Abbildungen der Seite

CRITICISM; he earnestly intreats his kind and indulgent, thougti : not unanimous friends, to favour him with the continuance of

their candid remarks, and unrestrained correspondence; which shall be thankfully received, and carefully attended to in any succeeding deutepec Opovtides, or “ second thoughts,” he may

chance to offer to the Public. Most heartily concurring in the pious wish and prayer of one of those “ friends indeed,who smite me friendly, and reprove me," and thereby improve me:

That we may meet again, in that future state, where, he trusts, we shall have more insight than we now have, into those dark and mysterious Writings ; and discern plainly, what we now see, as in a mirror, distorted and indistinct,

Killesandra, IRELAND,

July 1, 1813.












Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fuMO DARE LUCEM,
Cogital ; ut speciosa dehinc MIRACULA promet.



THIS third volume, now submitted, at length, to the Public, finishes, thanks be to GOD*, the entire work: a work, designed to furnish a new and compendious chronological system of the ELEMENTS OF SACRED AND PROFANE HISTORY, for general use f.


. Hinc omne principium, Huc refer exitum.

Hor. “ To Gon, ascribe every beginning, every ending." + Among the great variety of books that have contributed their quotas to the composition of this history, the foremost in size and rank, is the Ancient and Modern Universal History, a library in itself, and an honour to the British press, containing in its numerous and ponderous volumes, an immense mass of erudition and information. But it is insufferably prolix and tedious, in the whole course of Profane History; while, in the more important branches of Sucred History, and especially of the New Testament, the most impor. tant of all, it is meagre and scanty; and as a whole, it wants systematic arrangement and uniformity. It is perplexed and embarrassed in its order and method, and miserably defective and incorrect in its Chronology throughout. These blemishes were, in a great measure, the natural and necessary result of a compilation framed by several bands, who had not the same capacities, the same style, the same information, and who wanted a comprehensive view of the whole subject, in all its bearings. Its chief excellence is, that it fully and fairly cites authorities, in the course of the entire work, which renders it a useful store-house of most ample materials of every sort or quality. This colossal work, from its size and its costliness, is not calculated for general use ; and few that can afford to purchase, now read it for entertainment, though they may frequently find it necessary to be consulted, for its authorities, or references.

Among the smaller works of general history, Rollin's Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Macedonians and Grecians, claims a distinguished rank. It is well arranged, and abounds in pious and useful reflexions, which render it particularly serviceable to youth, as an elementary work. Accordingly, none, perhaps, has had a more general sale, and extensive circulation, both in the original and classical French, and in the English translation, of thirteen volumes, duo. decimo. But it is frequently tedious and verbose, is not sufficiently critical in cases of difficulty and nicety, and is erroneous in its Chronology; and by a glaring defect, it takes no specific notice of Sacred History, 9


Notwithstanding the increased size of the work, (which was unavoidable, for reasons mentioned in the Advertisement of the second volume) the

candid Millot's Elements of General History, 4 vols. 8vo. are shorter, and in some respects, preferable to Rollin's. But it takes no notice of Sacred History, is principally confined to facts, and cuters but little into the philosophy of history, and, like the rest, is silent respecting the principal difficulties that are apt to embarrass young students, and even the most learned.

To remedy such defects and imperfections, the present Elements of Sacred and Profane History were designed. Here, Sacred History bears its due proportion to Profane, occupying more than double the space, and supplying a material chasm in the liberal education of our youth, who, though commonly versed in the Histories of Greece and Rome, which are rather calculated, singly, to make them Polytheists in Religion, and Republicans in Politics, are, too often, total strangers to Sacred History, which would correct those mischieve ous errors; and this, perhaps, for want of a sufficient elementary compendium; as noticed before, in the preface to the second volume of this work. And for the use of Historical Studeuts, in general, I will here subjoin a list, (similar to the former, for Biblical Students) of select standard books of Profanc History, with their best, or most useful editions, and translations, and some observations and strictures, suggestod by long experience


1. Herodotus, Oi this “ father of history," the best edition is the learned Wesseling's, with a Latin Translation, and Notes, folio, 1763. A smaller edition of his 'Text only, has been published at Oxford, 2 vols. 8vo. 1809, and since that, I hear, a second and correcter edition. Littlebury bas published an English Translation, 2 vols. 8vo. 1737, and Belve another, with Notes, 4 vols. 8vo. 1806, second edition. Larcher, a French Translation, with learned and copious Notes, 7 vols. 8vo. 1786 ; and a second improved and castigated edition, in 1802, in which, he has retracted several sceptical notes and remarks in the former. But none of these translations render full justice to the engaging simplicity and spirit of the original. Reuncl's Geography of Herodotus, 4to. 1800, is by far the best comment on that branch of the history; as this volume, I trust, will be found, on its Chronology, and its general scope.

2. Xenophon's Cyropædia, Anabasis, and History of Greece. The best editions of the Cyropædia and Anabasis are Ilutchinson's, 4to. in 1727 and 1735, which contain some valuable Dissertations, omitted in the octavo editions for the use of schools. The best complete edition that I know, is Wells', 5 vols. Svo. 1703.

3. Thucydides. Incomparably the best is Duker's, folio, 1732. Smilh has translated into rugged English, 3 vols. 4to. 1753-1770, Thucydides' History and Xenophon's Conzibuarion, Milforil's History of Greece is the best comment on Thucydides,

4. Arrian. 1

« ZurückWeiter »