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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1844, by
PLBERT BARNES. in the Office of the Clerk of the District Court of the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
It is with unaffected diffidence that this work is offered to the patronage of the Christian public. It has been prepared amidst the toils and responsibilities of a most laborious pastoral charge, and at such intervals as could be secured without seeming to infringe on the direct and immediate duties demanded in my station. Those hours have been, with scarcely an exception, the early morning hours; and whatever may be the manner in which this book may be received by the public, whether it shall or shall not contribute in any degree to advance the knowledge of the truth, and the love of the Sacred Scriptures, its preparation, by requiring me to commence each day with the direct contemplation of an interesting portion of inspired truth, has for four years constituted one of the most delightful parts of my work. It is the production of many a laborious, but many a pleasant hour; and while I desire to render thanks to the Giver of life and health, that he has granted me strength to engage in these studies, I shall ever look back with gratitude to the deeply interesting moments in which I have been endeavouring to illustrate the “ Visions of Isaiah.”
When I commenced the work, I designed nothing farther than an enlargement of Lowth on Isaiah. It occurred to me that it might be useful to retain his Notes as a basis, with some additional illustrations. But this plan was soon abandoned; and no other use has been made of Lowth than that which is common with other writers. Valuable as are his Notes, and beautiful as is his version, yet it was soon perceived, or thought to be perceived, that greater usefulness might be secured by enlarging the plan, and making a work entirely new. Very valuable helps have been furnished, since the time of Lowth, for the illustration of the Hebrew prophets; and it was deemed desirable to avail myself of them all, so far as it was in my power. Most of those helps will be found enumerated in the list of works on Isaiah, at the close of the Introduction, 8 8.
Some of the reasons which led to the wish to illustrate Isaiah, are the following: (1.) He is one of the most beautiful and sublime of the sacred writers. (2.) In some respects his writings are among