A SCHOLAR OF A PAST GENERATION
SAMUEL LEE, D.D.
Professor of Arabic, and afterwards Regius Professor
HIS DAUGHTER, Anna Mary Lee
“I was fully aware of the difference in our views on Prophecy. You, I know, are a Preterist”
SHORTLY after the death of Professor S. Lee, over forty years ago, a suggestion was made that some record of his remarkable talents and career, in a more extensive and lasting form than mere newspaper articles could supply, should be given to the public. He had, however, left no diaries or memoranda, nor yet copies of his large literary correspondence, and the idea was abandoned. A year or two ago I was passing through Shrewsbury, and, visiting the museum, saw there, amongst other portraits, a large oil-painting of my father. Attached to the picture was a card, with the statement that he had been Professor of Hebrew at Oxford! Finding such inadequate knowledge of him within eight miles of his native place, it occurred to me that he could scarcely be known even by name to many of the present generation, to whom the story of his life might be a stimulus, and an encouragement to make the most of their far greater opportunities for the acquirement of knowledge. On my return home I looked over the few papers and letters I had in my possession, also the prefaces to some of his translations and other works, all of which I imagine are now out of print, and made extracts from them of passages bearing upon his Oriental studies, and the religious and other topics of the day, many of which are of abiding interest.
With the lapse of time all those who were, strictly speaking, his contemporaries, have passed away, and thus many facts and impressions which might have illustrated this sketch are now lost to us. It will appear from the above that this short and imperfect record is, in the main, an autobiography.
Amongst my father’s works, noticed particularly in this memoir, I have made no mention of the Lexicon (Hebrew, Chaldee and English) which was perhaps one of the most esteemed and useful of them all.
The chapter on the ‘Travels of Ibn Batuta,’ although one of his earlier translations, has been placed near the end, partly because it might prove of less interest to the general reader, partly because the list of authorities quoted would have interfered with the course of the narrative. The following letter may fitly close this Preface:–
Letter from Canon NORGATE
‘DEAR Miss LEE,–I heartily wish I could be of more service to you in your contemplated enterprise than your letter seems to intimate, as I had a great respect for your worthy father, though by no means intimately acquainted with him, and ’tis sixty years since! I, had two Cambridge acquaintances who passed under your father’s hands who could have borne far higher estimony to his capability and value as at teacher than myself–Arthur Dawson of Christ’s College, and Edward Harold Browne of Emmanuel (afterwards Bishop of Winchester), both of whom became Hebrew Scholars of the University of Cambridge. But though a mere sciolist in that language myself, I had learned to appreciate and honour what was perhaps not so generally known by the public at large as by his contemporaries at College–the remarkable manner in which, from his earliest days, he had persisted, in spite of most adverse circumstances, in the acquisition of knowledge of the most valuable description–that of the original language of the Old Testament Scriptures, and of other cognate tongues bearing upon its elucidation –and in imparting that knowledge to others. But this is not all of which I have a vivid recollection ; for added to it was the faithfulness with which he adhered to “the truth as it is in Jesus,” never, by the grace of God, having been led away by those “will-o’-the-wisps” by which many allowed themselves to be distracted, some even in those early days of heresy, and (alas!) many more later.
‘Your father was fortunate in his surroundings. I refer to the atmosphere and companionship that he enjoyed when at Queen’s College. I myself, as a much younger man, feel very thankful for the helps that I have been privileged to have in the acquaintance of such men as Farish Tacy, Francis Cunningham and others, long gone to their rest and reward. They formed a galaxy of holy and simple-minded men, though varying much in their respective talents and the application of them ; and it is a great pleasure to me, though I fear of little value to you, to bear my humble testimony to your father’s worth. I think I see his portly frame now after the lapse of more than sixty years, and I trust that there is in reserve for all who “hold the truth,” a happy recognition as well as re-union in the everlasting mansions!–I remain, yours sincerely,–
LOUIS A. NORGATE.’
A. M. LEE.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A Scholar of a Past Generation
‘The autobiographical passages in the writings of eminent men are those which are always seized on with avidity.’–H. REED.
SAMUEL LEE was born May 14th, 1783, He was the youngest of a family of six brothers and five sisters living at Longnor, about eight miles from Shrewsbury. Of these, he and a brother and sister were the children of a second marriage, and much younger than the rest His brother’s artistic talents would have made him distinguished as a painter or sculptor had he possessed the same perseverance and steadiness of principle which characterised his brother Samuel. Some letters addressed to him by the latter are still extant, and are full of affectionate Christian counsel. |2 The following letter, written by Samuel Lee, contains all that is known of his early years. It was written in 1813, when he was master of Bowdler’s School, Shrewsbury.
