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having found the principles and rules of sacred criticism so precisely laid down, and marked out for my observance ; and from having seen them so judiciously applied and reduced to practice. With my acknowledgments on this score, I ought perhaps to offer an apology to his Lordship for the freedom of my comments on some few of his particular criticisms. But as I am sure he will readily acquit me of any disrespectful motive; so I am persuaded he would look upon it as an undue and undesirable act of complaisance, were I in deference to his authority induced to suppress, what appeared to me, at least with some shew of reason, to place any passage of Holy Scripture in a elearer or better point of view.
As concerning the present defective state of the Hebrew Text, the various kinds of mistakes that have found their way into it, and the ordinary sources of its corruption; the probability of rectifying many of those mistakes by the help of ancient Versions and Manuscripts; the history of those Versions, and their absolute or comparative value; the number of Manuscripts which have been lately collated, and the antiquity, character, and authority of them respectively; all these points have been so thoroughly examined, and represented with so much learning, skill, and precision, in the before-mentioned Preliminary Dissertation of the Bishop of London, and in Dr Kennicotfs General Dissertation prefixed to his Edition of the Hebrew Bible with the Collations, that I have nothing new to offer concerning them. The Reader, who is desirous of entering into these matters with a clear and comprehensive view, cannot do better than
consult consult those Authors in the places referred to. He will thence be enabled to form just and reasonable expectations of what may be done by a proper use of the means above specified; and to judge, whether they have been duly and advantageously applied in the present performance towards restoring the text of Jeremiah. But he will also perceive, what he will undoubtedly find cause to lament, that cases after all will sometimes happen beyond the reach of any such assistance; mistakes of so early a date, as to be prior to any Version or MS, cither now known, or hereafter likely to fall into our hands. On those occasions, we can have no resource but in conjectural criticism; a ground which requires to be trod with the nicest circumspection, lest haply we should be led astray into the wild rovings of a luxuriant fancy. But in cases otherwise desperate, there is no reason why a remedy of this kind should not be tried, provided only that it be administered with all the prudence and caution that is requisite. On the contrary I am persuaded, that we shall sometimes find instances of conjectural emendations so judiciously made, and so well supported by indirect at least and circumstantial evidence, as to work a conviction of their truth not inferior to that, which would arise from their having been found in Copies of the best note and most approved authority.
In discharging the office of a Translator I have not only endeavoured faithfully to represent the general sense of the original, but also to express each word and phrase by a corresponding one, as far as the genius of the two languages would admit; and where
necessity necessity obliged me to vary a phrase, I have usually subjoined in a Note the literal rendering, in order to shew the equivalence of that which was substituted in its stead. At the same time, hoping by all these means to bring the Reader to a better acquaintance with the Author's manner, I have been no less attentive to imitate, as far as possible, the structure and conformation of the sentences, more especially in the poetical parts of the book, where so much seems to depend upon it. But in the metrical division of the lines or verses, I fear I cannot always claim the merit of being exactly right. In some instances the case is clear, and capable of being ascertained with the greatest precision; as in the Acrostic or Alphabetical Poems, and wherever there is a plain and evident parallelism in the construction of the sentences. But where there is neither Acrostic nor Parallelism, there may be, and assuredly often is, Versification, if we may credit the similarity of diction, and other marks of discrimination. Nor can we have the least doubt but that this versification consisted in a Rhythm, formed by a determinate number of duly proportioned syllables, proceeding in a regular order, so as to strike the ear with a harmonious cadence. But as the genuine pronunciation of the Hebrew language has been long ago irretrieveably lost, even so far as to leave nothing certain as to the number of syllables ii\ a word, much less as to their quantity or accent, this harmony of cadence of course is to us no more, nor can be of the least assistance in pointing out the, just measure of the verse. In those cases therefore, where neither the initial letter, nor the constructive form or
sense sense of the passage afforded any more probable means of distinguishing, I have adopted an appeal to the eye, instead of to the ear, upon the following principle of analogy. Having remarked a certain determinate medium in the length of those verses, whose measure was capable of being ascertained, with a variation of seldom more than a syllable or two either in excess or defect, I have divided the rest according to the like proportion, confining the variation also, with a due respect to circumstances, within the same limits. A method, it must be owned, sufficiently inaccurate and precarious, and admitted only because there appeared little chance of a better. It is therefore notified that no one may be drawn in to lay a greater stress upon it than it deserves.
Having by a distance of residence been precluded a ready intercourse with some friends, whose learning and judgment might have stood me in good stead, I have fewer acknowledgments to make, than I could wish, for assistance lent me on this occasion. Upon the death of my truly amiable and greatly respected1 friend, Dr. David Durell, late Principal of HertfordCollege in Oxford, his papers, containing his manuscript remarks on the Prophets, were by the favour of his Brother, Thomas Durell, Esq. of the island of Jersey, left in my hands. They are rough materials, which he had laid in for the carrying on of a work, designed to be a Continuation of the Critical Remarks already published by him on those parts of Holy Scripture, called the Haoiocrapha ; and abound with that erudition, good sense, candour and piety, for which the Author in his lifetime was so eminent
>y ly distinguished. But a long and severe illness, which followed immediately after his last publication, and terminated at length in his death, incapacitated him for any further literary attempt. Out of these remarks, I have selected such as fell within the compass of my design, and seemed most satisfactory to me; and have faithfully subjoined his name to every one of them. Others there undoubtedly are, which would have done no discredit to the Author's ineenuity; but as I am morally sure they would not have passed his second review, without undergoing some material alteration from him, I could not think myself justified in bringing them before the public in their present indigested and imperfect state.
To the Reverend Mr. Woide, one of the principal Librarians of the British Museum, and of the most respectable character for his profound literature, I am under great obligations for having had the goodness to collate for me, through the Book of Jeremiah, the Manuscript Copy of the Prophets of the version of the LXX, now in the British Museum, marked i Bir. and often quoted by the title of MS. Pachom. on account of its having belonged to Pachomius, a Patriarch of Constantinople in the beginning of the sixteenth Century. This Manuscript having been pointed out and much recommended in the Bishop of London's Preliminary Dissertation, I was very desirous of applying it to my own use; and therefore, by the intervention of a common friend, took the liberty of requesting the assistance of Mr. Woide, as I was not in a situation to collate it myself. To his honour let it be known, he not only hearkened to my