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funds, and all the energies of the States, interposed new difficulties: so that the work did not actually begin till 1626; when two of the translators originally appointed by the synod, and several of the revisers, were already dead. Two more of the translators died before the work was completed.
In the year 1626, however, the translators of the Old Testament met together at Leyden, and began their work, Nov. 24. These were, Johannes Bogerman, born in East Vriesland in 1576, minister of the Reformed church at Leeuwaarden, who had been president of the synod of Dordrecht; Willem Baudartius, born at Denise in Vlanders in 1565, minister at Zutphen; and Gerson Bucerus, born at Kampvere, where also he had been minister ever since 1588, and was reckoned one of the first Oriental scholars of his time, though it is not known where he was educated. These three met at the house of Bogerman, and, having begun with very earnest prayer, applied themselves to their work, and translated the first chapter of Genesis at one sitting. It is worthy of observation, that every day, when they met to apply themselves to their work, they began regularly with prayer for God's help and blessing.
This seems to have been no less the case with the translators of the New Testament: namely, Jacobus Rolandus, minister at Amsterdam; Festus Hommius, born at Hiolsum in Vriesland in 1576, minister at Leyden, and also director of the national school for the education of young ministers in that place; and Antonius Walæus, born of a noble family at Ghent in 1573, and Professor of Divinity at Leyden. These began the translation of the New Testament about the end of July 1628, and completed it at the beginning of Sept. 1634. The translation of the Old Testament was finished June 11, 1632. Bucerus and Rolandus both died in 1631, and the difficulty of finding a competent successor, who could without delay apply himself to the work, was so great, that in each case it was deemed best that the two remaining translators should proceed in the work, without waiting for further assistance.
The indefatigable Hinlopen, who seems to have been deeply interested in every thing connected with this work, has given many particulars respecting the discussions that arose. among the translators as to the Dutch language, at that time unsettled as to many particulars of spelling, gender, &c.; which serve to shew, that, as men concerned for the purity and beauty of their native tongue, they paid all due attention to such minutiæ, and did all that in them lay to fix the standard. Had they drawn up, in addition to their translation of the Bible, a Liturgy also in the same style and language, they would pro
bably have succeeded herein far better than they did. No doubt our Liturgy has been a powerful auxiliary to the authorized version of the Scriptures, in giving stability to our language: and every student of English literature must confess that it is under great obligations to the compilers of the Liturgy and the translators of the Bible.-It would be well if all who preach and write would more deeply study, and more carefully adopt, the pure and nervous English of these two admirable works, which, in point of style, and as fixing the standard, deserve to be prized, so long as the English language exists.
The translations of the several books of the Old and New Testament, as they were completed, were printed, and copies were sent to each of the revisers. And in 1633 those of the Old Testament met the two surviving translators at Leyden. These were, Antonius Thipius, D. D. and Johannes Polyander, D. D., professors of divinity at Leyden, for Gelderland and South Holland respectively; Abdius Widmarius, minister at Uitgeest, for North Holland; Arnoldus Teeckmannus, minister at Utrecht, for Utrecht; Jacobus Revius, minister at Deventer, for Overyssel; Franciscus Gomarus, D. D. born at Bruges in 1563, professor of divinity, and also of the Hebrew language, minister at Groningen, for Groningen; Jodocus Larenus, minister at Flushing, for Zeeland; and Bernardus Fullenius, minister at Leeuwaarden, for West Vriesland. They began the revision, July 9, 1633, and ended Sept. 1, 1634; meeting usually twice every day, for three hours in the morning, and three in the afternoon. Every meeting began with prayer, and ended with thanksgiving. Those who were not present when the prayer began, were fined a small sum, which was given to the poor. Great punctuality was observed. All pains were taken to expedite the work. And, as we may judge from a brief memorandum of the proceedings, which Hinlopen has appended to his book, a most delightful spirit seems to have prevailed.
The revisers of the New Testament were Henricus Arnoldi, minister at Delft, for South Holland; Willem van Nieuwenhuizen, rector of the school at Haerlem, for North Holland ; Karel Dematius, minister at Middelburg, for Zeeland; Lodowyk à Renesse, minister at Maarsen, for Utrecht; Caspar Sibelius, minister at Deventer, for Overyssel; Sebastian Damman, minister at Zutphen, who had been one of the scribes at the Synod of Dordrecht, for Gelderland; Bernardus Fullenius (who was also one of the revisers of the Old Testament), for Vriesland; and Henricus Alting, who (as professor of divinity at Heidelberg) had been deputed to the Synod of Dordrecht by the Elector Palatine, but was now professor of divinity at
Groningen, for Groningen. They commenced the revision Nov. 16, 1634, and terminated their labours Oct. 10, of the same year. Their work was carried on in the same spirit and manner as that of the revisers of the Old Testament, under continual prayer to God for his help and blessing. And it is worthy of remark, that, during the latter portion of the time in which this important work was carried on, the plague raged at Leyden to such a degree that it carried off thousands. The revisers met daily in a room which looked out upon a churchyard, to which they could see dead bodies brought continually, sometimes to the amount of one hundred in a day; but the providence of God watched over them in such a remarkable manner, that not one of the translators or revisers was affected by that dreadful malady. This is recorded with much admiration and gratitude by Lodowyk à Renesse, one of their number, whose memoranda of the proceedings of the revisers may be found at the end of Hinlopen's book. They were enabled to finish the revision, and departed in peace to their homes. But it is also remarkable, that none of the translators long survived the completion of their work. Perhaps their excessive labours contributed in some degree to shorten their days for some of them testified that they had never laboured in their whole lives as they did at the translation of the Bible, though it may be presumed they had all been diligent and laborious men from their youth upwards. Bogerman died in 1637, aged 61; Walæus in 1639, aged 65; Baudartius in 1640, aged 75; and Festus Hommius in 1641, aged 55. Their work was done, and we have good reason to believe that they all now rest from their labours in the bosom of that Lord whom they had served with zeal and diligence during their lives, leaving to their native land, as a legacy, a faithful translation of his precious word.
