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buted in the course of a journey are powerfully moulded by the from Lyons to Paris! It is manifest, broad separations that stare him in therefore, that it is most unreason the face, from every page. He able to attach any weight to these grows up, without suspicion that a divisions in determining the sense method of disjoining the text, so of scripture, and that, if they do at universal and uncontradicted, can all interfere with the right under- be without authority. The prejustanding of the word of God, we dice of education and habit becomes should not hesitate a moment to ba more and more deeply confirmed. nish them from the text. They Thus a large proportion live and have sprung from the judgment of die, without ever knowing that they mere man; a judgment, too, most have fallen into error on this point
. superficially formed, if respect be Others more fully instructed, are had to the true sense of scripture. admonished to study the Scriptures For it is evident that the learned without regard to the arbitrary dimen who devised them, did not visions of verse and chapter. But contemplate a critical arrangement it is no easy matter to overcome at all; they looked only to the con the long established prepossessions venience which they might furnish of the mind, and resolutely resist for ready reference to any part of their influence, while their occasion the inspired volume, and probably is still constantly displayed to its never dreamed of the tyranny they view. So that mere knowledge on were about to exercise over readers this subject cannot secure freedom of the Bible, in every language from the common error. Hundreds since.
who know well enough the true Tyranny, however, they have ex- state of the case, are yet fettered erted, of the most unhappy kind., in reading the New Testament, by The sacred writings have been un the interruptions of Cardinal Hugo naturally broken by their chapters and Robert Stevens. Any person and verses, as if their meaning de- who has seriously attempted to lose manded such a distribution; and it sight of them in studying the word
, is not too much to say that they can testify that it requires more have done more to binder the than common effort to succeed. intelligent reading of the Bible, Few, even of those who can read than all the commentaries and the original, and who make an atexplanations ever written, have ef. tempt to study it in a critical manfected on the other side--because ner, ever become thoroughly the evil has been universal, met by cipated from the thraldom of their every reader of Scripture, while early prejudice, so as to read the that which might remedy its influ- Scriptures as independently as if ence can be only very partially en they had never heard of chapters joyed. A child begins to read the and verses; they oftentimes exert Bible before he understands its a silent influence over the most meaning. He finds it regularly laid wary. off into chapters and verses, and It is notorious to all who have naturally conceives these to belong attended to the subject, that the as really to the book, as any thing common divisions of the New Teselse he finds in it. At length, he tament do not correspond in any begins to have some notion of some manner with the sense of what is thing designed to be communicated written, so as to be safely relied and understood, in the words of upon in reading. In the epistles Scripture. Still the common order especially, they often interfere diof dividing them is considered sa- rectly with it, so that the person cred and necessary, and his earlic who attends to them at all, must est conceptions of their meaning fail altogether in understanding the
argument of the sacred writer. arise only from an unauthorized For example, in the epistle to the mutilation of the inspired writings, Colossians, every chapter, except and urge people to read scripture the first, begins so as to do vio- without regard to its established lence to the natural order of sense; divisions, wbile those divisions and how often is the same sentence might just as well not appear on its broken up into several distinct iso- pages at all? Surely it is unneceslated paragraphs, by the interven- sary to retain difficulty, where there tion of verses! True, the verses is so easy a method of deliverance are differently pointed with com- from it. But is there not something mas, semicolons, &c. so as to di more serious still, in adhering to the rect to the proper connexion; but prevalent system? Is it not an unhow rarely do the mass of readers warrantable license taken with the notice these marks. The division word of God, to mangle its text of verse from verse is the most pro- into so many arbitrary portions, and minent, and in its appearance it present it so to the world? And if gives to every separated clause, beso, is it not duty to relinquish at it whole or be it part of a sentence, once the common form of publishthe same independent importance. ing it, and in all future editions to Accordingly we hear people gene- thrust the notation of chapters and rally reading the scriptures as if verses into the margin: 'Is it not every verse terminated with a ge- an admitted fact, that the generality nuine and lawful period; and when of people are, in some degree, hinthey come to the end of a chapter, dered from the most useful and instop as naturally and as contentedly structive mode of reading the scripas if they had really come to the tures, by undue though natural reconclusion of the whole matter. gard to the standing order of diviThe common method too of reading sion? If so, it must surely be the scriptures from the pulpit, does wrong to continue the stumbling not contribute to remedy the last block; it is an unjustifiable invaerror ; why should ministers in this sion of sacred ground, by an unneexercise, be regulated by the arbi- cessary device of man; God cannot trary boundaries of common usage, approve it. As we have no right to and not rather measure what they add to or take away from the record read, by the sense of the Holy of revealed truth, so neither have Spirit?
