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To the Editor of the Monthly Repository . ,
sir , January * I 6 " , 1 S 09 . Every new publication is open to the strictures of fair and liberal criticism ^ nor does the Improved Version of the New Testament expect or desire exemption from the jurisdiction of that respectable
court . It is , however , reasonable to require of those who constitute themselves the umpires of literature , that they should at least understand the nature and design of the work which they profess to
criticise , and that they should not pass a censure upon authors for not performing an office which was avowedly without the limits of their plan . Had your learned correspondent , « W . H . who
delivers his critical dictums with a tone of authority , " as who should
say I am Sir Oracle , " condescended to read the reports of the society previous to the publication of the Improved Version , I flatter myself that his expectances would not have been screwed up to so unreasonable a height , that
his patience would not have been put to so severe a trial , and that his disappointment would have been less egregious . He would then have been apprised that the editors of the Improved Version never proposed to give to the world a new translation of the
New Testament , nor even to corfect all the buts ? and the z / i and the t / ies , and the thats of the version which they adopted as the bzitiis of their improvement . The plan which they proposed and pursued , was to select a version of acknowledged merit , and into this version to introduce n
change but what appeared neces - sary to their main design . They were solicitous to avoid o-ivins ; the version so selected a motley appearance , by introducing a number of minute verbal alterations , and were also serupulouslv exact
in noticing every deviation from the adopted text , and in setting clown the words of this translation in the notes of the Improved Version , so that every reader might < be enabled to form his judgment
as to the propriety of the alteration , and that those who wished for no change , mi g ht he in possession of the complete text of the Primate ' s version , which was then
out of print , and not likely to be speedily , if ever , republished . To this text , thus sparingly corrected , the editors of the Improved
Version have subjoined notes for the purpose of defending their own variations where they occurred , and of enabling the unlearned reader to comprehend the meaninn of the obscure and figurative
language of the New Testament , the misunderstanding of which has given birth or countenance to the popular corruptions of the Christian doctrine . Upon this plan , the editors of the Improved Version do not con *
ceive themselves to be responsible at the tribunal of criticism , for any errors verbal or otherwise , which may appear in the Primate ' s text . But with regard to the nature and extent of their plan , the mode of its execution , the propriety of the alteration ' s , and the correctness and pertinancy of thejj * note& , they Are certainly
THE DESIGN OF THE IMPROVED VERSION EXPLAINED , IN REPLY TO OBJECTORS .
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Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1809, page 36, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1732/page/36/