The Book of Common Prayer
United States England Scotland Ireland Wales Canada World

    The Book of Common Prayer
among the Nations of the World



“The Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World” was originally collected for chapter X of a general work on the Book of Common Prayer and books connected with its origin and growth. The larger work, like the present volume, is based chiefly on a bibliographical study of the liturgical collection of Josiah Henry Benton, LL.D., of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., and deals with the Common Prayer Book mainly from the point of view of a librarian and historian, avoiding as much as is possible theological and purely liturgical discussions towards which all histories of the Book of Common Prayer are prone to tend.

This general survey of the historical development of the liturgy of the Church of England and her sister Churches is almost ready for the printer. It consists of 24 chapters; to which are added bibliographies and a chronological list, similar in character to those contained in the present book.

Chapters I - II relate the story of the preparation and later development of the liturgy of the Church of England, “by law established.” Among these we mention chapter 2, “John Merbecke, the Book of Common Praier noted” ; chapter 6, “The Savoy Conference and the Caroline Revision”; and chapter II, “The State Services and Special Forms of Prayer: General and Local.” The Church of Ireland and the Episcopal Church of Scotland, follow, in chapters 12 and 13. Four chapters, 14 - 17, are given to the study of the American Book of Common Prayer. Supplementary chapters, 18 - 20, take up “The Nonjurors' Liturgy and their Devotional Literature”; “The Church of Scotland (Puritan)”; and “The Directory of the Commonwealth and Literature of the Period”, “Private Prayers and Devotions,” and “The Psalms in Metre and in Prose, etc.,” so far as they are, directly or indirectly, connected with the history of the Prayer Book, are dealt with in chapters 21 and 22. The book ends with two chapters on pre-Reformation liturgies and other sources of the Prayer Book, with a special study of the Primer or Lay - folks prayer book.

An additional feature will be some twenty-four plates, reproductions of title - pages of early or rare editions and of other important sections discussed in the body of the book.

As this work progressed and the collections, especially those for the chapter on translations, increased, it became manifest that a single chapter or even two or three, would not suffice to give even a summary account of the many translations of the Prayer Book as a whole or in part; that justice even inadequate and fragmentary, could only be done to the subject in a special treatise on the history of translations of the Liturgy, extending over a period almost co - extensive with the Prayer Book itself. It has, therefore, been deemed best to elaborate the material on hand into a separate history of translations, and publish it in advance of the larger and more general work. The author has been strengthened in this decision by the statement of Dr. Eugene Stock in volume II, page 532, end, of his great centennial history of the Church Missionary Society that “It is much to be wished that some systematic record of all that has been done [in translations of the Liturgy] were available.”

The record of translations of the Prayer Book, here offered, is the first attempt at a history of the many versions extending over a period of more than three centuries and a half. As such it is confessed to be incomplete and fragmentary, and it can only aspire toward completeness with the future help and assistance of others. I shall welcome additions and corrections which readers of the book may have the kindness to send me, either directly, or by way of publication in some accessible journal. For reprints of published articles I shall be especially grateful. As heretofore credit will be given for every contribution, correction or addition.

Valuable additions and suggestions have been received during the preparation of this volume from clergy and friends in this country, in Europe, and in other continents, particularly from the Right Rev. Bishops Brent, Garrett, Rowe, and G. Mott Williams, of the American Church; from Dean Samuel Hart, of Berkeley Divinity School, and the Revs. W. Cabell Brown, of Brazil; J. W. Chapman, of Anvik, Alaska; T. A. Gilfillan, of Washington, D. C.; G. L. Hammarsköld, of Yonkers, N. Y.; E. C. Kah-O-Sed, Beaulieu, Minn.; Charles O'Meara, Monroe, Mich.; Dr. J. L. Prevost, Glen Loch, Pa.; Charles Carter Rollit, Minneapolis, Minn.; D. A. Sanford, of Big Spring, Texas; Franklin Campbell Smith, of Grand Junction, Colo., ardent collector of translations of the American Prayer Book; A. V. Wittmeyer, New York City; Michele Zara, Philaadelphia, Pa.; George Zabriskie, Esq., a vestryman of Trinity Church, New York, N.Y., and others.

