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The publication, therefore, of such works as the Catalogue now before us, cannot be received with too much gratitude; as it opens those fources of information, and paths to knowledge, which, either through the ignorance, or the literary avarice of librarians and their superiors, have hitherto lain covered with duit, and remote from human ken.
Among the various literary treasures that are de poñted in ample libraries and collections, whether of a private or public kind, the familiar letters of learned and eminent men aile not the least worthy of attention ; they affilt us greatly in forming just ideas of the times in which they were written; they con'e from the pens of learned men; they describe the state of the sciences; and they give us often curious accounts of the characters and labours of persons who have been instrumental in their improvement: while those which have been composed by politicians, and ecclesiastics, reveal the secrets of churches and states, and exhibit interesting views of the combined and correspondent motions of sacred and civil policy. Such familiar letters give the trueit aspedis of the times; they display the genuine characters of their authors; and they frequently disclose important circumstances and scenes, which would have remained sunk in oblivion, if they had not been thus recorded by those who were actors in these scenes, or eye-witnesses to what passed in them.
- The library of Geneva (as our Author tells us, and as his catalogue testifies) contains, among other things, valuable records, relative to the civil, literary, and ecclesiastical history of the sixteenth century, in the extensive and interesting correspon. dence of Calvin, Beza, and other eminent men of that time, which has never been published: all these are here particularised by M, SENNEBIER, who has examined and described the manufcripts of the library under his inspection with the attention, fagacity, diligence, and judgment of a true connoisseur. The labour of such an undertaking, as he tells us in his Preface, is considerable ; for even to determine the time and age of a manuscript, much pains must be taken to study the hand-writing, the orthography, the style, and other circumstances adapted to give the requifite information: the work itself must also be examined, and the manuscript compared with others that resemble it, and with the editions that have been printed from it.
Our Author, in acquainting us with the means he employed to decypher and illustrate thele secret records of literature and science, lays down an excellent series of rules for perfecting the art under consideration, and with great Tagacity has ftruck out new methods of investigation in this line of erudition. He is a very discerning and judicious observer, both of the works of nature and art.
the fri&ti is indebo were but IN, profeft. fire; the lerit as an duced by ble in his
oong the persons to whose munificence the library of Geis indebted, particular mention is here made of Amadeus IN, professor of ecclesiastical history : a man whole emis erit as a scholar and a divine, as venerable for his virtue, able in his deportment and manners, we have often heard Yted by those that knew him. The parcel of manuscripts,
this worthy man gave to the library of Geneva, was a tion of the famous collection of the counsellor Petau ; the other the nat, as the letras bought by the famous Christina queen of Sweden, who exemp a present of it to the library of the Vatican.
his catalogue contains the titles and descriptions of 12 He. Crew, 2 Syriac, 4 Arabic, 27 Greek, 2 Chinese, 125 Latin, 197 French, 10 Spanish, and 4 Italian manuscripts. Some specimens will give our Readers an idea of the merit of this catalogue, and of the instructive manner in which it is composed. cod.com
We find among the Latin manuscripts one entitled La Bible Vulgate; i.e. The Vulgate Bible, in folio, on vellum.-As this article is long, we fall abridge it, ftill, however, following the learned Librarian, without any additional remarks:
The first page of this Bible seems to be wanting : it begins with an epistle of St. Jerome to Bishop Paulinus, De omnibus Divinis Hiftoriæ Libris, and contains exhortations to the study of the holy scriptures, together with an enumeration of the facred books of the Old and New Testament. This epistle is translated into French, in Sacy's French Version of the Bible,
There is also prefixed to each of the sacred books the particular preface, which St. Jerome composed for them, with a table of the chapters they contain: thus we read at the beginning of Genesis, Incipit libèr Beresihit, feu liber Geneseos. The books of the Old Testament are placed in the following order :
The V. Books of Mules, Joshua, Judges, Ruth; the IV. Books of Regnorum or of Kings, Job, Plalms, Proverbs; the Book of Wisdom, Ecclefiaftes, Ecclefiafticus; two Books of Paralipomena or Chronicles, the Prophets, Nehemiah, Esther, Tobit, Judith, the Two Books of Macabees.
