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GENERAL PREFACE. through faith, for which they were strenuous and successful advocates. The peculiar doctrines which go under the name of Mr. Calvin, from the manner in which they have been defended by some and opposed by others, have been the cause of much dissension among Protestants, of which the enemies of true religion have often availed themselves. Mr. Calvin is allowed by good judges to have written with great purity both in Latin and French. He died in 1564.
Mr. David MARTIN, of Utrecht, not only translated the whole of the Old and New Testaments into French, but also wrote short notes on both, which contain much good sense, learning, and piety. Amsterdam, 1707, 2 vols. folio.
Dr. Henry HAMMOND is celebrated over Europe as a very learned and judicious divine. He wrote an extensive comment on the Psalms, first published in 1659, and on the whole of the New Testament, in 1653. In this latter work he imagines he sees the Gnostics every where pointed at, and he uses them as a universal menstruum to dissolve all the difficulties in the text. He was a man of great learning and critical sagacity, and as a divine ranks high in the Church of England. He died in 1660.
Theodore Beza not only published the Greek Testament, but wrote many excellent notes on it. The best edition of this work is that printed at Cambridge, folio, 1642.
Dr. Edward Wells published a very useful Testament in Greek and English, in several parcels, with notes, from 1709 to 1719, in which, 1. The Greek text is amended according to the best and most ancient readings. 2. The common English translation rendered more agreeable to the original. 3. A paraphrase, explaining the difficult expressions, design of the sacred writers, &c. 4. Short Annotations. This is a judicious, useful work.
Of merely critical comments on the Greek Testament, the most valuable is that of J. James WETSTEIN, 2 vols. folio, Amsterdam, 1751-2. Almost every peculiar form of speech in the sacred text he has illustrated by quotations from the Jewish, Greek, and Roman writers. But the indistinctness of his quotations causes much confusion in his notes.
Mr. Hardy published a Greek Testament with a great variety of useful notes, chiefly extracted from Poole's Synopsis. The work is in 2 vols. 8vo., London, 1768, and is a very useful companion to every Biblical student. It has gone through two editions, the first of which is the best; but it must be acknowledged that the Greek text in both is inexcusably incorrect. The Rev. Mr. Valpy has given a new edition of this work, with additional scholia, and a correct Greek text.
Mr. HENRY AINSWORTH, one of that class of the ancient Puritans called Brownists, made a new translation of the Pentateuch, Psalms, and Canticles, which he illustrated with notes, folio, 1639. He was an excellent Hebrew scholar, and made a very judicious use of his rabbinical learning in his comment, especially on the five books of Moses. To his notes on the Pentateuch I am often under obligation.
The notes of the Assembly of Divines, in 2 vols. folio, 1654, have been long in considerable estimation. They contain many valuable elucidations of the sacred text.
Mr. J. Caryl's exposition of the book of Job, in two immense vols. folio, 1676, another by Albert Schultens, and a third by Chapelowe, on the same book, contain a vast deal of important matter, delivered in general by the two latter in the dullest and most uninteresting form.
Mr. MATTHEW Poole, a non-conformist divine, has published a commentary on the Scriptures, in 2 vols. folio. The notes, which are mingled with the text, are short, but abound with good sense and sound judgment. He died in Holland, in 1679.
Dr. Jorn LightFOOT was a profound scholar, a sound divine, and a pious man. He brought all his immense learning to bear on the sacred volumes, and diffused light wherever he went. His historical, chronological, and topographical remarks on the Old Testament, and his Talmudical Erercitations on the New, are invaluable. His works were published in two large vols. folio, 1684. He died in 1675. A new edition of these invaluable works, with many additions and corrections, has been published by the Rev. J. R. Pitman, A. M., in 13 vols. 8vo., London, 1825.