I also beg leave to acknowledge my obligations to the Right Rev. A. J. Maclean, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness; the Right Revs. Bishop P. S. Royston and Bishop W. Walsh; Canon F. E. Brightman, Dr. Eugene Stock, Dr. T. K. Abbott, librarian of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; the Rev. F. L. Denman, secretary of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, and the Ven. Archdeacon W. J. Gunther, of North Sydney, N. S. W., as well as to many others mentioned in the pages of this history. Much of the information offered here has been contributed or confirmed by correspondence with these men and others. Only in a few instances has inquiry or request failed to secure an answer.

The Rev. Professor Abraham Yohannan, of Columbia University, New York, N. Y.; the Rev. S. R. Vinton, of the Karen Baptist Mission; Professor Leo Wiener, of Harvard University; Dr. Herbert W. Magoun, of Cambridge, Mass., and Dr. I. M. Casanowicz, a curator in the National Museum Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., have assisted me in the transliteration of several titles of Eastern and Asiatic translations.

The. treasures of the J. P. Morgan library have been accessible to me through the kindness of the librarian, Miss Greene, and Miss Thurston, assistant librarian. Mr. E. H. Virgin, librarian of the General Theological Seminary in New York, N. Y., has supplied me with many books from the Seminary library, and has never failed to help whenever it was possible. Miss M. B. Stillwell, of the John Carter Brown Library, at Providence, Rhode Island, collated for me the titles of the first three editions of the Mohawk Prayer Book. To all these I am deeply indebted, as well as to my friends in this library, Miss M. A. Tenney and Messrs. S. A. Chevalier, L. L. Ward, and F. W. Lee.

To the friendship and hearty sympathy of the Rev. Professor A. H. Sayce, of Oxford; the Rev. the Master of St. Catharine College, Cambridge, C. H. W. Johns, and Dr. Theophilus G. Pinches, co-labourers for many years in the field of Assyriology, I owe much gratitude in commending author and book to the Tract Committee of the Venerable Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

To Dr. Benton, whose counsel and advice I have had for many years, I beg leave to dedicate as firstfruits of the bibliographical study of his liturgical collection this account of the Prayer Book among the Nations.


The Boston Public Library,
    Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
        January 1, 1914.


This book is probably The Book of Common Prayer and Books connected with Its Origin and Growth. Catalogue of the Collection of Josiah Henry Benton, LL.D. , published in 1914 by Merrymouint Press

1. Books belonging to the Benton Collection, discussed in text or notes, are indicated by a prefixed asterisk (*). All other books dealt with in the text or quoted by title in notes and bibliographies have been consulted in the Boston Public Library, the Harvard University Library, the J. P. Morgan Library: New York, N. Y., the Library of the General Theological Seminary, New York, N. Y., and other neighbouring libraries.

2. Most Books of Common Prayer were printed in black-letter type until after the middle of the seventeenth century. Editions of the Book of Common Prayer of this character are marked in the following pages as “Black letter.” When the type is not specified, it is understood in the case of Books of Common Prayer, that they are printed in roman characters.

3. By size of page, e.g. 6 x 9 inches, is meant the page of type, including running head-lines, footnotes and catchwords, and marginal notes on either side of the text. The measure of the paper, when added, designates the exact size of the book.

4. Pages are not indicated in the case of books printed without pagination. In such instances, however, the number of leaves or of signatures (sig.) is given in the discussion of early or rare editions. In paginated editions the number of pages is stated. When in such editions the introductory matter or an appendix is not folioed, the number of pages which it occupies is given in parentheses.

5. The abbreviations most frequently employed in the following narrative are: C. M. S. = Church Missionary Society, London;. S. P. C. K. = Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London; and S. P. G. = Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, London. Other abbreviations are P. B. D. = Prayer Book Dictionary; Lo. = London; N. Y. = New York. In the case of books, mentioned in the bibliographies, the numerals 18 and 19 are omitted in all year dates between 1814 and 1913.









IN his treatise on The Book of Common Prayer, its Origin and History (Boston, 1910), pp. iv, v, Dr. Benton quotes these words of a great priest of the Church concerning the Book of Common Prayer:

“As the earth's shadow has kept sweeping slowly round the globe, under the two advancing lines of twilight and dawn, wherever the English tongue is spoken, the daily sacrifice of our morning and evening prayer has ‘bowed down successive crowds of worshippers upon their knees’; so that, perhaps, there has not been an hour of day or night, since that month, in the second year of Edward's reign, when, from some high temple, or lowly chapel, or family group, or chamber of sickness, or dying bed, or closet whose door was shut, these immortal confessions and supplications and praises have not been ascending!”

