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Monks and the Bible,
509 Resurrection of the Body,
Parker's Discourse of Religion,
496 Spoils Party in Christendom,
Sewall's Sketches of St. Augus-
Truth above all Things,
10 Tyler's Letters to Bushnell,
66 in Schools,
Religion of Winter,
- 430 Vericour's Modern French Litera-
35 Webster, Mrs. R. G.-Memoir,
461 Zoology, by Agassiz and Gould, 300
THE ENGLISH BIBLE.
THE faithful translation of the Bible into the language of uncounted millions, is an event of unspeakable importance. To these multitudes of immortals it becomes the "oracle of God," speaking to them in their mother tongue, and giving them their surest and safest teaching on all that concerns their eternal welfare. The translation of the Bible into English was one of the most memorable events in the history of modern civilization and Christianity. There had been many attempts to put various parts of the Scriptures into the common speech of the English people; but the first complete translation which can be said to have been published, so as to come into extensive use, was that made from the Latin by Wiclif, about the year 1380. This man was a priest, a divine, and an Oxford professor. His ardent piety was nursed by the Scriptures, which gave it birth. He is commonly styled the "morning star of the Protestant reformation ;" and was one of the brightest of those scattered luminaries of the dark ages, who are called "reformers before the reformation." Like Luther, his opposition to popish notions and usages was at first confined to a few points; but prayer, study of the Bible, and growing grace, led him on in a constant advance toward the purity of truth. He became, in doctrine, what would now be called a Calvinist; and in discipline, his views agreed with what are now maintained by CongregationAfter encountering many prosecutions and much persecution, he, having, like Luther, powerful protectors among the princes of his native land, peacefully closed his devout and laborious life, at his rectory of Lutterworth, in 1384. Forty-one years after, by VOL. II. 1
order of the Council of Constance, his bones were unearthed, and burned to ashes, and cast into the Swift, a neighboring brook. "Thus," says Fuller, "this brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean. And thus the ashes of Wiclif are the emblem of his doctrine, which is now dispersed all the world over."* His translation of the Bible was made before the invention of the
printing machines; and the manuscripts, though numerous, were costly. Nicholas Belward suffered from popish cruelty in 1429, for having in his possession a copy of Wiclif's New Testament. That copy cost him four marks and forty pence, amounting to nearly fourteen dollars. The value of money in those days was vastly greater than now; and that sum was regarded as a sufficient salary for a curate. The same value would pay at the present time for many hundreds of copies of the New Testament well printed and bound. Such are the marvels wrought by the art of printing! Let us hope, with an old writer, "that the low pricing of the Bible may never occasion the low prizing of the Bible!"
The first Scripture ever printed in English was a sort of paraphrase of the seven penitential Psalms, by John Fisher, the popish bishop of Rochester. This was in 1505.
The first New Testament translated directly from the Greek, was printed by William Tyndale in 1526. For this good deed, that holy man was strangled and burned ten years afterwards. His last words were a fervent ejaculation: "Lord, open the eyes of the king of England!"
Miles Coverdale was the first to print an English translation of the whole Bible. This was in 1535. Tyndale aided him in the work, which was finished at Hamburg in nine months and two weeks. It was dedicated to Henry VIII.; and that odious ty rant was induced to license the publication of the work only seven years after he had interdicted that of Tyndale, and shortly after he had signed that good man's death-warrant. The martyr's
* This striking passage from one of his favorite authors, has been finely versified by Wordsworth:
"As thou these ashes, little Brook! wilt bear
An emblem yields to friends and enemies,
By Truth, shall spread throughout the world dispersed."