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of St. John's, and Hebrew Profeffor in that College. Fellow of Peter-Houfe, and Hebrew Profeffor therein.
8thly, Mr. Bing,
To these were allotted the Books from the First of the Chronicles, with the rest of the Hiftory, and the Hagiographa, viz. Job, Pfalms, Proverbs, Canticles, Ecclefiaftes.
3dly, For Oxford were chofen Seven, viz. 1, Dr. John Harding, Prefident of Magdalen College. 2dly, Dr. John Reynolds, Prefident of Corpus Chrifti College; dyed foon after his ingaging in this Work: He was born at Pinhoe in Devonshire, bred in Oxford where he was King's Profeffor; his Brother William and himfelf happened to divide in their Persuasion; John was a zealous Papift, and William as heartily engaged in the Reformation. Afterwards the two Brothers entring into a clofe Difpute, argued with that Strength, that they turned each other. This Dr. Reynolds, notwithstanding his appearing for the Diffenters at the Hampton-Court Conference, conformed himself to the Church Ceremonies. 3dly, Dr. Thomas Holland, Rector of Exeter College, and the King's Profeffor of Divinity. 4thly, Dr. Richard Kilby, Rector of Lincoln College, and Hebrew Profeffor. 5thly, Mr. Miles Smith, after Doctor in Divinity, and Bishop of Gloucefter. He wrote the Preface to the Tianflation, and was one of the Revifers of the whole Work, when finished. 6thly, Dr. Richard Brett, Rector of Quainton in Buckinghamfire. 7thly, Mr. Fairclowe.
Thefe had for their Tafk the four great Prophets, with the Lamentations, and the twelve leffer Prophets.
4thly, For the Prayer of Manaffes, and the reft of the Apochrypha, Seven were appointed at Cambridge. 1ft, Dr. Duport, Prebendary of Ely, and Mafter of Jefus College. 2dly, Dr. Brainthwaite, first Fellow of Emanuel, then Mafter of Gonvil and Caius College. 3dly, Dr. Radcliff, Fellow of Trinity. 4thly, Mr. Ward of Emanuel, after Doctor in Divinity, Mafter of Sidney College, and Margaret Profeflor. 5thly, Mr. Downs, Fellow of St. John's, and Greek Profeffor. 6thly, Mr. Boyfe, Fellow of St. John's, Prebendary of Ely, and Parson of Boxworth in Cambridgefbire. 7thly, Mr. Ward, Fellow of King's College, after Doctor in Divinity, Prebendary of Chichester, and Rector of Bishop-Waltham in Hampshire.
5thly, For the New Teftament, there were the Four Gofpels, Aas, and Revelations, affigned to Eight at Oxford, viz. ft, Dr. Thomas Ravis, Dean of Christ Church, afterwards Bishop of London. 2dly, Dr. George Abbot, Mafter of Univerfity College, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. 3dly, Dr. Hedes. 4thly, Mr. Thompson. 5thly, Mr. Savil. 6thly, Dr. Peryn. 7thly, Dr. Ravens. 8thly, Mr. Harmer.
6thly, The Epiftles of St. Paul, and the Canonical Epiftles, were affigned to Seven at Westminster, viz. ft, Dr. William Barlow, of Trinity Hall in Cambridge, Dean of Chefter, after Bishop of Lincoln. 2dly, Dr. Hutchenfon. 3dly, Dr. Spenfer. 4thly, Mr. Fenton. 5thly, Mr. Rabbet. 6thly, Mr. Sanderfon. 7thly, Mr. Dakins.
That thefe might proceed to the best Advantage in their Method and Management; the King recommended the following Rules to be by them moft carefully obferved:
ft, The Ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the BiShops' Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Original would permit.
2dly, The Names of the Prophets and Infpired Writers, with the other Names in the Text, to be kept as near as may be, as they ftand at prefent by customary Ufe.
3dly, The old Ecclefiaftical Words to be kept, viz. the Word Church, not to be tranflated Congregation, &c.
4thly, When a Word hath divers Significations, that to be kept, which hath been most commonly used by the most of the Ancient Fathers, being agreeable to the Propriety of the Place, and the Analogy of Faith.
5thly, The Divifion of the Chapters not to be altered, or as little as may be, if Neceflity fo require.
6thly, No Marginal Notes at all to be affixed, but only for the Explanation of the Hebrew or Greek Words, which cannot, without some Circumlocution, fo briefly and fitly be expreffed in the Text.
7thly, Such Notations of Places to be marginally fet down, as fhall ferve for the fit Reference of one Scripture to another.
8thly, Every particular Man of each Company, to take the Chapter or Chapters affigned for the whole Company, and having tranflated or amended them feverally by himself, all the Divifion was to meet together, examine their respective Performances, and agree for their Parts what fhall ftand.
9thly, As any one Company hath finished a Book in this Manner, they fhall fend it to the reft to be further confidered.
