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EVERY word has a history, says some one, and we believe it. If so, then with emphasis the Guardian has a history too. It has had a history in the minds and hearts of its Editors, through which every word of it has passed in critical review; and it must have had a history also in the minds and hearts of its readers. Who can write that history? Who can trace the thoughts, feelings, resolutions, hopes, desires, it has awakened? Eternity will reveal all!
There is another idea just as true as the above and just as solemn. It is this: Every cause has an effect. However small the cause may be, it will be followed by some effect; and sometimes small causes produce great effects. This is a thought for Editors for writers-for readers. What they write, print, read, touches thousands of minds and hearts, under all imaginable circumstances, and leaves its impress there in the effect; leaves it there forever! The most evanescent Newspaper, sound or silly, true or false, pure or poiluting, teaches and suggests good or evil, which is eternal. Newspapers and Magazines form, at this time, much of the atmosphere in which breathe the minds and hearts of the multitude. That atmosphere is either life or death! Who is it that publishes them? Let him be brought -and judged!
We cannot think of any thing upon which, both Editors and readers, ought more deeply to reflect, than upon the truths just alluded to; and nothing that would better prepare them for the duties they owe to each other. The silent influence we are constantly exerting, ought to lead us to the most rigid self-examination; and create in us the high and holy desire of being always found in the way of the good, the true, the pure. A sacred writer once said to those who had done wickedly where they thought the effects of their sin would never come to light: "The stones shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.' The effect of every act will in due time testify to the cause; and if wicked, against the cause.
The influence that goes out from us, and our acts, will come back in echo, either of, Well done good and faithful servant: or of, Thou wicked and slothful servant! The seed we scatter will revive either in good fruits for our fulness and joy, or in tares, to burn around our heads! Resurrection!-resurrection of all that is good, and of all that is evil, is a sweet-a bitter idea! It may be sweet, let us make it so. It may be bitter, let us guard against that.
We believe that, in the light of these reflections, a vast amount of the newspaper and magazine literature of the present time stands condemned; and that it is daily going out over the world to gather vipers for the bosoms of those who send it forth. We are neither afraid, nor ashamed to speak solemnly on this point. We wish to impress ourselves, and our readers, deeply with the responsibilities which this view of things involves. We wish it understood by all, that the Guardian aims at fulfilling a higher mission than to float in the current, and make a joke of life's momentous interests. We are in earnest when we profess that our magazine is "devoted to the HIGHEST interests of the young."
Devoted to the young! What a field! It is but a little while, and all will be in their hands. The Church, the State, the School, the Press, will soon be entrusted to them—and we shall be dead! From this consideration it is easy to infer what kind of influences ought now to mould the young. Something different from newspaper jokes, and magazine air-castles, is needed. The very intellectual taste which can be satisfied with such food is the most fearful prophecy of coming disaster.
To what fearful prostitution has the popular press descended! Examine the common newspapers; few of them that do not, in each number, contain some vicious anecdotes, some vulgar allusion, some profane expression, some paragraph burying a germ of deadliest error. Then look into the advertising columns of our city, and even some county papers; they are lined with cards and announcements of the most arrant quackery, humbuggery, and imposition. These advertisements are there because they are paid for, without any reference to the disastrous influence they are exerting upon the unwary and inexperienced thousands. Even some magazine which claim to regulate fashion and taste for the million, are condescending to wood-cut caricatures of man, bird and beast; and for the amusement of their readers, "change the truth of God into a lie!" The very boldness which the periodical press assumes, has to a great extent hushed criticism, and induced a silent acquiescence in the evil, even when it has not carried the judgment captive.
Against all this we go to war, though it be but with a shepherd's sling. Though our voice undulates but in a narrow circle, and may seem to make but little impression upon the coat of mail which covers the pocket and policy of an irresponsible age, we will not cease, in the presence of the young who come within reach of our influence, to cry against it, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall!" We do it with courage and comfort in view of the principles alluded to, that every cause must have an effect, and that some small causes have great effects. Truth is generative, we know; and, if what was but a promise once, became in its effect much and mighty as the sands and the stars, we have much reason to hope our feeble efforts will gather their sheaves. Behold our pattern: "When Jesus spoke, his words thrilled on the air a very short time; and yet there was an everlastingness in them, which an angel would have known at once. What the Pharisees thought was only gentle breath did outlive their boasted temple, as some of them lived to know; and will survive the very earth, as we live late enough to be sure of. In Galilee and in Jewry, many centuries ago, there were low sounds on the air for little spaces of time; but there were ears through which they proved to be doctrines and revolutions, and the coming of the Kingdom of God on the earth! Things are not always what they seem, even to all men."
