Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

consultum maxime opera sua voluit esse popularibus et discipulis suis, quorum in usum non modo in scholiis multa Danice vertit, sed etiam in fine adjecit totius orationis interpretationem Danicam. Ceterum ad laudem ejus accedit Latinitas studiosum Tullii lectorem arguens et vindice Tullianæ orationis digna, et, quæ virtus pluris est, humanitas in redarguendis viri docti erroribus. Eodem tempore, qua Wormiana subsidia mihi obtigerunt, legi in ephemeridibus litterariis Lipss. de Commentatione exhibente nonnulla ad Wolfianas orationis pro M. Marcello castigationes, auctore Ge. Chr. Im. Kalau, Phil. D. et Lycei Francof. Conr. 1804. Hanc ut mihi mitteret Clariss. auctor, non frustra petivi. Ex ea, licet brevissima, sicut ex epistola ad calcem adjecta, quædam excerpsi lectoribus, ut spero, valde probata.

Horum propositum quod fuerit, et quatenus illud assecuti siut, partim dixi, partim per se apparet. Mea ratio latius patet. Cum orationis, quam vindicandam et illustrandan suscepi, reprehensio fere omnis nata sit vel e verbis male spectatis et intellectis, vel ex arte non animadversa, cumque superiores etiam interpretes multa præterierint, quibus explicandis bene operam suam posuissent: non Wolfianas tantum castigationes sectatus sum, ut illis dumtaxat dijudicandis bonarum litterarum studiosis prodessem, sed et alia quam plurima accuratius exploravi, ut fieret, quem inscriptio promittit, commentarius plenus. Quid autem sit in hoc genere plenum, paucis ostendam. Hanc plenitudinem non conficiunt omnia omnium interpretum commenta in unum corpus congesta. Partim enim falsa multa, partim futilia aut certe aliena, partim eadem diversis verbis repetita tali colligendi sedulitate exhibentur. Atque etiam sic mancus exsistere potest commentarius. Ergo cum non pueris rudibus, sed adolescentibus Latine i. e. bene scribendo jam institutis et paullum exercitatis talia scribantur, ea copiose oportet exponi, quæ ad sensum verborum per se non cuique perspicuum et ad omnem dictionis virtutem declaraudam pertinent. Itaque interpretes superiorum seculorum nonnullos sic adhibui, ut ab illis tradita, quantum in me esset, ex animo dimitterem: atque etiam meliores, ut Manutium, Abramium, Grævium, ita sequendos vidi, ut non ab illis

penderem, neque eorum uterer verbis. Aliud res suasit in animadversionibus Wolfii, quia hic non agit verum et justum interpretem, et quia, nisi verba ejus ipsa servata essent, multa malitiose in alienum sensum detorta viderentur. Denique selectio, quæ olim magna ferebatur laude, variarum notarum e diversis interpretum commentariis nunquam vero et integro judicio probari potest, quia in unum corpus coire diversorum corporum membra nequeunt, meliusque multo est eandem sibique convenientem rationem et orationem per unum eundemque commentarium servari. Quam ob rem magis menti quam oculis subjectas in rem meam verti aliorum interpretum sententias.

Textus ipse typis hic repeti commode non potuit. Fuisset enim commentario aut præmittendus aut subjiciendus, quod ad usum parum opportunitatis habuisset. Sed tamen cum prima interpretis cura hæc debeat esse, ut verba certa, quæ putet ab auctore scripta, teneat et commendet, tantum monebo, me recensionem Ernestii ante oculos habuisse. Si quo igitur loco de verborum integritate nihil dixi, ibi textum ejus ut verum aut Ciceroni maxime convenientem probavi, Sed tota prope oratio particulatim per commentarium exhibetur, ut vix locus relictus sit, in quo non appareat, quid genuinum aut probandum putaverim.

Denique et in externa libri forma, quantum erat meæ facultatis, curavi, ne qua oculi offenderentur, sed multo magis, ne impedirentur difficultate quærendi. Hanc ob causam animadversiones censoris non iisdem versuum spatiis inclusi, sed ita collocavi, ut primo statim conjectu oculorum a reliquis discernerentur. Hac ratione etiam effectum est, ut eas omittere, si quis vellet, commodius posset, atque etiam majori opportunitate comparare cum illis, quæ contra dicuntur, si quis causain totam diligentius cognoscere et dijudicare cuperet.

