers, apparently unpractical, book of the New Testament, "If any man shall take away from the words of the prophecy of this book, God shall take away his part out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Rev. xxii. 19.). Surely we may incur the risk of thus taking away from the words of prophecy, without literally mangling its sacred page. We may settle with ourselves, that it is an external matter, and not important to our individual interests. Rather let us humbly receive the very crumbs which fall from the Master's table, "laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies and envies, and all evil speakings, if so be we have tasted that the Lord is gracious." (1 Pet. ii. 1. 3,) The scattered limbs of sacred truth, which are presented to our view, may seem to us at first sight like the dry bones, which the prophet saw in the