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ART. XIII. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION.
In the press, Notes and Reflections during a Ramble in Germany. By the Author of "Recollections in the Peninsula," """Sketches of India," "Scenes and Impressions in Egypt and Italy," and" Story of a Life."
The Rev. John Fry has in the press, A New Translation and Exposition of the Book of Job, 1 vol. 8vo,
Professor Lee's Lectures on the Hebrew Language, are now nearly ready for publication.
In the press, Travels of the Russian Mission through Mongolia to China, and Residence in Pekin, in the Years 1820, 21. By George Timkowski. With Corrections and Notes, by M. J. Klaproth. In 2 vols. 8vo. illustrated by Maps, Plates, &c. &c.
In the press, A History of the Revolution in Ireland, in 1688, 9; partly from Materials hitherto unpublished, and with an Introductory Chapter. By John O'Driscol, Esq.
ART. XIV. LIST OF WORKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED.
Some Account of the Life and Character of the late Thomas Bateman, M.D. F.L.S. &c. &c. 8vo. 7s. 6d.
Life of John Wickliffe, with an Appendix and List of his Works. Crown 8vo. 5s. 6d.
A Collection of Fragments illustrative of the History and Antiquities of Derby. By Robert Simpson, M.A. F.S.A. M.R. S.L. 2 vols. 8vo. illustrated with Wood Engravings. 11..
Historical and Topographical Notices' of Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, and its' Envirous; including the Parishes and Hamlets of the Half Hundred of Lothingland, in Suffolk. By J. H. Druery. Eight Engravings, crown 8vo. 12s. cloth.
The Little World of Knowledge, arranged numerically; designed for exercising the Memory, and as an Introduction to the Arts and Sciences, History, Natural Philosophy, Belles Lettres, &c. &c. By Charlotte Matilda Hunt. 12mo. 7s.
*The Title-page, Contents, and Index to Vol. XXV. will be given with the next Number.
FOR SEPTEMBER, 1826.
Art. I. 1. Second Review of the Conduct of the Directors of the British
and Foreign Bible Society, containing an Account of the Re. ligious State of the Continent: in Answer to a Letter addressed to the Author by the Rev. Dr. Steinkopff. By Robert Haldane,
Esq. 8vo. pp. 204. Edinburgh, 1826. 2. Review of the Evangelical Magazine and Christian Guardian for
May 1826, on the Apocrypha Controversy. Extracted from the
Edinburgh Christian Instructor. 8vo. pp. 34. Edinburgh, 1826. 3. Review of the Letters by Amicus, in Defence of the British and
Foreign Bible Society, and of the Eclectic Review, and Congregational Magazine, for April, 1826, on the same subject. Extracted from the Edinburgh Christian Instructor for June 1826.
pp. 50. Edinburgh, 1826. 4. Two Letters addressed to the Rev. G. C. Gorham on some Points
of his “ Statement on the Apocryphal Books," &c. By Leander Van Ess, D.D. With a Reply by George Cornelius Gorham, B. D. Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge. 8vo. pp. 126.
London. 1826. THE publications on the Apocrypha controversy already
amount to two tolerable-sized octavo volumes; the M.M. Haldane (uncle and nephew) and Dr. Thomson having contributed upwards of 600 pages to this interminable discussion. For the sake of the journeymen printers, we could earnestly wish them to persevere; the more bulky their pamphlets, the greater the benefit; and all that the warmest friends of the Bible Society can have to wish for, now that to convince or to reclaim them has become almost as undesirable as it always was, in our judgement, hopeless, is, that they would write on. We look upon Dr. Thomson indeed, as having become a most harmless adversary of the Society, having sunk into a personal. libeller : he has, indeed, made so venomous an attack, that he Vol. XXVI. N.S.
has deprived himself of his fangs. Silenced he cannot be, except by the Court of Session ; but, whatever annoyance he may be able to give to individuals by that species of private warfare, in which he is the humble imitator of · The Beacon,' Blackwood, and Cobbett, the Bible Society have little to fear from him.
We promise our readers to be as brief as possible in analysing the only one of these four pamphlets which demands attention from the friends of the Bible Society. The other three will require from us, notice of a different kind.
We cannot concede to Mr. Haldane the praise of uniform fairness, although he is incomparably the most guarded of our opponents; but at the 169th page of his present Review, he comes to the point in a manly manner.
• The question is, what is duty ? If it is not sinful to send the Apocrypha with the Bible, let the prejudices of the Continent be respected. If it is in any manner sinful, let no man sin that he may help God.'
