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for which it was intended, as a manual for students in Divinity, and it may be read with advantage by the most experienced divine.”

I now come to a class of introductory writers, who have particularly distinguished themselves by their profound critical researches. The author, who took the lead in this branch of learning, was Richard Simon, a priest of the congregation of the Oratory at Paris. In 1678 he published his Critical History of the Old Testament, which was reprinted in 1985 with considerable additions. It consists of three parts, the first containing a Critical History of the Hebrew Text, the second a Critical History of the Translations, the third a Critical History of the Interpretation of the

a Old Testament. In 1684 he published his Critical History of the Text of the New Testament, which corresponds to the first part of the former work : and in correspondence with the second and third parts of that work, he published, in 1690, his Critical History of the Versions of the New Testament, and in 1693 his Critical History of the principal Commentators on the New Testament. Lastly, in 1695 he published his New Observations on the Text and Versions of the New Testament. The criticism of the Bible be. ing at that time less understood, than at present, the researches, which were instituted by Simon, soon in. volved him in controversy, as well with Protestant as with Catholic writers, particularly with the latter, to whom he gave great offence by the preference which he shewed to the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bi. ble above that, which is regarded as the oracle of the Church of Rome, the Latin Vulgate.


Though I would not be answerable for every opinion advanced by Simon, I may venture to assert, that it contains very valuable information in regard to the criticism, both of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Greek Testament.

The same critical acumen, which Simon displayed in France, has been since displayed by Michaelis and Eichhorn in Germany; by the former in his Introduction to the New, by the latter in his Introduction to the Old Testament. Both of these Iutroduc. tions are formed on the same plan : they are each divided into two parts, the one containing a critical apparatus necessary for the understanding of the original, the other an introduction to every single book. It is that critical apparatus, which distinguishes these Introductions from all other Introductions, either to the Old, or to the New Testament. But the Introduction of Michaelis is too well known in this place, to require a particular description : and were it otherwise, the translator, whose notes are closely connected with the text of the author, is not qualified to make a due estimate of the publication. * Nor can it be necessary to say any thing more at present of Eichhorn's Introduction, which has never been translated,

• As the first edition of Michaelis's Introduction, which was publish. ed in Germany in 1750, and translated into English in 1761, still appears in catalogues of books, it is necessary to warn the reader of the material difference between that edition, and the fourth edition published in 1788, which was translated by the Author of these Lectures. To say nothing of the notes and additions by the translator, the fourth edition in the orig: inal consists of two quartos, the first of a single octavo,

and from the difficulties both of the language and of the subjects, cannot be understood by many English readers.

After this account of the principal Introductions, we may undertake a particular examination of Sacred Criticism, and proceed, agreeably to the plan prescibed in the first Lecture, to a review of what has been done in different ages, with respect to this primary branch of Theology.

It will appear perhaps to those, who are less conversant with the subject, that a recital of this kind should rather be a sequel, than a preface, to the study of criticism. Now this observation would certainly apply to science properly so called : and no one who was not a mathematician, for instance, should under

a take to read such a work, as Montucla's History of Mathematics. But the principles and the history of sacred criticism bear to each other a very different relation, from that of the principles and the history of mathematics. In the latter, a knowledge of principles is necessary to understand the history: in the former, the history is necessary to understand the principles. Sacred criticism has for its object an aggregate of literary labours, undertaken at different periods, and for different purposes; and its principles are general conclusions deduced from those literary labours. Consequently, though we may comprehend the laws of criticism without a previous knowledge of what has been done in this branch of Theology, yet without this previous knowledge we shall never comprehend the reason or foundation of those laws. On


the other hand, a knowledge of those laws is not nec. essary for the understanding of the plain facts, which a history of criticism has to record. A review there. fore of the progress, which has been made in this · branch of Theology, even from the earliest to the present age, may be given in such a manner, as to be intelligible to every man of liberal education. And the advantages arising from such a review are obvi. ous, not only because it will enable us to judge of the rules, which modern critics have adopted, but because we shall thus become acquainted with the several stages, through which the criticism of the Bible has passed, and with the means, by which it has acquired its present form. We shall perceive how the general stock of knowledge has gradually increased, to whom we are indebted for each augmentation, with what rapidity or slowness these augmentations accumulated, what causes accelerated or retarded, what influence gave to each of them its peculiar direction. That these things are worthy of notice, will surely be allowed by all men, to whom literature is an object of regard. Let us proceed then to the intended review.

The first writer, who appears to have paid attention to the Criticism of the Bible, is the celebrated Origen, who was born in Egypt toward the end of the second century, and died at Tyre soon after the middle of the third century. His criticism was directed to the emendation of the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, made at Alexandria in the time of the Ptolemies, for the benefit of the Greek Jews, who were established there, and which derived

its name from the now-exploded story of seventy or seventy.two translators being employed for that purpose. Origen himself relates in his Commentary on St. Matthew, that in the manuscripts of the Septuagint, which was become the Bible of the Greek Christians, such alterations had been made, either by design, or through the carelessness of transcribers, as to make the manuscripts materially differ from each other, and of course, even if no other cause prevailed, from the Hebrew Bible. Of this difference the Jews availed themselves in their controversies with the Christians, who, with a very few exceptions, were ig. norant of Hebrew, while the Jews, especially since the establishment of the school at Tiberias in Galilee, had begun again to cultivate the original language of the Old Testament. This knowledge enabled them, in their controversies with the Christians, to detect the differences between the Hebrew and the Greek Bi. ble: and, as it frequently happened, that the passages quoted by the Christians against the Jews, were either not contained at all in the Hebrew, or contained there in a different shape, the arguments, which were found. ed on such quotations, fell immediately to the ground. It was sufficient to reply, “ the words, which you quote, are not in the original.” It is true, that an original may be corrupted as well as a translation: and that the Jews were guilty of such corruptions, has been asserted both in ancient and in modern times. But when we consider che rules, which were observ. ed by the Jews in transcribing the sacred writings, rules which were carried to an accuracy that bordered


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