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There is nothing so painful in religious publications, as “ contention among brethren.” We are truly sorry to announce this pamphlet as having relation to that subject. That “contentions” like those which are therein presented to the Christian public, should have been suffered to take place among the “brethren” of the Baptist Missionary Society, viz. those who were engaged as a Committee in conducting its affairs at home, and the Society's Missionaries at Serampore, is indeed matter, not only for lamentation, but for deep humiliation. It is not, however, perhaps, cause for wonder. Our Lord has said, “It is impossible but that offences will come :” he added, “but woe be to that man by whom the offence cometh.” “If the members of the Committee have been the procuring cause of this disruption in the Society, they have indeed incurred a most fearful responsibility; and so also in regard to the writer of this Memoir, the Rev. Dr. Marshman. We must acknowledge, that while reading the first part of this pamphlet, in regard to “translations of the Scriptures,” we felt aggrieved with the frequently repeated phrase, “the Serampore brethren,” identified as that description is, throughout the work, with those Missionaries who have now become a separate Missionary Society from that to which Drs. Carey and Marshman originally belonged. We hazard no conjecture in saying, that until the latter part of the year 1815, all the Baptist missionaries in India were the missionaries of the Society in England; not only Chamberlain, Mardon, Rowe, Lawson, Yates, and others, but Drs. Carey, Marshman, and Mr. Ward. Yet the writer of this Memoir speaks of the missionaries at Serampore, as if they were
from an early period of the Society known by their present designation, “the Serampore missionaries.” He says,
“The state of the different editions of these translations, with an exact account of monies received and disbursed, on account of them, has been given by the Serampore brethren from time to time in “Memoirs,” of which nine have been already published, and a tenth will be given as soon as possible. Meanwhile, it is generally known how effectually the Serampore missionaries have been assisted in this work by congregational collections, and the individual donations of friends in Britain, through the Baptist Missionary Society—by grants from the British and Foreign Bible Society — the Edinburgh Bible Society, and other institutions; as well as by similar assistance from America.” p. 10.
Would any one, from reading this statement, conclude, that until after the printing of the Scriptures in the Bengalee, and several other dialects of India, and also the New Testament in Chinese, (see p. 5.) no one belonging to the Society in this country or in America, ever imagined they were assisting a body of “Serampore missionaries" who had separated themselves from the Society which sent them out; but that, instead of this, they were giving their money to, and not, as stated by Dr. Marshman, “through the Baptist Missionary Society.” We are certain no such item will be found in any of the Reports of the Society, as “Remittance to the Serampore missionaries of monies entrusted to the Society, from congregational collections and the individual donations of friends in Britain,” &c.
There is another instance of this kind, p. 11. in which, speaking of the paper made in India being soon consumed by worms, it is said,
“To meet this obstacle, the Serampore missionaries have for fifteen years been attempting to manufacture paper on the spot, impervious to the worm. In this they have at last, after much labour, succeeded ; and are now producing paper little inferior to
that made in England. In these attempts they have had to sink altogether at least 5000l. ; but the result is one which, ere long, will justify, if it should not ultimately repay, the expence. The versions of the Scriptures are now printing on this improved paper.” Now, would any one imagine, from this statement, that Mr. Joel Randall, a paper-manufacturer, had been sent out by, and at the sole expence of, the Society, as one of their missionaries; not for the purpose of uniting with the - “Serampore missionaries,” as a separate Society, but to assist in promoting the labours of their missionaries at Serampore ? In the account of “Native Schools,” p. 12. the “Benevolent Institution at Calcutta, established in 1810,” there is nothing said which would lead the reader to conclude that this school was under the direction of the Society, and supported at their charge. Indeed, in p. 15. it is asserted that this Institution was established by the “Serampore brethren;” and yet all who have read the history of the Society's proceedings, know that Mr. Penny, the master, was sent out as a missionary at the charge of the Society. In proof of the statement, that up to the year 1815 the missionaries at Serampore, viz. Drs. Carey and Marshman, and Mr. Ward, considered themselves as the missionaries of the Society, and that all the property which they had realized, whether in houses or moveables, was bona fide the property of the Society, the following extract is given from a letter of the late Rev. Wm. Ward to the writer of this article. It is dated Serampore, Oct. 13, 1815. He says — ** Now let us look at the work which the Lord has done in these sixteen years. A mission settlement has been formed, bringing in a mission revenue of 48,000 rupees a year.” In a note to this last sentence, in the margin, Mr. Ward explains—“The premises belonging to this station, or rather to the Society, have cost more than 50,000 rupees, and the stock of the printing office cannot be much less than 20,000.” At this time, Oct. 13, 1815, the phrase, the “Serampore missionaries,” had never been
employed. Serampore was considered by Mr. Ward, as “a station” of the Society, in common with Cutwa and all others; and “the premises and the stock of the printing-office as belonging
-] to the Society.”
