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antiquatad modes of expression as moe for more, sith for since, &c., have already been corrected in our printed editions of the Bible without any authority whatsoever ; solely under the influence of what at the time predominated as the customary usage of the English language. Pilkington has given a list of such obsolete terms,* some of which, for the reason, I presume, above given, have been since altered ; I nevertheless cannot agree with him in thinking, that the uncouth and obsolete words" of the present version, were they far more numerous than they appear to be, imperiously point out the expediency of a new one, in order to give Scripture the advantage of what is stated to be improvements in our language, and to sooth the disgusted ear of modern delicacy. He observes ; “ The uncouth and obsolete words and expressions, that are met with in the English version of the Bible, are generally intelligible, and convey the ideas the writer had in view ; but as our language is very much improved in politeness and correcta ness since that version was made, it may properly be wished, that the Scrptures might receive every advantage, which the improved state of our langaage can give them; especially as the delicacy of some people's ears is pretended to be disgusted with every uncouth sound.t

Against a conformity with modern orthography and mere verbal expression who could object ? But against the propriety and expediency of a new translation for the reasons assigned by Pilkington I utterly protest.

Upon the whole then I contend, that, whatsoever may be the defects of the present version, they are in themselves unimportant? and that no sufficient cause has been made out to warrant the attempt at a new version, under the sanction of authority, on their account alone. Had a new version been undertaken, at the time it was proposed, I am persuaded, that another would have been

* Remarks, p. 115.

+ Page 114.

by this time again necessary, upon principles of a more rigid and chastised interpretation; and should a new one be even now attempted, I am convinced that it would not exceed in point of general accuracy and fidelity that which has been already executed. Were a greater elegance of composition, and superior degree of philological refinement attainable, to gratify the ear of modern taste, and to correspond with the supposed improvements of modern criticism, it may well be doubted, whether these improvements, if improvements they could be justly called, would not prove more injurious than beneficial to the cause, which they were intended to promote. The language of our present version has the full tide of popular opinion strongly in its favour ; it exhibits a style appropriately biblical, and is distinguished by a general simplicity of expression, which the most uncultivated mind may comprehend, and the most cultivated admire. It is a translation in possession of characteristical merits, which might be extinguished, but cannot be augmented, by principles of transitory taste and emphemeral criticism ; a translation which with all its imperfections in whatsoever part of Scripture the comparison be made, is superior to every other in our own, and inferior to none in any foreign, language.

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PREFACE.

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FROM causes too unimportant for public enumeration, it happened, that the Author of the following pages possessed neither time nor inclination minutely to discuss the merits or demerits of that Version, which is the object of his present strictures, at its first appearance. Indeed he neglected the examination of it altogether till very lately, when his attention was irresistibly attracted to it by the Remarks of Mr. Nares, ably exposing, particularly upon doctrinal topics, many of its perverse inaccuracies and fallacious deductions. The scope of these Remarks appeared, it is true, sufficiently comprehensive. Still however, he conceived, that certainly misrepresentations of no inconsiderable moment required a more full and distinct, as well as different, refutation ; and such a one has he now attempted. It will be seen, that with the theological argument of the New Version he has interfered as little as possible, the specific object in his view being wholly critical. Not indeed that he has combated every erroneous position or incorrect conclusion which might have been fairly opposed; but he has contented himself with selecting a few of those which are most prominent and least venial.

He does not apologize for differing upon points of criticism, either from the Heterodox, or from the Orthodox. A critic is of no party ; but, solely attached to philological truth, censures without reserve obliquities of judgment wheresoever he detects them, whether ushered into notice by Trinitarians of rank and character, or turned loose upon the world by an anonymous committee of obscure Unitarians.

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