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PREPACE.

il plied references and quotations in such a case, would have been, I think, a

a very useless and burthensome piece of pedantry, and might (as I fear has been the case with Pfeiffer and Wolfius) have discouraged the reader from consulting any, in so great a crowd. I could not well brook the drudgery of transcribing the works of others, and should scorn the meanness of dressing myself up in borror : ed plumes ; but if any imagine me a mere compiler, I shall not be greatly concerned at their mistake, but say, with the modest and excellent Mons. Rullin, If the things themseltes are good, it signifies rery little whose they are *." The notes are, at the desire of many friends, entirely added to

my

first scheme; and when I saw so many persons of learning and rank were pleased to encourage my undertaking, I thought it would be no unacceptable expression of my gratitude to them to insert several which I should otherwise have omitteda Some of them seemed absolutely necessary to justify the version and paraphrase, in what might seem most peculiar in it: several more refer to the order, and · give my reasons for leaving the general track, where I have left it; and for not leaving it much oftener, where some very learned and ingenious authors have taken a great deal of pains (though, I persuade myself, with a very good intent) to lead us out of the way: and as several of these are modern rriters, the remarks are such as do not commonly occur. The rest of the notes consist, either of soine observations on the beauty and force of various passages, which I do not remember to have seen elsewhere; or of references to, and observations upon, considerable writers, whether they be or be not professed expositors of scripture, who seem in the most masterly manner to examine or to illustrate and confirm the sense I have given. These are generally but very short; because it would have been quite foreign to my purpose, and utterly inconsistent with my scheme, to have formed them into large critical essays: but I hope they may be some guide to young students, who, if they have libraries at hand, are in great danger of being lost in a wood, where, I am sorry to say it, they will find a multitude of prickly and knotty shrubs, and in comparison but few pleasant and fruitful trees. It has appeared to me an office of real and important friendship to gentlemen in this station of life, to endeavour to select for them the most valuable passages which occur in reading, and to remit them thither, not only for the illustration of scripture, but also for their direction in studying the evidences and contents both of natural and revealed religion. This I have done with great care and labour in a pretty large work, which perhaps may be published after my death, if surviving friends should judge it proper. To that I have geLerally referred those citations which relate to polemical divinity; and at present only add that, with regard to these notes, I have endeavoured to render them easy and entertaiving, even to an English reader; and for that purpose have cautiously excluded quotations from the learned languages, even where they might have served to illustrate customs referred to, or words to be explained. That deficiency may be abundantly made up by the perusal of Elsner, Albert, Bos.Wolfius, Raphelius, Fortuita Sacra, &ct; books which I cannot but

* Que m'importe d'ou il soit, pourvu qu'il se trouve utile.Roll. Man. d'enseign, vol. i. p. 75.

# As some of the books mentioned above are not very common among us, it may not be improper to insert their titles, viz.

Jacobi Elsner, Obrervat. Szere, 2 vol. 8vo. Traject. ad Rhen. 1720.
Alberti Observ. Philolog. Lugd. Bat. 1725.
Lamberti Bos Exercitat. Philolog. Frunek. 1700

Animadvers. Franek. 1715.

Observat. Miscell. Leovard. 1731.
Raphelii Annotat. Pilol. in Nov. Test. ex Xenophonte, Polybio, & Herodoto

collectæ, 3 tom. Lunen. 1731.
Wolfii Curæ Philolog. 85 Criticæ, 410. Hamb. 1725.

recommend

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recommend to my young friends, as proper not only to ascertain the sense of a variety of words and phrases, which occur in the apostolic writings ; but also to form them to the most useful inethod of studying the Greek classics, those great masters of solid sense, elegant expression, just lively painting, and masculine eloquence, to the neglect of which I cannot but ascribe that enervate, dissolute, and puerile manner of writing, which is growing so much on the present age, and will probably consign so many of its productions to speedy oblivion.

The improvement of each section is entirely of a practical nature, and generally consists of a pressing exhortations, and devout meditations, grounded on the general design, or on some particular passages, of the section to which they are annexed. They are all in an evangelical strain, and they could not with any propriety have been otherwise. I am well aware that this inanner is not much in the present taste, and I think it at once a sad instance and cause of our degeneracy that it is not. If it be necessary that I should offer avy apology, it must in short be this: I have with all possible attention and impartiality considered first the general evidences of the truth of Christiunity, and then those of the inspiration of the New Testament, which seems to me inseparably connected with the foriner ; and, on the whole, am in my conscience persuaded of both, and have been confirmed in that conviction by the most laboured attempts to overthrow them. It seems a necessary consequence of this convictiou (and I am astonished it should not be more generally attended to), that we are with the humblest submission of mind to form our religious notions on this plan, and to give up the most darling maxims which will not bear the test of it.

