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The object of his prefent enquiry is curious, but the fide of the queftion which he endeavours to fupport, is that which has, for fome time, been rather deferted by the learned, as hardly defenfible; though, in more diftant periods, the explication which he here contends for, was generally regarded as the true fenfe and meaning of the paffage under examination.

In a religious view, no doubt, the verfes referred to in the above title, may be ufed by pious perfons, as expreffing their faith and hope in a future life, with the comfort they derive from it but whether this was the original defign of the words is at least doubtful; and it must be confeffed there appears to be much reafon and force in those arguments, which are brought to prove that Job had only a view to a more cheerful and happy ftate of the prefent life, in which he firmly believed the good providence of God would hereafter place him, notwithstanding his prefent calamitous circumstances.

It is indeed allowed, that the ancient Jews confidered the words either as expreffive of a future ftate in general, or of the refurrection of the body in particular. In this laft explication fucceeding interpreters have concurred, and not without fome reafon, especially an account of the folemn and weighty preface with which the declaration is introduced, as containing fomewhat of the highest moment and importance. The addition which is made by the feptuagint to the last verse of the book of Job is remarkable in this refpect, and perhaps might have particular regard to the verses here under confideration: Sa Fo died, being old and full of days; but it is written that he shall rife again with those whom the Lord raifes up. Further, some expofitors have thought, that allowing Job to have spoken in prophetical terms of his reftoration to temporal greatnefs and proIperity, thofe terms must be confidered as highly figurative, and fhould this be acknowledged as their true meaning, it will fill be at least the borrowing of a figure from the notion and expectation of the refurrection of the dead.-But without farther obfervations on the fubject, we proceed to lay before our Rea ders fome view of Mr. Velthufen's method and arguments: from which it appears that he has been very converfant with the Hebrew language, that he has taken great pains in the examination of ancient MSS. verfions, &c. and in a critical investigation of the fentences and words which compofe this celebrated part of the Old Teftament writings.

6

He begins with fome general remarks on the various readings of the Old Teftament. If. fays he, the fubject of enquiry be concerning the whole of the facred volume, I can never perfuade myself that it is falfely written. I much rather apprehend that a far greater number of errors are crept into the writings

of

of the Greeks and Romans, in proportion to their age; though these writings are of much later date. It is not indeed fuppofeable, without a miracle, that the amanuenfes fhould never have erred in tranfcribing the Hebrew text: this certainly is the less to have been expected, because we find that with regard to the New Teftament, though much more recently published, all errors are not avoided, as plainly appears from the different readings which are found in MSS.

"

This Writer proceeds to other reflections on the advantages arifing from critical enquiries and conjectures; which, if carefully executed, may often prove greatly ferviceable toward elucidating different parts of the facred text. Among other inftances of this kind, he in particular mentions the observations of Dr. Kennicott on 1 Sam. vi. 19. who has fhewn that Jofephus, and two MSS. of better note, instead of fifty thousand and feventy, as it ftands in our tranflation, read only feventy *? This is an emendation drawn from different readings; and, in like manner, a critical conjecture, fometimes fo greatly recommends itself, that there can be no doubt but that it ought to be received as the true reading. No one, fays he, can hefitate whether in Jer. xxvii. 1. (compared with v. 3 and 12.)

צדקיהו Jehoiakim) ought not to be exchanged for) יהויקס

(Zedekiah.')

But, adds our Author, the variety of readings in the facred fcriptures is not fo great as either to deftroy the perfpicuity of the discourse, or to give any reason to fufpect a corruption in thofe places where the fenfe is fufficiently clear and evident.'

In the fecond fection we arrive more immediately at the direct fubject of the treatife, and here we are prefented with a Latin verfion of the whole paffage. Job's friends, it is obferved, had contended that piety is rewarded in the present ftate of things: Job firmly maintained the contrary; upon which they accused him of overthrowing the juftice of the Supreme Being. Job therefore appeals to his pofterity, and makes a profeffion of his only expectation and hope in the following

terms:

• Per banc, amici, priftinam tefter fidem,
Per facra quavis obfecro:

Tanti dolores totque me vexant mala;

Pectus moverent ferreum!

Quid? me, tremenda qui premar DEI manu,
Impune jam laceffitis?

Nec innocentem vos pudet fermonibus
Nimium malignis carpere?

Vid. Monthly Review, for April 1768.

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O fi perenni traderetur pofteris
Oraculum volumine!

Tabulis legatur fermo fcriptus plumbeis,
Nudifve fcalptus rupibus!

Noftri etenim generis vindex mihi vivit & ulter,
Qui mea defendat cognato jura superflies.
Ultimus is leti vi&or certamen inibit,

Ipfe DEUS; fpolium mihi raptum Tartara pofcet
Armata dextra: cutis hæc lacerata redibit
Pulchrior: hæc illi tunc lætus brachia tendam:
Hifque meis oculis Numen fpectabo benignum.
Cujus ut adfpectum timidi perferre profani
Haud poterunt; ita me ridenti fronte beabit.
Hanc ego fpem foveo, neque fata extrema recufo.
Quodfi dolofas mi paratis machinas,
Divina quanquam fentio;
·Trepidate! que committis piacula,
Pana manent certiffima.

Jam ftriatus enfis vos docebit; Judicem
Curare jus mortalium!'

