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read. The editor is Mr. M'Quige, under the superintendance of the Committee of gentlemen mentioned by Mr. Platt, whose approbation is requisite before any verbal alteration can be introduced. The version followed is that of Bedell, in the Old Testament, taken from Boyle's 4to., but admitting in the following cases the slight change of some words-first, where the original MS. which exists as far as Proverbs, and is preserved in the library of St. Patrick's Cathedral, contains a preferable word, that word has been in a few instances, and on mature deliberation, substituted for that used by Boyle's editor; and secondly, Anglicisms, such as "Butler, Baker," &c. have been in some cases superseded by synonimous Celtic terms-if these be elsewhere found in the Irish Bible applied to the same meanings.The 8vo. follows in the New Testament the 12mo. above-mentioned, without any verbal alteration whatsoever. This servility of adherence to it is adopted, in order to avoid any variances whatsoever between the existing editions of the Bible, the same strictness was not essential in the Old Testament, as the previous edition was out of print. The entire of this work has been read over by me, or another individual; the New Testament has been all of it revised and compared by myself. But here I must observe, that I do not presume to set myself up as a corrector of an Irish editor, in nice orthographical and grammatical points; I found myself useful only as a second eye, to prevent the intrusion of more serious errors.
A second edition is in preparation; it is to be printed by the Hibernian Bible Society, in a 24mo. size, and in a minion type, cast expressly for the purpose by Mr. Watts of Crowncourt, London; he also prepares the plates, as this edition is to be stereotyped. It is accurately to follow the text of the 8vo. without altering the words, but with proper grammatical, orthographical, and typographical amendations, where required. It is to have the various readings of the 4to. of Boyle in the Old Testament, and of Daniel in the New, printed at the bottoms of the respective pages, wherever new words have been admitted into the 8vo. To edit this book, the Committee of the Hibernian Bible Society have engaged Mr. Edward O'Reilly, an eminent Irish scholar, and author of the Irish-English Dictionary. As entrusted by the sub-committee of publication of the Hibernian Bible Society, every page of the work is perused by me in the progress of printing.
A third edition of the Irish Bible has proceeded as far as the 34th psalm-it was commenced about five years ago by the Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, but was, for some reason unknown to me, interrupted. The edition is to be in three volumes 12mo. in the same type as the stereotyped 12mo. New Testament of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the number of copies, I believe, is to be 2000. Its editors have of late become very sanguine to complete it; and interleaved copies of what is already printed have been sent to me, in order that I should procure a competent collation of them before they proceed with the rest-this I have most willingly undertaken,
ve entrusted Mr. O'Reilly with the task. Cancels will be any of the pages which are already struck off, if neces
sary to the purity of the version ; which appears, from our collation hitherto, to be strictly that of Bedell. It is to be printed by Mr. Gilbert, London.
Such is the account which I have to present to you of our Irish version and editions of the Old and New Testaments; and I trust that your readers will rest satisfied as to their general correctness, a proof of which, perhaps, exists in the very great insignificance of the objections which have been relied on against them. We should learn, from the History of the Church of Christ, that no ray of light from the Lord of Light, has ever been vouchsafed to cheer our penumbra here, that has not excited the jealousy of the prince of darkness; and did we but reflect how easy it is to assert that a version is incorrect, and how difficult it is to refute such an assertion satisfactorily and in detail, we should not be lightly induced to suspect that great institution, the Bible Society-that eminent and remarkable instrument in the hands of the Lord-of remissness, unworthy alike of its station and responsible undertaking. For my part 1 am altogether astonished, and am truly thankful to God, that he has enabled it to perform its miraculous task with so much success, and with so little of serious impediment-while, with respect to that part of it in which I am more immediately interested, I pray that, to the last heaving of my breath, I may have grace to bless the Lord, that he hath permitted me to be an humble assistant to that noble association, in producing, for thousands of my beloved and fellowcountrymen, the first edition that has been presented to them, for upwards of 140 years, of the pure and entire word of God, in a language and character which alone they can thoroughly understand, and which they enthusiastically love.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR-Your correspondent R. D, commences his reply to my last letter by the common observation that "truth will ever be served by temperate discussion," and in most cases I am ready to coincide with the remark. There are, however, exceptions. Discussion implies either opposition of principle, or difference of sentiment; and nothing, as it strikes me, but a case of absolute necessity, could ever justify an appeal from Christian judgment to the tribunal of public opinion, in a country circumstanced as Ireland is. That any such necessity existed in the present instance, I most unhesitatingly deny; and I would endeavour, by the brevity of this communication, to convince your correspondent that I am anxious to cease from being a party in a controversy which experience ought long since to have decided. The Reformation Society has taken the sense of the country upon the merit of its objects, and its proceedings are at this moment addressing the public in a language that can neither be mistaken nor misunderstood. To the press, therefore, and to the public platform, the
promoters of the Reformation Society would appeal for a justification of their objects, and also for a vindication of the mode which they have adopted in carrying them into accomplishment.
