« AnteriorContinuar »
He shall be prepared against all the attacks of Fortune.
The wise man shall obey his prince when there shall be occasion.
He shall rejoice with him, who, having gone astray, shall return to the path of virtue.
The most delightful thing in pleasure is privation of pain; for, wherever that is found, there can be neither evil nor sadness. Thus, niost chronical distempers have intervals that afford us more satisfaction and ease than the distempers we labor under cause pain.
It is impossible to pass our life delightfully without prudence, honesty, humanity, and justice: he that practises these excellent virtues, cannot but live pleasantly; insomuch, that the man who is so wretched as to be neither honest, prudent, humane, nor just, is deprived of all that might otherwise make his life happy." There are
some which are particularly reprehensible, and which may possibly allude to existing opinions and usages.
“ The wise man ought to punish and chastise his servants.
The wise man must never yield to the charms of love. : The wise man ought not to be too solicitous for bis burial.
The wise man shall not study eloquence in the exposition of bis discoveries.
He shall not take upon him the administration of the commonwealth."
On the whole, this reprint of Digby's translation and commentary will not supersede any other which may be in contemplation at present.
The cause of Christianity must be allowed to be much indebted to those, who in this age of inquiry contribute to explain various passages of Scripture, which either from their obscurity or perplexity are more particularly exposed to the cavils of the sceptic. Many such passages evidently occur, both in the Old and in the New Testament: but they may chiefly be traced to some defect or error in the translation. It is remarkable, that such passages are more numerous in the Old than in the New Testament. Why is this ? Evidently, because the translators were less ac
quainted with the Hebrew than with the Gréek. There is also reason to suspect, that they trusted too much to the authority of the Vulgate. But it is to be hoped, that the declaration of Mr. Bellamy is not quite correct, that “ from this monkish translation all the European translations have been made."
Mr. Bellamy asks why the opponents of the New Translation
think, that the monk Jerome was equal to such a work?" This may be called, in the language of the schools, a petitio principii : for, it is principally because no one man was ever equal to such a work, that the Latin Vulgate of Jerome, and every other translation attempted by one man, must be defective. The superiority of the English translation, with all its faults, may be attributed to that UNION of the talents, the integrity, and the erudition, of many distinguished scholars and divines of the English Church, by means of which, though each had a separate part to translate, the labors of each underwent the inspection of ALL. To such union, it is to be hoped and presumed, if such can ever again be found, will be committed the important trust, not of fabricating an entire new version of the Bible, which is much to be deprecated on many strong grounds, but of revising the present. T'o such a revision of the sacred text, with all his veneratiou for the received version, the present writer is no enemy; for why should not errors be removed ? He is also ready to pay his slender tribute of applause to Mr, Bellamy, and other Hebrew scholars, who by their persevering efforts in Biblical Criticism contribute to detect and remove those errors and obscurities, which, until man and his works are perfect, will always be found in human compositions. Of such a nature is the version of Joel ii. 23, noticed by Mr. Bellamy in the last number of the Classical Journal. His interpretation, indeed, of the first clause of the verse, is not new; for it may be seen in the margin of all our old bibles; and the passages to which we are there referred, in support of " the former and the latter rain” of our translators; namely, Levit. xxvi. 4. and Deut. xi. 14. seem fully to justify the introduction of the imagery of Nature in preference to the abstract ideas and metaphors of Man. Mr. Bellamy seems to forget, that in Hebrew poetry (for the language of the prophets is poetry) all is imagery-all is type and figure. When Jehovah is the teacher, he cometh down as the rain into a fleece of wool. There is, therefore, no necessity for substituting here the neagre and secondary notion of righteousness for rain. It is no argument, to say, that in 2 Kings xvi. 28. and 2 Chron. sv. 3. 77 moreh, signifies taught, or teaching. There historical language is required; not
VOL. XXX. Cl. JI. NO. LIX. D
