Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

PREFACE.

The importance of a Dictionary is universally acknowledged; and numerous are the Editions already before the Public. But it has long appeared to the Author of the present Work, that something was still wanting, more appropriately calculated for the use and benefit of that numerous class of welldisposed persons, who have so laudably undertaken, by gratuitous labour, the Education of the Poor in Sunday Schools; as well as of those Individuals who are engaged in the several National, Parochial, and other Schools, where the Children are taught to read only the word of God, but particularly the New Testament.

By some the scriptures have been condemned as a school-book, from a mistaken notion, that so common a use would tend only to excite indifference and inattention to sacred things. But the cause may be easily explained. The children are not accustomed to read with proper emphasis, and are seldom taught to understand the meaning of words. Divine truths are not displayed in all their native charms, beauty, and simplicity, nor impressed upon the young and tender mind with suitable earnestness and care. To obviate this objection, and to assist the Teacher, the following Dictionary was prepared some years ago, as will appear from the date of the Introduction. The words were then- divided only into syllables, without

any

alteration of letters to determine their pronunciation; the Manuscript has remained on hand to the present time, partly from the diffidence of the Author as to its intrinsic merit, and partly from an expectation between hope and fear, țhat something would be undertaken by an abler hand. But nothing having appeared, calculated to supersede the publication, the Author has ventured to lay before the Public the product of his labours.

On making several alterations and additions during the preparation for the press, it occurred to his mind, that a due attention to the Pronunciation would increase the value of the book, and add considerably to its utility. And he thought, if he could accomplish his object, without such numerous changes of letters as some have had recourse to, the Dictionary would be rendered more acceptable to that class of persons for which it was originally designed, and is still principally intended, by being much more simple and equally intelligible. He owns that he has found that part of his labour attended with great difficulty, doubt, and perplexity. Hence has arisen the necessity of a list of errors, additions, and variations at the end of the volume. At the same time it will be seen, that several omissions in the pronunciation belong to words of one syllable only, where at first it was not intended to be so minuțely particular. The principal object which the Author had in view,

was to eompile a Dictionary which might be furnished at a small expence, and come within the reach of every one who was able to purchase a bible. He found the work, however, to increase in the progress beyond his expectation, and still more on revision; and yet he could not resolve to withhold

any thing which appeared useful or important. The Nouns ending in er, or, and ess, and the Active Participles in ing, which are sometimes used as Nouns, were separated from the body of the work, and arranged in the order they now stand, for the sole purpose of keeping down the size of the volume.

As the Author had recourse to Cruden's Concordance, to obtain the words in alphabetical order, he could not resist the temptation of selecting some of the valuable matter contained in that excellent book, And since he could not well distinguish quotations in a work of this nature, he therefore gratefully acknowledges his obligation to that source for some large extracts, several useful hints, and many important references to texts of scripture, with appropriate explanations.

Whilst it has been his constant study not to omit any information of importance, he has at the same time carefully endeavoured to steer as clear as possible of all disputed doctrinal points, that he might not give offence to any denomination of Christians.

For any peculiarities of the work, in the arrangement or otherwise, the Author alone stands responsible. But notwithstanding the many imperfections to which the first impression of an elementary book

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »