Bible (King James Version, 1611)/Translators to the Reader

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King James Bible (1611) page A3v.xcf


ZEale to promote the common good, whether it be by deuiſing any thing our ſelues, or reuiſing that which hath bene laboured by othersThe beſt things haue been calumniated, deſerueth certainly much reſpect and eſteeme, but yet findeth but cold intertainment in the world. It is welcommed with ſuſpicion in ſtead of loue, and with emulation in ſtead of thankes: and if there be any hole left for cauill to enter, (and cauill, if it doe not finde a hole, will make one) it is ſure to bee miſconſtrued, and in danger to be condemned. This will eaſily be granted by as many as know ſtory, or haue any experience. For, was there euer any thing proiected, that ſauoured any way of newneſſe or renewing, but the ſame endured many a ſtorme of gaine-ſaying, or oppoſition? A man would thinke that Ciuilitie, holeſome Lawes, learning and eloquence, Synods, and Church-maintenance, (that we ſpeake of no more things of this kinde) ſhould be as ſafe as a Sanctuary, and ǁἔξο βέλους. out of ſhot, as they ſay, that no man would lift vp the heele, no, nor dogge mooue his tongue againſt the motioners of them. For by the firſt, we are diſtinguiſhed from bruit-beaſts led with ſenſualitie: By the ſecond, we are bridled and reſtrained from outragious behauiour, and from doing of iniuries, whether by fraud or by violence: By the thrid, we are enabled to informe and reforme others, by the light and feeling that we haue attained vnto our ſelues: Briefly, by the fourth being brought together to a parle face to face, we ſooner compoſe our differences then by writings, which are endleſſe: And laſtly, that the Church be ſufficiently prouided for, is ſo agreeable to good reaſon and conſcience, that thoſe mothers are holden to be leſſe cruell, that kill their children aſſoone as they are borne, then thoſe nourſing fathers and mothers (whereſoeuer they be) that withdraw from them who hang vpon their breaſts (and vpon whoſe breaſts againe themſelues doe hang to receiue the Spirituall and ſincere milke of the word) liuelyhood and ſupport fit for their eſtates. Thus it is apparent, that theſe things which we ſpeake of, are of moſt neceſſary vſe, and therefore, that none, either without abſurditie can ſpeake againſt them, or without note of wickedneſſe can ſpurne againſt them.

Yet for all that, the learned know that certaine worthy menAnacharſis with others. haue bene brought to vntimely death for none other fault, but for ſeeking to reduce their Countrey-men to good order and diſcipline: and that in fome Common-wealesLocri. it was made a capitall crime, once to motion the making of a new Law for the abrogating of an old, though the ſame were moſt pernicious: And that certaine,Cato the elder. which would be counted pillars of the State, and paternes of Vertue and Prudence, could not be brought for a long time to giue way to good Letters and refined ſpeech, but bare themſelues as auerſe from them, as from rocks or boxes of poiſon: And fourthly, that hee was no babe, but a great clearke,Gregory the Diuine that gaue foorth (and in writing to remaine to poſteritie) in paſſion peraduenture, but yet he gaue foorth, that hee had not ſeene any profit to come by any Synode, or meeting of the Clergie, but rather the contrary: And laſtly, againſt Church-maintenance and allowance, in ſuch ſort, as the Embaſſadors and meſſengers of the great King of Kings ſhould be furniſhed, it is not vnknowen what a fiction or fable (ſo it is eſteemed, and for no better by the reporterNauclerus. himſelfe, though ſuperſtitious) was deuiſed; Namely, that at ſuch time as the profeſſours and teachers of Chriſtianitie in the Church of Rome, then a true Church, were liberally endowed, a voyce forſooth was heard from heauen, ſaying; Now is poiſon powred down into the Church, &c. Thus not only as oft as we ſpeake, as one ſaith, but alſo as oft as we do anything of note or conſequence, we ſubiect our ſelues to euery ones cenſure, and happy is he that leaſt toſſed vpon tongues; for vtterly to eſcape the ſnatch of them it is impoſſible. If any man conceit, that this is the lot and portion of the meaner ſort onely, and that Princes are priuiledged by their high eſtate, he is deceiued. As the ſword deuoureth aſwell one as the other, as it is in Samuel;2.Sam.11.25. nay as the great Commander charged his ſouldiers in a certaine battell, to ſtrike at no part of the enemie, but at the face; And as the King of Syria commanded his chiefe Captianes1.King.22.31. to fight neither with ſmall nor great, ſaue onely against the King of Iſrael: ſo it is too true, that Enuie ſtriketh moſt ſpitefully at the faireſt, and at the chiefeſt. Dauid was a worthy Prince, and no man to be compared to him for his firſt deedes, and yet for as worthy an acte as euer he did (euen for bringing backe the Arke of God in ſolemnitie) he was ſcorned and ſcoffed at by his owne wife.2.Sam.6.16. Solomon was greater then Dauid, though not in vertue, yet in power: and by his power and wiſdome he built a Temple to the Lord, ſuch a one as was the glory of the land of Iſrael, and the wonder of the whole world. But was that his magnificence liked of by all? We doubt of it. Otherwiſe, why doe they lay it in his ſonnes diſh, and call vnto him for ǁσεισάχθειαν. eaſing of the burden, Make, ſay they, the grieuous ſeruitude of thy father, and his ſore yoke, lighter.1.King.12.4. Belike he had charged them with ſome leuies, and troubled them with ſome cariages; Hereupon they raiſe vp a tragedie, and wiſh in their heart the Temple had neuer bene built. So hard a thing it is to pleaſe all, euen when we pleaſe God beſt, and doe ſeeke to approue our ſelues to euery ones conſcience.

