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uneventful toil unfold! What an amount of solid labour, what patience, what industry, what physical exhaustion, what an expenditure of vital forces and animal strength, since the day when he first learnt to crack his whip, and tyrannize with youthful audacity over his huge, docile plough-team, till the time when his last day's work is done-his last furrow turned, his last sward mown—and he is laid by, to retain for a little longer his feeble hold upon life, in the nook by his cottage fire! Few can look back upon their career with less of regret or bitterness. The fight, it may be, was a cruel one while it lasted; but when he can work no more—when his hard destiny is at length appeased—there is a softness and almost child-like gentleness and simplicity comes over the aged peasant who has worn away
his life in daily labour. The scenes of his lifelong struggle become hallowed with affections of which he was never conscious when, in the thoughtlessness of youth or in the vigour of manhood, he was toiling amongst them from morning till night. Then, when he was earning the frugal means of his own and his family's existence, with the sweat of his brow and the labour of his hands, his mind had no room for more tender feelings; but now, when his hands are powerless, and the sap of his strength dried up, associations unthought-of before rise up, and bind the well-remembered fields, the woods, the lanes, the crops, the seasons, the very animals and implements,
, by ties which to him are dear and sacred. The ties which bind us to the soil, and make our affections cling around some few bits of the earth's surface, are rooted as deeply in his nature. The old feudal attachment of the peasant to the soil, however much changes of time and circumstances may have weakened it, and however utterly it is ignored by the present age, has not yet lost its influence and died out. And long may it continue.
What are the corresponding duties of the soil and the lords of the soil to the labourer, it is not our purpose now to inquire. The centralizing and systematizing habit of the day, with its disregard of local customs, and its contempt for irregular, undefined associations, tends to loosen this attachment. It tends to shake the old established order of agricultural society, to spread a notion of factious and capricious independence, to make the labourer dissatisfied with his condition, and to set before him as the first duty of man to strive to rise out of it.
It is the duty of all who take an interest in the well-being of every class of the Agricultural population, to watch the operation of the various schemes set in motion for the purpose. In great social and mental reformations, all thoughtful men will endeavour to direct, not to check, the progress of opinion. The infusion of new false principles is a danger more to be guarded against, than failure in getting rid of old ones whose day is past. In removing abuses, and cutting away long-standing obstacles to development and improvement, much that is preservative and cohesive may be torn up too. If an unsparing band tears away the ivy which, from venerable neglect and in the slow growth of years, has been suffered to cover a wall, he will, perhaps, remove one of its main supports, and dislodge many loosening fragments which it has held together. If old ideas are uprooted, others must be planted in their place. The ainelioration of our peasantry is one of the great social problems of the day, and in its solution many ecclesiastical interests are involved. The clergy as a body have an important stake in the matter. The welfare of five-sixths of the parishioners of all rural incumbents depends upon the treatment it receives. Nowhere has the Church planted herself more firmly, and wound herself more intimately into the hearts and habits and every day life of the people, than amongst the rural poor. Nowhere are her defences more efficiently guarded and her hold more secure; and from no other quarter would she receive so severe a shock, if there should be any abrupt severance of old ties, any dispersion of old associations, any great upheaval of old-established customs and modes of thought, any radical innovations which she did not control and direct.
Arr. II.- Vetus Testamentum ex Versione Septuaginta Inter
pretum, secundum exemplar Vaticanum Romæ editum. Accedit potior varietas codicis Alexandrini. Oxonii: e Typographeo Academico. MDCCCXLVIII. 3 vols.
3 vols. 12mo. . 2. Vetus et Novum Testamentum ex antiquissimo codice Vaticano.
Edidit ANGELUS Maius, S.R.E. Card. Romæ : MDCCCLVII.
5 vols. 4to. 3. Vetus Testamentum Græce juxta LXX interpretes. Recensionem
Grabianam . . . recognovit, &c. FREDERICUS FIELD, AA.M., Coll. SS. Trin. Cantab. olim socius. Oxonii: Excudebat
Jacobus Wright, Academiæ Typographus. MDCCCLIX. 4. Vetus Testamentum Greece juxta LXX interpretes. Ed. &c.
C. TISCHENDORF. Editio tertia. Lipsiæ: F. A. Brockhaus.
1860. AMONG the many subjects to which the attention of Biblical students has of late years been directed, the text of the Greek translation of the Old Testament, commonly known by the name of the Septuagint, is not the least important. Various editions of it have been put forth, out of which we have selected those which are named at the head of this article. Some important additions have been made to the manuscript materials of the text in the course of the present century. The works of Mr. Grinfield have been of great service in bringing the claims of Hellenistic Greek in a more accessible form before the learned world ; and his liberal endowment of a lecture in the University of Oxford will, we hope, answer his expectations, in directing the attention of some at least among its members to the more definite and methodical study of the Septuagintal text.
