Imágenes de páginas

is, to say the least of it, inconclusive. But such supposed agreement is necessary to Mr. C.'s argument;-for the context to which he refers, though the only safe guide, does not help him at all. There is a perfect agreement with the context, though the Avord uTepeide were translated “overlooked," in the sense of, " slighted.'s Thirdly, If these two points were conceded, and if it were as certain, as to me it appears uncertain, that the Greek word utegelow was used, in these four places, in the sense of, " to be angry," there still remains a capital flaw in the argument. One cannot suppose that the writer of the Acts of the Apostles, the purity of whose Greek style is allowed by the best judges, would be influenced to use this Greek word in a manner peculiar and uncommon, (for peculiar it must be allowed to be,), merely because, in four places of the Septuagint, out of nearly thirty in which the word occurs, the Greek translators had put this meaning upon it. Surely, the New Testament writers, when they vary the meaning of words on the authority of the Septuagint, do it on grounds somewhat different from this.

The reasoning of Mr. CROWTHER, thus analysed, seems to me to possess scarcely a shadow of probability. I am confirmed in the opinion, that the writer of the Acts of the Apostles used the Greek word in the sense which our translation substantially conveys,-i. e. its radical meaning, from Utep and sidew;-a meaning for which Șr. Luke needed not to refer to the Septuagint, and which, though the difference is only in the phraseology, is better expressed by " overlooked,than “winked at.

I think I have looked MR. C.'s argument fairly and fully in the face. If I have misapprehended any feature of it, I have not willingly done so. Let me now turn to the indirect, or presumptive, evidence of the meaning of the passage.

1. Not one of the versions intimates any thing concerning anger. The Vulgate has só despiciens,''i despising ; " -- which, as MR. C. now- maintains, is the same thing, as “ to think the despised object un vorthy of notice.The Syriac, a version of great authority, reads, 398, “caused to pass over.” The Ethiopic

judging from the Latin translation of it) reads, “ forgave them.The Arabic translates the passage, paraphrastically ;-froin the 'imes of this ignorance God hath now removed us.

2. None of the Greek Fathers, who were well acquainted with he language in which the New Testament was written, seem to

ssumed no such agreement between the Septuagint and Hebrew as he supposes ;it that I have taken the meaning of uripudw, in Lev. xx. 4, from the context, hich, at least, determines it to be the reverse of anger and punishment.

& So the Latin translator of the Septuagint has rendered it, Deus audiril, et rerit,---" then God heard, and slighted" his people. I must still doubt whether “ to pise,” in the sense of, thinking unworthy of nolice,” can, in correct Theology, predicated of the Divine Being. The Hebrew word, oxa, signifies abhorrence d rejection. To adduce that in proof, therefore, is wide of the mark.

* 5 K 2 *

spimus, non sono mus ;"becand turn

have had any idea that the word meant, to be angry." At least, till the contrary is shown, I may, without pretending to have read every part of their works, rest in this conclusion.

3. None of the Lexicographers of the Greek language, who possess an established authority, -as HesychIUS, SUIDAS, STEPHENS, HEDERIC,-ever intimate that the meaning of anger can attach to the Greek word. STEPHENS, the author of the Thesaurus, was truly a giant in Greek literature. Sach, it is said, was his acquaintance with the language, that it might have been thought his vernacular tongue. He defines the meaning of the disputed word thus,-“ Aspicio ultra, seu ulterius,"_" to look beyond, or farther," and proceeds to say, that it is used in the sense of, “ to despise or contemn,"_"ex eo quod iis quæ contemnimus, non acquiescimus, sed ulterius respicimus, seu ad majora oculos convertimus ;because on those things which we despise we rest not, but look farther, and turn our eyes to things greater."*

4. None of the later Commentators of the greatest Icarding have attributed the meaning, for which MR. C. contends, to the passage. The sole instance which looks like an exception, is found among the multifarious and conflicting criticisms, huddled together in Poole's Synopsis.

