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In the mean time, there would be another question to be considered. A translation is in itself a kind of commentary, since it gives the impression which the translator himself receives from a book, and expresses clearly or obscurely the sense which he attaches to each passage. The more literal, I had almost said the more servile he is, the more nearly he conforms his expressions to those of the original, making himself a passive translator, a mere interpreter, and not a commentator, the better calculated his work will be to be circulated by the Bible Societies, as it will not expose them to violate the law forbidding them to accompany the Bible with a commentary.
This danger (let it be remembered) is real, only with respect to modern translations, and to the revisions of the received versions. An ancient translation has stood the test of time, of the best judges, and of the public conscience. The maximuin of its errors is known. There are no longer, (thanks to Christianity and its reformation in the sixteenth century,) either secret doctrines, or exclusive possession of the means of instruction or oversight, por any want of bold and fearless critics, or jealous centinels either among the disinterested friends of virtue, or on the part of their religious and political opposition.
We see what a series of important questions arise in the minds of those who would thoroughly examine this subject which I have proposed to the friends of the Bible cause. I am able only to touch upon it to-day.
The single object I have in view at the present moment is, to lessen, if possible, the regret of those who wish for a radical revision, a reform, or a total re-modelling of the received versions.* Afflicted at seeing such imperfect translations still in the hands of the people, they complain that their wish is retarded or rather indefinitely postponed, by the kind of renewed sanction, which the Bible Societies, from wise and powerful motives, have been compelled to give to the old translations. I shall endeavour to diminish the chagrin with which they view this subject.
I shall not speak therefore of the beneficial effects which have resulted from the restriction imposed on the Bible Societies, by
Observe in what terms Messrs. Schulthess and Gaspard, two distinguished theologians and celebrated professors at Zurich, have lately expressed themselves on this subject, in a German publication entitled, Rationalism and Supranaturalism. (Zurich, 1822. 8vo.) “ The best founded objection we have heard inade to the Bible Society, is, that by its operations it raises an insurmountable obstacle in the way of making and introducing into the churches a translation, which shall correspond to ibe progress and present condition of knowledge." See also on this subject the remarks of Abauzit. Expedience of publishing improved versions of the Bible. London. 1817. New Series-vol. IV.
their wise regulation, nor of the great inconveniences which would soon more than balance the advantages promised by the scheme of dividing their labours between the distribution of Bibles which have been longest in use, and the improvement of those most in circulation.
For the present it will suffice to point out in a few words one of these inconveniences. If Bible Societies should encourage the publication of new versions of the Bible, designed for the use of Christians who are already in possession of those most approved, or if they should distribute the old translations altered by the advice and co-operation of these Societies; they might be suspected, and with some appearance of reason, of sectarian proselytism, and the reproach recently cast upon them would appear well founded. Above all, and this mistake would affect them more sensibly than any other) they would be exposed to see one of the most enlarged and generous views entertained by their founders, the success of which would be the most delightful reward of their labours, entirely overlooked or misconstrued ; ! mean that truly evangelical design of forming around the Sacred Volume, the august, the affecting, the holy alliance of all Christians—who under all the various denominations, leaders, different forms of worship, adore the same God, the same Saviour. But abjuring all other thoughts, every wish but that of imparting to all men without regard to difference of belief, the influence of divine grace, through the medium of the Holy Scriptures, they have made an engagement, and let them scrupulously fulfil it, to offer to the faithful of every Christian communion only such translations as have long received the sanction of their spiritual guides. Thus the reproach of proselytism falls on the word of God itself, which is powerful enough to defend itself against its adversaries, who would set its poble promoters on a level with the most despicable enemies of political and moral order.*
* See a pamphlet entitled, Reflexions prejudicielles sur la petition du sieur Loreday, par M. de Bonald. Paris 1822. p. 9, 10. « There certainly never was a mora zealous spirit of proselyting than that of the philosophers of the last century, whe following Voltaire, sold irreligious books at 6 sous for those of the lower classes, What have revolutionists in every age done, and what will they not always do, for the promotion of their opinions ? They have left no means untried, from the guillotine to penny ballads. The great bible enterprize which fills the world is only a most extensive display of this proselyting spirit--if indeed it be not rather a cutning commercial speculation."
LIFE OF BISHOP ANDREWS. LANCELOT ANDREWS was born in the city of London in 1555, under the reign of queen Mary. His parents were honest and religious; his father born of an ancient family in Suffolk, after passing most of his life at sea, had attained the creditable and comfortable situation of master of the Trinity house. From his childhood Lancelot displayed an uncommon love of learning and a natural seriousness which rendered him indifferent to the usual diversions and exercises of his age. His proficiency in his Greek and Hebrew studies at Merchant-taylors' school recommended him to the notice of Dr. Watts, residentiary of St. Paul's, who bestowed on him one of the scholarships which he had recently founded at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. After taking his degree of bachelor of arts, a fellowship was speedily, and with much honour, conferred upon him; and commencirig his studies in divinity, his great abilities and unwearied application ensured his proficiency in that branch of science. He was chosen catechist in his college, and after a time, his fame spreading, he became known as a great adept in cases of conscience, and was much resorted to in that capacity. Henry earl of Huntingdon, a noted patron of the stricter class of divines, now engaged him to attend him into the north, where he was lord-president, and in this situation Andrews had the satisfaction of converting several recusants, priests as well as laymen. Secretary Walsingham next took notice of his merit, presented him to the living of Cripplegate, and afterwards added other preferments.
