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Cecil and Venn, who had devoted much of his life to the study of Prophecy, and who, more than twenty years ago, was permitted to leave the school in which he had been learning, for the home in which his spirit had long dwelt. He is not answerable for any of the special conclusions to which I have been led. But I can never be thankful enough for having arrived, through his teaching, at the conviction that the words, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” were used by the Evangelists in the strictest sense ; that the Apostles were not wrong in believing that the end of an age was approaching; that they had no exaggerated anticipations respecting the age which was to succeed it; that if we accepted their statements simply, we should understand far better in what state we are living; what are our responsibilities; what are our sins; what we have a right to hope for.

I have called these discourses Lectures, because they are not lessons deduced from separate texts. But they were delivered from the pulpit, like ordinary sermons. They were addressed to what I thought were the wants of a congregation with which I had been connected for fourteen years, and to which, during all

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those years, I had been speaking often on the subject of Prophecy. I have had no heart to remove from them allusions to passing events, and the days on which they were delivered. I have even ventured to give them a more pastoral and personal character by adding to them a sermon on the last verse in the Apocalypse, which was written less as an exposition of it, than as the expression of my wishes for a society from which I was about to part. I should not have introduced it if I had not thought that it illustrated the subject of these Lectures, as well as gave me an opportunity of testifying my continued regard and affection for those to whom I preached them.

LONDON,

December, 1860.

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