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a distinct paragraph, by which the sense is often affected. The English Bibles of the Genevese or Reformers' version, printed in the early part of the reign of queen Elizabeth, first exhibited the method now commonly in use, and it was continued in the subsequent version called the Bishops' Bible, and in the present Authorized version made by direction of king James I., and first printed A. D. 1611. The most eminent Biblical writers, however, have always admitted, that the arbitrary nature of these divisions and breaks often affects the sense, and interrupts the narrative or argument, so as frequently to weaken the impression which the words of the inspired writers would otherwise convey. The statement of Stephens himself, that the verses in the New Testament were marked by him during a journey from Paris to Lyons, sufficiently shows that they were made without that full consideration and attentive care which the subject demanded; but as, in the first instance, the numbers were only placed in the margin, the inconveniences of his plan did not then fully appear.
An attempt to free the English Bible from these disadvantages was made about forty years ago by John Reeves, esq., one of the patentees of the office of King's printer, who published some editions of the Bible, divided into paragraphs, with the numbers of the chapters and verses placed in the margin, according to the original plan. These Bibles were highly approved, but were far too costly for general use; and though reprinted a few years since by the University of Oxford in a cheaper form, yet, not having been adopted by the Societies, through which far the largest number of English Bibles are now circulated, the advantages of this form of division into paragraphs are not yet sufficiently known or duly appreciated. The plan of Mr. Reeves also was objected to, on account of the great length of many of the paragraphs, and because he printed the poetical parts in the same form as the common Bibles.
The attention of the Rev. Dr. Coir, Rector of Christ Church, Cambridge, in the State of Massachusetts, North America, was directed to this subject, and, in 1834, he printed an edition of the English Bible, divided into paragraphs, with the poetical portions in parallelisms. In the former he improved upon Reeves' divisions, and in the latter he had reference to the original, yet retaining the exact rendering of the Authorized version. This Bible, as edited by Dr. Coit (now President of Transylvania University, Lexington,
in the State of Kentucky, North America,) is offered to the English public, by the RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY, in the hope that it will be found both acceptable and useful. It has received additional correction and revision, and some further improvement as to the divisions of the paragraphs.
In addition to the two particulars mentioned above, a third may be stated. Great care has been taken in the present edition to give an accurate reprint of the Authorized version. Any person accustomed to use English Bibles printed fifty years ago or more, must have observed many misprinted words, and also numerous errors in punctuation. The printers have taken great pains of late years to correct these errors, and their recent editions will be found far superior to the earlier ones in these respects; still it was evident that another careful revision was desirable, and great care has been taken with this edition. Besides collation with the best modern editions, frequent reference to the first edition of 1611 has been made, and various errors, which had at different times crept in, have been discovered and removed. It is true that these did not affect the doctrine or the truths of Scripture, but the removal of such errors certainly was desirable, as will be seen by the following instances:
Judges x. 8. And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel eighteen years, &c.
EARLY AND CORRECT EDITIONS.
Judges x. 8. And that year they vexed
and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, &c.
Prov. xix. 20. That thou mayest be wise Prov. xix. 20. That thou mayest be wise
in the latter end.
Rom. iv. 1. What shall we then say that Abraham, our father as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
in thy latter end.
Rom. iv. 1. What shall we then say that
Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2 Cor. xii. 2. I knew a man in Christ 2 Cor. xii. 2. I knew a man in Christ
about fourteen years ago.
Heb. x. 12. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God.
above fourteen years ago.
Heb. x. 12. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.
In addition to these corrections, uniformity in printing, as to the use of capitals, especially in the names of the Deity, and in compound words, has been attended to. It will be seen that paragraphs commencing with words in capitals, mark the change in the argument, or in the time and place of the narrative. Occasionally, in the poetical parts, the mark has been used to point out the antithesis.
The marginal readings, which form a component part of the original work of the translators, are retained, and printed at the foot of the page. These have also, in many instances, been corrected by reference to the first edition of 1611.
The preceding statement will explain the particulars in which this edition of the Holy Bible differs from those in common use. This work has been carefully edited by competent persons, and on all doubtful points and matters of moment, reference has been made to two individuals justly respected for their Biblical acquirements, who have kindly given their assistance whenever it was found desirable. These labourers in the Biblical cause are well known, and are,
The Rev. THOMAS HARTWELL HORNE, B. D. of St. John's College, Cambridge, Rector of St. Edmund the King, and St. Nicolas Acons, London, author of "An Introduction to the Critical Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures," &c. &c. And
The Rev. Dr. HENDERSON, of Highbury College, author of "Lectures on Divine Inspiration, and its special bearing on the com position of the Sacred Scriptures," &c. &c.