If this statement is true of the Book of Common Prayer in English, it is all the more so, when we take into consideration the fact that this liturgy, as a whole or in part, has been translated into more than one hundred and twenty languages and dialects and has been carried by the missionaries of the Church into the remotest parts of the inhabited globe. This distribution is done mainly through the agency of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (S. P. G.), founded in 1700 (letters patent, June 16, 1701), and her younger sister, the Church Missionary Society (C. M. S.), founded in April of 1799 [1]. The provision of these vernacular versions of the Prayer Book is almost entirely the work of the venerable Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (S. P. C. K.) founded in 1698 [2].

[1] During the nineteenth century the S. P. G. was the High Church Missionary Society, while the C. M. S., founded as “the Society for Missions to Africa and the East,” represented the Low Church type of thought. The missionary and literary activities of these two great Societies are described in detail in the Digests of thee S. P. G., especially the sixth edition by Pascoe, and the great centennial history of the C. M. S. by Dr. Eugene Stock. Brief accounts are given also in several volumes of A History of the English Church, edited by the late Rev. W. R. W. Stephens and the Rev. William Hunt. The titles of these works are given in full in the bibliographies. added to the general introduction and to each part of the book.

“There is now not a locality in the entire mission field of the Church of England which does not look to the S. P. C. K. for means to meet its vernacular needs. These needs become greater as the work of our foreign missions extends; and every year, therefore, sees an increased activity in this department of the Society's work.
  “But while the Society's main aim is to supply the missionaries with tools for their arduous tasks, philologists in the future will thank it for having given permanent form to dialects which in comparatively few years may have to give place to the language of the various civilized nations now at work in Africa and other continents, and for thus providing means for larger generalizations in dealing with the origin and laws of human speech” [3].

The Prayer Book has, through the agency of the Foreign Translation Committee of the S. P. C. K., been published, in whole or in part, in no less than one hundred and eighteen languages [4]. Copies of translations have been freely supplied by the venerable Society, wherever required. The versions of the English Liturgy produced and circulated by the Society embrace nearly everything that has been done in this direction during the last century.

To be sure, the liturgy of the Church of England had been translated into a number of European languages long before anyone of the three Societies just mentioned was founded. For the history of the Book of Common Prayer these early translations are of vital importance and of great interest, so that a survey of Prayer Book versions must necessarily begin with a discussion of these earlier translations.

For the sake of convenience, it has been deemed best to group the translations of the Book of Common Prayer under the following heads:

I.— Latin and Greek, i.e. translations made for the use or criticism of foreign scholars residing in England or abroad, and for chapel services in the colleges and universities of England, Scotland and Ireland.

II.— Translations into the non-English languages of Great Britain and the languages of Western Europe:

1. The French versions, especially those for the Channel Islands, etc.; the Welsh, the Manx, the Irish and the Scottish-Gaelic renderings.

2. Translations into the Southern Romance languages: the Spanish, the Italian, and the Portuguese.

3. Teutonic versions, viz., the Dutch, the German, and the Scandinavian.

4. The Bagster polyglot edition.

III.— Eastern Europe and the Near East, including Modern Greek, Bohemian; Polish, Russian, Hebrew, Judceo-German or Yiddish, Judceo-Spanish, as well as the Arabic, Modern Syriac, Amharic, Turkish, Armenian, Persian, and Pashtu.

IV.— Asia, i.e. the British Empire in India and the Far East.

V.— Australia and the Pacific Ocean family of languages.

VI.— Africa, the Land of Good Hope: Madagascar; the Bantu and the Nigerian languages.

VII.— The Amerinds or American Indians, in South as well as in North America.

Brief remarks on the translations of the Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America have been added whenever their importance warranted their inclusion.

Bibliographies, giving at the same time a partial list of the authorities consulted, are printed at the end of the general introduction, and at the close of each part.

The greater portion of the translations of the Prayer Book discussed in this history was made by missionaries and for missionary purposes. It may, therefore, not be out of place to say a few words on the vital importance of a thorough linguistic training for the modern missionary, and to quote the estimate of some of the ablest and most unprejudiced scholars, travellers and administrators as to the character of the work and the general influence of the presence of the missionary among the uncivilized nations and savage tribes of the world.