The higheſt perſonages haue been calumniated.If wee will deſcend to later times, wee ſhall finde many the like examples of ſuch kind, or rather vnkind acceptance. The C.Cæſar.Plutarch.firſt Romane Emperour did neuer doe a more pleaſing deed to the learned, nor more profitable to poſteritie, for conſeruing the record of times in true ſupputation; then when he corrected the Calender, and ordered the yeere according to the courſe of the Sunne: and yet this was imputed to him for noueltie, and arrogancie, and procured to him great obloquie. So the Conſtantine.firſt Chriſtened Emperour (at the leaſtwiſe that openly profeſſed the faith himſelfe, and allowed others to doe the like) for ſtrengthening the Empire at his great charges, and prouiding for the Church, as he did, got for his labour the name Pupillus,Aurel. Victor. as who would ſay, a waſtefull prince, that had neede of a Guardian, or ouerſeer. So the Theodoſius.beſt Chriſtened Emperour, for the loue that he bare vnto peace, thereby to enrich both himſelfe and his ſubiects, and becauſe he did not ſeeke warre but find it, was iudged to be no man at armes,Zoſimus. (though in deed he excelled in feates of chiualrie, and ſhewed ſo much when he was prouked) and condemned for giuing himſelfe to his eaſe, and to his pleaſure. To be ſhort, the Iuſtinian.moſt learned Emperour of former times, (at the leaſt, the greateſt politician) what thanks had he for cutting off the ſuperfluities of the lawes, and digeſting them into ſome order and method? This, that he hath been blotted by ſome to bee an Epitomiſt, that is, one that extinguiſhed worthy whole volumes, to bring his abridgements into requeſt. This is the meaſure that hath been rendred to excellent Princes in former times, euen, Cum benè facerent, malè audire, For their good deedes to be euill ſpoken of. Neither is there any likelihood, that enuie and malignitie died, and were buried with the ancient. No, no, the reproofe of Moſes taketh hold of moſt ages; Numb.32.14. You are riſen vp in your fathers ſtead, an increaſe of ſinfull men. Eccles.1.9.What is that that hath been done? that which ſhall be done: and there is no new thing vnder the Sunne,His Maieſties conſtancie, notwithſtanding calumniation, for the ſuruey of the Engliſh tranſlations. faith the wiſeman: and S. Steuen, Acts 7.51.As your fathers did, ſo doe you. This, and more to this purpoſe, His maieſtie that now reigneth (and long, and long may he reigne, and his offpring for euer, ἁυτὸς, καὶ παῖδες, καὶ μαίδων πάντοτε παῖδες.Himſelfe and children and childrens children alwayes) knew full well, according to the ſingular wiſedome giuen vnto him by God, and the rare learning and experience that he hath attained vnto; namely that whoſoeuer attempteth any thing for the publike (ſpecially if it pertaine to Religion, and to the opening and clearing of the word of God) the ſame ſetteth himſelfe vpon a ſtage to be glouted vpn by euery euil eye, yea, he caſteth himſelfe headlong vpon pikes, to be gored by euery ſharpe tongue. For he that medleth with mens Religion in any part, medleth with their cuſtome, nay, with their freehold; and though they finde no content in that which they haue, yet they cannot abibe to heare of altering. Notwithſtanding his Royall heart was not daunted or diſcouraged for this or that colour, but ſtood reſolute, Suidas. ὥσπερ τις ἀνδριὰς ἀπερίτρεπτος καὶ ἄκμων ἀνήλατοςas a ſtatue immoueable, and an anuile not eaſie to be beaten into plates, as one ſayth; he knew who had choſen him to be a Souldier, or rather a Captaine, and being aſſured that the courſe which he intended made much for the glory of God, & the building vp of his Church, he would not ſuffer it to be broken off for whatſoeuer ſpeaches or practiſes. It doth certainely belong vnto Kings, yea, it doth ſpecially belong vnto them, to haue care of Religion, yea, to know it aright, yea, to profeſſe it zealouſly, yea to promote it to the vttermoſt of their power. This is their glory before all nations which meane well, and this will bring vnto them a farre moſt excellent weight of glory in the day of the Lord Ieſus. For the Scripture faith not in vaine, 1.Sam 1.30.Them that honor me, I will honor, neither was it a vaine word that Euſebius deliuered long agoe, that θεοσέβειαpietie towards God was the weapon, and the onely weapon that both preſerued Conſtantines perſon, and auenged him of his enemies.Euſebius lib.10 cap.8.

