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E F A C E.
C HE Design of this UnW dertaking is to set before T h e Reader a View of
che History of the World,
from Adam to the Dić V solution of the Asyrian Empire, at the Death of Sardanapalus, in the Reigns of Ahaz King of Judah, and Pekah King of Israel: At this period, the most Learned Dean Prideaux began his Conne£tion of the Old and New Testament, and I would bring my Performance down to the Times where his Work begins; hoping, that if I can
set the Transactions of these Ages in a clear Light, my Endeavours may be of some Service towards forming a Judgment of the Truth and Exactness of the ancient Scripture. History, by shewing how far the old Fragments of the Heathen Writers agree with it, and how much better and more authentic the Account is, which it gives of Things, where they differ from it. What is now published, is but a small part of my Design; but if this meets with that Acceptance, which I hope it may, the remaining Parts shall foon follow.
Chronology and Geography being necessary Helps to History, I have taken care to be as exact as I can, in both of them: And that I might give the Reader the clearest View of the Geography, I have, here and there, added a Map, where I differ in any Particulars from other Writers, or have mentioned any thing, not so clearly delineared in the Draughts already extant. And as to the Chronology, I have observed, as I go along, the several Years in which
the the Particulars I treat of, happened ; and where any Doubts or Difficulties may arilc, I have endeavoured to clear them, by giving my Reasons for the particular Times of such Transactions, as I have treated of.
In the Annals, as I go along, I have chosen to make use of the fra of the Creation of the World, that seeming to me most easy and natural. The Transactions I am to treat of, are brought down from the Beginning, and it will be often very clear at what Interval or Distance they follow one another, and how long after the Creation; whereas, if I had used the same Æra with Dr. Prideaux, and computed by the Years before Christ, it would have been necessary to have ascertain'd the Reader in what Year of the World the Incarnation of Christ happened, before he could have had a fixed and determinate Notion of my Chronology: However, when I have gone thro' the Whole, I shall add such Chronological Tables, as may adjust the several Years
of the Creation both to the Julian Pem riod and Christian Æra. mit
It is something difficulc to say, of what Length the Year was, that was in Use in the early Ages. - Before the Flood, it is niost probable, that the Civil and Solar Year were the same, and that 360 Days were the exact Measure of both. In that Space of Time, the Sun made one entire Revolution, and it was easy and natural for the first Astronomers to divide the Circle of the Sun's Annual Course into 360 Parts, long before Geometry arrived at Perfection enough to afford a Reason for the choosing to divide Circles into that Number of Degrees. All the time of the Antediluvian World, Chronology was fixed and easy; a Year could be more exactly mealured than it now can.
At the Flood, the Heavens underwent some Change: The Motion of the Sun was altered, and a Year, or annual Revolution of it, became, as it now is, five Days and almost fix Hours longer than it was before. That such a