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'Dr. Blayney seems to have been fully aware that the punctuation may " preserve" and of course obscure or destroy "the true sense ;" and I must submit, that whenever a point affects the sense, we have no modern authority for altering the authorized punctuation. And the position of a comma will sometimes affect the statement of a scripture doctrine: ex. gr. Heb. x. 12., that of the all-important doctrine of the atonement. Our Translators, placing their comma at "ever," make the verse to read, "This man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." Dr. Blayney and the modern Bibles, removing the comma, read, "This man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever gal dotrn on the right hand of God."'
Dr. Blayney was not the innovator. Long before his revision, the punctuation objected to had a place in English Bibles. Blayney is evidently regarded by Mr. Curtis as not very anxious to preserve ' the true sense of the passage,' what then will he say to the Geneva Translators? Their Version reads: ' But this man, • after he had offered one sacrifice for sinnes, sitteth for ever,' &c.
The paragraph marks are noticed by Mr. Curtis, p. 58, note; but here, as elsewhere, we have to find fault with the rash and indiscriminate judgement which he pronounces. The readers of his pamphlet who may not feel themselves under obligation to submit to a rigorous examination the statements and averments of the Author, must, in following him in his representations, have their minds strongly prejudiced against such editions of the Scriptures as these later times have produced. Here again we find the modern Bibles set in array against the Bible of 1611.
'The Translators, placing this mark of a distinct subject, Matt. xxviii. 19, express their opinion that the important commission of that verse was given in the mount of Galilee: the modern Bibles placing it at the 18th verse, indicate a different opinion.'
The commission delivered in the 19th verse is connected by the particle ovv with the words of Christ in the 18th ; and, therefore the paragraph mark, whether it be placed at verse 19th or 18th, cannot give occasion for the inference alleged by Mr. Curtis. But to the point of fact. The modern Bibles are not in opposition to the Bible of 1611. Blayney, indeed, places the mark at the 18th verse, but the modern Bibles are very numerous which have the paragraph mark where the Translators affixed it. So it appears in Cambridge Bibles of 1793, 1828, 1831; in Oxford Bibles of 1765, 1822, 1830; and in London Bibles of 1821,1830. In other editions, there is no paragraph murk after the 16th verse.
We are not of counsel for the University of Oxford, nor do we hold a fee as retained advocates for Dr. Blayney's fame; but the eagerness of Mr. Curtis to accumulate blame upon the late Hebrew professor of Oxford should be rebuked. His revision of the Bible contains many alterations which no one is prepared to defend; and many of them have been corrected in editions which in other respects have been rendered conformable to it. Mr. Curtis's censures might with advantage to his reputation, in many cases have been spared. The 'Contents of Chapters' in Blayney's revision have been, to a great extent, abandoned, and the Bible of 1769 is no longer followed; but, if none of them had been more exceptionable than the following, we do not see in what manner the Bible could have suffered deterioration.
Dr. Blnyney and his coadjutors seem also to have been [strongly attached (according to these summaries of their doctrine) to the heathen deity Fortune, of whom the Bible of the Translators certainly knew nothing. Thus the predictions of the angel, who is called Jehovah, Gen. xvi., are said to be " informing" Hagar " of her and her son's fortunes;" and Gen. xxv., the struggling of the children during Rebekah's pregnancy, "a token of the future fortunes of their posterity.'" p. 65.
We could easily refer to writers of unquestionable attachment to evangelical doctrines, and of eminent piety, who have not scrupled to use the language for which Mr. Curtis so severely remarks upon the Oxford Hebrew Professor. But, be the language proper or improper, it is to be read in much more interesting parts of a Biblical page than in the notation of the contents of a chapter: we find it in the text of the Bible itself. In Coverdale's Bible, Eccles. ix. 11, is rendered, 'All lyeth in tyme 'and fortune,' and the phrase, 'it fortuned,' is frequently employed. 2 Sam. xix. 9- Ruth, i. 1. Job, i. 5. 7- King James's Translators inserted in the Contents of the cxlixth Psalm, 'The 'prophet exhorteth to praise God—for that power which he hath 'given to the Church to rule the consciences of men.' If Blayney had been the author of such a sentence as this, the sharpest animadversions of Mr. Curtis would have been employed to rebuke the temerity of such a proceeding. From the modern Bibles it has been displaced. Blayney's revision has—' for that power 'which he has given to his saints.' Would Mr. Curtis restore the old reading? Nothing short of this could be in satisfaction of his assumption and his arguments.
