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BEDFORD: PRINTED BY W. J. ROBINSON.

PREFACE.

THE appearance of these Lectures in their present shape may require a word or two of explanation. Perhaps it will be well to say that they were not prepared with any view to collective publication in the first instance. But it so happened that as they were delivered to my own congregation from time to time they were reported in our local newspapers, and thus reached a wider audience than that to which they were spoken. This led to the expression on the part of many of a kind wish to have them in a more convenient form, and to the expression of a still kinder belief that they might thus be more widely useful in the anxious but hopeful times through which we are passing.

With considerable hesitation, therefore, I have revised and in some cases extended the newspaper reports of my Lectures, and sent them forth in the hope that, with all their defects, they may be helpful to some.

There are many among us, men of strong common sense and religious feeling, who are deeply interested in the questions at issue. But they have not time for wide and intensive reading, and they would be glad to know within

reasonable space how the case really stands with respect to our Christian belief. With true brotherly feeling I have tried to help them, and shall be grateful indeed if in any measure I have succeeded.

For these are not questions for scholars only. Intellectual men have their special perils as well as others and are often onesided in the direction of their own specialty. It is well, therefore, that their conclusions should be tested by men outside the study and the laboratory who are in the very thick of life's most serious duties and relations, and who are perhaps better fitted to judge the great questions of religious belief in their broad bearing on human life, and in the light of life's experiences.

The moral atmosphere of our time is electric and charged with elements of disturbance, but what is going on is merely "the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."

Bedford,

December 6th, 1880.

JOHN BROWN.

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