Sidor som bilder



whole volumes, to bring his abridgments into re- | sapientia, &c. Love the Scriptures, and wisdom quest. This is the measure that hath been ren- will love thee. And St. Cyrill against Julian, dered to excellent Princes in former times, cum Even boys that are bred up in the Scriptures bene facerent, male audire, for their good deeds to become most religious, &c. But what mention we be evil spoken of. Neither is there any likelihood three or four uses of the Scripture, whereas whatthat envy and malignity died and were buried with soever is to be believed, or practised, or hoped for, the ancient. No, no, the reproof of Moses taketh is contained in them? or three or four sentences hold of most ages, Ye are risen up in your fathers' of the Fathers, since whosoever is worthy the stead, an increase of sinful men. What is that name of a Father, from Christ's time downward, that hath been done that which shall be done: hath likewise written not only of the riches, but and there is no new thing under the sun, saith the also of the perfection of the Scripture? I adore wise man And St. Stephen, As your fathers did, the fulness of the Scripture, saith Tertullian so do ye. This, and more to this purpose, his against Hermogenes. And again, to Apelles an Majesty that now reigneth (and long, and long, heretick of the like stamp he saith, I do not admit may he reign, and his offspring for ever, Himself, that which thou bringest in (or concludest) of thine and children, and children's children always!) own (head or store, de tuo) without Scripture. So knew full well, according to the singular wis- St. Justin Martyr before him; We must know by dom given unto him by God, and the rare all means (saith he) that it is not lawful (or poslearning and experience that he hath attained sible) to learn (any thing) of God or of right piety, unto; namely, That whosoever attempteth any save only out of the Prophets, who teach us by thing for the publick, (especially if it pertain to divine inspiration. So St. Basil after Tertullian, religion, and to the opening and clearing of the It is a manifest falling away from the faith, and a word of God,) the same setteth himself upon a fault of presumption, either to reject any of those stage to be glouted upon by every evil eye; yea, things that are written, or to bring in (upon the he casteth himself headlong upon pikes, to be head of them, èπewayeîv) any of those things that gored by every sharp tongue. For he that med- are not written. We omit to cite to the same dleth with men's religion in any part meddleth effect St. Cyrill Bishop of Jerusalem in his 4. with their custom, nay, with their freehold; and Catech. St. Hierome against Helvidius, St. Augusthough they find no content in that which they tine in his third book against the letters of Petilian, have, yet they cannot abide to hear of altering, and in very many other places of his works. Also Notwithstanding his royal heart was not daunted we forbear to descend to later Fathers, because or discouraged for this or that colour, but stood we will not weary the reader. The Scriptures resolute, as a statue immoveable, and an anvil not then being acknowledged to be so full and so pereasy to be beaten into plates, as one saith; he knew fect, how can we excuse ourselves of negligence, who had chosen him to be a soldier, or rather a if we do not study them? of curiosity, if we be not captain; and being assured that the course which content with them? Men talk much of eipeovn, he intended made much for the glory of God, and how many sweet and goodly things it had hanging the building up of his Church, he would not on it; of the Philosopher's stone, that it turneth suffer it to be broken off for whatsoever speeches copper into gold; of Cornu-copia, that it had all or practices. It doth certainly belong unto kings, things necessary for food in it; of Panaces the yea, it doth specially belong unto them, to have herb, that it was good for all diseases; of Catholicare of religion, yea, to know it aright, yea, to con the drug, that it is instead of all purges; of profess it zealously, yea, to promote it to the utter- Vulcan's armour, that it was an armour of proof most of their power. This is their glory before all against all thrusts and all blows, &c. Well, that nations which mean well, and this will bring unto which they falsely or vainly attributed to these them a far more excellent weight of glory in the things for bodily good, we may justly and with day of the Lord Jesus. For the Scripture saith full measure ascribe unto the Scripture for spinot in vain, Them that honour me I will honour: ritual. It is not only an armour, but also a whole neither was it a vain word that Eusebius delivered armoury of weapons, both offensive and defensive; long ago, That piety toward God was the weapon, whereby we may save ourselves, and put the and the only weapon, that both preserved Con- enemy to flight. It is not an herb, but a tree, or stantine's person, and avenged him of his enemies. rather a whole paradise of trees of life, which bring forth fruit every month, and the fruit But now what piety without truth? What thereof is for meat, and the leaves for medicine. truth, what saving truth, without the word of It is not a pot of Manna, or a cruse of oil, which God? What word of God, whereof we may be were for memory only, or for a meal's meat or sure, without the Scripture? The Scriptures we two; but, as it were, a shower of heavenly bread are commanded to search, John 5. 39; Isai. 8. 20. sufficient for a whole host, be it never so great, They are commended that searched and studied and, as it were, a whole cellar full of oil vessels; them, Acts 17. 11, and 8. 28, 29. They are re-whereby all our necessities may be provided for, proved that were unskilful in them, or slow to and our debts discharged. In a word, it is a believe them, Matt. 22. 29; Luke 24. 25. They can panary of wholesome food against fenowed tramake us wise unto salvation, 2 Tim. 3. 15. If we ditions; a physician's shop (as St. Basil calls it) be ignorant, they will instruct us; if out of the of preservatives against poisoned heresies; a panway, they will bring us home; if out of order, dect of profitable laws against rebellious spirits; they will reform us; if in heaviness, comfort us; a treasury of most costly jewels against beggarly if dull, quicken us; if cold, inflame us. Tolle, rudiments; finally, a fountain of most pure water lege; tolle, lege; Take up and read, take up and springing up unto everlasting life. And what read the Scriptures, (for unto them was the direc- marvel? the original thereof being from heaven, tion,) it was said unto St. Augustine by a super- not from earth; the author being God, not man ; natural voice. Whatsoever is in the Scriptures, the inditer, the Holy Spirit, not the wit of the believe me, saith the same St. Augustine, is high Apostles or Prophets; the penmen, such as were and divine; there is verily truth, and a doctrine sanctified from the womb, and endued with a most fit for the refreshing and renewing of men's principal portion of God's Spirit; the matter, minds, and truly so tempered, that every one may verity, piety, purity, uprightness; the form, God's draw from thence that which is sufficient for him, word, God's testimony, God's oracles, the word of if he come to draw with a devout and pious mind, truth, the word of salvation, &c. ; the effects, light as true religion requireth. Thus St. Augustine. of understanding, stableness of persuasion, reAnd St. Hierome, Ama Scripturas, et amabit te pentance from dead works, newness of life, holi


