Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

rations too. It is true that army officers are said to pay for these rations, but then this payment is a mere nominal sum, no ways corresponding to the value of the rations, and at which rate naval officers would be always most happy to purchase.

Seventhly; Naval officers are every now and then struck quietly off the list without the country knowing a word of the matters: the names of military officers on the contrary so dismissed are invariably inserted in the Gazette with the cause of their dismissal, which must be approved of by His Majesty; rules that cannot be too soon extended to the naval service likewise.

At the very time that a number of brave naval officers were dismissed by the Admiralty for being in the service of the South American States, Lord Palmerston in the House of Commons absolutely opposed a return moved for of military officers abroad, on the ground that by such means the names of those in the service of the South American States would be thus pointed out, and that consequently the King would be necessitated to dismiss them: what comparative liberality this in the two services! When handsome allowances also were made to the military on the St. Helena station during Bonaparte's confinement there, on account of the expensiveness of the place, not a farthing was granted to the navy, although laboring under equal difficulties: and when indeed an admiral newly appointed there obtained an extra allowance for himself through his borough connexions, yet on the naval captains proposing to memorialise for the same, they had a hint conveyed to them that it would be more advisable to desist. Look too at the degrading epithets applied regarding the Naval Widows Fund, charity for the relief of poor widows, &c. &c. while to the notices relative to the Military Widows Fund not a single demeaning expression is ever attached. Indeed there has been ever little of that sympathy displayed by naval officers of high rank towards their inferiors, for which the military service is so proudly distinguished; those returned as independent members to parliament having been generally a grovelling sycophantic race, fearful of attempting to better or uphold the honor and independence of their profession, lest their own petty selfish interests should be injured by it. Captain Deans Dundas forms, however, a distinguished exception to the common herd, as his spirited conduct some years back on account of the dismissal of a naval officer is still a theme of admiration in every naval circle; and if the gallant captain only possessed the gift of speech in an equal degree with that of independence of mind and ability, the naval service in parliament would not cut the sorry figure that it now does, as far as relates to members unconnected with the government; for as regards the latter, the naval service possesses in Sir George Cock

burn a man capable of reflecting high honor on any body which has the good fortune to enroll him as a member. The late Lord Melville has been lauded to the skies for the benefits he conferred on the naval service; but although his son and successor conferred thrice the number of benefits on it, not a voice has been raised in his favor, on the contrary; he has been rather held up as its enemy. He probably accomplished as much as any individual of his station or rank could possibly have done; for while he held his appointment on the proviso that the naval service was to be prostituted as a jobbing concern to secure parliamentary influence, he must either have succumbed to such a state of things or have resigned; but His Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, like his distinguished brother, stands on more commanding ground, and can boldly give a direct negative to a proposition, with which a simple subject would have either to comply or retire.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

RESPECTING

CERTAIN VERSIONS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE

PUBLISHED BY THE

BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY:

IN REPLY TO AN ARTICLE IN THE SEVENTY-FIRST NUMBER
OF THE QUARTERLY REVIEW.

BY THOMAS PELL PLATT, M.A. F.A.S.

FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
THIRD EDITION.

LONDON:-1827.

THAT the British and Foreign Bible Society has undertaken a great work-a work that tends to results of the last importance to mankind at large-cannot be doubted: and that it is a work, the difficulties of which are proportionate to its greatness, must also be allowed. That its Managers and Directors, or those who have carried on its work, have in all cases fully overcome the difficulties with which they had thus to struggle, it would be rash indeed to assert. But the attempt was noble in itself, and they went forth to it, not in their own strength, but in the strength of HIM who is Almighty—and hence, doubtless, it is, that their success has been, in many respects at least, so astonishingly great. A Committee is formed, not out of the mighty and learned of the earth, but from among a few pious men, most of them altogether unknown by name to the world. Their plan is denounced, as hostile to ancient Religious Societies, hostile to the Established Church of the Kingdom, dangerous to the very existence of our Eastern Empire-and against all this, they stand, they "put forth branches," and, in less than twenty years, literally cover the face of the whole earth. By their means, Establishments for a perpetual supply of the Scriptures are set up, under Royal and Ecclesiastical sanction, in half the Kingdoms of Europe ;-a Translation of Scripture is sent forth, for the first time, from St. Petersburg, in the national language of the Russian Empire ;-while, at the same time, the people of China and of Western America, of Iceland and of the Islands in the Southern Sea, are receiving, every

"

man in his own tongue, the record of the wonderful works of God.

But, amazing as this work of Twenty Years must appear to every mind that will calmly think on it, it can never be for a moment desired that men should rest content with the mere report of general results, however magnificent. Among the various points on which inquiry is and ought to be made, one question of great importance has been-Are the Versions of Scripture, thus furnished, faithful; and are they in language that is commonly read and understood? In order to answer this inquiry, as far as lay in their power, the Committee had resolved, a few months since, (Feb. 5.) that an Account should be drawn up of all the Translations which they have circulated; stating the reasons which led to their adoption, or the history of the translating and editing of those which were New or Revised Versions. The preparation of this Account ultimately devolved on myself; and I was beginning to enter on it, when a statement on the very same subject came forth, in a Periodical Publication, (the Quarterly Review, No. 71,) which has appeared to call for the few following remarks.

My object will be, chiefly, to give a correct relation of Facts which the Writer in the Review has misrepresented. I hope, and am ready to admit, that his misrepresentations have been unintentional: yet, surely, the utmost care ought to have been exercised, before imputations were cast on a body of men who are engaged in an undertaking so beneficent and so important to mankind, as the Reviewer will and does acknowledge that of the Committee of the Bible Society to be.

U

JI.

The case of the WELSH BIBLE comes first in order.-Here, says the Reviewer,

"The Directors of this Institution (the Bible Society) devolved the selection of a proper text, and the revision of their new edition, on a Mr. Thomas Charles, an apostatized clergyman from the Established Church, and at that time an itinerant preacher among the Calvinistic Methodists. Who or what recommended him to the Managers of the Society, we do not happen to know. The result, however, proved exactly what might have been anticipated; he introduced so many unauthorised innovations, by way of improving the version, that one of the Welsh Bishops found himself called on to remonstrate with the Committee. Finding that the heads of our church were not to be taken by surprise, the Directors were constrained to suppress the edition; and, up to this day the inhabitants of Wales are deprived of the benefit which the Managers of the Bible Society intended to confer on them by Mr. Thomas Charles's new readings of the word of God."

Now it is not true that Mr. Charles "introduced unauthorised innovations" into the Welsh Bible, "by way of IMPROVING THE VERSION." A representation was indeed made against the plan which he intended to follow in his edition, but the complaint was this:

*→→

« PředchozíPokračovat »