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not despise the testimony founded on fuch a bafis. We again fpeak from experience, when we deny that the Hebrew language is extremely imperfect, without the addition of points. Our judgment 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 Ifaiah. Accurate as that great man was at all times, he has no where given a more ftriking proof of the clearness and precifion 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 verfion in particular, as a work of the highest importance, as a verfion which fixes the words and fenfe 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 faid, has taught us to recoil at the idea of affigning to any particular period, the whole of the Greek verfion which we at prefent poffefs. We queftion not the authenticity of the tale of Ptolemy Philadelphus, but the genuinenels of various parts of the tranflation. It is true, that reference is made to it by the Evangelifts and Apostles in the writings of the New Teftament. They fometimes quote from it; and wherever they have honoured it by their citations, its character must be allowed to be established. But it is alfo true, that the Evangelists and Apostles have fometimes rejected the Greek verfion, and appealed in preference to the Hebrew. Hence we conclude, that it is not right to rely altogether on the Greek verfion, as a standard which is to fix the words and fenfe of Scripture. If the early Fathers had only the Greek verfion in ufe among them, we do not think that Mr. Reeves can found upon that circumstance an incontrovertible proof, that the Greek verfion was all-fufficient without the knowledge of the Hebrew. If they acquiefced in the Greek upon all occafions, and did not exert themselves to learn the original language of the facred writings, how could they be capable of judging the Greek verfion to be fully fufficient for all the purpofes of their pious labours
When we make use of these remarks, we would not be understood 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 difcordance between the Greek and Hebrew texts, by making an exact collation of the Pfalms. We fhould rejoice to fee a collation of the fame nature, extended by him to the whole mafs of fcripture. But we cannot help entertaining fome doubt of the advantage to be derived from fuffering a perfon of the Jewish natian to be the companion of fuch ftudies, Though extremely
well verfed in the fcriptures, and in all parts of Jewish learning, fuch an affiftant would to us be a guide, of whom we should never deem ourselves unreasonably fufpicious.
Prefuming that the Septuagint tranflators were anxious to be firictly faithful, and were fully competent to the task which they undertook, Mr. R. concludes, that wherever difcordance appears in the Book of Pfalms, it must be owing to fome change in one of the texts; and fuch change he feels himfelf obliged to fuppofe, has rather taken place in the Hebrew than in the Greek. We do not deny the poffibility of such change, but we hope that the time is far diftant, when it fhall be thought judicious and fafe, to correct the Hebrew text by fo dangerous a criterion. Fallibility is entirely on the fide of the tranflators; and there can be no authenticity in infpired writers, if we compel them to fpeak only what their moft ancient interpreters have fancied them to speak.
"What prerogative," fays Mr. Reeves, "can belong to an original lo incompletely written as the Hebrew, when' brought into competition with a finifhed language like the Greek." Is there not an appearance of undue partiality in this fentiment? Is there not the fame appearance, when Mr. R. declares, that the removal of a fingle letter in the Hebrew text will often make fenfe of what before was nonfenfe, or make fome other fenfe juft as natural as the one conveyed by it before? Is not the fame appearance to be again found, where Mr. R. declares, that, after confidering the different capacities of thefe two witneffes, we cannot hesitate in giving a preference to that which feems to have the highest pretenfion to credit, and that is the Greek? We allow that Hebrew, without points, is a kind of fhort-hand; it has the concifenefs of algebra; but, like algebra, it is not the more obfcure for being concife. Its fenfe is not often ambiguous and doubtful: but may eafily be made fo by those who, to preferve a meaning, confide it to a Jingle point.
After thefe and other proofs of undue partiality, we were pleafed to meet with the following more correct decifion on the value of the Maforetic points, which nearly coincides with the opinion of Bishop Lowth.
"I beg the zealous advocates for the Hebrew text to confider, that whatever may be urged in favour of the radical letters of the prefent 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 fuch they are refpectable, and highly fo in my opinion; but not more fo, than other teftimonies of learned men." P. 37.1.
This is found and liberal criticism, to which we heartily' fubfcribe. We as heartily applaud Mr. R. for his good in
tention of vindicating the fidelity of the Greek translators. We are as anxious as he is, that the bibilical student should confult more frequently his feptuagint. We confider it as a very valuable witness to the true fenfe 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 Maforetic reading. The Greek and Hebrew fchools fhould, 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 fhould be the bufinefs of the ftudent carefully to collect into one focus, that it may be applied to the effectual illuftration of the naked letter of the law and the prophets.
We fhall not follow Mr. R. through his hiftory of the Greek and other verfions of the Scriptures. We fhall only notice, that his obfervation on the tranflation of the pfalms in our Church Bible, is very juft: that it is lefs known than any, part of our version of the Holy Scriptures. This is very properly afcribed, to the retention of the old verfion of the pfalms taken from Cranmer's bible; which, from fcruples of delicacy, has never been removed from our common prayer book. That the verfion in the Church Bible is the most faithful, every fcholar, acquainted with the original, must admit. We are, however, of the number of those, who do not with to see it take place of the version still in ufe. Mr. R. fhall charge us, if he pleafes, with being prepoffeffed in favour of the common prayer pfalms, in confequence of having heard them repeated in the Church fervice from our youth. In the fame manner have we heard, and ftill hear, but without giving them fimilar preference, the ludicrous staves of Sternhold and Hopkins. Indeed, we fufpect that there is fomething more than the fpell of prejudice upon us, At the peril of being reproved by Mr. R. for deficiency in tafte and the love of accuracy, we cannot refrain from acknowledging, that we are under the influence of a very obftinate opinion, that the language and ftyle of the old Pfalter, is indeed, in very many inftances, highly pretical and elegant. The translator of the bible pfalms was equal to his tafk; he rendered the original faithfully, but he alfo rendered it coldly. He caught none of the fire and ardent spirit of devotion, which animated his author. No fuch defect appears in his venerable predeceffor. On the contrary, fuch is the fpirit with which he renders the original, that he may not only be faid to follow the Hebrew in many instances paffibus aquis, but in fome parts has even gone beyond it, and expreffed himself in language rather too bold for an interpreter. Mr. R. obferves that thofe pfalms do not reprefent N
NO. XXXII. VOL. VIII.
