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“Masaba, the Mohammedan King of Nufi, has been visited by naval officers with presents from Government, on which occasion I took the opportunity of accompanying them, and took the King a present of a copy of St. John's Gospel in Arabic characters, and another to the Sultan of Sokoto through him, both which were thankfully received. It is a matter of much thankfulness that we have unrestrained liberty to teach Christianity in those parts of Masaba's dominions which we now occupy.
“ The Bonny Mission in the Bight of Biafra was originated by a letter written by late King Pepple in 1864, to your Lordship when Bishop of London, which letter you first sent to the Rev. H. Venn, and you ultimately sent it to me, the result of which was the establishment of that Mission. This is the fourth year of its operations, and every year holds out to us encouragement to persevere. Some fifty children have been put to school, for whose education £2 each is paid per annum by the fathers and guardians. The school examination this year was most gratifying, not only in point of general education, but also in Scriptural knowledge, which has so influenced the hearts of some of the elder boys that they have applied for baptism, and entreated me to prevail on their heathen fathers and guardians to exempt them entirely from working on Sundays, that they might be able to keep the Lord's Day holy, as Christians should. Our encouragements are not limited to the elder boys only; some male adults are also becoming more serious. Two of them have already given up their domestic idols to one of the Mission agents, and got him to cut down some young trees planted for a future idolatrous grove, as tests of their earnestness. Moreover, we have free access to all classes, to speak to them of the one thing needful, to which they give attentive ears. Church attendance has much improved. A Sunday School has been opened for those who are desirous to acquire the art of reading, which is taken advantage of by many. Reformation from some general absurd superstitious practices is gradually taking place. The King has proclaimed a law against the destruction of twins, which extensively prevails in those parts of the country. Though it will take some time before the law can be put in full force, yet I am thankful a beginning is made in the right direction.
“At Brass River, in the same Bight, a Mission has been lately commenced. The people here are acknowledged cannibals, and deluded worshippers of a snake-the cobra, a kind of boa constrictor. Even here, also, upwards of forty children have been put to school, under the pay system as at Bonny; and a congregation of nearly 100 persons regularly attend the means of grace on the Lord's Day, some of whom are coming forward as inquirers after the truth, and are enlisted as candidates for baptism, receiving special instruction.
“ The Akassa Station, at the mouth of the Nun River, the main entrance into the Niger, is rather more backward than other Stations, but not without some fruits. A baptism of four adults took place here at the end of the year, and the improved attendance at service on the Lord's Day stimulates me to take steps to improve and enlarge the chapel. Vol. 68.-No. 381.
This summary statement of the Niger Mission will give your Grace some idea of the ground we have occupied, and the progress which has attended our efforts, which encourage as to work on in faith in this dark land, believing that in due time we shall reap if we faint not.
"I regret that the Bishop of Sierra Leone has suffered so much from ill health since his return from England, which prevented his visit to Lagos to perform episcopal duties. He had promised to send me a commission to act for him, should he not be able to visit this place; but I fear he was too ill to write, or to attend to such duties; therefore, having his wishes expressed in writing, I have arranged to act for him here this month, to hold an Ordination, to admit a few candidates to Holy Orders, to meet the immediate wants of the Mission, leaving out other duties of a more general character till further arrangements, which may be made by Bishop Beckles, through the Secretaries of the Church Missionary Society.-I remain, my Lord Archbishop, &c., (Signed)
“S. A. CROWTHER, “Missionary Bishop, Niger Territory."
D'AUBIGNÉ'S HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION. Histoire de la Reformation en Europe au temps de Calvin.
Par J. H. Merle D’Aubigné. Tome V. Angleterre, Genève,
Ferrare. Paris. 1869. History of the Reformation in Europe in the time of Calvin.
By J. H. Merle D’Aubigné, D.D. Vol. V. England, Geneva, Ferrara. London : Longmans, Green, and Co. 1869.
