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tudine in rebus minutis adhibitâ, pendet sæpissimè etiam in maximis vera atque accurata Scientia." Never, perhaps, was any observation more completely or more beautifully illustrated in its author; this great man being equally distinguished by enlarged views and indefatigable rerearches, by various and extensive learning and by a sound, acute, discriminating judgment-in a word, by superior correctness and superior vigour of understanding.
From the maxims that we have quoted, Philalethes will not withhold his approbation. We believe him to be "a scholar, and a ripe and good one" and therefore he is a friend to precision and accuracy in biblical criticism. As his performance bears indisputable marks of care, so, for the most part, he has conveyed the meaning of the original authors with fidelity and clearness. That his version is frequently paraphrastical, it has been impossible for us not to notice and lament. His tendency to become a commentator he chiefly evinces by his liberal use of italics, and by his clothing in a modern dress some characteristic and metaphorical expressions and, though for both these practices he may plead the authority of a few very eminent names, we cannot but be of opinion that he is here opposed as well by the majority of able divines as by the rules of solid reasoning and criticism.
In favour of a literal version of the Scriptures, Archbishop Newcome and Dr. Symonds have argued with such excellent sense that we need not apologise for copying their language:
"A translation of the Bible," said the late Primate of Ireland, "should express every word in the original by a literal, verbal, or close rendering, where the English idiom admits of it. "For thus the translator shews how he reads the original: and not only the matter of the Scriptures, but their peculiar language and manner, will be faithfully represented. The Sacred Writings are of singular importance; they are the rule of our faith and practice: and therefore it is requisite that the reader unskilled in Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek, should always be enabled, as far as the nature of the English language allows, to argue with equal justness from a
translation as scholars do from the original text."
"The examples of those upon whose judgments we may safely rely, as well as many conclusions arising from the nature of the thing itself," led the late Professor of Modern His
tory at Cambridge "decisively to affirm, that a version of the Bible should be as literal as the difference of language will permit." In support of this position, he adds,
"Though it should be allowed, merely for the sake of argument, that a loose translation may be of sufficient authority in determining matters of faith and practice, yet still it would be liable to an insuperable objection: I mean, the impossibility of furnishing the reader with a just idea of the Original."+
To the principle of these reasonings Philalethes does not refuse his assent; for he professes to have made his translation "as literal as, according to his judgment, the idioms of the respective languages would allow." The general rules of translation, indeed, are the same in respect of all languages: by a classical scholar of the highest rank, those rules are virtually stated in the description which he gives of his own labours: "illud inter alia dedi operam, ut, quantum ejus per utriusque linguæ rationes liceret, non discederem a singulorum verborum significatione, nec ab ordine verborum, et figura dictionis; sed ipsum quoque genus dicendi, eumque, quem charactera vocant, exprimerem: quod illis præcipue locis difficultatem habuit, ubi corruptum sermonem ridendo imitatur, et imitando ridiculum facit auctor.-Ubi plane nihil difficultatis erat in Græcis, minus singulorum rationem verborum habuimus. Voluimus ergo interpretationem nostram Lucianeæ orationi, quantum ejus consequi potuimus, esse simillimam."
ourselves, remains therefore to be considered: does his translation conform to the rules that have just been proposed and illustrated? We cheerfully acknowledge that his deviations from them are far less numerous and striking than those which some of his predecessors have exhibited. In 1727"An Essay for a new translation of the Bible" was puiblshed, which should rather have been styled, "An Essay towards an exposition of the Scriptures;" the author having almost uniformly confounded the provinces of the translator and the commentator. Versions of the N. T., which are extremely offensive to the eve of piety and taste, have proceeded from men who appear to have studied in this school. Philalethes, however, is a translator of a different spirit and a higher order-not undeserving, indeed, of being compared with the very respectable writers by whose aid we have endeavoured sometimes to justify and sometimes to impugn his renderings. He must pardon us if we think that he would more nearly have resembled the ablest of them had he been less inclined to the use of paraphrase.