"The books of the New Testament are preceded by a General Preface, and the Canons of Eufebius; and are placed as follows: The IV. Gospels,--the Acts, &c.--the General Epistle of St. James, the Two General Episties of St. Peter,
the Three General Epiftles of Sr. John, - an Epistle of 'St. Jude,-the Revelations, and the Epistles of St. Paul in their usual order..
“The title given to the First Epistle of St. John is remarkable, Johannis Epiftola ad Spartos. Different explications have been given of this cicle. Some have thought that Spartos was put for Sparsos; in which cale St. John would have written (as App, Rev. Vol. lxi. Nn
Epistle of Se: General Epifle the Epistles
St. Peter does in his First Epistle) to the Atrangers scattered abroad in different places : others have imagined that Spartes was of the fame import with Spartanos; but it is not probable that the epiftle of St. John, which is ftiled General, was addresled to any one particular people: others, again, have observed, that by Spartos may be understood Parthos; and it is remarkable ! not only that St. Auguftin makes mention of an Epifle of St.
John addressed to the Parthians, and must have had the Firft Epistle in view, as he quotes several passages from it; but that Pofidius, his disciple, and the writer of his life, places in his list of the works of that Father, De Epiftola Johannis ad Parthes Sermones Decem. It may be, that St. Auguftin observing that the General Epiftle of St. Peter was addressed to the inhabitants of Poncus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, abridged that long title in a general and comprehensive denomination, even that of the Parthians ; a name given to all the different nations subjected to that empire, of which Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia were provinces. Hence it is very poffible, that since the time of St. Augustin, the title ad Partbes may have been given to the epiftle under confideration. It may also be observed farther, that the term Parthian fignifies sometimes the Persians, whose empire was succeeded by theirs : St. John seems to allude to the opinions of the Perfians and their philosophy, in his frequent use of figurative expressions drawn from light and darkness. The two principal opinions, which contend respectively for the readings ad Sparfos, or ad Parthos, may be reconciled; for the word Parthus fignifies . fpersed : Scythico Sermone Parthi exules dicuntur, Juftin. lib. xli. See also fourn. Litter. d'Allemagne, T. i. and Bibliotheque RaiJonnée, T. xii.
But what deferves particular attention, in this manuscript, is that it contains the famous passage of the three that beis witness, I. John v. 7 and 8, but placed in a different manner from that of our Bibles and posterior manuscripts. The 8th verse is placed before the 7th, and the words in earth are omitted. The whole passage runs thus : Quia tres funt, qui teftimonium dant, Spiritus et aqua et sanguis, et hi tres unum funt; et tres funt qui tetimonum perhibent in coelo, pater, verbum & fpiritus, et tres unum funt. -The omission of the words in terra is quite natural ;for, before the interpolation of the 7th verse, it was not neceffary to distinguish the witnesses, and to mark the difference between the celestial and the earthly witnesses. And as to arrange. ment of these verses, it is probable, that the interpolated verses was, at first, placed after that which belonged to the original text; but when it was read for fome time in the public aftem. blies, it is natural to conjecture, that, out of respect, they thought proper to place the celestial witncfes before the terrci.
trial, and that the verses were transpored on that account. See concerning this interpolation, the New Testament of Mill and Wetstein. L'Europe favant. Mai. 1718, and Biblioth. Ang. T. v. 317.
bjoined to this manuscript are some curious records, ong these several acts placed in the margins to ascertain
thenticity. Of these M. SENNEBIER gives a particular rit. The mixture of uncial and capital letters the fre
unction of different words, the frequent placing of an la words that begin by vowels, particularly by the a, with
other circumstances, shew that this manuscript is not "cent than the ninth century."
