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opposition to the principles and proceedings of the Earl-street Institution commenced. The question of Sociniaus had not at that period been introduced; but Mr. Haldane and Dr. Thomson's charges against the business details of the Society having caused much inquiry, the Guernsey committee passed the following resolution, which, coming from such a quarter, must be allowed by the friends of the Trinitarian Society to be decisive.—
"(Present, the Rev. G. W. Philips) the following minute was entered
on the books :—
"A long discussion having taken place, relative to the reports circulated in the public on the subject of the expenditure in the salaries to the officers and agents of the parent society, and Mr. Philips having fully explained the necessitv of the various agents, and that their salaries were very small in proportion to their labours and service,—It was Resolved—That the committee is fully satisfied that the expenses of the parent society are not greater than the magnitude of their concerns must necessarily require."
There was—would I could say, there is! but He who is too wise to be mistaken knew what was best—there was recently a domestic agent of the Society who has been more than ordinarily slandered, and who died almost broken-hearted under the accusation. Poor Greenfield! Yet not poor: "he rests from his labours, and his works do follow him." The errors which had occurred respecting versions, readings, headings, and kindred matters, had shewn the need of the Society's having as an agent a man of learning, ability, and piety, who should devote all his time and talents to these important points, which, in the unexpected increase of the Society's labours, had become too large for the adequate care of the secretaries or committee. And such was Greenfield—eminently such ;—but he did not escape many a barbed shaft, in consequence of his connexion with this invaluable institution. Mr. Haldane actually asserts, in a pamphlet of last year, that " Mr. Greenfield was recommended to the committee as superintendent of the translating and editorial department," expressly as being "tli-e author of the prefaces and notes" to a Bible which has " many notes of a neologian and infidel character."—Not mistakes, oversights, injudicious passages, or even grossly exceptionable comments, but passages actually "neologian and infidel j" and not merely a few such passages, but " many : " and that he was expressly recommended on account of his connexion with this " infidel " publication—namely, Bagster's Comprehensive Bible; which, at the time of Mr. Greenfield's appointment, was spoken of in every religious circle as a most valuable addition to the Biblical theology of modern times ; but when he became connected with the Bible Society the question was altered, and he must be assailed with the accustomed weapons, well sharpened and poisoned for the occasion.
As your lordship, probably, was not acquainted with Mr. Greenfield, I will introduce you to his memory by extracting the substance of an obituary of him, which appeared last year in the Christian Observer. It bears so directly upon my present argument, that I feel it necessary to quote it. It forms a suitable parallel to your lordship's narrative of Professor Lee.
"Mr. Greenfield was born in London in tbo year 1799. His father, who had been employed, on account of his Christian character, as a foremast man on board the ship Duff, in her second missionary voyage, was unhappily drowned on a subsequent voyage in another vessel; and the subject of this notice thus became an orphan when he had scarcely reached bis third year. His mother, who was a pious woman, having relations in the north, removed from London to the neighbourhood of Roxburghshire, where she obtained her livelihood in service, and her child was placed under the care of a relation, who dwelt in the vicinity of her employer's residence. Here the child was treated as one of the family, ami had the advantage of the same education as his young relatives. At the age of ten, his mother, finding him altogether averse to an agricultural life, and judging that the metropolis was the only place likely to afford him subsistence in any other manner, determined on quitting her situation and accompanying him to London; where she entered the service of another family, while her son, after various trials, was, through the kindness of the late venerable Dr. Waugh, bound apprentice to a respectable bookbinder, in whose family strict Christian discipline was uniformly maintained. In the interval between his removal to London and the date of his engagement, the lad was taken care of by his two maternal uncles, young men, who, having devoted themselves to God, were desirous of reading his word in the languages in which it was originally written; and while thus employed, their nephew, who always shewed a most inquisitive spirit, and an ardent desire for information, expressed his wish to be taught the Hebrew language. This desire, so far as their slender means afforded, was gratified; and to this circumstance, trifling as it appeared at the time, was Mr. Greenfield indebted, as a means, under the blessing of God, for his future advancement in his literary pursuits. The further promotion of his literary character, under the evident blessing of God, was strikingly remarkable. It happened, that in the house in which his master occupied workshops there dwelt a Jewish Rabbi, who was in the frequent habit of urging among the apprentices and journeymen his objections against the advent of the Messiah, the Christian interpretation of the prophecies connected with that subject, and the whole of the Christian dispensation. With this man young Greenfield held frequent disputations, as he subsequently did with many other Jews; and, being