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THE REVISION OF THE and rapidly sold; but while this HOLY SCRIPTURES.
edition was being prepared, Tindal To the Editor of the METHODIST NEW
was seized by the Papists, strangled,
and burnt as a heretic at Tilford CONNEXION MAGAZINE.
Castle, between Antwerp and BrusMY DEAR SIR,--Lord Shaftesbury sels. Two of Tindal's assistants appears to me to have some ground shared a similar fate-John Frith at for alarm lest the alterations pro Smithfield, and William Roge in posed “produce a momentous and Portugal. Now the good work was permanent change in the thoughts carried on by Miles Coverdale and and feelings of every English speak- John Rogers, who was afterwards ing people.” As much is said, and the first martyr in the reign of the public mind is excited respecting Queen Mary. a new translation of the Sacred Passing over the times of Henry Scriptures for the people, I now
VIII., Edward VI., Queen Mary, and send you a short history of the Elizabeth, we find, in 1608, by the translations which have appeared,
request of Dr. Reynolds, King James for the purpose of directing the gave orders for a new translation. minds of the readers of the METHO. Forty-seven learned divines were DIST NEW CONNEXION MAGAZINE to engaged in the work, which was this important subject.
commenced in 1607, and completed The Old Testament was translated and published in 1611. This version into Greek nearly 300 years before has continued to the present day to the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. be the only Bible printed without This version is commonly called the notes or commentary, in Great Septuagint, from the seventy Jewish Britain. Its general excellence has writers who were employed in the been admitted by learned men of work. Soon after the publication of different communions. This may be the apostolic writings, the Bible was regarded as sufficient to satisfy every translated into Latin for the use of seeker after the truth “as it is in the Christians using that language.
Jesus." This version was called the Italic, Allow me to give a few testimonies which, being the vulgar tongue of respecting the truthfulness of our the Romans, was called the Vulgate. present version. This is the only authorized version Dr. John Taylor says :-“You may of the Romish Church at the pre rest fully satisfied that, as our sent time. In French, the Waldenses English translation is in itself by had translations of the Bible made far the most excellent book in our by their celebrated leader, Peter language, so it is a pure and plentiWaldo, about 1160, and another, more ful fountain of Divine knowledge; generally published, about 1383. In giving a true, clear, and full account Spain there was a translation inade of the Divine dispensations and the about 1280. In Germany a trans gospel of our salvation, so that wholation of the Bible was made in ever studies the Bible-the English 1460. Luther published a new trans Bible--is sure of gaining that knowlation of the New Testament in ledge which, if duly applied to the 1522, and the whole of the Bible in heart, will infallibly guide him to 1532.
eternity.” In England, several attempts were Dr. Doddridge observes :-“On made at different times to translate some occasions we do not scruple to the Bible into the vulgar languages, animadvert upon it; but these reby Venerable Bede, who died in 735, marks affect not the fundamentals of and by King Alfred, who died in religion.” 900; but the first complete English Dr. Adam Clarke writes :-“ It is translation of the Bible was by the most accurate and faithful of a Wickliff, about 1380. The first translation. Nor is this its only printed English Bible was a transla praise. The translators have seized tion made by William Tindal, who the very soul and spirit of the retired to the Continent to prosecute original, and expressed this almost that work in security. He was everywhere with pathos and energy." assisted by Miles Coverdale, another The Rev. Thomas Scott declares:English exile. In 1535 the whole “It may be asked, How can unBible was published by Coverdale, learned persons know how our trans
lation may be depended on, as in general faithful and correct? Let the inquirer remember that Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Indepen. dents, and Baptists, who maintain eager controversies with each other in various ways, all appeal to the same version, and in no matter of consequence object to it.”
The cry of our times is “ Change, change!” “ Either to tell or to hear some new thing." In nothing, perbaps, is the spirit of change more remarkably displayed than in con. demning what is old and of long standing merely because it is old. We are not opposed to a rational and well-directed reforin; but what ve deplore is that restless and reck less spirit of innovation, and confident boastings of visionary and untried speculations. What men
have been seeking for – namely, Infallibility—they have never been able to find; and well for them that it is so ; for what would be the use of it? Infallibility is a Divine attribute, not a human one. It is not suitable for man, and therefore he cannot attain to it. He can only attain to what is human, and no amount of learning can accomplish a perfect translation of the Sacred Scriptures. The professing Church is too sectarian, and it is sectarianism that renders the task impossible.
