Page images
PDF
EPUB

explanatory note in the margin, poured out as a drink-offering. Full of significance, as recalling the previous mention of the seventh day, is the new version of Hebrews iv. 9: There remaineth therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. Still more literal, and I think better on the whole, would have been the rendering Sabbath-keeping.

The removal of a definite article in 1 Peter iv. 11 both restores important teaching and corrects a misrepresentation. St. Peter bids

his readers look upon themselves, in speaking, as oracles, i.e., as mouthpieces through which God speaks.

Small grammatical details do not come within the scope of this Paper. But I cannot forbear to allude to the use made in the New Version of the prepositions of and unto. The preposition of is retained in many passages where all modern writers would say by, and in others in which they would say from. As samples, I may quote, out of innumerable instances, Matthew ii. 16, mocked of the wise men; iii. 6, 13, 14, baptized of Him....of Thee; iv. 1, led up of the Spirit....to be tempted of the devil; v. 13, trodden under foot of men; xi. 27, delivered unto Me of My Father; xx. 23, prepared of My Father; Romans xii. 21, be not overcome of evil; xiii. 1, there is no power but of God....ordained of God; xv. 15, grace given me of God; 1 Corinthians ii. 15, judged of no man; iv. 3, I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment; viii. 3, known of Him; xi. 32, chastened of

the Lord.

As a rendering of an altogether different Greek preposition, I may quote Matthew iii. 9, of these stones to raise up children; v. 37, is of the evil one; Romans xi. 36, of Him are all things; 1 Corinthians viii. 6, of whom are all things; 2 Corinthians v. 18, all things are of God.

Remembering now that an English version is designed, not for lovers of archaic diction, but for plain men and women who wish to know exactly what God says to them in His Holy Word, I cannot but think the above renderings are a serious blemish in the New Version. Moreover, they have not even the dignity of consistency. For in many places a better rendering is found.

Still worse, and still more inexcusable, is the use made by the Revisers of the preposition unto, which is not only retained in many passages which it has long obscured, but is put into and now completely obscures some passages which in the Authorised Version give a clear and correct sense. We still find in Romans vi. 10, 11, liveth unto God, and alive unto God, where we ought to have liveth for God, and living for God, leaving the margin to note the connection with the words to sin.

Similarly in xiv. 6-8. In xi. 36, we have still of Him....and unto Him are all things, instead of from Him....and for Him. In 1 Corinthians viii. 6, of whom are all things, and we unto Him, instead of from Him....for Him. The Revisers have terribly mutilated 2 Corinthians v. 13, which they render whether we are (margin were) beside ourselves, it is unto God; or whether we are of sober mind, it is unto you, replacing it is for your cause. I venture to suggest, as a rendering which all would understand, and which gives correctly the sense designed by the Apostle: if we have gone out of our mind, it is for God; and if we are of sound mind, it is for you.

And more strangely still, instead of the authorised rendering of Colossians i. 16, all things were created by Him, and for Him, which is retained, slightly modified, in the excellent translations by Dean Alford, and by the Chairman of the New Testament Revision Committee, we have now:

all things have been created through though, as I have said above, I do Him, and unto Him.

The Revisers' treatment of the Greek aorist and perfect tenses is not, in my view, altogether satisfactory. In some passages, e.g., Romans v. 12, death passed unto all men, for that all sinned, and 2 Corinthians v. 14, one died for all, therefore all died, the new rendering is an indisputable and incalculable gain. But in one or two passages, e.g., Romans xi. 1, did God cast off His people? the new rendering seems to me less correct than the old one. And in not a few cases we have uncouth English without any practical gain.*

While thus finding fault, it is right to say that I have been compelled to pass over innumerable cases of improvement, in small grammatical details, slight in themselves, but collectively of immense value. Al

not think that all the changes are
improvements, I cheerfully bear
witness to the general excellence of
the whole revision. Every page I
read confirms my belief that it is by
far the best reproduction in a modern
language of the words of the Evan-
gelists and Apostles.

Several of the most important
changes of rendering presented by
the New Version, I have reserved
for another Paper, in which I hope
to discuss the theological results of
the Revision. The further examples
which I shall adduce will afford, I
confidently believe, additional and
conclusive proof that the Revision
Committee has rendered a service of
infinite worth to the Church of Christ
in this country and throughout the
world. For this service, we thank

God.

1

1

NOTES ON CURRENT SCIENCE:

BY THE REV. W. H. DALLINGER, F.R.S., F.R.M.S.

