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their edition would have that approbation from the Welsh Bishops for which Lord Teignmouth in the above Letter expresses his desire—the same copy was ultimately followed by the Bible Society, without alteration; and the edition was printed at the Cambridge University Press.
It may still be said But why was the “apostatized Clergyman," Mr. Charles, employed at all ?--Mr. Charles, it is true, was no longer officiating as a Clergyman of the Established Church: but the man who labored, without earthly gain or reward, for thirty years, in travelling, in preaching, and in setting up Schools among his then ignorant countrymen in Wales—who himself prepared and sent forth Twenty Teachers fitted to instruct in those Schools, whence afterwards the light of religious education spread over the whole face of the country—such a man, surely, may rather be called an Apostle, than an Apostate. And « what recommended him to the Managers of the Society,” those who have read its early history know well; for it was from his urgent calls for a supply of the Welsh Scriptures, that the Society itself first took rise. But this story need not here be repeated. It has been told long since, by Mr. Owen and Mr. Dealtry."
And, after all, supposing even that some considerable degree of mismanagement had appeared in the case, let it ever be remembered, that it was but the First act of an infant Institution-an Institution driven into action, I cannot but add, by the inactivity of others. Nor did the Society shun the aid of dignity and learning; though, too often, men of dignity and learning shunned the Society.
We come next to the Irish TESTAMENT
Here," again, the same evil genius which introduced Mr. Charles to their favor, led them (the Commitiee of the Bible Society) to fix on one Mr. M‘Quig, who had formerly been a preacher among the Wesleyan Metbudists, and who had been expelled from this connexion for repeated misconduct; and again, the results were such as might have been expected. The principal object of The Irish Society is, as every one knows, to promote the cultivation of the Irish language. Most of the members composing this Association are also Subscribers to the Bible Society; none of their proceedings can, therefore, be represented as flowing from dislike or jealousy of that institution. At a meeting of the Irish Society, held in Dublin on the 22d November 1822, a Resolution was proposed by John Leslie Foster, Esq., seconded by the Right Honorable George Daly, and carried, we believe, without one dissentient voice, stating, “That, after a full inquiry, the members of this Society feel satisfied that material and very numerous errors exist in the Irish Version of the New Testament edited by the British and Fureign Bible Society.'"-Review, p. 8.
Now here it is important to observe, for the sake of those who : * See Owen's History of the British and Foreign Bible Society, I. 138150; and Dealtry's Vindication of the Society (1811), pp. 1-17; and Appendix, i-liv.
may be entirely unacquainted with the subject, that it was no New Irish Version which the Society printed, but the Received Version of Archbishop Daniel, or O'Donnell. This work Mr. M.Quige was employed to edit; but his instructions were, to ada here strictly to the text as he found it, except in case of typographical errors. And, when he afterwards pointed out some passages in which he thought a change necessary, these instructions were repeated and confirmed to him; and he was informed, that if any such change should be indeed found, by competent judges, to be absolutely needful, they should be inserted in a separate page, at the end ; but into the text itself no iņnovations whatever were to be introduced. Whether any, or what misconduct, was charged against this Editor, by the Wesleyan Methodists, I cannot ascertain; but this is certain, that it was by one of the most distin. guished Members of the Wesleyan Body, Dr. Adam Clarke, that he was introduced to the Committee of the Bible Society: nor has any complaint been brought against him since he was so intro.. duced to them, though he has been laboring in the work of the Society, as will presently appear, in close connexion with Gentlemen of the highest respectability in Ireland.
But it is stated, that the Members of the Irish Society in Dublin passed a Resolution, five years since, expressing their conviction that “material and very numerous errors exist in the Irish Version of the New Testament edited by the British and Foreign Bible Society.”—This matter requires a full and distinct explanation.
And first, the Resolution in question ought to be given at length. It will thence appear, that there was no intention, even in the very outset, to impute wilful carelessness to the Bible Society, or, in fact, any fault into which other Societies might not be equally liable to fall.