Mr. Curtis comments in the following manner on the account given by Blayney of his labours in the revision of 1769
'IV. The Column Titles.—" The running titles at the top of the columns in each page, how trifling a circumstance soever it may appear, required no small degree of thought and attention." Akin in principle to the abandoned comment above, (Heads or Contents of Chapters,) is the continued one here alluded to, which contains some corruptions of the doctrines and statements of the Bible, as understood by our Translators, that I am far, my Lord, from regarding as trifling!' Man's righteousness,' is their column—title of that part of Isa. Ixiv. which contains the memorable phrase, "And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Dr. Blayney avoids this for—' The calling of the Gentiles,' the subject of the Ixv. chapter. So we have for 'None is just,' 'All are alike.' Eccl. vii. and viii. two other subjects substituted, 'Patience and wisdom,' 'Kings are to be respected;' and 'None righteous,' Rom. iii. exchanged for 'The Jews universally sinners.' (Bl.) The first two of these corruptions are in the last Camb. 8yo. Ref. Bible, finished at the period of my visit to that University. 'None is just,' Job xxv., is thus also withdrawn; 'None is clean,' Prov. xx. 'The heart wicked,' Jer. xvii. 'God's justice in punishing sinners—God's ways equal,' Ezek. xviii. (Trans.) exchanged for ' Every man shall stand or fall by his own good or bad actions,' (Bl.) and Camb. 8vo. 1031. Was there any thing honourable in the ammus of these alterations? The Church of England, we know, furnished during the last century, but too many advocates of a righteousness by works, which made 'the grace of God no more grace;' but they should have contented themselves with a fair field, and fair weapons of controversy; thus silently to withdraw an important sanction of a directly opposite opinion, was surely any thing but fair or becoming.' Curtis", 66, 67.
This, we hesitate not to say, is one of the most remarkable paragraphs which ever came under the notice of a Reviewer;— remarkable alike for the errors which it embodies, and the disingenuous spirit which pervades it. The language which it contains, is explicit enough, nor are the insinuations at all chargeable with obscurity; neither the one nor the other can be mistaken. Dr. Blayney is boldly charged with the offence of wilfully perverting and corrupting the Scriptures: 'Was there any thing honourable in the animus of these alterations?' We shall examine the grounds on which an accusation so grave and serious is founded. Every reader is referred, by Mr. Curtis, to Blayney, the Church of England divines of the last century, and the modern Bibles, as the guilty parties, and the witnesses of their desperate proceedings. Now what will our readers think of such charges, when we assure them that the above alterations are not modern; are not of the last century, are not peculiar to modern Bibles, and are not chargeable upon Dr. Blayney as the author of them! It is impossible that Dr. Blayney should have been the author of Column-titles in the English Bible, which had a place there a century before the date of his revision. The injustice which Mr. Curtis has shewn towards Blayney, it is impossible for any upright and candid mind to overlook; and our sense of justice, as well as the generous feelings which the occasion requires, impel us to rescue the memory of the learned critic from his unrighteous imputations. As the most unexceptionable testimonies, we shall produce the readings in the Column-titles of the Authorized Version as we find them in editions of the century before the la*t. Mr. Curtis affirms, that Blayney has displaced the Column-title of Isa. i•-.:•.•. 'Man's righteousness,' for ' The calling of the Gentiles.' Now the Column-title of the folio blackletter edition of 1613, is ' A prayer.' A black-letter quarto, 16-20, reads i God our Father—The calling of the Gentiles.' In 1639, the reading is, 'God's power and greatness,' and in 1679, we find, 'The Churches" complaint.—The Jews rejected.' 'None is just—All are alike.' .Eccles. vii.—viii., are read in 1613. In 1620 we have 'A good name—No man is just.' In 1639, 'None are just—Good and bad alike;' but in 1679, **e have in the Column-titles, 'The difficulty of wisdom.—Kings are to be respected.' 'None righteous,' Rom. 3, is not read at the top of the page in the Bible of 1613, where we have, 'The true Jew—Justification.' In 1620, we have, 'The true Jew — No flesh is justified by the law.' The reading in 1639 is, 'The Jew's prerogative —Justification by faith.' In 1679, ' All are sinners—-Justification by faith.' Job xxv. has, in 1639, ' God's power is infinite;' 1679, 'God's infinite power.' Proverbs xx., 'The state of the wicked,' 1679. Jer. xvii., 'The observation of the Sabbath day,' 1613. 'Trust in God,' 1620. 'The observation of the Sabbath,' 1639- 'Judah's captivity,' 1679Ezek. xviii., 'God's justice in his punishment,' 1620. The charge against Blayney, therefore, must be, not that he introduced innovations into the Translator's readings, but that he followed the example of his predecessors in this department; and if they stand clear of corrupting the doctrines and statements of the Bible, the accusation is not to be sustained against him.
