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To am not aware that the attempt made in il this small volume has been anticipated
in any other. Even the notes of critics upon Shakspeare, superfluously full in pointing out his obligations, real or supposed, to secular authors, are singularly meagre in the references which they make to the Holy Scriptures. And yet how abundant is the room for such reference, and how much * may conduce to the mutual illustration of the two books, which as Christians and as Britons we should Value most, will be seen, I trust, upon every page of the Second Part of the following dissertation.
With regard to the former and very much shorter Part, I must confess that it scarcely comes within the title and proper scope of my design; and that " " be found to contain little which can be heW or interesting to older and more advanced readers; who may, therefore, if they think fit, pass it over : but to the young, for whom the volume is principally intended, I trust it may prove useful; and I was unwilling to miss the opportunity of giving them information which may help to improve their knowledge of their own language and at the same time enable them to understand better, and so to read with greater profit and pleasure, both their Bible and their Shakspeare—but especially the former. In selecting the quotations which will be found in the following pages, and in arranging them systematically, no use has been made of any previous compilation: I have trusted solely to my own complete perusal and study of our great poet, with the particular objects which I have mentioned constantly in view, and with the additional motive of doing him a justice, which he has not yet fully received, ever present to my mind. On some accounts, indeed, I could have wished that my labours had been less independent; but such as they are, they are presented to the reader, in the hope that they may give him some portion of the pleasure which I have derived from them myself. In the meantime, I am fully conscious that the available material for both Parts of the work is far from being exhausted. As
regards the latter Part, some handfuls at least, I doubt not, still remain to be gleaned in the same extensive field; while the former Part contains little more than a specimen of the ore which the same mine, if thoroughly worked, might be made to produce. ‘The Bible and Shakspeare,' said one of the best and most esteemed prelates that ever sat upon the English bench—Dr. John Sharp, in the reign of Queen Anne—“The Bible and Shakspeare have made me Archbishop of York.’ The Shakspeare of Greek Comedy—Aristophanes—is well known to have been the favourite author of the most celebrated preacher of the ancient church, S. John Chrysostom, some time patriarch of Constantinople. Under the shelter of high and venerated authorities such as these the present writer ventures to hope he may escape Censure for allowing his name to appear upon the title-page of this volume. He had intended to put it forth anonymously, but his intention has been overruled by the publishers.