For it must be owned, that though there has been a considerable accumulation of material for helping to approximate to a better text of the Septuagint than that of the common Sixtine edition, but little has been effectually done in this direction hitherto. Indeed, the thing has hardly been attempted. Of Mr. Field's recension of Grabe's text we shall have occasion to speak presently: meanwhile it may be useful to cite from Mr. Field's Prolegomena his remarks upon the Moscow edition of MDCCCXXI., which he, as editor in behalf of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, made the archetype of his own:
Quod vero ad vitiosam ejus methodum attinet, ne Societas 'nostra, quæ sciens prudensque Editorum Mosquensium vestigiis 'institerit, immeritam vituperationem subeat, mitigandæ censuræ 'causa tenendum est, primum, ei in proposito fuisse, Sacrum Codicem non tam criticos ad usus, quam ad piorum hominum,
tam domi quam foris, harum literarum cultorum, in fide et doctrina Christiana profectum accommodare. Mr. Field's volume, then, does not profess to be an edition suited to the requirements of Biblical criticism: his text seems rather one made up
for the accommodation of those readers who wish to have a Greek translation answering to the Hebrew original. We hope to suggest, in the course of this article, another principle on which it would be sounder and safer to reconstruct the Septuagintal text, so far that is as our existing materials enable us to carry out or to attempt the plan.
But before we proceed to devote time and labour to such a work, it may be asked cui bono? Is the text of the Septuagint worth the trouble it will cost ? Now in order to estimate the force of the claims which the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures has upon our attention, we will endeavour to state in a very general form a brief summary of what may be urged, on both sides, for and against the authority and value which it may be supposed to possess.
In its favour, then, may be urged-1. That the Greek version of the Old Testament, commonly known by the name of the Septuagint, was the first version ever made of the Hebrew Scriptures; that it was made before the Christian æra, and subsequently to the time when Hebrew was the vernacular tongue of the Jews in Palestine. 2. That the Greek version was generally received by the Jews who were settled in other countries, and was in common use among them. 3. That the writers of the New Testament very often make their citations from the Greek text, sometimes even where it differs from the present Hebrew text. 4. That this Greek version was generally received by the whole Christian Church during the first four centuries, or at least before the time of S. Jerome, who died Sept. 30, A.D. 420. 5. That the ancient versions of the Old Testament (with the exception of the Syriac version) were made from the Septuagint. Especially from this source came the old Italic version. 6. That both Josephus and Philo acknowledge the authority of the Greek text. In their citations from the Old Testament the former is said to rely equally on the Hebrew and on the Greek texts : and with regard to the latter, it has been computed that in about 2,300 quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures in the course of his works, he very rarely deviates from the words of the Septuagint. 7. That on comparing the Greek of the Septuagint version with that of the New Testament, the two styles are found to resemble each other very closely, not only in grammatical construction, but also in
1 Professedly so, as regards the order of the books: "Græca secundum ordinem textus Hebræi reformavit.'--Title-page.
terminology, especially in such terms as Repentance, Faith, Righteousness, Justification, Sanctification, Redemption, &c. &c., and in such names or titles as Lord, Christ, Saviour, Holy Spirit, Almighty, Highest, Eternal, &c. To some of these points we may perhaps hereafter call the attention of our readers, if opportunity permit. For the present it may be enough to refer to Mr. Grinfield's apology for the Septuagint, and to Mr. Churton's admirable little treatise. 8. That the Septuagint version exercised great influence in the controversies of the early Christians with Jews and Pagan Philosophers.” 9. That the Septuagint version exercised great influence on the doctrinal language of the early Church.
These propositions will, we think, be admitted without much hesitation as generally true by all who have inquired into the subject ; and we are anxious not to state, at the outset, more than will be at once admitted : taken separately, they furnish each of them a weighty argument for the importance of studying the text of the Septuagint; when they are taken conjointly, the force of the argument can hardly be over-estimated. But (alas ! there is always a but) here come in considerations which must very much qualify the authority which the Septuagintal text might be supposed to vindicate.
For it will, we think, be at once allowed-1. That the Septuagintal text had departed very much from its original purity before the time of Origen, who died A.D. 253 or 254, at Tyre, just after the close of the Decian persecution, A.D. 251. 2. That Origen made a most laborious attempt to reconstruct the original text of the Septuagint; but that the gigantic attempt, though well meant, ended in a failure as gigantic, and, in fact, made matters worse. 3. That the text of the Septuagint in ordinary circulation (the Sixtine text), is found to differ in many places from the Hebrew original, sometimes by omission, sometimes by addition, sometimes by variation. Add to this circumstance another—viz., that it is by no means certain upon what Greek MSS. the Sixtine text is based : the Oxford edition bears upon its title-page, . Secundum exemplar Vaticanum Romæ editum ;' but the text of the exemplar Vaticanum is by no means the text of the Codex Vaticanus, and a comparison of the Sixtine text with that of Cardina! Mai's edition from the celebrated Vatican MS. exhibits a wide divergence between the two, as will be presently shown.
? An Apology for the Septuagint. By E. W. Griufield, M.A. Pickering. 1850. 1 vol. 8vo. The Influence of the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament upon the Progress of Christianity. By the Rev. William Ralph Churton, B.A. Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. Cambridge : Macmillan and Co. 1861. 9 Churton, P. I. ch. ii.
3 Churton, P. II. ch. iii.