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The story of this book is soon told. A simple desire to set forth what I fully believed to be the truth of God, in reference to this subject, led to the delivery of these Lectures, in the regular course of my parochial ministrations. Their delivery led to their publication. And here is the Book.
They are published, very much as they were preached. The alterations in them are very slight. No statement in them is altered, or even modified
. The reader has them, much as the hearers had.
It may be right for me, here, to say,
that the views they set forth, are the result of years of as earnest and diligent study, as I am capable of giving to any subject. I preached them, because I believe them. I publish them for the same
I should be recreant to my strongest convictions of duty, had I faltered in either case. May God preserve me from that.
Will it be too much to ask of the reader, a fair and impartial examination ? May I say, Read carefully; before you condemn ? You may not be convinced, by the arguments employed. But the subject is worthy of a thorough investigation. If that is given, there is little more to ask. The great difficulty in the case is, men do not thoroughly examine it. What Sir Isaac Newton said to Halley, concerning revelation, generally, is true of this subject, in particular: “You do not read on this subject, because you do not understand it. And you do not understand it, because you do not read.”
Men may say of this subject just what
It still remains true, that there are no weightier questions, than those which are here discussed. On the one side or the other, the truth lies. Every man is concerned to know it.
He may not confess that he is. But whether he confesses it or not, his interest therein is real and abiding.
The world is on the eve of great changes. Events of vast importance are rapidly drawing near. It is wise to note them closely, and ponder them well. We are beginning to hear the distant thunder of a coming storm, And, whatever conclusion may
be formed, as to the correctness of the views here set forth, it may be well to remember, that it is never too late to condemn. And never
so safe, as when the subject involved has been carefully examined.
I commit the whole affair to Him, whose truth, I believe, is here set forth. I have