Imatges de pàgina


meet him. Now Jephthah surely could not but know that the law made a difference between clean beasts and unclean. What then could he expect to come out of his house to meet him? Sheep, and bullocks, and all beafts fit to be offered in facrifice, are usually inclosed in pastures, or shut up in folds and stalls, and could not be expected to come out to meet hiin. A dog is the most likely of any brute animal to come forth to meet him : but a dog was an unclean animal, and could not be offered up for a burnt-offering. And therefore some have contended, and not without great shew of reason, that the words are to be understood of an human creature, and should be rendered—Whosoever cometh forth of the doors of my house, &c. --and so both the Septuagint and Vulgate translation render it. And this makes Jephthah purposely and designedly to vow an human sacrifice. But this was not only an abomination, which God hated, and would not accept, and a thing which no man could vow who had any fense of humanity or justice, but it was what was not in his power to perform. Parents among the Jews had no power over the lives of their children. They could not punish with death even a stubborn and rebellious fon, without firit applying to the magistrates ; much less could they devote an innocent and dutiful child to death. Nor can I find that they had any power of life and death over their servants, An Hebrew ferrvant they had only a property in for six years at moft, and wėre obliged to let him go free in the seventh jear.

And a servant bought with money they might smite, and chastise, but could not put to death. Jephthah's daughter did indeed give her consent that he should do with ber according to that which had proceeded out of his mouth: but, as he could not antecedently assure himself of this, fo he could by no means expect the like compliance from any of his servants. Besides, as was before faid, he could offer no sacrifice without the concurrence of the priests, which in this case he had no reason to expect, nor power to force. So that this vow of Jephthah, as it is commonly understood, is not only a rath vow, but such a vow as we can scarce.conceive any man in his fenses capable

of making, a vow absolutely impracticable, and impossible to be performed.'.

For these and other reasons which have been occasionally alledged, several writers have endeavoured to make it appear, that the words of the vow have been usually misunderstood; that the Hebrew particle vau, v. 31, should not be rendered and, but or; that, confcquently, the passage in dispute should be translated, Wbarfcever cometh forib to meet me hall surely be the Lord's, or I will offer it up for a burnt-offering, viz. if be a subject proper to be offered.


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The learned author of this discourse proposes a different interpretation of this clause. He thinks that the pronoun 19 relates to T707i the Lord, the word immediately preceding: and then, as an ellipsis of the preposition or sign of the dative case between the verb and its suffix is not uncommon in the Hebrew phraseology, the words may be rendered, And I will offer to him (that is, to the Lord) a burnt offering. He farther obfervęs, that, if the pronoun 17 had related to the perfong or animal, who was to have come forth to meet Jephthah, and who was to have been offered up, the next word should regularly have been expressed 777'); whereas now there is nothing in the Hebrew to answer the word for in our translation.

According to this interpretation, Jephthah vowed two things to dedicate whatsoever, or whosoever, should come out of his house to meet him, and also to offer on this occasion a burntoffering to the Lord, of some clean beast, which was allowed by the law. Take the vow in this sense, and there is nothing absurd in it, nothing but what Jephthah might reasonably yow.

And this vow he religiously performed; he devoted his daughter to the service of God.

In the remaining part of this discourse the author illustrates the sequel of the history, and obviates the most material ob. jections against the opinion which he endeavours to support.

In the appendix he answers the objections of Cappeilus, who not only maintained that Jephthah sacrificed bis daughter, but justified him in so doing, allerting that by the law concerning vows, Lev. xxvii. 28, 29. parents were allowed to devote their children to deftruion; and that, when they had made fuch a vow, they were obliged to carry it into execution.

« This chapter, says Dr. Randolph, treats of vows, and the redemption of things vowed. In the case of a common vow, or neder, rendered in our translation, a singular vow, the person, or thing, vowed was allowed to be redeemed; and the rules to be observed in such redemptions are here set forth. Towards the latter end of the chapter we have the exceptions to these tules. First, the firsilings of clean beasis are noi to be at all fanctified, or made the subject of a vow. Secondly, perfons or things devoted by a ciberemi, by private persons, out of their own property, are not to be at all redeemed, but are to be unalienably the Lord's. Lastly, perfons devoted or doomed to deftruca tion by proper authority, are not to be at all redeemed, but inuft furely be put to death. Here we see the twenty-ninth verse does not come in improperly, or abruptly, but follows naturally, as another exception to the rules above delivered.' VOL. XXIII. January, 1767.


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On thefe topics the author has proposed his sentiments witti candor and moderation, and seems to have vindicated the las cred writings in a rational and satisfactory manner.

I s.

22. A new Efay on Job xix. 23—27. Wherein it is afertes

and evinced, that that famous Papage is in all appearance an Interpolation of a much later Date than the rest of the Book. In three Letters. By James Francis Barnouin, Cl. 8vo. Price

Hawes. In the scriptures and other antient writings there aré, as it is natural to imagine, many obscure and almost inexplicable paffages, which have occafioned innumerable disputes. But after one of these passages has been canvassed by a thousand writers, it has frequently happened, that some fagacious critic has engaged to prove, that all the wrangling of his predeceffors was in vain, and that the paffage in question is an interpolation.

Upon this principle Mr. Barnouin attempts to obviate all the difficulties attending the explication of thele reinarkable words, I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c.

