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support not so much the opinions of Mr. Halley as the opinions of Mr. Belsham. Upon this ground I am quite ready, as I am at all other times, to shake hands with Mr. Halley. I have often admired his talents, as well as his honesty, candour, and generosity. But never did I more entirely agree with him, than in the general proposition which it is the object of his pamphlet to prove. Of course I am not beginning to write a complete answer to that pamphlet; I only wish to take advantage of my own blank

pages in this second edition, to erase a few spirts of

his learned pen.

When Mr. Halley proceeds to explain the sense in which he conceives the “ Improved Version” to be a creed, we find him maintaining among other particulars (p.5), that the author “supplies ellipses, and accommodates “ambiguous phrases in a manner most favourable to the “ views of his party.” I do not know that the exact matter of fact could have been better expressed. In my Vindication of Unitarianism," on which Mr. Halley bestows some kind commendation (p. 46), I have devoted a chapter to the consideration of the Proper mode of as

certaining the sense of Scripture:" and in treating of the second head of this subject, viz. the proper mode of translating the original Greek, I have adopted the following language : “ It sometimes happens, that the original “admits of being translated in two different ways. In “this case, it becomes the student to bear both of the “ translations in his mind, and to desist from making a “ choice between them, until he has learned the doctrine of the Scriptures from other unambiguous passages." therefore it be true, that Mr. Belsham has accommodated “ambiguous phrases" so as to favour the views of his party, he has in my judgment done nothing more than what he ought to have done. Mr. Belsham has in fact only followed the footsteps of his great predecessor in interpreting the Epistles of Paul on Unitarian principles, Mr. Locke, who in his celebrated “ Essay for the understanding of St. Paul's Epistles by consulting St. Paul himself,” recommends that the student should first ascertain what were the writer's ideas, by a diligent comparison and study of those parts of his writings which are sufficiently clear and unambiguous, and should then “interpret “his meaning by them in any obscure and doubtful parts

fairly

“ of his Epistles, if any such should still remain." The same principle of translation and interpretation is laid down as one of the general rules of Biblical Criticism, by the two systematic authors whom I have quoted in the preceding Letter, viz. Glass and Gerard. It is indeed admitted, so far as I know, by all critics without exception, and known under the technical designation of the Ana

logy of Faith.When, therefore, Mr. Halley asks (p. 7) respecting the “Improved Version," “Does “ exhibit the sense of Scripture, unaffected by the theology of its editor ?” I answer, No: and I maintain that it would have been a worthless production, if it had done so. I would ask Mr. Halley to mention any version, however vapid, however inconsistent, however (critically speaking) unprincipled, which does “ exhibit the sense of Scripture, “ unaffected by the theology of its editor.”

In enumerating the benefits, which the British and Foreign Unitarian Association renders to the religious public by circulating the “Improved Version," I have not, as Mr. Halley states (p. 7), “unfortunately for my “argument admitted," but I have prominently and for the sake of my argument asserted, that the “Improved Ver« sion” informs theological inquirers “ of the peculiar in

terpretations given by many of those Christians who

agree with Mr. Belsham in maintaining the doctrine of “the simple humanity of Jesus Christ.” (See above, p. 55.) I now observe further, that in consistency with this useful purpose, the editions of the “Improved Version” which are circulated by our Association, sufficiently apprize the reader to what system of theology its ambiguous passages are conformed, by stating in the title that the work is published by a “Unitarian Society."

I am happy to find that Mr. Halley agrees with me as to the propriety of some of those translations, which were criticised by the Vice-Chancellor : and I wish to be as brief as possible in regard to the remainder. I will not, therefore, follow him in all his remarks upon the meaning of di' og in Heb. i. 2. Instead of consulting all the authorities which are referred to either directly or indirectly in the Note to the “Improved Version,” and treating it as a question of considerable nicety and difficulty," which

66

I had considered it to be, Mr. Halley skims lightly over the surface and pronounces his decision in the most positive manner at the very commencement of his observations. The meaning of 8à with a genitive, says he, "might “have been a fit subject for disputation 200 years ago, but

now, I am sure, with all your zeal in the defence of Mr. “ Belsham's honesty and learning, you will not venture

manfully to stand upon the defence of his version. I “ will not say you evade, but you certainly avoid, that

question. Though you show an imposing parade of au

thorities, yet you are reluctant to adventure in the wake “ of even · Beza, Grotius, Glass, Dr. Lardner, Dr. Chand“ler, Schleusner, Lindsey, Cappe, and Belsham. Had

you then some misgivings, some suspicions of forgery? “ You took the list, I have no doubt, upon the authority 6. of the last three gentlemen. Did you suspect that these “three were the only names which could be fairly quoted “ in support of the version ?"

