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BY THE LATE
GEORGE CAMPBELL, D.D.
PRINCIPAL OF MARISCHAL COLLEGE, ABERDEEN.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
HIS CELEBRATED ESSAY ON MIRACLES;
AN EXAMINATION OF PRINCIPLES ADVANCED
BY DAVID HUME, ESQ.
PUBLISHED BY B. B. HOPKINS, & CO.
T. L. PLOWMAN, PRINTER.
THE following discourses on Church History are a considerable part of a course of Theological Lectures, delivered in Marischal College. The Author had transcribed and revised them, and was every year making considerable alterations and additions to the Work. For more than the last twenty years of his life, his Lectures to the Students of Divinity occupied the greater part of his time, and those now offered to the Publick were distinguished as the most curious and entertaining branch of the whole. By the hearers, and many others, the Publication has been called for with a degree of earnestness, which now seldom attends the appearance of a theological performance. Those who have read the other writings of the Author, will naturally expect here something of that clearness of apprehension, and acuteness of investigation, so eminently displayed in the Dissertation on Miracles, in answer to Mr. Hume. And such as are acquainted with the subject, will admire the Author's well-digested learning, and will readily perceive the importance of an accurate historical deduction of the progress of church power, and the establishment of a hierarchy, and how clear and decisive it is, in all that may be termed the hinge of the controversy between high church and others. Seldom, very seldom indeed, has the subject been treated with the perspicuity, candour, and moderation, whịch distinguish the writings of doctor Campbell.
THE SACRED HISTORY.
I INTEND that the subject of the present, and some suca ceeding Lectures, shall be the Sacred History, the first branch of the theoretick part of the theological course which claims the attention of the student. This is subdivided into two parts: the first comprehends the events which preceded the Christian era, the second those which followed. The first, in a looser way of speaking, is included under the title of Jewish History, the second is what is commonly denomi. nated Church History, or Ecclesiastical History. I say in a looser way of speaking the first is included under the title of the Jewish History: for, in strictness of speech it compriseth several most important events, which happened long before the existence of the nation of the Jews. Such are the creation of the world, the fall of man, the universal deluge, the dispersion of the human race, the call of Abraham, and those promises which gave to man the early hope of restoration. But as all the credible information we have on these topicks is from the Jews, and intimately connected with their history, and as little or no light can be derived from the Pagan histories, or rather fables, that have a relation to ages so remote, it hath not been judged necessary to have a regard to these in the general division. It seemed more natural and commodious to allow all that part of sacred history which preceded the commencement of the christian church, to come under the common name of Jewish.