Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

only Scriptures known to, or valued by, the Greeks. This was the text comincnted by CHRYSOSTOM ard THEODORET; it was this which furmshed topics to ATHANASIUS, NaziANZEN, and Basil. From this fountain the Aream was derived to the Latin church, first by the Italic or VULGATF translation of the Scriptures, which was made from the Septuagini, and not from the Hebrew; and secondly by the ftudy of the Greek fathers. It was by this borrowed light, that the Latin fathers illuminated the weftern hemisphere; and when the age of CYPRIAN, AMD POSE, AUGUSTINE, and GREGORY luccessively pafled way; this was the lighi pui into the hands of the next dynaft of the logists, THE SCHOOLMEN, who carried on the work of theological disquisition by the aid of this l: minary, and of none other. So that either in Greek or in Latin, it was still the Septuagint Scriptures, that were rad, explained, and quoted as authority, tor a period of fittern hundred years." P. 18.

To a thort, but just, history of Biblical Literarure, from : he beginning of the 16th censury down to the present time, the learned author fubjoins the design of his work.

“ About the commencement of the fixteenth century, a new order of thiiigs began to open. A curiosity for languages, and a taite for sound literature suggested to persons of research, to confite less in the fecondary aids oi ancient translations, however recommended ; and to feel. Theini lve the original fountain, and form their own judgment, upon the retult of their own cxanupation. The same propenfity led them to encourage new translations from the Hebrew; and in these they willingly placed some of that reliance, which before had been contidently repored in the Septuaginr, and Vulgate. When men were thus brought back to the Hebrew text, it was of course for the Jewish Maforerical schooi to rise in estimation, and for the Greek one to lose its ascendancy. This change of taste took place more or lefs, as tree inquiry and learned investigation were more pursued. It was mofly in Protestant countries that this change of fyftem obtained; there the Vulgate sunk in credit; the commentaries of the Greek and Latin fathers, not being upon the text then brought into use, had no longer the same application, or the same value. The text itself of the Septuagini, from being the reigning authority, íunk into a Itate of mere toleration, and seemed to be preserved in that, only from some particular circumitances, arising out of the learning of the time,

• Greek anri Latin ícholars did not teel disposed to acquiesce in an entire rejection of works, which gave splendor to their favorite ftua dies, by Thewing they mnight be highly utetut in furthering the interefts of religion. I he cultivators of polite literature became thus the ad. vocates of the Vulgate, and Septuagint versions, and earnesty withed to bring them back to their fornter reputation. Those of the Rooith church had as much fuccels as they could hope, in favor of the l'ul. gate. This version maintained the ground, that their church had for inany centuries allowed it, unimpaired, as far as ecclefiaftical authority could support it. The Septuagint had not, amongit Proteftants, a finiilar fopport from authority, which in all countries went to the fire

of

of the Jewish text, either in the original, or in the versions recently made from it. Learned individuals, however, of several Proteftant churches, united in upholding its credit, even in opposition to the Hebrew. In the early part of the latt century there arose a controversy upon the character and credit of this version, contrálied with the credit and character of the Hebrew; this was conducted with fome of that heat, which unfortunately mixes too often in philological debates, 101.rar

tinction amongst men, who are somewhat confident in their pre-conceived pista, asa..??

nions. This heat paffed away with its au'hors; bui the opinions and Veen in · pariialities in favor of the Septuagint, retained their ground among the

learned men, who were refolved not to part with the faristaction they ..., felt, in considering their Greek Scriptures of the Old Testament, as

citament, as medidas something very like an original.

