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DERIVED PRINCIPALLY FROM THE
MANNERS, CUSTOMS, RITES, TRADITIONS, FORMS OF SPEECH, ANTIQUITIES, CLIMATE, AND WORKS OF ART AND LITERATURE,
EMBODYING ALL THAT IS VALUABLE IN THE WORKS OF
HARMER, BURDER, PAXTON, AND ROBERTS,
AND THE MOST
CELEBRATED ORIENTAL TRAVELLERS;
EMBRACING ALSO THE SUBJECT OF THE
FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY,
AS EXHIBITED BY KEITH AND OTHERS;
WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF THE
PRESENT STATE OF COUNTRIES AND PLACES MENTIONED IN THE SACRED WRITINGS, ILLUSTRATED BY NUMEROUS LANDSCAPE ENGRAVINGS, FROM SKETCHES TAKEN ON THE SPOT.
REV. GEORGE BUSH,
PROFESSOR OF HEBREW AND ORIENTAL LITERATURE IN THE NEW YORK CITY UNIVERSITY.
PUBLISHED BY THE
BRATTLEBORO' TYPOGRAPHIC COMPANY,
(INCORPORATED OCTOBER 26, 1836.)
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by JOHN C. HOLBROOK, in the Clerk's Office of the District
Court of Vermont.
STEREOTYPED BY FRANCIS F. RIPLEY, NEW YORK.
IN presenting the public with another of their Comprehensive volumes, the publishers take the opportunity to acknowledge the favor which their efforts to circulate useful and religious knowledge in a condensed and cheap form have therto met with "THE COMPREHENSIVE COMMENTARY on the Bible," THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE," and "THE POLYGLOTT BIBLE" edited by the Rev. Mr. Warne, have met with a sale far surpassing that of any other work of equal magnitude in the United States, or in the world, in the same length of time. The Vermont Chronicle well remarks, that they might be all boun to match, and appropriately entitled,
"THE COMPREHENSIVE LIBRARY OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE." Encouraged by the great popularity of those works, the same publishers have been induced to bring forward the present volum.>. in the hope that it may find equal favor with the public, as they have no doubt that it is equally deserving of it.
It will be seen from a slight examination, that this, like its predecessors, is comprehensive in its character, embracing the sun stance and value of more than fifteen octavo volumes, together with a great amount of matter illustrative of the Scriptures, draw. from biblical writers, the accounts of oriental travellers, periodicals, &c. &c. (See the Preface for an explanation of the plan an a list of authors quoted.) The value of the materials of which the volume is composed, will be readily seen, and it would be superfluous to remark upon the peculiar qualifications of the editor.
This volume is not designed to take the place of commentaries, but is a distinct department of biblical illustration, and may be used as a companion to the Comprehensive or any other Commentary, or the common Bible.
in the volume, it is believed, will form no small part of its attractions. No pains have been spared to procure such as should embellish the work, and at the same time illustrate the text. Objections that have been made to the pictures commonly introduced into the Bible, as being mere creations of fancy and the imagination, often unlike nature, and frequently conveying false impres sions, cannot be urged against the pictorial illustrations of this volume. Here the fine arts are made subservient to utility, the landscape views being, without an exception, MATTER OF FACT views of places mentioned in Scripture, as they appear at the pre sent day; thus in many instances exhibiting in the most forcible manner to the eye, the strict and literal fulfilment of the remark able prophecies; "the present ruined and desolate condition of the cities of Babylon, Nineveh, Selah, &c., and the countries of Edom and Egypt, are astonishing examples, and so completely exemplify, in the most minute particulars, every thing which was foretold of them in the height of their prosperity, that no better description can now be given of them than a simple quotation from a chapter and verse of the Bible written two or three thousand years ago." The publishers are enabled to select from severa collections lately published in London, the proprietor of one of which says, that "several distinguished travellers have afforded him the use of nearly Three Hundred Original Sketches" of Scripture places, made upon the spot. "The land of Palestine, it is well known, abounds in scenes of the most picturesque beauty. Syria comprehends the snowy heights of Lebanon, and the majestic ruins of Tadmor and Baalbec. The gigantic temples of Egypt, the desolate plains of Babylon and Nineveh, the ruined cities of Idumea, Moab, and Ammon, and the rocky solitudes of mount Sinai-all afford subjects most admirably adapted to the artist's pencil."