Now allowing it to be possible, that a meaning may be the true one, even though all the Versions be against it, and all the Fathers, and all the Lexicographers, and, with one exception, all the Commentators;--yet the probability of this is so exceedingly small,—that even if we were destitute of other argument, the presumption against it is absolutely overwhelming.

If it be said, that, though the arguments of MR. C. do not prove his point, they at least form a presumption in its favour, am willing that others should think so. Let this probability, then, be nicely weighed in good critical balances, and taken for as much as it is worth. Valeat quantum valet. Stockport.

D. W.



To the Editor of the Methodist Magazine. I beg your insertion of the following correction of an error in my communication, in the Note, p. 740, line 15, from the bottom.

For to all those passages," read “ generally to those passages when figuratively used,”-and for one passage only excepted, viz. Ps. li. 9," read as follows : “ nor is there more than one passage in

** God overlooked, "-" The beams of his eye did in a manner shoot orer il Wesley's Notes in loc. The agreement between the great Lexicographer and the great Divine, is very striking. It presents an additional proof, if we needed any, of MB. WESLEY's critical acquaintance with Greek,

the Scriptures, viz. Ps. li. 9, where that expression means any thing like mercy.”

Thus it was designed to have been written when the memorandum of these passages was originally made; and thus amended, your readers will, I believe, find the assertion perfectly correct.

Also, add to the authorities quoted in Note 2, p. 818, that of PhiloXENUS, who gives to umegside the sense of despexit, (he despised.) Vide C. LABBÆI Glossaria.

J. C.



BY GEORGE BELLAMY, MissionARY IN DEMERARA. AMONG the most valuable and interesting discoveries made in the tropical regions in favour of suffering humanity, certainly we may rank that of a cure for the bites of venemous serpents, found in the plant Beju-co-del Guaco, a species of Bind-weed. This secret is understood to have been long known to some of the Indians in the tropical parts of South America; but, ever mindful of the injustice and cruelty of their conquerors, they have uniformly refused to communicate to the intruders any portion of their valuable knowledge. The virtues of the plant in question were, however, recently discovered in an almost accidental manner; and experience having now fully shown it to be a specific for the en venomed bite of the most dangerous serpents, and other poisonous reptiles, it becomes of importance to make its qualities more generally known.

The Negroes in the province of Choco, dependant on the kingdom of Santa-Fe, were the first who observed a bird called the Guacó, pursuing and fighting with serpents; and, by closer attention, they discovered that serpents were the common food of this animal.* They perceived, also, that the Guaco, when wounded in its severe battles, always recurred to a certain plant, and never appeared to receive material injury: when unable to kill its enemy, they noticed, that it availed itself of the leaves of the same plant to lay him asleep, and he then became an easy

* This bird must not be confounded with the one belonging to the species of Herons, mentioned by BUFFON in his Natural History of Birds, which he calls Graco, or Souaco, the name commonly given to it. The American Guaco, a name probably derived from the Indians, more properly belongs to the class of Carnivorous Birds, under the head of Hawks, in the same way as CATESBY calls one of these birds the serpent-hawk, (epervier serpent,) from that reptile being its food, and object of prey: many other birds derive their names in the same manner. In British Guiana there are many of this kind of hawks, which feed on poisonous serpents.

prey. Pushing their discoveries and experiments still further, they eventually ascertained that this same plant, to which they afterwards gave the name of Guaco, in reference to the bird which had taught them its virtues, not only, in all cases, cured the poisonous bites of serpents, but also, when frequently taken, operated as a preservative against their destructive powers.

Mutis, the celebrated botanist of Santa-Fe, previous to the above-mentioned discovery being known, had been astonished at the facility with which the negroes, inhabiting the neighbourhood and borders of the river Magdalena, caught serpents, and carried them about in their hands and bosoms, without any dread, or fatal effects: and, ever active in that spirit of research for which he was so much distinguished, the following experiments were made in the presence of himself and several other botanists.

