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174 MONOSYLLABIC LANGUAGES. more than six or seven versions have been made for Europe in that time, Russian, Bulgarian, Samogitian, Breton, Cortalan, Vaudois, and Piedmontese; but many million copies have been printed and circulated, especially in German and French.

III.-MONOSYLLABIC FAMILY OF LANGUAGES: Spoken in South-Eastern Asia, by nations of Mongolian type.

CHINESE BRANCH.

BRANCH Languages

Date.

Chief
Translators.

For whom
intended.

Chinese 1809... 1814. Marshman, Mor- China, 352,000,000. 8 dialects and 1815... 1821. rison, Milne, 5 other di- | 1811...1816.

Gutzlaff, and visions 1815...1820.

others, now in 1840...1850. progress

INDO-CHINESE BRANCH. Burmese. 1817...1835. B. Miss. and Burmah, 4,000,000.

Judson

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.

1825. 1850, p. Am. B. Miss. . Between Burmah

and Chittagong 1828...1846. Judson, Gutz- Siam, 3,000,000.

laff, Jones, etc. Now in pro- Haswell . Delta of Irawady gress

48,000.
1842, part of Wade & Mason Karens, Burmah,

33,000.
1814
Carey

Munipur, North of

Burmah, 70,000. 1824 to 1845, Carey, Jones. South of Assam.

part

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Thibet.

Commenced
1816

And 29 others.

THIBETAN BRANCH,
. | 1848, p.

Stark
And 2 others.

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. | S. of Himalayas

BIBLE IN CHINA---CONTRASTS.

175

The history of the progress of the gospel has been from the first very chequered. In one region the word of the Lord grows and prevails; from another it is expelled. Here the Christians “have rest;" there they are scattered. Everywhere some believe and some believe not.

This general description of comparative failure and success applies equally to the progress of Biblical translation. Into China the Bible has barely yet gained access. In many parts of Polynesia it has done its work, and whole kingdoms have become obedient to the faith.

There is some evidence (though not very decisive) that a translation of the Scriptures into Chinese was executed as early as the seventh century. In 1625, an inscription is said to have been found in Shense, one of the Chinese provinces, to the effect that in the year 637, a Christian missionary arrived in Chma, and obtaining an interview with the emperor, was directed by him to translate the sacred books into the Chinese tongue, and that this was done. No trace, however, of any such version now exists. The earliest known attempt to give China the Bible was made by the rev. Dr. Brown, of Fort William College; and in 1807, the Gospel of Matthew was printed at Calcutta. In 1811, Chinese metal types were made for the first time at Serampore, and through the aid of the British and Foreign Bible Society, an edition of the Scriptures was completed and printed in 1822, by Dr. Marshman. The following year, Dr. Morrison

176

THE BIBLE IN THE SOUTH SEAS. published a new version in China itself, and both versions have been circulated to some extent through parts of the celestial empire. Neither, however, is deemed quite satisfactory; though both, it is said, are much better than the generality of first translations. A third version of the New Testament, by Messrs. Medhurst, Gutzlaff, and others, was issued in 1836; but this version, though an improvement on its predecessors, is said to be too paraphrastic for the noble simplicity of the sacred volume. A revised version is now in progress, and as the Chinese are a reading people, it may be hoped that when the seed is sown over that vast kingdom, it may yield an early and abundant harvest. There are already traces of the very extensive diffusion of a knowledge of the gospel among the millions of that region.

To this work of Biblical translation in China, the British and Foreign Bible Society have contributed from first to last upwards of £10,000. Having in recollection the noble examples of Zinzendorf and Boyle, is it too much to hope that some of our merchant princes may come forward and give to China, at their own charge, a complete Bible ?

If, in China, hope is deferred, in the South Seas the circulation of the Bible has, in a great measure, done its work. Most of the islands are now nominally Christian. " In

At the time that these pages are passing through the press, a curious proclamation has been issued by the leader

the rebellion in China, making reference to various poris of Scripture history.

BIBLE DISTRIBUTION REMUNERATIVE.

177

At

1823,” says Mr. Williams, speaking of Rarotonga, "I found the people all heathens ; in 1834, they were all professing Christians. the former period, I found them with idols ; these, in 1834, were all destroyed. I found them without a written language, and left them reading in their own tongues the wonderful works of God." *

The labours, of which these few lines express the visible results, can never be fully known. The Rarotongan version received as many as five revisions ; but such results are an ample recompense for them all. It is significant that those islands where the gospel has most signally triumphed, have all received copies of the Scriptures to a much larger extent in proportion to their population than any other portion of the heathen world. If this multiplication of copies be the cause (instrumentally) of the change, the fact is highly instructive. If it be the result, it is highly encouraging. In truth it is both ; and the presence in those islands of the Sacred Scriptures teaches us how, by God's grace, we may succeed elsewhere, and gives us at the same time an assurance of the continuance among them of the Christian faith.

It is a fact, which may match the £10,000 spent, and as some may think, sunk in China, that many of the Polynesian islands have long since repaid to the treasury of the British and Foreign Bible Society, all that the Bibles sent to that part of the world ever cost. (See Tablev.)

* Bible in every Land, p. 315.

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1820 •

Ostiacan

None Werguno, Siberia. And 3 others.

Russ. B. S.

EUSKARIAN FAMILY.
French Basque 1571 .

4,000
Licarragne | S.W. France,

120,000. Spanish 1838...1848. 1,000 Oleiza, Bor- Biscay, etc., Basque

row

316,000.

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