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the holy Scriptures; afterwards many more were added by Dr. Scattergood; laft of all, fome References of that admirable Textuary, Dr. Lloyd, the late learned Bishop of Worcester, were added. So that fometimes to one fingle Verfe there are eight or ten, and fometimes many more References. Now the turning to all thefe, not to mention the Difficulty of keeping open the Bible in feveral Places at once, requires much Time, and is a great Stop in reading. For which Reason, except on fome particular Occafions, I am ready to think, they are but feldom confulted. I have therefore often thought, That the placing thefe References under the Text in Words at length, fo that they might be feen at one View, would mightily conduce to the understanding the Scriptures, and to fix the important Truths delivered in them in the Mind of the Reader, who will be naturally led to think thofe Truths of the highest Confequence, which are frequently inculcated in the facred Pages. Thus when we read the References under Matt. 16. 27. and obferve how frequently it is declared, both in the Old and New Testament, that God will render to every one according to his Works, one would think it could not fail to make us circumspect in our Ways, and diligent that our Works and Actions may be fuch, as will give us a reasonable Hope, that we fhall not only escape Punishment, but, through the Mercy of God, and the Merits of Chrift, be entitled to a Reward from him. If fuch a Confideration will not infpire us with Zeal, and make us fruitful, and abound in all good Works to the Glory and Praise of God; if it will not convince us of the Fallacy of that common Delufion, namely, that a few cold and ineffectual Wishes, and a little Sorrow on a fick or a Death-bed, though we have omitted to do thofe good Works we might and ought to have done, and done many evil and wicked Works which we might and ought to have left undone; I fay, if this express declaration of Almighty God, so often repeated, will not roufe and awaken us out of our Delufion, it is hard to fay what will. Nor is it neceffary to confine this Declaration wholly to Rewards and Funifhments in a future State; for tho' it chiefly refers to that, yet it may be extended, and I doubt not but it is in part often made good to many even in the prefent Life.
Before I proceed to give the Reader an Account of what he is to expect in this Work, I would beg leave to premife one caution, namely, That upon reading the References
he would not in any Matter of Moment be too quick in forming his Judgment, left he be led into Miftakes and Errors, by the meer Sound of Words. For unless he has fo read the Scriptures, as to be able in fome Measure to recollect the Context, (which it were to be wifhed many had done) he will often find it neceffary to turn to the Places themfelves.
The Things I would advertise the Reader of, are these following:
First, That the Chronology here ufed is that of Bishop Usher, which is put in fome of the latter Editions of the English Bible. I have placed it at the Top of the Page, and in the Margin where the Year alters.
Secondly, The Marginal Readings are put between Brackets [ with the Text, the Claufe or Word to which the Reading belongs, having an Afterisk before it. Those which were too long to be placed thus, I have caft at the Bottom of the Page among the Notes, which I have marked with a double dagger, thus ‡.
Thirdly, The References are placed in two Columns, immediately under the Text, and referr'd to by the Letters 2
c. And the Notes are put under them, and referr'd to by Figures. In tranfcribing the References, tho' only a Part or Claufe of the Verse is referr'd to, I have fometimes fet down the whole Verfe, efpecially when it contains fome weighty Doctrine or Duty. And when I have taken only a Part of the Verfe, I have often intimated it to the Reader, by putting a fhort Line thus —. Where the References under any Head are many, they do for the moft Part ftand in the Order they lie in the Bible. And if the Convenience of placing them fo had been fooner observed, they fhould all have been put in that Order. But a great Part of the Work was printed before this was confidered.
Fourthly, The References here fet down are not all of them ftrictly parallel. Some are verbal, and give fome Light to the Words, others are real, and treat of the Matter it felf, which is proposed in the Words. Thus fome are Inftances and Examples of the Practice of the Duty enjoined, &c. others are, it may be, Motives to engage to the Practice thereof, or to diffwade from the Commiffion of the Sin, and the like. For Example; under Matt. 4. 17. are feveral Texts respecting Repentance; fome of which express the Duty, as Matt. 3. 2, 8. Mar. 1. 15. Mar. 6, 12. Luk. 24. 47. Act
At. 2. 38. AƐt. 17. 30. Some describe the Nature of Repentance; as I Kin. 8. 47, 48, 49. Job 42. 6. Ezek. 18. 30. Luk. 3. 8. Act. 26. 20. Act. 26. 20. Others contain Motives to Practice; as Matt. 9. 13. Luk. 13. 3. Luk. is. 7. Act. 3. 19. Rom. 2.4 2 Cor. 7. 10. 2 Pet. 3. 9. The Reader, by cafting his Eye over the References under any Text, will foon fee to what Heads they are to be reduced. Sometimes one Text expreffes both the Duty, and the Motive to practife it; and therefore for this and other Reasons, it was not practicable to fet them in diftinct Paragraphs. I might have mentioned other Heads, as the Parts of Repentance, &c. but these are enow to illuftrate what I am faying, and likewise to shew what Use may be made of this Book, by Chriftians in their private Retirements. Sometimes fome Scriptures are fet down by Way of Oppofition. For Inftance, under Matt. 5.3. are fome Texts refpecting the Sin of Pride, and under Rev. 2. 17. are placed the Paffages which fpeak of the Worshippers of the Beast, who had his Mark on their Foreheads and in their Hands, as well as thofe which mention the new Name given to, and the Seal fet upon the Servants of God.