pressed closely on the ground of defectiveness in our authorized version of the Old Testament, be offered to give up his opinions, if, upon being thoroughly taught the Hebrew language by his opponent, he should find his instructor's assertion founded in truth. The Jew took him at his word; and, being a most diligent student, he soon became so well versed in the language as to surpass his teacher; and though the result of his labour was subversive of the argument adduced by the learned Rabbi, he yet became so much i attached to his pupil as ever afterwards to express his high sense of his moral worth and extraordinary talents. These discussions were always conducted by Mr. Greenfield with good temper, and displayed great shrewdness, as well as an intimate acquaintance with the Bible. So tender was his conscience, and so careful was he to avoid arguments that might not be conclusive, that whenever he found himself not sufficiently acquainted with the subject, or foiled in dispute, he applied to his friend and spiritual adviser, Dr. Waugh, whom he used to visit three times u week, both for spiritual instruction, and for such assistance in his studies and his arguments with the Kabbi as Dr. Waugh's rich treasury of knowledge, and his serviceable library, could furnish. Dr. Waugh, however, like the Jewish instructor, soon found himself surpassed as a linguist by his pupil: " Hoot, mon ; ye ken depths o'criticism that I na meedle with; ye are gane over me." So fully satisfied was his venerable pastor, after adequate inquiry and probation, of the truly Christian character, as well as mere theological attainments, of this pious and amiable youth, that he admitted him at the early age of about sixteen as a communicant in the church over which he presided, and of which Mr. Greenfield continued a beloved and honoured member till the decease Of the fostering friend whom he has so soon followed to his heavenly rest.
"Having attained to great advancement in the knowledge of the Hebrew, during the study of which he compiled a complete lexicon of that language, he next applied himself with equal diligence to the study of Chaldee, and some other of the cognate dialects. At this time he laboured very hard at his trade, working from six in the morning to eight in the evening in the summer, and from seven to nine in the winter; after which he used to devote himself at home to sacred Hebrew literature, of which he was passionately fond. His next object was the attainment of Greek and Latin, which he effected in class with several other young men connected with him in business, and in Sunday schools, in which they with himself officiated as diligent gratuitous teachers ; and the extraordinary facility with which he acquired a knowledge of these languages, and the perfect ease with which he overcame difficulties to others almost insurmountable, are stated to have been truly astonishing. From Latin he went to French ; and from this time forward he thought nothing ot turning his attention to a strange tongue, and setting himself to acquire a knowledge of it.
"During two or three years after the expiration of his apprenticeship be worked at his trade as a journeyman; but he did not in the slightest degree neglect bis business for his favourite studies, which were, nevertheless, pursued with unabated ardour, till Mr. Bagster, the much-respected publisher of Paternoster Row, becoming acquainted with his extraordinary talents and acquirements, prevailed on him to relinquish his trade, and found him employment more worthy of his endowments, and which afforded ample means of gratifying his literary appetite.
"Before, however, engaging his services, Mr. Bagster wrote to Dr. Waugh, and received a letter in praise of Mr. Greenfield, couched in terms that fixed his entire confidence in him as a Christian of sound principles, and a Hebrew scholar of extra-ordinary ability; and never, he adds, was his confidence shaken or his hopes disappointed. 'This superior young man,' says his employer, 'has accomplished much in his short career; but when it is placed in comparison with what he was preparing to do, and towards which he had treasured up materials, I sigh deeply at the thought that the head and hand can be no more employed for the good of man and the church of Christ.'
"Of the numerous works which engaged his attention we cannot now give a detail. That which excited the greatest public attention, was the Comprehensive Bible; a work of prodigious labour and research, at once exhibiting his varied talent and profound erudition. Of this book we shall not now speak, nor of the calumnies that were raised by misguided men to cry it down, by charging upon it and its pious and orthodox editor, not merely mistakes, or errors, or injudicious passages, to which all books and men are liable ; but deliberate, systematic, Neology, and even positive blasphemy and infidelity. AVe leave the writers to their own reflections on their conduct towards a man who, we are credibly informed, highly adorned his Christian profession, and the meekness of whose character was strikingly displayed in never having controversially replied to any of the invectives cast upon himself or his works.
"In reference to Mr. Greenfield's connexion with the Bible Society, the following testimonial will afford most satisfactory testimony to his devotedness to the cause in which he was employed, as well as to his general character.
"Resolutions passed by the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society November21, 1831.
"' That, feeling very deeply the greatness of the loss sustained by the Society in the death of its late Superintendant of the editorial department, this Committee yet desire to meet that loss in a becoming submission to the will of Him who ordereth all things in perfect, though inscrutable wisdom.
