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Whatever other men's sentiments might be, these | The VII. From the captivity to the birth of Christ. And things I thought in some measure essential, and at this The VIII. From the birth of Christ to the completion time more especially, extremely necessary in an history of the canon of the New Testament of the Bible; and to encourage my pursuit of this Each of these books I purpose to divide into several method, I have several helps and assistances which those chapters, and each chapter into three parts. The number who went before me were not perhaps so well accommo- of chapters will vary, according as the matter in each dated with.
period arises, but the parts in each chapter will be conThe foundation of a lecture by the honourable Mr stantly the same, namely. Boyle has given occasion for the principles of natural Ist, A Narrative Part, which, in plain and easy dicand revealed religion to be fairly stated and the objec- tion, will contain the substance of the Scripture-history tions and cavils of infidelity of all kinds to be fully for such a determinate time. answered. The institution of another by the Lady Moyer 2dly, An Argumentative Part, which will contain an has furnished us with several tracts, wherein the great answer to such objections as may possibly be made articles of our Christian faith are strenuously vindicated, against any passage in the history comprised in that and, as far as the nature of mysteries will allow, accur- time. And, a'ely explained.
3dly, A Philological Part, which will contain the The uncommon licence which of late years has been sentiments of the learned, both ancient and modern, taken to decry all prophecies and miracles, and to ex- concerning such remarkable events or transactions as pose several portions of scripture as absurd and ridicu- shall happen in that time ; or perhaps a summary account lous, has raised up some learned men, (God grant that of what is most considerable in profane history, towards the number of them may every day increase,) to contend the conclusion of each period. earnestly for the faith, and, by the help of eritical know- That the reader may perceive how I gradually adledge in ancient customs and sacred languages, to vance in the sacred history, and by turning to his Bible, rescue from their hands such texts and passages as the may compare the narrative with the text, and find a prowicked and unstable were endeavouring to wrest, to the per solution to any difficulty that shall occur in the perversion of other men's faith, as well as their own de- course of his reading, I shall at the top of the page of struction. The commentaries and annotations we have each section, set down the book and chapter, or chapters, upon the scriptures, both from our own countrymen, and I have then under consideration, and the date of the from foreigners, have, of late years, been very solid and year, both from the creation, and before and after the elaborate, the dissertations or particular treatises on coming of Christ, wherein each reinarkable event hapthe most remarkable facts and events, extremely learned pened. And that all things may be made as easy as and judicious ; the harmonists, or writers, who endea- possible to the reader, I shall take care not to trouble vour to reconcile seeming contradictions, very accurate him with any exotic words in the text ; but where there and inquisite ; such as have wrote in an analytical way, is occasion to insert any Hebrew expressions, for his clear and perspicuous enough, and to pass by several sake, I shall choose to do it in English characters, and others, sacred geography has been fully handled by the to reduce every thing that I conceive may be above his great Bochart, sacred chronology sufficiently ascertained capacity, to the notes and quotations at the bottom of by our renowned Usher: and the chasm in the sacred the page. story abundantly supplied by our learned Prideaux ; so The notes, besides the common references, will be that there are no materials wanting to furnish out a new only of four kinds. and complete history of the Bible even according to the 1st, Additional, when a passage is borrowed from any compass and extent of my scheme. That therefore the other author, whether foreign or domestic, to confirm or reader may be apprized of the method I propose to my- illustrate the matter we are then upon. self, and what he may reasonably expect from me, I 2dly, Explanatory, when by producing the right sigmust desire him to observe, that, according to several nification of the original, or inquiring into some ancient periods of time, from the creation of the world to the custom, and the like, we make the passage under confull establishment of Christianity, my design is to divide sideration more intelligible. the whole work into eight books. Whereof
3dly, Reconciliatory; when, by the help of a parallel The I. Will extend fronı the creation to the deluge. place, or some logical distinction, we show the consisThe II. From the deluge to the call of Abraham. tency of two or more passages in Scripture, which, at The III. From the call of Abraham to the departure of first view, seem to be contradictory. the Israelites out of Egypt.
4thly, What we call Emendatory, when, by considerThe IV. From the departure of the Israelites to their ing the various senses of the original word, and selectentrance into the land of Canaan,
ing what is most proper, or, by having a due attention The V. From their entrance into Canaan to the building to the design of our author and the context, the mistakes of Solomon's temple.
in our translations are set right. The VI. From the building of the temple to the Baby
The chronological and other tables must be reserved lonish captivity.
to the conclusion of the work. vii
CONTENTS OF VOLUME FIRST.
