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now given by Rossellini, in any degree belie Champollion's admiring description. It is that of a lady who, by any connoisseurs or artists of any period, would be pronounced of consummate beauty; and it is singular that in the inscription associated with her name, she is called, like Amense the wife of the first Amenophis, by the chastely affectionate epithet which Solomon confers upon her of sister bride,' --which, as well as the situation of the tomb where the portrait is found, indicates that she was one of the Palladi or royal nuns, dedicated by a temporary vow of virginity to the services of Ammon, and considered as his virgin wives.":"-Foreign Quarterly Review, vol. xvi. pp. 320, &c. 1835.
The grounds of a presumption that the bride, celebrated in the Song, was an Israelitess, have been adverted to above (p. 49.) If the arguing of the Reviewer should be thought decisive in favour of the more usual hypothesis, and especially if any future deciphering of the phonetic signs should throw additional weight into that scale, those presumptions must be given up. Several of them are indeed differently interpreted and are brought forward by the Reviewer as allusions to an Egyptian birth and Egyptian politics; for the others, particularly the vineyards at Bual-Ilamon, other explications must be adopted. But, among the extreme difficulties which lie upon the whole question, we must not be surprised if some prove insuperable. However, these elucidations from the monuments of Egypt go far to confirm our oft-repeated remark, that no sacred or religious signification can, with any semblance of proof, be attributed to the poem.
SUGGESTIONS FOR A REVISED AND AMENDED EDITION OF
THE ENGLISH BIBLE.
(To the Editor.) Sir,- Though I was deeply interested in Mr. Walford's paper on a revision and correction of our present authorised version of the Scriptures, I was in danger, amidst the multiplícity of my engagements, of passing it by without further notice. Bilt subsequent reflection has convinced me that this would be a dereliction of duty; and though the same pressure of more immediately imperative engagements prevents my attempting any thing worthy of the majestic scheme; I still beg your acceptance, when I say, silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee.
The demand for improvement in our English Bible I may consider as admitted ; for, notwithstanding the indiscriminate laudation of which Mr. Walford justly complains, the better educated ministers in every denomination so frequently criticise the authorised version as to neutralize the praise. My own conviction is, that our whole attention should be directed to the practicability of the scheme, including the formation of the improved version, and the introduction of it into general use.
In the first place, then, I am satisfied that we ought not to wait for authority, or national co-operation. Of this, the temper of the present times, which is more likely to be aggravated than ameliorated for the next quarter of a century, forbids all expectation. Though I wish, I cannot hope, that I may be mistaken ; and therefore, I say, we must not expose ourselves to the reiteration of the reproach,
Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis."
If the authorities in church and state would attempt any improvement in the authorised version, we should not be allowed to have any influence in it. The aim of King James's translators was to avail themselves of the proposal of the Puritans, in order to procure a Bible more favourable to the hierarchy, and they succeeded, greatly to the injury of truth. Another revision from the same quarter would, I fear, only aggravate the evil.
My advice, therefore, would be, let us who wish for the thing, set about it at once, in the fear of God, and hope for his blessing, who will give us ultimate success.
The only question is, have we the means? I think we have. The expense, I am aware, will be great; but for this adequate provision may be made. The purchase of books, perhaps of MSS., the remuneration of those who devote their time to the work, and the getting out of the first edition, may cost several thousands of pounds. But there are among us those who would lend sufficient sums for those objects, and the sale of the work would ultimately defray them and all other expenses. The Congregational Hymn-book may be adduced in proof.
As I deem it superfluous to say, that the aim should be to produce, not that sort of thing which shall be like the soi-disant improved version of the New Testament, the creed of a party; but to our best judgments the mere transfusion of the Hebrew and Greek into our own tongue; it should be done in the most open manner. Let each sheet, like those of the O mirificam edition of the Greek Testament, be exhibited to view before the impression be struck off. Let it be sent to the universities, English and foreign, wherever English is likely to be known; and in fact, wherever the sheet will be most severely criticised, and thus let the work be conducted to the end. To avoid unnecessarily deferring the practical effects, it may be best to begin with the New Testament, which may thus come into use before the old; but the whole should be kept in view as one work.