An eminent writer, speaking of the Engravings of PETRA, (or Selah,) says, “By merely affixing a text to the splendid engravinge of the ruins of Petra, the beauties of art become immediately subservient to the interests of religion. Where recently it was difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain a single fact, and where only indirect evidence could te obtained, men may now as it were look upon Idumea, and see how the lines of confusion and the stones of emptiness have been stretched over it? (in literal fulfilment of pro phecy)" And we may now in like manner look upon the ruins of the chief city of Edom, (Petra or Selah,) of which the very existence was until lately entirely unknown. Al the plates attest its vast magnificence, and the almost incredible and inconceivable labor, continued, as it must have been, from age to age, prior to the days of Moses and later than the Christian era, by which so great a multiplicity of dwellings and temples WERE EXCAVATED FROM THE ROCK."-Keith on the Prophecies. THE FRONTISPIECE, ROME,
has been done on steel at great expense, by an accomplished artist. It is thus described by Rev. Thomas Hartwell Horne, author of the Introduction to the Critical Study of the Scriptures:
"The FORUM which is delineated in our engraving is perhaps the most melancholy object which Rome contains. Not only is its former grandeur utterly annihilated, but the ground has not been applied to any other purpose. When the visiter descends into it from the Capitoline Hill, or Mount, he finds many of the ancient buildings buried under irregular heaps of soil. Where the Roman people beheld temples, erected to perpetuate their exploits, and where the nobles vied with each other in the magnificence of their dwellings, we now see a few insulated pillars standing, and some broken arches. The Roman Forum is now called Campo Vaccino; and is computed to have been 705 feet in length and 470 in width.
The three pillars on the right of our engraving are said to have belonged to the temple of JUPITER TONANS: they stand on the declivity of the Capitol. It is known from Suetonius that Augustus erected such a temple at the foot of the Capitol, in gratitude for his escape from being struck by lightning. The capitals are of the Corinthian order, and of white marble, fluted and of great size, being 4 feet and 4 inches in diameter. According to Vitruvius, the temple of Jupiter Tonans had a portico of 30 columns. The building which appears on the left, is the ARCH OF SEPTIMUS SEVERUS, erected in honor of that emperor and his two sons, to commemorate two triumphs over the Parthians. It stands at the foot of the Capitol, and is of white marble. It is ornamented with eight fluted composite pillars, and formerly there was a chariot on the top.
In the centre is the TEMPLE OF FORTUNE, for a long time mistaken for the Temple of Concord. Its portico only remains: it consists of a front of six Ionic columns of granite, the bases and capitals of which are marble.
Christianity is supposed to have been first planted at Rome by some of those "strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, (Acts 2: 10.) who heard Paul preach and were converted at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. To the church thus formed in the metropolis of the world, Paul inscribed his epistle to the Romans (ch. 1: v. 7.) Hither Paul was carried a prisoner, (Acts 28: 14, 16.) and here he dwelt two whole years "in his own hired house," and from this city he wrote his epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon and 2d Timothy, and here he suffered martyrdom, about A. D. 66."
THE VIGNETTE TITLE-PAGE (HAGAR AND ISHMAEL)
is the only fancy sketch in the volume. It represents a touching scene in the story of Hagar, where the mother is presenting her son with a refreshing draught of water from the fountain which God had opened her eyes to see, after the water being spent in her bottle, she had cast him under a shrub and gone "and sat down over against him, a good way off, as it were a bow shot, for she said, Let me not see the death of the child." And she sat over against him, and lifted up her voice and wept."
