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advantageously spent in mental or bodily recreation, or repose.
At the tribunal of biblical criticism the writer respectfully prays for a kind, but impartial, judgment on the correctness or incorrectness of the translation. It is very proper for him to attest his own belief, that, through the adorable grace of God, he has been enabled to give a version in all essential respects a faithful representation of the Syriac Scriptures; did he not believe so, he would not presume to offer it: but that class of readers who, though intelligent students of the Bible, have not directed their attention to this branch of inquiry, will naturally look for a corroborative testimony to the correctness of such an estimate, that their confidence in the translation may be warranted by some competent authority. It is on this account, as well as with a view to the thankful adoption of any improvement which may be pointed out, that he would solicit this adjudication.
For the sake of rendering the work as complete as possible, there is added a translation of the Epistles and Book of Revelation, wanting in the Peschito Canon, from the more modern Syriac texts first edited by Dr. Pococke and Louis De Dieu, so as to comprise all the holy books which we receive as inspired New-Testament Scripture.
With regard to the Acts and Epistles, the edition which the translator has followed has been that of Schaaf, on account of its having long been a sort of textus receptus of the Syriac Testament throughout the theological world. This has been collated with others, as occasionally indicated in the margin. Notwithstanding the labours of learned men in this department since the time of Schaaf, we are yet in
want of a critical edition of the Peschito text both of the Old and New Testaments; as likewise a uniform collection of the books of the Hexaplar Syriac, and an edition of the Harkleian New Testament, with such remains of the Philoxenian as may exist in the mss. brought home by the late Mr. Rich, or among those with which the treasures of the British Museum have been amplified through the diligence of Archdeacon Tattam. On this subject much interest has been awakened by the prefacę of the Rev. Mr. Cureton's edition of the Syrian Ignatius.
In this volume we have omitted the Rubrics of the oriental lessons from the body of the text, and given them in a separate collection or index at the end. Interspersed among the Scripture itself, as in the translation of the Gospels, such matters are confessedly out of place. This first index is followed by another, which is intended to facilitate the collation of any particular portion of the Eastern and Western Testaments.
For the prologues which introduce the translation little need be said. They will be received for what they are worth. The first part condenses a variety of information which would have been very acceptable to the writer himself several years ago, and which he presumes will be welcome to some who are now at the outset of their inquiries. In the second part we enter a more elevated and more spiritual region. It is good to be there! Perhaps this section would not be useless in Bible classes and family readings, as well as in the cabinet of the solitary Christian.
January 1st, 1849.