of another; and if any objection was made, the passage was pointed out, and returned for re-consideration; after which, if any doubt was entertained, or any disagreement still existed regarding it, it was reserved as a disputed point for revision by the General Committee. Six most eminent and influential of the whole body were appointed, for this purpose, to meet at stated intervals, and by conversation, as well as joint perusal of the work of each section, promote, as far as possible, harmony of views and language. A final revision was undertaken by two of the most learned bishops of the day. Notwithstanding the undivided attention of these six companies was given to the work, and the minds of the nation were wound up to a high pitch of expectation, the translation was not completed till the end of three years. But the time and pains bestowed upon it, and the vast erudition embarked in the undertaking, were amply compensated by the excellence of the version itself; which, although, perhaps, in some places, it is susceptible of improvement, is yet, when judged as a whole, the best and most unexceptionable that has been made in any language. The blemishes that appear in it are like the spots of the sun, lost and overlooked in the midst of the general splendour; and with regard to it, a competent judge (Dr. Gray) has said, "It is a wonderful and incomparable performance; equally remarkable for the general fidelity of its construction, and the beautiful simplicity of its language." With this English translation of the Scriptures, the most interesting associations are connected. The possession of it is the great privilege and birthright of our countrymen; and while it is on account of its being the record of the Divine will-its proclaiming the joyful sound-its containing the only rule of our life, and the only means of our salvation-that the possession of it is chiefly valuable, and that makes us a people highly favoured of heaven; yet, looking to it in a literary point of view, no ordinary interest is attached to a version, the history of whose introduction into our country, is a record of unparal

leled perils, and providential deliverances,-a version, which is now stamped with an air of variable antiquity; which, for two hundred and fifty years, has been scanned by the eyes, and cherished with the affectionate reverence of successive races of our forefathers, -a version on which, like the dominions of the Monarch in whose language it is made, the sun never sets,- -a version which is mixed up inseparably with all that has contributed to the rise and progress of our country's greatness; and which now, by the invention of printing, has been multiplied in such numbers, and diffused to such an extent, as proves it to be, like its Divine Author, almost possessed with the attribute of omnipresence,-to be, at least, the king and lord above all other books. At any time, and in any circumstances, the translation of the Bible, when in long and general circulation, must have exerted an important influence on the character, manners, and intellectual condition of the people; for it is one of the many excellencies of Christianity, and one of the many proofs of its divine origin, that while it is specially adapted to the moral and spiritual wants of mankind, it never fails, at the same time, to manifest its benign spirit in augmenting and purifying the sources of their temporal happi


But this translation of the Bible, made at a time when Britain was in a transition state from darkness to light, —from the rudeness of an earlier age to order and refinement, was calculated to produce a strong and wide-spread influence on the social character and condition of the people, and in the deportment more than in that of their national literature.

In submitting a few proofs and illustrations of this, I shall consider the influence of the English translation of the Bible, first, on the English language, and then on the kind, the character, and the extent of our literature.

In the first place, then, the translation of the Bible had no small influence on the language of Britain. At the time when the earlier translations were made, the language of this country, like that of most other European countries, was in a state

spect, charity for love. But with these exceptions, and, it may be, one or two others, the elements, as well as the structure of our language, have remained substantially unchanged, and exactly the same as they were in the days of James. And no one who has the slightest ac

of comparative barbarity,-a stranger to rules, seldom reduced to writing, unpolished by taste, unpatronized by rank, in short, in that state of gross and uncultivated rudeness, into which long neglect and disuse had sunk it. The few men of learning wrote and spoke in Latin; and, except on matters of domestic and every-quaintance with the history and progress day life, left their native tongue to be spoken only by the inferior and uneducated classes of the people. Nay, even after the English came to be more frequently used as a spoken language, it was, from the extensive ignorance that prevailed, long subject to frequent and great changes, insomuch, that one has only to look into the earlier English versions of the Bible, and compare one with another, to see that many words and phrases, which had been introduced into the first, had, when the present translation was made, fallen into disuse, and had to be supplanted by others. In our own time, with all the frequency of communication through distant parts of the country, we are all aware what varieties of dialect the language undergoes; the people in London speaking so differently from the natives of Yorkshire; and the inhabitants of Glasgow or Edinburgh from a resident in Aberdeen; and one can easily perceive, therefore, how the events and revolutions that have chequered the history of Britain since the days of James, as well as the extending intercourse with foreign nations, must have produced such changes as would have made the language used by our ancestors two hundred and fifty years ago, nearly unintelligible without a glossary, had not the translation of the Bible given to it a fixed and permanent character. Independently of any general views of the changing character of language, our present version will itself furnish us with examples of the fluctuations to which the English tongue has been subject; for, in a few cases, words which, at the date of this translation, were generally current and sanctioned in good society, have now become entirely obsolete, or have received a different meaning; such, for instance, as cunning for skilful, wist for know, listed for pleased, lewd for wicked, worship for re

