Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

He stopped, and seemed much which I bere subjoin under the affected.

title of
• My friend," said I, “ I will
now pray
with you

for
your own

THE NEGRO'S PRAYER.
soul, and for those of your pa-
rents also."

Jesus, who maks't the meanest soul “ Do, Massa, dat is very goot

An object of thy care, and kind, do pray for poor Negro

Attend to whät my heart would speak,

Hear a poor Negro's prayer. souls here and

every
where."

For thou, when bleeding on the cross,
This was a new and solemn

My sins and grieis didst bear; “ house of prayer." The sea. This makes me think thou'lt not refuse

To hear a Negro's prayer. sand was our floor, the heavens were our roof; the cliffs, the I was a helpless Negro boy,

And wandered on the shore, rocks, the bills, and the waves, Thieves took me from my parents' arms, formed the walls of our chamber.

I never saw them more. It was not indeed a “place where But yet my lot that seem'd so hard, prayer was wont to be made;" For I was carried far from home but for this once, it became a hal To learn a Saviour's lore. lowed spot : it will by me ever Poor and despised though I was, be remembered as such. The Yet thou, O God, wast nigh,

I

And when thy mercy first I saw presence of God was there.

Sure none so glad as I. prayed.—The Negro wept: - His In ignorance I long had liv'd, heart was full. I felt with him, A rebel too I'd been; and wept likewise.

But thy great kindness, O my God,

Sav'd me from all my sin.
The last day will show, whe-

Mine was a wretched state, exposid ther our tears were not the tears

To men and angels' view ; of sincerity and Christian love. A slave to man, a slave to sin, It was time for my return;

1 A slave to Satan too. leaned upon his arm, as we'as- But if the Son hath made me free,

Then am I free iudeed; cended the steep cliff in my way from power of man, of sin, and hell, back to my horse, which I had For evermore I'm freed. left at the top of the hill, Humi-lo! send thy word to that far land, lity and thankfulness were marked

Where none but Negroes live; in his countenance. I leaned upon

Teach them the way, the truth, the life,

Thy grace, thy blessing give. his arm with the feelings of a bro-o! that my father, mother dear ther. It was a relationship I was Might there thy mercy see; happy to own. I took him by the Tell them what Christ has done for them,

What Christ has done for me. hand at parting, appointed one more interview previous to the Whose God is like the Christian's God!

Who can with Him compare ! day of baptizing him, and bid He hath compassion on my soul, him farewell for the present.

And bears a Negro's prayer. “ God bless you, my

dear Lord Jesus, thou hast shed thy blood

For thousands such as me, Massa."

Many despise poor Negro slave, " And you, my fellow Chris But I am lov'd by thee. tiap, for ever and ever. Amen." And this is all I want below,

To be thy constant care,
Keep me from siu and danger, Lord,

And hear a Negro's prayer.

In heaven the land of glory lies,
My interviews with the Negro, ru tell the saints and angels too

If I should enter there; suggested the following lines, Thou heard'st a Negro's prayer.

Religious Intelligence.

MEMOIR

But although this variety of languages RELATIVE TO THE TRANSLATION OF THE gives to the work in which we are engaged BACRED SCRIPTURE8, BY THE BAPTIST a highly formidable appearance, since they MISSIONARIES AT SERAMPORE. almost confuse the mind by their number,

the difficulty will be found more apparent (Concluded from page 284.] than real, particularly when they are taken

singly as they occur. With a previous 31. THE Khassee. This language is knowledge of the mode of construction, and spoken by a small nation to the east of Sil- nine-tenths of the words in any one lan. ket, who inhabit the mountains extending guage, the study of it can scarcely deserve from Silhet nearly to the borders of China. the name of labour. The peculiar terminaIn this specimen three or four Sungskrittions being once familiarized, (scarcely a words may be traced, but so disguised by hundred in any one of those languages,) the the monosyllables prefixed or added to language is already understood. Nothing them, that they are not easily recognized; remains dark and uncertain to discourage while the pronouns, gna, I, fee, thou, kee, the pursuit; and the gradual acquisition of they, and the frequent recurrence of the four or five hundred words, the tenth of as syllables ming, eng, ung, &c, plainly indi- many thousands, the general number of cate its distant affinity with the Chinese words in these languages, has little in it that monosyllabic system, however widely it requires hard study. It will be evident, differs from it in its present state. therefore, that to a person already acquaint

32. The Burman language. This lano ed with Sungskrit, Bengalee, and Hindee, guage has borrowed the Sungskrit alpha- the acquisition of ten of these languages will bet, in which it is now constantly written cost scarcely the labour of acquiring one But notwithstanding this, scarcely three language totally new to him, as it will be Sungskrit words can be descried in the merely that of familiarizing himself with specimen given. Syllables, however, which less than five thousand words, a labour peraccord with those in the Chinese colloquial formed by every one who adds to Latin a system, are to be found in abundance ; and, knowledge of Greek; a labour certainly far indeed, the language adopts two of the four inferior to that of committing to memory Chinese tones. We here find the Sungskrit five thousand Chinese characters, each dearrested in its progress eastward, therefore, scribing a different idea by a different comand constrained to lend its alphabet to do bination of strokes; and far, very far less little more than clothe and express another than that involved in the previous acquisisystem, said, by those who have studied it tion of the Hindee, Bengalee, and Sungskrit most closely, to be originally monosyllabic, languages. and which still retains tones completely But much as any two of these languages foreign to the Sungskrit system. The lan. may approximate, the terminations, though guages which spring from the Sungskrit, in few instances exceeding a hundred, are therefore, evidently form a whole of them- so often repeated in discourse, that a lanselves, and, taken together, constitute a guage formed of the same radical words, philological family, which for number and will, when spoken, be scarcely intelligible close resemblance to each other, can to one of a neighbouring province. This scarcely be paralleled.

