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you have ever, amidst all the cares, the pleasures, and the splendours of greatness, retained uneffaced and unimpaired, your early impressions concerning the great charter of salvation, and concerning the powerful and decisive testimony, which the spirit of prophecy bears to its authenticity and its validity. For this reason it is, that I have craved permission to have the honour of thus prefixing your Lordship’s name to a volume intended to expand and elucidate an obscure portion of the divine oracles; the germ, as it were, and convolved substance of those mystic scenes, which were afterwards drawn out in fuller and distincter view to the rapt sense, and have been described to us by "the warping voice, of him, who saw th' Apocalypse."
You, my Lord, will feel no displeasure on being reminded, "that to the great the consolations of religion are as necessary as its instructions." You have paid your contingent to the contributions levied on mortality, in sustaining some of the rudest of those " thousand shocks, which flesh is beir to." Your Lordship knows
and feels, that these, under the divine blessing, are the appointed means of invigorating, as well as trying, christian constancy; while by severing the attention and the affections from things worldly and visible, and warning us, that “we have here no continuing city,” they both dispose and direct us to "seek one to come." You are also now arrived at that period of mortal life, in which the retrospect is longer than the prospect: yet, whenever in recollection you tread back the trodden ground, the latter opens
Lordship the brighter scene. Strengthened by so many prophetic declarations, promises, types, and visions, your eye of faith stops pot at the precincts of the dark valley, but piercing all across and far beyond it, even "to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills,” reposes on the mansions, where perfection and bliss dwell with immortality. That your Lordship may yet continue for many years to come, to "fight the good fight and to keep the faith,” until having finished your course, you fall asleep in that Euthanasia, to which christians, though not apostles, may look forward, in the proportion of their humble order, with apostolic hopes and feelings, is the sincere desire and the hearty prayer of,
ALDINGHAM ; January 20th, 1824.
igs, is the
The vision of Zechariah is an entirely separate and independent portion of his book, with the posterior part of which it has even less connexion, than with some other prophetic parts of scripture. He has not only recorded its particulář date, but he bas dated also the two revelations, which immediately precede and follow it; and since he has neglected that note of time in his subsequent predictions, we may in all reason presume, that he intended to discriminate this part of his prophecy by a peculiar mark, if not of eminence, at least of distinction, from the rest. Zechariah's vision was, like that of St. John, the revelation of a siògle night; and therein the deep designs of the divine providence, in ordering the events of futurity, weré communicated to the prophet by a mode of spiritual influencé quite different from any, under which the sućceeding oracles were given, and by the medium of symbolical representations, which were in nó other instance made the vebicles of revelation to him. In the opinion of some critics the dis. tinction has descended ever to his style ; so that I consider myself fully justified in treating this vision, as an independent prophecy, wot less distinct from the remainder of Zechariah's volume, than from the predictions delivered by any other prophet.
The narrative is contained in a small compass, occupying no more than seventy seven verses, which extend from the eighth verse of the first chapter to the end of the sixth. But though a short, it is an highly interesting portion of holy writ, evidently including much, that meets not the simple apprehension, and more, than has yet been unfolded to studious observation. I do not doubt therefore, that a commentary upon it will be acceptable to those, who are disposed to search the prophetic parts of the sacred writings.
But few and imperfect attempts have been hitherto made towards the elucidation of this vision in our native language. The work of Archbishop Newcome on the minor prophets in general, and that of Dr. Blaney, though limited to the prophecy of Zechariah in particular, are rather critical than explanatory; and, as I think, fall far short of conveying to the mind of the reader that satisfaction, which can be afforded only by a comprehensive view of the wbole prophetic drama, as it is collected from a distinct apprehension of its several scenes, representing the events of futurity in connected succession. To the translation and annotations