"' That this Committee, before they record their sense of the distinguished talents of their deceased friend, desire to express their devout conviction, that the gifts of intellect with which he was endowed, proceeded from Him 'who is the true light which lightcth every man that comcth into the world,'—and the consolation they derive from the reflection that those gifts, from their first possession, have been consecrated to the advancement of Biblical literature—their late friend having been almost exclusively devoted to the important work of editing the Holy Scriptures, or works intimately connected with them, during the whole of his short, but laborious career.
"'That this Committee remember with gratitude and astonishment that in the nineteen months during which Mr. Greenfield had been engaged in the service of the Society, his varied talents have been brought into exercise in no less than twelve European, five Asiatic, one African, and three American languages: and that, since the commencement of his engagement, he had acquired a considerable degree of skill in the following languages, with which he had previously been wholly unacquainted: the Peruvian, Negro-English, Chippeway, and Berber.
"' That this Committee believe that they are fully justified in extending to all other works in which he had been engaged as editor the following honourable testimonial, borne by their librarian, T. P. Piatt, Esq. on the completion of the printing of the Modern-Greek Psalter :—
"' Mr. Greenfield, in carrying this work through the press, has uniformly exhibited,
"*1. Sound learning and critical judgment.
"'II. A constant perception of the duty of faithful adherence to the very letter of 'the Sacred Original.
"' III. Minute and unwearied diligence, extending itself to the accurate marking of every supplemental word introduced in the translation, and to the careful arrange'ment of stops and accents.'
"' That this Committee cannot suffer to pass wholly unnoticed, some of the extraofficial labours of Mr. Greenfield. They remember, with delight, that it was his valuable defence of the Mahratta Version of the New Testament, against the criticisms advanced in the Asiatic Journal for September, 1829, that first brought him under the notice of the Committee. Of the Mahratta language, he had had no previous knowledge, nor yet of some of the other languages referred to in the work; and when it is stated, that the pamphlet appeared within five weeks of his directing his attention to the subject, no stronger proof could be afforded of the remarkable talent with which he was endowed for acquiring languages. His reply to various strictures on the Surinam or Negro-English Version was another memorial of his diligence, as well as of his good will to the Society. While, more recently, his observations, which have appeared in the Asiatic Journal in reply to the criticisms of Col. Vans Kennedy on his defence of the Mahratta Version, may be appealed to as confirming the opinion entertained of his high talents and sound learning; while a posthumous memorial has yet to appear in the same journal, through the kindness of the Editor, in which a defence of the Arabic Version will be found.
"' That this Committee feel it a duty to record their persuasion thiit noi'img has occurred during hi* brief connexion with the Society to invalidate those satisfactory assurances of the unexceptionable moral and religious character of Mr. Greenheld
Christ. Observ. No. 364. 2 Q
which were received at the time of his appointment; while in the transaction of business he has uniformly conducted himself with such skill, diligence, and urbanity, as fully to realize the expectations that the Committee had entertained.
"' That this Committee desire to convey to his widow and fatherless children an assurance of their most sincere sympathy under their painful bereavement, while they at the same time commend tbem to Him who hath said in his Holy Word, ' A Father of the fatherless, and a Judge of the widow, is God in his holy habitation ;' and express their hope that by the power of the Holy Spirit they may seek their consolation through faith in Christ Jesus, who is 'over all God blessed for ever.'
"Mr. Greenfield expired on the 5th of November of a brain fever; during the delirium of which, we are informed, connec ting his mental with his bodily sufferings and pressing his hand on the seat of pain, he frequently exclaimed, 'that they were piercing him through and through ; that lie was not a Neologian,' with much more that indicated how much distress of mind lie had experienced from this unfounded charge. We should not advert to the circumstance, but for the sake of thus recording his latest testimony to the abhorrence he ever entertained towards those unscriptual sentiments which had been so unjustly charged upon liiin. Mis dying breath, even in his unconscious state, fully attested what he had already said in a letter which he addressed to the editor of the Record newspaper
"' To the charge that I hold Infidel, Neologian, or Socinian sentiments I plead not guilty; and declare that I utterly abominate and reject, from my inmost soul, all and every one of these dogmas. I believe the Scriptures to have been written by the authors, and at the periods, universally ascribed to them; that they have been preserved entire and uncorrupted to the present time; that they contain a true relation of matters of fact, both natural and supernatural, ordinary and miraculous; that they are Divinely inspired Writings, being written by 'holy men of God, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;' and that, being the word of God, they are the only rule of faith and obedience. I believe that there are three Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that these Three are the one true and eternal God, the same in essence, and equal in power and glory; in the fall of man, the total corruption of his nature, and his consequent lost and guilty state; in the Deity, incarnation, and atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ; and in the personality and Deity of the Holy Ghost, and the necessity of his influence to change the heart and to renew the mind. This I solemnly, and in the sight of God, declare to be my belief respecting these great and fundamental doctrines of Christianity* As evidence of the truth of this statement I might refer to my Christian friends, and to ministers of the Gospel, some of whom have known me from my youth upwards; but it may prove more satisfactory, and be more appropriate to my present design, to refer to the pages of the Comprehensive Bible, from which it will be seen that this is no new declaration of faith."'
