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THE PARAMOUNT DUTY AND IMPERATIVE OBLIGATION
IN THE PRESENT EVENTFUL PERIOD.
All things are best fulfill'd in their due time ;
EDINBURGH: WILLIAM P. KENNEDY.
SINCE the publication of the Annals of the English Bible, it has frequently been suggested to the Author, that some brief statement of the leading facts, which are still so little known, should be committed to the press for general circulation ; but now this appears to be the more incumbent, as the recent astounding events, both in Europe at hand, and in India afar off, have, in one point of view, lent far greater importance to that general history. These events certainly have imparted peculiar and unwonted solemnity, both to the obvious duty and immediate obligation of all British Christians; while such is our singular position, that no “shaking of the Nations” as yet, need prevent us from putting forth all our strength, individually and collectively, in the direction here advised. It is however, only a very small proportion of the principal facts which could be embraced in the following pages, but these, it is presumed, are remarkably applicable to the present eventful crisis.
66 'Midst all the war's tumultuous noise,” if the war of opinion lies at the root, the Word of God alone can finally settle the whole. Obligation to Divine Truth involves Religious Freedom. For though even in this highly favoured land, blest with substantial civil liberty above the nations around it, there have been men of strong intellect, and very laborious, who have never felt this, what does it prove but that, neglecting the fountain of Supreme wisdom, the most sagacious have missed their way? The most intelligent may become infatuated!
66 Ah ! how the human mind wearies herself
Still, with regard to the Sacred Volume itself, in our vulgar tongue, to which all parties in the kingdom profess to appeal, it
has so happened, and in a manner ever to be admired, that not one of them, without ignorant presumption, has ever been able to rise up
and 6. That Book is ours,” or “ We gave it to our Country.” Our English Bible having been commenced and finished on the Continent, and then imported, has for ever excluded all such arrogance; so that Tyndale especially, and even Rogers, who left not their names behind to be the foolish boast of any sect, are ever to be regarded as belonging only to the Nation. To all Christians in this country they have been the benefactors, nor in relation to us, as a people, can any two men ever stand upon the same ground.
The course of action recommended in “the Annals,” therefore, is one that rises far above all parties, or party questions, and so it does in the following pages. It presents one of the finest and most effectual cures of every narrow and selfish feeling ; while the Cause itself is one which derives encouragement both from the past and the future. Of old, it was once foretold—“the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times”—and so they
But in a nobler sense, and in a more glorious undertaking, the Christian's activity may now abound; and far more so after he has received the Divine assurance, that no “ labour in the Lord” ever has been, or ever will be “ in vain.” This is a Cause which is not only destined to universal prevalence, but is one which, it would seem, is never to arrive at its highest purity and power till it has reached its greatest extent. Malachi i. 11; Isaiah xl. 6-9. There is indeed no other in which that watchword, ONWARD, is at once so safe and so incumbent, and especially at the present moment.
EDINBURGH, 18th June, 1849.
THE ENGLISH BIBLE
AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
HERE is no individual mind in this country now able to estimate the value, or measure the consequences,
of the immutable standard of Divine Truth having been exhibited to the eye of the nation at large. But beyond any question, it is to the possession and perusal of the Sacred Volume, without note or comment, in our vernacular tongue, that Britain now owes all that has raised her
all that has preserved her, and now serves to distinguish her, among the nations of Europe or of the World.
It might have been presumed that the eminent individual to whom, as an instrument in the hands of Almighty God, she was first indebted for this inestimable boon, would, by this late day, have been embalmed in the bosom of a grateful posterity, and that, long before this, he would have stood by himself alone, or at the head of all his contemporaries in the early part of the sixteenth century. Yet strange as it must ever appear, it has not happened till our own day that any thing approaching to justice has at last been attempted to the memory of William Tyndale. Nor is there any way of accounting for this long delay but by the fact, that his claims on the admiration and gratitude of posterity have, either through ignorance or the spirit of party, been historically