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EXTRACTS COVERING A COMPREHENSIVE CIRCLE OF
RELIGIOUS AND ALLIED TOPICS,
GATHERED FROM THE BEST AVAILABLE SOURCES, OF ALL AGES AND ALL SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
AND ILLUMINATIVE FRAMEWORK:
INDICES, ALPHABETICAL, TOPICAL, TEXTUAL, AND SCRIPTURAL
EDITED BY THE
KEV. CANON H. D. M. SPENCE, M.A.,
REV. CHARLES NEIL, M.A.
XII. JEHOVISTIC NAMES AND TITLES OF GOD.
In the present Volume commence what may be regarded as the Christian Dogmatic Sections of this work. On account of the size of this department it was from the first deemed advisable to forn a few relief sections. We are glad to state that in the practical working we have been able to arrange all under fewer sub-divisions than was originally contemplated.
In a book of this nature, although, as we formerly observed, the arrangement in each department is more or less under our control, yet the order in which the various parts appear depends in a degree upon the respective times when the extracts are supplied by literary collectors. Consequently some of the sub-sections will be found before, and some after, the main section. No difficulty, however, ought to occur, since each sub-section is as complete in its way as if it were a main section.
This volume opens with “The Titles of God," which embrace all that interesting, instructive, but seldom sufficiently considered group of names for Deity in the Old Testament that are compounds of the solemn word JEHOVAH. Although doubtless each of these composite and important titles had received isolated pulpit treatment, yet it was reserved for the late Canon Reeves to publish in a popular form a series of discourses upon them as a separate department of Theological Study. The effort of this writer was of a very modest character, and limited by the special circumstance connected with the delivery of his discourses. The number of thoughts contained in this section, though the extracts are comparatively few, will be found to be of a wider range than could be practically brought together in any course of sermons. It is one of the first aims in this work, to suggest the for a large circle rather than to elaborate a few ideas which could be used without further painstaking.
The next section treats of the subject of “The Attributes of God." Here a precisely opposite difficulty presented itself. No longer a paucity, but a plethora, of literary matter was before us. The task was not to find a writer who treated the subject, but to select a few out of huge piles of weighty if not brilliant extracts from a legion of theological treatises. The principles of selection which we endeavoured to carry out were those explained in the Preface to the First Volume. We sought not only to give learned remarks, which upon this subject abound in Theological Lectures and Standard Text Books, but also prominently to introduce more popular utterances, when of a suggestive character, and from a preacher's point of view, which are likely to be serviceable for the actual edification or comfort of souls seeking real help.
Between these relief sections on the Divine Names and Attributes, and the main section, comes the last of the foregoing relief sections, treating up on different forms of man's departure from the image of his Divine Creator. We are not aware of any work which deals systematically with the various sins and wickednesses of man's spiritual life. In this section we have not furnished anything like a complete list of sins and failings, as many of these will naturally be considered in a future section termed “Vices,” which will supplement the long section termed “ Virtues” in Volumes Two and Three. Still, the groups of sins here named are tolerably comprehensive : their treatment occupies several pages, and will furnish topics which parents and teachers might profitably turn to good account in training the young.
The Christian Dogmatic Section (properly so called) which next follows, is the one that has been especially and continually inquired after, by many of our warmest friends in this country and also in America. On account of the shoals of extracts which have reached us during the last three years, the delay in proceeding with this section will not create surprise, although it may have