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the stem whereof abideth for ever? And this is the word of God which we translate. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord; therefore let no man's eye be evil, because his Majesty's is good ; neither let any be grieved that we have a Prince that seeketh the spiritual wealth of Israel; but let us rather bless God from the ground of our heart, for working this religious care in him, to have the translation of the Bible maturely considered and examined. For by this means it cometh to pass, that whatsoever is sound already, the same will shine as gold more brightly, being rubbed and polished: also, if any thing be halting or superfluous, or not agreeable to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set in its place." See Translators' General Preface.
My Lord, I think it will be needless to add more, or to recapitulate. The sentiments which are expressed in this letter, are not my own only, but those of many learned and well-meaning divines of the established Church, whose opinions I consulted before I ventured thus to address your Grace, andwho are most anxious to see your primacy farther distinguished by an undertaking, " the expediency of which," to use the words of bishop Lowth, " grows every day more and more evident." A great and enlightened predecessor of your Grace, archbishop Seeker, was most desirous of accomplishing that, which, I trust, will now devolve on you ;—and his corrections of the English translation, and critical remarks on the Hebrew text, not only constitute one of the most valuable manuscripts in the library of Lambeth Palace, but leave on record an irrefragable testimony of the zeal with which he would have promoted a revision, had he not been unexpectedly thwarted. It is believed, my Lord, that the illustrious personage who now holds the reins of government, predisposed in favor of the measure, would readily sanction it, if your Grace would signify your opinion of its expediency. Be yours then the honor of a work, which assuredly will not be left undone many years longer. The reputation which Dr. Reynolds obtained in 1607, by persuading King James to authorise a revision of the common translation, might now be transferred to you; and jealous, my Lord, would every good Churchman be, should any other person enjoy it, but the head of the Church.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord, with great respect,
Your Grace's most obedient
An Essex Rector.
VINDICATION OF WINCHESTER COLLEGE:
IN A LETTER TO
HENRY BROUGHAM, ESQ.;
OCCASIONED BY HIS
LETTER TO SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY,
REV. W. L. BOWLES.
The writer of these Observations was entirely ignorant, when they were sent to the press, that the subject had been undertaken by the Rev. Mr. Clarke, a Fellow of Winchester, whose examination by Mr. Brougham is before the public.
Had this circumstance been known previously to the sheets being printed, the vindication would have been left to one, who, having access to the Statutes of the College, was more capable of doing it justice. To him I must leave those points which his knowledge of the Statutes can best explain : but 1 hope what is here offered will dispose the public mind to a dispassionate view of the subject.
To prevent the possibility of misconception, and misunderstanding the object I had in view in detailing an account of the exact receipts and expenditure of a Fellowship of Winchester in the year 1736, and also in introducing an anecdote apparently trifling; I beg it may be kept in mind, that Mr. Brougham had excited an impression in the public, that the income of the Fellows was superabundant, and the expenditure such as ought to be curtailed, and that the boys' > were subjected to unnecessary privations, to increase the funds of a few Fellows, who were not better than robbers of the poor. This was the impression made, or attempted to be made, on the public, by insinuations as false as they were cruel.
The shortest and plainest way of showing the utter falsehood of these charges, was to avail myself of a document in my possession, and to show, by a fact, what the income of a Fellow was in 17S6, what were the exact items of expenditure, and what was the heart and disposition towards the boys, of that character who possessed these funds.
The anecdote is introduced to show how remote from every feeling "or thought of robbery" that heart must be, (and the applition is obvious) which to the last felt the greatest anxiety for the happiness and welfare of the " threescore and ten."—A very futile piece of criticism has made it necessary for me to premise these things.
With respect to the introduction of some illustrious living characters, the fault must not be laid on me, (if a fault it be) but on Mr. Brougham, who made the mention of those names almost necessary; and so mentioning them, I should have thought myself deficient in feelings of respect and gratitude, if I had not spoken of them as I have done.
"Hoc tribuisse Parim, noi. tribuisse scelus!"
With the deepest sense of gratitude I received the following testimony:—1
Winchester College, Dec. 3d, 1818.
"At a meeting of the Warden, Fellows, Masters, and Subpreceptors, of Winchester College and School, it was unanimously resolved, that the thanks of this Society be given to the Rev. Mr. Clarke and the Rev. Mr. Bowles, for the zeal and ability with which they have vindicated the College of Winchester."
Bremhill, Dec. 12, 1818.
To the Warden, Fellows, Masters, and Sub-preceptors of
My Lord and Gentlemen,
The public testimony which I have received of your approbation will be a source of pride and satisfaction to me as long as I live.
I trust, whenever those honored walls, in which so many good and great men have received their education, are attacked, they will never want defenders from among the grateful sons of the Founder Wyckham.—An arm more effective in their defence may be raised, as in the case of the consummate Vindication by Mr. Clarke, but they cannot have a heart warmer in anxiety to repel unjust and illiberal aggression, than my own.
I am, my Lord and Gentlemen,
With great Esteem,
Your obliged Servant,
W. L. BOWLES.