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and when any company had finished their part, they were to communicate it to the other companies, that nothing might pass without general consent.
If they happened to differ upon any point, the difference was to be referred to a general committee, consisting of the chief persons of each company, at the end of the work. passage was found remarkably obscure, letters were to be directed by authority to any learned persons in the land, for their judgment thereupon.
Dr. Lanceolot Andrewes first fellow, then master, of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge ; at this time dean of Westminster, with nine others, met at Westminster, to whom were assigned the Pentateuch, and the history from Joshua to the First Book of Chronicles exclusively.
Mr. Lively, the king's Hebrew reader in Cambridge, with seven others, met at Cambridge; to whom were given the books from the First of the Chronicles, with the rest of the history; also Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Canticles, and Ecclesiastes.
Dr. John Harding, president of Magdalen College, with six others met at Oxford. These had for their task the four greater prophets, with the Lamentations, and the twelve lesser prophets.
For the prayer of Manasseh and the rest of the Apocrypha, seven were appointed at Cambridge.
For the New Testament, eight were appointed at Oxford : to whom were assigned the four Gospels, the Acts, and the Revelations.
The Epistles of St. Paul, and the other canonical Epistles, were assigned to seven at Westminster.
The work was begun in the spring of 1607, and prosecuted with all due care and deliberation. It was about three years before it was finished. Two persons selected from the Cambridge translators, two from those at Oxford, and two from those at Westminster, met at Stationers' Hall to read over and correct the whole.
This is the translation, as before observed, of the Holy Scriptures now in common use, and since that time there has been no authorised version of any part of the sacred volume.
Truly,” says Dr. Gray," it is a most wonderful and incomparable work, equally remarkable for the general fidelity
of its construction, and the magnificent simplicity of its language.” Happy then has our English nation been since God has given us learned translators to express in our mother tongue the heavenly mysteries of his holy word, delivered to his church in the Hebrew and Greek languages; who, although they may have been deceived, and mistaken, as men, in some matters of no importance to salvation, yet have faithfully delivered the whole substance of the heavenly doctrine, without any heretical translations, or wilful corruptions. In reading the Holy Scriptures, therefore, as presented to us, let us do so with a modest, humble, and teachable disposition; checking every presumptuous thought which may arise within against any of those mysterious truths therein revealed; believing, rather (admitting at the same time that many passages are abstruse and not easy to be understood) that if we search after the truth for the love of it, we shall not miss of finding that knowledge which will “ make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Possibly, indeed, we may not all at
स G very soon receive a sensible, benefit-yet, surely, we have no right or title to be iinpatient under the hands of our heavenly physician; perfect recovery, may be assured will at length be the certain consequence of his treatment to us; and every single ingredient in the great remedy, his holy word, and every direction for the use of it will contribute its share to our cure.
It is our duty to observe God's coinmands, each in its due place, entreating his blessing on our humble endeavours, that receiving the seed of the word into a good and honest heart, we may “bring forth fruit with patience."
It may now be profitable to observe what the Old Testament contains; bearing in mind that “whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning." It contains the following important works.
1st. A history of the world, from the Creation to the time of Moses, (a space of nearly 3000 years,) written by that distinguished person.
2nd. A collection of useful forms and ceremonies established by the command of God, and his laws for the government of the Jewish nation.
3rd. A history of that remarkable people from the calling of Abraham, when God chose them out from the other nations of mankind, until within about 400 years of the birth of Christ, when Malachi, the latest of the Jewish prophets, foretold the things commanded by God.