tural etymologies. A few inftances will prove that Mr. Julius Bate excelled in this mode of writing.



Genefis i. 1. At first the Aleim created the heavens and the earth. This tranflation is illuftrated by the following note: a title (i. e. Aleim) of the ever bleffed Trinity. It means the perfons under the oath, or binding curfe of a covenant. If we understand our Author, the idea is not only ab furd, but impious. Is it not impious to fay, that the Supreme Being, whether the Trinitarian or Unitarian doctrine be the true one, is bound by a curfe? The abfurdity of the idea is beyond expreffion for whether we fuppofe the perfons of the Trinity to be three diftinct beings, or only three diftinct relations of one and the fame being, Mr. Bate's notion involves in it the moft inexplicable contradictions. There is another note expreffive of the fame idea, on Levit, xviii. 1.

In Genefis xviii. the facred hiftorian relates the appearance of three angels to Abraham at the door of his tent; which three, our Author tells us, were the three perfons in the Trinity. And in a note he adds, in this chapter is ocular proof of there being one God, and three perfons; for the perfons who appeared speak as Jehovah, and are fpoken to, and of, as the Lord in Trinity, whom Abraham entertained, &c.' Here we muft own, with concern, that our eyes are not fo good as Mr. Bate's were; for we cannot discern this ocular proof. As it appears from the narrative, that two of these angels went and conducted Lot out of Sodom, how could the three be the Lord in Trinity? One reason why they could not, may be affigned from our Author's own translation of chap. xix. 13. for the cry against them is great before Jehovah; and Jehovah hath fent us to destroy it.' In other words, according to Mr. Bate, Jehovah hath fent Jehovah to deftroy Sodom. Strange that any well-meaning Expofitor fhould father fuch abfurdities upon the facred writer!

Our Tranflators have rendered Genefis xxi. 17, latter claufe, what aileth thee, Hagar? fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is;' i. e. where his mother had laid him. No, fays Mr. Julius Bate, fear not; for the Aleim will hearken to the voice of the lad, in the name itself. And, in a note, we are told that the Tranflators miffed both the literal and myftical fenfe, that God would hear Ifrael according to the promife expreffed in his name (y) and the fon of the bond-woman by him, who is the name itself; which is the great promife of the gofpel.' The language here is fomewhat beyond our comprehenfion: but we will venture to affert, that no man, except a myftical Hutchinfonian, could ever have found a reference to the gospel in this historical paffage,



If our limits would permit, we might produce numerous inftances of the Author's fondness for allufions and prefigurations for example, the fkins of the kids, which Rebekah put on her fon Jacob, prefigured our putting on the Lord Jefus, and appearing in his righteoufnefs, to obtain the bleffing. This whole hiftory is, indeed, curioufly allegorized. The twins Pharez and Zarah, the fons of Judah by Tamar, prefigured the natural and fpiritual man; and the cafe of Zarah in particular, prefigured the neceffity of our being born again.


We have always underflood Deuteronomy vi. 4, to be a conclufive proof of the unity of the Godhead. But Mr. Julius Bate tells us, on the contrary, that, as long as Hebrew is Hebrew, Jehovah fingular, and Aleim plural, and the oath of God to the heirs of falvation, is remembered, fo long will these two words, Jehovah and Aleim, prove a Trinity in Unity, the coequality of perfons.'


As a proof of our Author's obfcurity, we fhall felect the Hebrew word which our tranflators very properly have rendered a covenant.' Thus Genefis ix. 9, God faid to Noah, I establish my covenant with you; but, according to Mr. Bate, it fhould be, I eftablish my purification with you.' This, he tells us, is the literal interpretation of the word from

to purify, to make clean, as every thing is through the blood of Chrift. adds he, is ufed to exprefs all the promifes to us through the facrifice of Chrift, which has a promise of this life, and of that which is to come, if we take care to imitate his purity and innocence. Waving the propriety of this etymology, which indeed we more than fufpect (for, eligere, to choose, feems to be the true word) we fee no advantage produced by this alteration. The word covenant,' is perfectly intelligible to every reader, who is in the leaft converfant with his bible; but purification,' in many paffages, is by no means fo. For inftance, Judges ii. 1, 2, And I faid I will never break my covenant with you; and ye fhall make no league with the inhabitants of this land.' This is intelligible; but I faid I would not break my purification with you for ever, and ye fhall cut no purification for the inhabitants of this land," is a mode of speaking, to say the best of it, not a little obfcure.