[2] A historical resume of the important work of this Society, written by the two secretaries, the Rev. W. O. B. Allen and the Rev. Edmund McClure, was published in 1898.

[3] Allen and McClure, pp. 209, 210, with slight changes.

[4] “Wherever a Church of England Mission is established, the Prayer Book is translated (in whole or in part) into the vernacular, as soon as a congregation of converts has been formed. The most necessary services are translated first, the Psalms, Epistles and Gospels being taken from the best vernacular version of the Bible. Tentative versions of the Prayer Book are carefully revised by the· best scholars before the final version is completed. This may be locally published, but the course generally adopted is to submit. it to the local Diocesan Committee and the Bishop (if there be one) for approval, and to request the S. P. C. K. to publish it.” W. ST. CLAIR TISDALL.



LANGUAGE, spoken or written, is the medium of communication to others of our thoughts, convictions or belief. The more perfect the command and mastery of a language, the more confident we may be of impressing an audience. This is true not only of civilized communities, but also, and even more so, of uncivilized people, to whom a thorough command of their native tongue or peculiar dialect appeals even more directly and forcibly, than is the case with the higher-civilized nations.

And if a speaker, be he an ordained missionary or a layman, has not even this one thing, language, in common with the people to whom he is sent, how can he, how can the Society which sends him, expect to impress an audience, convince them of the necessity of accepting his views as their own, his convictions for theirs, and his belief for theirs? Let a foreigner address an English, or any other educated audience on a subject of which his heart is full, of the truth of which he is convinced and with the vital importance of which he is thoroughly imbued, he will, without fail, make .an impression, though his command of their language be most imperfect. But let the same man address an uneducated audience, who have not the slightest appreciation of the intellectual or spiritual import of the speaker's words, but hear only his broken and at times even unintelligible speech, they will, of a necessity, be repelled rather than attracted; for that one bond of union, appealing to the uneducated even more than to the educated, the fun mastery of their native tongue or peculiar dialect, is wanting, and nothing else can supply it.

Now, if this is the case among civilized nations, can we expect better things of uncivilized, savage tribes and nations to whom missionaries are often sent, deficient, even sadly deficient, in the knowledge of the language of the people among whom they are expected to work, whom they are expected to impress by means of the spoken word; deficient, likewise, in the knowledge of that people's manners and customs, beliefs and habits?

I know full well that there have been and still are great linguists among the missionaries of all Christian nations. But they are men who would have been great philologists, even though they had not been missionaries; men gifted with great linguistic faculties; men who have devoted much time and labour to their linguistic education and to whom the acquirement of a foreign language is comparatively easy. But such men as Koelle, Steere, Schoen, Callaway, Wray and Pilkington; Carey, Morrison, Henry Martyn, Caldwell and Codrington, and many others among the missionaries of England and other countries are the exception, not the rule.

And, if someone should say that this way of thinking is mere theorizing without any foundation of actual experience, let him listen to the voice of one who though dead, yet liveth to this day in the splendid record which, as a faithful missionary, a thorough scholar, and an intrepid defender of and fighter for the truth of our position, he has left for all to ponder over; a man singularly fitted for the work of a successful missionary among uncivilized nations by his splendid physique, his intellectual capacities, his linguistic attainments and spiritual abilities; a man who though dying young, had within the short space of less than ten years done more toward the advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth and the knowledge of Christ's message to mankind than many another equally faithful missionary in the space of three or four times that many years. I mean George Lawrence Pilkington, one of the brightest sons of Cambridge University; a man who not only felt and saw the grave obstacles in the way of a more rapid advance of foreign missions, but also gave adequate utterance in writing. and suggested remedies, which, if accepted and acted upon by the societies for which they were meant, would wonderfully enhance the progress of Christ's cause among all foreign nations of the world, both civilized and savage.

In his biography, Pilkington of Uganda, Harford-Battersby devotes a whole chapter to the late missionary's views on the need of a thorough linguistic training for modern missionaries. Of the many quotations from Pilkington's letters we will print one which precisely represents all the others.

