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luminous and forcible point. The first intimation of pursuing it was given, I think, by sir Isaac Newton in his Observations on Daniel; where he well illustrates the manner in which our Lord borrowed his images and language from present objects". Doctor Benson has extended it to several other particulars. It has been carried somewhat further in the subsequent work; which I am conscious will also be found a defective attempt, both in general heads and inductions of particulars: for the plain and concise Gospels are full of deep and curious matter, not to be exhausted by the industry and attention of ages.

In Bishop Law's "Reflections on the Life and Character of Christ "," there is a series of excellent observations comprised in a narrow compass; and references are made to various authors, who have enlarged on many topics which are only pointed out by this eminent writer.

Doctor Craig proposes "to give a single and connected view of Christ's whole character at once";" and "chiefly to consider those events in the history of the Gospel by which he bore witness of himself, and manifested the peculiar dignity of his character." He premises "a short account of those extraordinary interpositions of Providence by which his heavenly Father bore witness of him." This is a concise, elegant, and able performance.

Dr. Hunter professes "not to make the meaning

m Note, p. 148.

n Considerations on the Theory of Religion, &c. Cambridge. 1765. ed. 5. 8vo.

• See the preface to an Essay on the Life of Jesus Christ. Glasgow. 1769. 12o.

of words or of difficult passages the subject of inquiry." His agreeable and instructive work is adapted to all capacities, and methodically comprehends many ingenious and interesting remarks.

Doctor Harwood wrote his "Delineation of the Life and Character of Jesus Christ" "with an express design to promote the interests of practical religion;" and "professedly calculated it for the use of masters and mistresses of families, and for the benefit of young persons." This treatise is recommended by a judicious selection of subjects, a strain of piety, a warmth of imagination, and a copiousness of style.

It would be tedious to mention the many detached discourses which coincide with my general design. But I cannot omit Bishop Bradford's, Archbishop Tillotson's, and Doctor James Foster's Sermons on the Example of Christ'.

A diligent attention to our Lord's discourses and actions has been highly satisfactory and delightful to me. The life of Jesus is a most instructive, a most interesting, and a most important subject. The Deity, when we contemplate his discoveries of himself in the works of creation, cannot be suffi

P Observations on the History of Jesus Christ, &c. Edinburgh. 1770. 2 vols. 12o.

q Preface, p. vi. London. 1772. 8vo. Printed for T. Becket. There is a History of Jesus by William Smith, M.A. 12o. London, 1703. I have not seen it; but I am assured that it contains useful matter and historical knowledge; though it is not uniformly judi

cious. There is also extant a Life of Jesus Christ, and the Lives of the Twelve Apostles, fol. Lond. 1738. This is a voluminous compilation, containing 875 pages and the anonymous author designed it both for a harmony of the Gospels and a commentary.

r Boyle's Lectures, fol. 1, 481, &c.

ciently admired and adored. But in the Gospels we
see him, as it were, face to face; we seem to con-
verse with him, as a man with his friend; and we
behold his perfections as vividly represented in the
person of Jesus Christ as the limited capacity of
human nature admits.

It is my earnest wish and prayer, that by a more
general cultivation of biblical criticism, the lovers
of the scriptures may better understand and more
deeply admire them; and that those who neglect a
due examination of them, or who deny their author-
ity, may be convinced of their importance, and may
discover the signatures of truth stampt on them.
My ardent love and admiration of these divine
writings lead me to conclude, that they cannot be
seriously and carefully read without pleasure and
conviction. I lament that they are impiously inter-
dicted to a large body of Christians; that they are
so much disregarded, and of course misunderstood,
by the bulk of Protestants among ourselves; that
many of our clergy, unmindful of the solemn en-
gagement at their ordination, do not devote their
time to the study of them; and that, while human
learning is making a rapid progress in its various
branches, the religion of Christ is almost every
where overwhelmed by human formularies and sys-
tems. Christianity can never have its free course
among men of improved understandings, and even
among rational creatures in general, while gross
misrepresentations of it are substituted in the place
of the simple and perfect original.


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