1othly, If any Company, upon the Review of the Book fo fent, doubt or differ upon any Place, they were to note the Place, and fend back the Reafons for their Difagreement. If they happen to differ about the Amendments, the Difference was to be referred to a general Committee, confifting of the chief Perfons of each Company, at the End of the Work.
11thly, When any Place is found remarkably obfcure, Letters were to be directed by Authority, to any learned Perfon in the Land, for their Judgment thereupon.
12thly, Letters to be fent from every Bishop to the rest of his Clergy, admonishing them of this Tranflation in Hand; and to move and charge as many as being fkilful in the Tongues, and having taken Pains in that Kind, to fend their particular Obfervations to the Company, either at Westminster, Cambridge, or Oxford.
13thly, The Directors in each Company to be the Dean of Westminfter, and Chefter for that Place, and the King's Profeflors in Hebrew and Greek, in each University.
14thly, The Tranflations of Tyndal, Matthews, Coverdale, Whitchurch, and Geneva, to be used, when they come clofer to the Original, than the Bishops' Bible.
Laftly, Three or Four of the most eminent Divines in either of the Universities, though not of the Number of the Tranflators, were to be affigned by the Vice-Chancellor, to confult with other Heads of Houses, to be Overseers of the Translations.
Thefe entred upon the Work in the Spring 1607, and profecuted it with all due Care and Deliberation; but it was about Three Years before it was finifhed. The untimely Death of Mr. Edward Lively (much Weight of the Work lying on his Skill in the Original Tongues) much retarded the Proceedings; however, the reft vigorously, though flowly, proceeded in this hard, heavy, and holy Tafk, nothing offended with the Cenfures of impatient People, condemning their Delays (though indeed but due Deliberation) for Lazinefs. But after long Expectation and great Defire, came forth this new Tranflation Anno 1610, the Divines having been at great Pains in the Work, not only examining the Chanels by the Fountain, Tranflations with the Original, which was abfolutely neceffary, but alfo comparing Chanels with Chanels, which was abundantly useful, Italian, Spanish, French, and Dutch Languages.
The Defign, as the Preface tells us, was not to make a Tranflation altogether new, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, but to make a good one better; or of many ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted againft.
But this glorious Work did not want Detractors to defame it; the Romanifts much excepted hereat. Was their Tranflation (fay they) good before? Why do they now mend it? Was it not good? Why was it obtruded upon the People? These observe not, that whilft thus in their Paffion they feek to lafh the Proteftants, their Whip flies in the Faces of the most learned and pious Fathers, efpecially St. Jerom, who, not content with the former Tranflations of the Septuagint, Symacus, and others, did himself tranflate the Old Teftament out of the Hebrew. Yea, their Cavil recoils on themfelves, and their own Vulgar Tranflation, whereof they have fo many and different Editions. ferus Clavius, a famous Papist, obferved and amended, as he fays, Eight Thoufand faults in the Vulgar Latin. And fince his Time, how do the Paris Editions differ from the Louvaine, and Hentenius's from them both? How infinite are the Differences of that which Pope Clement the VIIIth published, from another which Sixtus Quintus, his immediate Predeceffor, fet forth? Thus we fee, to better and refine Tranfla tions, hath ever been accounted a commendable Practice, even in our Adverfaries.
Befides this, the Romanifts take Exception, because in this our new Tranflation, the various Senfes of Words are fet in the Margin. This they conceive a fhaking of the Certainty of the Scriptures, fuch Variations being as Suckers to be pruned off, because they rob the Stock of the Text of its due Credit and Reputation. But on ferious Thoughts it will appear that thefe Tranflators, affixing the Diverfity of the Meaning of Words in the Margin, deferve Commendations for their Modefty and Humility therein. For though all Things that are necelfary to Salvation are plainly fet down in the Scriptures, yet feeing there is much Difficulty and Doubtfulnefs (not in Doctrinal, but) in Matters of lefs Importance, Fearfulnefs did better befeem the Tranflators than Confidence, entring in fuch Cafes a Caution, where Words are of d.fferent Acceptations.
Some of the Prefbyterians were not well pleafed with this Tranflation, fufpecting it would abate the Repute of that of Geneva, with their An notations made by the English Exiles, and printed with the general Liking of the People, above thirty Times over. And fome complained that they could not fee into the Senfe of the Scriptures, for the lack of those Geneva Annotations. But to fay nothing of the Defects and Faults of thofe Annotations, (though the beft in those Times which are extant in English) these Notes were fo tuned to that Translation alone, that they would jar with any other, and could no way be fitted to this new Edition of the Bible.
