Obrazy na stronie

her brother, be glanced at the equivocation of which they had both been guilty. mida is a covering or vesture, as in Exod. xxii. 27. Job xxiv, 7. Didiy tbe eyes, are in the original, as in other languages, a figurative expression for beauty. So David is called, 1 Sam. xvi. 12. fair of eyes, wbich our translators paraphrase in the text, of a beautiful countenance, compare berewith Canticles x. 9. vi. 5. It will be necessary further to observe that the women in the East appear before the men veiled; but it seems as if Sarah had not sufficiently adhered to this modest custom. Accordingly Abimnelech says to her, Behold I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: Behold av ir is for thee D'J'y nida a covering of the eyes, {i. e. the means of procuring veils to conceal thy beauty) to all that are so nas 7ox with thee, or with any one else. On this interpretation the passage is easy, but if win be referred to Abraham, it is perplexed and obscure.

It is to be lamented also, that in this and various other places of Scripture, our excellent translators have not given the equivalent value in English of the money mentioned. Readers in general can have but an imperfect idea of the value of the thousand shekels, or pieces of silver, and few will take the trouble to make a calculation of the amount from the ordinary tables of the Jewisla weights and measures.

As there were two kinds of shekels, that of the Suncfuary valued at a little more than two shillings and three pence farthing of our money; and the civil or common shekel, which was half that value, we must take the shekel here mentioned to be of the last description, and consequently the amount of what Abimelech gave Abraham to be about fifty-seven pounds, and so the passage

should have been rendered.

3. PSALM Cx. 3. Thy people shall be made willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness ; from the womb of the morning thou hast the dew of thy youth.

This passage, in one of the sublimest prophecies of the Messiah and of the extentof his kingdom, bas been strangely rendered by all the versions which I have seen either antient or modern. The Vulgate has made a wretched paraphrase of it: “ The beginning was with thee, the day of thy virtue, in the splendour of the saints; I have begotten thee from the womb, before the mcroing star." Vol. X. Churchm. Mag. April 1806. M m


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Our version has nearly copied the Genevan, which is thus: “ Thy people shall be willing in the day when thou assemblest thy army in holy pomp; the dew of thy youth shall be furnished unto thee from the womb of the morning:”.

Bishop Lowth gives the passage more clearly 'to this effect, “ More than the dew from the womb of the morning, is the dew of thy progeny."

This, however, is not quite so plain as could be wished. The following may express the sense something like that of the original, and the object intended :

Thy troops shall be all ready and clad in the beauties of holiness, even in thy youth; and shall cover thee as the morning dew.”

The beauty and peculiar fitness of this image to express the extent of Messiah's kingdom in the number of his disciples, may be better understood by considering that the dews in Palestine are very plentiful; like a small shower of rain every morning. Gideon filled a bason with the dew which fell on a fleece of wool, Judges vi. 38. Isaac blessing Jacob, wished him the dew of heaven which fattens the fields, i Gen. xxvii. 28. In those warm countries where it rains but seldom, the night dews supply the want of rain.” CALMET.

This text suggests the foilowing reflections:

Our blessed Lord declared when he was upon earth that, '" though many were called, few would be chosen." Yet the same gracious Saviour hath said, that, “in his Father's house are many mansions.” In the heavenly world there are many ample and glorious regions, compared with which this globe that we inhabit is but an insignificant point; and none of them will be empty solitudes or upinbabited deserts at the consummation of all things. At different times and under different circumstances, the number of true Christians appears to be comparatively trilling; they are like the prophet's olive tree, “ two or three berries in the top of the uttermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof: but when they shall be assembled in the realms of light and immortality they will be found not only a Huly but a NUMEROUS PEOPLE. So great, indeed, shall be their collected body, that St. John says, when he saw them in spiritual vision, they were more than an angel's wisdom could number. They shall “ come from the east and from the west, from the north and fom the south, and


shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob (and all their faithful lineage] in the kingdom of God.” Away then with that low and contracted idea that heaven is limited within narrow boundaries; on the contrary, il teaches as far as the four winds, and is as extensive as the sovereign gooduess of God. The Messiah shall have an empire intinitely glorious and infinitely numerous. To our narrow conceptions indeed, his church below may appear but a very weak and despised object; but the æra is hastening when it will be seen on the everlasting hills, and consisting of countless myriads gathered from all the regions of the earth and from the remotest periods of time. It is for want of enlarging our ideas upon this blessed subject of universal redemption, and on account of our not considering the covenant of grace as reaching from everlasting to everlasting, that we are so apt to indulge unnecessary fears, and unbecoming notions of the divine attributes. Would we form any estimate of the number of the children of redemption---let us go forth under the canopy of heaven at the dawn of day, and endeavour to count the drops of dew, scattered far and wide upon the tender plants !