Copy of Resolutions passed in the Committee of the Irish Society in Dublin,
Friday, Nov. 22, 1822. “ RESOLVED, (on a Motion by John Leslie Foster, Esq. Vice-President,
seconded by the Right Hon. St. George Daly, Vice-President)"That, after full inquiry, we feel satisfied that material and very numesous errors exist in the Irish Version of the New Testament edited by the British and Foreign Bible Society; and that we are not without apprehensions that the Translation which, we are informed, is in progress under the direction of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge may eventually prove liable to similar objections. That it further appears to us, that Bedell's and Daniel's Version of the Scriptures into the Irish Language (now out of print) is, with comparatively few and unimportant exceptions, a literal and faithfui translation, and which has been received with approbation for nearly 140 years; and that the only course which we can recommend to this Society, is, to adopt the Translatio of Bedell and Daniel, subject to such specific corrections as may be proposed and adopted by this. I VOL. XXVIII. Pam.
with the members of the Irish Society, by proceeding a little further with the history of their Irish Editions.
In the autumn of 1823, they resolved on another undertakingthe reprinting of Bishop Bedeli's Version of the whole Bible, in the native character as well as language.' In order, then, to guard against errors in this work, and to prevent the reproduction of those that might be found in the edition of the New Testament, fresh precautions were taken. Mr. M Quige was to be the acting editor; but he was placed under the superintendence of a Committee of Revisors, to whose examination his proof-sheets, with all corrections and changes, were to be submitted. This Committee consisted of the Rev. R. Daly, Vicar of Powerscourt; J. Leslie Foster, Esq. M. P., and Messrs. H. J. Monck Mason, Robert Newenham, and Edward Hoare.-These Gentlemen have sedulously attended to their task; and on the 4th of June last (1827) Mr. Daly writes :
“ I have great pleasure in informing you of the Old Testament having been completed.' The press is now employed on the New. My soul praises God for this mercy.”
No objection has been made by any of these Gentlemen to acting in concert with Mr. M Quige: their intercourse with him, they say, has throughout been “ satisfactory."
And as we find that the New Testament is now passing through the press under their own inspection, there cannot surely be a doubt that the errors of which they complained, whatever they might be, will be effectually removed.
Finally, it is this very Testament, be it observed, against which the complaints were made, that has been in so wide circulation during these last years in Ireland ; and the reading of which has so powerfully contributed, under the Divine Blessing, to stir up that mighty movement in the minds of men which is now taking place there.
Having thus gone through the charges relating to the Welsh and Irish Versions, we come to those that refer to the Translations " PRINTED FOR THE FIRST TIME under the auspices of the Committee in Earl Street."
And here, while the Reviewer “ lays it down as a general principle, admitting of very rare, if of any, exceptions, that the Translator of the Sacred Writings ought to possess a critical acquaintance with the original, together with an intimate and vernacular knowledge of the language intowhich he engages to translate them,"
'The Bible, as well as the New Testament, had already been printed by the Bible Society in the Roman Character.
he says that, “in the execution of all the Versions which have been printed for the first time under the auspices of the Committee of the Bible Society, principles have been allowed to prevail, for which we can discover no precedent in the annals of any previous Translations."_“The Translators,” for instance, in one case at least, are uneducated men, totally unacquainted with the original languages of the Scriptures, andhaving a knowledge of thelanguage into which they translate, which their eulogists can only venture to call « pretty complete.'--" For any thing we can see,” he says in another place, " the case stands thus : from whatever quarter new Translations may be offered, they are immediately accepted and printed, without any satisfactory evidence of the competency of the individuals by whom they have been executed.”
Now here, from my own experience and from recorded facts, I will venture to assert, that the principles on which the Committee have uniformly acted, have been these :—that it is most desirable and most important to get a Translation made directly from the Hebrew and Greek Originals, when men can be found able to make such a Translation ; but that, when such men cannot be found, it is better, FAR BETTER, to publish among a people merely the Version of a Version, than to leave them in utter ignorance of the Word of God: provided always, that the Version so produced should either have undergone a revision by some person acquainted with the Originals; or, in extreme cases, as those of the NorthAmerican Indian Languages, where it is impossible to obtain such a revision, that it should be certified, on the best testimony that may be had, to be a faithful Transcript of the Version that it professes to follow.
