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The Right Reverend the
And the rest of the
· Reverend CLERGY.
Church of England,
Is Humbly Dedicated
By H. R.
S a Translation of the Holy Scriptures according to this Ejay, would be of great use to moft Christians, and save
them the expence and pains of buying and consulting Commentators; fo the serious and impartial Confideration of the Elay it self, may contribute to the reading of them with more pleasure and profit, as they are already Translated. For, besides that it renders a great many places of Scripture more truly and clearly than they have been formerly expressed by any version, it difco. wers also the Source and Causes of the Ecrours and Mistakes wbich are to be found in all Verfions; and furnishes us with plain and easie Rules, by which Persons of the meanest Capacity, may easis Ly observe the most material Faults of all Transflations.
Some think tbat several observations ix the first Part are trifling, but fince the most. Learned and Ingenious part of Men can't endure to foffer the least Fault or Obscurity in any of the Greek or Roman Authors, and turn over Volumes ta find the true reading and fence but of one Word in Homer or Virgil; it must
, argue eit ber disrepect or indifferency for the Sacred Books, to count
any Observation relating to them trifling, especia ally if it tends to make any Text plain and intelļigible; if it overturns any of the pretended Grounds of Atheism and Infidelity, of any dangerous Error, Superftitious Foppery, or foolish and ridiculous Whim; and if any Observation in the.Elay don't tend to one or more of these ends, let them think and say of it what they will
. But what's a little odd is, that what some count Trifting, orbers think Important, and that I hat part of the Book, which is most valued by fome, and is truly moft valuable, is overlook'd and past by, by others. But the reason of this is, that come understand the design of the Book, and comsider all the Texts in it, with respeet to the General Design, whereas opbers consider them barely in themselves.
Thefe Gentlemen will, no doubt, make the fame Judgment of fome places of the Second Part, which trear of the Names of Weights and Measures; Trees, Beasts, &c. But besides what bas been said already, let them consider, that fice whole Treatises have been writ on every one of those Subjects, by the best Hands, to the fatisfačtion of the Judicious and Learned, they should not think them unworthy to be made the Subject of a few Pages.
Others say, That a work of this narurę gives occafion to some to deny the Divine Authority of the Holy Scriptures, and to o thers, to deny their perspicuity and clearnels
. To wbich I Answer, That tbe Translations do indeed give too much occafun for this; but that the Elay does I can't at all fee, I'm fure it
was writ for a quite contrary end, namely to remove all the Cavils and Exceptions of Atheists, Deifts and others against the Scriptures, and to shew, that what they think ridiculous, is only faid by the Translators. Is it tben ány Argement that the Original is in the wrong, because
, Translations are? Or that because there have
bad Translations, there can never be a good one? Or, in fine, that because several of its Terms and Phrases are ambiguous, they must puzzle one who bas the necessary qualities of a Translator; who is Mafter of the Languages in wbich the Scriptures were writ; who knows the Cuftoms to which they allude ; underftands the
; design of the Author, considers the context, lays afide Prejudice, consults Reafon, ind bas true Notions of God?
'Tis no proof that an Authon is flat and abfoure, and speaks nonsense, that be bas been of ten represented so by Translators. Plutarch and Horace have been several times bung!ed, but still Plutarch and Horace Spoke noble sense in their own Language, and bave been since made to do fo in ours.
Tbó David's Psalms bave been often mangled, yet, Buchanan in Latin, and Godeau in French, have done the Psalmift fome Fustice, And made him sing it a plain and divine strain. And what bath been done to that Book in Verse,
be done bots to it, and the other Books of ibe Bible in Profe; I mean they may be made to (peak plainer and better, than they barve get done in any Translaties.