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By PI DODDRIDGE, D.DE
The THIRD EDITION,
Z O N D ON:
Head, in Lombard-Street.
H E Publication of this Second Volume of the Family
pectation, and that of my Friends, that it may perhaps
seem necessary to introduce it with an Apology for that
It is generally known, that the unusual Severity of the laft Winter laid a Kind of Embargo on the Press; and they that are at all acquainted with the Business of Printing, will easily apprebend, that, inder the most faithful and careful Direction, a Work of confiderable Bulk is liable to many other Interruptions, even where the Manuscript is entirely finished before the Impression is begun. But after all, the chief Reason, why this hath been published no sooner, is (what I hope my Subscribers will easily excuse), the large Addition I have made of more iban Fifty Sheets to the Hundred which I was by the Proposals obliged to deliver.
On the Mention of this, I think myself obliged to renew my. Thanks to those, who, by honouring me with their Names and Encouragement on this Occasion, have put it into my Power to publish the Work with fuch Improvements ; and all think myself happy, if those Improvements, however laborious and expensive to the Author, inay render it more acceptable and useful to them.
The Tables prefixed to the First Volame are concluded in this, and repres sent the Disposition of the Harmony in so clear a View, that by comparing them together it would not be difficult to find any particular Text.
Bút a Deference to the Request of fome of the Subscribers, engaged me to 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 presently be found. .
P R E F A CE.
, I think it necessary to observe, that I have, by the Advice of some confiderate and judicious Friends, deferred the Index, and some other Things which I intended to have thrown into an Appendix here, till I have finished what I am prea paring on the Acts; that so they may Aand, as they very properly will, at the End of the Historical Books of the New Testament.
How far the Subscribers to these Two, Volumes may think it proper to encourage the rest, must be referred to themselves. In the mean Time, as that must be exceeding precarious, which depends on the Çantinuance of one Man's Life and Health, I would define Permission here to take Leave of my Friends, at least for the present, with such a serious Addrefs, as may be the most substantial Expresion of my fincere Gratitude and Respect.
I should have thought, my honoured Friends, that I had made. you a very senworthy Return for this publick Foken of your Regard. to me; if I had affered. yout' merely an Amusement, tho' ever fo critical and polite. It Prad. been much better, on both sides, that the Wark should never have been undertaken or. perused, than that thefe Divine Authors, should be treated like a Set of Profane Claflicks ; or that the Sacred and Momentous Transactions they relate, Mould be handled and read; like an invented Tale, or a common History. I have often reminded myfelf of it, and permit me now, Sirs, folemnly to remind you, that these are the Memoirs of the Holy F ESU S, the Saviour of finful Men, whom to know is. Life eternals and whom to neglect is everlasting Destruction. We have here the Authentick Records, of that Gospel, which was intended as the great Medicine for our Souls; of that Character, which is our Pattern ; of that Death, which is our Ransom ; of Him, in short, whesë Name wé bear as we are professed Christians, and before whofë Tribunal we are all shortly to appear, that our Eternal Existence may be determined, blissfül; or miserable, 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 amids all the most necessary Cares and Labours, they can find any Excuse for negle&ling, or even for poftponing. 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 it's Ruin in the Ways of the inost sanctified Fraud :) But as I am thus convinced, I must make it my bumble Request to every one that enters on the Perufal of these Volumes, that they may, for a little while at least, be the Employment of his retired Hours, and that as be proceeds from one Section to another, he
P R E F A CE. would pause and reflect * Whole Words do I hear? Whose Actions do "4.1 fürvey? wobe Sufferings do I contemplate ?" And as all must know, they are the Words, the A&ions, 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 confefjed Design of tbe glorious Gospel has been praktically regarded and complied with : "Can I in my Heart think, that I am a Disciple, whom.such * 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 Christians, that, if this Religion be true, their cold und unaffeeting Knowledge of the History of Christ, and of the Parposes of bis Appearance, will only serve to furnish out Matter for eternal Self
Accusation and Remorse : And he is at best but a learned and polite Infidel, who would not rather be the Instrument of conducting the lowest Creature, capable of reading or hearing thesē 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 those of my Readers, who are Heads of Families; which is, that they would please to remember the Title of the Work, and confidey it as chiefly intended, in its most effential Parts, for a Family Expofitor. I heartily rejoice in the Reason which I have to hope, tbat, low as our Religious Character is fallen in these degenerate Days, Aets of Domestick Worship are yet performed by Multitudes of Christians of various Denominations : Yet I cannot but fear, that the Scriptures are not so constantly read at such Seasons, 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, Jhould be easily prevailed upon to restore this useful Exercife, at - least for one Part of the Day; and I would hope, that what I bere offer them, may render it more agreeable and useful. It would give me inexpreffible Delight, to find that this is the Case in those Families, with which I am molt intimately acquainted ; and would be an Encouragement to hope, this work may be proportionably useful in Places and Times, to which neither ny Observation, nor Intelligence can extend.
I shall conclude this Preface, with my hearty Prayers, that, weak and imperfect as these Labours are, the Divine Blessing may every where, and always attend them; and that it may rest on all who have patronized them, and on all who Jhall peruse them! May every Prejudice against the Truth of Christianity, or against its Power, be vanquished! May the most insensible Minds-be awakened to attend to Religion, and may tbe Weak and Languish