Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and satisfactory. “ Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” Mr. Sampson's rendering is scarcely intelligible :

For this cause we ought the more eminently to restrain ourselves to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we may be borne away beyond these.

The explanation is yet worse.

The 18th verse of this chapter is one of the simplest in the New Testament: it is rendered at once literally and perspicuously by our translators : “ For in that he himself hath suffered, being teinpted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” The following is Mr. Sampson's clumsy versiorf:

For in this that he himself suffered after having been tempted, he is enabled to be helpful to those who are now subject to temptation.

Ch. iii. 6. oikós couer ipêcs. — “Whose house are' we.” English version. “ Of whom, that house we are,” (!!!) Mr. Sampson.

Ibid. 14, we have the following most extraordinary rendering, “ For we have been made comrades of Christ, if, indeed, we steadily maintain the front rank of our station guard stedfast till the rear." A long note is subjoined to prove, that St. Paul was fond of military metaphors ! a discovery which Mr. Sampson appears desirous of appropriating. But we will venture to prefer the plain reading of our translators, who were less fortunate in the paths of discovery ; and we do so for the following reasons. 1st, ápx) and té dos are very common Greek words, and, in their ordinary signification, they give a very good and intelligible sense. Wherever this is the case, we are not in the habit of seeking more recondite significations. 2ndly. Mr. Sampson's rendering is nonsense, and we defy any man upon earth to reduce it to anything else. A military man would laugh at it outright. To maintain the front rank till the rear, is neither an Hebraism, a Grecism, nor a Cilicism ; it is as arrant a Hibernicism as "to keep up the night all the morning."

Chap. iv. 8. oủk ár-édálel. Mr. Sampson," he was notspeaking." This makes nonsense, and, besides, did Mr. Sampson suppose the åv had no force at all ?

Chap. v. 2. We have perplotábeiv translated “to have a fellowfeeling;” and in ver. 1. éautó is rendered " From himself!" ;

In this chapter eleven pages are occupied with a pompous demonstration that Melchizedek was- the Messiah! and we are informed, with prodigious parade, that the second person of the Trinity actually appeared to the Patriarchs. We admit the fact. What then? Was he in the likeness of Melchizedek? Here we have an instance how Mr. Sampson's affection for his own reveries carried him against all veneration for Scripture and primitive antiquity. For the latter we confess we have more reverence than may be palatable in our very liberal days. We believe “ quod semper, quod ubique, et quod ab omnibus.” And the Scripture is most decidedly against this opinion, exhibiting Melchizedek as a type of the Messiah, who was to be a Priest AFTER (kard) his order ; but no person can be said to be a type of himself. Yet Mr. Sampson does not seem aware of this absurdity, for he says (p. 57) that he was “ONE of the most remarkable prototypes of the Messiah !"* And St. Paul says that he was “apwuouwjévos tỘ Yią toll Ocoll." But according to Mr. Sampson, "none but himself can be his parallel.”

Chap. ix. Mr. Sampson gives us one of his assertions, to which he seems so especially partial. In the first verse we read eixe per oův kai “s Apórn OKTV dekalo para larpeias. Here we are informed that " Natpelas is in the accusative plural, and not in the genitive singular." Translate it as you will, the signification is much the same ; but we should háve preferred Mr. Sampson's reasons to his assertions. The note in which this observation occurs is too prolix for entire tragscription. Yet we will beg the indulgence of the reader in transcribing some of its outrageous mysticism.

The tabernacle contained the candlestick wherein were six branches of light surrounding one in the middle, emblems of him who brought light into the world, and referring also to what in Scripture is called the seven spirits of God, of which we see in nature those extraordinary symbols, in the seven rays of the light, and the seven tones of musical sound; it contained also the shew-bread or bread of display, which consisted of twelve fresh cakes placed on the table on the morning of every Sabbath, and when taken away, these became the food of the Aaronical priests, and of them only. It was of this bread which David took and eat, and distributed also to those that were with him: and here we observe a most extraordinary type, which I do not remember to have been noticed by any commentator, but which did not escape the divine intelligence of Messiah, who pointedly referred to this very transgression of the ceremonial ordinances, on that occasion when his disciples plucked the ears of corn, in his presence, on the Sabbath day; and when Messiah replied to the Jews' accusing the Apostles for this breach of ceremonial observances, by referring plainly to David as the prototype of himself, when he says, “ the Son of God is Lord also of the Sabbath,'' and intimating that in place of the twelve loaves of earthly bread were then substituted the twelve Apostles, who were to confer on all believers the bread of life. The seven perceptive faculties in the organs of man, viz. Ist. The sense of the brain, called by the Greeks, opnv. 2nd. The sense of the heart, Avuos. 3rd. The sense of the touch, external and internal. 4th. The sense of the eye. 5th. The sense of the ear. 6th. The sense of the nose; and 7th. The sense of the palate. To this may be added, as another correspondent septensality the seven primary planets, whose centre and actuary is the great symbolic sun; the seven vocal sounds of the human voice, for there are seven, and only seven, vocally distinct, though alphabetically observed. Pp. 81, 82.

