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be long in finding out,) that lie has in tion of the great and peculiar name this, as in other instances, committed of the Deity, wherever it is employed the glaring mistake of trusting rather in the original, instead of the terms. to second-hand testimony and mere commonly used in our version ; the hearsay evidence, than of consulting importance and propriety of which the original witnesses themselves. It alteration, he has very ably enforced : will now appear clear to your readers but it is evident that there is much why I submitted to the chance of being more to be done in this case, if we deemed a proser, by introducing a sub- desire a popular as well as a faithful ject apparently foreign to the avowed and judicious translation of the Holy object of this letter, when I quoted Scriptures. the results established by Sir J. Bland That our authorized Version of the Burges's pamphlets. The fact is, by Bible, as a whole, excels all others proving a tissue of mistakes on the part in the English language, is, I believe, of Mr. Horne, in that particular por- the general and established opinion. tion of his “ Introduction” in which Like its great original, it is simple Mr. Bellamy and Sir J. Bland Burges and sublime: and were this opinion are so unceremoniously handled, his more variable at present, than it was mistake in regard to them is more formerly, it is presumed, that in a easily accounted for; and though it is question of literary taste, the judgto be regretted that errors of this de- inent of such men as Swift and Addiscription, so derogatory to the charac- son, Johnson and Blair, inight be ter of a clergyman, (inasmuch as they almost deemed decisive. Now these seem to be dictated by a spirit of ma- authors have uniformly borne testilevolence,) have appeared under his mony to its general inerit. “No sanction, I am willing to acquit hiin translation,” says the Dean, “our personally of any uncharitable design, country ever produced, hath come up rather attributing their insertion to the to that of the Old and New Testamistaken zeal of some coadjutor or ment. The translators of the Bible amanuensis, who may have been em- were masters of an English style, ployed in collecting the materials from much fitter for that work than any which his work is compiled.
we see in our present writings ; which, I now conclude, tendering my hearty I take to be owing to the simplicity thanks to Mr. Horne for his " Intro- that runs through the whole, and duction,” which, though defective in which is one of the greatest perfecsome parts, and containing but little tions in any language.'* Now, if we important original matter, must yet, as examine most of the modern English a book of reference, be considered a translations by this rule, we shall find valuable compilation; but I am still them grievously deficient. The obmore indebted to him for the manner scure or awkward expressions occain which Mr. Bellamy and Sir J. Bland sionally to be met with in the comBurges are introduced therein ; since, mon Bible, seem to have arisen chiefly in all probability, but for that, I should from inadvertence; but our new transnever have read the elegant pamphlet lators appear to have laboured for of the Baronet, and the truly learned awkward expressions, and taken pains and (with Mr. Horne's permission) or- to render theinselves obscure: a selecthodox work of the translator, whom tion of phrases might easily be made I scruple not to consider as a inost en- from their works, which, putting taste lightened biblical critic, and assuredly out of the question, bid defiance to one of the first Hebrew scholars of the human understanding. Now, if our day.
you take away from the venerable simplicity of the Scriptures, you de
tract from their energy and usefulness. Sir, March, 1824. We forget the Patriarchis and the Pro
“ the sweet Psalmist of Is. tion of the Bible having been rael;" the great Teacher and Prophet suggested in your last Number, I of Nazareth; the Apostle of the Gencrave leave to offer a few remarks tiles; and the Fishermen of Galilee; upon the subject. Mr. Jevans has when we see them arrayed in the confined his observations (pp. 81-83) to one particular, viz. the substitu- * Letter to the Lord High Treasurer.
A BRO DE The Bible having been palets
ascititious garb of a modern novel, congregation acquire, by hearing that adopting the pedantic phraseology the good Samaritan took out two of linguists and grammarians, or the denarii," instead of “ two pence,” for superficial eloquence of courts and the purposes of benevolence? or, that assemblies. It is true, we should be Peter took from the inouth of the governed by the sense, rather than the fish, “ half a shekel,” instead of “ a sound of Scripture; and one trans- piece of inoney”? Read to a man of lation as such, is no more sacred than the world, the parable of the Prodigal another : but alas ! we are frail and Son, in Dr. Harwood's Introduction imperfect beings, uniting animal or- to the New Testament, (a valuable gans with mental capacties; and “He work on the whole,) and you will who knoweth our frame," instructs us make him laugh;* read to him the in the manner best adapted to our same parable (if you can read) in the state. The language, indeed, is hu- common Version, and you will make man, but the mode and construction him tremble.
