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w HEREIN AN ATTEMPT is MADE To DIV Est TRADITION of FABLE =
BY JACOB BRYANT, ESQ.
Observations and Inquiries relating to various
A COMPLETE IND EX,
WOL. W. I.
* RIM TED FOR. J. wa LKER ; w. J. AND J. Rich ARDSON ;
a n D. The NATIONS THAT WERE CONNECTED WITH IT:
WHEREIN AN ACCOUNT IS GIVEN of
THE SHEPHERD KINGS AND THE ISRAELITES:
AND THE PLACE WHERE THEY BOTH RESIDED IS DETERMIN ED.
The whole calculated to rectify in some degree the Chronology and Geography of that Kingdom: and to clear up the Difficulties with which they have hitherto been attended.
We are informed in the Mosaic account of the sojournment of the Israelites in Egypt, that the place of their allotment was the land of Goshen. As Egypt was very spacious, and consisted of many large prefectures, as well as subordinate districts, it has employed the wit of many eminent writers to determine to which of these this particular land is to be ascribed. Some have thought that it was situated in the fields of Zoan. . But where are the fields of Zoan 2 Others, at the entrance into the country, of which it was a portion. In short, it VO L. VI. B
has been placed in Egypt; out of Egypt; upon the Red Sea; and upon the borders of Canaan; just as people's fancies have directed them. These, and many more, have been the opinions of writers upon this subject; who, being guided merely by caprice have advanced notions not only unsupported by any evidence, but often contradictory to the best accounts in history, and to the very authorities that they appeal to. The greatest part of what these authors advance consists of a dry investigation, which is carried on by a train of unwarrantable suppositions, not at all edifying or satisfactory, though enforced with a great deal of learning. In inquiries after mathematical truths, the process is very different. We advance upon some sure grounds, proceeding from one truth to another, till we arrive at the knowledge required. And we have been taught the same way of reasoning in the researches that we make in nature. Some data are first stated; some determined and undeniable principles laid down, which are examined and compared : and then, by fair inferences and necessary deductions we arrive at the truth. Hence have arisen those great improvements, that for this last century have been made in every branch of philosophy: much to the honour of our island; where this method of investigation was first recommended and introduced, and has been continually prosecuted with the greatest diligence and success; to the discouragement of
all hypothesis and unwarrantable conjecture.