of that language, will scruple to admit, that its prominent and steady character is to be traced to the silent and unobserved, but deep-felt influence of the translation of the Bible. I do not mean to say, that this translation was the original cause of its attaining this stability. Previous to the reign of James, the English language was already in full progress towards order and refinement. The successive versions of Tindal, Coverdale, and others, had contributed a considerable share of influence in bringing it to greater maturity. Several authors, too, of great name and acquirements, had appeared on the field of literature; and, what is of importance to mention, had written in a pure and simple style of Saxon-English; so that the translators drew out of the well of English undefiled. And when we consider this,—the beautifully pure and simple English, then in use,-when we consider, that this translation, though it did not entirely supersede its predecessors for more than twenty or thirty years after its publication, was yet given to the country, at a time, and in circumstances the most favourable to its universal reception,—I mean, the time subsequent to the union of Scotland and England under one monarchy; and when, in addition, we consider the stronghold which, on account of its sacred character and associations, this book takes of the educated mind, it must be apparent, that it has exercised an influence over the language of Britain, as beneficial as the translations of Luther and Lefevre in Germany and France, which their respective countrymen universally regard as the standard of their language, as well as of their faith.

In another way the translation of the Bible had an influence over the language of Britain; and that was by enriching it with a variety of new terms. Previous.

to any of the vernacular versions, the people were accustomed to the performance of divine worship in an unknown tongue; and they knew little or nothing about religion beyond the routine of the service, and the periodical mummeries of superstition. They were, in a great measure, if not wholly, strangers to the peculiarities of the Gospel, and to the very terms of abstraction and analogy, in which the sacred writers convey a knowledge of spiritual and Divine things; so that as they had no motive and indigenous words by which to give expression to Christian doctrine, the translators were obliged to borrow them from the Latin; and hence we meet with such substantives as divination, perdition, adoption, manifestation, consolation, contribution, administration, consummation, reconciliation, operation, communication, retribution, preparation, immortality, principality, frustrate, inexcusable, transfigure, concupiscence, &c. These terms, although now familiar as household words to every reader of the Bible, were introduced into our language, for the first time, by our translators; and what solicitude they and other good men of that period felt, that the people should understand them, may be judged of by the circumstance, that in the early editions of the English Prayer-book, the use of Latin words is often accompanied by a Saxon term, of the same or a similar meaning; as, for instance, the humble and lowly congregate and meet together.

There was a third way in which the English translation of the Bible had an influence on the language of Britain; and that was, by familiarizing native writing with literary compositions, of a caste entirely different from what the genius of the West had ever produced. The rich and glowing imaginations of the sacred penmen, partaking of the splendour and magnificence of the oriental scenery amid which they lived, have spread a mantle of gorgeous drapery over many passages of their writings, and given unequalled sublimity to others. The whole Scriptures are full of poetry, both in sentiment and language. Their striking imagery, their bold personification, their descriptions of nature, viewed with other eyes,

and seen in a character and form so unlike the garb in which she appears on these northern climes,—all stamp it with an air of novelty and originality, and give it, as a mere book, irresistible charms to those who are possessed of sensibility and taste, to appreciate its beauties. And besides, our translators, in many of the most beautiful and pathetic passages of sacred history, have been pre-eminently happy in rendering them into English. Such passages as this in the life of Jacob,

"Thou wilt bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave;" or this in Ruth,-" Entreat me not to love thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;" or this in the history of Paul,-"They all knelt down and wept, sorrowing most of all for the words that he spake, that they should see his face no more." The choice, as well as the arrangement of the words, in English, it has been often remarked, is fitted to fall most tenderly and impressively on the ear; and hence, many of our native writers, who were far from being imbued with a religious spirit, and who knew the Scriptures only in their English dress, have read them merely for the beauty of the style, and the richness of the imagery. It has been the mine from which the genius of many of our modern authors have derived the golden treasures with which their pages are enriched, and, indeed, some of our greatest orators and poets, as well as our artists, have all along drawn from this source their best and highest inspirations.


A Deputation of the American Bible Society waited, a few weeks ago, upon the President of the United States, when he expressed himself in the following beneficial terms:

"The Bible is the best of all books; and I wish it were in the hands of every one. It is indispensable to the safety and permanency of our institutions. A free government cannot be maintained without

religion and morals; and morals cannot exist without religion; and religion without the Bible. Especially should the Bible be placed in the hands of the young. It is the best school-book in the world. The children will remember its instructions if they learn them in school. I

remember the lessons of my childhood far better than what I read now; and I wish that all our people were brought up under the influence of the Bible. You are engaged in a good cause, and I wish you great success."-New York Observer, May 12, 1849.


(Monthly Paper supplied by the Edinburgh Branch of the British League of Juvenile Abstainers, fur which the Editor is not responsible.-ED. CH. MAG.)


DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-We have something to say to you about abstinence from intoxicating liquors, tobacco, and opium; and as we cannot visit you all, and tell you with our own lips what we have to say, we have written you this letter, which, we hope, you will read with care, and consider with patience, and pray for direction from God in the things spoken of, that in all things you may do what is pleasing in His sight, and agreeable to His Word.

