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9. GILL. An Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, in which the sense of the sacred text is given; doctrinal and practical truths are set in a plain and easy light; difficult passages explained; seeming contradictions reconciled; and whatever is material in the various readings, and the several Oriental versions, is observed. The whole illustrated by notes from the most antient Jewish writings. By John Gill, D. D. London, 1748-1763. 9 vols. folio. London, 1809. 9 vols. 4to.
In rabbinical literature Dr. Gill had no equal, and he has hence been enabled to illustrate many important passages of Scripture. But he has often spiritualised his text to absurdity. "The massy volumes of Dr. Gill might almost forin a class of their own, as they comprehend every method of interpretation; and sometimes, by giving to the same passage too great a variety of ineanings, they leave the weak reader to doubt whether that book can have any certain meaning, which an ingenious expositor can interpret, or rather torture, in so many different ways."” An occasional reference to his learned work is all perhaps that can be recom
10. PURVER. - A New and Literal Translation of all the Books of the Old and New Testaments, with Notes critical and explanatory. By Antony Purver. London, 1764. 2 vols. folio.
The author of this translation was one of the Society of Friends or Quakers: who, under very considerable disadvantages, acquired a competent knowledge of the Hebrew and other Oriental languages, and also of the Greek. His work was published at the expense of Dr. J. Fothergill; although it contains many improv ed renderings and useful notes, it "has never been highly valued, and is much less literal and much less simple than the habits of the man, and those of the religious community to which he belonged, might authorise one to expect." (Dr. A. Clarke.) See a further account in the Monthly Review, (O. S.) vol. xxxii. pp 194-205.
11. WESLEY. — Notes on the Old and New Testaments, by the Rev. J. Wesley, M. A. Bristol, 1764. 4 vols. 4to.
In consequence of the author being obliged to retrench his notes, in order to comprise the work within the prescribed limits of four volumes, "the notes on the Old Testament are allowed on all hands to be meagre and unsatisfactory. The notes on the New Testament, which have gone through several editions, are of a widely different description; though short, they are always judicious, accurate, spiritual, terse, and impressive, and possess the happy and rare quality of leading the reader immediately to God and his own heart." (Dr. A. Clarke.) The Rev. Dr. Hales pronounces these notes to be "commendable for their conciseness, and acutely pointed to the hearts and consciences of his readers;" and he mentions the notes on the Apocalypse, which are chiefly abridged from the critical and expository writings of Bengel, as being the most valuable part of Mr. Wesley's work. (Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. pp. 1287, 1288.) The text is inserted in continuous paragraphs, the verses being thrown into the margin, and it contains several happy corrections of the received version, which are frequently cited by Mr. Granville Sharp and Dr. Hales.
12. The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, according to the present authorised English Version, with Notes, critical, explanatory, and practical; all the marginal readings of the most approved printed copies of the Scriptures, with such others as appear to be countenanced by the Hebrew and Greek originals; a copious collection of references to parallel texts; summaries of the contents of each book and chapter, and the date of every transaction and event recorded in the Sacred Oracles, agreeably to the calculation of the most correct chronologers. By the Rev. Joseph Benson. London, 1811-1818. 5 vols. 4to.
An elaborate and very useful commentary on the Sacred Scriptures, which (independently of its practical tendency) possesses the merit of compressing into a
comparatively small compass, the substance of what the piety and learning of former ages have advanced, in order to facilitate the study of the Bible. Its late learned author was particularly distinguished for his critical and exact acquaintance with the Greek Testament.
13. CRUDEN.-The Complete Family Bible: or a Spiritual Exposition of the Old and New Testament; wherein each chapter is summed up in its context, and the sacred text inserted at large, with Notes, spiritual, practical, and explanatory. By the Rev. Mr. Cruden. London, 1770. 2 vols. folio.
The compiler of this indifferently executed commentary is not to be confounded with Mr. Alexander Cruden, author of the well known Concordance to the Holy Scriptures. It appears to have been originally published in numbers, which circumstance may account for the paucity of copies now to be met with.
14. DODD. A Commentary on the Books of the Old and New Testaments, in which are inserted the Notes and Collections of John Locke, Esq. Daniel Waterland, D. D., and the Right Hon. Edward Earl of Clarendon, and other learned persons, with practical improvements. By W. Dodd, LL. D. London, 1770. 3 vols. folio.
