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in every quarter of the globe. They now.66 lift up their eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John iv. 35.) Many are saying to them, like the Samaritans, “ Now we believe, not because of your saying; for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." (p. 42.)..
On the other hand, although the Bible Society, as such, sends forth the Bible alone ; yet, many of its members lament, that missionary « labourers” are still comparatively “ few;" and they are uniting diligent exertions to attain the desired object, with fervent prayers to othe Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matt. ix. 37, 38.) Thus both departments proceed in friendly alliance; neither of them claiming or desiring an exclusive instrumentality in evangelizing the world.
But our Author contends (p. 51.) that “the commission' which the Apostles received from their Divine Master was, 5 Go,-preach the Gospel to every creature:' not a word of circulating the Bible without note or .comment.” He must forget, however, that the Bible does not recognize the exclusive sense, which he attaches to the word preach. The apostle James reminds the Church of Jerusalem, (Acts xv. 21.) that “ Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day.” If we reflect, that the prophets too were thus preached ; and what an effectual preparation this afforded for the Gospel-especially with the aid of the Septuagint translation, in a language so generally understood ; we shall see reason to conclude, that the methods now employed for the conversion of the heathen are not so destitute of example, as Mr. O'C. , imagines. He is equally mistaken in arguing from the design of the various translations of the Scriptures, and the multiplication of the copies of them, “ in the early ages of the Christian church.” It does not follow, bem cause they were primarily designed “ for the use of believers,” that they were not also suitable instruments for the conversion of unbelievers. We find St. Paul, while reproving 'the Corinthian church for their abuses of spiritual gifts, expressly saying, that “prophecying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe."
(1 Cor. xiv. 22.) Yet hie deemed iť not inconsistent to add, (v. 24, 25.) “ If all prophecy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is çonyinced of all, he is judged of all: and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest ; 'and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” So also, the internal evidence of the Holy Scriptures brings full conviction to the soul,--when accompanied by the energy of that Spirit, who alone can enable
any man to say, " that Jesus is the Lord.” (1 Cor. xii. 3. . In attributing this efficacy to one species of proof, disregard to another is not at all implied. All the varieties of external evidence of the authenticity of the Scriptures are of inestimable value. They are strong and manifold, and continually multiplying upon the mind. They furnish, under the divine blessing, the most satisfactory confirmations of faith, and enable believers 66 to give a reason of the hope that is in them,”. even to those who .cannot yet discern, that the Bible has a witness in itself. Of these advantages the disseminators of the sacred oracles are not insensible. . One of the earliest attempts, in our times to circulate the New Testament upon the Continent of Europe, was accompanied with a most convincing. Essay, upon Evidence; and this Essay was translated (if I recollect rightly) both into the French and Italian languages. When the occasion for them shall arise in other continents, there can be no cause to fear,-that the men who have been so wonderfully gifted for the work of translation, who have composed grammars and dictionaries in: oriental tongues, at the same time that they were improve ing the art of printing and the manufacture of paper--who have instituted schools, not only for the children of Eu-ropeans, but for Hindoos and Mussulmans; and have it in contemplation to furnish them with suitable books of Arithmetic, Geography, Chronology, History, Ethics, &c. *-there can be no cause to fear that such men, or. those, who promote their undertakings, will overlook any necessary demand for Books of Evidence. It is strongly impressed upon my mind (though I know, not just now where to refer for proof; that something has already been done in translating and dispersing Bishop Porteus's Evi
* See a Compendium of the Baptist Missionary Stations in India, &c.
dences--among Mahomedans. How easy will it be to give them any further degree of circulation which may be requisite! How easy to add that powerful demonstration of the genuineness of the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St. Paul, Hore Paulina ! In short, we may rest assured, from the spirit of the times, and from the talents, which the Author of every good gift has so abundantly bestowed, that nothing useful or expedient will be omitted. To those, who, with the writer of these sheets, most highly venerate the Church of England and her Liturgy, the prospect is additionally brightened, by plans for the diffusion of that invaluable treasure. The Bible Society cannot institute or support them; but the members of it can, in other capacities. The Prayer Book and Homily Society have determined “ to print the Liturgy in Hindoostanee; the translation of which was begun by the late Rev. Henry Martyn, completed by the Rev. Daniel Corrie, and has since been revised by competent persons." * It is well known that Mr. Martyn died in Persia, in the service of the Bible Society; but not until he had finished his Persian translation of the New Testament, and committed it to the British Ambassador at that courtt. The Rey. D. Corrie is now one of the chaplains to the East India Company, and he has described in England the result of his personal observation, in terms most encouraging to the undertaking I have mentioned. · Let us look for a moment also at the Society for the Conversion of the Jews. It is now under the management of members of the Established Church, and has lately obtained the patronage of two of its Bishops. The publications of this Society, together with the Reports of the Bible Societies, contain unquestionable proofs, that the attention of God's ancient people has been consider. ably excited to the subject of Christianity; the hearts of numbers conciliated, and of some converted, by the astonishing exertions of the present day. But I am in danger of digressing too far--I must restrain myself--and return, for a little longer, to objections.
