« AnteriorContinuar »
eyes in this world, that he might pass spiritual world ; in his “ True Christian from her, and lift up the eyes of his spirit Religion,” in showing forth the great upon her mother, in the next. In this doctrines of the Christian Church ; and state, and with this wish, he was gathered in his “Divine Providence,” in unfoldto his fathers in peace; and both natur- ing the nature of the Lord's providence. ally and spiritually was buried in a good During his short stay in Birmingham, old age.
W. W. after becoming convinced of the truths
of the New Church, he mainly attended
to the ministrations of Mr. G. Dawson. On the 29th of March, 1865, passed But, when business brought him to Bol. into the spiritual world, after a three ton, he became an occasional attender at months' sickness, Mr. Enoch Dance, of the services of the New Church here, Bolton, aged 32.
until the time when the society deterIt is now only twelve months since he mined upon having a regular minister or became a member of our Church, and leader, when he became a very active, was made a teacher in our Sunday-school and has sinced proved, a most useful some six or eight months earlier. His member. He was distinguished by great acquaintance with the writings of the New energy and determination of characterChurch, however, dates about seven years faithful to the letter in the execution of back. He was then engaged as a teacher his duties—and very liberal with his in a Wesleyan Sunday-school, in the purse, and attentive to the services of the suburbs of Birmingham ; and accidently Church. He had little regard for remeeting with a New Church tract on the ligious teaching, only so far as it pointed subject of the Trinity, it was this which to the life; believing most fully in the first awakened his attention to the veri. truth of Swedenborg, that “ all religion ties of the New Jerusalem. He read with has relation to life, and the life of regreat delight, “ Swedenborg's Divine ligion is to do good.” He passed into Love and Wisdom;" a work which he the other life with a firm faith in these believed laid down all Swedenborg's teachings; and leaving a wife and five theological teachings. These principles, small children to mourn his loss, he enhe truly believed, were, by Swedenborg, couraged her to look upon him not as applied in his “ Arcana Coelestia,” “ Apo- dead, but as living; not to think of him calypse Explained,” and Apocalypse Re- as far away from her, but as about her vealed," in opening up the spiritual and with her; and the Lord would sussense of the Word ; in his “Heaven and tain her in her arduous and difficult task. Hell,” in setting forth the nature of the
TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS. All communications to be sent to the Editor, the Rev. W. BRUCE, 43, Kensington Gardens Square, London, W. To ensure insertion in the forthcoming Number, communications must be received not later than the 15th of the month, except recent intelligence, which will be received till the 18th.
The Committee of the National Missionary Institution, and the Students and
Ministers' Aid Fund, meet on the fourth Monday of the month, in the
Swedenborg House, Bloomsbury-street, at 6-30. The Twenty-eighth Annual Meeting of the subscribers and friends of the Man
chester and Salford New Church Tract Society, will be held in the school-room, Peter-street, on Monday evening, May 22nd, 1865. Tea on the table at six o'clock. President, Mr. Broadfield. The meeting will be addressed by the Rev. John Hyde and several other ministers. Societies are requested to send representatives. CAVE AND SEVER, Printers by Steam Power, Hunt's Bank, Manchester.
SWEDENBORG'S KNOWLEDGE OF HEBREW, AND THE
“SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE,” AGAIN. “Ecce iterum Crispinus, et est mihi saepe vocandus Ad partes.”—Juv. Sat. iv. CIRCUMSTANCES beyond our control prevented our being aware of the existence of this second article of our opponent, in the April number of the “Spiritual Magazine,” until the first week in May. The same reasons that actuated us before, induce us to attempt to reply to his new objections, which, we regret to have to say, have all the characteristics which his former effort would entitle us to expect.
