Two editions of President Finney's Lectures on Systematic Theology have been published--the first in this country in 1846, the second in England in 1851, --the English edition being somewhat more full than its predecessor. Both editions have been exhausted, and the book has disappeared from the market.
The present edition has been prepared from the English edition by a process of condensation, omitting, to some extent, restatements or repetitions of the argument, paragraphs of a hortatory character, and other parts not essential to the expression or elucidation of the doctrine.
Aside from these omissions, no changes have been made. No liberties have been taken with the author's style or thought. Every sentence is his own, and even in those parts where, in the judgment of the editor, the author's views are not elaborated with perfect consistency, as in the presentation of sin as selfishness, and in the lectures on sanctification, no attempt has been made to secure consistency, as might have been done by judicious omissions. The author was in the habit of thinking and speaking for himself while living, and no one can undertake to speak for him now that he is dead.
This condensed edition, it is believed, will not be less valuable, as an exponent of Mr. Finney's teaching, than the English edition, but even more valuable. Unnecessary bulk in a volume is a hindrance and discouragement to the reader. The topics will be found to be presented with all necessary fullness.
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