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their heirs and assigns, or in such person or persons as he, she, or they shall appoint, and notwithstanding no compensation or endowment may be made to or for the benefit of the minister of the church of the parish within which such chapel may be built."

This licence appears most ample. The only condition laid down in the Act is, that there shall be a suitable fixed endowment, which, in cases where the pew-rents are likely to be considerable, needs not, it is conceived, be very large. The absolute donation in fee of the building for Divine worship, and some fixed endowment towards the support of it, were considered reasonable precautions to prevent churches being in future either shut up, or converted to other purposes. The clause is, however, only permissive, not obligatory; since cases might occur in which an individual might wish to open an additional church in a parish where it was not necessary or desirable. A veto must, therefore, lie somewhere, and it is to be presumed it could not be placed better than in the commissioners for church building, whose proceedings appear to have given very general satisfaction to the public. The present Act continues the term of their commission to July 1838.

It must be a subject of devout thanksgiving to God, on the part of all who are anxious for the extension of true piety under the banner of our revered and beloved Church, that facilities are being successively afforded, by the government and legislature of the country, for the erection of new structures devoted to the worship of God and the spiritual benefit of mankind. May the blessing of the Most High rest upon the undertaking! and may all who shall be appointed to minister in holy things in these sacred edifices, be truly faithful servants of Jesus Christ, and find their labours abundantly blessed to the best welfare of the souls of their hearers !

CLERICUS.

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

THE just claims of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge upon the affectionate and zealous support of the pious members of the Church of England, are so many and powerful, that it is to be regretted that any friend to the society should ever weaken them in the public estimation by a spirit of exaggeration or invidious comparison. That such is the practice of some well-meaning advocates of the institution, is, I fear, too obvious a fact; and the result, however unintentionally on the part of the individuals, is, that prejudice is often excited, where conciliation and cooperation were highly desirable. As one illustration among many, I might cite a pamphlet recently published, by "An Incumbent of the Diocese of Canterbury," with a view to urge upon the laity co-operation with the clergy in the support of religious institutions, the dispersion of religious tracts, visiting the sick and the poor, and promoting education. The object is excellent; but will it be forwarded by telling the laity, that, before they give or lend a religious book, their "first question" should be-not, is it scriptural, or instructive, or judiciously written; but "Is it in the catalogue of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge?" for that, if not, this circumstance alone, “without its being considered to contain matter clearly objectionable," is "a great reason why a lay member of the Establishment should decline to make use of it." All publications not in this list, we are told, are "unauthorized;" for that "the organ through which our national church speaks to the public on such subjects [namely, religious subjects], and by which it gives its sanction to all publications connectedwith the religious instruction of the poor, is the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge!"-Such a statement every reader must know is wholly unfounded. There is no sanc

tion whatever of "authority" given by the Church of England to the publications of this society, or of any other society. If, indeed, any society could claim the merit of this sanction, it would be the "Prayer Book and Homily Society," for that society circulates exclusively the "authorized" publications of the Church. The Church of England does not profess to speak to "the poor," or the rich either, through the Christian Knowledge Society; it never appointed it its "organ❞ to distribute tracts or to promote religious instruction. The society is a voluntary charitable and religious institution: it has no charter even; and it claims no ecclesiastical authority. Its only claims are its practical merits. These just claims every pious" lay member" of the Church ought to weigh well, and to estimate highly; but he is not in conscience constrained, in the narrow spirit of ultra-popery, to close his eyes and to blindfold his reason; or to consult either an expurgatorial or an imprimatorial "Index," as the sole guide of his intellect and conscience.

Since writing the above I have opened the Gentleman's Magazine for the present month (August), where I find, in the Review department, the following pithy maxims: "Encourage NO religious publications but those sanctioned by the Christian Knowledge Society." The restriction is universal. The writer is not confining himself to books for the Poor, but is professing to review Mr. Close's sermon on Horse-racing. And again: "In the present state of religious parties, the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge [not the Bible, of course, or even the Prayer-Book, but the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge] is THE BEST guide for our conduct." -Very good, Mr. Urban; and you doubtless suppose that the friends of the Society are much obliged to you for this delightful Popish compliment! Mark well the significant monosyllables No and BEST-the

Papal expurgatorial Indexes are meagre and squeamish in comparison. I say nothing of the strange tirade against Mr. Close's excellent sermon, as that is not to my present purpose, and may be touched on in another paper: I only notice the reviewer's good honest Popery.

