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To the friends of the Bible, no apology is requisite for giving to the public a work which is intended to illustrate the meaning, and unfold the beauties, of the sacred volume.
Every adventurer into that important field of research, whether he supplies new facts, and strikes out new lights of his
own, or merely exhibits the ancient lore of his predecessors in a form and style more adapted to the circumstances of the present age, must be hailed withi encouragement as a contributor to the stock of general knowledge. The readers of religious works in the present day happily constitute a large and numerous body among all ranks of society, and of all degrees of refinement, who require their several wants to be supplied, and their varied tastes to be gratified; and, consequently, scarcely any work can issue from the press under the care of a sound and judicious writer, which will not commend itself to some of these classes, and render service to the cause of divine truth.
If, in these circumstances, there is no occasion to
apologize for introducing a new work to the notice of the public, there is still less need of apology for the republication of one which is well known, and which has long maintained its reputation as a book of acknowledged merit. The ILLUSTRATIONS' of Dr Paxton, at their first appearance, met with so favourable a reception from reviewers of all denominations, that they at once assumed their place among our standard works on sacred literature, and although during the twenty years that have elapsed since that time, large impressions have been entirely sold off, the frequent demands that have been made for them, while they show that they are still held in as great estimation as ever, urgently called for a new issue of the work.
In proposing to supply this desideratum, the Publishers felt that some alterations, both on the size and contents of the book, were become indispensably necessary. Originally designed for the use of students in theology, it was published in a form that might accord with the erudite and portly volumes that usually adorn the library of a divine. But as it is possessed of an essentially popular character—as it is distinguished in an eminent degree by conveying a mass of most useful and important instruction in a simple and attractive style, and moreover pervaded by a pure and fervid strain of evangelical sentiment,-it has been thought that a great boon would be conferred by bringing it within the reach of the religious public at large ; and accordingly the new issue has been got up in a cheap,