Their aid has added much to the value of Dr. Coit's labours. and shows the full approval of his plan by those well able to appreciate its value.
Thus, it may be repeated, the reader has the Authorized English version without alteration, and with additional care as to correctness, from the press of Her Majesty's printer, and in a form which will be found to possess many advantages.
March 31, 1838.
THE MOST HIGH AND MIGHTY PRINCE
BY THE GRACE OF GOD,
KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND IRELAND,
DEFENDER OF THE FAITH,
The Translators of the BIBLE wish Grace, Mercy, and Peace,
through JESUS CHRIST our Lord.
REAT and manifold were the blessings, most dread Sovereign, which Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of England, when first he sent Your Majesty's Royal Person to rule and reign over us. For whereas it was the expectation of many, who wished not well unto our Sion, that upon the setting of that bright Occidental Star, Queen Elizabeth of most happy memory, some thick and palpable clouds of darkness would so have overshadowed this Land, that men should have been in doubt which way they were to walk; and that it should hardly be known, who was to direct the unsettled state; the appearance of Your Majesty, as of the Sun in his strength, instantly dispelled those supposed and surmised mists, and gave unto all that were well affected exceeding cause of comfort; especially when we beheld the Government established in Your Highness, and Your hopeful Seed, by an undoubted Title, and this also accompanied with peace and tranquillity at home and abroad.
But among all our joys, there was no one that more filled our hearts, than the blessed continuance of the preaching of God's sacred Word among us; which is that inestimable treasure, which excelleth all the riches of the earth; because the fruit thereof extendeth itself, not only to the time spent in this transitory world, but directeth and disposeth men unto that eternal happiness which is above in heaven.
Then not to suffer this to fall to the ground, but rather to take it up, and to continue it in that state, wherein the famous Predecessor of Your Highness did leave it : nay, to go forward with the confidence and resolution of a Man in maintaining the truth of Christ, and propagating it far and near, is that which hath so bound and firmly knit the hearts of all Your Majesty's loyal and religious people unto You, that Your very name is precious among them: their eye doth behold You with comfort, and they bless You in their hearts, as that sanctified Person, who, under God, is the immediate Author of their true happiness. And this their contentment doth not diminish or decay, but every day increaseth and taketh strength, when they observe, that the zeal of Your Majesty toward the House of God doth not slack or go backward, but is more and more kindled, manifesting itself abroad in the farthest parts of Christendom, by writing in defence of the Truth, (which hath given such a blow unto that man of sin, as will not be healed,) and every day
at home, by religious and learned discourse, by frequenting the house of God, by hearing the Word preached, by cherishing the Teachers thereof, by caring for the Church, as a most tender and loving nursing Father.
There are infinite arguments of this right Christian and religious affection in Your Majesty; but none is more forcible to declare it to others than the vehement and perpetuated desire of the accomplishing and publishing of this work, which now with all humility we present unto Your Majesty. For when Your Highness had once out of deep judgment apprehended how convenient it was, that out of the Original Sacred Tongues, together with comparing of the labours, both in our own, and other foreign Languages, of many worthy men who went before us, there should be one more exact Translation of the Holy Scriptures into the English Tongue; Your Majesty did never desist to urge and to excite those to whom it was commended, that the work might be hastened, and that the business might be expedited in so decent a manner, as a matter of such importance might justly require.
And now at last, by the mercy of God, and the continuance of our labours, it being brought unto such a conclusion, as that we have great hopes that the Church of England shall reap good fruit thereby; we hold it our duty to offer it to Your Majesty, not only as to our King and Sovereign, but as to the principal Mover and Author of the work: humbly craving of Your most sacred Majesty, that since things of this quality have ever been subject to the censures of illmeaning and discontented persons, it may receive approbation and patronage from so learned and judicious a Prince as Your Highness is, whose allowance and acceptance of our labours shall more honour and encourage us, than all the calumniations and hard interpretations of other men shall dismay us. So that if, on the one side, we shall be traduced by Popish Persons at home or abroad, who therefore will malign us, because we are poor instruments to make God's holy truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they desire still to keep in ignorance and darkness; or if, on the other side, we shall be maligned by selfconceited Brethren, who run their own ways, and give liking unto nothing, but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their anvil; we may rest secure, supported within by the truth and innocency of a good conscience, having walked the ways of simplicity and integrity, as before the Lord; and sustained without by the powerful protection of Your Majesty's grace and favour, which will ever give countenance to honest and Christian endeavours against bitter censures and uncharitable imputations.
The Lord of heaven and earth bless Your Majesty with many and happy days, that, as his heavenly hand hath enriched Your Highness with many singular and extraordinary graces, so You may be the wonder of the world in this latter age for happiness and true felicity, to the honour of that great GOD, and the good of his Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord and only Saviour.