« PreviousContinue »
of this beautiful chain I firmly believe to have been perfect from the very first day of creation ; and that the only change made was made in man, who torfeited his own life, with his eyes open, and knowing the consequence of his transgressing.
D. E. H.
INTERCESSORY SUPPLICATIONS. SIR,—Most of your readers are aware that it is a common practice with clergymen in the morning service on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when“ any desire the prayers of the congregation,” to insert the clause [“ especially those for whom our prayers are desired"] in one of the intercessory supplications of the Litany. Now I am disposed to think that this practice is not altogether correct on more than one account. The great majority (as I understand) of the copies of the Prayer Book do not retain the clause in the place referred to. The authority therefore for omitting it is so far greater than for using it. Again, in the Prayer for all conditions of men we are taught to intercede for "all who are afflicted or distressed in mind, body, or estate,” especially for those who, in respect of any of these various sufferings, need our prayers; whereas, by the practice above referred to, the clause is limited to one class of distress only,-persons “afflicted in mind or in estate" being here excluded. I would further suggest that the rhythm of the prayer in the Litany is most distressingly injured by the introduction of the clause, and I will be bold to say that there does not occur in the whole Prayer Book (unless possibly in the office for the fifth of November,) any instance of a passage so entirely αρρυθμος.
The objection, of course, at once arises, that by the omission of the clause in the Litany the special intercession for sick persons by name must be omitted three mornings in every week, and particularly on Sunday mornings.
I answer, that the church does not authorize the minister to publish the names of persons who desire the prayers of the congregation, and that on various accounts it were better to forbear the practice,--that the Litany itself is a special intercession, or rather, series of special intercessions, having direct reference to every kind of " affliction or distress in mind, body, or estate,”—that if the directions of the church were complied with, the prayer “for all conditions of men” would be used every evening in the week and four mornings, and on all these occasions the clause would of course be introduced if necessary. Nor would there then be any need for the minister to be continually giving notice that any person or persons “ desire the prayers of the congregation," much less to mention their names.
May I also suggest that, unless authority should be found to determine otherwise, there would be a greater propriety in introducing the clause in question into the prayer “for Christ's church militant” after the words “ or any other adversity,” than in inserting it into the Litany in the manner generally adopted. Vol. IX.--April, 1836.
If any of your very many correspondents possess any means of ascertaining what is strictly correct on this point, and would be pleased to communicate the result of their inquiry through the pages of the “ British Magazine," they would confer a great favour possibly on other of your readers, and certainly on, Sir, your faithful and obedient servant,
A COUNTRY CLERGYMAN.
IRISH SCRIPTURE LESSONS FOR SCHOOLS. SIR,Having examined some chapters of the “Scripture Lessons adapted for the Use of Schools, recommended by the Commissioners for the Education of the Poor in Ireland," and having compared the text of these lessons with the authorized version, the Douay version, and the original Hebrew, I propose to make a few remarks on the manner in which this little work has been executed. In the preface, it is stated that “the Board of Commissioners of Education earnestly and unanimously recommend these lessons to be used in all schools receiving aid from them.” It is asserted in the preface, by the anonymous person who calls himself “the translator," that “these lessons are drawn from the sacred volume, and are almost entirely in the language of scripture, translated literally from the original. When passages are introduced, not in scripture language, (chiefly summaries of some portion of the narrative,) they are inclosed between brackets, and usually distinguished by being printed in a smaller type.” Again, « The translation has been made by a comparison of the authorized and Douay versions with the original. The language sometimes of the one, and sometimes of the other, has been adopted, and occasionally deviations have been made from both. On this point the translator feels that he would require more indulgence than is likely to be granted to him, but he was compelled by the exigency of the case to undertake the task: and he has done his best to execute it with fidelity, and he has been constantly under the eye of persons perfectly competent to correct any errors into which he might inadvertently fall.”
