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should have this tendency. But, so far as there is any foun dation for the remark, it arises, we are disposed to think, from the art of sermonizing being made a distinct attainment, unconnected with the art of thinking clearly and speaking plainly. If a young man learns to preach, before he is able to think with precision or to converse with fluency, he will have more to unlearn than he has acquired, in order to attain to true eloquence; and the simplicity of his mind will, probably, be irretrievably injured. We must freely confess, that the prevailing style of the ministerial addresses from Dissenting pulpits, when compared with those of many pious and faithful ministers of the Establishment, is sufficient to account for much of the preference which we find given, in various quarters, to the simpler preaching to be heard within consecrated walls. In point of theological attainments, we believe, that the clergy must, generally, be content to rank below Dissenting pastors; but then they preach like men in earnest, careless of pleasing, but anxious to enforce their message, with much boldness and plainness of speech.
Art. IX. 1. Remarks upon the recent Accusations against the Com mittee of the British and Foreign Bible Society. In a Letter to a Clergyman in the Country, from a Lay-member of that Institution. 8vo. pp. 48. London. 1826.
2. Minutes of the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society, relative to the Publication of an Edition of the Holy Scriptures with an Introduction prefixed, by the Strasburg Bible Society. Accompanied by the Official Correspondence, &c. 8vo.
Price 1s. London. 1826.
3. Statement of the Committee of the Glasgow Auxiliary Bible So- ** ciety, relative to the Grounds of their late Resolution to withdraw >> from the British and Foreign Bible Society; with Reasons of Dis✩** sent from that Resolution. 8vo. pp. 82. Glasgow. 1826.
E deem it proper to notice these publications, although it is not our intention to occupy our pages with any fresh discussions on the subject. The public feeling is beginning to flow back into the right channel. Dr. Thomson, or his friends, has been endeavouring to kindle a newspaper warfare, but without success. The Irish Romanists have been exulting in the schism which has taken place in the Bible Society; and w Carlile has found fresh matter for ribaldry and blasphemy in the same circumstances, anticipating the downfal, not only of the Society, but of the Bible cause. The Edinburgh statements and the Guildford speeches, are triumphantly copied and
commented upon in the Roman Catholic publications, and in the infamous pages of the Republican. But it is like the rejoicing of the Philistines over Samson, when betrayed to theni by the perfidy of a shameless consort; the Institution, which has been held up to their profane mockery, will yet prove strong enough to effect their downfal.
The first of these publications may be considered, we believe, as a sort of semi-official statement, in reply to the accusations brought against the Earl-street Committee. It was originally drawn up at the desire of the Committee, and a copy of it was sent to each member; but, "upon fuller considera
tion, it was thought advisable, on the part of the Committee, * to publish only Extracts from their Minates and Correspon
dence, leaving it to the Friends of the Institution to offer • explanatory observations individually.' We have understood, (and we think that, if true, it ought to be generally known,) that there would have been no difficulty, on the part of the Committee, in coming to an agreement as to the adoption of an official reply to the charges brought against them, had not their proceedings been subjected to a vexatious interference from persons, not members of the elected Committee, but having the privilege of attending and voting at their meetings:
The regulation which confers this privilege, was at one time regarded as strengthening the hands of the Committee; and so long as things go on smoothly, open committees may work very well
. But let any source of dispute occur, and the oppor-, tunity they afford for cabal, and espionage, and all sorts of mean annoyance, will soon be seen. An open committee is, in fact, no committee; the very purposes for which a committee are elected, being nullified by the self-intrusion of other india, viduals, A small minority within a Committee may, by the aid of such auxiliaries, completely baffle, and perhaps outvote, the other members; and they may do this the more easily, as they can at any time take the regular members by surprise. And if they cannot carry their point, they may maintain an endless litigation, and throw obstacles in the way of every proceeding, and transform the Committee-room into a scene of perpetual and vexatious debate. Much of the vacillation and apparent indiscretion chargeable on the Earl-street Committee, « have originated in the short-sighted regulation alluded to. Those whom the public entrusted with the conduct of the sot, ciety, have not been its managers.
Much, then, as we may regret the circumstance, we can scarcely any longer blame the Committee for not having long ago put forth a general and explanatory statement, in reply to
the aspersions cast upon their conduct and character. The second publication on our list, purports indeed to be an answer to one specific charge; and it is completely satisfactory in relation to that point. But few persons will take the trouble of going through the documents, the substance of which might have been given in a couple of pages. We are extremely glad, therefore, that the Author or Editor of the present Letter,' has taken upon himself the responsibility of putting forth a statement better adapted to meet the wishes and satisfy the complaints of the general body of subscribers.
It has been my lot,' he says, to be present at most of the discussions which have recently taken place in the General Committee, and I shall endeavour simply to state facts, without the least design to advocate any of the measures in a party spirit, or with the personality which unhappily has pervaded many of the publications on these subjects.
The allegations in question refer to The circulation of the Apocrypha The Character of Foreign Institutions and Individuals connected with the Society-The addition of Notes to copies of the Scriptures published with the aid of the Society-The encouragement of adulterated editions of the Scriptures The concealment of part of the Expenses of Management--Exaggerated representations of the Religious State of the Continent-The Expenditure generallyand, The circumstance of many Members of the Committee haying been kept in ignorance of a part of the Proceedings.'
Many of these points have already been so fully adverted to in our pages, that, even if our limits would admit, we should not deem it necessary to follow the Writer through all his statements on the several topics. We shall merely make a few extracts, earnestly recommending those who retain any lurking dissatisfaction with the proceedings of the Society, to obtain and attentively peruse the Letter itself.