It was in the year 1817, on the occasion of his visit to Eisenach, at the celebration of the third Centenary of the Reformation, that Dr. Merle D’Aubigné conceived the design “ of writing the history of that great renovation.” The volume which lies before us is the tenth volume of the History of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, and the fifth of that series which is designed to include the years intervening between the Confession of Augsburg and the triumph of the Reformation in various parts of Europe. There are few writers who have displayed so great a persistency of purpose through the lapse of more than half a century as Dr. D’Aubigné, and, we may add, still fewer whose labours have been crowned with so large a measure of success. We entirely agree in the opinion expressed by our author, that there is no country of which a faithful history of the Reformation is more necessary at the present time than that of England ; but those who are best acquainted with the materials out of which alone such a history can be formed, are the least sanguine in their expectations of the accomplishment of an object so greatly to be desired. In some respects, doubtless, as belonging to a dif. ferent Church and country from our own, and therefore free from many of the strong prepossessions under the influence of which the facts of history have been so fearfully distorted, Dr. D’Aubigné stands in a more favourable position than that of the majority of his predecessors with regard to the task which he has undertaken. On the other hand, it is impossible to be insensible to the fact, that there are more than ordinary difficulties to be encountered by one who can be but imperfectly acquainted with the peculiarities of the English Constitution, both in Church and State, and with the relation in which the one has stood to the other, both in more recent and in more remote times; and who, in his endeavours to make him. self familiar, not only with the leading events of history, but also with the more secret springs of action by which its chief actors have been influenced, is constrained to grope his way through a vast mass of material which exists only in a language the acquirement of which presents no ordinary obstacles to the inhabitants of other countries.
It is unuch to be regretted that the translation of a work proceeding from the pen of an author so universally known and respected as Dr. D’Aubigné, should have been entrusted to any one who is unacquainted with the English equivalents for the ordinary idioms of the French language ; and also that the revision of the press should have been conducted in so inefficient a manner as very materially to misrepresent, in many places, the meaning of the writer. There are, moreover, many other indications in the volume which lies before us, that “the History of the Reformation in Europe" is a work the magnitude of which surpasses the ability of any single individual, however varied his accomplishments, and however indefatigable his exertions.*
We subjoin, not only as an act of justice to Dr. D'Aubigné, but also in the hope that the future editions of this volume may be purged from the errors which disfigure the present, a few specimens of the inaccuracies to which we allude:
In p. 15, by the omission of any equivalent for the word ancien, Sir Thomas More is represented as being, at one and the same time, both Chan. cellor and ex-Chancellor. In p. 28, the word presbytère is rendered 'presbytery instead of parsonage. In p. 71, toute liberté is translated "every instead of all liberty, to the serious injury of the writer's meaning. In p. 191, lendemain
is translated afternoon,' which involves a contradiction in terms in the very next line. In p. 221, the sentence beginning The Germans have made the text of the Bible so easy, by the Hebrew and Greek tongue,' is utterly unintelligible without a reference to the French. În p. 224, allait tourner la médaille is translated was about to turn the medal,' instead of was about to turn the tables. In p. 235, the authority of the Pope is said to put those who admit it in a position to know what they believe, instead of what they ought to believe (ce qu'ils doivent croire.)
As specimens of errors of the press, we may refer to p. 66, where "1553
We are not conscious of any disposition to disparage the importance, alike in its immediate and in its remote results, of the great German Reformation ; but we are by no means prepared, as regards England, to acquiesce in the opinion expressed by Dr. D’Aubigné in the Preface to the first volume of his work, that “the rest revolve in wider or narrower circles around it, like satellites drawn after it by its movement.” We give Dr. D’Aubigné entire credit for sincerity in the desire which he has expressed to deal impartially with all the actors in this great movement, nor do we at all complain that, in the application of this principle to our own country, he should show no disposition "to conceal the faults and errors of the Reformers.” Our complaint is that, in some instances, he has suffered himself to be too much influenced by the unauthorised statements of popular writers; and in others, that he has, from his imperfect acquaintance, probably, with the language, drawn inferences wholly unwarranted by, and even inconsistent with, the authorities to which he refers. As an instance of his inability to form a correct estimate of the character and conduct of some of the chief actors in the English Reformation, and of the peculiar delicacy and difficulties of the position in which the Reformers in this country were placed, we may refer, on the one hand, to his very exaggerated representation of the personal character of Anne Boleyn, and the services which she rendered to the cause of the Reformation; and, on the other, to his systematic disparagement of the character and conduct of Cranmer, whom our author does not scruple to designate as “the most unfortunate, but not the least guilty (or, as it is in the French, perhaps the most guilty*) of all the
stands for 1535; to p. 169, where 1636 stands for 1536; to p. 252, note, where 1525 stands for 1535; and to p. 265, where 1526 probably stands for 1536, although even on that supposition the statement that “more than 20 editions of Tyndale's New Testament had been circulated over the kingdom,” is quite devoid of authority.