It is commonly, perhaps, we might say, universally, admitted that italics occur too often in the R. V. In the following passages of the translation before us we deem them unnecessary and inexpedient: 1 Thess. ii. 7, 19, iv. 2, 14, 16, v. 1; 2 Thess. iii. 12; Col. i. 6, 9. 27, ii. 13, 21, 22, 21, 24, iv. 4, 6, 11; 1 Tim. i. 1, 4, 6, 7,
ii. 2, v. 1, vi. 4. 5, 10, 18, 21; Tim. ii. 1, 4, 24, iii. 5, iv. 8. These are the principal examples of a habit which ought, we presume, to be very cautiously indulged.
Let it next be considered, whether the figurative expressions which present themselves in the Christian Scriptures should be lost sight of in an English version, and "the sense" be given "rather than the words"? We do not mean to intimate that this is the frequent practice of Philalethes: still, however, we wish that the instances of it which we shall now point out had not taken place. Why, we
See a notice of this work which was not original, in Geddes' Prospectus, &c. PP. 85, 86.
would ask, in Col. iii. 6, does he render the phrase, τες υιες της απείθειας "the disobedient," instead of "the children of disobedience," as in the R. V.? This translation may be met with, it is true, in Castalio and in the F. Genev. Vers.; but we object to it upon principle. As a comment it is unexceptionable: yet Philalethes does not profess to appear before the world in the character of an Annotator. Is the English reader furnished in this case with "a just idea of the origi nal"? Are the peculiar language and manner" of Paul "faithfully represented"? Can any man unac quainted with the original text" argue with justness from Philaletkes translation? Has such an individual au advantage, in any degree, “ equal” to that of scholars? The same questions, we conceive, may fairly be put with reference to our author's version of Col. iii. 12-" merciful dispositions" [hayxya aktipμov]: in R. V., "bowels of mercy." Here again we must pronounce that Philalethes has judged rightly as a Commentator, but erroneously as a Translator. The expression is, no doubt, a Hebraism, Gen. xliii. 80, &c. &c.. And can it
be undesirable that the reader not skilled in the oriental dialects have an opportunity of familiarizing himself with peculiarities of this class? Will he not be thus "enabled" to discern of Scripture, and to reason from it with greater clearness the phraseology with more effect? Another of Philalethes' renderings now calls for our animadversion, Col. iv. 6," Let your discourse be always graceful, and seasoned with wisdom :" in R. V., “with author has destroyed the integrity of salt" [dλavi]: in which passage our the beautiful figure employed by the apostle. Once more; we have seen that, in 1 Thess. iv. 13, Philalethes
substitutes the words, "the dead," for "those who are asleep" [KEKOIUMper]: and we find him rendering a clause in 2 Tim. i. 16, as follows: "be hath not been ashamed of my bonds," Ty dvou ou ou ennoxvon]. In the latter example, the use of the general term and of the plural number is particularly to be lamented. Wakefield is correct and emphatic, "this chain of mine." Lardner, too, (Works, 1. 252,) has made it highly probable that Paul alludes to the specific mode
of his being kept in custody, agreeably nished by PHILALETHES; and our to the Roman custom.
When the language of Scripture is in any measure divested of its native simplicity, its venerable character, we are apprehensive that many readers will distrust the translator, who substitutes for such idioms and figures the current expressions of a polite and learned age. This suspicion and want of confidence, indeed, may not always be just, and certainly would not be so in the present instance; but perhaps it is easier to obviate than to remove these feelings. We have great pleasure in observing that the version under our review, although frequently paraphrastical, is in general concise, and that the style of it is pure and easy. A few exceptions, occasioned by the introduction of words that are too refiued, and somewhat exotic, must, nevertheless, be noticed; of this description appear the following: operateth, reanimated, annulling, impending, intoxicated, operative, parr cides, refractory, duplicity, domestic, verbal, inaccessible, attested, implacable, depraved, continent, corrode, pregnant, verified. These terms, we know, are now admitted into the English language, and find a place in the pages of some of the best of our modern writers. Should we be asked, why we would banish such expressions from a version of the Scriptures, we reply, “domèstic words are preferable to exotic ones, when both are equally used, and both express the same idea;" and the R. V. " should be imitated in every circumstance which produces simplicity, not only because a simple style has exquisite charms for every reader of taste, but also because it is accommodated to ordinary capacities."