Mr SAMUEL LEE to JONATHAN SCOTT, Esq.
An incident is told of him when an apprentice to his half-brother, Mr J. Lee. The workshops were at a field’s distance from the Severn, which at times overflowed and reached the shops. On one occasion Samuel Lee was so absorbed in his books that he was sitting with his legs under water till the men came and took him away.
SHREWSBURY GRAMMAR SCHOOL, NOW THE FREE LIBRARY AND MUSEUM.
The Dr Jonathan Scott to whom this letter was addressed, the translator of ‘The Arabian Nights,’ had been secretary to Hastings in India, and Oriental Professor to the Royal Military and East India Colleges. He was the first person my father had met with able to enter into and sympathise with his zeal for acquiring Oriental languages.
The obituary notice of my father in the C. M. S. ‘Intelligencer’ for March 1853 gives such a full and interesting account of his going to Cambridge, and subsequent labours there, that I have availed myself of the Society’s permission to insert some extracts from it in the following chapter. |10
‘ASTONISHED at Mr Lee’s acquisitions, and finding him possessed of almost unexampled facilities for the acquirement of languages, Dr Scott put into his hand some books, through the assistance of which he made himself acquainted with the Arabic, Persian and Hindustani languages.
‘The loan of these books, and some instruction in pronunciation, included all that Mr Lee received of external aid ; his own mind furnished every other resource. And such was his progress in these hitherto untrodden paths, that, in the course of a few months, he was not only able to read and translate from any Arabic or Persian manuscript, but to compose in these languages. To his friend and patron, Dr Scott, Mr Lee sent Arabic and Persian translations of several Oriental apologues, taken from Dr Johnson’s “Rambler,” and |11 also Addison’s “Vision of Mirza” in the “Spectator,” which translations, in the opinion of Dr Scott, were “wonderfully well done.”
‘From the knowledge which Mr Lee had obtained of the Oriental languages through his acquaintance with Dr Scott, he was introduced into a few private houses, as instructor in Persic and Hindustani to the sons of gentlemen who were expecting appointments either in the civil or military department of the Honourable East India Company’s service. This engagement, the superintendence of his own school, and an occasional attendance on two other seminaries as teacher of arithmetic, constituted his employment during his residence at Shrewsbury ; and, from the proficiency made by his pupils, it may be fairly inferred that his talent of conveying knowledge to others corresponded with the facility with which he made his personal acquisitions.
‘But the period was at hand in which, through the ordering of an overruling Providence, Mr Lee was to be transplanted to a region more congenial to his natural feelings and the bent of his genius. His acquaintance with Dr Scott, which knew no interruption, was soon matured into a cordial friendship, and this, in conjunction with his constantly accumulating attainments, led to the rapid |12 advancement by which his subsequent career was distinguished. Dr Scott introduced Mr Lee to the notice of Dr Claudius Buchanan, who had lately returned from India, and was deeply interested in all the operations of the Church Missionary Society, especially in the Oriental department.’
It was owing to the efforts of these kind and valued friends that my father was enabled to enter Queen’s College, Cambridge, at the close of 1813. Dr Buchanan was at that time residing at Cambridge, and he was requested to select the college at which Mr Lee should be entered. A letter in the published life of Dr Buchanan thus notices the fact:–
‘QUEEN’S COLLEGE, Jan. 13, 1814.
‘I consulted the College to-day concerning the proposed admission of Mr Lee, the Shrewsbury linguist. It was agreed to admit him to Queen’s.’
The following notice occurs in the ‘Shrewsbury Chronicle,’ Jan. 26, 1814:–‘Mr Samuel Lee, late of this town, now of Queen’s College, Cambridge, was last week examined by Dr Buchanan in the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac |13 and Hindustani languages, and his skill and proficiency drew forth the applause of every scholar, as well as of his immediate patrons and friends, among whom are many truly learned and illustrious men. Mr Lee is, perhaps, the only person who at either University read in the three latter languages on his entrance as a student.’
He commenced residence soon after this date. His contemporaries well remember the striking simplicity and unassuming manners of their new associate. He diligently pursued the classical and mathematical studies which were prescribed in the College course, and regularly attended the lectures. But his chief attention was still devoted to Oriental languages; and in classics and mathematics he did not obtain the first place, even in the limited competition of the College examinations.