On the plan of Dr. Lightfoot's Horæ Hebraicæ, or Talmudical Exercitations, a work was undertaken by Christian Schoettgenius with the title Horæ Hebraicæ et Talmudicæ in universum Novum Testamentum, quibus Horæ Jo. Lightfooti in Libris historicis supplentur, Epistola et Apocalypsis eodem modo illustrantur, fc. Ďresdæ, 1733, 2 vols, 4to. This is a learned and useful work, and supplies and completes the work of Dr. Lightfoot. The Horæ Hebraicæ of Lightfoot extend no farther than the first Epistle to the Corinthians; the work of Schoettgen passes over the same ground as a Supplement, without touching the things already produced in the English work; and then continues the work on the same plan to the end of the New Testament. It is both scarce and dear.
Mr. Richard BAXTER published the New Testament with notes, 8vo., 1695. The notes are interspersed with the text, and are very short, but they contain much sound sense and piety. A good edition of this work was published in the same form by Mr. R. Edwards, London, 1810. Dr. Simon Patrick, bishop of Ely, began a comment on the Old Testament, which was
finished by Dr. Lowth; to which the New Testament, by Dr. Whitby, is generally added to complete the work. Dr. Whitby's work was first published in 1703, and often since, with many emendations. This is a valuable collection, and is comprised in six vols. folio. Patrick and Lowth are always judicious and solid, and Whitby is learned, argumentative, and thoroughly orthodox.
The best comment on the New Testament, taken in all points of view, is certainly that of Whitby. He is said to have embraced Socinianism previously to his death, which took place in 1726.
Mr. ANTHONY Purver, one of the people called Quakers, translated the whole Bible into English, illustrated with critical notes, which was published at the expense of Dr. J. Fothergill, in 1764, two vols. folio. This work has never been highly valued ; and is much less literal and simple than the habits of the man, and those of the religious community to which he belonged, might authorize one to expect.
The Rev. WillIAM BURKITT, rector of Dedham, in Essex, has written a very useful commentary on the New Testament, which has often been republished. It is both pious and practical, but not distinguished either by depth of learning or judgment. The pious author died in 1703.
The Rev. Matthew Henry, a very eminent dissenting minister, is author of a very extensive commentary on the Old and New Testaments, five vols. folio, and one of the most popular works of the kind ever published. It is always orthodox, generally judicious, and truly pious and practical, and has contributed much to diffuse the knowledge of the Scriptures among the common people, for whose sakes it was chiefly written. A new edition of this work, by the Rev. J. Hughes, of Battersea, and the Rev. G. Burder, of London, corrected from innumerable errors which have been accumulating with every edition, has been lately published.
As I apply the term orthodox to persons who differ considerably in their religious creed on certain points, I judge it necessary once for all to explain my meaning. He who holds the doctrine of the fall of man, and through it the universal corruption of human nature; the Godhead of our blessed Redeemer; the atonement made by his obedience unto death ; justification through faith alone in his blood; the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, regenerating and renewing the heart, is generally reputed orthodox, whether in other parts of his creed he be Arminian or Calvinist. Whitby and Henry held and defended all these doctrines in their respective comments, therefore I scruple not to say that both were orthodox. With their opinions in any of their other works I have no concern.
Dr. John Gill, an eminent divine of the Baptist persuasion, is author of a very diffuse commentary on the Old and New Testaments, in nine vols. folio. He was a very learned and good man, but has often lost sight of his better judgment in spiritualizing his text.
Dr. Philip DODDRIDGE's Family Expositor, 4to., 1745, often republished, is (with the exception of his paraphrase) a very judicious work. It has been long highly esteemed, and is worthy of all the credit it has among religious people.
Paraphrases, which mix up men's words with those of God, his Christ, his Holy Spirit, and his apostles, are in my opinion dangerous works. Through such, many of the common people are led into a loose method of quoting the sacred text. I consider the practice, except in very select cases, as highly unbecoming. The republic of letters would suffer no loss if every work of this kind on the Holy Scriptures were abolished. Dr. Whitby, by the insertion of mere words in brackets and in another character, has done all that should be done, and vastly outdone the work of Dr. Doddridge.
