Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

thrown out, and discuss the points to which they relate, with a more adequate extent of investigation.

We shall now enter into the merits of that version which we have before us, and which is called The Philoxenian. It was made in the beginning of the sixth century, after the best Greek copies then extant; which were at the same time compared in regard to their various readings. These Greek copies have been lolt in the revolutions of time, but the critics in facred literature look upon this translation as a true expression of their contents : for which reason it is undoubtedly very valuable. The university of Oxford must, therefore, be considered as entitled to the thanks of all friends to the critical study of the New Testament, for gratifying their wishes by printing this version in so correct and splendid a mạnner. We are happy to say farther, that the publication is fallen into able hands, and that the Editor, Mr. White (Laudean Professor) has acquitted him self in such a manner as cannot fail of doing credit to his abilities and learning.

In the Latin Preface the Professor gives, first, an account of the fate of the Syriac copy from which these gospels are printed, since it came into England. He says, the late Dr. Ridley, to whom it was sent, as a present, by his friend Mr. Palmer, who bought it at Amida, or Diarbekr, in Mesopotamia, wished to satisfy the desire of the learned in having it printed *. He, therefore, though already advanced in years, applied, very closely, to learn the Syriac language, and surmounted innumerable difficulties, having no instructor, nor even the proper books. He transcribed the four Syriac gospels from the Heraclean copy, and marked, at the bottom of his transcript, the various readings from his other manuscript-copy, which he called the Barfalibear; but, thinking that the Greek text was the best interpreter of the Syriac, he added not a Latin translation. When Dr. Ridley found that, on account of his

age,

he was incapable of finishing the work, he made a present of his transcript to the university of Oxford, who intended publishing it at their expence. Dr. Lowth, the present worthy Bishop of London, proposed Mr. White as a proper Editor. The Profeffor, accordingly, undertook the work, in hopes of having it foon published; but many unforeseen difficulties produced a long delay. He found, particularly, the Latin translation, which he gives with the Syriac, under the printed text, a laborious talk; and he was obliged to transcribe Dr. Ridley's transcript over again.

See our Review for October, 1761, p. 305."

D 4

The

The first five sections of this Preface are copied from Dr. Ridley's Latin differtation on the Syriac versions, of which we have given an account some years ago +. The third section comprehends the history of this Philoxenian version and its origin; it is to the following purport: Philoxenus or Xenayas, a Bishop of Hierapolis, or Mabug, as it is called in Syriac, employed (in the year 508) his chorepiscopus, Polycarp, to translate the Greek New Testament verbatim into Syriac. He, accordingly, rendered the four Gospels, the A&ts, the seven Catholic Epistles, the fourteen of St. Paul, and, perhaps, the Revelation of St. John. AU this he translated from his Greek copy, with so much exactness, that he even expressed the Greek articles, though the Syriac has none; he translated likewise those Syriac words, which occur in the Greek gospels, over again, in a truly ridiculous manner. But from these very circumstances we may infer the great utility of this tranflation, when considered in a critical view; for, if Polycarp translated so scrupulously from bis Greek copies, it is evident that we have, by this means, the true readings and resemblance of those Greek copies, which he had before him, and which are supposed to have been of the third or fourth century. Whatever were Bifhop Philoxenus's particular intentions, in ordering this version to be made, it is undoubtedly fact that he has done posterity considerable service, by employing in this business so simple and scrupulous a man. We only wish that Polycarp had not betrayed either an ignorance of the Greek language, or a drowsiness, which made him translate wrong, of which Wetstein has produced instances, and Mr. White adds two others—the last of which, napobidos, Matth. xxiii. 25, which the interpreter takes to be a compound of παρα

and otis, is a very glaring one. This tranflation of Polycarp's, which he dedicated to PhiJoxenus, from whom it is named, was afterward revised by Thomas of Heraclea I, as appears from some notes at the end of the four gospels, which give an account of this version. We have observed that in those Syriac copies, particularly in the third of them that are in the possession of Affeman *, and of which he himself has communicated an account to Mr. White, these notes, which have puzzled the critics very much, differ in some respects. Dr. Ridley's copy says, Thomas had compared them with two Greek copies at Alexandria; Affeman's says

+ Review, vol. xxv. p. 298.

1 Hence the denomination of Codex Heracleenfis, or the Heraclean copy

This is not Josephus Simonius Affeman, author of the Bibliotheca Orientalis ; but his nephew, Stephanus Evodius Affeman, ticular Archbishop of Apamca.

three

three to Ridley's fays, the collation with the Greek copies was made in the monastery of Antonius; Alleman's says, Domitius. Ridley's fays, in the third note, in the year 927, according to the Greeks (which is 616 after Christ); Afleman's says, in the year of the Greeks 1799 (which is 1488 after Chrift). Upon the whole, it appears to us that there is a great inaccuracy in these notes, and that it seems very probable that they were added at three different times; the first perhaps by Polycarp ; the other by Thomas, who calls himself Mascino, or the poor ; and the third, perhaps one hundred years after, by him who says, God knows his troubles,—which, too, is all that the critics know of him; for, hitherto, both his name and person have eluded their utmost inquiries.

The troublesome times, which followed in succeeding centuries, threw this version almost into oblivion ; but toward the end of the twelfth century, Dionysius Barsalibæus made, from several old copies, which he procured, what we may call a new edition ; and these two copies, which Dr. Ridley's friend, Mr. Palmer, bought at Amida, on his journey by land to India, were, in all probability, written about this time.