It is, doubtless, some disadvantage in the line of defence that we pursue, that we are obliged to conduct a series of what should be learned arguments in a style of laboured simplicity. Our opponent has a comparatively easy task. It is proverbially easy to raise difficulties and to find fault; and he makes this still easier to himself by making some objections that—as we trust we have evinced in a previous article—no genuine and candid scholar could have made; and by parading these cavils in a nimbus of vulgar and cheap incivility, which too easily passes for discomfitting argument with those who cannot appreciate the small real nucleus that it envelops; but which we cannot demean ourselves by attempting to repay in kind. We, on the other hand, have a much narrower field to disport ourselves in. We attempt to rebut random and crude objections by a solid, however simple, demonstration of their untenability. . As we act wholly on the defensive, we are precluded from deploying into line the large array of the great truths we have in reserve; but are forced to send out small detachments to maintain
SWEDENBORG'S KNOWLEDGE OF HEBREW,
the special points which an enemy has selected to attack. And lastly, mere partizan warfare being our abhorrence, we are debarred in prin. ciple-even should our practice ever unhappily belie it—from seeking any other victory than that which our intelligence and conscience declare to be that of the truth. This is not said as though we uncharitably claimed to have the monoply of the truth, or of the pure love of the truth for its own sake ; it is intended both to remind ourselves of the considerations which we ought to observe, and to enable our antagonist to be more severe on any violation of our pledges of which he may be able to prove us guilty.
As some compensation for the disadvantage alluded to, we turn back to examine the introductory remarks on the specific differences of the various kinds of translation with which our critic's March article opens. Want of room induced us to omit all notice of it before; and we now make good our omission by way of giving our readers a much more widely appreciable specimen of his general scholar-like attainments. This is his jaunty definition of the characteristics of the different modes of translation:
“ The character of a translation of any book or document from one language into another will, apart from the necessary requirements of the rendering, depend both on the particular purpose for which such a translation is made, and on the relative affinity or non-affinity in which the two idioms stand to each other. If the chief object of the translator is to produce what is called a "readable' translation, his business will be to construct a suitable frame or clothing in his native' tongue for the ideas which he has recognised and appreciated in a foreign dress. In this case many of the outward habiliments will have to be doffed, altered, and re-cast, in order to make the new comer presentable in his new sphere; and after all, take what pains you like, the odds are that he will still show some outlandish ways about him. However, after all, this is the most likely way of our forming a tolerably close acquaintanee with our distinguished foreigner, provided namely, that our mutual friend' has been up to his duty.
“Far different is the case with what may be called documentary translations, that is to say, translations in which not the spirit or real meaning of the text is the principal object to be attended to, but the very phrase itself. In this case the chief business of the translator is to follow the text sentence by sentence, and, if possible, to find words and phrases in his own language which will adequately, or pretty nearly so, express the meaning—that is to say, the dictionary-meaning—of the sentences he has to translate. In this case the spirit of the original will have to be considerably disregarded, and it will be found necessary, again and again, to add notes in order to explain what, after all, is meant by the translation. A third mode of translation is the one called verbal, if it be really at all allowable to call this kind of transferring a translation. Here the translator cares for nothing but for the words, which, according to their form, connection, and individual meaning, he has to register on his paper, and the sum total of which register of translated words he calls his translation."
AND THE “SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE,” AGAIN.
What impression this pretentious, yet clumsy and illogical, description may produce on an ordinary reader, acquainted with any one language besides his vernacular, it is not easy to estimate ; but we honestly assert, for ourselves, it immediately inspired the same distrust of our critic's literary culture, which the subsequent examination of his Hebrew learning, and the proof of his critical equity and modesty, only deepened and justified. As a compendious method of exhibiting the prominent faults of his definitions, we present the following kindred extract from the late Mr. Smithson's Preface to Mr. Clowes's translation and exposition of the Psalms (Manchester, 1837; p. 25):
“ There are three ways by which a translation may be accomplished. The first is a literal translation, by which every word is rendered verbatim from the original. The second is an idiomatic translation, by which the original idiom is carefully conveyed into the idiom of another language. The third is a free translation, in which the sense of the author is regarded, abstractedly from the expressions he uses, and freely translated in that manner in which the translator supposes the author would have expressed it had he written in the language into which his work is translated.” Now, this concise and lucid definition is exhaustive, for it includes all the possible kinds of translation ; and it is strictly logical, because each species is described by characteristics which exclude the others, so that the species, when combined, complete the whole genus. The discerning reader may now contrast these two definitions, as to every quality that renders such a thing exact in substance and scholar-like in form, and may draw his own conclusion from the comparison.
