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religion to men's minds will be irresistible. And what should more naturally be interpreted as one of the dawning signs of its approach, than a sudden wide movement at once to clear their intellects and bring the heavenly light to shine close upon them; accompanied by a prodigious breaking up in the old system of the world, which hardly recognized in the inferior millions the very existence of souls to need such an illumination ?
• The labourers in the institutions for instructing the young descendants of those millions, may often regret to perceive how little the process is as yet informed with the energy which is thus to pervade the world. But let them regard as one great undivided economy and train of operation, these initiatory efforts and all that is to follow, till that time " when all shall know the Lord ;” and take by anticipation, as in fraternity with the happier future labourers, their just share of that ultimate triumph. Those active spirits, in the happier stages, will look back with this sentiment of kindred and complacency to those who sustained the earlier toils of the good cause, and did not suffer their zeal to languish under the comparative smallness of their success. pp. 291-2.
We bave had something much better in view in this extended analysis of a volume of moderate compass, than to point out its merits as a literary production, or to do such honour as we may to its Author. It will be at once perceived that, as we deem the subject of the Essay transcendently important, so, we attach no ordinary value to the manner in which it has been in the present instance so fully and so powerfully illustrated. Mr. Foster is not, as respects his style, a popular writer ; be seldom furnishes us with what can be considered as light reading. We do not object this against bim as a fault, for his style is evidently natural to him ; it forms part of his intellectual identity; and of whatever slight improvements it may be susceptible, it could not accommodate itself to the prevailing taste of the day, but at the expense of its vigour and majesty, as well as of the integrity of the thoughts themselves. But this being the
But this being the case, the persons upon whom Mr. Foster's writings will bave their full impression, must be comparatively few; persons of more patient habits of thinking, and of a more intellectual character, than the generality. The immediate operation of his influence will be confined to a small circle ; but then, within this circle, it will be powerful and lasting; and there will be a strong re-action. The impulse imparted in the first instance to the minds of a small number of persons, will be propagated, by a sort of re-production, far more extensively; and ihousands who never heard of his name, or at least never read a page of bis writings, will thus eventually come into possession of the fruits of his solitary mental exertions. This elastic and diffusible property of Mind, is the triumph of individual energy, the solace and the reward of the meditative recluse in the midst of his patient and thankless labours. Vol. XIV. N. S.
Art. II. A New Version of the First Three Chapters of Genesis ; ac
companied with Dissertations illustrative of the Creation, the Fall of Man, the Principle of Evil, and the Plagues of Egypt. To which are annexed, Strictures on Mr. Bellamy's Translation. By
Essenus. 8vo. pr. 160. Price 6s. 1819. TE TIE Author of this work, (who, we learn from an advertise
ment, is no other than Dr. John Jones,) having been urged by a friend, to examine Mr. Bellamy's Translation of the Bible, and to give to the public bis unbiassed opinion of its merits, found, in the progress of his undertaking, so much reason for dissatisfaction with the version and notes of that gentleman, as to induce him not only to abandon the favourable expectations he had formed of Mr. Bellamy's qualifications, but also to take a decided part with his opponents. From the disappointment thus experienced, has arisen the present volume, which professes to contain specimens of a more faithful version than the defective and erroneous' translation wbich Dr. Jones bad been examining, and to unfold truths bitherto unknown to biblical
critics : truths so new, and at the same time so much in unison with the dictates of reason, with the character of God, and with the Divine authority of the Scriptures, as to entitle them to the notice, and I trust,' adds Dr. Jones, i to the sanction of
the wise and learned.' This is sufficiently explicit as to the Author's opinion of the qualities and importance of his present publication. We further learn, however, from the concluding sentence of the preface, that theological literature has probably yet to receive from Dr. John Jones, productions of no mean character.
• However obscure or unknown in my own age, I hope to bequeath to those who succeed me, such a portion of the Scriptures translated and explained as shall render future ages not indifferent to the name of Essenus !!!
Surely this flourish might have been spared.
The first chapter of the work contains the Author's version of the Mosaic account of the Creation, and of the Fall of Man ; in which the first striking deviation from the common reading, is the translation of the word 7), created, by planned—“ God “planned the heavens and the earth.” This Hebrew word,' says Dr. Jones,' is a term of science, and expresses the opera'tion of the understanding while planning, scheming, or in
venting, it means to plan, to model, to devise.' As proofs that such is the meaning of the word, we are referred to Numb. xvi. 30; 1 Kings xii. 35. (33.); and Nehem. vi. 8. In the last two of these examples, bowever, the word does not occur : Dr. Jones has mistaken the Daleth for a Reshi. And in the first passage, it is very evident that the reference is to the execution of a pur
pose, and that the common translation is inexceptionable. It is singular that the learned Author should have overlooked the circumstance that his rendering the word in this manner, has struck out of his version the account of the creation of man, as may be seen from the following paragraph.
“ 26–28. And God said, Let us make man after our image, in our own likeness, and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every reptile that creepeth upon the ground. And God planned man after his own image, after the image of God planned he him; male and female planned he them. And God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fishes of the sea, over the birds of the heavens, and over every reptile that creepeth upon the ground.”
Here, then, we have an account of the planning, or scheming, or modelling of man in the Divine intellect, an operation merely of the understanding, but no account of the actual production of man, of his actually being brought into being, and receiving real existence. The command to inultiply, and to subdue, and rule, is given while, according to the text, there is no existing being to receive the command. This instance, therefore, would seem to be decisive against the sense Dr. J. would attribute to the Hebrew word, which is also entirely at variance with the definition he has himself adopted at p. 144. He there informs us that the word means to adorn and fashion a matter already existing ;' which is certainly distinct from planning.