His next step was that of chaplain in ordinary to queen Elizabeth, who, much approving his preaching, his and his single life, made him first prebendary, and shortly before her death dean, of Westminster. In this situation, which imposed upon him the superintendence of Westminster school, his conduct was a model certainly unsurpassed, and probably unequalled, by any of his successors. Dr. Hacket informs us, that when Williams was preferred to the same office, having heard what pains Dr. Andrews had taken to train up the youth on that foundation, he sent for himself from Cambridge to give him fuller information; and he thus details the merits of the friend and instructor of his youth in language warm with gratitude :
• I told him how strict that excellent man was, to charge our masters that they should give us lessons out of none but the most classical authors; that he did often supply the place both of head schoolmaster and usher for the space of an whole week together, and gave us not an hour of loitering-time from morning to night. How be caused our exercises in prose and verse to be brought to him to examine our style and proficiency. That he never walked to Chiswick for his recreations without a brace of this young fry; and in that wayfaring leisure had a singular dexterity to fill those narrow vessels with a funnel. And, which was the greatest burden of his toil, sometimes thrice in a week, sometimes oftener, he sent for the uppermost scholars to bis lodgings at night, and kept them with him from eight till eleven, unfolding to them the best rudiments of the Greek tongue and the elements of the Hebrew grammar; and all this he did to boys without any compulsion of correction; nay, I never heard him utter so much as a word of austerity among us.
* Alas! this is but an ivy leaf crept into the laurel of his immortal yarland. This is that Andrews the ointment of whose name is sweeter than spices. This is that celebrated bishop of Winton, whose learning king James admired above all his chapla'ns; and that king, being of most excellent parts himself, could the better discover what was eminent in another. ludeed be was the most apostolical and primitive like divine, in my opinion, that wore a rochet in his age; of a most venerable gravity, and yet most sweet in all commerce; the most devout that ever I saw when he appeared before God; of such a growth in all kind of learning, that very able clerks were of low stature to him:
... full of alms and charity; of which none knew but his father in secret: a certain pation to scholars of fame and ability, and chiefly to those that never expected it. In the pulpit, a Homer among preachers...... am transported even as in a rapture to make this digression: For who could come near the shrine of such a saint, and not offer up a few grains of glory upon it? Or how durst I omit it? For he was the first that planted me in my tender studies, and watered them continually with his bounty. **
In reference to the walks of this good dean to Chiswick with the schoolboys for his companions, so affectionately commemorated by Hacket, it may be mentioned froin anotber source, that from his youih upwards, his favourite, if not his only relaxation, had been walking, either by himself or with some chosen companions; ' with whom he might confer and argue and recount their studies : and he would often profess, that to observe the grass, herbs, corn, trees, catile, earth, waters, heavens, any of
the creature s, and to contemplate their natures, orders, qualities, virtues, Oses , was ever to him the greatest mirth, content and recreation that could be: and this he held to his dying day;"*
Doubtless, with so constant a love of the appearances of ex., ternal nature acting upon his pious and contemplative mind, this excellent instructor embraced these opportunities of teaching bis young disciples to look up through the medium of a beautiful creation to its benignant author ;--and happy those who are thus instructed to know and love their maker.
All who have made mention of this exemplary prelate agree in revering him for the virtues peculiarly fitted to his station. He was humane, hospitable, charitable to the poor, of unfailing bounty and kindness to the deserving, especially to poor scholars and divines, and munificent in bis donations to learued and charitable foundations. But he had still rarer and perhaps higher inerits. He was disinterested, inflexible in principle, and courageously independent. The extensive patronage which he possessed appears to have been in his hand an instrument devoutly consecrated to the advancement of religion, learning and good morals. To all the promptings of self interest, to all solicitations of men in power, he resolutely turned a deaf ear when they interfered with higher motives. It is said by his biographer, that the sins which he abhorred most were simony and sacrilege. The first of these was so detestable to him as that for refusing to admit divers men to livings whom he suspected to be simonically preferred, he suffered much by suits of law : choosing ra. ther to be compelled against bis will to admit them by law, than voluntarily to do that which his conscience made scruple of.'t We are further told that his dread of committing sacrilege, caus. ed him in the time of Elizabeth to refuse successively the bishoprics of Salisbury and Ely when offered to him under the usual conditions of that time,--the alienation of church-lands in favour of lay men and courtiers. He is also said, when bishop of Win. chester, to have refused several large sums of money for renewals of leases which he conceived injurious to his successors.
It should appear however, that in these sacrifices of worldly interest, Andrews was rather influenced by a nice sense of professional integrity and worldly honour than by any superstitious opinions respecting the sacredness of church property; for Sel. den has mentioned him as the only bishop who thought proper to express an approbation of his History of tythes, so much the object of alarm or borror to the clerical body at large.
The accession of James facilitated the advancement of An
* Fuller's Abel redivivus, article Andrews,
+ Fuller, ut supra.