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or acknowledged in the reign of Elizabeth. Though men were not persecuted to death, (so much had been already gained on the old inveterate error,) they suffered most severely
in other ways. Toleration was the growth, but the tardy growth of Protestantisin. The Bible, examined, discussed and sifted by those conflicting sects with the existence of which the Reformation is reproached, at last made itself distinctly heard, and its authority was recognized by all. The knowledge of the Scriptures and the progress of intellect were undoubtedly simultaneous, but the fires of persecution did not wane merely before the daylight of human reason—they were rather quenched by the dews of divine grace, shed abroad through the Holy Scriptures.
That intolerance is a necessary and universal consequence of the Romish doctrines, we are not now called upon to assert; that it is and will be the ordinary inference from them, we cannot disguise our conviction. Allow the Romanists to disclaim all their Popes and councils which have enforced it as the first of duties; allow them to recant the notes of their authorized version of the Scriptures, where the very passage, in which the Son of God authoritatively rebukes his own apostles for intolerance, is explained with a reservation of the duty of putting heretics to death :Rheimish Bible, Luke ix. 55; still the voice of history remonstrates with our charity, and almost precludes that better hope, which we are most unfeignedly desirous of entertaining. We cannot forget, that even in the Gallican church, the same reign, which was distinguished by those most acute and eloquent theologians, Bossuet, Massillon, Pascal, Bourdaloue, and Fenelon, was rendered infamous by the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and the atrocious Dragonnades. Was one voice from all these able men earnestly and vigorously raised against those deeds ?-unfeignedly shall we rejoice if Mr. Butler
can cite one glorious instance. The Romanists reproach us with the persecutions of the Covenanters; but the latter were in actual rebellion, (goaded to it no doubt by the oppression of the government,) and the whole affair was as much a political re-action, as a war of religion. In France the soldiers were let loose on a peaceful and unoffending people, against whom no disorders could be charged, from whom no danger was anticipated; even the revengeful recollection of former injuries could not be alleged as an excuse; for sufficient time had elapsed to wear out all ancient animosity. Unhappily, where the doctrine is rigidly enforced, which precludes the possibility of salvation out of the pale of a particular church, persecution imposes itself on the mind as a sacred duty, as an act of merciful severity to the individual, of necessary protection to the many. This was the principle of the Bulls which deposed
Protestant princes; this was the reasoning which filled the prisons of the Inquisition; the fatal argument which caused moral and conscientious men to lay whole regions waste with fire and sword. For the final expulsion of this doctrine from the bosom of our 'church, we are indebted to the immortal Hooker; and to its renunciation the Christian world may ascribe all its present liberality of action, and its diminished acrimony of dispute: Roman Catholics themselves, nurtured, like Mr. Butler, in the lap of Protestantism, have practically dismissed from the creed of their hearts, what they may not perhaps have explicitly disavowed in the written articles of their faith.
During the whole of this inquiry we have expressed no opinion directly on the great question which has recently agitated the country; not because we have no opinion, or are slow to declare ourselves respecting it; but because this inquiry, which has been devoted to a single branch of the subject, does not furnish all the premises from which a general conclusion can be drawn. Something, however, may be collaterally inferred from the examination we have thus far made. From the accession of Elizabeth to the present moment, the Roman Catholics have been divided into two parties; the one who, with some sacrifice of their religious consistency, have held the tenets of their church in moderation and candour, who have possessed so much of English loyalty and patriotism as divested their divided allegiance of half its danger, and too much real Christian spirit to push the principles of intolerance to extremity: the other, who have adhered to the old Popish doctrines in all their uncompromising bigotry. To these doctrines no concession can safely be made, with these men no hearty or profitable union can be effected. If then the Roman Catholics hope to obtain further concessions, either from the wisdom of parliament, or, what is of more importance, from the feelings of the people, they must effectually put down the bigots among themselves. Every attempt to delude, either by exaygerating their grievances or disguising their opinions; every endeavour to intimidate by the display of their strength, will be inevitably connected in the public mind with the insincerity and restless ambition of the ultra Romanists. The loyal, therefore, and the wise, must set themselves apart, and make themselves heard above the clamour of the intemperate and the ignorant; they must discountenance and endeavour to suppress the wretched ribaldry now circulated, insulting to the Protestants and disgraceful to themselves; they must disclaim the hollow and unworthy league formed with the radical and atheistical part of the public press; they must prevent their bishops from appearing one day in the character of virulent pamphleteers, the next as dignified prelates; they must discountenance, above all, the rancorous abuse of their adversa
On the other hand, we most earnestly deprecate in their opponents any thing like a tone of triumph, the encouragement of ancharitable feelings, or the excitation of popular clamour. Acting, as they do, upon a defined principle, and appealing to history, to reason, and the human heart in justification of their apprehen sions, they may repel the charge of bigotry with silent contempt. But they should be the last not to allow the difficulty of the question, the last to deny that the legislative disqualification, however narrow, of any class of British subjects, is, though a necessary, not the less a serious evil. For ourselves, we fully comprehend the reasons upon which they mistrust any security which has yet been offered in lieu of those provided for us by our forefathers; but we do not comprehend how any considerate Christian, any one who duly prizes civil and religious freedom, can find matter for exultation in that issue of the contest, which only proves that, in the opinion of our legislature, a large portion of our fellowsubjects are still too much enslaved to the dangerous doctrines of their faith to be admitted to a full participation of every political privilege with ourselves. We may be thankful that there is enough of firmness and wisdom to withhold the boon till the moment arrives when it may be safely granted; but surely we must regret the very conviction which is forced upon us, that the happy moment is not arrived; and still more deeply must we lament that the Romish church does not as yet manifest that increased moderation, or that disposition to reform gross abuses, and disavow dangerous pretensions, which can alone accelerate its arrival.