So many of our thoughts, reader, now are yours. Adieu! then, till we meet again at the close of another year-or higher! In the meantime the Guardian enters upon another year, cheerfully, hopefully, earnestly, believingly.
None are supinely good; through toil and pain,
SOMETHING ABOUT THE BIBLE.
BY REV. H. HARBAUGH.
THE word BIBLE means Book. The Bible is the Book. "Bring me the Book," said Walter Scott on his death-bed. "What book," inquired a friend. "Bring me the Book-the Bible-there is only one Book!" So said a dying man who had himself written a half hundred of books.
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew; the New in Greek. The first book is called Genesis, which means "production," because it begins by telling how all things were produced. The second is called Exodus, which means "going out," because it describes how Israel went out of Egypt. Leviticus is so called because it gives an account of Laws for the Levites. Numbers is so called because in the beginning of the book there is an account of Moses numbering the Israelites. Deuteronomy is a Greek word, which means "the law the second time," because in it Moses repeats, at the close of his life, all the laws he had before given them. The names of the rest of the books are easily known.
Long before the Saviour appeared, the Old Testament was translated into Greek-that translation is called the Septuagint, a word which means "seventy," because it was made by seventy, or rather seventy-two men. The Vulgate, the Latin version in use in the Roman Catholic Church, is a translation from the original Hebrew by St. Jerome. The Old Testament was translated into Arabic about the year A. D. 900, by an Arabian Jew named Rabbi Saadias. Part of the Bible was published in Persian in 1546. A Turkish New Testament was published in London in 1666. They had a translation of the Bible in their own language as early as 450. The Georgians had a translation of the Bible in MSS. quite early; it was printed in their tongue in 1743. A Bible in Russian was published in 1581.
The most ancient German translation was made by Ulphilas, bishop of the Goths, about A. D. 360. A version, without any author's name, was printed at Nuremburg in 1477. Luther translated and published the Bible in parts between the years 1521 and 1532. The Bible was translated into Polish, by a woman, about the year 1400. It was published in Bohemian in 1506. In Swedish in 1534. In Danish in 1550. In Dutch in 1548. In Italian in 1471. In French in about 1160.
Portions of the Bible, as the Psalms, were translated into the English as early as the year A. D. 709. Soon after this the
whole of it was translated by the Venerable Bede. The whole Bible was translated into Anglo-Saxon by order of King Alfred; he himself, about A. D. 890 undertook to translate the Psalms, but died before the work was done. John Wickliffe, the first English Reformer, rendered the whole Bible, including the Apochryphal books, into English from the Latin, between 1360 and 1380. Many persons were burnt for reading Wickliffe's translation! The English language has much changed since this good man translated the Bible into it. We will give our young readers a specimen of it. The following is the Lord's Prayer:
Our Fadir that art in hevenys; halewid be thi name. Thi Kyngdom come to, be thi will done in erthe as in hevene. Give to us this day our breede ouir other substaunce. And forgiue to us our dettis as we forgiven to our dettouris. lede us not into temptacioun, but delyvere us from yvel. Amen.
The first printed translation of the New Testament in English was made in 1526, by William Tyndale. He also began to translate the Old Testament, but was arrested by the authorities before he finished it. We ought to remember with gratitude the bitter sacrifice he made in this good work. He was strangled, and afterwards his body was burnt! He prayed with his dying breath, like his Saviour, for his enemics. His last words were: "Lord open the King of England's eyes!"
After the death of Tyndale, John Rodgers, the martyr, (whose picture we have all seen in the Primer, with his wife and nine children) finished his translation of the Old Testament and printed it under the borrowed name of Thomas Mathews. The first printed English translation of the whole Bible was published by Coverdale at Zurich, in Switzerland. On the last page are these words: "Prynted in the yeare of our Lorde, 1535, and fynished the fourth day of October.,
After this various translations were made and published, but none seemed to give universal satisfaction, or to come into general use. At length our present English version was made as follows: King James in 1604 appointed fifty-four learned men to make a new translation of the whole Bible. Seven of the fifty-four either died or declined serving in the work, as the appointments were made three years before the work began. The remaining forty-seven were ranged into six divisions, every individual of each division translating the portion assigned to that division. Those translations were brought together; and when each company had agreed on their portion, it was laid before the other divisions for their examination and approbation.