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In presenting this important work to the American public, the present publishers would call attention to some of its peculiar features.
At first view, it might not seem to differ greatly from certain other works designed to aid in the study of the Bible. On comparing it with such, , however, it will be found to possess an essentially original and distinctive character. It differs especially, in some important particulars, from two classes of works to which it bears a general resemblance,—the common Concordance and the Scripture Manual or Topical Text-book.
The design of the common Concordance is to assist the student in finding some passage of Scripture by means of a leading word; and that is its whole design.
The design of this work, on the other hand, is to present, not a concordance of words, but a concordance of subjects. All those passages of Scripture which relate to one subject are brought together under one general head, and then distributed under many subordinate heads.
It is apparent from this statement, that while the Analytical Concordance essentially differs from, it in nowise supersedes, the common Concordance; each ministers to a distinct and independent purpose, but both are equally necessary to the Biblical student.
Again: this Concordance differs from the common Manual or Topical Text-book ; and it differs in two important respects. First, the latter class of works are confined to theological or doctrinal topics; the Analytical Concordance, on the contrary, embraces all the topics which are naturally suggested by the entire contents of the Bible. Second, the Topical Text-book contains only a part of the Bible; this contains the whole.
Thus, in all respects, the Analytical Concordance is more comprehensive and complete than the class of works with which it is here compared.
It is, in short, nothing less than the whole Bible distributed under appropriate heads.
The purchaser, therefore, gets not only a CONCORDANCE but also a Bible in this volume. The superior convenience arising out of this fact - saving, as it does, the necessity of having two books at hand and of making two references, instead of one — will be readily apparent.
Another feature of the work that deserves special notice is the Synopsis. This presents to view, in a brief compass and in the author's own words, what in the Concordance is spread over many pages and is expressed in the language of Scripture. It will be found of no small value in giving unity and clearness to the conceptions of the student.
In addition to the Synopsis, there is also an Index embracing nearly two thousand leading words arranged in alphabetical order.
That such a work as this is of exceeding great convenience is matter of obvious remark. But it is much more than that; it is also an instructive work. It is adapted not only to assist the student in prosecuting the investigation of preconceived ideas, but also to impart ideas which the most careful reading of the Bible in its ordinary arrangement might not suggest. Let him take up any one of the subjects — Agriculture, for example — and see if such be not the case. This feature places the work in a higher grade than that of the common Concordance. It shows it to be, so to speak, a work of more mind.
There is but one other work in our language prepared on the same general plan as this, and of that the author has sufficiently spoken in his preface. It need only be remarked, that while from what is there said this work appears to be every way superior to that, it is offered to the public at much less cost.
All classes and conditions of people will find this Concordance specially adapted to their necessities. It is equally adapted to assist —
Clergymen and Theological Students;
Authors engaged in the composition of religious, and even secular works ; and, in fine,
Common readers of the Bible, who have no other end in view than their own personal improvement. Boston, January, 1857.
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, Ileaven 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 arrangement.
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. Printed by and for Edward Baincs (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 West's, 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.”I 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 harder 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.