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time has been above the writer's reach: and too often, when the opportunity has been presented, he was labouring under the incapacity of dejection and reluctance.
This delay, far more grievous to the author himself than disappointing to others, has furnished the principal motive for publishing the present volume alone. Its contents, also, are not necessarily connected with the subsequent matter: the scripture testimonies adduced in this volume converge to one point, which, though it will receive additional light from the evidence that is to follow, yet forms, of itself, a clear and independent argument. It was, in some degree, a further reason for the separate publication, that the author might give a pledge of his intention, in dependence on the blessing of God, to complete his design, with the least possible delay, by the invesTIGATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT EVIDENCE.
But scarcely has he sent the last sheets to the
press when all his other feelings are swallowed up in one keen distress. He had a son, the joy of his heart, and the object of many a delightful though trembling anticipation. When those anticipations were beginning to be realized; when he was just stepping into the place of an associate and a friend : when his character and attainments were opening to prospects of exquisite gratification; in the very fulness of life, health, and vigour; it has pleased the All-wise and Righteous Sovereign to take him from the arms of his agonized parents, by a sudden and overwhelming stroke.-*
“Non sum ambitiosus in malis, nec augere lacrymarum caussas volo: utinamque esset ratio minuendi! Sed dissimulare qui possum, quid illi gratiæ in vultu, quid jucunditatis in sermone, quos ingenii igniculos, quam præstantiam placidæ mentis ostenderit ?—Tuosne ego, O meæ spes
* Philip Henry Smith died, after an acute illness of scarcely four days, July 8, 1818, having lately completed his fourteenth year.
inanes, labentes oculos, tuum fugientem spiritum vidi? Tuum corpus frigidum, exsangue complexus, animam recipere, auramque communem haurire amplius potui?—"
But, though the bereaved and sorrowing writer can so justly borrow these lamentations, he cherishes a HOPE which that illustrious mourner
To the reader who is not a father, an apology may be due for obtruding the mention of domestic woe: but, should he not approve, he will view, as, at least, a pardonable weakness, the wish to preserve a painful yet precious remembrance.
* Quintilian. Inst. Lib. vi. Proæm.
Book II.- On the Information to be obtained concerning
Sect. vi. The Prophet like to Moses ; Deut.