The following paragraph is curious, as compared with the date of Mr. Ward's letter. But let it be borne in mind, that the news of the death of Mr. Fuller had not then, Oct. 13, reached India. Dr. Marshman informs us in the Memoir, p. 60–
“From the beginning their brethren at home had requested them to take charge of the funds they sent to India, with which they united their own until the year 1810, when they began to keep them distinct, applying the Society's to the support of the brethren the Society had sent out, and their own to the support of those raised up in the country, and the advancement of the cause in various ways. On receiving intelligence, in 1815, of the decease of the venerable Fuller, the Serampore brethren, aware how important it was that the Committee should take the management of their funds into their own hands, and have the state of them constantly under their own eye, as the Serampore brethren had theirs, urged this on them in a letter dated October 28, 1815, by the following reason:—Missionary brethren, according to the Gospel and the constitution of our churches, are independent of each other; but when they receive their salaries from other brethren, a kind of influence may be exercised over them highly detrimental to the cause.”
Dr. Marshman says, that from the year 1810 the “Serampore brethren had kept their own funds distinct from those of the Society.” Had this been the case, would Mr. Ward have spoken of that species of property at Serampore, “the stock of the printing-office,” as belonging to the Society The writer of this article states, from his own knowledge, that the late Mr. Puller, the Secretary, had no idea of any such division of funds, when such exertions were made, in 1811, to repair the loss occasioned by the burning of the printing-office. He is prepared to prove, by Mr. Fuller's own hand-writing, (which he shewed to Mr. John Marshman, when in England) and from being an ear-witness of his statements, that the following sentiments, in a resolution of the Committee, passed Dec. 31, 1819, are strictly correct :
“That it appears most evident to the Committee, from various passages in the Periodical Accounts, from the phraseology adopted in the legal writings, attested copies of which have been sent us from Serampore, as well as from repeated declarations interspersed throughout the correspondence from our senior brethren, that the property at Serampore belongs clearly and unequivocally to the Society in England, and that it has hitherto been held by the resident missionaries as trustees for the Society. It is perfectly well known, that on this ground the late revered Secretary of the mission, Mr. Fuller, rested his powerful appeals to the British public; and that on the same basis have been principally founded the several applications made at various times to the British Legislature, to his Majesty's ministers, and to the East India Company.” p. 67.
It is certainly possible that separate funds might after all have been kept at Serampore, and Mr.Fuller not have been informed that a new Society existed there, under the designation of the “Serampore Missionaries.” But then, not to have informed him of such an alteration, was far from being ingenuous on the part of the missionaries. It is unaccountable, too, that Mr. Ward, knowing such to have been the case, as he must have done, should have said that all the property, whether in houses or moveables, belonged to the Society.