The fixth section, which is written by Mr. White himself, treats on the afterisks, obeli, and marginal readings, of which Dr. Ridley has said nothing in his dissertation. Wetstein, in his Prolegomena, speaking of this Syriac copy of Dr. Ridley's, says, it contains a collation of the first Syriac version, and the latter, which is marked in the text itself, by putting an obelus (-) to those words which the first has more, and an asterisk (*) to those which are wanting in the same. The word or fentence to whom the obelus or afterisk belongs, is always marked at the end with a nota finalis («). Mr. White cenfures Wetstein, and produces many instances which serve to refute Wetstein's opinion. He thinks that they rather relate to those Greek copies which Thomas of Heraclea had compared ; and as to the marginal notes, he is of opinion, that they are added by some critic who lived after Thomas, and who, not satisfied with the authority of those copies which Thomas had made use of, compared the version over again with other Greek copies and the Peihito.

As to the manner in which Professor White has executed his work, he says, in the conclusion of his Preface, ' In this edi. tion of the gospels I have taken pains that the Syriac text of the Heraclean copy might be faithfully printed off, except where

+ Werftein. Proleg. ad N. T. fol. 113, says : Idque rectius, cum etiam in noftro (viz Dr. Ridley's) quo ufi fumus exemplari, ad Matth. xxviii. s. tres Græci codices diferte citentur, and so we have found in this edition of Mr. White; but it might be aked, Whether this marginal note is not of a later dare ?

there

there openly appeared to be a fault, which I have corrected from the Barfalibean and Bodleian copies, of which I have always apprized the reader, and mentioned, in a note, the reading of our copy. Those words which were written on the margin of our copy in Greek characters, I have printed likewise on the margin of this edition ; but the Syriac various readings, which are on the margin of the manuscript, are printed, for want of fmall Syriac types, at the bottom of the page. - The Latin translation, I have, as far as I could, made literal, without paying attention to elegance of style.? And in another place he. says: 'I must here make an apology for the shortness of those annotations, which the reader, now and then, will meet with at the bottom of the page, and which I intended to render more copious. The work requires, indeed, a commentary almost as voluminous as the verfion itself. I had a great many annotations committed to paper, more than I have printed here ; but, since I had no friend, master of the subject, with whom I might have advised concerning these annotations, I would rather (uppress my thoughts than run the risk of a severe reprehenfion. Should the university be pleased to let the second volume be printed, and to let me have the management of it, I shall then communicate more things, relating to the subject in general; and illustrate some difficult passages.'

This, indeed, does credit to the modefty of Mr. White; but many will, perhaps, wish, with us, that, in this instance, he had manifested somewhat less of this virtue. We hope, however, that the university, and particularly the superintendents of the Clarendon press, who have so greatly promoted the cause of Eastern literature, will gratify, the friends of that branch of Jearning with the second volume of this work, and intruft Mr. White with the publication,--as he has gained so much reputation by the first.

The Appendix to the present volume contains, first, the history of the adulteress, taken, no doubt, from the Barfalibean copy, since it is not in the version of Philoxenus. Secondly, those three notes found at the end of the Heraclean copy of the gospels. Thirdly, Dr. Ridley's collations of the Barsalibean copy and that in the Bodleian library ; together with some notes by Mr. White. Fourthly, a description of three manuscript copies of the Philoxenian version, transmitted from Rome to Mr. White by Asseman, whose property they are. The first of these copies is, according to Asleman, written in the very handwriting of Thomas of Heraclea; which, however, we much doubt. We should rather be inclined to think, from the fameness of the scripture of the copy with the three notes at the end, that some Monk may have transcribed the whole copy. The difference of these notes, at the end of the third copy, which Asseman describes, and which is a great deal younger than the two first, is (as we have before observed) so extraordinary, that it has given rise to various conjectures; but we are, with Asseman, of opinion, that Barsauma, or whoever transcribed this copy, was induced by ignorance, or vanity, to alter the two last notes, and to apply them to himself, when, in fact, the fecond note related to Thomas of Heraclea, and the third to some later transcriber.

TH

ART. XIII. Danebury: or, the Power of Friendpaip. A Tale. With

Two Odes. By a Young Lady. 410. I s. 6 d. Johnson.
HE scene of this affecting little tale is laid at Danebury-

Hill," an ancient camp in the vicinity of Stockbridge in Hampshire, near which, according to tradition, a battle was fought between the Danes and the West Saxons, in which the former were defeated. During the battle, Elfrida, whose anxiety for the fate of her father had compelled her to follow him, receives a wound from a poisoned arrow. Just as she is expiring, her friend Emma fucks out the poison from the wound, and restores her to life :

• But ah! from Emma's cheek the roses fly,
Joy beam'd a smile, while pain awak'd a ligh:
Too soon fine felt her fickening spirits fail,
And languor o'er life's active Springs prevail !
But loth to damp the joy she had inspir’d,
To the cool air she unobserv'd retir'd.

• Beneath an ancient elm's romantic shade,
Where ruftic toil an humbie seat had made;
When day departing crimson d o'er the sky,
And glitter'd on the stream that wander'd by,
The little friendly groupe would oft repair,
(While breathing woodbines sweeten'd all the air)
Each blameless feeling of their hearts unfold,
Or listen to the tale of times of old.
Ah happy moments! ever, ever fled!
Now Emma there reclines her dying head !
While o'er her pallid face creeps death's cold dew,
And all the landscape swims before her view.

• When near approach'd a venerable Sage,

In all the hoary Majesty of Age!'• Skilled in salubrious herbs,'this venerable Sage administers an antidote, in consequence of which

* In her meek eye, the trembling lustre fhone,

And health and beauty reassumed their throne.' The poem then concludes with the following well-finished and beautiful lines :

• The moving tale soon reach'd Elfrida's ear, The moving tale fole many a rapturous tear.

Ah!

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »