It would have been no difficult task to have expanded the following pages- the substance of which was originally delivered by the author in the course of his stated ministrations, and in his usual extemporaneous mode of address- much beyond their present limit. His dread, however, of inflicting upon the public a volume, overgrown and unreadable- precious and alluring as was its theme- constrained him greatly to curtail his work; thus, he fears, exposing himself to the charge of having swept lightly and rapidly over subjects the greatness and importance of which demanded profounder thought, and more elaborate discussion. The portion of Holy Writ he has undertaken- it may be deemed somewhat too presumptuously- to expound, must be regarded as a mine of sacred wealth, as inexhaustible in its resources, as those resources are indescribable in their beauty, and in their excellence and worth, priceless.
It would, perhaps, be impossible to select from the Bible a single chapter in which were crowded so much sublime, evangelical, and sanctifying truth as this eighth of Romans. It is not only all gospel, but it may be said to contain the whole gospel. In this brief but luminous space is embraced an epitome of all the privileges and duties, trials and consolations, discouragements and hopes of the Christian. Commencing with his elevated position of No Condemnation from God, it conducts him along a path where flowers bloom, and honey drops, and fragrance breathes, and music floats, and light and shade blend in beautiful and exquisite harmony to the radiant point of no separation from Christ. And amid the beauties and sweets, the melodies and sunshine of this glorious landscape of truth, thus spread out in all its panoramic extent and magnificence before his eye, the believer in Jesus is invited to roam, to revel, and delight himself.
May the Holy and Eternal Spirit impart to the reader, and, through his prayers, increasingly to the writer, the personal possession and heart-sanctifying experience of the Divine treasures of this precious portion of God's Word. And, if this simple and imperfect outline may but supply a faint and glimmering light, guiding the reader to a more prayerful and thorough exploration of this mine of the "deep things of God," thus leading to the discovery of new and yet richer veins, the Author will not regret that the oil which fed the lamp has been drawn from his own exhausting, yet holy and delightful studies.
And now to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as unto the Triune Jehovah, be all honor and praise forever. Amen.
Leamington, April, 1862.