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not despise the testimony founded on such a basis. We again fpeak from experience, when we deny that the Hebrew language is extremely imperfect, without the addition of points. Our jidgment on the utility of points, as well as on the relative value of the Greek verfion, has been admirably anticipated by Bishop Lowth, in the introduction to his Isaiah. Accurate as that great man was at all times, he has no where given a more Atriking proof of the clearness and precision which accompanied all his remarks, than in calculating the merits of the Septuagint, and of the Maforetic reading. Mr. R. appears to be fomewhat too warmly attached to both. He looks upon the Septuagint version in particular, as a work of the highest importance, as a version which fixes the words and sense of Scripture at a period full 700 years, and, according to fome accounts, 1,100 years earlier than the Maforites fixed it by their method of pointing. Experience, we have said, has taught us to rea coil at the idea of assigning to any particular period, the whole of the Greek version which we at present poffess. We question not the authenticity of the tale of Ptolemy Philadelphus, but the genuinenels of various parts of the translation. It is true, that reference is made to it by the Evangelists and Apostles in the writings of the New Testament. They sometimes quote from it; and wherever they have honoured it by their citations, its character must be allowed to be established. But it is also true, that the Evangelists and Apostles have sometimes rejected the Greek version, and appealed in preference to the Hebrew. Hence we conclude, that it is not right to rely altogether on the Greek version, as a standard which is to fix the words and Jense of Scripture. If the early Fathers had only the Greek version in use among them, we do not think that Mr. Reeves can found upon that circumstance an incontrovertible proof, that the Greek version was all-sufficient without the knowledge of the Hebrew. If they acquiefced in the Greek upon all occasions, and did not exert theinselves to learn the original language of the sacred writings, how could they be capable of judging the Greek version to be fully sufficient for all the pura poses of their pious labours"
When we make use of these remarks, we would not be un. derstood to entertain a mean opinion of the utility of the labours of Mr. R. We fincerely applaud that curiofity which led him to enquire what was the real extent of the discordance between the Greek and Hebrew texts, by making an exact collation of the Psalms. We should rejoice to see a collation of
. the same nature, extended by him to the whole mass of scripture. But we cannot help entertaining fome doubt of the advantage to be derived from suffering a person of the Jewish natign to be the companion of such studies, Though extremely
we'l versed in the scriptures, and in all parts of Jewish learnins, such an assistant would to us be a guide, of whom we thould never deem ourselves unreasonably suspicious.
Presuming that the Septuagint translators were anxious to be firiétly faithful, and were fully competent to the task which they undertook, Mr. R. concludes, that wherever discordance appears in the Book of Plalms, it must be owing to some change in one of the texts; and such change he feels himself obliged to fuppose, has rather taken place in the Hebrew than in the Greek. We do not deny the possibility of such change, but we hope that the time is far distant, when it shall be thought judicious and safe, to correct the Hebrew text by fo dangerous a criterion. Fallibility is entirely on the side of the tranflators; and there can be no authenticity in inspired writers, if we compel them to speak only what their most ancient interpreters have fancied them to speak.
“ What prerogative,” says Mr. Reeves, “ can belong to an original lo incompletely written as the Hebrew, when brought into competi:ion with a finished language like the Greek.” Is there not an appearance of undue partiality in this fentiment ? Is there not the same appearance, when Mr. R. declares, that the removal of a single letter in the Hebrew text will often make sense of what before was nonsense, or make some other sense just as natural as the one conveyed by it kefore ? Is not the fame appearance to be again found, where Mr. R. declares, that, after confidering the different capacities of these two witnesses, we cannot befitate in giving a preferenee to that which seems to have the highest pretension to credit, and that is the Greek? We allow that Hebrew, without points, is a kind of Mort-hand; it has the conciseness of algebra ; but, like algebra, it is not the more obscure for being concife. Its fense is not often ambiguous and doubtful : but may cafily be made fo by those who, to preserve a meaning, confide' it to a Jingle point.