As to the studied concealment, with regard to the Apocryphal writings, which has been so much spoken of, it should be remarked, that in the Committee, open at all times, none such did occur, nor could possibly be practised: the subject was frequently mentioned Letters were read-Resolutions were passed, in which the Apocrypha was mentioned by name-and it is a matter of general notoriety that, in all the Churches on the Continent, the Apocryphal are united with the Canonical books.
Nor has this always appeared objectionable to those who are now the loudest in their accusations against the past proceedings of the Society. One instance may suffice. In a letter from Henry Drummond, Esq. to the Committee, dated Geneva, 5th September, 1817, that gentleman writes, "I think you are unjust towards the Catholics, and employing yourselves uselessly, to attempt to force transla tions unauthorized by their church." I am informed that this genVOL. XXVI. N.S. 3 C
tleman printed an edition of the Italian Bible, at his own expense, in 1819, containing an intermixed Apocrypha and fifty-two pages of general index, and circulated it during that and succeeding years.
• It is well known, that, during the last three years, considerable differences of opinion prevailed among the members of the Committee, both those who are elected and those who are privileged to attend and vote, -whether it was consistent with the fundamental laws to circulate Bibles in foreign languages in which the Canonical and Apocryphal books were united, and to aid foreign institutions which circulated Bibles of that description. Many painful discussions were the consequence, which have been at length happily brought to a termination by the explanatory regulations adopted at the last General Meeting. If, in the course of these discussions, and the numerous resolutions formed in consequence, at various times, there may have been an appearance of vacillation in the conduct of the Committee, the cause will principally be found in that part of its constitution which opens it to subscribers of a certain amount, and to all ministers contributing one guinea per annum.
So that more than five hundred individuals are entitled to attend and vote, and on all these occasions, members thus privileged have taken an equal, if not a more prominent part, than the thirty-six elected members.
• The Committee having thus, on various occasions, been exceedingly numerous, great diversity of sentiment resulted and this has given rise to much misconception among persons who were only occasionally present, as well as in the public mind; for those who are not aware that the privileged members have often equalled or exceeded in number the elected members present, and are unacquainted with the leading part they have taken in these discussions, have naturally supposed that the different resolutions all emanated from the majority of the elected members.'
• With regard to the Lausanne Bible, it appears that, in September, 1817, the Committee resolved that the sum of £500 should be granted in aid of an edition of Ostervald's French Bible, to be printed by the united exertions of the Bible Societies of Lausanne, Neufchatel, Berne, and Geneva. They did so in consequence of an application from those Societies, and at the express recommendation of Mr. Drummond, who, though well aware of the characters of the individuals forming those Societies, and with the state of all matters connected with religion in that country, strongly urged it as the most effectual method to prevent the reprinting of a version which was exceedingly objectionable, and which there was reason to fear those Societies might adopt.'
• Many other particulars could be mentioned, shewing that those very individuals who are now the loudest in bringing forward this connection with certain characters, as a ground of accusation, at that time thought very differently, and earnestly endeavoured to procure their co-operation in printing approved and Orthodox editions of the Scriptures. It may here be proper to observe, that it is not on the continent as in this country, with reference to Socinians, Arians, and others. There, separate bodies do not exist, known under these de.
signations ; but all ostensibly profess orthodox principles : and if their principles and character be such as is represented, it is a matter of some alleviation, that the antidote to the poison of their doctrine has been extensively circulated, and that by themselves. The assertions of those who declare, without any hesitation, that this or that individual is a Socinian, have recently been contradicted in express terms by Professor Kieffer and many other persons, who feel deeply hurt that such an erroneous and injurious imputation should liave been cașt upon them.
• Doubtless, the Committee would always wish to select men of decided Christian principles, well known for piety and sound wisdom, to carry on the circulation of the Holy Scriptures. But surely it is not, and will not, be required to adopt the earnest recommendations of those who will not allow even an abstractedly good work to be performed, unless performed in their own way, or by persons of their own views ;---which appear to be, that the Bible itself would almost prove contaminated by passing through the hands of persons whose sentiments respecting its contents may be exceptionable ;-that we may not convey the Scriptures to the perishing nations, unless the instruments for its distribution be first chosen by them ;-unless they are allowed to dictate to the authorities and dignitaries, the clergy and laity, the subscribers to objects of charity, and the public at Jarge in foreign countries, who shall be their domestic agents and secretaries and committee men, in co-operating with them in this
work of charity. Far distant be the day when the opinions which :,may be adopted by any set of
individuals, to whom the conducting of the British and Foreign Bible Society is confided, are made a Shibboleth and a test for other institutions or individuals, before they are allowed to assist in the work of circulating the Scriptures;
never may its directors assume to themselves a right to sit in judg. ment on the consciences of their fellow mortals !
· The remuneration afforded to certain individuals on the Continent, it is contended by some, should have been specifically stated in the Society's cash account. A person intimately acquainted with the Continent gave, on one occasion, the following important advice:
““ If you value the co-operation of Christians on the other side of the water, and if you desire to be permanently and solidly useful, rather than to put on a specious appearance, do not mention the names of your foreign co-adjutors, under any pretence whatever. The fear of such mobs as prevailed during the Revolution is by no means allayed, nor altogether groundless; and any person of pro
: perty, becoming notorious as the promoter of religion, might subject himself to the fury of a bigoted or an atheistical populace."
• In the spirit of this advice (for the cases are not precisely similar), given by Mr. Haldane to another Society, the Committee, with perfect integrity, acted, as you doubtless will recollect, in the manner which now is brought forward as a matter of accusation.
• The following extract of a letter lately received from Dr. Steinkopff, will convey some idea of the extensive nature of the operations of Professor Van Ess :-" The labours and operations of the Pro