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the direct prophecies concerning the Mes. siah, anď to shew how they were applicable to the blessed Jesus; to notice their connection with each other in their chronological order, as far as possible; and to point out the manner, in which the expecó tation of this promised Redeemer was preserved among the people of God, during so many ages.
Such, with the before-mentioned addition of a short and cursory view of the state of the Christian Church, from the coming of our Lord to the days of Constantine, will form the subject of the following pages. However unworthy of the design, the manner in which it is executed may appear to be, however unequally it may be treated, the matter itself is of no small importance. It is the history of God's gracious dealings with his erring creatures; a narrative of the steps taken for the salvation of man.
With regard to himself the Author has only to say, that no motives of vanity or interest induced him to write, or inclined bim to publish this little volume. He considered it his duty to employ such intervals of leisure, as his professional engagements, and other avocations, public and useful, though not professional, would allow, in some work that might be serviceable, by the blessing of God, to his fellowcreatures.
"Tarda fluunt ingrataque tempora quæ spem, Consiliumque niorantur agendi gnaviter id, quod Æquè pauperibus prodest, locupletibus æquè, · Æquè neglectum pueris senibusque nocebit *.".
But though such were truly his motives, he feels the mortifying conviction, that his plan bas by no means been executed as he wished, nor even as he ventured to
hope it might have been. A distant and country residence, without any public library in the neighbourhood to which he could have recourse, a state of health always delicate and often bad, together with want of knowledge of the Hebrew language, have made the work, even in his own estimation, very unequal to the greatpess and importance of the subject.
Yet to those who read with a sincere desire of improvement, the imperfection of the manner in which it has been performed, may possibly not wholly destroy the usefulness of the plan, nor frustrate the views of the Author. And as in its present state, the work may perhaps be deemed little more than a sketch, a mere outline to be filled up by an abler hand, possibly wiser and more learned men may be induced to turn their thoughts to the consideration of this most interesting subject, in this particular light, and improve upon it. Should this be the case, the author's end will be completely answered ; and if in the mean while, the following pages serve in any degree, to enlighten the 'minds of those who have not yet studied the great scheme of Christian Redemption; or if they have the blessed effect of inducing them to practise what they already know, his time will not have been mis-spent, his labour will not be in vuin in the Lord. For this is wisdom and understanding ; and the knowledge of the Christian religion is of no use, unless it be made subservient to Christian conduct.