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But that work
acquired an extensive circulation. was composed upon principles, which, in the humble opinion of the present writer, are directly subversive of the authority of revelation, and are calculated to lead the superficial and unwary, more especially, to the worst extreme of infidelity. It is to be regretted that the work alluded to, abounding as it does with passages of great power and brilliancy, and indicative as it is of the knowledge, the industry, and the genius of its author, should contain opinions, and communicate representations, of the most erroneous character and pernicious tendency; while some of the most important facts and considerations connected with the History of the Jews, are either only incidentally mentioned, or are kept completely out of sight. The writer of the following pages trusts, that whatever may be the imperfections of his work, he will not be found chargeable with such errors or deficiencies, and that he will not at any rate deserve to be numbered among "those, who whether from an indiscriminate desire to adapt their work to the public taste, from the vain pursuit of some favourite theory, or from mere prejudice and misapprehension, disguise the genuine features and native dignity of Scripture history, and throw a veil of confusion and doubt over the sacred truths of revelation, may be tampering with the faith of thousands, and incurring a responsibility which it is fearful to contemplate."*
The reader will perceive by referring to the tenth and eleventh chapters of this work, that no detailed
• Jewish History Vindicated by Godfrey Fausset, D. D. p. 43.
account has been given of the actions performed, or the doctrines taught, during the personal ministry of Christ; and that the attention has been confined to those peculiarities in his character, in his miracles, and in his gospel, which had a decisive influence upon the moral and temporal condition of the Jews. This omission, rendered unavoidable by the necessarily contracted limits of the work, will shortly be remedied by the publication of a separate volume upon the history of Christ, of his followers, and of his cause. The author has at present confined himself to the illustration of the principles which he has just laid down, as they are confirmed and explained by the whole history of the Jews.
This edition of the "History" has been printed in the interrogatory form, not only for the use of the higher classes in seminaries, but also for those who in reading adopt the highly advantageous plan, of isolating each particular fact or record, for its indelible impression upon the memory.
In concluding these prefatory observations, the author cannot but express his humble conviction, that if the equitable maxim be applied to the subsequent pages, "In every work, regard the writer's end," both his design and his motive will be appreciated and approved, whatever opinion may be entertained of the style and manner in which he has executed his undertaking.
January 2nd, 1832.
SECTION III.-THE CHARACTER OF ABRAHAM. The marriage of
SECTION VIII-THE POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS OF THE MOSAIC