Page images
PDF
EPUB

that they possess a coincidence in error, in innumerable places. With these objections lying against the meagre list of testimonies cited by Griesbach, in support of his conjeetural emendation; the advocates for an amendment of the received text on his authority, are rather entitled to our pity than censure.

In the fourib instance, cited from Rom. ix. 5. p. 563. the clanse “ Whose are the fathers, and of whom by nutural de: scent Clirist came. God who is over all be blessed for ever;" is subsulluted for, “ Whose are the Fathers, and of whom, as concerning the fresh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Of the antecedent alteration in this passage,

the margin of the Improved Version exhibits 10 notification; though, as our author observes, “ it goes to the very essence of the Socinian controversy." After a variety of authorities is adduced, evincing the importance of this text, the shameful arts of the Unitarians, in abusing the credulity of their readers, are exemplified and exposed, in a view of the mamer in which they have dealt by this obnoxious passage. In the course of these observations, the testimony of Erasmus, Grotius, and Griesbach, of Dr. Clarke, Mr. Locke, &c. which are challenged by the Unitarians in support of their cause, are examined in detail, and clearly shewn to deliver a sentence the very reverse of that forced on their declarations. The testimony of Cyprian, Hilary, and Chrysostome, who are quoted, by the Unitarian espositors, against the received reading, is produced at large; and fully proved to deliver a testimony direcily contrary to that to which it is wrested. These, and all other subsidiary proofs, tending to establish the received reading, and to fix its proper siguification, are produced at large, and asserted with that force of reasoning, and induction of authorities, which evince de skill of the learned author to be pot less eininent in the critical provinces of the science which he professes, than in the doctrinal.

It is with considerable hesitation that we presume to differ from a writer of such acknowledged accuracy as the reverend dignitary before us, who takes nothing on trust, and adopts nothing rashly or hasily. While we venture to dissent from the concluding remark of the subjoined observation, we, at the same time, offer it as an example of the variety of lights in which our author has contemplated bis subject, who is indeed rarely baffled, in attaining the most full and accurate view of it. After repeating a conjectural emendation of the old Socinian Slichtingins, who proposes substituting, ævi for ó úv, in the passage before us; and chastising Ms. Belsham, who informs uus, with his usual knowledge of Greek, that, by “ the trans

position

[ocr errors]

position of a single letter, áv o for ó áv," this change is effected; our author observes in continuation :

“ But to pass from these modern blunders to the ancient MSS. it should be recollected, that as no one manuscript, nor any single Version or Father, gives the sentence at this day with the reading that has been here suggested ; that the transposition, if it took place at all, must have been of a very early date ; of a date almost as early as that of the epistle itself. Now, will any person, conversant with the history of the Greek language, undertake to affirm, that at so remote a period, the change which has been here spoken of, could have been effected by the transposition of a single letter? Can any one acquainted with the ancient Greek inscriptions, venture to assert, that the Greek aspirate H had ceased to be employed in the age in which St. Paul's Epistle was written? And if, on the contrary, there be good reason to think that it had not, will be deem that change so likely, which, so far froin consisting in the mere transportation of a letter, would demand the alteration of the word HUUNHO into HOWN?" P. 568. n.

The difficulty here stated, seems to be completely solved by the manuscripts discovered in the ruins of Herculaneum. The submersion of this city, which perished with Pompeii, by an irruption of Vesuvius, may be referred to the times of Nero, on the authority of Seneca *: and the fourth year of the reign of the same prince is mentioned as the date of St. Paul's Epistle, addressed to the Romans t. But from an inspection of the MSS. dug out of that city, it does not appear that the aspirate H was then in use. The character in which they are written may be said to resemble that of the Alexandrine MS.; when a small allowance is made for the difference of the Italic and Egyptian writing : and in the work of Philodemus, published by Maze zochi, the letter H is accordingly used, as a vowel, not as an aspirate. But the admission of this point, involves no concession to the claims of the Unitarians ; por in the least invalidates the numerous proofs by which the author has independently

Senec. Nat. Quæst. Lib. VI. cap. i. Tom. II. p. 782. ed. Amst. 1672. He mentions the event as having taken place in the Consulate of L. Memius Regulus and L. Virginius Rufus ; which, according to the Fasti Consulares, happened A. D. 63.

