« EdellinenJatka »
these translations being no longer subject to its revision, its responsibility, would also cease.*
Under these circumstances, the Superintendants of the college resolved to encourage individuals to proceed with their versions by sueh means as they could coinmand; and to trust to the contributions of the public, and to the future sanction of the government, for the perpetuity of the design. They purposed at the same time, not to confine the undertaking to Bengal alone, or to the territories of the Company; but to extend it to every part of the East, where fit instruments for translation could be found. With this view, they aided the designs of the Baptist Missionaries in Bengal, of the Lutheran Missionaries in Coromandel, belonging to the society for promoting Christian Knowiedge," and of the other missionaries in the East connected with societies in England and Scotland: and also patronized those Roman Catholic Missionaries in the South of India whom they found qualified for conducting
• It will be gratifying to the public to learn that the college of Fort-William is now in a tourishing state, and has received the final sanction and patronaze of tbe East India Company. It owes much to the cultivated mind and libera! spirit of Lord Jinto, the present Governor-General of Inuia. His Lordship had not been many months in that country, before he perceived its importance to the interests of the British Empire in the East; and his annual Speeches at the public disputations, shew that he thinks the college of Fort-William deserves as anch of his attention and support as any department under his Government. It will be yet more gratifying to many to hear that the college of Fort-William is likely to become, once more a fountain of 'Translation for the Sacred Scriptures. Dr. Leyden, Professor of the lindostanee Langnage, has come forward (March 1810) with a proposal to superintend the Translaiion of the Scripures into seven Languages, hitherto little cultivated in India. This subject will be noticed hereafter.
It was expected that the East-India college at Hertford, would eventually supersede the College in Bengal; but it is obvious, than in order to give emiciency to ihe purposes of ihe college at home, there must be al:o a college abroad. Little more than the elements of the Oriental Languages ean be conviently !carul in Englar.d. But this elementary labour at home is doubtless so much cime savest in India. And thus far the Institution at Hertford, independently of its other objects, is highly useful, in subserviency to the college of Fort William. The iwo Institutions combine the primary idea of Marquis Wellesley; and the expense is not less than that statesman had originally intended. There is this ditlerence in the execution, that there are now two Instintiuns instead of one. His Lordship proposed that the two lostitutions shonld be in India, combined in ene; and his reasons were, that the organs of speech in youth are more flexible at an early age for learning a new language: and that the constitution of yullad persons assimilate more easily to stranze climates. There are various advantages however in haring the elementary Institution at home which may counterb dance these reasons; and if it continue to be conducted with the same spirit and effect which have hitherto distinguished is, I think that the present plan is preferable.
useful works. About the same period they exerted themselves in circulating proposals for the translation of the Scriptures into the Oriental languages, by the Baptist Missionaries in Bengal, among the English settlements in Asia, and in promoting subschiptions for that object by all the means in their power; and when it was proposed to the GovernorGeneral (Lord Minto, then just arrived) to suppress this mission, a memorial was address to the Government in its behalf.
In order to obtain a distinct view of the state of Christianity and of superstition in Asia, the superintendants of the college had, before this period, entered into correspondence with intelligent persons in different countries; and, from every quarter, (even from the confines of China) they received encouragement to proceed. But, as contradictory .accounts were given by different writers concerning the real state of the numerous tribe, in India, both of Christians and natives, the author conceived the design of devoting the last year or two of his residence in the East, to purposes of local examination and inquiry. With this view he travelled through the Peninsula of India by land, from Calcutta to Cape Comorin, a continent extending through fourteen degrees of latitude, and visited Ceylon thrice. And he soon discovered that a person may reside all his life in Bengal, and yet know almost as little of other countries in India, for instance, of Travancore, Ceylon, Goa, or Madura, of their manners, customs, habits, and religion, as if he had never left Engand. *
The principal objects of this tour, were to investigate the state of superstition at the most celebrated temples of the Hindoos; to examine the churches and libraries of the Romish, Syrian, and Protestant Christians; to ascertain the present state
*of the Books published in Britain on the discussion relating to Missions and the state of India, the most sensibig and authentic are, in general, those written by learned men of the Universities who have never been in the East.
and recent history of the Eastern Jews; and to discover what persons might be fit instruments for the promotion of learning in their respective countries, and for maintaining a future correspondence on the subject of disseminating the Scriptures in India. In pursuance of these objects the author visited Cuttack, Ganjam, Visagapatam, Samulcotta, Rajamundry, Ellore, Ongole, Nellore, Madras, Mialapoor, Pondicherry, Cudalore, Tranquebar, Tanjore, Tritchinopoly, Aughoor, Madura, Palamcotta, Ramnad, Jaffna-patam, Columbo, Manaar, Tutecorin, Augengo, Quilon, Cochin, Cranganor, Verapoli, Calicut, Tellicherry, Goa, and other places between Cape Comorin and Bombay; the interior of Travancore and the interior of Malabar; also seven principal Temples of the Hindoos, vizi Seemachafum in the Telinga country, Chillumbrum, Seringham, Madura, Ramisseram, Elephanta, and Juggernaut.
After this tour, the Author returned to Calcutta, where he remained about three quarters of a year longer: and then visited the Jews and the Syrian Christians in Malabar and Travancore, a second time before his return to England.
Those nations or communities for whom translations of the Scriptures have been commenced under the patronage or direction already alluded to, are the following: the Chinese, the Hindoos, the Cingalese or Ceylonese, the Malays, the Syrian Christians, the Romish Christians, the Persians, the Arabians, and the Jews. Of these it is proposed to give some account in their order.
In Asia, &c. &c.
IN the discussions concerning the promulgation of Christianity, some writers have confined their views entirely to India, merely, it is supposed, because India is connected, by political relation with Great Britain. India however contains but a small part of the nations which seek the Revelation of God. The Malayan Archipelago includes more territory and a larger population then the continent of India. China is a more extensive field than either; and is, in some respects far more important. The Romish Church has maintained a long and ineffectual contest with that empire; because it would never give the people, "the good and perfect gift,” the Bible. It further degraded the doctrine of the Cross by blending it with Pagan rites.
The means of obtaining a version of the Scriptures in the Chinese language, occupied the minds of the superintendants of the college of Fort-William, at an early period. It appeared an object of the utmost importance to procure an erudite Professor who should undertake such a work; for, if but a single copy of the Scriptures could be introduced into China, they might be transcribed in almost every part of that immense empire. Another object in view was to introduce some knowledge of the Chinese Language among ourselves; for although the Chinese Forts on the Tibet frontier, overlook the