For the right understanding of the Writings of the Apostle
St. Paul, amidst the variety and the vastness, in point of interest to
the Human Soul, both in reference to Time and Eternity, of the Subjects
upon which they treat, it has been thought, that pursuing the rule, so
universally acknowledged to be the sound one, of comparing Scripture
with Scripture and St. Paul with himself, would lead the mind to the
most direct and profitable understanding of those inestimable Writings.
With this view and upon this simple principle, under the supplicated
and hoped-for Guidance and Promptings of The HOLY SPIRIT, the
following work has been constructed—the mode pursued being that of
first selecting a Passage of St. Paul's Letters by the order in which they
were probably written; then offering such reflections as arose to the
mind in meditating upon it; and concluding with extracts from other
Parts of Scripture admissively having reference to that Passage ; with
occasional introductory remarks, as illustrative of such connection.
Should the composition be adapted and adopted for Family reading,
the fondest hope of the Writer will be attained ; and in such a course,
when only a few pages are read at a time, the repetition of passages
quoted, or of sentiments expressed in other parts, may not occur as
objectionable. The reading should be entered upon under the impres-
sion, that it is not a critical exposition of The Divine Text, that is
aimed at, but a practical application and personal appropriation of It.
Frequent recurrence will be found to have been had in reference to
the same Scriptures, they being again and again quoted, instead of being
referred to where primarily introduced : this was considered the more
likely mode to fix attention to them, though necessarily swelling the
volume. The breaks generally indicate what would otherwise have been
To Heavenly Guidance the Appropriation is, with deference and hope,
Be GOD's the Glory, through JESUS CHRIST!