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CHIEF LY EXPLANATORY;
DESIGNED FOR TEACHERS IN
ABBATH SCHOOLS AND BIBLE CLASSES,
AN AID TO FAMILY INSTRUCTION.
BY HENRY J. RIPLEY,"
IN TWO VOLUMES.
CONTAINING MATTHEW AND MARK
59 Washington Street.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1837, by
GOULD, KENDALL, AND LINCOLN In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
STEREOTYPED AT THE
A PRINCIPAL object of Notes on the Scriptures should be to render them more intelligible, and consequently more efficacious in promoting the spiritual welfare of men. As this remark implies that the holy Scriptures, though a revelation from heaven, and intended to make us “wise unto salvation,” need some help, in order to be thoroughly understood, it may be well to show why the Scriptures are not as readily and as well understood as books of our own time, on ordinary topics. ·
1. The Bible is a very ancient book. It was composed many centuries ago, in a part of the world very different from our own, and by men, the manners and customs of whose nation were also widely different from ours. If, then, we have no knowledge respecting the countries in which they lived, and of which their writings make very frequent mention; if we have no acquaintance with the history of the times in which they wrote; if we are ignorant of the domestic and social customs with which those writers were familiar, - we cannot fully understand their writings. We may, indeed, without this knowledge, understand much of what they have written; still, much will also be wholly obscure, and much will be incorrectly apprehended; and much, that is truly valuable and impressive, will escape our notice. Hence the necessity and the value of Notes, furnishing information respecting the geography and history of the countries mentioned in the Scriptures, and pointing out allusions to manners and customs differing from our own. These remarks apply to any ancient book, or to any book written in a foreign country, as well as