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of all its parts would be perfectly discerned. In pro- inquire whether such deductions be fair and wellportion as the Holy Spirit does enable any to understand founded? whether they be compatible with the pasit, this harmony is perceived; but He alone can teach to sages themselves, and with other passages equally profit: and it is in the prayerful, diligent, humble peru- literal and clear? There can be no refusing or evading sal of Scripture itself—of all Scripture ;-in its perusal, such inquiries; and when instituted in a calm and immoreover, as subject to it, and not as subjecting it to our own partial spirit, and conducted with humility, patience, minds, that the teaching of the Holy Spirit is afforded. and prayer, we have no fear for the result. It has Of all moral preparatives for the study of prophecy, or hitherto generally issued in a firm and abiding conof
any branch of revealed truth, there is none so im- viction, that pre-millennial views are as much taught portant as that we have just indicated—entire subjection by the literal as by the figurative portions of Holy Writ; to the Word of God. By it are all to be judged event that they are, in short, the doctrines of Scripture ually; the christian submits himself to it now. He may throughout: and that the only way to avoid receiving find statements in it on one subject, which he cannot, at them, if serious attention be at all paid to them, is—first, the time, reconcile with what he understands its declar- to attach an erroneous meaning to certain passages, and ations on some other subject to be: but what is he to then, to subordinate all others, not to these passages do? Is he to prefer the one class to the other, and themselves, but to the human and mistaken sense in having made his selection, subordinate those which he which they are understood. deems of to such as he regards as of “higher authority”? Would that be to reverence God's Word, THE RE-TRANSLATION OR REVISION OF and submit to its authority ? Surely not. The man
THE BIBLE.*- No. I. who trembles at God's Word, will, in such a case, reflect The question of the expediency of a new national transthat the discrepancy is only apparent; that it may arise lation of the Bible has been mooted of late years, and from his own misapprehension of either class of passages; has very recently excited not a little discussion. The or even that he may yet be ignorant of some collateral public mind appears now to be very much alive to the truths, which, when known, will clear up all. He subject; and the question is even agitated at public concludes to confess his ignorance, and wait on God. meetings. We take this for a healthy sign; truth never Take for instance, the millenarian controversy. Many suffers by investigation ; and a troubled pool is certainly there are to whom it seems written in numerous passages, better than a stagnant mass of waters. The multiplithat the second coming of Christ is to precede the cation of cheap editions of the Bible by the removal millennium, and to introduce it; while our author of the ancient monopoly of the king's printer, and the maintains, with many other excellent, godly men, that circulation of numerous cheap editions of standard this is contradicted by plain statements of the New commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, have greatly asTestament. They admit that many portions of the Old, sisted in the production of this state of things; while and some parts of the New, seem to favour the pre- the recent publication of various new and startling millennial doctrine; but they deem it inconsistent with works on the subjects of faith and practice, have led to what they judge to be the evident sense of certain the examination of the grounds of belief, and to the laudliteral passages of the latter volume of inspiration; and able desire to obtain the actual doctrines of revelation they contend that the Old Testament must yield to the in their simplest possible form. This in its turn has New—the figurative and obscure to the literal and clear. generated the natural wish in the minds of many inBut may we not well pause, ere we consent to this quiring persons, to have the Word of God placed before course, and inquire whether we be indeed shut up to them in their own vernacular tongue, exactly as it was such a necessity ? Contradiction or discrepancy in God's placed before the Jew and the Greek, so that they may Word there cannot be: the secret of the difficulty must be enabled accurately to judge for themselves of the be found elsewhere. May not our brethren have come nature of those sublime truths which it was intended to hasty conclusions as to the sense of what they term to convey. the literal passages ? Is it not a presumptive evidence Abstractly considered, there can be no doubt that of their having done so, that the effect of their use of an English version of the Bible which should be a perthem is to place them in apparent opposition to what fect and complete transcript of the original languages they admit to be the literal and obvious import of other in which it was written, is a grand desideratum; and Scriptures ? Pre-millennialists make no admissions of once obtained, would be hailed as a boon of incalculable the kind, nor have they any need to make such. The value by all classes of the community. The next quespre-millennial view does not set Scripture against tion, however, to be carefully considered by the reliScripture, nor does it deem such a course admissible.
* ). The State of the English Bible. Reprinted from the Edinburgh Allowed, even by its opposers, to harmonize with the Review, October, 1855. By the Rev. William Harness, A.M., Perpetual obvious sense of many Scriptures, it claims the support
Curate of All Saints, Knightsbridge. London: Longmun and Co., 1856.
2. The Annotated Paragraph Bible. Religious Tract Society, London, of all-yea, of the very passages adduced against it, 1853. when these passages are rightly understood. And is of the English Version of the Holy Bible.
3. The Translators Revived; a Biographical Memoir of the Authors
By A. W. M'Clure. there to be no question allowed as to the sense of these ? York: Charles Scribner.
Facts and Arguments Is it by the passages themselves, or by post-millenarian sideration of Bible Societies. By the Rer J. D. Hales, M.A. Incumbent deductions therefrom, that the pre-millennial testimony
of St. John's Church, Richmond, &c. London: Wertheim and Macintosh, lying on the surface of so many other passages, is said 5. The Versions of Holy Scriptore for Roman Catholic Countries. An to be contradicted and overruled? And may we not Appeal toonden British and Foreign Bible Society
. By S. P. Tregelles,
: and Macintosh
gious public, is, how shall this object be attained, and When our author proceeds to object to the authorized how far short of such a version does our present author- translation of many Hebrew and Greek words and ized translation fall? In other words, do we really phrases, the question then becomes more serious, and need a new national translation of the Bible? This worthy of our best attention. He refers to the opinion question cannot at once be answered by a categorical of Selden, which is expressed in very obscure language, yes, or no. A great variety of collateral questions are but its meaning is, that the Bible is not freely translated involved in this apparently simple one.
into English phrases, but literally into Hebraisms, The authorized translation now in use, was published where the idiom of the original is retained ; so that the about 245 years ago; it was made by the most pious common people cannot make sense of them. This is a and learned men of the time; and it has served as a grave charge, and it is a pity that it should be made at standard of the English language for purity and excel- the end of nearly two centuries and a half. The truth lence of style ever since. The finest pieces of our most is, however, that generally speaking, these Hebraisms esteemed poets, Shakespeare, Milton, Young and Cowper, are well understood; they have become part and parcel are borrowed from its pages, sometimes, almost word for of our language; and they have added a dignity and word; and the best among our prose writers, owe the richness of expression to it, which it never before posvigour and beauty of their style to the intermixture of sessed, and which it is likely soon to lose, if the frothy the phraseology of the sacred Scriptures with that of style of the present day is to be held up as our model. their own nervous productions. Thus the words of the Then as to the translation of the Greek, an objection is Holy Bible have become “household words;" and many made to the different meanings given to the same word a pious and happy soul has breathed its last, in its rich in the New Testament; this objection would be well and glowing language. The hallowed recollection of founded, if those who used the Greek language, invariably such scenes endears our English translation to the pious used the same word in the same meaning at all times ; and the warm-hearted survivors, so much, as to make but it is well known that this is not the fact; for words them think it sacrilege to alter a single word. How are in Greek are used in different senses and shades of feelings like these to be met by the cold critic of meaning, as words in English are; and in this respect hexaplas and polyglots? His very criticism is dis- all languages are alike. Moreover, words in Greek, as armed at the thought, and his pen falls idly by his side. well as in English, have changed their signification, at His heart fails him when an alteration, even for the different periods in the history of the language ; so that better, is suggested in any favourite passage ; and he exceptions on this ground are useless, so long as any joins in family worship with increased reverence for word still retains the original sense in which it was the Bible of his earlier years.
