« FöregåendeFortsätt »
rated by the Suraseni, the people on the Jobares, whose chief cities were Mathura and Cleisoboras. There is some inaccuracy and perplexity in this account; and the Greek, after the fashion of his country, has converted some Indian hero or demi-god into Hercules; but with very moderate allowances in some of the cases only, and also some consideration for erroneous transcription, which in classical works, as far as regards foreign terms, is still more extensive than is generally suspected, we have no difficulty in recognizing both persons and places. Mathura is still Mathura, or Muttra on the Jobares, probably Jomanes, for Yamuna, or Jumna. Kleisoboras cannot be identified, unless we conceive it some corruption of the Greek mode of representing Krishnapura, the city of Krishna, which would apply to several places in this direction. The whole was the territory of the Pandavas, or Pandæi, the sons of Pándu, by his wife Prithá, who was the daughter of Sura, or the hero," king of the people, called in Sanscrit Surasena, and in Greek Suraseni, the people who were a host (séra) of heroes. These examples might very easily be multiplied, but we know not what further confirmation can be needed, to shew that, when Alexander invaded India, persons and places bore genuine Sanscrit appellatives, some of which were connected with, ancient traditions, and were long prior to that event. Their existence, however, as contemporary instances, is equally fatal to the theory of their subsequent origin, and proves the impossibility of the general construction of the Sanscrit language being stolen from the Greek grammar. That Greek owes any thing to Sanscrit is equally improbable, and has never been conjectured. The common origin of both, as well as of Latin and German, from some primitive tongue, as conjectured by Sir Wm. Jones, Colebrooke, Schlegel, and Bopp, is much the most satisfactory mode of accounting for the resemblances, in radicals and derivatives, which so remarkably characterize the family.
TO THE HAXP OF INDIA,
Wur hang’st thou lonely on yon withered bough?
Unstrung for ever must thou there remain ?
Why doth the breeze sigh over thee in vain ?
Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,
Oh! many a hand, more worthy far than mine,
And many a wreath for them did fame entwine-
Those hands are cold ; but if thy notes divine
Harp of my counlry ! let me strike the strain. "
BIBLE SOCIETIES AND MISSIONS.
To the Editor of the Asiatic Journal. Sir: The number of your Journal for August arrived here * a few days ago. It is satisfactory to see, in the pages of your respectable and useful publication, an increased attention to the affairs of Ultra-Gangetic India ; for although British India furnishes you with the greatest mass of material, the title of your work permits you to take the whole range of Asia. As you
have made a valiant assåult in aid of the June Quarterly, on the Bible Society and Missionaries, you will of course admit a few lines on the other side. The sapient reviewer, in that liberal publication, has found' out that the Bible Society has printed translations of Holy Scriptures which were imperfect, and that the translators were not perfect masters of Hebrew and Greek, and Chinese and other languages.
Now in this part of the globe, we ask, where is there a perfect translation? Is the English version perfect? I would not ask the authors of the “ Imiproved Version,” for they have said their say. Nor would I ask Bishop Lowth, or Bishop Newcombe; but I would ask any man who has ever attended to the subject, whether the English version is perfect or not? If not, on the reviewer's principle, the Bible Society should not have printed it. But the English Bible, though imperfect, contains the grand scope and design of divine revelation to mankind, in the plain vernacular, language of the country : and, with all its minor imperfections, it may be called, truly, “the Word of God;" for that which reveals God's will is God's word,
But so grand a subject hinges not on perfection of style or of idiom. The idiom of the Greek New Testament itself is often Hebrew. Before the Holy Bible be given to mankind universally, must we wait till we get regularly educated and perfect masters of all the languages on earth ?+
Will monarchs and governors suspend their operations till they get perfect translators ? No, they will make their wills known by media as perfect as they can procure, and so must the Church of God.
