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For the Clearer Understanding of the Sacred History*
With Critical Notes on the more difficult
Very Useful for Families,
In Two Volumes.
By Samuel Clarke, D. D. late
The Seventh Edition.
M oce xxxVi.
Most Reverend Fufher in GOD,
T H O M A Si
Lord Arc H-ob I S H O P of /£
May it please your Grace,
O accept favourably this Paraphrase upon St. Matthew, as an humble Expression of that Duty and Honour, which I, with all gooJ Men, owe to your Grace, whom the special Providence of God has placed in the highest Station of our Church ; Where, by your wise Government and pious Example, you sup* port and encourage true Religion and Virtue; which seem to be in great Danger, not only from the bold Pretenders to Atheism and Deism, but even from the many Controversies about smaller
A 2 Mattery, Matters, raised and uncharitably managed among Christians, while little regard is had to the great Duties and most essential Parts of Religion.
T H E Care, Sincerity, and Impartiality with respect to any Theological Controversies, wherewith I have endeavoured to explain in general the Doctrine and History of our Saviour; may, I hope, procure me Pardon for the involuntary Errors and Failings in this Performance. For as I cannot, without great Presumption, suppose it free from Mistakes; so I trust I have no where offered any Interpretation repugnant to the fundamental Articles of our Religion, or the necessary Rules of Holy Life. And that I might not be deceived in Matters of so great Importance, I have (as I thought my self obliged to do) submitted these Papers, before they were made publick, to the View and Censure of some of my Superiours, on whose Judgment I thought I might safely rely.
Now, that GOD may long preserve your Grace, for the Good and Honour of this Church; is the constant Prayer of,
Tour Grace s
and obedient Servant,
MONG the many excellent Commentaries and Expositions which have been, written upon the Books of Holy Scripture, I have not yet seen any, wherein the Text os the New Testament has been putty Paraphrased with Brevity and Plainness. Erasmus's Performance of this Kind, is very eloquent and judicious; But his Explications are large, having frequent Digressions ; and in many Placesr he indulges allegorical Interpretations; And moreover, the Beauty of his Work is very much lost in our "Trails station. The eminent and learned Bishop Hall, wrote a pious Exposition upon particular difficult Texts; But because it was only upon particular Texts, the Design it. self allowed him not to regard the Transitions, and to make his Paraphrase one continued uninterrupted Discourse. Dr. Hammond has with great Pains collected all the Assistances of ancient and modern Learning, and. with great Success applied them to the Explication of the New Testament: But those who justly admire his great Learning and Skill in Interpreting, yet complain of the A 3 obscurity