Page images

lencies; and all of them have eludicated, with considerable talent and effect, the objects they severally proposed. These, however, have been various : Michaelis proposes to consider the Mosaic Laws, not as a Theologian, but as a Civilian; Graves, and Shaw vindicate their Divine Authority against Infidels; Lowman, and Fergus defend their general importance; Woodward refutes the opinions of Dr. Spencer, in his work, “ De Legibus Hebræorum;" and Jahn and Fleury illustrate the Jewish Antiquities. Maimonides's work, therefore, though brief, enters more into detail, and exhibits more fully than the others, the sentiments of the intelligent and learned of the Hebrew nation, on the reasons and peculiar objects of their Ceremonial Law.

To the reader who wishes to pursue the subject beyond the range of English authors, the present-writer would recommend, amongst others, Dr. Spencer's learned work, “De Legibus Hebræorum ;” and Sir John Marsham's “Canon Chronicus Ægyptiacus,” &c. corrected in some of their peculiar opinions by Witsius's “ Ægyptiaca ;” and Meyer's Treatise, “De Temporibus et Festis Diebus Hebræorum ;" Cunæus, “De Republica Hebræorum ;” and Bochart's “ Hierozoicon,” a work replete with various and recondite information.

In concluding his prefatory remarks, the Translator is aware that a work commenced and completed amidst the interruptions of official duties, must have occasion to claim indulgence for defects; but assured by former approbation, that his consciousness of a sincere desire to serve the best interests of mankind, will be met by corresponding candour, he submits the present Translation and accompanying Dissertations and Notes, with confidence to the public, hoping that the Blessing of the God of Jacob will accompany this attempt to vindicate the wisdom, and equity, and benevolence of Institutions Divinely authorized, and solemnly promulged.

« PreviousContinue »