Your leader, the Quarterly, Mr. Editor, complains of translators being self-instructed. For their western learning, they were not so; but if they had been, what good scholar ever existed who was not in a great degree selfinstructed ? The article in the same number shews that, at the most ancient and most highly and exclusively privileged seats of learning in England, a man, if a scholar at all, must be self-taught. But, however, putting this aside, who was to instruct the modern missionaries in Sanscrit, or Chinese, or Otaheitean, but the individuals themselves ? There had been "regularly educated ” civilians and commanders, and chaplains too, in India, and commercial agents in China, long before the English missionaries were born; but had they learned, or had they provided means to teach, those languages ? England
had * Somewhere beyond the Equator; but our correspondent does not date his letter from any place. -Ed.
| It is a most extravagant claim of the grammarian's art, that mankind shall not be told the most important and solemn truths, which concern not time alone but eternity, till every nation shall be addressed perfectly in its peculiar idiomatic phrases. As if an announcement like this, in the English Bible, " The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,”-should be withheld from men because the Greek idiom of “gaining a loss” is, in another part of the Testament, retained by the English translators. But to this extravagant length does the reasoning of the Quarterly go. By the way, “ wages” is a very odd word for “punishment;” but every body knows what is meant, and the translators adhered to the original.
Cavillers at translations often seem ignorant that the occasional obscurity in Holy Scripture, to a cursory reader, does not arise from the translation, but from the nature of the subject. See" Sumner's Evidenoes of Christianity," ch.5th, on “ The Phraseology of Scripture."
had drunk Chinese tea, and raised millions of revenue from it, for a century; but England had not furnished one page, nor established a single school, to teach Chinese, till a self-instructed English missionary did it. But that missionary was supposed by the reviewer not to be of his Braminical privileged caste; therefore the Quarterly cries him down, and cries up Bishop's College.*
The Bishops Middleton and Heber have finished their course, and the college is progressing, and will, it is to be hoped, be an eventual blessing to India. But what, after all, have the bishops or the college done towards Asiatic literature, or the diffusion of Christianity ainong Asiatic nations ? And why, Mr. Editor, do you not look on the sums expended on these, as well as those spent on translations and missions ? Of the latter, you say, you are a friend; but, were I a missionary, I should wish to be defended against such mistaken friendship as you manifest in your very immature remarks of a theological nature in your number for August. You must study a little more of the Holy Scriptures, and understand the English liturgy better, before you venture to decry an entire dependence on the Divine Spirit, in the use of means (which most certainly missionaries employ t) for the conversion of the human soul, both in Christendom and in lands occupied by idolaters, or' by followers of the false prophet.
Your sincere friend, January 5th, 1828.
AN OBSERVER. * I am a sincere well-wisher to Bishop's College, Calcutta, and to all other colleges of a similar character ; but I am not insensible to their respective faults. The principle of Bishop's College, so far as I have understood its statutes, is narrow and exclusive: quite Jewish and Papistical, rather than liberally Christian. Besides, the system of engaging lads of fourteen or sixteen years of age, by bonds, to be missionaries of Christianity, appears to be preposterous, and fraught with mischief : because, at that early age, the moral and spiritual character of the individual is not usually formed or fixed; and a missionary, or a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, without the true spirit of religion, and the zeal of an evangelist, does more harm than good.
