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scarcely intelligible to an English, might be bound to use this transla-
design. They were divided into Such was the progress made in six classes. 'Two of the classes translation, when the present au were directed to meet at Oxford; thorized version was a subject of two at Cambridge ; and two at general contemplation. For the Westminster. The Bible was dithree great religious classes, then vided into as many parts, and so existing in England, there were distributed, that each one should three favourite, though imperfect have that portion in which he was translations. The Catholick, the known to excel. Every individual Churchman, and the Puritan, had was to translate throughout the each respectively his Douay, his part assigned to his class. They Bishops', his Geneva Bible. In were then to meet to examine the this state of increasing biblical several translations, and prepare knowledge, the Protestants, both one to be adopted.. The translaChurch men and Puritans, were tion thus adopted, was to undergo desirous of an improved and a thorough review by each of the established translation. A cir- five remaining classes. The king cumstance here took place which then issued his orders for all the led directly to the object desired. eminent Greek and Hebrew The Puritáns presented a petition scholars in the realm, to send to to his majesty, James I. desiring the Regius Professors of Hebrew reformation of certain ceremonies at Cambridge and Oxford whatever and abuses of the Church. The observations they had made for petition soon called forth a reply clearing the obscurities of the text, from the leading talent of Oxford or for removing the difficulties University. The king then issued and correcting the mistakes of fora proclamation appointing several | mer translators. At the saine bishops and deans, and the princi- time the Rt. Hon. Chancellor pal individuals, who presented the wrote to the Chancellors of the petition to attend him at his palace two Universities, authorizing them of Hampton Court, to confer with to add, in his name, such persons his Majesty upon the alleged abus-to the number as they should judge es and corruptions of the Church.proper. For the better observ, It was on the second day of this ance of the rules, three or four conference, that Dr. Reynolds, overseers were appointed from the leading member of the Puri- each University. The translators tans, proposed, that there be a after making all the preparation, new translation of the Bible. The which the magnitude of the underking confessed," he had never taking required, applied them. yet seen a bible well translated in selves three years laboriously to English ;" but satirically added, the task. When they had ac66 that of all he had seen, he complished their work, they sent thought the Geneva the worst.” He three copies, one from Oxford, wished a translation to be made by one from Cambridge, and one the most learned men of both from Westminster, to London, to universities, to be reviewed by the be reviewed. The six individuals, bishops and most eminent divines, who were selected from the whole presented to the privy council, number of translators, to make and last of all, ratified by his roy- the review, proceeded immediately al authority, that the whole church i to the place of destination, where
they spent nine months, and pre- || by no means faultless. But what pared a copy and sent it to the are the errors attributed to it? Is press.
The whole was again re- any truth affecting faith or morals viewed by Bilson and Smith, the wrested from the sense of the one bishop of Winchester, and text? Let the learned Durell the other afterwards bishop of speak for himself. “ The minds of Gloucester. When this was done, the people cannot hereby be unsetthe common English translation tled. All the leading arguments was finished and first published in of religion will remain undisturb1611.
ed. · Neither will the ground of After all this preparation and their faith or practice be ever so these unwearied pains, what was remotely affected.” to be expected but the very trans It is true, that the authorized lation we use, the best in our lan- | translation was made soon after guage and inferior to few in any | the revival of oriental literature in language ?
But notwithstanding the West ;—that the rules of inthe acknowledged excellence and terpretation are now better undergeneral fidelity of the authorized | stood ;~that the improvements of version, there have not been want- modern science, a more intimate ing men, and these of no mean acquaintance with the kindred rank, who have maintained, that a dialects, and such extensive colmore correct translation was not lations of manuscripts, as those of only expedient, but even necessa- Kennicott and de Rossi, have ry. Such were Kennicott, Lowth, thrown much light upon the HeDurell, Blaney, and Newcome, brew text. But still the alleged who have done not a little for the inaccuracies are acknowledged to advancement of Biblical Litera- be of minor importance. It is ture by their own critical labours. truly desirable that these should We value their labours and delight | be corrected. But serious obstato honour the names of those, whocles interpose. The style of our have been an ornament to the version, so justly admired, is English language ;-who under-interwoven, not only with all our stood and explained the difficulties sacred literature, but with almost of Hebrew poetry, inhaled its lof- every work of genius in the ty spirit, and transfused it into English language It is blended our mother tongue. Had it been with the best feelings and noblest resolved in their day to give anoth- sentiments, not of a few individuer translation of the scriptures, als, but of an extensive christian there could not have been found community. Another and still men more adequate to the task. greater obstacle, is the existing They, indeed, put forth great ef- jealousy of the different christian forts to persuade the publick of its denominations. Rarely do we see nécessity. But what sober chris- the individual, who can tian laments the failure of the en- || divest himself of sectarian feeling, terprize? Who would not pre- || as not to show a solicitude, that fer the sacred oracle, on which his the language of inspiration should soul rests for salvation, in the plain be accommodated to his own sentigarb in which it now appears, ments. While these obstacles rewhen thus subdued by the rules of main, it will be well for us not to a rigid and scrupulous criticism, | forsake a translation, which has to one of a statelier, or even of a | withstood the attacks of criticism more appropriate dress, if it must for more than two centuries. Escome forth in the bold spirit of pecially, when it is to be feared conjectural emendation, which per- that by so doing, little will be vades the whole system of these lI gained, but much may be lost. eminent men ? Our translation is
ON THE Fourthly, They caused them to MANNER OF PREACHING.
