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PART FIRST.

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN FAMILY, OR

DOMESTIC CIRCLE; INCLUDING ITS VARIOUS
CONNECTIONS AND PECULIAR SANCTIONS; THE
MORAL POWER OF WHICH IT IS SUSCEPTIBLE;
WITH THE DANGER AND VANITY OF INTERFE-
RENCE.

Reduce things to the first institution, and observe wherein and how they have degenerated; but yet ask counsel of both times: of the ancient time what is best, and of the latter time what is fittest.

Bacon.

Persons are elements of Families; Families are the elements of which both Churches, and Kingdoms, or Commonwealths, are composed and made up: and as the one sort of these is purely civil, the other purely sacred, that which is elementary unto both must be both.

Howe.

"PART FIRST.

SECTION FIRST.

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS.

The state of Judea at the period of the Messiah's Advent, conveyed

to us in terms illustrative of the Domestic Constitution, and the extreme degeneracy of the Nation.

AMONG the various remarkable eras, to which the attention of man can be directed, there is not one to be compared, in point of interest or importance, with that in which the Saviour entered our world. The state of all nations, in remote or immediate connection with this mysterious event, may be and should be investigated ; but the sources from whence information can be drawn, though not vague or uncertain, are opened chiefly to the learned and the studious. The moral and religious condition of that peculiar people, among whom He condescended to appear, is however not so veiled in obscurity; nay, it is remarkable that, to infinite wisdom, it seemed meet to foretell minutely, not only the time and circumstances of the Saviour's appearance, but the precise state of the Jewish nation at the moment of his advent. The volume of prophecy teems with references to this period :

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