used, although other meanings may have been superadded The author of “ The State of the English Bible,” since. Of the latter fact, the word charity is a striking has stated a number of objections to our present editions instance ; the Greek word in the New Testament of the Scriptures, which taken under a serious view of signifies love for a brother christian, and this is still one the matter, are really of very little moment. The want of the meanings of the English word charity. As to of the “ typographical aids” of which he complains, may the want of synonimousness between reprobate and be felt by the reader of the elegant volumes published cast-away as renderings of the same Greek word, we in our day; but this want can be no ground of real confess we do not see it; for that which is reprobate, or objection to an anxious inquirer after truth. No doubt rejected as spurious, is surely to be cast away. it would be better to have the text carefully divided translation, therefore, has a Calvinistic bias on this into paragraphs; the speeches placed between inverted ground, it can only be because Calvin had conversely a commas; and quotations printed in italics, although Pauline bias, and that both the translators and he had a the latter is not the customary mode; than to have the bias in favour of the truth. text separated into verses (by which the careless reader This author cites with approbation five rules given loses the sense), and the speeches and quotations printed by the Rev. Arthur Stanley, for the rectification of without due discrimination. It would also be better if errors in the translation, which he has exemplified in a the Bible were made a readable book as to good paper, new edition of the Epistles to the Corinthians. His large type, and convenient volumes, so that a man might emendations are such as are produced. 1st, by a restotake an evening walk with one in his pocket for occa- ration of the text of the ancient MSS.; 2nd, by a sional reading and consultation; than to have it put all better system of punctuation; 3rd, by transposing the in one volume, printed so small as to require spectacles words into a nearer conformity with the original order ; to read it, or so large as to require a porter to carry it. 4th, by bringing out the emphasis of words apparent The printing of poetical passages of the Bible on the sys- in the original text, either from the use of the pronoun, tem of parallelism, and of the argumentative parts in or from the place of the words in the sentence; 5th, paragraphs of proper length, would no doubt greatly by accuracy* of translation. Of these rules for the facilitate the understanding of its meaning, and be a emendation of the translation of the New Testament, great help to the serious reader. All these things, to which, taken by themselves, no reasonable objection however, have been done, and might be done again and can be made, we may remark that the first and the last again, without contravening any law or statute of the are the only rules of importance. With regard to the realm; but they are, in our opinion, non-essentials, and restoration of the text, it is enough to say, with the after all, not absolutely necessary to the right understanding of the Word of God.
* The author says inaccuracy, but means accuracy.
author of an article in the Eclectic Review, that “ a common people is, with a few exceptions, still the same complete examination of MSS., versions, and fathers as the fine old Saxon, in which the English version was (of the church), proves the inviolability of the christian written. The very instances which our author has Scriptures”; and that “the accumulation of many thou- cited in proof of his objection, may be urged as proof sands of various readings, obtained at the expense of of our assertion. He says that “carriage in the Bible immense critical labour, does not affect a single sentiment signifies the things carried, such as baggage ; with us it in the whole New Testament.” Let not the simple- means the vehicle." Not only so, but it means both the minded christian, therefore, imagine for one moment, act of carrying, and the load. Many thousands of pounds that he has not the real truth of the gospel in our are paid every day in London, as charges for carriage ; authorized translation; or that the noise which is made here the word must be taken in the former meaning; by some critics about new readings or new versions, is and, when trains are said to bring heavy carriage to of the slightest importance to the great question of town, it is the load that is meant, and not the vehicle. salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot The word prevent from the Latin praevenio, means simply indeed agree with our author when he says that “Our to go before, either to help or to hinder, and is well English version of the sacred Scriptures is very far understood by the pious reader of the Bible; it is still from being unexceptionable; and that the imperfections used by the common people in the former sense. We are commonly felt and acknowledged among all denomi- concede, however, to the author that it would have nations of protestants in this country;" although he been better in our translation, to make the distinction refers to the publication of the “Annotated Paragraph for the sake of clearness. His objection to the word Bible” by the Religious Tract Society, as a proof of meat as taken in the sense of food, instead of flesh, is his assertion. Nor can we avoid seeing a little of the futile; this is a cockney peculiarity, not acknowledged
. the Pope in the statement he makes, that “it is essential in the provinces. By in the Bible never signifies against, to the best interests of religion, that” our accumulated as he unwittingly asserts it does; the citation of Paul's biblical stores of “information should be fully, freely, words, 1 Cor. iv. 4, “I know nothing by myself,” is and in an authoritative form, disseminated abroad by a very unfortunate as an example of this ; for, the simple careful correction of our received version of the sacred meaning is, “I am conscious of nothing [wrong],” that Scriptures."
