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But Mr. Bellamy lays us under peculiar dificulties, as we have not only to combat his caring misrepresentations of the opinions of others, but his intrepid contradictions of himself. From an obtuseness, or obliquity, of understanding, he rarely appears to comprehend the meaning of his own language, or to discover whither the drift of his arguments is hurrying him. He evidently writes at random; and unconsciously keeps up a perpetual warfare between his text and notes, or between his notes themselves, fiercely assailing in one page what he stoutly defends in another. His reading appears very confined-of the works of the great critical divines of this and other countries, he knows nothing; hence he frequently produces as valuable matter what had long ago been consigned to utter derision, or lays claim to discoveries which have, for ages, been familiar to every biblical student. When we add to all this, that his style of composition is mean and grovelling, and his taste depraved ; that he has no relish or perception of the exquisite simplicity of the original, no touch of that fine feeling, that pious awe which led his venerable predecessors to infuse into their version as much of the Hebrew idiom as was consistent with the perfect purity of our own-a taste and feeling which have given perennial majesty and beauty to the English tongue--but that, on the contrary, he speaks with rude and vulgar buffoonery of the slight repe: titions and redundancies which occasionally occur in the sacred volume; and which are so strongly and interestingly characteristic of the most remote antiquity; and proposes to sweep them all away in favour of what he is pleased to call an improved text of his own, always harsh, jejune, and revolting, and frequently unintelligible; we are more and more astonished at the presumption of his pursuits, and the vanity of his expectations. One word more.
As Mr. Bellamy has thought proper to bring himself further into public notice by his ‘Reply to our strictures, it may be as well, before we part with him, to confirm the opinion which our readers must have already formed of his learning, consistency, and general competence, by the production of a few more specimens of each for the benefit of those who have not access to his work.
Many instances occur in which Mr. Bellamy, in opposition to all authorities, translates the preter form of the verb in the pluperfect sense : we have alluded to one instance of this at Gen. ii. 21. and shall remark upon another at Gen. iii. 7. In the introduction to his translation, p. xxxix. he pretends, with much parade of accurate learning, to lay down a rule for ascertaining this modification of the preter tense, which is called the preterpluperfect tense.' It depends, he says, on the accent called paschta ; where one of these accents is placed upon the verb, there is this first modifica
tion of the perfect tense, 'which,' he adds, (p. xl.) 'is properly the first aorist of the Hebrew; the second occurs by a repetition of the accent paschta on the verb.' • Thus,' he afterwards says, “it will be seen that, as the Hebrew was the first language, the Greeks must have had their aorists from the Hebrew. The reader will not fail to remark, by the way, these new discoveries in the Greek grammar, for which the world is likely to be as much indebted to Mr. Bellamy as for those he has made in the sense of Hebrew words: we suppose it will in future be received, on his authority, as an established point, that the first and second aorista in Greek bear the pluperfect sense. Seriously, we cannot help sus. pecting that his knowledge of this tongue is even at a lower ebb than his knowledge of Hebrew. Be this as it may, he does not seem wanting in a due consciousness of his own merit in discovering this rule for the modification of Hebrew tenses, for he tells us that, though the ancient Hebrews, in the time of Ezra, were well acquainted with these branches of Hebrew learning, it is certain they have been wholly neglected since; no writer,no grammarian, either Jew or Christian,' (always excepting Mr. Bellamy,) since that pe. riod, having attempted to give us a solution of these lingual problems concerning this peculiar construction of the language. And it is true enough, that the greatest masters of the language had not the most distant notion that any such rule obtained. Even J. Buxtorf, who attaches at least as much weight as any one to the points and accents, says, (Thes. Gramm. p. 33.) that the accents are of use in regulating the pronunciation and intonation; but gives not the slightest hint that in this manner they modify the sense.
