« ElőzőTovább »
character cannot be mistaken. I do not here mean, that the antients copied from the scriptures : I am speaking of primitive traditional histories, to which in their mythology they continually referred; those histories which were every where corrupted, excepting in the writings of Moses.
The certainty of an universal Deluge is of great consequence to be proved, as the history of the antediluvian world, and all the religious truths, with which it is attended, depend upon it. Not that the Mosaic history stands in need of any foreign evidence to an ingenuous and unprejudiced mind. But there are persons in the world, who, with a small share of reading and philosophy, presume to arraign the divine Historian ; and by à specious way of writing, have had an unduę influence upon others. This makes it necessary to accumulate these additional proofs ; and I have accordingly taken these pains towards the recovery of lost evidence in favour of this great event, that, from the universal assent of mankind the truth might be ascertained. Much light will continue to accrue in the progress of the ensuing work, when I come to treat of the first nations
Thus far we have been in a manner travelling up hill, in order to arrive at this point of prospect: . Having with no small labour gained this eminence, it will be easy to look down and take a view of the great occurrences which happened afterwards upon the increase of mankind. It will appear, that jealousies arose, and feuds ensued : and the sons of men were at last separated and dispersed, towards the four winds of heaven. And when navigation commenced, and the seas were explored, we shall find, that colonies went out, and new settlements were made, till the earth was peopled to its remotest regions. I have before made mention of one family in particular, which was daring and enterprizing to a great degree, and at the same time gifted with uncommon sagacity and knowledge. These over-ran a great part
of the earth, so that traces of them are to be found in the most distant countries. Of this people, and the occurrences in the first ages, it will be my next business to take notice. I shall dwell long upon the history of the Chaldeans, as contained in those valuable extracts from Berosus, which have been strangely perverted : also upon the history of the Egyptians, and their dynasties, which will afford wonderful light. It will be my endeavour to shew, that there subsists a perfect correspondence between them, and the Mosaic history, as far as the latter extends. It is moreover to be observed, that in the records of these nations, there are contained memorials of many transactions, which were subsequent to the age
of Moses; and of others which were foreign to his system, yet very necessary to be known. I shall therefore treat of them at large, as they contain events of great consequence, and afford the only basis upon which the history of mankind can be founded.
END OF VOL. III.
W. Marchant, Printer, 3, Greville Street Hulbor.