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We pass by Ilgen's dissertation on the supposed poetry of the book, in which he very properly observes, that it cannot be compared with the Consessus of the Arabs, on account of the difference of style and structure. Reviewing the arguments which have been adduced in support of each conflicting opinion, he inclines to the idea, that Job was a descendant of Ishmael or Esau. With respect to the place which he inhabited, it is to be remembered, that two bore that name; the one in Arabia Petræa, nearer to Egypt, and bordering on the territory of the Philistines and Idumæans, in which the Seirites established themselves after their expulsion from Seir by the Esavites; the other at the limit of Arabia Deserta and Coele-Syria, near Damascus, and close to Trachonitis. The first derived its title from Uz, the grandson of Seir, and son of Dishan (Gen. xxxvi. 28 ;) but the region probably was not so called till after the time of Job, the second from Uz, the descendant of Shem. Ilgen having shown reasons why the Damascene valley Gutha should be identified with the Uz of Job (which word he interprets on the authority of the Arabic Lexica, a fertile valley abounding in water) proceeds to describe the character given of it by the Arabian writers. We are assured that this Uz has the strongest claims to our notice from the mention of the Jordan in the book itself; from whence the inference is clear, that the country through which it flowed could not have been totally unknown to the patriarch. It is so mentioned, as we might suppose it to have been by one residing not far from Damascus ; for it is not accompanied with those allusions, which might have been expected from an inhabitant of Palestine. Nothing is said of the seven nations which occupied Canaan; nothing of Abraham's migration from Uz and settlement in it. But, as Uz was born to Nahor, after Abraham's establishment in Canaan, the silence observed on these points is not strange. The riches, too, which Job possessed were not suited to an Idumæan emir, nor are they to be reconciled with the sterility of Arabia Petræa; and we have seen that he could not have lived far from the source of the Jordan, that torrents of melted snow and ice (vi. 15. sqq.), such as flow from snow-clad mountains, like Libanus and Hermon, frost and congelation of waters, as in Libanus, and men living in caves, are objects of his allusions, all of which fully harmonize with Ilgen's idea of the locality of his residence. The beauty of his daughters (xlii. 15,) may be imagined to have corresponded with that still noticed in the women in the neighbourhood of Damascus, and the incursions of the Chaldees are considered to have been more adapted to that direction than to Idumæa. Nor is it important, whether his friends lived near to him or at a distance ; for the long journeys taken in those days (cf. Gen. xxii. 20; xxxii
. 4,) and the transit of messengers from place to place, to which reference is made in ch. ix. 25, remove
every difficulty which might be urged on this account. Job himself, as we have observed, Ilgen considers to have been a descendant of Abraham, and to have lived in the first century of the settlement of the Israelites in Egypt, though, for what reason we cannot divine, he supposes the writer to have lived in the third.
In these two hypotheses there are several points of similarity; but that of Professor Lee has the advantage of being founded on the more credible reasons. We prefer the time in which he has fixed Job's existence, and his arguments in general about Uz: though we have brought those on both sides before our readers, scarcely doubting their concurrence in our opinion. Ilgen is tolerably free from the taint of German critics; yet here and there it is perceptible, and even mixed with solid disquisitions.
To correctly interpret an ancient author, the knowledge of every thing connected with him and his language, and a skill in the application of this knowledge, are especially required: for, as Professor Lee states, language can never be well understood so long as the opinions, notions, laws, customs, expectations of the people speaking it, or who formerly spoke it; as long as their acquirements in chronology, geography, astronomy, the arts, mineralogy, geology, natural and other history; as long as their agriculture, commerce, and political economy, their mode of warfare, and more particularly their theology, remain unknown. Researches of this nature, therefore, should always be joined to the study of the grammar and lexicography, ere any satisfactory interpretation of the writings of a people can be expected. From the defective manner in which many have prepared themselves for these critical labours, (and no one can accurately translate a book, who is not versed in the delicate minutiæ and phraseology of the language,) have arisen a multitude of errors: from this cause the Scriptures, as they exist in several versions, have perhaps suffered in a greater degree than other productions; and we have witnessed, how the partial method, which the Germans have applied to them, instead of fully elucidating the word of God, has sunk no inconsiderable part of the nation into infidelity. Some, indeed, not content with distorting words from their obvious and radical signification, have occasionally even proceeded to conjectural alterations and unauthorized transpositions. Eichhorn's Bibliothek and Repertorium, the works of Paulus, and many more, will afford examples.
Hence have sprung German treatises on the Mythology of the Hebrews, which uūdou have not been unsparingly gleaned from the inspired pages, wherever the fancy of the rationalist chose to glean them; and thus Divine revelation has been loaded with counterparts to Grecian fable, and made to teem with all the foolish and superstitious notions of ancient and modern times. The Patriarchal and Mosaic dispensations have thus been degraded to a state of degeneracy but little exalted above heathenism, and the New Testament has not entirely escaped from the same devastating process.
With great reason, therefore, Professor Lee maintains, that a translator of the Scriptures should rigidly attend to the requirements of the idiom and usages of the language, and should equally pay every “ possible regard to the theology, laws, customs, antiquities, and the like, which are known to have prevailed in the countries and times in which the authors lived and wrote. ... The language of the book of Job is, as we have seen, that of the best Hebrew times, inclining occasionally to the forms and significations peculiar to the Chaldee. Of both these dialects
for such they may be termed—we have a considerable stock of materials; but of the Arabic, which may
also be termed a branch derived from the same parent stock, our materials are almost inexhaustible: not to insist on the fact, that the ancient versions, particularly the Chaldaic and Syriac, supply us with large stores of considerable value in this respect. Consequently, when these and other helps are not joined together in the researches of the translator, he must in many passages wander far from the ideas of the writer, although he may contrive to extract from the dictionaries an easy and consistent sense. On the same account we have not one Hebrew dictionary that may be implicitly trusted; and the only resource of the scholar is to compare the cognate dialects, and all the places in which the same Hebrew words occur.
