Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Apocalypse, derived from its obscu- arising from the testimony of Irerily, was unfounded; and I then re næus, and of other fathers of the viewed its external evidence, with church who preceded him; of Igna. perhaps, a prepossession in its fa- tius, of Hermas, of Polycarp, of the vour.

writer of the epistles relating Poly“ But, in our examination of the carp's martyrdom, and of Papias. external evidence, we ought, so far as Letter the fifth contains the teshuman infirmity may permit, to be timony of Justin Martyr, of Athenafree from any such partiality; and to goras, of the Churches in Gaul, of forget, for a season, our previous con- Melito, of Theophilus, of Apolceptions of the weight of its evidence lonius, of Clemens of Alexandria, of internal. The two evidences, exter- Tertullian, accompanied by a bionaland internal, should be kept apart; graphical chart, after the manner of they should not be suffered to incor: Dr. Priestley's, of writers in the early porate; each should be considered Christian church, who appear to have with reference to itself only: after afforded Evidence in favour of the which separate examination they Apocalypse. may usefully and properly be brought 'In letter the sixth, the evidence together, and be allowed their due against the Apocalypse, during its first influence upon each other.

century; the rejection of it by Mar“ Such appears to me the method cion, and by the Alogi; and their of proceeding in this inquiry, so as objections, só far as relate to external to arrive at a fair and just conclusion. evidence, are examined. This method has, however, not been In letter the seventh, the testimousually pursued. The writers, who nies of Hippolitus and Origen are have presented us with the two kinds considered, with the objections of of evidence, have not kept them Caius, and of Dionysius of Alexan. apart. When they treat, for iustance, dria, and of others before him; and of the external evidence of Diony- animadversions on the conclusion of sius of Alexandria; when they state Michaelis respecting the evidence. how far it appears from his writings, Letter the eighthi contains the testhat he considered the Apocalypse as timonies of Gregory of Neocæsaria; a sacred book, delivered down to his of Dionysius of Alexandria; his pritime as such from the early fathers of vate opinion; of other writers in this the church; they moreover produce, century; of Eusebius, and of the and under the same head, the criti. fathers in his tine and after him; of cisms of this writer on the style and the reception of the Apocalypse at the manner of the book; which considers time of the Reformation. ation belongs to the subject of inter The ninth letter introduces the nal evidence.

internal evidence respecting the Apo“In the following pages it will be calypse; from the completion of its my endeavour to keep these two evi. prophecies; from its correspondence dences apart, until they have been in point of doctrine and imagery with separately considered, and may safe- other books of the New Testainent: ly be suffered to unite. This me- objections of Michaelis answered. thod, so far as it can be followed, True character of the beauty and will tend to prevent the operation of sublimity discovered in this book; prejudice, and to facilitate the pro. argument thence derived; compariduction of truth.

son of the Apocalypse with other “ I shall proceed, first, to the con books of the same age, pretending to sideration of the external evidence, divine original; of Hermas; of the which is found to establish, or inva: second book of Esdras. Objections lidate, the divine authority of the arising from the obscurity of the Apocalypse. p. 4–6.

book answered. The third letter contains the va In examining the internal evidence rious opinions as to the time when the author observes. the Apocalypse was written, which “ If all, or indeed most Christians, the author states to be in 96 or 97, were agreed upon the same interpreprobably, at the beginning of the lat- tation of the Apocalyptic prophecies,

this question inight be determined In the fourth letter the author pro- by a short and summary proceeding. ceeds to state the external evidence li would only be necessary to ask

Vol. I.

ter.

4 N

6

[ocr errors]

llave these prophecies been fulblled ? should feel myself obliged to treat for, if it be answered in the affirma. more at large this subject, if much tive, the consequence immediately had been advanced by the adversa. follows; the prophet was inspired, ries of the Apocalypse to deny this and his book is divine.

fact. The ancient objection made éx “ This criterion may, in some fue some before Dionysius, that the Apoture time, when the apocalyptical calypse is unworthy any sacred write prophecies have been more success 'er,' is not now persisted in, and defully studied, produce sufficient evi. serves not a particular refutation; it dence to the point in question. But will indeed be reluted in every step it cannot be applied at present, so as as we proceed. to produce a general conviction. We . “ Michaelis has allowed that the must argue from points in which internal structure of the Apocalypse is there is a more general agreemente noble and sublime, that the imita Omitting, therefore, for the present, 'tion of the ancient prophets is, for the important question (which it

