Page images
PDF
EPUB

the Bible. He regards this as the Scriptural mode of presenting truth; for the Sacred Volume is our first and chief model for that interesting style of picture-writing, now so generally adopted by our best historians, biographers, and even essayists. Even before he entered the sacred ministry, his attention was called to the Book of Esther by a volume of Lectures upon it by the Rev. Dr. Thomas McCrie; and to this unpretending little volume alone-one of surpassing interest—does he feel under obligations demanding special acknowledgment, for the thoughts and conduct of these discourses.

Convinced that the Book of Esther is too little known even to serious readers of the Bible ; persuaded that those whose minds are fairly awakened to it, will afterwards regard it as one of the most interesting portions of the word of God; and hoping that these Lectures may serve to call the attention of some to this portion of the inspired pages, to impart interest to many of the incidents which a casual reader might deem of little importance, and thus to enforce the lessons of inspired wisdom after this volume itself has been laid aside; he would lay this publication within the reach of christian readers. In the whole matter, he is less desirous, he trusts, of public favour, than of the Divine smile upon an humble attempt to glorify His WORD, HIS GRACE, His PROVIDENCE, AND HIMSELF.

ever LECTURE II.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

MORDECAI RAISED UP.

Vashti's divorce legal-A foolish law-Only one government in-

fallible-The true law of marriage, transgressed by the king's

plan-True idea of woman's rights--The Jewish maiden-

Marriages with the heathen ; unavoidable-Unsought provi-

dences may be waited upon-Beauty and discretion-An anx-

ious year-Cruel arrangements--Lonely desolation-Chance--

Lottery schemes-Free agency-God eminently free-Esther

chosen-Mordecai the Jew-Ambiguous date—Prepared for his

place-Providence never lacks instruments--The true scope of

history-Great men advance God's purposes, Washington ,

Napoleon-The guilt of France and its providential punish-

(7)

PAGA

ment-History humanly fortuitous—A Divine plan-Luther
gradually led forward-An underworkman-The Patriots of
America - Various concurring agencies - America discovered
at the right time-- The Declaration of Independence-1757
—The old French war, the northwestern States, and Ro-
manism:

God's plans---Mordecai, the king's deliverer-
Palace plots-No reward-Our actions the seeds of things-
The books to be read-Esther's elevation-True dignity-Sta-
tion well adorned...

38

LECTURE III.

HAMAN, THE MAGNIFICENT.

A new character--The king's favourite-Evils of despotic rule

Truth in courts-An Agagite-His descent-The Amalekites-
Reverence for the Prime Minister-One exception--An upright
conscience-Faith in God-The conflict of ages-- Anger, pride,
revenge-Lucky days and unlucky-The lot-The Lord's dis-
posal--The king's agency-A heartless monarch—Subtilty not
argument- Partial truth--Refutation of Haman's charges
The elevation of the people is the dignity of the prince--A true
people—The inconsistency of the proffered recompense—The
decree--Writing and printing-The signature-Posts and the
Post-office-True origin in Judea-An element of civilization
-Tenor of the decree-Will it be executed ?--Views of human
nature-Evil passions excited-Sympathy aroused-The city
perplexed-The guilty at ease.........

62

LECTURE IV.

THE IRREVERSIBLE DECREE.

A historical inquiry-Deeds of cruelty- What age, land, or

creed ?--Human depravity-The serpent's and the woman's
seed-Martyrs— Rome, Pagan and Papal-The massacre of
St. Bartholomew ; its horrors—The Pope's thanksgiving--The
medal—The painting in the Vatican-Reign of terror- Morde-
cai's cryo-Trouble to the righteous--Walking by faith-For
the best-True estimate, nature, and workings of faith-Guide
in duty-Providence, how to be interpreted as our guide-
Records encouraging-God's watchful care-Mordecai in sack-
cloth--Will he submit?-Faith and fear--A common exper-
ience--Grief natural, human, not in itself wrong-The grief of
Mordecai not personal, but for his people- Searching thoughts
-Calmer views—Gayety in the palace-A foolish and vain in-
scription—Is death forbidden to enter ?-Better welcome sack-
cloth-The same spirit common yet, and still as vain-Unwel-
come thoughts; unwelcome things will come-The King of
kings, our Ruler-His welcome to sackcloth and the sorrowful

PAGB

A book of providence-God all around, in great and small-

Charnock's beautiful thought-Design ; proving him-Haman
aad little time to consult-The queen's banquet-The feelings

« PreviousContinue »