Men, brethren, and fathers, keep to the old book in its present version, by making it the one test of sound Christian principle, spiritual worship, and daily practice. “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”—I am yours sincerely,
Camberwell. JOHN GEORGE.
TO OUR READERS. the body which employed them, and In assuming the management of the first rule of conduct which this this Magazine and of the Juvenile fact suggests is that we should Instructor, it may not be out of tread as closely as possible in their place if we address a few words “to steps, in order to give the same our readers ” explanatory of our satisfaction to our readers, and views and aims in the execu- earn the same commendations at tion of our task, and of the claims the close of our careor. and obligations implied in the rela But no two minds are constituted tion now commencing, and, we alike. No two men will do the hope, usefully and happily com- same work in exactly the same mencing, between us and our way. With every wish to imitato patrons.
where imitation is desirable there We succeed to the position with will be divergence of view someout instructions from any quarter. times, and a difference of taste. Statute law for our guidance there The peculiarities and the specialities is none. Whatever law there is is of an editor, and of each succeeding common law, which has grown out editor, will impress themselves of instinct partly, a sense of fitness, upon his work, and whether this be the exigencies of time and expe for the better or the worse it cannot rience, and which has received its be avoided. chief illustrations and sanctions With deference, then, and with from example.
diffidence, under the consciousness Our worthy predecessors have of the disadvantage of long absence retired from their office with the from England, and of comparative well-deseryed commendations of ignorance of the prevailing taste
and preferences of the readers of wise and some of them bad altothis Magazine, if we try to impress gether, but all blazing with colour, on our own mind, and indicate to and ornamented by art, the comour readers, and specially to our petitors with the sober periodicals correspondents, some principles which the necessity or the custom which should control a work like of the case obliges us to place by this, we trust we shall not be sus, their side. We cannot have pected of any wish authoritatively “stories;" we cannot have tales, to dictate to others, or even to novels, and the sensationals. All advise, in a case in which we own the proprieties would be shocked we are inexperienced, and may be were we to attempt this, and thus wrong in our impressions.
the trammelled editor of a religious It is undeniable that in these periodical is often made sensible, times the conductors of all our even in religious families, that his religious magazines, and much of performances are dull and unatour religious literature, feel the tractive, and that the young will difficulties with which they have not read them anyway. to contend in satisfying the cray- Now, what is to be done? The ing of many of their readers, and artistic part of the business could meeting the competition which, be mended, but here again there right or wrong, has set in against is a barrier. There must be them. The age, perhaps, is not “profits,” and we suspect that an shallow, but it is busy and impa- angel from heaven who could not tient. It reads largely by the aid show a good balance of profit at of the pencil and the easel. It will the end of the year would be not or it cannot trouble itself much deemed a used-up editor and with our teaching or literary com- manager. All the “ funds” would panionship unless we can captivate bare their wasted arms in his sight, the eye with pictures, or stir the look daggers at him with their emotions with sensation. The ghastly eyes, and pronounce him young especially have been so ex- a ridiculous failure. The “light tensively cared for, perhaps pam- reading " cannot be furnished pered, in this direction, that now it without authority to that effect, is almost useless to attempt to and even with authority it is a teach them even a moral or reli- doubtful expedient. So here we gious truth without a vision, a are offering plain food to an age “story,” or a dream. Much of our that wants confectionery, and sober reading specially provided for truth to many who like it only as Sundays is simply so many it is dressed up in theatricals. Our chapters of a novel, in some cases brethren before us were in the like republished as such in the usual tribulation, at least in these latter three volume measure, with court. times, and work they never so ing, matrimony, perhaps a murder hard and willingly they have or two, and as much of the blood worked in bonds as compared with and-thunder element as is decent. those to whom money, and art, The capital employed, the literary and ample licence as to subjects, and artistic talent engaged on these matter, and style, have given every works, and liberally paid for, assistance in the direction of popucannot be counted up. But there larity and effect. they are, some of them good other- When the best abstractedly is
not attainable, we must be satisfied against something fundamental, with the best possible, and this “most surely believed among us.” brings us to the main point aimed We do not thank a man who seems at in penning these remarks. We always or often doubtful of our all see what the literary taste of orthodoxy or our sincerity by his the age is, even when it represents manifest anxiety to prove what we itself in our religious or our 80- do not doubt, and to demonstrate called religious literature. Editors what has long been a settled point see it, and correspondents should with us. It is not polite to quessee it. We may deplore much tion & man's solvency in his own that it is in this state, we may counting-room, and it is never wise go so far as to denounce it, but the for a man to mount the house-tops case remains all the same neverthe- to proclaim that his notes of hand less, and it is the part of wisdom to are good and will be paid at make the best of it. If we cannot maturity. The public take all satisfy this taste let us meet it as far this for granted in every worthy as it is right and possible to do so. case, and as to the unworthy the Let us throw as much ease, fresh- less said about them the better. ness, and variety into the contents of So in religion. We have accepted our periodicals as the case admits it, and so have millions more, as of. Long articles-especially on true and undeniable, and if some theology-should, as a rule, be choose to deny it our chief busiavoided. The biographies should be ness is not with these, most of made as short as possible. Learned whom will go on denying after we and abstruse disquisitions on any have spent our last breath upon topic are out of place in a periodical them, but with the believers who intended for such general reading want to work out the religion they as is our Magazine. We need short have accepted, and reach the articles, adapted to feed the heaven it promises. A fair proporspiritual life, warm the affections, tion of articles in defence of our and please and profit readers who faith, and in demolition of all have not much time to spare, and adversaries, is to be desired, but come to read often with minds and too much of this, whether in bodies wearied with other occupa- preaching or writing, will be liable tions.