ness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost; lastly, the end and reward of the study thereof, fellowship with the saints, participation of the heavenly nature, fruition of an inheritance immortal, undefiled, and that never shall fade away. Happy is the man that delighteth in the Scripture, and thrice happy that meditateth in it day and night.

But how shall men meditate in that which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue? as it is written, Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian to me. The Apostle excepteth no tongue; not Hebrew the ancientest, not Greek the most copious, not Latin the finest. Nature taught a natural man to confess, that all of us in those tongues which we do not understand are plainly deaf; we may turn the deaf ear unto them. The Scythian counted the Athenian, whom he did not understand, barbarous so the Roman did the Syrian, and the Jew: (even St. Hierome himself calleth the Hebrew tongue barbarous; belike, because it was strange to so many:) so the Emperor of Constantinople calleth the Latin tongue barbarous, though Pope Nicolas do storm at it: so the Jews long before Christ called all other nations Lognasim, which is little better than barbarous. Therefore as one complaineth that always in the Senate of Rome there was one or other that called for an interpreter; so lest the Church be driven to the like exigent, it is necessary to have translations in a readiness. Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water; even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered. Indeed without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob's well (which was deep) without a bucket or something to draw with: or as that person mentioned by Esay, to whom when a sealed book was delivered with this motion, Read this, I pray thee, he was fain to make this answer, I cannot, for it is sealed.

