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IRISH PRESBYTERIANS. — The deputation of the synod of Ulster, who are now in London with the view of obtaining the consent of government to have all mi. nisters in the receipt of the same amount of bounty, have had their application refused ; and the Chancellor of the Exchequer bas intimated that the present arrange. ment of the three classes is to be continued.

A commission of inquiry into the funds and number of people belonging to each Presbyterian congregation is said to be in contemplation.Newry Telegraph.

The government has conferred on Dr. Reid the grant of 1501. a-year, while occupying the chair of ecclesiastical history in the Royal Academical lostitution.-Belfast News Letter.

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The Editor of the “ Church of England Gazette" has addressed a letter to this Magazine, requesting that it may be stated, that the unintentional error of his correspondent, relative to the two writers of the name of Strauss, corrected in the Notices to Correspondents in this Magazine last month, had already been corrected in the " Church of England Gazetteitself-viz., on Dec. 5th.

The following have been received :—"J.H. B. ;" “ K. ;" “ Davus;" a letter on Unwarrantable Interference in time of Divine Service; a paper on the Epistle of Barnabas, one from “ J. C." on Alison's French Revolution, and one from * W. R. B." on John Knox.

The letter in reply to " Silur” is so long that it must stand over for the present.

The papers and the letter relative to the Rating of Tithe, &c., could not be used this month.

The letters of Mr. Evans, and Mr. Maitland in reply to him, as well as a letter on Pharisaism and Lay Teaching, are already in type, but stand over from press of matter.

It is necessary again to state, that it is wholly impossible for the conductors of the Magazine to undertake to return papers sent to it, if not used.

J. W.” is recommended to consider the following statement:-" I consider commanding officers as in no wise qualified to baptize; it is peculiarly a minister's office; but all the Roman-catholic priests are lawful ministers according to the word of God. Therefore I rebaptize such children as you mention, and would not bury them without a second baptism. I bury all persons who have been baptized by : Roman-catholic padre."--(Letter from Rev. H. Martyn to Rev. Dr. Corrie, “ Letters and Journals of H. Martyn,” vol. ii. p. 86.) What would be said of this if it came from any other source?

The following was sent too late for insertion elsewhere :The humble Petition of the Vicar and Inhabitants of Stratton-upon-Dunsmore, Warwick,

assembled at their Annual Tithe Audit, sheweth, "" That compositions have been entered into for the vicarial Tithes arising in the said parish, which are regularly paid, and are satisfactory as well to the vicar as to the tithe payers.

That these compositions will be materially affected, and that a considerable expense will be incurred by a commutation of the tithe into a rent charge. That for these reasons they have refrained from any proceedings under the Tithe Commutation Act; and that it is with very great regret that they learn that unless they do enter upon a voluntary commutation before the 1st of October, 1838, a compulsory commutation will be forced upon them by the authority of the Tithe Commissioners. They refrain from expressing any opinion on the justice or er. pediency of this or any other provision of the law; but their earnest prayer is, that so much of the Tithe Commutation Act as renders it imperative upon the Tithe Commissioners to enforce a commutation where no voluntary commutation shall have been entered upon before the 1st of October, 1838, may be repealed.'

“ It is quite certain that the commissioner's wand cannot increase the value of the property which it touches. If the titheowner should gain in income by a commutation, the landowner or the tenant must lose to the saine amount; and if the land. owner or the tenant gain, the titheowner must lose in the same proportion; so that between them there can be no gain, but a clear loss of all the expenses of making the commutation; and, when the commutation is made, there will be no final selilement, for the sun to be paid is to vary every year ; neither will there be any end of expenses, for it will require every year a paid accountant to calculate what the vari. ation uccording to the price of the decimal parts of a bushel amounts to.

“ Is it not better to petition now, while there may be some use in petitioning, rather than to saddle a parish with all these expenses, and grumble when it is too late ?"

ERRATA, In the letter on Fox's Acts and Monuments, p. 123, line 14 from bottom, for are ever not due to priests, read ne wer not, &c. ; p. 125, line 17 from bottom, for bring the fruits, read bring forth the fruits ; p. 126, line 7 from the top, for Hortiensis, read Hostiensis; p. 128, line 27, for 232 read 132.

In the review of Mr. Gulightly's pamphlet, p. 179, line 4 from the bottom, in part of the impression, the word evangelical occurs instead of encyclical.

THE

BRITISH MAGAZINE.

