« PoprzedniaDalej »
Art. I.-Hosea. Translated from the Hebrew ; with Notes, ex
planatory and critical. By Samuel Lord Bishop of Rochester. 8vo. 11.is. Robson: 1801. THE
right reverend preläte perseveres in his elucidation of Hebrew literature; and the work before us is made the ground of a dedication to the king, from which we shall extract the following extraordinary paragraph,
• If the execution of the work might; be supposed to be at all answerable to the dignity and moment of the sacro argument; and, as far as may be attainable in a translation to the force and sublimity of the style in the original; the present might seem.nct too mean to be brought before a monarchi
, who brs ayed a bright example of piety, in times when piety has beds geixrally laugheď to scorn; and will be recorded in the truth-telling page of history, as the patron of the sciences and the arts, and, under God, the powerful protector of the rights of civil government and of the Christian church institutions in their origin equally divine), in an age when a general spirit of anarchy and atheism threatened to re-barbarise the life of fallen man, by the subversion of all social order, by obliterating the natural die stinctions of right and wrong, by the studied mis-use and perversion of all learning and philosophy; and by the total extinction of all religion.' P. ii.
St. Jerome pleaded in extenuation of his defective style, that, instead of studying the periods of Demosthenes or Cicero, he was immersed in researches which were a fatal bar to the embellishments possessed by pagan orators; and it should seem, from the paragraph we have now selected, that his lordship was impressed with a similar conception. Like a Hebrew prophet, he appears carried away by the rapidity of his ideas. He begins with a conviction of the importance of the work before him: he next, and very naturally, conceives it entitled to royal favour : the original subject is now completely superseded by a recollection of the amiable qualities of the sovereign ; and these possess his mind till the French revolution unluckily comes across him ; when, forgetting he was writing a dedication, he rushes forward into a philippic. Crit.Rsy, Vol. 34. Jan. 1802.
In the course of the work we are indulged with many similar flights, of which some are expressed with a spirit of such superlative indignation as to become truly ludicrous, and at which it is with difficulty we refrain from smiling. The worshippers of the calves, set up by Jeroboam, are apostrophised for their folly by the prophets in the severest terms; but the nature of their idolatry seems to have remained a secret till revealed to the right reverend author before us, who thus offers us his instruction.
• These calves of Jeroboam's, by the way, seem to have been muti. lated imitations of the cherubic emblems. Thus they were very sig. nificant symbols of a religion founded on misbelief, and upon the selfconceit of natural reason, discarding revelation, and, by its boasted powers, forming erroneous notions of the Godhead.
• The cherubim of the temple, and the calves of Dan and Bethel, were both hieroglyphical figures ; - the one of God's institution; the other of man's, in direct contravention of the second commandment. The cherub was a compound figure; the calf single. Jeroboam, therefore, and his subjects were unitarians. And when his descendants added to the idolatry of the calves the worship of Baal, they became materialists"; far the most ancient pagan idolatry was nei. ther more noi lestkaijan ategorised materialism. The deification of dead men was the corruption of later periods of idolatry, when idolaters had forgotten the meaning of their original symbols and their original rites. . It was not therefore without reason that the ancient fathers considered the nation: of: the ten tribes as a general type of heresy.' P. ix.:
:..: His lordship seems to have forgotten that the calf moulded by Aaron was anterior to the cherubs of the temple, and that the sin of Jeroboam was similar to that of the Israëlites in the desert;, viz. an attempt to represent the Godhead under a visible form, and the degrading adoration of a creature in place of the creator.
These are thy gods!' said Aaron to the house of Israël ; an exclamation literally repeated by Jeroboam when he pointed to his. abominable devices. Hence it is most probable that they rejected entirely the idea of the unity of God, and were filled with the absurd and degrading superstitions of Egypt. To us the worship of the calves appears idolatry in the worst sense of the term : as such, indeed, it appeared to Moses; and the divine indignation against it was expressed in the most pointed manner. But the bishop doubts whether it were idolatry of any kind.
• The worship of Jeroboam's calves was the least part of theirguilt; for it was not proper idolatry; it was a schismatical worship of the true God, under disallowed emblems, and by an usurping priesthood. But at length superstition made such a progress among them, that human sacrifices were made an essential rite in the worship of the calves. And this was the finishing stroke, the last stage of their impiety; that they said, “ Let the sacrificers of men kiss the calves." Let them consider themselves as the most acceptable worshippers
who approach the image with human blood. “Kiss the calves ;" i.e. worship the calves. Among the ancient idolaters, to kiss the idol was an act of the most solemn adoration. Thus we read in Holy Writ of “all the knees which have not bowed to Baal, and every mouch which hath not kissed him.” Tully mentions a brazen statue of Hercules at Agrigentum, in which the workmanship of the mouth was sensibly worn by the frequent kisses of the worshippers. And in allusion to this rite, the holy psalmist, calling upon the apostate faction to avert the wrath of the incarnate God, by full acknowledge ment of his divinity, bids them “kiss the son;" 1. c. worship him.'. P. 43.
