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ratio in each. The mind is a compound agent of strength and feebleness, the latter being doubtless commonly the major quality; it may then happen that I have thrown light upon some passages of the Mosaic Scriptures which our most learned commentators have failed to relieve from the embarrassments of that obscurity under which those Scriptures are acknowledged to lie. The merest clown employed in picking stones in the fields may communicate from his experience, however restricted, to the information of the sage, drawing from the exhaustless treasures of knowledge, though with a feeble hand, his almost viewless mite, and adding it to the vast stores of the philosopher.

It will be found in the ensuing pages that I have generally adhered to the reading of our venerable version, and have maintained with my best endeavours its truly extraordinary and almost undeviating integrity. Upon the whole, I am convinced it will never be surpassed, most probably never equalled; for although here and there, in other versions which have been attempted of particular portions of the Sacred Writings, improvements have been occasionally made, yet, taken completely, they invariably fall short of our authorized translation in the great cardinal qualities of the original-condensation, vigour, and simplicity.

The object of those pious and eminently learned men, who contributed their aid to perfect that translation of the Holy Scriptures sanctioned by the Church of England, evidently was, to give the original in its greatest possible purity and in its most literal form ; thus, by presenting the naked but robust ideas of the Hebrew, without embellishment, rigidly adhering to their honest desire of preserving the germ and sap, rather than of exhibiting the leaf and blossom, they have frequently, when they were no doubt unconscious of so doing, preserved the poetical structure, at the same time that they have transfused the spirit as well as the sense, though occasionally it may be at the sacrifice of much of the graceful and beautiful efflorescence of the natural production: for it must necessarily happen that in a literal transfusion from one language to another, especially from an extremely ancient to an extremely modern one, much of the poetical beauty, where poetry exists, must be marred; and there can be no question that in the splendour of its poetical adornments, our version, admirable and almost perfect as it is, falls infinitely short of the original.

If the over-fastidious critic should happen to find in these volumes many errors, false views, doubtful interpretations, misapprehensions of verbal construction, bold assumptions, and what may appear to him barren conclusions,--still I trust he will not be backward to allow me credit for whatever may deserve it, and I cannot but think that he will discover something to commend, for I can hardly persuade myself that honest intentions, directing the patient labours of years, should lead to the production of no good fruit. I can only say, I have desired, I have assiduously endeavoured, to do good, and may God's mercy crown my desires and endeavours with their hoped-for success!

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