While God would be known only in Jacob, and have his name great in Israel, and in none other place; while the dew lay on Gideon's fleece only, and all the earth besides was dry; then for one and the same people, which spake all of them the language of Canaan, that is, Hebrew, one and the same original in Hebrew was sufficient. But when the fulness of time drew near, that the Sun of righteousness, the Son of God, should come into the world, whom God ordained to be a reconciliation through faith in his blood, not of the Jew only, but also of the Greek, yea, of all them that were scattered abroad; then, lo, it pleased the Lord to stir up the spirit of a Greek prince, (Greek for descent and language,) even of Ptolemy Philadelph king of Egypt, to procure the translating of the book of God out of Hebrew into Greek. This is the translation of the Seventy interpreters, commonly so called, which prepared the way for our Saviour among the Gentiles by written preaching, as St. Baptist did among the by Vocal. For the Grecians, being desirous of learning, were not wont to suffer books of worth to lie moulding in kings' libraries, but had many of their servants, ready scribes, to copy them out, and so they were dispersed and made common. Again the Greek tongue was well known and made familiar to most inhabitants in Asia by reason of the conquests that there the Grecians had made,


as also by the colonies which thither they had sent. For the same causes also it was well understood in many places of Europe, yea, and of Africk too. Therefore the word of God, being set forth in Greek, becometh hereby like a candle set upon a candlestick, which giveth light to all that are in the house; or like a proclamation sounded forth in the marketplace, which most men presently take knowledge of; and therefore that language was fittest to contain the Scriptures, both for the first preachers of the Gospel to appeal unto for witness, and for the learners also of those times to make search and trial by. It is certain, that that translation was not so sound and so perfect, but that it needed in many places correction; and who had been so sufficient for this work as the Apostles or apostolick men? Yet it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to them to take that which they found, (the same being for the greatest part true and sufficient,) rather than by making a new, in that new world and green age of the Church, to expose themselves to many exceptions and cavillations, as though they made a translation to serve their own turn; and therefore bearing witness to themselves, their witness not to be regarded. This may be supposed to be some cause, why the translation of the Seventy was allowed to pass for current. Notwithstanding, though it was commended generally, yet it did not fully content the learned, no not of the Jews. For not long after Christ, Aquila fell in hand with a new translation, and after him Theodotion, and after him Symmachus: yea, there was a fifth, and a sixth edition, the authors whereof were not known. These with the Seventy made up the Hexapla, and were worthily and to great purpose compiled together by Origen. Howbeit the edition of the Seventy went away with the credit, and therefore not only was placed in the midst by Origen, (for the worth and excellency thereof above the rest, as Epiphanius gathereth,) but also was used by the Greek Fathers for the ground and foundation of their commentaries. Yea, Epiphanius abovenamed doth attribute so much unto it, that he holdeth the authors thereof not only for interpreters, but also for prophets in some respect: and Justinian the Emperor, injoining the Jews his subjects to use especially the translation of the Seventy, rendereth this reason thereof, Because they were, as it were, enlightened with prophetical grace. Yet for all that, as the Egyptians are said of the Prophet to be men and not God, and their horses flesh and not spirit: so it is evident, (and St. Hierome affirmeth as much,) that the Seventy were interpreters, they were not prophets. They did many things well, as learned men; but yet as men they stumbled and fell, one while through oversight, another while through ignorance; yea, sometimes they may be noted to add to the original, and sometimes to take from it: which made the Apostles to leave them many times, when they left the Hebrew, and to deliver the sense thereof according to the truth of the word, as the Spirit gave them utterance. This may suffice touching the Greek translations of the Old Testament.

There were also within a few hundred years after Christ translations many into the Latin tongue: for this tongue also was very fit to convey the Law and the Gospel by, because times very many countries of the West, yea of the South, East, and North, spake or understood Latin, being made provinces to the Romans. But now the Latin translations were too many to be all good: for they were infinite; (Latini interpretes nullo modo numerari possunt, saith St. Augustine.) Again, they were not out of the Hebrew fountain, (we speak of the Latin translations of the Old