In the note immediately subsequent, 'Mr. Sampson exhibits his knowledge of the Hebrew tongue.

They are called XepouBiz dóns, or cherubs of glory, which is an Hebrew idiom, in place of the superlative degree, and which most other languages would express, most glorious cherubs. P. 83. Note.

. How many PROTOTYPES does Mr. S. allow to the same antitype ?

Now the merest tyro in Hebrew knows that it is not the superlative, but the poSITIVE degree which is expressed by the adjunct substantive O n 72, which mean “ glorious Cherubim," and could mean nothing beyond.

In chap. ix. I, Mr. Sampson heroically undertakes the Herculean task of proving that éveomnawS means past. We have trespassed long on the patience of our readers, and perhaps we should be trespassing on their understandings, in noticing this passage further.

Chap. x. 33. The common antithetical construction toûto Mève TOÛTO dè is rendered “ this (for example)-to this also.”

In a note on Chap. xi. 23, we are told that the word polite is derived from“ a city ;" we must therefore conclude that Mr. Sampson deduced it from golirns. Whereas it is evident that it is derived from the participle of polio.

We have not noticed one-twentieth part of the errors and absurdities of this book. But we will no longer exhaust the patience of ourselves and readers in correcting its blunders. “ UNA LITURA potest" —and nothing less can rectify it. It is wholly unredeemed by any piece of sound or original criticism.

It is always painful to be compelled to censure; not least so, when literary deficiency is compensated by excellence of far superior order. To the real greatness of Mr. Sampson's character, a greatness which no critical failures can affect, we have already borne the most cheerful testimony. But we feel it incumbent on us to denounce fanciful translations of Scripture, especially when those fancies have no probable ground of defence. Translations of the Scriptures are, and must be, important things : important for good or evil. They should not be undertaken lightly, or pursued to exercise the imagination. A Horne, a Lowth, and a Horsley are not the productions of every day : and hands less consecrated should not approach the ark. A sober explanation of the Scriptures on the interpretation of the Anglican translators could never be essentially wrong, and must, in the very nature of the case, prove far more correct and fruitful than the brightest dreams of the most vivid private imaginations. Had Mr. Sampson's work never beheld the light, his reputation would have been, in all respects, as perfect as that of any living character.

LITERARY REPORT.

omissions. But as the compiler has requested that all such may be stated privately, we abstain from any notice of them here. Like the tragedian of old, the compiler has sometimes made his institutions rather what they should be, than what they are,

When we state that the work is got up by Mr. Richard Gilbert, the highly respectable printer, we give it a more effectual commendation than by a lengthy eulogium. Mr. G.'s means of access to authentic sources, combined with his well-known diligence and bined with his well-kı zeal, are a pledge to the Public that the task has been performed faithfully. We therefore cordially recommend the book to parents.

Liber Scholasticus ; or, an Account of

the Fellowships, Scholarships, and Exhibitions, at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Rivingtons, 1829. Pp. 500. Price 10s. 6d.

This little Manual is intended to serve a very useful purpose, and seems well executed. Its object may be learned from the following extract from the Preface :

The object of the following pages is to place before the public the numerous ad. vantages and facilities which are afforded by the Universities and the Public Schools and Grammar Schools of this country, for the education of the middle and higher ranks of society. The compiler has endeavoured to render the work a practical guide for parents in the selection of schools for their sons, that they may be enabled to participate in the benefits which the munificent founders of those splendid establishments have provided for them. To those parents especially, who, having a numerous offspring and but limited means, intend to give their sons a collegiate education, the work will be peculiarly acceptable; as it points out those schools in which, from their beneficial endowments, reputation, or locality, it may be desirable to place them; and, in addition, contains an account of such exhibitions and scholarships as are in the patronage of Chartered Companies, &c. These, in most instances, are free from restriction as to persons or place. Several of these endowments however, have, from want of timely application for them, fallen into desuetude; and the compiler is compelled to add, with regret, that the reader will find several instances, where the trusts reposed in these bodies have been either but partially administered or totally perverted. The account now given of these trusts, by calling the public attention to their value, may tend to revive them, and prevent a recurrence of similar neglect. Pp. 5, 6.