In the compilation of this work, Dr. Dodd availed himself liberally of the labours of Calmet, Chais, and Houbigant, besides the most eminent commentators of our own country, and the manuscript collections mentioned above. The purchaser should see that vol. i. contains a Dissertation on the Pentateuch, and vol. iii. another on the Inspiration of the New Testament; which are not unfrequently wanting, especially the first, probably from the work being originally published in numbers. Dr. Dodd's Commentary was reprinted a few years since by the late Dr. Coke, with several retrenchments and some unimportant additions, in six handsome volumes quarto.
15. An Illustration of the Holy Scriptures by Notes and Explications on the Old and New Testaments, 3 vols. folio.
The publication of this work commenced in the year 1759, and it has been frequently reprinted. It was edited by Mr. Goadby of Sherborne, "it contains many judicious notes:" but, "while it seems to be orthodox, is written entirely on the Arian hypothesis." (Dr. A. Clarke.)
16. HAWEIS.-The Evangelical Expositor; or a Commentary on the Holy Bible, wherein the Sacred Text is inserted at large, the sense explained, and different passages elucidated, with practical observations, &c. By T. Haweis, LL. B. M. D. London, 1765. 2 vols. folio.
17. SCOTT. The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments; with original notes, practical observations, and copious marginal references. By Thomas Scott, Rector of Aston Sandford. London, 1822, 6 vols. 4to. Fifth and best edition, with the author's last corrections.
The first edition of this work (the constant and increasing sale of which proves the high estimation in which it is deservedly held), begun in 1788 and published in numbers, consisted of five thousand copies; the second, in 1805, of two thousand; the third, in 1810, of two thousand; the fourth, in 1812, of three thousand; and the fifth and latest edition, completed and published in 1822, is stereotyped, — the largest work ever submitted to that process. Besides these, eight other editions, consisting all together of twenty-five thousand two hundred and fifty copies were printed in the United States of America from 1808 to 1819; where the local and temporary prejudices, from which the writer could not escape in his own country, having less force, its value seems to have been at once acknowledged. - On the last edition of this Commentary its late learned author was engaged at the time of his death, and bestowed the utmost pains upon its revision, so as to render it as accurate as possible. More particularly, 1. As sundry small variations have, during the lapse of two centuries, crept into our common Bibles, considerable pains have been taken, by the collation of different editions, to exhibit an accurate
copy of the sacred text according to the authorised version.-2. Not only have the marginal references throughout been revised with the utmost care, but it will be found that the Author has inserted, in the notes, and practical observations, frequent references to other parts of his Commentary. To this improvement he attached considerable importance: and its value will, no doubt, be felt by those readers who may bestow sufficient pains upon the subject to enter into his design. The student may be advantageously referred to the book of Proverbs for a specimen of this addition to the work. 3. But the most important improvement which it has received, consists in the copious critical remarks which have been introduced. Many of these occur in the Old Testament, in all which the original words in Hebrew characters, pointed, have been substituted for the English letters, by which they had been before expressed, wherever any thing of the kind occurred. In the New Testament these remarks are numerous. Here also new authorities are adduced in support of the criticisms which have been previously made, particularly from Schleusner, to whose valuable Lexicon of the Greek Testament the Author was indebted for much assistance. The critical remarks, it is also to be observed, are now uniformly carried to the end of the note, instead of being interspersed in the body of it. 4. Mr. Scott had finished the actual revision of this great work nearly to the end of the second epistle to Timothy. The last passage to which he put his hand, was that striking declaration of St. Paul (2 Tim. iii. 1, 2.) so applicable to the present times. Although several alterations (and some of them of considerable importance) have been made in the fifth edition, subsequent to the verse just named; yet these have not been introduced without authority, but are taken, according to the author's directions, from a copy of the fourth edition, which he read over soon after its publication, making such corrections as occurred. The critical remarks also, contained in the former edition, have been, to the close, arranged, as nearly as possible, according to the plan adopted in the preceding parts of the work.
