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usually misapplied verse, Isaiah ix. 6—Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given ; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' The more literal rendering is, -His name shall be called Wonder, Counsel-giver, mighty God (or hero], Father of duration, Prince of peace.' Ought these terms to be regarded as forming one long compound name, like Maher-shalalhash-baz, only twice as long? or ought they to be translated as separate words, as in the Authorised followed by the Revised ? Shearjashuh, Maber-shalal-hash-baz, Immanu-el, are given untranslated, as proper names. It would almost seem that consistency of treatment would have dictated a similar course in regard to this longer form of name. The result would be certainly unique and somewhat fantastic perhaps in appearance; but if it correspond to the facts of the case, appearances are of but small consequence. His name shall be called Peleh-Joetz-El-gibbor-Abi-ad-Sbar-shalom';-allowable, perhaps, and at any rate in harmony with the other significant names in the immediate context and with the usage of Isaiah. But this course would have been a bold one, and perbaps the Revisers have done better to keep the rendering as it was.
One other passage in this book deserves especial notice, for the care with which the Revisers bave treated it. We allude to the great prophecy formed by Isaiah lii. 13-liii. 12. One little defect of the Revision may be pointed out. These fifteen verses do not sufficiently appear to stand together as one connected piece, which they unquestionably are. To show this, there ought to have been more of a break in the lines, between verses 12 and 13 of chapter lii. ; whereas, as the passage stands, the reader has no intimation given him whether he is to consider verses 13, 14, 15, as belonging to chapter lii. and forming its conclusion, or as belonging to liii. and forming its commencement. The latter is, however, very clearly the case, and it might have been indicated to the reader by the insertion of the word 'But,' at the beginning of liii. 1.
Next may be observed the historical character given to this passage, probably not intentionally, but only as an incidental consequence of the careful rendering of the tenses. Down to liii. 10, we have the statement of what may be termed the ground of the prophetic anticipations which follow. The tenses are here historical, and are so rendered throughout. The translation is indeed as close as it well can be, perhaps a little too much so, in one or two places, and the effect is consistent and barmonious. The result of the sufferings of the Servant of Jehovah shall be, for his people, prosperity, redemption, expiation of their sins—in accordance with the ancient and widely spread idea that by suffering, even the suffering of others, sin may be atoned for and put away. The “Servant’shall see the fruits of his work, of his past endurance and faithfulness, in the future happi
ness of Israel, in their deliverance from Babylon and restoration to their own land.
The inquiry as to the person to whom the prophet is thus referring, is not one to be here entered upon at any length. But several sections of this part of the Book (from chapter xl. onwards), in which the Servant of Jehovah is introduced, very plainly indicate that what the prophet bas in his mind can be no other than the collective Israel, especially the more faithful portion of the nation, who stood firm in their adherence to the service and worship of Jehovah amidst the misfortunes of the Captivity. In several instances the Servant is expressly named as 'Jacob' and as 'Israel'(xli. 8, 14 ; xliv. 1 ; xlv. 4; xlix. 3); and is evidently not one individual but a plurality of individuals: ‘But thou Israel my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee and not cast thee away. .. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel ; I will help thee, saith Jehovah' (xli. 8, 9, 14). The import of such expressions is too plain to be missed, and it might seem that only the most devoted allegiance to a foregone conclusion could prevent a man from seeing what the prophet intends to denote under this often recurring phrase. So then, he commences the section, lii. 13-liii. 12, by naming this ideal person in the usual way as the * Servant,' and goes on to say that, notwithstanding his adversities and sufferings, he shall prosper and see the reward of his faithfulness.
In the wording of the passage, which indeed required but little correction, two or three of the marginal alterations appear to suit the main drift of the whole better than the words actually placed in the text. On these we must not dwell, except only to observe that the word deaths’in the margin of liii. 9 corresponds to the plurality of the ideal object in the prophet's thoughts; and that the word rich’ in the same verse should at least have had a margin. In scriptural usage this word is at times synonymous with proud, oppressive, tyrannical-as indeed the rich men of those times so often
The word, therefore, may here denote the Babylonian masters and oppressors of Jehovah's Servant. With them, in the midst of them, his grave has been made, far away from his own land. This explanation is favoured or required by the parallel wicked.' An alternative rendering would have served to warn readers off the notion of a reference to the sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathea. This, however, with many expositors would be a good reason for omitting such a margin.
But to these small corrections and strictures there might obviously be no end. Such books as Isaiah, Jcb, and the Psalms present matter and occasion for comment in endless variety. And each critic may easily bring out a different set of suggestions-for indeed Hebrew words are too often vague and elastic as well as obscure enough to allow of very different renderings. And so, from all this it
follows that the ordinary or unlearned reader may be fairly satisfied with the Old Testament Revised as it is now put into his hands; and may receive it as the best that is for the present attainable—at least under the auspices of so numerous and distinguished a company.'
