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The Reader is requested to take the trouble of correcting the following Errata.
Page 32, last line, for Preface read Page 64
34, line 21, dele "These signs are."
49, line 34, for σωξομένες read σωζομένας and for πρεστιζει read προσετίθει
50, line 7, for leng-thening read length-ening
68, line 39, for Brother, Cousin, read Brothers, Cousins
70, line 23, for Vhe read The
79, line 17, for lying a read a lying
80, line 24, for as between read or between
line 34, for friends read friend's
98, line 27, for two read too
Plummer and Brewis, Printers, Love-Lane, Little Eastcheap.
THE Goths, an ancient and a celebrated race of men, were remarkable for their bravery, generosity, and genius for learning. Their history, of which very scanty remains are left, commences, according to Herodotus, with the labours of the Grecian Hercules, who is identified by Sir Isaac Newton with Sesac or 'Sesostris King of Egypt, who flourished B. C. 1050 years. These Goths, whom Herodotus has spoken of, inhabited less or more of the northern parts of Europe, from the Euxine to the Baltic Sea; and the rivers Danube and Rhine appear to have been their natural boundary on the south. They came originally out of Assyria, and had various names at different times, and in different places, as Cushites, Cutheans, Getæ, Massagetæ, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Mæsogoths; but the common name given to them by the Greeks was that of Scythians, the letters being sometimes a gratuitous prefix to the consonant c hard, or k, in the Greek language. It would appear from a few scattered hints in the writings of the Apostle Paul, that amongst his early converts to Christianity in Greece were some principal persons out of Scythia, who had resorted thither on either literary or commercial pursuits. These undoubtedly carried back, about A. D. 65 or 66, into their own country, some parts of the holy Scriptures written in Greek. When, in process of time, the Greek language was less known in Scythia, and the intercourse with Greece was impeded by the mutual wars and jealousies between the Romans and the Gothic nations, the New Testament was translated out of Greek into Gothic, about A. D. 300, by Wulphilas: which circumstance proves two things; first, the continued success of the gospel; and secondly, that beyond the pale of the Roman empire it was not unlawful to read the Bible in the vulgar tongue. The early conversion of a few Scythian chiefs to Christianity accounts most easily for the favourable reception and the kind protection which the Jews experienced from that nation, in the year 70, when they were driven from their own country by the Romans, and their capital with its temple were rased to the ground. It also illustrates the meaning of our Saviour's exhortation, when he says, Pray ye that your flight be not in winter:" for the winters in Judea are not commonly severe, if shepherds might there openly watch their flocks by night in winter; as importing, " pray ye that ye may not encounter the inhospitable snows of Scythia, and that your flight thither be not in winter; for ye will not remain safe within the boundaries of the Roman empire, in Egypt, in Greece, in Parthia, nor in Judea." And it is acknowledged by the modern Jews that Scythia was the country to which the great body of their nation fled for refuge from the fury of the Romans, which probably would not have been so happily the case, but for our Saviour's previous admonition, and for the preparation made for it in due time, by the providential conversion of a few Scythian chiefs to Christianity. Hence, to this day, the Jews prevail more in Prussia, Poland, Germany, and the northern parts of Europe, than in any other part of the world' Hence too it would appear that the preservation of the Assyrian empire, through the preaching of the prophet Jonah, for a time at least, until it should be able to plant out and protect some Scythiau colonies that might afterwards grow into an independent nation, able and willing, and in gratitude bound, to protect the Jews in their greatest distress, was a great and miraculous interference of Providence in behalf both of Jews and Scythians.-There is reason to believe that the Gothic and Sanscrit languages were originally the same, and that the subsequent differences, which prevailed between them, amounted to little more than what usually takes place between sister dialects. It has also been credibly asserted that Sanscrit was the language spoken at the court of Nineveh during the greatness and prosperity of the Assyrian empire, and that the Greek and Persian languages were derived from it. Jonah was probably a native of Tarsus in Cilicia, and spoke two languages, Hebrew his national tongue, and Ionic Greek, his native tongue, much the same in those days as the Assyrian. And Paul the Apostle uses the terms Barbarian and Scythian antithetically, which shews that, in his judgement, and in the general opinion of the world, the Scythian language was not essentially different from the Greek-It follows, therefore, that the Gothic language is as old as the Sanscrit, that is, probably, as the confusion of tongues at Babel.
Sanscrit is now the language of the learned in India, as Latin is of the learned in Europe. And it is remarkable that these two became dead languages about the same period, upwards of twelve hundred years ago.
Herodotus says that the Scythians were by themselves called Scolotes. If the name Goth be derived, as is commonly supposed, from good, occasionally synonimous with bonny, might not Herodotus have mistaken bony for bonny, as Scolotes is clearly derived from Skeleton? It is remarkable too that, in Latin, os signifies either the countenance or a bone.