"The capital excellency of this valuable and immense undertaking, perhaps, consists in the following, more closely than any other, the fair and adequate meaning of every part of Scripture without regard to the niceties of human systems : it is in every sense of the expression a scriptural comment. It has likewise a further and a strong recommendation in its originality. Every part of it is thought out by the author for himself, not borrowed from others. The later editions indeed are enriched with brief and valuable quotations from several writers of credit - but the substance of the work is entirely his own. It is not a compilation, it is an original production, in which you have the deliberate judgment of a masculine and independent mind on all the parts of Holy Scripture. Every student will understand the value of such a work. Further, it is the comment of our age. presenting many of the last lights which history casts on the interpretation of prophecy, giving several of the remarks which sound criticisin has accumulated from the different branches of sacred literature, obviating the chief objections which modern annotators have advanced against some of the distinguishing doctrines of the Gospel, and adapting the instructions of Scripture to the peculiar circumstances of the times in which we live. I may observe also that the faults of method and style which considerably detract from the merit of some of his other writings, are less apparent here, where he had only to follow the order of thought in the sacred book itself; whilst all his powers and attainments have their full scope. It was the very undertaking which required, less than any other, the qualifications which he did not possess, and demanded, more than any other, those in which he excelled. It required matured knowledge of Scripture, skill as a textuary, sterling honesty, a firm grasp of truth, unfeigned submission of mind to every part of the inspired records, a holy temper of heart, unparalleled diligence, and perseverance and these were the very characteristics of the man. When to these particulars it is added that he lived to superintend four editions, each enriched with much new and important matter, and had been engaged above three years in a new one, in which for the fifth time he had nearly completed a most laborious revision of the whole work, we must at least allow the extent and importance of the author's exertions. Accordingly, the success of the work has been rapidly and steadily increasing from the first, not only in our own country, but wherever the English language is known. It will soon be in the hands of most careful students of the holy volume, whether in the first instance, they agree with the author's chief sentiments or not. Nor is the time distant, when, the passing controversies of the day having been forgotten, this prodigious work will generally be confessed in the Protestant churches, to be one of the most sound and instructive commentaries produced in our own or any other age."— (Rev. Daniel Wil
son's Sermons occasioned by the death of the Rev. Thomas Scott, pp. 33-35. 98. 3d edition.)
To the preceding just character of this elaborate commentary, the writer of these pages (who does not view all topics precisely in the same point of view with its late learned author) deems it an act of bare justice to state that he has never consulted it in vain, on difficult passages of the Scriptures. While occupied in considering the various objections of modern infidels, he for his own satisfaction thought out every answer (if he may be allowed the expression) for himself; referring only to commentaries in questions of more than ordinary difficulty. And in every instance, especially on the Pentateuch, - he found, in Mr. Scott's commentary, brief but solid refutations of alleged contradictions, which he could find in no other similar work extant in the English language.
18. WILSON (Bishop). - The Holy Bible: containing the Books of the Old and New Testaments, carefully printed from the first edition (compared with others) of the present translation; with notes by Thomas Wilson, D. D. Bishop of Sodor and Man, and various renderings, collected from other translations, by the Rev. Clement Crutwell, editor. London, 1785. 3 vols. 4to.
The text and marginal references are printed with equal beauty and correctness. "The editor has greatly increased the value of this edition by inserting in the margin different renderings of the same passage, from all the translations he could procure. He has also prefixed a particular account of the several English translations of the Bible, and of their authors. The bishop's notes are only to be considered as brief hints either for the explanation or the practical improvement of particular passages. As illustrations of the text, their value is inconsiderable; especially as the author frequently decides and pronounces without proof, and falls into mistakes through inadvertency." (Monthly Review, O. S. vol. Ixxiv. p. 297.)
19. YONGE. A Practical and Explanatory Commentary on the Holy Bible, taking the whole in one point of view, from the Creation to the End of the World. By J. Yonge. London, 1787. 4to.
"The point of view in which the Scriptures are here considered, is their reference to the Redemption of the world by Jesus Christ; which great event is traced through the historical and prophetical writings of the Old Testament, and the narrative and epistolary records of the New, to show that the whole has one leading object and design. This work is rather intended as a practical help to the meditations of the pious Christian, than as a critical elucidation of the sacred writings." (Monthly Review, O. S. vol. lxxviii. p. 173.)
20. A revised Translation and Interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, after the Eastern manner, from concurrent authorities of critics, interpreters, and commentators, copies, and versions; showing that the inspired writings contain the seeds of the valuable sciences, being the source whence the antient philosophers derived them, also the most antient histories and greatest antiquities, and are the most entertaining as well as instructing to both the curious and serious. Glasgow, 1799, 8vo. Second Edition, 1815, 4to.
