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was no translation of the Scriptures into our own language till that time,-no Bible in a language that could be understood by the people. When it pleased God to open the eyes of the people of this land to see the error they were in, several good and learned people translated parts of the Scripture for their use, before there was time to do the whole. The first complete translation of the whole Bible into English was published in the year 1535. on the 4th of October; and it was upon that account that the day was so marked by Protestants in the present year, being exactly three hundred years ago. This translation was called Coverdale's Bible, being translated principally by Miles Coverdale. It is not the translation now in use: ours, which is considered much more correct, was not made till the year 1611, in the reign of King James the First, and is sometimes called King James's Bible.

Every true Christian must rejoice in the opportunity now allowed him of reading the Scriptures in his own language. But it becomes a very important question for us to ask ourselves, "whether we make a profitable use of this advantage?" We may pity those who have not the same privilege; but if we have the power, and do not use it, we are worse than they are. But it is a mournful reflection, that there are many Protestants, who speak of their privileges, and of the advantages of being able to read their Bibles, and yet who never look into them at all. They profess to believe that the Gospel contains the message of salvation, but they will not examine it. We may well suppose that they are afraid to look into it, because they go on wilfully in practices which the Gospel condemns, and encourage dispositions quite different from what the Gospel allows, and therefore they shut their eyes and their ears against it. They remain then in their own natural unconverted state, in which, if they die, they die in their sins, and are shut out from heaven, as unprepared to enter. And yet, knowing all this, they are still willing to continue in this state of condemnation. We may speak of the sin of the Romanists, who keep the Bible from the people; and this is a very great sin. But can we consent to be sinners against our own souls,

1835.]

SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES.

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and wilfully neglect to use the privilege which God has placed in our power? And can we deceive ourselves, by imagining, that, in so doing, we are safe? Let us not so deceive ourselves! The Scriptures, studied, prayed over, and grafted by the Spirit in our hearts, are able to make us wise unto salvation. In them we believe that we have everlasting life. But they contain a sentence of death to him, who, by neglecting them, loses the benefit and the salvation which they offer.

V.

THE DELIGHT WITH WHICH THE PEOPLE READ THE BIBLE,

WHEN IT WAS FIRST TRANSLATED INTO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

THE clergy (in the year 1538) were ordered to provide a large Bible, and to set it up in some convenient place within their churches; and, in the same year, a royal declaration was published, which the clergy were commanded to read in their churches, informing the people, "that it had pleased the King's Majesty to permit and command the Bible, being translated into their mother tongue, to be sincerely taught by them, and to be openly laid forth in every parish church."

"It was wonderful," says Strype, "to see with what joy this book of God was received, not only by the more learned, and those who were noted lovers of the Reformation, but generally all over England, among all the common people, and with what greediness God's Word was read, and what resort there was to the place appointed for reading it. Every one that could, bought the book, and busily read it or heard it read; and many elderly persons learned to read on purpose."

The following extract and prayer, sent by a clergyman, did not reach us till after the 4th of October; but they are suitable for any day.

"The translation of the Bible into the native language of any country, is an event worthy of remembrance; the ability to read, every one in his own tongue wherein he was born, the wonderful works of God, is a privilege highly to be prized, and a blessing calling for devout gratitude.

"From this feeling, I beg to call the attention of my parishioners to the blessing and privilege which we of this country have now for three centuries enjoyed, and to suggest the inquiry, whether individually we are the better for the favour we have received. J. C. A."

A PRAYER.

Almighty and most merciful God, I adore and praise Thee, as for all Thy other blessings pertaining to my creation, preservation, and redemption, so especially at this time do I desire to adore and praise Thee for the inestimable gift of Thy Holy Word, and for the great privilege of being able to read it and to hear it read, in my own tongue: I would gratefully admire Thy gracious providence in raising up wise and pious men, who, guided by Thy Spirit, have brought this rich treasure within my reach: pour down, I earnestly implore Thee, the same Spirit upon me, and upon my fellow countrymen, that we may duly value this and all our other religious advantages, and make a right use of them, to the glory of Thy name, and to the salvation of our immortal souls. Grant that we, and all to whom we may be instrumental in sending Thy sacred volume, may so read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest it, that by patience and comfort of thy Holy Word, we and they may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

HYMN OF THANKFULNESS FOR THE BIBLE IN OUR OWN LANGUAGE.