The idea is by no means original; but the information (so far as we remember) has never been so conveniently and so copiously condensed. It is scarcely possible for a compilation of this nature to be minutely accurate; and accordingly we perceive some very few defects, principally

The Visions of Patmos : a Prophetic

Poem, illustrative of the Apocalypse; with an Introduction and Notes. By the Rev. Thomas GRINFIELD, M. A. late of Trinity College, Cambridge. London, Hatchard and Son, 1827. Pp. xix. 82. Price 4s.

This little volume contains a collection of brief but valuable observations upon the interpretation of the prophecies of St. John, and presents to its readers a concise abridgment of the chief results of those investigations which have thrown the greatest light on the mystical darkness of the divine revelation of things yet in the womb of futurity. The idea of representing the Visions of Patmos in a series of poetical descriptions is a novel one; and we are at a loss how to characterize it. As a poem, it cannot of course be judged by the usual rules of critical decision. As a version, it is entitled to some degree of attention. And it is bare honesty to say, that Mr. Grinfield has succeeded in placing before us in correct, and frequently in nervous language, the sublime predictions of the Evangelist. The interest of the poem is injured by the continual introduction of a running comment from history; but the value of the production is thereby established. It appears to its to have been written as a University Prize Essay, and afterwards altered. This is, how ever, conjecture. We beg to offer a few remarks on what seems to us to detract somewhat from the pleasure it affords on perusal. In the first place, there is so frequent a use of triplets, that the perpetual recurrence of them wearies the attention and tires the patience of the ear. There are also expressions too ambiguous in such a work; such as calling the Lamb (Rev. vi. 1.) Great Master of the Seals.(p. 7.) Again, In the rich contrast of its lights and lines, Now, Providence, thy panorama shines !

p. 48. Faith, from that old infernal dragon's maw.

p. 36. With such damn'd wiles the nations she bewitch'd.

p. 41. are lines which require revisal.

But it would savour too much of captiousness to condemn the work for these verbal defects. Mr. Grinfield's name stands too high to suffer on their account. And this volume itself (if volume it may be denominated) contains too much real poetry, especially in the Ode on the Fall of Babylon," and in the “ Conclusion," and exhibits too much umaffected piety of purpose and sentiment, to render him justly deserving of any thing but encourage ment.

opinions stated by him, on other subjects, we have little besitation in classing him with one or other of the various sects of Socinians. To take up the time of our readers with any discussion on the point is unnecessary. Had there been more fairness in the avowal of his opinions, and less apparent masking of his purpose, we should, perhaps, have thought the book worth a refutation, where it is in error; but we cannot employ our pages in a debate with an anonymous writer, who avows himself to belong to no particular party, and who may shelter himself under the wing of this or that communion, as it would best suit him. It will be sufficient to justify ourselves as to the prudence of these observations, in the eyes of our friends, to state the following items collected from the work itself. On John x. 34-36, we have this note:

Certainly Christ, by these words, meant to erpress that he had no more declared, in saying that he was the Son of God, that he was of divine nature, than the law deelared the prophets, to whom the word of God came," to be so, because they are called gods. (p. 12.)

T he eternity of punishment in the future world is denied by our author, as not sanctioned by the Scriptures. The atonement of Christ; the conditions of salvation, viz. baptism, the Lord's Supper, charity, &c.; the working of the Holy Spirit, independent of the Scriptures; and original sin ; are all stated to be doctrines contrary to the Scriptures, or uncertain of proof from them. Baptism is said to be a rite of profession only; and the Lord's Supper a rite of commemoration only : and whilst the practice of the Romish church is condemned in administering the bread only, the practice of the Church of England is also condemned for administering both the bread and the wine! · There are also other inconsistencies which we camot now find leisure to enumerate; but they are chiefly to be reconciled with the tenets of “ The Book of Common Prayer," reformed according to the plan of the late Dr. Samuel Clarke, and some other Pelagian or Arian publications. The author says, he commenced his subject in ignorance :-he ends it in worse than ignorance in many points; and whether or not his

An Inquiry, what is the one true Faith,

and whether, &c. London: Whittaker, Treacher, and Arnot, 1829. Pp. xxiv. 393. Price 12s.'

We believe the author of this book, (a Yorkshire layman,) whoever he may be, to be sincere in the expression of his belief in this interpretation of the doctrines of the Scriptures: but we fearlessly deny to him the claim of orthodoxy; for without reference to any particular church, his opinions on many questions, are most distinctly heterodox. His abstinence from any consideration of the nature of Christ, and of some other points, may mislead many as to the true belief of the author; and his quotations from Church of England divines lead others to believe, that he has a leaning that way: but as far as we can collect from the

« AnteriorContinuar »