Such was the account published of him in the Christian Observer. I might add to it numerous other facts, gleaned from other sources; but I forbear. I must, however, extract one passage from his dying words, and also the last lines which I find of his in print; and which were published after his death, in a defence from his pen of the Mahratta version, in the Asiatic Journal. The passage is but the relation of an anecdote, but it shews his own feeling. I copy this first, and his death-bed declaration afterwards.
"I would beg leave to adduce an interesting fact, which in itself is a sufficient reply to all the objections against the Mahratta version. It is detailed in a letter from the Serampore missionaries to the committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and published in the Report for 1815. 'Of the utility of this version,' they observe, 'we have increasing testimony; among which, a fact lately come to our knowledge furnishes a remarkable instance At Nagpoora, the capital of the Mahratta dominions, a gentleman friendly to the Scriptures gave a copy of the New Testament to a Brahmin, a man of high estimation. He received, and read it; but discovered no peculiar regard to the Gospel till about a fortnight before his death, when he openly declared that he gave up all hope in his own religion, and trusted only in the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his life a ransom for sinners. His astonished family expostulated with him, and even manifested resentment, but all in vain: the dving man had obtained u view of the Friend of sinnners, and he appeared to cleave to Him to his last moments."
Such were his last words in print: his death-bed declaration was as follows :—
"Since I have been here, I have learnt more of the depravity of my heart than I knew before; but, blessed be God, I have also had the inward witnessing of the Spirit that I feel myself to be a pardoned sinner, through the blood of Jesus Christ, For worlds I would not have been without this illness. I have had most delightful intercourse with my heavenly Father. I have enjoyed that nearness of access m the precious blood of a crucified Redeemer, that I am ready and willing, if it be the Lord's will, to depart and be with Christ."
Let Mr. Haldane read this, and then his own words above quoted— and sleep on his pillow the night after as he may. I will not embitter his slumbers with a single reflection; but I must note him down, to be remembered when I pray that God would forgive "persecutors and slanderers.... and turn their hearU."
Yesterday's solemnity of national fasting and humiliation has afforded me an interval for quiet reflection, after three weeks' somewhat close reading and writing; and among the subjects that were prominent in my mind, and I trust not unforgotten in my prayers, I will not say that the Bible Society was not one. Let me come then, my lord, to this my last brief and concluding letter in the spirit of yesterday's meditations and intercessions. And may the God of all mercy and grace" grant that this painful discussion may arrive at a peaceful end.
Having been obliged, my lord, as I have just stated, to write the whole of these letters with rapid pen, in ill health, and often on my couch, in about three weeks, sending off the manuscript to press, sheet by sheet, without revision, I fear that I have not done that measure of justice to the Bible Society which longer time and more favourable circumstances might have secured. Some thoughts or statements may have been too often repeated, and others of importance omitted; but upon a survey of the whole, rough as it is, I feel persuaded that sufficient has been produced to vindicate the principle of the institution, and to shew that there has been nothing in the practice that, of necessity, requires an alteration of that principle, or, in truth, could be improved by it. If my friends will also kindly accept of the plea of haste for any harsh word that may have dropped from my pen, and which leisure for revisal might have softened more to the meekness of Christ, I shall feel deeply grateful; for all who have been forced into controversy know how difficult it is not to seem to write severely when it was meant only to write to the point. Yes, my lord, sincerely, and from my heart, I may say, that if in the course of this rapid and unrevised writing I have let fall any sharp-pointed expression, I would humble myself for it, first before my God, next before my offended brethren, and lastly before your lordship, whose character and spirit I know too well to mix up your name with unkindly discussion. I have often reflected with much interest on a conversation, some ten years ago, with your lordship in the room where I am writing, on the inestimable blessings of Christian peace. Your lordship found me composing a discourse for the pulpit on that blessed exhortation, "Acquaint thyself with God, and be at peace;" and I remember, in conversing upon it, you alluded to that natural state of alienation of the heart of man from God by reason of the Fall, which required on our part, as well as on the part of God, reconciliation, and went on to notice the way of reconciliation exhibited in the Gospel, through the obedience unto death of Christ, and through faith in his name, and the fruits of this in the cultivation and enjoyment of peace — peace with God, peace of conscience, peace with our fellow-Christians, peace with every thing but sin. Yes, my lord.