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"Understandost thou what thou readost? And he said, How can I except somo
man should guide me?"-ACTS VIII: 30, 31,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by
REV. HENRY COWLES, In the Clerk's Office of the Distri& Court of the United States, for the
Northern District of Ohio.
THE present volume on Jeremiah and his Lamentations concludes the series on the Old Testament prophets. I have appended a special dissertation on the system of opinions on prophecy currently known as the Premillennial Advent of Christ, or, more briefly, Premillennarianism. The merely speculative points of this system I have passed over briefly, but those points which bear with great practical force upon the nature and design of the present gospel age, being thoroughly vital both to Christian faith and to Christian work, I have labored to discuss fundamentally.--This Dissertation and these Notes entire on the Old Testament prophecies are now committed to the Christian public in the prayerful hope that they may serve to obviate some misconceptions, to remove some obscurities, to solve some difficulties, to disclose some new beauties, to illustrate for present use some great principles of God's government in time over nations and men, but more especially to bring out tho great points of prophetic revelation with a richer practical force all being made conducive, through the divine blessing, to a more intelligent faith and to more vigorous and effective labor toward the grand results ere long to be realized in the universal diffusion of the gospel and in the triumphs of its truth and love in all the earth.
Notes on the writings of Solomon are now in course of preparation, and with the divine favor will constitute the next volume.
OBERLIN, 0810, April, 1869.
One of the learned and very estimable Jews of our age and country said to me: "I never liked Jeremiah.
The other prophets have noble qualities of character or of style, or both, that interest me. My mothor never tired of extolling Isaiah, so that I grew up with an unbounded admiration for that great man; but she never fancied Jeremiah, and had no good word to say for him. As I came to read Jeremiah for myself, I thought he lacked strength of mind and stamina of character. In short, I do n't think much of him.”
This was said very frankly, and probably expresses a feeling which lies, latent or otherwise, in many minds. And yet I am constrained to regard it as a very superficial view of Jeremiah. It judges him by a radically false standard. It does not do him the justice of estimating his character in view of his times, his trials, and his work. Nor does it duly appreciate the intrinsic worth of sanctified sensibilities—the worth of a deep, pure, overflowing heart. Hence I protested to my Jewish friend against the injustice of his criticisms upon the weeping prophet. I gladly improve this opportunity of renewing and vindicating my protest against like injustice, in whatsoever quarter it may exist, and however latent it may be.
It may be fitly suggested whether the spirit of our age and people be not adverse to a proper appreciation of such a man as Jeremiah. Our age gives due honor (perhaps more than is due)