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is ראמים ראמים and רמים lofty
&c. in preferring 1983, and Hamilton has very properly admitted it into the text in his Codex Criticus. Ps. xxii. 22. For D'97, which, according to the Masoretic punctuation, signifies “unicorns," or the animal usually designated by this English word (though it never occurs elsewhere without x), 26 Mss. and one Marg. K., 26 Mss., eight primo, and one Marg. De R. read D'ANT, supported by the context, 6, Vulg., Æth. One Ms. and Ar. read DX7 in the singular. Syr. seems to have read d'an,
" . . doubtless the best authenticated reading, and is rightly adopted by Hamilton in his Codex Criticus. Ps. xxii. 25. Fory, “ of the poor," one Ms. K. reads 1'3x9 'JY, “ of the poor
and needy.” But this reading receives no other support. Ps. xxii. 27. For 235, “ your heart,” one K. and perhaps one primo De R. and Syr. read baas, " their heart.” 6, Vulg., Ar., have also the pronominal suffix o, but they have the noun in the plural number. Though this reading is countenanced by the context, yet the change of person is so usual in Hebrew poetry, that Secker and Horsley, authorities of considerable weight, prefer the common reading. Ps. xxii. 28. For 7395, “ before thee,” one Ms. K., supported by ó, Vulg., Syr., Æth., Ar., and Jerome, reads 1995, “ before him.” This reading is preferred by Dimock and Houbigant; and adopted by Hare, Street, and Horsley.
Isaiah, ch. liii. In this important prophecy, out of 137 various readings, 5 only, except manifest errors of the transcribers, have any effect on the sense : and these, indeed, in a very slight degree. Isai. liji. 7. For nous, " to the slaughter," one Ms.
, “ to his slayers.” This reading cannot be admitted; resting, as it does, on the authority of a single unsupported Ms. Isai. liïi. 8. 105 yas," literally, “ strokes [were inflicted] upon him," one K. perhaps read 12, "was he cut off." This also must be rejected, from its resting on the authority of a single Ms. Isai. lii. 9. For rno?, “ in his death,” two Mss. De R. and one primo point rnda, “ his tomb,” or “ monument," as De Rossi translates the word. This reading is approved by some critics, but
receives no support from the ancient versions. Isai. liii. 10. For 138, “shall prosper," two Mss. De R. read by", "shall cause--to prosper:" but it is not sup
" It may here be observed, that 6, Ar. read hips for 195, which Bishop Lowth adopts in bis elegant version of Isaiah, and supports by some strong arguments adduced from Dr. Kennicott.
ported by the other authorities. Isai. lii. 12. For phox, “ I will divide,"one Ms. De R., 6, Ar., read phn, “ he will divide;" but change of person is so frequent in Hebrew poetry, and the authorities for this reading are so slight, that the received text is to be preferred.
Let us now briefly recapitulate the result of this collation. The various readings in Gen, iii, Psalm xxii, and Isaiah liji, amount to 472. Of these 21 only, except manifest errors of transcribers, have any effect on the sense. On directing our particular attention to these 21 readings, we find that they may be thus arranged: 1st, Readings supported by slight and insufficient authorities, 7; viz. Gen. iii. 2, 15, 20. Ps. xxii. 2, 2, 25, and perhaps 27: 2d, Readings not differing in sense in the pointed Hebrew, 3; Gen. iii. 12, 20. Ps. xxii. 22: 3d, Readings entitled to preference, and making a better sense, 3; Gen, iii. 19. Ps. xxii. 17, 28.
I apprehend the statement which has been made tends strongly to prove the futility of those fears, which some have entertained of the injury likely to arise to religion from the amendment of the coinmon Hebrew text by the aid of collated Mss. If, out of 472 various readings of Hebrew Mss., three only of those which are entitled to preference, by the rules of sound criticism, have any effect on the sense of the passages; if these three, instead of making a material change in the sense, only give somewhat more of clearness and consistency to the passages in which they occur; what stronger proof could be adduced that the Hebrew text, which is in common use, is substantially the same as that which came from the hands of the inspired writers? I say substantially the same; that though it has suffered in many passages from frequent transcription, as must necessarily have been the case without a constant miracle, yet it conveys the same historical facts, the same doctrines, the same precepts, as were originally recorded under the sanction of divine inspiration: that even the forms of expression, and the words, are for the most part the same.