A remarkable testimony was, indeed, soon given to the faithfulness of this translation. The first edition was published at Leyden in 1637, and curiosity was of course upon the alert to examine it. Especially the Remonstrants were full of apprehensions and suspicions, lest the translators, carried away by the passion and prejudice excited by the late religious discussions, should have wrested those passages, in their translation, in which the Remonstrants supposed that they found ground for their opinions. They had accordingly already appointed four of their most learned men to examine the translation as soon as it appeared. They met at Arnhem for that purpose, and finding nothing of what they had expected, but being compelled to acknowledge the translation as the most faithful and accurate
then extant, they themselves adopted it, and the Old Testament has been used by the Remonstrants ever since. Now, if we remember that all the translators were among the most zealous and staunch opposers of Arminius and his followers; that on this account they have been reproached and slandered by that party ever since, in every possible way; and that the revisers belonged to the same party and shared the same reproach; we can scarcely conceive a stronger testimony to the excellent spirit in which the translation was made, and to the Scriptural soundness of the divines who were employed in that work. For this is the real test: Bring men to the Bible, and let us see who will translate it faithfully, and give us what their bitterest enemies are compelled to acknowledge and receive as a true rendering of God's word into their language. We are persuaded that a true believer in God's word, a faithful translator of it, and a sound interpreter, are characters that stand in most intimate and inseparable connection.
One other point we would mention, in reference to the accuracy of the authorised Dutch version: namely, its remarkable agreement with our own. It is certainly a striking fact that these two versions should have been made within the space of about thirty years, in a manner somewhat similar, by the accumulated piety and learning of these two great Protestant nations respectively, with such care and caution in both cases, as must, we think, commend itself to the judgment of all considerate men; and that the united wisdom of the English and the Dutch divines should come so very nearly to the same conclusion, that it has been said, and we believe most truly, that there are no two versions extant which so closely and remarkably agree. Of this, some idea may be formed from the following fact: Four of the tracts of the London Society for promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, Nos. 40, 42, 44, and 47, were translated into Dutch under the inspection of the author. It may be seen immediately, by referring to them, how large a portion consists of quotations from the Scriptures, upon which also the whole train of argument in each of them is founded. As in writing them it was deemed best to keep close to the English authorized version, so also, in translating them, to the Dutch: and out of the multitude of texts therein cited, there was found only one which it was deemed advisable to omit in the Dutch translation, as not fully and accurately proving the same point for which it was adduced in the English: and this single difference depended only upon the different manner in which the ellipses were supplied, it being one of the cases in which two or three
words needed to be inserted in the translation, in order to make out a grammatical sentence in either of the modern languages.
This account of the old, or authorized, Dutch version we conceived to be necessary-as well (as we hope) interesting to our readers-in order to the due consideration of the new translation, which Professor van der Palm has set forth. But, before we proceed to the less grateful task of criticism, we would urge a few remarks, which are suggested by the preceding history, and with these we conclude for the present.
First, then, we would have deeply impressed upon every mind, how unspeakably important it is that those who apply themselves to the translation of the Bible should be men of prayer, and carry on their work in a spirit of humble, believing dependence upon help and wisdom from above. Surely in reading the preceding account the thought must come home to every mind and heart," Really this is the way to translate the Bible!" But is this duly considered? At a period when we are engaged in making translations of the Bible on so large a scale, are we duly impressed with the indispensable necessity of carrying on the work in such a spirit as was manifested by the Dutch translators and revisers? Do we seek out for truly, deeply, spiritual men, for the work? Do we take heed to ourselves not to stir one step without prayer? We must solemnly urge this point upon the committee, and every member, of the British and Foreign Bible Society. We think we are entitled to speak strongly on this subject, not only as Christian Reviewers, but because our pages testify that our feelings towards that Society are most friendly-as the first article in our first number for this year will sufficiently prove. But we must speak the truth to friend as well as foe. And we do consider that the circumstance of not commencing and concluding every meeting of the committee with public, regular, solemn prayer, as the act of the whole body, is a foul blot upon the Bible Society. We know of one clergyman who, but for this, would be one of its most active supporters and zealous friends; but while he knows that this public and solemn act of prostration before God, in alone dependence upon His help and blessing, is neglected, he cannot and will not join it. He feels that it is peculiarly necessary that, for those who unite in such a work, the evident and acknowledged bond of union should be spiritual; and while such solemn prayer is neglected, he has no sufficient pledge that it We mention this fact, and we will not now enlarge, as