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Hilary, Gregory, Jerome, Epiphanius, declaration that "it renders the sense of Cyril, Eusebius, Chrysostom, Anasta- the original the best of any translation in sins, and the members of the learned the world.” The more competent the council of Laodicea, all rejected the judge the more unqualified has his verdict Apocrypha as canonical; and recognized of approbation been. They who have as such only the twenty-two books, which dissented most have had but little except compose the Hebrew canon. The testi- their pedantry and presumption to recommony of such men, living at the time when mend their opinions. Their futile amendthey did, is not to be upset in these days ments have dropped still-born from the by a bull from the Pope, or a letter from press, and found in their abortive vanity his legale. Romanists are aware that this a ready grave. There they will rest in testimony makes against them, and at- spite even of the Bishop's pick-axe and tempt to degrade the Hebrew Bible by spade. calling it “ the canon of the Scribes and But there are other tests of the fidelity Pharisees.” But in truth it was the canon of the Protestant version of the Scriptures. of Christ and his apostles. The Saviour The Protestants are divided into a great refers to it, quoting its authority, under number of religious sects, each with its the three divisions recognized by the peculiar forms of faith, and each deriving Jews: The “ Law of Moses, the Pro- its authority for those forms from the phets, and the Psalms," while through- Bible. Now it is well known that the out the New Testament no reference more closely religious sects approach in whatever is made to the books of the their creeds, the more sensitive they beApocrypha. Indeed these books have come on those points upon which they Dever been found in the Hebrew, and are differ. It was but a metaphysical shadow not believed to have esisted at all before which separated the Latin and Greek the New Testament was closed. They churches, and yet that shadow became a were never claimed as of divine author- field of controversy where the sharpest ity, by any council of the Roman church weapons were drawn, and where they itself, till the council of Trent." Their were for a long series of years most unoriginal insertion in the Scriptores, is as- sparingly plied. But notwithstanding the cribed to the Greek Jews at Alexandria, sensitiveness and jealousy which this who were desirous of preserving every close proximity of faith must awaken document which had any relation to their among the different Protestant sects, they history and religion. The Latin Bible are all united in their profound veneration was adopted by the early Latin church for the impartiality and faithfulness of the as a kind of original for the Old Testa- old English version of the Scriptures. ment, and the translators being unable to They would regard with concern any atdiscriminate books originally Greek, and tempts to improve it, and no such attempt those originally Hebrew, received them would ever secure, in its result, their all with equal veneration.” (Marsh, united confidence. We have here then
all that evidence of fidelity which learnAs to the fidelity of the translation, ing and sectarian jealousy combined can which has been assailed by Bishop Ken- impart. Such a verdict of acquittal no rick, we might well leave it to ihe re- other hook ever had, and no one except corded opinions of those whose thorough this ever merited. knowledge of the original and freedom We are not surprised then that our from sectarian bias entitle their opinions forefathers cherished this Bible, and that to the greatest weight. It has stood the they gave it their national, legislative test of all the critical learning of Europe sanction. When the war of the Revolufor more than two centuries, and has been tion cut off the supply from abroad, the pronounced not only a scrupulously faith- founders of our government, slender as ful version, but the standard of the Eng- the public means then were, encouraged lish language, and a lexicon of the Hebrew an edition from our own press.
No too. Thousands have concurred with miserable cry of sectarian jealousy, or the learned and impartial Selden in the feigned " embarrassments of conscience,"
deterred them from performing what they worshipped leaning on the top of his considered a civil and religious duty. staff. This is a sample, a pretty strong They well knew that the institutions one however, of that version of the Bible which they were sacrificing their lives which the Bishop wishes the directors and fortunes to establish, is unsustained of our public schools to substitute for the by the influence and moral power of the one now in use. Bible, would prove of short duration. It is a singular fact too, but not less inHad the proposition been made to them structive than strange, that this very verto throw the Bible out of their public sion, thus urged on our directors, has schools, they would have met it with the been condemned by a council of the Pawithering rebuke of insulted virtue and pal See. It was condemned in advance, patriotism. It is for us, it would seem, it is true, but if the anathema of assumed who share the fruits of their sufferings infallibility be of any weight, the whole and blood, to perpetrate this act of infi- burthen of its execration rests upon it. delity and crime. Should the Bible ac- The council of Trent, acting under the tually be cast from our schools, there direct authority of the supreme pontiff would be other remonstrances than those himself, pronounced its anathema upon which break from living lips, were it not any version of the Scriptures involving that the laws of mortality impose silence alterations from the one upon which it on the dead. Slight the counsels of the had conferred its sanction. And yet the living if you will, but turn not away from version now commended by the Bishop, the pale oracle of the grave.