Under these circumstances, it will not be supposed that there can be the least truth in Mr. Bellamy's solution of his lingual probe lems. In fact, the slightest inquiry proves the utter futility of his pretended rule; for, of verbs manifestly referring to times equally remote, one often has the paschta, the other not, as at Gen. i. 4, 5, baghe divided,' has not the paschta; he called' has it; and often where the sense evidently requires a construction in the pluperfect, there is no paschta, as at Gen. ii. v. 2. my he had made,' v. 5. Todo o'shad not caused it to rain.' But our main business is not with Mr. Bellamy's sagacity, or his modesty in propounding the rule, but with his consistency in adhering to it. It is natural to expect that, after laying it down, whenever he deviates from the received sense by rendering in the pluperfect tense, it will be from its authority. But what is the fact ? 'At Gen. ii. 21. he renders " he had enclosed,' yet the verb is without the paschta. So at Gen. ii. 9. ' had brought forth ;' ii. 25. had not shamed themselves.' In these, and numberless other enstances, he not only runs counter to all authority in fimposing a pluperfect sense, but does
so without the sanction of that very rule which he himself had framed for ascertaining it!
We have mentioned already that, at Gen. ii. 25., he reads Domy prudent,' instead of naked,' deriving it from a root which bears the sense of guile, craft, &c. Now at ch. iii. 7., occurs the cognate word ory in the plural, which he, consistently with his former translation, renders-subtle,' instead of the received sense, naked.' But the same word recurs at v. 10. and 11.; and how does he there translate it? Will it be believed that he renders it 'imprudent,' diametrically opposite to his sense of prudent at ch. ii. 25. ! His version of v. 10. is, “I feared because I was imprudent' (070); of v. 11., 'Who told thee that thou wast imprudent Vonio)? Observe how this is brought about : 'the word (he says) has various significations, all partaking of the meaning of its root, to be subtle, crafty, guileful; in a good sense, wise, prudent; thus, in a perverted sense, subtle or crafty in wickedness; and thus imprudent, which is its true meaning.' After such a specimen, we conceive that Mr. Bellamy can find no difficulty in proving the same word to mean black and white. But what, we ask, as before, can be certain in language, if such arbitrary meanings are to be assigned to words, contrary to every authority and to their established uses?
At Gen. iji. 2., he renders syn 1700 some fruit of the tree.' And, in his note on the passage, he says, in opposition to the received translation of the fruit, that's prefixed to and fruit cannot be rendered by ofi' Whatever may be thought of the value of this edict, let us observe in what degree he acts consistently with it. Only four verses after, the very same word upp occurs again; and how does he translate it? not some fruit,' which he declared to be the right translation at v. 2.; but, agreeably to the received version,
of the fruit,' the very rendering which he before pronounced inadmissible!
Gen. iii. 7. His ingenious translation of this verse would furnish ample matter for observation. We shall confine ourselves to the first clause, - Nevertheless the eyes of them both had been opened," instead of the received version, and the eyes of them both were opened. In the first place, why is he not consistent with himself. in rendering ing understandings' as at v. 5.? As the expressions at v. 5. and at v. 7. are precisely similar, the translation which is proper for the one must be proper for the other. 2dly. He assigns no reason whatever for departing from the usual sense of the lative 1, and rendering it nevertheless.' 3dly, by translating the verb in the pluperfect tense, he makes the whole narrative completely unintelligible. At v. 5. the serpent says to the woman, God knoweth that on the day ye cat of the same, then your
understandings shall be opened.' Thus the consequence of their eating of the
tree of knowledge was to be the opening of their understandings. The woman is induced to eat of the tree, and of course it is to be expected that the consequence mentioned before would immediately take place. But not so according to Mr. Bellamy's improvements. He translates the words which follow, nevertheless, the eyes of them both had been opencd.' And he tells us, in his note, that their eyes (meaning their understandings) had been opened long before, not that this was the effect of eating the forbidden fruit. So consistent would he make the Holy Scriptures !