Nothing can have a greater appearance of fairness than this statement. We are prepared to expect that the preference will uniformly be given to the Douay, or the authorized version, according as either of them expresses most faithfully and literally the sense of the Hebrew original. And if, in some cases, neither of the two versions expresses the sense with sufficient fidelity, the translator has undertaken to give the reader a more faithful and literal version of the Hebrew original, and this, for additional security, he has done “under the eye of persons perfectly competent to correct any errors into which he might inadvertently fall.” Now I understand by a faithful and literal version, one which, not only conveys the sense of the original text, but conveys it in the very words of the original, so far as the respective idioms of the two languages will admit of such translation. We shall soon see how he has executed a task of some difficulty and delicacy. But I must, first, do the editor the justice to admit that, so far as I have examined, I have found no passage which appears to have been either introduced or omitted“ under the influence of any peculiar view of Christianity, doctrinal or practical.” And I also admit that, as the version in the scripture lessons is much more faithful than the Douay, and the lessons well selected and adapted to convey a certain portion of scriptural instruction, the book may be used with great benefit for instructing the children of Roman catholics, if their parents do not object to the intermixture of passages taken from the authorized version. Let us now proceed to examine how far the editor has faithfully executed that which, in the preface, he professes to have done. As the book is intended for Roman catholics and protestants, no reasonable objection can be made to the use of the Douay version, so far as that version accurately represents the Hebrew text; but I think the members of the church of England have reason to complain of the very numerous departures, though generally in very unimportant instances, from a version of so much excellence as the authorized version. It has been proposed, at various times, to revise this version with all the recent and important aids which the advanced state of criticism can furnish ; but it has been generally stated in answer, that the authorized version is so faithful in itself, and has, for so long a period, been regarded with such just veneration, that more injury would be done by shocking the feelings of the people by the changes which would be introduced, than would be compensated by a nearer approach to the sense and expression of the sacred original. Perhaps too much weight has been attached to this line of argument; but, at all events, it will be admitted that, for a work of such difficulty and delicacy, none but the most judicious and competent persons should be employed, and that no changes should be made in the authorized version but such as a regard either to the sense or to the literal construction of the original rendered necessary. It is true that new versions have often been made by persons who either were or professed to be well acquainted with the Hebrew language, but no one has ever shewn such a want of judgment as to attempt to introduce any one of them into schools designed for the education of the lower classes. The chapters of the scripture lessons which have been compared with the two versions and the original text comprise the first and second chapters of Genesis, the xix, and civ. Psalms, and are taken from “Scripture Lessons, No, I., Old Testament;" and it will be admitted that I do not complain without reason of the numerous departures from the authorized version, when it is stated that in 105 verses, there are, at least, 156 alterations, and that many of these alterations, though trifling in themselves, are less exact translations of the original Hebrew than the authorized version. The alterations may be thus stated :
It must be remembered that the writer of the preface professes to have compared the authorized and the Douay versions with the original; and also that these lessons are in the language of scripture translated literally from the original. Let me ask, then, are there any words in the Hebrew original which are literally translated in the authorized version, and left untranslated in the Scripture Lessons ? and are these words so improperly omitted, also omitted in the Douay version ? If there are such words, I think it will be admitted that the anonymous translator has not fairly and faithfully executed his task. Let us see. Perhaps some of the readers of this letter may not be able to refer to the Hebrew original; it has, therefore, been thought best to place, in a separate column, Pagninus's interlinear version, which is, in general, an exact literal translation of the Hebrew, and, of course, can contain no words which are not to be found in the original.
Page 5, line 8, and the darkness
Gen. i. 5,
and the darkness
he called night.
et tenebras vocavit
from the waters
which (were.* ]
Inter aquas quæ
Page 7, line 5, and cattle ...
et jumentum secun
dum speciem suam.
Verse 26, and
...... the fowls.
and over the fowl.
et in volatile.
Line 10, and......the fowls.
Line 11, and the beasts. and the whole
earth. and ... every creep
et in jumentum
and the beasts.
and over the cattle.
et in omne reptile.
and over the fowl.
et in volatile.
upon the ...........
upon the face of
all the earth.
in superficiem omnis
and behold (it was. *]
et ecce bonum vaide,
* The translators of the authorized version, with singular fidelity, have printed the words in italics which are not in the Hebrew, but which they judged necessary to complete the sonse. These are here inserted between brackets.
I would now ask this simple question-Did the translator find in the Hebrew Bible all the following words, which he has left untranslated ? Are they translated in the authorized version ? and, if so, has he faithfully executed his task in leaving them untranslated, in exact conformity with the Douay ?
The words untranslated are these :-Gen. i. 5, xp, vocavit; ver. 7, Dion, aquas ; ver. 25, 3pb secundum speciem suam ; ver. 26, , in, omitted four times; ver.28, 2, in; ver. 29, 3D, superficiem omnis; ver. 31, 17317, ecce.
My next inquiry will be, whether there are any words in the original which are accurately translated in the authorized version, and are less accurately translated in the Scripture Lessons ? and whether these changes also are in exact conformity with the Douay version,
We will begin with the first chapter of Genesis.
Page 11, line 14,
giving wisdom to making wise the
Verse 9, holy.
for ever and ever.