I should think an impartial reader must immediately see, and every judicious critic be daily more confirmed in it, that the New Testament teaches us to conceive of Christ, not as a generous Benefactor only, who, having performed some actions of heroic virtue and benevolence, is now retired from all intercourse with our world, so that we have no more to do with him than to preserve a grateful remembrance of his character and favours ; but that he is to be considered as an ever-living and ever-present friend, with who we are to maintain a daily commerce by faith and prayer, and from whom we are to derive those supplies of divine grace, whereby we may be strengthened for the duties of life, and ripened for a state of perfect holiness and selicity. This is evident not only from particular passages of scripture, in which he is described as always with his church (Mat. xxviii. 20.) as present wherever two or three are assembled in his name (Mat. xviii. 20), as upholding all things by the word of his power (Heb. i. 3), and as Head over all to his church (Eph. i. 22), but indeed from the whole scope and tenor of the New Testument. These views are therefore continually to be kept up; and for any to pretend that this is a round-about method (as some have presumed to call it,) and that men may be led to virtue, the great end of all, by a much plainer and more direct way, seems to me only a vain and arrogant attempt to be wiser than God himself ; which therefore must in the end appear to be folly, with whatever subtlety of argument it may be defended, or with whatever pomp

of rhetoric it be adorned.

The New Testament is a book written with the most consummate knowledge of human nature ; and though there are a thousand latent beauties in it, wbich it is the business and glory of true criticism to place in a true point of light, the general sense and design of it is plain to every honest reader even at the very first perusal. It is evidently intended to bring us to God through Christ, in an humble dependence on the communications of his sanctifying and quickening Spirit ; and to engage us to a course of faithful and universal obedience, chiefly from a grateful sense of the riches of divine

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grace manifested to us in the gospel. And though this scheme is indeed liable to abuse, as every thing else, is, it appears to me plain in fact, that it has been and still is the grand instrument of reforming a very degenerate world ; and according to the best observations I have been able to make on what has passed about me, or within my own breast, I have found, that, in proportiou to the degree in which this evangelical scheme is received and relished, the interest of true virtue and holiness flourishes, and the mind is forined to manly devotion, diffusive benevolence, steady fortitude, and, in short, made ready to every good word and work. To this therefore I am determined, at all acventures, to adhere ; nor am I at all ashamed or afraid of any scorn which I may encounter in such a cause; and I would earnestly exhort, and entreat, all my brethren in the Christian ministry to join with me, as well knowing to whom we have committed our souls ; and cheerfully hoping, that He, by wnom we have hitherto, if faithful in our calling, been supported and animated, will at length confess us before the presence of his Father and the holy angels in that daj, when it will be found no dishonourto the greatest arrd wisest of the children of men to have listed themselves under the banner of the cross, and constantly and affectionately to have kept their divine Leader in view.

I cannot Ratter in yself so far, as to imagine that I have fallen into no mistakes, in a work of so great compass and difficulty ; but my own conscience acquits me of having designedly misrepresented any single passage of scripture, or of having written one line with a purpose of inflaming the hearts of Christians against each other. I should esteem it one of the most aggravated crimes to make the life of the gentle and benevolent Jesus a vehicle to convey such a poison. Would to God that all the party-names, and unscriptural phrases and forms, which have divided the Christian world, were forgot ; and that we might agree to sit down together, as humble loving disciples, at the feet of our common Master, to hear his word, to imbibe his Spirit, and to transcribe his life in our own!

I hope it is some token of such growing candour on one side, as I am sure it should be an engagement to cultivate it on the other, that so many of the reverend clergy of the establishment, as well as other persons of distinction in it, have favoured this undertaking with their encouragement. To them, and, all my other friends, I return my most hearty thanks; and shall remember that the regard they have been pleased to express to it, obliges me to pursue the remainder of the work with the utmost care and application ; and earnestly entreat the farther assistance of their prayers, that it may be conducted in a manner subservient to the honour of the gospel and the edification of the church.

In these volumes I have been desirous to express my gratitude to the subscribers, by sparing nothing in my power which might render the work acceptable to them; both with respect to its contents and its form. The consequence of this is, that it hath swelled to a number of sheets, which by more than a third part exceeds what I promised in the proposals ; which, though at a great expence, I chose to permii, rather than I would either sink the paper and character beneath the specimen, or omit some remarks in the notes which appeared to me of moment, and rose in my mind while I was transcribing them. But I hope this large addition to what was at first expected will excuse my not complying with the importunity of some of my friends, who have requested that I would introduce this work with a dissertation on such points of Jewish antiquity as might be serviceable for the fuller understanding the New Testament, or with a discourse on its genuineness, credibility, inspiration

and use.