A negro was obtained, well versed in such dangerous trials, who brought with him a venomous serpent known to the Spaniards by the name of Taġa, so called from its being marked on the back with white spots, in a form somewhat resembling the letter X. The negro handled the serpent in every way he was desired, and gave it severe blows, without its appearing roused, or making any attempt to bite him. It was at first imagined that the serpent was not of the most venomous kind, or that the negro had extracted its teeth ; but, on causing him to open its mouth, thé rows of sharp teeth were found in perfect order, and ample assurances were moreover given, that it was of the most deadly species known in the province of Santa-Fe. No further doubt was entertained of the efficacy of the preservative plant; and one of the gentlemen resolved to undergo a similar experiment to that which had just been performed by the negro. For this purpose, the negro pressed the juice of a handful of the leaves of the Guaco-Plant into a glass, and gave the person two table spoonfuls to drink; after which, he inoculated some of the same juice into the skin, having made eight small incisions; one in each foot, one in the fleshy part of each of the hands, one between the fore-fingers and thumbs, and, lastly, one on each side of the breast. On the appearance of blood, some of the juice was poured on the part, and it was well rubbed with the pounded leaves of the plant; which operation being fully performed, the person, if bitten, was comsidered as perfectly safe, and besides prepared to handle any serpent of the worst kind at pleasure. Various experiments were then tried both by Mutis and his companions, all tending to prove the peculiar qualities of the juice. Several questions, respecting other plants, were then put to the negro, who assured his inquirers that he knew of no other plant equally efficacious, and that this was always eaten by the Guaco, or serpent-bawk, when overcome by the serpents which it attacked in search a

food; declaring moreover, that he had frequently witnessed the I circumstance, and had noticed that these birds constantly recurred to the same remedy.

The Guaco-Plant is found indigenous near Mariquita, as well as in the hot and temperate parts of the vice-royalty of Santa-Fe, and thrives well on the margins of rivulets and damp places. The genus to which it belongs, in the science of botany, has not yet been determined. Its root is fibrous, and extends in every direction: it is a species of creeper, or bind. tveed; and its climbing and adhering shoot is round when young, but angular when old, and set with opposite leaves. The leaves are green, intermingled with purple, smooth below, rough above, and somewhat hairy. The flower rises like a crest, yellow, and flosculous; and four petals are seen in each calyx. In each side of the tassel of the flower, which is dented, are five stamina, united to the apices. These, which are cylindrically shaped, surround the 'style, and contain long bristly seeds.

When used as a preservative, it was at first supposed unneces. sary to inoculate with the juice of the Guaco. Plant, under an impression that its effects on serpents arose out of the disagreeable smell of the plant: it was nevertheless found, that the mode usually practised by the negroes possessed some peculiar advantages, and that in like manner as the virus of the small-pox, introduced by the smallest orifice into the system, affects the whole mass of the blood, this also might have some strong com. municable properties which rendered inoculation more safe and efficacious. The juice operates as a powerful anodyne, and produces in the patient a copious perspiration. When the cure has been performed in the manner above described, the native empirics recommend the dose to be repeated five or six times during the succeeding month, lest any of the venom should still remain behind. This occasional repetition of the above-mentioned process is said constantly to maintain in the body the strong effects of the herb, which operate as a preservative against future poison, even though, at the time of being bitten, the plant should not be at hand to rub the wound and renew the dose. It is further added, that the curative virtues of the plant subside, if the same precau, tion be not used at the next increase of the moon. This, however, is held out from no other than interested views, as the Puring of serpents' bites, among the negroes, is still a kind of rade ; and distinguished botanists and physicians have had imple and frequent proof, that as a remedy and antidote it is alike ermanently efficacious: in fact, by way of experiment, serpents ave been handled, without danger, long after the monthly period finoculation had passed. But it is, to ensure safety in cases of ial, strongly recommended that the person should prepare him

« AnteriorContinuar »