Your correspondent informs his readers, that my language is in some places unintelligible-that my assertions are inaccurate, and my reasoning inconclusive. It may be so; but before I consent to the justice of his observations, I must claim to be allowed the benefits of about twenty misprints,* some of these of so serious a nature as to alter the sense of whole passages. The last thought however, that could have occurred to my mind when treating of so serious and momentous a subject, would have been the idea of a necessity for guarding my sentences against the scrutiny of a word-catcher, and I am mistaken in the good sense of your correspondent if he would not on reflection admit, that such a style of criticism is beneath the dignity of his subject.
As all the principal points of my defence are left uncontroverted by R. D. I take it for granted that they are admitted and the four objections which he has brought forward would appear to answer themselves. The only passage to which I consider it necessary to refer is the following-" Your correspondent Knox broadly asserts, that the position laid down that many would rally round the standard of the Reformation Society who would not countenance a meeting of the Bible Society, or would not promote Scriptural education is directly contradicted by experience.' This is an assertion in which I can by no means acquiesce. The meetings held in Ireland have exhibited persons coming forward to join the ranks of the Reformation Society, who were never known to show any interest upon any spiritual objects before. This happened in a greater degree in the societies first formed than in those last instituted, because the opposition given on that ground, and the loud remonstrances made by very many spiritual persons, have forced upon the active agents of the Society in latter instances a more cautious conduct than they at first contemplated." The assertion, Sir, which is here controverted was perfectly correct. I am not aware of a single individual having joined the British Reformation Society up to the day the assertion was made who had not previously lent his sanction to the promotion of "spiritual objects." With regard to the additional caution which R. D. asserts to have been forced upon the active agents of the Society by the " remonstrance of spiritual persons," I am entirely at a loss to know in what it consists. Most certain it is that no change whatever has taken place in the principles of the institution itself; and if the repeated alteration of practice be meant to apply to the "active agents" or representatives of the British Reformation Society, I can deliberately state that they have seen no reason to alter in the slightest degree the mode of proceeding with which they set out. I am, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
• The article alluded to was not sent in until nearly a week after the prescribed time, and the consequent hurry in which it was passed through the press will account for the mistakes alluded to; without attaching any blame to the Editors or Printer.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM.-GEN. xi. 32.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR.-In Hamilton's "Codex Criticus of the Hebrew Bible," (Appendix p. 3,) an alteration in the text of Gen. xi. 32, is defended by arguments which appear to me extremely defective; the subject involves a question of considerable importance in Chronology, viz. the date of Abraham's birth; and the discussion it has received in Horne's Introduction, and such commentators as I have had an opportunity of consulting, is by no means satisfactory.
Mr. Hamilton proposes that we should read Gen. xi. 32, thus: "And the days of Terah were one hundred forty and five years: and Terah died in Haran." Instead of "two hundred and five years," as in the common text.
This emendation rests upon the authority of the Samaritan Pentateuch, which Mr. Hamilton confirms by the following reasoning: From Gen. xii. 4, it is certain that Abraham was 75 years old when he left Haran: but Terah died in Haran, (Gen. xi. 32.) and in the same year (as appears probable from Acts vii. 4,) Abraham left Haran; hence it is clear that Abraham was 75 at his father's death. Now if the common reading of Gen. xi. 32, be correct, Terah was 205 years old when he died, and therefore was 205 minus 75, or 130 years old when Abraham was born. To this result Mr. Hamilton makes two objections:
1. That it contradicts Gen. xi. 26. where (says he,) we read that Terah was only 70 years old at Abraham's birth.
2. It is irreconcileable with Gen. xvii. 17. for (says Mr. H.) had Abraham been born when his father was 130, "there would have been nothing remarkable in Abraham's faith respecting the birth of Isaac, nor any meaning in his question, Geu. xvii. 17."
Both these objections will be obviated by adopting the reading of the Samaritan Pentateuch, according to which. Terah was but 145 years old at his death, and therefore 145-75, or 70 years old at Abraham's birth, as stated in Gen. xi. 26. And hence it would follow, that the common text of Gen xi. 32, is erroneous, and that Moses more probably wrote it" one hundred and fortyfive."
