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nation acknowledges the salutary effects of this high principle; and we pray for the divine blessing on all the studies of a place, which makes Religion its primary attainment, and solemnly proclaims, that the admission to the temple of its honours shall be only through the portal of the Church of Christ.–Gifted and honoured seat!—“Excellent things are spoken of thee.” Thou hast dedicated thyself to God. On the “forefront" of thy Diadem thou hast engraven “ HOLINESS TO THE LORD."* Pursue thy great career! accomplish the benefits which Providence calls thee to administer; and receive the blessings of a world, at once enlightened and sanctified by thy cares!
With this tribute of feeling I would willingly end; but to a numerous class of inquirers I am bound to give an explicit account of the result of the promise which was made in the Preface to the first Edition. It was there said, “ a de“ termination has been already taken to begin “ another course of Lectures, which shall de
scribe, in a regular manner, the scheme of “Revelation, and impress more fully on the
young hearers, its doctrines and its duties.”
* Exod. xxxix. 30. Lev. viii. 9.
This promise was performed. I have already intimated, that my services did not terminate when the present Volume first appeared, but were continued till the year 1812. The subject of the second course of Lectures was, “ The History and Principles of Revelation.” It forms a much larger work than the present Volume. However, I had never promised to print it, as has been kindly supposed. The pledge given was only, that I would describe the scheme of Revelation, for the benefit of the school; and this pledge, as I have said, was redeemed. Whether the second work should follow the original Volume to the press, was to be left entirely to circumstances. And unfortunately for its farther progress, about the time mentioned, some private events occurred which severely affected my mind and health, and took from me all inclination, while their influence lasted, to continue my theological labours at Westminster, or to accept the office of Professor of Divinity at Oxford, which was offered to me in the year 1813, when Dr. Howley was promoted from thence to the see of London. The Lectures in question remain therefore as they dropped from my hands at that moment.
What has been stated will be sufficient per
haps to account for the re-appearance of the Volume first published in 1809. Since that time, what an unexpected event has happened to myself! I date this second Preface from the House to which my excellent Predecessor once invited me for the purpose of obtaining my promise of the original work! I cannot express the gratitude which I must always feel for the honour thus conferred on me by the Royal condescension. What remains of
Life will be dedicated to the watchful care of an establishment, over which I am appointed to preside; and when that last moment comes,which cannot be very distant,-I can only pray, that a successor may be selected, whose zeal and qualifications may repair any defect or error, from which the foundation may have suffered, during my superintendance, either in its temporal concerns, or its sacred services.
April 7th, 1825.