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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1813, by
TO FIRST EDITION,
In my public lectures in this department of study, I have long felt the pressing necessity of preparing this work; and now I offer this Manual of the Introduction to the Old Testament to the great theological public, with the conviction that I have accomplished something for the students and friends of science. If this compendium contained nothing but a copious and condensed compilation of previous critical inquiries on the Old Testament, it might yet deserve a place beside that of Bauer, which is now somewhat old, or that of Augusti, which is not entirely complete, or that of Jahn, which is one-sided. And if no one should conclude to make it the basis of his academic lectures, — and, on account of its peculiar opinions, this is not to be expected, — yet the condensed style of a compendium renders it convenient for many to read in preparing such exercises; and perhaps it may render this science — which is, besides, somewhat dry — attractive to such as have been frightened by the prolixity and breadth of other treatises. But I am myself persuaded that in some parts I have advanced the science, and in others have brought it back to the right way. However, it is not for me to determine how far I have succeeded in the first; but I may rather take to myself, with some confidence, the negative merit of the second.
It is well known that, from the very beginning, in company with the good spirit of free inquiry, the pernicious fondness for vain and arbitrary combinations and hypotheses has been brought into the department of Biblical Introduction, and has