French Psalter (as Beda had done the Hebrew) about the year 800: King Alured by the said Cistertiensis, to have turned the Psalter into Saxon: Methodius by Aventinus (printed at Ingolstad) to have turned the Scriptures into Sclavonian: Valdo Bishop of Frising by Beatus Rhenanus, to have caused about that time the Gospels to be translated into Dutch rhyme, yet extant in the library of Corbinian: Valdus by divers, to have turned them himself, or to have gotten them turned, into French, about the Year 1160: Charles the Fifth of that name, surnamed The wise, to have caused them to be turned into French about 200 years Now though the Church were thus furnished after Valdus' time; of which translation there be with Greek and Latin translations, even before many copies yet extant, as witnesseth Beroaldus. the faith of Christ was generally embraced in the Much about that time, even in our King Richard Empire: (for the learned know, that even in St. the Second's days, John Trevisa translated them Hierome's time the Consul of Rome and his wife into English, and many English Bibles in written were both Ethnicks, and about the same time the hand are yet to be seen with divers; translated, greatest part of the Senate also :) yet for all that as it is very probable, in that age. So the Syrian the godly learned were not content to have the translation of the New Testament is in most learnScriptures in the language which themselves un-ed men's libraries, of Widminstadius' setting derstood, Greek and Latin, (as the good lepers forth; and the Psalter in Arabick is with many, were not content to fare well themselves, but ac- of Augustinus Nebiensis' setting forth. So Postel quainted their neighbours with the store that God affirmeth, that in his travel he saw the Gospels in had sent, that they also might provide for them- the Ethiopian tongue: And Ambrose Thesius selves;) but also for the behoof and edifying of alledgeth the Psalter of the Indians, which he the unlearned, which hungered and thirsted after testifieth to have been set forth by Potken in righteousness, and had souls to be saved as well Syrian characters. So that to have the Scriptures as they, they provided translations into the vulgar in the mother tongue is not a quaint conceit lately for their countrymen, insomuch that most nations taken up, either by the Lord Cromwell in England, under heaven did shortly after their conversion or by the Lord Radevile in Polony, or by the Lord hear Christ speaking unto them in their mother Ungnadius in the Emperor's dominion, but hath tongue, not by the voice of their minister only, but been thought upon, and put in practice of old, also by the written word translated. If any doubt even from the first times of the conversion of any hereof, he may be satisfied by examples enough, nation; no doubt, because it was esteemed most if enough will serve the turn. First, St. Hierome profitable to cause faith to grow in men's hearts saith, Multarum gentium linguis Scriptura ante the sooner, and to make them to be able to say translata docet falsa esse quæ addita sunt, &c. with the words of the Psalm, As we have heard, so That is, The Scripture being translated before in we have seen. the languages of many nations doth shew that those things that were added (by Lucian or Hesychius) are false. So St. Hierome in that place. The same Hierome elsewhere affirmeth that he, the time was, had set forth the translation of the Seventy, suæ linguæ hominibus; that is, for his countrymen of Dalmatia. Which words not only Erasmus doth understand to purport, that St. Hierome translated the Scripture into the Dalmatian tongue; but also Sixtus Senensis, and Alphonsus a Castro, (that we speak of no more,) men not to be excepted against by them of Rome, do ingenuously confess as much. So St. Chrysostome, that lived in St. Hierome's time, giveth evidence with him: The doctrine of St. John (saith he) did not in such sort (as the Philosophers' did) vanish away: but the Syrians, Egyptians, Indians, Persians, Ethiopians, and infinite other nations, being barbarous people, translated it into their (mother) tongue, and have learned to be (true) Philosophers, he meaneth Christians. To this may be added Theodoret, as next unto him both for antiquity, and for learning. His words be these, Every country that is under the sun is full of these words, (of the Apostles and Prophets;) and the Hebrew tongue (he meaneth the Scriptures in the Hebrew tongue) is turned not only into the language of the Grecians, but also of the Romans, and Egyptians, and Persians, and Indians, and Armenians, and Scythians, and Sauromatians, and, briefly, into all the languages that any nation useth. So he. In like manner Ulpilas is reported by Paulus Diaconus and Isidore, and before them by Sozomen, to have translated the Scriptures into the Gothick tongue: John Bishop of Sevil by Vasseus, to have turned them into Arabick about the Year of our Lord 717: Beda by Cistertiensis, to have turned a great part of them into Saxon: Efnard by Trithemius, to have abridged the


Testament,) but out of the Greek stream; therefore the Greek being not altogether clear, the Latin derived from it must needs be muddy. This moved St. Hierome, a most learned Father, and the best linguist without controversy of his age, or of any other that went before him, to undertake the translating of the Old Testament out of the very fountains themselves; which he performed with that evidence of great learning, judgment, industry, and faithfulness, that he hath for ever bound the Church unto him in a debt of special remembrance and thankfulness.

