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LIFE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR
COLLECTED FROM THE FOUR EVANGELISTS.
"Sint castæ Deliciæ meæ Scripturæ tuæ ; nec fallar in eis, nec fallem ex eis. Vide Pater,
Augustini Confess. xi. 2.
THESE Lectures were drawn up for the instruction of Members of Magdalene Hall, who are beginning to study Divinity; and who have neither leisure nor opportunity to peruse many explanatory works. From the most valuable and approved of these, I have collected such observations as I conceive will facilitate their understanding of the Gospels; and as I do not print for the public, but exclusively for friends, I have had no scruple in exhibiting their remarks in their own words, whenever they suited my purpose better than my own.
Commentaries are de signed for occasional reference; but I have purposely arranged my materials in a connected form, that these Lectures may be read through, with the Diatessaron, as originally delivered; and I have endeavoured to convey my meaning with as much conciseness as I conceived compatible with perspicuity. My object has been to render prominent the general scope, whether doctrinal or practical, of each section; consequently such verbal criticisms, and allusions to history and customs, as would interfere with that design, have been thrown into the notes, or reserved for oral instruction. I trust I have never forgotten, that the edification of believers, or the conversion of infidels, should be our object in our explanation of the Bible; and that those miserably waste their time, and misuse their faculties and learning, who expound the “words of eternal life,” in order to display their erudition and sagacity; or who treat them with no higher reverence than an ancient classic. In studying the latter, we seek no more than the improvement of our taste, or an increase of kuowledge; but the word of God was given to make men wise unto salvation; and to
obtain salvation, the only end that is worthy to occupy the time and talents of an immortal and responsible being, we must not only search, but inwardly digest this word; we must submit to its authority, and obey its instructions, though they should offend our prejudices or contradict our inclinations. Above all, we must pray to the Almighty Author of the Bible, to “ open our eyes, that we may see the wondrous things contained in his law;" and to make us “ desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby,” in knowledge and obedience. Diligence will enable the student to comprehend the letter of the Bible, as well as any other ancient work; but never, without divine teaching, will he enter into its spirit, and relish its humbling yet consolatory doctrines of redemption through the atonement made by the incarnate Son of God, and of sanctification through the influence of the Holy Spirit. May then, that Holy Spirit, the author of spiritual life, shine with creative energy into the hearts of all that shall ever read these Lectures, that they may perceive the glory of God—not as dimly seen in his