Immagini della pagina

sage is substantially the same as that which we have inserted, and which is transcribed by us from Whitby's Commentary, vol. i. p. 380. Ed. 1709, on Luke xii, 8.

A good version of the scriptures ought to convey as much as possible the spirit and manner of the original. In the common version these have been frequently sacrificed by the diversity of renderings which the translators have employed in translating the same Hebrew or Greek words and phrases--as pm, which they rendered by law, statute, decree, ordinance. Many passages of scripture, says Mr. B. would be placed in a striking light by uniformity of rendering. Isaiah xxxvii, 3, 4, should be thus rendered: “ This day is a day of trouble and of reproof, and of blasphemy. It may be that the Lord thy God will reprove the words," &c. “ Rabshakeh has uttered words of reproof against Judah: it may be that God will reprove the words of the Assy. rian.” Rom. i. 19, « Because that which is known of God is manifest (avscov) among them: for God hath manifested it cavewot, not shewed it) unto them.” The manner and spirit of the originals cannot be exhibited in a version, unless the poetical parts of scripture be divided into lines corresponding with the metre. For the same reason, quotations from the Old Testament, and parallel passages, should be uniformly rendered. Matt. xxvi, 41, and Mark xiv, 38, exactly correspond in the original, but differ in our translation: “ Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” “ Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation: the spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." Instances of this kind are very frequent. In Matt. xvi, 26, we have—“ W'hat is a man profited;” in Luke ix. 25, “ What is a man advantaged;"- the words of the original being the same in both places. 'o sexiopiraivos, John ii, 8, 9. is, in the former verse,

governor of the feast;" in the latter, “ ruler of the feast.” The common reader of the public version never can suppose that “ Areopagus" and “ Mars’-Hill," Acts xvii, 19, 22, are the same place. Causs is rendered in some places by wedding, and in others, by marriage, neither of which terms conveys the proper meaning of the word in almost every passage in which ii occurs in the New Testament: convivium nuptiale, marriage feast," is clearly the proper rendering

The concluding section is on the regard due to the common version, in which Mr. Boothroyd records his approbation of the rules which archbishop Newcome has proposed, and his intention of governing himself by them. “ The language, sense, and punctuation of our present version,” he remarks, should be retained, unless when a sufficient reason can be assigned for departing from them.” Uniformity in the orthography of proper names is included in the improvements which the author contemplates in his projected version. In the New Testament, king

James's translators have followed the Greek, and instead of Elijah, have written Elias; Eliseus for Elisha; Esaias for Isaiah; Charran for Haran; Osee for Hosea, &c.

“ The public have a right to know what are the theological opinions of the author of this attempt. He feels no hesitation in avowing them.Though he has learnt to call no man master, but freely to follow that sepse of the sacred scriptures which he conceives the original most naturally suggests, yet he owns, that in his general views he most entirely agrees in the theological sentiments of that great and good man, Philip Doddridge.

“ The corrected text for the Old Testament which the author intends to adopt, will be that stated in his edition of the Hebrew Scriptures: and for the New he will generally follow the most accurate edition of Griesbach."

These reflections, though but a small part of what might be written on the subject, are sufficient to prove the object for which they were written. That an improved version of the scriptures is desirable, and would be highly advantageous, is an opinion in which many illustrious scholars of the present and of past times have cordially united. Into whose hands shall such a work be committed? Into the hands, certainly, of any competent person who may be able and willing to prosecute it. Fidelity and ability are the only requisites. Mr. Boothroyd offers himself for this important enterprise; and as specimens of his qualifications, and of the manner in which he proposes to conduct the undertaking, he has accompanied the “ Reflections" with a translation of nearly the first two chapters of the book of Genesis, and of part of the third chapter of the book of Job, with notes. From these specimens we give the following extracts:

13 “ And the evening had been, and the morning had been, a third day; 14 And God said, Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens* to give light upon the earth, and to distinguish the day from the night;t and let them be for signs of stated times, and of weeks, and of years; and so it was. 16 For God made the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for the regulation of the day, and the less for the regulation of the night: he made also the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth, 18 And to regulate the night, and to distinguish the light from the darkness; and God saw that this also was good.

“ 14 I adopt the reading of the Samaritan, Sept. and 1 ms. on this comment, and omit the next, as I am satisfied that it has originated from the words omitted being afterwards inserted, and the beginning of this verse agaip repeated. That office which the light created on the first day had hitherto discharged, is henceforward to be discharged by the sun, moop, and stars. These are to be signs of slated times. So J. T. render pityish, and so the word is most usually rendered. I render p'y', weeks, a sense

* Sam. Sep. 1 ms. + And let them be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to give light pon the earth.

which it has chap. xxiv, 55. See note. On the first day God created light, yix; but on this be created luminaries, nies; which implies a luminous body, a body to which light is attached, as Mercer has justly observed."

Jos, chapter III. 1 After this, Job opened his mouth, and execrated his own BIRTHDAY; 2 And Job spake, and said:

3 Perish the day on which I was born,

the night it was said, Lo! a man-child! 4 Let that day become darkness;

let God from above never regard it;

let the streaming light never shine on it; 5 Let darkness and death-shade claim it;

let a spreading cloud dwell upon it;

let thunder-clouds make it frightful!
6 That night, let utter darkness seize it;

let it not be joined with the days of the year;

into the number of months let it pot enter!
7 Lo! let that night be solitary;

iet no joyful sound ever come thereon.
8 Let those execrate it, who curse the day

of such as are ready to rouse Leviathan.
9 Obscure be the stars of its twilight;

let it expect light, and may there be none;

let it never see the eye-lids of the morning;
10 Because it shut not the doors of the womb to me,

nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. These are highly respectable specimens, which cannot fail of procuring for Mr. Boothroyd the good opinion of the public. Should the proposed version be executed throughout with equal care, its claims to general patronage will not be inconsiderable, as it will possess no conimon excellence. To the English reader it will exhibit the variations of the ancient versions, and will include every material correction and improvement of the public version which have been suggested by the most eminent Biblical, critics, and which are required that the English Bible may correspond with the present advanced state of Biblical learning.