The college building partakes of the episcopal tenacity of the founder. On banks of the Hoogly, in latitude 23° north, is erected a fac-simile of Bishop Middleton's Alma Mater at Oxford, in lat. 51°. The climate, as every body knows, is much hotter in Calcutta than at Oxford, and a college there should have been airy and cool, instead of close and hot; or, as the English people call it," comfortable.” But episcopacy, like popery, is unchangeable; both claim an exclusive divine right for every thing they do, and therefore think it proper to be always the same. An English college must be an English building, whether in the frozen, or the torrid zone, no matter. Episcopalians must preserve consistency.,
So the Church Missionary Society sent out missionaries to India who were not allowed to officiate in the church. They were evangelists to the heathen, to teach
Church-of-England Christianity, but they could not read prayers in the English church, till good Bishop Heber persuaded some of them to let him lay his episcopal hands upon them,
People may represent Roman Catholic transubstantiation as they please; but it does not seem a whit more subtle than the doctrine of episcopal apostolic succession, with all the imperceptible virtues and authorities thereby communicated. For it is on record, that very bad men have received and communicated to very bad men this said apostolic virtue, in various ages of the church, and the Theological High-Church Review lets out the idea, that it is possible the Scotch episcopalians, out of revenge for being excluded from the " Communion of Saints” in the English Established Church, may choose to grant a real episcopacy to the followers of John Wesley. Now, in the event of such a case, what good thing can be communicated by bishops' hands, whilst directed by a heart filled with chagrin and malice, I really cannot comprehend. The liberals of India laugh at the zealous bishop's going round to consecrate brick and mortar, dust, and dead men's bones, in chapels and burial-grounds; while sincere bigots are thereby confirmed in their superstitious regard to such mummery. At a station in the east, a civilian's infant died, suddenly, unbaptized : the chaplain was unwilling to read the burial service, in which he was acting according to episcopal orders. But the father was anxious to have this rite performed : a missionary near would have performed it; but how could he go into consecrated ground? Therefore, to prevent such a profanation, the clergyman made the clerk read the service, whilst he took the clerk's duty and said “ Amen!"
These are some of the ways of " authorized” deliveries of the human mind from superstition. As if Christianity knows any thing of consecrated buildings and consecrated burying-grounds!
| The missionaries go abroad and learn the pagan languages, and write Christian books, and teach Christian doctrines, whilst the “perfectionists” stay at home and neglect these heathen languages “which lead to nothing,” and manifest a truly papistical zeal, lest the Bible should be put into vulgar tongues, or appear in any other than phrases perfectly pure, and perfectly idiomatic, &c. &c.; but all the time they merely sit still in Old England and cavil. Most glad would the missionaries be to see a host of grammarians, from Oxford and Cambridge, come forth to make perfect versions.
TURKEY AND GREECE.
(Concluded from vol. xxv. p. 336.) The hatred, which the Janizaries had long entertained against the inno. vations of Selim, could not be repressed for ever : they rose as one man, precipitated the Sultan from the throne, and raised Mustapha IV. to the vacant seat. This prince was in every thing the reverse of his predecessoi, whom he evidently hated. He annihilated all the new measures, which had required so much time and attention ; he displaced all who had assisted at their introduction; and he banished, or put to death, the chief supporters of Selim. His severity rendered him hateful to others, who either approved those measures, or had any reason to fear that they should become his victims. Mustapha Bairak Dar, the governor of Routzouk, in Bulgaria, conceived the project of dethroning the new monarch, and of restoring Selim, who was a prisoner in the seraglio. In this great design he associated with him Ali Pasha, Ismail Bey, and many other leaders both in Europe and Asia Minor : he was also joined by the Vizier, Ibrahim, and other members of the late ministry. He prevented a knowledge of his motions reaching the capital by arresting all couriers, whether Turkish or European, and all officers proceeding to Constantinople. By this step he kept the divan more than twenty days in profound ignorance of every thing that passed : it heard neither of the massacre of the Janizaries in the fort of Phanaraky, nor of the approach of the enemy, until Bairak-Dar and the Vizier, at the head of 20,000 men, encamped within a league of the capital. In great alarm, Mustapha then wished to gain time by negociation, that he might effect a counter-revolution ; but the insurgent general entered at the head of his army, announced to the Sultan that the hope of the Mussulmans rested in Selim, and as he perceived that resistance would be made, he proceeded with the mufti, the cadi-askers, and other ministers, to storm the seraglio. The gates were closed; they escaladed the walls, and demanded the release of Selim; but that unfortunate prince had just been strangled, and his corpse was laid before Bairak-Dar by the chief of the black eunuchs. Mustapha, by this deed, had anticipated the rebels, and revenged himself. He would also have put to death his brother, the present Sultan, but for the vigorous opposition of some eunuchs, who took up arms to defend the latter. Bairak-Dar, in great fury, threatened to massacre all the officers of the seraglio unless Mahmud were brought out uninjured. Then the bostandzis, or imperial guard, compelled the eunuchs to destroy Mustapha, and to shew Mahmud to the soldiers. Thus the present Sultan, on his accession, had to march over the dead bodies of his uncle and brother.