the "Hebrew text, nor the Septuagint, nor any one fingle text. They feem to have fomething from all, and fomething from the compilers; who finifhed them according to their own fancy, and no doubt with a view to their effect in the fervice." This is a fevere fentence, but truth accompanies it. It is not to be applied univerfally to the old verfion; but there are paffages, where it will be difficult to prove that Mr. R. is mistaken. View to effect was, however, pardonable; and we fear, were our old anthems to be rejected, and were new ones to be compofed from the Bible verfion of the pfalms, there would be a lamentable difference, between the nerve and energy of the one, and the tamenefs and infipidity of the other.
Mr. Reeves clofes his letter to Mr. Pitt, with an account of books which he intends hereafter to publifh. His firft object 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 prefume, if utility is one of his motives, that his Bible will not be deftitute of the marginal references; which are extremely valuable, and the want of which is a great drawback on the merits of Macklin. We hope alfo, that to beauty will be added a reasonable price. For fhould Mr. R. afk for his Bible a fum proportionate to that which he has fixed on his Collation, he will neither benefit the herd of readers, nor himfelf. He will excufe us for obferving, that eight fhillings for eighteen fheets is not warranted by the prefent dearth of paper. It is almoft equal to the price of newspapers; which are compofed with a much greater proportion of labour, and pay a very heavy tax alfo. At the fame rate of charging, our Review would fell for three fhillings and fixpence instead of two fhillings. So great an addition to the fair price of the book, is not to be justified, even by the fuperior accuracy manifefted in its Hebrew and Greek quotations: though the latter invariably deserves our warmeft and moft unqualified approbation. The publication which is to follow the above, Mr. R. has thus announced.
"After this tribute to the Englifh reader, I feel a defire to furnith fome work, which may unite learning with religion, and be useful to the clergyman and the scholar: I mean fome work, which will bring together, into one view, the original texts of Scripture, and their approved verfions, the Septuagint and Vulgate, together with our own Church translation: a work that may facilitate a critical examination of all these texts."
It is, therefore, Mr. R's. defign to furnish us with an Ength, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin bible, after the manner of Walton's Polyglott. We fincerely with him fuccess in such
ah undertaking; and congratulate ourselves and the public upon the fair profpect which we have, of its being a work not unworthy of the King's Printer. As to its fuccefs, we can only entertain lively hopes, proportioned to the respect in which our English Verfion is ftill held. Mr. R. has obferved, that no book has the fame fort of regular and general fale; and we can affure our readers, that the gross return made to one of our univerfities, for bibles and common prayer books, does not average at less than twenty thousand pounds per (To be continued.)
Oratio in Theatro Collegit Regalis Medicorum Londinenfis ex Harveii Inftituto Habita die Oct. 18, An. 1800. Ab Henrico Vaughan, M. D. Medico Regio Extraordinario. Lond. White, Fleet-ftreet.
NEAT and appropriate oration on the occafion, dedicated to Dr. Gisborne, the Prefident. It contains just and elegant praises of Linacre, Harvey, Sydenham, Friend, and Mead. We fhall quote part of the conclufion, as doing, justice to the character of one whofe merits will be attefted by many living witneffes, the late Dr. Warren.
"Jam vero naturali quodam Orationis curfu ad noftra ferè tempora pervenimus; tempora, profectò, quæ, utcunque aliis ex partibus, iniquitatibus rerum atque hominum ineptiis fatis, et plufquàm fatis, laborare videantur, Medicinæ tamen fimplici ifti atque legitimæ veteris dignitatis nihil imminuerunt. Habuimus certè vel noftris 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 defideravimus, ecquis erat unquam fcientiâ morborum locupletatus magis, vel magis curatione exercitatus ; ecquis erat unquam quì fuavi illâ fermonis et morum humanitate, quae in ipfo remediorum loco haberi poteft, ecquis erat unquam qui Warrenum fuperabat? Erat illi ingenii vis maxuma, perceptio et comprehenfio celerrima, judicium acre, memoria perceptorum tenaciffima. Meminiftis, Socii, quam fubtilitèr, 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 fubfidia ftatim illi in mentem ve→ niebant, et nihil ei novum, nihil inauditum videbatur.-In eâ autem facultate quà confolamur afflictos et deducimus perterritos a timore, qui languidos incitamus, et erigimus depreffos, omnium Medicorum facilè princeps fuit; et fi qui medicamentis non ceffiflent dolores, permulcebat eos et confopiebat hortationibus et alloquio. ftetit urna paulùm
Sicca, dum grato Danai puellas
Carmine mulcet. HOR.