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wickedness; and if the cause of morality and religion may be favored by keeping the truth of our natural proneness to sin continually before us, we feel satisfied that minute illustrations of unhallowed desire, conceiving and bringing forth sin, are highly injurious. On this point, then, we must differ from some others of Mr. Crabbe's reviewers, in doubting whether he has been sufficiently careful in uniting the utile cum dulce.
We have thus given a brief analysis of the works of Crabbe, and the opinion we have formed of his poetic power. He opened a new path, and most successfully pursued it. He has reversed all the bright pictures of rustic happiness which have filled the pages of the poets, and most faithfully delineated the miseries, as well as the happiness, of humble life. This strict adherence to nature and truth will, in time, render his works a favorite with the cottager and peasant of England, and will continue so while many of England's laws continue so oppressive. He has seldom ascended above middle life, and scarcely in a single instance selected a subject which was not consonant with his taste and abilities. If he has exhibited any fault in sketching character, it is that he has been occasionally painfully minute. With a delicate ear, he has rendered his versification extremely polished, and sometimes exquisitely musical; and although he seldom varied his metre, he scarcely ever appears monotonous. His regular smoothness reminds us of Pope, his diction of Goldsmith,—but a perusal of his works convinces us that he is an imitator of neither. His perception of character seemed almost intuitive ; his ability to describe it, most masterly. He was ever beautiful, even in the midst of loathsome scenes, and sometimes he rose to sublimity. His humor is so quiet that it seldom makes us laugh, while it ever imparts those highly pleasant sensations which create the happy smile. The coloring he gave his descriptions was rich and varied, and the exactitude with which he sketched character identifies the original immediately. His pathos, deep and touching as it is, reaches the hidden fount of feeling, and wakes its warmest current. We can say nothing greater of the “poet of the poor” than has been said: he was “Nature's sternest painter, and her best.”
Art. III.—The Bible Society of the Baptist Denomination.
It is known to the Christian community, that our brethren, of the Baptist denomination, have withdrawn, in a body, from the American Bible Society, and have organized an independent institution for the purpose of translating and circulating the word of life.* The originating cause of their secession, and the precise object of the new association, are, however, not so generally understood. We have before us the constitution of the new society; a report of their operations during the year of their provisional organization ; their first, second, and third (1840) annual reports; and several quarterly papers issued under the direction of the society. From these, we shall be enabled to give a correct account of the origin, object, and prospects of the new institution. We intend to do this honestly; actuated, if we know our own heart, solely by a love for the truth. But while on the one hand we disclaim the right to attribute motives that are disavowed; on the other we shall be fearless in the application of the Saviour's rule:-By their fruits ye shall know them.
With our Baptist brethren we have always been on as friendly terms as they would allow us to be. We have preached in their pulpits, and although we are not permitted to commemorate with them the dying love of our common Saviour, we bear them no ill will on that account. They choose to take the responsibility of virtually unchristianizing those whom they nevertheless call brethren beloved, and whom they acknowledge as ministers of Christ, by inviting them to preach to their people. We are willing they should bear that responsibility, as it leaves them answerable for any schism in the body of Christ thereby occasioned.
We cheerfully accord to that denomination, also, full credit for the zeal they have manifested in sending the gospel and the missionary to the heathen. In this we allude more especially to the Baptists of England. The same spirit in this country has enabled them to take rank with the largest Christian denominations in the United States.
* It ought to be observed here, that there are exceptions to this remark; a respectable portion of Baptists having refused to co-operate with the seceders, and still continuing friendly to the old society.
That they had a perfect right to withdraw from the American Bible Society, and to establish another, if the reasons seemed unto themselves sufficient, will not be questioned. If they had publicly avowed, as their design in so doing, the interests of their own sect, and had baptized their society with their own distinguishing name, no one of their sister churches would have had any right to complain. They have seen proper to do neither the one nor the other. They disclaim sectarian motives, and, instead of choosing a denominational characteristic, they call the new establishment The American and Foreign Bible Society.
There is something ludicrous in the application of the term American to societies and institutions which are of a purely sectarian character. The design with which it is done is easily seen through. Our Baptist friends have never before, so far as we know, adopted it; and whether, in this instance, they must come under the charge of using it for sectarian purposes will appear before the reader gets through this article. Our Presbyterian brethren are notorious for making every thing connected with the interests of their own peculiarities-American. Thus their missionary societies are known, not as Presbyterian, or Calvinistic, but as the American Board, and the American Home Society. Their society for the education of indigent young men is, of course, the American Society. In their periodicals they talk of themselves as the American churches; and a little monthly pamphlet containing one, and sometimes two well-spiced Calvinistic sermons, is the National Preacher. An inhabitant of another planet visiting our earth, might, perhaps, for a while be led to suppose that all Americans are Presbyterians, either of the new or old school ; or, at any rate, that Calvinistic and American are so nearly synonymous as to convey the same idea.