Mr. Bate's note on Jofhua ii. 1, is, we believe, just, but not new; for moft lexicographers obferve that the word, means an hoftefs, as well as an harlot; and in this place it is natural to understand it in the former rather than in the latter fenfe, because it is more probable that the fpies went to lodge in a house of entertainment, than in a brothel. It is true that St. James calls Rahab opvn, an harlot ; but it is fuppofed by feveral critics, and with fome degree of probability, that the


Greek word, as well as the Hebrew, was anciently used in. thefe two fenfes.

Our Author is as remarkable for his philofophy as for his divinity. He roundly afferts that, let our philofophers fay what they will, the ftars have an influence on our atmosphere." This he thinks is implied in Judges v. 20. We obferve, also, that his enmity to the Hebrew vowel points is so great that he alters, the fpelling of the proper names of perfons and places. Aaron he calls Aerun, Gideon, Gidoun, Canaan, Canon, Gilead, Gilod, &c.

To this work is prefixed a fhort advertisement by the anonymous Editor, wherein he calls it a valuable and intelligible. performance; but how justly, the above specimen will enable our Readers to determine. The three engravings are well executed: the laft, which exhibits a view of the infide of the Tabernacle, and of the Holy of Holies, feems to have been borrowed from a plate in the late Dr. Ifaac Watts's Scripture History.

ART. VII. Political Difquifitions: Or, an Enquiry into public Errors, Defects and Abuses. Illuftrated by and established upon Facts and Remarks extracted from a variety of Authors, ancient and modern. Calculated to draw the timely Attention of GOVERNMENT and PEOPLE to a due Confideration of the Neceffity, and the Means of reforming thofe Errors, Defects, and Abufes; of restoring the Conftitution, and faving the State. Vol. I. 8vo. 6s. boards. Dilly. 1774.



T was, if we mistake not, a remark of the celebrated Dr. Tillotson's, that it seemed extremely difficult, if not almoft impoffible, for a man to step over the threshold of a court, and preferve his honefty.' The keeneft fatyrift could hardly have thrown out a farcafm more fevere than this declaration of the gentle Archbishop. Yet if this obfervation gives us a true idea of courts and ftatefmen, we must nevertheless fuppofe that the evil does not neceffarily arife from the very nature of government and the conduct of civil fociety, but from the ill management, or artful and corrupt defigns, of perfons to whom this great and important truft, the care of the state, is committed.

Politics, or the art of government, is frequently reprefented as fomewhat very myftericus, and foaring far above vulgar apprehenfions. Statefmen and lawyers may be well pleased with the prevalence of fuch a perfuafion: and no doubt there are fubjects of this kind which common capacities, unused to political enquiries, would not be fufficient to investigate and To prefide over a large community with fuch happy influence as may fuffice to prevent, or duly correct, thofe evils and abufes


which naturally fpring up in human fociety, and to diffufe peace and profperity through all ranks and conditions,-to attain these great and defirable ends, will require the ableft talents, and the nobleft difpofitions; but as for those ftate-tricks and little arts which merely ferve to promote a temporary view, or answer some felfifh purpose, as they are unworthy of an elevated genius, fo are they practifed only by men who are incapable of acting upon more exalted principles.


