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translate the prepositions concerning' is to adopt an unusual meaning of the word; and that Mr. Bellamy himself has afforded the strongest of all proofs that he does not approve his new translation, for, within eleven verses, in a part of the same narrative, the words recur, and are there rendered by him in that very sense which they have always borne, but which he had just rejected as inadmissible. At this he professes great indignation, (p. 36.) but all he has to answer, is that's takes a variety of prepositions in our language.' Granted; but what proof is hereby afforded that, contrary to every known authority, and to the clearest sense of the narrative, it is to be so translated in this passage? Or how does he escape from the charge of the grossest inconsistency in rejecting in one place a meaning of the words, which, in a passage immediately following, he adopts without the slightest hesitation ?
In our remarks, (p. 272.) on the glaring absurdity with which Mr. Bellamy's new translation of this passage invests the whole narrative of Abraham's temptation, we now begin to suspect that we scarcely did him justice; or, rather, we apprehend that he has fallen upon some newer discoveries in the interval between the publication of his translation and his · Reply. His present ideas are that, when God proved Abraham, it is meant, that He showed, evinced to Abraham, the necessity of taking Isaac to the mount Moriah for him to be instructed concerning the burnt-offering, as representative of the Messiah.' Not so thought St. Paul, when he said, Hebr. xi. 17. By faith, Abraham, when he was tried (Telpa Sousvos), offered up Isaac;' and not so once thought Mr. Bellamy himself, who, in his note on the passage, had explained it, 'to prove, to try, experience. He now gives it as his opinion, that Abraham conceived his son Isaac to be the promised Messiah, and that, with this persuasion in his mind, when the Almighty commanded him to ascend, concerning the burnt-offering, to Mount Moriah, he mistook His meaning, understood that he was commanded to offer up his son Isaac, and proceeded in this mistaken sense to execute the command, till God called
upon desist! Still, at the close of the transaction, the Almighty rewards his erroneous obedience by the confirmation of the promise of distinguished blessings. Because--thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; therefore, blessing I will bless thee,' &c. Thus, Mr. Bellamy would fain persuade us that the Almighty, in communicating with his servant Abraham on an occasion so important to mankind, used words which were liable to misapprehension, and which actually were misapprehended; that the Almighty, knowing the mistake, did not set Abraham right, but suffered him to disobey his real command, by proceeding to obey a supposed one; andBut we will say no more of Mr. Bellamy's most recent disco
very of the sense in this passage, except that he thus furnishes the best excuse for our' blundering translators,' by contending that the mistake of the sense which they have made at the distance of three thousand years, was made at the
time the words were spoken, very person to whom they were addressed ! Having shewn, we trust by no equivocal proof, how completely our remarks on these specimens of our author's qualifications for his task remain unanswered, we proceed briefly to examine with what better success he has confuted the few remarks which we made on his version of the first chapter of Genesis.
To our strictures (p. 274.) on his translation of Gen. i. 1. 'the substance of the heaven,' &c. he replies, (p. 37.) that his reviewer is aiding the cause of infidelity, and establishing the doctrine of the eternity of matter. We entertain no fear for the substantial defence of the cause of the Bible against the infidel, provided it can escape from such incapable and injudicious friends as Mr. Bellamy. On our remark that, if os be rightly rendered 'the substance of in one passage, it ought to be so rendered in all similar passages, he says, that he has been consistent, for he has so expressed it. wherever our idiom will allow.' What can he mean? Why would not our idiom' allow him to say at v. 4. the substance of the light,' at v. 7. ' the substance of the expanse,' at v. 16. the substance of the two great lights,' as well as at v. 1. the substance of the heavens'?
We produced (p. 274, 275.) from this chapter two instances of his ignorance of the plainest parts of speech in Hebrew; the one at v. 6. where he mistakes soap for a noun substantive, while it is really the participle benoni in Hiphil from 372 'to divide ;' the other at v. 17., where he mistakes osal for a noun substantive with the preposition and prefixed, whereas it is clearly a verb in the infinitive in Hiphil. On neither of these has he a single word.