and authorized by the head of his church, Were it in the power of Bishop Ken- contains no less than two thousand alterarick to furnish our schools with a Bible tions from the copy which the council of more complete in its canon, or more Trent sought to protect by its imprecafaithful in its translation than the one now tions. Such are some of the inconsistin use, there would be some apology for encies of assumed infallibility; a prerogahis censorious interference in this matter. live which belongs to the Deity, and The version used under the sanction of which no human being can arrogate to the Papal See, however, does not answer himself without the grossest impiety. to this description. It is merely a trans- Some good, however, has resulted to lation of the Latin Vulgate,-the transla- our Roman Catholic neighbours from an tion of a translation! The sense of the agitation of this subject. Not a few of original has only been obscured the more them have been led, in the absence of by each new dress which it has been their own authorized Bible, to obtain the made to assume. Few productions merely loan of ours. Language would but faintly literary could survive such a process, and picture the interest with which they if the Roman version of the Scriptures has pored over the borrowed treasure. It met with this good fortune, it is to be as- was indeed to them a new revelation. cribed in no small degree to the sanctity Their hands clasped for the first time of the subject, and the charity of the that volume in which life and immortality reader. He who would taste the spark- are brought to light; a volume to which ling freshness of the fountain should drink we trust they will not hereafter be strannear the source. The further the current gers. Should the canons of the Papal runs, the more the impurities which min- See and the obligations of the Bishop congle with it. It is on this principle only tinue to withhold from them this inestithat we can account for many of the errors mable treasure, “sympathy and a sense which disfigure the last Roman version of duty" will lead us to supply them with of the Scriptures. No one translating it. The shepherd of a flock, however, freshly from the original, and who should ought not to leave his lambs to seek a be competent to his task and impartial in refuge in the bosom of the stranger. its performance, could commit such mis- 'The expulsion of the Bible from our takes. Take one example as a specimen schools would leave our system of educaof the whole: * And Jacob worshipped tion without any of the restraints, responthe top of his staff;" instead of Jacob sibilities and inspiring truths, which this
volume contains. It sends our youth out illustrating the present recognized laws upon the world without the regard for of our solar system, he might have plead virtue, abhorrence of vice, or reverence precedent for his extraordinary demand. for God, which the inspired pages incul- It would have been in harmony with the cate. What can be expected as the fruit decisions of that papal tribunal which inof such an education but infidelity and timidated the philosopher of Pisa, conerime. We send missionaries abroad trary to his convictions, into a disclaimer that this precious volume may be carried of the earth's motion, and sentenced him to the hearth of the pagan, and then leave to the darkness of a dungeon for having our own children to be trained and edu- discovered the laws of light. Poor cated in ignorance of its solemn truths. Galileo! forced by ecclesiastical tyranny We tell others that it is the source of all to give the lie to the truth of that magnilaw, the fountain of all authority, the ficent discovery, on which rested his last well-spring of all purity and hope in a hope of immortal fame. Had papal inworld of sin and sorrow, and then treat it fallibility been infallible, our globe would ourselves as if it were a collection of still be regarded as a flat plain, and the fables. We proclaim our faith as the idea of sailing round it would be deemed richest revelation of God, and then turn but the figment of a disordered fancy. its authority into a burlesque. Such is Papal infallibility, when it touches the the miserable inconsistency to which we physical laws of the universe, seems to are reduced by a compliance with the re- be as deeply in error as when it attempts quirement of Bishop Kenrick.