The praiſe of the holy Scriptures. But now what pietie without trueth? what trueth (what ſauing trueth) without the word of God? what word of God (whereof we may be ſure) without the Scripture? The Scriptures we are commanded to ſearch. Ioh.5.39. Eſa.8.20. They are commended that ſearched & ſtudied them. Act.17.11. and 8.28,29. They are reproued that were vnskilful in them, or ſlow to beleeue them. Mat.22.29. Luk.24.25. They can make vs wiſe vnto ſaluation. 2.Tim.3.15. If we be ignorant, they will inſtruct vs; if out of the way, they will bring vs home; if out of order, they will reforme vs, if in heauines, comfort vs, if dull, quicken vs, if colde, inflame vs. S.August. confeſſ.lib.8.cap.12Tolle, lege, Tolle, Lege, Take vp and read, take vp and read the Scriptures, (for vnto them was the direction) it was ſaid vnto S. Augustine by a ſupernaturall voyce. S.Auguſt. de vtilit. credendi cap.6.Whatſoeuar is in the Scriptures, beleeue me, ſaith the ſame S.Auguſtine, is high and diuine; there is verily trueth, and a doctrine moſt fit for the refreſhing and renewing of mens mindes, and truely ſo tempered, that euery one may draw from thence that which is ſufficient for him, if hee come to draw with a deuout and pious minde, as true Religion requireth. Thus S. Auguſtine. And. S. Hierome: S.Hieronym. ad Demetriad.Ama ſcipturas, & amabit te ſapientia &c. Loue the Scriptures, and wiſedome will loue thee. And S.Cyrill againſt Iulian; S.Cyril.contra Iulianum.Euen boyes that are bred vp in the Scriptures, become moſt religious, &c. But what mention wee three or foure vſes of the Scriptrue, whereas whatſoeuer is to be beleeued or practiſed, or hoped for, is contained in them? or three or foure ſentences of the Fathers, ſince whoſoeuer is worthy the name of a Father, from Chriſts time downeward, hath likewiſe written not onely of the riches, but alſo of the perfection of the Scripture? Tertul.aduerſ. Hermo.I adore the fulneſſe of the Scripture, faith Terullian againſt Hermogenes. And Tertul. de carne Chriſti.againe, to Apelles an Heretike of the like ſtampe, he ſaith; I doe not admit that which thou bringeſt in (or concludeſt) of thine owne (head or ſtore, de tuo) without Scripture. So Iuſtin. προτρεπτ. πρὸς ἕελληναςSaint Iustin Martyr before him; Wee muſt know by all meanes, ſaith hee, that it is not lawfull (or poſſibleοἷόν τε) to learne (anything) of God or of right pietie, ſaue onely out of the Prophets, who teach vs by diuine inspiration. So S. Baſil. περὶ πίστεωςSaint Baſill after Tertullian, It is a manifeſt falling away from the Faith, and a ὑπερηφανίας κατηγορίαfault of preſumption, either to reiect any of thoſe things that are written, or to bring in (vpon the head of them, ἐπεισαγεῖν) any of thoſe things that are not written. Wee omit to cite to the ſame effect, S.Cyrill B. of Hieruſalem in his 4.Catacheſ. Saint Hierome againſt Heluidius, Saint Augustine in his 3. booke againſt the letters of Petilian, and in very many other places of his workes. Alſo we forbeare to deſcend to latter Fathers, becauſe wee will not wearie the reader. The Scriptures then being acknowledged to bee ſo full and ſo perfect, how can wee excuſe our ſelues of negligence, if we doe not ſtudie them, of curioſitie, if we be not content with them? Men talke much of Εἰρεσιώνη σῦκα φίγει, πίονας ἄρτους, καὶ μέλι ἐν κοτύλῃ, καὶ ἔλαιον, &c.
An oliue bow wrapped about with wooll, wherevpon did hang figs, & bread, and honie in a pot, & oyle.
