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THE BOOK OF PSALMS, A New Trans-
Ir would be impossible for a careful reader of Mr. Walford's Translation of the Book of Psalms to deny that he had brought to his task much judgment, learning, critical acumen, and taste. It would be equally impossible to deny that, in some instances, compared with our Bible version, his is more lucid and clear; and that the apparently difficult passages in it are fewer in number.
We fear we have said all that can fairly be advanced in favour of the work before us; and even that much can only be admitted with some drawbacks and modifications.
The first thing which strikes our attention, and calls for our dissent, is the low estimate he makes of the labours of his predecessors. For instance, in the introduction to Psalm xxviii., he says:
"The critics in this, as in many other instances, amuse themselves, and bewilder their readers, by conjectures, built on a very feeble support, which seems to favour this or the other hypothesis, which they think good to patronise; but they are often farfetched, and of the most precarious kind. It is satisfactory to know, that nothing of importance depends on our discovery of the circumstances alluded to, much less on the criticisms that have been made.
Suppose we even admit the truth of his dictum in this case—which we are by no means inclined to do—our objection remains in full force, on account of oftrepeated and similar sentiments, scattered through, perhaps, one-third of the pages of the whole book. In fact, the fault-for such we must call it, and even that is a lenient epithet--is a most obtrusive one, and is, besides, most unbecoming. With all his critical acumen, a very small thing suffices effectually to puzzle him. He wonders, for instance, that such a title should be prefixed to Psalm xxx. as "A Song at the Dedication of a House," as it stands in the English Bible; seeing that "there is nothing in the psalm that is appropriate" thereto. And yet, perchance, there is but small reason for this bewilderment. He himsays that "it is perfectly clear, from the psalm itself, that it was written to
celebrate a deliverance from some very painful and dangerous circumstances, with which David had been favoured.' Doubtless; such circumstances, indeed, as rendered it highly improbable, as far as man could foresee, that he should ever behold the dedication of the house al·
luded to. The song in question was not the dedication but merely song, song," written or sung, "at the dedication of a house;" and, therefore, there was no need that, in this one, there should be any special reference to the building. The object is sufficiently specified in the opening verse:-" I will extol Thee, O Jehovah! for Thou hast lifted me up, and hast not suffered my foes to rejoice over me.'
He, however, not merely finds difficulties, but makes them. Speaking of the peculiar alphabetical arrangement of Psalm cxix., he says:
"This is an ingenious artifice, and was of great help to the memory of those who were desirous of a thorough remembrance of the psalm; but which it would be difficult, if not impracticable, to imitate in a version into any other language."
Now, if the alphabetical arrangement in the Hebrew was a help to the Jews, the alphabetical arrangement in English would be equally a help to Christians. That it is a psalm highly valued by the latter, and that many of them would gladly possess "a thorough remembrance" of it, is sufficiently clear from the many beautiful treatises written thereon. Need we, indeed, specify any other than the admirable one by the Rev. C. Bridges; whose praise therefrom may truly be said to be in all the churches? Well, then, the whole thing turns on the impracticability of an English alphabetical arrangement. Here we rather think Mr. Walford contends with a man of straw. The Lamentations of Jeremiah are equally, if not still more, peculiar, in their alphabetical arrangement. This inimitable poem isdivided into five distinct portions, each containing a complete elegy, consisting of twenty-two stanzas, according to the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet; although it is in the first four elegies only that the several stanzas begin, after the manner of an acrostic, with the different letters following each other in alphabetical order. In the first two elegies, each verse, or stanza, forms a triplet, except
Alas! the city sits alone!-The once
the seventh verse of the first, and the nineteenth of the second, which have each a supernumerary line. In the third elegy, each stanza consists of three lines, which have all the same initial letter, so that the whole alphabet is thrice repeated. The fourth elegy resembles the three former in metre, but the stanzas are only couplets; and, in the fifth elegy, which is not arranged according to the initial letter, the stanzas are also couplets, but of a considerably shorter metre. Now, here is sufficient of the difficult to imitate, and more varied in the difficulty than in the 119th psalm; and yet we have before us now, while writing, a version in English, imitating the Hebrew exactly, in all the various particulars just mentioned. That there may be no mistake about it, we will quote a few stanzas from this unpublished poem, beginning with the open-literature. Not to mention others, the ing of the first elegyRev. G. H. Stoddart, in his admirable in-volume on the psalms, has most ably, though too briefly, supplied that which is here omitted. We refer the reader to chapter 13, at page 93, of Mr. Stoddart's volume. He will see at once how profitably any competent writer might carry out the subject. To this little work, as already hinted, Mr. Walford makes not the slightest reference.
