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THE ENGLISH BIBLE.

Our nation reads the written word,
That Book of Life, that sure record :
The bright inheritance of Heaven
Is by the sweet conveyance given.
God's kindest thoughts are here express'd,
Able to make us wise and blest;
The doctrines are divinely true,
Fit for reproof and comfort too.

WATTS.

The first version of any part of the Scriptures into the language of our own country, was that of Adelm, Bishop of Sherburn, who flourished in the year 709. That

Prelate made an English-Saxon version of the Psalms. About the year 730, Eadfrid or Ecbert, Bishop of Lindisferne, translated several of the sacred books into the same language. Venerable Bede, who died in 735, is also said to have translated the whole Bible into Saxon; but Cuthbert, Bede's disciple, in enumerating the works of his master, mentions only his version of the Gospel of St. John, without saying any thing of the other books. Elfric, Abbot of Malmesbury, made an Anglo-Saxon version of several books of the Bible: this work was afterwards printed at Oxford, in 1699. There is also an old Anglo-Saxon version of the four Gospels, published by Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1571; but the author of it is not known. Dr. Mill observes that this version was taken from a Latin copy of the old Vulgate.* With regard to the English translations of the Bible, the most ancient is that of John de Trevisa, a secular priest, who translated the Old and New Testament into English, at the request of Thomas Lord Berkley; he lived in the reign of Richard II. and finished his translation in 1357. The second author who undertook this work was the famous Wickliffe, who lived in the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II. Manuscripts of this version are still preserved in *It is also named the Old Italic, or Vulgar Latin Bible.

SUMMER FLOWERS.

160 SUMMER FLOWERS. several libraries in England. In the year 1534, an English version of the Bible, done partly by William Tindal, and partly by Miles Coverdale, was brought into England from Antwerp. But the Bishops finding great fault with this version, a motion was made and carried in Convocation, for making a new translation of the Scriptures, to be placed in all the Churches. The translation was accordingly begun immediately, and the whole impression finished in three years. Fuller mentions another translation of the Bible, printed in the year 1549. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, The Bishops' BIBLE appeared ; so called, because several Prelates were concerned in that version. In the second year of James I. a resolution was taken, at a conference held at Hampton Court, for a new translation of the Bible ; which design was executed by fortyseven translators, in the year 1607. And this translation is now read, by authority, in all the English churches.

The learned Selden, speaking of the Bible, says—“ The English translation of the Bible is the best translation in the world, and renders the sense of the original best; taking in, for English translation, the Bishops' Bible, as well as King James's. The translators in King James's time took an excellent way. That part of the Bible was given

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