I will be evident from an example: the Mak

ratta specimen of the Lord's Prayer has | fact, that one to whom a language is vertwenty-nine out of its thirty-two words nacular, can, in general, express an idea agreeing with the Bengalee; but of the therein with a degree of perspicuity and hundred and nineteen syllables which it neatness scarcely attainable by a foreigner contains, no less than fifty-nine will be in a long period of years. Of this we befound to differ in sound from those in the came early sensible, from repeated trials in Bengalee specimen ; so that while the lan- Bengalee. We have long observed, that guages have nearly the same words in com on communicating an idea to a learned mon with each other, in discourse only one Bengalee, with a wish that he would ex. half of the sounds convey the same idea, press it in his own way, he has done it in a and the other ball (that is, the terminations) manner so clear and expressive, that while so disguise these, as to render the whole we could fully comprehend the force of nearly unintelligible. This will not appear every word employed, we have found it strange, when it is considered that the radi- almost impossible to express it with equal cal words and the pronouns, which are force and freedom ourselves. It therefore nearly alike in all the languages, convey the occurred to us, that is, to this freedom and idea in its unmodified state ; but whether force of expression, strict accuracy could be it be that of a thing, a quality, or an action ; uited, a version of the Scriptures might; and if the former, whether it be singular or in a very few years, be produced in the va: plural; if the latter, whether it be affirmed, rious cognate languages of India, superior or denied, advised, commanded, or forbid- to what might be expected possibly in half den, must be learnt from the different termi- a century from a man's going into each of nations which convey the idea to the mind, these countries, sitting down to acquire the with the various shades of meaning nicely language ab origine, and then forming the discriminated. Hence, languages unintel- style of a translation himself, with the stiffligible for want of an acquaintance with the ness and baldness for many years inseparaterminations, become plain and clear when ble from a man's writing in a foreign lanthese are acquired.

guage. We therefore first made the trial From this it will appear, that, while in one or two of the languages with which those who speak these cognate languages, we were most familiar, and finding it suc varied as they are by their different termi- ceed beyond our expectation, we extended nations, are almost unintelligible to each it to others. The process of the work is other, a few persons, acquainted with Sung- nearly as follows: skrit, and the leading cognate languages, On engaging a pandit in one of these cog. familiar with Indian grammar, and the nate languages, after having examined and principles on which the permutation of let- ascertained his qualifications, we gave him ters is founded, may, with little difficulty, an approved version of the Scriptures in a obtain that knowledge of these languages, language with which he is well acquainted; which, to those unacquainted therewith, for most of the pundits we employ, while might seem almost unattainable ; and by good Sungskrit scholars, are also acquainta diligent improvement of native talent and ed with at least one or two of the cognate knowledge, if the means for printing are languages of India, besides their own vernafurnished, compress into a few years what fcular tongue, and some of them with three might seem otherwise the work of ages, and or four. Then placing him among two or accelerate the general introduction of Chris- three other pundits, who have been for tianity into India, possibly by half a century. years employed with us, we direct bim to

In the method we pursue, however, this express the ideas he finds there, in his own labour, if not actually shortened, is at least vernacular idiom with the utmost care and greatly facilitated. It is a well-known exactness, and to ask questions wherever be

finds it necessary. Meantime the gram-f if it could have that extension given it in Inmatical terminations, and the peculiarities dia, which the Roman alphabet has obtainof the language are acquired, possibly by ed in Europe. This we wish, if possible, to the time he has finished the first Gospel. promote ; and hence, though we have cast The work of revision is then begun with the several founts of types in the local characters pundit. This at first proceeds exceedingly for the use of those who now read these slow, as nothing is suffered to go to press till alone ; yet, as many prefer the Nagree, it is fully understood and approved; and in our design ultimately to publish an edition some instances the alterations made are so of most of these in the Nagree character. numerous, as to leave little of the first copy That the labour is not lost which is thus standing. This revision is, however, of the employed in giving the Scriptures in a lanhighest value, as the discussions which it guage, though spoken by not more than originates, both lay open the language to two millions of people, as is probably the us, and the sense of the original to the pun. case with some of these, must be obvious to dit. As we advance, we proceed with in all who are acquainted with the state of creased ease and pleasure, and seldom go things in the British Isles. The value of through the fourth Gospel, without feeling this has been demonstrated in Wales, ourselves on firm ground relative to the faitb- where the word of God, being translated fulness and accuracy of the version. Thus into the vernacular language of that small a first version of the New Testament is pro- principality, has, age after age, brought duced, not inferior in accuracy, and far su forth fruit in the most abundant manner. perior in point of style and idiom, to the first This, however, it could scarcely have done version of the Bengalee New Testament, in the same degree, had the Welsh been left the product of seven years' severe labour to derive all their knowledge of the Scrip and study. The Old Testament becomes tures from the English language, although still more easy; and the knowledge and it is the language of their nearest neighexperience acquired in bringing the first bours, and spoken in a certain degree among edition of the Scriptures through the press, themselves. The importance of this will form no contemptible preparation for the re- further appear, if we, on the other hand, vision of a second edition of the New Testa consider the state of things in Ireland, in the ment.