to define its moral obligations. But the But we are told children may read the Bishop is not altogether without preceBible at home. They may, it is true, dent and authority in his interdict of the bat is this a valid reason for ejecting this scriptures. The Papal See has often book from our common schools? What placed under its ban that restless impiety must be the moral effect of this interdic- which has sought a free circulation of the tion of the Bible among the exercises of Bible. It has visited with its severest the school-room? The child is taught pains and penalties those who have preto believe that he is receiving in these sumptuously endeavoured to make men gehools the most essential parts of his think for themselves, and shape from education, and that whatever is not ein- their own conceptions of truth abiding braced in these is of only secondary rules of duty. Nothing so endangers the importance to him as an intellectual and supremacy of an overshadowing hierarchy moral being. And yet the great truths of as that moral courage which a man evinces the Bible, which lie at the foundation of when he turns from the thunders of the all virtue and all moral obligation, have Vatican to the whispers of his own conbeen carefully excluded from his lessons science. There is a power in those whisand inquiries. His teacher is not allowed pers against which no outward force can to recognize them, or once refer to the prevail; a power which sustains the sufsolemn sanctions in which they are ferer amid the agonies that may lay in clothed. Will that child regard in its ruins his mortal form. We do not much after years with profound reverence, what wonder then that they who are connected you, as its parent, consented should be with this hierarchy, and who act under banished from the elements of its educa- its authority, should seek to suppress that tion! Will it respect what you have freedom of thought and force of indivislighted? Will it bind to its heart what dual conscience, which a free study of You have betrayed? Its fidelity to that the Scriptures is so eminently calculated book, under such circumstances, would to impart. Our greater wonder is, that be liule less than a miracle, and would the Roman Catholics, as a community, administer the severest rebuke that ever will submit to such ecclesiastical despotyet chastised parental folly and crime. ism. Tyranny is sufficiently odious when
Had Bishop Kenrick called upon the it seeks to trammel our limbs; it is inBoard of Control to dismiss from our tolerable when it throws its chain on the public schools all works establishing and soul.
. Whether any portion of this Pro
testant community will consent to be the schools, from an alleged embarrassment passive instruments of riveting this ty- of conscience. Impiety might indeed ranny upon us, remains to be seen; but cast its sneer upon them, but how parental if they consent to the expulsion of the duty and christian love can raise an obBible from our public schools, they will jection, is to us utterly inexplicable. have taken the first eventsul step toward They have not a shade of sectarianism its consummation. The bolt will have about them. No one ever thought to inslipped the cloud!
quire for the religious persuasion of their Bishop Kenrick objects, in the second authors. It is enough for us to know place, to the teachers allowing the chil that they embody those feelings which dren to open or close the school with a become children who are trained up in devotional hymn. The reason assigned the nurture and admonition of the Lord. for this objection, is an alleged embar- To us, one of the most delightful specrassment of conscience. But how the tacles in the world, is a collection of moral sense of a child can be invaded by children closing their school hours with being allowed to celebrate, in this most one of these hymns. Take the following simple form, its Maker's praise, surpasses as a sample of the whole, as sung by our
, our comprehension; and we think it would children: puzzle the Bishop, even with all his meta
Almighty Father, heavenly King physical adroitness, to give a satisfactory Who rules the world above; explanation. The great British statesman Accept the tribute children bring placed the moral effects of the national Of gratitude and love. ode above the influence of law. If the
To Thee, each morning, when we rise, power of unsanctified poetry can awaken
Our early vows we pay; a patriotism which no legislative enact- And ere the night hath closed our eyes ments can rival, it is but reasonable to We thank Thee for the day. expect some beneficial results from those hymns where the glory and goodness of
Our Saviour, ever good and kind,
To us his Word hath given; the Creator is the inspiring theme. If
That children, such as we, may find the one can make a youth willing to die The path that leads to heaven. for his country, perhaps the other may make him willing to live for his Maker.
