« PreviousContinue »
A country-parifa, situate in the north-west part of Cumberland, has of late, been much infested with the spirit of enthusiasm. The beginning of the mischief was as follows. One of those zealous advocates for the cause of schism contrived to gain the good graces of a whole family. The master of the house, a man of no great integrity, was glad to hear the sweet sounding doctrine of faith without works ftrenuously defended: and the rest of the family, as might be naturally expected, soon followed the example set them by their master. The new teacher experienced a very courteous reception. He had all the respect, he could with for, paid him. He met with good entertainment free of all expence: and his harangues were not without their desired effect upon his little audience. But this was not enough. They mufi co-operate with him in the glorious work of bringing back the loft sheep of the house of Ifrael to the knowledge of true religion. Accordingly, the pious intention of holding a conventicle was industriously published through the whole neighbourhood. The first meeting was fo well attended, particularly by females, that the preacher (as he was called) gave notice for a second. In a little time, meetings were held very frequently; and extraordinary ones were called, when any person was to undergo instantaneous conver/2011, and become one of the elect. Sins were publicly confessed; and formal absolution followed: and, thus, were secrets disclosed that must for ever embitter the domestic happiness of families.
The disturbed imaginations of the deluded devotees were said ever to have been haunted by visions. The preacher had now got some coad, jutors: one of whom, in particular, was observed never to return home from the meetings, without having his horse pretty-well laden with provifions of various sorts, which the “ Gilly women,” that were bled captive,” had given him as a reward for his labours. This fellow was no other than a sadler in a neighbouring town: but it is prubable he found such excursions more lucrative than his own profession, as his visits grew very frequent.
“But the measure of their wickedness was not yet full.” A poor woman, whose husband was an honest labouring mechanic, was so infatuated as to neglect her domestic duties, as a wife and a mnother of a family; for, then, the was “ Instant in season, and out of season.” But, whether her faith was found very defective, or her liberality was not so extensive as might be wished, it was her peculiar hard lot to have the anachema of inevitable and eternal damnation pronounced upon her, and fo effe&ually did these miscreants impress this belief upon her mind, that at length a deep melancholy seized upon her spirits. Medical aslistance was called in to her aid, but, in vain, “ Gorgons, and bydras, and chimæras dire,” were incessantly hovering in her sight. And at length, locking to relate, she sunk under the insupportable weight of woe, and died— leaving a husband and three children to deplore her tragical end, and execrate the cause of it.
I will not trouble you with any further observations. The train of reflections, excited by the above mentioned event, must be the same in every honest and unprejudiced breast.
. I am, Gentlemen, your constant Reader, Oxford, Jan. 4th, 1802.
OMISSION OF PRAYER BEFORE SERMON. TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
GENTLEMEN, I HAVE observed, with no small concern, that some clergymen, instead
of abiding by the good old practice of a regular prayer before sermon, adopt the following ejaculation of the Psalmist: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Reedeeiner ;” and then they conclude immediately with the Lord's Prayer. This innovation ought not to pass without censure, for it is more mischievous than many are apt to imagine. These words were a pious breathing of the derout Pfalmift when alone, under the canopy of heaven, in the fields of Bethlehem ; and, however, admirably suited to the private use of the Chriftian, especially of a Christian minister, are not proper to be offered up as a public prayer, in the presence, and on the behalf of all the people. Those clergymen who adopt the ejaculation must think that the prayer before sermon is for their use alone ; but in this they are mistaken. The congregation ought to have an equal interest in the prayer offered up in the pulpit, with the preacher. It is his place, therefore, to pray that the Almighty would give “ the hearing ear, and the understanding heart,” as well as the “ acceptable words of truth and persuasion.”
The Church of England has some excellent collects, most admirably adapted to the Christian preacher's use, amongst which none is niore solemn and appropriate, than the one beginning “Blefsed Lord, who haft caused all Holy Scriptures, &c.”
I do not, indeed, see why the preacher should be tied to the use of any precise prayer in this case, when the church has left him completely free; but yet, on the other hand, he ought to adopt a “ form of found words." The ejaculatory petition which I have mentioned, is by no means such a form, for it is absolutely a private folitary prayer for an individual, and not for a congregation.
I cannot help suspe@ing that there is somewhat of affectation in this practice, and affectation in the service of the sanctuary is most disgusting to every sensible and pious mind.
Should these observations meet the eye of any Chriftian minister who has been allured into this innovation, I beseech him seriously and affec« tionately to consider the matter well; and, I cannot help thinking that the result of his thoughts will be a determination to adopt, in future, prayer and not ejaculation, before his fermons.
The practice of enthusiasts, of making very long and vehement harangues in the pulpit, under the denomination of prayers, seems to have led others into the very opposite mode. But, though we be careful to sun their errors, this ihould not prevail upon us to quit the good old established rule of the church. Prayer is a very folemn, and a very important duty, and when a minister is about to deliver the great truths of the Gospel to the people, he ought to supplicate in an earnest and impressive manner, the influence of the Holy Spirit, that the word spoken may fall “ as good feed into prepared ground,” and be productive of the fruits of righteousness.
