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ART. I.-Hosea. Translated from the Hebrew; with Notes, explanatory and critical. By Samuel Lord Bishop of Rochester. 8vo. 1. 15. Robson. 1801.
THE right reverend prelate perseveres in his elucidation of Hebrew literature; and the work before us is made the ground of a dedication to the king, from which we shall extract the following extraordinary paragraph.
If the execution of the work might be supposed to be at all answerable to the dignity and moment of the sacred argument; and, as far as may be attainable in a translation, to the force and sublimity of the style in the original; the present might seem not too mean to be brought before a monarch, who has lived a bright example of piety, in times when piety has been generally laughed to scorn; and will be recorded in the truth-telling page of history, as the patron of the sciences and the arts, and, under God, the powerful protector of the rights of civil government and of the Christian church (institutions in their origin equally divine), in an age when a general spirit of anarchy and atheism threatened to re-barbarise the life of fallen man, by the subversion of all social order, by obliterating the natural distinctions of right and wrong, by the studied mis-use and perversion of all learning and philosophy, and by the total extinction of all religion.' P. iii.
St. Jerome pleaded in extenuation of his defective style, that, instead of studying the periods of Demosthenes or Cicero, he was immersed in researches which were a fatal bar to the embellishments possessed by pagan orators; and it should seem, from the paragraph we have now selected, that his lordship was impressed with a similar conception. Like a Hebrew prophet, he appears carried away by the rapidity of his ideas. He begins with a conviction of the importance of the work before him: he next, and very naturally, conceives it entitled to royal favour: the original subject is now completely superseded by a recollection of the amiable qualities of the sovereign; and these possess his mind till the French revolution unluckily comes across him; when, forgetting he was writing a dedication, he rushes forward into a philippic.
CRIT. REV. Vol. 34. Jan. 1802.