THE advent of three comets up to this time has made the year somewhat notable amongst astronomers. The opportunity thus afforded for spectroscopical research has been well employed. Professor H. Draper, of New York, has taken some excellent photographs of the spectrum of comet A; and although he has not critically examined them, he believes that they establish the inferences hitherto made, that the nuclei of comets are largely composed of carbon, although he thinks it quite possible that an exhaustive examination of these photographs may reveal the presence of other substances in the spectrum.

The third comet of this year
(comet c) was discovered by Pro-
fessor Schaeberle, of Ann Arbor,
America, on the 13th of July. It
is now quite easily visible through a
good opera-glass; and many good
observations have been obtained. It
presents the appearance of
nuclei, the tail being nearly straight
and well-defined, being about eight
degrees in length. It will, in all
probability, be quite visible to the
naked eye when these notes are read.
Its identity is still uncertain; but,
in all probability, there is no record
of its previous appearance. Some
astronomers believe it will prove
itself to be one of the most conspi-

On this subject, I may be allowed to refer to a series of papers on The Greek Aorist, in vol. xi. of The Expositor; and on the whole matter of this paper to articles in the August and September (1881) numbers of the same magazine.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

We have from time to time called attention to the peculiarities of certain plants, which appear to show that they partake of the special properties of animals; such is sensitiveness, as in the case of the mimosa, which the slightest touch causes to alter its whole form and aspect: and in a still more marked and specialised form it is seen in the tentacles of the leaf of the sundew, which will respond to the impact of a particle of matter so minute that if placed in the human eye or upon the human tongue it would be absolutely unperceived; and in the 'Venus' Flytrap,' which snaps its lobed leaf together when it is touched with a straw or feels the alighting of an insect, just as a rat-trap springs together when the victim enters within its jaws. Such, too, is digestion as carried on in the sundews and the pitcher plants, the 'pitchers' of which latter are veritable stomachs acting physiologically as the stomachs of animals. Such, too, is movement, and especially movement with an ascertainable object. This is specially manifest in the minuter forms of life, or in their earlier develop mental stages. But it is remarkable in such organisms as the climbing plants, which often display an absolute purpose, not suffering their tendrils to rest, but constantly to

move about until what appears to be a suitable support has been reached. Indeed, there is a climbing plant in the tropics that will only climb a certain tree and it will creep on for an astonishing distance, refusing all the support that offers itself until it reaches the tree it is seeking.

But this power is certainly comparatively rare; and this gives more interest to a very remarkable case of it which has been found by Dr. G. Watts, of the Educational Department, Bengal. It was found in a species of Loranthus, or mistletoe. It is only while the seed is germinating that the movement takes place, and it is an actual movement of position from one place to another, with a discoverable object. It is, of course, a parasite, native of Bengal, growing specially upon strong evergreens. The fruit of this plant, like that of the mistletoe, and nearly all other members of the order, consists of a mass of very viscid pulp surrounding a single seed, and on separating from the parent plant it adheres to whatever it may chance to fall upon, and after a time begins to germinate. It is only during the first stages of germination that the motion discovered by Mr. Watts takes place, and it is evidently an adaptation to its special requirements; for it enables it to find a suitable place for growth. A rootlet grows out first, and attains to the length of an inch, and then develops on its extremity a disc; when this is formed the rootlet sways about in all directions until this disc is applied to some object near it. If this spot suits it, germination at once is continued, and no locomotion takes place; but if, on the contrary, the place is not suitable, the germinating embryo has the power of changing its place. This is accomplished by the adhesive rootlet raising the seed and advancing it to another spot; or, to make the process clearer, the disc at the

end of the rootlet adheres very firmly to whatever it is applied; and when it effects movement, the fibre of the rootlet straightens, and tears the viscid berry away from whatever it has adhered to and raises it in the air. Then the rootlet once more curves and carries the berry to another spot, where it again adheres. The disc then releases itself, and, by curving about of the rootlet, is advanced to another spot, where it again fixes itself. The discoverer has seen this repeated several times in some cases, while he has seen other cases where the first point of adhesion or the second has proved satisfactory. So that the young embryo is endowed with a selective capacity and power to move by which that capacity is met and satisfied.

We cannot contemplate an instance like this without feeling that whatever views various philosophers may hold as to our ability to understand the final cause' of things, that we are compelled to see exquisite concurrent adaptation, and submit the mind to all that this involves.

