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to four gospels and a plurality of translations from the same logic and from the same motives. But the intelligent christian can appreciate the value of four testimonies, and for the same reasons he will appreciate various versions of the New Testament, until there is a perfect and universal agreement in favor of one; which is not to be expected before the Millennium.
The Vulgate for a thousand years was almost universally received without a scruple; but then it was because few but Priests read it, and none but Priests pretended to understand it. It answered their purpose; and their admirers felt litde or no interest in the matter. The more intelligent the community, the more scrupulosity concern. ing the purity of the original scriptures, and the precision and perspicuity of the translations of them. The last two centuries abundantly justify this observation.
The improvement of the style on the basis of Campbell, Macknight, Doddridge, Stuart, and others, is still practicable; though no new ductrine, no new faci, no new article of belief is to be expected. We hold not a single religious practice, we inculcate no doctrine that cannot be fully sustained from any version, Catholic or Protestant, which we have ever seen. As a text or a proof book, James' version is for our use quite sufficient. But as giving a perspicuous, precise, forcible, and intelligible translation of the original, it is greatly excelled by some more modern versions. It would be surprising, indeed, considering the structure of the English language, the many im. provements in it, and the great advances made in the knowledge of the original tongues during more than two centuries, if a work completed 220 years ago could not now be much improved.
But there is this evident advantage which all have experienced from the new version, that, like the visit of a new preacher, itawakens the attention of the people. The people would go to sleep under Cicero and Demosthenes if they heard them or read them constantly. Their voice becomes monotonous, their tone, cadence, emphasis, gestures become familiar; while an inferior, because a stranger, would, from the love of novelty and change, awaken all. Henče new versions create more reading and inquiry, and consequently increase the knowledge of the community, more than any other expedient which can be adopted. But many more reasons than we can now urge conspire to recommend the exertions we are now making to perfect the family and pocket Testament now proposed.
Orders from our agents, and from all who wish to encourage and patronize these efforts, will be thankfully received and carefully attended to. Great expenditures of time, of mental vigor, and of money that answers all things,” are requisite to perfect these plans. We have now given a full statement of our objects and pursuits relative to this great undertaking. The co-operation and assistance of all devoted to the promotion of the best interests of mankind, are re. spectfully solicited. To the liberality and public spirit of such is the community already, in a great measure, indebted for what has been done since the commencement of the present reformation,
Touching our own pretensions to such an indertaking, we have nothing very interesting to say. We have devoted many years to the study of the book, to the language in which it was first written, to numerous translations of it, and have availed ourselves of the best critical works in Europe and America on the original and on the best translations of it. Our humble talents and endeavors have, in concert with others, our fellow-laborers, been much devoted to this work, and to all questions concerning primitive faith and manners. What we have done is our pledge for what we shall do in this undertaking,
LOCKE'S OPINION OF THE FORM IN WHICH THE
SCRIPTURES ARE PRINTED. LOCKE, the author of the Essay on the Conduct of the Human Understanding, the celebrated mental philosopher, whose fame is commensurate with the English language and the English people, thus condemns the popular plan of printing the scriptures. This is from the London edition of his work on Paul's Epistles, 1823, recently obtained here. Preface, pages 7 and 8:
“To these we may subjoin two external causes, that have made no small increase of the native and original difficulties, that keep us from an easy and assured discovery of St. Paul's sense in many parts of his epistles; and those are,
First-The dividing of them into chapters and verses, as we have done; whereby they are so chopped and minced, and, as they are now printed, stand so broken and divided, that not only the common people take the verses usually for distinct aphorisms; but even men of more advanced knowledge, in reading them, lose very much of the strength and force of the coherence and the light that depends on it. Our minds are so weak and narrow, that they have need of all the helps and assistances that can be procured, to lay before them undisturba edly the thread and coherence of any discourse; by which alone they are truly improved, and led into the genuine sense of the author. When the eye is constantly disturbed in loose sentences, that by their standing and separation appear as so many distinct fragments; the mind will have much ado to take in, and carry on in its memory, a uniform discourse of dependent reasonings; especially having from the cradle been used to wrong impressions concerning them, and constantly accustomed to hear them quoted as distinct sentences, without any limitation or explication of their precise meaning, from the place they stand in, and the relation they bear to what goes before, or follows. These divisions also have given occasion to the reading these epistles by parcels, and in scraps, which has farther confirmed the evil arising from such partitions. And I doubt not but every one will confess it to be a very unlikely way to come to the understanding of any other letters, to read them piece-meal, a bit today, and another scrap to-morrow, and so on by broken intervals; especially if the pause and cessation should be made, as the chapters the apostle's epistles are divided into, do end sometimes in the middle
of a discourse, and sometimes in the middle of a sentence. It cannot, therefore, but be wondered that that should be permitted to be done to holy writ, which would visibly disturb the sense, and hinder the understanding of any other book whatsoever. If Tully's epistles were so printed, and so used, I ask, Whether they would not be much harder to be understood, less easy, and less pleasant to be read, by much, than now they are?
