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learning in the east," to see that the college of Fort William is producing such excellent fruit. May its fame be perpetual! *
THE BIBLIOTHECA BIBLICA
The Bibliotheca Biblica is a repository for Bibles in the oriental languages, and for Bibles only. They are here deposited for sale, at moderate prices; and lists of the various versions are sent to remote parts of Asia, that individuals may know where to purchase them; the commerce from the port
of Cal. cutta rendering the transmission of books extremely easy. Those who desire to have copies for gratúitous distribution are supplied at the cost prices.This institution is under the immediate superintendance of the rev. David Brown, late provost of the college of Fort William, who was himself the founder: and it is supported by all the translators of the Bible in India, who send in their versions, and by the college of Fort William, which sends in its versions.
There have been already deposited in the Bibliothecal Biblica, four thousand volumes, in the following languages :
Arabic, Persian, Hindostanee, Shanscrit, Mahratta, Orissa, Bengalee, Chinese, Portuguése, and English.
• There are now several Orientalists, members of the Asiatic Society, who have been engaged in translating the holy scriptures. We bope hereafter to see the name of Mr. Colebrook added to the nurnber. Mr. C. is the father of Shanscrit literature, and has lately published an essay on the Shanscrit poetry and Metres. How much gratified to see a version of the Pentateuch from his peu! or at least a critiqe on the New Testament, wbich has been already translated into Sbanscrit. Mr C. is the proper man to oppose the pentateuch to the Hindo cosmogony, and to invite the Brahmins to contemplate the Mosaic records, in classical Shanscrit. This would be a work worthy of his great eruditon; and his name, as a Sbanscrit scholar; would then, indeed, live for ever. Mr. Colebrook has ever shewn kindness to the humble misionaries who have been cultivating the Shanscrit tongue; he has supplied them with books and afforded thom every liberal aid: it will give him no regret, at his last hour, to think that he has bad it in his power in any degree to promote the cause of christianity,
These translations have been chiefly furnished by the following persons :
Dr. William Carey and Mr. Joshua Marshman, two men, whose names will probably go down to the latest posterity in India, as faithful translators of the holy scriptures. These have furnished the Shanscrit, Bengalee, Orissa and Mahratta.
Nathaniel Sabat, from Arabia, has contributed the Persian. The first Persian translation (which is also in the Bibliotheca) was made by the late lieutenant colonel Colebrooke, surveyor general in Bengal; and it "blesses his memory.”
Mizra Fitrut furnishes the Hindostanee. There is another Hindostanee translation by the missionaries at Serampore; and
Mr. Joannes Lassar is author of the Chinese.
There will be a large accession to this honourable catalogue in a year or two. It is astonishing how much this simple institution, like the Bible society in England, has attracted the attention of the public, native and European, wherever it has been announced. The superintendants have recently sent to England for the following supply of Bibles, which is now collecting for them, viz.
Old and New Test. New Test.
2000 2000 French
Old and New Test.
50 Armenian, Malay and as many copies as can be procured.
Arabic Attached to the Bibliotheca Biblica is a translation library, containing books for the use of the translators of the scriptures. As this library is not complete, many of the necessary works not being procurable in India, a list of the volumes required will be published; in the hope that learned bodies and individuals having duplicates, will be pleased to present them to the Bibliotheca Biblica in Bengal.
This institution was first organized by the rev. Mr. Brown, with a full reliance on the patronage of the British and foreign Bible society, which has cordially embraced his views, and of the society for promoting Christian knowledge, and of the universities in the United Kingdom, which we hope will enrich its translation library.
The rev. David Brown, senior chaplain of the East India company in Bengal, formerly of Magdalen college, Cambridge, has now been twenty-seven years resident in India, and is the zealous promoter of sacred learning in the east. He is educating
his three sons in India, solely with the view of qualifying them for the important purpose of extending the knowledge of christianity in Asia. Being himself a Hebrew scholar, his first object has been to ground them well in the Hebrew and Syriac languages; rightly judging that a knowledge of these forms the best foundation for ability to produce accurate translations of the scriptures in the other oriental tongues. But they have now added to these first languages the Arabic, Persian and Hindostanee, which they pronounce like natives of the east. They have had the advantage of the best teachers in the different languages, particulaaly of Shalom, an eminent Hebrew scholar, from Arabia. So that this little
institution in Mr. Brown's house may be called the Hebrew school in Bengal.
It is understood to be Mr. Brown's intention to send his three sons to England, at the proper age, to finish their education at the university, and to enter the church; with the view of their returning to ex. ercise their ministrations in India. Mr. Brown himself has now seen two or three generations pass away in Calcutta;-how short is a Calcutta generation! and has exhibited to a large and refined society the doctrine and the example of a faithful minister of the gospel. Marquis Cornwallis first recommended him to the court of directors as a proper person to fill his present important situation, and this he did from a personal knowledge of his truly upright and disinterested character. In the many governments which have succeeded, there is not one, as the author believes, which has not recorded a pub. lic testimony to the merits of their senior chaplain. Marquis Wellesley, in particular, honoured him with his confidence and esteem, to the end of his administration. It was under the auspices of that nobleman, that Mr. Brown instituted the “Calcutta charitable fund for distressed Europeans and others;" of which it may be truly said, that it has been a fountain of mercy to thousands in Bengal for ten years past, it having been established in the first year of the new century.* Mr. Brown would have probably returned from India with his large family by this time, but his diffusive benevolence in private charity, and in public undertakings, both in India and England, and the frequent demands on a man in his public station, he being at the head of the church in Bengal, have not permitted him to encrease his fortune suitably. And now, the prospect which opens to his view of being more extensively useful than
. This instution not only assists occasionally, but pensions pertaanently ropeans, Mahomedans and Hindoos.
before, in encouraging translations of the scriptures, in promoting the objects of the Bible society, and in educating his sons for the oriental church, makes him willing to remain a few years longer in India.
A learned author, in a work published about the beginning of last century, entitled “The light of the gospel, rising on all nations," observes, that the Armenian Christians will be most eminently qualified for the office of extending the knowledge of christianity throughout the nations of Asia.”* This is undoubtedly true. Next to the Jews, the Armenians will form the most generally useful body of Christian missionaries. They are to be found in every principal city of Asia; they are the general merchants of the east, and are in a state of constant motion from Canton to Constantinople. Their general character is that of a wealthy, industrious and enterprising people. They are settled in all the principal places of India, where they arrived many centuries before the English. Wherever they colonize, they build churches, and observe the solemnities of the Christian religion in a decorous man
Their ecclesiastical establishment in Hindostan, is more respectable than that of the English:-Like us, they have three churches in the three capitals, one at Calcutta, one at Madras and one at Bombay; but they have also churches in the interior of the country.t The bishop sometimes visits Calcutta, but he is not resident there. country of these Christians is Armenia, the greater part of which is subject to the Persian government; but they are scattered all over the empire, the com
Fabricii Lux Eyangelii, p. 631. fln Bengal alone, they have churches at Dacca, Sydabad and Chinsurab.