“ Come now, and let are divine : and, as one well observes, us reason together,” says the Al“ If in reading the Scriptures, we mighty to the rebellious Israelites, by could but imbibe a portion of that the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah : spirit with which they were written ; “ Come now, and let us settle the we should not need, as we now do, affair !” says the translation of an such volumes of instruction, but might eminent modern Hebraist. † Again, become virtuous by an epitome.”* This the word Kurios, it is allowed, somcpeculiarity of style and manner (with- tiines adınits of a farniliar sense, and out adverting to the question of inspi- our old translators have occasionally ration) is obvions, even in the narra- so applied it—"Sir, we would see tive parts of Scripture; how much Jesus-Sir, I have no inan to put me more, in the pathetic and the sublime! into the pool-Sir, I perceive that And, if we are compelled to acknow- thou art à Prophet;” but to have ledge, either the singular judgment, rendered it thus, in the peculiar ciror the singular felicity of our transla- cumstances of Saul at Dainascus, tors in their great work, as to its “Who art thou, Sir?” must surely general correspondence both in senti- be deemed passing strange! “ If any ment and manner with the originals, man defile the temple of God, liim we cannot, we ought not, we will shall God destroy,” says our New not part with so invaluable a treasure.f Testament; “If any man corrupt But this ineffable spirit, this divine the temple of God, God shall corrupt euphony, which strikes at once to the him!” says the Version of Archbishop heart, seems to have been in a great Newcome. Now, though the Greek measure unknown by some of their verb in both sentences is the saine, successors: they may have been very yet having been certainly applied by crudite in the ancient languages, but the sacred writer in different senses, they have made lamentable work with our translators have wisely adopted a their own. Green’s Version of the different phraseology. But it is an Psalms, is neither poetry, nor prose, easy matter to find fault; and “ Ubi nor rhythın : in the New Testament, plurima nitent, &c.” It is presumed, the change of the terms, Grace, for however, that the nitentes—the shi“ Favour;" alas! for “ woe;" and ning parts of most of the new versions, happy, for "blessed ;” noticed by will be found chiefly in those places Dr. Carpenter, are perfectly childish: where they have adhered to the lanit is Stoical rant, and not Christian guage of the Old Bible, and not where consolation, to tell a
man on the they have departed from it, as they rack, or under persecution for con- often have done, without any appascience sake, that he is “ happy,” rent necessity. but he may be “ blessed," or happy in reversion. What fresh knowledge will the “hewers of wood and drawers
*“A gentleman had two sons," &c. of water," the plain persons of the
+ Not Bishop Lowth.
I The writer excepts from these re
marks, Mr. Wellbeloved's forthcoming * Relig. Mcdic.
Bible, aud the later editions of the New + See Say's Essays, 1745. Version, not having seen them.
But, notwithstanding these remarks, saith the Holy One?” But the words our common Version has its defects, in the Greek áre, “isa Theon,” “like It contains vulgarisms, mis-translaunto God;" a mode of specch comtions, and a few interpolations. As mon with the heathen writers, in the to the first, which are to be met with celebration of their heroes; and pechiefly in the Old Testament, it may culiarly applicable to our Divine Masbe observed, that that may be a vul. ter, on account of the high offices garism in English, which is not so in and character which he sustained in Greek or Hebrew, owing to the dif- the great work of human redemption : ference in languages, customs and and the sense of the whole passage manners. Perhaps, in some parts of appears to be this that we should the Levitical law, which was neces. endeavour to acquire and exercise the sarily precise and determinate, it was most profound humility from the exnot possible to avoid such renderings, ample of our Lord, ' who being in consistently with the faithfulness of a the form of God,” that is, invested translation ; but, in other parts where with God-like capacities and powers, there is nothing but an idioma or a in accomplishing, under God, the salpopular manner of speech, the simple vation of mankind; was not anxious terin might have been changed, with. or solicitous, to display his peculiar out any injury to the sense. Dr. Watts character and extraordinary gifts, at inentions some of these, in his Trea- all seasons, and upon all occasions, tise on Logic. To nainc only one in- as a weak or ambitious mind would stance, “ 'The Lord taketh not plea. have been disposed to do; but on the sure in the legs of a man:” this is