There should be two editions, the larger well furnished with marginal references, and notes, not theological, but purely illustrative of the propriety of alterations wherever they occur; and the smaller, either without any reference, or with a very select portion.
Such improvements may be made in the printing as to secure to the work the most decided patronage of the best Mecænas, the public.
This leads me to notice a question of the greatest moment. How can an improved version be introduced into general use without authority? Those who know the state of things at the commencement of Christianity, at the Reformation, and before King James's version was made, will find no difficulty in saying, “Very well.” Others, however, will feel this to be a serious affair. If the subject be taken up seriously, it will be necessary to give more minute attention to this part of it; till then, I say no more, than that I am persuaded this should not, for a moment, check the project.
But to point out the way in which the thing will work may be desirable. The new version will come first into the hands of ministers, who must be expected to be its first patrons. They will, in their expositions and comments on their texts, observe wherein it differs from the old version, and will show that, in many instances, it agrees with the original renderings of the larger Bibles, and that the people will see that it has the authority of our present translators. In many instances they will observe, that names in the New Testament are given to the same persons in the same way as in the old; for example, Joshua, in Hebrews iv. 8.
They will be reminded that the same word occurs in Acts xx. 28, as is elsewhere rendered bishops, and whether we adopt the one or the other, they will see that our practice is uniform, and therefore not calculated to mislead.
The richer or more studious members of our churches will soon be led, by these references, to the new version, to peruse it, and the next step will be to bring it with them to church, or furnish their pews with a copy. A chapter may then be read occasionally from the new version, previous notice being given, and the points of difference being noticed, and occasionally justified.
This process will awaken increased attention to the original, not only among ministers, but also among the better educated of our private Christians; and who will not expect high advantages to follow?
The great fear of many will be the outcry that will be raised; “they have got a new Bible !" The power of this bugbear, however, will depend on the version itself. If this be incontrovertibly superior to the old, sensible people will say, “ so much the better; it was high time. We had often wished to see such a thing, but had never hoped for it, and are now much indebted to those who have laboured so nobly for our benefit.”
Let us settle it in our minds that the new version can never be crushed, or even impeded, but by the well founded criticisms of competent scholars. Against these, therefore, it should be armed, by the most scrupulous care, beforc it comes out, that it may spring forth a Minerva, armed cap à pied.
At the same time, I must be allowed to express my hope that it will not attempt too much, and then the mass will easily reply to the charge of a new Bible, that it seems to them their old friend in a new coat. For the alterations, however needed, should not be very numerous, though sometimes very important.
“ Si quid novisti rectius istis
Candidus imperti : si non, his utere mecum.” The diminution of the excise duty on paper will enable us better to compete with the Universities, which obtain the drawback, even if we should not be able to obtain the same favour. Hoping that some correspondent of greater leisure will immediately resume this scheme of incalculable importance, I remain,
ON THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF UNITARIANISM AND
UNIVERSALISM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
No. IV. In my last letter I assigned three causes which gradually bnt widely corrupted the true gospel in the churches of Boston, and, in some measure, of New England. These causes were; 1. The theocratic law, which for more than forty years required membership in the Church as essential to the rights of citizenship. 2. The introduction of the Half-way Covenant plan; and, 3. The doctrine that the Lord's Supper is a means of regeneration; and that, as such, it may be lawfully partaken of by thc unregenerate of a serious character, who profess a desire to obtain religion.