Now the church of Rome would seem at the length to bear a motherly affection toward her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in the mother tongue; but indeed it is a gift, not deserv ing to be called a gift, an unprofitable gift: they must first get a licence in writing before they may use them; and to get that, they must approve themselves to their Confessor, that is, to be such as arc, if not frozen in the dregs, yet soured with the leaven of their superstition. Howbeit it seemed too much to Clement the Eighth, that there should be any licence granted to have them in the vulgar tongue, and therefore he overruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the Fourth. So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture, (Lucifuga Scripturarum, as Tertullian speaketh,) that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set forth by their own sworn men, no not with the licence of their own Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so unwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the people's understanding in any sort, tha they are not ashamed to confess, that we forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to bring it to the touchstone, but he that hath the counterfeit ; neither is it the true man that shunneth the light, but the malefactor, lest his deeds should be reproved; neither is it the plaindealing merchant that is unwilling to have the weights, or the meteyard, brought in place, but he that useth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and return to translation.

Many men's mouths have been opened a good while (and yet are not stopped) with speeches about the translation so long in hand, or rather perusals

[ocr errors]


Xix of translations made before: and ask what may endeavour to make that better which they left so be the reason, what the necessity, of the employ- good; no man, we are sure, hath cause to mislike ment. Hath the Church been deceived, say they, us; they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, all this while? Hath her sweet bread been mingled would thank us. The vintage of biezer, that with leaven, her silver with dross, her wine with strake the stroke: yet the gleaning of grapes of water, her milk with lime? (lacte gypsum male Ephraim was not to be despised. See Judges 8. 2. miscetur, saith St. Irenee.) We hoped that we had Joash the king of Israel did not satisfy himself till been in the right way, that we had had the Oracles he had smitten the ground three times; and yet he of God delivered unto us, and that though all the offended the Prophet for giving over then. Aquila, world had cause to be offended, and to complain, of whom we spake before, translated the Bible as yet that we had none. Hath the nurse holden out carefully and as skilfully as he could; and yet he the breast, and nothing but wind in it? Hath the thought good to go over it again, and then it got bread been delivered by the Fathers of the Church, the credit with the Jews, to be called κат' aкpíẞelav, and the same proved to be lapidosus, as Seneca that is, accurately done, as St. Hierome witnessspeaketh? What is it to handle the word of God eth. How many books of profane learning have deceitfully, if this be not? Thus certain brethren. been gone over again and again, by the same Also the adversaries of Judah and Jerusalem, like translators, by others? Of one and the same book Sanballat in Nehemiah, mock, as we hear, both at of Aristotle's Ethicks there are extant not so few the work and workmen, saying, What do these as six or seven several translations. Now if this weak Jews, &c. will they make the stones whole cost may be bestowed upon the gourd, which afagain out of the heaps of dust which are burnt? fordeth us a little shade, and which to day flourishalthough they build, yet if a fox go up, he shall eth, but to morrow is cut down; what may we eren break down their stony wall. Was their bestow, nay, what ought we not to bestow, upon translation good before? Why do they now mend the vine, the fruit whereof maketh glad the conit? Was it not good? Why then was it obtruded to science of man, and the stem whereof abideth for the people? Yea, why did the Catholicks (meaning ever? And this is the word of God, which we transPopish Romanists) always go in jeopardy for re- late. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the fusing to go to hear it? Nay, if it must be trans-Lord. Tanti vitreum, quanti verum margaritum ! lated into English, Catholicks are fittest to do it. (saith Tertullian.) If a toy of glass be of that They have learning, and they know when a thing reckoning with us, how ought we to value the true is well, they can manum de tabula. We will pearl! Therefore let no man's eye be evil, because answer them both briefly: and the former, being his Majesty's is good; neither let any be grieved, brethren, thus with St. Hierome, Damnamus that we have a Prince that seeketh the increase of veteres? Minime, sed post priorum studia in domo the spiritual wealth of Israel; (let Sanballats and Domini quod possumus laboramus. That is, Do Tobiahs do so, which therefore do bear their just we condemn the ancient? In no case: but after the reproof;) but let us rather bless God from the endeavours of them that were before us, we take ground of our heart for working this religious the best pains we can in the house of God. As if care in him to have the translations of the Bible he said, Being provoked by the example of the maturely considered of and examined. For by learned that lived before my time, I have thought this means it cometh to pass, that whatsoever is it my duty to assay, whether my talent in the sound already, (and all is sound for substance in knowledge of the tongues may be profitable in any one or other of our editions, and the worst of ours measure to God's Church, lest I should seem to far better than their authentick vulgar) the same have laboured in them in vain, and lest I should will shine as gold more brightly, being rubbed and be thought to glory in men (although ancient) polished; also, if any thing be halting, or superabove that which was in them. Thus St. Hierome fluous, or not so agreeable to the original, the same may be thought to speak. may be corrected, and the truth set in place. And what can the King command to be done, that will bring him more true honour than this? And wherein could they that have been set a work approve their duty to the King, yea, their obedience to God, and love to his Saints, more, than by yielding their service, and all that is within them, for the furnishing of the work? But besides all this, they were the principal motives of it, and therefore ought least to quarrel it. For the very historical truth is, that upon the importunate petitions of the Puritanes at his Majesty's coming to this crown, the conference at Hampton-court having been appointed for hearing their complaints, when by force of reason they were put from all other grounds, they had recourse at the last to this shift, that they could not with good conscience subscribe to the communion book, since it maintained the Bible as it was there translated, which was, as they said, a most corrupted translation. And although this was judged to be but a very poor and empty shift, yet even hereupon did his Majesty begin to bethink himself of the good that might ensue by a new translation, and presently after gave order for this translation which is now presented unto thee. Thus much to satisfy our scrupulous brethren.