In a letter to Mr. Lang (the Rev. Robert Lang, Ampthill), Pilkington deplored the complete failure of so many missionaries, and makes the following statement:

“I don’t think the Committee can realize how much difficulty most men have in learning African languages, else I don’t think that they would send men, not specially qualified, into a country where the language is not known. I believe that it’s, in most cases, worse than useless sending a man, who has not had special training in language and the theory of it, to such a place; it is awfully trying to himself, physically and spiritually; at the same time, very discouraging; and I cannot but strongly suspect that it would account for a good many promising careers cut short. The long period that must elapse, before such a man can express to the natives the object which has brought him there, must surely cause a host of misconceptions on their part; his apparently luxurious life—as it is to them—must surely give them very misleading ideas which for years the Missionary can't correct. It isn't enough to send a. man of ordinary all-round education; he ought to have made a special study of language—that is, thoroughly compared the structure of any two languages; and, besides that, he ought to know Steere's book (except the vocabularies) absolutely, so as to know the skeleton of a Bantu language. I beg to respectfully suggest to the Committee to appeal specially for such men—Cambridge men, e.g. who have at least got a Second in Classics; and, further, that Stations, where a new language has to be learnt, should not be opened till such men be forthcoming, as otherwise great expense will be incurred, and, perhaps, more harm done than good. The language once mastered and a grammar written, men with less aptitude for languages, but, perhaps, far better Missionaries can step in and, without necessary loss of precious time and health, begin work. But to send such a man up in the first instance, what a sad waste! I assure you, the majority of the men whom I've seen in the field closely, wouldn't learn a new language without help in twenty years. If you doubt this, write a circular to the Missionaries, asking them how long they suppose they would be learning a new language without any sort of help from books. I expect the average would put down ten years. I hope I don't seem to be puffing the facility which I have in learning a language: after all the years I've spent on the subject, I should be a duffer if I hadn't profited at all by it; what have I that I haven't received? But I assure you I am prompted to write this by the earnest desire to see the Gospel preached to all nations, an object which I am convinced will only be retarded by sending men not specially trained in language to new stations in the first instance. If men, interested in language, knew what a magnificent field this is, they might come for that reason; but I had rather they came for the Gospel’s sake-but the other reason might do as a counterpoise to fever, journeys, and other annoyances.” —(Pp. 194-196.)

If these words of an accomplished linguist and successful missionary had been listened to by the great and powerful missionary societies of Great Britain, Canada, and the United States of America in all denominations, how much quicker and surer would be the progress of foreign missions, not in padded statistics we sometimes read in the reports of societies, but in the actual field of missions.

The safest and quickest way of remedying the deficiencies deplored by Pilkington, a representative of many others, and to bring Christ’s message much nearer to the great mass of such nations as have not yet heard of Him and His Gospel, would undoubtedly consist in the establishment of special interdenominational schools in which young men from all the denominations of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and the United States, being candidates for the work in the foreign field, would receive, above all else, a thorough linguistic training and instruction in the ethnology, history and folk-lore of the nation or nations among whom they intend to work as missionaries; schools in which languages would be taught and instruction given in pertinent subjects that lie outside the curriculum of our large universities and colleges.

Why should not the English-speaking countries, with all their wealth and riches, with all their zeal for foreign missions, have schools such as we find in Germany, France, and Austria? There is the “Seminar flir orientalische Sprachen,” at Berlin, founded in 1887, for the acquirement of modern Oriental, Asiatic, and African languages. There are the “Wissenschaftliche Vorlesungen des Staates Hammburg,” and the “Hamburgische Kolonialinstitut,” where such men as Heinrich Becker, Otto Franke and Carl Meinhof teach Arabic, Chinese, and Bantu languages and literature, history and folk-lore, for commercial, diplomatic and missionary work in the colonies. There is the great “École spéciale des langues orientales vivantes” at Paris, founded in 1795, and the more recent “École coloniale.”

Such schools established in England and open to candidates’ from all the denominations of the land who have previously received the required theological preparation, would bring about better and quicker results than the millions of money spent for missionary work along the traditional lines of the past century or two have been able to accomplish.

The existence of such schools would eventually bring about another welcome improvement, viz., better and more accurate translations of the Liturgy; translations which would not only be true to the letter, but reproduce the spirit of this noble book.

In my correspondence with scholars of Cambridge and of Oxford, I have often been told that some of the translations now put out by the S. P. C. K., are very inadequate; that the attention of the Society has been called to the character of these versions, and that it has been urged to have the translations carefully examined and revised, before they are reissued[1]. If the mission war-cry “the Evangelisation of the World in this Generation,” is ever to become a reality, the thorough linguistic preparation of our missionaries in foreign fields will be one of the chiefest of helps toward the accomplishment of this fervent wish of all Christendom.


