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For the Clearer Understanding of the SACRED HISTORY,
With CRITICAL NOTES on the more difficult
Very Useful for Families.
In Two VOLUMES.
By SAMUEL CLARKE,
The SEVENTH EDITION.
Printed by IV.B. for JAMES, JOHN and PAUL KNAPTON,
MDCC XXXVI. ·
Moft Reverend Father in GOD,
Lord ARCHBISHOP of
May it please your GRACE,
O accept favourably this Paraphrafe upon St. Matthew, as an humble Expreffion of that Duty and Honour, which I, with all good Men, owe to your GRACE, whom the fpecial Providence of God has placed in the highest Station of our Church; Where, by your wife Government and pious Example, you fup port and encourage true Religion and Virtue; which seem to be in great Danger, not only from the bold Pretenders to Atheism and Deism, but even from the many Controverfies about finaller A 2
Matters, raised and uncharitably managed among Chriftians, while little regard is had to the great Duties and most effential Parts of Religion.
THE Care, Sincerity, and Impartiality with respect to any Theological Controverfies, wherewith I have endeavoured to explain in general the Doctrine and Hiftory of our Saviour; may, I hope, procure me Pardon for the involuntary Errors and Failings in this Performance. For as I cannot, without great Prefumption, fuppofe it free from Mistakes; so I trust I have no where offered any Interpretation repugnant to the fundamental Articles of our Religion, or the neceffary Rules of Holy Life. And that I might not be deceived in Matters of fo great Importance, I have (as I thought my self obliged to do) submitted these Papers, before they were made publick, to the View and Cenfure of fome of my Superiours, on whofe Judgment I thought I might fafely rely.
Now, that GOD may long preserve your GRACE, for the Good and Honour of this Church; is the conftant Prayer of,
and obedient Servant,
MONG the many excellent Commentaries and Expofitions which have been written upon the Books of Holy Scripture, I have not yet feen any, wherein the Text of the New Teftament bas been fully Paraphrafed with Brevity and Plainnefs. Erafmus's Performance of this Kind, is very eloquent and judicious; But his Explications are large, having frequent Digreffions; and in many Places, be indulges allegorical Interpretations; And moreover, the Beauty of his Work is very much loft in our Tranflation. The eminent and learned Bishop Hall, wrote a pious Expofition upon particular difficult Texts; But because it was only upon particular Texts, the Defign it felf allowed him not to regard the Tranfitions, and to make his Paraphrafe one continued uninterrupted Dif courfe. Dr. Hammond has with great Pains collected all the Affiftances of ancient and modern Learning, and with great Success applied them to the Explication of the New Teftament: But those who justly admire his great Learning and Skill in Interpreting, yet complain of the A 3