MARCH 1, 1838.

ORIGINAL PAPERS.

а

ON THE PRACTICE OF PUBLISHING ANCIENT AUTHORS WITH

ENGLISH NOTES,
To the Editor of the British Mugazine.

Harrow, Feb. 2, 1838. MY DEAR SIR,– You have done me the favour of recalling my atten

tion to a subject on which I wrote to you a few lines a short time ago. I feel less scruple in adverting to it again, as it seems to me one in which the interests of literature, both sacred and profane, in this country are involved.

The practice has become very prevalent in England, within the last few years, of illustrating ancient authors by means of English notes ; and it is daily growing more general. This is a great innovation upon the received usage in this respect; and it naturally suggests the inquiry, whether its results are likely to prove beneficial to the cause of sound learning, or the contrary.

The advantages arising from the use of the Latin language for this purpose were much enhanced, as we were accustomed to think, by the circumstance of that being a dead language. “It is the felicity,' says Bentley very well, “of the Latin tongue, that it is no longer in popular use; and it is more fitted upon that very account to be the universal language of learning, because it is no longer liable to those changes to which living languages are naturally obnoxious; but, by being dead, it is become immortal.'

Nor are these advantages, as we suppose, limited to time. Besides this immortality of the Latin language, its ubiquity, also, particularly recommends it for the purposes we are describing. If we are to have vernacular commentaries in the different languages of Europe, where will be the mutual intelligence which the cause of learning requires, and by which the republic of letters subsists ? What would have become of the great school of Dutch critics in the last century had this been the case in their day? Had they used their own language, they would have been dumb to the rest of the world. We all should agree with Dr. Johnson in feeling much dismay if, on visiting the tomb of Erasmus, we found on it a long epitaph in Dutch. But why is this? Because Erasmus himself wrote in Latin. Had he written in Dutch, this would not have been the case : his tomb then, whether VOL. XIII.-Murch, 1838.

2

with any inscription or none, would have been a matter of indifference to us: and in the same way, had the scholars of Hemsterhuis employed their native tongue in their works, they themselves, individually, and the Batavian and literary Republics, would alike have been the losers by it. We could, I think, heartily concur in the arguments which are used by the Romanist in favour of a Latin liturgy, provided only that the liturgy were intended (as these commentaries really are) for the especial use of the learned.

But it may be said that literature can afford to lose the contributions of those nations which are not generally current in Europe, or that the use of Latin may be reserved particularly for them. An unanswerable objection to this partial use of Latin for this purpose is, that if vernacular commentaries were once generally in use, Latin ones would never be read. Their perusal would be too great a toil to ninds enfeebled by the ease and indulgence of their own language. Are we, then, rich enough to make the sacrifice in question ? We cannot admit this; nor even if we were, can we, I hope, consent to

I maintain the literary commonwealth on a principle of proscription. We have no right to expel any one nation from it by such a ban of outlawry as this. We thus, too, shut out ourselves from them, as well as them from us. It was not merely Sinope that banished Diogenes; Diogenes also banished Sinope.

But, waiving all these objections, the European languages, or at least the present forms of them, which are now most popular and in vogue, may soon cease to be so. Some may fall into desuetude, and

rise in their place-verborum vetus interit ætas. German literature is not older than Frederick the Great; and now it is more fertile than any other. The ebbing and flowing of languages cannot be foretold; and thus, while the dead author, who has been tied to the living commentary, will, by his very deadness, survive, and continue to do so as long as the world shall last, the living commentary, intended to give him life, may then itself be dead; and those who have adopted their own contemporary idioms for this purpose will have debarred others from the benefit of their labours, and themselves from the credit of having been more generally useful to the world. The difficulty will be insuperable, if all these European languages are to be learned for the sake of what they may contain. The literary world will be reduced to maintain itself on the precarious subsistence of translations.

It is clear, also, that the disadvantages arising from the adoption of vernacular idioms, in works of this nature, will not be merely prospective ; they will affect not only what is to be done hereafter, but will much impair what has been already done in this department of literature. The facilities supplied by these commentaries in his own language will produce a general feebleness and indolence in the intellectual habits of the literary student; they will indispose him for the severer exertion which similar writings in the dead languages demand. This, in England, it is feared, is already becoming the case. Thus, while much mental effeminacy will be the necessary consequence, the works of the learned who have written in Latin since the revival of learning will be rarely consulted, and the result of their labours will

others may

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