After these and other proofs of undue partiality, we were pleased to meet with the following more correct decision on the value of the Masoretic points, which nearly coincides with the opinion of Bishop Lowth.
I beg the zealous advocates for the Hebrew text to consider, that whatever may be urged in favour of the radical letters of the present text, it never can be maintained that the vowel points have an equal pretenfion; they are certainly no part of Scripture; they are only evidence of an ancient reading of Scripture; as such they are respectable, and highly fo in my opinion ; but not more fo, tban etber leftimonies of learned men." P.37.
This is found and liberal criticisin, to which we heartily' fibicribe. We as heartily applaud Mr. R. for kis good in.
tention of vindicating the fidelity of the Greek translators. We are as anxious as he is, that the bibilical student should consult more frequently his septuagint. We consider it as a very valuable witness to the true sense of the original Scriptures. They who have been at the pains to acquaint themfelves with the Hebrew, ought neither to defpife the Greek, nor to rely implicitly on the Masoretic reading. The Greek and Hebrew schools should, undoubtedly, unite in allowing a proportionate share of credit to both texts. They certainly, as Mr. R. has stated, reflect a mutual light upon each other.-Such light it should be the business of the student carefully to collect into one focus, that it may be applied to the effectual illustration of the naked letter of the law and the prophets.
We shall not follow Mr. R. through his history of the Greek and other versions of the Scriptures. We shall only notice, that his observation on the translation of the psalms in our Church Bible, is very just: that it is lefs known than any part of our version of the Holy Scriptures. This is very properly ascribed, to the retention of the old version of the psalms taken from Cranmer's bible; which, from scruples of delicacy, has never been removed from our common prayer book. That the version in the Church Bible is the most faithful, every scholar, acquainted with the original, must admit. We are, however, of the number of those, who do not wish to see it take place of the version still in use. Mr. R. Thall charge us, if he pleases, with being prepoffed in favour of the common prayer psalms, in consequence of having heard them repeated in the Church service from our youth. In the same manner have we heard, and still hear, but without giving them fimilar preference, the ludicrous staves of Sternhold and Hopkins. Indeed, we suspect that there is something more than the spell of prejudice upon us. At the peril of being reproved by
, Mr. R. for deficiency in taste and the love of accuracy, we cannot refrain from acknowledging, that we are under the influence of a very obstinate opinion, that the language and ftyle of the old Pralter, is indeed, in very many instances, highly pretical and elegant. The translator of the bible psalms was equal to his task; he rendered the original faithfully, but he also rendered it coldly. He caught none of the fire and ardent spirit of devotion, which animated his author. No such defect appears in his venerable predecessor. On the contrary, such is the spirit with which he renders the original, that he may not only be said to follow the Hebrew in many instances pajjibus æquis, but in some parts has even gone beyond it, and expressed himself in language rather too bold for an interpreter. Mr. R. observes that those pralins do not reprelent NO, XXXII. VOL, VIII. N
the “ Hebrew text, nor the Septuagint, nor any one single text. They seem to have something from all, and fomething from the compilers; who finished them according to their own fancy, and no doubt with a view to their effect in the service.” This is a severe sentence, but truth accompanies it. It is not to be applied universally to the old version, but there are passages, where it will be difficult to prove that Mr. R. is mistaken. View to effet was, however, pardonable ; and we fear, were our old anthems to be rejected, and were ne ones to be composed from the Bible version of the psalms, tiere would be a lamentable difference, between the nerve and energy of the one, and the tameness and infipidity of the other.