The form of agreement entered into at Serampore, Oct. 7, 1805. by the missionaries in India, viz. William Carey, Joshua Marshman, William Ward, John Chamberlain, Richard Mardon, John Biss, William Moore, Joshua Rowe, and Felix Carey, is thus alluded to by Dr. Marshman:—
“With regard to the form of agreement itself, that in 1805 was drawn up respecting the greet principles upon which they should act in the work of instructing the heathen. In the last page of this, their former agreement was alluded to in certain expressions which, strictly speaking, went beyond it. Such were the following: ‘Let us never think that our time, our gifts, our strength, our families, or even the clothes we wear, are our own.”—“Let us for ever shut out the idea of laying up a cowry for ourselves or our children.’ These expressions, uttered in the warmth of mutual attachment,
when taken literally, were found in subsequent years to be at variance with certain first principles of duty, specially applicable to those who were supporting themselves by their own labour, and who were called to provide for things honest in the sight of all men. For this reason, in 1817, the Serampore brethren found it absolutely necessary to revise this agreement.” p. 58. To enter into a discussion whether such an agreement could be so revised as to destroy its existence, is not our design at present There is, however, such a verse as the following in the inspired description of a citizen of Zion:—“He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” As the Doctor has not given the whole of the last page of the agreement, it seems proper it should be subjoined here, especially as it now appears to us almost in the light of a prediction.—“If we give up the resolution which was formed on the subject of private trade, when we first united at Serampore, the mission is from that hour a lost cause. A worldly spirit, quarrels, and every evil work will succeed, the moment it is admitted that each brother may do something on his own account. Woe to that man who shall ever make the smallest movement toward such a measure "* The resolution referred to above is thus expressed: “One of our resolutions is, that no one of us do engage in private trade, but that all be done for the benefit of the Mission.” + Can any one believe, that in this solemn form of agreement all the missionaries at that time in India meant, by the term “Mission,” the same as Dr. Marshman means now by that of the “Serampore missionaries f” Impossible It clearly intended the Society which had sent them out, to which Dr. Marshman at that time as really belonged, as Chamberlain, or Mardon, or Rowe, &c. That events have taken place since 1815, (if Dr. Marshman be right, which we by no means admit,) that have changed the relation in which himself and Dr. Carey previously stood to the Society, is confidently asserted in this
* Periodical Accounts, vol. iii. p. 211. t Ibid. p. 44. M. M. 2
Memoir; these statements we cannot in our present Number proceed to examine. We earnestly recommend our readers to peruse the last Annual Report of the Committee of the Society, and then read this Memoir; and if a careful and unprejudiced investigation does not convince them that Dr. Marshman (for to him only, and not to his excellent colleague Dr. Carey, do these remarks apply,) has been totally unustifiable in his secession from the Society, we shall greatly wonder.
(To be concluded in our nert.)
The Amulet; or Christian and Literary Remembrancer, for 1828. Price 12s. London : W. Baynes and Son, and Wightman and Cramp. We need not say a word in recommendation of this volume: it recommends tself. It reminds us of a few lines in Horace," which we give in the translation of Francis :-
Profit and pleasure then, to mix with art,
The publishers have spared no pains in getting up this elegant volume, and we doubt not they will meet with an encouraging compensation. The printer and the engraver have performed their parts in the highest style of excellence, and the embellishments of the publication, taken altogether, will never be easily surpassed. Many of the writers are already known as favourites of the public, and the pieces they have contributed appear worthy of them, and of the celebrity they have acquired. The Editor, too, is entitled to the warmest praise, for the zeal he has shewn to combine the interests of piety with those of literature, and to lay “the
* De Arte Poet. 343, Omne tulit puncam, &c.
bright wreath of tributary flowers” on the altar of God. After all, when we think of the young readers, and especially those of the softer sex, who will probably be the most numerous, will the book be an Amulet P According to Dr. Johnson, an amulet is both a remedy and a preservative. It prevents particular diseases; or, if that cannot be, it cures them. In the midst of such a wilderness of sweets, how shall we select a flower to present to our readers? Thinking of the West Indies, to which the attention of all the world must soon be directed, we extract the following touching poem by the pious and venerable. Hannah More.
The Petition of a Negro Boy.
“There is a book, I've heard them say,
Which says, “Thou shalt not work nor play
On God Almighty's holy day.”
This Book, to which you oft appeal,
Does thus the will of God reveal,
‘Thou shalt not murder, lie, nor steal.”