I am, Gentlemen, your constant Reader, London, Jan. 5, 1802.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING A DIARY.
By the late Rev. Sir James STACKHOUSE, Bart. M. D. IT has not been long since, that the generality (especially men of learning
and piety) kept DIARIES; a custom, which is now, perhaps, too much neglected.
Query. Would not a renewal of this laudable practice be manifestly useful to persons of all ranks, and of all ages ? If every one, who has leiture and capacity, was to keep a DIARY (or daily account) how he employs his time, he would be enabled to make a better progress in his temporal as well as in his fpiritual concerns. Would it not be a faithful director in both of these?
As to those who, from a multiplicity of busincis, cannot keep a DIARY in so full a manner as they would with; yet might they not occasionally make and commit to writing, a few observations on the state of their minds, and their progress or decline in religion, as well as in their worldly affairs ? The oftener, therefore, such observations were made and reviewed, would not the advantages from the inipection of such interesting particulars be more evident in their conduct? And would not some of the leading transactions, both in their worldly and religious concerns, being thus impressed on their memories, influence them more powerfully to live a godly, righteous, and sober life?
Reader, think well of this : not only how you are to live, but how you are die.--Men, alas! make provision for this life, as though it were never to have an end; and for the other life, as though it were never to have a beginning. They seldom bestow a serious thought on death.
POLYGLOT BIBLES. TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
GENTLEMEN, THE following account of Polyglot Bibles, and the time of their publi, cation, with a particular mention of Dr. Brian Walton's Polyglot, and the assistance that he received, as well as the sources of his information, will, I trust, be acceptable to the learned readers of your excellent mit. cellany. I am, Gentlemen, your obedient fervant,
A. THE first Polyglot, known by the name of the Complutenfan, was undertaken by Francis de Ximenes, cardinal and archbishop of Toledo; and printed at his own charge. The compilers were the divines of his univerfity of Complutum, or alcala, which he had newly founded. It was printed in the year 1514, &c. in fix tomes, folio. It contains the Hea brew text, with the Latin vulgate; the Greek Septuagint, with a translation; Onkelos’s Chaldee paraphrafe on the Pentateuch, with a Latin tranflation; the New Testament in Greek, without accents, but with a Latin translation. 2. The Antwerp Polyglot, was printed at Antwerp in 1571, in 8 tomes, fol. and it being at the expence of Philip II. King of Spain, it is upon that account ftiled the Royal Polyglot. It contains the following articles : the Hebrew text, with St. Jerome's version; and these improvements above the former, the Chaldee paraphrase, entire; the paraphrase of Jonathan on the prophets; and of Jofeph Cæcus, or others, on the Hagiographa. In the New Testament the ancient Syriac version, both in
Syrian and Hebrew characters, with a Latin version. An apparatus, in 3 tomes. It is a very beautiful edition, by some ftiled orbis miraculum, the wonder of the world. The editor was Arias Montanus, a learned and moderate person. Though his work was approved of by the Pope himself, to whom it was presented; and though he did nothing without the advice of the university of Lovaine, and of several other learned men; yet all could not protect the publisher from the jealousies and calumnies of malignant fpirits of his own brethren, against whom he was fain to write apologies, and hardly escaped the inquisition. The third Polyglot was the Paris Polyglot, or rather Heptaglot, as being in seven languages, printed in 1645, in ten volumes, fol. on royal paper, at the expence of Michael le Jay. This is the same as the last, except the interlinear version and apparatus ; but there were added in it, the Samaritan Pentateuch, in the ancient Hebrew character, used, as is supposed, by the Jews before the Babylonish captivity; with a Samaritan and Latin version ; a Syriac translation ; and an Arabic translation, both of the Old and New Testament. The editors were Gabriel Sionita, John Merin, and Abraham Echellensis. This was a splendid edition, but imperfect in some respects, as wanting an apparatus, plates, various readings, indexes, &c. It was severely criticized upon by Simon de Muis, Regius Professor of the Hebrew tongue at Paris. To these Polyglots we may add that of Elias Ilutter, published at Hamburgh, in 1597, in four languages, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German; to which he afterwards added the Italian, Sclavonian, and Saxon. His New Testament was printed in the year 1600, in twelve languages, viz. Syriac, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, Bohemian, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Danish, and Polish. But in the edition of 1603, he reduced it to these four, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German. We come now to the Engliph Polyglot, published by Dr. Brian Walton, 1657, in six volumes, folio. A most incomparable edition of the Bible. What this valuable edition contains, will best appear from the title page, which is in these words, “ Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, complectentia Textus Originales, Hebraicum cum Pentateucho Samaritano, Chaldaicum, Græcum; Versionumque antiquarun, Samaritanæ, Græcæ LXXII Interp. Chaldaicæ, Syriaca, rabica, Ethiopica, Persicæ, Vulg. Lat. quicquid comparari poterat. Cum Tertuum et Verfionum Orientalium Translationibus Latinis. Ex vetufiillimis MSS, undique conquisitis, optimisque Exemplaribus imprelis, fummâ fide collatis. Quæ in prioribus Editionibus deerunt suppleta. Mulia antehac inedita de novo adjećta. Omnia ea ordine disposită, ut Textus cum Versionibus uno intuitu conferri poflunt."