From time to time instances have, been given in these 'Notes' of what is now known to biologists as commensalism amongst animals. It might easily be taken for parasitism; but it is distinguished from it entirely by the fact that although in the case of commensalism there is the living of one form of animal upon or even within another form, yet the former does not live at the expense of the latter: they are simply what M. Van Beneden calls messmates. Thousands of instances might be given there is, for example, a very small crab, not larger than a spider, which dwells habitually, and obtains its living, inside the shell of a species of mussel. More remarkable still, there is a Holothurian ('sea cucumber') in the large body-cavity of

which a small fish constantly dwells (not as a parasite), but as a fellowboarder; and sometimes one or more small crabs are occupants of the same quarters. But a very singular instance has just been discovered. Dr. Möbius describes it as characteristic of two crabs: they have the front claws armed with large ' teeth.” The naturalist who first named the species remarked that a gummy substance was always to be found at the ends of their claws, and Dana remarked that they always had something spongy in their claws. Dr. Möbius has discovered the remarkable fact that these things held in the two claws of the crab are in reality living sea anemones! The anemones are attached to the immovable joint of each claw, while the teeth of the movable joint of each claw hold them fast, although each anemone can easily be pulled from its position with the forceps in specimens preserved in spirit. The mouth of the sea anemone is always turned away from the crab. The same curious combination exists in the case of another species of the same family, but of a different genus, which inhabits Mauritius. Dr. Möbius collected fifty specimens of these; and they all held in each claw a small anemone. The recurved hooks of the inner margins of the claw-joints of the crab are particularly well adapted to hold the anemones fast, so much so that they never could be drawn away without injury to the anemone; and if one had been taken off and was either whole or in parts, and it were left in the vessel with the crab, the latter immediately proceeded to replace the animal or the fragments of it in the original position. The explanation seems to be that these totally different animals are of mutual service to each other. The crab serves the anemone by locomotion, giving it thus a better chance of obtaining

food, and the anemone serves the crab by ensuring the capture of its prey, the thread cells of the anemone being strong and thus benumbing or poisoning into a state of semiinactivity the prey which might otherwise escape the crab.

In the latter part of June, Professor Lockwood, of New Jersey, discovered near Freehold, in that State, parts of the skeleton of a huge fossil marine serpent, belonging to the chalk period. Enough of the skeleton has been found to show that its length must have been nearly eighty feet. Numbers of huge vertebræ, and a part of the lower jaw containing sixteen teeth, were found. The teeth, especially the middle ones, have cutting edges before and behind; and they are so perfect that the rich enamel is in a marvellously complete state of preservation. The remains of this new monster have been sent to Philadelphia to be thoroughly examined by Professor

Cope: and he describes its remarkable snake-like characteristics. Thus, to prevent its contortions from dislocating the vertebral column, it had an additional pair of articulations at each end of every vertebra; while its muscular strength is borne witness to by the remarkable and, in appearance, elegant stric and other sculptures, which appear in all its bones, and were for the special attachment of muscles and tendons. A smaller species has also been found of more elegant proportions. Its slenderness of body was remarkable; and the large head was long and lance-shaped. Its movements were certain to have been of the most lithe and active kind, and to have secured it plentiful prey. Its teeth were knife-shaped and more numerous than in its relatives. It was found, as it died in the long, long past, coiled up beneath a ledge of rock, with its skull in the centre of the coil.

MORE ABOUT METHODISM: BY THE

METHODISTS Should by this time be gaining some idea as to what Methodism really is, or at least as to what it looks like in the view of outsiders. We know full well what Methodism means-what is ideal Methodism ; and it is very interesting, and should be far from profitless, to note what impression our institutions and our movements make on others. Four new, and some of them notable, expositions of Methodism have appeared within the last few months: the eleventh lecture of the series composing the Congregational Union Lecture for 1880; the first Article in the Edinburgh Review for July last; the leader in the Times on that Article and on the re-election of

EDITOR.

Dr. Osborn to the chair of the Conference; and the series of Sermons by various clergymen published under the title Church and Chapel.

The contrast between the first and the second of these is very striking. That of the Congregational Lecturer, the Rev. J. Guinness Rogers, B.A., is most frankly and fraternally appreciative. The Congregationalist Leader shows the heartiest recognition of the good points of Connexionalism. Here it is plain that Ephraim does in no wise envy Judah. Nothing could be more generous than the interpretation which the Lecturer gives to the constitution, the history, the objects, and the recent administration of the Wes

« PreviousContinue »