To Dr. Z. PEARCE, bishop of Rochester, we are indebted for an invaluable commentary and notes on the Four Gospels, the Acts, and the First Epistle to the Corinthians, two vols. 4to., 1777. The deep learning and judgment displayed in these notes are really beyond all praise.
Dr. CAMPBELL's work on the Evangelists is well known, and universally prized. So is also Dr. MACKNIGHT's translation of the Epistles, with notes. Both these works, especially the former, abound in sound judgment, deep erudition, and a strong vein of correct critical acumen.
Mr. Locke and Dr. Benson are well known in the republic of letters; their respective works on different parts of the New Testament abound with judgment and learning.
The Rev. J. WESLEY published a selection of notes on the Old and New Testaments, in four vols. 4to., Bristol, 1765. The notes on the Old Testament are allowed, on all hands, to be meagre and unsatisfactory ; this is owing to a circumstance with which few are acquainted. Mr. Pine, the printer, having set up and printed off several sheets in a type much larger than was intended, it was found impossible to get the work within the prescribed limits of four volumes, without retrenching the notes, or cancelling what was already printed. The former measure was unfortunately adopted, and the work fell far short of the expectation of the public. This account I had from the excellent author himself. The notes on the New Testament, which have gone through several editions, are of a widely different description; though short, they are always judicious, accurate, spiritual, terse, and impressive ; and possess
the happy and rare property of leading the reader immediately to God and his own heart. A new edition of this work, with considerable additions, has been lately published by the Rev. Joseph Benson, from whose learning, piety, and theological knowledge, much has been reasonably expected. The work has been very useful, and has been widely dispersed.
The late unfortunate Dr. William Dodd published a commentary on the Old and New Testaments, in three vols. folio, London, 1770. Much of it is taken from the comment of Father Calmet, already described; but he has enriched his work by many valuable notes which he extracted from the inedited papers of Lord Clarendon, Dr. Waterland, and Mr. Locke. He has also borrowed many important notes from Father Houbigant. This work, as giving in general the true sense of the Scriptures, is by far the best comment that has yet appeared in the English language. The late lamented Dr. Gosset, of famous bibliographical memory, told me that he “had furnished Dr. Dodd with the MS. collections of Dr. Waterland and others; that Dr. Dodd was employed by the London booksellers to edit this work; and it was by far the best of these works which might be said to be published by the yard.”.
A work, entitled An Illustration of the Sacred Writings, was published by Mr. Goadby, at Sherbourne : it contains many judicious notes, has gone through several editions, and, while it seems to be orthodox, is written entirely on the Arian hypothesis.
The Rev. Thomas COKE, LL.D. has lately published a commentary on the Old and New Testaments, in six vols. 4to. This is, in the main, a reprint of the work of Dr. Dodd, with several retrenchments, and some additional reflections. Though the major part of the notes, and even the dissertations of Dr. Dodd are here republished ; yet all the marginal readings and parallel texts are entirely omitted. The absence of these would be inexcusable in any Bible beyond the size of a duodecimo. Of their importance see pp. 19 and 20 of this preface. Dr. Coke's edition is in general well printed, has some good maps, and has had a very extensive sale. The original work of Dodd was both scarce and dear, and therefore a new edition became necessary; and had the whole of the original work, with the marginal readings, parallel texts, &c., been preserved, Dr. Coke's publication would have been much more useful. Dr. Coke should have acknowledged whence he collected his materials, but on this point he is totally silent.
The Rev. T. Scott, rector of Aston Sandford, has published a commentary on the old and New Testaments, in five vols. 4to. The author's aim seems to be, to speak plain truth to plain men; and for this purpose he has interspersed a multitude of practical observations all through the text, which cannot fail, from the spirit of sound piety which they breathe, of being very useful.
The late Dr. Priestley compiled a body of notes on the Old and New Testaments, in 3 vols. 8vo., published at Northumberland in America, 1804. Though the doctor keeps his own creed (Unitarianism) continually in view, especially when considering those texts which other religious people adduce in favour of theirs, yet his work contains many valuable notes and observations, especially on the philosophy, natural history, geography, and chronology of the Scriptures ; and to these subjects few men in Europe were better qualified to do justice.