In the following Abstract of Contents, the large mass of interesting information and illustration contained in the Notes could not be noticed, and can only be appreciated by examination.
INTRODUCTION: On the Necessity of a Divine Revelation; and of the Genuineness, Authenticity, Inspiration, &c., of the Old Testament Scriptures. Definition and true meaning of the terms SCRIPTURE, BIBLE, and TESTAMENT. Composition of the New and Old Testament. Objects of Man's knowledge: an express Revelation of the Will of God probable, as well as to be desired by him. Glance at Pagan Theology: the wisest of the heathen vainly longed for that Divine knowledge which has been vouchsafed to us. A Revelation was necessary, as well as to be expected. General reasons why. Mental darkness, even among the wisest, reigning among the ancients of Heathendom. Some of their purblind speculations on the existence and nature of God. The Soul of man, its origin and destiny, particularized. Pagan notions of a Future State. The ancients knew not of the Resurrection of the Body. Their opinions of Man's Accountability being vague and imperfect, their Theology put a slack curb or none on the passions; as a consequence, vice abounded in the best ordered communities of antiquity. Mental condition of the modern heathen world. Degrading and bloody rites of Hindostan, &c. Inefficacy of the lights derived from the "book of Nature," held up by Deists for the guidance of mankind in this world, and securing his wellbeing in the next; that even if such a directory existed, it would require to be supplemented by a more comprehensive system, derived from the Divine Author of that Nature. Two kinds of Revelation noted; viz., 1, Individual; and 2, General Revelation: that the former was not to be reasonably expected by all men. Superiority of writing (or SCRIPTURE, properly so called) over traditional communications. Evidences of the genuineness of the Sacred text considered; and the Inspiration of its writers maintained. Collateral testimony to its authenticity derivable from ancient Pagan and even hostile sources. Corroborations added in the present day, or during times near our own. Character of Moses; his upright and ingenuous nature. Review of his "five books," or Pentateuch; their internal evidence to the truth of his Divine legation satisfactory to every candid inquirer. That the same observation applies equally to the other books of the Old Testament, some of the claims of which are separately noticed. Translations of the Scriptures into English, and of the editions of them previous to the Authorized Version; the latter a great work, but still capable of emendation. Origin of the division and subdivision of the books into chapters and verses. Eminent uses of a careful study of the Bible; to do this profitably, what auxiliary knowledge is most useful. The speculations of Geologists, and the inferences drawn from natural appearances, to be received with due caution.
Opinions of some distinguished contemporary writers, upon this point, cited and enforced,
Sect. I.-Chap. I. OF THE CREATION OF THE WORLD: the Introduction. Chief design of Moses in writing the opening "five books" of the Bible, or Pentateuch. How we are to interpret the language he uses; what is to be understood literally, and what otherwise.Chap. II. The History: Beginning, progress, and consummation of the creation of all things, with its attendant circumstances, as given in the Sacred text.— III. An objection of certain gainsayers stated and answered.-IV. Wisdom of God in the Works of Creation; manifested in the starry heavens, atmosphere, alternation of day and night, &c., in the bodily frames and habitudes of animated beings, and especially in the body and spirit of Man, the lord of them all,
Sect. II. Chap. I. OF THE STATE OF MAN'S INNOCENCE: History. Facts reproduced from Sacred Writ, and opinions given thereon from the works of the best writers, Jewish and Christian. The sum of all being, that neither our first parents nor their posterity were to be liable to sorrow or misery of any kind, but to be possessed of a constant happiness on earth, and finally to be taken up into a heavenly paradise.II. Difficulties obviated, and Objections answered: Probable site of the terrestrial Paradise, as conjectured by the learned Bishop Huet, whose opinion is adopted, without prejudice to that of others; but that a desire for determining that point is more curious than important.-III. Of the Image of God in Man: what we are to understand by the passages (Gen. i. 26, 27). Opinions thereon, of Jewish doctors, and of early Christian authors. Purity of nature in primitive man, and rectitude of his earlier actions, considered. How best the former may be partially restored here below, when lost; and whereunto we are to apply to obtain directions for our guidance for a never-failing right rule of life, and assurance of grace, Sect. III. OF THE FALL OF MAN.-Chap. I. History: The Tempter, who and what he was. Steps he took to gain his ends, and their success. Wrath and vengeance of the Omnipotent against him and his victims. -II. Difficulties obviated, and Objections answered: Man proved to be a free agent, and that he is responsible for evil, done or thought, his state here below being one of probation. The "Serpent:" what species the Evil One embodied in his transformation. Plausible hypothesis thereon, of a learned Jew. Reflections and Reasonings on the whole narration.
cheans; antagonist principles of Good and Evil.
the Patriarchal Dispensation (supplemental). That
tible point of faith,
CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF THINGS, FROM THE
FLOOD TO THE CALL OF ABRAHAM.
