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BY MEANS OF

2

NATURAL SCIENCE,
IN BOTANY, GEOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, NATURAL HISTORY, NATURAL

PHILOSOPHY,

UTENSILS, DOMESTIC AND MILITARY, HABILIMENTS, MANNERS, AND CUSTOMS, &c.

IN TWO PARTS....PART I.

AN EXPOSİTORY INDEX,

REFERRING TO

SUBJECTS OF SCIENCE, IN THE ORDER OF THE SACRED BOOKS.

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INTENDED TO ILLUSTRATE VARIOUS INCIDENTS, &c. MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE.

WITH AN ATTEMPT TO ASCERTAIN

THE SYSTEMATIC ARRANGEMENT OF THE BIBLICAL WRITERS.

WITH PLATES.

CONDUCTED PRINCIPALLY BY THE

EDITOR OF CALMET'S DICTIONARY OF THE HOLY BIBLE.

TO WHICH IS ADDED,

AN APPENDIX;

COMPRISING ABOUT ONE HUNDRED PAGES, NOT BEFORE PUBLISHED IN THIS WORK.

SELECTED CHIEFLY FROM TRAVELS IN THE EAST.

VOL. IV.

CHARLESTOWN;

PRINTED AND SOLD BY SAMUEL ETHERIDGE, Jun.

1814.

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The following work is divided into two parts; one of which, containing ENGRAVINGS, is published without any present attention to regularity, but merely as convenience permits; yet is so marked, that it may be reduced to order at pleasure. The other division of our work pursues a regular course, and takes those passages of Holy Writ which it proposes to illustrate, in the order of the books, as they lie in the Bible.

It cannot have escaped the reader, that such a companion, as well to the Bible itself, as to those numerous commentaries which are extant among us, has been long wanted : neither indeed can such an omission well be accounted for, without fully understanding the difficulty of procuring the materials, and the expense of presenting them to the public.

Commentators have generally contented themselves with speculations on WORDS only, without attempting to set THINGS before their readers. We are far from questioning the utility of verbal explications, or of verbal correctness : we believe, and we know, that such studies are of indispensable necessity : nevertheless, we must insist that a knowledge of the subjects meant to be denoted or distinguished by words, is equally indispensable, in order to understand the very powers and proprieties of words themselves. Unhappily, this department of liberal biblical science has been less valued than its relative consequence deserves; having been at all times difficult of acquisition, it has been neglected, or unknown, by most of those who, in fact, when they undertook to be teachers, should have been proficients at least, if not masters, in this branch of knowledge, as well as others.

In proportion to the ignominy of ignorance, is the honour due to those liberal spirits whose studies embraced that extensive range of natural objects which the Deity himself has presented to us in the Bible. Aware, that not in vain had natural knowledge been made the vehicle of spiritual communication, by comparison, by allusion, by direct reference, or by very easy inference, they felt the necessity of local information, of information derived from the very places where such communication originated. Suspending all considerations of danger or trouble, of privation or suffering, whether from the absence of personal enjoyments, or the pressure of personal difficulties, they explored, under the equivocal protection of unsettled authority, or the hazardous insolence of the fanatical multitude, that knowledge which has endeared their memories to every biblical student, who knows the value, and who feels the importance, of scientific correctness and integrity.

Less venturesome, but not less laudable, is the man of study, who directs the application of natural knowledge to the illustration of those passages in the Bible, which, however easy, when, and where, they were originally communicated, yet to us, who are not only distant in time, place, and manners, but who receive them through the medium of a translation, are involved in Egyptian darkness, darkness which may be felt. How many passages and phrases, how many sentiments and actions, have been relinquished as unintelligible, and ever must have remained so, but for the observations actually made, and correctly recorded, by judicious travellers; by means of whom, and by the happy application of knowledge in natural things, how many obscurities have we seen brightened, how many apparent blemishes removed from Holy Writ! Not to mention those ambiguities, equivocations, and doubtfulnesses, which have teased the honest inquirer after truth, if they have not amounted to serious or important difficulties.

Let no man fear, that increase of knowledge will occasion decrease of piety; we deny the fact: it will augment true religion, the religion of the heart, though it may indeed diminish superstition, that canker of strong passions, and of weak understandings. Nor let it be said in disparagement, that not every thing proposed as a discovery deserves our reception; this must be freely admitted; we ourselves feel the fact to be true; but we do not therefore reject the whole, because a part may be indifferent, or even trivial. No competent writer would characterize his labours as infallible; no competent reader would receive such a character with endurance, much less with complacency; but there are infinite gradations between proposing a suggestion for further consideration, and insisting with that firmness of tone and manner which should accompany complete conviction and certainty only. All human efforts are liable to suffer from those constant attendants on humanity, weakness and error, one or other of which but too often eludes the observation of the most accurate, or surprises the vigilance of the most wary.

That reputation, which has been justly earned by the exertions and the labours of great men, far be it from us to tarnish: on the contrary, it is our boast respecting the work now offered to the public, that the foundation was laid by BOCIIART,

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