is, " by myself, in my own opinion, I am aware of With respect to the question of laying aside the "tex- nothing blameable." After still means according to, as tus receptus,” or received text of the Greek New Testa- it did of old, although he denies it; and this scriptural ment, and adopting any other as the foundation of a use of the word, is so well known, that we wonder at new translation, this would require first to be settled, his objection to it; he will hear it every day in common before that translation was attempted. The critical conversation among all classes. But enough of this; editions of Griesbach, Scholz, Tischendorf, Muralto, and all that we mean to bring before our readers on this Lachmann, might furnish a basis for a new “textus point, is, that if these be the only objections to the receptus”; but until this be prepared and published authorized translation, we may congratulate ourselves by an acknowledged authority, we do not mean ecclesi- on the firm hold which it still has in the minds of the astical, but critical, it would be dangerous to issue a present generation. We say this, not that we would new national translation of the New Testament. All object to a few verbal corrections of minor importance, these editors, though men of acknowledged candour under the care of a judicious and pious editor; but and probity, had their own peculiar bias, owing to the that we would deprecate the complete alterations of different communions in which they were trained, and sentences and phrases, which have become hallowed by the different points of view in which they looked at the the dearest associations, both of our childhood, and sacred text; and we believe that unless an editor be our manhood, and which have stood the test of time for acknowledged by the true church of God as gifted with so many years, amid all the changes of religious creeds the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of and opinions. love and of a sound mind, his labours, however great We
agree with our author when he says that if the in learning, philology, and criticism, would be of reverence” of our protestant population attaches to little weight with that church, or with the world at the “ admitted errors and deficiencies” of our " translalarge; and, unless he were possessed of a clear per- tion of the inspired writings,”—"such a feeling is not ception of what is meant by the analogy of faith, which pious but superstitious;" but we cannot consent to would enable him to detect false readings and erroneous class the resistance to “ the elimination of the palpable interpolations, his edition, come with whatever other mistakes and acknowledged imperfections of our English authority it may, would only be another added to the Bible, from an apprehension of offending the religious number of editions already existing, all of which require prejudices of the people,” with the “pious frauds of the to be carefully examined by the light of Divine truth, Romanist, who lends his support to the perpetuation of and weighed in the balances of the sanctuary.
a belief in relics, or endeavours to sustain the faith of It is objected to our authorized translation, that his flock by the contrivance of a fraudulent miracle.” “Scriptural phrases, which were sufficiently clear to The palpable mistakes and acknowledged imperfections our great grandfathers, have gradually but impercepti- of our translation, are “few and far between "; they bly changed their meaning, and become altogether un-are in general trifling and unimportant; they do not
; intelligible to their descendants.” We deny this in toto; affect a single truth in the whole range of revelation; and we unhesitatingly assert that the language of the and they are wide as the poles asunder, from the pious
frauds of the Romanist, which not only affect the true consideration of some other tracts on the different doctrines of the Bible, but destroy their efficacy, and versions of the Holy Scriptures, especially those issued send unthinking sinners to the grave, with a lie in their by the Bible Society. We should have been glad if right hand.
