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We cannot conclude without teftifying our opinion, that this work does honour to the Author's understanding, as well as to his heart. It is a valuable monument of his wisdom, learning, integrity, and piety; and we hope that he will be favoured with the public encouragement: and particularly with the patronage of those Christians who concur with him in sentiment.gr
Art. VI. A new and literal Translation, from the original Hebrew, of
the Pentateuch of Moses, and of the historical Books of the Old Testament, to the End of the Second Book of Kings : With Notes critical and Explanatory. By the late Reverend and Learned Julius Bate, M. A. Rector of Sutton, in Sussex. 4to. 16 s. Boards. Law. 1773. UR opinion of Mr. Julius Bate, as a writer and a critic,
hath been long known to the Readers of the Monthly Review. The perusal of the present work hath not given us the least reason to change that opinion. It is, most certainly, a new translation, and so very literal, as to be really unintelligible to a plain English reader.
We have seen many versions of the scriptures; but we do not recollect any one, in any language, not excepting that of St. Omer's, which exceeds, or even equals, this of Mr. Julius Bate, for obscurity, inconsistency, and absurdity. The Author, it must be granted, was a tolerable master of some parts of Oriental literature; but he seems to have been entirely void of judgment. He hath employed all his learning in disfigure ing, we may say, in burlesquing, the sacred writings.
The chief design of this work, is a defence of the Athanasian Trinity; and many passages, which are simply historical, are said, by our Author, clearly to contain that doctrine.
If this be really true, we should be obliged to some able Hutchinsonian for the solution of the following difficulty: If the Old Testament doth really, as these gentlemen affirm, contain the doctrine of the Athanasian Trinity, how came it to pass that no Jew, from the days of Moses to the present, ever found it out, or even suspected it? That the Jews never had any apprehension of this doctrine is well known; and that, with the more sensible part of them, it is one grand objection to Christianity, we are assured by learned persons of that persuasion.
As modern improvements in science, and in sound criticism, have deprived the Hutchinsonians, and others, of an Athanafian Trinity in the New Testament, they have been obliged to change their ground, and search for it in the Old : and to prevent, if possible, another discomfiture, they have put mystical senses on plain historical passages, and inferred ftrange conclusions, from fanciful, equivocal, and, very often, unna
clusions, ts on plain ble, anoth and learen
preffion : too by a curse? The abfurdilaran doctrine be the true
tural etymologies. A few instances will prove that Mr. Julius Bate excelled in this mode of writing.
Genesis i. 1. At first the Aleim created the heavens and the earth. This tranflation is illustrated by the following note : ' a title (i. e. Aleim) of the ever blessed Trinity. It means the persons under the oath, or binding curse of a covenant.'- If we understand our Author, the idea is not only absurd, but impious. Is it not impious to say, that the Supreme Being, whether the Trinitarian or Unitarian doctrine be the true one, is bound by a curse? The absurdity of the idea is beyond expreffion : for whether we suppose the persons of the Trinity to be three distinct beings, or only three diftinét relations of one and the same being, Mr. Bace's notion involves in it the most inexplicable contradictions. There is another note expressive of the same idea, on Levit. xviii. 1.
In Genesis xviii. the sacred historian relates the appearance of three angels to Abraham at the door of his tent; which three, our Author tells us, were the three persons in the Tri. nity. And in a note he adds, ' in this chapter is ocular proof of there being one God, and three persons; for the persons who appeared speak as Jehovah, and are spoken to, and of, as the Lord in Trinity, whom Abraham entertained, &c.' Here we muft own, with concern, that our eyes are not so good as Mr. Bate's were; for we cannot discern this ocular proof. As it appears from the narrative, that two of these angels went and conducted Lot out of Sodom, how could the three be the Lord in Trinity? One reason why they could not, may be alligned from our Author's own translation of chap. xix. 13. ' for the cry against them is great before Jehovah ; and Jehovah hath fent us to destroy it.' In other words, according to Mr. Bate, Jehovah hath sent Jehovah to destroy Sodom. Strange that any well-meaning Expositor should father such abfurdities upon the sacred writer!
Our Translators have rendered Genesis xxi. 17, latter clause, what aileth thee, Hagar? fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is ;' i. e. where his mother had laid him. No, says Mr. Julius Bate, ( fear not; for the Aleim will hearken to the voice of the lad, in the name itself.' And, in a note, we are told that the Translators mifled both the literal and mystical sense, that God would hear Israel according to the promise expressed in his name (5879*) and the son of the bond-woman DW 8107 08 by him, who is the name itself; which is the great promise of the gospel.' The language here is somewhat beyond our comprehension : but we will venture to assert, that no man, except a myftical Hutchinsonian, could ever have found a reference to the gospel in this historical passage.
If our limits would permit, we might produce numerous inkances of the Author's fondness for allusions and prefigurations : for example, the skins of the kids, which Rebekah put on her son Jacob, prefigured our putting on the Lord Jesus, and appearing in bis righteousness, to obtain the blessing. This whole history is, indeed, curioully allegorized. The twins Pharez and Zarah, the sons of Judah by Tanar, prefigured the natural and spiritual man; and the case of Zarah in par. ticular, prefigured the necessity of our being born again.
We have always understood Deuteronomy vi. 4, to be a conclusive proof of the unity of the Godhead. But Mr. Julius Bate teils us, on the contrary, that, • as long as Hebrew is Hebrew, Jehovah fingular, and Aleim plural, and the oath of God to the heirs of salvation, is remembered, so long will these two words, Jehovah and Aleim, prove a Trinity in Unity, the coequality of persons.'