After stigmatizing as “an imposing parade of authori“ ties” the preceding list of critics, all of whom agree with Mr. Belsham in stating that dicè with a genitive sometimes denotes the final cause, or who at least adduce evidence and deliver opinions favourable to that view, Mr. Halley modestly observes, “ You took the list, I have no doubt, “ upon the authority of the last three gentlemen.” Of course Mr. Halley is in the habit of doing himself what he here imputes to me; and his readers should consequently beware of trusting without examination to any of his quotations. I know that nothing is more common than for pamphleteers and book-makers to take quotations at second hand. But, as I consider this to be a species of fraud, and have sometimes traced in works, whose authors have indulged in the practice, the transmission and multiplication of errors in a way which shows its pernicious effects, I constantly avoid it. If I wish to quote a book, which I find quoted in another book, I never fail, if possible, to verify the quotation ; and, if it is not in my power to do so, instead of pretending to have consulted the original authority, I produce it only on the secondary authority of the writer in whose pages 1 have found it. In the observance of this rule I find so great advantage, that I cannot forbear suggesting, that Mr. Halley would do well

both to observe it himself, and to recommend it to his pupils in Highbury College.

Had Mr. Halley been aware how scrupulous I am in this particular, he would never have put those questions, which I feel to be irrelevant, though I cannot suppose that Mr. Halley intended them to be impertinent,—“Had

you then some misgivings, some suspicions of forgery?" &c., &c.

Mr. Halley, however, proceeds to discuss this host of authorities. But, in doing so, he seems to forget the question which they are brought to decide. That question is, whether dia with a genitive sometimes denotes the final cause, or, to adopt Mr. Halley's more precise mode of putting it, whether doa TIVOS Toreiv may ever be translated to make a thing FOR a person.

Beza and the rest of the authors whom I have mentioned, * countenance the opinion that it may sometimes be so translated. Mr. Halley objects, that they do not translate it so in Heb. i. 2. We never pretended that they did. In conformity perhaps with their theological systems, or what they conceived to be the Analogy of Faith, they translated d'où per quem in this particular passage. But, if they admit that di að sometimes meant in quem, or propter quem, we may with propriety appeal to their authority as justifying such a translation of the phrase, either in Heb. i. 2, or in any

other passage.

I have called Schleusner “ the most approved of Biblical “Lexicographers.” “This," observes Mr. Halley, "is say“ing a great deal for a scholar, who, in his own country, is “ said to have survived his fame, and seen his Lexicon, “ in a great degree, superseded by Wahl and Bret“schneider.” Mr. Halley afterwards insists on the superiority of Wahl, especially in regard to the prepositions. But what have I said to the contrary? I have called Schleusner not the best, but “ the most approved of biblical lexicographers.” If Schleusner is not, at least in this country, more approved than Wahl, how comes it to pass

* To these authors, including Schneider and Moses Stuart, may be added Schöttgen, who among his senses gives the following:

“13) Raro cum Genit. PROPTER: Nauzianzenus di puwv Tiny dvd gwbtnTA ÚTÉOTN Ó Jeds, propter nos Deus homo factus est.” Lex. in N. Test. Lips. 1790. Even King James's translators have rendered &là with a genitive FoR in Rom. xv. 30.

among us ?

that the Lexicon of the former only has been re-published

And what occasion had Mr. Halley to apologize (p. 17, Note) for his earnest recommendation of Wahl's Clavis, if his work was already in the highest repute? If Schleusner's may even now be called “the most

approved” Lexicon to the Greek Testament, inuch more might it be so denominated in reference to the period when the “ Improved Version" was published: and it is to be borne in mind, that the question which I undertook to answer in reply to the Vice-Chancellor, was not whether a competent Greek scholar might now translate &ior for whom in Heb. i. 2, but whether Mr. Belsham might so translate it, A. D. 1808, when he was engaged in the revision of Newcome, without any imputation either upon his honesty, his judgment, or his learning. I decidedly say THAT HE MIGHT; and if Schleusner, then “the most “approved of biblical lexicographers," gives explanations of già in accordance with such a translation, it is of no consequence to the argument to say, that his Lexicon has since been superseded by Bretschneider and Wahl.

Dr. Wardlaw, in his “ Discourses on the Socinian Controversy,asserted, that the explanations of doctrinal passages given by Unitarians had been defended by very few authors, and that those few were men without learning or celebrity. To refute this assertion I exhibited a list of eminent Unitarians, shewing that the fact was directly the reverse of Dr. Wardlaw's statement. Hereupon Dr. Wardlaw immediately turned upon me with exclamations and reproaches for attempting to decide the question by authority, and making a boastful display of celebrated

In like manner the Vice-Chancellor represented the translation of a vů by "for whom,as supported by the mere fancy of two or three insignificant persons. I therefore stated the real fact, and in the simplest possible way, i. e. by merely mentioning the names of those scholars, to whose authority Mr. Belsham had appealed. Immediately Mr. Halley asks, (p. 20, “Was there ever beore so vain a parade of names?" and he then undertakes to throw some light upon the motives for making this

display of authority,” by shewing that Unitarians are accustomed to pay an unexampled deference to human authority. If this were true, it might perhaps be alleged as an indication of the modesty of Unitarians. It

names.

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