THE lamented Author of this treatise lived to prepare it for the press. It seems to have been originally written in its present form, though it was repeatedly delivered to his class as a course of lectures. There can also be little doubt that it was intended to be a sequel or companion volume to his recently published work on the Pastoral Epistles. As such it may safely be accepted by the public; for the sound judgment, lofty aim, and evangelical spirit that characterize the work on the Epistles will not be found wanting in the present performance. Though probably not free from the defects almost inseparable from posthumous publications, the following pages will, it is hoped, amply sustain the high character of Principal Fairbairn as a theological professor. They relate to a subject which in these days is of growing importance, and which has by no means been exhausted, though several good practical works connected with it have of late made their appearance.
Principal Fairbairn left instructions that no extended memoir of him should be published by any of his friends. Accordingly, nothing of the kind has been attempted; but as he also indicated that he had no objection to a brief record of the leading events of his life being given to the public, it has been thought advisable by his trustees that such a summary should be prefixed to this work. A succinct Biographical Sketch has therefore been prepared by one who knew him long and well, who was among the first to become acquainted with his high merits as an author, and who always regarded with admiration his noble Christian character.