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THE HIBBERT LECTURES, 1894.
VIA, VERITAS, VITA:
CHRISTIANITY IN ITS MOST SIMPLE AND
WILLIAMS AND NORGATE,
14, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN, LONDON;
AND 20, SOUTH FREDERICK STREET, EDINBURGH.
Of the inadequacy of the Lectures contained in this volume no one can be more fully aware than the author. Numerous questions which are under discussion at the present day have been passed over in silence, or alluded to only to be dismissed for want of space. All criticism of the primitive documents of Christianity has necessarily been omitted, and the exegesis of particular passages has not been accompanied by the full and careful examination on which my own opinions have been based. I understood that the object of the Lectures was to give a general description of the spiritual teaching of Christianity, avoiding as far as possible the purely doctrinal controversies which have so often called off men's attention from more fundamental matters. For this attempt I had at least one qualification, that in my early days I was not placed under the bias of any catechism or denominational formula, but was left to form my ideas from repeated and independent reading of the New Testament. That I have succeeded in fathoming its deepest thoughts I do not for a moment pretend; and I know full well that my exposition must bear the marks of personal limitation, and, it may be, of misapprehension. But man can live only by what he
. understands and appropriates; and though my views are incomplete, and my statement of them can be little more than a summary of selected thoughts, I trust that these Lectures may at least call attention to some important, and too often neglected, aspects of Christianity.
The limitations of space have likewise forbidden me to refer frequently or at any length to the writings of other students. Numerous writers have no doubt been helpful and suggestive; but, for the substance of this volume, I am not conscious of any special indebtedness which I am bound to acknowledge. Wendt's Die Lehre Jesu I read with profound interest; but my Lectures were already sketched out before I did so, and I do not think any portion of them is due to the influence of that valuable treatise.
With this short explanation I send forth my work, hoping that it may do something to foster the growth