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THESE Lectures were addressed by the writer to his flock in the ordinary course of his ministry, and were regarded by some of his hearers as sufficiently important to be preserved in a permanent shape. They were preached from notes, and accurately reported. They are therefore destitute of the exact polish resulting from elaborate writing; but perhaps they retain, in consequence, a freedom and simplicity that will render them more useful to the popular mind.
The Author is deeply indebted for many leading thoughts to OLSHAUSEN, the German commentator, and also, in some degree, to TRENCH, whose obligations to the same writer are very many and very great. A work very inferior to these may secure a reading, where a far weightier one is not welcome. Ships of small draught may sail up the tributary streams of the popular mind, where vessels of heavy tonnage cannot be admitted.
Originality is the attribute of few. To render all he reads and learns conducive to the good and edification of his flock, is the clear duty of every faithful minister. What was useful to a congregation may be useful to the church at large. It has been the design of the Author, in these Lectures, to set forth as fully as possible the redemptive character of the miracles of our Lord; in other words, to show that they were not mere feats of power, or proofs of Divine beneficence, but installations of the future age -specimens on a smaller scale of what will be realized when the predictions of the two last chapters of the Apocalypse shall have become actualized in full and lasting fact. This great idea the Author hopes to bring out yet more fully in a companion volume on the Parables, as soon as he can find time to get it ready. Those who derive any good from these Lectures should give God the glory; and those who get none are requested to forgive the writer.