And to the same effect say we, that we are so far off from condemning any of their labours that travelled before us in this kind, either in this land, or beyond sea, either in King Henry's time, or King Edward's, (if there were any translation, or correction of a translation, in his time,) or Queen Elizabeth's of ever renowned memory, that we acknowledge them to have been raised up of God for the building and furnishing of his Church, and that they deserve to be had of us and of posterity in everlasting remembrance. The judgment of Aristotle is worthy and well known : If Timotheus had not been, we had not had much sweet musick; But if Phrynis (Timotheus' master) had not been, we had not had Timotheus. Therefore blessed be they, and most honoured be their name, that break the ice, and give the onset upon that which helpeth forward to the saving of souls. Now what can be more available thereto, than to deliver God's book unto God's people in a tongue which they understand? Since of an hidden treasure, and of a fountain that is sealed, there is no profit, as Ptolemy Philadelph wrote to the Rabbins or masters of the Jews, as witnesseth Epiphanius: and as St. Augustine saith, A man had rather be with his dog than with a stranger (whose tongue is strange unto him.) Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the latter thoughts are thought to be the wiser: so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being holpen by their labours, do

Now to the latter we answer, That we do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of their's of the whole Bible as yet) con



taineth the word of God, nay, is the word of God: As the King's speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King's speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, every where. For it is confessed, that things are to take their denomination of the greater part; and a natural man could say, Verum ubi multa nitent in carmine, non ego paucis offendor maculis, &c. A man may be counted a virtuous man, though he have made many slips in his life, (else there were none virtuous, for in many things we offend all,) also a comely man and lovely, though he have some warts upon his hand; yea, not only freckles upon his face, but also scars. No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it. For what ever was perfect under the sun, where Apostles or apostolick men, that is, men endued with an extraordinary measure of God's Spirit, and privileged with the privilege of infallibility, had not their hand? The Romanists therefore in refusing to hear, and daring to burn the word translated, did no less than despite the Spirit of grace, from whom originally it proceeded, and whose sense and meaning, as well as man's weakness would enable, it did express. Judge by an example or two.

Church of God for certain hundred years, were of another mind: for they were so far from treading under foot (much more from burning) the translation of Aquila a proselyte, that is, one that had turned Jew, of Symmachus, and Theodotion, both Ebionites, that is, most vile hereticks, that they joined them together with the Hebrew original, and the translation of the Seventy, (as hath been before signified out of Epiphanius,) and set them forth openly to be considered of and perused by all. But we weary the unlearned, who need not know so much; and trouble the learned, who know it already.