AN OLD MEMBER OF THE
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. I HAVE read with much satisfaction the interesting paper of one of your correspondents, in your number for July, in reply to the remarks of the Quarterly Review on the Astrachan Mission. The Bible Society, as your correspondent has clearly shewn, had no share in either the merits or defects of that mission, and the Quarterly Reviewer must have been very ignorant of the proceedings of the Bible Society-for I will not suppose he published a wilful misrepresentation-when he identified them with those, whether good or bad, of a missionary establishment. Your correspondent, when he penned his reply, had not, he says, seen the attack on the Bible Society in the subsequent number of the same Quarterly Review, and which you have truly characterized as both "uncandid" and "unjust:" so grossly uncandid and unjust, I may add, that no person, who has impartially investigated the proceedings of the Bible Society, can fail to detect most of the misstatements which pervade the article. A temperate and very able reply to the Quarterly Reviewer's charges has been given to the world, in a pamphlet entitled "Facts respecting certain Versions of Holy Scripture published by the Bible Society: by T. P. Platt, M.A., F.A.S., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge." The truly Christian spirit which pervades Mr. Platt's pamphlet is a remarkable contrast to the acrimony which has been dis

the accomplishment of the work to an indefinite period; and, consequently, wholly frustrate the object in view, as far as respects the communication of religious knowledge to the natives of China of the present day, through such a medium.

played in some publications on the other side; and it is the more praiseworthy, as Mr. Platt, though he deserves the warmest thanks of every friend of religion, for his important and gratuitous labours in the service of the society, has been exposed to his full share of obloquy. "I cannot say that I have ex

from the hands of some of its opponents. I could wish to transcribe from this pamphlet, for the benefit of your readers, a few passages, in reply to the charges alleged by the Quarterly Reviewer; those especially which have been the most widely circulated, being appended to an advertisement of the Anti-BibleSociety publications. The compiler of the advertisement has, however, used great discretion, in omitting some of the reviewer's charges, which, if specified, would have gone far to neutralize the effect of whatever other allegations might proceed from the same pen. Take, as one specimen, the charge of incompetency, so rashly thrown out against Dr. Morrison as a translator of the Scriptures into Chinese.

"This charge," says Mr. Platt, "is founded entirely on his own statements about himself-statements which natural modesty and diffidence might well induce any man to make, but which surely ought not to be brought as evidence against him. Let us hear what others have to say of him. Take the following statement, full of good sense and, I am persuaded, of truth also-which was sent to me lately by Sir George Staunton :

"I beg to assure you, that it was with pain and surprise that I read the other day, in the Quarterly Review, the animadversions on Dr. Morrison's translation of the Scriptures, to which you allude.

"The writer of the article in question demands qualifications in a translator of the Scriptures, and a degree of perfection in the translation itself, which, however desirable in the abstract, would, in the case of a Chinese version, have necessarily the effect of postponing

amined Dr. Morrison's translation so critically as to be able to give a positive opinion on its precise degree of merit; but I have no hesitation in saying, that I conceive his qualifications for the execution of the task to have been far superior to those of any other person whatever. He is, unquestionably, our best Chinese scholar--he had made himself fully acquainted with the previous labours of the Catholic missionaries-he was in constant communication with intelligent natives during the progress of the work-and his general zeal, diligence, and integrity, in the cause to which he has devoted himself, are too well known to need any confirmation from my testimony.

(Signed) G. T. Staunton.' "Again: I was one of a deputation from the Committee of the Bible Society who waited upon Lord Amherst before he went out to India; and I well remember that he said to us-I give his expressions as nearly as recollection enables me—

«To one of your translators, at least, I can bear a favourable testimony-Dr. Morrison. I recollect particularly one instance of his accuracy. It was necessary once, when I was in China, that a certain paper should be drawn up, which etiquette required to be of the most faultless composition: every rule of Chinese propriety of diction was to be strictly adhered to. Dr. Morrison drew it up; and, when it was submitted to some Chinese authorities for inspection, it was pronounced altogether correct and unblameable.'

"A copy of Dr. Morrison's translation of the entire Bible in Chinese now lies before me. It was issued in 1823, since the publication of his

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Dictionary. Now, whatever we are to think of his first edition of the Testament, surely the Reviewer will not have much to say against his work in this later edition of the whole Scriptures; for how is his Dictionary announced in Kingsbury's Oriental catalogue? Dr. Morrison's Dictionary of the Chinese language may be considered as the most important work in Chinese literature that has yet reached Europe.' Quarterly Review."

After this specimen, no candid reader will feel much disposed to credit the Quarterly Reviewer's other charges, on his own authority, or without better evidence than he has been able to produce in support of them. But as the Edinburgh advertisers have seen fit to copy the following general charge against the Society's translations, it may be desirable to extract one short specimen of Mr. Platt's reply. The charge, as reprinted in the advertisement, is as follows:

"It would hence appear, that, in the eyes of this Committee, a new version of the Bible is considered principally as the means of quickening the liberality of the public, and swelling the funds of the Society. That it should give the nation, for which it is ostensibly made, a correct representation of the Word of God, seems to be with them a point of minor consideration."

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"For any thing we can see,' says the reviewer in another place, the case stands thus: from whatever quarter new translations may be offered, they are immediately accepted and printed, without any satisfactory evidence of the competency of the individuals by whom they have been executed.'

