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ture is given," and, instead of referring to the context, we have what he calls a liberal translation from the Syriac, Arabic, and Vulg. all tending to the fame purport, “every writing inspired by God is useful,” &c.
Philological enquiries are to be discountenanced when they weaken the plain sense of a passage, and we may as fairly Supply the ellipsis €55, after year, as after IECAVEUSOS.
The two foregoing verses will set the matter in a clear point of view. In them Timothy is exhorted to continue in those things which he had learnt and been assured of, that is, the Jewith scriptures, knowing of whom he had learned them, that is, from his grandmother Loir, and his mother Eunice ; he had also learned them from his childhood, and they would, through faith in Jesus, make him wise unto falvation. When we also consider the care with which the canon of these scriptures was adjusted by Eyra and his succeitors, how cauticus the Jews were to admit nothing spurious, with what minute attention every word, and almost every letter, were copied, we are to conclude that "every writing," substituted here by the Doctor for “all scripture," is a mere trick to deceive the unwary, by an appearance of improvement, without a shade of distinction. We are not accustomed to use any other term than “ fcripture,” though we know that the meaning is the same with “writing,” in the various languages which make mention of the oracles of God.
By inspiration we understand such a portion of divine aid as prevented the sacred writers from being deceived theinfelves or deceiving others. Whenever their personal knowledge of events was sufficient, extraordinary allistance was totally unnecessary. This remark is applicable to the writers of the new, as well as the old, Teftament. But when they were enabled to foretel future events, doubtless this was entirely the gift of God, nor was it ever bestowed in such abundance as to give prophecy the clearness of history. It is sufficient for us to know, that events, often improbable in themselves, have happened in the manner they were foretold.
The sacred history is proved to be true from every circumftance that confirms the veracity of any history. The institutions of the Israelites were framed for a continual remembrance of whatever was remarkable. Their journey from Egypt through the wilderness might, in time, have been deemed as fabulous as the melancholy adventure of Æneas and Dido, if the paflover had not been observed every year. But it is out of our province to enter more minutely into this very clear point. Dr. Geddes and Dr. Priestley may enjoy their ideas of partial infpiration, till they leave fcarcely any
thing which may not, according to their sentiments, be dirbelieved or disputed. Yet the Doctor promises wonders from adopting his doctrine of partial and putative inípiration. In the first place, he thinks he could then silence Freret, Bolingbroke, Voltaire, Boulanger, Diderot, and Paine. This he would do by admitting many of their objections to be just, by meeting them at lealt half way; and, whenever he shall do this, he will soon lose the disinclination to go the whole way with them. In the fecond place, “ he would get rid of an endless tribe of harmonists," &c. because he would prove that the sacred writers contradict one another. The real intention of those men of whom he speaks so contemptuously, though they sometimes have gone too far, was to prove, that main facts are established beyond a doubt, both in the Old and New Testament, though there be a difference as to minuter circumstances, as Bifhop Watson has well exemplified in the History of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. But in the third place, "the scriptures would be studied by fashionable scholars." We are athamed to hear such a reason from a Christian divine. We often hear of fashionable preachers, and whenever we do it raises in us no other sensation but disgust. If fashionable men will take the trouble of reading the scriptures, they will find in them a degree of sublimity superior to all the writings of Greece and Rome. But it is very dangerous for any man, or any set of men, to make that which is quite an inferior consideration their leading one. Did God grant a revelation to gratify the taste of mankind, that it should be perused like a pleasing romance or like elegant poetry? It is the subject matter which they are required to consider. With this they will receive the highest conceptions of God, and his Providence, and the boldness of the figures and fimilitudes will animate the imagination as well as delight the understanding. And if they with to unite the character of critics with that of Christians, they may have recourse to Dr. Lowth's Prelections, a production of inestimable value. They will not think the sacred books “ written in a rude age, by rude and unpolished writers, in a poor uncultivated language.”. Pref. P. 13. They may learn from Bishop Warburton the origin of many of the figures from the language of hieroglyphics; and Dr. Lowth has proved, to the satisfaction of many, that the Hebrew language is copious; for, if we rightly recollect, he says, that a paucity of books is no proof of the barrenness of a language, and that were Pliny, Varro, and many other writers taken from us, we should not, from those which would remain, pronounce the Latin to be barren. B 3
It is not easy to find out why what Dr. G. calls the little pleasant story of Ruth is placed after the Chronicles, when she lived considerably before the time of David.
The Doctor allows great praise to the song of Deborah, which he fneeringly fays, theologists ascribe to the Holy Ghost, though Jael is pronounced the most blessed of women for one of the basest acts that man or woman can cominit. Here let us observe, once for all, that the ideas of blesling and cursing are various in various parts of Scripture. The former often denotes no more than worldly happiness, the latter no more than worldly misery. Curses on vegetable substances mean only barrenness-Jael's happiness consisted in being instrumental to the deliverance of her country, and all that is obviously meant is, that in present and future times her memory would be celebrated on account of the deliverance she wrought in lfrael. “ The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot," says Solomon, No reference is here meant to future happiness; it refers to the good name of the former, and to the infamy of the latter.