A sin of omission also demands a slight rebuke; and that is, the absence of any particular or explanatory remarks on parallelism. If his object were to make the Psalms really clear and lucid, this is, doubtless, a part of his subject which should have received marked attention. More than this: our author appears to be remarkably ignorant—as we shall have further occasion to notice-of the best productions in the same walk of
A widow she, who erst amongst the nations
was the bead!
The princess 'mongst the provinces ;-now tributary led.
But let us pass to the conclusion of the third, and most difficult, elegy, in which the initial letter is thrice repeated. Redeemer of my life! who for my soul dost alway plead, Reprove all those who did me wrong, and to my cause give heed; Regarding, Thou their vengeance saw'st, each evil thought and deed.
psalm, according to the method of the
Behold, she weepeth in the night; her
tears bedew each cheek!
To none of all her lovers can she now for
comfort seek ;
There are also some psalms of a dra
she was weak."
Treacherous, they her enemies became when matic character, the full meaning and beautyof which can only be comprehended in considering them in that light. Psalm xx. is a remarkable instance; but we challenge any reader to discover that fact from the introduction prefixed to it in the volume before us.
Shame and reproach they heaped on me,
We wish we might have stopped here. But there is another, and a very grave charge to make against the writer of this "new translation." Mark! "A new translation." Its novelty we will not deny, though, strange as it may seem, we do deny its originality. We cannot suppose our readers to be ignorant that, in the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, there is a version of the Psalms different from that in the English Bible. Still less can we suppose Mr. Walford to be ignorant of this fact. In any case, a charge of disingenuousness, or of ignorance, must lie at his door; for, unless we are most monstrously mistaken, there is not once the slightest mention made of this Prayer
That recompense they merit, Lord, O render unto them;
They curse pour out, as Thou erewhile
Thrust them in wrath away from Thee; de-
ranged part of this "impracticable" | Book translation. Involuntarily we ask
ourselves, can it be that the author's dissent gets the better of his judgment? And does he refuse to mention the version in question, because it would oblige him to speak a word in favour of something that belongs to the Church of England? Take the following as an instance. The first quotation is the Bible translation of Psalm xxxvii. 36; the second, the Prayer Book the third, Mr. Walford's :
1. "Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be
2. "I went by, and lo, he was gone: sought him, but his place could no where be found."
3. I passed by, and lo! he was not:
Reverting, therefore, to our opening passage, we think we have fairly established our position, that whatever praise we may be inclined to bestow on this production, it must inevitably be accompanied with very considerable draw
To this verse is appended the follow-backs and modifications. And here, for ing note :present. we dismiss the subject.
English translation, has he passed away,' agreeably to the present reading of the Hebrew text; but the Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, and Jerome, read the verb in the first person, which is more in consistency with the form of the sentence."
And yet this same mode of translation has been in use long before the author was born, while, nevertheless, by the note just quoted, it would seem he had made the notable discovery in question. Well did we say that a charge of disingenuousness or of ignorance-but surely scarcely the latter must lie at his
Nor is this by any means a solitary instance. One more, and only one, can we adduce here. We shall follow the same order with the three versions of Psalm
1. "When Thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, Thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity.'
And then follows this note;
"The English Bible has Thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth,' But this gives no correct or suitable sense. The design is to state, not that the moth is consumed, but that it is a consumer and spoiler of garments."
2. "When Thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin, Thou makest his beauty to consume away, like as it were a moth fretting a garment: every man, therefore, is but vanity."
L. and G. Seeley Fleet Street. THE name of Bickersteth will be ever dear to the Church of Christ, so long as active piety, and zeal for the spiritual welfare of man, distinguish the followers of the Redeemer. The esteemed minister, whose little work heads this article, is, we believe, brother of the Rev. E. Bickersteth, author of the" Christian Student," and other valuable treatises. The late Vicar of Acton has published this parting memorial for the benefit of the flock, on which, he states, "his first ministerial thoughts were bestowed, and for which his first pastoral prayers were offered; and which, even in his last thoughts and prayers, cannot be forgotten; and with an assurance, also, that their spiritual interest will not be neglected under the care of their new pastor." In every page we discover that earnest desire, and
3. "With rebukes Thou chastenest man for iniquity;
Then Thou destroyest his goodliness, as a anxious solicitude, which should ever
distinguish the faithful servant of Christ. The Seven Annual Addresses, which ac
We shall not argue the question here, whether the Bible version "gives no correct or suitable sense," or not; sufficient for our purpose to show that Mr. Walford's "new translation," has existed for a few years, at least, before his present volume made its appearance in public.
moth destroyeth a garment. Truly every man is vanity.
