and several other prominent chapters of the New Testament prophecy; and from carefully comparing the whole, over and over, with common sense, and especially with the few things of the Gospel which remained,* on the subject, clear to the understanding, of the church generally. By this process, of examining those portions of prophecy, they seemed gradually to open, until nearly their whole con tents, appeared, with few exceptions, capable of being understood. After this, without anticipating further help from the same labor, to his great and agreeable surprise, those thoroughly studied parts of the prophecies, seemed at once, on reading the Psalms, Isaiah, and other prophets, as an invaluable commentary, perfect and sure, in most cases, in a satisfactory exposition of them, which before were shrouded in Egyptian darkness; human commentaries having been laid aside two years and a half.

In further helps to make the Bible its own interpreter, it must be studied in connexion with itself. Every passage not already established by unerring principles should be examined by a faithful comparison of it with what precedes and follows after. For instance, the promise that Christ shall have "the heathen" for his "inheritance," being followed in the next verse, with a declaration that he shall rule them with a rod of iron, &c.,† shows that the passage promises no good to sinners, but rather victory to Christ in the destruction of all his enemies, the promise also, that "all shall know" the Lord, &c., will be explained by the preceding verses, not of the conversion of all the ungodly to the Christian religion, but of the final and glorious happiness of all the true saints, when God shall have put his law in their "inward parts, and written" it on their hearts, and they shall be his people, and he will be their God, when "they shall teach no more", - saying know the Lord, &c."

*Rev. 3: 2. † Psalms 2: 8, 9. ‡ See "heathen," under Principle II.

The subject of the holy writer in the discourse, should be understood, or the principle object which he had in view. The time, place, and other circumstances in which he wrote, so far as can be ascertained, will sometimes aid in settling hard questions, for instance, as Ezekiel's being "among the captives by the river Chebar," at Babylon, after the burning of the house of God at Jerusalem, as already referred to, proves that his vision of abominations in the Lord's house must be figurative and prophetic, rather than literal; when there was no such literal house standing.t

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Parallel passages, which are clear, should be sought out and brought to establish others which are more dark, and if necessary, the whole chapter or book should be carefully consulted

In short, the prophetic and other parts of the Bible, should be interpreted by the same rules and principles which we naturally observe in the interpretation of a letter, discourse, or book of a human author, so far as there can be any parallel between the importance and circumstances of the different communications.

* Ezek. 1: 1. 2 Kings 25: 9. Ezek. 8th chap.


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