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the sense or the connection, I take no notice of; because the much greater part of them' would occasion no difference in translating; and even of the few of these which might admit some difference, the difference is more in words than in meaning. Again, such variations as even alter the sense, but are not tolerably supported, by either external, or internal, evidence, especially when the common reading has nothing in it apparently irrational, or unsuitable to the context, I have not judged necessary to mention. Those, on the contrary, which not only, in some degree, affect the sense, but, from their own intrinsic evidence, or from the respectable support of manuscripts and versions, have divided the critics about their authenticity, I have taken care to specify. When the evidence, in their favour, appeared to me clearly to preponderate, I have admitted them into the text, and assigned my reason in the notes. Wherever the matter seemed dubious, I have preferred the common reading, and suggested, in the notes, what may be advanced in favour of the other. When the difference lay in the rejection of a clause commonly received, though the probability were against its admission, yet, if the sentence or clause were remarkable, and if it neither conveyed a sentiment unsuitable to the general scope, nor brought obscurity on the context, I have judged it better to retain it, than to shock many readers by the dismission of what they have been accustomed to read in their Bible. At the same time, to distinguish such clauses, as of doubtful authority, I in
close them in crotchets. Of this the doxology, as it is called, in the Lord's prayer, is an example. In other cases, I have not scrupled to omit what did not appear sufficiently supported.
THE DIALECT EMPLOYED.
As to what concerns the language of this version, I have not much to add to the explanations I have given of my sentiments on this article, in the latter part of the preceding Dissertation, and the first part of the present. When the common translation was made, and (which is still earlier) when the English liturgy was composed, the reigning dialect was not entirely the same with that which prevails at present. Now, as the dialect which then obtained does, very rarely, even to the readers of this age, either injure the sense, or affect the perspicuity; I have judged it proper, in a great measure, to retain it. The differences are neither great, nor numerous.
The third person singular of the present of the verb, terminates in the syllable eth, in the old dialect, not the letter S, as in that now current. The participles are very rarely contracted; nor is there ever any elision of
the vowels. Indeed, these elisions, though not en. tirely laid aside, are becoming much less frequent now, than they were about the beginning of the last century. The difference is, in-itself, inconsiderable : yet, as all ranks and denominations of Christians are, from the use of, either the Bible, or the Book of Common Prayer, or both, habituated to this dialect; and as it has contracted a dignity, favourable to seriousness, from its appropriation to sacred purposes ; it is, I think, in a version of any part of holy writ, entitled to be preferred to the modern dialect.
§ 2. The gayer part of mankind will, doubtless, think that there is more vivacity in our common speech; as by retrenching a few unnecessary vowels, the expression is shortened, and the sentiment conveyed with greater quickness. But vivacity is not the character of the language of the sacred penmen. Gravity here, or even solemnity, if not carried to excess, is much more suitable. “I bid this man," says the centurion, in the anonymous translation 112, “Go, and he's gone; another, Come, and he's here ; “ and to my servant, Do this, and it is done.” And in the parallel place in Luke 1-3, “Lord, don't give “ yourself the trouble of coming; I don't deserve
you should honour my house with your pre" sence.” There are, I believe, not a few who would prefer this manner to that of the common version, as being much smarter, as well as more gen
112 Matth. viii. 9.
113 Luke, vii. 6.
teel. Surely, if that interpreter had given the smallest attention to uniformity, he would never have rendered αμην αμην λεγω υμιν, as he sometimes does, by the antiquated phrase, Verily, verily I say unto you. It would have been but of a piece with many passages of his version, to employ the more modish, and more gentlemanlike asseveration,“
Upon my “ honour.” With those who can relish things sacred in this dress, or rather disguise, I should think it in vain to dispute.
$ 3. ANOTHER criterion of that solemn dialect, is the recourse, when an individual is addressed, to the singular number of the second personal pronoun thou and thee, and, consequently, to the second person singular of the verb, which being, in common, language, supplied by the plural is, in a manner, obsolete. This also is, from scriptural use, and the constant use of it in worship, in the British dominions, both by those of the establishment, and by dissenters, universally intelligible, and now considered as the proper dialect of religion. Immediately after the Reformation, the like mode, in using the pronoun, was adopted by all Protestant translators into French, Italian, and German, as well as into English. But as, in Roman Catholic countries, those translations were of no authority ; and as the Scriptures are read in their churches, and their devotions and ceremonies performed, in a language not understood by the people ; the customs of dissenters, as all Protestants are in those countries, could not introduce, into the
language of religion, so great a singularity of idiom. And as there was nothing to recommend this manner to the people, whilst there were several things to prejudice them against it, we do not find that it has been employed by any late Popish translators into French.
What tended to prejudice them against it, is, first, the general disuse of it in the ordinary intercourse of men ; and, secondly, the consideration that the few exceptions from this disuse, in common life, instead of showing respect or reverence, suggests always either pity or contempt; no person being ever addressed in this way but one greatly inferior, or a child. This being the case, and they not having, like us, a solemn, to counterbalance the familiar, use; the practice of Protestants would rather increase, than diminish, their dislike of it. For these reasons, the use of the singular pronoun, in adoration, has the same effect, nearly, on them, which the contrary use of the plural has on us. French Catholic, Tu es notre Dieu, et nous te benirons, and to an English Protestant, You are our God, and we will bless you, equally betray an indecent familiarity . By reason of this difference in the pre
114 The way in which Saci, who appears to have been a pi. ous worthy man, translates from the Vulgate the Lord's Prayer, rendered literally from French into English, is a strik. ing example of the difference of manner: Our Father who
are in hea ven, let your name be sanctified, let your reign arrive, let your will be done,” &c. Yet the earlier