A FAREWELL TO ACTON, CONSISTING OF PASTORAL ADDRESSES TO THE Flock, written at the Commencement of each of the Seven Closing Years of the Author's Ministry in that Parish, together with two Concluding Sermons, preached on Sunday, April 2, 1837. By the Rev. JOHN BICKERSTETH, M.A. now Rector of Sapcote, Leicestershire. pp. 120, 18mo.
The press in our day is an engine of vast power, and urges on in every direction the streams of life and the waters of death; mistake not the last for the first, and, above all, forsake not the first for the last. Newspapers are multiplying everywhere; and, unhappily, the most baneful are, in an evil world, the most attractive, and the most widely dispersed. Beware, my Christian friends, of Sunday newspapers; and, as you love your souls, of devoting any portion of your Sundays to newspaper reading. I have seen enough to justify, at this time, the caution, and even to require it. It is quite impossible for you at once to relish that sort of reading, and to observe the appropriate duties of the Sabbath. Not only watch, but pray that ye enter not in temptation press on towards the mark-be as those who wait for the coming of the Lord. Years, as they glide by, leave you nearer eternity, and shorten the term of your conflict. The dark night of suffering to the children of God is near its close: bright eternal day begins to dawn. Cast off the work of darkness; and, invested with the armour of light, walk as children of the day."
In these sentiments we entirely conWe sincerely trust that the future labours of Mr. Bickersteth will be eminently blessed by the Great Head of the Church.
SERMONS TO YOUNG PEOPLE. By the late Rev. SAMUEL LAVINGTON, of Bideford, Devonshire. 18mo. pp. 304.
better express his gratitude to God for it, than by ordering, that, on the 26th of November in every year, there should be a sermon to young people. In the annals of this church, the 26th of November will henceforth stand conspicuous. The sermons are seventeen in number, and contain some powerful exhortations and practical directions for the guidance of young persons, by whom, we hope, it will be favourably received.
Religions Tract Society.
In the first Sermon of this volume, the author has informed us of the history of their delivery. In addressing his young friends, he says, "Providence has set up a lecture on purpose for you. It is the late Captain Young's legacy to you in his will. It is probable he had received some signal mercy on this day; but whether it was a recovery from some dangerous sickness, or any remarkable preservation at sea, no one can tell; but, whatever it was, he thought he could not
THE TRAVELLER: or, a Description of Various Wonders in Nature and Art. 18mo. pp. 185.
Religious Tract Society. "The works of the Lord are great," says the Psalmist, "sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." To assist the young mind in this pleasing employment is the object of the writer of this little work, who has not travelled this wonderful world in vain; but has here collected a mass of interesting matter, which is adapted alike to edify and delight the admirers of the works of the Almighty,
"With all the gifts that heaven and earth impart,
The smiles of nature, and the charms of art."
BENEFIT OF SCRIPTURAL INSTRUCTION ILLUSTRATED, IN THE CASE OF BELOVED SONS. By the Rev. MATTHEW MORRIS PRESTON, M A., Vicar of Cheshunt. 12mo. pp. 48,
W. Crofts, 19, Chancery Lane. This is a touching memorial of the two promising sons of the excellent Vicar of Cheshunt, who died at the ages of thirteen and seventeen; and so far as it illustrates and enforces the superior advantages of an early scriptural education,
be instructively perused by parents, and may also be read with spiritual advantage by the young. We learn from the biographical sketch of these two pious youths, the blessed effects of children being thoroughly grounded in the principles of the Word of God. And on this account we think it peculiarly seasonable at the present time-when the popular advocates of national education, are found questioning the propriety of admitting the whole Bible into the schools of the poor. Mr. Preston, we are glad to find, urges upon his readers, the important duty of an early
inculcation of scriptural truths on the rising generation. He says:
"The substitution of "intellectual," as they call it, for scriptural" instruction, which some philosophers (falsely so called) would recommend as a cure for the degraded and immoral state of a large portion of our population, would only show, more and more clearly, what has been sufficiently made manifest-how utterly powerless is every thing but religious principle, derived from the Scriptures, directly or indirectly (and the more directly the better), to restrain the violence of the passions, and to correct the propensities of the heart of man,"
On the subject of the mode of imparting Scriptural knowledge to children, we find some valuable remarks.
"With respect to the manner of teaching, let me add, that none need be discouraged by their sense of inability or inaptitude for the task. Let it be undertaken in obedience to the command of God, and in dependence upon, and earnest prayer for, the accompanying influences of the Spirit of God; and I will venture to predict, that the ability will increase with the effort, and that in many cases-yea, I might say in all-God will perfect His strength in our weakness. That the means employed by myself, and by those to whom I am indebted for a more than equal participation in what has been done in the present and other cases, have been felt by us to be utterly inadequate to the effect produced, 1 am bound to declare, to the praise of the glory of the grace of God."