[1] “In almost every case,” says St. Clair Tisdall, “the necessity of making a literal translation from the English has rendered the style of the vernacular versions stilted and somewhat unidiomatic. As has well been said: ‘A translation may be etymologically perfect, and yet no more give the force of the original than the awkward dancing of a bear represents the graceful pirouettes of the ballet.’ When the Churches in the Mission field become independent, they will doubtless draw up each a liturgy of its own.”



IN the preceding chapter it was said that the inadequate linguistic preparation of the average foreign missionary was one of the chief obstacles to the more rapid spread of Christianity among heathen tribes and nations. This, however, by no means detracts from: the intrinsic value of the missionary's social work, nor does it lessen the elevating influence resulting from his presence and that of his family among the natives or the immigrant settlers in the countries to which he is sent.

In the course of a wide reading of ethnological, geographical and historical works relating to the continents and individual countries, for whose benefit most of the modern translations of the English and American Book of Common Prayer have been made, we have been enabled to gather many estimates of the social work and the uplifting influence of the foreign missionary.

A brief symposium collected from books written by men of various professions and other walks of life, who are known to be by no means a priori favourably disposed toward the work of foreign missions, will show how beneficent is the missionary's presence among savages and immigrant settlers, notwithstanding his frequent deficiency in the use of the tongue of the people among whom he is sent; and, how much more beneficent and lasting it would be, were he master of the people's language at the outset of his work among them.

Sir William MacGregor, Governor of Queensland and formerly Administrator and Lieutenant-Governor of British Guinea, says in his book, British New Guinea, pp. 91, 92 :

“It has been my lot to see much of mission teaching among coloured people during the last two or three and twenty years .... As a class they [the missionaries] are the most self-denying men, and lead the best lives of any category of men of whom I have any knowledge. I cannot think of one that ever enriched himself. Thousands and thousands of travellers have experienced their ever-open hospitality, often without knowing that their hosts had to reduce their own fare in order to decently entertain the stranger. As an example of regular and moral life, the presence of a missionary would be valuable, if he never taught anything else ....
    “But the influence exercised by the example of the life of the missionary is a small advantage compared to his other services .... The great duty of educating the children of the country is left here (and in other mission fields) to the mission bodies. Missionaries, therefore, are performing without cost to the State, one of its great functions, a labour which of itself is more than enough to justify their presence. Again mission influence has sometimes prevented intertribal war and has reduced the frequency of murder, and in all cases it tends to make the work of the magistrate and policeman lighter. Peace is easier to establish, and, when established, is easier to maintain, in a mission district than elsewhere .... Through the missionaries as a class, the natives learn to entertain a higher opinion of the white man and greater respect for him, than would otherwise be the case. Looking, as administrator, at the presence and work of the missionaries, the above is my answer to the question as to whether they are useful or not. It practically amounts to this, that they are indispensable. It is not known to me that any officer that was responsible for the well-being and development of a primitive native race ever entertained a different opinion.”

Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, traveller, consul and administrator of African colonies under the British Crown, writes in the introduction to Ellen C. Parsons’ Christus Liberator, p. 2 :

“I unhesitatingly state my conviction that the missions which have preached Christianity in Africa since, let us say, 1840, constitute the one feature of the white man's invasion as of unquestionable good .... Christian propaganda—at any rate since the early part of the nineteenth century—has left no bad after-taste.”

In a similar strain the same author expresses himself in his works: Liberia; The Opening up of Africa,. George Grenfell, &c., without in the least overlooking defects in mission work resulting from deficiency in the linguistic training of these zealous and faithful workers, a deficiency which is the fault, not so much of the missionary, as of the Society which neglected this most important feature of the missionary's training and preparation.