Translators of the Bible, however, are sometimes chargeable with the use of homely and vulgar terms. Examples of this sort may be found in the R. V.: scarcely any are fur
Newcome's Hist. View, &c. pp. 294, 295. It is much to be deplored that, of late years, some foreign words, which violate the analogy of our language, without adding to its elegance, have been intro duced among better company than they deserve. The verb "to advocate,' v. g. is imported from America. See the Pref. to Ramsay's Hist. of the Am. Rev.
readers must determine whether he has offended against propriety and taste in the following clause (2 Tim. iv. 3): "to have their sense of hearing tickled" [vnoμεvoi Thy akony]: in the R. V. it is, having itching ears"in Wakefield, "to sooth their ears," which is not sufficiently literal. We acknowledge the great difficulty of translating such expressions. Nor shall we accuse Philalethes of meanness of language; though we doubt whether the rendering in the English Bible be not preferable.
We shall now copy a few passages of his version:
"Representing the invisible God, he [Jesus Christ] is the first-horn of the whole creation; for in reference to him were formed all in heaven and upon earth, visible and invisible, whether occupying the highest stations or subordinate in dignity; all were made by him and for him, and he is before all, and through him they body the church, and he is the chief, the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it hath pleased God that in him all that is complete should abide, and that by him all should be reconciled to Himself; all, whether upon carth or in heaven, by him who hath made peace by his death on the cross." Col. i. 15-21.
all subsist. He also is the head of that
Our next quotation is from the practical part of the same epistle (iii. 18, iv. 2):
"Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as becometh those in union with the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not harsh towards them. Children, be always obedient to your parents, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, vex not your children by undue severity, lest they be discouraged. Servants, always obey those who in temporal concerns are your masters, not with eve-service, as seeking the favour of men, but in sincerity of heart as fearing God; and whatever ye do, perform it heartily, as to the Lord rather than to men, knowing that from the Lord ye are to receive the reward of a heavenly inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doth wrong shall receive according to the wrong which he hath done, and there is no respect of persons. Mas ters, give to your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have
a master in heaven."
The following extract from the Epistle to Titus (ii. 11-15) may not be unacceptable:
the saving grace of God hath appeared to all men, teaching us to renounce impiety and worldly desires, and to live soberly, and uprightly, and piously, in this present state; looking for the happy object of our hope, even the manifestation of the glory of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all ini. quity, and purify for himself a peculiar people, zealous in good works.
We finish our transcripts with a few verses from the Epistle of James (iii. 1—6):
"My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, considering that we shall undergo a more strict judgment. For in many things we all offend. If any one offend not in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Behold we put bits into the mouths of horses, that they may obey us, and we turn their
whole frame. Behold also how the ships,
though they be so large, and agitated by violent winds, are turned with a very small belm, in whatever direction the steersman
pleaseth. Thus the tongue is a little member, and may boast of great things. Behold how large a quantity of materials a small fire kindleth!"
Here we take our leave of Philalethes, whom, however, we shall be happy to meet again in the walks of scriptural and theological literature: opportunities for this purpose he will perhaps afford us by a revision and new edition of his present version, and by a translation of some others of the apostolic epistles. We entreat him to believe that our remarks on his labours are offered in the spirit of unfeigned good-will and candour, and under the deepest sense of our own imperfections and fallibility. Declining any thing like altercation with so respectable a writer, we shall gladly receive instruction from his pen. His notes, although properly few, are, in general, very pertinent and judicious, and may serve to shew what are some of his opinions concerning points of religious doctrine and discipline; while his translation indicates his acquaintance with the classical authors of antiquity. We think that his characteristic excellence is perspicuity; his prevailing error, a taste for paraphrase.
May we be permitted again to express our conviction, that no version of the Scriptures for popular use is likely to be effected unless by the
combined labours of many scholars?
ART. III.-The Peculiar Doctrines
12mo. pp. 32. Hunter and
will show that it is peculiarly
THE Introduction to this sermon
worthy of perusal and consideration:
of our fellow-christians, who are called Nothing is more common among those Orthodox, than to speak of their opinions as the Peculiar Doctrines of the Gospel. By this expression they evidently intend to convey the idea, that those opinions are not to be found in any other system of religious belief, and that in the communication of them to mankind the chief and distinguishing value of Christianity consists. Nevertheless we find it repeatedly asserted by the more learned of the orthodox writers, that indubitable traces of these opinions are to be found in the tenets and practices of many heathen nations, and that, although now altered and corrupted in various ways, they appear to have been received from time immemorial over every quarter of the globe.