A new translation of Job, and one of the books of Canticles, has been published by Dr. Mason Good, both replete with learned notes of no ordinary merit.
In closing this part of the list, it would be unpardonable to omit a class of eminently learned men, who, by their labours on select parts of the Scriptures, have rendered the highest services both to religion and literature.
Samuel Bochart, pastor of the Protestant Church at Caen in Normandy, wrote a very learned and accurate work on the geography of the sacred writings, entitled Phaleg and Canaan, and another on the Natural History of the Bible, entitled Hierozoicon, by both of which, as well as by several valuable dissertations in his works, much light is thrown on many obscure places in the sacred writings. The best collection of his works is supposed to be that by Leusden and Villemandy, three vols. folio. L. Bat. 1712.
Dr. I. James Scheuchzer, professor of medicine and the mathematics in the university of Zurich, is author of a very elaborate work on the Natural History of the Bible, entitled Physica Sacra, which has been printed in Latin, German, and French, and forms a regular comment on all the books of the Bible where any subject of natural history occurs.
The very learned author has availed himself of all the researches of his predecessors on the same subject, and has illustrated his work with 750 engravings of the different subjects in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, to which there is any reference in the Scriptures. The German edition was published in 1731, in 15 vols. folio, the Latin edition in 1731, and the French in 1732, 8 vols. folio, often bound in 4. The work is as rare as it is useful and elegant.
The late Rev. Mr. Thomas Harmer published a very useful work, entitled “ Observations on various Passages of Scripture,” in which he has cast much light on many difficult texts that relate to the customs and manners, religious and civil, of the Asiatic nations, by quotations from the works of ancient and modern travellers into different parts of the East, who have described
GENERAL PREFACE. those customs, &c., as still subsisting. The best edition of this work was published in four vols. 8vo., 1808, with many additions and corrections by the author of the present commentary.
Campegius Vitringa wrote a learned and most excellent comment on the book of the Prophet Isaiah, in 2 vols. folio ; the best edition of which was printed in 1724. He died in 1722.
Dr. R. Lowth, bishop of London, is the author of an excellent work, entitled, Ísajan: A New Translation, with a preliminary Dissertation, and Notes critical, philological, and explanatory. 410., Lond. 1779, first edition. The preliminary dissertation contains a fund of rare and judicious criticism. The translation, formed by the assistance of the ancient versions collated with the best MSS. of the Hebrew text, is clear, simple, and yet dignified. The concluding notes, which show a profound knowledge of Hebrew criticism, are always judicious, and generally useful.
The late Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Newcome, has published a translation of the minor prophets, with learned notes : it is a good work, but creeps slowly after its great predecessor, He has also published a translation of the New Testament, with notes, not much esteemed.
On the same plan the Rev. Dr. Blayney translated and published the Prophet Jeremiah, with notes, 1784.
John Albert Bengel is author of an edition of the New Testament, with various readings, and such a judicious division of it into paragraphs as has never been equalled, and perhaps never can be excelled. He wrote a very learned comment on the Apocalypse, and short notes on the New Testament, which he entitled Gnomon Novi Testamenti, in quo ex nativa verborum vi, simplicitas profunditas, concinnitas, salubritas sensuum Cælestium indicatur. In him were united two rare qualifications—the deepest piety and the most extensive learning.
A commentary on the same plan, and with precisely the same title, was published by Phil. David Burkius, on the twelve minor prophets, 4to., Heilbronnæ, 1753, which was followed by his Gnomon Psalmorum, 2 vols. 410., Stutgardiæ, 1760. These are in many respects valuable works, written in a pure strain of piety, but rather too much in a technical form. They are seldom to be met with in this country, and are generally high priced.
The late pious bishop of Norwich, Dr. Horne, published the book of Psalms with notes, which breathe a spirit of the purest and most exalted piety.
