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PREFACE.

The first half of this little work was the expansion of two Lectures originally delivered before young men in Exeter Hall and in Freemasons' Hall. The writer had no idea of the enlarged work receiving any extensive circulation; but, to his great surprise, it has reached a sale of nearly twelve thousand, and is still very much in demand. He has thought it would prove useful, and at least interesting to many, if he added several Lectures on Scripture references to the future, bearing more or less directly on the same interesting topic. He does not expect that every Christian will agree with him in every detail, or indeed see the importance, and, as he humbly thinks, the duty of studying prophecy, as a light shining in a dark place, to which we do well to take heed. But he has a right to expect that spiritual minds, agreeing with him in the great truths of our common Christianity, and desirous of seeing men's souls solemnized by a deep sense of the crisis in which we live, and

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awakened to an appreciation of its responsibilities, should lay aside all “bitterness and wrath and evil speaking;" and while in print or otherwise pointing out defects, that they should do so in that meek spirit which disarms infidel opposition, and gives lustre and emphasis to Christian character. What the Holy Spirit has inspired in his word, it cannot be unbecoming in us to study and labour to elucidate. The Author does not think he has dogmatized or dictated in a self-sufficient spirit—at least, he never meant to do so. On vital evangelical truths he trusts he gives no uncertain sound; on unfulfilled prophecy he has tried, successfully he hopes, to speak and write as becomes one who is not a prophet, but a student of all prophecy inspired by the Holy Spirit, and therefore part of the rule of faith, and worthy of our prayerful study.

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