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BY THE LATE
GEORGE HILL, D.D.
PRINCIPAL OF ST. MARY'S COLLEGE, ST. ANDREWS.
EDITED FROM HIS MANUSCRIPT,
BY HIS SON,
THE REV. ALEXANDER HILL,
BAINISTER OF DAILLY.
PUBLISHED BY HERMAN HOOKER,
N. W. CORNER OF CHESTNUT AND FIFTH STS.
BY THE EDITOR.
The author of the following Lectures was appointed Professor of Divinity in 1788, and completed the plan which he had formed for himself, in about four years. In every succeeding year, he revised with unwearied care that part of his course which he intended to read to his students; and not a few of the Lectures appear to have been recently transcribed. He took no steps himself for publishing them as a whole; but he is known to have had this in contemplation; and at his death he consigned them to the Editor, in such terms as implied that the publication of them would not be in opposition to his wishes.
It will be agreeable, the Editor believes, to the wishes of that large proportion of the ministers of the church of Scotland, who went from the hall of St. Mary's College with unfeigned respect for the character and talents of the Author, to peruse those prelections which commanded the attention of their earlier years. And he is well persuaded, that there are many, who, from personal attachment to the Author, or from a knowledge of his high reputation, are anxious to become acquainted with his sentiments, on points so important as those which his Lectures embrace.
These considerations alone, however, would not have induced the Editor to disclose his father's manuscripts to the public eye. In the conclusion of his opening address, as Professor of Di
vinity, the Author pledged himself by making this solemn declaration : “Under the blessing and direction of the Almighty in whose hands I am, and to whom I must give account, no industry or research, no expense of time or of thought, shall be wanting on my part, to render my labours truly useful to the students of divinity in this college.” It was under a strong impression that this pledge has been fully redeemed :—in the firm belief that the publication of his theological lectures, one of the principal fruits of the Author's active and laborious life, will do honour to his memory ;-and in the anxious hope that the object for which the Lectures were written, to teach and to defend the truth as it is in Jesus,” may be thus more largely attained, that the Editor resolved to present them to the world.
He cannot withdraw from the charge, which he has felt it both a duty and a pleasure to fulfil, without expressing the increased veneration, which an attentive perusal of the Lectures has excited in his bosom for the Author; and without offering a fervent prayer to God, that the church, of which he formed so distinguished a member, may never want men, on whom the example of his diligence and success may freely operate, who may be equally eminent in biblical and theological learning, and may cherish his liberal, enlightened, and truly Christian views.
The Author himself divided his course into Books, and Chapters, and Sections, first when he printed the heads of his Lectures for the use of his students, and afterwards in a larger work, entitled “ Theological Institutes.” In the present publication, the same arrangement has been adopted. This has necessarily led to some inconsiderable changes on the Lectures, as they were read from the chair. But the Editor has been scrupulous in making as few other alterations on the manuscript as possible. The introductory discourse to the students, which related to the sentiments and character essential for them to maintain, has been much abridged, as it bore in some measure