version, which comprises only the gospels, and the form in which it appears, are sufficient proofs that he never entertained the idea. The correspondence between St. Jerom and St. Augustine upon the difficulties encountered in introducing the translation of the former, instead of the old one made from the Septuagint, shows how little practicable such substitutions are. We make these remarks only to conclude, that whatever necessity existed, before the appearance of this version, for a thorough revision of the text generally used amongst us, the same necessity does still exist. While, therefore, we are ready to commend the zeal and ability which have led to this publication, we cannot but regret that no one properly qualified, and properly authorised, has yet been found to undertake such corrections and improvements in our received version, as would finally settle its text, and save it from the repeated liberty which has been taken with it.

To call it any longer the Douay or Rhemish version is an abuse of terms. It has been altered and modified till scarce any verse remains as it was originally published; and so far as simplicity and energy of style are concerned, the changes are in general for the worse. For though Dr. Challoner did well to alter many too decided Latinisms, which the old translators retained, he weakened the language considerably by destroying inversion, where it was congenial at once to the genius of our language and the construction of the original, and by the insertion of particles where they were by no means necessary. Any chapter of the New Testament will prove this remark. For instance, in Heb. xiii. which we have accidentally opened, the Rhemes edition (1582) has, v. 9, “ With various and strange doctrines be not led away." This has been altered into “ Be not carried away with various and strange doctrines.” The Latin is, “Doctrinis variis et peregrinis nolite abduci.” Again, v. 16, “Beneficence and communication do not forget,” has been changed into “and do not forget to do good and to impart.” The vulgate has, “ Beneficentiæ autem et communionis nolite oblivisci. Again, we take examples quite at random, 2 Tim. ii. 16, “ Profana autem et vaniloquia devita; multum enim proficiunt ad impietatem.” This the old version translated, “But profane and vain speeches avoid; for they do much grow to impiety.” In the emended edition (1750) we have, “But shun profane and vain babblings, for they grow much towards ungodliness." This correction is taken verbatim from the Protestant version, with the exception

grow towards," instead of “increase unto more.” But the change was injudicious; for the Latin compound raniloquium, or the Greek kevopwvia, is exactly expressed by “vain speech," whereas the word "babbling" corresponds to the entire word, and

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cannot have the epithet “ vain;" for, thus, the phrase would represent the absurd tautology “vanum vaniloquium." In later editions, as that of Dublin, 1810, published with Dr. Troy's approbation, the word “speeches” is restored, but the construction is not.

There is another alteration of more importance, especially when considered in reference to the present times, and the influence it has had upon established forms of Catholic speech. In the first edition, in conformity to Catholic usage in England, the word.“ Dominus” is almost always translated by “Our Lord.” The emended text changed the pronoun into an article, and says, The Lord.” In the Ave Maria, Catholics have always, till lately, been accustomed to say, Our Lord is with thee;" as it is in that version, and was always used in England, even before it was made. But, in conformity with the change of the text, we have observed of late a tendency to introduce a similar variation, and say, The Lord is with thee:" a change which we strongly deprecate, as stiff, cantish, destructive of the unction which the prayer breathes, and of that union which the pronoun inspires between the reciter and Her who is addressed. We have no hesitation in saying, that this difference, trifling as many will consider it, expresses strongly the different spirits of our and other religions. It never has been the custom of the Catholic Church to say, The Redeemer, the Saviour, the Lord, the Virgin ;" “ Redemptor noster, Dominus noster," and so our Saviour, our Lord, our Lady," are the terms sanctioned; and, therefore, consecrated by Catholic usage since the time of the Fathers. We own it grates our ears, and jars upon our feelings, to hear the former, essentially un-Catholic forms, used by preachers and writers; they want affection, they are insipid, formal, they remind us of Geneva caps, and smack of predestination. The Rhemes translators have explained their reason for their translation in a note, p. 585, as follows: “ We Catholics must not say The Lord, but Our Lord ; as we say Our Lady for his mother, not The Lady. Let us keep our forefathers' words, and we shall easily keep our old and true faith, which we had of the first Christians." Nor is such a modification of the word, “Dominus,” peculiar to the English Catholics; the Syriac version, and after it the Syriac church, calls Christ, not simply liso morio, The Lord,” but risc moran,our Lord,” even where the Greek has Kúpros. If, therefore, it be considered too great a departure from accuracy in translation to restore the pronoun in the text of our version, let us at least préserve it in our instructions, and still more in our formularies of prayer.

But it had been well, if Dr. Challoner's alterations had given stability to the text, and formed a standard to which subsequent editors had conformed. But, so far from this being the case, new and often important modifications have been made in every edition which has followed, till, at length, many may appear rather new versions than revisions of the old. We believe Catholic Britain to be the only country where such a laxity of attention has existed in regard to the purity of its authorised version.* And we should have had even less reason to complain, had these systematic variations been the only vicissitudes to which it has been subject. The mass of typographical errors to be found in some editions is quite frightful, from many of them falling upon important words, and not so much disfiguring them, which would lead to suspicion and thereby to detection, as transforming them into others that give a correct grammatical, but unsound theological, sense. In 1632, the king's printers, Barker and Lucas, were fined £3,000, for the omission of one monosyllable ; and the Oxford bible of 1792 is considered a curiosity because it reads, Luke xxii. 34, Philip instead of Peter. But, in the edition we have referred to, of Dublin 1810, revised, under Dr. Troy's direction, by the Rev. B. MacMahon, many such substitutions are to be found. A table at the end gives a number of them, as Mat. xvi. 23, “thou favourest not," for “thou savourest not;" and Romans vii. 18, “to accomplish that which is good I find out," instead of " I find not.The table of errata is, however, very far from complete ; for instance, the following among others are omitted in it. Gal.iv. 9, "how turn you again to the work” (for weak) " and poor elements." Ib. v. 23, “ modesty, continency, charity," instead of chastity." In a note, p. 309, we read, “Sin-which was asleep before, was weakened by the prohibition," instead of "awakened."