THE PROFILE OF OUR SAVIOR,
at the beginning of the New Testament, is copied from a London work entitled, "The Truths of Revelation demonstrated by an Appeal to existing Monuments, Coins, Medals, &c." The author remarks, "We think it by no means improbable, that some of the early Jewish converts might be desirous to possess a memorial of their Lord in a medal which might bear an impress of his visage; and that such medals did exist, though both Celsus and Origen might be ignorant of them. In these remote periods, even in the paintings and sculptures of Thebes, much more in those of Greece and Rome, their statues and pictures were correct likenesses, and were multiplied without reserve. Besides, there was another source which might supply such a medal, altogether irrespective of the early Christians. Scarcely an event occurred, of great moment, that was not commemorated on a coin or medal. So remarkable a history of events as those which occurred in Judea would not pass by, we may be perfectly sure, without some such commemoration. It is highly probable, that the governor of Judea would send to Tiberius, and the Roman Senate, a representation of the illustrious individual who was the author of that new religion which, according to their own account, had 'turned the world upside down."" Copies of several medals are given in the work referred to, all bearing a great resemblance to each other, and on one of which the word Messias appears. Of one of them the author remarks, "It is interesting to consider this medal in connection with the celebrated letter of Lentulus to Tiberius, with which description it remarkably corresponds. *** In rejecting documents such as these we may be guilty of an unwarrantable scepticism. We do not see why this should not have been taken; but we see many reasons to believe that such a representation of our Savior might have been copied."
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE;
DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, THEOLOGY, RELIGIOUS BIOGRAPHY, ALL RELIGIONS, ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, AND MISSIONS; CONTAIN ING DEFINITIONS OF ALL RELIGIOUS TERMS; AN IMPARTIAL ACCOUNT OF THE PRINCIPAL CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS THAT HAVE EXISTED IN THE WORLD FROM THE BIRTH OF CHRIST TO THE PRESENT DAY, WITH THEIR DOCTRINES, RELIGIOUS RITES AND CERE MONIES, AS WELL AS THOSE OF THE JEWS, MOHAMMEDANS, AND HEATHEN NATIONS; TOGETHER WITH THE MANNERS AND CUS. TOMS OF THE EAST, ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, AND A DESCRIPTION OF THE QUADRUPEDS, BIRDS, FISHES, REP. TILES, INSECTS, TREES, PLANTS, AND MINERALS, MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE; A STATEMENT OF THE MOST REMARKABLE TRANS. ACTIONS AND EVENTS IN ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY; EIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF THE EARLY MARTYRS AND DISTINGUISHED RELIGIOUS WRITERS AND CHARACTERS OF ALL AGES. TO WHICH IS ADDED A MISSIONARY GAZETTEER, CONTAINING DESCRIPTIONS OF THE VARIOUS MISSIONARY STATIONS THROUGHOUT THE GLOBE; BY REV. R. B. EDWARDS, EDITOR OF QUARTERLY OBSERVER. THE WHOLE BROUGHT DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, AND EMBRACING, UNDER ONE ALPHABET, THE MOST VALUABLE PART OF CALMET'S AND BROWN'S DICTIONARIES OF THE BIBLE; BUCK'S THEOL. DICTIONARY; ABBOTT'S SCRIPTURE NATURAL HISTORY; WELLS' GEOGRAPHY OF THE BIBLE; JONES' BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY; AND NUMEROUS OTHER SIMILAR WORKS. DESIGNED AS A COMPLETE BOOK OF REFERENCE ON ALL RELIGIOUS SUBJECTS, AND COMPANION TO THE BIBLE; FORMING A CHEAP AND COMPACT LIBRARY OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE. EDITED BY REV. J. NEWTON BROWN. ILLUSTRATED BY WOOD CUTS, MAPS, AND ENGRAVINGS ON COPPER AND STEEL.
THE present is an age, and ours is a country, demanding great condensation and brevity in writers who would secure attention. So active and busy are the habits of the mass of our countrymen, that they have neither time nor patience to turn and peruse the pages of the cumbersome quartos and folios of the 17th century; while a tolerable competency would scarcely suffice for the purchase of the numerous works of which the modern press is so fruitful, on the subjects embraced in this volume. The work then combining and condensing the most valuable results of the researches of the best writers on any subject, while it will be most likely to be received with favor, will at the same time be best calculated to facilitate the acquisition, and consequently the diffusion of knowledge. With these views the "COMPREHENSIVE COMMENTARY on the Bible" was projected; and its unprecedented sale has encouraged the same publishers to offer to the public the present volume. The subjects embraced in this work are interesting to ALL, and as it is not designed to be in the least sectarian, or denominational, it cannot fail to be desirable for all, whether professedly religious or not, at least as a book of reference.