The Professor's version is not given according to Bishop Lowth's arrangement in the poetical parts of Scripture; for the Professor doubts the reality of these poetical
parts. By those who have advocated the poetry of the Old Testament, it has been supposed, that in this family of languages parallelism constitutes poetry; but such is not the case. The Arabs and Persians have parallelisms in prose; and they are occasionally discoverable in Hebrew narrative. Bishop Jebb and Mr. Boys felt convinced, that they had detected them in the New Testament. But the followers of Lowth, in a very recent translation of the Psalms, have extended their system beyond parallelisms, and have made certain accents their guides, in splitting the text into separate lines.
But the accents cannot be shown to possess inherently any such power. They at best are only valuable, as showing masoretic studies on the text; and where criticism is concerned, both they and the vowel-points should be esteemed in a secondary light; for neither are coeval with the language.
The Professor has differed greatly from his predecessors as to the object of the book. They have commonly urged, that no reference is made to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrha, and have accordingly reasoned, that Job must have lived before that event; but the Professor is persuaded by a variety of passages, that a strong and forcible allusion to it may be discerned, and therefore arrives at the exactly contrary inference, that Job lived after that catastrophe. This, with the exception of the more absurd speculations, which remove the book to comparatively late times, and of the questions, whether it were a mere drama, and Job a real or fictitious character, constitutes the chief point at issue between them. We scarcely know which notion is the more wild, that which, after the Rabbin, styles the work a merely moral excursus (or as the Germans write, "moralischen Inhalts,") that which creates it a drama, or that of Ilgen, which at once makes it an epic poem. Of Professor Lee we shall say every thing, when we affirm
Magnis non excidit ausis.” We look forwards to the appearance of his translation of the other Hebrew books.
Art. II.-1. The Novelty of Popery, in matters of Faith and
Practice; shown from the Scriptures, the Fathers, and later Ecclesiastical Writers : to which is added, a Statement of the Doctrines of the Church of England, and also of those of the Church of Rome; as set forth in their public Formularies: with the Confessions of learned Romanists, and a comparative Summary and Conclusion, severally, thereon. By the Rev. Thomas P. PANTIN, M. A., of Queen's College, Oxford,
Rector of Westcote, Gloucestershire. London. 1837. 2. The Churches of Rome and England compared in their
declared Doctrines and Practices, wherein is shown the Disagreement of the two Churches in many of the Fundamental Articles of Christianity. By RICHARD MANT, D.D., M.R.I. A., Bishop of Down and Connor. London: Parker.
1836. 3. An Inquiry into the principal Points of Difference, real or
imaginary, between the two Churches, with a view to Religious Harmony or Forbearance. Together with some Remarks relative to the present extraordinary Times. By the Rev. David O'CROLY, Author of “ The Essay on Ecclesiastical Finance," &c. &c. Dublin. 1835.
CONSIDERING the church of Rome as a distinct church, and not rather as that part of the Catholic Church which refused to follow a good example and reform herself, we willingly enough concede to that part a certain modern antiquity. If, as we suppose, she will not thank us for this concession, we must answer, that it is the most we can make. When, at the era commonly called that of the Reformation, the Church in this country, as well as in others, became sensible of her own corruption, and sought deliverance, she did not indeed create a new church: she was the identical corporation after, as she was before, her reformation: just as an individual recovered from a disease is the same individual that was under the disease. The state, not the identity, is changed. This nearly self-evident fact will sufficiently expose the nonsense, which of late has so plentifully issued from the press, purporting, that the reformers put themselves in unjust possession of the property of their Catholic ancestors. As regards the term catholic, they had much better title to it after than before their reformation. At all events, there being no change of persons, either in an individual or corporate capacity, their rights were not in the slightest degree affected, much less damaged, by the improvement in their spiritual character. Allowing, however, the distinction between the two churches, in whatever it consists, the reformed part will readily permit the unreformed to call herself the old church,-that is, relatively the old church. But the matter does not end here. We must inquire, if relatively old, or older, how far does the priority extend? And, to save time and trouble, we admitfor many long centuries. But let us still proceed; and by the assistance of certain lights, yet accessible and usable, we retrograde through what we must be allowed to call the dark ages, till, like travellers in a tunnel, we see a glimpse of light in the distance, which keeps increasing, while, one after another, the dear peculiarities of Rome vanish from the view, and, on arriving at the source of light itself, they all disappear. We come to the light in a double sense, as respects both the evidence and the matter: we come to the best gift of the Father of lightthe holy Scriptures; and even in the epistle of the chief of the apostles, the apostle eminently of the gentiles, and directed to the city of Rome itself, not one iota or tittle do we discover of the ceremonies and doctrines by which the modern church of Rome is distinguished, --not one article do we recognise, (we do not say in precise terms, but by any fair inference,) agreeing with the articles which Pius IV. has added to all preceding christian creeds. It is at this point completely, and increasingly long before this point is reached, that the antiquity of the Roman church is extinguished : and it is exactly at the same point that the antiquity of our Church, and of all the Protestant christian churches commences. Here is discovered the first stone of that Church, which, whether visible or not, and in whatsoever degree, has found its way to the times of the blessed