“pade himself of no repu. both uncouth and unintelligible: it is lation," abased himself to the lowest an Hebraism, and might have been condition of humanity, even to "the rendered thus—“ He delighteth not in form of a servant,” to a state of sufthe strength of the horse ; he taketh fering, and “ to the death of the not pleasure in the power of a man:” cross,” to fulfil the purposes of the that is, mere human advantages or Divine benevolence : " Wherefore, accomplishments do not recommend God hath highly exalted him :" and us to God. Of the mistranslations, we may form some idea of this exalted tuo only shall be mentioned. We character of Christ, and of the beauty often meet in the Epistles of St. Paul, and propriety of the Apostle's illuswith this phrase, “God forbid !” And, tration of it in this place, if we conperhaps, the mere English reader may sider how difficult it is, in common startle to be told, that there is no life, for persons of extraordinary qua such expression in the Bible : for a lifications and endowments, to restrain pious Jew, or a primitive Christian, the exercise of them within due limits, would have been shocked to employ and to apply them only to their prosuch language. In the Greek, it is per uses. Health and strength, beauwhat is called a negation; and is pro- ty, wit, learning, eloquence, riches, perly changed by the moderns into power, these gifts of God in the world ihe phrase," by no means," or, " that of nature; instead of promoting the cannot be.” In this case, therefore, happiness of their possessors, and the our old translators have, unawares, bcnefit of the world around them, are encouraged profaneness, under the too often perverted to the injury of seeming authority of Scripture. both: nay, even virtue itself, by pass
The other instance is in Philipp. ii., ing into extremes, may degenerate into where the apostle speaking of our vice. (Eccles. vii. 16.) But here, our Saviour, says of him, “Who being Lord came off completely victorious : in the form of God, thought it not though “tempted in all points as we robbery to be equal with God:” the are, he was yet without sin.” Though first clause is a figure, the last, a invested with prodigious power, he mistranslation, which every plain man never misapplied it: though constiwho reads bis Bible with understanding tuted " Lord of all,” he becaine the may be certain of, without the help servant of all;" and has now of the learned: for how can'any be- name given him, above every naine, ing, how glorious and excellent soever, to the glory of God the Father.” be “ equal with God”? “ To whom Of the interpolations in our comwill ye liken me, or shall I be equal, mon Bible, which are but ferv, and
most of which have been detected in
Islington, the modern Versions, one instance Sir,
April 10, 1824. shall suffice. Dean Swift preached a HAVE read with pleasure the St. John's First Epistle; from whence the Oracles of God, &c., but not with he endeavoured to deduce the Atha- a blind and indiscriminate admiration. nasian doctrine: the Sermon remains, I am not insensible of the defects by but the text is acknowledged to be spu- which they are characterized, and rious, by the most orthodox writers. which have been censured with the
The reader is desired not hastily to útmost severity. His critics have conclude, that there is any inconsiste especially reprobated his use of antiency in these remarks. The sum is quated words and obsolete expressions, this: our authorized Version is an drawn from Jeremy Taylor, from invaluable treasure, which, neverthe- Isaac Barrow, and more particularly less, requires a revision ; and which from John Milton's prose and poetry. circumstance it is to be hoped, will, Some, however, have commended his in due time, engage the attention of peculiarity of style, whilst others althose whom it may concern; for this, together denounce it. In my humble as it should seem, is a case in which opinion, a middle course should be Christian magistrates and Christian steered, just such a course as Pope legislatures way lawfully interfere, thus happily delineates in his Postwithout being chargeable with intru- script to the Odyssey. As I have not sior ; a case in which kings and queens the pleasure of personally knowing may truly become “ nursing fathers the Rev. Mr. Irving, I will transcribe and nursing mothers to the church,” the paragraph, that it may reach him namely, by taking proper incasures through the medium of your widelyto provide for the body of Christian circulating Miscellany. Influenced by professors, in the respective commi. no hostility to his preaching or annities over which they preside, a faith- thorship, he may, probably, thank ful, plain and judicious translation me for it. Caressed and admired as into their native language of the Holy he is by a large portion of the reliScriptures : and let those persons who gious world, I am persuaded that he shall
, hereafter, bę 'engaged in this is not, like a spoiled child, unsuscepgreat work in our own land, whether tible of improvement. cleric or laic, proceed with all jina- "A just and moderate mixture of ginable delicacy, with a wholesome old words,” (says Mr. Pope,) may fear and caution as to the particulars have an effect, like the working of old here enumerated, which appear to abbey-stones into a building, which I coinprise the chief of what is wanting; have sometimes seen to give a kind of not departing from the simplicity, venerable air, and yet not destroy the energy and pathos, of the venerable neatness, elegance, and equality revoluine bequeathed to us by our fore- quisite to a new work, I mean withfathers, without absolute necessity, out rendering it too unfamiliar or lest their work meet with the fate of remote from the present purity of some of the modern“ humble at- writing, or from that ease and sinoothtempts," either to drop still-born ness which ought always to acconfrom the press, or, to remain in the pany narration or dialogue. In readlibraries of the learned, apt indeed ing a style judiciously antiquated, one for consultation, but totally unfit for finds a pleasure not unlike that of general use.
