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The Author of the following Lectures was appointed Professor of Divinity in 1778, and completed the plan which he had formed for himself, in about four years. In every succeeding year, he revised with unwearied care that part of his course which he intended to read to his students; and not a few of the Lectures appear to have been recently transcribed. He took no steps himself for publishing them as a whole; but he is known to have had this in contemplation ; and at his death he

; consigned them to the Editor, in such terms as implied that the publication of them would not be in opposition to his wishes.

It will be agreeable, the Editor believes, to the wishes of that large proportion of the ministers of the church of Scotland, who went from the hall of St. Mary's College with unfeigned respect for the character and talents of the Author, to peruse those prelections which commanded the attention of their earlier years. And he is well persuaded, that there are many, who, from personal attachment to the Author, or from a knowledge of





his high reputation, are anxious to become acquainted with his sentiments, on points so important as those which his Lectures embrace.

These considerations alone, however, would not have induced the Editor to disclose his father's manuscripts to the public eye. In the conclusion of his opening address, as Professor of Divinity, the Author pledged himself by making this solemn declaration : “ Under the blessing and direction of the Almighty, in whose hands I am, and to whom I must give account, no industry or research, no expense of time or of thought, shall be wanting on my part, to render my labours truly useful to the students of divinity in this college." It was under a strong impression that this pledge has been fully redeemed ;—in the firm belief that the publication of his theological lectures, one of the principal fruits of the Author's active and laborious life, will do honour to his memory ;--and in the anxious hope that the object, for which the Lectures were written, to teach and to defend - the truth as it is in Jesus," may be thus more largely attained, that the Editor resolved to present them to the world.

He cannot withdraw from the charge, which he has felt it both a duty and a pleasure to fulfil, without expressing the increased veneration, which an attentive perusal of the Lectures has excited in his bosom for the Author ; and without offering a fervent prayer to God, that the church, of which he formed so distinguished a member, may never want men, on whom the example

of his diligence and success may freely operate, who may be equally eminent in biblical and theological learning, and may cherish his liberal, enlightened, and truly Christian views.

The Author himself divided his course into Books, and Chapters, and Sections, first when he printed the heads of his Lectures for the use of his students, and afterwards in a larger work, entitled “ Theological Institutes.” In the present publication the same arrangement has been adopted. This has necessarily led to some inconsiderable changes on the Lectures, as they were read from the chair. But the Editor has been scrupulous in making as few other alterations on the manuscript as possible. The introductory discourse to the students, which related to the sentiments and character essential for them to maintain, has been much abridged, as it bore in some measure upon local circumstances in the University of St. Andrews. And towards the end of this work, it will be found, by a reference to the notes, that those parts of the course have been omitted, which the Author himself had previously given to the public.

It was the wish of the Editor to subjoin a note of reference to every quotation made by the Author. But in the manuscript it frequently happened that there was nothing to lead him particularly to the passage or authority cited. In his remote situation he had not access to all the books which it was necessary to consult ; and even with the assistance of his friends, he has not been


uniformly successful in comparing the quotations with the works from which they are extracted.

He has annexed to different chapters the names of the books which the Author was accustomed to recommend to his students, with some of the comments which he made on them. His remarks, however, were usually delivered without having been written ; and hence, comparatively few are preserved.

It may be thought, that the printed list of books recommended is far from being complete. But it is to be considered, that, at the commencement of the Author's labours, the library of St. Andrews was deficient in modern theological works ; that those which were more immediately useful were only gradually procured ; that it was far from being his object to load the memory, or to distract the attention of his students by multifarious reading ; and that, as the business of his profession occupied his mind to the end of his days, it is probable that there was no publication of moment, which he had an opportunity of perusing, of which he did not in his class-room deliver an opinion.


April 23, 1821.



It was in contemplation to present the following course of Lectures complete, by subjoining to this edition the View of the Constitution of the Church of Scotland, and the Counsels respecting the Duties of the Pastoral Office, which were published during the Author's lifetime. But being unwilling to make alterations on a work which has been so favourably received, the Editor sends it forth in the state in which it originally appeared, only freed, he

many of the errata which had crept into the first edition. Such readers, as may wish to peruse those parts of the course which are not contained in this work, will find a note referring to them at the end of the Lec

trusts, from


April 21, 1825.

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