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This is the third of a Series of Biblical Works designed for popular study, specially for the use of Sabbath School Teachers, and generally for domestic reading and instruction. Occupying, as I do, a double position in the Church, — that of a Pastor, and that of a Teacher of Theology, - I have humbly endeavored to suit my literary labors to this twofold function. As a Professor in a Theological Seminary, I have given to the world some treatises of an Academic character; but, as a Minister, I have greatly rejoiced in the opportunity of publishing other Works of less pretension, but of far wider circulation, adapted in some measure to our homes and schools.1
This Volume at once explains its own nature. It is an attempt so to classify Scripture under separate heads as to exhaust its Contents. The reader will find under the respective Articles or Sections what the Bible says on the separate subjects in relation to Doctrine, Ethics, and Antiquities.
Now, the construction of such a work is somewhat difficult. There are verses which possess no distinctive character, and it is hard to select a place for them, for one Compiler might put them in one Section, and his successor might change them to another. Many verses contain two antagonistic statements, truth and error in contrast, or truth delivered in a negative and positive form; and, therefore, no matter where such a verse is quoted, one half of it does not and cannot belong to the Chapter under which it is found. To divide such verses is often impossible, for there would be left an imperfect statement, the necessary verb or full syntax being in the other portion. Then interpretation is so far involved, that it depends upon
1 Biblical Cyclopædia, &c. Fifth Edition or Tenth Thousand.– New and Complete Concordance of the Holy Scriptures, &c. Sixteenth Edition. (American Edition of the same, published by Gould and Lincoln. Seventeenth Thousand.]
the sense assigned to a verse whether it shall be ranged or not among the proofs of a doctrine or theological tenet, and there is often room for difference of opinion. Besides, in spite of every attention, one will find that some important verse may have been omitted or misplaced. Another difficulty is to determine how many Heads shall be employed, so as to classify and place under them the entire Scripture. Such works as those of Gaston, Warden, and Clarke, only take up special subjects, and therefore do not necessitate such a calculation. But if you mean to comprehend the Bible, you must contrive that under a definite number of Headings its various verses shall be apportioned. If these be too few, then there must be straining and manæuvre; if too many, the reader's attention is distracted, and one great purpose of the Book is lost. Thus Talbot (and West after him) has a Chapter called “ METAPHYSICS,” a name unbiblical both in spirit and form, and under it he classes subjects so different as Angels and Devils, Heaven and Hell. Talbot has another Chapter, named “ CONFLICTS," a very vague title, comprising some paragraphs for which an appropriate place could not elsewhere be very readily found, and West, of course, simply reprints it. Indeed, in all Works of this nature, there must be not a little that is matter of taste, rather than of precision in the
Our Work is based on that of Talbot, and we honestly award him the credit of the original production. But it is not a New Edition of Talbot, such as that which West has recently given in his own name. What we mean is, that Talbot's Collection suggested the idea, and has guided us both in Sections and Verses; so that if he has selected the right verses in any place, we take them. Indeed, from the nature of the Work, this imitation or similarity cannot be avoided. If the original Compiler gives every verse on a subject, a subsequent Editor, if he do not take the same verses, will be either defective or erroneous in his citations. Still, in almost every Section, we have been obliged to add, or subtract, or change. Talbot has thirty general Headings, we have forty-two. Yet we do not claim the merit of a wholly new production; for, certainly, had we not been preceded by Talbot, we should
1 An Analysis of the Holy Bible, containing the whole of the Old and New Testaments, collected and arranged systematically, in Thirty Books, by Matthew Talbot, 4to., Leeds, 1800. Priuted by and for Edward Baines (Son-in-law of the Author).
never have entered upon the Work at all. We say Talbot, and not West ; for West is but a reprint of Talbot, with an imperfect Index, and a few slight variations, by no means so numerous as those found in many a Second Edition of a Book.
Dr. West says that his work is based on that of the learned Talbot.” The language is fitted to mislead, for his Octavo is simply Talbot's Quarto, with a somewhat different arrangement of “ Books.” The epithet of “ the learned Talbot” seems to suggest that Talbot belonged to one of the Professions, as they are called. Now, Matthew Talbot was a worthy layman of Leeds, a currier by trade, a good man, of high independence, and of patient and indomitable energy. His “ ANALYSIS” was the result of the quiet and persistent study of many years, and certainly verifies one of his own quaint and common sayings : “ I can honor any Draft drawn on the Bank of Patience.” Mr. Talbot's daughter was married to Baines, the eminent printer. The old man's generosity and patriotism, his learning and talents, his hearty love of the truth, and adherence to it at all hazards, yet survive among his grandchildren, and one of them, the Right Honorable Matthew Talbot Baines, raised by personal merit to his high position, is, at this moment, a Member of her Majesty's Cabinet. It is, therefore, with regret, that we find his Book, with but a very slight disguise, published in America as Wests, and it is with indignation that we see it openly plagiarized and reprinted without even his name at all, and that so recently as in London, 1848. This last and unblushing appropriator of Talbot has adopted the meaningless title of the “ Analogy of the Old and New Testaments Systematically Classified.”What is worse, he is so audacious as to say in his Preface: “ This Work has been for many years a labor of love to the Author.” Surely, if such a plagiarism of a common Author is usually branded as dishonesty, then, coupled with such a statement, and in reference to the Word of Truth itself, one is apt to call it by the barder name of profanity.
The Work, then, is simply Scripture printed under classified heads. Thus, to take the first Article, “ AGRICULTURE," the reader will ascertain under it what is said in Scripture as to the Land and Farms of Canaan, the processes of Husbandry,
1 An Analogy of the Old and New Testaments, Systematically Classified. By T. Whowell. Two vols., 4to., London. Printed for the Author, by William Clowes & Son, 1848.
such as Ploughing, Sowing, and Reaping, &c., and the allusions to them contained in the Prophets and in the Parables of our Lord, with much more of similar import. Talbot and West only use a verse once, and therefore some of their Sections are brief and scanty; on the other hand, we have repeated many verses twice, thrice, and oftener, our only limit being the fear of too large a Volume. Great care has been taken to secure accuracy of reference, and every verse has been turned up, and verified by young eyes and fingers in the retirement of a rural Manse. The technical labor of preparing copy has been performed by one whose relationship to the Editor gave her a filial interest in the daily and protracted task. The Work is enriched with a very full Index, prepared with characteristic accuracy by a friend whose labors in a similar field we have elsewhere acknowledged. Another peculiar advantage will be found in the prefixed Synopsis, which is so constructed that it may be read continuously, and it will be found to exhibit a bird's eye view of Biblical Antiquities and Theology. By the employment of Synopsis and Index, every subject of Scripture may be easily turned up, and full information speedily obtained. In fine, while our Book will save time and trouble to the inquirer, yet we counsel the continuous consultation of the Scriptures themselves, and of the verses in their original connection. For there is a living unity in the Bible amidst all its diversity, and it is with it as with the minerals of the globe, which present a more glorious order in the respective positions in which nature has placed them, than when artificially arranged on the shelves of a cabinet. With all the imperfections of this volume, arfd they belong more or less to every compilation of the kind, we hope that it may be found to be really useful, that the Divine blessing may accompany it, and that it may meet with that cordial and extended welcome which has been, and still is, so kindly vouchsafed to its two predecessors.
The Dash so often introduced, is designed to point out some differences in the Verses following it, such as Allusions and Examples, or Instances and Statements, adduced as contrasts to the Verses of the Topic or Section printed above it.