It must be admitted, indeed, that some passages of Scripture have suffered more from frequent transcription than those which we have now examined; but the passages which have suffered most are commonly of inferior importance. The books of Moses, the most important portion of the Old Testament, notwithstanding their remote antiquity, bave come to us with comparatively very few errors or defects; whilst the account of David's warriors, contained in the books of Samuel and Chronicles, which seems to have suffered more perhaps than any other portion of the Bible, either from the negligence of transcribers,
or, more probably, from the rarity and mutilated state of the Mss., is of very inferior interest and value. I may here repeat the observation, that even the most corrupt Mss. contain all the important history, and all the essential doctrines and precepts of revelation : and the vast number of Mss. and versions which have been collated furnish the Biblical critic with the means of restoring the Sacred Writings to a degree of purity unattainable in works far less liable to corruption from the similarity of letters, and of very inferior antiquity. Enough of defect has been left, by Divine Providence, in our copies of the Sacred Writings, to stimulate and to reward the labors of the Biblical critic, but not enough to mislead, to embarrass, or to perplex the serious and intelligent inquirer after Divine Truth. With one more observation I shall conclude this letter, and the subject of the Various Readings. It will appear that some readings, strongly supported by the context, and by the ancient versions, rest, at present, on the authority of one or two Mss. This circumstance should prove a stimulus to a more extended collation of Mss., especially of those copies which, being in possession of the Karaites, or of Jews insulated, in great measure, from their brethren, have not been made conformable to the Masoretic standard. There are also readings, hitherto unsupported by any Mss., which derive such strong probability from the ancient versions and the context, as almost to claim admission into the text. As many of the conjectural emendations (I mean emendations not founded on Ms. authority) of Cappellus, Hare, Kennicott, &c. were confirmed by collations afterwards instituted; so, it is probable that some, at least, of those readings which rest at present for authority on the ancient versions, confirmed, in some cases, by a single Ms., would derive such support from a more minute and extended collation, as to claim admission into the text, and thus improve the style, clearness, and consistency of the Sacred Volume. We have only to deprecate the unhallowed interference of rash, superficial, and innovating critics. From a judicious application of the rules of sound and enlightened criticism to the amendment of the Sacred Text we have nothing to fear, and every thing to hope. And if but a few obscure passages can be illustrated ; if but a few apparent contradictions can be reconciled; if the poetical structure of some of the sacred hymns of Sion can be re-established, and some portion of lost strength and beauty restored to them ; surely the labors of the Biblical critic will have been consecrated to the most noble and useful purpose.
EMENDATIONS OF THE TEXT OF
IN the Timeus : Γην δε τροφον μεν ημετεραν, ειλούμενην δε περι το δια παντος πoλoν τεταμενον, φυλακα και δημιουργον νυκτος τε και ημερας εμηχανήσατο, πρωτης και πρεσβυτατην σωματων οσα εντος ουρανου γεγονε. Here for σωματων, the text of Proclus' has rightly bewv; and this was also the reading of the Medicean Ms., as is evident from Ficinus's version of this passage, which is as follows: “ Terram autem altricem nostram, circa polum per universum extensum alligatam diei noctisque effectricem et custodem esse voluit, necnon primam antiquissimamque Deorum omnium qui intra coelum sunt geniti."
θνητα ετι γενη λοιπα τρια γενητα. Here for γενητα, it is requisite to read ayevnta, as is evident both from Proclus2 and the version of Ficinus, which is, “ Tria adhuc genera mortalium nobis generanda restant.”
In Epist. 11. αλλα ποιον τι μην τουτ' εστιν, ω παι Διονυσιου και Δωριδος, το ερωτημα, ο παντων αιτιον εστι κακων; Here the sense evidently requires that we should read xalwy for xaxwv; and this emendation is supported by the authority of Proclus in Plat. Theol.,3 though this has been overlooked by all the editors of Plato : the version of Ficinus has, therefore, erroneously malorum for pulchrorum.
