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As the present volume is derived from the pages of the "COMPREHENSIVE BIBLE," it may be necessary to state briefly of what that work consists. Besides the Sacred Text, the Chronology, the Various Readings, the Contents, Indexes, and a vast body of Parallel Passages, it contains (what more particularly demands a distinct specification,) upwards of 4000 Notes, and an ample Introduction.
The NOTES are chiefly selected from the most eminent Biblical Critics and Commentators, both British and Foreign; and are designed to improve the Authorized Version, where it has been conceived to be faulty; to explain words which, since the days of our venerable translators, have either become obsolete, changed their signification, or become less comprehensive in their import; to elucidate really difficult passages; to reconcile or account for apparent discrepancies, whether in the History, Chronology, or any other department; to illustrate the ideas, images, and allusions of the Sacred Writers, by a reference to objects, idioms, customs, manners, and laws, which were peculiar to their age or country, or to Oriental nations; to explain, by short notices, the Geography, Natural History, and Antiquities of Judea, and other Eastern countries; and to furnish brief but comprehensive Introductions, embracing a short analysis, to each book.
In the General INTRODUCTION, the object of the Editor was to supply such information as might be necessary to a correct acquaintance with the Sacred Volume; and it consists of disquisitions on the Genuineness, Uncorrupted Preservation, Authenticity, and Inspiration of the Sacred Writings; on the
Divisions and Marks of Distinction which occur in the Scriptures; on the Manuscripts and Printed Editions; on the Samaritan Pentateuch, Ancient Versions, and the Authorized English Version; on the Jewish Writings, the Apostolic and Primitive Fathers, and Doctors of the Church; on the Jewish Sects, Factions, and Orders of Men; on the Jewish and other Coins, Weights, and Measures; on the Jewish and Roman modes of Computing Time; and on the Geography and History of the Nations mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures.
From this mass of materials such portions have been selected as comported with the design of this work, merely adding occasionally a few connecting words, or such passages of Scripture as were necessary for the correct apprehension of the subject. A great body of notes, (at least as much as would form a volume of equal dimensions with the present) on the Geography, Natural History, Antiquities, Manners, Customs, &c., of Judea and other Eastern Countries, has necessarily been left untouched, as they were foreign to the object of this work. This object was, generally, to establish the Genuineness, Uncorrupted Preservation, Authenticity, and Inspiration of the Sacred Volume, and specially, in the illustration of the arguments on these all important topics, to prove the principal Facts, to illustrate the Miracles, to shew the fulfilment of the Prophecies, to exhibit the Harmony, and to display the Doctrines and Precepts of the WORD OF GOD. In the prosecution of this design, the Author has sedulously laboured, he trusts not altogether in vain; and he would earnestly implore the Divine Blessing to render the work efficient for the purpose of convincing the unbeliever, of confirming the wavering, of strengthening the weak, of instructing the ignorant, and of building up the believer in his most holy Faith, that being built " on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone," and led by the Holy Spirit, both the Writer and Reader, through the merits of the Atonement of the Son of God, may finally find that, "when heart and flesh fail," God is "the strength of their heart, and their portion for ever."
LONDON, January 4, 1831.
3. From the moral impossibility of their being forgeries
CHAPTER II. The uncorrupted Preservation of the sacred Scrip-
CHAPTER III. The Authenticity, or truth of the sacred Scriptures