The Author assumes it as probable, that the magicians of Egypt, who were its priests and philosophers, had, before the Mosaic system of the Creation was announced, published their sentiments respecting the creation of the world; and that their main object must have been, to explain the phenomena of nature, as the sole effects of matter and motion, or to represent them as the works of a malevolent author.
· The prevalence of this system in Egypt, in Chaldea, and Persia, and the danger there was of the Jews themselves being infected with it, as they were ever prone to idolatry, must have been among the causes that called forth the writings of Moses. We may therefore reasonably expect that, in drawing up his own account of the creation, he should have an immediate and pointed reference to his adversaries.
Thus, when he asserts that an Almighty Being planned the heavens and the earth, he must have intended to set aside the false notions of those who maintained that the heavens either had no beginning, or began to exist by natural causes.
• The advocates of atheism endeavoured to throw a veil over the evidences of design in the works of nature, as proving, if admitted, a designing cause, and that by denying all previous ideas or models of material things in the supreme mind. They knew that nothing was
60 likely to bring into disbelief the agency and existence of the true God, as a pretended belief in the existence and agency of false gods. With this view they personified the properties of matter, and spoke of these properties as the attributes of divine beings. On the other hand, they applied the name and attributes of God to nature, to physical causes, to chance or fortune, and finally to the heavenly bodies ; thus endeavouring to confound him with his own works, and to conceal him from the eye of human reason, by interposing the shade of his own splendid creation. The Jewish lawgiver had to defeat this philosophical craft : and he has done it in a manner truly admirable. He first places a spiritual author at the head of the creation; then represents him, before he begins to create, as previously forming models of all the things to be created: next he exhibits him as moving to and fro over the surface of the deep, in order to survey, as it were, where and how to begin his projected plan. In a step further, we see him issue his commands to the ministers that surround his throne, to carry his plans into effect, conformably to models placed in their hands. Immediately after the execution, he views the work, and pronounces on its merit.'
pp. 11-14. On the phrase, after his kind, wbich occurs so frequently in the Mosaic account of the Creation, the following remarks are given.
When one thing is said to be done after another, we mean that it is done in imitation of it, that it is done in conformity to it, the thing imitated being a pattern or model, prior in point of time to the copy or imitation. But the kinds of things were not yet in existence; they could not therefore, in the sense of kinds, be standards of the things to be created. Yet this is precisely the meaning of 1593* la meino in Hebrew; and it is remarkable, that the translators, following with scrupulous accuracy the idiom of the original, have rendered it so in English, without knowing its import. The meaning of Moses, however, is clear and consistent. According to his representation, the creator, as a necessary step to render his works conformable to his design, first drew a plan of the whole in his own mind. This plan consisted of general ideas, intended to serve as models for the several classes of things to be carried into effect. As the Creator designed things to be formed in classes or kinds agreeably to given models, it was natural in Moses to designate the kinds or copies by the very same name which designates the originals in the mind of God. Moreover,
* This is not the word which is commonly used in Hebrew to signify a race, family, or kind; the terms employed for this purpose are 991 or inawn. The word ?? occurs again only in the oth and 7th chapters of Genesis, where it is applied to the animals taken into the ark, there to be preserved as models or patterns for those which were to people the earth after the food. This is a fact worthy of attention ; as by the use of a term which signifies models, Moses intimates, that the animals after the deluge precisely corresponded in their kinds to those before it.
the classes of things called kinds, now actually existing in nature, prior to our conceptions, become themselves prototypes of those general conceptions which we call ideas : and thus it is, that the same word in Hebrew, when applied to things in the divine mind, meant models; when applied to the classes of things, signifies kinds; to ourselves, denotes ideas ; and yet retains the same radical signification. The corresponding word in Greek is en dos or des; and this, like the original yo mein, may mean models or ideas in God; the classes of things in nature, or the general notions of those classes in the human understanding
• The atheistical philosophers, considering the phænomena of nature as the result of matter and motion, rejected the doctrine of ideas or models; while Moses and his followers insisted on them as insepara. ble from the existence of a supreme intelligence ; for this obvious rea. son, that nothing can proceed from design, but that of which an idea previously existed in the mind of the designer. If, then, things came into being without ideas, they came without design, and consequently without a designing cause. This is the conclusion which the Jewish legislator sets aside, by representing Jehovah as planning this fair system of things before he actually produced it.' pp. 21–22.
We are inuch surprised that Dr. Jones should state that the word po occurs again only in the vith and viith chapters of Genesis : it occurs repeatedly in the xith chapter of Leviticus, and in the xivth chapter of Deuteronomy: it is also used by the prophet Ezekiel.
The preceding extracts will have prepared our readers to expect in this volume, discussion somewhat of an unusual kind. There is, indeed, throughout the work, a considerable display of ingenuity, which is, however, more frequently einployed in opposing generally received opinions, than in eliciting satisfactory conclusions. We do not perceive that the rational modes' of interpretation which are suggested and illustrated by the Author, for the purpose of explaining and vindicating passages of the sacred writings alleged to be unintelligible or absurd, are more successful than the methods which are represented as having already failed. Sentiinents occur which we cannot but consider as at variance with the doctrines of Scripture; and some of the proposed interpretations of particular passages, though they may be bold, will not obtain, we apprehend, the sanction of the wise and learned.' We refer to some comments on the Epistle to the Romans, as well as to the general import of the Author's remarks on other portions of the Bible.
Chapter III. contains · Illustrations of the Mosaic account of ' the Fall of Man. Here, at the very outset, we inust dissent from Dr. Jones, in believing, that it does not suppose God ' to be at once improvident and arbitrary, to prohibit an inex
perienced woman to eat a fruit, which he bimself had placed within her reach; which himself had rendered alluring tò ber