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They were the fruit of much study and preparation, and, from examination of his papers, it appears that Mr. Robertson prepared very full notes of all the leading divisions in most of these Lectures, while of the minor divisions, a single word was often all that was written down to guide his thought. Occasionally, at the request of some friends, he wrote his lecture out after its delivery; and these, with short-hand notes of others, taken by different people, and which have been carefully collated, with his own manuscript notes, have been the materials from which this volume has been arranged. It is, therefore, necessarily somewhat fragmentary in its character. Mr. Robertson's custom was to preach from forty to fifty minutes, with a clear, unbroken delivery, in which there was no hesitation, or tautology. Hence it will be evident, from the quantity of matter contained in each of these printed Lectures, that a considerable portion of the spoken Lecture has not been given: and this will explain the brevity of some of the discourses, and the apparent incompleteness with which many of the topics are treated.
A few sermons on different texts in the Epistles to the Corinthians have already appeared in the three volumes of Mr. Robertson's Sermons; but it has been considered best to include them in this volume (although they did not form a part of this series), in order that the Lecturer's view of the Epistles might so be rendered more complete. Expositions of two chapters will be found to be omitted altogether; there are no notes of the Lectures on these chapters available for publica
After concluding these Lectures, Mr. Robertson preached one more Sunday afternoon, on the Parable
of the Barren Fig-tree, with a solemnity and an earnestness that now seem to have been prophetic. His voice was never afterwards heard from the pulpit of Trinity Chapel.
Nov. 15 1859.
EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS.
JUNE 1, 1851.
ACTS, xviii. 1.. -"After these things Paul departed from Athens, and
came to Corinth."
It has been customary with us for more than three years to devote our Sunday afternoons to the exposition throughout of some one Book of Scripture, and our plan has been to take alternately a Book of the Old and of the New Testament. I have selected for our present exposition the Epistles of the Corinthians, and this for several reasons amongst others, for variety, our previous work having been entirely historical.* These Epistles are in a different tone altogether; they are eminently practical, rich in Christian casuistry. They contain the answers of an inspired Apostle to many questions which arise in Christian life.
There is, too, another reason for this selection. The state of the Corinthian Church resembles, in a remarkable degree, the state of the Church of this Town, in the present day. There is the same complicated civilization, the religious quarrels and differences of sect are alike, the same questions agitate society, and the same distinctions of class exist now as then. For
*The Book of Genesis.