+ The date of the Epistle to the Romans, according to the statement of Dr. Mills, corrected by Fabricius, is fixed at A. D. 58. We mention it as a curious coincidence, that St. Paul and Seneca are said to have been correspondents; a collection of spurious Epistles existing under their name; they certainly perished in the Teign of Nero, and apparently about the same time.

U

established VOL. VI. SEPTEMBER, 1816.

established his position. As he proceeds to shew, after the Jearued and ingenious Bishop of Calcutta, the purposed emendation " would both give false Greek, and a direct contradiction to St. Paul's reasoning.".

In the filth instance, cited from 2. Cor. viii. 9. p. 593, the clause " while he was rich, yet for your sakes he lived in poverty," is substituted for " though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he hecame poor ;" and here again the alteration is iuade in opposition to the Primale's text and notes, while no votitication is subjoined in the margin. Were we to select out of the various and important matter accumulated in the production before us, a favourite specimen of our author's manner, our choice would probably rest upon the present division of his subject; as exhibiting the variety of his resources, the range and depth of his researches. In the course of the observations which the passage before us bas elicited, we find the full force of its language determined on the testimony, not merely of Stephens, Constantine, and Erasmus, who are vainly chal. lenged by his opponents, and of Suidas Suicer and Schleusner, bu by an examination of numerous original authorities. The synonyms of the contested terms, as found in the Hebrew; as rendered in the versions of the Greek and Latin, published by the Seventy and St. Jerome; in the fragments of Aquila, Theodotion, and Syınmachus, in the translations of the Chaldee and Syriac, and in the Versions of Wielif and Dio. dati, are examined in detail. The auxiliary lights, which St. Clement, and Gregory Nazianzene amoug the ancients, and mbich Erasınns, Grotius, Doddridge, Locke, Harwood, Newcome, Rosenmüller, &c. among the moderns, throw upon the disputed texts, are scrutinized, and their genuine sense deter. nuined, beyond costroversion.

To an investigation, prosecuted by our author with such minuteness and accuracy, nothing remains for us to supply. We will, however, venture to interpose our opinion upon ove poiut, in which his inquiries met an obstruction, and which he has left without a solution. After specifying six places in which the LXX lise the verb mlwgeuw in the canonical and apocryphal books of the Old Testament; and having ascertained its meaning in the parallel passages of the Hebrew and Vulgate, he proceeds to observe;

“ With respect to the sense then, in which the verb wiwxaís has been employed by the LXX, in the several passages we have the joint testimony of the original Hebrew, of Jerome's translation, and of the unequivocal force of the context. To the remaining passage in the book of Tobit, we cannot apply the same accumulated evidence ; because we are not possessed of the Hebrew or Chaldee original: and because, from whatever reason, the Vulgate transksion of this book has, in such a variety of respects, so little ace cordance with the Greek tert. But yet it is not less certain from the context, &c.” P. 631. n.

lated

The fact is, that the Version of the Books of Tobit and Ju. dith were made by St. Jerome from the Chaldee original, of wltich our author mention the loss *. It is on this principle

easily seen, how the Latin Version should merely preserve that .. resemblance to tie Greek, which distinguishes the offspring of

the same parentage ; and low, of course, it “ should, in such a variety of respects, possess so little accordance with the Greek” as precluded the citation of its authority, on the present occasion t.

