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The two volumes here offered to the public, are in substance a republication of those, bearing the same general title, which appeared, the one in 1845, the other in 1847 ; yet not without considerable differences. The principles brought out on the subject of Typology are, with a few slight modifications, the same in this as in the former edition, and the same view is consequently exhibited of the nature of the connection between the Old and the New Testament dispensations. The portion of the work, however, in which the principles of the subject are formally investigated, has been entirely re-written, and, by means both of omissions and additions, of alterations in thought and style, has been rendered more distinct in statement, and, it is hoped also, more clear and conclusive in argument. The remaining portion of the first volume, which treats in detail of primeval and patriarchal times, has been yet more materially changed, and by much the larger proportion of this part of the volume, as it now stands, differs from the corresponding volume of the former edition. Various fresh topics are here for the first time introduced, and in the discussion of others a more natural and appropriate method has been adopted. By adhering more closely to the guidance of Scripture, and keeping more carefully in view the progression in the Divine plan, a better, and to my own mind at least, a more satisfactory view has been presented of both the religion and the history of the periods before the Law. Several things, which
might otherwise appear to be defects in the earlier records of Scripture, and which have often been felt to be somewhat anomalous, are thus seen to be entirely in place, and to have naturally arisen from the method of the Divine procedure.
The second volume differs both less frequently and less materially from the corresponding volume of the former edition. Occasional alterations, however, have been introduced throughout the volume ; and several new sections have been added toward the close. A good deal of supplementary matter, closely connected with the main theme, has been thrown into the form of Appendices, a portion of which has already appeared elsewhere, and a portion also belonged to the first edition. But the larger part of an Appendix, in the first volume of that edition, on the restoration of the Jews, that, namely, which treated of the prophecies supposed to refer to the subject, has been omitted here. The chief reason for this omission is, not any change of opinion regarding the interpretation of those prophecies, but a conviction that the subject enters too largely into Old Testament prophecy to be quite satisfactorily discussed in so short a compass. And it is my intention, if time and opportunity are given, to institute a separate inquiry into the nature, function, and characteristics of Prophecy in general, in which occasion will be taken to resume what has been for the present withdrawn.
In making the alterations and improvements above referred to, I have not overlooked either the suggestions that have been privately tendered, or the strictures that have appeared in the public journals. The latter have not certainly been always made in the most genial and courteous spirit; though I feel that, on the whole, much more is due from me of grateful acknowledgment than of reasonable complaint. And as in the historical survey, which forms the Introduction, I have deemed it needful to notice at some length a hostile attack in a periodical on the other side of the Atlantic, I should not do justice to my own feelings if I did not also refer to a lengthened critique, which appeared in another Transatlantic Periodical—the Princeton Review-not less distinguished by the kindliness of its tone, than by the discriminative spirit of its remarks. It is impossible, in the treatment of such a subject, to give
e universal satisfaction. And I have no doubt, that even where there is a general acquiescence in the views that are unfolded, there may still appear, notwithstanding the additional pains taken to avoid them, certain faults and imperfections in the mode of execution. But in this respect, as well as others, impartial and competent judges will not refuse a certain measure of indulgence, especially when it is considered how little has been hitherto done for the correct treatment of the Typology of Scripture, and through how many intricate and perplexing topics the path of inquiry necessarily leads. It may justly be deemed matter of thankfulness, if any solid footing has been gained in such a field, and if but a few leading principles have been established with such a degree of certainty, as may be sufficient to pave the way for further investigations.
Fault has in some quarters been found with the extensive range of subjects embraced in the course of discussion, and especially with the large space devoted to the consideration of the Law in the second volume. It might, no doubt, have been possible to have considerably narrowed the field, if the object had been simply to pick out from the earlier dispensations, such portions as more peculiarly possess a typical character. But to have treated the typical in such an isolated manner, would have conduced little either to the proper elucidation of the subject itself, or to the satisfaction and enlightenment of intelligent readers. The Typology of the Old Testament touches at every point on its religion and worship. It is part of a complicated system of truth and duty; and we cannot possibly attain to a correct discernment and due appreciation of the several parts, without contemplating them in the relation they bear both to each other and to the whole.
Some, on the other hand, will probably feel dissatisfied at the omission, or comparatively brief treatment of certain controversial topics, which are agitated in the present day, and which partly depend for their settlement on the view that is taken of subjects belonging to the Old Testament dispensations. The proper object, however, of a work of this nature, is rather to lay a right foundation for the fair and legitimate use of Old Testament materials in matters of controversy, than actually to make that use in every case that might occur. There are cases in which a certain application of the views taken of Old Testament subjects to present controversies, could not fitly be avoided; but even in these it was necessary to keep within definite limits, to prevent the discussion from becoming unduly protracted.
With these explanations, the Work, in its more enlarged and matured form, is submitted to the judgment of the Public, and commended to the blessing of Him, whose ways it seeks to unfold and vindicate.
ABERDEEN, November 1853,
CONTENTS OF VOLUME FIRST.