The obfervation which was made by one of the fathers on the facred fcriptures, feems to be very properly applied to politics by the Author of the work now before us, the lamb may wade in them, and the elephant fwim.' The remark of the great Mr. Locke is alfo pertinently introduced, viz. That politics (in the common and confiued fenfe) are only common fenfe applied to national inftead of private concerns.' From hence it follows, that the generality of the people may form proper conclufions concerning public and national affairs, although they may not be capable of developing or removing thofe difficulties and myfteries which state lawyers or others may throw in the way, in order to conceal the truth.

In his general preface to this work, our Author observes, that in a country which pretends to be free, and where, confequently, the people ought to have weight in the government, it is peculiarly neceffary that the people be poffeffed of just notions of the intereft of their country, and be qualified to diftinguish between those who are faithful to them, and those who betray them. It muft, I think, fill every generous mind with indignation, to fee our good-natured countrymen abused over and over, from generation to generation, by the fame ftate dog-tricks repeatedly played upon them, by a fucceffion of pretended patriots, who, by thefe means, have fcrewed out their predeceffors, and wormed themfelves into their places. To teach the people a fet of folid political principles, the knowledge of which may make them proof against fuch gross abuse, is one great object of this publication.'

Should this Writer be thought to have indulged fome warmth in the above paffage, or in other parts of his work, it is, we are perfuaded, nothing more than the natural effect of an honeft zeal for the liberty and welfare of his country, and a just difdain of those meafures which under colour of regard to the public weal are chiefly intended to accomplish fome private defigns. If minifters of ftate, or fuppofed patriots, are profecuting fuch ends, let them be expofed and cenfured! If our Author writes with fpirit, it is not of the factious kind. He does not wish that the British conftitution fhould be overthrown, or that a republican form of government fhould be introduced; he appears to be animated with a true and hearty folicitude for


the welfare and profperity of this nation, according to the fpirit of revolution principles. Speaking in one part of his work concerning commonwealths, he thus expreffes himfelf: There has hardly ever been known a pure commonwealth; though many an unmixed monarchy or tyranny. The English republic, which was demolished by the villainous Cromwell, was one of the moft unmixed that ever was known.-Now I am mentioning republican government, I take this opportunity of entering an exprefs caveat againft all accufation of a defire to eftablish republican principles. I do not think a friend to this nation is obliged to promote a change in the conftitution. The prefent form of government by King, Lords, and Commons, if it could be restored to its fpirit and efficiency, might be made to yield all the liberty, and all the happiness, of which a great and good people are capable in this world. Therefore I do not think it worth while to hazard any confiderable commotion for the fake merely of changing the conftitution from lin narchy to republican government, though I hardly know the rifque it would not be worth while to run for the fake of changing our government from corrupt to incorrupt?'

Though we agree with this Writer as to the greater part of what is faid in the above quotation, we are yet fo far from being of opinion that it would be advantageous or requifite to hazard any confiderable commotion for the fake of exchanging a limited monarchy for a republican government, that we think it would not be worth while on this account to hazard any commotion at all; fince this part of the English conftitution appears, admirably adapted for promoting and establishing national peace and happiness. Our Author wishes to rouze a general attention to the errors and abufes of this excellent plan, that they may be corrected and reformed. But if it is true that men in power avail themselves of thefe very errors and abuses to patch up a prefent fyftem, or to establish themselves in places of profit, then how heartless, in great meafure, is the undertaking! Gentlemen at the head of the law well know how oppreffive and irksome to the fubjects are the rules and forms of office, with all the myfticifm, and the delays, which often have no manner of connection with equity and juftice; yet thefe evils may be attended with great advantages to fome in the profeffion, and therefore it may be concluded they are fuffered to remain nevertheless, a ferious attempt to remove them, would be highly worthy the zeal of a real patriot.

However, while our politician defires to engage the fteady. regard of the people in general to the confiderations he has to offer, he apprehends that our statesmen and legiflators may gain lights from his collections, and meet with hints which, he obferves, if properly purfued, may lead them to measures of a


« ForrigeFortsett »