Abstinence from anything is refraining from it not using it-keeping away from it; and, in this sense, it may be applied to not doing a thing which we have never done before ;-that is what we want you to do; we want to persuade you to abstain from taking intoxicating liquors, tobacco, and opium. But, perhaps, you have been taking them already; then the word abstinence has yet another meaning than the one we have referred to; and that is, ceasing from a thing-giving up a thing-discontinuing to do a thing. In this sense, we want to get you to cease from partaking of intoxicating liquor, tobacco, and opium.

Now, in following this course, we are doing nothing more in reference to these intoxicating things than your kind parents and friends are doing in reference to many other things. Suppose your parents told you not to put your fingers in the fire,that was telling you to abstain from burning your fingers; or if you have

walked by the bank of a river, they have told you not to go near the water's edge lest you might fall in, and that was telling you to abstain from danger,—that was preventing you from burning your fingers, or falling into the water, by giving you information and advice to keep you from both.

But if you disregard the information and advice,-if you do thrust your fingers into the fire, and get them burned, your kind parents would still try another plan; they would apply healing things to the burn; or if you did fall into the water, they would not leave you to perish, but would rescue you, and apply restoratives to you, to bring you to life and health again; and then would they still plead with you, that you would not any more disregard their information and advice, but cease from doing the thing which produced suffering and danger, and which caused them so much sorrow.

The one is abstinence before doing the thing, the other is abstinence after doing it; the one kind of abstinence is called prevention, because it prevents the thing being done; the other kind of abstinence is called cure, because it cures the person of doing it again when they have felt the evil or pain that arises from doing it—the one is better than the other. We commend to you the best of the two kinds,-abstinence from doing the thing that in itself is wrong, or that is injurious, or that is useless, or that is not permitted.

We want you to abstain from intoxicating liquors, tobacco, and opium-you who have never partaken of them ; and we want you to abstain from them-you who have partaken of them. We write this letter to inform you, that you ought not to partake of them, and to warn you against partaking of them; and we hope you will listen to our warning, and keep away from them, nor taste, nor touch, nor handle them.

We will tell you of reasons why you ought to abstain from them in some other letters. Meantime, like the apothecary, who affixes a label on the phial of poison, without explaining to his customer all the particulars of the nature and properties of the article he has so labled, let us lable intoxicating liquors, tobacco, and opium -"POISON;" and beware that you use them not.

The apothecary knows, that what he has put in the phial is poison; he warns all persons into whose hands the phial may come, by affixing his lable upon it, that the liquid within is a poison; and people believe him, and they abstain from partaking of the thing that is in the phial, because they believe him; so, in like manner, we know the things we refer to to be poisons. We lable them poisons; and all of you into whose hands this letter comes, are warned by it that they are

poisons, more dangerous and more destructive than those sold by the apothecary. Remember, till your dying day, if you perish by these poisons, we are guiltless of your blood; for we have labled them, and warned you against them, and entreated you not even to handle them, or to have to do with them in any way whatever.

And now, before we close this letter, let us remind you of what we have said, -1. This letter is to you. 2. It is about abstinence. 3. Abstinence means refraining from,-not using, keeping away from intoxicating liquors, tobacco, and opium. 4. Abstinence also means ceasing, giving up, or discontinuing to partake of these things. 5. It is quite common to abstain from putting our fingers in the fire, or going near the edge of a river. 6. Or having done so once, to abstain from doing it again. 7. We want you to abstain from intoxicating liquor, tobacco, and opium. 8. We will give you reasons for so doing in other letters. 9. Meantime we lable these things,"POISON," 10. If you disregard our warning, the blame will be upon yourself. And that you may be preserved from these evil things, and every evil, is the sincere and earnest wish of,

Yours truly,


Foreign Correspondence.


THE following letter has been addressed by Pastor Post of Posen to the Rev. Mr. Macleod of Dalkeith, who paid him a visit two years ago. For the information of some of our readers, we may mention, that "Christ-Catholics," is the name adopted by those congregations in Prussian Poland and Silesia who, in 1844, left the Church of Rome along with John Rongé, with whom they have no connection, he and his followers calling themselves German Catholics:

Contents of the Letter. Freedom of Conscience obtained by the late Revolutions-Liberty to Preach and to distribute

Bibles-Union among Christ-Catholics-Romish Fanaticism and Persecution-Gross Idolatry of the Romish Church-Cruelty of the Polestheir Superstitions-Immorality-Prospects of the Christ Catholic Congregations.

"POSEN, 20th February, 1849. "DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER,

"You have not forgotten me and my congregation. Of this you have given 12th, beside the Christian assistance you me again a proof by your letter of the gave me last year, for which I hereby express my heartiest thanks. Be assured, we also think on you and all our Christian friends in Scotland and England with love, and remember them in our prayers before God; and we wish nothing more, than that the brotherly bond between your churches and ours may increase in

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