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Some of the Presbyterians were not well pleased with this Trapllation, suspecting it would ábate the Repute of that of Geneva, with their An: notations made by the English Exiles, and printed with the general Liking of the People, above thirty Times over. And some complained that they could not see into the Sense of the Scriptures, for the Jack of those Geneva Annotations. But to say nothing of the Defects and Faults of those Anootations, (though the best in those Times which are extant in English) these Notes were so tuned to that Translation alone, that they would jar with any other, and could no way be fitted to this new Edition of the Bible..
Some of our Church also would pretend to find Errors and Miftakes in it (and no Body thinks it wholly free). Mr. Walton in the Life of BiThop Sanderson gives a remarkable Inftance of this: Dr. Kilby, an excellent Critick in the Hebrew Tongue, Professor of it in the University, a perfect Grecian, and one of the Translators, going into the Country, took Mr. Sanderson to bear him Company. Being at the Church on Sunday, they found the young Preacher to have no more Discretion, than to waste a great Part of the Time allotted for his Sermon in Exceptions againft the late Translation of several Words, (not excepting such a Hearer as Dr. Kilby) and shewed Three Reasons why a particular Word should have been otherwise translated. The Preacher in the Evening was invited to the Doctor's Friend's House, where, after some other Conference, the Doctor told him, he might have preached more useful Doétrine, and not have filled his Auditors Ears with needlets Exceptions against the late Translation ; and for that Word, for which he offered that poor Congregation Three Reasons, why it ought du have been translated as he said, he and others had considered all of them, and found Thirteen more considerable Reasons, why it was translated as now printed. And told hiin, if his Friend, (Mr. Sanderson) then attending him, should prove Guilty of such indifcretion, he should forfeit his Favour. To which Mr. Sanderson said, he hoped he should not.
At a Grand Committee for Religion, in a pretended Parliament summoned by Oliver Cromwell Anno 1656, it was ordered that a SubCommittee should advise with Dr. Walton, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Caftlen Mr. Clerk, Mr. Poulk, Dr. Cudworth, and such others as they thought proper, to consider of the Translations and Impressions of the Bible, and to offer their Opinion therein to the Committee, and that it should be more particularly recommended to Bulflrode Whitlock, one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, to take Care of that Affair. The Committee met frequently at Whitlock's Houfe, where the learned Men in the Oriental Languages attended, made many Observations upon this Subject, and pretended to discover some Mistakes in the last English Translation, which yet they allowed was the best extant. They took a great deal of Pains in this Business, which yet came to nothing by the Diffolution of the Parliament.
After the Restoration, the King granted a Commission Anno 1661, to feveral Persons to review the Liturgy, in order to have it farther accommodated to a general Satisfaction, and the Bishop of London's Lodge
ings in the Savoy were appointed for the Place of Meeting, when the Presbyterian Divines delivered in their Exceptions to the CominonPrayer, together with the additional Forms and Alterations which they desired. One of their Exceptions was, that there were many Defects observed in the Verlion of the Scriptures, used in the Liturgy; that it was either obfolete in Language, or miftaken in Sense, as they endea.' youred to prove in several Instances; they therefore moved that this Version might be struck out; and the new Translation allowed by the Authoriy fubftituted inftead thereof. To which the Commissioners on the Liturgy's Part returned their Answer, wherein they were willing that all the Epiftles and Gospels, be used according to the last Translation, but that the Psalms be used after the former Tranflation, mentioned in the Rubrick, and printed according to it; which was done accordingly.
Leave we then these worthy Men the Translators, now all of them gathered to their Fathers, whose Industry, Skilfulness, Piety, and Difcretion, hath therein bound the Church unto them, in a Debt of special Remembrance and Thankfulness. These with Jacob Gen. xxix. rolled away the Stone from the Mouth of the Well of Life, so that now even Rachel's weak Women may freely come both to drink themselves, and water the Flock of their Families' at the same.' And the Church has not only permitted all Believers, without Distinction of Age or Sex, to read these Holy Books, but always exhorted them to do so ('till these laft Ages) by the Mouths of its Pastors, without excluding any. It has exhorted Children to it, that according to the Example of Timo. thy, they might be nourished and brought up in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. It has exhorted Catechumens to it, and admitted them to hear the Word of God, though it excluded them from its Mysteries, that they might conceive a Veneration and Respect for the Religion which they embraced. It has exhorted Women, Maids, and young Widows to it, that they might learn from it their several Duties, and by a continual Meditation on it, arrive to a greater Perfection of Spiritual Life. It has exhorted to it the Ignorant, and Men of low Degree, being persuaded that Jesus Christ had chosen such, even before the Great and Wise ; and that the Holy Scriptures, though they contain Mysteries and very sublime Things in them, are nevertheless suited to the Capacities, of all Persons, and accommodated to the Understanding of the meanest Readers, fo that a Mechanick, a Servant, a poor Woman, and the most ignorant of Men may profit by reading shem. It has exhorted to it not only such as profels to lead a Spiri. tual Life, but those who live in the World, who have a Family and Employment, that they might find there a Support for their Weakness, in the midst of the Dangers to which the Occupations of this World expose them, and Affiftance against the Temptations, to which they are continually liable. It has exhorted to it Sinners, and Persons en. gaged in a vicious Course, that they might there seek a Remedy for their Spiritual Distempers; and hearkning to the Voice of God, and being enlightened by his Word, might be sensible of their Errors, and embrace the Means of breaking off the Chains of their wicked Customs. So that neither Age, nor Sex, nor Ingenuity, nor want of Capacity, por a Man's Profession, nor the Condition he is in, have been ever Ga
there time of dation of the the ignorhofen suchen e in youples, and by, a.ite. It has that Jesus Holy Scriptures se nevertheme
looked upon as sufficient Reasons to forbid Chriftians to read the Holy Scriptures. In a Word, the Church has not only exhorted all Believers to read them, but told them, by the Mouths of the holy Fathers, that it is the Devil, who diverts Christians from so doing. It has reproved and blamed those who neglected it, and declared that the Igno. rance of the Holy Scriptures, is one of the chief Causes of all our Miferies; that from thepce, as from an unhappy Spring, had proceeded innumerable Disorders; that thence came such a swarm of Herefies, such Depravation of Manners, such a Multitude of useless Labours, and vain Employments, in which Christians engaged themselves.
