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I should not have presumed to have obtruded the following little compilation upon the notice of a discerning public, unless I had been solicited to that effect by several of my friends, upon whose discrimination I have ventured to rely.
My design has been to compress into a small compass as much information as possible, without obscuring sense by brevity; to unite interest with truth, so as not to cloy the juvenile mind; to support various tenets, especially the fundamental ones, by the plainest, and at the same time, most convincing arguments, so that every capacity may easily understand; and by every means in my power to induce a train of serious reflections upon the veracity and probability of what is advanced-for from reflection alone emanates conviction.
I have commenced with a concise history of the Jews, from the decree given in their favour to Esdras, and this I have done that my readers may proceed connectedly and progressively to the advent of Christ, the proving and explaining of whose doctrine, and the propagation thereof by his apostolical disciples, are the chief purposes of this work, but which I considered far best introduced in the regular routine of undoubted and authenticated narrative, that youthful readers may not be led to form those vague, unsatisfactory, and abstracted ideas, which they are too apt to do with religious works in general; but my aim has been first to inspire interest, then reflection, and lastly bring conviction.
I have continued the history of the Jews, since it is so intimately connected with that of the first Christians, to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans : and I have likewise intermixed particulars of the several monarchies, to which the Jews were successively in subjection.
Moreover, as a conclusion, I have subjoined a summary account of the first introduction of Christianity into Britain.
In the historical matter I have been careful to follow the most undoubted and received au