In the third fection our Critic thus proceeds, every perfon will at once perceive that this oration is to be understood of the refurrection of the body. Job's difcourfe had been concerning religion. He makes a profeffion of his faith (vi. 8-10. xvi. 20.) that he might destroy the frivolous accufations of his friends, But if he referred to fome expected time of enjoyment in the prefent ftate, the meaning of his expreffions is weak and foolish: "Ceafe, my friends, to charge me with denying that human affairs are governed in a righteous manner, because I infift that I fhall never fee any happier times in the prefent life: but hear, O pofterity, what is my confolation, with which I vindicate to myfelf the rectitude of the Supreme Being: although I am fully perfuaded that I shall never be favoured with more proSperous circumftances IN THIS LIFE, yet I know, that IN THIS LIFE more joyful times shall arrive to me."—If fuch was his meaning, what occafion was there for fo fharp a contest between him and his friends?-Further it fhould be obferved, that it is ufual in facred poetry to introduce, with fome peculiar folemnity and grandeur of expreffion, any oracle which is recommended above others to the regard and faith of pofterity."

In this manner, together with fome few confiderations added in a note, Mr. Velthufen endeavours to defend his interpretation of the words. He makes a number of critical remarks on the diftinct words of which thefe verfes are compofed; and in feveral following fections he transcribes the whole paffage according as it appears in many ancient verfions: to all which are

fubjoined

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fubjoined a careful collection of the various readings to be met with in this fmall part of the facred writings.

In the fourteenth fection he acquaints his readers that, • although, in his opinion, the observations he has made with fo much attention, ought to be fufficient for the explication of this paffage, he has thought proper carefully to run over the contents of the whole poem, and tranfcribe those verses, by which the controverted fyftem of Job's faith might be illuftrated, and a ftronger light thrown on his expofition of the paragraph.'

Accordingly he offers to our confideration a great number of paflages from different parts of this book, on all which he adds, in the notes, many critical remarks: fome of the verses thus felected appear to oppofe his opinion, others feem very favourable to it, particularly on account of fome little different turn which he gives them in his translation. We shall transcribe the following, in the Author's own words, which the more learned Reader may compare with our verfion, and with the original.

Job xvii. 13-16. Si quid mihi tamen exfpectandum eft, exfpecto inferos, apud quos domicilium meum habeo. In regnum tenebrarum lectus mihi ftratus eft. Pulvis & putredo, unde originem duco, parentum mihi loco erunt; et cum vermibus, tanquam cum fratribus familiariter verfabor. Quid enim? nihil amplius exfpecto. (quantum ad hanc vitam) Spem autem (æternæ felicitatis) quam pectore foveo, nemo veftrum animadvertit. In folitudines inferni hæc fpes (mecum) defcendet: fiquidem junctis viribus impugnatam mortem conculcabimus.'

Hitherto, therefore, remarks our Author, Job rejects all hope as to the prefent life, at the fame time that he establishes a nobler hope. I wish my readers would obferve that these were his laft words, before he delivered those which are contained in the nineteenth chapter. Now, I would afk, who can suppose that, after thofe futile cenfures of Bildad which are related in the eighteenth chapter, he should fo fuddenly have changed his mind, and immediately have believed that which he had fo ftrenuously denied' viz. that he did retain the hope of enjoyment and profperity in this world.

The 30th and 31ft chapters of this book conclude the difcourfes of Job; after taking notice of which, Mr. Velthufen remarks, that this is the laft of Job's conferences; from whence it appears, that from the beginning to the end of the debate, it was his fixed and perpetual opinion, that all hope of deliverance and falvation for him muft be placed in a life to come. Therefore can any perfon doubt whether or not the nineteenth chapter of this book relates to the refurrection of the body?'

We

Wo fhall conclude with recommending this little treatise to the attention of those who enquire critically into facred fubjects, as they may here meet with feveral obfervations worthy of their particular regard.

ART. XV.

Gerardil B. Van Swieten, &c. Commentaria, &c.-The Commentaries of G. B. Van Swieten, &c. on the Aphorifms of Boerhaave, &c. Vol. V. Quarto. Leyden. 1772.

IN N the volume now before us the public at length see the completion of a laborious and valuable work, begun by the learned Author near thirty years ago. As the great merit of thefe commentaries is univerfally known, it is wholly unneces fary for us to fay any thing more concerning this concluding volume, than that the execution of it is, at least, equal to that of the preceding volumes.

ART.

XVI.

Hiftoire

Memoires de la Societé, &c.-The History and Memoirs of the Society formed at Amsterdam, for the Recovery of Perfons that have been drowned. Fourth part, 8vo. Amfterdam. 1772.

WE

E have already, in a former Appendix *, given a pretty full account of the inftitution and design of this benevolent fociety, and of the remarkable fuccefs with which their labours have been attended. We find, by the prefent publication, that the fame benevolent and humane defign is ftill profecuted, and has been attended with equal fuccefs.

ART. XVII.

Elettricifmo artificiale, de Giambatista Beccaria.-Artificial Electricity t. 4to. 1772. Imported by Elmsley.

THIS

HIS curious treatise is dedicated to the Duke of Chablais, the king of Sardinia's fecond fan, who has long ftudied phyficks, and particularly this branch of it, under the tuition of the ingenious Author, who is profeffor of natural philosophy in the university of Turin.

Signor Beccaria prefixes to his work a letter of compliment to Dr. Franklin, whom he justly looks upon as the father of electricity; and it is with a degree of enthusiasm that he speaks of his difcoveries. To you, fays he, it was given to enlighten the mind of man in this new science. It is you that have disarmed the thunder of all its terrours, and your daring genius has even taught the fire of heaven that was looked upon as the weapon of omnipotence, to obey your voice.

* To vol. xlv. p. 556.

+ Artificial electricity is not precifely the meaning of Elettricismo artificiale, which is a phrafe of the Author's own invention, and by which he feems to mean that activity of the electric fluid that is excited by art.

The

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