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Ꮲ Ꭱ E F A T 0 Ꭱ Y N0 Ꭲ Ꭼ .
The Author of this Volume expresses the hope, that the literary imperfections which mark it, will be leniently regarded by his Readers. He is assured that they will be disposed to do so, if they remember his limited residence in Scotland, and the obstacles to literary work inseparable from his position as a Missionary in Algiers. For the annexed list of Errata he craves indulgence. He flatters himself that they would not have crept into his work, had he been able, personally, to superintend it, as it passed from the hands of the Printer.
Page 28, line 15, read “sorrowful days and sleepless nights."
, 79, , 10, read “appointed," instead of " approved."
216, iine 10, for “he knows not,” read "we know not.”
218, 23, read “ as," instead of “ until.” „ 229, , 13, read “ did only visit," instead of " was only visited.” ,, 230, note, line 1, for “Some,” read “So we.” ,, 238, line 3 from bottom, delete "be,”—the correction is important. „, 322, note, line 8, read “if they shall lay hold," &c.
CHRISTIAN READER: The portion of the Holy Scriptures, the translation and exposition of which form the substance of this volume, has come down to us accompanied by manifold and highly important recommendations.
1st. We are informed in sacred history that the royal author of Ecclesiastes received in his youth the following promise from the God of Israel : “ Behold, I have done according to thy words [or “ wish”]: Behold, I have given thee or “ will give thee"] a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.” (1 Kings iii. 12).
2d. Its illustrious author is known to us as the sacred penman of that admirable and matchless work styled, “ The Proverbs of Solomon,”-_a work which must be acknowledged (even by those who deny inspiration) to have no rival in the world of letters, whether ancient or modern, whether it be regarded as a whole, or in relation to the single doctrines which it teaches, and the counsels it offers to fallen man. Where is the human production that can boast of a single chapter containing an equally valuable amount of truth as is contained in any chapter of Solomon's Proverbs ? Where else can we find such a fountain of wisdom ? Where is there another such precious reservoir of doctrine and counsel ? In what country lived another teacher of morals like the author of the Book of Proverbs ? Where exists such a second armoury of mighty weapons against Satan and sin ? and where such an antidote against the dangerous influences of a wicked and seducing world ? In that Book of Proverbs alone, we find morals and religion taught with the tongue of angels, warnings and admonitions against sin and iniquity by self-speaking figures and demonstrative examples, which pour wisdom and instruction in large streams into the heart of the simple, and efficaciously recommend the love and fear of God to young and old. The same truly great man is the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes.
3d. Solomon, though he was the son of the devoted and godly Psalmist David, though the wisest of men, though the most prosperous and magnificent of kings, though the builder of the first temple dedicated unto Jehovah in Jerusalem,-yet fell from the heights of the skies, as it were into the deepest depth of forgetfulness, backsliding, sensuality, and open sin; yea, into the miry pit of idolatry and rebellion against the Most High God, the source of all his wisdom and glory. Is this deplorable event in Solomon's life to be regarded as a recommendation to the work in question? Certainly it is. When we consider that it bears the marks of being the last work that issued from the pen of that extraordinary personage—that it must have been composed at the close of his earthly career, when he was really converted, and completely restored to the favour of the God of his father, who again used him as an inspired instrument in His hand for conveying celestial truth unto generations to come-when we remember that when Solomon composed this marvellous Book he looked back with the utmost horror to the idols of his youth—and the brilliancy and splendour of his past life were about to be extinguished and covered
by the dark clouds of death and the grave; we are constrained to conclude that the fact of its being the last production of a great man, a great king, a great favourite of God, a great backslider, a great sinner, and lastly, a great penitent, invests it with special importance and interest.
Solomon, who when yet a tender babe received the tokens of Jehovah's love, when the prophet conveyed unto him the name “ Jedidiah ” —the beloved of God-Solomon, who by Divine authority was preferred to all his older brothers, and chosen as the crown-prince in David's family, made the successor of that devoted, victorious and mighty king of Israel, Solomon, who was appointed to build a temple unto the Lord of Hosts, as a dwelling-place for His glory
-Solomon, whose glorious throne, prosperity and peace, wisdom and splendour, were promoted and established by God according to His repeated promises made through the prophets unto his father David, and twice to himself directly— Solomon, who in answer to his devout and earnest prayers at the dedication of the Temple, received again the testimony of the Lord's approbation, when His glory descended in a cloud of fire and filled the splendid house which he had built-Solomon, whose wisdom and magnificence provoked the astonishment of distant nations, and attracted the attention and admiration of mighty and illustrious princes in distant lands—Solomon, whose immense riches and great power put him in possession of everything that was then rare, splendid, beautiful, delightful, glorious and admirable ;-even that brilliant star of the human race, when he had mounted to the highest pinnacle of happiness and pleasure, grandeur and power, possible for a mortal prince, was lost in the clouds of vanity, by the excessive love of transitory and decaying pleasures, and by devotion to ignoble pursuits. His great soul and