(which it the most part, more beautiful and would take a very large compass to more magnificent than the origidiscuss) whether the prophecies have pal; more short, more abounding been generally fulfilled or not, we in picturesque beauties.' Whilst I may consider the book independent agree with our author in this deciof this evidence. We may compare sion, I would point out the cause of the doctrine which it exhibits, the it. It is not to be accounted for from pictures and images which it pre- the genius of the writer, (for there is sents, with those contained in other in him no aim at eloquence) he drew acknowledged books of divine Scrip- simply, nay, with rude outlines, from ture.

the heavenly objects before him; “ To do justice to this topic, would they were frequently the same ob tequire a regular commentary on the jects from which other sacred penwhole book; a particular induction men had coloured; but they were of passages, by a comparison of presented to the writer of the Apo: which with other texts of Scripture, calypse in a more noble attitude and their agreement or dissimilarity would appearance by bis divine Conducappear, and arguments be derived to tor. determine, wbether it came from “ The DOCTRINES OF CARISTIthe same source. This proceeding ANITY are by no means a principal would be too extensive and volumi subject of the Apocalypse; but if we nous for the sketch I now offer: but, advert to the doctrines delivered in as I am not altogether unpractised in this book, we shall find the same these researches, I feel myself justi- congruity with other apostolical writ. fied in making this general assertion, ings. No doctrines are herein taught that, upon comparing the Apocalypse which are in the least at variance with with the acknowledged books of divine any divine revelation of the New Scripture, I have almost universally Testament.” p. 63-65. found the very same notions, images, After amplifying this subject the representations, and divine lights as author adus, in other sacred Scriptures; yet not “We may, therefore, truly assert delivered in such a manner as to be of the Apocalypse, that, fairly under. apparently copied from other in. stood, it contains nothing which, spired writers, but from some original either in point of doctrine, or in reprototype, the same which these lation of events past or to come, will other writers also seemed to have be found to contradict any previous copied. There is, in short, between divine revelation. It accords with the writer of the Apocalypse and his the divine councils already revealed. predecessors in the sacred office of It expands and reveals ihem more propbet, that concordia discors, that a., completely. We see the gradual greement in matter, but difference in flow of sacred prophecy (according manner, which is observed in paint to the true tenor of it, acknowledged ers, who delineate and colour in dif- by divines) first a fountain, then a ferent stations from the same original rill, then, by the union of other die object; and this will be allowed to be vine streams, increasing in its course, a strong internal evidence of the di- till at length, by the accession of the vine original of the Apocalypse. I prophetical waters of the New Testa

p. 67.

ment, and above all

, by the acquisi. CLVII. The Holy BIBLE, &c. tion of the apocalyptical succours,

Published for John REEVES, Esq. it become a noble river, enriching and adorning the Christian land.

(Concluded from page 629.) N planning this edition, I con.

stantly kept view origiof the sacred writings it is observed,

pal work of the translators, and the “ In the word of God there is a practice of the two Universities in grandeur and majesty indeperident of their editions of it; and I have althe accidents of language, consisting ways endeavoured to adapt my dein the greatness and sublimity of the sign so as to be justified either by things revealed. Men of genius may

one or the other. Wishing to give catch some sparks of this heavenly a plain text, to look like other Enge fire, they may imitate it, and with lish books, I was desirous of disini considerable success ; but no one is cumbering the margin from the nu. found so confident in this kind of merous parallel passages, that seem sirength, as to neglect the arts of to load the page, while they contri. composition. Mahomet was a man

bute little that is useful to the gene. of superior genius; in writing his rality of readers. I found, that these pretended revelation, he borrowed parallel passages were very few in much from the Sacred Scriptures; he the first edition in King James's attempted often, in imitation of them, time, and that the present number to be simply sublime; but he did not had grown by gradual additions, de trust to this only, he endeavoured to rived from the industry of successive adorn his work with all the imposing editors. The much greater part of charms of human eloquence and them, therefore, might be discarded cultivated language ; and he ap.

