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[ Sacred annals or Researcice ento
The History and Religion of Mankind,
THE CREATION TO THE DEATH OF ISAAC:
DEDUCED FROM THE WRITINGS OF MOSES, AND
OTHER INSPIRED AUTHORS ;
AND ILLUSTRATED BY COPIOUS REFERENCES TO THE ANCIENT RECORDS,
TRADITIONS, AND MYTHOLOGY OF THE HEATHEN WORLD.
BY GEORGE SMITH, F. S. A.,
ARCHEOLOGICAI. SOCIETY, ETO.
Twenty years ago, the author of the following pages deeply felt the want of a volume which should exhibit a concentrated view of the history of the early ages of the world, contained in the Mosaic writings, and in the records and traditions of heathen nations; and which, at the same time, should present this body of informą. tion in a manner truly religious, recognizing, throughout, the supreme authority of Holy Scripture and the great principles of revealed religion. After long and diligent inquiry, he could meet with no work of this description, and was consequently compelled, for the satisfaction of his own mind, to commence a course of reading which embraced the early portions of Scripture history; the difficulties of which he endeavored to solve by a reference to the works of the various commentators and Biblical critics to which he had access. In this study he had not proceeded far, before he was startled with the remark of an intelligent friend with whom he was one day conversing on the chronology and history of the Pentateuch, and who, in reply to some observation on the subject, said, “However consistent with itself the chronology of Scripture may be, it stands in direct opposition to the records of every ancient nation; and this is a fact generally admitted by the learned." This remark led him to an enlarged course of reading, embracing the early history of the primitive nations, and the traditions and mythology of the heathen world, especial. ly of such as tended in any degree to its elucidation. Having, during the progress of these investigations, carefully noted down his observations on the most important topics, he ultimately found that he had done much toward providing matter for such a volume as in his earlier days he had so greatly needed. Notwithstanding the number of books recently published on cognate subjects, he considers the want still to exist which he had formerly so severely felt; and he has, therefore, to the best of his ability, endeavored to supply the desideratum.