Hæc quasi extra causam præfanda duxi. Cetera præeunte Wolfio sunt persequenda, e cujus præfatione ordine singula excerpsi, quæ ad institutum pertinent. Nam in refutandis aliorum opinionibus minime probanda est eorum ratio, qui suum sibi ordinem constituunt, ut modo hinc modo illinc aliquid arripiant, in quo copiose se jactent. Facile illi vel casu et oblivione vel difficultatum dissimulatione nonnulla omittunt, in quibus est multum momenti. Ac, ne ab hac oratione discedam, si vel una sententia atque adeo unum verbum inesset Ciceroni auctori plane repugnans, neque id casu aut interpolatione potuisset immigrare, causa nostra esset desperata. Totum igitur libellum Wolfii percensens omnia ordine expendi, nihilque prætermisi, quod ad causam videretur pertinere. Nascitur inde volumen majus, quam pro illustranda tam brevi oratione. Näm, ut Wormius queritur (p. 109), " est in hoc defensoris conditio, quam accusatoris, iniquior, quod, cum hic digito monstrasse et verbo monuisse contentus est, illi ad suspiciones injectas delendas et crimina sparsa diluenda longiore oratione opus est.” Sed tamen brevitatem, quam res ferebat, servare · studui.

Denique et hoc addam, quod mihi de hac ipsa brevitate cogitanti in mentem venit. Dixerit quispiam, cum duplex fuerit meum consilium, unum refutandi Wolfii, alterum explicandæ justo commentario orationis, non bene hæc duo conjuncta esse; me debuisse alterutrum omittere, aut saltem graviora tantum Wolfiana paucis verbis expressa diluere, ut et commentario sua forma constaret, et justa usuique apta brevitas servaretur. Ad hæc modo dictis prope satis responsum est. Tantum dicam, cum hanc mihi valde probatam rationem sequi vellem, me vidisse, etiamsi litigiosæ disputationis speciem, quantum fieri pos. set, vitarem, simplicemque commentarii formam tuerer, tamen duce illo viro docto utendum esse, quia nemo tam studiose, quam ille, onmes difficultates et vitia omnia vel ab auctore vel a librario profecta persecutus est. Itaque si illam rationem, b. e. externam simplicis commentarii speciem tenuissem, paullo breviorem, fateor, fecissem, sed ita, ut neque explicata satis neque defensa omni ex parte videretur oratio. Quam ob rem rogo lectores, quibus secus videtur, ne verbosæ disputationis specie offendantur, aut, si vacat, primo Wolfii animad

versiones legant, ac deinde periculum ipsi faciant aliter instituendi commentarii. Videbunt illi profecto, quam difficile sit, illa, quain demonstravi, ratione sibi satisfacere, nedum aliis, qui eadem ista contra hanc orationem prolata legerint, et quam suspecta fiat optima causa, nisi quis viri docti, qui ea protulit, ipsa vestigia sedulo premat, et eum quasi ducem et defendendæ et explicandæ orationis sequatur.

HYPOTHESES OF MR. BRYANT AND MR.

FABER RECONCILED.

Those who read only for information on the origin and antiquity of nations, are too frequently compelled to discontinue their researches in weariness or disgust. The materials which they are bound to consult, if they would arrive at any satisfactory conclusion to their inquiries, are so scattered, so various, and extensive; and the authors who have attempted to guide them through the labyrinth, have embraced hypotheses so contradictory, that he wbo has no theory to support, is bewildered and embarrassed. Scripture and history, tradition and etymology, the customs of nations and the fictions of romance, are all enlisted into the service of an hypothesis. The learned writer is the astonishment of his contemporaries and the admiration of posterity, till another strong man armed, overthrows his palace, to erect another hypothesis on the same extensive foundation of labor, knowledge, and research. Though successive theories are thus overthrown, materials have been collected, the ground cleared, and difficulties removed; though Bishop Warburton, in the opinion of Mr. Faber, has failed to prove that the mysteries originated in Egypt; though Marsham and Spencer are both wrong in their opinions on the origin of the Jewish ceremonies, and the Pagan idolatry, they are entitled to our gratitude with Bishop Cumberland, Perizonius, Witsius, and many others : all their researches have contributed to demonstrate that the account of Moses is true, and revelation the gift of God.