poetical. This makes all the difference. With all duie deference, therefore, to Mr. Bellamy's superior knowlege of Hebrew, it is proposed that the substitution of his first clause' be relinquished as untenable; but the last clause, certainly, requires revision. What can, apparently, be more absurd, than to represent the Almighty promising to send to his chosen people, as a blessing, the former and the latter rain, that is, the rains which regularly fall about the vernal and the autumnal equinox, all in one month? What more contradictory, than to send the latter raiv, too, in the first month? - The fact is, there is not the slightest foundation in the Hebrew original for the word “ month;" and it is therefore printed in Italics. But why print it at all?- This, which is the most objectionable word of the whole sentence, Mr. Bellamy has unaccountably overlooked. The word TWN baarishon, from Genesis to Malachi, always means, at or from the beginning. With a very slight alteration, therefore, it is proposed that the present version may be thus corrected by the proper authorities : “ Be glad, then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as from the beginning.” The moral and religious inference is obvious: “ That there is no reason to distrust the bounty of God's providence; for he will continue to pour forth his blessings, as from the beginning.” The repetition of the word rain, four times in one sentence, I leave as a matter of taste, of too little consequence to be made the subject of coutroversy. Such repetitions are, at least, agreeable to the Hebrew idiom; and in so venerable an edifice as the English Bible, it is desirable to alter nothing but what is absolutely necessary for its beauty and support. Mr. Bellamy's substitution of "
sons of Zion
for “ children,” to the exclusion of the other sex, appears to be no improvement; por does there seem to be any necessity for many of his transpositions of words. The last clause is particularly objectionable, both in sound and sense : “teaching as in the beginning of the gathering !" Our translators, on the whole, perhaps, were not wrong in the lemma prefixed to the 21st verse of this important chapter of Joel: “ He comforteth Zion with present blessings." The future seem to be promised more fully in the 28th verse:
“ And it shall come to pass afterward, &c.” That temporal blessings were the subject of the preceding verses, is evident from the 24th and those that follow. The transition, however, from temporals to spirituals, is always easy and obvious. So also-from the present to the future; but our hopes of the
future are grounded on our experience of the present, combined with the history of the past. The prophet's eye takes in all three; but in their due order: “Ος ήδει τα τ' έoντα, τα τ' εσσομενα, τα τ' όπισθε.
P.S. Since the above was written I have turned to my copy of Luther's Bible, and I have the satisfaction to find, that though that great Reformer agrees with Mr. Bellamy in the first clause of the verse in question, yet his interpretation of the latter part of the second precisely corresponds with that which I have suggested; and it may not be uninteresting to your readers to quote the whole verse as translated by him :
“ Und, ihr kinder Zion, freuet euch; und seyd frolich im HERRN, eurem GOTT: der euch lehrer zur gerechtigkeit gibt; und euch herab sendet fruhregen' und spatregen, wie vorhin;"
And, ye children of Zion, rejoice ye, and be glad in the LORD your God; who giveth you a teacher of righteousness, and sendeth you the former rain and the latter rain, as before.
* In support of this interpretation, Luther refers his readers to the very same passage in Leviticus, to which we are referred by our translators in the margin of our English Bibles; but his literal version here is at variance with the allegorical lemma prefixed to the chapter" Von wahrer busse, Christo, und ausgiessung des heiligen Geistes."
ORATIO Priore Premiorum Senioribus Baccalaureis annuo
propositorum donatá, et in curia Cantabrigiensi recitata A. D. MDCCCVI. Non modo literarum humaniorum, in quibus primas facile est adeptus, sed omnium, quæ ex iisdem profluentem humanitatem ornant, felici cultura Erimio Viro, J. GOODALL, S.T.P. Hoc qualecunque grati animi testimonium D. D. D. Auctor Alumnus.
E tot deperditis humaniorum literarum apud Græcos et Ro
manos monumentis, quænam præ cæteris sint desideranda? InTuenti mihi feliciorum relliquias temporum, totamque antiquitatem sedulo evolventi, nihil dignius videtur quod aut fideliori luctu ornemus, aut acriori acie ingenii perscrutemur, quam ea detrimenta, excidia, quæ experta est vetus illa literarum humanitas. His quoque in rebus, ut cunctis in humanis, dominantur causæ mutabiles, vicissitudines eventusque rerum; atque ingeniis vel ipsis sunt suæ mortalitatis vices! Hujusce veritatis luctuosum præbent documentum illæ refertæ scriptorum monumentis ædes, mesta inutilique superbientes librorum magnificentia; quorum lucubratas (quæ olim posterorum immortalem sibi speraverint memoriam) sententias nunc informis premit situs, vetustas deserta. Ex antiquioris autem ævi monumentis “nibili extitisse arbitror, quod periisse tan acerbo luctų dolendum est, quam ea quæ abolevit” barbarorum rabies ; quorum, sicut multarum urbium, “etiam ruinæ periere," quorumque, ob veterem famam, sola veneramur nomina: nonnulla autem, meliore fato usa, maxime mirata est, habuitque in deliciis priorum hominum ætas; quorum quæ supersunt grande illud, et magnificum ostendunt antiquorum ingenium ; quod sicut Nili flumen, nunquam “ licuit? populis parvum videre."
Etsi nobis contemplantibus omnis ætas, omnesque qui eam ornarunt, scriptores subjiciantur; etsi in artibus, legibus, rebus civilibus indagandis humanæ mentis perspicienda sit historia (quam multi desidiosa quadam vestigant delectatione) ea tamen
" Vid. Brunck. Præfat. ad Analect. lin. 1.