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copies from which this Translation was made, are always the most correct. And therefore I shall take the liberty, as occasion may require, to make here and there a small alteration.
5. I am very sensible this will be liable to objection; nay, to objections of quite opposite kinds.
Some will probably think, the Text is altered too much; and others, that it is altered too little. To the former I would observe, that I have never knowingly, so much as in one place, altered for altering's fake: but there, and there only, where, first, the sense was made better, stronger, clearer, or more confistent with the context : fecondly, where the sense being equally good, the phrafe was better or nearer the original. To the latter, who think the alterations too few, and that the Translation might have been nearer still, I answer, this is true; I acknowledge it might. But what valuable end would it have answered, to multiply such trivial alterations, as add neither clearness nor strength to the Text? This I could not prevail upon myself to do : so much the less, because there is, to my apprehension, I know not what peculiarly folemn and venerable in the old language of our Translation. And fuppose this to be a mistaken apprehension, and an instance of human infirmity; yet is it not an excusable infirmity, to be unwilling to part with what we have been long accustomed to, and to love the very words, by which God has often conveyed strength or comfort to our souls ?
6. I have endeavoured to make the Notes as short as possible, that the Comment may not obfcure or swallow
up the Text: and as plain as possible, in pursuance of my main design, to assist the unlearned-reader: for this reason I have Studiously avoided, not only all curious and critical enquiries, and all use of the learned languages, but all such methods of reasoning and modes of expression, as people in Common Life are unacquainted with: for the same reason, as I rather endeavour to obviate than to propose and answer objections, so I purposely decline going deep into many difficulties, lest I should leave the ordinary Reader behind me.
7. I once designed to write down, barely what occurred to my own mind, consulting none but the inspired Writers. But no sooner was I acquainted with that great light of the Christian World (lately gone to his reward) Bengelius, than I entirely changed my design, being throughly convinced, it might be of more service to the cause of religion, were I
bårely to translate his Gnomon Novi Testamenti, than to write many volumes upon it. Many of his excellent Notes I have therefore translated. Many more I have abridged ; omitting that part which was purely critical, and giving the substance of the rest. Those various readings likewise which he has shewed to have a vast majority of ancient copies and translations on their side, I have without scruple incor. porated with the Text : which after his manner I have di. vided all along (though not omitting the common division into chapters and verses, which is of use on various accounts) according to the matter it contains, making a larger or smaller pause, just as the sense requires. And even this is such an help in many places, as one who has not tried it can scarcely conceive.
8. I am likewise indebted for fume useful observations, to Dr. Heylin's Theological Lectures : and for many more to Dr. Guyse, and to the Family Expositor of the fate pious and learned Dr. Doddridge. It was a doubt with me for some time, whether I should not subjoin to every Note I received from them, the name of the author from whom it was taken ; especially considering I had transcribed fome, and abridged many more, almost in the words of the author, But
farther consideration, I resolved to naine none, that nothing might divert the mind of the reader from keeping close to the point in view, and receiving what was spoke, only according to its own intrinsic value. 9.
I cannot flatter myself so far (to use tlie words of one of the above-named writers) as to imagine that I have fallen into no mistakes, in a work of so great difficulty. But my own conscience acquits me of having designedly misrepresented any single passage of Scripture, or of having written one line," with a purpose of inflaming the hearts of Christians against each other. · God forbid that I should make the words of the most gentle and benevolent Jesus, a vehicle to convey
Would' to God that all the party names, and unscriptural phrases and forms, which have divided the Christian World, were forgot : and that we might all agree to fit down together, as humble, loving Disciples, at the feet of our common Master, to hear his Word, to imbibe his Spirit, and to transcribe his Life in our own!
10. Concerning the Scriptures in general, it may be observed, the Word of the living God, which directed the
first Patriarchs, was, in the time of Mofes, committed to writing. To this were added, in several succeeding generations, the inspired writings of the other Prophets. After. wards, what the Son of God preached, and the Holy Ghost spake by the Apostles, the Apostles and Evangelists wrote. This is what we now stile the Holy Scriptures: this is that word of God which remaineth for ever: of which, though heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle shall not pass away. The Scripture therefore of the Old and New Testament, is a moft folid and precious systern of divine truth. Every part thereof is worthy of God: and all together are one entire body, wherein is no defect, no excess. It is the fountain of heavenly wisdom, which they who are able to taste, prefer to all the writings of men, however wise, or learned, or holy.
11. An exact knowledge of the truth, was accompanied in the inspired writers with an exactly regular series of arguments, a precise expression of their meaning, and a genuine vigour of suitable affections. The chain of Argument in each Book is briefly exhibited in the Table prefixt to it, which contains also the fum thereof, and may be of more use, than prefixing the argument to each chapter ; the division of the New Testament into chapters, having been made in the dark ages, and very incorrectly; often separating things that are closely joined, and joining those that are entirely distinct from each other.
