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solation to all who know how to appreciate the in, fluence of the press; and must operate as a stimulus to perseverance in those efforts which have been successfully exerted to produce such a change.
The conductors of the two Reviews which have most effectually contributed to give currency to principles of disaffection and hostility, to the established order of things in this country, have been led, by our exposure of their profligacy, and the effect which such exposure has produced, to abstain from that tone of decision, which they had long been accustomed to assume, on all questions of religion and politics, with a view to silence, by the violence of their censure, or the keenness of their sarcasm, the modest defenders of our ecclesiastical and civil institutions; and they have adopted a degree of wily prudence, and wary circumspection, which serve as a temporary mask to their designs, and are evidently intended to lull suspicion asleep, and to elude that vigilance which they dread.* This affected moderation imposes on us the necessity of referring to articles of criticism published before the establishment of the Antr-JACOBIN Review; when the literary world was subjected to the intolerable tyranny of those arbitrary Sovereigns, exempt from all controul, whose decisions were irrevocable, and whose fiat was law. Such reference will be productive of the twofold advantage, of shewing by what means the public mind was first poisoned, and of supplying an incon
“Of these the vigilance
MILTON. . trovertible
trovertible proof of the difference between the past practices and the present professions of these literary despots. For a most glaring instance of the species of critical profligacy to which we allude, our readers are referred to p. 323, et seq, of the present volume, where they will find the Monthly Reviewers exhi, bited, in the degrading light of public panders, boldly recommending, without qualification, and without a blush, “ as being well adapted for the information and improvement of youth,” a work calculated to corrupt the minds of the rising generation, to eradicate from the female bosom all sense of modesty, every principle of virtue, every sentiment and every feeling that command respect and conciliate esteem, and to substitute in their place the sentiments of a WoolSTONECROFT, and the feelings of a ROBINSON! It is our province to expose such conduct ; it is the province of the public to reward it. We have the supreme satisfaction to know, that our labours have not been unproductive; they have not only tended to correct a positive evil, but to produce a positive good; and our communications from different quarters combine, with our own knowledge, to corroborate the fol, lowing flattering statement of a learned correspondent, at the beginning of the present year :
“ Your publication has given a tone to the spirit of the country, and has already called forth, and will continue to call forth, many authors, in defence of our happy establishment, who would, otherwise, have buried theit talents in silence; chiefly, perhaps, from an unwillingness to encounter the abuse of the Jacobin Reviews."
ANTI- JACOBIN Review and Magazine;
Esc. 3c. c.
FOR MAY, 1799.
MAGNA EST VERITAS ET PRÆVALEBIT.
ART. I. The Holy Bible, or the Books accounted sacred by the
Jews and Christians, otherwise called the Books of the Old and New Covenant, faithfully transated from corrected Texts of the Originals. With various Readings, explanatory Notes, und critical Remarks. By the Rev. Alexander Geddes, LL.D. Vol. II. 4to. Faulder and Johnson, London. 1799.
'HE first volume of Dr. Geddes's translation has been a
long time before the public, and it is not within our province to animadvert upon it. We have reason to believe that the true friends of Christianity, whether Roman Catholics or Protestants, were highly disgusted by his petulance, and not a little alarmed by his latitudinarian principles. There appeared also a gross ignorance of the propriety of language, and of the true English idiom. The paschal sacrifice was called skipover, (in the present volume it is called Pharah,) and many compounds were introduced, which found harsh to English ears.
As to the doctrine of inspiration, Dr. Geddes seemed to agree with Dr. Priestley, and both of them treated the History of the Fall of Man as a mere fable. So hostile is this transla NO. XI. VOL. III.
tion to the established opinions concerning inspiration, that he cannot even get over the title-page, without indirectly expresling such hostility-"the books ACCOUNTED sacred."
