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There are many Steps to be taken before we can arrive at Happiness, or fucceed; but he that ftudies the Law of God fhall be enabled to take them, The Steps, Advances, are that Perfon's. And we are not to think we conftrue a Word, because we fubftitute another out of another Tongue, tho' applied to the fame Subftance, Perfon, or Creature; unlefs we have the Idea referred to, and can find it used for fuch Idea: e. g. Heaven is the English of ; but I know no more what the Word means, than I did before, by fuch Tranflation: It is used for the Air; but why, or under what Idea, the Word Heaven doth not tell me. We must therefore accuftom ourselves to ask for the Idea; and if any one would take the shortest Course to learn Hebrew, it would be to conftrue on by Rote, till he get the general Meanings given the Words; then by
by a Concordance trace the Idea, and Obfervation will foon lead to fuch Rules of Grammar, as will enable him to conftrue with convincing Certainty; and that much fooner, and much eafier, than any can imagine, who have not made the Experiment. There is Grammar in the Letters independent of the Points, abfolutely; and there is an Idea, and but one leading Idea, in every Root. This Mr Hutchinson has fhewn (tho' not in every particular Word, yet) in fo many Words, and given us fo many Rules of Grammar, that will hold, that it is Demonstration, if Christians would but spend their Time, as they ought, in making the firft Language their first and chief Study, we fhould foon come at all the reft that may be behind.
By the Letters only for Grammar, and fuch a Senfe as a Word must have
in fome Places, and which will make Grammar and Senfe in all, or in enow to convince, by thefe Rules, and in this Manner have we conftrued a great Number of Texts, and varied them from all former Tranflations ; and tho' it may found harsh to say all, yet is this in Reality to fay no more than that we differ only from oneas to the principal Words in Difpute. This the Learned know. We have done our best, and ufed the best Words we could think of; and shall fubmit chearfully to the Correction of those, who fhall (as many eafily may) do it better. It is the Senfe and Meaning of Scripture we would arrive at. We have been obliged to follow our own Judgment chiefly, the Learned having, for the most part, been led by the bare Affertions of the Rabbies, and not Obfervations of their own making.
Our Author has filled his Books with Quotations from the moft antient Writers we have, to fupport those Conftructions, which his new Rules, and his own Obfervations on the Hebrew Language, and his indefatigable Pains in comparing Scripture with itself, led him into: These we have also given in English, for the Sake of those who are not skilled in Languages, that they may fee what full, clear, and pofitive Authorities he has to fupport the Discoveries, which the Scriptures, when feen thro' his Glass, present to our View. If it be fhewn, that we have misconftrued any of thefe Paffages, we fhall be forry for having done fo, but glad to have it fhewn; and are not without Hopes, that our Errors and Miftakes will be rectified by the Learned, who may be a little piqued perhaps with fuch a Treasure being laid open
to the Ravage of vulgar Hands; who in their Turns it is likely will be as much piqued to find, that the Learned have hitherto been endeavouring to keep them in the dark with regard to the Mysteries of Philofophy and Chriftianity; and be astonished at seeing, as they may in fome of these Citations, from what poor, imperfect, Heathen Scraps our prefent favourite Syftems of Philofophy and Divinity are patched up. We have not defignedly wrefted any of the Texts of Scripture, or of the Quotations, to make them speak more in our Favour than they naturally would. Ignorance and Inadvertence we do plead, not to fcreen us from being called to Account, but to invite others to take the Trouble upon them. Nor may it be loft Labour altogether, what we have done to the Learned themfelves. English is better understood (out of the Uni