We remarked, (p. 275.) that by rendering the words 12 1971 198 with its seed in it,' at v. 11 and 12. be entirely omits the pronoun relative qux. Now let the Hebrew reader attend to his reply, (p. 42.) V (he says) embraces the meaning of with,' and so, he contends, he has rightly rendered with its seed in it.' Never was an observation made in more profound ignorance of the obvious meaning of Hebrew words. The Hebrew qux has no more the sense of' with’ than the Latin qui. The words here are construed literally which its seed in it,' a well-known Hebrew phrase for • whose seed in it, the verb-substantive is' being understood.
As our main purpose is, to afford the public a just view of Mr. Bellamy's competence to his assumed office of a biblical critic and translator, we have thought it best to shew in detail how completely he has failed in confuting the strictures passed on parGG 2
ticular texts, casually selected, as specimens of the whole. To thic rest of his · Reply' we could say much, if we deemed it necessary. But we do not apprehend that, by bringing together a few passages of the authorised version which, in his opinion, require improvement and certainly here and there passages occur which, according to far better opinions than his, admit of some correction—he will persuade any considerate reader that this version is not generally most correct and excellent: or that, by adducing a text or two (p. 15.) in which it may conform to the Septuagint,* or Vulgate, he will induce any one to believe that it was not directly and truly translated from the original Hebrew only, in the sole sense in which any judicious translators would ever think of doing so. We before accused Mr. Bellamy of applying some extracts from Dr. Lowth, Dr. Kennicott, and other learned divines, so as to give a false representation of their opinions. We repeat the same charge in the most direct terms: it is true that some of these divines were of opinion that a revision of the received version might be advantageous—not, was absolutely necessary,' as be states in his · Reply,' (p.6.)- But the revision of which they thought, extended, not to the discovery that all former translators had grossly erred in interpreting the plainest passages of the Bible, but, merely to the improvement of the language, and the more clear development of the sense in particular passages. All their writings shew that this was their meaning; and we repeat that, to quote their words, as Mr. Bellamy does, for the purpose of sanctioning such a translation as bis, is to represent them as entertaining an opinion which they would have rejected with indignation and horror.
* Mr. Bellamy expresses great astonishment (Reply, p. 6.) at our assertion, (p. 260.) that the Septuagint version has been prized by Jews as well as Christians. We repeat the assertion in the sense in which we made it, viz. that Jews as well as Christians most fully allow the Septuagint version to give generally the true sense of the Hebrew Scriptures, however they may here and there dispute the interpretation of a particular text. It is curious to observe in what manner he disproves our assertion, (p. 261.) that the Septuagint is quoted by the writers of the New Testament ; namely, (p. 17.) by producing two or three passages in which they did not quote from the Septuagint, as if we had asserted that it always was, instead of sometimes. However, Mr. Bellamy may contemplate the following passages, in which it is most clear that these writers did quote from the Septuagint, Matt. iv. 4. 6. xiii. 14, 15. xxi. 16. xxii. 44. Acts xv. 17. Hebr. viii. 9. x. 39. And we will produce many more passages to prove the fact, if it should be desired. But probably the authority of Michaelis may be thought sufficient : . It is universally known,' he says, (v. i. p. 215. Edit. 1802.) that the quotations in the New Testament are commonly taken from the Septuagint, a version in general use among the Christians who understood Greek.'
Mr. Bellamy pretends (p. 8.) to confute our assertion that the books of the Old Testament are the only books which have come down to us in the ancient Hebrew, by stating that the Mishna, Talmud, &c. are written in that language. After all the proofs which we have had of this writer's ignorance, we are still inclined to ask, whether it be possible he can seriously believe that the language in which the Mishna, Talmud, &c. are written, is the same as that of the Old Testament?