This is the most singular revolution to be found in the Turkish annals. In recompense for his services, Bairak-Dar was made Vizier : the ministers of the preceding reign were deposed, exiled, or beheaded; and destruction was poured on all who had been instrumental in the assassination of Selim Twenty of the youngest and most beautiful slaves of Mustapha were thrown into the Propontis ; and the new reign in its very commencement was as much opposed to that of Mustapha as the latter had been to Selim's.
Of all the Turks who were now called to conduct the affairs of government, none were more ignorant, though none more brave, than Bairak-Dar. He despised all the European princes, and affected to consider even the victorious Napoleon as his creature. He had dethroned a king of kings, and he possessed unlimited sway under the new sovereign: hence he believed his power
resistless, supported as it was by the seimans, or regular troops of the empire. But in his fancied security, he had little conception of the events which were silently and inevitably preparing the way for his destruction. Between the troops we have just mentioned and the Janizaries there existed a mortal hatred : the latter were more inveterate in their enmity, and as they ranked among their declared partizans the whole body of the olemas, they were the more to be dreaded. A conspiracy was formed, and the secret faithfully kept : the object was to massacre all who favoured the seimans; and the signal for commencing the carnage, was the setting fire to a house in the very centre of the city. It was expected that the vizier, the admiral, and the other ministers, would hasten, according to custom, to extinguish the flames, and there all were to be assassinated by the conspirators. But some suspicions arose in the minds of the intended victims--a few fled; others defended their houses against the furious attacks of the assailants. The Vizier, seeing his palace on fire, retired with two of his slaves into an inner apartment filled with gunpowder, and blew himself up. The Admiral betook himself to sea, and bombarded the chief of the Janizaries in a palace situated on one of the seven bills. During two whole days the city was a prey to the most horrid disorders. The regular troops were few in number, but they were superior in discipline to their enemies. Both parties fought in the streets amidst the flames, which were devouring great numbers of houses, and not unfrequently were both crushed to death at the same time by the burning ruins. The wounded Janizaries, who were carried to a place of safety by their comrades, exhorted the latter to burn every house in Constantinople rather than give , way. The Sultan, shut up in his seraglio, awaited the result of the struggle, convinced that he was the prize of contention, and that he must be considered as subject to the victors. The Janizaries triumphed; but Mahmud was resolved to maintain his authority. He knew that as there existed no successor to the throne, his life was not in danger; that Turkish superstition associates the happiness, and even duration of the empire, with the continuance of the Ottoman line. His hatred, like that of his uncle, was implacable against the conquerors, and he vowed their entire extermination as soon as circumstances should enable him to strike the blow.
After the peace with Russia, in 1812, a peace humiliating to Turkish pride, the Sultan turned his attention to the distracted state of his provinces. His treasury was empty, and he resolved to fill it by destroying the powerful feudatories of the empire, confiscating their possessions, and insisting on enormous gratuities from the new pachas substituted in their place. He began with Mollah Pacha, commandant of Viddin, whom, however, as he could not easily subdue, he permitted to retire to Constantinople, where he fell a victim to the plague. Bosnak Aga, governor of Routzouk, shared the same fate; the governor of Adrianople was assassinated by his order; Remiz Pacha was beheaded. This last was the more to be feared, as he sprung from the ancient sovereigns of the Crimea, the descendants of Gengis Khan ; and he had long been aiming to circumscribe the power of the Sultan, or perhaps to dethrone him. The governors of Pisidia, of Adai-Kiebir, and other places, were put to death. He demanded exorbitant sums from those of Wallachia and Moldavia; and he loaded all his subjects with heavy taxes. As if these extortions were insufficient to complete the misery of the people, the plague broke out, spread over the greater part of the kingdom, and in the space of four years destroyed one-third of the whole population, In this vindictive persecution of the pachas, the Sultan was compelled to act