understand the reading.
You may well exclaim, " Who You may easily find many trea is sufficient for these things !" tises written on the gift of preach- and I may with equal propriety ing, the eloquence of the Pulpit, || answer, He who is taught by the the composition of a Sermon, &c. Spirit of God, and neglects not to &c. both in our own language, and cultivate his mind in the knowin foreign tongues ; and he wholedge of his divine testimonies. has a good judgment may profit While you are engaged in the by them : but I must confess, all pulpit in recommending the salvaI have ever read on the subject has tion of God, endeavour to feel the never conveyed so much informa-truth you preach, and diffuse a tion to my mind on the original, divine animation through every and, in my opinion, only proper || part. As the preacher appears to mode of preaching, as Neh. viii
. || preach, the people hear and be8. “ So they read in the book, in lieve. You
set it down as an the law of God, distinctly; and incontrovertible truth, that none gave the sense, and caused them to || of your hearers will be more afunderstand the reading." A few fected with your discourse than moments spent in considering this yourself. A dull, dead preacher, subject will not be lost.
makes a dull, dead congregation. The Israelites having been late Shun all controversies about ly brought out of Babylonish cap- politics : and especially that distivity, in which they had continu- grace of the pulpit, political ed 70 years, according to the pre- preaching. I have known this do diction of Jeremiah, xxv. 11. were much evil; but though I have not only extremely corrupt, but it often heard it, I never knew an appears they had, in general, lost instance of its doing good. It is the knowledge of the ancient He-not the bread which God has probrew to such a degree, that when || vided for his children: and from the book of the law was read, they the pulpit, it is neither profitable did not understand it : but cer- for doctrine, for reproof, nor for tain Levites stood by and gave the instruction in righteousness. If sense : i. e. translated it into the others will bring this chaff into Chaldee dialect.
the house of God, copy them not : What the nature of preaching you are called to feed the flock of was at this early period of its in- || Christ; and this you cannot do stitution, we learn from the above but by the sincere milk of the eited text.
word, and the bread of life. For First, They read in the book of what is the chaff to the wheat ? the law of God. The words of saith the Lord. God are the proper matter of A sentence or two of affectionpreaching, for they contain the ate prayer in different parts of the wisdom of the Most High, and re- discourse has a wonderful tendenveal to man the things which make cy to enliven it, and to make the for his peace.
people hear with concern and inSecondly, They read distinctly: terest. On this subject, a great, they analyzed, dilated and ex- foreign orator gives the ministers pounded it at large.
of the gospel the following advice. Thirdly, They gave the sense : 66 When you have proved the i. e. showed its importance and truth of the principles you laid utility ; thus applying verbal crit-down, you have done but little of icism, and general exposition, to the great ministerial work. It is the most important purpose. from this point, the proof of your
; if ,
doctrine, that you are to set out to the sentiment of the poet, give it triumph over the passions of your in plain prose. To say the least auditory ; to strip the sinner of of this custom, it certainly is not every subterfuge and excuse, that agreeable to the rules of congruity conviction may lead him to repen- to interlard prose discourses with tance. To produce this effect, || scraps of verse.
It is nothing but leave your proofs and divisions be- custom that renders this improprihind you; address yourself to the ety at all supportable. Reverse conscience in powerful interroga- | the business, and see how oddly a tives ; repeat nothing that you | poem will appear which has here have before said ; you have now and there scraps of prose in it. to produce a new effect, and must While I have you in the pulpit, use a new language. Employ the I will give you a concluding adutmost energy
of your soul to show vice relative to this part of the them that happiness is to be found Il business. Never ape any person, no where but in God. What shall| however eminent he may be for I say more? Forget method, forget piety, or ministerial abilities. The art itself. Lift up your soul in af- || providence of God has caused 'fectionate prayer to God;-become many of the natural manners of the intercessor of your auditory, men to differ as much as their perthat the multitude which withstood sons : and it is nearly as impossiyour menaces, may be constrained ble for a man to imitate the pecuto yield to the effusions of your liar manners of another, as it is
So preach and pray, that to assume his features. It is on your congregation may be made this account that no one has ever better, or purpose to become succeeded who has endeavoured to better, in consequence of your copy another : and as the aiming labour.
to do it, is easily discoverable, the Seldom quote poetry in your man who acts thus, is despicable sermons ; you avail yourself of " in the eyes of the people.