We have transcribed the long title of this curious work, in which the author has certainly succeeded in introducing very many approved renderings; but in which he has also marred exceedingly that venerable simplicity and dignity, which are so eminently conspicuous in the authorised version. His explanations of different passages are included in short paraphrases, comprehended between parentheses. No sober student or critic, however, can approve of the manner in which Dr. M'Rae (such, we are told, is the author's name) has attempted to elucidate "Solomon's Allegoric Song," (as he terms it)" on the mutual love of Christ and his church, written twenty years after his Egyptian nuptials." As this work is very little known, we transcribe the first seven verses of the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes, containing Solomon's admirable portraiture of old age, by way of speci
"1. Remember thy Creator in the days of youth, before the days of affliction come, and the years of old age approach, when thou shalt say, I have no
pleasure in them. 2. Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, become dark to thee, and the clouds return after rain, or one trouble come upon another. 3. When (the arms) the keepers of the (corporcal) house shall shake, and the strong ones (the limbs) be feeble, and (the teeth) the grinders shall cease, as being few (and unfit for use); and they that look out at the windows (the optic nerves of the eyes) become dim; 4. And the doors be shut in the streets (the lips fall in, the teeth being gone), and the sounding of the grinding (in eating) be low; and they shall rise up at the sound of the bird (sleep being diminished, and easily broken); and all the daughters of music (the accents of the voice, and acuteness of the ear) fail. 5. They shall also be afraid of (ascending) the place which is high (being weak and breathless); and fears (of stumbling) shall be in the way; and (gray hairs like) the almond tree's leaves shall flourish; and the grasshopper shall be a burden (small matters being troublesome, as being crooked and fretful); and the desire of enjoyment shall fail; for man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. 6. Before the silver cord (the marrow of the back bone, with its root and branches) be contracted; or the golden vial (the brain's membranes) be cracked, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain (the cavities and conveyers of the blood from the heart), or the wheel be broken at the cistern (the returners of it from the lungs, liver, head, hands, and feet); the double, yea, quadruple, circulation, (galal and ruts) being repeated, be interrupted and cease. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to God who gave it."
Notes on the Bible, by the late Rev. Charles BulkLondon, 1802, 3 vols. 8vo. See a notice of this work in p. 309. of this volume.
22. PRIESTLEY (Dr.) Notes on all the Books of Scripture, for the use of the Pulpit and of Private Families, by Joseph Priestley, LL. D. F. R. S. Svo. 4 vols. Northumberland, (N. Am.) 1803.
For a notice of this work, see p. 563. of this volume.
23. TRIMMER (Mrs.) — A Help to the unlearned in the Study of the Holy Scriptures; being an attempt to explain the Bible in a familiar way adapted to common apprehensions, and according to the opinions of approved Commentators. By Mrs. Trimmer. London, 1805. 8vo.
The late amiable and benevolent authoress of this work was well known by her unwearied assiduity in promoting the welfare of the rising generation. Novelty of information, she did not pretend to offer; but, without approving of every sentiment asserted in her work, it is but just to say, that it is a most useful help to the unlearned, and that the object announced in her preface has been fully accomplished; viz. To render "the study of the Bible easy and profitable to those who have but little leisure, or who may not be able to understand expositions of Scripture, in which more learning is displayed. The endeavour of the compiler has been, to explain what is difficult, as far as is necessary for Christians in general to understand it; and to direct the attention of the Bible student to such passages and texts as require particular consideration, in order to produce a rational faith, and a right practice, founded immediately upon the word of God."
24. BURDER.—The Scripture Expositor; a new Commentary, Critical and Practical, on the Holy Bible. By the Rev. Samuel Burder, A. M. London, 1809. 2 vols. in 4 parts, 4to.
One prominent object of this work, which is both critical and practical, is, to illustrate the Scriptures by the assistance of Eastern customs; the author is advantageously known by his Oriental Customs, already noticed, and Oriental Literature. (See p. 729. supra.)
25. FAWCETT.-The Devotional Family Bible; containing the Old and New Testaments, with copious notes and illustrations, partly original, and partly selected from the most approved Commentators, both antient and modern. With a devotional exercise or aspiration of the close of every chapter, by way of improvement. By John wcett, D. D. London, 1811. 2 vols. royal 4to.