« AnteriorContinuar »
violent outcry against its pretended errors, it was destroyed, and the translator himself strangled or burned in Flanders, in' 1536. : iii
Coverdale's Bible, being the first edition in English print, of the Old and New Testaments united, was published in folio, in 1535, and in 1550 reprinted in quarto, with wooden cuts.---Mattheivs's appeared in 1537, being partly Tyndal's and partly Coverdale's, and having the various additions of a kalendar and almanack; of contents, notes, prefaces, and cuts to the Apocalypse. "
This translation, revised by Cranmer, with the assistance of several learned ecclesiastics, was reprinted in 1539. Tyndal's prologue and marginal notes were here omitted.
A copy of this authorized Bible having been placed in every church, by order of Cromwell, the vice-regent, the Popish ministers endeavoured to obstruct its utility, by reading it confusedly to their parishioners, “humming and hawing, and hawking.” at every word, so that scarce any person could understand them. Nevertheless the volume was received with the greatest avidity! Some contracted their expenses in order to pročure it : 'others' prevailed with a neighbour to read it aloud, while they listened ; and even old persons, ignorant of the alphabet; learned to read, that they might qualify themselves for enjoying the new pleasure which presented itself. The demand for the first edition being thus extensive, Grafton, aided by Tonstal and Heath, undertook a second at Paris ; leaving out a variety of prefaces and annotations, which had proved offensive to individual reformers ; but adding hands and asterisks in the margin, to direct the reader's eye to any passage particularly bearing on the errors of the Church of Rome. From this translation, published with the royal permission, A. D. 1639, the epistles, gospels, psalms, and hymns, in the liturgy of Edward VI. were taken.-Until the restoration of Charles II, the same arrangement continued ; the epistles and gospels were then borrowed from a later translation ; but the people having been more familiarly accustomed to the psalter, it was left unaltered, in deference to their prejudices.
After the accession of Edward, in 1548-9, the Bible of 151 was reprinted : and having a prologue written by the Archbishop prefixed to it, was distinguished by the name of Cranmer's Bible. It was sold to churches at the reasonable prices of ten and twelve shillings; while a penalty was denounced against such as should fail to provide themselves. In 1550, Coverdale's Testament was reprinted, accompanied with the notes of Eras mus. .
; .' To the flames which were kindled in the reign of Mary, for the destruction of the Protestant martyrs, all translations of the Bible which lay under
suspicion, were consigned. Such of the reformers as fled to Geneva, published in that city an English translation of the Bible, the first having numerical verses,--and accompanied with notes, chiefly written by Calvin : on account of which it was not suffered to appear in England, till the death of Archbishop Parker ; when it came forth in quarto, in 1576, and passed through twenty of thirty editions. Its preface charged the English reformation with an imperfect relinquishment of Popish errors; and several of its marginal notes were seditious.-Under the auspices of Elizabeth appeared the Bishops' Bible ; so called from having been undertaken by Archbishop Parker, assisted by several other prelates of great learning. It was published in 1508, illuminated with costly and curious engravings, and delineations of the arms of Cranmer and Parker ; while it was rendered useful by its tables of scriptural genealogies, and its maps of Canaan and the apostolic journeyings. To accommodate persons of circumscribed fortunes, a cheaper edition in octavo appeared in the succeeding year. On the larger impression, the Genevan divines could not avoid looking with the jealousy of rivalship. Had they considered, however, that enmity to governors, and the pride of religious peculiarities, are far stronger principles in the human breast than taste, on the love of solid and correct instruction, they might have banished, all apprehension of having their own
work superseded by the circulation of its decorated competitor. From the political insinuations, and sarcastic invectives, with which the Genevan come ment was artfully interwoven, sumptuous embellishments were an inadequate decoy. Such notes as that on Exodus, xv. 19, which allows disobe. dience to legitimate authority; that on 2 Chronicles, xix. 16, censuring Asa for leaving his work incomplete, instead of putting his mother to death when he had deposed her; or that oti Revelations, ix. 3, wherein the locusts are intet. ' preted as' signifying false teachers, monks, friars, cardinals, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, doctors, bachelors, and masters; besides numbers of a similar import, equally directed against establishments civil and ecclesiastical, were sought for in vain in the Bishops' Bible: and their absence was deemed but poorly compensated by illustrations addressed to the understanding, or ornaments amusive to the fancy. : In this reign, the Catholics employed a singular sophistry, in decrying the general dispersion of the Scriptures among the laity. Priests, they said, are, nurses, who ought to chew the meat, before it is 'administered to the children: to which the Protestants shrewdly answered, that the meat was so tainted with poison, in passing through the mouths of these nurses, as to render it advisable for the children to make the best of it, without waiting for that previous mastication
· În 1582, the exiled Roman Catholics published the Rhemish Testament; to which the Old Testament was added, at Douay, in 1610;-a 'work of which the errors were exposed by Fulke and Cartwright. . . .
. . ., :'; Among other matters disputed in the Hampton Court conference, the comparative merits of the Bishops Bible, and that of Geneva, came, as might be expected, under discussion : and the Puritans and conformists railed against each other's translation, with all the jealousy oławthora ship, and the animosity- of religious differences By their reciprocal invectives, the royal moderator was induced to order the execution of a third translation, to be prepared with such care and labour, that it should supersede the use of both the others;; and preclude the necessity of making future alterations in the church version. For the accomplishment of this laudable purpose, he required all the bishops to obtain lists of their learned clergy., for whose i preferment he himself took measures. To forty-seven of these, arranged under six divisions, the pious task was committed: and its procedure was marked by so much indivi, dual labour, combined wisdom, mutnal assistance, and borrowed illustrations by so much attention to accuracyse united with sp much respect for the popular - prejudices, as to inspire all - succeeding generations with the most entire confidence in its authenticity. James furnished the divines with