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| Tisfit I should acquaint the Rea. der, in the first place, with the occasion of the following Notes;
And I am the more inclined so to do;
that it may appear that I have not been forward to make them publick, and am. bitious of appearing in Print. . . . . Many years are now passed, since a confiderable number of the Clergy of London met together, and agreed to publish some short Notes upon the whole Bible for the use of Families, and of all those well-disposed Persons that desired to read the Holy Scriptures to their great. est advantage. At that Meeting they agreed upon this worthy design, and took their several shares, and assigned some
(a ) part part to them who were absent. I was not present at that Meeting, but I was soon informed that they had assigned to me the Pentateuch. I was very sensible how great a Task this would prove, and was sufficiently conscious of my own defects; Yet was I willing to undertake it, because I did always hope, that by yield. ing to it, I might incourage the Labours of those who would exceed what-ever I was able to do. upon this consideration I did set about this Work, and did often declare (and with great sincerity)
that this was the Motive which did in
duce me. . . .
consent, and we did frequently meet, and what was done was communicated from time to time to those met together, and that were concerned. The Methods of proceeding had been adjusted, and agreed to; A Specimen was printed, and an agreement was made when it should be put to the Press; and I finished my Part in order thereunto. . . . . . .
- . . . . .
The o PrefAce, III But so it fell out, that, soon after all this, the Clouds began to gathera-pace, and there was great ground to fear that the Popish Party was attempting to ruin the Church of England, and that there. was a severe Storm from that Quarter lighting upon us. We were alarm'd
with their Plots and Conspiracies, and
- ged by the Higher Powers. Those of
that Party preached and, printed, and had their separate Meetings, and drew away some of our People, and more were in danger of being seduced. Hence it came to pass, that the thoughts of pursuing the above-mentioned design were at present laid aside; and those that
were concerned in it, were now obliged to turn their Studies and Pens against
that dangerous Enemy; And what was
done at that time, and upon that occa
of writing Notes on the Bible, I shall not need to tell the Reader in this place. . . .
a ) Biiring