Preliminary Obserrations, showing that every great
transaction was prelusive to a final grand scheme for
human redemption, .
Sect. I.-Chap. I. The remainder of what is recorded
of Noah till the time of his death ; with conjectures
regarding the place and career of that Patriarch dur-
ing his postdiluvian life.-II. The History, as given
in Sacred Writ, with passing remarks. Difficulties
obviated, and Objections answered. Question of Sac-
rifices mooted and disposed of.-III. God's covenant
with Noah, and the atmospheric sign which sealed it.
Renewal of Man's right of dominion over all inferior
creatures. Liberty of killing animals, and using their
bodies for food, considered. Probable place assigned
where the Ark rested. Concluding reflections.-
IV. Of the Prohibition of blood. True sense of the
Successive masters of Assyria and its metropolis.
lonian and Assyrian kings. Origin of written lan-
guage, and progress in its use. Early scienti know-
ledge and civilization. Primitive religion, its dawning
and nature among the early nations, with its perver-
sion into idolatry, &c. The first and second Divine
dispensations anticipated; concluding with a felicita-
in the face of Heaven. Period of the Confusion of
CALLING OF ABRAHAM TILL THE TIME OF THE
DEPARTURE OF THE ISRAELITES OUT OF THE LAND
of Noah, as deduced by the best commentators and Sect. II.-Chap. I. OF THE LIFE OF ISAAC, FROM HIS
MARRIAGE TO HIS DEATH: History. Famine in
Canaan, and expatriation of Isaac and his family;
their several experiences among strangers; Jacob and
Esau, their characters and actions, as narrated in the
Sacred text, with short comments thereon.-II. Dif-
increase of the house of Israel, nothing less than
miraculous. Separate destinies of Isaac and Esau
noted and accounted for, without impugning God's
guile of Jacob and Rebecca to be commended, still less
ought it to be an exemplar for us. Concluding with
familiar notices of the patriarchal mode of life.—III.
Of Isaac's blessing to Jacob: History. That paternal
benediction, though of an inspired nature, yet not of
nature and extent stated. Received its consumma-
tion in the advent of our blessed Saviour, Isaac's
Sect. III.--Chap. I. OF THE LIFE OF JACOB, FROM HIS considered and impartially estimated. Origin and
growth of Divine knowledge in the spirit of Moses,
with notices of the incidents of his middle life.
Miracles and magical delusions, their real nature con.
sidered and contradistinguished, &c.—III. Of the
Sacred Chronology, and Profane History, Learning,
Idolatry, and Monumental Works, &c. (but chietly
of the Egyptians), during the period between God's
call to Abraham out of Mesopotamia and the exodus
of Israel; with an attempt to settle the attendant
chronology, by reference to the best sources; and
answers given by anticipation to such exceptions as
may probably be taken to the exposition. Remarks
and conjectures advanced,
CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF THINGS DURING FORTY
YEARS, FROM THE ISRAELITES' DEPARTURE OUT
OF EGYPT TO THEIR ENTRANCE INTO THE LAND OF
Introductory Observations, showing that the deliverance
of the Israelites effected by Moses certainly fore-
shadowed, as it long preceded, the spiritual freedom
obtained for the human race by Jesus Christ, . 268
THEIR ExoduS TO THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE,
with a running commentary, and reflections on the
events as they occur in succession.-II. Objections
answered, and Difficulties explained. On the direct-
ing pillar of cloud, and that of fire. Scriptural reason
sidered. Circumstances attending the giving of the
law from Mount Sinai, and comments on its enact-
ments. Comparison of Mosaic and contemporary
Red Sea; of the particular manner in which it was
done, and by what circumstances accompanied and
208 ter, however such may have been denied or disputed,
ble from a variety of particulars passed in review.-
ings of the Israelites (supplemental). Traces given
by Mr. Mansford, in his Scripture Gazetteer, of the
journeyings of the Israelites in the Desert. Par-
ticulars given by Mr. Bryant, and by Bruce, the
doubts raised upon the subject. Different maps
their errors, discrepancies, &c. Recapitulation of
BERNACLE TO THE DEATH OF KORAH, &c. : Ilistory.
God manifests his care for the Israelites and their
leader in sundry notable ways.
inspiration of the seventy elders. Further wander-
against Moses, thwarting the decrees of Divine pro-