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this version, Baptizo and its cognates, are rendered by the term, Se' Le', the Washing Ceremony. The Romish missionaries to China always used this phrase, when they wished to speak or write of Baptism in the Chinese language. Dr. Morrison, and all other Pædobaptists have done the same." Here is another edition of the Chinese New Testament, by Mr. Gutzlaff and others, printed from wooden blocks, at Singapore, under the superintendence of Rev. Mr. Tracy, of the American Pædobaptist Board. In this version also, Se' Le', is put for Baptism, so that it is said the Saviour should perform “ the washing ceremony with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” For a moment think upon Luke 3 and 16, literally translated from this Chinese New Testament. “ John answered, I indeed perform the washing ceremony upon you with water, but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose, he shall perform the washing ceremony upon you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." PerrORM THE WASHING CEREMONY WITH FIRE! Can we forbear to exclaim with the Psalmist, It is time for thee, Lord, to work, for they have made void thy lau.
To print and circulate these corrupt versions, the British and Foreign Bible Society has appropriated thousands of pounds sterling, while the American Bible Society has furnished its thousands of dollars ; and that too, at the very time when the faithful Bengali and Burmese translations of our Brethren Yates and Judson, by these Catholic Societies, could not be encouraged. My brethren, have Baptists nothing to do in giving the Word of Life in its nearest possible approach to the mind of God contained in the original record, to a nation constituting more than one third of the whole human family? Yes! Here our distinct action in the Bible cause, like our distinct ministry of the Word, cannot fail to promote the spiritual interests of China. It is our high vocaLion to teach the millions of the “Celestial Empire" the way of the Lord more perfectly; and where is the Baptist that in such an enterprise is not willing this day to consecrate his service to the Lord ?
In conclusion, allow me to advert to one other topic—though last not least—the necessity of prayer. t is a pleasing reflection, that, in the operations of this Society, we have not taken a single step without imploring the Divine blessing. In all the meetings of the Society, the Board of Managers, and their several Committees, prayer is offered ; and we feel it to be a delightful privilege to belong to a Bible Society whose members can all cordially unite in public supplications at the throne of grace, and there with fervor cry
Lord, send thy word, and let it fly, arm’d with thy Spirit's powor,
Then thousands will confess its sway, and bless the saving hour. About to enter upon the duties and responsibilities of a new year, we hear the Bible say to us, “ It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” We desire more sensibly than ever to realize our own weakness, and our constant need of Heavenly guidance. We entreat you, therefore, beloved friends and co-adjutors in the Bible cause, in your daily orisons, remember your Board of Managers. Yes—we “ beseech you for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with us, in your prayers to God for us,” that we may be made wise master builders, to lay a foundation for Bible operations so broad and deep, that our successors may safely build thereon, until the WORLD SHALL BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD !
The Corresponding Secretary, Charles G. Sommers, of New York, then read an abstract of the Annual Report of the Board of Managers.
R E POR T.
The Board of Managers, in presenting their Annual Report, are grateful to God for the favours which have continued to advance the prosperity of the American and Foreign Bible Society, during the past year.
In performing the duties assigned them, they have experienced great pleasure in the reflection, that this is an enterprise in which, not only Baptists, but christians of all denominations may meet on consecrated ground, and unite in promoting the kingdom of their Redeemer.
The volume which they distribute contains nothing but the truth, flowing from a sacred fountain, the streams whereof shall make glad the nations of the earth. The simple majesty of such a cause should at once disarm opposition, silence every objection, and quicken the most tardy.
Your Board of Managers hope, that the minds of brethren now connected with other denominations, will be drawn to a prayerful consideration of the circumstances which led to the formation of the American and Foreign Bible Society.
The necessity for such an institution in addition to previously existing Bible Societies, admits not of a reasonable doubt. If the population of the globe be estimated at 900,000,000, then, the rate at which Bibles have been circulated during the past twentysix years, would require upwards of four thousand years before every member of the human family could be furnished with a copy of the sacred writings. A view of facts like this, induced a few pious ministers in Paris to form the French and Foreign Bible Society, several years after the formation of the Paris Bible Society. The same opinions, and a strong desire to circulate the most faithful versions of the scriptures, gave rise to the separate action of the Edinburgh Bible Society, although the British and Foreign Bible Society had been about fourteen years engaged in the work of Bible distribution. Since that event, the labours and usefulness of the Edinburgh Society have been greatly increased. As a denomination, therefore, we deserve no censure, by the formation of the American and Foreign Bible Society, which does not equally apply to the Edinburgh, and to the French and Foreign Bible Society.
It has been frequently insinuated, that our chief concern was to contend for the translation of the word baptizo; but, this certainly is not our main design. Although we believe that this, like every other word in the Bible, ought to be faithfully translated; yet, as Baptists, we are contending for a great principle, viz. that the whole of God's word should be faithfully translated, and given to all mankind.