On one side it has been observed, that Job must allude to a future state; first, because these words contain a very expressive description of death and the refurrection : secondly, because it does not appear that he had any hopes of being reestablished in his former prosperity : thirdly, because the introductory verses (23, 24) prepare us to hear something great and extraordinary: and lastly, because he immediately adds, my reins are consumed within me. q. d. “ I feel myself already decay: this body will soon be deprived of all strength ;” language that never could (pring from a firmn hope of future reestablishment,

On the other had, says this writer, after a careful perufal of this excellent book, I have not been able to discover a fingle paflage, except the place in question, from which I could reasonably conclude, that Job had any idea of a future existence. That holy man every-whére represents death as the last periud: of happiness or misery. If he had entertained any hopes of retribution in another life, it is natural to imagine that he would have made use of this consideration to console himself in his aflliction, and silence the reproaches of his friends. If we suppose that a future ítate was revealed to him at this juncture, it is surprising, that neither he nor his friends should afterwards take any notice of that important subject ; and it is particularly remarkable, that nothing of this kind is inentioned at the end of the book, where the Deity is introduced to justify the innocence and reward the patience of his servant Job,

From these observations it appears, that the words in dispute do not at all correspond with the general tenor of the book ; our author therefore concludes, thật they could not be the words of Job, and consequently must have been interpolated.

He then proceeds to fhew that they interrupt the thread of Job's discourse.

Have pity upon me, says he, have pity upon me, O my friends! for the hand of God bath touched me (even to the temoving from me all hope, as a tree which is cut down, ver. 10 ) zuby do ye' persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my fiel? After these words come those in question, and then in ver 28, all of a sudden quitting fo fine and confolatory a subject, he afresh prefers the same complaint as at ver. 22, and cries out: But ye should say, why persecute zue him, seeing the root of ihe matter is found in me? i. e. as Grotius explains it, quia caufa mea bona habet fundamenta ; or as fob himself, chap. vi. my righteoufness is in it. What connection is there between these last words and those which go immediately before ? None at all. The case is not the same with those of ver. 21, 22:

In the subsequent part of this essay Mr. Barnouin answers some objections which may be raised against his hypothesis ; and he shews, that it is no more unwarrantable to suppose, that this passage has been interpolated, than to assert the same thing of all the last chapter of Deuteronomy, and other parts of scripture, as many learned writers have not scrupled to do. But however this opinion may be received, the author deserves commendation for the hint, and the ingenuity, modefty, and candor with which it is proposed.

23. The New Oeconomy of Human Life. In three Parts. Part I.

Of the Imperfections and Folly of Man considered as a Relative and Social Being. Part II. Of the Duties of Man as a Member of the Community and an Individual.

Part III. Of the leffer Duties of Life incumbent on Man as a Dependant Creaturé. 12*10. Pr. 15.

Griffin. A celebrated piece entitled The Oeconomy of Human Life, which was published in 1750, has occasioned a number of imitations of which this is not the meanest. It is not, we must confess, distinguished by any superior excellences, such as novelty and elevation of thought; beauty, force, and dignity of expression ; but it contains many useful precepts, calculated to make the reader wiser and better, and enable him to direct his conduct in every situation of life.

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24. A Play

24. A Plan for Raising Two Hundred and Eighty-two Thousand

Pounds, for the Purpose of discharging the Debt remaining due to the Artificers of London Bridge ; Completing the Bridge at Blackfriars, and Redeeming the Toll thereon ; Embanking the North Side of the River Thames, between Paul's Wharf and Milford Lane; Repairing the Royal Exchange ; and Rebuilding the Goal of Newgate. By a Citizen of London. 410. Pr. 15. Rivington,

The public is well acquainted with the name and respectable, character of the gentleman who is the author of this plan, which he introduces by candidly recounting various late instances of public spirit in the citizens of London, and with a detail of the causes that render the raising the proposed sum neceffary. As his proposal for embanking the north side of the river Thanies between Paul's Wharf and Milford Lane is new, and his reasons for it ferve to clear up some objections that have been made to that noble erection of Black-friars bridge, which will do honour to the present age, we shall lay it before our readers.

• But there is another improvement, which the course of the river and present form of the shore between Paul's Wharf aud Milford Lane, make very desireable, if not absolutely necessary.

• The wharfs within those limits, by their diiferent and very unequal encroachments, not only form an irregular and disagreeable outline, but afford the owners of some an undue preference and advantage over others; at the same time that the reflected fett of the tides, both of ebb and flood, throws the force of the stream upon the Surry Thore, opposite to Blackfryars, and of consequence flackens the current on the London fide; this, together with the large fewers that empty themselves in the neighbourhood, cccasions a constant accumulation of fand, mud, and rubbili, which not only destroys great part of the navigation at low water, but renders the wharfs inacceffi. ble by the loaded craft even at high water, unless at springtides. The mud and filth thus accumulated in spite of the frequent expence the wharfingers are at to clear it away, when not covered with water, is extremely offensive in summer, and often dangerous to the health of the neighbouring inhabitants.

· The depth of water being by this circumstance thrown to. wards the Surry shore, so as to occasion a difference of eightyseven feet, between the miúdle of high and low water, it was found absolutely necessary to place the center arch of the new bridge, if not upon, yet near the deepest water, and consequently much nearer the Sarry than the London fhore. For, had the middle of that arch been placed exa&ly over the midde cf high water, there would, at low water, have been 162



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