to misinterpretation, as, for inPractical and experimental reli- stance, that we may not be fully pergion are the things we all want ā suaded in our own minds as to the richer experience of, and we want truths we profess, that we are ourmore preaching and more reading selves travelling rather too much on these subjects. We cannot in the region or outskirts of doubt, understand why so many sermons that we are nervous on the subject, and so much writing in these times which itself is not the best sign of should imply unbelief in our good theological health; or that we hearers and readers. It would are pugnacious, which our adverseem, from the frequency and saries will be very glad to notice, redundance of this kind of writing and take advantage of in their and preaching, that we have all to favour. At all events, whatever is be put through the elements again, done in this direction should be and all because some shallow effectually done, otherwise we may sceptic has made a great dash indicate objections which we fail to
answer, and conjure up more can claim to be. They are men enemies than we slay.
“of full age," and fully able to Connexional intelligence of an answer for themselves. It is our encouraging character is always wish to let them deliver themselves acceptable. The principle, widely in their own way without our adopted in the commercial world, dictation. No honourable man of keeping yourself and your busi- will avail himself of our pages to ness before the public, is of more pull down what he knows, and we importance in religious movements all know, he ought to build up. It than some of us imagine. We is sufficient for us to say, should be informed, and so should 1. Our faith-the Connexion's our readers, of all occurrences in faith-is not to be assailed. our circuits calculated to cheer and 2. Our institutions must be susstimulate. Interesting services, tained till they are altered by comgood meetings—whether in con- petent authority. nection with our missions, Sunday 3. That on this latter pointschools, or the ordinary working of which is of less importance than our circuits-should be notified the former-and on which there A few sentences may be sufficient. will, perhaps, be more or less disIf we can learn nothing else, let us cussion, we have to say to all who at least know that you are alive may question us, “ We do not and doing something. Nothing of intend to be a divider or a judge this kind is too insignificant to be among you.” noticed, and we do not know how As we understand our position much good we may do miles away and duties, we represent and work from our locality by recording even for the whole Connexion, not a trivial incidents which have come part of it, or a faction in it-if under our own observation in the such a faction there ever should be sphere in which we move. If we but for the whole body. The do not greatly mistake, our Con- Magazine is not our individual nexion has been too modest and property, it is the property of us negligent in this respect. It has all. We have all a right of access not kept itself well advertised, and to its columns for any useful and we submit that we should turn reasonable purpose for which we over a new leaf. We are not may wish to use them. In so using prohibited from sounding a trumpet them, every man, subject to the before us except when we do our conditions indicated, must answer alms, not when we herald our Con- for himself, without involving us nexional activity.
in responsibility. To shape every There is the further question of opinion to our own model is editorial responsibility, on which a simply to prohibit its free utterfew words may be said. Most of ance, and to involve ourselves in our correspondents are ministers in controversies from which we shall full orders, of undoubted soundness endeavour studiously to keep aloof. in the faith, of proved fidelity in At the same time, let us all retheir calling, and with as earnest member that controversy is seldom desires to vindicate the truth, profitable, that “amendments to and profit in every high and the constitution” are best referred spiritual sense the minds they may to the supreme court of the Conseek to address in our pages, as we nexion, the president of which is