travelling on an old Roman way, but
then the road must be as good as the P. S. Lawrence Howels History of way is ancient, the style must be the Bible, 1718, contains many useful such, in which we may evenly prohints on this subject, particularly as ceed without being put to short stops to the mistakes in numerals in the by sudden abruptnesses, or puzzled Old-Testament History of Jephthah, by frequent turnings and transposi&c., which astonish the plain reader, tions. No man delights in furrows and and furnish matter for the sneer of stumbling blocks; and let our love of the sceptic.
antiquity be ever so great, a fine ruin is one thing, and an heap of rubbish
another! The imitators of Milton, rard, of Blair and Robertson, lumilike most other imitators, are not naries that would have adorned any copies hut caricatures of their origi- church, and been a blessing to any nal; they are an hundred times more civilized coinmunity. obscure and cramp than he, and
J. EVANS. equally so in all places; whereas it should have been observed of Milton, Mr. Le Grice on his Correspondence that he is not lavish of his exotic with Sir Rose Price, Bart., in Reply words and phrases every where alike, to I. W. hut employs them much more where
Penzance, the subject is marvellous, vast and
April 9th, 1824. strange, as in the scenes of heaven,
S my Correspondence with Sir hell and chaos, than where it is turned to the natural and agreeable, as in the lic newspapers, I have no right to compictures of Paradise, the loves of our plain of your inserting it in your Refirst parents, and the entertainments pository; but have rather reason to be of angels !"
satisfied with the candid manner in Having animadverted on the theolo- which you have printed it; for candour gical coinplection of the Rev. E. Ir- inay be visible even from the mode of ving's work, the preceding remarks printing. At the end of the Correupon the literary merits of the pro- spondence appears a Summary of it, duction may close my animadversions, dated from Plymouth, and signed I.W. and not prove unacceptable to the Of this I have great reason to comreaders of your Miscellany.
plain; though, if the reader should Of all his “ unregenerate critics,” peruse the whole of the Correspondthe Westminster Review furpisbes ence, this statement will do little the best account of his work, and to harm. The danger, however, is, that that excellent periodical publication I most readers will turn from the terefer with satisfaction. Never was a diousness of a long correspondence to poor author visited with such extremes a summary, which from its very title of approbation and of disapprobation. promises brevity; and where a writer One of his admirers denominates takes upon himself the office of a judge, him “the Northern eagle grasping truth and justice are to be expected, in his talong the thunderbolt and though there might be a failure of scattering abroad the lightning ;” ability and discrimination. Surely the whilst a diurnal critic represents his writer could not have entertained an production no better than that of “ a idea that the Correspondence would school boy, which his master flings have appeared in your pages, or he back into his face for its nonsense would not have ventured to have puhand inaccuracy." Both of these state- lished such an incorrect account. He ments cannot be true, and, indeed, calls me “a flaming son of the Church.”. neither is deserving of attention. Mr. On the grammatical propriety of this Irving is, no doubt, a man of talent epithet I shall make no remark; we all and acquirement; his work, though know the meaning of it. All I shall not Calvinistic, breathes a spirit of say is, that it does not in the very outset benevolence and picty. I only wish of the Summary bespeak the imparthe style was more pure and chaste, tiality of the judge; and I trust that agreeably to the above inasterly suy. if he will take the trouble to ask my gestions of Pope, and that it had not character in the town of which I am been so deformed by that horrid anti- minister, (and I refer hiin to those scriptural doctrine of eternal misery! who dissent from our Church, he will But I must check my pen : iny only find that I do not deserve it. He dates aim is to render Mr. Irving justice, his letter from Plymouth, and thereentertaining for the sons of Caletlonia fore need not be a stranger to the a regard arising from having finish- character of a person almost a neiglied my education amongst them, and bour. However, the tone of his lanpassed pleasantly an early portion of guage is of small inoment, and if a zny life in their society. I had the hundred such epithets had been used, I happiness of knowing and enjoying should not have taken notice of them; the instructions of Campbell and Ger- but positive misstate:
ments demand ob