Thy bounteous goodness, Lord, we praise,
That placed us in a land like this;
Where Scripture's light illumes our ways,
And guides us to the realms of bliss.

Veiled in a foreign language, long

Those truths had slept in partial night;
'Till men, in faith and wisdom strong,
The hidden treasure brought to light.
Since then, three centuries have past--
The holy gift we still retain ;
Oh may we strive to hold it fast,
Nor sink in ignorance again.

1835.] SECOND COLLECT FOR EVENING PRAYER.

Let us devote our special care,

To see that precious Book bestowed
On those who once were doomed to bear
Sad Slavery's depressing load.

And while released from harsh control,

Let them a dearer freedom prove;

The blessed ransom of the soul,

The liberty of Gospel love.

J. C. A.

365

REMARKS ON THE SECOND COLLECT FOR EVENING PRAYER.

A PRACTICAL view of Christianity is set forth in that collect for the afternoon service which begins "O God, from whom all holy desires and all just works do proceed."

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It seems as if that prayer were peculiarly fitted for those who feel in themselves the marks of sincere repentance; but whose change, from the influence of the carnal mind, to that of the spiritual mind, is not yet completed. It therefore begins with a Scriptural enumeration of the component parts and effects of true repentance; and an ascription of these to the God of grace, as their only source. Holy desires" answer to St. Paul's "opening of the eyes;" "good counsels," or resolutions, to the "turning from darkness unto light;" and "just works" are the certain consequences of being brought " from the power of Satan unto God." St. Paul was directed to inculcate this repentance, or change of mind, in order to the receiving the "remission of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified;" and, on exactly the same principle, this admirable collect directs the penitent to ask from God "that peace which the world cannot give." This is what the true penitent looks for; and it embraces, in the largest sense of the word, both the blessings which the apostle speaks of,-" remission of sins," that is, well-grounded peace in the conscience, and "an inheritance among them that are sanctified," that is, the blessed peace of a pure, holy, benevolent, pious mind, living, by faith, above the world, and having its conversation, its citizenship (Phil. iii. 20.) in heaven. Both these are contained in the nature of that " peace of God, which passeth all understanding," and its effects are beautifully expanded in the words which immediately

follow: "that both our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also, that by Thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour." This determinateness of heart (as, by a second nature, more fixed even than the first) to keep God's holy commandments, and the consequent freedom from all fear, external and internal, may be called the perfection of Christianity. And see how Scriptural all this is. "The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness (its less immediate, but not less certain consequence) quietness and assurance for ever." Zacharias, in his hymn, states it to be the very matter and substance of the mercy promised to the fathers :"That we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life." And St. John expressly says, "Perfect love casteth out fear; for he that feareth is not made perfect in love." Now, only compare this collect with my statement above, and say whether they do not suggest the identical same view of Christianity. From the Correspondence between Bishop Jebb and A. Knox, Esq. Sent by A. H. S.

THE SABBATH IN A VILLAGE.

THE Sabbath in a well-regulated country village is particularly delightful. The necessary rustic employments do not appear to profane the sanctity of the day, like the mere pleasurable and needless recreations of the citizen; and cattle driven to field or to water by children in their best clothes is less offensive than the street of a great town crowded with idlers.

The duties of Christian worship never appear so pure and pleasing, as when performed by the minister of a country parish, who regards the eternal welfare of his flock, next to the praise of his Maker, as worthy his constant and earnest endeavours, and who strives by his weekly instructions to prepare them for the duties of the Sabbath.

Many, very many, such are to be found, who, in con

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