The reader will find in Dr. Geddes's notes, as well as preface, a vulgar familiarity of expression always disgusting, but particularly so on sacred or solemn subjects.
Of the song of Hanna, he says, it is a pretty hymn of gratitude, patched up out of different scraps of holy writ. The short lamentation on the death of Abner may also be called a bit of poetry;
All that he has said on inspiration is nothing in comparison of what we are to expect from his critical remarks. We would advise him to treat established opinions with respect, at least, and not to measure the weight of objections which are, or may be brought against him, by the mere standard of his own puerile fancy. We are no strangers to a filly macaronic epistle, of which a boy, in one of the lower forms of one of the great schools, would be ashamed. We would also advise him, if not altogether incorrigible, to take some Mentor, who might prune away all the vulgarisms of his di&tion, both as a translator and a commentator. We have dwelt longer on the preface than it deserved ;
but as we consider the Doctor hostile to Revelation, and inordinately captious, we would forewarn his readers what they are to expect from him. To deny him the praise of diligence would be extremely unjust, but we lament that years and experience have neither matured his judgement, nor corrected his vanity. Much is said in the notes upon 1 Sam. xvi. 17, of a long, incongruous interpolation. We would not enter minutely into the dispute. A similar idea in Dr. Ken
nicott brought upon him the severity of Dr. Warburton, who, doubtless, thought, with some reason, that liberties were taken with the printed text, which no prudence or difcretion would warrant. Events in Scripture are not always mentioned in strict chronological order, and it was possible for Saul to have rewarded a young man, and afterwards not to have remembered his name. There are many alterations which have been proposed, and which do not appear at all necessary. But though we do not wish to cramp genius, though we do not contend for the absolute integrity of the present text, yet let great caution be used, especially as we want those collateral helps which are found in publishing the classics; and as much more care has been used in transcribing the sacred books than in preserving to us the volumes of profane history. The Jews have always been particularly careful ; and it does not appear that the ignorance of the darker ages was nearly so prejudicial to the holy Scriptures as to any other books whatsoever.
We may now be allowed to give some specimens of the Doctor's language in his tranflation. We will begin with the song of Deborah :
“Liften ye Kings, give ear ye courtiers,
Why so tardy his chariot wheels ?" In the song of Hanna the Doctor has fallen into the common error:
“ The bows of the strong have been broken,
This should be rendered in the present tense, to signify that it is usual with God, in the course of his providence, to weaken the strong, to strengthen the weak, &c. The similar passage in the Magnificat should be rendered in a similar way. * He putteth down the mighty from their seat, and exalteth the humble and weak." The first aorist of the Greeks, it is well known, expresses custom and continuity ; but the preter of the English does not admit of such an interpretation : therefore, in the 12th Psalm—"He hath dispersed abroad and given to the poor,” should be, he disperses abroad and gives to the poor. 'It is his constant practice to do so.
In the version of David's Thanksgiving Psalm, in 2 Sam. we have salvation horn, cords of hudes, condensed clouds, blast-breathing anger, a God, whose conduct is irreprehensible, that mine ankles may not stagger, like the dirt of the lanes I pamp them down. In the other words of David we find
“ W'ho harmonized the psalmody of Israel.” Glistereth from the previous rain : previous is supposed to be wanting to supply the sense.
The man who would meddle with them, that is, with briars. In his version of the prose we have many quaint expressions:
My Lord-King, for my Lord the King ; thou swores, for thou sweareft ; king ship, for kingdom ; one small request I crave of them, in as far as, feat-place, armstay, hill-chapels, roof:room, overwhelm him with tones, a mountain-g:d, the men taking this for a good omen instantly took the hint, fanatic for madman, the naked steps of the Jair, refideft between the cherubs; when the resi arose in the morning, instead at the time of rising in the morning; or, as we thould say familiarly, when people arose in the morning ; be will judge the nations with his own veracity, the children of Judah captived, the
corner gate, the vale gate, and the salient angles.
On the whole, when we compare the style of his translation with that of the common version, we do not hesitate to give the latter a decided preference; and we could with that whoever shall undertake a new version would follow the salutary rules of the translators of James the First. The Primate of Ireland has written a treatise on this subject, well worthy perusal; and the singular modesty with which he has conducted himself in all his verbal criticisms, claims our most fincere respect and attention ; and we congratulate the church of Ireland on the exaltation of lo excellent a Prelate to the fee of Arinagh.
The volume concludes with a translation of the Prayer of Manalich, when a captive in Babylon.