These causes, and especially the last-named, greatly lowered the standard of piety in the churches, and eventually corrupted them by the admission of unconverted members and unworthy ministers into the sacred office. Whitfield, in his visits to America, perceived this, and lamented it. “ Many," says he, “ that preach the Gospel, I fear, do not experimentally know Christ; although I cannot see much worldly advantage to tempt them to take upon them the sacred function, I fear that many rest in a head-knowledge, are close pharisees, and only have a name to live. It must needs be so, when the power of godliness is dwindled away, and the form only of religion has become fashionable among a people.” Even before his time, there is every reason to believe that semi-Pelagian errors had begun to creep in, although they were not openly avowed before 1740. · I shall now take notice of some other causes which had a tendency to introduce error, and finally gross heresy.
4. One of these was the violent opposition which was made, as might have been expected, by many ministers and people to the glorious Revival of Religion which commenced in 1734, under the labours of the Rev. Jonathan Edwards at Northampton, and continued, with short intervals, under his labours, and those of Mr. Whitfield, Gilbert Tennent, and others, until 1744, and which pervaded New England, and some other parts of the country, particularly some portions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Great opposition was made by many to this Revival. By a few this was done from honest but unenlightened views; but by many, from hatred to the doctrines of the cross. It is not probable that there were no mistakes committed by the friends of this work of God's signal love and grace. But the opposition, on the part of many ministers and people, was unreasonable, and destitute of a christian spirit.
The influence of this opposition was very injurious on both the friends and enemies of the Revival. The former were too often driven to harsh and exceptionable measures, and to the indulgence of an unchristian temper and course of conduct towards their opponents. Whilst the latter were made more hostile to those soul-stirring doctrines, which the friends of the Revival held and preached, became more indifferent to vital religion, and soon avowed Arminianism, and settled down into formal observances and a lifeless method of preaching. Of those who pursued this course the most distinguished and influential was the Rev. Dr. Chauncey, of Boston, who hoth preached and wrote against the Revival, and did more than any other man to oppose that glorious work of grace, which was the commencement of a new era in many of the Churches in New England, and the ultimate cause of the brighter and better state of things which now exists throughout it. He was at first a professed Calvinist; but in his downward course of error, he became an Arminian, and died in 1787 a strenuous advocate for the doctrine of universal salvation. And almost all that opposed the Revival became Arminians. As they dreaded " excitement,” their preaching became cold, speculative, and treated of general and external morality, rather than of the doctrines of the total depravity of human nature, the necessity of regeneration by the Spirit of God, and their kindred truths.
5. Another circumstance connected with the state of things which grew out of the revival above named, and which had an effect to prepare the way for the further spread of error, or rather which removed what might in some measure have retarded its progress, was the fact that many of the pious and devoted members withdrew from the churches where the preaching was so uncongenial to their feelings, and either attached themselves to those churches of their own denomination where a better spirit prevailed, or joined those of other denominations; thus leaving many churches to hasten their downward course of error and corruption. In others, the light of the gospel became extinct at the death of the old members, who had seen better days in the church, and who still clung around those sacred abodes where so many godly ministers had preached, and where they themselves first felt the power of divine love, and consecrated themselves to the Lord. And when these venerable members of a former generation departed, and the last rays were with drawn, then was verified the Saviour's remark, “ But if the light which is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness !”
6. Another cause of the corruption of religion was the long period of gloom and distraction which commenced with the first French war in 1744–49, and continued during the second French or Canadian war, 1754-63, and through the war of the Revolution, down to the adoption of the present constitution in 1789. During that long period of agitation, men's minds were filled with engrossing political subjects and martial events. The period of war is a most unfavourable season for the promotion of religion, especially if the scene of it be in the immediate vicinity, and the whole community is affected by it. Besides, the immorality which was engendered in the army, and was greatly diffused when it was disbanding, increased the corruption of the heart of the community, and thus disposed it to embrace error. Moreover, vice flowed in upon the country from foreign shores. All these circumstances repressed the growth of piety, and were, in an inverse proportion, favourable to the propagation of error.' Soon after the Revolution of 1775-83, open Unitarianism began to be promoted by the Rev. Dr. Freeman, pastor of the