As a proof of our Author's obscurity, we shall select the Hebrew word gogo which our transators very properly have rendered ' a covenant. Thus Genesis ix, 9, God said to Noah, "I establih my covenant with you ;' but, according to Mr. Date, it should be, I establish my purification with you.' This, he tells us, is the literal interpretation of the word nied from 7 to purify, to make clean, as every thing is trough the blood of Christ. ' adds he, is used to express all the promises to us through the sacrifice of Christ, which has a promise of this life, and of that which is to come, if we take care to imi-. tate his purity and innocence. Waving the propriety of this etymology, which indeed we more than suspect (for 173, eligere, to choose, seems to be the true word) we see no advan-' tage produced by this alteration. The word • covenant,' is perfectly intelligible to every reader, who is in the Icast conversant with his bible ; but purification,' in many passages, is by no means so. For instance, Judges ii. 1, 2, “And I said I will never break my covenant with you; and ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land.' This is inte!ligible; but " I said I would not break my purification with you for ever, and ye shall cut no puriñcation for the inhabitants of this land, is a mode of speaking, to say the best of it, not a litle obfcure.
Mr. Bate's note on Joshua ii. 1, is, we believe, just, but not new; for most lexicographers observe that the word 7317, means an hostess, as well as an harlot; and in this place it is natural to understand it in the former rather than in the latter sense, because it is more probable that the spies went to lodge in a house of entertainment, than in a brothel. It is true chat St. James calls Kahab mopun, an harlot; but it is supposed by Several critics, and with some degree of probability, that the
Greek word, as well as the Hebrew, was anciently used in these two lenses,
Our Author is as remarkable for his philosophy as for his divinity. He roundly asserts that, ' let our philosophers fay what they will, the stars have an influence on our atrofphere,' This he thinks is implied in Judges v. 20. We observe, also, that his enmity to the Hebrew vowel points is so great that he alters' the spelling of the proper names of persons and places. Aaron he calls Aerun, Gideon, Gidoun, Canaan, Canon, Gilead, Gilod, &c.
To this work is prefixed a short advertisement by the ano. nymous Editor, wherein he calls it ' a valuable and intelligible performance ;' but how justly, the above specimen will enable our Readers to determine. The three engravings are well executed: the last, which exhibits a view of the inside of the Ta. bernacle, and of the Holy of Holies, seems to have been borrowed from a plate in the late Dr. Isaac Watts's Scripture History.
ART. VII. Political Disquisitions : Or, an Enquiry into public Errors,
Defeats and Abuses. Illustrated by and established upon Facts and
| Tillotson's, that it seemed extremely difficult, if not al. most impoflible, for a man to step over the threshoid of a court, and preserve his honesty. The keenest satyrist could hardly have thrown out a farcasm more severe than this declaration of the gentle Archbishop. Yet if this observation gives us a true idea of courts and statesmen, we must nevertheleis suppose that the evil does not necessarily arise from the very nature of government and the conduct of civil society, but from the ill management, or artful and corrupt designs, of persons to whom this great and important trust, the care of the state, is committed.
Politics, or the art of government, is frequently represented as somewhat very mystericus, and soaring far above vulgar apprehensions. Statesmen and lawyers may be well pleased with the prevalence of such a persuasion : and no doubt there are subjects of this kind which common capacities, unused to political enquiries, would not be sufficient to investigate and direct. To preside over a large community with such happy influence as may suffice to prevent, or duly correct, those evils and abuses
which naturally spring up in human society, and to diffuse peace and prosperity through all ranks and conditions, to attain these great and desirable ends, will require the ableft talents, and the noblest dispositions ; but as for those state-tricks and little arts which merely serve to promote a temporary view, or answer some selfish purpose, as they are unworthy of an elevated genius, so are they practised only by men who are incapable of acting upon more exalted principles..
The observation which was made by one of the fathers on the sacred scriptures, seems to be very properly applied to politics by the Author of the work now before us, the lamb may wade in them, and the elephant swim. The remark of the great Mr. Locke is also pertinently introduced, viz. « That politics (in the common and confined sense) are only common sense applied to national instead of private concerns. From hence it follows, that the generality of the people may form proper conclusions concerning public and national affairs, although they may not be capable of developing or removing those difficulties and mysteries which state lawyers or others may throw in the way, in order to conceal the truth.
In his general preface to this work, our Author observes, that • in a country which pretends to be free, and where, consequently, the people ought to have weight in the government, it is peculiarly necessary that the people be poffeffed of just notions of the interest of their country, and be qualified to distinguish between those who are faithful to them, and those who betray them. It must, I think, fill every generous mind with indignation, to see our good-natured countrymen abused over and over, from generation to generation, by the fame ftate dog-tricks repeatedly played upon them, by a succession of pretended patriots, who, by these means, have screwed out their predecessors, and wormed themselves into their places. To teach the people a set of solid political principles, the knowledge of which may make them proof against such gross abuses is one great object of this publication.'
Should this Writer be thought to have indulged some warmth in the above passage, or in other parts of his work, it is, we are persuaded, nothing more than the natural effect of an honest zeal for the liberty and welfare of his country, and a just dis. dain of those measures which under colour of regard to the public weal are chiefly intended to accomplish fome private designs. If ministers of state, or supposed patriots, are profecut. ing such ends, let them be exposed and censured ! If out Au. thor writes with spirit, it is not of the fa&ious kind. He does not wish that the British constitution should be overthrown, or that a republican form of government should be introduced s he appears to be animated with a true and hearty solicitude for