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tateuch. On testimonies which are highly respe&able, and reasons superior to every suspicion of ambiguity, it is maintained, that, after the overthrow of Jerusalem, it was absolutely impossible for the Jews to corrupt, by a national deed, their canonical records. At fo recent a period the mutilation of their chronology would have availed them nothing. As they acknowledged, that their promised Deliverer had not appeared, a project to amplify their chronology would much better have served their purpose. Besides, had they curtailed the years of all the copies in their possession, an equal number, at leaft, was in the hands of the Christians, who would not suffer so glaring a corruption to pass without spirited remonstrances.
14. On the whole, whatever reasonable and generous allowance should be made for (here and there) a wilful error by a single hand, or for incidental oversights in the multiplication of transcripts, the Jews were faithful depositaries of their sacred books. The Samaritans enlarged the times in their copy of the Pentateuch, the Alexandrians in their version, and moreover basely inserted a spurious patriarch *. But in other respects the Hebrew chronology has been (by the signal favour of a watchful Providence) transmitted pure, entire, and safe, to the passing generation, at the commencement of the 59th century from the creation.
15. This prefatory address could not more appositely end than with the following quotation from a late proficient in Sacred Criticism. “ The light, that arose upon the Chriftian world at the Reformation, hath ftill continued to increale, and we trust will shine more and more, unto the perfect day. The labours of the learned have, from that time, by the blessing of God upon the free exercise of reason and private judgement, been greatly successful in promoting religious knowledge ; and particularly in laying open the hidden treasures of divine wisdom, contained in the HOLY SCRIPTURES. Much hath been done in this important work, and much still remains to be done. Those heavenly stores are inexhaustible : every new acquisition leads on to new discoveries; and the most careful search will still leave enough to invite, and reward the repeated researches of the pious and industrious, to the latest ages. This is a work that demands our first and most earnest regard ; the studies and alsistance, the favour and encouragement of all. To confirin and illustraté These holy writings, to evince their truth, to thew their consistency, to explain their meaning, to make them more generally known and studied, more easily and perfectly understood, by all; to remove difficulties, which discourage the honeft endeavours of the unlearned, and provoke the malicious cavils of the half-learned :-this is the most worthy object that can engage our attention; the most important end, to which our labours, in the search of truth, can be directed. Here I cannot but mention, that nothing would more effectually conduce to this end, than the exhibiting of the Holy Scriptures themselves to the
* The second Cainan.
people, people, in a more advantageous and just light, by an accurate REVISAL of our vulgar translation, by public authority. This hath often been represented ; and I hope will not always be represented in vain *.”
* Dr. Lowth's Visitation Sermon at Durham, 1758.
ERRORS CORRECTED. P. L.
P. L. For Read. 17. 22. after 1
153. 7. Rabbitical Rabbinical. expunge I.
159. 18. 4th
8th. 69. 5. Read
443. 295. 4. Hezekiah's Jofiah's
465. 353. 14. sedereal lidereal.
401. 12. Amaziah Uzziah.
Shuah,p. 27. is twice said to have been the wife of Judah; but by Gen. xxxviii. 2. and 1 Chron. ii. 3. the patriarch married a daughter of that Canaanitess, N. B. For other mistakes, if any such be, the Reader's indul.
gence is requested.
PRINTING by SUBSCRIPTION,
RESEARCHES into the Origin and Progress of
Historical Time, from the Creation to the Demise of Tiberius Nero.
IN THREE PARTS. 1. PRINCIPLES of computation by natural and
inftituted measures; - days, weeks, lunations, equinoxes, folftices ;-single years, natural and civil, common and bissextile, lunar, luni-solar, folar-tropical, sidereal, historical, prophetical ;-festivals of the Jewish worship ;--years in combination or circulating periods ; the olympiad and luftrum, sabbatical years and jubiles, cycles of the sun and moon, eclipses, with their repetitions ;--fixed periods, more remarkable epochs in the sacred and gentile history ; rise and fall of ancient empires ;-chronological ftile, the Gregorian adjusted to the Astronomical standard, and continued back from the time of the Nicene council to the Christian era; thence to the origin of measured time. To all these measures are applied the generations of men, the duration of magistracies, reigns, pontificates, and other supreme or subordinate dignities..
II. HISTORICAL Arrangements from Adam to the accession of Caligula, in the year after the crucifixion;
comprehending occasional strictures on the chronological schemes of Petau, Scaliger, Isaac Vossius, Sir W. Raleigh, Sir J. Marsham, Sir I. Newton ; Archbishop Usher; Bishops Beveridge, Clayton, Cumberland, Loyd, Mann, Newcome, Pearse, Pearson, Richardson, Squire ; the Reverend A. Bedford, Blair, Jackson, Kennedy, Kennicott, Playfair, Priestly, Strauchius, Whifton ;-as also on Grotius, Pilkington, Trapp, Yardley, and other writers on the sacred genealogies ; Payley on fabbatical institutions.
III. DISSERTATIonson important subjects in sacred criticism, subservient to illustrate or confirm the principles and conclusions in the foregoing parts.
DISSERT. 1. On the dates of the books, in which is contained the history of the Old and New Testament.
2. CHRONOLOGY of the Hebrews and Gentiles compared with respect to authority, genuineness, and truth.
3. EXAMINATION of the genealogical numbers in the Samaritan and Greek Pentateuch, Josephus, and others, discordant with the Hebrew notations, prior to the birth of Abraham.
4. HISTORY of the Sabbath from the primeval week to that of Christ's resurrection.
5. TRUE times of the Hebrew festivals from the first Passover in Egypt, to the last in Chrift's ministry.
6. ORIGIN of alphabetical composition and national records.