"Upon the conquest of America in the 16th century, the Roman Catholic missionaries, who laboured during a great part of their lives to convert the natives of found that the most essential parts of their that vast and newly-discovered territory, system, such as the adoration of Three in
One, the Incarnation of the Second Person in the Divine Trinity, and his expiatory sacrifice, were already admitted; and they considered the surprising fact of the reception of these sublime mysteries among tribes so barbarous and so remote, as a That the splendid omen of success.
"That which is difficult in our law to believe,' says D'Acosta, has been made easy among the Indians, because the Devil had made them comprehend even the self-same things, which he had stolen
same doctrines have been very generally believed among the nations of the Eastern world, is asserted with equal confidence, and by a numerous train of esteemed and popular authors. The late Dr. Claudius Buchanan in particular, whose authority respecting facts of this nature stands in the highest repute, and whose information was received a few years since with an avidity and admiration rarely paralleled, states that the ideas of a Tri-une God, and of the Incarnation and Atonement of the Second Person, are current throughout almost the whole of Asia. * What a glaring inconsistency is it, to call these the 'Peculiar Doctrines of Christianity,' and yet to attempt the confirmation of them by citing the long-established convictions of innumerable heathen nations!"-Pp.5-7.
After a few further remarks upon the prevalence of these ideas among the Heathens, tending to shew that, even if they belong to Christianity, still they are not confined to Christianity, Mr. Yates proceeds to state some important principles which are not only maintained by Christians of every denomination to be parts of their system, but which never formed a part of any other system, and which, therefore, have a strict and indisputable claim to be regarded as PECULIARITIES of the gospel. These are the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead; the doctrine that the Love of God is the First and Greatest Commandment; and the injunction of Universal Philanthropy. On these topics the preacher dwells with much seriousness and judgment. He fully establishes his point, and concludes with an animated and powerful appeal to his auditory on behalf of pure Christianity, and of those institutions which guard and promote it. For its excellence as a composition, and for the comparative novelty and, at the
from our evangelical law, as their manner of confession, their adoration of Three in One, and such like; the which, against the will of the enemy, have holpen for the easy receiving of the truth.'
See also the History of California, by Venegas, Vol. I. pp. 88, 92, English Translation; and the History of America, by Dr. Robertson, who cites additional authorities, although, as we might have expected from an heterodox philosopher, he is himself very sceptical upon the subject. Book iv. § 7."
* "Star in the East, 7th Edition, 1810."
same time, the eminent importance of the subject, the sermon deserves to be widely circulated by means of Unitarian missionaries and Book Societies.
ART. IV.-Letters from Lexington and
the Illinois, containing a Brief Account of the English Settlement in the Latter Territory, and a Refutation of the Misrepresentations of Mr. Cobbett. By Richard Flower. 8vo. pp. 32. 18. 1819.
R. RICHARD FLOWER is an old correspondent of ours, and is well known to many of our readers. He is one of the late Illinois settlers, and his account of the settlement is interesting from his intelligence and probity.
"On a tract of land from the Little Wabash to the Bonpar on the Great Wabash, about seventeen miles in width, and four to six from north to south, there were but a few hunters' cabins, a year and a half since, and now there are about sixty English families, containing nearly four hundred souls; and one hundred and fifty American, containing about seven hundred souls." P. 24. Already a capital is rising, named Albion. A market-house is built, and an inn and a place of worship are building, the latter intended also for a library. Of the land, Mr. Flower, who is a practical agriculturist, speaks in terms of high praise, as he does also of the climate. Indeed, his picture of the country altogether is very inviting, and will, we apprehend, tempt many an industrious family to follow his steps.
The neighbouring capital of Lexington is, as Mr. Flower says, p. 10, "a phenomenon in the history of the world. Twenty-five years since, it was trodden only by the foot of the savage; now it contains about three thousand inhabitants." It has "a college, at which are already one hundred and forty students." Tea-parties, balls, routs, an Athenæum and a Museum, have taken the place of log cabins and Indian hunts. But slavery is forcibly denounced by this writer as the opprobrium of Kentucky.
The American character generally has made a favourable impression upon Mr. Flower's mind. He speaks with feelings natural to an English Protestant Dissenter of the exemption