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The Prev. William Carus Wilson, M. A.
Rector of Whittington, and Vicar of Tunstall.
Influenced by the purest motives of Christian friendship-a friendship cherished by many years of endeared recollection, and cemented by an union of sentiment and feeling on the sublimest of all subjects the redemption of the World by our Lord Jesus Christ: the Author feels encouraged to dedicate to you these his humble labours, as a small token of his affection and esteem.
That you may long be spared to bless the Church and the World by your exertions; and become increasingly useful to the souls of your fellow-creatures, till, like a shock of corn fully ripe, you are gathered into the heavenly garner; is the fervent and sincere prayer of
Your ever affectionate friend,
The Bible is the sacred storehouse of heavenly wisdom. Its pages are stamped with the divine seal of eternal truth, and contain the charter of our hopes, our privileges, and our joys.
Whatever tends to lead us from the love and study of the Holy Scriptures should be dreaded as inimical to the highest interests of mankind; whilst every attempt, however feeble, which has for its object the promotion of the Redeemer's glory, and the good of souls, will be received with affectionate indulgence by real Christians, who well know that success in any effort of usefulness is from above. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord," is a declaration at once calculated to strengthen the weak, and to humble the strong.
The simple design in publishing the following reflections, is to induce a habit of self-examination and prayer; and to excite to a more diligent perusal of the word of God.
The Author therefore desires to come in the kindly aspect of a friendly visitor; and if privileged to enter into the sacred retirement of the Christian, would there, through the blessing of God, endeavour to lead him into a closer communion with his own heart, and with Jesus his exalted Saviour.
Nothing new is here presented to the Christian.
The good old way, in which the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and all true believers in every age have journeyed to the heavenly Canaan, is pointed
Jesus is the way, the only way to the Father; the living way to holiness, happiness and heaven.
The Prophet Isaiah was commanded to teach the people by line upon line, and precept upon precept; when therefore the same unspeakably precious truths recur again and again in these pages, their recurrence will not offend the humble believer who has tasted that the Lord is gracious.
As bread and water are always pleasant to a healthy stomach, so the bread of life and the water of life are peculiarly refreshing to the soul, which is hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
An original hymn is subjoined to each meditation, which it is hoped, may assist the spirit of piety, although it can lay little claim to the charms of poetry. The Christian reader must kindly excuse the frequent want of close connexion between the hymns and the meditations to which they are attached, as they were composed before the present volume was contemplated by its author.
Should the Lord condescend to bless these humble exercises of the heart, to the guiding of some young enquirer to the Friend of sinners; to the quickening of some lukewarm professor; to the convincing of some sceptic; or the comforting of some afflicted believer; to the Triune God of our salvation be all the praise.