space permitted, to have noticed our American brother After citing some examples of the annotations to be Dr. McClure's interesting memoir of the translators of found in the “ Paragraph Bible,” not very much to the our authorized version, seeing that he is at present in purpose, and only removing some slight obscurities in this country for the purpose among other things of getthe text, our author informs us that “the great body of ting fresh materials for a more complete edition of his the people” are aware that our common version re. work ; but we have said enough on the subject for this quires a diligent revision.” This statement we very time, and must defer our observations on the question of much doubt; we believe that the contrary is the fact; revisions and on the works prefixed to this article, till and we do not take the appearance of that Bible as any a future number. proof at all. If its sale were equivalent to that of The London Journal, we might then be disposed to acknow
Original Contributions. ledge its truth ; but not otherwise. Our author fears that ere long the committee of the Religious Tract So- THE DAWNING LIGHT OF PROPHECY.— No. I. ciety will cause “the reading of the text and of the notes to change places”; and he deprecates the idea
“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Rev. xix. 10. that such an attempt should be made “ without autho- The first ray of hope, for fallen man, gleams forth rity, at the expense of an unlearned society, and under brightly, yet strangely and mysteriously, from the curse the direction of an anonymous editor.” We do not pronounced on man's seducer, Satan. « The Lord God think that the society will thank him for this state- said unto the serpent,
I will put emnity ment, or be deterred by his fears from giving to the between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and public the benefit of all their modern improvements. her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise At the same time, we think the name of the editor his heel.” should be placed on the title page, that we may know There is no promise made directly to the fallen pair. what degree of credit is due to the annotations. But There is no positive grace or rescue for them, even restrictions on the publication of annotated Bibles, im- shadowed forth. A punitive infliction is pronounced on
. proved versions, and new versions of the New or Old Satan—ominous of even his destruction; and the "seed Testament are as useless as they are vain; the public of the woman," a certain person thus simply designated, will know the truth: and they will not value a new trans- should execute the predicted retribution. The damage lation come from what authority it may, if it does not bear to be done to the seducer should exceed that which he the stamp of sincerity and godliness, of real learning and had done, and should do, unto man, so far even as a deep toned piety. The Unitarians themselves are tired of wounded head transcends a wounded heel. Yet this their own improved version, and are joining the sciolists was retribution only, and that on Satan, not deliverance in the cry for a new national translation of the Bible; for man, except so far as Satan was concerned. Posiin fact, it appears that the petitions to parliament for tive blessedness for the miserable race of men was as this purpose, are chiefly from the members or congre- yet unrevealed. Still there was a ray of hope presented gations of that body. We hope that this is a good sign however mysteriously and indirectly on their part; that their dissatisfaction with their own 2. But positive promise is very shortly afterwards views of the Scriptures, will lead them carefully to vouchsafed; though mystery still enshrouded the revelastudy our old translation, even with the help of the tion. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee annotations of the Religious Tract Society; and we out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy trust that they will rise from this study of the sacred father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee; and Word, better qualified to join the true church of God I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless which he hath purchased with the blood of his own thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a Son. We have a yearning over their souls and blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and earnestly desire to see them willing to submit to the curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all righteousness of God, even justification by faith in the families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. xii. 1-3. In Lord Jesus, as the only atonement for sin. Nor have this man, Abram, the son of Terah, of Ur of the we less anxiety on behalf of the Romanists, our Chaldees, there shall be in some way, at some period, brethren according to the flesh. We sincerely believe the bestowment of "blessedness,” that is happiness, them to be in grievous error; and were they allowed well-being, upon all the families of man. The nature to read even their own translations without fear of the of the predicted and promised happiness is not revealed. priests, or the false humility of the confessional, they Nothing is made known as to its degree or its duration. might be brought to a knowledge of the simple truth The mode of its accomplishment is not explained. It and led to cast their idols to the moles and to the bats. shall be “in Abram.” How in him? Nothing further is But we would rather put into their hands our old unfolded. Yet there is positive foundation here for both English translation with an earnest request that they faith and hope. God hath spoken, and he will assuredly would give it their most serious attention, and study it perform. Man shall one day be happy again. This shall with prayer; we should then have no fear of the con- be accomplished in some way, through this certain Hesequences.
This remark would lead us to the brew, Abram (not as yet Abraham), the son of Terah.