The undertaking on which Mr. Boothroyd has adventured, is one of high importance and of great labour, requiring not only the attainments of learning, but the higher endowments of a mind unprejudiced and impartial. Of Mr. Boothroyd's qualifications for the office in which he is engaged, we entertain a very favourable opinion. Of his acquaintance with Hebrew literature he has already furnished proof, in his edition of the Hebrew Bible. He is not deficient in critical acumen, and his judgment is generally exact. We are pleased with the modesty which invariably distinguishes him, and which forms a striking contrast with the offensive intrusions and dogmatic assertions of some other authors. His diligence and perseverance are unquestionable. We must, however, be permitted to caution him against haste in dis

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

missing the sheets of his work from the press, and to submit them to a more rigorous examination than the prospectus has received. There are several errors in these pages; one of which, in the “specimen," we must not omit to notice. Gen. i, 18, “ And to regulate the night,” should be, “ And to regulate the day and the night;" the three words,_" the day and”-are left out, either by accident or mistake, as they are indisputably a part of the text.

Some persons may probably be of opinion, that the work on which Mr. B. is employerl, is much too arduous to be successfully accomplished by an individual. They will probably advert to the number of translators who were appointed by king James to revise the Bible, and ask whether one man be competent to execute a work which was assigned to fifty-four persons in a former reign. For our own part, we confess that we see nothing very weighty in this objection. We should, on several accounts, prefer a version of the scriptures by a single transiator, principally for the sake of uniformity; and though the work is laborious, it is not impracticable.

The present is not the only instance of the Bible's being trang. lated by an individual. Luther translated the scriptures in circumstances far less propitious than Mr. B.'s. Michaelis, whose literary avocations were so numerous, and whose writings are so voluminous, found leisure to execute his German version of the Bible. Dr. A. Clarke has recorded (rather to our surprise, we own) that he translated the New Testament in eleven months, and the Old in little more than fourteen months, coliating the original text with all the ancient, and with several of the modern versions. In foreign countries, individual missionaries have translated the Bible into languages with which they were not by any means so familiar as an English scholar must be with his native tongue, nor did they possess a thousandth part of the advantages which are at Mr. B.'s command. Froin the works of his predecessors he will derive essential and extensive aid. We wish him health and spirits to prosecute his undertaking to its close, and recommend it to the patronage of our readers and the public, whose early and effectual encouragement of the indefatigable and praise-worthy author will be as honourable to themselves as it may be grateful to him.

We submit to Mr. Boothroyd's consideration, whether it would not be a further improvement in the arrangement of the version, if the figures which mark the chapters and verses were removed from their present place in the text to the outer margin. This plan would answer every purpose of utility to which the present division of our Bibles is accommodated, and it would afford every facility for the more correct distribution of the paragraphs and other divisions of the respective books; after the manner adopted by Griesbach in his Greek Testament.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Mr. Boothroyd proposes to publish the work in parts, and to comprise it in two, or at most three volumes royal quarto, and to give at the close of it a General Introduction to the Holy Scriptures, containing the evidences of their authenticity and inspiration-the Geography and Natural History of both Testaments the Opinions, Customs, and Rites of the Jews, and other Orientai Nations--the various Sects among the Jews Tables of Weights, &c.-Ecclectic Review.



Tue name of Fernapdo Cortez, the enterprising Spaniard, is familiar in story. “Envied,” says the historian of America, “by his cotemporaries, and ill-requited by the court which he served, he has been admired and celebrated by succeeding ages. Which has formed the most just estimate of his character, an impartial consideration of his actions must determine." Among the manuscripts of the late Mr. Alsop, we found a translation of the letters of Cortez to his sovereign, in which the writer gives a very minute account of his proceedings. When they were first given to the world we cannot ascertaini, hav. ing consulted a variety of bibliographical works, without finding even the litle of the book. The notes in the MS. referred to by numerals, bear this title: “ Notes 10 the Letters of Fernando Cortez on the conquest of Mexico, to the Emperor Charles V. published in 1770, by Don Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana--Archbishop of Burgos.” Of their authenticity there can be no doubt, and they form a narrative which is nut surpassed in interest by any of the Arabian Tales. Cortez, one of the greatest men of his age, at the head of five hundred disaffected adventurers,-burning his fleet and thus shatting himself in a fortified country,marching at the head of his little band through territories more wide and popu. lous than his native land, exhibits so much boliness in his designs, and such valour and wisdom in the execution of his enterprise, that we forget the wickedness of the scheme in our admiration of the man. Nor does Guitimozin suffer by a comparison with him. We behold the genius of the eld world arrayed against the genius' of the new, and their struggles produce an object for contem. plation which is not often to be seen in the anuals of the human race.

By a ship which left New Spain on the 16th of July, 1519, I wrote your majesty a particular account of what had happened from my arrival to that period; this letter I gave in charge to Alphonso Hernandes Puerto Carrero, and Francis de Montejo, procurators of the rich city of Vera Cruz", which I founded in the

« IndietroContinua »