Mr. Reeves closes his letter to Mr. Pitt, with an account of books which he intends hereafter to publifh. His first ob- • ject is a good octavo edition of the Church Bible; in which he purposes to combine utility and beauty, in a degree which has not yet been experienced. We presume, if utility is one of his motives, that his Bible will not be destitute of the marginal references ; which are extremely valuable, and the want of which is a great drawback on the merits of Macklin. We hope also, that to beauty will be added a reasonable price. For should Mr. R. ask for his Bible a fum proportionate to that which he has fixed on his Collation, he will neither benefit the herd of readers, nor himself. He will excuse us for obferving, that eight pillings for eighteen sheets is not warranted by the present dearth of paper. It is almost equal to the price of newspapers ; which are compofed with a much greater proportion of labour, and pay a very heavy tax also. At the same rate of charging, our Review would fell for three shillings and fixpence instead of two fbillings. an addition to the fair price of the book, is not to be justified, even by the superior accuracy manifested in its Hebrew and Greek quotations : though the latter invariably deserves our warmest and most unqualified approbation. The publication which is to follow the above, Mr. R. has thus announced.
“ After this tribute to the Englith reader, I feel a desire to furnith some work, which may unite learning with religion, and be useful to the clergyman and the scholar : I mean some work, which will bring together, into one view, tbe original texts of Scripture, and their approved versions, the Septuugint and Vulgate, together with our own Cburcb translation : a work that may facilitate a critical examination of all these texts."
It is, therefore, Mr. R's. design to furnish us with an Engtilh, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin bible, after the manner of Walton's Polyglott. We sincerely with himn success in such
an undertaking ; and congratulate ourselves and the public upon the fair prospect which we have, of its being a work. not unworthy of the King's Printer. As to its fuccess, we
. can only entertain lively hopes, proportioned to the respect in which our English Version is still held. Mr. R. has observed, that no book has the same fort of regular and general Jale ; and we can assure our readers, that the grafs return made to one of our universities, for bibles and common prayer baoks, does not average at less than twenty thousand pounds per
(To be continued.)
Oratio in Theatro Collegii Regalis Medicorum Londinensis ex
Harveii Instituto Habita die O27. 18, An. 1800. Ab Henrico Vaughan, M. D. Medico Regio Extraordinario. Lond. White, Fleet-street.
NEAT and appropriate oration on the occasion, dedia
cated to Dr. Gliborne, the President. It contains just and elegant praises of Linacre, Harvey, Sydenham, Friend, and Mead. We shall quote part of the conclusion, as doing justice to the character of one whose merits will be attested by many living witnesses, the late Dr. Warren. : “ Jàm vero naturali quodam Orationis cursu ad nostra ferè tempora pervenimus.; tempora, profectò; quæ, utcunque aliis ex partibus, iniquitatibus rerum atque hominùm ineptiis fatìs, et plusquàm fatis, laborare videantur, Medicinæ tamen fimplici isti atque legitimæ veteris dignitatis nihil immifiuerunt. Habuimus certè vel nostris oculis obverfatos, immò habemus etiamnùm, de quibus, fivè ingenii acumen, five literarum copiam intueamur; fummo jure gloriari poffumus. Etenim, ut ad eum me convertam quem intra triennium desideravimus, ecquis erat unquam scientiâ morborum locupletatus magis, vel magis curatione exercitatus; ecquis erat unquam quà fuavi illâ fermonis et morum humanitate, quæ in ipfo remediorum loco haberi poteft, ecquis erat unquam qui Warrenum superabat? Erat illi ingenii vis maxuma, perceptio et comprehenfio celerrima, judicium acre, memoria perceptorum' tenaciffiina. Meministis, Socii, quam subtilitèr, et uno quafi intuitu res omnes ægrotantium perfpiceret penitùs et intelligeret! in interrogando quam aptus effet et opportunus, quam promptus in expediendo! Omnia etenim artis subsidia itatìm illi in mentem veniebant, et nihil ei novum, nihil inauditum videbatur.-In ei autim facultate quâ confolamur amicos et deducimus perterritos a timore, quì languidos incitamus, et erigimus depretros, omnium Medicorum facilè princeps fuit; et fi qui medicamentis non ceftitlent dolores, permulcebat eos et confopiebat hortationibus et alloquio.
ftetit urna paulum
Carmine mulcet, HOR.