e fhall give another specimen of this work from the g9th
T: the Latin manuscripts. It is a poem in honour of MA:.-i, under the following title-MARII PHILELPHI A. et
Docloris, Equitis Aurati, Poetæ Laureati ac Comitis, de
ting account of this epic, or rather historical poem. It ided into IV. Books, or Cantos. In the Ift, the poet re•, the history of Mahomet, from his birth; and the book
des with the design formed by that great leader to overche Grecian empire. The IId begins with an account of amb of Amurath, the father of Mahomet, in 1451; it con
i variety of interesting events, enumerated in our Author's . fis, and ends with the death of Constantine, and the tak
Constantinople. The IIId Book relates the sending of antine's head to the Sultan of Babylon; the surrender of reeks; the divisions of Thomas and Demetrius, the brothers
aftantine, who had fled to Peloponnesus; the surrender of ... peninsula to the arms of Mahomet; his conquest of the
om of Colchos, the city of Trebisond, Lesbos, Bornia,
clavonia ; and his fitting out a feet to attack the Venetians. i · IV th Book contains the reflections of the poet on the
y of empires; with a description of the defeat of the Ves s by Mahomet, and a series of all the victories of that ening man.
Pe learn from this poem, that Mahomet neither understood . nor the sciences of his times ; that the taking of Con. . ople was owing to the intestine divisions of the Greeks ;
to their weak defence ; and their false security ; that the con queror transported his gallies by land into the Gulph of Ceratinum ; and we fee here the terror that Mahomet Spread through Italy, displayed in the most lively colours. We find bere aito (says our Author) the circumstances that attended the taking of Moncaftro, or Bialogorod, in Bessarabia ; which place was abandoned and burned by the inhabitants, at the approach of Mahomet. Historians are filent as to this fact; but, in all the rest, their accounts are conformable to che poetical relation of Philelphus.—This bard was born at Conftantinople, in the year 1426.
A R T. XII. BIBLIOTHEQUE ORIENTALE, ou Di&tionaire Universelle, conterat tod
ce qui fait connoitre les Peuples de l'Orient, 56,- The Oriental L. brary, or, Universal Dictionary, containing every Thing regeibe to the Knowledge of the Eastern Nations, their History, Tradi. tions, Religions, and Sects,-their forms of Government, Poli. tics, Laws, Manners, and Revolucions,-their Arts and Scieoces, Theology, Phylic, Mythology, Magic, Natural Philosophy, Morality, Mathematics, Natural History, Chronology, Geograçty, Altronomical Observations, Grammar, and Rhetoric; also the Lives of their Philosophers, Poet, Hiftorians, and Military Conmanders, with Extracts of their Writings in the Arabic, Tarkili, and Persian Languages. By Mesi. C. VISDELOU and A. GALAND Folio and Quarto. Hague. 1779.
HE quarto impression of this learned work makes the I fourth volume, or Supplement, to the elegant, corred, and improved edition which Meil. Neaulme and Van Daalen have published, at the Hague, of HERBI LOT's Oriental Library. This fourth volume (which is also printed in folio for the ad, vantage of those who have the folio edition of Herbelot), was compofed by CLAUDE VISDELOU, known by the titular deno. mination of Bishop of Clandiopolis, and who was one of the missionaries sent to China, in the year 1685, by Lewis the XIVch; and it was designed by him as a supplement to HerbeJot. --The contents of this supplemental volume are, ift, Obfervations of M. de VISDELOU on Twelve Articles of the Orie ENTAL LIBRARY, relative to China.—2dly, A History of Great Tartary, that extensive Region, known to the Ancients under the Name of Scythia, and whosè Sovereigns twice fubdued China.-3dly, A Differtation on the Title of Khan, in Use in the East. -4thly, Observations on Forty-one Articles of the above-mentioned Library, more or less relative to China. Sthly, The famous Monument of Christianity in China, with a Paraphrase, and learned Notes, and alio a Description of the Roman Empire, according to the Chinele.-6thly, A Description of the Chinese Empire, in a Letter addressed to the late