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mind, is never once used in the bible, in any other sense than for confeffion. The stammering lip mentioned in Isaiah means 4 lying or childish story : the strange lip of the Egyptians, Psalm 114, means that they were a barbarous people, in regard not to language but manners, And again, Ecclef. x. 12. the lips
of a fool shall swaļlow him up.' Not meaning the dialect he fpeaks, or his manner of pronunciation, shall prove his own destruction ; but his own counsel, thoughts and contri, vances, shall lead him to his own ruin. Which is most emi. nently true of imaginations in religion, they always confound themselves at long run, and all that embark in them, as the project of Babel did. · Mr.
H y who contends for the commonly receiv'd interpretation, seems to suppose (says Mr, Bate) a difference in lip i e. in pronunciation, one of the things necessary to bring about a dispersion. But the dispersion would naturally produce in time a difference in pronunciation, without any miracle. We may conclude therefore, that the difference in this respect was the effect of the dispersion, and not the dispersion of a difference in pronunciation. Mr. Bate farther observes, that in the affair of Babel, the word lid only is mentioned, the word tongue never. Though that would certainly have been the most proper, and put the thing out of dispute. If lip therefore will admit of a double sense, the evidence is at least equal between Mr.
H o n and his opponents. . Mr. Bate then proceeds to consider the story itself: the whole force of his arguments on this head, which we have taken the pains to collect and abbreviate for the benefit of our readers, is as follows:
The sons of Noah, willing to prevent the dispersion in colonies, the time of which was drawing nigh, propose the building a great city and a strong tower, a great city that they might all live happily together, and a strong tower for their God, whose image they would set on the top of it, the attempt was advancing when God thought fit to interpose, and put a stop to it. Let us go down, says the Lord, and confound their lip, that one may not hear the lip of another ; this they begin to do. The complaint against them is for their doing, not their tongue. It is said, they were all of one lip, that is,, one confeffion, congregation, or community: had they had different * tongues before, or even after this step, they might still have joined together in it, as so many different nations often have in one common cause. It is urged, that God confounded their project by confounding their lan, guage, and their language by dividing it ; but the text fays no such thing. Besides that the difference of tongues cou'd not counterplot such a scheme as this. More tongues were çonfederate together in Nebuchadnezzar's time in this very scheme, and notwithstanding their diversity of languages, fell down with one consent before his image. But further, there was no confusion of language at Babel, nor any languages miraculously formed, because those who were the deepest concern'd in the crime must in justice have had the greatest share of the punishment, that is to say, the confusion. Canaan the son of Ham had the same language with Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, and in which Moses wrote. And if Canaan had the same tongue with the people of God, and line of the prophets; and Nimrod with the second son of Shem, the father of the holy line, can we suppose that every other colony had not the same at first, till time and something extraordinary occasioned so total a difference in such a number of places? The language of Nimrod at Babylon; and of Asher, at Nineveh was the same. .
Mr. Bate then endeavours to prove that Syriac and Hebrew were the same at first, and secondly, that Hebrew and Ægyp. tian were the fame.
For this new attempt of Mr. Bate's we know not how to account, but by supposing that our learned Rabbi having taķen a dislike to the scripture confusion of tongues, was resolved to introduce one of his own. Mr. Bate concludes his arguments on this head by facetiously observing, that if a confusion of language, or, swallowing up the tongue of all the earth were pecessary to disconcert the wicked measures taken at Babel, the tongue seems to have come out as whole, and as unhurt, as Jonah out of the whale's belly. It being above twelve
* This is by far the most plausible argument which Mr. Bate has made use of in support of his hypothesis, which together with the rest we submit to the determination of our readers.
hundred years from the difperfion, before we have the leaft hint of any difference in dialect. .