Hebrew Lyrics: Select Poems on Old Tes tament Subjects. 48mo. (Tract Society.)-Well adapted to assist the spiritual Israel in singing the Songs of Zion in a strange land.
The Book of Common Prayer, with Explanatory Notes. By a Member of the Church of England. 24mo. (Weston, Finsbury.)-The History of Liturparticularly interesting to the general reader; whilst gical Worship prefixed to this Edition, will be found the ecclesiastical antiquarian will find in the Notes,
a vast quantity of diligent research and curious illustration. It also contains the service used at the consecration of churches. We commend it to the notice
and to all admirers of our excellent liturgy.
Of the capability of very young children of the younger members of the Established Church, to apprehend, so as to apply to their own case, the fundamental principles of our holy religion-and of the correctness of judgment, and the enlargement and elevation of mind and feeling thence frequently resulting-I speak with confidence-the doctrines of the atonement for sin, and of the necessity of the influence of the Holy Spirit, may not be systematically expressed or understood by a child, who yet will show that he understands them practically, by beseeching God to forgive him his sins for the sake of what Jesus Christ has done and suffered for him; and by praying that the Spirit of God may create in him a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within him. Do not think that a child, who is taught that Jesus Christ died to procure for him, and for others, the forgiveness of sins, will thereby learn to think lightly of sin.Trust God, I beseech you, for the moral tendency of that precious truth, in your child's case, as well as in your own. Nothing will produce genuine sorrow for sin, and a real hatred of it, but a hope of free forgiveness; and there is only one way of obtaining it for him and for you, through the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanseth from all sin.'
We not only recommend this little volume to the instructors of youth; but also to bereaved parents, who are mourning for their little ones "because they
The Tract Society Penny Almanack, for 1838.Useful for both worlds.
Select Psalms and Hymns, suitable both for Public and Private use. Consisting of Five Hundred Psalms and Hymns. 32mo. (J. Davis, 56, Paternoster Row).-Excellent in their matter, and beautiful in their composition; and will be found highly useful in village congregations.
Scripture Chains. (Tract Society).-Reader ! send for these precious gems, they shall be "an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck."
The Churches of London. No. XII. Containing Mary's, Aldermanbury. (C. Tilt).-To the lovers of Three Views of St. Dunstan's in the East, and St. all that is noble in art and sublime in religion, we recommend the purchase of this series.
Le Keur's Memorials of Cambridge. A Series of Views of the Colleges, Halls, Churches, and other Public Buildings, of the University and Town of Cambridge. No. II. (Tilt).-The complete success which has attended the publication of the Memorials to commence a similar undertaking in illustration of of Oxford, has encouraged the enterprising proprietor the sister university. The present number contains two views of Trinity College, one from the south-east angle of the cloisters; and the other from St. John's College, Old Bridge; and one of Nevile's Gate. The work is edited by the Rev. Thomas Wright, of Trinity College, Cambridge, whose descriptive matter displays great research, and an extensive knowledge of the history of his Alma Mater, The pencil, the burin, and the pen, deserve praise.
Pietas Victoriosa: A Manual of Private Devotion, consisting of Prayers and Meditations, chiefly 32mo. (Weston, Finsbury). The great fault of too Selected from Divines of the Church of England. many of these helps to devotion, is their defectiveness of a sound theology, especially on the all important toriosa, however, we are enabled to commend to our doctrine of justification by faith. The Pietas Vicyoung Christians as strictly evangelical in doctrine, and felicitous in language.
A New Pocket Edition of the Companion to the Altar, with suitable Prayers and Hymns. 32m. (Weston).-Well adapted to prepare for, and to accompany the trembling believer in celebrating the blessed Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in a devout and intelligent manner.
Plain Tracts for Critical Times; intended to illustrate generally the True Doctrine of Scripture, the Christian Fathers, and the Established Church, on the Important Subject of Baptismal Regeneration, &c., with an Especial Reference to the Oxford Tracts. By a Union of Clergymen. No. I. Regeneration according to the Scripture and the in a future number to furnish a more extended notice Church of England. (Smith and Elder).-We intend of the important and intricate subject discussed in the Anglican Church, owing to the recent publicathese tracts, a subject which is likely again to agitate tions of Mr. Newman and Dr. Pusey, and in the handling of which many great and good men have been found to differ. The tracts on Baptism and Re
generation are expected to extend to seven or eight the size of the present one, which consists of thirtysix closely printed pages.