How plain soever this abuse is, and what prejudice soever it does to the understanding of the sacred scripture, yet if a Bible was printed as it should be, and as the several parts of it were writ, in continued discourses, where the argument is continued, I doubt not but the several parties would complain of it, as an innovation, and a dangerous change in the publishing those holy books. And, indeed, those who are for maintaining their opinions, and the systems of parties, by sound of words, with a neglect of the true sense of scripture, would have reason to make and foment the outcry. They would most of them be immediately disarmed of their great magazine of artillery, wherewith they defend themselves and fall upon others. If the holy scripture were but laid before the eyes of christians, in its connexion and consistency, it would not then be so easy to snatch out a few words, as if they were separate from the rest, to serve a purpose to which they do not at all belong, and with which they have nothing to do. But as the matter now stands, he that has a mind to it, may at a cheap rate be a notable champion for the truth, that is, for the doctrines of the sect that chance or interest has cast him into. He need but be furnished with verses of sacred scripture, containing words and expressions that are but flexible (as all general obscure and doubtful ones are,) and his system, that has appropriated them to the orthodoxy of his church, makes them immediately strong and irrefragable arguments for his opinion. This is the benefit of loose sentences, and scripture crumbled into verses, which quickly turn into independent aphorisms. But if the quotation in the verse produced were considered as a part of a continued coherent discourse, and so its sense were limited by the tenor of the context, most of these forward and warm disputants would be quite stripped of those, which they doubt not now to call spiritual weapons; and they would have often nothing to say, that would not show their weakness, and manifestly fly in their faces. I crave leave to set down a saying of the learned and judicious Mr. Selden: "In interpreting the scripture," says he, many do as if a man should see one have ten pounds, which he reckoned by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, meaning 4 was but four units, and 5 five units, &c. and that he had in all but ten pounds: the other that sees him, takes not the figures together as he doth, but picks here and there; and thereupon reports that he had five pounds in one bag, and six pounds in another bag, and nine pounds in another bag, &c. when as, in truth, he has but ten pounds in all. So we pick out a text here and there, to make it serve our turn; whereas if we take it altogether, and consider what went before, and what followed after, we should find it meant no such thing."
A GOOD TRANSLATION THE BEST COMMENTARY.
THE following is from the Preface to the Epistle to the Hebrews, in the very learned work of Professor Stuart of Andover. It corroborates all we have said of the necessity and utility of the new translation, vol. 1, Pref. p. 6:
“The second volume of this work will commence with a new translation of the Epistle to the Hebrews. In this, it has been my object to give a more exact view of the features of the original Greek, than is presented by our common English version. Of all the tasks which an interpreter performs, this is the most difficult. To make some kind of translation, is indeed a very easy thing; to follow on, in the tracks of some other interpreter, is equally easy. But to translate, so as to make an autbor, who has composed in another language, altogether intelligible, and yet preserve all the shades, and coloring, and nice transitions, and (so far as may be) even the idioms themselves of the original, is the very highest and most difficult work which an interpreter is ever called to perform. A translation, faithfully presenting the original, is in itself a commentary. It is the sum of all an interpreter's labors, exhibited in the briefest manner possible. Hence the little success that has attended most of the versions which have been made of the scriptures. Their authors have either abridged or paraphrased the original; more commonly the latter. Neither is admissible in a translation truly faithful. Whether I have shunned the one and the other, must be left to the judgment of the reader.