We wish that this question had never been lost sight of either by Mr. Haldane or by any other persons who have engaged in the controversy. All the wrangling about the rule of the Society, all the casuistry respecting the interspersed and the annexed apocrypha, all the perplexed and vibrating resolutions of the Earl-street Committee might have been precluded, had this alternative been fairly met. Our deliberate and conscientious conviction, as avowed from the first, is in favour of the negative proposition, that it is not sinful to send the Apocrypha with the Bible; and here we take our stand. Once let us be driven from this, and we must give up the defence of the Earlstreet Committee altogether; nor, can we conceive how any member or officer of that Committee holding the affirmative, that it is sinful, can honourably remain in connexion with it, after having been a party for ten, or perhaps twenty years, to the commission of a known sin. He may, indeed, plead past ignorance, and ascribe his change of mind to a sudden illumination; but still, such a man cannot be fit to be entrusted with so responsible an office. He ought to have known twenty years ago, whether it was or was not sinful to give away. Bibles containing the Apocryphal books. He may say, I never liked giving the Apocrypha ; but this reluctance, which every one of us feels, every Protestant Dissenter more especially, and which ought to give way only before the necessity of the case,-this feeling of reluctance or dişlike obviously rendered it the more imperative on the individual that he should look into the ques
tion,—the more inevitable that he should ask himself, Is it sinful, or is it not? Mr. Haldane asks :
• What can be expected of men who, instead of going out of the management of the Society, have, contrary to their own convictions, yielded to the public opinion in a matter of the highest importance, and have pertinaciously clung to their places in the Committee? Is this acting like men of principle?'
To this question we reply: From men who, though not feeling their past conduct to be either sinful or reprehensible, in giving away the Apocrypha, yet deem it proper that the voice of a majority of the subscribers to the Institution should
govern their future proceedings, every thing may be expected that is at once upright and conciliatory. There is no intelligible reason-Mr. Haldane gives none, nor can he with all his ingenuity frame the shadow of a reason-why such men should go out of the management of a society; because it cannot be contrary to their convictions, not to give the Apocrypha; they give up no one principle, but simply submit to a restriction on their proceedings, which they deem unnecessary, and in its ultimate consequences injurious. But the case is altogether different with an individual, if such there be, who has been for a series of years acting against his convictions, and who now should profess tardily to yield, not to public opinion, but to his own reproving conscience. These would be the men, if they existed in the Earl-street Committee, we humbly submit, who should go out, and by a public confession attest the sincerity of their repentance.
Will Mr. Haldane bear with us if, merely for argument's sake, without any disrespect to the Church of Scotland and its inimitable Metrical Psalter, we put the Scotch Psalms instead of the Apocrypha, and suppose a Committee who should have been in the habit of expending the funds of the Public in printing that book, after solemnly pledging themselves to disseminate the Scriptures only, without note or comment ; till at length, their conduct is called in question as at variance with their own rules and loud pretensions, and some unreasonable persons denounce the venerable composition itself as far from unobjectionable. Upon this, the Committee, instead of going out, yield to the public opinion, and consent to omit the metrical Psalms, pertinaciously clinging to their places. May they be Mr. Haldane's men of principle? They would perhaps say, We have ourselves no objection to continue the practice which we abandon ; we see no impropriety in it, but we think it proper to yield the point. But what if a member of such a Committee should say, I am convinced that it was altogether sinful
for us to expend the public money in such a way, and to circulate such miserable doggrel as a translation of the sublimest compositions of the Inspired Volume, and I have always acted against my conscience in doing so? Would he be the man to deserve our confidence ?
Every Church of England man deems it lawful, and in many cases advisable, to give away the Bible with the Book of Common Prayer annexed. If, however, contrary to his own convictions of the lawfulness of so doing, he yields this point, on becoming a member of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and, in a matter of so high importance, consents to be bound, as a member of the Society, to give away the Bible only, without the Prayer-Book annexed, he ceases, it seems, to act like a man of principle! Unless he hold it unlawful to give away the Prayer-book, he ought on no account to yield the point, or to abstain from so doing, -that is, if he would secure Mr. Haldane's good opinion, by a becoming measure of uncompromising Christian-obstinacy.
Mr. Haldane only requires at present, that Dr. Steinkopff and three fourths' of the Earl street Committee should be turned out ;-the reverend Secretary, because somebody has told Mr. H., that he, Dr. S., said in 1821, that he would resign, if a stop was put to the circulation of the Apocrypha the committee-men, because ' their principles,' somebody else says,
are such that it is a matter of indifference with them ' whether they circulate the pure Bible or the Bible and Tom • Thumb.' We are wandering again from the main question, but our readers will not think it wrong if we advert for a few minutes to so grave charges as these, resting on the threefold authority of Robert Haldane, Esq. and his two London correspondents, the Messrs. Somebody
We shall not pay Dr. Steinkopff the ill compliment of supposing that he stands in need of any defence on our part, against the ungenerous aspersions and haughty sarcasms of his present opponent. Wherever Dr. Steinkopff is known, the rude and supercilious treatment he here meets with, will injure only the reputation of his assailant. Not having had any communication with Dr. Steinkopff for some years, we do not know, nor should we care to inquire, whether he ever did make the declaration which Mr. Haldane says he is informed that Dr. S. made five years ago, and on the ground of which he asks: Why has he not resigned now? Why does he cling to • office ? Dr. Steinkopff may, for any thing we know to the contrary, have entertained such an intention at the time referred to, and may subsequently have been persuaded to abandon it. But are a man's intentions, deliberate or hasty, whether