"Now here," replies Mr. Platt, "from my own experience and from recorded facts, I will venture to assert, that the principles upon which the Committee have uniformly acted, have been these:-that it is most desirable and most important to get a translation made directly from the Hebrew and Greek origi

nals, when men can be found able to make such a translation; but that, when such men cannot be found, it is better, far better, to publish among a people merely the version of a version, than to leave them in utter ignorance of the word of God: provided always, that the version so produced should either have undergone a revision by some person acquainted with the originals; or, in extreme cases, as those of the North-American Indian languages, where it is impossible to obtain such a revision, that it should be certified, on the best testimony that may be had, to be a faithful transcript of the version that it professes to follow.

"These principles are not new.' Let us see how the pious Bishop Bedell obtained that Irish version, which, as we have seen, is in use to this very day. The statement is taken from the Acta Eruditorum of Leipsic, for the year 1686:

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"William Bedell had resolved to furnish the inhabitants of the king. dom of Ireland with the Bible in the Irish language, which they had. never yet possessed. And though he could find no one who was acquainted with this language and the Hebrew also, he, however, prevailed upon an Irishman, named King, who had also an accurate knowledge of the English language, to render the Sacred Volume from the English version at least into Irish. The version thus obtained, Bedell undertook diligently to revise; collating, together with the English version, the Hebrew text, the Septuagint, and the Italian translation. of Diodati. But when the work had been completed, and was now just ready to be put to press, it was kept back by the machinations of some envious opponents, who alleged that its author was an unlearned and mean man, and one therefore that could not have been equal to such a task. [The Quarterly Reviewer has used nearly these very expressions.] A copy of this version, however, saved from the wreck

of the above-mentioned factious opposition, is said to be at this moment passing through the press, at the expense of the Hon. Mr. Boyle.' "If the principles of the Committee, then, are not new, so neither is the manner in which their attempts are received."

"Here was a case, however, in which, in the revision, the original could be consulted. And how does this differ from the case of the Persian Pentateuch, translated from the Arabic, and sent to this country to undergo the revision of Professor Lee; or from that of Sabat's Arabic Testament, revised by Martyn and Mr. Thomason in India; and, on a second edition, again revised by Professors Lee and Macbride in this country;--or from that of the Amharic, translated from the Arabic by a native Abyssinian, under the inspection of a learned French Orientalist, and revised in this country by Professor Lee and myself?

"And then, as to the incompetence of the translators employed there is the Modern Greek version, executed by a Bishop of the Greek church, revised by ecclesiastics appointed by the synod at Constantinople, and printed in this country under the inspection of the Rev. Mr. Renouard (late Arabic Reader at Cambridge, and formerly chaplain at Smyrna) and myself-the Modern Armenian version, executed by M. Zohrab, of Paris-the Calmuc Gospels, translated by Mr. J. J. Schmidt, of St. Petersburg, the first Mongolian and Calmuc scholar in Europe. I might go on with the list; but I have said enough to shew how justly the Reviewer remarks

"After the most careful and patient investigation, we are obliged to state, that, without one single exception, the new versions which have appeared, either at the direct expense or under the immediate sanction of the Earl-Street Committee, have either been executed by incompetent translators, or printCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 309.

ed without having been subjected to a proper revision.'-Review, p. 6.

"But it is said, moreover, that, in REPRINTS of Foreign versions also, the Committee'seem to stumble, almost instinctively, upon the most incompetent editor that could have been discovered.'

"Such has, doubtless, been the case with the Carshun and Syriac, edited by M. Silvestre de Sacy of Paris; with the Syriac, Arabic, and Malay, edited by Professor Lee; with the Arabic, edited by Dr. Macbride; with the Coptic, edited by Professor Lee and the Rev. H. Tattam; with the Ancient and Modern Greek, edited by the Rev. Josiah Pratt, and the Rev. G. C. Renouard; with the French, edited by the Rev. D. Chabrand, of Toulouse, and the Rev. J. Monod, jun, of Paris.-Of my own competency or incompetency as an editor, it is not for me to speak. The reprints which I have edited have been, the Ethiopic Gospels, Syriac Testament, and Ancient and Modern Greek Testament.

"If there were any suspicion, on the part of the bishops and clergy of the Church of England, of such an unhappiness in the selection of editors, it is singular, that in almost the only reprint of a Foreign version which is circulated by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, the text of the Bible Society's edition should be that which they have chosen to adopt."

Leaving the reader to weigh with impartiality these statements, I reserve some additional ones for another paper. In a discussion like this, it can be the only wish of a truly pious mind to discover what is really the state of facts, with a view to promote the best welfare of mankind, by the widest possible circulation of the word of God in as pure a form as, by the blessing of its omniscient Author, can be attained, . with the utmost exertion of human learning and diligence. All unkindness of feeling, even where unintentional mistakes may have occurred, 4 A

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