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Entered according to act of Congress in the year eighteen
122 Washington St.
TO THE THIRD ENGLISH EDITION.
In preparing this edition of the Scripture Natural HisTORY for the press, the author has carefully revised it throughout, and made such alterations in style and matter as will, he hopes, render it more worthy of public acceptance than the former edition. In doing this, he has borne in mind a suggestion put forth in a favorable critique upon the first impression in the ' Eclectic Review,' and by divesting the work of some of the dryness and tedium of criticism, and making it less diffuse, he has sought to give it a more popular, though not a less useful character. These alterations have enabled him, without omitting any thing of real value and utility, to bring the volume into a smaller compass, and publish it in a more attractive form.
Since the publication of the former edition of this work, the author has been driven, by the force of circumstances, and a deep sense of moral responsibility, to devote much of his time and attention to objects of an apparently different aspect to those pursued in biblical literature, and which are regarded with considerable jealousy and suspicion by a large proportion of the religious public. This is not the place to justify the course he has taken, or to defend the motives by which he has been actuated. It is enough to say, that his attachment to biblical pursuits is as strong as ever, and that his conviction of the paramount importance and infinite value of pure and undefiled religion grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength. To assist in removing out of the way some of those impediments to the spread of religion, which the sullen discontent and reckless profligacy produced by the inordinate and inadequately remunerated labor, combined with the superinduced ignorance, of the manufacturing population almost every where present, he has encountered the perils and privations of imprisonment. A consciousness of the purity of his motives, however, amply compensates him for all these and much more.
The indulgent reader will pardon the intrusion of these remarks. They have been deemed to be necessary,
in consequence of certain misrepresentations which some persons have either wilfully or ignorantly put forth, as to the author's continued attachment to the truths of Revelation.
April 5, 1832
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
Having stated the nature and object of his work in the Introduction to the following pages, it is only necessary that the author should here subjoin a few words, by way of explanation.
There being two editions of Dr. Harris's 'Natural History of the Bible extant in this country, (England) it is natural that the public should inquire upon what grounds a second work of this description is presented to their notice. The answer to this inquiry may be very brief.—Dr. Harris's work is by far too critical for general purposes, and contains but little
Natural History. It furnishes valuable materials to aid the student in his investigations; but to the unlearned reader it presents sew attractions; while its frequent conjectural criticisms, and utter destitution of evangelical sentiment and feeling, render it by no means desirable as a medium of religious instruction.
In every part of the following work, the author has given the authorities upon which his statements are founded ; and conceiving that literary property is as sacred and inviolable as that of every other species, he has conscientiously pointed out the immediate-sources of his information. This may
be sometimes found operating to the prejudice of others; but he cannot be answerable for such a result.
In availing himself of the labors of his predecessors, the author has frequently found the highest authorities supporting conflicting opinions: in such cases, he has decided to the best of his judgment, and where the limits assigned to his work would permit of it, he has laid before the reader the grounds of his decision.
The author cannot close these prefatory observations without acknowledging his particular obligations to Mr. Charles
Taylor, the late erudite and indefatigable editor of Calmet; and also to Professor Paxton. To the former, for the result of much laborious investigation, to identify the subjects of Scripture Natural History; and to the latter, for many felicitous illustrations of particular passages of the Sacred Writings. The chief inducement with the author to avail himself so freely of the writings of the last-mentioned author, was their evangelical tone, and their strong tendency to elevate the religious feelings of the reader. Written under the influence of a deep but enlightened piety, Professor Paxton's ' Illustrations of the Holy Scriptures' present a striking contrast to the cold and lifeless · Illustrations' generally furnished in biblical works.
With reference to the embellishments, it is only necessary to say, that those objects have been selected which are the least known in this country; and the best authorities have been chosen for their representation. The author's thanks are due to the respective artists, for the fidelity and taste with which they have executed their work.
Relying upon the same indulgence that has been extended to his former efforts in the cause of biblical literature, the author presents the following work to the acceptance of the religious public. May He whose cause it aims to promote, render it subservient to his gracious purposes !