In

[ocr errors]

S. Hier. Ep. ad Chrom. et Heliod. "Tom. I. col. 1158. ed. BePed. Conf. Martianay, Prolegom. II. vi.

+ The coincidence of the vulgar Greek, Latin, and Syriac Versions of Tobit, which have been respectively taken froin the Chaldee original, clearly evinces, that the term used in that Apocryphal book must have been synonymous with luxtów, the word in dispute: őt imlo xivocum in the LXX being rendered

pauperem quidem vitam gerimus, in the Vulgate, and be pamb 21: quod pauperes facti sumus, in the Syriac. Now as St. Jerome informs us that he translated this book from the mouth of a Jew, who converted the Chaldee into Ilebrew, which he then transfused into Latin; the most probable source of ascertaining the original of the phrase, which he has adopted in the Latin Vulgate, is in the Hebrew Versions of Tobit, published by Munster and Fagius. The translation of the former possesses nothing concident with the phrase before us ; that of the latter renders it 13'70 nurus quod attenuata est manus nostra. Had this phrase, or one equivalent to it, been dictated to St. Jerome, and been literally rerdered by him, as it is here translated by Fagius; it is easy to conceive how it might have been converted by him, into the present reading of the Vulgate.. On his collating his translation with the Septuagint, he would naturally lean to the authority of this version, which Origen had corrected, by the original languages, and inserted in his Hexapla ; and thus taking a middle course between the Greek and Hebrew, would render a phrase, of which he was doubtful, by " pauperem vitam gerimus,” which he would render by “ pauperes facti sumus," had he merely considered the Greek. In this manner, the variation in his testimony may be satisfactorily accounted for, and that eminent father's authority be considered decisive, on the point which it is adduced to prove. What the reading of the passage before us was, in the original Chaldee of Tobit,

In the sixth instance, cited from Heb. xii. 25, 26. p. 671, we observe the following varieties between the Unitarians' Version, and the Primate's translation, which they profess to take as their model. In the latter we read; “ See that ye refuse not him who speaketh, for if those escaped not who refused bin that uttered the oracles of God on earth, much more we shall not escape, if we reject him who was from heaven : whose voice then shook the earth : but now he bath promised, &c.” But in the former ; “ See that ye refuse not God who speaketh. For if those escaped not who refused him when he uttered oracles on earth, much less shall we escape, if we reject him speaking from heaven : whose voice then shook the earth : but now he hath promised,” &c. On this change our author founds and substantiates a charge against the Unitarians, of altering the Scriptures to suit their own systems; and brings home the fun. damental charge, of departing from Primate Newcome's authority, without any acknowledgment of the deviation. To deliver our sentiments upon the discussion into which he is led by the subject thus rising before him, would be to repeat the commendation which we have bestowed on the former parts of the work. In the suite of notes annexed to the present divisiou of his subject, the authenticity of the important texts, 1 Cor. x. 0. xv. 47. is vindicated, and the proper force of those texts asserted, against the ignorant glosses, and wilful perversions, of the Unitarian expositors. On this subject, we beg leave a little further to detain our reader's attention.

With respect to St. Epiphanius's testimony, which contains the only material objection to the received reading of 1 Cor. x.9; we have been long inclined to believe, that it derives its entire force merely from a typographical error; and that if we pos. sessed a correct copy of that ancient father's works, it would confirm the common testimony of manuscripts, fathers, and versions. The reasons which have led us to this conclusion may

be briefly specified. The statement of his sentiments, as expressed in the printed copies of his works, cannot, in our estimation, be easily reconciled with his account of the opinions of Mar

which literally על שמטה ידינו ,in the version published by Fagius

is not easy to determine ; it is, however, obvious, that the phrase

, means, “ in the releasement of our hands,"comp. Deut. xv. 3. adds the strongest confirmation to the truth of our author's hypothesis ; more especially, as the root of nonw occurs, not only in the Hebrew, but in the Chaldee, and other cognate dialects of that lan. guage; Wow Heb. reliquit, demisit, intermisit : onw Chald. Exiliit, obripuit: uica Syr. Eduxit, evulsit : baan Arab. coniminuit, &c.

« PreviousContinue »