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ACTS OF THE APOSTLES,
EXPLANATORY AND PRACTICAL.
BY RICHARD STACK, D. D..
LATE FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN.
The Gospels, indeed, are an history of things which Christ did and spake: the Acts of things
PUBLISHED BY EDWARD EARLE, PHILADELPHIA,
AND GEORGE SHAW, ANNAPOLIS.
J. GREEN, PRINTER.
RIGHT REVEREND BEILBY,
ALTHOUGH the following Work and its Author, being alike unknown to your Lordship, have not even the usual claims upon your attention; yet you have had the goodness to afford to them the sanction of your highly respected name; and this, in so free and gracious a manner, as leaves me only to wish, that I had something to present more worthy your acceptance. In this act of condescension you will have little to support you, I fear, be side a conscious unremitting zeal for the religion of Christ, and the satisfaction derived to such a mind as your's from a liberal encouragement of the humblest exertions in his cause. As a testimony however of my profound respect and gratitude, this attempt to illustrate the Acts of the Apostles is laid before your Lordship. From you it has its origin; and to you it looks up with a flattering
hope, not merely of a candid but a favourable re
Happy had it been, if the whole of your original design were executed by the Master's own hand, But this being hopeless, the prosecution of it must fall into other hands, or the plan be left imperfect, to the great loss of Christian improvement. Such an apprehension justifies me in some degree to my self in the undertaking, Having presumed so far, I took courage under my guide; keeping constapt ly in view the valuable Lectures on St. Mathew's Gospel, and endeavouring (as much as my talents and subject would admit) to transfuse somewhat of their manner into these. If they have been fortunate enough to attain even a slight resemblance, or in any degree to fall in with your excellent design, they cannot be wholly without success. The public must not hope to find here that classical purity that chaste and polished simplicity-that clear yet sober light of illustration-that copious harmony of style-and those unaffected graces, which adorn the original. One distinguished character
belonging to it they have indeed a right to expect: I mean the truly christian candour which reigns through every part of your writings. This, I trust, will be found closely imitated here; as well in explaining difficult passages, as in displaying the several important characters, incidents, and events which arise, and in drawing from them practical observations. All refinements of criticism are likewise carefully avoided not only because your example justifies me, but because such researches are in my opinion quite unfit for a work of the present kind. Wherever I have been able to explain, I have endeavoured to do so, as you have always done, upon simple, clear, and acknowledged principles.
I have the honour to be,
With the highest respect,
Your Lordship's most obedient,