As to the first of these (a compendions view of such articles of Jewish artiquity as may be a proper introduction to the critical study of scripture,) b.

I do

Vol. VI.

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I do with great pleasure refer the generality of readers and young students to the general preface to the Prussian Testament, published by Aless. L'Enfant and Beausobre ; which preface was some years since translated into English, and suits the purpose better than any thing I have seen within so small a compass. As to the latter, I purpose, if God permit, when I have finished the second volume, to publish with another edition of my Three Sermons on the Evidences of Christianity, two or three discourses more on the inspiration of the New Testament, and on its usefulness, especially that of the Evungelical History; to which I may perhaps add some farther directions for the most protitable manner of reading it. At present I shall only adj, that daily experience convinces me more and more, that as a thousand charms discover themselves in the works of nature, when attentively viewed with glasses, which had escaped the naked eye; so our admiration of the holy scriptures will rise in proportion to the accuracy with which they are studied.

As for these histories and discourses of Christ, I inay say of them, with far greater justice, what Simplicius doth of Epictetus, in the passage of which my motto is a part, and which I shall conclude my preface: “ The words themselves are generally plain and intelligible : but I have endeavoured thus to unfold them, that my own heart might be more deeply impressed with the spirit and certainty of them; and that others, who have not themselves equal advantage for entering into it, might be guided into their true interpretation. But if, on the whole, any reader continue entirely unaffected with them, there is little prospect that any thing will reclaim him till he come to the tribunal of the invisible world*."

* Και εισι μεν οι λογοι σαφεις και χειρον δε ισως, κατα το δυνατον διαπτυσσιν αυθες. Ο τε γαρ γραφων, συμπαθεςερος σε αμα προς αυθες γενησίλαι, και της αλήθειας αυθων κατανοήλικωθερος και των φιλομαθων οι προς λογες ασυνηθςεροι, ισως εξεσι τινα χειραγωγιαν εκ της ερμηνειας αυλαν.Ει δε τις υπο ταίων μη πασχη των λογων, υπο μονων αν των εν αδε εικαςηριων υπευθυνθετη. Northampton, Nov. 27, 1738.

Simplic. in Epictet. Proem.

Directions for reading the Family Expositor.
AS to the manner of reading this book in families, I would advise as follows:-

First, Let the passage of Scripture be read from the common translation in the inner column, unless the family have their Bibles before them : then read the new version by itself, which is interworen with the paraphrase, but distinguished by the italic character ; and then the paraphrase and improvement.

As for the notes, I should advise the person who officiates to select such as are of the most general concern, and read them after the paragraph to which they belong ; for it is not so agrecable to interrupt the sense by introducing them before it is completed. Other notes may perhaps be more fitly made matter of conversation after wards ; but this is referred to the prudence of particular persons, who will judge with a regard to the state and character of the families in question.

In reading the compound text it may be observed, that the words of the several eten. gelists are distinguished by crotchets, thus ( ) ; and the clouses included within them are always marked with the name of the evangelist from whom they are taken, unless a single tert only be added at the end of the verse to which they must of course belong ; or, where more texts than one are added, the crotchets which have nothing to distinguish them belong to the first.

I am pleased to think with how much ease any attentive reader will distinguisha the text itself from the paraphrase in consequence of the extraordinary care which hath been taken to keep the work in that particular remarkably correct; for which I am obliged to pay my public and most thankful ar knowledgments to my worthy brother and friend, the Reverend Mr. GODWIN, who generously undertook the great trouble, not only of revising each sheet as it came from the press, but also of inspecting the manuscript before it went thither, and of making several important alterations in it very much for the better; of which I should have been ready to have given a more particular account if his modesty and goodness would have permitted it.

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40, 41.

IV. 42, 43.

V. 44, 55, 35, 36, 69, 70.

VI. 70, 45, 71, 72, 73.

VII. 74, 75, 76.

VIII. 76, 57, 58, 59.)

73, 74, VI.
76, 77,
28, 78,
79.

VII. 83, 84,

55, 56

IX,

57, 58, vol. {

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XI.

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102,103, 104,105.

60.

61, 65,1x.

5 130, 131,

132. .

86, 87,

VIII, 88, 89.

69,

132, 133, 134.

66, 64,1

70,
72.

X.
74, 76,
77, 78,

XI.
88, 89,
69, 90,
91, 92,
93, 96, XII.
127.

$ 139, 140,

141.

89, 90, 91, 92,1 93, 96, 93.

IX. 135, 136, 137, 142, 143.

145, 146, 148, 149, 150.

XIII.

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