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4. Weigh every word attentively (not however spending much time over minute words;) and consider whether it contain any thing which may lead to a more accurate judgment of the scope and argument of the whole Epistle. No one can easily be so dull of apprehension, as not to attain, by this means, the object he should have in view.
III. When all this has been done, the student should resume the Epistle, and sedulously weigh the Conclusions interspersed through it. These are best ascertained by means of the particles, 8v apee wherefore, therefore, &c. (e) With
respect to these Conclusions
2. Compare them together, in order to determine in what they agree, and in what they differ.
3. Compare them with Scope and Argument of the whole Epistle; both which, it is supposed, are become familar to the student.
4. Distinguish those which contain the Entire Scope of the whole Epistle, immediately in themselves; and those which are referred to it mediately; that is, are as Middle Terms to the Principal Conclusion. According to the accuracy with which the Conclusions are understood, and the precision with which they are distinguished, will the entrance to
Logical Analysis become more or less easy and certain. For what is it to institute a Logical Analysis, but to search out the truth contained in any Proposition or Conclusion, and the Middle Terms by which that truth is demonstrated?
IV. The Conclusions being thus examined, the student should resume the Epistle, and ascertain the Middle Terms, or reasons on which these Conclusions are founded, whether they precede, or follow them. In a Logical Analysis, it is proper to notice that which proves; and to separate what is explanatory, from that which is illustrative.
V. Having thus throroughly examined the Epistle, its component parts will become very perceptible. If there be an Exordium and Conclusion, a separation must take place between them, and each must be considered by itself. Should they prove to be twofold, partly Doctrinal, and partly Practical, each branch must likewise be examined apart.
Since, however, this species of Reading, is, properly speaking, confined to the Letter of the Word, let us guard against supposing that we are mighty in the Scriptures," if we be more solicitous to analyze a text, than concerned about understanding and applying it. In the exercise of refined subtilties, and the solution of difficult passages, we may lose sight of
holy Christian simplicity, and sacrifice the edification of ourselves and others: for when the rays of Truth are divided, they cannot act with so much life and power, as when its energies are collected together. May the reader learn not to abuse this branch of Scripture Exposition; and, in the sober use of it, may he realize its excellencies!
OF READING, AS IT RESPECTS THE SPIRIT OF THE
OF EXPOSITORY READING,
EXPOSITORY READING of the Scriptures has reference to the Literal Sense purposed by the Holy Spirit; and its object is to develope and expound it.
We say “Literal Sense,” in order to distinguish it from the sense of the Letter, as conveyed by words in their proper and native signification: the consideration of which belongs to Grammatical Reading. Thus, in that portion of Holy Writ, “Thou shalt not kill," the sense of the Letter is, that we should not lay violent hands on any person, and deprive him of life: to elicit which, appertains to Grammatical Reading.
We added, “purposed by the Holy Spirit;" for it is the Literal Sense of Scripture which the Spirit purposes, directly or indirectly, to declare. Thug
our Saviour shows the Literal Sense of the fifth commandment, Matt. v. 21, 22, &c. and teaches us, that it is possible to break this commandment in lip, in life, in gesture.
On this subject, the reader may consult Chemnitz (Loci Theologici,) who gives twelve admirable rules for ascertaining the Literal Sense, purposed by the Holy Spirit, in the Decalogue.
It is a universal axiom, that-One Word or Sentence having respect to one and the same subject has but one Literal Sense formally purposed. To discover this one and true meaning of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures, is therefore the design of Expository Reading
In treating of the Literal Sense, we must distinguish it from that which, by means of natural judgment or genuine helps to exposition, may be comprehended by the unregenerate;—by those who are destitute of the Spirit's light. Were the rules proposed by Chemnitz for expounding the Decalogue (or rather, derived by him from a collation of the Scriptures,) rightly understood by an unrenewed man, even he would be fully satisfied that they ascertained the proper and genuine meaning of the commandments. This apprehension of the Literal Sense, ought then to be carefully distinguished from that sense which no one can apprehend, unless divinely illuminated by the Spirit who speaks in the Scriptures. The natural man has not, it is evident, any perception of the things