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Prior of Arpentinit.
Aged 83 Years
Publisbed by W.Baynes, March 7:61805.
PECULIAR CUSTOMS, CEREMONIES, LAWS, POLITY,
RELIGION, SECTS, ARTS AND TRADES,
Division of Time, Wars, Captivities, Dispersion,
AND PRESENT STATE.
WRITTEN ORIGINALLY IN FRENCH,
WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF
The Ancient and Modein Samauitans.
TPE WHOLE MUCH ENLARGED FROM THE PRINCIPAL WRITERS ON
ADAM CLARKE, LL. D. .
THE THIRD EDITION,
J. BUTTERWORTH, FLEET STREET; AND
EVERY attempt to illustrate the BIBLE, the oldest and most important book in the world, a book that has God for its Author, and the eternal happiness of the human race for its end, deserves the most serious at tention of all those who profess the Christian religion.
It is granted on all hands, that this book has many difficulties : but this is not peculiar to the Jewish Scriptures; all ancient writings are full of them ; and these difficulties are generally in proportion to the an tiquity of such writings; for the customs, manners, and language of mankind are continually changing ; and were it not for the help received from the records of succeeding ages, which are only accessible to the learned, many valuable works of primitive times must have remained in impenetrable obscurity. Scholars and critics have exerted themselves in the most laudable manner to remove or elucidate the difficulties oca curring in ancient authors; and, (thanks to their industry) they have rendered the study of these writers not only easy but delightful; and brought the literature of ancient Greece and Rome within the reach even of our children.
But the heathen writers have not been the only objects of regard in the grand system of critical disquisition. A host of the most eminent scholars that ever graced the republic of letters, or ennobled the human character, have carefully read, and diligently studied, the Sacred Writings ; haye felt their beauties, and prized their exeellencies; and, by their learned and pious works, have not only recommended them to
mankind at large, but rendered them useful to all who wish to read so as to understand. Some of these have been addressed to the infidel, others to the scholar, and some to the plain unlettered christian. The number of the latter, it is true, has not been great; but what is deficient in quantity, is supplied by the very accurate information they impart. Such works want only to be generally known, to become universally esteemed.
In the first rank of such writers, the Abbé Fleury, and Father Lamy, stand highly and deservedly distinguished; the former by his treatise entitled Mours des Israelites, (the book now before the reader) and the latter by his well known work, called Apparatus Biblicus. The former is allowed by competent judges to be the most accurate and useful treatise on the subject ever published.
In 1756 the Mæurs des Israelites' was translated by the Rev. Ellis Farneworth, and dedicated to the bishop of Litchfield and Coventry. How it was received I cannot tell, being long before my time; but if it sold in proportion to the merit of the work, and the fidelity of the execution, a considerable number must soon have been disposed of. When I first thought of preparing a new edition of this work for the public, I intended to retranslate the original; but 'on reading over the translation of Mr. Farneworth, I was satisfied that a better one, on the whole, could scarcely be hoped for. In general the language is simple, pure, and elegant; and both the spirit and unction of the original are excellently préserved. I therefore made no scruple to adopt it, reserving to myself the liberty to correct what I thought amiss, and to add such notes as I judged necessary to the fuller elucidation of thę work.
As some judicious friends thought the original work rather too concise, and hinted that several useful aldidions might be made to it on the same plan, I was