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PRE FACE.

THEN the excellent Dr. DODDRIDGE had published the greater

part of The Family Expositor, he informed his friend Mr. JOB ORTON, by letter, that it was his intention, if his life should be spared, to print a cheaper edition, without the Paraphrase, the Prefaces, or the learned notes, for the sake of extending its usefulness in the families of plain Christians. This Letter Mr. Orton communicated to me many years ago, with a request that I would undertake the execution of such an edition. At that time I declined it, for reasons which need not now be mentioned. When that worthy man afterwards honoured me with the care of his own MSS. on the Old Testament (which after his decease, for want of time, I put into the hands of the late Mr. Gentleman he renewed his wish that an abridged edition of Dr. Doddridge's Exposition of the New Testament might be printed, in an uniform manner with it. Mr. Gentleman accordingly, after finishing the former, published proposals for the latter. But his untimely death prevented the execution of his design. Hereupon I received renewed applications to undertake the work. From a conviction of the utility of such a performance, and the peculiar excellence of Dr. DoDDRIDGE's Practical Reflections, I cheerfully complied; and my principal objection was easily removed by the liberal proposal of a friend, who offered to be responsible for the expense.

It is proper now to inform the reader of the manner in which the work is executed. And in the first place he may be assured that it is entirely Dr. DoDDRIDGE'S ; excepting a few such small variations and corrections as were in a manner necessary, or as every judicious reader, it is presumed, will admit to be highly expedient.

The principal of these are in the Harmony of the Evangelists, contained in this first volume. The object of thc author was, so to transpose and compound the histories of all the four Evangelists, as to form

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one regular narrative. The design was important, and the execution of it discovers great ingenuity in the author, and must have cost him immense labour. But the attempt to include every clause of each writer (which indeed he found impracticable) was attended with considerable inconveniences. It occasioned much redundancy and uncouthness of language ; and where there was any variation, especially any apparent inconsistency, in the different writers, it necessarily rendered the narrative so awkward, even with the advantage of the Doctor's own translation, as to require all his ingenuity in paraphra-: sing, to render some paragraphs tolerable. It may therefore easily be supposed, that such passages thus compounded, when they come to appear in the naked translation (though evidently accommodated to this Harmony) must: read unpleasantly, to say the least. Of this the author was evidently sensible ; so much so that it is surprising he did not alter his plan ; which he doubtless would have done had: he lived to publish the abridgment himself.

For any other editor to make such alterations as every competent judge will allow to be expedient, and in some cases necessary, must be thought a matter of delicacy, and of no small difficulty*. In what I have done, I have proceeded with the utmost caution ; but that caution against using too much liberty occasioned the more trouble : much more indeed than readers in general will imagine, or than I had apprehended before I had pledged myself for the undertaking. It was found necessary to transcribe the whole ; in doing which the following method was taken. Where words from one Evangelist were introduced into the narrative of another, which appeared totally redundant and af no importance to be noticed (which are chiefiy particles) they are wholly omitted, with this mark o in their place. Where they appeared of any moment to be known, they are put at the bottom of the page..

Where the same general facts are recorded by different evangelists with some variety, or apparent inconsistency of circumstances, the fullest and clearest account is retained in the text, and the variations as to language and circumstances, are inserted in the notes..

The same method has likewise been ased with regard to the discourses and occasional speeches of our Lord, his disciples, and other persons, which the sacred historians report variously. The author has retained, where he could, all the words which they all introduce, and transposed them in the best order he was able ; as if he had supposed that these writers on all occasions record the identical words which were spoken, and that each relates a part, which, all together, make up the whole ; in consequence of which method of harinonizing, more words sometimes appear to have been used than it is reasonable to think were actually spoken, and in some instances it makes a disa-.

* For this reason Mr. Gentleman proposed entirely to drop the Harmony and to adopt the common translation. Biet then the work would not have been Dr. Doddridge's.

greeable tautology. See for instance, our Lord's words in reóuking the unbelief of the disciples in the storm; and those of Peter in denying his master, and of the other speakers on that occasion. In these and the like cases, I have retained the chief expressions from one Evangelist, and placed the parallel passages from others in the margin below. A few other needful alterations in the Harmony, will be found noticed, and the reasons explained, in the places where they occur.

The Paraphrase, agreeably to the author's intention, is entirely omitted where it appeared to be unnecessary; but where the sense of a passage seemed to want illustration it is retained, though as much as possible abridged: frequently the insertion of a word or two was found sufficient, and in a few instances the explanation is taken frorn the Notes. All these are distinguished from the text by Italic letters. Where any additional explanation seemed to be wanting, which is but seldom, the editor has inserted a few words, which are included in {brackets]*

The author's new Version (which contains many great improvements on the common one) is here retained throughout, with the exception of a few instances of little moment, chiefly in the particles, where he had departed from the public translation without any other apparent reason than to accommodate it to his paraphrase, or where he had unaccountably substituted a difficult word for an easy one (such as prescience for fore-knowledge) in which cases the common rendering is sometimes restored, and is expressed by this mark r. But the author's sense of a passage is in no case altered. In some difficult texts however, of which his rendering did not appear quite satisfactory, later translations have been consulted, and when any of them seemed to throw any new light upon a passage, they have been referred to in the Notes, but never with relation to any doctrinal sentiment. These notes, which are very few and very short, are distinguished by the initial letter of the author's name, v. g. C. denotes Campbell, M. Macknight (on the Epistles ), W. Wakefield. A. The Annoymous editor of Dr. Doddridge's Translations with brief Notes. 2 vols. 12 mo. 1765.-C. T. the common translation.-Where D. occurs in the notes, it signifies the author, and Ed. the Editor, who has in a few places ventured a remark of his own.

All the other Notes which have no mark of distinction, are taken from the original work, but considerably abridged. Learned and critical ones are purposely omitted, according to the intention of the author. What are retained are adapted to common readers, and they include most of those that are of any great importance to illustrate the sense of the sacred writers.

* The reader is desired to observe, that in a few of the first pages, there are some words in brackets, which are printed in the same letter with the rest, as there are through the whole of the original work. There are supplementary words, which properly belong to the translation. But it was afterwards thought needless to distinguish these from the other explanatory words, and therefore these marks, which rather disfigure the page, were discontinued,

The author's admirable Improvements* of each section (though some of them might have been with great advantage abridged) are all printed verbatim from the copy, excepting the correction of a few small inadvertencies which had escaped the accurate author, and the references to texts of scripture, especially the verses in the margin, which were but of little use, and are omitted to save room; as also are the numerous references in the margin of the Harmony; the insertion of which would have been more troublesome both to the Editor and the Printer, than useful to the reader. This omission is in part supplied by the running titles, which however could not be made to express the contents of each page : they are the same as are found at the head of each section; the Titles of which are most of them considerably abridged.

It has been my object by every suitable means to reduce this voluminous work within the present compasst (though it has somewhat exceeded the limits of the estimate) and at the same time to render it as full and comprehensive as possible. Nor has due care been wanting in regard to the accuracy of the printing, particularly in distinguishing between the Text and the explanatory words, in which respect the octavo editions are grossly defective. The labour has been great, but not superior to the pleasure. May the Reader's profit be equal !

S. P.

* These are here entitled Reflections, in conformity to Mr.Orton, and it seems a niore suitable term.

† Mr. Gentleman's proposals were for Three Volumes,

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