Our principal object, however, at present, is to turn the attention of the Catholic clergy, and particularly the bishops of Ireland, and the vicars apostolic of England and Scotland, to the want of a complete revision of the version itself, for the purpose of settling a standard text, from which editors in future may not be allowed to depart. In this manner alone will the Catholics of the empire be provided with what every other portion of the Church has long since possessed. It is far from our purpose to undertake a complete exposure of the many passages which want emendation-such a task would require a treatise. In order to confine ourselves within reasonable limits, we will only consider the necessity which a new revision would impose on those who should undertake it, of a minute and often com

We have not forgotten the Rev. Mr. Curtis's late Letter to the Bishop of


plicated study of the original texts. We have selected this view of the matter, because we think it the point most neglected in the past, and most likely to be overlooked, and to form the great stumbling-block in any future revision. For, at first sight, it must appear an almost superfluous task to proceed, in such an undertaking, beyond the accurate study of the work immediately translated. The Vulgate is written in Latin, and it would, therefore, appear sufficient to possess an accurate knowledge of the Latin language, in order to translate any work written in it into our own. It is our wish to prove the fallacy of such reasoning; and, on the contrary, to show what varied and often delicate questions of philology the translation may involve, and how impossible it is to correct or discover the mistakes of our Douay version, without a constant recourse to the original Hebrew and Greek texts. The object of sůch reference will be, to decide the true meaning of expressions, obscure or doubtful in the Latin. In the few examples which we intend to give, we shall consider the Alexandrine, or, as it is commonly called, the Septuagint, version, as the original of the Psalms; because it is well known that the Latin used by us, and inserted in the Vulgate, is made upon that version, and not on the Hebrew original.

Let us select, in the first instance, a very simple example. In the fiftieth Psalm, v. 14 (Heb. li. 14), the Vulgate has, "et spiritu principali confirma me.” The Douay translators understood the adjective in the sense of principal, excellent, and accordingly translated the sentence thus, “and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.” Looking simply at the Latin, the word will certainly bear that sense; as Cicero says, “ Causarum aliæ sunt perfectæ et principales." But the question here is, did the author of the Vulgate use the word in this sense, and not rather in its other meaning of princely? A reference to the Greek, from which the translation of this book was made, decides the question. For there we read, πνευματι ηγημονικη στηριξον με,

strengthen me with a princely spirit.” In the Hebrew, the word used is 1217) which bears the same meaning though it also derivately signifies, " generous," " noble."*

Wisdom viii. 21, we have the following sentence: and as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it.” This is a verbal translation of the Latin, “et ut scivi quoniam aliter non possem esse continens nisi Deus det." The word continens corresponds to the Greek éy parne here as in every other passage wherein it occurs through the sapiential

Perhaps the old word " lordly” would best express the double meaning, as its corresponding term herrlich would in German.

books, and is never, save in this passage, rendered in our version by continent. This point is easily established. Eccles. vi. 28, we have the same subject, the acquisition of wisdom, treated as in our text, in these words, "Investiga illam, et manifestabitur tibi, et continens fuctus, ne derelinquas eam. Our translators did not render these words, by "being made continent," but by “when thou hast gotten her.” The Greek has kaì eykpatns yevojevos (v. 27, ed. Bos.) These words occur in two other places, where, however, there is no ellipsis, but the object is expressed xv. 1, “Qui continens est justitiæ apprehendet illam ;" translated, “he that possesseth justice shall lay hold on her.” And xxvii. 33, “Ira ét furor utraque execrabilia sunt, et vir peccator continens illorum erit;" rendered, “and the sinful man shall be subject to them,” that is, shall contain or possess them. This last example proves, that continens, or ey pains, does not signify qui se continet," one who restrains himself

, but one who contains or holds something else ; and the first instance quoted proves that it is so used elliptically, with omission of the object so held or contained.

These are the only other passages, if we mistake not, in which the Latin word occurs as an equivalent to the cited Greek one throughout these books.

We may next ask, ought a deviation to have been made from the meaning they elsewhere invariably bear, in Sap. viii. 21 ? And we answer, unhesitatingly, not. The entire passage is concerning the acquisition of wisdom. From verse 9 to v. 19, the writer gives us an account of his searches after it. In vv. 19, 20, he states the causes that led him to them; first, his having been gifted with an ingenuous disposition; and, secondly, his having preserved himself from sin. The verse under consideration naturally follows : “and as I knew that I could not otherwise possess it (wisdom) unless God gave it (for this was also a point of wisdom to know whose gift it was), I went to the Lord,” &c. But if we read with our present version,

as I knew I could not be continent,&c. we have to meet multiplied difficulties. First, that not a word has been said about continence, but the whole antecedent matter has been concerning wisdom; secondly, that the parenthesis makes no sense, for the thing there mentioned as a gift cannot be continence, as it must refer to a substantive, and not an adjective, such as continent; and, moreover, its antithesis is lost, “it was a point of wisdom to know whose gift wisdom is;" thirdly, that the prayer which follows, for the quality in question is entirely for wisdom, and not for continence, which is never asked for. These reasons are more than sufficient for retaining, in this passage, the sense invariably attributed to continens in every other.


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