Some of our Church also would pretend to find Errors and Mistakes in it (and no Body thinks it wholly free). Mr. Walton in the Life of Bifhop Sanderfon gives a remarkable Inftance of this: Dr. Kilby, an excellent Critick in the Hebrew Tongue, Profeffor of it in the University, a perfect Grecian, and one of the Tranflators, going into the Country, took Mr. Sanderfen to bear him Company. Being at the Church on Sunday, they found the young Preacher to have no more Discretion, than to waste a great Part of the Time allotted for his Sermon in Exceptions against the late Tranflation of feveral Words, (not excepting fuch a Hearer as Dr. Kilby) and fhewed Three Reasons why a particular Word fhould have been otherwife tranflated. The Preacher in the Evening was invited to the Doctor's Friend's Houfe, where, after fome other Conference, the Doctor told him, he might have preached more ufeful Doctrine, and not have filled his Auditors Ears with needles Exceptions against the late Tranflation; and for that Word, for which he offered that poor Congregation Three Reafons, why it ought have been tranflated as he faid, he and others had confidered all of them, and found Thirteen more confiderable Reasons, why it was tranflated as now printed. And told him, if his Friend, (Mr. Sander fon) then attending him, fhould prove Guilty of fuch indifcretion, he should forfeit his Favour. To which Mr. Sanderfon faid, he hoped he should
At a Grand Committee for Religion, in a pretended Parliament fummoned by Oliver Cromwell Anno 1656, it was ordered that a SubCommittee fhould advise with Dr. Walton, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Castle, Mr, Clerk, Mr. Poulk, Dr. Cudworth, and fuch others as they thought pro per, to confider of the Tranflations and Impreffions of the Bible, and to offer their Opinion therein to the Committee, and that it fhould be more particularly recommended to Bulftrade Whitlock, one of the Lords Commiffioners of the Treasury, to take Care of that Affair. The Committee met frequently at Whitlock's Houfe, where the learned Men in the Oriental Languages attended, made many Obfervations upon this Subject, and pretended to difcover fome Miftakes in the laft Engli Tranflation, which yet they allowed was the best extant. They took a great deal of Pains in this Bufinefs, which yet came to nothing by the Diffolution of the Parliament.
After the Restoration, the King granted a Commiffion Anno 1661, to feveral Perfons to review the Liturgy, in order to have it farther ac commodated to a general Satisfaction, and the Bishop of London's Lodg
lags in the Savoy were appointed for the Place of Meeting, when the Prefbyterian Divines delivered in their Exceptions to the CommonPrayer, together with the additional Forms and Alterations which they defired. One of their Exceptions was, that there were many Defects obferved in the Verfion of the Scriptures, ufed in the Liturgy, that it was either obfolete in Language, or mistaken in Senfe, as they endeavoured to prove in feveral Inftances; they therefore moved that this Verfion might be ftruck out, and the new Tranflation allowed by the Authority fubstituted inftead thereof. To which the Commiffioners on the Liturgy's Part returned their Anfwer, wherein they were willing that all the Epiftles and Gofpels, be used according to the laft Tranflation, but that the Pfalms be used after the former Tranflation, mentioned in the Rubrick, and printed according to it; which was done accordingly.
Leave we then thefe worthy Men the Tranflators, now all of them gathered to their Fathers, whofe Induftry, Skilfulness, Piety, and Difcretion, hath therein bound the Church unto them, in a Debt of fpecial Remembrance and Thankfulness. These with Jacob Gen. xxix. rolled away the Stone from the Mouth of the Well of Life, fo that now even Rachel's weak Women may freely come both to drink themselves, and water the Flock of their Families at the fame. And the Church has not only permitted all Believers, without Diftinction of Age or Sex, to read thefe Holy Books, but always exhorted them to do fo ('till thefe laft Ages) by the Mouths of its Paftors, without excluding any. It has exhorted Children to it, that according to the Example of Timothy, they might be nourished and brought up in the Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. It has exhorted Catechumens to it, and admitted them to hear the Word of God, though it excluded them from its Myfteries, that they might conceive a Veneration and Respect for the Religion which they embraced. It has exhorted Women, Maids, and young Widows to it, that they might learn from it their feveral Duties, and by a continual Meditation on it, arrive to a greater Perfection of Spiritual Life. It has exhorted to it the Ignorant, and Men of low Degree, being perfuaded that Jefus Chrift had chosen such, even before the Great and Wife; and that the Holy Scriptures, though they contain Myfteries and very fublime Things in them, are neverthelefs fuited to the Capacities, of all Perfons, and accommodated to the Understanding of the meaneft Readers, fo that a Mechanick, a Servant, a poor Woman, and the most ignorant of Men may profit by reading them. It has exhorted to it not only fuch as profeís to lead a Spiritual Life, but those who live in the World, who have a Family and Employment, that they might find there a Support for their Weakness, in the midst of the Dangers to which the Occupations of this World expofe them, and Affiftance against the Temptations, to which they are continually liable. It has exhorted to it Sinners, and Perfons engaged in a vicious Courfe, that they might there feek a Remedy for their Spiritual Diftempers; and hearkning to the Voice of God, and being enlightened by his Word, might be fenfible of their Errors, and embrace the Means of breaking off the Chains of their wicked Cuftoms. So that neither Age, nor Sex, nor Ingenuity, nor want of Capacity, or a Man's Profeffion, nor the Condition he is in, have been ever G 2