12. In the language of the sacred Writings, we may ob. serve the utmost depth, together with the utmost ease. All the elegances of human compofitions sink into nothing before it: God speaks not as man, but as God. His thoughts are very deep; and thence his words are of inexhaustible virtue. And the language of his messengers also is exact in the highest degree: for the words which were given them, accurately answered the impreffion made upon their minds : and hence Luther says, “Divinity is nothing but a grammar of the language of the Holy Ghost.” To underftand this thoroughly, we should observe the emphass which lies on every word; the holy affections expreft thereby, and the tempers fhewn by every writer. But how little are these, the latter especially, regarded ? though they are wonderfully diffused through the whole New Teftament, and are, in truth, a of him, who acts, or speaks, or commendation
13. The New Testament is, all those facred writings in which the New Teftament or covenant is described. The former part of this contains the Writings of the Evangelifts and Apostles: the latter, the revelation of Jesus Christ. In the former is, first, the history of Jesus Christ, from his coming in the flesh, to his ascension into heaven; then, the inftitution and history of the Christian Church, from the time of his ascension. The Revelation delivers what is to be, with regard to Christ, the church, and the universe, till the consummation of all things.
BRISTOL HOT-WELLS, January 4, 1754.
'HE GOSPEL, (that is, Good Tidings) means a book containing the St. Mark in his gospel presupposes that of St. Matthew, and supplies what is omitted therein." St. Luke supplies what is omitted by both the former : St. John what is omitted by all the three.
St. Matthewu particularly points out the fulfilling of the prophecies for the conviction of the Jews. St. Mark wrote a short compendium, and yet added many remarkable circumstances omitted by St. Matthew, par. ticularly with regard to the Apostles, immediately after they were called. St. Luke treated principally of the office of Christ, and mostly in an historical manner.
St. John refuted those who denied his Godhead : each chusing to treat more largely on those things, which most fuited the time when, and the persons to whom he wrote.
The Gospel according to St. Matthew, contains, 1. The birth of Christ, and what presently followed it: 4. His genealogy,
C. i. 1-17 6. His birth,
18-25 c. The coming of the wise men,
C. ii. 1-12 d. His flight into Egypt and return,
13-23 11. The introduction : a John the Baptist,
C. iii. be The Baptism of Christ,
13-17 c. His temptation and victory,
Where we may
4. Sermon on the Mount,
C. v. vi. vii. 5. Healing the Leper,
C. viii. - 1-4 6. the Centurion's Servant,.
5-13 7. Peter's Mother-in-law,
14-15 8. many that were sick,
16-17 d. In his journey (wherein he admonished two that offered
to follow him) over the sea :.
18-27 2. The Devils passing from the Men into the Swine, 28-34 6. At Capernaum again..
Here, c. ix. 1. He cures the Paralytic,
1-85 2. Calls Matthew, and defends his conversing with Pablicans and Sinners, .
9-13 3. Answers concerning Fasting,
14-17 4. Raifes Jairus' Daughter (after curing the Issue of Blood)
18-26 5. Gives Sight to two blind Men,
27-32 6. DispofTcfies the Demoniac,
32-34 : 7. Goes through the Cities, and dire&ts to pray for Labourers,
35-38 8. Sends and instructs Labourers, and preaches Himself,
C. x: 1. xi. 1. 9. Answers the Message of John,
2-6 10 Commends John, reproves the unbelieving Cities, invites the Weary,
730 11. Defends the Disciples plucking the Corng. C. xii. 8 12. Heals the withered Hand,
9-13 13. Retires from the Pharisees lying in wait,
14-21 14, Cures the Demoniac, while the People wonder,
andahe Pharisees blaspheming are refutedy
C. xiii. 1-52
53-58 4. In other places. 1. Herod having killed John, doubts concerning Jesus. Jesus retiring, is sought for by the People,
č. xiv. 1-13 2. He heals the Sick, and feeds five thousand,
1421 3. His Voyage and Miracles in the Land of Gennefaret, 22–36 4. Unwashen Hands, 5. The Woman of Canaan, ,
21-28 6. Many Sick healed,
29-31 7. Four thousand fed,
32-38 8. Those who require a Sign reproyed, C. xv. 39 'xvi. I---4 9. The Leaven of the Pharisees,
5 is IV. Predictions of his Death and Resurrection :
A. The First Prediction;
13-20 2. The Prediction itself, and Reproof of Peter, 91-28 b. The Second Prediction.
a. The Transfiguration, and Silence enjoined, C. xvii. 1-13 2. The Lunatic healed,
14-21 3. The Prediction itselle
22-23 4. Tribute
22-37 38- 45 46-50