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made known by any writer, and which I consider a duty to lay before the public. I have avoided an appeal to opinion as conclusive, but have in these researches confirmed what is introduced from the Bible. Some may suppose that we ought not to carry our inquiries, respecting these things, beyond the time of the most remote Pagan antiquity. In such case we must stop at a later date than that of the ancient Egyptians ; this would be shutting up the fountain of knowledge in the Egyptian labyrinth, where every thing respecting the first people, and their descendants to the flood, would be wrapt in impenetrable darkness. Here profane history gives us no light; all is uncertainty and conjecture, therefore we are necessarily driven to the sacred pages of the Bible, which not only point out the origin of the most ancient nations, but lead us to the beginning of time, when the Almighty gave the first dispensation

to man.

We must, however, acknowledge our gratitude to those writers, who have labored to give information respecting the idolatrous worship of the inhabitants of Canaan and the surrounding nations, before the Hebrews came out of Egypt; but had they attended to the meaning of those words, which so frequently occur, the Hebrew pronunciation of which is constantly retained in the English, and also in all the European Bibles, much information would at this day have been before the world.

In translating the significative nomenclature of the Hebrew, I trust I have shown that in

their original institution, they were not contrary to divine order, but were used by the most ancient people as indices pointing to knowledge in every page of the book of nature. A knowledge given to the primæval people, who gave names to creatures and things, expressive of their natures, a wonderful singularity found only in the Hebrew language. This knowledge was not extinct in the time of the prophets, who were shown, that clean and unclean beasts of all kinds, signified the good and evil affections of the Jews. I have also shown how these things, in their origin, innocently significative and instructive, were, in process of time, through the pride, ignorance, and sensuality of man, worshipped as idols.

With regard to the professions of the

X

Christian Religion, I have abandoned the customary method of copying. Whoever will be at the trouble of reading different writers on this subject, will find that one writer of a particular persuasion has with a mild kind of bigotry, from an attachment to his own sect, elaborately recommended his own view. I have avoided every thing of this nature, being well assured from the sacred writings, that true religion consists neither in doctrines, nor opinions, but in uprightness of heart.

In presuming to speak of the state in Paradise, I have not advanced any new theory, but have confirmed those views, consistently with what is said by the inspired penman on that subject. It must be obvious that if any information can be obtained respecting

this state, we must necessarily have it from the ancient part of the Bible. I have also from the same authority given proofs concerning the nature of the first dispensation, which God gave

to man after the fall. For it has frequently occurred to me, when reading that part of the sacred writings where the first patriarchs are recorded, that the words signifying the names of the men, had also another meaning and application, according to the custom of the Hebrews; and in this instance I have found them to be applied also to signify the state or quality of the church, as well as the name of the man, when each patriarch succeeded to the supreme government, until the church by successive states descended, and finally was extinct in the time of Noah, when God gave a new dispensation to him.

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