Herman Venema is known only to me by a comment on Malachi, some dissertations on sacred subjects, an ecclesiastical history, correct editions of some of Vitringa's Theological Tracts, and a most excellent and extensive Commentary on the Psalms, in 6 vols. 4to., printed Leovardiæ, 1762–7. Through its great scarcity the work is little known in Great Britain. What was said by David of Goliah's sword has been said of Venema's commentary on the Book of Psalms, “ There is none like it.”
Ern. Frid. Car. Rosenmülleri, Ling. Arab. in Acad. Lips. Professoris, &c., Scholia in VETUS Testamentum. Edit. secunda emendatior, Lips. 1795-1812, 11 vols. 8vo. Scholia in Novum Testamentum. Edit. quinta auctior et emendatior, 1801-1808, 5 vols. 8vo., Nuremberg. This is a very learned and useful work, but rather too diffuse for Scholia. In the Scholia on the Old Testament Rosenmüller has not meddled with the historical books,
Class IV.-COMPILATIONS AND COLLECTIONS,
On the Fourth Class, containing compilations and critical collections, a few words must suffice. Among the compilations may be ranked what are termed Catene of the Greek and Latin Fathers; these consist of a connected series of different writers on the same text. The work of Galafridus, or Walafridus Strabus, already described, is of this kind; it contains a Catena or connected series of the expositions of all the Fathers and Doctors prior to his time. A very valuable Catena on the Octateuch, containing the comments of about fifty Greek Fathers, has been published at Leipsig, 1792, in 2 vols. folio ; it is all in Greek, and therefore of no use to common readers. The work of Venerable Bede, already noticed, is professedly of the same kind.
Father De la Haye, in what was called the Biblia Magna, 1643, 5 vols. folio, and afterwards Biblia Maxima, 1660, 19 vols. folio, besides a vast number of critical Dissertations, Prefaces, &c., inserted the whole notes of Nicholas de Lyra, Menochius, Gagneus, Estius, and the Jesuit Tirin.
Several minor compilations of this nature have been made by needy writers, who, wishing to get a little money, have without scruple or ceremony borrowed from those whose reputation was well established with the public; and by taking a little from one, and a little from another, pretended to give the marrow of all. These pretensions have been rarely justified: it often requires the genius of a voluminous original writer to make a faithful abridgment of his work ; but in most of these compilations the love of money is much more evident than the capacity to do justice to the original author, or the ability to instruct and profit mankind. To what a vast number of these minor compilations has the excellent work of Mr. Matthew Henry given
birth! every one of which, while professing to lop off his redundancies, and supply his deficiencies, falls, by a semi-diameter of the immense orb of literature and religion, short of the eminence of the author himself.
The most important collection of Biblical critics ever made was that formed under the direction of Bishop Pearson, John Pearson, Anthony Scattergood, and Francis Gouldman, printed by Cornelius Bee, London, 1660, in 9 vols. folio, under the title of Critici Sacri, intended as a companion for the Polyglot Bible, published by Bishop Walton, in 1657. This great work was republished at Amsterdam, with additions, in 12 vols. folio, in 1698. Two volumes called Thesaurus Dissertationum Elegantiorum, fc., were printed as a supplement to this work, at Amsterdam, in 1701–2. Of this supplement it may be said, it is of less consequence and utility than is generally supposed, as the substance of several treatises in it is to be found in the preceding volumes. The work contains a vast variety of valuable materials for critics, chronologists, &c.
The principal critics on the Old Testament, contained in the foreign edition of this great collection, which is by far the most complete, are the following : Sebastian Munster, Paul Fagius, Francis Vatablus, Claudius Badwellus, Sebastian Castalio, Isidore Clarius, Lucas Brugensis, Andrew Masius, John Drusius, Sextinus Amama, Simeon de Muis, Philip Codurcus, Rodolph Baynus, Francis Forrerius, Edward Lively, David Heschelius, Hugo Grotius, Christopher Cartwright, Cornelius a Lapide, and John Pricæus.
