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PREFACE.

IT,

is with no little diffidence that the

Writer of the following pages ventures to submit them to the public eye. She comes u in weakness and in « fear, and in much trembling." She is fully aware that whoever pretends to institute an enquiry into the Character, and especially into the Writings, of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, in a manner at all adequate to the dignity and excellence of both, should possess many and high requisites to which she can make out no fair title. It would, however, be entirely superfluous to insist on her incompetencyto the proper execution of such a work, on her deficiencies in ancient learning, Biblical criticism, and deep theological knowledge; because the sagacity of the reader would not fail to A 3

be

be beforehand with her avowal in detecting them. It may, however, serve as some apology for the boldness of the present undertaking, that these little volumes are not of a critical but of a practical nature.

On the doctrinal portion, more especially, of Saint Paul's Epistles, such a multitude of admirable discourses have been composed, that to have attempted to add to their number without reaching their excellence, would have been as unnecessary as it might have been presumptuous. On the practical part also, much has been ably and usefully written. Dissertations, commentaries, treatises, and sermons, however, though of superior merit, have not worn out the subject; and elucidations of his writings, whether they relate to doctrine or to practice, cannot in any point of view, be undertaken without exhibiting new proofs of those inestimable treasures they contain.

They

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