εἰρεσιώνη, how many ſweete and goodly things it had hanging on it; of the Philoſophers ſtone, that it turneth copper into gold; of Cornu-copia, that it had all things neceſſary for foode in it, of Panaces the herbe, that it was good for all diſeaſes; of Catholicon the drugge, that it is in ſtead of all purges; of Vulcans armour, that is was an armour of proofe againſt all thruſts, and all blowes, &c. Well, that which they falſly or vainely attributed to theſe things for bodily good, wee may iuſtly and with full meaſure aſcribe vnto the Scripture, for ſpitituall. It is not onely an armour, but alſo a whole armorie of weapons, both offenſiue, and defenſiue; whereby we may ſaue our ſelues and put the enemie to flight. It is not an herbe, but a tree, or rather a whole paradiſe of trees of life, which bring foorth fruit euery moneth, and the fruit thereof is for meate, and the leaues for medicine. It is not a pot of Manna, or a cruſe of oyle, which were for memorie only, or for a meales meate or two, but as it were a ſhowre of heauenly bread ſuſſicient for a whole hoſt, be it neuer ſo great; and as it were a whole cellar full of oyle veſſels; whereby all our neceſsities may be prouided for, and our debts diſcharged. In a word, it is a Panary of holeſome foode, againſt fenowed traditions; a Phyſions-ſhopκοινὸν ἰατρεῖον.
S. Baſil. in Pſal. primum.
(Saint Baſill calleth it) of preſeruatiues againſt poiſsoned hereſies; a Pandect of profitable laws, againſt rebellious ſpirits; a treaſurie of moſt coſtly iewels, againſt beggarly rudiments; Finally a fountiane of moſt pure water ſpringing vp vnto euerlaſting life. And what maruaile? The originall thereof being from heauen, not from earth; the authour being God, not man; the enditer, the holy ſpirit, not the wit of the Apoſtles or Prophets; the Pen-men ſuch as were ſanctified from the wombe, and endewed with a principall portion of Gods ſpirit; the matter, veritie, pietie, puritie, vprightneſſe; the forme, Gods word, Gods teſtimonie, Gods oracles, the word of trueth, the word of ſaluation, &c. the effects, light of vnderſtanding, ſtableneſſe of perſwaſion, repentance from dead workes, newneſſe of life, holineſſe, peace, ioy in the holy Ghoſt; laſtly, the end and reward of the ſtudie thereof, fellowſhip with the Saints, participation of the heauenly nature, fruition of an inheritance immortall, vndefiled, and that neuer ſhall fade away: Happie is the man that delighteth in the Scripture, and thriſe happie that meditateth in it day and night.

Tranſlation neceſſarie.But how ſhall men meditate in that, which they cannot vnderſtand? How ſhall they vnderstand that which is kept cloſe in an vnknowen tongue? as it is written, 1.Cor.14.Except I know the power of the voyce, I ſhall be to him that ſpeaketh, a Barbarian, and he that ſpeaketh, ſhalbe a Barbarian to me. The Apoſtle excepteth no tongue; not Hebrewe the ancienteſt, not Greeke the moſt copious, not Latine the fineſt. Nature taught a naturall man to confeſſe, that all of vs in thoſe tongues which wee doe not vnderſtand, are plainely deafe; Clem. Alex.1°.Strom.wee may turne the deafe eare vnto them. The Scythian counted the Athenian, whom he did not vnderſtand, barbarous: ſo the Romane did the Syrian, and the Iew, (euen S. Hieronym. Damaſo.S. Hierome himſelfe calleth the Hebrew tongue barbarous, belike becauſe it was ſtrange to ſo many) ſo the Michael, Theophili fil. Emperour of Conſtantinople calleth the Latine tongue, barbarous, though 2.Tom. Concil. ex edis. Petri Crab.Pope Nicolas do ſtorme at it: ſo the Iewes long before Chriſt, called all other nations, Lognazim, which is little better than barbarous. Therefore as Cicero 5°. de complaineth, that alwayes in the Senate of Rome, there was one or other that called for an interpreter: ſo leſt the Church be driuen to the like exigent, it is neceſſary to haue tranſlations in a readineſſe. Tranſlation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the ſhell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aſide the curtaine, that we may looke into the moſt Holy place; that remooueth the couer of the well, that wee may come by the water, euen as Page:BibleKJV1611-001.pdf/11 Page:BibleKJV1611-001.pdf/12 Page:BibleKJV1611-001.pdf/13 Page:BibleKJV1611-001.pdf/14 Page:BibleKJV1611-001.pdf/15 Page:BibleKJV1611-001.pdf/16 Page:BibleKJV1611-001.pdf/17
King James Bible (1611) page B2v.xcf