we right to arrange its matter in Is it go then? Is it true that the any other form than such as may common order of chapters and best serve to the understanding of verses, is almost universally regard- its true meaning, according to the ed more or less with deference, as ordinary modes of arranging writan index to the meaning of scrip- ten discourse, among any people at ture? And is it true at the same any particular period. time that it is altogether unsafe to Might it not be well for the Bible be relied upon, in this respect? Society* to consider this subject? Why then should it be suffered to The apocryphal writings so often continue in the midst of the text? found in volumes of the Old TestaThere is no advantage of any kind ment, they rightly exclude from the gained by retaining it there; for copies which they publish, as huparposes of reference—the only man productions; is it not a mere purposes it was intended for—it human invention to mutilate every may just as well stand out along the margin. Why should it remain • We think there are obvious reasons continually necessary necessary for the why the Bible Societies should not act in
this matter, till the changes shall have preacher and commentator to cor
been previously made and sanctioned by rect erroneous impressions, that the competent authorities.-EDITOR.
page of the heavenly volume with with no new title to his sections, breaks and interruptions, which and no notice of the contents of the have little or no regard to sense? chapters, as given in the common Would not that volume be more version. This plan we like the best easily understood and more satis- of all. We think the matter of the factorily read, without the accom- sacred writers ought to be divided paniment of this human invention into sections, where the sense obIs there any necessity whatever to viously requires it-Indeed a neretain the invention, in a single glect of this would, in some cases, copy of so holy a book?
be almost as injurious to the sense, N. Q. as is the other extreme of breaking
up the whole into verses. But furEditorial Remarks.
ther than this, human ingenuity and
skill ought not, in our judgment, to We have not seen the work of be employed, except in commentaMr. Nourse, to which reference is ries, either in giving contents of made by our correspondent in the chapters or titles of sections. foregoing remarks. But from the The retention, in the margin, of auspices under which we know it the chapters and verses as they apwas published, we doubt not that it pear in our common Bibles, is, we has been well executed, so far as admit, important. All our con the editor was concerned. The cordances are formed with a refe. plan of publishing the Holy Scrip- rence to these divisions. It was for tures without breaking them up into the sake of reference, in forming chapters and verses has, and has concordances, that these arbitrary long had, our entire approbation; divisions were first introduced; and and we do not think our corres
we verily believe that they would pondent has said a word too much have long since been expelled from in its favour. The New Testament the sacred volume, if the aid they has been frequently published in afford for easy reference had not Greek, on the plan which he advo kept them where they are. But this cates. In the French translation of aid may certainly be as fully secured Beausobre and Lenfant, the divi- by placing then distinctly in the sion into chapters is preserved; but margin, as by introducing them into the verses are inserted, in small the text, and breaking it up, as is figures, in the text, without break- often done, most absurdly and we ing the continuity of the composi- had almost said wickedly. In the tion, till the end of a section. In prophetick scriptures, we think the Campbell's translation of the Gos error and absurdity of the usual dipels, the whole is divided by the vision into chapters and verses, translator into new sections; and a the greatest of all. Prophecies totitle of his own is prefixed to each tally distinct, relating to entirely -with a notation of the chapters of different subjects, and delivered at the common version at the top of intervals of several years from each the page, and of the verses in the other, are sometimes commenced in margin. Our countryman Charles the middle of one chapter, and endThomson has printed his version of ed in the middle of another. It is the whole scriptures from the Greek, probable that Isaiah exercised his by dividing the matter of the sacred prophetick office for at least fifty writer into sections, according to years, and delivered prophecies, rehis views of propriety, and pre- lative to a variety of subjects
, serving a notation of the chapters through this whole period. These of the vulgar version, both at the prophecies are all collected in the top and margin of each page, and
of book which bears his name; and in the verses in the margin only; but the Bibles which are commonly
read, they are completely confound- suspicion of suppressing any thing ed and intermixed. Suppose a mi- which the author might wish to nister of the gospel, who has been a communicate to the publick. preacher for fifty years, should now Were it not for this, we certainly print the sermons which he has should withhold several laudatory preached, on a variety of subjects expressions, which, however sin and occasions, in the whole course cerely uttered, we are unaffectedly of his ministry, without any inti- sensible give us credit for far more mation where one discourse ends than is our due. and another begins-and the whole likewise broken up into chapters To the Editor of the Christian Advocate. and verses, and one ending and Rev. and Dear Sir,-Having seen another beginning in the middle in the last number of the Advocate, of a chapter-Who sees not the a “ Review of Publications relative infinite absurdity of such a pro- to Incest,” and among them of one cedure? Yet this is the very ab- by Clericus, the notice which you surdity of which we complain, in have been pleased to take of the regard to the breaking up of the latter, though there be not