vernacular language of which, the ScripThe printing of these versions is highly tures, is wholly translated and printed, important, as for want of the means to print bave never yet been circulated to any exthem, versions have often lain almost use. tent; and to this very day we find the inless, and, in some instances, many have been habitants, under a splendid and numerous lost. In this part of the work we have been Protestant establishment, which conducts favoured with such assistance, that we bave worship in the English language, almost as types ready for printing in almost every one ignorant of the Scriptures as the Hindoos of these languages. Some of them have a themselves. The expense and labour peculiar character of their own, as the which have been so commendably applied Orissa, the Kashmeer, the Wuch, the Goo within these few years past to the comple. juratee, &c. In the greater part of them, tion of a Gaelic version of the Scriptures, however, the Deva-nagree is familiar to though that language is far less extensive most of those who can read; and as this al. than any of the Indian languages, serve phabet is perfectly complete, while some of further to show the value of the object be. the local alphabets are greatly deficient, it fore us. seems desirable to extend the Deva-nagree The importance of thus preparing veras widely as possible. It would, indeed, sions of the Scriptures, in all these lan. greatly facilitate the progress of knowledge, guages, if possible, will further appear, if

we consider the ease with which the Gospel all things are ready for the work, the ormay be introduced by any Missionary into pense of pundit's wages for translating the one of these provinces when this is once New Testament, and bringing it through effected. A Missionary who may in some the press, and that of printing a thousand future period wish to carry the Gospel thi- copies, including types, paper, &c. will be ther, may not possess that turn of mind little more than four thousand rupees, or five which would enable him to sit down with hundred pounds; which sum, we think, delight to so arduous a work as the transla- will both secure a version in almost any one tion of the Scriptures; he may not possess of these languages, and an edition of a thouthat knowledge of the originals which such sand copies ; a number sufficient to convey a work requires ; or he may not have a the knowledge of the Gospel into any one press at hand to print the Scriptures when of these provinces, as well as to secure the translated, or funds to meet the expense; translation against the possibility of being but devoid of all these, with the Scriptures lost. A second edition of three or four in his hand already translated, he can begin thousand copies, will, of course, come for proclaiming the glad tidings of mercy to about a rupee each copy. Thus then fire perishing sinners; yea, the very perusal of hundred pounds will almost secure the these Scriptures, with care and diligence, Gospel's being given to any one of the prowill be to him both grammar and dictionary vinces of India ; and were any friend in his in the acquisition of the language. lifetime, or in his will, to devote five hun

Nor when the Scriptures are thus transla- dred pounds to this purpose, the effect of it ted, will a European Missionary be in every might continue operating from generation instance requisite for the purpose of intro- to generation, till time itself shall be no ducing the Gospel into these provinces. A more. Were we to include the whole of brother bom and raised up in India, or the Scriptures in one of these languages, even a Hindoo convert, though incapable of the expense could be ascertained with translating the Scriptures, may acquire the equal ease. The Old Testament is to the local character, if different from his own, New as seven to twenty-five; that is, it congo among his bordering neighbours, and tains more than thrice, but less than four quickly attain a language so nearly allied times the quantity of the New. Two thouto his own. Thus several of our brethren sand pounds, therefore, would now defray born in Bengal, are now employed in Hin the expense of translating the whole of the doostan; and not only have brethren Kerr, Sacred Oracles into almost any one of these Thompson, and Peter, natives of Calcutta, cognate languages, and of printing a first carried the Gospel into various parts of In- edition of a thousand copies. dia; but our brother Krishnoo-das, whose It is from a view of these circumstances, nemory is precious among us, took the that we have been induced to improve to Orissa New Testament, went into that the utmost those advantages which we pos. country, learned the language, and labour- sess for carrying forward the work. It is ed there with brother Peter, till arrested in true, that at the date of this Memoir, we his career by that sickness which at length had not begun the translation of the Scripconducted him to his Father's house above. tures in eight or nine of these languages; as

The expense of giving a version in each of the Southern Sindh, the Kutch, the Marathese languages is also far from being great war, the Malwa, the Magudha, the NorthOur experience in the work of translating Kbosbula, and the Mithilee. But whoever and printing enables us at this time to judge will refer to the specimens of the Lord's pretty correctly respecting the expense of Prayer in these, and reflect on the ease one of these versions: and we think that, with which they can be added to the rest, la general, now types are prepared, and will not wonder if we candidly acknowledge

« AnteriorContinuar »