without interfering with the original pealed to the perfection of his coin work; and the Oxford and Camposition, as a proof of its divine ori. bridge editors have dismissed the ginal. Such an appeal would have lit whole of them, in some of their late tle served his cause in a critical and octavo Bibles. This was authority enlightened age, which would ex. enough for me to do the same; but, pect far other internal proofs of divi- in this case, as in that of the argunity than what result" from elegant ments of the chapters, I have prodiction. The learned of such an age vided a substitute; for in the notes would reject a prophet appealing to a will be found all the references to proof which has never been admitted parallel passages, which appeared to with respect to former revelations; a me necessary for explaining the text. prophet, who, both in doctrine and Some might, indeed, be added, that in the relation of events, past and would be of use; but for many of the future, is seen to contradict, or add others, they conduce more to a custrange extravagant conceits to the rious comparison of words and phrases, credible and well-attested revelations' than to any true ilļustration of Scripof former times." i 'p. 69.

ture. The tenth letter contains internal “The other branch of marginal evidence respecting the question, matter appeared to me of a mucha whether or not the Apocalypse was more important nature; I mean the written by St. John. Dr. Lardner's Hebrew and Greek renderings, as opinion. Opinions of others. Ar- they are called. These are such guments of Dionysius of Alexandria, translations of the original as give under five heads, and answers thereto, another, or a more literal, sense of a and to the objections of Michaelis. word or phrase in the origioal, which Inquiry whether John the Evangelist, could not properly be introduced and John the Divine, were understood into the text itself, these were wisely by the ancients to be the same personplaced in the margin by the transla Proof, from a passage in the Apoca. iors, in order to afford additional lypse, that it was written by Saint light to the reader. I considered John.- Conclusion.

these, as a real part of the translation, no less than the text itself, and that no Bible was fairly given to the public, that was without them. I haye, therefore, retained the wbole

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

of the Hebrew and Greek renderings should digress from the text; but, on in this edition; and I regret that the contrary, that every note should there is any example of disregarding keep the text closely in view, and them in others, which, for that rea- should bring the reader back to it, as son, I cannot look upon as genuine soon as it had served the purpose of cditions, though coming from autho- explaining the difficulty that occarity. Extricated as these renderings sioned it. Further, I resolved to are, in this edition, from the heap of keep out of these notes every thing parallel passages, with which they that was learned, or curious, or noare confounded in the quarto editions, vel. Formed upon this principle, they will, I hope, attract the reader's they aim at nothing, but to give a notice, and thus contribute their plain interpretation of Scripture, such share towards conveying the true

as has been known and well received sense of the words and phrases of the for many years; and, as they are inoriginal language.

tended for English readers of every ** Such is the plan upon which I class, so both learned and unlearned, have exhibited the text of our Church I should think, may find something Bible. For the text itself, I made in them that will be useful. choice of the Oxford Bible, which “ In giving this new form to the was adjusted with great care in the English Bible, I claim little merit to year 1769, and which the university myself beyond that of the labour and has made the copy in all reprints

, expence; the authorship is of a very ever since. I direcied the printers to humble sort; it is that of bringing follow that copy implicitly; and if forward the works of others, and there is any deviation, even in the placing them in a situation where punctuation, it is from an error in they nay be more useful to the pub, the press, and not by design.

lic. The substance of every thing, "To the text of the Psalms I have that may be thought valuable in added, in another column, that of this edition, is to be found in books the Psalms in the Common Prayer a century old; little of it is mine, Book. These two texts are of dif. but the selecting, adapting, and wordferent characters; the former is ing. If there has not always been nearer the Hebrew, but the latter judgment in the choice, nor every seems to have less difficulties; those where success in the execution ; if I will become still less by a comparison have done too much in one place, with the Bible text; and the two will and too little in another; I hope alreflect a light upon each other, that lowance will be made for such inemust make both better understood. qualities, considering that the work “ Although I persuaded myself

, is long, and various, and the attempt that the Bible was more likely to be new. p. xi-xv. read, and would be read with more interest, and intelligence, if the text was presented to the reader in the form in which it is disposed in this edition, yet it seemed to me necessary, that the text should be accom

