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some in the strongest terms, who have been notoriously guilty of the contrary ; and I am apt to think that many are partial who are insensible of it. For myself, I own, I am on the side of pure christianity, as also of civil and religious liberty; and this for the low as well as the high, for the laity as well as the clergy; I am for leaving every one to the freedom of worshipping according to the light of his conscience; and for extending charity to every one who receives the Gospel as the rule of his faith and life ; I am on the side of meekness, patience, gentleness and innocence; and I hope, my inclination to these great principles will not bias me to a misrecital of facts; but rather to state them as I really find them for the public benefit. Nor will the nature or design of this work, which is rather a register or collection of matters as described by others, so much admit of partiality, as a proper history where the writer allows himself the freedom of using his own expressions
In citing Fuller, for the births, ages and characters of persons, I sometimes mean his Abel Redivivus, but otherwise, his Church History of England. And whereas I observe some mistakes in Mr. Hubbard's History of New-England, the reader may consider, that as we have only a copy of that valuable work, the substance whereof I
propose to give the public; some of those mistakes may be owing to the transcriber only, and some that learned and ingenious author fell into for want of Governor Bradford's History, and some other materials which I happen to be favored with.
In short, I cite my vouchers to every passage, and I have done my utmost first to find out the truth, and then to relate it in the order. I have labored after accuracy, and yet I dare not say, that I am without mistake ; nor do I desire the reader to conceal any he may possibly find. But on the contrary, I offer this work to the public view, that it may be perused with the most critical eye, that every error may be discovered, and the correction published in the following volume, which I hope will not be long a composing, having passed through the much greater difficulties in this first, and abstracted many of my materials towards the second.
As an introduction to the New England Chronology, it may be grateful to many readers, to see the age of the world when this part of the earth came to be known to the other; and the line of time, with the succession of the principal persons, events, and transactions, which had been running on from the creation to the settlement of this country, by a colony from England. And this, I shall briefly show, under the following articles ; which seem to me, the most clear and natural heads, or successive periods of Chronology ; especially for an English reader.
I. The Scripture patriarchs. II. The judges of Israel. NI. The kings of Judah. IV. The Babylonian, Persian, Grecian and Egyptian monarchs. V. The Roman Emperors. VI. The Greek Emperors. VII. The kings of England. 1. From Egbert, the first king of England, to the first discovery of the new world, by Christopher Columbus. 2. From thence to the discovery of New-England, and death of queen Elizabeth. .
And that I may crowd the more matter in a little room, I shall make use of the following plain, and easy characters, for words and sentences that may very frequently occur in this composure. As,
Y. stands for year; Y. L. for year of life ; Y. R. for year of rule, or reign; Y. W. for year of the world, that is, from the creation of the world ; Y. C. for year of Christ, that is, from the birth of Christ ; b. for at the beginning of the year, either a little before or after ; e. for at the end of the year, either a little before or after ; m. for month ; d. for day; k. for king
And the years are supposed to be solar, and nearly complete, that is, either a little more or less; and to begin at the spring, till the entrance of the fourth period; and then we begin with the Julian year, namely, the first of January. the Chaldeans, Persians, Armenians, most other eastern nations, and the ancient astronomers who placed Aries, the first of the signs, at the Vernal Equinox ; as also Virgil, Eusebius, Ambrose, Cyril, Austin, Bede, Melancthon, Calvin, Scaliger, Lydiat, Bucholzer, Bunting, Coddoman, Kepler, Krechzem, Mercer, Alsted, Spondan, Capellus, E. Simpson, Langius, (see Lydiat, Alsted, Stauchius) and so Dupin.
The Chronology of the Scripture Patriarchs, in a continued line, from the
creation of Adam, to the death of Moses ; containing nearly 2553 complete years.
Though the year of the world 1656, is generally reckoned to be the year of Noah's flood; yet taking the years of the patriarchs, for full years, or thereabouts, that is, either a little over or under, sometimes one and sometimes the other ; and so complete in the whole, as Helvicus, Petavius, Usher, and most Chronologers seem to allow ; I think it is very plain, that as Adam lived 130 years before Seth was born, and Adam was not 130 till the beginning of the year of the world 131, so Seth was born at the beginning of the same year; and so of the other patriarchs, which will, therefore, unavoidably bring the beginning of the flood to the beginning of the year of the world 1657. And to this agree the learned Funccius, Bucholzer, Scaliger, (a) Reusner, Calvisius, Bunting, Langius, Behmius, Frankenberger, Willet, Alsted, Drake, and Swan ; who, therefore, seem in this computation to be most accurate. And though, from Gen. xi. 26, many moderns and all the ancient Chronologers, even down to Beroaldus a professor of Geneva, have set the birth of Abraham at the 70th year of Terah ; and the Samaritan version in Gen. xi. 32, makes Terah to live no longer than 145, and so to have died when Abraham was but 75; yet, inasmuch as the Hebrew, with all the other ancient versions (6) and Josephus also, make Terah to live 205 ; and, as Abraham at 75 removed from Haran, Gen. xii. 4, and Stephen tells us that this was after his father's death, Acts vii. 4 ; therefore, Beroaldus seems rightly to have set the birth of Abraham at the 130th year of Terah ; and has drawn the following train of celebrated writers after him. Calvinus, P. Martyr, Musculus, Junius, Pareus, Scharpius, Capelli Tres, Diodati, Rivetus, Langius, Ricciolius, Dupin, Broughton, More, Willet, Ainsworth, Raleigh, Drake, Lightfoot, Usher, Richardson, Swan, Allen, Marsham, Cary, Whiston, Lloyd, Marshal, Dr. Prideaux, and others; whom we choose to follow for further reasons, which our designed brevity will not allow us here to mention.
a Scaliger says it is so certain that none has bitherto doubted it. (De Emend. Temp. Lib. V.)
b See Bib. Polygot.
Seth dies, aged 912.
fore Noah's 600th year ends. (b) II m. 27 d. flood ends, and Noah
goes out of the ark.
Arphaxad 35, Salah born.
Terah 130, Abraham born.
and receiving the promise, goes
out of Haran for Canaan.
996 e Peleg
a By Gen. vii. 6, 11 ; and viii. 13, 14, it seems that Noah was not born till the third month of this year. b According to the note above, and the preface to this period.