Against this important principle, the resolution of the American Bible Society is particularly directed; and that is the reason why we have, as a denomination, protested against their proceedings, and formed a separate organization to meet the exigency.
That it is the determination of Baptists, faithfully to translate the whole Bible ; and on the other hand, that the American Bible Society has passed a resolution which veils a part of that Bible in the obscurity of a language unknown to the heathen, will be apparent to every impartial reader of the following resolutions : Resolution of the Board of Managers Resolution of the American Baptist of the American Bible Society, pass
Board of Foreign Missions, passed ed 17th February, 1836.
in April, 1833. “Resolved, That in appropriating “Resolved, That all the Missionmoney for the translating, printing, or aries of the Board, who are, or who distributing of the Sacred Scriptures, shall be, engaged in translating the in foreign languages, the Managers Scriptures, be instructed to endeavour, feel at liberty to encourage only such by earnest prayer, and diligent study, versions as conform in the principles to ascertain the exact meaning of the of their translation to the common En- original text; to express that meaning glish version, at least so far as that all as exactly as the nature of the lanreligious denominations represented in guages into which they shall translate this Society, can consistently use and the Bible, will permit; and to transfer circulate said versions in their several no words which are capable of being schools and communities."
The first, is a resolution passed by the American Bible Society, virtually concealing a part of the Holy Scriptures. The second, a resolution passed by the Baptists, on the contrary, gives special instructions to their Missionaries to pray for the direction of the Holy Spirit, and to give to the heathen a faithful translation of every word in the Bible. With these facts before them, let Christians of every denomination prayerfully inquire : Which of these societies is entitled to our patronage ?
No Christian would be willing to strike out one word of the divine revelation. But so far as the heathen are concerned, is there any difference between striking out that one word, or printing it in a language which the reader does not understand ?
Upon this point, your Board of Managers can most cordially adopt the language of the Hon.Jno. Cotton Smith, President of the American Bible Society, in the annual address before that society in May, 1837.—“He who is employed in transferring the messages of Heaven from their originals to another language, is bound to exercise the same accuracy and fidelity in rendering, that the inspired penmen were in recording, the communications of the Most High.”—To this may be added the equally scriptural opinions of the Rev. Mr. Calhoun, Agent of the American Bible Society, now in Greece. Speaking of the Greek Church, he remarks :-“They hear the Scriptures, indeed, occasionally, in their churches, but they hear them in an unknown tongue. What a cunning device of the great adversary has this been, to shut out the light of truth, by locking up God's holy word in a dead language. Never could these churches have become what they have become, dead branches, had the Scriptures been read in a tongue that could be understood."-In another place Mr. Calhoun says, “In order to true devotion, there must be a distinct perception of the truth ; the language in which it is uttered, must be intelligible.”—This is all that the Baptists have ever demanded!
More than forty years have elapsed since Baptist Missionaries in the East, commenced the great work of publishing the sacred writings. At a single station, on the banks of the Hoogly, translations into several languages were completed about ten years before the British and Foreign Bible Society came into existence; and the same important work is at present carried forward with great success in regions beyond the Ganges. Yes, Hindoos, Burmans, Talings, Karens, and Chinamen, are now reading, "in their own tongues, the wonderful works of God.” In regard to the Chinese, we have the united testimony of the learned, that there has not been given to them a better version of the Bible than that which was commenced in 1806, and has since been completed by Dr. Marshman, the celebrated author of the Clavis Sinica.*
With the exception of the Persian, and a few others, all the first translations of the Scriptures into Eastern languages, were made by Baptist Missionaries; comprehending the languages of more than half the population of the world. It is particularly gratifying that the whole of this work has been executed upon a principle which commends itself to the heart of every Christian. They prayed and laboured to find out the true meaning of every word in the Bible; and then they prayed and laboured to express the meaning of every word in the Bible. How could conscientious men proceed upon any other principle? In what other way could the Missionaries be faithful to the heathen, to their own consciences, to posterity, to God ? Surely no Christian will say, that they were wrong in praying to be taught the meaning of every part of the living Oracles; nor, that when they were satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt, they ought not to have expressed that meaning in the appropriate words of the languages into which their versions were made.
UNION IS STRENGTH.
At do former period has the truth of this axiom demanded a more careful consideration in its application to the Baptist denomination. Engaged as we are in an enterprise which will affect the moral interests of the whole world; duty to God, and the destitute condition of millions, impel us to undivided exertion in sending the inspired pages to every tribe and people under the whole heaven, until “like a flood of glory,” the knowledge of Christ shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. With this as the only object of our Society, the Board earnestly solicit the co-operation of their brethren.
Since the last Anniversary, your Board of Managers have been greatly encouraged by the increasing
* See American Encyclopedia--Article, Missions.