After speaking of the design of the early translations of the Scriptures, (p. 51.) our author proceeds to an argu
* Christian Observer for May and July 1816.
f Sir Gore Ouseley: he has since been engaged in correcting the press which printed that translation at St. Petersburg.
ment, which is grounded on conjecture. “ If the circalation of the Bible" (says he) “ were the right mode of converting the Heathen, may we not be permitted to suppose, that, in the arrangement of Providence, the invention of printing * would have preceded the promulgation of Christianity," &c. The obvious answer is, that the advantages, attributed to the printing and circulation of the Bible, were, then, in a great degree compensated, by the infallible inspiration of the Apostles and the miraculous gift of Tongues. If we may be permitted, on the other side, to indulge in probable conjectures-it appears to be a much more reasonable supposition than that of Mr. O'C. that the Almighty, by withdrawing the gift of Tongues, and apostolic inspiration, before the full accomplishment of his promises .concerning the Kingdom of Christ,- has thus declared his purpose, that the final triumphs of that Kingdom are to be atchieved, by communicating divine Revelation to all the inhabitants of the world--through the medium of translations. And if we may venture to trace, with humble steps, the analogy of providence. If we contemplate the manner in which the way of the Lord was prepared before his first Advent, by uniting the nations under the Roman Empire, by the disa persion of the Jews and the dissemination of the Old Testa: ment in the Greek language-If, after an awful view of the predicted “ falling away," we approach the glorious dawn of the Reformation, and behold its way prepared by the taking of Constantinople, the revival of learning, the invention of printing.-If we advance to the period which has elapsed since the French revolution-if we review the events by which it has been so tremendously distinguished, and, at the same time, the naval pre-eminence of Britain, the extension of her colonies and commerce.-If we survey the unrivalled talents which have been developed for the acquisition of languages, and the unwearied industry with which they have been exerted-If, then, we turn to the Bible Society, and consider the æra of its commence
* I seize this opportunity of slightly alluding to the assistance of a friend, which circumstances forbid me to make such use of as it deserves. By the authorities he refers to, it is shewn, that similar clamours to the present against the Bible Society have been raised against the Art of Printing, Erasmus' Greek Testament, the London Polyglott, &c. See Fox's Acts and Mon. Lewis' History of English Translations, &c.
ment, its rapid growth and unparalleled success with the numerous instruments and circumstances which co-operate in forwarding its labours—can we forbear to. exclaim, “ What hath God wrought !” Is it extravagant to hope, that these things are introductory to the universal diffusion of light and truth? To those who entertain such views, which are grounded, not only upon the signs of the times, but also upon the promises of him who cannot lie,-how strange it sounds to hear our author enumerate the terrors of “ interminable expense, endless labour, new financial expedients !” All this, however, might be passed over, if the Bible Society had not been accused of drawing its revenue “ from the fund appropriated to the relief of the indigent.”. Does not this charge remind us of the indig: nation expressed against her that poured the " alabaster box of very precious ointment” upon the head of Jesus ? 66 To what purpose is this waste ?" (said the disciples) 6. For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor?” (Matt. xxvi 8, 9.) The Lord's reply, on her behalf, would be a sufficient shield to the subscribers and benefactors of the Bible Society, even though it should interfere, in the first instance with other charities. But who does not see, that the funds of every species of charity must be enriched by the dissemination of that doctrine which teaches, that “it is more blessed to give than to receive ?” by calling men's attention to that « faith which worketh by love;" which opens the genuine springs of benevolence, by supplying its best motives; which enlarges the heart by the knowledge of his grace, who “ though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor?"--Experience, too, has proved, that exertions for the relief of men's spiritual wants directly promote the relief of their temporal distresses * . The perfect knowledge thus acquired” (says one of the Reports) “ of the actual state of the great mass of our population, has already given birth to many Institutions, for the relief of their necessities. These collateral benefits have been exhibited in the formation of societies for educating children and adults,—for supplying the poor with bread, coal, or clothing, at reduced prices, or gratuitously,- for visiting the sick; and for relieving the temporal wants of the
. See App. to the 10th Report of the B. & F. Bible Scciety, p. 138.