What a cheering and exalted reflection ! How should it console our minds in the journey of life, and under all its vicissitudes ! How also should it dispose us to adore the goodness of our God and Saviour, and to fill our hearts with love to all our fellow-creatures and heirs of the same redemption !

J. W. (To be continued. )






CONSIDER it as one of the many useful purposes,

which your Miscellany is calculated to answer, that it affords the opportunity of proposing emendations in our translation of holy writ. These proposed emenM. m %


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dations may hereafter, i. e. when the proper time shall come for authorising a new or corrected translation of the Scriptures for public use, be referred to with great advantage. We should, however, be very careful, that our criticisms be just, and that our proposed alterations be amendments. I am led to make this observation from reading, in your last number, two Scriptural Criticisms, by Philo-Criticus, both which I consider as ingenious, but I much doubt, whether either of them be just.

Your correspondent thinks, that in John ii. 15. the sacred historian cannot mean to say, that our Saviour drove the men out of the temple, but only the sheep and the oven, and that παλας εξεβαλεν εκ τε ιερε, τα τε προβαία Tes Bus, ought to be translated," he drove them all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen." I find, however, on consulting my Greek Testament, that the three Evangelists, St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke, in giving an account of our Saviour's correction of the same profanation of the temple the second time, employ the same term teßame, and in a manner, which clearly shows, that it must be meant to apply to the men, as well as to ihe sheep and oxen. St. Matthew (xxi. 12.) says, εξιβαλε παλας τες παλείας και αγοραζονίας εν τω ιερώ, &c. St. Mark (xi. 15.) says ηρξαίο εκβαλλειν τες πωλοντας και αγοράζοντας εν τω ιερω, &c. St. Luke (xix. 45.) says, metalo exBame Tus Fodertas av avlor Ciega) xas ayogaforras. Asto the difficulties of the passage, they have, I think, been sufficiently removed by the commentators,and especially by Macknight, Sect. 20. and Sect. 119. Bishop Hurd, I believe, has written a good Sermon on the subject; but I happen not to have access to it at this time, and am not able to give a particular account of his explanation. I have no doubt, that such of your readers, as have the opportunity of consulting it, may derive from it both pleasure and improvement, as they may indeed from all the works of that learned and elegant writer.

With respect to the second passage mentioned, i. e. Acts ii. 3. L'am of opinion, that to understand dienser sollevan yaworar as signifying distributed tongues, would occasion a tautology, which is not common in Scripture, nor in any other good composition; for, as Philo-Criticus observes, it is asserted in the clause immediately following, that the gift of the Holy Ghost was conferred on each of the apostles, εκαθισι τε εφ' ένα εκατον αυλων. I consider the words και ωφθησαν αυθοις διαμεριζομεναι γλωσσα, ωσιι πυρος, as merely describing the form or figure of the tongues, as they


appeared to the beholders, and the word dsapego Soueva, as pointing out that lambent, vibrating, forked appearance, which it is the nature of a fame of tire to put on. The word cloven may not be the most happily chosen ;-but it seems, if not to give fully the right idea, not to give a wrong one.

I am, Sir,

Yours, &c.

April 12, 1806.


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R. PEARSON's mode of shewing (see last Mag.)

that our mortality may be attributed to the effect of our own personal sins, without subverting the opinion which ascribes it to Adam's transgression, is ingenious and satisfactory. But he has not, in my judgment, so satisfactorily made out that it is so attributed in Scripture. He adverts indeed to the 14th and 15th verses of Rom. v. which, he thinks, prove nothing against his position; hut he omits noticing the 13th verse, and the emphatical • nevertheless” with wbich the 14th begins ; both which, taken together, I think, prove a great deal. I readily allow, with Mr. Pearson, that “the Apostle cannot mean to say, that those who lived from Adam to Moses, did not sin at all ;because he expressly affirms, v. 13. tbat until the law sin was in the world :" but, observe, he immediately adds, “but sin is not imputed when there is no law :" or

NEVERTHELESS," he continues, « death reigned.” What is this but saying, that death reigned froin Adam to Moses, from another cause than our own personal sins ? and what could this cause be but Adam's transgression ? " If sq s," v. 12. must be translated for that" or " because," as Mr. Ludlam turns it, and it is usually turned, it is direct evidence certainly for our mortality being (in part at least) owing to our own personal transgressions, though, at the saine time, there remains yet to be accounted for, its inconsistency with v. 13. as connected with the beginning of v. 14. But it is a query with me whether " e " be rightly translated as above; and my Letter in your Mag. for September last igplied as


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