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The use of exotic terms, even in discourses of a critical nature, I have as much as possible avoided. But where the whole force of the argument depended upon the precise meaning of a word in the original language, I have placed that word (at least as far as relates to the N. T.) in the margin. Any thing further I would not attempt; having given the best explanation I could of such words or sentences as are cited from the O. T. I have foreborne to decorate, or (as many would think) to deform the Roman with a mixture of Hebrew characters ; though, had I chosen to have done otherwise, I might have pleaded in my defence, the authority of no less a writer than the learned Expositor of the Apostle's Creed. His book is dedicated to the Parishioners of St. Clement, East Cheap, of whom, if any considerable portion could benefit by his marginal references, in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin ; Citations from the Fathers, Councils, &c. theological learning must have been then in a higher state of advancement among them, than it is, probably, at the present time. He tells us, however, in the preface, that the text is chiefly intended for the use of the English Reader; while the margin is appropriated to those who are able to accompany him in his “illustration of any part of the Creed,” from writers in the languages above mentioned.
In the following discourses the reader must not expect any of that florid or empassioned eloquence which is so well suited to the taste of our contemporaries, and which prevails so much in places of public resort. The subjects indeed here treated will hardly admit of such flights. Moreover, I never was, nor ever wished to be, what is called a popular preacher. Except on two or three occasions, my exertions of this nature have been merely official, and confined to my own congregation. Having failed in, I trust, not a discreditable attempt to improve my circumstances for the benefit of my family, I am endeavouring, in quietness and obscurity, to recover, in some degree, the time which I have lost, and to fulfil the duties which my present situation imposes upon me.
To what event of my perverse fortune it was owing that, in my almost daily intercourse with some of the highest Dignitaries of the church, among many nominal, I should not have been able to make one real, friend,
it is impossible for me to say. If I had been judged incompetent to the task which I undertook, though I never solicited it, (and
more competent perhaps might easily have been found) I think it should have been mentioned to me from the beginning, before I had been consuming in vain so much time, and sacrificing some portion of my slender patrimony. In other respects, if I have incurred censure, I certainly am not conscious of having deserved it; nor do I believe that during my long residence in the University, I have ever given, to those persons who honoured me with their notice, an occasion to apologise for any part of my conduct.
April 5, 1835.