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Foreword

Among the many deep regrets experienced by his friends on hearing of the death of Principal John Baillie on September 29, 1960, was the disappointment that he would not now deliver his Gifford Lectures in the academic session 1961–62. We knew that he had been preparing them for some considerable time; he had read excerpts from his provisional material to the Edinburgh Theological Club; and every indication pointed to the series being both distinguished and exciting. When, therefore, Professor Torrance and I, at the invitation of the Gifford Committee of Edinburgh University and by the kind permission of Mrs Baillie, Dr Baillie's widow, read the manuscript through, we were more than delighted to be able to report that it was in completed form both for the purposes of the lecture series and for publication. Even the summaries to be presented to the Press for each lecture had been meticulously written out. Indeed, so thoroughly was the manuscript revised that no editing whatsoever has proved to be necessary. The Gifford Committee, under the Convenership of the Principal of the University, Sir Edward V. Appleton, G.B.E., K.C.B., LL.D., F.R.S., decided to accord the prepared lectures the status of Gifford Lectures and in this way to recognize their worthiness to stand within that eminent tradition. For those who are already acquainted with Dr Baillie's writings, those lectures will have a particular interest. They show how to the very end of his life he actively maintained his concern with contemporary problems, and how clearly he continued to state the great certainties of the faith in the context of a changing intellectual environment. There could scarcely be a finer conclusion to a life of such academic brilliance, theological literary achievement and profound Christian devotion.

John McIntyre

Edinburgh, 1961