The word hell is much misunderstood by those who generally use it; and the interpretation of its real meaning gives the author a good opportunity of lashing the Jacobins. Their folly assuredly deserves the severest reprehension ; but it seems useless to attempt preserving their memory in a work like the present.
of this place we know little ; except that to those who die in the Lord it is a place of comfost aad ręskiota Jacobinical paradise of eternal sleep and senselessness, but
a place of happyörest and tranquil hope. In the prophetic imagery it is often mentioned, with allusion to the popular notions, as a clark caje deep in the bowels of the earth. P. 46.
From the many extraordinary ccticeitsadvanced in this work, we cannot avoid amusing our readers with one which nevertheless appears to be a little out of place, and to be rather an ata tempt of a commentator of the dark ages than a conjecture of a modern critic of no mean degree of Biblical celebrity. In the Old Testament we find repeated mention of Jehova, Jehovah Elohim, and Malak Jehova ; in all which expressions Jehova is the appropriate name of the supreme Being. Jehova Elohim is his name, in conjunction with his relationship to his people : Jehova is God; and in some places is expressed by the term God of Gods : and Malak Jehova is simply a messenger of Jehova. But our learned prelate will not allow this latter translation to be correct. It is not,' says he, 'a messenger of Jehova, but Jehova angel; and Jehova and angel are two nouns-substantive in apposition, both speaking of the same person-the one by the appropriate name of the essence, the other by a title of office." Now if malak be allowed to be a term of office, we must inquire what office it implies: and the uniform meaning in the Scriptures leads us to fórm only one notion of it; to wit, that of a conveyer of messages. Malak, angelus, or angel, are indeed perfectly synonymous, and equally import this idea of a messenger or conveyer of messages. If then the Jehova of the Old Testament be degraded into a messenger, we must next in
quire by whom he was employed, and what the title and au thority. of his employer. At the same time we would request our learned author's attention to the thirty-third chapter of Exodus, where the distinction between Jehova and malak is too evident to be mistaken by any one. On the act of idolatry of the Israëlites towards the golden calf, Jehova, in his anger, refuses to show them farther marks of his peculiar favour; yet, in remembrance of his covenant with their fathers, he promises to send with them a malak—a messenger. The malak may be either an inhabitant of earth, or an inhabitant of heaven : but Jehova is never thus represented in Scripture, nor is it possible that he could be 'so represented, by the term malak, as the office hereby implied is incompatible with the supreme dignity of him who is God of Gods, and has no superior. Besides, if malak could be thus a noun-substantive in apposition, we would humbly submit to the writer's consideration, whether the demonstrative article were not necessary, according to the Hebrew idiom ; in consequence of which, instead of malak, it should have been written hampka
We can i Ante Subscribe fonother remark on the name Jehovah; that this term.
* belonging to the three personisandiscriminately, as simply descriptive of the essence, the compound Jehovah-Sabaoth belongs properly to the second person being. Jos appropriate demiurgic title ; desçribing not merely the Lord of such armies as military leaders bring into the field, but the unmade self-existent maker and sustainer of the whole
and order of the universe. P. 226.. - 'In what manner this well-known demiurgic title can be applied with more appropriation to the second person than to the third, we are uninformed by any Scripture proof.
But, if the author's reins be in this way sometimes let loose to fancy, we cannot but applaud the vigor with which the conjectural mode of interpreting the Scriptures is resisted in this translation. There are certainly several very difficult passages in Hosea : yet to relinquish the received text upon conjecture alone is a very dangerous enterprise, and should certainly never be resorted to till the assistance derivable from the Masoretic punctuation and the different versions has entirely failed: and even then the conjectural reading should be pointed out to the multitude as simple hypothesis. A list of the supposed emendations of the text by archbishop Newcome, which are rejected by our author, is given in the preface; and in most places we prefer the text adopted by the latter, which is that of Vander Hooght, in 8vo. 1705.-a text he only varies in nineteen places, in all which he has the authority of other printed texts, versions, or manuscripts, to support him. On the authority also of versions, we meet with some excellent remarks; and