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verses, disjointed from their connexion, prove nothing." The reader has not forgotten that it was these orts and ends, according to what he calls his own “ candid confession,” which he allowed at the beginning of his chapter, might be thought by “ wise and good men” to afford “plausible arguments” for Christianity.* I know not whether it be an aggravation, or a humiliating apology for this unfairness in mutilating authorities, that it has not the
poor merit of originality; that even while he uses the personal style, “I crave leave to argue,” he is copying the words of Collins, and that the whole passage marked in brackets, (p. 102,) is transcribed verbatim, from that author's second work.t To hear the evangelist charged in vulgar terms with misquoting and changing words, by one, who could himself fall into the errors and the misrepresentations we have just exposed, has moved me to a warmth of language, which I did not think to have used. But I beg pardon: it is the New Testament which teaches us that we *“ beware lest we condemn ourselves, in what we judge another."
And Mr. English has let us know that the New Testament morality is pernicious to society. Justly, most justly, does Dr. Leland observe, that it would be
Grounds of Christianity examined, p. 34. + Scheme of literal prophecy, p. 147, 148. This is not actu. ally the second of all his works : though Collins is principally known as the author of the Gwunds and Reasons, and the Scheme of literal prophecy.
hard to produce any persons whatever, who are chargeable with more unfair and fraudulent management in their quotations, in curtailing, adding to, and altering the passages they cite, or taking them out of their connexion, and making them speak directly contrary to the sentiment of the authors," + than the Deistical writers.
f Leland's View of Deistical Writers, vol. i. p. 101, dote.
Mr. English, being tired of examining bi orts and ends of verses," proceeds to the consideration of the three most celebrated texts, viz. Gen. xlix. 10. Isa. liii. and Dan. ix. 24 : and first, of the prophecy in Genesis, a portion of the dying speech of Israel to his children. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, till Shi. loh come.” On this he first observes, that
though this prophecy is allowed by the Jews to refer to their Messiah, yet that it does not de. fine or limit the time of his coming. For that it is perfectly evident to all, who will look at the place in the Hebrew Bible, that it is pointed to read not, as in our English translation, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, till Shi. loh come, but The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet forever ; for Shiloh shall come.'
So that the prophecy does not intimate that the Messiah should come before the sceptre be departed from Judah ; but that it should not depart forever, but shall be restored when Shiloh comes."* Now the points, commonly so called, have nothing to do with the division * Grounds of Christianity examined, p. 43..
of a sentence into its members, or with what we call punctuation. But Mr. English intended to intimate, that according to the accents, the verse should be divided, as he proposes. If this were true, it would not be of the least consequence to the argument ; for whatever may be pretended of the authority of the masoretick vowel points, no one will contend a moment for that of the accents.* But I will not resort to this, for though Mr.English says, that it is perfectly evident to all who will look into the Hebrew, that it is so accented as to authorize his division; I say, that whoever will look a second time, will find that it is not so accented, but that the accents require our present translation and division. And this, if the reader will lend me his patience, I will prove. The passage in the
לא יסור שבט מיהודה ומחקק :original is as follows Here the point under .מבין רגליו עד כי יבא שילה
gran is about equivalent to a colon, and that under y somewhat less than a comma, so that the pointing of the passage is, as nearly as it can be represented, in English : “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet : till Shiloh come. Moreover, the point under yan "feet,” called Athnach, is styled a king major; and that underwy "until” is Jetib, a king minor; and Athnach is therefore said to be superior in command to Jetib. Now it is a principle of Hebrew accentuation, that the accent be attached to the last word, under
Eichhorn's Einleit. ins. A. T. Th. i. p. 159.
its command :* and as Athnach is attached to 1997—6 feet, this word “feet' is the last word under its command ; and qy or 6 till,' which follows, is excluded from the command of Athnach-i. e. from the whole first clause of the sentence, and must be read-as in our common version in the latter clause. Moreover, it is only the major kings, that are usually called pauses, and are considered as at all affecting the pronunciation.t As Jetib is but a king minor, it ought not to be regarded therefore in dividing the passage. But if it be regarded it demands, as just stated, the punctuation of our Bibles. And if the reader be still inclined to credit Mr. English's dog. matical assertion, he may trust to the authority of Michaelis, the greatest Hebrew scholar of his age, and who wrote expressly on Hebrew accents, that “if we follow the accents, 7.
.כי יבא שילה must be construed with
If we consult the other passages, where the same words occur, we shall attain a similar
* Subditi præcedunt suos dominos, sive silicet sint dominorum suorum subdistinctivi, vel solummodo ministri'; semper dominos suos antecedunt, erga initium versùs, seu versus dextram. Robertson's Manip, de Hebræo Bib. Accentuat. p. 203. Vid. etiam Van der Hooght, præf. ad Bib. Heb. ş xi.
† Accentes reges majores, qui pausantes tonici vocantur, maxime scitu necessarii. Jac. Robertson's Gram. Heb. p. 54.
# Noldius declares, Ex omnibus biblicis exemplis CONSTAT, Jetib, post majorem distinctionem, non distinguere. ET ABSURDUM EST QUOD majus distinguerct quam Athnach. In confirmation of this assertion he refers to Ex. xxiii. 8. Judges iv. 24. Ruth i. 12. and 1 Sam. xxii. 3. which if the reader will consult, cannot but satisfy him. Noldii Vindic. p. 927.
$ Michaelis begins a sentence thus : “Wenn man den ten folget und Ty mit ih.v 'NW' y construirt, das sceptre wird, u.