To enforce his opinion that the sacred historians were not inspired, the Doctor attempts to prove that they contradict themselves. The instance adduced is the promise made to the Israelites, in Deut. vii. 24, that they should utterly destroy the Canaanites, renewed to Jothua. (See the Book of Joshua, i. 5)
But why are fuch expressions to be understood of an universal, rather than of a general, overthrow? And this general overthrow is minutely described in the Book of Joshua. On the same just ground we may assert, that when we are informed that the people served ihe Lord during the age of Joshua, it is meant of the people in general, and not universally. Could the God of truth and wisdom say to the Israel
Destroy those idolatrous nations, left they seduce you to idolatry," and yet purposely reserve them, to try whether the Israelites could be seduced ? Surely, if those who were (pared had power to tempt the Israelites, the temptation would have been more numerous and more powerful, if more of the inhabitants of the land had reinained. Nor is this all : the very punishment which the Israelites were commanded to inflict, by destroying fo many, were intended as warnings to themselves. And, that they might not misinterpret the intentions of the Alimighty, they were allured, that obstinate wickedness was the real cause why the Canaanites were to be treated with such iydiscriminate feverity. And, lift this conquest should puff them up, they were moreover admonished that the favour of the Almighty was not owing to any superior goodness in themselves, for they were a perverse, stiffnecked people. After such an easy, such an obvious solution of the seeming injustice and cruelty of the Israelites, we might wonder, (if the various cavils' and objections brought against the scriptures had not familiarised our understandings to every absurdity,) that Dr. Geddes thould disbelieve this fanguinary proceeding, unauthorised by the divine command, or even by Moles. Then follows a reflection on Bishop Watson, as if conscious of the weakness of his argument, and what is called the disparity of his fimile. We will give the Bishop's own words, though his Apology for the Bible be so well known that such a quotation inay appear almost unnecessary :
“ There are many men who look upon all war (would to God that all men saw it in the same light !) with extreme abhorrence, as afflicting mankind with calamities not neceffary, shocking to humanity, and repugnant to reafon. But is it repugnant to reason that God thould, by an express act of his proridence, destroy a wicked
nation? I am fond of confidering the goodness of God as the lead. ing principle of his conduct towards mankind, of confidering his gondness as subservient to his mercy. He punishes individuals and nations with the rod of his wrath ; but I am persuaded that all his punishments originate in his abhorrence of sin, are calculated to leffen its influence, and are proofs of his goodness, innsmuch as it may not be possible for Omnipotence itself to communicate fupreme happiness to the human race, while they continue servants of fin. The destruction of the Canaanites exhibits to all nations, in all ages, a signal proof of God's displeasure against fin; it has been to others, and it is to our. felves, a benevolent warning. Mofes would have been the wretch you represent him, had he acted by his own authority alone; but you may as reasonably attribute cruelty and murder to the Judges of the land, in condemning criminals to death, as butchery and mafsacre to Moses, in executing the command of God.” Bishop Watson's Apol. Letrer III.
This seems a full answer to all the cavils of unbelievers against the severity of God's judgements, in what way soever they are inflicted, whether by the instrumentality of angels or of men, whether by sword, famine, or pestilence. Let us but consider how many of the Israelites themselves suffered for their obstinacy and impenitence in the early times; and that, in the days of their Kings, they were often made to flce before their enemies, till their miseries were completed by the Affyrian and Babylonish captivity.
Dr. Geddes will, of course, not allow the sacred history to be inspired, because he supposes it full of contradi&tion. He brings forward all the absurdities to be found in Ariftæas, Philo, Josephus, and the Talmudists, to invalidate its testimony.
If they were deceived themselves, or deceived others, in some points, does it, therefore, follow that they must be difregarded in every thing? A concurring evidence of many hundred years is not to be slightly treated, nor weakly abandoned, at the impotent attack of every sceptical translator. If Josephus, whose declarations on the subject are shamefully distorted, used much freedom in adding to the sacred history; if he now and then suppressed what was less honourable to his country; if he, moreover, composed speeches after the manner of the Greek and Latin historians, containing what might have been said, rather than what was faid, is he, there fore, unworthy of all credit? Has he not, in many instances, illustrated or confirmed the truth of the sacred history itself? Perhaps there never was a more miserable instance what absurd criticism a pre-conceived opinion will create than that of the Doctor upon that passage in 2 Tim. iii. “ Al scrip