The share Dr. Walton had in this work was as follows. 1. He disposed the whole into that excellent order in which it is placed. II. He prefixed to it an apparatus, in Latin, containing-. Chronologia Sacru, or the Sacred Chronology, from the creation of the world to the birth of Chrift, and thence to the Jewish captivity ; sent him by Lewis Capell, Hebrew Profeflor in the university of Saumur. 2. Edw. Brerewood, of the weight and value of ancient coins. 3. Dr. Walton's Supplement, concerning the form and inscriptions of the Sicles, or Shekels, with an explanation of them. 4. A treatise of the ancient weights, money, and measures of the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, collected from several authors. 5. An explication of the Hebrew and Greek idioms, occurring often in the Scriptures. 6. A description of the Holy Land, from Adrichomius. 7. The notes of James Bonfrere on the same. 8. Dr. John Lightfoot's observations on the maps of the Holy Land. 9. TO10 gyrov,
or or a threefold description of the Temple of Jerusalem: the first, from the Scriptures, according to Villalpandus; the second, from Jofephus; and the third, from the Jews in their Talmud, according to the description and measures there given : drawn up by Lewis Cappell. III. Then follow Dr. Walton's learned Polegomena, under these fixteen heads. 1. Of the nature, origin, division, number, changes, and use of languages. 2. Of letters or characters, their wonderful use, origin, and firit invention, and their diversity in the chief languages. 3. Of the Hebrew tongue, its antiquity, preservation, change, excellency, and use, ancient characters, vowel-points, and accents. 4. Of the principal editions of the Bible. 5. Of the translations of the Bible. 6. Of the various readings of the Holy Scripture. 7. Of the integrity and authority of the original texts. 8. Of the Mafora, Keri, Ketib, various readings of the eastern and western Jews, Ben Aschan, and Ben Nepthali; and of the Cabala. 9. Of the Septuagint, and other Greek translations. 10. Of the Latin Vulgate. 11. Of the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the version of the same. 12. Of the Chaldee language, and versions. 13. Of the Syriac tongue, and verfions. 14. Of the Arabic language, and versions. 15. Of the Æthiopic tongue, and versions. 16. And of the Persian language, and versions. : The advisers and directors of this great work, jointly with Dr. Walton, were, Dr. James Uther, archbishop of Armagh, Dr. W. Fuller, Dr. G. Sheldon, Dr. B. Ryves, Dr. R. Sanderson, Dr. R. Sterne, Dr. S. Baker, Dr. H. Hammond, Dr. R. Drake, Dr. H. Fearne, Mr. H. Thorndike, Mr. R.John fon, Abraham Wheeloc, Arabic Professor at Cambridge, Edward Pococke, Hebrew and Arabic Professor at Oxford, Thomas Greaves, formerly Arabic Professor at Oxford, and Thomas Smith, B. D. fellow of Chrift's College, Cambridge, Meric Casaubon, &c.
Those who collected MSS, and corrected the press were, Edmund Castell, or Castle, B. D. a man in whom were united the most consummate learning, and the greatest modefty, “cirum in quo eruditio limma, magnaque animi modeftia convenere," as Dr. Walton acknowledges in his preface. He was at the pains of carefully revising the Samaritan, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic; translated from the latter into Latin, the Psalms and Canticles, · where they differ from the version of the LXX. and the Syriac version of
Job, where it differs from the Arabic, with annotations. And translated some of the books of the New Testament from the Ethiopic. This learned man also compiled, afterwards, that laborious work of the Lexicon, in seven languages, 2 vol. fol. for the better understanding of the Polyglot Bible, and commonly fold with it. After all, he was but fenderly rewarded for his pains; having, at first, but the poor vicarage of HatfieldPeverell, then Wodenhan-Walton rectory, in Eilex: in 1666 he was made Regius Professor of Arabic in Cambridge; some time after, rector of
Higham Gobyon, in Bedfordshire; and in 1685, a few months before his . decease, prebendary of Canterbury. He was born at Hatley, in Cam
bridgeshire; educated at Emmanuel College, where he was admitted in . 1621; and buried at Higham Gobyon. The other asliftants were Alerander Huis, of Wadham College, B. D. who took some pains about the Septuagint, the Greek text of the New Testament, and the Latin Vulgate : and collated the Alexandrian MS. with the other editions. Samuel Clark, M. A. of Merton College, architypographus of the university of Oxford, bestowed some labour upon the Hebrew text, the Chaldee paraphrase, and the Persian version of the Gospels, part of which he rendered into Latin. Thomas Hyde, a young man of great hopes, who had made a progress in .Pol. II, Churchm. Mag. Jan. 1802,