Among the proposers of theories Mr. Bryant and Mr. Faber are pre-eminent. Mr. Bryant's fame is known to all; Mr. Faber is still our conteniporary, and the character and reputation of an individual can seldom be properly appreciated till his labors be completed. But from all that we have heard and seen of Mr. Faber,

VOL. XIX. ci. Ji. NO, XXXVII. E

we are justified in asserting, that for integrity of character, purity of intention, and extent of research; for learning, for piety, and industry, he has met with few superiors. The history of the future ages can alone decide whether his interpretation of the prophecies of the Apocalypse be correct. Some objections may be urged, as the opinions of the most excellent may vary, against several debateable points, both in his printed Sermons, in his Horæ Mosaicæ, and his late invaluable work on the Origin of Pagan Idolatry ; but he has rendered most essential service to the common cause of learning and religion; and he is worthy of our admiration and gratitude.

I have thus expressed my sincere opinion of Mr. Faber, though it be contrary to the customs of the day to offer a tribute of this kind to a stranger.

In making some few observations on a part of that great work, which every inquirer into the origin and antiquity of nations will add to his library; I trust Mr. Faber will believe that I am actuated by the same love of truth, which has guided him: I would not wish in the least degree to depreciate the value of his labors, while I freely express my opinion on any of the subjects of his research.

The question under discussion is briefly this. Were there two dispersions of mankind, or one? Mr. Bryant maintains the affirmative: Mr. Faber the negative. I am inclined to the opinion of Mr. Bryant, for the reasons which I shall assign. I could add many arguments to the list, deduced from Heidegger, Witsius, .and others, whom Mr. Faber does not appear to have consulted ; as they are not once referred to, if I remember right, through the whole of bis marginal references.

In maintaining the affirmative of the question, Mr. Bryant asserts that the sons of Noah retired peaceably to their respective habitations; but that the sons of Cush, accompanied by a mixed multitude, violently dispossessed their brethren Asher and Elam of their territory; and settling in Shinar, built the tower of Babel. From this place they were miraculously dispersed, and being eminent in arts and arms, they conquered, and civilised the world, and are to be traced in all quarters of the earth under the names of Cuthim, Scythæ, Ammonians, &c.

Mr. Faber for the negative argues, that the whole assembled sons of Adam apostatised at a very early period; and went together to Shinar: from which spot they were miraculously dispersed.

Both authors agree in supposing that the apostasy from the patriarchal worship, which originated the Pagan idolatry, was the cause of the dispersion at Shinar.

We shall more clearly comprehend the scope of the argument, by examining the several objections which Mr. Faber produces against Bryant's Theory, with the answers which may be urged in reply. (Vide Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. iii. b. 6. p. 359.) After which our best plan will be to consider, with the same impartiality, the objections which may be urged against Mr. Faber.

I shall noť insert references to the several passages in Bryant's Analysis, or Faber's Pagan Idolatry; the reader is supposed to have perused them, and to preserve a general recollection of the whole subject, and of the contents of the volumes.

1. All mankind, Mr. Faber observes, must have been collected together because their apostasy was universal: the Pagan idolatry in every country in the known world is the self-same arbitrary syslem : the remote nations could not have borrowed from each other, neither could the creed of one great people have been imposed by conquest on their brethren: they must therefore have been united in one spot, and this the Scripture assures us was Shinar.

Mr. Bryant, in reply, would have probably reasoned, that this latter assertion appears something like begging the question. Mankind undoubtedly must bave been collected together; but they were united for many hundred years at Nachshevan, near the mountain, where the ark rested. At this place the corruption of the patriarchal religion commenced. In the original apostasy were two great sects, known by the names of Brahmanism and Buddhism. Mr. Faber proves most satisfactorily that Buddhism preceded Brahmanism. Might not the first gradual deviation in the form of Buddhism have commenced at Nachshevan; and will not this account for the universality of the same system, without supposing that all mankind were at Shinar? Brahmanism might have commenced at Shinar; and as it would differ at first very little from Buddhism, its progress would be easily enforced by that violence, which Mr. Bryant strenuously contends the Cuthites uniformly attempted, wherever they planted their settlements.

Obj. 2. The plain words of Scripture, says Mr. Faber, assert that all mankind were at Shinar. The whole earth was of one language. How then could the confusion of tongues take place unless all had been there united ?

According to Mr. Faber's concession, the remains of one universal language are plainly traceable over the whole earth. Mr. Bryant discovers it everywhere, in the radicals of all languages. This would have been equally the case whether mankind were dispersed from Nachshevan or Shinar. The several nations in the time of Moses were divided by a variety of languages; but the best commentators have supposed it possible that the dialects might have varied gradually. The Rabbis asserted that seventy languages were given at the dispersion. Mr. Faber affirms, from Sir W. Jones,

« AnteriorContinuar »