The book concludes thus: • The study of the Hebrew has not long been revived ; and when men of great parts and abilities shall have got
free of the fhackles, in reality, of pointing and cabalism, which « have thrown a false face over the Hebrew, and these things are canvass’d with less inward heat and prejudice, than novel
ties from inferiors are usually received with, by those who are, 6 or think themselves, great ; and matters are canvassed fairly 6 and impartially, the mountains will dwindle into their ori.ginal mole-hills, and the niceties of the Hebrew tongue ap* pear in another light. But while friends and enemies join, • as Job's did by him, in watching his steps, and setting a • trap for his feet, little mistakes shall be magnified into real
objections; and, as seen through the mist of prejudice, apSpear of a gigantic fize ; while great truths are flurred over, 6 and passed by, or misrepresented. I have pitched upon one & monumental name always produced, not only as being better . to be accounted for, but as absolutely neceffary to be ex*plained, by the Syriac, against the Hebrew; and Aatter my
self, its etymology speaks as good Hebrew, as the other two monumental names recorded with it; and that Laban,
though Syriac by birth, was yet Hebrew in his faith and • language. But when we say, that Abraham and Laban were • Syrians by birth, we must remember, that they were not • fo by blood ; and if Arphaxad had a different language (which & the old hypothesis fuppofes) from the reft of his brethren,
his and Aram's language must also be different, (as one would think, that of Asher's fhould also have been, and much more that of Nimrod's) and the Syriac should not be s called Abraham's native language. What we call Syriac, was
the language of the Syrian, Asyrian, and. Babylonijh kingdoms ; but Abraham's native tongue must be his family 'tongue, which shem, Arphaxad and that family, might retain s to themfelves, during their own lives, notwithstanding their
being sojourners in the territory of Aram, as their descendants did for several generations in Ægypt,
Such Such and so formidable are the Hutchinfonian forces led on by general Bate against the tower of Babel. We cannot pretend to foretel the success of his attacks, till we know what army Dr. Sharp and other leaders may bring into the field against him, and in the mean time would recommend to Mr. Bate a little more candour and coolness in the future treatment of his adversary.
. FOREIGN ARTICLES.
ART. VII. Fabularum Æfopiarum libri quinque.
Vetufto genere, fed rebus novis. PHÆDRUS. Glafcua in ædibus accademicis excudebant Robertus et Andreas
T HIS collection of Fables, though printed in Glasgow,
1 is the work of a French author, who has evinced himself a master in the harmony, elegance, and energy of the Latin language. It is divided into five books, and the fables are written in the loose, iambic measure, like those of Phædrus.
He not only possesses that happy, conciseness and simplicity which distinguish the Latin author, but has likewise fucceffully imitated the gay freedom of La Fontaine, in the following fable of Death and the Woodcutter.
- Vetulus redibat nemore rufticus, ferens
Juvandus operis : milites, domesticam
Ac denique mali plurimum, propè nil boni : . .
Senex misellus calamitatis ultimum
Adest! Quid, inquit, me rogas ? Fascem hunc uti
The fame sense he has likewife included in the five following lines, of which the first is the only one that we will venture to disapprove on account of its length and perplexity.
• Fascein lignorum miser humeros senex super
Portabat ægrè : longiore fed viâ
Another edition of the same work has been published at Paris, with some preliminary 'notes, a small preface, and the addition of a new fable, which we, as au thors; cannot help inserting for the entertainment of the public.
LIBER et PRÆLUM. ;'
Fabula. . • At me premendo cur gemis, dixit liber • Prelum allocutus, ipfe tacitus dum premor? • Reposuit prelum : non meam doleo vicem;
Sed quæ mala tibi incautus arceflis gemo. « Frequens videlicet usus rerum jam diu • Me docuit, qualis expectanda sit libris • Fortuna; sicque habendum te fore auguror :
Sollicita primùm curiositas levem • Aget hùc emptorum turbam; fors etiam tibi • Plurima politorum hominum insudabit manus : • At mox severis vel te deftringet notis • Amara critice, et vitia, quæ perspexerit, • In luce parer irridenda publica: • Vel quod gravius est, cum te novitas deseret, • Ac definet excitare lectores tuos, • Statim subibit ingravescens tædium, • Et sempiternæ fepeliendum te dabit • Oblivioni : tum dulces inertibus « Præbebis escas tineis, vel amicies piper. • Prelum hic quievit, at liber invicem gemens: Lector, ait, omen benevolus malum obruat!.