Fifthly, I have for the most Part fet down all the References in the laft and fulleft Edition of the Bible, having corrected feveral Miftakes in the Print. Some few I have omitted; but whether they were Miftakes in the Print, or in me not being able to discern their Relation to the Text they referr'd to, I cannot determine.
Sixthly, The References which have an Afterisk* before' them, are fuppofed to be put by the Tranflators of the Bible; thofe which have a Dagger f, by Dr., Scattergood those which have three Points before them, by Dr. Lloyd the late learned Bishop of Worcester; thole which have no mark before them were added now, being partly collected from my own Observation, partly from the Octavo Edition of the Greek Teftament, printed at Amfterdam in the Year 1711, which is faid to contain more than even Dr. Mills's Edition of the Greek Teftament; and partly from the Folio Edition of Mr. Sam. Clark's Annotations. But tho' I tarn'd to moft of the Texts referr'd to by thefe Authors, yet I made Choice but of fome of them. For I could not difcern the Relation of fome to the Text, others did not feem of any great Moment, others feemed to be purely tritital, and not to anfwer the End I proposed; which was
not the Benefit of the Learned, but of fuch common Chriftians as diligently and frequently read the holy Scriptures, and are defirous to understand them; of which Number there are, God be praised, not a few. It is fometimes furprizing to obferve, what a Progrefs in divine Knowledge fome make, who are not learned, but who (1) diligently and conftantly read the Scriptures with an upright and honest Mind, and with a fervent Defire not only to know, but to do the Will of God, which fometimes extends to obfcure and difficult Points in Divinity.
Seventhly, I have often put the Scriptures reducible to one Head under one Text of Scripture, and as often as that Matter recurs, I have referr'd to that Place. For Example, the Texts relating to the Love of each other, which the Gofpel lays fuch a mighty Strefs upon, and without which neither the moft Orthodox Faith, nor any other Pretenfions to Religion, are of any Value in the Sight of God; thefe Texts I have put under Joh. 13. 34. In all thofe Places therefore where this comprehenfive duty is mentioned, I refer to this Place, fetting down firft the Texts in the Margin of the Bible. For Inftance, in the Bible with References againft Matt. 22. 39. are these following Texts, Lev. 19. 18. Mar. 12. 31. Rom. 13.9. † Gal. 5. 14. Jam. 2. 8. after which is added, See on Joh. 13. 34. that is, you will find thefe Texts in Words at length under Joh. 13.34. and fo in many other Inftances. In fuch References the Reader will observe, that the Text referr'd to, as well as thofe fet under it, generally re/lates to the fame Subject. As in the Inftance above, Job. 13. 34. relates to the Duty of loving each other, as well as Lev. 19. 18, &c. I have fince thought, that if this Method had been more generally followed, it would have been better; but the Confideration of the Objection I fhall presently
(1) The Church of Rome, fenfible how little the Writings of the Apofles make for the Doctrines peculiar to their Church; as Purgatory, worshipping Saints and Angels, the Communion in one kind, &c hath forbid the Laity to read the Scriptures. But the Ancient Ecclefiaftical Writers required All Men to read the Scriptures, commending thofe who did fo, and condemning thofe who neglected it. They advised them to get Bibles for the Cure of their Souls, that they not only might have enough for themfelves, but be able to help others, and inftruc Wife, and Children, and Neighbours. They afcribe all Evils to this. Caufe, that Men do not know the Scriptures. See Dr. Lloyd's Sermon, P. 35. which is referr'd to above.
fpeak to, prevailed with me to omit it in many Inftances. When there are no Texts fet down before that referr'd to, the Reason is, either there are none, or it may be not more than one, in the Margin of the Bible at that Place. I the rather mention this, becaufe fometimes I have referr'd in this Manner, when it may be, there is but one Text befides the Place referr'd to; which was neceffary to bring the Work within compass.
Such kind of References being in fome Places frequent, efpecially in the Gospels, in the Beginning and Conclufion of some of the Epiftles, and towards the latter end of the New Tefta ment, the Trouble of turning to them may be an Objection. To this therefore I anfwer, I have in this Matter taken no other Liberty, than all Expofitors of the holy Scriptures make Ufe of, That had there been no new References, it would have been eafier for me to have fet them down in Words eat length, as they lie in the Margin of the Bible; but confidering the great Number of new References, the Work ef would have been too large; or if those had been omitted,
it would not have been fo useful. Befides, the Reader i will fometimes find fo many more Texts relating to the fame Subject, as will make him amends for the Trouble in turning to them; to leffen which, I have fet not only the Name of the Book, but the Chapter, at the top of every Page. Thefe References, if confidered with Refpect to those in the Margin of the Bible, are not fo frequent as they may appear to be; for they are fometimes fet down, when there is not any Reference in the Margin of the Bible.
Eighthly, When a Reference is either in the Chapter before or following, I have, to fhorten the Work, fometimes omitted the Words, it being eafie to turn to it. And if any Reference is fet down without the Words, the Place being neither in the Chapter before nor after, it denotes that the Words are the fame, or very near the fame, with the Text under which it is fet. For Inftance, under Joh. 12. 19. is fet Joh. 11. 47. but the Words being in the former Chapter, they are omitted. Again, under Joh. 12. 38. are set Ifa.3. 1. and Rom. 10. 16. but the Words are omitted, because they are very near the fame with Joh. 12. 38.
Ninthly, The Notes are for the moft Part on difficult an miftaken Places of Scripture, and defigned for the Ufe of fuch as cannot confult larger Volumes. For which Reafon I have, as much as I could, induftrioufly avoided the Ule