CLVIII. ENGLISH COMPOSITION, panied with some explanatory notes,

in a Method entirely new, with vabefore it could be said to be upon a

rious short contrasted Examples, from sooting of equal advantage with other

celebrated Writers, the whole aitapi. ancient writings. In order, there ed 10 common Capacities, and designed sore, to make the work as complete

as an easy Help to form a good Style, as I could, I resolved to compile

and to acquire a Taste for she Works some short notes both to the Old of the best Authors. By the Rev. G. Testament and the New; I did not

G. SCRAGGS. To which are added, feel courage to bestow the same an Essay on the Advaniages of unpains on the Apocrypha. The rule derstanding Composition, and a List I laid down to myself for framing

of select Books for English Readers, these notes was this; that they should

with Remarks, 12 mo. be very numerous, and very short; so nothing might be passed over HIS is

in least need with the annotation ; and that no annotation or understanding composition, 19

[ocr errors]

which we notice the following re can never receive so much profit and marks:

pleasure as gracious learned persons “ As to the ADVANTAGES of un. have in bearing such a minister. In derstanding composition, much may these respects we may see tbat one be gathered from what has been ads who understands coinposition has vanced, therefore only a few of the manifest advantages over those who, benefits will be considered.

though sensible and pious, are with“ !. Such a knowledge gives a great out this knowledge. insight into any subject, either heard “ 4. By using good language, we or read. They who do not under- may add charms to truth. It is well stand grammar and rhetoric, are lia- known, that many excellencies on ble continually to mistakes. Even moral and literary subjects are obsupposing that they have quick natu- scured by feeble expressions, but ral abilities, still, as our tongue is so what is worse, ibe glorious truths of equivocal they must have very im- the gospel appear to great disadvanperfect conceptions. On the con- tage with mean language. Here pertrary, such as know the rules of com. haps it may be observed, that the position, very soon enter into the Almighty has not owned some minimeaning of what is expressed in sters who are very correct, while he words, and thus errors are detected, has abundantly blessed the labours and great improvement speedily re of many who use low expressions. ceived. This knowledge also in- To this it may with truth be replied, cludes such an extensive acquaint that as God is a sovereign, he will ance with the meaning of phrases as bless his word when, and by whom well as words, with all their corre. he pleases. None however will dare sponding connections, that those who to say, that this is on account of the properly understand composition, mean language which some use : on may be said to be masters of the the contrary, it is likely to suppose, English language,

that if such worthy ministers were « Our reasoning powers are great- not to use vulgar expressions, and to ly assisted by this knowledge. We endeavour to be more correct, that are not indeed to expect that it will they would be still more useful. By of itself make profound logicians, but good language, the author does not it will be a considerable help for that mean to recommend any thing like purpose. Thus, an acquaintance a bombastic style, which is not fit for with composition teaches us to ana the press, and inuch less for the pullyze that which we hear or read, and pit.” Our style may be sufficiently to reason upon its beauties or de plain, and yet neat or elegant, wliich fects. This will lead to further in is the proper dress for truth of every vestigations, and so by degrees the kind. “Soine writers have remarked, powers of the mind are strength that it does not stand in need of any ened.

embellishments. This is very just " 3. A taste for the beauties of with respect to the intrinsic value of language increases mental pleasures. truth, but it certainly shines with As the excellencies of nature or art double lustre, and is likely to do are not much relished by persons of more good when properly ornalittle taste, so it is with respect to a mented.” p. xvii-xxi. good style. For instance, Addison This is followed by a select library may be admired by superficial read- for English readers with remarks, ers, but as they can discern only a and the work is then divided into few of his beauties, their pleasures six chapters. The first containing a from perusing his writings must be description of the ten parts of speech, small." On the other hand, one who with the rules of syntax exemplified is well acquainted with the properties under each : the second contains of good language, discovers many various contrasted phrases or expresmore excellencies in the works of sions : the third, divided and transAddison, and consequently receives posed sentences : the fourth, the much more delight from reading principal figures of speech with conthem. These remarks are equally trasted examples at the end: the applicable to what we hear. Thus, fifth, short examples of different kinds an illiterate serious person may ad- of good English language; and the mire a gospel preacher who uses good sixih, brief directions pow to form a language, but a hearer of this kind suitable style.

« AnteriorContinuar »