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wise : the mind will be possessed by an intemperate thirst after “knowledge that puffeth up," and filled with unholy indifference for the wisdom which cometh from above."
OF ANALYTICAL READING.
ANALYTICAL READING of Scripture, is that by which we institute a logical analysis; and consider the structure, connexion, and order, of entire books and particular texts of the Old and New Testaments: that, being thus resolved into their first principles, they may be understood with the greater facility and precision.
This branch of reading is not prescribed, on the supposition that the Sacred Penmen affected to compose and arrange their subjects, according to the rules of Logic; for it were absurd to entertain so unworthy an idea of men divinely inspired; but it is adopted, because Order is so natural to the things themselves, to reason, and to discourse, that it accompanies language, whether sacred or profane, even when it is not studied; and tends, in no small degree, to render it perspicuous and easily understood. This is evident in all discourse; for, though it be of the most familiar kind, it will not please an illiterate per
son, unless its parts harmonize, and order be observed. Hence, it is certain, that to observe the order and connexion, is more necessary in interpreting, than in dictating; because, in the former, they are not immediately obvious to all; while, as it respects the latter, we have only to follow as nature leads.
That it is highly expedient to obtain an accurate knowledge of Logical Analysis is evident from the following considerations:
1. As all helps calculated to expound the Scriptures, reciprocally explain, assist, and confirm each other; so Analysis has a great effect in determining the Emphasis, Idiom, Literal Sense, Inferences, and Practical Application.
2. Analysis causes the several members, and even words of the Text, to be considered with more accuracy and precision.
3. It affords especial aid to the memory.
4. When any thing is to be, or has been, proved from a text, it lays the whole connexion of the subject open to inspection.
5. It assists in meditation and in the delivery of a discourse.
6. It developes the grounds on which the Inspired Writers propound their doctrines; which is a point of of much importance.
7. It conduces, in no small degree, to the decision of controversies.
Logical Reading is employed either on whole Books, or on particular Texts. The resolution of particular Texts, however, presupposes an acquaintance with the structure of whole Books. Indeed, they who begin with texts, are generally deficient, as they are not prepared for that branch of Analysis.
In Logical Reading, the Books of Scripture must evidently be considered in different views.
First, the Doctrinal books are to be referred hither; such are the Epistles in the New Testament. A distinction is to be made between these, the Historical and Prophetic books, and the Psalms: and they also must be distinguished from each other.
The Doctrinal books are either of one, or of various Argument. If they be of the latter kind, the different Arguments must be separated, and each of them analyzed apart. Thus, the first Epistle to the Corinthians treats of the following particulars:
1. The inconsiderate Zeal of that church; under the influence of which, one person preferred Paul; and another, Apollos: to Chap. 4. inclusive.
2, The Incest that had been committed among them: Chap. 5.
3. Their Law-suits: Chap. 6.
4. Their Fornication: Chap. 6.
7. Of the External Deportment of Christians, in the public congregation: Chap. 11.
8. Of the Abuse of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper: Chap. 11.
9. Of Spiritual Gifts; and the Harmony subsisting between such gifts in certain particulars: Chap. 12.
10. Of Christian Love: Chap. 13.
11. Of the Manner of conducting Holy Assemblies; and of prophesying therein: Chap. 14.
12. Of the Resurrection: Chap. 15.
If they consist of one Argument, the following rules must be observed:
1. By frequent reading, the Scope should be well ascertained and understood.
2. All Conclusions affecting the principal Scope and General Argument of the whole book, must be seduously compared with the Scope.
3. The Middle Terms must be thoroughly weighed, and compared with all the subordinate Conclusions.
It may, however, prove sufficient to give us a right