I much prefer the Saxon English for a version of the Bible. I have accordingly chosen it, whenever I could, and have purposely avoided substituting Latinizing English in its room, unless a regard to the meaning of the original compelled me to do it.”
FATHER SIMON, A CATHOLIC BISHOP AND TRANSLA
TOR, 1697. WE shall conclude this article with a quotation from the original preface made to the French version of Father Simon. He, though a Catholic, censured the mystic interpreters, and the gnostic system of spiritualizing, as fully as some of our Protestant critics, He was for literal translations, and a literal use of them.
His apology for not translating into French the Old as well as the New Testament, is thus expressed:-"I had continually in my mind the answer made on a like occasion to King Henry III. by Gerebrard. That Prince, who was desirous of seeing a good version of the Bible in our tongue, asked him what time and money were requisite. Gerebrard, who perfectly understood this matter, said to the King, that "thirty years, thirty men learned in languages and divinity, and two hundred thousand crowns were absolutely necessary; and that even then the work would not be without censure." We have this from Rene Benoist, who was present when he said it.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS.
GEORGETOWN, May 7th, 1832, Brother Campbell,
THE reformation is going on prosperously in this region; and as it progresses the worldly-minded clergy of the sectarian establishments, with those of their followers who have the least to do with personal piety and the christian graces, seem the more determined to invent new reproaches and slanders against its advocates.
On Saturday last, at the Great Crossing, being one of the regular monthly julicial days, founded on the Philadelphia book of the orthodox Baptists, the members present took their seats. A quorum being present, the Moderator stared the privileges of inviting regular menibers of other churches, Oil father Hickman and the Rev. William Vaughn took seats also with the court. The first person arraigned for trial was an old brother of colour, who had been a member with them for many years, and who was the keeper of the keys of the meeting-house, (an orderly moral old man.) The offence alleged was, that this old brother had taken the Lord's supper with a sect not in fellowship with the chirch The old brother, aided by another member, plead that he had commemorated the death and suffering of the Saviour with the disciples who met at that place for worship; that he believed them to be christians; and that he did not think it contrary to the laws of Christ for him to sit at the Lord's table with them, (although it might be contrary to an order or rule of the church.)
Mr. Trillium Vaughn replied to these arguments. He stated, in substance, that the disciples, or reformers, so called, were as different in their faith and practice in all the essentials of christianity, from the Regular Baptists, as light from darkness; or, in other words, that the Regular Baptists and the Reformers were as opposite to each other in the essentials of christianity as day and night; that he could prove from Scripture that the Regular Baptists had a right to make laws for their government, esplanatory, or in furtherance of the laws of Christ; that they were commanded to be engaged in every good work, without any specification; and therefore they had a right to make rules, and say with whom they would, or would not eat the supper. That all those who would take the supper with the Reformers ought to be excluded, unless they would say they were sorry for it, and promise to do so no more. That the reformers had united with Arians and Socinians, Universalists and infant sprinklers. That they had broken down all barriers in relation to the supper, &c. &c. and ought to be rejected by all well disciplined Regular Baptist churches.
A motion was then made to postpone a decision for one month, and faileda The question of expulsion was put by the Moderator, and carried by a large majority; (say 18 for it, 3 or 4 against it, and 6 or 8 neutrals, in a church of about 500 members, at least 4-5ths being absent;) and so old brother Jacob, of good moral character, was cast out of their synagogue for the heinous offence of having partaken of the loaf and the cup in remembrance of the broken
ody and shed blood of our Lord and Saviour, with immersed believers in the Lord.
Brother Campbell, my object particularly in stating the remarks of Mr. Vaughn, is to ask you if you know of any congregation of Reformers in America or Emope who have united with either Arians, Socinians, Universala ists, or with infant sprinklers? And if you do, will you please name the place and circumstances? About Georgetown we know of no such unions, neither do we believe that any such exisi, except in the mouths of those who wish to de'ame us.
But I will drop this unpleasant subject, and say a few words more to you in relation to the advancement of the Releemer's kingdom.. .On the third Lurd's day in last June, I think, brother John T. Johnson commenced VOL. 111.