Yet before we end, we must answer a third cavil and objection of their's against us, for altering and amending our translations so oft; wherein truly they deal hardly and strangely with For to whom ever was it imputed for a fault, (by such as were wise,) to go over that which he had done, and to amend it where he saw cause? Augustine was not afraid to exhort St. Hierome to a Palinodia or recantation. The same St. Augustine was not ashamed to retractate, we might say, revoke, many things that had passed him, and doth even glory that he seeth his infirmities. If we will be sons of the truth, we must consider what it speaketh, and trample upon our own credit, yea, and upon other men's too, if either be any way an hindrance to it. This to the cause. Then to the persons we say, that of all men they ought to be most silent in this case. For what varieties have they, and what Plutarch writeth, that after that Rome had been alterations have they made, not only of their serburnt by the Gauls, they fell soon to build it vice books, portesses, and breviaries, but also of again but doing it in haste, they did not cast the their Latin translation? The service book supstreets, nor proportion the houses, in such comely posed to be made by St. Ambrose, (Officium Amfashion, as had been most sightly and convenient, brosianum,) was a great while in special use and Was Cataline therefore an honest man, or a good request: but Pope Adrian, calling a council with patriot, that sought to bring it to a combustion? the aid of Charles the Emperor, abolished it, yea, Or Nero a good Prince, that did indeed set it on burnt it, and commanded the service book of St. fire? So by the story of Ezra and the prophecy Gregory universally to be used. Well, Officium of Haggai it may be gathered, that the temple Gregorianum gets by this means to be in credit: built by Zerubbabel after the return from Babylon but doth it continue without change or altering? was by no means to be compared to the former No, the very Roman service was of two fashions; built by Solomon; for they that remembered the the new fashion, and the old, the one used in one former wept when they considered the latter. Church, and the other in another; as is to be seen Notwithstanding might this latter either have in Pamelius a Romanist, his preface before Mibeen abhorred and forsaken by the Jews, or pro- crologus. The same Pamelius reporteth out of faned by the Greeks? The like we are to think Radulphus de Rivo, that about the year of our of translations. The translation of the Seventy Lord 1277 Pope Nicolas the Third removed out of dissenteth from the Original in many places, the churches of Rome the more ancient books (of neither doth it come near it for perspicuity, service,) and brought into use the missals of the gravity, majesty. Yet which of the Apostles did Friers Minorites, and commanded them to be condemn it? Condemn it? Nay, they used it, observed there; insomuch that about an hundred (as it is apparent, and as St. Hierome and most years after, when the above named Radulphus learned men do confess;) which they would not happened to be at Rome, he found all the books to have done, nor by their example of using of it so be new, of the new stamp. Neither was there this grace and commend it to the Church, if it had chopping and changing in the more ancient times been unworthy the appellation and name of the only, but also of late. Pius Quintus himself conword of God. And whereas they urge for their fesseth, that every bishoprick almost had a second defence to their vilifying and abusing of pecular kind of service, most unlike to that which the English Bibles, or some pieces thereof, which others had; which moved him to abolish all other they meet with, for that hereticks forsooth were breviaries, though never so ancient, and privileged the authors of the translations: (hereticks they and published by Bishops in their Dioceses, and call us by the same right that they call themselves to establish and ratify that only which was of his catholicks, both being wrong:) we marvel what own setting forth in the year 1568. Now when divinity taught them so. We are sure Tertullian the Father of their Church, who gladly would heal was of another mind: Er personis probamus the sore of the daughter of his people softly and fidem, an ex fide personas ? Do we try men's slightly, and make the best of it, findeth so great faith by their persons? We should try their per-fault with them for their odds and jarring; we sons by their faith. Also St. Augustine was of hope the children have no great cause to vaunt another mind: for he, lighting upon certain rules of their uniformity. But the difference that apmade by Tychonius a Donatist for the better peareth between our translations, and our often understanding of the word, was not ashamed to correcting of them, is the thing that we are make use of them, yea, to insert them into his specially charged with; let us see therefore own book, with giving commendation to them so whether they themselves be without fault this far forth as they were worthy to be commended, way, (if it be to be counted a fault to correct,) and as is to be seen in St. Augustine's third book De whether they be fit men to throw stones at us: Doctr. Christ. To be short, Origen, and the whole O tandem major parcas insane minori: They

« FöregåendeFortsätt »