E. Way Elkington, traveller and journalist, closes his interesting book on The Savage South Seas (1907), with a short sketch of the missionary work in these regions, and speaks with high praise of

“The work and lives of those brave fellows—the missionaries— who have left all the comforts of their English homes—their best friends and everything else that was dear to them—to teach the Gospel of their Master, and bring peace and happiness to these wild savages. It is an easy thing to sneer at these ‘Gospel punchers’ as they are so often called ‘out west.’ But in spite of all the little things against them, one cannot help asking: ‘Is it not through the work of the best of them that we are to-day able to go amongst these savages?’ ... The most bigoted unbeliever, if he thinks, and if he knows the sort of lives that many of these pioneers have led, must acknowledge their bravery, even if he doubts their beneficial influence; but only the most ignorant could do that.” —(pp. 193, 194)

In the Handbook of American Indians, Vol. I, p. 908, James Mooney, American Ethnologist in connection with the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., U.S.A., writes:

“In the four centuries of American history there is no more inspiring chapter of heroism, self-sacrifice and devotion to high ideals than that afforded by the Indian Missions. Most of the missionaries were of finished scholarship and refined habit, and nearly all were of such exceptional ability as to have commanded attention in any community and to have possessed themselves of wealth and reputation, had they so chosen; yet they deliberately faced poverty and sufferings, exile and oblivion, ingratitude, torture, and death itself in the hope that some portion of a darkened world might be made better through their effort. To the student who knows what infinite forms of cruelty, brutishness, and filthiness belonged to savagery, from Florida to Alaska, it is beyond question that, in spite of sectarian limitations and the shortcomings of individuals, the missionaries have fought a good fight. Where they have failed to accomplish large results the reason lies in the irrepressible selfishness of the white man or in the innate incompetence and unworthiness of the people for whom they labored.”

And Hiram Alfred Cody, in An Apostle of the North, Memoirs of the Right Reverend William Carpenter Bompas, calls attention on pp. 224, 225, to the fact that

“Too often people forget the great force of national importance exerted by a few missionaries scattered over a large extent of country. In the lone wilderness they are doing more than at times appears on the surface. In their efforts to save souls they are indirectly advancing the nation's interests.”

C. D. Mackellar in Scented Isles and Coral Gardens, New York, 1912, while emphatically denying the actuality of any conversion of Papuans and other wild tribes to Christianity, adds nevertheless:

Yet it must not be supposed that in saying this I mean to cast either ridicule or contempt on the great band of missionaries, male and female, and of all denominations, who in so many lands have given up all they possess—a very easy thing to talk about, but a very difficult thing to do—all the joys, comforts, and pleasures of this world, to go forth cheerfully and with steadfast and enduring courage to carry out the mission they felt themselves destined for, often perilling their lives daily. I have seen enough of them to know how great is sometimes their civilising influence, how earnest and sincere they are, and what benefits have resulted to their countries and the world generally through their self-sacrifice. They sow the seed perhaps at times in barren soil and it never takes root; but it is not always so, and if at times mistaken in methods and deeds, and singularly devoid of tact, the greater generality of them are men and women who are worthy of all honour, and are deeply in earnest over their work. Missionary enterprise has played a very large part in the progress of the British Empire and it should not be forgotten, nor should those heroic lives and deaths which have cast glory on their countries.” —(Pp. 207, 208.)

Testimonials of this kind, relative to the value and importance of missionary work could easily be multiplied indefinitely. It has well been said by Eugene Stock in Vol. I (preface, p. xiv), of his great centennial history of the Church Missionary Society, that

“The indirect and collateral influence of Missions is not to be despised, and is now generally acknowledged. They have promoted civilization; they have facilitated colonization; they have furthered geographical discovery; they have opened doors for commerce; they have done service to science; they have corrected national and social evils; they have sweetened family life.”

Relative to the great importance of a missionary's mastery of the language of a nation or tribe among whom he expects to labour, we agree with the Rev. Arthur Kent Chignell, when in his recent work, An Outpost in Papua (1911), he remarks on p. 354, that

“Even though a missionary does nothing else-and we are all haunted sometimes by the thought of how little it is we do-it will bee something to remember, at the end of life, that one has been able, however humbly, to have a share in the preparation, and to use for the first time at the altar, a Liturgy in which, perhaps as long as the world shall last, a people will worship God, and find its nearest approach to Him who is the Object and the End of all Christian service and worship.”

This, we are bold to say, might be the privilege of every missionary to foreign fields, especially new ones, were he linguistically well prepared for his work among the nation or tribe to whom his society in God's Divine Providence may send him.

The following narrative is essentially intended as a further testimonial to the linguistic services rendered by some of the best-equipped workers in the field of foreign missions, inasmuch as more than four-fifths of the translations mentioned have been made by missionaries.



The following is a partial list of authorities consulted in the preparation of the whole work or of more than one part :—

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