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add another Table at the End of this Volume, (of the fame Kind with that in Mr. Bonnel's Harmony,) which will at once direct, both to the Section, and the Page, where any Verfe may prefently be found.
I cannot pretend fo much as to conjecture, when the Remainder of my Undertaking will be compleated. I shall however proceed in it, as fast as my Health and other Affairs will permit. In the mean Time, I think it neceffary to obferve, that I have, by the Advice of fome confiderate and judicious Friends, deferred the Index, and fome other Things which I intended to have thrown into an Appendix here, till I have finished what I am preparing on the A&s; that fo they may ftand, as they very properly will, at the End of the Hiftorical Books of the New Testament.
How far the Subfcribers to thefe Two Volumes may think it proper to encourage the reft, must be referred to themselves. In the mean Time, as that must be exceeding precarious, which depends on the Continuance of one Man's Life and Health, I would defire Permiffion here to take Leave of my Friends, at least for the prefent, with fuch a serious Address, as may be the most fubftantial Expreffion of my fincere Gratitude and Refpect.
I should have thought, my honoured Friends, that I had made you a very unworthy Return for this publick Token of your Regard to me, if I had offered you merely an Amusement, tho' ever fo critical and polite. had been much better, on both Sides, that the Work fhould never have been undertaken or perused, than that these Divine Authors should be treated like a Set of Profane Clafficks; or that the Sacred and Momentous Tranfactions they relate, should be handled and read, like an invented Tale, or a common History. I have often reminded myself of it, and permit me now, Sirs, folemnly to remind you, that these are the Memoirs of the Holy JESUS, the Saviour of finful Men, whom to know is Life eternal, and whom to neglect is everlasting Destruction. We have here the Authentick Records, of that Gofpel, which was intended as the great Medicine for our Souls; of that Character, which is our Pattern; of that Death, which is our Ranfom; of Him, in short, whofe Name we bear as we are profeffed Chriftians, and before whofe Tribunal we are all shortly to appear, that our Eternal Existence may be determined, blissful, or miferable, according to our Regard to what He has taught, and done, and endured. Let not the Greatest therefore think it beneath their Notice; nor the Meanest imagine, that amidst all the most neceflary Cares and Labours, they can find any Excuse for neglecting, or even for postponing it.
Had I not been fully convinced of the Certainty and Importance of Christianity, I should not have determined to devote my whole Life to its Service; (for on the Principles of Natural Religion, I know the Soul to be immortal, and should expect nothing but its Ruin in the Ways of the moft fanctified Fraud:) But as I am thus convinced, I must make it my
humble Request to every one that enters on the Perufal of thefe Volumes, that they may, for a little while at leaft, be the Employment of his retired Hours, and that as he proceeds from one Section to another, be would pause and reflect, Whofe Words do I hear? Whofe Actions do "I furvey? Whofe Sufferings do I contemplate?" And as all must know, they are the Words, the Actions, and the Sufferings of JESUS the Son of GOD, our fupreme Lord, and our final Judge, let it be farther, and very feriously enquired, in what Degree the obvious and confelled Defign of the glorious Gofpel has been practically regarded and complied with: "Can I in my Heart think, that I am a Difciple, whom fuch a Mafter will approve, and whom he will chufe for his Attendant "in that World of Glory to which he is now gone?" Let the Plainness of this Advice be forgiven; for fuch is the Temper and Conduct of most who call themselves Chriftians, that, if this Religion be true, their cold and unaffecting Knowledge of the Hiftory of Chrift, and of the Purposes of his Appearance, will only ferve to furnish out Matter for eternal SelfAccufation and Remorfe: And he is at best but a learned and polite Infidel, who would not rather be the Inftrument of conducting the lowest Creature, capable of reading or hearing thefe Lines, to the Saving Knowledge of a Crucified Redeemer, than fill the most refined Nation with his own Applause, while the Grace of the Saviour is forgotten, or his Service neglected.
I have yet one farther Request to add, to thofe of my Readers, who are Heads of Families; which is, that they would pleafe to remember the Title of the Work, and confider it as chiefly intended, in its most effential Parts, for a Family Expofitor. I heartily rejoice in the Reafon which I have to hope, that, low as our Religious Character is fallen in these degenerate Days, Acts of Domestick Worship are yet performed by Multitudes of Chriftians of various Denominations: Yet I cannot but fear, that the Scriptures are not fo conftantly read at fuch Seafons, as they formerly were; an Omiffion, which must be to the great Detriment, both of Children and Servants. One would think, that those who believe the Divine Authority of Scripture, and its Infinite Importance, should be easily prevailed upon to restore this useful Exercife, at least for one Part of the Day; and I would hope, that what I here offer them, may render it more agreeable and useful. It would give me inexpreffible Delight, to find that this is the Cafe in thofe Families, with which I am most intimately acquainted; and would be an Encouragement to hope, this Work may be proportionably useful in Places and Times, to which neither my Obfervation, nor Intelligence can extend.
I fhall conclude this Preface, with my hearty Prayers, that, weak and imperfect as these Labours are, the Divine Bleffing may every where, and always attend them; and that it may reft on all who have patronized them, and on all who shall perufe them! May every Prejudice against the Truth
of Chriftianity, or against its Power, be vanquished! May the moft Infenfible Minds be awakened to attend to Religion, and may the Weak and Languishing be animated to press on to greater Attainments in it! May thofe that are preparing for the Service of the Sanctuary, (as every Part of this Performance is their Concern,) be by every Part of it more abundantly furnished for the various Duties of their important Office! And may thofe, who are as yet but Babes in Knowledge, thro' the Divine Bleffing, grow by that fincere Milk of the Word, which is here presented, as I trust, in its genuine Simplicity! In a Word, may many Perfons, Families, and larger Societies receive devout Pleafure, and folid lafting Improvement; that the great GOD, of whom and thro' whom are all Things, may in all be glorified, thro' Jefus Christ our Lord, who in all the Sacred Volumes, and especially here, is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Laft, to whom be everlasting Honour, Love, and Obedience! Amen.
VOL. I. Pag. 45. Note (f) 1. 10. r. (Antiq. lib. x. cap. 6. (al. 8.) §. 3. Edit. Havercamp.)
VOL. II. Pag. 265. Paraphr. 1. 15. r. Mat. xvii. 22. Pag. 267. Not. 1. 3. r. (Acts
Pag. 279. Text, v. 17. a Comma after him Pag. 281. Par. 1. I. r. who might Pag. 283. Pag. 284. Not. (c) 1. 3. r. fhewn,) Pag. Text, l. 16. r. XXVII. 38. Pag. 563. Text,
A TABLE of the SECTIONS
42, ad fin.
xiii. 23, ad fin.
XV. II, ad fin.
vii. 37, ad fin.
viii. 30,-47viii. 48, ad fin.