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Moft Reverend Father in GOD,
Lord Archbishop of York,
and Primate of ENGLAND.
May it pleafe Your Grace,
HO I have ventur❜d to prefix Your Grace's Name to the following Book, yet my defign is not, like others, to fwell a Dedication with an Encomium of the fubject matter of it, or the Virtues of the Patron to whom 'tis offer'd. For fhould I attempt to recommend the Gospels, I fhould be doubly fruftrated in the Undertaking, fince I could never be able to exprefs their true Worth: and all I could fay would be needless to the Chriftian Reader; but efpecially to fo Religious a Prelate, who is well known to have fpent the greateft part of his time in the study of them. Whilft I was compiling this my Harmony, I was fo ftruck with admiration of the excellent Difcourfes of Jefus, fo inflam'd with Love of his moft Holy Doctrin, that methoughts I but juft then be gan to be acquainted with what I fcarce ever laid out of my hands from my Infancy. The Works of Men, however exquifite and perfect in their kind, have their Faults and Blemishes, which are eafily difcernable upon a strict examination, altho they are wont to escape a tranfient View; A 3
whereas 'tis the peculiar Privilege of thefe Divine Writings, that the more they are examin'd, and the better Light they are plac'd in, the more admirable they appear to all fincere Lovers of Truth.
And now, fhould I enlarge upon Your Grace's Learning and Eloquence, and the exemplary discharge of Your Sacred Function, the Repetition would not be difpleafing, but certainly unnecessary to those who have bin To often inform'd of them, and which your own Modesty would rather have me pass by in filence.
Should I plead, to excufe the trouble I now give You, that I owe you this Publick Acknowledgment for the Favour You have done me, in fignifying that You do not disapprove my Labours, Your Grace has bin fo general a Promoter and Encourager of Learning, that You might expect very many Addreffes of this nature; but there is a much. better way of expreffing a juft sense of Favors receiv'd, and I will no longer trefpafs upon your Grace's Patience in this. That God would grant You a fteddy Course of Health, that You may long continue a Patron of Learning, and the Ornament, not of Your Country alone, but the whole Chriftian World, whofe Eyes have now for fome time bin turn'd towards England, fhall be the hearty Prayers of,
May it pleafe Your Grace,
Your Grace's most obliged
and obedient Servant,
F. Le Clerc.
READ E R.
HILE I was lately bufied in tranflating into Latin Dr. Hammond upon the New Testament, it frequently came into my mind that there was yet wanting a convenient Harmony of the Gospels, which might be of use to those who apply themselves to the study of the Holy Scriptures. I found by experience, that without fuch an affistance it was impoffible for a man with the utmost attention of mind fo to remember the Series of the Narrations in the Gospels, and compare the feveral Relations of the Evangelifts together, as to have a clear and diftinct Notion of them; and that this was not to be remedied by the greatest diligence of Commentators, while the Gofpels continued to be read in the order they were written and publifh'd. I know very well that there have appeared fever al Harmonies of the Gospels in this and the laft Century, but none of them that I have feen is without these two very great Inconveniencies: First, the Learned Editors of them contented themselves with exhibiting to our view in diftinct Columns, the Actions and Difcourfes that were alike in the feveral Evangelifts, without regard to Chronology and the Time when they were perform'd; and Some of them quite omitted St. John, as wholly useless to their purpose, from whom alone nevertheless we are able to diftinguish the Years of Christ's Miniftry. And fecondly, those Harmonies were cumbred with tedious Commentaries, no way to be compar'd with the modern Annotations, and which moreover did not fhew us the connexion and dependance of one Story upon another. Neither was the Text of the Gospels well difpos'd, and we are forc'd to read the words feveral times over before we can perceive wherein they agree and in what they differ; fo that upon the whole I did not think them of fo great use as they might have been made, and I wish'd that fome one or other would fet about this task: but having waited a long time in vain, I attempted it my self, and having compos'd the
Harmony of the Text, I added a Paraphrafe to explain the meaning of the Words and the connexion of the Text. My defign in it, and the Method I preferib'd to my Self, is the Subject of the fecond Differtation at the end of the Book. I perfuade my felf I have avoided thofe Inconveniencies which I noted in the other Harmonies, and have all along taken what care I could not to indulge my felf in making Conjectures. I have added two other Differtations, the one concerning the Chronology of Chrift, and the other concerning the Evangelifts: in the former I have fix'd the Year of Chrift's Nativity, having followed in this particular the Sentiments of feveral very Learned Men, fo as to leave the matter without difpute. In the latter I have prov'd the Genuinness of the Gospels, and the antient Custom of their being read in publick, by Teftimonies of the greatest Antiquity, in oppofition to what Mr. Dodwel has advanced in his Differtations on Irenæus. Now tho I do not think I have made any confiderable Error as to the main, yet in fome particulars 'tis poffible I have committed fome Miftakes, which I will correct as foon as I am advis'd of them; but if any one ball only rail at me, or detract from my good Name, he is not to expect I shall contend with him at thofe Weapons. If it be most convenient I will hold my peace; and make no reply, unless it may be of fome benefit to the impartial Lovers of Truth.
on TH HE Author's Supplement to Dr. Hammond's Paraphrafe and Annotations on the New Teftament; in which his Interpretation of important Paffages is freely and impartially examin'd, and the Sacred Text further explain'd, by new Remarks upon every Chapter: in 4o. is Printed for Sam. Buckley, in St. Paul's Church-yard.