The following are some of the peculiarities of the plan:
1. It is designed to be a standard and permanent work; and here it is believed will be found collected and compressed in one super-royal octavo volume of upwards of twelve hundred pages, in a shape combining convenience and cheapness, and in a style blending the sweetness of the popular with the richness of the profound, what has heretofore been scattered through more than forty volumes, and mixed with much of little or no value. Among the works, all the valuable matter of which will be found in this, together with some from which copious extracts have been made, are the following:
Many articles are original, especially those relating to the principal sects in this country, as will be seen on reference to the fourth paragraph below.
2. It is designed for a complete book of reference on ALL religious subjects; to which a person can turn when any thing occurs in reading or conversation connected with Religion which he does not understand, or in regard to which he wishes to refresh his memory, as he would to a dictionary for a definition of a word. Nearly every subject treated in the books which form the basis of this, is touched upon; but those which are of minor importance are very brief, and those of greater utility handled more at length. Articles rarely recurred to will be found here; but it is not burdened with any thing that is altogether useless.
3. In Theology, Buck's Dictionary is followed; in its evangelical cast and general candor, in its copious illustrations of important topics, and its valuable references to the best works on both sides of the question.
The edition which has been used is the new one lately published in England, edited by Prof. HENDERSON, who has added nearly five hundred new articles, which will be found incorporated in this.
4. The accounts of the History, Doctrines, &c. of different denominations, have been prepared with an aim at the strictest impartiality. Where it was practicable some leading man of the principal sects existing in this country has been employed to prepare the article relat ing to it; and where it has not been, the matter has been drawn from some one or more prominent writer of the denomination, of acknow ledged authority. THE WORK DOES NOT AIM TO EFFECT A COMPROMISE of opinions among the different denominations of Christians, but to present the views of each fully, and in their own words, leaving the reader to form his own conclusions as to which is most correct. must be a truly acceptable course to all who can respond to the sentiment quoted by Robert Hall, "Amicus Plato, amicus Socrates, sed magis amica VERITAS."
PROTESTANT METHODIST CHURCH. Rev. T. F.
UNIVERSALISTS. Rev. LUCIUS PAGE.
15. To adapt it to popular use, all words in foreign languages have been omitted; or where Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek terms unavoidably occur, they are given in English characters.
6. Scripture Biography, which occupies a large space in most Bible Dictionaries, is handled here in the briefest manner possible—giving only the characteristic outlines, except when difficulties occur which require to be cleared up.
7. In consequence of the space thus gained, the new department of Religious Biography is made full and extensive; embracing, it is believed, every distinguished religious writer, preacher, and character, including the most distinguished females, and those philanthropists who were actuated by religious principles. Every denomination will find here notices of its most illustrious men, especially such as have lived and died in this country, from its settlement to this time. To every notice of an author a list of his principal writings (so far as possible) is given, with a reference to the best biographies of the individual.
8. As a Dictionary and Gazetteer of the Bible, the work will be found, it is believed, full and copious, adapting it to the wants of SABBATH SCHOOLS. In the notices of the various cities and countries mentioned in the Bible, the fulfilment of the Prophecies regarding them, so far as developed, are particularly noticed.
9. The object of the ENCYCLOPEDIA being to do good on evangelical principles, the work preserves throughout, as far as possible, a devotional and practical, as well as a critical, picturesque, and popular character, that it may minister to the heart, no less than to the judgment and the imagination.
10. MAPS AND ENGRAVINGS, as well as WooD CUTS, have been added to enrich and adorn, as well as illustrate the work.
On the whole, the amount of information embodied in this work is very great, and it is hoped the matter, by collation, arrangement, abridgment, and addition, has been improved; and while it will be found interesting and valuable to Families, and those individuals who only desire to acquire general knowledge, to the SABBATH SCHOOL TEACHER and BIBLE CLASS LEADER it cannot but prove an invaluable treasure.