Dear Massa, you have been to me
As good and kind as man can be,
And many such with joy I see;
But oh! before I'm grown a man,
I pray, in one thing mend your plan,
And give us all you safely can.
If wife and babe should eer be mine,
Round each when fond affections twine,
Oh! part us not, we'll all be thine.
The stripes, ’tis said, that Jesus bore,
Could we but read his sufferings sore,
Would make ours lighter than before. Yes, every sorrow tre could brook, By studying God Almighty's Book.
I'm told, this Book, so wise and good,
Has made it fully understood
God made all nations of one blood:
The Protestant Dissenters' Catechism. The Nineteenth Edition, with an Appendir and a Preface, by William NEwMAN, D.D. 12mo, pp. 86. Price 1s. Holdsworth. 1827,
THERE can be no doubt, that the number of persons dissenting from the Church of England is every year increasing: the number of new meetinghouses, and the enlargement of the old ones, prove this. It is not so evident that the principles of nonconformity are properly understood, or their importance duly appreciated; and therefore we rejoice to see another, and an improved edition of this valuable manual of the late Rev. Samuel Palmer issue from the press, at a period when it is very necessary that our children, and even “children of a larger growth,” should “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” its contents. The Rev. Dr. Newman, the worthy Editor, says, in the preface to this edition— “In preparing this edition for the press I have made a great number of trifling corrections, which the excellent author would have made if he had been still with us. I have omitted some passages, particularly respecting the Liturgy. A minute criticism on obsolete terms and phrases, in such a composition as the English Liturgy, must appear invidious, and is not at all consistent with the candour and liberality which ought to be found among Dissenters. Somethings which might be very proper, or necessary, in a controversy with a high-flying Churchman, will by no means fit the lips of a child, or any young person of either sex into whose hands this Catechism may come. I have
softened one of those passages which relate |
to the Spiritual Courts: their thunders have long ceased to roar. And the universities are certainly in a much better state than when this little work was written. Much greater attention is now given, both at Oxford and Cambridge, to the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures, and to theology in general. And if Mr. Palmer were now living, he would rejoice to hear that not long since, some of the students at Cambridge were examined in Dr. Doddridge's three Sermons on the Evidences of Christianity, as well as in Beausobre and Paley. “After all, I have left unaltered many lines which some perhaps will think had been better blotted out. In addition to the reasons which operate at all times, there are some derived from the circumstances of the
time in which we live, to enforce a truly evangelical style of conduct towards those who differ from us in these matters. The Church of England, every one may see, is too much like ‘a house divided against itself,' to be allowed to reproach us with our divisions. The Bible Society controversy— the Lincoln controversy respecting Calvinism, in which the late Mr. Scott and the late Dr. Williams eminently distinguished themselves—the Baptismal Regeneration Controversy between Dr. Mant and his opponents—the Peterborough controversy, occasioned by Bishop Marsh and his Eightyseven Questions—all furnish indications of a schism, the consequences of which time will shew. If these things have contributed to place Dissenters on higher ground than that on which they formerly stood, let them disdain to dwell on little blemishes in the Liturgy. Let them exhibit the dignified moderation and generous forbearance which must ever accompany “the meekness of wisdom.’” pp. v.–vii.
These remarks are correct and judicious: the Church of England is in several respects greatly improved ; but while she acknowledges a temporal head, and remains connected with the State, and admits human appointments in religion as binding upon her members, and imposes them upon their consciences, compelling them to believe as the Church believes, those serious persons who admit fully the supremacy of Christ, the spirituality of his kingdom, the sufficiency of the Scriptures, the right of private judgment, and the right of public profession and worship, must be Dissenters : for “whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.”
The Substance of an Argument to prote the Truth of the Bible; drawn from the Fitness and Harmony of its Subjects. By DAvid M*Nicoll.
We do not recollect that it was ever our good fortune to read a book that better answered its title, or that more fully, considering its size, effected what that title proposes, than the work now on our table. It is elegantly and powerfully written; and, supposing mar to be what he is, and his Creator wha the is, and the Scriptures not to exist, this author appears to us to have shew 1, that