At ch. iii. 17., Mr. Bellamy translates, “Cursed is the ground by thy transgression; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. We have no objection to his substitution of the words
by thy transgression,' for those of the received version, for thy sake,' except that here is a needless departure from the original text, 771399 signifying literally, “ for thy sake,' on thy account.' But we have much to remark on his explanation of this passage in his notes. He first tells us that the ground' here mentioned is the organized ground, Adam.'
• The organized ground called Adam was the ground that was cursed, and not the
ground which God had blessed with the principles of gene; ration, to produce every thing necessary for the use of His creatures.'
Well, then, we are to understand that the ground is not cursed, but Adam. Now for the words which follow, 'In sorrow shalt thou eat of it.' It manifestly refers to the ground,' which, as we have just been told, means Adam, and the sentence is addressed to Adam : therefore the clause runs, In sorrow shalt thou (Adam) eat of it (Adam) all the days of thy life.' We must really apologize to our readers for laying such prodigies of absurdity before them—but we quote Mr. Bellamy fairly. In his note on the very next verse he says,
It is highly proper to observe here that a charge has been brought against this part of the sacred history, which is not true ; viz. that God cursed Adam. But it is sufficiently evident that no such expression is found, even in the common version.'
What are we now to think? Who in his senses ever understood the meaning of the passage to be that God cursed Adam, before Mr. Bellamy broached this opinion? And yet, in the very next note after he had delivered this opinion, he contradicts himself and affirms the direct contrary to what he had before advanced. It surely must be needless to extract any more of this writer's mon. strous inconsistencies. We will however subjoin,
ist. An instance of his extreme carelessness, to use the mildest term. At Gen. iii. 23. he translates 1347 si 235 " when be had transgressed on the ground,' instead of the usual to till the ground.'
We say nothing of the form which he gives the clause, 'when he had,' and come to his meaning of the word -28. • This word, with this construction, means to transgress. See Deut. xvii. 2. where the same word, both consonants and vowels, is rendered by the word transgressing.' Now it so happens that the word at Deut. xvii. 2. is nay, not ny: thus he has confounded two words totally distinct, and in his sagacity given the one as authority for the new sense of the other! And this is the man who, by his superior acquaintance with the original, is to set aside the established version !
2dly. A proof of his not understanding the distinction be. tween the plainest parts of speech in Hebrew. At Gen. vi. 16. on the words own na nann nndi, rendered in the received version, and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof,' he remarks that our translators have rendered own thereof.' Now it so happens that D'on is the verb rendered shalt thou set,' and that it is n suffixed to sa which is rendered “thereof.' The case is precisely the same as if a person were to find the Latin words et portam arcæ in latere ejus pones,'translated, and the door of the ark thou shalt set in the side thereof;' and then, because pones is the last word in the Latin, and thereof in the English, were to remark (with due applause of his own sagacity) that pones is translated thereof?!
In the midst of all this blundering, his intolerable arrogance is not the least striking: expressions of this kind continually occur' Every intelligent reader will readily allow that, notwithstanding the concurring testimony of all these authorities, ancient and modern, the translations I havegiven are perfectly right, and sanctioned by the Hebrew.? (Reply, p. 29.)—Such self-sufficiency, resting on such grounds, we firmly believe to be without a parallel.
We had almost forgotten to add any thing respecting Mr. Bellamy's punctuation.* We content ourselves with repeating his words, 'I have paid particular attention to the punctuation,' (Introd. p. xi.) and subjoining one or two further specimens of the fruits of his labours.
Gen. iii. 15. Moreover I will put, enmity, between thee, and the woman
; also between thy posterity, and her posterity : be shall bruise thy head ; and thou shalt bruise his heel.
* Gen. iv. 10. Moreover he said, something thou hast done : the voice of the blood, of thy brother; crieth before me, from the ground. We here dismiss, for the present, Bellamy, bis New Transla
Mr. Bellamy complains (Reply, p. 39.) that we misrepresented his punctuation in our last number. His complaint is perfectly unfounded: our printer put a full period at the end of each quotation that we made, which, we believe, is always done in such cases. VOL. XIX. NO. XXXVIII.