“ In our country, in particular, the Hebrew language has never". been a regular branch of eciucation, either in our schools or universitjes, to the same degree as Latin and Greek. A dead language, that is not learnt at school, is rarely attaired afterwards; and one so wholly unco inected with polite licerature, and so foreign from the taste acquired by an acquaintance with the writers of Greece and Rome, is not likely to tempt persons, who have finished their studies, to put themselves again to school, merely to learn that, which has no gratifi. cations for the ear or the taste. Few of us are inclined to submit to the discipline, which Jerome thought it, and which he thus describes in his own case: Cuidam Fratri, qui ex Hebræis crediderat, me in discia plinam dedi; ut poft Quinctiliani acumina, Ciceronis fluvios, gravitatem Frontonis, et lenitatem Plinii, alphabetum discerom, et stridentia, anbelantiaque verba meditarer. Such persons, in such a ficuarion, having the pride and the prerogative of scholars to maintain, feel themielves awkwardiy circumitanced : 'they are used to read ancient authors in their own language; they are familiarly a quainied with the ipfiffima vorba of the Evangelists and Apofiles in the N'w Testament ; they can read in the original every thing that is eminent and celebrated; every thing that is worth reading, except only the Hebrew Scrip tures of the Old Testament. Here the scholar loses the distinction that belongs to karning; he is disiaiisfied with this defect in his atrainments : but still wishing to turn his Greek studies to account, such a person will take up the Sertuagint, which he is desirous to consider in the nature of an original; and will persuade himself, that, in so doing, he advances a step further than the mere English reader of the church translaiion. No sooner does he attempt to compare this with the English, in the faine manner as he was frequently compared the New Tetament, than he finds some disagreement that ftarties hiin; he proceeds, and finds new difficulties: ne turns to Patrick, Low!h, and other commentators, and discovers, that they in.' terpret the Masoretical Jewilh text, and are filent about the Greek. Such disappointments can only end in disguit; the Septuagint is thrown ahde, and, for the contulation of the ftudent, a sentence of condemnation is pronounced, either on the translators for want of fidelity, or on the Jews for corrupting the Hebrew. If any future attempt is made, it is likely to end in the same manner. I believe there are many amongtt us who have to regret thele unsuccessful experiments. Owing

co such disappointments it must be confessed, that among our scholars, the Septuagint is a book more talked of than read; in consequence of which, the Old Testament is seldom studied, but in the English version; so that learned and unlearned are nearly on the same fooring, with regard to this part of our Bible.

With these confiderations, as I before said, in my mind, I had the curiosity to discover what was the real extent of the discordance between the Greek and Hebrew texts, by making myself an exact Collation of them. This experiment, I thought, would be more usefully made upon the Psalms, which is the most popular, most interefting, and befi known of all the books in the Old Testament. Being so fortunate as to know a person of the Jewish nation, who is extremely well versed in their Scripture, and in all parts of Jewish learning, I fat down with him to make this trial; the result of which will be seen in the following pages.” P. 23.

We shall reserve for another article fome particular reinarks on the Collations themselves, which will lead to original, and, we ruft, intereiting observations on the text.

(To be continued.)

Art. II. Des Causes qui ont amené l'Ufurpation du Ginirni

Bonaparte et qui préparent fu chute.-i. e. On the Causes which facilitated ihe Ufiirpation of General Bonaparte, and which prepare his Fall. By Sir F. Dlvernois. 8vo. 378 pp. 8s. De Buffe, Elmily, Dulau, Wright, &c. 1800.

TN no period has any country undergone or caused so many

revolutions as France, since the commencement of 1789. Sir Francis D'Ivernois, whose different works on the finances and internal state of that Republic, we have so often had occasion justly to recommend, has in this work instinted an enquiry into the two lait violent fubversions of the government of that country, wbich he discovers to have been derived from the same caufe as the others which preceded them : he then goes on to show, that iis existence is not yet brought to a termination ; but that it threaicos the present constitution with the same ruia in which it has, in a short time, overwhelmed so many others.

This subversive cause he clearly shows to have been the defiiit, or inequality of the revenue of the state to its expenditurę; the inelancholy series of events, which have taken place fince he has wriiten, has deprived his views of the subject of very little present importance; we shall here, therefore, give a

methodized methodized analysis of the leading part of his work, the solidity and utility of which still remain undiminished.

