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EDINBURGH, JANUARY 30th, 1807. TAE GENUINE EDITIONS of the DICTIONARY of the BIBLE, by the Reverend John Brown, are those printed at Edinburgh; the first in 1768, by Messrs. Gray and Alston:—the second in 1778, for Mr. W. ANDERSON, Stirling :-the third in 1789, for Messrs. ANDERSON and FAIRBAIRN :-the fourth, with the Author's last Improvements and Corrections, in 1797, by Messrs, MURRAY and CocHRANE:
-and the present Edition, which has been carefully corrected, and, where necessary, enlarged.-Several spurious editions have been published, containing sentiments diametrically opposite to those of the Author, and replete with inconsistency and error,
Oracles of God. By these men live, and in them is the life of our soul. They are the inestimable Testament of God our Saviour; the blessed means of all true and spiritual wisdom, holiness, comfort, and eternal felicity. Let us then daily search the Scriptures, and understand what we read; for these are they that testify of Christ. Since they are one of the most valuable talents committed to us, and for which we must gire an account at the great day of the Lord, let us, with all our gettings, get the understanding of them; let us hide them in our hearts, believing what they assert, receiving what they offer, and doing whatsoever they command us. To assist in the perusal of these Divine Volumes, is the following work offered to the Public. How far it differs from those of the same kind published by Illyricus, Wilson, Simon, Ravanell, or Calmet, will be easily perceived, by comparing them ; especially on the larger articles of Angels, ANTICHRIST, APOCRYPHA, ARABIA, CHURCH, God, GosPEL, HEBREWS, &c.
The principal significations of emblematic words are here explained. The gospel signification of types, personal or real, is hinted. Whatever I knew in history corresponding to scripture-predictions, relative to persons, nations, churches, or cities, is brieiy narrated ; and, except where the predictions were exceedingly numerous, as in the article, Christ, CHURCH, HEBREWS, I have quoted the prophetic passages, that the readers, by viewing them in their Bibles, and comparing them with the histo ry here exhibited, may perceive the exactness of their accomplishment.
Perhaps it may be necessary to observe, (1) That I have only hinted the significations which words have in the Bible. (2.) That I have omitted many words which could be rendered no plainer, or that expressed the name of a person or city of which almost nothing was known, or no more than is plainly suggested in the inspired passage where it is found. (3.) That the mark ..... at the end of an article, signifies, that there are other persons or things of the same name, but of which nothing important is known. (4.) That a word, different from that of the article, printed in capitals, often refers the reader to its own article. (5.) That the mark † in quotations, siguifies a marginal reading. (6.) Where two or more words, and games of persons or plares, are almost alırays con.
nected, one will commonly find the explication or account under the word that is first in order in the scripture-text; and where the same person or thing has different names, the explication is to be expected under that which is most common, or which comes first in the order of the alphabet. (7.) Few fancies of the Christian Fathers, or of the Jewish or Mahometan writers, are here inserted, as I knew not how they could be of use : nor have I insisted on criticisms of the original words, as these could have been of small use to many of the readers; and the learned can find plenty of them in the later editions of Leigh's Critica Sacra; or in Gussetius's Hebrew Commentaries, Hiller's Onomasticon, Glassius, Whitby, &c. (8.) I have not wilfully kept back the solution of any difficulty; but it is often given, especially in historical articles, without any critical parade.
