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sense of the
any more probable means of distinguishing, I have adopted an appeal to the eye, instead of to the ear, upon the following principle of analogy. Having remarked a certain determinate medium' in the length of those verses, whose measure was capable of being ascertained, with a variation of seldom more than a syllable or two either in excess or defect, I have divided the rest according to the like proportion, confining the variation also, with a due respect to circumstances, within the same limits. A method, it must be owned, sufficiently inaccurate and precarious, and admitted only because there appeared little chance of a better. It is therefore notified that no one may be drawn in to lay a greater stress upon it than it deserves.
Having by a distance of residence been precluded a ready intercourse with some friends, whose learning and judgment might have stood me in good stead, I have fewer acknowledgments to make, than I could wish, for assistance lent me on this occasion. Upon the death of my truly amiable and greatly respected College in Oxford, his papers, containing his manu
, Hertford script remarks on the Prophets, were by the favour of his Brother, Thomas Durell, Esq. of the island of Jersey, left in my hands. They are rough materials, which he had laid in for the carrying on of a work, designed to be a Continuation of the Critical Remarks already published by him on those parts of Holy Scripture, called the HagIOGRAPHA; and abound with that erudition, good sense, candour and piety, for which the Author in his lifetime was so eminent,
ly distinguished. But a long and severe illness, which followed immediately after his last publication, and terminated at length in his death, incapacitated him for any further literary attempt. Out of these remarks, I have selected such as fell within the com. pass of my design, and seemed most satisfactory to me; and have faithfully subjoined his name to every one of them. Others there undoubtedly are, which would have done no discredit to the Author's ingenuity; but as I am morally sure they would not have passed his second review, without undergoing some material alteration from him, I could not think myself justified in bringing them before the public in their present indigested and imperfect state.
To the Reverend Mr. Woide, one of the principal Librarians of the British Museum, and of the most respectable character for his profound literature, I am under great obligations for having had the goodness to collate for me, through the Book of Jeremiah, the Manuscript Copy of the Prophets of the version of the LXX, now in the British Museum, marked i Bu. and often quoted by the title of MS. Pachom. on account of its having belonged to Pachomius, a Patriarch of Constantinople in the beginning of the sixteenth Century. This Manuscript having been pointed out and much recommended in the 'Bishop of London's Preliminary Dissertation, I was very desirous of applying it to my own use; and therefore, by the intervention of a common friend, took the liberty of requesting the assistance of Mr. Woide, as I was not in a situation to collate it myself. To his honour let it be known, he not only hearkened to my
request, though I was personally a stranger to him, with the most liberal complaisance, but performed it, amidst a multiplicity of engagements, which might well have pleaded his excuse, with such punctuality of attention, and such cordial benevolence, as must for ever oblige me to remember him, as long as I live, with the most respectful esteem and gratitude. It is with pleasure I congratulate the public on their being about to receive from the hands of this learned gentleman a printed Exemplar of the Alexandrian MS. of the New Testament, copied from the Original with such exact imitation, as to extend and perpetuate even to distant ages the Use of this precious Relic; enriched besides, as I am given to understand, with many
excellent and valuable observations of the Editor.
It may seem matter of surprise, that knowing, as I must have done, of the valuable Notes of the late Archbishop Secker on the Bible, deposited according to the directions of his Will in the Library of the Palace at Lambeth, I should have neglected to avail myself of them, till after the greatest part of this work was printed off. But the truth is, I have no such ne. glect or want of curiosity to reproach myself with. On the contrary, in the summer of the year 1782, before any part of these sheets was sent to press, I took a journey from the place of my residence to London, for no other purpose than to consult those Manuscripts. Unfortunately, when I came there, I learned that the Archbishop was just gone from home; that the MSS. in question were kept under his immediate custody; and that, if I would see them, I must neces
sarily wait his return; which would have delayed me longer than the circumstances of my affairs at home would have allowed of my absence. Thus disappointed, I was obliged to go back, and to enter upon the measures for printing my book, postponing the examination of the Manuscripts till a more favourable opportunity. At length in November last I renewed my application, and was gratified with the object of my wishes by the permission of his Grace the present Lord Archbishop of Canterbury; whose goodness to me upon this occasion, as upon many others, I am bound to acknowledge with the greatest thankfulness. The principal of these Observations, as they came so late, I have been obliged to insert in an Appendix; and have added some further remarks of my own, chiefly such as suggested themselves on perusing the Manuscripts.
I should still think myself guilty of a' most unpardonable omission, were I not at this time to seize the opportunity of testifying my respect for the memory of another lately deceased friend, the learned Dr Kennicott I mean, whose name the Hebrew Critic ought ever to hold in the highest veneration. I account it a singular honour and happiness to myself to have conversed familiarly with him, and to have derived much solid information and improvement from that fund of knowledge, which his laborious researches enabled him to lay in, and which the friendliness of his mind disposed him freely to communicate. Of such a nature were my personal obligations to lnm. His public merit was more conspicuous; being attested by his astonishing Collation of near seven hundred
Hebrew and Samaritan MSS. and printed Editions of the most early date, anxiously sought out through all the different quarters of the Globe, and examined with the nicest care : a work, of which he was the first that had the penetration to discern the important utility; and which he was at length fortunate enough, after a course of twenty years of indefatigable application and industry, to bring to a happy conclusion, under the patronage of the greatest names in Europe. From this ample magazine what invaluable stores may be extracted, every day's experience tends to furnish more convincing and indubitable proofs. The various readings that are produced and applied in the Notes which follow, tliough not all of equal importance, will many of them, I trust, be deemed far from immaterial. But let me indulge a hope, that the time is not very far distant, when the task of bringing forward these materials to their proper use will not be left, as hitherto it hath been, altogether in the hands of a few well intentioned individuals, but will be undertaken on a more extensive plan by a select assembly of the most learned and judicious Divines, commissioned by public authority to examine into the state of the Hebrew
Text, to restore it as nearly as possible to its primitive purity, and to prepare from it a new Translation of the Seriptures in our own language for the public service. This has long been most devoutly wished by many of the best friends to our Religion and our established Church, who, though not insensible of the merit of our present Version in common use, and justly believing it to be equal to the very best that is now extant in any language, ancient or modern, sorrowful