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my performance, by creating expectations, which nothing of mine can possibly answer. But, as I flatter myself, that a good intention will appear through the whole; so, I hope, the prefixing your Lordship's name will remind the severer readers, how disposed the truly great are to favour a well-* meant design, though it be not executed by a hand able to carry it through in a manner liable to no exceptions.

1 am,

My liourt,
Your Lordship's most obedient,
And most humble servant,
SAMUEL SHUCKFORD.

PREFACE.

THIS second volume, which I now offer to the public, carries down the History of the World to the exit of the children of Israel out of Egypt. The method I have observed, is the same as in the former volume; and I have in this, as in the other, interspersed several digressions upon such subjects, as either the Scripture accounts, or the hint9 we meet with in profane authors concerning the times I treat of, suggested.

Sir Isaac Newton's Chronology was not published, until after I had finished both my former volume, and the prefape to it; but as his sentiments upon ancient chronology have been since that time offered to the world, it will become me to endeavour to give some reasons for having formerly, and for still continuing to differ from him. I am not yet come down to the times where he begins his chronology; for which reason, it would be an improper, as well as a very troublesome anticipation, to enter into particulars, which I shall be able to set in a much clearer light, when I shall give the history of those times to which he has supposed them to belong. But since there are in Sir Isaac Newton's work several arguments of a more extensive influence, than can be confined to any one particular epoch, and which are, in truth, the main foundation of his whole scheme, and affect the whole body of ancient chronology; I shall endeavour to consider them here, that the reader may judge, whether I have already, as well as whether I shall hereafter proceed rightly, in not being determined by them. The first which I shall mention, is the astronomical "argument for fixing the time of the Argonautic expedition, formed from the constellations of Chiron. This seems to be demonstration, and to prove incontestably, that the ancient profane history is generally carried about three hundred years higher backward than the truth. The full force of this argument is clearly expressed in the short Chronicle* as follows:

I. "Chiron formed the constellations for the use of the Argonauts, and placed the solstitial and equinoctial points in the fifteenth degrees or middles of the constclla• ,-tions of Cancer, Chelae, Capricorn, and ')'. Aries. Meton, in the year of Nabonassar .-•three hundred and sixteen, observed the . summer Solstice in the eighth degree of ■I Cancer, and therefore the Solstice had then '•'., gone back seven degrees. It goes back one degree in about seventy-two years, and seven degrees in about five hundred and four years. Count these years back from the year of Nabonassar three hundred and sixteen, and they will place the Argonautlc expedition nine hundred and thirty-six years before Christ." The Greeks (says our

* See Short Chronicle, - p. 25. The argument is "fibred at large in Chronology of the Greeks, p. 83.

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great and learned author) placed * it three hundred years earlier. The reader will easily see the whole force of this argument. Meton, Ann. Nabonass. three hundred and • J sixteen, found that the Solstices were in the ■ J eighth degrees of the constellations. Chiron, . at the time of the Argonautic expedition, placed them in the fifteenth degrees. The Solstice goes back seven degrees in fire', hundred and four years; from whence i^-.' follows that the time when Chiron placed ■ the Solstice in the fifteenth degrees, was five V hundred and four years before Ann. Nabo. / -three hundred and sixteen, when Meton;. ;•. found that they were in the eighth .-r" degrees. ^;{

The fallacy of this argument must appear very evident to any one who attends to itij" for suppose we allow that Chiron did really place the Solstices as Sir Isaac Newton re* presents, (though I think it most probable that he did not so place them) yet it must be undeniably plain, that nothing can be certainly established from Chiron's position

* Chronology of the Greeks, p. 94.

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