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of my Ecclesiastical and Civil History, justify the demand and the expectation that I should endeavour to complete them. To commence such undertakings at my present age would be most presumptuous : but to endeavour to finish my task, in the one instance by the completion of the Commentary on the New Testament; and in the other, by terminating the Third and last Volume of the History, may be regarded as an imperative duty. I am encouraged to persevere in my efforts by the remembrance that both in four of my Dedications in the two volumes which are now submitted to the world,—the Dedications to the Pope, to the Powers of Europe, to the Queen, and to the Prelates of the Catholic Church,—and in the two volumes also of my History, I have commenced those views of the possibility of the ultimate reunion of the Christian Church, which I trust I shall live still further to establish, explain, and illustrate. Whatever be the increasing infirmity of my failure of sight, I am willing to sacrifice both sight and life itself, in the endeavour, Utopian as some may deem it, to promote this great object. Milton could rejoice in the consciousness that he had sacrificed his sight in his noble task, the defence of Liberty. I am willing to make the same, and a greater, sacrifice in the pursuit of a nobler object,—that for which Christ prayed, which the Prophets predict, and which the Church daily implores from its God. Convinced that this better union of Christians, whatever be the present appearances of its utter impossibility, will eventually bless mankind, I adopt his language, and
“ Argue not 'Gainst Heaven's hand or will, nor bate one jot Of heart, or hope; but still bear up, and steer Right onward."
Animated by these feelings, and hopes, and principles, I trust to be enabled to persevere, till death finds me still employed, and still intent, on such pursuits. The reader will, I doubt not, accept my apology for thus terminating the first part of my present labour with the Pentateuch, and will join with me in hoping that I may complete both the New Testament and my History within a period not very far distant. If it please God to enable me to do so, I will then go on to the continuation of the Historical Books, with the Prophecies and Psalms, as they occur in the order of the Scriptural narrative in my Arrangement of the Bible.
I only add, that if the reader shall find as much satisfaction in studying the early portion of the Word of God, with the Titles, Introductions, Prayers, and Notes to the several Sections, as I have done in the course of this work; he will understand, and possess, and enjoy, as much of perfect peace, and perfect happiness, as can possibly fall to the lot of a Christian in this world of sorrow, and temptation, and sin, and death.