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the influence of Bible Societies, in accelerating the evangelizing of the country, will be highly important, whenever it shall please God to excite a spirit of research and inquiry; and that till then they are
' usefully employed in efforts of preparation, in endeavouring to improve existing translations, and in giving them as wide a circulation as possible among the nominal Christian population, and such of the heathens as may desire to have them." In this observation your Committee fully agree, and with pleasure acceded to a request of their friends at Madras for a small selection of standard autho- , rities in Biblical criticism to aid the different translators in their works of revision and translation. A similar request was complied with in the year 1819, from Calcutta, and the books on the present occasion have been granted on the same terms as those on the occasion alluded to; 500 reams of paper have
; also been voted.
· The COLOMBO Auxiliary has sustained a severe loss in the death of the honourable and Rev. Archdeacon Twisselton, one of its vice-presidents, who had ever shown himself a sincere friend to the Institution, aiding it with the influence of his rank, station, and counsel. The Report of this Society is equally gratifying. Their distributions in the English, the Dutch, the Malay and Cingalese Scriptures have been extensive. The demand for the books of Genesis, Psalms, and Proverbs, has been such that though extra impressions were provided, they have been all exhausted. The Tamul Native Associations at Jaffnapatam and Mallagam are stated to be in a flourishing condition. The zealous Secre
а. tary Mr. Mooyaart has remitted to Colombo 2002 rixdollars; and the Branch Society at Galle announces that the subscriptions of the present year have exceeded those of the former by nearly 200 rixdollars. Notwithstanding, however, the support thus given to the Colombo Society, the late
Mr. Twisselton has informed your Committee, that the new edition of the Cingalese Scriptures (of which mention is made in the last Report) cannot be printed without pecuniary aid, and in consequence your Committee have voted 2501. as a further encouragement to this important work.
In the same letter, the last he ever addressed to the Society, and at the close of which he affectingly says, “ The prayers of many pious persons are continually offered up for the success of the Parent Society," he introduces the Rev. Mr. Newstead, a Missionary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, to the Committee. Mr. Newstead has brought to England the manuscript copy of the Indo-Portuguese New Testament, of which he is himself the translator. It has been judged advisable to print it in England, rather than in Colombo, as proposed in the last Report, and two editions are now passing through the press under the superintendence of Mr. Newstead. Testimonials have been adduced of the general accuracy of the translation, and of its fitness for circulation.
Connected with Colombo is another important work, a version of the New Testament into the Pali language, an intimation of which was given in the last Report. The Rev. B. Clough, another Missionary of the same Society, has addressed to your Committee an able memorial on this subject, from which the following extracts are given.
“The Pali, like the Sanscrit, is not the vernacular language of any country at the present day, it is, however, among the Budhists what the Sanscrit is among the Bramins. It was the native language of Budha himself, and is held in the highest veneration by his followers wherever found. Hence it is the great depository of religion, law, and general science in all Budhist nations; and some ideá may thus be formed of the great extent to which a knowledge of the Pali language has been and still is cultivated. It is used by the learned
in Ceylon, the Burman Empire, the kingdoms of Ava, Šiam, Pegu, Aracan, Combogia, and all the nations in India beyond the Ganges, also in several of the northern nations, as Thibet, Bhutan, and in several of the largest and most important islands of the Eastern Archipelago. From all the information I have been able to collect I feel little hesitation in saying, that were a correct version of the New Testament published in the Pali language, it would, in the first instance, be extensively read by those who understand the language, and would in the course of time become the foundation of many other translations into the spoken languages of the nations I have mentioned.”
Having thus shown the importance of the work, Mr. Clough proceeds: “ The late eminent oriental linguist, Mr. Tolfrey, had acquired a critical knowledge of the Pali language, and was well acquainted both with its history and with its extensive influence, in a literary point of view, among the inhabitants of the East." Mr. Tolfrey nearly completed a translation of the New Testament into this language, and Mr. Clough observes, in recommending it to the Society, “As it respects the merit of the work, and the confidence which may be pļaced in it, I believe it to be one of the best that could be made, but, afraid to depend solely upon my own judgment, I have submitted it to most able Pali scholars in Ceylon, whose invariable reverence for the language is such, that they would immediately frown upon any thing badly or imperfectly executed. They have unanimously assured me that the translation in question is executed with a high degree of beauty and perfection.”
Various considerations make it desirable that the work should be printed in the 'Burman character, and among others the facility with which it may be transferred from the Cingalese, in which it is now written, to the Burman; a facility arising from the circumstance that there are in Ceylon several
eminent priests, who were educated in the Burman Empire, to whom both the languages and both the alphabets are equally familiar. The chief of these priests became, as Mr. Clough states, a sincere convert to Christianity some years ago. He first assisted Mr. Tolfrey in this very translation, and has since devoted his whole attention to this important work. After such information no hesitation could be felt in ordering a set of types to be cast for the purpose. This has been executed at the cost of your Society, and Mr. Clough is now on his way to Ceylon taking them with him, and the work will be set forward as early as possible after his arrival. To this individual your library is indebted for a copy of the Gospel of St. Mark, in the Pali language, most beautifully written in the Burman character, on the alipot leaf.
One letter only has been received from the SOUTH Sea Islands, but that one rich indeed in intelligence. It accompanied the Acts of the Apostles in the Ta. heitian language, 500 copies of which have been circulated in thirteen different islands. In six of these Missionaries are stationed, and four have renounced idolatry and embraced the Gospel. The writer of the letter says, “I apprehend that our edition of the Sacred Scriptures must be at least 10,000 copies to satisfy the demands of the Leeward Mission alone. In the name of my brethren, and in the name of the surrounding islands, I therefore entreat the Bible Society to send us an adequate supply of paper.
The labours of the Bible Society (he adds) have been already blessed in these seas, and I trust they will increase more abundantly, even unto the coming of the great day. In a short time I hope to print the Epistles, together with the book of Psalms; a new edition of the Gospel of St. Luke is also loudly called for.” A sacred pleasure was felt by your Committee in presenting their fellow-labourers with 500 reams of
paper, and Alexander Birnie, Esq., owner of a ship trading to that quarter of the world, has, as on former occasions, kindly forwarded them free of all charge to the Society.
On the recommendation of the Rt. Hon. Lord Bexley; your Committee felt much pleasure in placing 100 Bibles and 300 Testaments at the disposal of the Rev. Mr. Bloxham, chaplain of his Majesty's ship Blonde, under the command of Captain the Rt. Hon. Lord Byron, which carried out the remains of the late King and Queen of the Sandwich Islands.
From New South Wales, there has arrived not only the remittance of 1501. mentioned in your last Report as being expected, but an additional sum of 2501., making a total of contributions from this Auxiliary, of 17501. Your friends in this, as in other quarters, regret their inability to do more,
while they really afford cause of thanksgiving for what they actually have accomplished.
The manner in which Dr. Morrison was received when presenting his version of the Chinese Bible at the last Anniversary, will not easily be forgotten by those who were present on that occasion. He has prolonged his stay in this country, and your Committee have had several interviews with him, and have considered the suggestions which he has offered on the best means of circulating the Scriptures, now prepared for the use of those who speak the Chinese language. In one communication he has stated the gratifying fact, that all the Chinese who live in the islands of the Malayan Archipelago, are capable of receiving the Sacred Scriptures without difficulty, as far as the governments are concerned. Their probable number is from two to three hundred thousand, and inasmuch as through these individuals, the Scriptures may and will find their
way into China itself, he has earnestly entreated