It would have appeared better, at least so we judge, if, in seeking a name for the new society, our Baptist friends had recurred to the fact, that there are some who claim equally with themselves to be Americans, and who know nothing about their society or its object. How much better, more manly, and more independent would it have been, to have imitated rather the appellation of their own society for evangelizing the world ;-the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.
Besides, the name they have chosen had already been adopted by the institution from which they saw proper to secede. The words, “and foreign,” are, if not implied in the title, fully expressed in the constitutional object of the old society, as our separating brethren well knew, having received from it large amounts to aid them in circulating their translations in foreign lands. The English Baptists acted a more manly part in this matter. Following the example of their brethren in this country, they too have formed a separate association. They call it the Bible Translation Society. Inelegant, it is true; and scarcely grammatical; but still expressive, and quite original.
Thus much may suffice with reference to the name of the new concern. Let us turn our attention to the causes which
At a meeting of the board of managers of the American Bible Society, held on the 6th of August, 1835, Mr. Pearce, a Baptist missionary at Calcutta, made application for funds to aid in printing the New Testament in the Bengali language. A simlar application had been previously made for the same object to the Calcutta Bible Society, and to the British and Foreign Bible Society, and by each denied. The reason for this refusal was the fact, that, in the version for which aid was solicited, the Greek words Bartíšw, (baptizo,) Bantuoja, (baptisma,) and their derivatives, were translated by phrases, which, in that language, signify to immerse, immersion, &c.
The request of Mr. Pearce was referred by the board of managers of the American Bible Society to the committee on distribution, who reported at the next regular meeting, to wit, on the 3d of September following, that in their opinion it was inexpedient to make any appropriation, until the board settle a principle in relation to the Greek word Bantiśw. This report having been accepted, the whole subject was referred to a special committee of seven, which was composed of one from each of the religious denominations represented in the board. At the meeting in October, this committee brought in a report adverse to the request of Mr. Pearce, for reasons therein assigned. At the next regular meeting the whole subject came up again, and was finally referred back to the same committee of seven, who, at a special meeting on the 19th of November, made the following report :
“ The committee to whom was recommitted the determining of a
principle upon which the American Bible Society will aid in printing and distributing the Bible in foreign languages, beg leave to report :
“ That they are of opinion that it is expedient to withdraw their former report on the particular case, and to present the following on the general principle.
“ By the constitution of the American Bible Society its managers are, in the circulating of the Holy Scriptures, restricted to such copies as are without note or comment;' and in the English language, to the 'version in common use. The design of these restrictions clearly seems to have been to simplify and mark out the duties of the society, so that all religious denominations of which it is composed might harmoniously unite in performing these duties.
“As the managers are now called to aid extensively in circulating the sacred Scriptures in languages other than the English, they deem it their duty, in conformity with the obvious spirit of their compact, to adopt the following resolutions as the rule of their conduct in making appropriations for the circulation of the Scriptures in all foreign tongues.
“Resolved, That in appropriating money for the translating, printing, or distributing the sacred Scriptures in foreign languages, the managers feel at liberty to encourage only such versions as conform in the principles of their translation to the common English version, at least so far as that all the religious denominations represented in this society can consistently use and circulate said versions in their several schools and communities.
“ Resolved, That a copy of the above preamble and resoluion be sent to each of the missionary boards accustomed to receive pecuniary grants from this society, with a request that the same may be transmitted to their respective mission stations where the Scriptures are in process of translation, and also that the said several missionary boards be informed that their applications for aid be accompanied with a declaration that the versions which they propose to circulate are executed in accordance with the above resolution."
After much reflection and long deliberation, the report was accepted by the board of managers; and the resolutions adopted as rules for their future government, on the 17th of February, 1836.
In the following year, in compliance with a call from a committee who had been appointed for the purpose, a large number of delegates from Baptist churches in different states in the Union, convened at Philadelphia ; which resulted in the formation of the “American and Foreign Bible Society.'
Previous to this, the Baptist members of the board had withdrawn from the old society, and the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions had magnanimously declined an appropriation of five thousand dollars to aid them in circulating the Scriptures in foreign tongues, giving, as a reason, that they could not consistently and conscien