Art. II.- An Account of the American Baptist Mission to the
Burman Empire; in a Series of Letters addressed to a Gentleman in London. By Ann H. Judson. London. 8vo. 1825. THE little volume we are about to notice is the joint produc
tion of an intelligent, well-educated, and apparently rightminded couple, who left their native country, America, from having, as they say, "felt deeply impressed with the importance of making some attempt to rescue the perishing millions of the east.' The narrative is drawn up from their journals and letters by Mrs. Judson, who, after several years' residence in Rangoon, came back to America in an ill state of health. Though it chiefly relates to the proceedings of the mission, there are interspersed through its pages many incidental descriptions of the country and traits of the character of the Burmans; and, on the whole, it is an entertaining and even impressive book. But, before we enter on the work itself, we wish to say a few C3
words on the Baptist missions to the east; it is impossible that there should be any difference of opinion as to their object; and we think there should be none as to the single-hearted zeal with which it has been pursued; but we confess that we do entertain very serious doubts whether those engaged in them are following the right path to effect that object; if we were to judge from the result of their labours, the conclusion would necessarily be that they are not; and we will briefly state what we conceive to be at least sufficient causes for their failure,
We consider it, then, in the first place, a great want of discretion, or something worse, to send forth basty and imperfect translations of the scriptures, and of their own religious tracts, before they have acquired a competent knowledge of the languages in which they write; so that their labours are simply useless, if not pernicious, to those for whom they are intended.
The Oriental languages are so totally different in their style and structure from those of Europe, that long and unremitting application is required before the student cau arrive at a familiar acquaintance with
any of them. Yet, in the course of a very few years' application the missionaries of Serampore, whose labours and sacritices we have before noticed as extraordinary and most meritorious, announced to the world that they had translated and circulated certain portions of the Scriptures, in no less than twenty-seven different languages! The consequences of this haste were such as might have been expected; the versions abounded with glaring mistakes, which rendered them absurd or ridiculous in the eyes of the natives; and either by mispelling, misplacing, or miseinploying words and phrases, the sense of the original was sometimes totally changed. Of this kind several instances are pointed out by the Abbé Dubois; and Dr. Carey has candidly admitted that, while he imagined his writings, preachings, and conversations were all working well, he had discovered with sorrow that the persons to whom they had been addressed had either wholly mistaken their meaning, or retained no recollection of their substance. Mr. Judson also soon experienced this difculty; it was not till after two years' of intense study that he began to see his way, and he then entertained no hope that in less than three years the language would become at all familiar. Its difficulties are thus described :
When we take up a language spoken by a people on the other side of the earth, whose very thoughts run in cbannels diverse from ours, and whose inodes of expression are consequently all new and uncouth; when we find the letters and words all totally destitute of the least resemblance to any language we have ever met with, and these words not fairly divided, and distinguished, as in western writing, by breaks, and points, and capitals, but run together in one continuous line, a sentence
or paragrapb seeming to the eye but one long word; when, iustead of clear characters on paper, we find only obscure scratches on dried palm leaves strung together, and called a book ; when we have no dictionary, and no interpreter to explain a single word, and must get something of the language, before we can avail ourselves of the assistance of a native teacher,
opus, hic labor est." —p. 55. We apprehend that the great difficulty of the Burman language in particular arises maiuly from its blending together several languages essentially different--the ancient Pali, now a dead language-the Savscrit--the Tartar—the Chinese. It is written in the Nagari character, (generally cut into Palmira leaves or slips of bamboo,) but having the square letters rounded into circles and their segments. The part taken from the Chinese being inonosyllabic increases the difficulty not a little : for it is next to impossible, by any inarks or variation in the manner of spelling ihese monosyllables, to render the Chinese language intelligible when written in the letters of an alphabet. Yet, with all these discouragements staring him in the face, Mr.Judson ventured on translating portions of the Scriptures when, by his own avowal, he was unqualified for the undertaking. Had he and his worthy helpniate confined themselves to the study of the Burman language, while at the same time they were instructing the natives in English, their labours would probably have been more successful, certainly more judiciously directed.
In the next place, we would advert to a practice which is decidedly injudicious in the eastern missions among a people exceedingly influenced by pomp and splendour--we allude to the humble character which these teachers of the gospel assume, and to their system of principally attempting to convert, and connecting themselves almost exclusively with, the very dregs of the people. The impolicy of this is so evident, and the want of success among the higher classes in consequence thereof, so notorious, that we are surprized they do not see the impropriety of it; for, setting aside the gross ignorance of an uneducated rabble, brought up in every kind of superstition which unfits them altogether for comprehending the divine mysteries of the gospel, this practice throws an additional impediment in the way of their introduction and access to the society of the higher orders. What sort of converts are made in India may be gathered from the Abbé Dubois, nearly the whole of whose life was spent in that country. During the long period I have lived in India,' says this honest catholic,
in the capacity of a missionary, I have made, with the assistance of a native missionary, in all, about three hundred converts of both sexes. Of this number two-thirds were Pariahs or beggars, C 4