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by a considerable number of scholars in Europe, we are in a fair way of knowing all which the Egyptian phonetic or alphabetic Hieroglyphics on the monuments, were designed to teach.
We now know also, that Hieroglyphics were often employed as symbols, i. e. as the signs of ideas ; and these symbols are to a great extent already known, and progress in the knowledge of them is gradual and constant.
It is also ascertained, that there are Hieroglyphics, or rather, groups of them, which have a mystical meaning; such as they have generally been supposed to convey.
The interests of religion are deeply concerned in these investigations. The people of God sojourned for several centuries in Egypt; and during a part of the time, when many of the monuments and edifices now standing were actually erected. There can be but little doubt, that a part of their cruel bondage con- . sisted in laboring to erect some of these, or to prepare materials for them. The overthrow of a distinguished Egyptian king, was connected with the departure of the Hebrews from the land of Egypt. Are there any notices of them, or of their oppressors, on the monuments of this country, or among the numerous manuscripts which are every day discovered amidst the tombs and ruins ? Is there any confirmation of the Scripture accounts, derived from these accidental and hitherto inaccessible sources of knowledge ?Questions of great interest to the Christian, who reverences the Scriptures; and even to the mere lovers of ancient history.
On these questions some light is thrown in the following sheets. It is the special object of M. Greppo, the writer, to direct his attention to this particular point. I cannot help thinking, that what he has done will be grateful and acceptable to the public in this country.
The translation of the work was made by my son, whose name stands on the title page. I have inspected the whole, and compared it with the original. Here and there I have suggested some slight verbal alterations. In all other respects the work is as it came from the hands of the translator.
In regard to the Notes ; such as are my own, are included in brackets, and have the initials of my name added at the close. For the rest, the translator is responsible.
My hope and earnest desire is, that the work may not only gratify a laudable curiosity in the public mind, but that it may contribute to render still more firm the belief of Christians in the truth and faithfulness of the sacred writers.
I only add, that the work of Spineto, and Jablonski's Pantheon Ægyptiacum, have been used in preparing the notes; and nearly every thing material has been taken from Spineto, in which he differs from M. Greppo, or has gone beyond him in descanting on particular topics. The work of Spineto is too large and expensive for republication here ; and its design not directly a religious one. On this account I have thought the work of M. Greppo preferable ; and he has evidently studied his subject as extensively as Spineto, although he is less bold in advancing some
theories. I have seen no critiques on either book ; nor do I wish to see them for my own satisfaction, as I have read them both.
That I have seen occasion to differ from M. Greppo, in respect to some of his positions which have relation to Hebrew philology and criticism, I trust he will not put to the score of hyper-criticism or the love of finding fault. Whenever I have differed, I have felt bound to give the reasons for it; and of these, the reader who is competent must be left to judge. M. Greppo and myself have, I trust, one and the same object in view ; and this is, to get at the truth. If in our single, or by our joint endeavors, the reader is furnished with any means of obtaining this result, we shall both be abundantly rewarded for our labor.
Andover, Theol. Sem.