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
THE Reverend John Brown, like many other men of eminence, owed little to descent. He was
born A. D. 1722, in a small village named Carpow, in the parish of Abernethy, county of Perth, North Britain, of parents in obscure circumstances, and remarkable for nothing but their good sense and piety. At an early period he was deprived of their care, and cast on the world, with no other dependence but the providence of that God who is “the father of the fatherless, and the orphan's "stay." Having no more a father's house, he engaged himself in the service of a neighbouring farmer, and was for some time employed in tending the “ewes with young.” He dates his first impressions of religion in his eighth year; and he frequently afterwards recollected with pleasure the * kindness of youth." About this period, he repeatedly said, a few years before his death, he experienced more clear and delightful discoveries of divine truth, than ever afterwards he had enjoyed, or ever on earth expected to enjoy. Even then appeared that ardent thirst for knowledge, and that indefatigable industry, which, with the blessing of God, laid the basis of his future usefulness and eminence. He employed his leisure hours in studying the Latin, Hebrew and Greek languages : and in circumstances far from favourable, he made greater progress than many who have had every possible advantage. He exhibits, for the encouragement of the future student in a similar situation, a proof what ability and perseverance unaided are capable of performing. His astonishing progress excited the attention of the neighbourhood, and brought him early into notice. But his acquisitions were not without their alloy. They created him envy; and envy created him enemies. These, unable to equal him, and piqued at his superiority, had recourse to a calumny the most vile and absurd that malignity ever uttered. That his attainments were extraordinary, they admitted. They went farther. They pronounced them supernatural, and charitably imputed them to diabolical agency. At that time there were men weak or wicked enough to affect to believe it: at present it is forgotten, or remembered only by the acquaintance of his early years. It is too ridiculous to deserve serious mention; but it serves to show how very extraordinary his early acquirements were esteemed. The calumoy itself is rather obsolete than new. It was once reported of one infinitely greater and better. " He casteth out devils," said the Pharisees of Jesus Christ, " by Beelzebub, the prince of devils." “ If they called him Beelzebub, how much more they of his household."
In the year 1732, happened one of the most important events in the ecclesiastical history of Scotland for the preceding century: the secession of Messrs. Ebenezer Erskine, James Fisher, William Moncrieff, and William Wilson, from the established church, and their erection of a distinct society. Mr. Brown, from principles of duty, early attached himself to the Secession Church, of which lie contimed a respectable and zealous member until the time of his death.
In 1745, Charles Edward Stewart made an imprudent and unsuccessful attempt to recover the British throne. On this occasion, the loyalty of the Seceders appeared pre-eminent Not a single individual of them joined the rebels
, and many of them took arms in defence of the house of Hanover, and the Protestant religion. The subject of these memoirs served as a volunteer, and lay for a short time in the Castle of Edinburgh.
As be had from the beginning resolved to devote himself to his Saviour in the work of the ministry, with a view to obtain more time for preparatory study, he, in 1748, commenced teacher. In this station, to which respectability is seldom attached proportioned to its importance, he spent two years, discharging its duties with equal attention
and success. His character as a teacher attracted scholars from different parts of the country. The pains he took, in instructing his pupils in the different branches of education, and in the principles of religion, are still remembered with gratitude by those of them who survive. No fewer than eight or nine ministers of the gospel received at his school the radiznents of education. During this period, besides making further progress in divinity and literature, he committed part of the scriptures to memory; and so great was his assiduity, that he is stated to have committed fifteen chepters of Genesis in an evening after the hours of school. His application was indeed extreme, and too often encroached on the necessary hours of rest. We have been assured, he was frequently not above four hours in bed during the night. These things, certainly, shew the uncommon ardour of his mind in pursuit of knowledge ; but they do not perhaps challenge unqualified approbation. Few could support sach exertions. In the issue they seldom fail to injure the constitution, however vigorous, and even abridge the probable period of life. Mr. Brown's intense application, not only in all probability was the cause of those complaints with which he was aflicted to tie close of life, but dr. prived the world of his labours at an earlier period than might have been presumed from the natural
strength of Ins constitution. Mr. Brown was sensible of his error before his death, and regretted to a friend that he had not paid sufficient attention to his health. Let the studious take warning.
When the unhappy division took place in the Associate Synod, on account of a difference of opinion respecting a clause in some burgess oaths, Mr. Brown sided with the advocates of forbearance. His conduct, on this occasion, deserves the rather to be mentioned, because he was not perfectly satisfied of the lawfulness of the oaths which were the matter of dispute ; but he considered it as a proper subject for the exercise of that mutual charity and forbearance, which the scriptures so frequently inculcate, and he highly condemned the subsequent proceedings of the opposite party. This single fact shews, that though firın in his adherence to what he judged to be truth, and strenuous in its defence, he was at the same time the friend of forbearance, both in principle and practice.