As specimens of great carelessness, we may refer (i.) to the contradictory statements contained in pp. 97 and 230, in the former of which Cromwell is represented as Vice-gerent in September, 1535; and in the latter of which his appointment to that office is said to have taken place a few days later than the 2nd of July, 1636. (ii.) to the state ment that Oliver Cromwell was grand. nephew to the Earl of Essex (p. 61), an error founded, as we presume, on a misunderstanding of the statement of Noble, that Sir Richard Williams, alias
Cromwell, was nephew to the Earl of Essex, and great-grandfather of Oliver Cromwell, and (ii.) to the yet more serious, though doubtless unintentional, misrepresentation which occurs in p. 180, in which Froude, who declares that the supposition that the charges brought against Anne Boleyn were inventions, is to him “impossible," is apparently included amongst those writers who “have acknowledged that these hideous charges were but fables invented at pleasure." We feel, also, that it is due to our readers to make them acquainted with the fact that Dr. D'Aubigné is evidently ignorant that the inference which English readers draw from the use of inverted commas in quotations is that the words so quoted are extracted verbatim from the sources indicated.
* "Peut-être le plus coupable.” (p. 206.)
lords who lent themselves servilely to the despotic wishes of the prince.” (p. 188.)
But we gladly turn from that portion of Dr. D’Aubigné's work (a very small portion in comparison with the whole of his great undertaking) which treats of the English Reformation, to congratulate his readers—and they are many—on the resumption of his account of the progress of the Reformation in a country with which he is so familiar, and in the “little city," the chequered fortunes of which he relates with an enthusiasm which cannot fail to communicate itself to his readers. Here our author consciously treads on safer ground, and it is not too much to say that, as in the case of Macaulay, of whose style that of Dr. D’Aubigné so frequently reminds us, his peculiarly graphic and impassioned narrative combines in almost equal measure the interest which belongs to history and to romance.
Amongst the many scenes brilliantly described by our author, to which we would refer those of our readers, if such there be, who are not already acquainted with the volume before us, we would single out, as favourable specimens of Dr. D’Aubigné's style of writing, the account, contained in the 12th and 13th chapters, of the extreme peril of the city of Geneva, in 1536, and the joy consequent upon the arrival of its liberators; and again, the graphic description of the arrival of Calvin at the same city, during the same year, and his meeting with Farel, as contained in chap. 17.
It is from the latter chapter that we select the following extract. The circumstances referred to are as follows:-Calvin had just arrived at Geneva, intending to remain there only a single night. The news of his arrival reached Farel, who had read the "Christian Institutes,” and recognised in its author one of the deepest theologians and most eloquent writers of his age. An inward voice seemed to convey to Farel the assurance that, in the person of the youthful traveller who was passing through Geneva, God had sent him the much-desired friend and fellowlabourer whom he so greatly needed in the arduous work in which he was engaged in that city. Farel hastened to the inn, and entered into conversation with the young theologian.
“Stay with me,' said Farel, “and help me. There is work to be done in this city.' Calvin replied with astonishment: “Excuse me, I cannot stop here more than one night.' 'Why do you seek elsewhere for what is now offered you ?' replied Farel : 'why refuse to edify the Church of Geneva by your faith, zeal, and knowledge ?' The appeal was fruitless : to undertake so great a task seemed to Calvin impossible. “But Farel, inspired by the spirit of a hero,' says Theodore Beza, 'would not be discouraged. He pointed out to the stranger that, as the Reformation had been miraculously established in Geneva, it ought not to be abandoned in a cowardly manner; that if he did not take the part offered to him in this task, the work might