It follows again that it will be the duty of English people who profess and call themselves Christians,'to make use of this Old Testament! They, at least, who say that they value the Bible as the very • Word of God,' will not surely be satisfied to read from their pulpits, or give to their children, an inferior and often misleading representative of the Divine Word, when a more adequate and correct form of it is at their command. Have they even a right to do this, supposing they have the power? Theological bias and long-established custom have indeed in such a question enormous influence. But with reasonable people, capable of forming an intelligent judgment on these subjects, mere sentiment and use or even the dogmatic systems of churches, ought not to be allowed to override the dictates of common sense, so as to render fruitless the appeal of sound learning, as virtually made in this Revised Version-proceeding as it does from earnest and competent scholars. Indifference and neglect such as this are not to be justified, hardly to be expected. But alas, in the case of the New Testament the vast majority, both of churches and ministers, have hitherto shown that they belong to the class of which the irreconcilable old monk was a distinguished member. Like him in reading his Latin manuscript, they too have largely preferred to cling to their ancient mumpsimus, or rather its English equivalent, merely because they have been accustomed to it, and even when the right word is placed before their eyes. Whether, and how far, this will be done in the case of the Old Testament too, time will show; and for the present no very sanguine expectation can be entertained on the point.
NOTE. In the foregoing remarks on 'the Servant of Jehovah' and some kindred topics, it is not intended to imply that the Hebrew prophets, or some of them, did not look forward to a wide diffusion of their religion, the knowledge of Jehovah' (Isaiah xi. 9) among the nations. There can be no doubt that they did so. But that their anticipation had the definite personal form attributed to it by later Christian interpreters, and commonly assumed in the popular theologies of our time, is more than questionable.
G. VANCE SMITI.
WHAT THE WORKING CLASSES READ.
A GREAT deal is said and written nowadays about the education and enlightenment of the masses. The working man, as compared with his ancestor, is regarded as a prodigy of learning. Nearly every newspaper is conducted with a view, if not to finding favour with the people,' at least to avoid giving the people offence. Publications of all kinds—religious, political, philanthropic, social-are started in their interests. Periodicals edited especially to meet the wants of the British working man and his wife are launched in legions upon the bookseller's stall, and cheap editions innumerable take the field almost hourly. To cast one's eye over the pile of papers and serials in the first stationer's one comes to is to receive the impression that the working classes must be the most omnivorous devourers of mental food ever known. A market which a century since was exclusively controlled by the aristocracy is now open to the democrat or the socialist equally with the most blue-blooded of peers. “A Workman' gets his letter to the editor printed in the Times; and the national newspaper even advocates the cause of the all-prescient proletariat. The monthly reviews print articles from representatives of tradeunions, and the venerable and stately quarterlies undertake to criticise the doings of the democracy only in the most conciliatory, not to say flattering, spirit. Now and again some austere political misanthrope ventures to characterise this pandering to the popular palate as
venal rubbish,' but it is a protest against a condition of things supported by general acclamation. As with the most reactionary of politicians, so with the most prejudiced of newspaper and magazine editors. The working classes, it is believed, must be won over,' or success is impossible. How universal is this impression a very cursory glance at the broadsheets and handy volumes of the present day will demonstrate. Demos, in fact, having acquired full command of Parliamentary power, is now rapidly becoming the spoilt child of the press. What is the motive of the journalist? Is it utilitarian or mercenary? or has he merely fallen a victim to popular superstition?
In some cases, doubtless, it is utilitarian ; in many more, purely mercenary ; in all an affirmative reply to the last question would explain the phenomenon. When the duty on paper was removed, it
is hardly a figure of speech to say that the literary floodgates were opened, and the land was swamped with publications of every degree of pretension and worth. Great Britain was to be socially, morally, and politically regenerated by means of the printing press. Enterprising publishers started papers appealing to all varieties of taste. The brothers Chambers, with skilful fingers, turned the hose of their genius upon the kingdom ; every educated hand seemed anxious to join in the good work, and societies for the dissemination of useful knowledge attained a luxuriant profusion in the new-born crusade against the darkness, the ignorance, the degradation of centuries. A sacred fire possessed the organisers of the people's press, and in the latter half of the nineteenth century the full force of the injunction 'Let there be light' seemed to be borne in upon the soul of wideawake journalists. In right good earnest they set to work to lift the lowly from the quagmires and cesspools in which their earthly lives were supposed to be plunged, and—is it libellous to add ?-to make money. Few philanthropic movements are more hollow in their aims than the philanthropy of the press. Take up almost any paper, unless it be a so-called society' journal, or a journal appealing exclusively to the drawing room, and it is difficult to resist the exclamation, How disinterested !' Apparently the broadsheet was started and is maintained solely in the cause of the people. If the upper classes are so fortunate as to escape being rated on their illgotten affluence and unwarranted social or political eminence, neither are the lower classes any longer the butt for the satire and contempt of the leader-writer. The operations of the pen-and-ink purgatory go briskly forward. Directly any abuse in the ranks of the masses is discovered, an article is secured on it in one of the papers, and an organisation started for its removal. Never was cynicism wrapped in such a garb of solicitude. The explanation is obvious. The daily press is conducted in the interests of the people, because it is believed the people read the daily press. The belief rests on very slender grounds. The working classes concern themselves little about any newspapers save those issued on the Sabbath.
The great daily papers do not fall much into the hands of the masses. Many working men, doubtless, buy the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Chronicle, but they buy them chiefly for their advertisements. To say, however, that the working men do not read the more influential dailies would not be true. They read them at their clubs, their eating-houses, and the public-house, whilst, in some establishments where several men-tailors for instance—are employed in a separate room, the whole number subscribes towards one or two morning papers and the time lost by one man, who, for an hour or more, will read aloud, the others listening as they work. Workingmen's clubs of course take those papers which advocate the political cause to which they are attached. Publicans, as a rule, take the