O'Lord, extend thy gracious care
To lead our souls above, Many a man has owed his conversion from a life of sin and shame, to one of
That we may all thy goodness share,
In that sweet land of love. purity and honour, to those simple hymns to which his pious mother first attuned As this hymn is gushing from the hearts his infant voice. The celestial harmony of our children, is it quite amiable in the may have slumbered long in his heart, Bishop to come in and impose silence; but at last awoke. What for instance and throw the dark pall of ecclesiastical arrested John Newton, while engaged in authority over such a collection of bright kidnapping his fellow beings on the coast and beaming faces. Even the children of Africa? Those sacred hymns, breath- of his own flock look up and wonder ing of celestial love, taught him, in his what it means. Nor is their wonder early childhood, by his mother. Their less when he attempts to explain his inrecollection awoke with a power that terserence by alleging an "embarrassoverwhelmed him amid the triumphs of ment of conscience.” They feel no such his accursed traffic. The pang which embarrassment, nor do their parents'feel strikes deepest into the callous sinfulness any, and they cannot comprehend how of age, is often that which recalls those the Bishop should. Still they must obey infantile and long forgotten numbers in the mandate, and stop singing. But that which childhood first lisped ils Maker's song will break out again in heaven, in praise.
spite of papal prelates. We can hardly conceive of a greater There is an absurdity about this intermoral absurdity, than the suppression of diction of Bishop Kenrick's, that almost these devotional hymns in our juvenile disarms criticism of its rebukes. It is
like taking solid weapons to contend not taken place, where it is in the possesagainst some grotesque phantom of the sion of the individual to whom it rightbrain. We should quite doubt the sin- fully belongs, we cannot comprehend cerity of the Bishop in this interdiction, how it should be injured, offended or did we conceive him capable of trifling embarrassed by a habit of prayer. We with the feelings of the community. We had supposed this habit consonant with must therefore suppose him honest, how- its nature, and in harmony with its decierer much such a conclusion niay detract sions, whether observed in the schoolfrom that respect which considerate wis- room or the closet. We were aware indom and Christian liberality inspire. deed that a bad conscience, one that has
Bishop Kenrick's third objection is been perverted and warped from its directed against opening a public school original purpose, might be embarrassed
prayer. The reason assigned for by the performance of this religious duty; this objection is the same as that brought but we take it for granted that this is not against the use of hymnsnamely, an the kind of conscience to which the "embarrassment of conscience.” 'This Bishop refers, and which he is so anrderotional exercise, where observed, has jous to protect.
We are to suppose he been brief and appropriate. No com- has reference to a good conscience, and pulsion has been used on the subject; the the offence alleged to be given it by the teacher has been left to follow his own devout exercise of prayer. The relief sense of duty and propriety. No com- asked for in this case is ihat this exercise plaint has been made by child, parent, of prayer be discontinued. Whether the or guardian. All seemed well pleased Board of Control will grant this relief to a wherever this devotional exercise was good conscience, remains to be seen; but attended to. But the Bishop has disco- if they do not, then let the cry of perserered that it embarrasses conscience, a cution be raised, and let it be told in tones discovery which no one else has made of indignation through the land, that this even in his own case. If a person has wicked and tyrannical body of men do discovered himself no infringement upon not consider the worship of God a violathe rights and scruples of his conscience, tion of a man's moral sense! the reasonable inference would seem to In solemn verity, this complaint of the be, that there has been no very grievous Bishop is too absurd for grave comment, insasion in that quarter. It may be that and at the same time relates to a subject the Bishop can tell when a man's con- too serious for irony. It disparages and science is embarrassed better than the dishonours its source. It is itself a severer individual himself; still we should expect reflection on its author than any animadto see some slight symptoms of uneasi- versions which even a sectarian intoleness in the alleged sufferer. Few people rance could inflict. Had we uttered any so utterly surrender the keeping of their thing ourselves so disparaging to the conscience to another, as to be insensible common sense and religious sincerity of themselves to its injury. It is an atıri- the Bishop, we should consider him enbute of this moral property to retain some titled to an apology. We bear him no things always in iis possession; and one ill will, and regard much more in a spirit of these is the capacity of discovering its of grief than gratification these self-inown wrongs. If the Bishop, through his flicied wounds. official position or otherwise, has taken The fourth objection of Bishop Kenpossession of this faculty, so be it. We rick to the present regulations of our have nothing to do with a man's con- public schools, refers to religious books science out of his own breast; while it is in the libraries attached to them; the comthere, where God placed it, we shall re- plaint is that these books contain misrespect its rights; but if it be in the pos- presentations of the tenets of the church session of another, we shall not recognize to which he belongs when the fact is, the transfer, much less the claims which they contain no representations whatever its new possessor may set up in its behalf. on the subject. We may safely chal
Where this transfer of conscience has lenge the Bishop to find the distinctive