Besides the above, who are regular commentators on the Old Testament, there are various important Dissertations and Tracts, on the principal subjects in the law and prophets, by the following critics : Joseph Scaliger, Lewis Capellus, Martin Helvicus, Alberic Gentilis, Moses bar Cepha, Christopher Helvicus, John Buteo, Matthew Hostus, Francis Moncæius, Peter Pithæus, George Rittershusius, Michael Rothardus, Leo Allatius, Gaspar Varrerius, William Schickardus, Augustin Justinianus, Bened. Arias Montanus, Bon. Corn. Bertramus, Peter Cunæus, Caspar Waser, and Edward Brerewood.
On the New Testament the following commentators are included : Sebastian Munster, Laurentius Valla, James Revius, Desiderius Erasmus, Francis Vatablus, Sebastian Castalio, Isidore Clarius, Andrew Masius, Nicolas Zegerus, Lucas Brugensis, Henry Stephens, John Drusius, Joseph Scaliger, Isaac Casaubon, John Camero, James Capellus, Lewis Capellus, Otho Gualtperius, Abraham Schultetus, Hugo Grotius, and John Pricæus.
Dissertations on the most important subjects in the New Testament inserted here were written by Lewis Capellus, Nicolas Faber, William Klebitius, Marquard Freherus, Archbishop Usher, Matthew Hostus, I. A. Van-der-Linden, Claudius Salmasius under the feigned name of Johannes Simplicius, James Gothofridus, Philip Codurcus, Abraham Schultetus, William Ader, John Drusius, Jac. Lopez Stunica, Desider. Erasmus, Angelus Caninius, Peter Pitheus, Nicephorus, patriarch of Constantinople, Adriani Isagoge cum notis Dav. Hæschelii, B. C. Bertram, Anton. Nebrissensis, Nicholas Fuller, Samuel Petit, John Gregory, Christ. Cartwright, John Cloppena burg, and Pet. Dan. Huet. Those marked in italics are not included in the critics on the Old Testament. The Thesaurus Dissertationum Exegeticarum, published as a supplement to this work by Theod. Hasæus and Conrad Ikenius, in 2 vols. folio, contains upwards of one hundred and fifty additional writers. Such a constellation of learned men can scarcely be equalled in any age or country.
Mr. Matthew Poole, whose English comment has been already noticed, conceiving that the Critici Sacri might be made more useful by being methodized, with immense labour formed the work well known among divines by the title of Synopsis Criticorum, a general view of the critics, viz., those in the nine volumes of the Critici Sacri mentioned above. The printing of this work began in 1669, and was finished in 1674, 5 vols. folio. Here the critics no longer occupy distinct places as they do in the Critici Sacri, but are all consolidated, one general comment being made out of the whole, the names of the writers being referred to by their initials in the margin. To the critics ahove named Mr. Poole has added several others of equal note, and he refers also to the most important versions, both ancient and modern. The learned author spent ten years in compiling this work. In point of size, the work of Mr. Poole has many. advantages over the Critici Sacri; but no man who is acquainted with both works will ever prefer the synopsis to the original.
Perhaps no city in the world can boast of having produced, in so short a period, so many important works on the sacred writings as the city of London; works which, for difficulty, utility, critical and typographical correctness, and expense, have never been excelled. These are, i. The Polyglot, 6 vols. folio ; begun in 1653, and finished in 1657. 2. The Critici Sacri, in 9 vols. folio, 1660. 3. Castell's Heptaglot Lexicon, compiled for the Polyglot Bible, 2 vols. folio, 1669. 4. The Synopsis Criticorum, 5 vols. folio; begun in 1669, and finished in 1674. These works, printed in Hebrew, Chaldee, Samaritan, Syriac, Arabic, Æthiopic, Persian, Greek, and Latin, forming 22 vast vols. folio, were begun and finished in this city by the industry and at the expense of a few English divines and noblemen, in the comparatively short compass of