So much for the arrears of our critic's former attack on Swedenborg's competency as a Hebraist. We now proceed to examine his recent article. This is wholly occupied with three verses of the Book of Genesis, and is so short that we venture to reproduce it almost entire, but in three portions, with our replies interwoven. This plan enables us to present his objections complete, together with the flippant garniture with which they are invested; and, for enlightened readers, this latter exhibition may serve as an integral portion of our vindication of Swedenborg. His first objection is as follows:
"In Genesis xlix. 19, we read: Gad (that is, as to Gad) a host presses upon bim, but he presses (them) back (heelward), or as others translate it, but he presses (them) upon the rear, that is, repulses them and pursues them closely. So De Wette, in his excellent translation of the Old Testament. In the same way Gesenius, who in his Lexicon (Latin edition) explains the word here rendered 'heel by “ agmen extremum exercitus. In this sense the word occurs elsewhere in the Old Testament, for instance in Joshua viii. 13, &c. Swedenborg translates the passage, Gad, a troop shall depopulate him, and he shall depopulate the
SWEDENBORG'S KNOWLEDGE OF HEBREW,
heel.' Not having the original Latin edition of Swedenborg's Arcana before us, we will waive the question about the verb to push or to press' being here translated by 'to depopulate, but we would ask any intelligent and serious reader of the Bible whether he can make anything of the phrase 'to depopulate a heel?' There can be no third opinion but that this rendering of the original text, if it be really intended for a translation into English, is nothing but sheer nonsense. Or else what meaning is conveyed to the mind of an Englishman when he is told that so and so has depopulated the heel? Can this be called a translation in any sense, either natural or spiritual? In looking for any further information and enlightenment concerning the natural or rational sense of this passage—if there can be any sense conveyed by words so unintelligible in themselves—we are again left utterly in the lurch by the author. In the elucidation of the so-called internal sense he indeed informs us that “Gad' signifies' works from truth and not yet from good ;' that “a troop shall depopulate him' means “works without judgment,' and that to
depopulate the heel signifies want of order thence in the natural principle.' This may be all right according to the principles of correspondences, as taught and applied by Swedenborg, but we cannot help repeating that we think that it would be more satisfactory if Swedenborg had deduced all these significations from a correct, intelligible, and satisfactory rendering of the original text as such, instead of from a rendering which is a transparent blunder.”
First of all, we have to complain that our critic has, in part, based his objection on the English version of the Arcana, and not on Swedenborg's own words; for the English version is in one respect erroneous. The verb depopulari, which Swedenborg uses, really means to ravage, to lay waste ; whereas Webster's Dictionary asserts that to depopulate means “to unpeople, to deprive of inhabitants, whether by death or expulsion. It is not synonymous with laying waste or destroying, being limited to the loss of inhabitants.” Consequently, the two words are not translations of each other, however alike they appear; and some of the taunt about “ depopulating the heel” misses its intended aim. Next we will discuss Swedenborg's right to render the first clause by “a troop shall ravage.” In this verse, the name of Gad is reëchoed three times, by playing on the same sounds—Gad gedûd yeguidennu, vehû yagûd ’aqêb. It is admitted that the two verbs gadád and gûd, from which all four words are derived, are most intimately allied, as is quite common in weak verbs of the two kinds before us. Now the usage of these two verbs, and of many of their derivatives, in the Old
Test., mainly requires the significations of to cut into, down, or off; to band together; and (as most authorities prior to Gesenius thought) to ravage. All agree in according to gedûd the sense of a band, a party on a foray. Then the verb following expresses what the raiders do to Gad. Gesenius assigns it the sense of to press upon, to invade. But surely, after the admitted identity of the two verbs, and after translating