'Our modern Bibles retain,' says Mr. Curtis, 'several instances of the withdrawment of the name and character of our blessed Redeemer from the top of the page. As Ps. xxii. 'A prophecy of Christ,' (Trans.) (one hardly need add quoted by all the Evangelists as such,) changed to 'David complaineth in distress,' Bl. and the modern Bibles, Oxford, 1828, and Camb. 1831. Prov. viii. Christ's EterNity/ (Trans.) 'The call of wisdom,' (Bl.) and Oxford, 1828; 'Excellency, &c. of wisdom,' Camb. 1831.—Jer. xxxi., 'Christ promised, ' (Trans.) ' Rahel mourning is comforted,' (Bl. and modern Bibles.)—Dan. vii. 'Christ's dominion,' (Trans.) 'The interpretation thereof,' [i. e. the vision just before] (Bl. and modern Bibles).'
Mr. Curtis is so copious in his examples, and so remote from all ambiguity of expression in his statements, as to preserve every reader of them from the possibility of misconceiving his meaning. The imputation again repeated against Blaney is, that he n-ilfully falsified the description of the contents of the chapters of the Bible by withdrawing the direct references which they contain to Christ. Let us then compare the old copies. How stands the reading of 1620? 'The excellencie of wisdom: Her riches and eternitic.' What is that of 1639? ' The commendation of •wisdom.' What is the Column-title of 1679? 'Wisdom's excellency, &c.' In Ps. xxii., the edition of 1679 reads ' David's prayer in distress.' In Jer. xxxi. many modern Bihles do read
* Christ promised;' so Camb. 1793. 'Christ is promised' appears in a most beautiful Camb. 12mo, 1828; and so reads the 8vo. edition of London, 1821. Other modern Column-titles are, 'Ephraim's repentance,' 'Israel's restoration.' In Daniel vii., 'Tenne hornes,' 1613. 'Four beasts,' 1620. 'The interpretation thereof,' 1679
'Other doctrinal views of the Translators, reformed by those of the Oxford Divines of 1769, will be interesting to some of my readers. I shall merely, for the sake of brevity, put down the withdrawn doctrine. The reader can generally find the substituted one of Elayney in the modern Bibles. Ps. Ivii. 'God saveth his.' Isa. x. 'A remnant saved.'—xliv. ' God's love to his chosen people.'—xlvi. 'God beareth his.'—xlviii. 'God trieth his.'—Jer. xv. 'God saveth his."—xxxi. 'Everlasting love.'—id. 'A new covenant and everlasting.'—Acts v. 'Ordained to life.'—Eph. i. * The election of the saints.'
It may surprise our readers to learn that not one of these passages is found in the Bibles of 1639, and 1679, and but one of them in the black-letter quarto of 1620, that of Eph. i. Isa. x. has, in 1620, 'A remnant of Israel saved;' and modern Bibles have the similar heading, 'A remnant of Israel shall be saved.' Whatever be the points of doctrine included in these sentences placed at the top of the pages in the chapters specified, Mr. Curtis has charged upon the Oxford Divines of 1769, the withdrawing of them, and the reforming of the tenets exhibited by them. But the editors of 1620, 1639, and 1679, could not withdraw the passages which are exchanged for others in their Bibles from any wish to accommodate them to any doctrines to which Mr. Curtis may suppose Blayney and his coadjutors were favourably disposed.
Mr. Curtis goes on to shew that the Translators, after the example of their Geneva brethren, chose for the head of the page, 'some notable word or sentence for the help of the memory', and he copies, p. 68, 'a few of these of which our modern bibles are
* denuded.' These words and sentences, of whatever value they may be, are not of sacred authority; and it is quite obvious, as Dr. Cardwell observes, that they could not have been preserved, unless all editions subsequent to that in which they first appeared had 'corresponded exactly in page and in column with the first 'impressions.' We shall compare some of these titles as given by Mr. Curtis with the headings in some bibles before us. Exod. xxxiii. 'God not seen'. Not in 1613, 1620, 1639, all of which read, 'Moses talketh with God.' Blayney, 'Moses dc'sireth to see the glory of God.' Deut. xxx., 'Mercy to the