Happy! thrice happy ! hath our English Nation been, since God hath given it learned Translators, to express in our Mother Tongue the Heavenly.Mysteries of his holy Word, delivered to his Church in the Hebrew and Greek Languages; who although they may have in some Matters of no Importance unto Salvation, as Men, been deceived and mistaken, yet have they faithfully delivered the whole. Substance of the Heavenly Doctrine, contained in the Holy Scriptures, without any Heretical Translations, or wilful Corruptions. With what Reverence, Joy, and Gladness then ought we to receive this Blessing ! Let us read the Scriptures with an humble, modeft, and teachable Dispofition, with a Willingness to embrace all Truths which are plainly delivered there, how contrary soever to our own Opinions and Prejudices; and in Matters of Difficulty readily hearken to the Judgment of our Teachers, and those that are set over us in the Lord ; check every presumptuous Thought or Reasoning which exalts itself against any of those Mysterious Truths therein revealed. And if we thus search after the Truth in the Love of it, we shall not miss of finding that Knowledge, which will make us wise unto Salvation. ,
THE authors of ihis incomparable Version and learned Commen:
tary having given a particular account, at the end of the Introduction, of each branch of their work, the translator has thought fit to prefix, by way of preface, the substance of what is there faid, that the reader may beforehand have a just notion of the nature of the whole undertaking.
It having been represented to the late king of Pruffia, that the French Versions of the holy scriptures being, by length of time, become obsolete and unintelligible, it was necessary either to make a new translation, or Tevise the old ones; he was pleased to cast his eyes on Messieurs De Beaufobre and Lenfant, as the properest persons to do the publick that important piece of service. Accordingly they jointly set about this work, by the king's express order, and after some years compleated the whole, consisting of the following parts; An Introduclory Discourse to the Reading of the Scriptures ; An Abstract or Harmony of the Gospel History; A New Verfion of all the Books of the New Testament ; A literal Commentary on all the dificult Pallages, with a General Preface to all St. Paul's Epistles, and a Girtical Preface to each book in particular.
I. The INTRODUCTION.
THOUGH there is nothing in the Introduction but what
I divines are well acquainted with, yet it may not be displeafing to them to fee so many particulars alluded to in the scriptures, and dispersed up and down in the works of the learned, brought together and handled in one treatise. It was chiefly intended for fiudents in a:vi, nity, who have not the opportunity, or perhaps the ability, of coming at those voluminous works that treat of the many curious as well as necessary points here discutsed. In the first part you have a clear account of all the Jewish matters as far as is requisite for the understanding the scriptures. The civil and religious state of the Jews: The Samaritans; ceremonies : The temple : sacrifices : fynagogues : high priest, and others; couris of justice, particularly the Sanbedriñ : Prophets and fcribes, Jewish sects, Pharisees, Sadduces, Ejenes: Projelytes of the gate, and Prosélytes of righteousness : years, montes, days, and hours of the Jews : fasts and feasts, particularly the Jewish labbath, &c. In the second part, which relates more especially to the New Teftament, you have the proofs of the truth of the Christian religion: The nature of the New Testament St;le: The chronology, and geography of the New Tefiament : The Hebrew money, weights, and measures: The various readings: The division into chapters and verses: The heresies in the days of the Apostles: The versions of the New Testament, ancient and modern, to which will be added an account of our Englih ones, &c.
II. The Abstract ar Harmony of the GOSPEL HISTORY.
As for the evangelical and apostolical Harmony, 1. It contains the bira tory of the actions of Jesus Christ and the Apostles in their irue order of time, which the Evangelists did not so much regard, as not conducing to their principal delign of proving Jefus' to be the Mafiah from his dit. trines and miracles. 2. It hews 'what is common to all the Evangelists, and what is particular to each of them. 3. It paraphrases or explains in other words ihe original text, which otherwise would require notes. 4. It clears up many things which could not fo 'well be treated of in the Commentary. 5. It may ferve alio for a table of the principal matters,
III. The V'ER S I O N. When our authors were ordered by the king of Pruulia to undertake : this work, they consulted whether they should revise the old versions, or make an entire new one. But when they considered that a new trantlation would cost thein no inore time and pains than the reviling an old one, and that it was impossible to revile an old verlion, so as to make it all of a piece; they resolved upon the former, well knowing that the