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The Holy Scriptures are the grand medium of communication between God and man, heaven and earth. They reveal the Deity to the human intellect in all the treasures of His grace; and exalt the human soul, far beyond the vanities of time and sense, to the glorious riches of eternity. In the Seriptures, the Sovereign of Nature draws aside the impenetrable vail which concealed Him from inortal ken, descends from His inaccessible throne, and converses with His creature man. folds the counsels of His love, displays His pardoning grace, discloses the invisible world, and brings life and immortality to view. He commands, He entreats, He encourages erring man to forsake the ways of sin and death, and to pursue the path of glory, honour, and immortality.
The Holy Scriptures display a wisdom by which the wisest may learn, and a moral by which the most virtuous may improve. In them we trace the sublime philosophy of Heaven; the glory of the Father manifested in and
by the Son; and learn to form the most correct views of ourselves and others; things temporal and things spiritual; the present and the future world. They afford light to the blind, strength to the weak, hope to the desponding, and consolation to the good. They exhibit before us our meanness, and our greatness; our corruption, and our glory. They humble us, to exalt us. They level us to the dust, to raise us to the sky.
Every attempt to illustrate the Sacred Writings, and to assist Christians in the understanding of their important contents, will be duly estimated, by every friend of Divine Revelation, in proportion to the wisdom and utility of the design. It has been generally acknowledged, from time immemorial, that Scripture is its own best interpreter in all cases where it reflects light upon itself. Agreeably to this idea, Scattergood, Lloyd, Blaney, Canne, Brown, Scott, and various other learned and excellent authors, have, from time to time, collected parallel texts, and placed the figures in the margin of the Bible for the assistance of the Biblical student. A few years since, Mr. Bagster, a respectable printer, collected a vast mass of references from various authors, and published them in a work, entitled The Scripture Harmony'; or, Concordance of Parallel Passages. Notwithstanding these helps are excellent, yet their utility is very much restricted, on account of the time required for turning to so many passages, as well as the difficulty of keeping open the Bible in several places at once; so that it is almost impossible to get the whole of a copious reference before the mind at one view ; for which reason, it is apprehended, the parallels are generally neglected,
or only consulted on very special occasions. A work, therefore, that will place before the reader the parallel passages in words at length, on the same page with the text, will assuredly be considered a valuable acquisition to the libraries of all studious and intelligent Christians Such a work is that now presented to the public in the following pages.
Another object of this work is, to lay before the reader the principal and most important variations from the common version which are to be found in the various translations of the Scriptures by learned and pious men of different religious denominations.
In this compilation all the most respectable performances on Scripture reference, as well as all the most approved translations, have been consulted. The compiler, however, particularly desires to acknowledge his obligations to the labours of a Fox, and a Cruttwell, whose respective merits he has combined, with improved arrangements, and important additions. The writer does not pretend to have introduced much that is new on his own responsibility. His merit consists principally in selection; in the admission of apposite and the rejection of inadequate materials from the miscellaneous mass furnished by others.
It is not a mere pretence that this work is intended for, and adapted to, Ministers and Christians of every denomination. It is compiled with the utmost freedom from all sectarian bias, and with the most studied impartiality; for the sake of which the writer has, in various
instances, waived his own judgment on some peculiar points of controversial theology. Whatever appeared to be fanciful has been rejected; at the same time the spiritual import of various words of Scripture has not been lost sight of. Although all the references may not be deemed strictly parallels, nevertheless the compiler presumes that few will be found but what have some bearing to the text in view. In several instances, the Scriptures reducible to one head are placed under one tect of Scripture; and, as often as that subject recurs, reference is given to such place. For example, the texts relating to the love of each other, on which the Gospel lays the greatest stress, are placed under John, xii. 34. In all those texts, therefore, where this comprehensive duty is mentioned, reference is given to this place in JOHN; as against MAT. xxii. 39, it is said, See on JOHN, xiii. 34. In all such references the reader must bear in mind that the text referred to as well as those set under it, generally relates to the same subject. As, in the instance aboye, John, xiji. 34, relates to the duty of loving each other, as well as Ley, xix. 18, &c.
In some cases, when the reference consists of several verses from one «hapter, or when the reference is rather remote, or of inferior importance, the words are not given; and, with the same view of shortening the work, when a reference is in the chapter immediately preceding or following the present one, the words are generally omitted, on account of the easy reference to them. In other instances, when the words are not given, it denotes that they are the same, or very nearly the same, with the text to which they refer; as, under John, xii. 19, is set
JOHN, xi. 47; but the words being the same in both chapters, they are omitted in the reference. Again, under Joon, xii. 38, are set ISA. liii. 1, and Rom. x. 16; but the words are omitted becanse they are very nearly the same with JOHN, xii. 88.
In these instances the writer has followed the plan of Fox, alluded to above. Fox is the only writer that ever attempted a work of this kind : he lived in the beginning of the last century. His work has been long out of print, and very rare ; but the present publication will render it of no further utility. Francis Fox was Vicar of Potterne, in Wiltshire. His Testament was published in 1722. He was also the author of a work on the Duty of Public Worship
The following judicious observations on the value of Scripture references, from the pen of the late Bishop Horsley, may be properly introduced at this place :
" It were to be wished that no Bibles were printed without references. ---He who would read the Holy Scriptures with advantage and improvement should compare every text which may seem either important for the doctrine it may contain, or remarkable for the turn of the expression, with the parallel passages in other parts of Holy Writ. Particular diligence should be used in comparing the parallel texts of the Old and the New Testaments. When you read the Old Testament, you should turn to the parallel passage of the New, that you may see in what manner, in what sense, and to what purpose, the words of the more ancient are alleged by