3. But not through him directly. The direct accom- light shine forth from this very early prophecy. There plisher of this wondrous blessedness should be a certain should come one, whom Balaam himself should see; yet one of Abraham's seed. This further intimation comes * not now,” but in the future. The prophet should out in connection with the mysterious record of a trans- himself behold this majestically announced One; but action having reference to sacrifice; in which the only " not nigh,” not, to man's eye, with near approach. son of this Abraham had been, at God s command, The mysterious one, thus introduced, should be as a virtually slain and offered up. “By myself have 1 Star," and he should wield a “sceptre.” He should sworn, saith the Lord, that because thou hast done this spring forth from Israel. He should have dominion”; thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: but apparently universal judgments must introduce it. that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I Moab and Sheth, Edom and Seir, Amalek and the will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the Kenite—in the persons of their descendants, at some sand which is upon the sea shore, and thy seed shall un-named future period—a remote one according to the possess the gate of thine enemies. And in thy seed previous intimations of the prophet, should fall beneath shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou the avenging power of the predicted potentate. And hast obeyed my voice.” Gen. xxii. 16 – 18. The the solemn conclusion wrung from the lips of the blessedness to the nations shall flow through a certain affrighted seer, sheds further light upon the whole anOne of his seed; not through his seeds, “as of many, nouncement. “ And he took up his parable and said, in the plural. But through his one grain of seed, in the Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!" There shall singular. But through which one of all the promised come a day, connected with the introduction of the multitude, innumerable as the stars, or the ocean's sands ? sceptre and dominion of the predicted potentate—a day The promise does not specify this, and faith must wait, so great and terrible as to place in apparent jeopardy the and hope must build upon the certainty actually pro- lives of all the sons of men. Who shall live when God claimed. Universal happiness is once more predicted. doeth this? The flood had gone over the earth. A As it had been before declared that the “woman's seed” promise, with seven-fold perfectness of repetition, had should inflict vengeance on Satan; so now it is further been made,* that no more should all flesh perish by a foretold that “ Abraham's seed” shall bring in positive flood of waters. But here is apparently another univerblessedness. Thus dawns the light of prophecy-mys- sal—or all but universal-judgment predicted.
“ Who terious and extremely undefined as yet; but still sure, shall live when God dveth this?” God's Sovereign and full of cheering import.
must assume his power in such a mode; at so terrible a There were also mystic rites and sacrifices. These had crisis. somehow obtained almost universally among the sons of Three grand events already dawn in the prophetic
They too, seemed certainly to denote something page. The head of Satan shall be bruised, the families having reference to release from sin, and from its conse- of all the earth shall one day be made happy, but there quences. But of these types we do not speak; the word must intervene a day so fearful as to call forth from of prophecy being our present theme.
lips controlled, however unwillingly, by inspiration, the
portentous exclamation, “Who shall live when God 4. “And he took up his parable, and said,
doeth this?" A certain One of the woman's seed-a Balaam the son of Beor hath said, —And the man whose eyes certain “He”- should inflict the sentence upon the are open hath said :
seducer. A certain One Seed—not further indicated as He hath said, which heard the words of God,—And knew the knowledge of the Most High,
yet, from the innumerable host which should descend Which saw the vision of the Almighty,-Falling into a trance, from Abraham's loins, should accomplish the promised but having his eyes open:
blessedness. A certain “Star” and “Sceptre” from I shall see him, but not now : I shall behold him, but not nigh: Israel's progeny should execute the apparently universal There shall come a Star out of Jacob,—And a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel,
judgment—should seize the apparently universal doAnd shall smite the corners of Moab,
minion, And destroy all the children of Sheth.
5. Job, though reproved of God, for having "darkAnd Edom shall be a possession-Seir also shall be a possession ened counsel by words without knowledge,” and having for his enemies;
to confess with shame and sorrow at the last, And Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion,
“ Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; And shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
Things too wonderful for me, which I knew not,” And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and yet furnishes a bright prophetic ray-more than a ray.
said, Amalek was the first of the nations ;-—But his latter end and giving utterance to a notion that there should be no
Venturing to speak with reference to future resurrection, shall be that he perish for ever. And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and resurrection till the end of all things—“ till the heavens said,
be no more”—(chap. xiv. 10–12), venturing thus to Strong is thy dwellingplace, -And thou puttest thy nest in a speak, he was remonstrated with thereon, by him who
rock. Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted,—Until Asshur shall only could pronounce the truth with certainty. Job said, carry thee a way captive.
“Man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, And he took up his parable, and said,
and where is he? Alas! who shall live when God doeth this!”
As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and
(Num, xxiv. 15—23.) How brightly, amidst all the mystery of it, does the
* See Gen. ix. 9, 11, 12, 13, 15–17.