The following passages are ascribed to Plato, the former by Apuleius, and the latter by Ficinus ; but the Greek original of them does not appear to be at present extant. In the treatise therefore De Deo Socratis, Apuleius, speaking of the difficulty attending the intellectual perception of the first cause, says: " Cur ergo punc dicere exordiar? cum Plato celesti facundia præditus, æquiparabilis Diis immortalibus disserens, frequentissime prædicet, hunc solum majestatis incredibili quadam nimietate et ineffabili, non posse penuria sermonis humani quavis oratione vel modice comprehendi, vix a sapientibus viris, cum se vigore animi quantum licuit a corpore semoverunt intellectum hujus Dei : id quoque interdum velut in altissimis tenebris, ra
1 See Proclus in Tim. p. 280. 2 In Tim. p. 306.
3 See Lib. II. p. 104. For he there says, to yag Toto To uno a tartwy airly to ti xadwy sis TWY APWTIOTHY agx» uvapegousyon. According to Plato, indeed, the cause of every thing beautiful and good is to be referred to the first principle of things; but nothing really evil originates from thence.
pidissimo coruscamine lumen candidum intermicare.” The latter part of this sentence, which is in Italics, is not to be found in any of the writings of Plato that now remain.
In the next place, Ficinus in Tom. II. of his works, Edit. Basil. p. 1188, observes respecting the first cause of all : “ Et in Epistola ad Syracusanos inquit Plato, Mundi quinetiam architectum verbis exprimi vulgo non posse, testis est is meus, multo minus architecti patrem. What Plato here says, is not to be found in any of his existing epistles, nor is an epistle of his to the Syracusans extant. Thirteen epistles, indeed, are published as written by Plato ; but of these, the 13th is justly marked as spurious in all the early editions of Plato; and the first and the fifth were written by Dion, though in the Bipont, and also in Beck's edition ; the fifth has the name of Plato prefixed to it. That it was not however written by Plato, is evident from the following extract :-οτι Πλατων οψε εν τη πατριδι γεγονε, και τον δημoν κατελαβεν ηδη πρεσβυτερον και ειθισμενον υπο των εμπροσθεν, πολλα και ανομοια τη εκεινου ξυμβουλη πραττειν επει παντων αν ηδιστα καθαπερ πατρι συνεβουλευεν αυτω, ει μη ματην μεν κινδυνυσειν ωετο, πλεον δε ουδεν ποιησειν. ταυτον δε οιμαι δρασαι αν και την εμην ξυμβουλην. ει γαρ δοξαιμεν ανιατως εχειν, πολλα αν χαιρείν ημιν ειπων, εκτος αν γίγνοιτο της περί εμε και τα εμα ξυμβουλης. .
All the early editions therefore of Plato, rightly ascribe this epistle to Dion; and it is strange that Fabricius should not have perceived this, and that he should conceive the 13th epistle not to be spurious, because Diogenes Laërtius enumerates thirteen epistles of Plato.
Plato in his seventh epistle, which is to Dionysius, says to him, in answer to his inquiry about the patyre of the first cause of all things: φρασω τοινυν δι' αινιγμων, ινα καν τι η δελτος η ποντου of yns EV TETUXAIS taby. Here, for
I conceive it necessary to read τυχαις. And then the meaning of Plato will be, “ that he speaks to Dionysius through enigmas, lest his letter to him should suffer any casuality either by land or by sea.” My reason for adopting this alteration is principally owing to the following reading of this passage in Procl. in Plat. Theol. p. 103. φρασω τοινυν δι' αινιγμων, ινα καν τι η δελτος, η ποντου, η yns TUXYS Ma@y: in which extract, for naby, which I have no doubt is to be ascribed to the carelessness of the transcribers, it is requisite to read παθη. .
I only add that there is great season to believe that this epistle to the Syracusans cited by Ficinus, not only existed in his time, but also that it was a genuine production of Plato. For VOL, XXX. CI. JI.
NO. LX. U