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THESE Lectures were delivered at the instance

of the Committee of the “ London City Mission,” and if that Committee be held responsible for having made the request, its responsibility there

For whatever the Lectures may contain

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the Lecturer alone is answerable, and he supposes

it not unlikely that more than two or three

passages might be adduced with which neither that Committee, as a body, nor the members of it as individuals, would fully concur. The Lecturer confidently hopes, nevertheless, that, in frankly expressing his sincere convictions, as he is accustomed to do, he has not infringed the proprieties of the

position he occupied, as called forward on this occasion by them.

In so calling him forth, his much-esteemed friends were aware that the Lecturer has never

been used to speak the language of any one section of the religious commonwealth ; and

while well assured of his firm attachment to

the great principles of the Gospel, as recovered by the Reformers, they would anticipate, as probable, some freedom of expression, on particular points.

It is due, as well to those who honoured the Lecturer with their attendance, as to his friends of the “ London City Mission,” to state distinctly that, in revising the Lectures for the press, he has not merely made many verbal corrections, but has introduced more than a few passages tending, as he hopes, to strengthen or illustrate

his argument; and it is among these added passages that will be found the more distinct expressions of his individual views on points connected with the present aspect of our English Christianity.

It can scarcely be necessary to forewarn the reader not to look, in these Lectures, either for a systematic digest of Theology, or for a formal biblical argument, in support of the several articles of an evangelic creed. The Lecturer has not thought himself qualified to undertake any such task; nor would any endeavour of the kind have consisted with the professed intention of the Lectures, which were projected with the hope of directing the attention of well-educated persons to the great principles of the Gospel; and especially as at this moment put in jeopardy by the wide diffusion of opinions which would substitute the “ vain inventions” of antiquity, for the purity and simplicity of apostolic Christianity.

Making no pretensions therefore to speak as a master of Theology, the Lecturer has ventured, as he supposes a private Christian may do without blame, and especially if his years have been devoted to religious studies — to present some broad views of those principal articles of belief, in the truth and import of which all Christians

are alike concerned.


April, 1841.

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