between prophecies, and some other parts of us a perfect coincidence in sentithe sacred scriptures, in the most ment on the subject of the controarbitrary manner; often without the versy, is, I confess, gratifying. I least regard to the sense and scope did not expect that my little pamof the sacred writer. The evil, we phlet would attract the attention of admit, is in some measure abated one so deservedly eminent as a by the circumstance, that almost scholar and divine. Duty to my. every sentence of inspiration con- self, however, seems to require that tains a weighty truth by itself; and I should correct some things in the the unlearned reader is of course notice referred to, and your own instructed and edified, although he sense of justice will prompt you, I sees not the connexion; and thus trust, to give the correction a place the Bible conveys to him a saving in your interesting and valuable benefit, under all the disadvantages work. with which he reads it. But is it “ The subject is one which has" not desirable that these disadvan- for me “no attractions:" I have tages should be removed? Is it not been drawn very unexpectedly into notorious, that not only the beauty the discussion; but without detailand force of a passage is often lost, ing the circumstances which inbut its real meaning mistaken or duced me to write, I will only obperverted, by_not observing the serve that I had no other design in connexion ? But we have said that letter than simply to expose enough. We recommend Mr. the inconsistency of Domesticus. Nourse's New Testament to the It was deemed unnecessary to empatronage of our readers; and ear
ploy argument to refute a pamphlet nestly wish to see the whole Bible which contained no argument, and published in the same manner. I am not aware that I made any
direct and unqualified concession as to the scriptural authority appli
cable to unlawful marriages as you LETTER FROM CLERICUS TO THE intimate I have done, pages 177
EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN ADVO- and 179, and on the ground of CATE.
which you indirectly charge me We publish the following letter with inconsistency. Granting, for as we received it, without the addi- the sake of accomplishing my purtion or alteration of a single word pose, some of the principles of DoWe do so, that we may avoid all mesticus and of those who usually
Vol. V, -Ch. Adv.
take his side of the question, I clare, without subjecting myself to wanted to show that his main argu- the charge of pretending to new ment is in perfect collision with light, that in my opinion, with all those principles. I pretended to their learning, and with all their no new light, unless to be so bold acumen, they have failed to prove as to question the infallibility of a conclusively the unlawfulness of synodical enactment might be so this particular connexion. I admit represented. Religiqus persecu- that the point had been discussed tion, and the punishment of witch an hundred times before I was craft once consideredd lawful, the born, by men of gigantic intellects world all over, but now reprobated, and great learning - Does this fact
, were adverted to-for what pur. however, preclude a renewal of the kid pose? Evidently, if the connexion discussion ? Or must arrogance be observed, to destroy the position and conceit, by implication or in 2 which Domesticus had laid down. plain language, be imputed to those “What,” you ask, "have religious who would endeavour to find out persecution and witchcraft to do for themselves the will of God on hd with the question, if there is no si- the subject? I admit too what milarity between them and the case you have so ably stated, that many in hand?” But if they had nothing great and good men in every age 24 to do with the case in hand, as you have reprobated the connexion; but
, asa suppose, they certainly had soine- sir, it is not the amount of human thing to do with expediency, his authority, let it be ever so great
, great principle, and proved it to be that can determine its impropriets kino utterly untenable as the ground of and when theologians and politian ecclesiastical enactment. The cians are exhibited in formidable drift of my letter, therefore, I con- array in support of the prohibition, clude, has not been exactly appre- and their opinions so largely and hended; or after reading Veritas and prominently set forth, I cannot help myself, you have so blended us to- thinking that the lack of better augether, as not to have a distinct re. thority than that of fallible men is collection of the nature of our re- deeply felt. Allow me very respective replies. Veritas, if my spectfully to say that the argument, la memory serves me right, does not if it may be called one, is about as mention religious persecution and conclusive with me on this question, witchcraft; yet, we are both repre as the same argument in the mouth sented as urging them against the of a papist is, in reference to the statute in question: and it is not protestant faith. Veritas, but Clericus that enjoys a I make no boast of learning, theolaugh at the expense of Domesticus. logical knowledge and biblical cri
You say, sir, “ that you know not ticism : all I claim is a little plain why C.and V. bave noi condescend- sense, and a sincere desire to know ed so much as to mention the work what God requires or forbids, and of Dr. Livingston.” For myself, I the right of judging for myself when answer, that I did not think the
a point is clearly established as a prosecution of my design, which part of the Divine will. was to consider the argument of The assertion of a great man Domesticus, and not to discuss the can and do respect; but you, Sir
, merits of the question, called for a would not have me to submit my reference to that work or any other. conscience to its authority, until I I have read the work of that learned should be satisfied of its correct. and excellent man: I have read the dissertation of Dr. Mason and other
" No fair reasoner,” says Dr. able pieces on the same subject; Mason, “ will assume his facts, and but may I not be permitted to de- put his opponent to the proof of a