The annual progress of the deficit he thus thows : in the air fifth year of the Republic, the effective receipt of the treasury . amounted 10 446 millions of livres; of the sixth year, to 384 millions; that of the seventh, was 330 millions; and, of the eighin, tu 220 millions (p. 254): the actual expenditure of the seventh year, amounted to 580 millions (p. 197). This evil the Councils could be prevailed upon to put a stop to, only by doubling and trebling'taxes, rapidly decreasing in their product before (p. 24); the Directory were, indeed, permitted to sell confiscared lands, to the value of 125. millions; of these, the sales amounted 10 38 millions of franks only; of which fum, 22 were paid them in their own ordonances or bills, and - the available produce of the sale was 16 millions only (p. 26). A plan for the re-establishment of the salt duty was rejected (p. 17). Afier tlie fist of the two revolutions here treated of, that of Prairial, the Councils voted, what they denominated, a progrellive loan of 100 millions; to this, the advances of the proprietors of land were regulated by their payments to the land-tax , thofe of the first and second cials, already paid each one chird at least of their respective incomes : on the first, the loan was double the tax, exhausting the annual receipt of the individuals entirely; and of the second, equal, leaving them one third of their income only, for their sublistence (p. 79). Opulent individuals, engaged in trade and commerce, were charged at a like exorbirani rale; but in a mode eifectively arbitrary: every one dreaded to appear rich; all demand for, commodities not of the first neceility inslantly ceased ; and the intenser effect of this blow fell on the populace, who referred it to the right cause. The uimost receipt of the treasury was 35 millions; but this was purchased by a fall of all the other taxes, of 150 (p. 137). .. The efficts of this perpetually increasing, and perpetually revolutionizing deficit, upon the military exertions, and thitta ing conftitutions of ihe Republic, well deserve attention. The Directory, although their armies were reduced to half the force which they had declared necessary (p. 46), finding it impoffible to maintain them at home, were obliged to precipitate them, unprovided, upon foreign states, and renew the war. Jourdao was directed to lead his troops into Germany, to make good their own sublistence, by putting that country under military execution. He declared his force to have been in ferior to the attempt, and he was obliged to reserve that execution for the departments of France (p. 273) in his retreat. The army of MafTena was confined in a sterile and exhausted country,

by

which umen, wabted the

hy a superior enemy; there were troops enough in the South of France to have relieved him, but provisions could not be procured to subsist them on their march, and his forces so increased, after the junction (p. 305). The Directory was · obliged to leave the fortined places in Italy without stores (p. 272); for the defence of Ancona showed, that the superior celerity of their re-conquest, - to that of their acquisition by Bonaparte, was not to be attributed to their defenders (p. 297): and, at one period, the French cavalry, whose number was 68,000 men, wanted 40 000 horses to remount them, part of which was supplied by requisition (p. 275).

To reinforce the reduced army at this juncture, 200,000 conscripts were voted ; of many bodies of these, two thirds, or more, deferred on their route to their places of rendezvous. Insurrections bruke vut in many parts of France, particularly the south, and they joined the insurgents. To prevent this enormous delusion, a machine was invented, called a quadrille, in which these soldiers of liberty were marched by fours, and so secured, that they could only move their legs (p. 282) and, to finish the account of this levy, Jourdan informs us, that the greater part of those ordered to reinforce him were not able to join his army, for want of clothes and arms. Nor did the accefsion of Bonaparte to the Consulate hinder the spirit of defertion, which had been suspended, from breaking out among the veterans ; an entire regiment of huzzars returned from Italy ; ihe 17th light croops, cavalry or infantry, abandoned their general (p. 299) and when Massena joined his army, as he brought with him only the assurance that he was come to share their distress, inítead of money or provisions, a body of 1 200 men alternpted to march off wi:h their colours and baggage. The general had taken his measures before-hand ; they were surrounded, brought back, and one of the corps decimated (p. 301).

The effects of the deficit on she stability of government of the Republic, may be very briefly dispatched. At the revolu. tion of Fructidor, in its fifth year, the executive power expelled the heads of the majority of the legislators, because ibey would not grant them the subsides necellary to make it good. In the revolution of the seventh year, called that of Prairial, The legislative body expelled the majority of the executive for demanding them (p. 62). The attempt to supply the deficiency by ine progressive loan, and its failure, cauled the fall of their successors, and introduced the consular constitution. (p. 157) " If the disorder of the finances,” said Arnould, on the 17th of December, after that event, “ ruined the an

cient

« PreviousContinue »