But Mr. Bellamy lays us under peculiar difficulties, as we have not only to combat his daring misrepresentations of the opinions of others, but his intrepid contradictions of himself. From an obtuseness, or obliquity, of understanding, he rarely appears to comprehend the meaning of his own language, or to discover whither the drift of his arguments is hurrying him. He evidently writes at random; and unconsciously keeps up a perpetual warfare between his text and notes, or between his notes themselves, fiercely assailing in one page what he stoutly defends in another. His reading appears very confined—of the works of the great critical divines of ihis and other countries, he knows nothing; hence he frequently produces as valuable matter what had long ago been consigned to utter derision, or lays claim to discoveries which have, for ages, been familiar to every biblical student. When we add to all this, that his style of composition is mean and grovelling, and his taste depraved; that he has no relish or perception of the exquisite simplicity of the original, no touch of that fine feeling, that pious awe which led his venerable predecessors to infuse into their version as much of the Hebrew idiom as was consistent with the perfect purity of our own—a taste and feeling which have given perennial majesty and beauty to the English tongue—but that, on the contrary, he speaks with rude and vulgar buffoonery of the slight repetitions and redundancies which occasionally occur in the sacred volume, and which are so strongly and interestingly characteristic of the most remote antiquity; and proposes to sweep them all away in favour of what he is pleased to call an“ improved text of his own, always harsh, jejune, and revolting, and frequently unintelligible; we are more and more astonished at the presumption of his pursuits, and the vanity of his expectations.
One word more. As Mr. Bellamy has thought proper to bring himself further into public notice by bis · Reply' to our strictures, it may be as well, before we part with him, to confirm the opinion. which our readers must have already formed of his learning, consistency, and general competence, by the production of a few more specimens of each, for the benefit of those who have not access to his work.
Many instances occur in which Mr. Bellamy, in opposition to all authorities, translates the preter form of the verb in the pluperfect sense: we have alluded to one instance of this at Gen. ï. 21. and shall remark upon another at Gen. iii. 7. In the introduction to his translation, p. xxxix. he pretends, with much parade of accurate learning, to lay down a rule for ascertaining this modification of the preter tense, which is called the preterpluperfect tense.” It depends, he says, on the accent called paschta; where one of these accents is placed upon the verb, there is this first modificaGG 3
tion of the perfect tense,' which,' he adds, (p. xl.) is properly the first aorist of the Hebrew; the second occurs by a repetition of the accent paschta on the verb.' • Thus,' he afterwards says, • it will be seen that, as the Hebrew was the first language, the Greeks must have had their aorists from the Hebrew. The reader will not fail to remark, by the way, these new discoveries' in the Greek graınmar, for which the world is likely to be as much indebted to Mr. Bellamy as for those he has made in the sense of Hebrew words: we suppose it will in future be received, on his authority, as an established point, that the first and second aorists in Greek bear the pluperfect sense. Seriously, we cannot help suspecting that bis knowledge of this tongue is even at a lower ebb than his knowledge of Hebrew. Be this as it may, he does not seem wanting in a due consciousness of his own merit in discovering this rule for the modification of Hebrew tenses, for he tells us that, though the ancient Hebrews, in the time of Ezra, were well acquainted with these branches of Hebrew learning, it is certain they have been wholly neglected since; no writer, no grammarian, either Jew or Christian,' (always excepting Mr. Bellamy,) since that period, having attempted to give us a solution of these lingual problems concerning this peculiar construction of the language. And it is true enough, that the greatest masters of the language had not the most distant notion that any such rule obtained. Even J. Buxtorf, who attaches at least as much weight as any one to the points and accents, says, (Thes. Gramm. p. 33.) that the accents are of use in regulating the pronunciation and intonation; but gives not the slightest hint that in this manner they modify the sense.
Under these circumstances, it will not be supposed that there can be the least truth in Mr. Bellamy's solution of his lingual problems. In fact, the slightest inquiry proves the utter futility of his pretended rule ; for, of verbs manifestly referring to times equally remote, one often has the paschta, the other not, as at Gen. i. 4, 5. 572'' he divided,' has not the paschta; N7p he called' has it; and often wbere the sense evidently requires a construction in the pluperfect, there is no paschta, as at Gen. ii. v. 2. wy" he had made,' v. 5. T'UON NS had not caused it to rain. But our main business is not with Mr. Bellamy’s sagacity, or his modesty in propounding the rule, but with his consistency in adhering to it. It is natural to expect that, after laying it down, whenever he deviates from the received sense by rendering in the pluperfect tense, it will be from its authority. But what is the fact ? At Gen. ii. 21. he renders' he had inclosed, yet the verb is without the paschta. So at Gen. ii. 9.' had brought forth ;' ii. 25. had not shamed themselves.' In these, and numberless other instances, he not only runs counter to all authority in imposing a pluperfect sense, but does