Having already asserted that the argument upon which this conclusion rests is unsatisfactory, it will be necessary to point out its defect, which I shall accordingly endeavour to do by examining the two objections above stated, against the common text.
I. The first objection contains an assumption which is irreconcileable with several circumstances recorded in the life of Abraham. It proceeds altogether upon the supposition, grounded upon Gen. xi. 26, that Abraham was born in the 70th year of his father's age: a statement which is not contained in Gen. xi. 26, unless it be assumed that Abraham was Terah's eldest son.
That this assumption is irreconcileable with the account given in Scripture of the life of Abraham, has been proved by Archbishop Usher, who is of opinion that Abraham was the youngest, or at
least not the eldest of Terah's children :* and grounds his opinion (as given by Dr. Hales,) on the following arguments:
1. Abraham married Sarai, who is generally allowed to be the same as Iscah,† daughter of Haran, Abraham's brother, (Gen. xi. 29.) Now Sarah was but ten years younger than Abraham, (Gen. xvii. 17.) and consequently it is clear that Abraham must have been younger than Haran, her father. By similar reasoning it will be evident that Haran was older than Nahor, for Nahor married Milcah, daughter of Haran. (Gen. xi. 29.) Hence Haran was obviously the eldest of the three brothers.
2. From Abraham calling his nephew, Lot, his "brother," (Gen. xiv. 14.) it appears likely that Lot and Abraham were nearly the same age; but Lot was the son of Nahor; and hence it is probable that Nahor was older than Abraham, and therefore that Abraham was the youngest of Terah's sons.
3. In Gen. xx. 12, Abraham, apologising for calling Sarah his sister, says, "She is the daughter," (i. e. grand-daughter, a latitude of expression frequently made use of in Scripture,‡)" of my father, but not the daughter" (grand-daughter,) "of my mother." Hence it follows, that Abraham's mother was not the mother of Haran; and therefore that Abraham was the son of Terah by a second wife. And this confirms the conclusion already arrived at, that Abraham was the youngest son of Terah.
4. That Abraham, though youngest, should be named the first of Terah's sons, is easily accounted for from his having been the progenitor of the promised Messiah: thus, for the same reason, Shem, the second son of Noah, is placed first, and Japheth, the eldest, last; (Comp. Gen. v. 32. x. 31.) Also Isaac is put before Ishmael, though 14 years younger, (1 Chr. i. 28.); and Solomon, the eldest, is placed last of Bathsheba's children. (1 Chr. iii, 5.) See also 1 Chr. xxvi. 10. where a reason is distinctly assigned.§
* The establishment of this opinion, according to Dr. Hales, is one of the most brilliant of Usher's improvements in Chronology; it has been adopted by Marsham, Kennedy, Capellus, Patrick, Wells, and Hales. That Haran was the eldest of Terah's three sons, was also the opinion of St. Augustine.-Vid. Aug. Quæst. super Gen, xxv.
The identity of Sarai and Iscah appears to have been conjectured rather than proved from this text by the Hebrew Doctors; their arguments are, that the word "daughter," has a common reference to both Sarai and Milcah," hanc vocem (say Junius & Tremellius in loco,) άπокоLV Hieronymus et Hebræorum plerique conjiciunt duobus membris aptari oportere." The ingenious writer who has furnished THE EXAMINER with so many specimens of Parallelism, may perhaps be pleased to see this allusion to his doctrines by such high authority.-2.) They tell us that Sarai is mentioned after Milcah, under the name of Iscah, to intimate that she was younger than her sister, and that Sarai (my princess) was not her original name, but a name given her by Abraham, at his marriage.-3.) They confirm this conclusion by Gen, xx. 12, where Abraham calls her his sister.
Thus the daughters of Jethro are called the daughters of Reuel, their grandfather. (Ex. ii. 18, 20, 21. iii. 1.) See also Gen. xxix. 12, 15.
§ Triplex est capitum in Scripturâ numerandorum ordo, naturalis, personalis, atque historicus; naturalis, cum liberi eo ordine quo fuerunt editi numerantur, ut 1 Chron. iii. 1.-personalis, cum ii qui dignitate superant ponuntur primo loco, ut Gen. v. 32. xlviii. 20.-historicus, vero, cum ejus nomen postremo loco ponitur, (sive primus naturâ, sive dignitate ille sit) a quo historia proxime inceptura est,