JOURNAL OF ONE OF THE
er foreigners, who would otherwise be disposed to flock to Arracan or Marta
ban. For my own part, I feel assured, Calcutta, April 11, 1826.
(from opportunities of knowing, which My dear Brother,
were afforded to no other person in a like The prospects for our mission were | degree) I feel confident that the nation never more bright. The terms on which has progressed at least a century at once the war has been concluded have af- in knowledge and civilization ; and forded an asylum for thousands of Bur- || should God be pleased to smile upon our mans, who will prefer the English gov- || labours, it might in a very short period, ernment to their own; and of course a like Otaheite, be induced to throw away place of refuge for those of our mission- | its superstitious forms, its senseless idols, aries whose sufferings have given them a its false astronomy, and more fatally false decided preference to a milder and more system of Geography, and thus be laid tolerating power.
same time, open for the glad work of apostolic men, both these considerations will be a con to enter the breach, to force the ramparts, stantly operating principle to make the and save the souls of the enslaved beBurman government more cautious in nighted, waiting multitude. oppressing their own people, and more During our long captivity, we were anxious to encourage merchants and oth- 1) enabled to see and feel the gradual change
which was effected in the mind of the locular demonstration that we were sufe. nation at large. At first, we were treat Our life was more than once despaired ed rather worse than dogs—chained- of by each of us. On the first night of fastened to a pole, and allowed to have our imprisonment sleep was banished no food except what our friends should from our eyes, for death seemed sure. provide. Afterwards, by degrees, we re No language can describe our anxieties. ceived the benefit of the liberty of the Separated as we were from all those we yard, and finally, very considerable re held most dear, death seemed doubly spect and attention, both from our keep-frightful in the certainty of the miseries ers and visitors, which increased as the which awaited them. But even death British approached Ava, and finally ter
itself was to be invited when we consid. minated in our liberation, and a call to
ered the only probable alternative, “crutake a part in the counsels of the coun- | el, and long continued torture.” The try. This circumstance through the next day, and the next, passing by withblessing of God has given us a new hold
out an order for our death, a little light on the government; and I believe has illuminated the feeble prospect of a final evidently excited a very strong feeling of escape. All our thoughts were directed grateful regard to our mission, which, to the catastrophe which seemed in the backed by the English power, and a
end to be.certain, for none could be so resident at Ava, must, through Provi- sanguine as to imagine that the proud and dence, make our stay safe, and our pros- | haughty Burman would ever be humbled pects bright.
by any beating he might receive, to make Already have I been asked by many of a peace, even though it might be on the great to teach them the arts, the sci- equal terms. Their whole history afford. ences, and the religion of these superiored no example of this sort, but on the white men; and when I have told them contrary hereditary enmity seemed the of the fundamental truth of a God-the only probable object to be effected by a . Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, they have war which was engaged in with much asked again and again, and finally taken spirit, and carried on at first with great o their black books to write down the hopes of success. Hence our only prosinteresting words for future inspection. pect was a miserable death, or a state of I am happy to inform you in the gen
more miserable servitude. No tongue eral that we have enjoyed our health in
tell the horror of horrors which a particularly providential manner. We pressed upon our minds, when reflection have also in the midst of the darkest
forced us to look upon the dreary, dread. pects found the barrel of meal not yet emp
ful scene before us. No books were al. ty, and the cruse of oil unfailing. Blessed lowed to alleviate or to cheer our spirits. be his name who feeds the ravens when Social intercourse with each other was they cry, and clothes even the lilies that strictly forbidden, and every object ery not unto him.
I trust your
afflicted around was in the highest degree disbrethren were sensible of the hand of gusting, and calculated to inspire the God in all their trials, and endeavoured most appalling dread and terror. But to improve them that they might soften why distress you with general remarks on their hearts, and make them more fit for a subject where I am sure nothing but future enjoyment of Christian privileges; the most scrupulous minuteness can satfor all opportunity was debarred, and isfy the intense curii sity which circumeven internal devotion made extremely stances have concurred to inspire on this difficult by the horrid society-murderers (to us) most intensely interesting subrobbers—and felons of every class,ject. who were crowded upon us. In addition
Fall of Rangoon. to these evils the constant presence of our keepers whose awful responsibility
The news of the fall of Rangoon, obliged them to trust not to bolts, or locks, reached Ava on Lord's day, May 23d, or stocks, or fetters, but to have constant
1824, when nothing could exceed the Nov. 1826