After studying divinity under the Reverend Ebenezer Erskine and the Reverend James Fisher, he was licensed to preach by the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1750. A short time after, he received two calls to the pastoral office, one from the Associate Congregation of Haddington, the county-town of East Lothiay, and another from the congregation of Stow, Mid-Lothian. The Presbytery left it to his own decision, and he gave the preference to the congregation of Haddington, partly on account of some previous disappointments it had received, and partly, (from a diffidence of his own abilities,) because it was the smaller of the two. And here we cannot help remarking the wisdom of Providence, in frequently placing men of superior abilities in small charges. Had Mr. Boston or Mr. Brown been placed in stations more public and eminent, it is highly probable that they would have been less diffusively useful than they actually have been. " The foolishness of God is wiser " than men.” After his ordination at Haddington, he still considered himself as holding a kind of pastoral relation to the congregation at Stow; and until they got a pastor of their own, he annually examined them, and preached to them a number of Sabbaths.
He now pursued his stu<lies with increased vigour. As his congregation, though respectable for the character of its members, was not numerous, it allowed him to follow the natural hent of his mind. He was never more in his element than when in his study, and here he spent the greater part of his time. He was an early riser. In summer he rose between four and five o'clock in the morning, and in the winter at six. This practice he used to recoinmend to others, and especially to young ministers and students. From the time he rose, he usually continued, except during the intervals of meals and family devotion, in close study till eight o'clock in the evening.
His acquisitions kept pace with his industry. His knowledge was general ; and though from duty and inclination his attention was more particularly devoted to divinity, he endeavoured to trace the whole circle of science. His attainments in literature will no doubt appear extraordinary, when it is remembered, that except during one month when learning Latin, he never enjoyed the assistance of a teacher. He was notwithstanding a good Latin scholar.of the Greek, but especially of the Hebrew, he possessed a critical knowledge. He understood the Arabic, Persic, Syriac, Ethiopic, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and German. He studied with attention philosophy, natural and moral, natural history, and civil law. But his favorite reading was history and divinity, his knowledge of hoth of which is sufficiently apparent from his writings. It may not be improper here to Inention a practice he sometimes adopted. He read with the pen in his hand, and drew up abridgements of the books he perused. In this manner, he abridged the whole of the Ancient Universal History, Blackstone's Commentaries, and a number of other works. This practice, though tedious, must certainly give a person a great advantage over the cursory reader in point of accuracy of information. In divinity, he perused chiefly the writings of the best old divines, particularly those of Turretine, Pietet, Mastricht, and Owen. Of later writers, his favorite authors were Messrs. Boston, Erskine, and Hervey. But above all, he studied the scriptures of truth. His acquaintance with the sacred oracles was singular. Seldom was a text quoted, but he could accurately repeat it, explain its meaning, and state its connection.
But " though I speak with the tongue of men and angels, and understand all mysteries, and all "knowledge, and have not charity, I am nothing." Superior talents and knowledge, unaccompa. nied with piety, are comparatively of little value, and too often prove injurious to the possessor and society. In Mr. Brown, knowledge was the handmaid of religion. He was not less distinguished for his piety as a Christian, and his conscientious discharge of his duties as a minister, than his learning, as a scholar, and his knowledge as a divine. Prayer was his delight. Besides the stated duties of the closet and family, he appeared often engaged in pious ejaculation. He frequently set apart a morning for extraordinary devotion; and when he judged circumstances required it, he used to ob serve days of fasting and thanksgiving in his family. From a firm faith of the divine promise, he seemed to have acquired a habitual serenity of mind, and was never much transported with joy, nor depressed with grief. In him the promise was evidently fulálled, “ Thou wilt keep him in perfect
peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he tru-teth in thee.” One day, on hearing a most tremendous peal of thunder, he said to a friend with a placid smile, “ That is the low whisper of my God." No person 39 more sympathizing with the atticted, or more ready to do them every service in his power : yet he was scarcely ever seen to wtep, but from the deep impression of divine truth, and compassion to perishing souls. Bodily pain, and the death of relations, he endured without shedding a tear ; but when warning sinners of their danger, and beseeching them to be reconciled unto God, the emotions of his heart frequently overcame luis firmness, and checked his utterance.
In conversation, his constant aim was instruction and edilication. His heart was chiefly occupied with divine things, and “out of the abundance of his lieart, his mouth spake.” He was, however, remarkably delicate in speaking of his own religious experience. Till within a short time of his death, he «carcely ever mentioned it. In political disputes he seldom gave any opinion. The only tree he made of these subjects when introduced, was to lead the attention to things of infinitely greater moment. He thus expresses his sentiments respecting them, in an essay published at the time Mr. Ptt come into offiera. "Tip:n our Sovereign's advancing his present young minuter; while multi