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NE !! JERSEY
GOL GELi i KRY

ILLUSTRATIONS

BIBLICAL LITERATURE,

EXHIBITING

THE HISTORY AND FATE OF THE

Sacred Writings,

FROM THE

EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE PRESENT CENTURY;

INCLUDING

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF TRANSLATORS, AND OTHER

EMINENT BIBLICAL SCHOLARS.

BY THE REV. JAMES TOWNLEY,

Author of Biblical Anecdotes."

VOL, I.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN,

PATERNOSTER ROW.

B. CROMPTON, Printer, Bury,

Lancashire.

PREFACE,

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“THE BIBLE,” said the immortal Locke, "has Gop for its author; truth without any mixture of error for its matter; and salvation for its end.” These views are cordially adopted by the author of the following volumes, to whom it has long appeared as an indubitable fact, that mankind are indebted to Revelation for all true knowledge of God and divine things. No modification of inert, divisible, and senseless matter, can suggest the idea of one infinite, indivisible, self-existent Spirit, the Creator, and Preserver, and Governor of all things:—the wisest heathen philosophers have acknowledged themselves indebted to tradition for their purest and most sublime notions of the Deity :—and the great sages of antiquity sought information from Eastern sources, by travel or inquiry.

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Impressed with these sentiments, the study of the invaluable Records of wisdom and grace, has formed one of the most interesting and delightful occupations of the present writer; and the more diligently and critically he has examined them, the more fully he has been convinced of their divine origin and inspiration. To trace the successive history, and various fate, of these Divine Writings, from the promulgation of the Law, on Sinai, to the present eventful period, has, for several years, employed the hours which he could spare from the laborious engagements of ministerial duty. The present work is the result of some of those inquiries, and will, it is hoped, supply a desideratum in Sacred literature, by offering to the reader a more comprehensive view of the progress of Biblical translations, and of the literary and ecclesiastical history of the Holy Scriptures, than has hitherto been presented to the public. · Numerous bibliographical and historical works, of various merit and popularity, have been published, in which the different versions of the Scriptures, the multiplied editions of them, and their general history, have been expressly con

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