These principles are not “new." Let us see how the pious Bishop Bedell obtained that Irish Version, which, as we have seen, is in use to this very day. The statement is taken from the « Acta Eruditorum" of Leipsic, for the year 1686:
“Statuerat (Wilh. Bedell) Bibliorum Hibernicorum, quibus hactenus caruerant, copiam facere hujus regni incolis; ac hinc licei neminem indipisci posset qui præter hunc sermonem, Hebraicum etiam calleret, Hibernum tamen quendam, King dictum, qui exaciè simul Anglicam linguam noverat, incitavit, ut sacrum codicem ex Anglicâ saltem Versione Hibernicè redderet. Interpretationem indè partam Bedellus postea studiosè recensendain sibi sumpsit, collatis insimul cum Anglicâ Versione,Textu Hebraïco, Lxx. Interpretibus, et translatione Italicâ Diodati. Cùm verò opus ad umbilicum perductum jamque typis exscribendum esset, tunc quidem per invidas quorundain æmulorum machinationes repressum esi,criminantium ejus autorem hominem simplicem et abjectum esse, quique adeò labori huic par esse haud potuerit. Exemplar tamen istius translationis naufragio seditionis' supra dictæ ereptuin, jam sumptibus Dui Boyle sub prelo sudare oarratur.”
“ William Bedell had resolved to furnish the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Ireland with the Bible in the Irish Language, which they had never yet possessed. And though be could find no one who was acquainted with this
language and the Hebrew also, he, however, prevailed on an Irishman, pamed King, who had also an accurate knowledge of the English Language, 10 render the Sacred Volume from the English Version at least into Irish. The Version thus obtained, Bedell undertook diligently to revise; cullating, together with the English Version, the Hebrew Text, the Septuagint, and the Italian Translation of Diodati. But when the work had been completed, and was now just ready to be put to press, it was kept back by the machinations of some envious opponents, who alleged that its author was an unlearned and mean man, and one therefore that could not have been equal to such a task. A copy of this Version, however, saved from the wreck of the abovementioned factious opposition, is said to be at this moment passing through the press, at the expense of the Hon. Mr. Boyle."
If the principles of the Committee, then, are not new, so neither is the manner in which their attempts are received. The resemblance between the « seditio," as it is here called, of 1685, and the a factious opposition” (for such seems to be the correct rendering of the term) of 1827, is too striking to escape notice.
Here was a case, however, in which, in the revision, the Original could be consulted. And how does this differ from the case of the Persian Pentateuch, translated from the Arabic, and sent to this country to undergo the revision of Professor Lee ;-or from that of Sabat's Arabic Testament, revised by Martyn and Mr. Thomason in India ; and, on a second edition, again revised by Professors Les and Macbride in this country ;-or from that of the Amharic, translated from the Arabic by a native Abyssinian, under the inspection of a learned French Orientalist, and revised in this country by Professor Lee and myself?
And then, as to the incompetence of the Translators employed : there is the Modern Greek Version, executed by a Bishop of the Greek Church, revised by Ecclesiastics appointed by the Synod at Constantinople, and printed in this country under the inspection of the Rev. Mr. Renouard (late Arabic Reader at Cambridge, and formerly Chaplain at Smyrna) and myself-the Modern Armenian Version, executed by M. Zohrab, of Paris the Calmuc Gospels, translated by Mr. J. J. Schmidt, of St. Petersburg, the first Mongolian and Calmúc Scholar in Europe. I might go on with the List; but I have said enough to show how justly the Reviewer remarks: : " After the most careful and patient investigation, we are obliged to state, that, without one single exception, the New Versions which have appeared, either at the direct expense or under the immediate sanction of the EarlStreet Committee, have either been executed by incompetent Translators, or printed without having been subjected to a proper revision.”- Review, p. 6.
But it is said moreover, that in REPRINTS of Foreign Versions also, the Committee “seem to stumble, almost instinctively, on the most incompetent Editor that could have been discovered." Such has, doubtless, been the case with the Carshun and Syriac,