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TO DISCOVER HOW THE ARGUMENT
EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS
MUST HAVE BEEN
UNDERSTOOD BY THOSE THEREIN ADDRESSED.
APPENDICES ON MESSIAH'S KINGDOM, &c. &c.
“And Paul, as bis manner was....reasoned with them out of the Scripture, opening and ailedging
JAMES NISBET AND CO. BERNERS STREET.
I ONCE asked Mr. Howels for his opinion of a religious work, which was lying on his table; he replied, that · It was very well for a Layman;' the particular commendation was more doubtful than the general reprehension of Laymen writing on theological subjects.
In the face of such a discouragement from one, whom I so greatly respected, I can scarcely account for having ventured to publish the present work.
I began by writing simply an outline of what appeared to me to be the argument of the Epistle to the Hebrews. I. subsequently went over the same ground, in weekly expositions at family prayers; these, after delivery, were committed to paper; in expanding that which I had before concisely written, I was more confirmed in the view, which I had taken, of the Epistle, although it almost wholly differed from the many expositions of this portion of God's word, which, at different times, have been given to the Church.
It was natural, when I could not get direct, to seek collateral, support for my interpretations, then followed the tendency or perhaps the temptation to value the work of one's hands, not according to its intrinsic merit, (which an author can scarcely do with his own composition,) but according to the labour, which has been expended in compiling it.
This is my only apology; if it do not account satisfactorily for the appearance of the book, it may, in a great measure, explain the disjointed manner of its composition, and the unequal way, in which the authorities are given. The general view of the Epistle is almost exclusively my own, the practical improvements are in a great measure derived from others, but having been prepared only for expositions, the authorities were not preserved; whilst, in the confirmations subsequently added, the authors are generally given, with, however, the exception of one friend, to whom I am much indebted, both for the critical part, as well as for assisting in the labour of carrying the work through the press.
In like manner, the different Appendices were not uncommonly the subjects of single expositions; thus, though complete in themselves, and partly discursive, yet they were in a measure interwoven with the body of the work; I therefore thought it best to keep them in the places where they occurred, but
printed in a manner which marked that they were digressions from the particular subject of the book.
If the statement here made, respecting Messiah's kingdom, remove any difficulties, which, I think, truly do appear great upon the Millenarian hypothesis—or if any prejudices respecting Messiah's person are softened—or any Hebrew is led to believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Messiah, whom the Old Testament prophetically announcedI shall feel thankful to the Lord.