During the first year of his residence at College, Mr Lee translated into Arabic and Persian a small tract, entitled ‘The Way of Truth and Life,’ of which the Persian edition was, three years afterwards, stereotyped, and copies were furnished to the missionaries of the Edinburgh Missionary Society at Astrakhan, |14 who found it serviceable in their labours. In February 1815 Dr Claudius Buchanan died, and a difficulty arose respecting the completion of the Syriac New Testament, which he was engaged in carrying through the press. This work Mr Lee undertook on behalf of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
‘It became necessary that he should begin the work de novo; and having collated several Syriac manuscripts for the purpose, it appeared in 1816. The following mention is made of Mr Lee’s literary labours in the seventeenth report of this Society:–“The completion of the edition of the Syriac New Testament has been executed in a manner so honourable to himself as a scholar, that the Court of Directors of the East India Company was pleased to present him with one hundred guineas in testimony of its approbation.” . . . “Mr Lee has proposed to enhance to the Syriac churches the value of this gift of the New Testament, by furnishing them with an edition of the Old Testament, chiefly by the aid of the celebrated Travancore Manuscript of Dr Buchanan.” . . . “As the real history of these churches is imperfectly known, the Committee have requested |15 Mr Lee to compile a brief narrative of the principal events which have occurred in that history. They were desirous of thus making known the sufferings and exigencies of that persecuted people.”
‘”This task Mr Lee has very ably executed. He will be found in his narrative to have arranged in lucid order the chief facts which are supplied by Geddes, La Croze, and Asseman; and to have accompanied them by remarks well suited to excite interest in behalf of these oppressed Christians.”
‘”Besides these works, Mr Lee is editing the Old and New Testament in the Malay language, printed in Roman characters, of which tongue he made himself master for the purpose of rendering this service; and he is also carrying through the press an edition of ‘Martyn’s Hindustani New Testament,’ and the ‘Book of Genesis’ in the same tongue, translated by Mirza Fitrut, and revised from the Hebrew by the lamented Martyn, the manuscript copy of which book was kindly presented to the Society by one of its friends from India.”‘
The publication of the ‘Syriac New Testament’ raised the reputation of Mr Lee abroad as well as |16 at home. The University of Halle, in Saxony, accordingly presented him with the degree of D.D., through the hands of Dr Gesenius, the Hebrew professor of that University. The Syriac Old Testament was not completed till the year 1823, when four thousand copies in quarto were issued.
‘The compiler of these notices well recollects the fact alluded to in the foregoing extracts–Mr Lee’s acquisition of the Malay language. It was accomplished in the College Christmas vacation of about two months ; and upon expressing to him his astonishment at the facility with which he acquired new languages, and the fidelity of his memory in retaining a perfect and distinct knowledge of each, Mr Lee made the remark that the acquisition of languages was to him as easy and certain a process as the study of Newton’s “Principia” appeared to be to his fellow-student; that in all languages there were certain links and dependencies which, when once understood, fixed the language in the mind ; and that afterwards the copia verborum might be acquired at your leisure. In the October term of 1817 Mr Lee took the degree of B.A., and was soon afterwards admitted to Holy Orders as curate of Chesterton, near Cambridge. Several of his |17 college friends went over to hear his first sermon; and one at least retains a lively recollection of the fervour and simplicity with which he discoursed upon the text, “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrew xi. 16.) This sermon afforded a lively proof, if one had been needed, that Mr Lee’s great advancement and rising reputation had not kindled the flame of ambition in his mind, nor corrupted it from “the simplicity that is in Christ.” The annual record of his literary labours, presented in the eighteenth report of the Society, introduces a new language to our notice. “The attention of the Committee has been called to the Ethiopic Scriptures. A manuscript copy, in high preservation, of the first eight books of the Old Testament in Ethiopic having come, by purchase at a moderate price, into the hands of the Committee, the hope was again awakened which, had before been entertained but often disappointed, of communicating to Abyssinia the gift of the Scriptures.”
‘Mr Lee at once prepared himself to edit the manuscript, while the British and Foreign Bible Society took measures to print it.’ ‘Of how great |18 importance to Abyssinia the gift of the Scriptures would be likely, with the blessing of God, to become a judgment may be formed from a “Brief History of the Church of Abyssinia,” which the Reverend Samuel Lee has compiled from the best authorities, at the request of the Committee. Mr Lee has executed this task with the ability with which he compiled the “Brief History of the Syrian Churches in the South of India.”‘
He was also at this time employed, with the aid of a learned Persian, in preparing for the press an edition of the Old Testament in Persian, to accompany ‘Martyn’s New Testament’ ; and he was associated with Professor Macbride, of Oxford, in preparing a correct and acceptable version of the Bible in Arabic. The two latter undertakings were to be at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Within the same year he also carried through the press a compendium of the Liturgy in Hindustani, prepared by Mr, afterwards Bishop, Corrie, and printed at the expense of the Prayer Book and Homily Society. ‘It will appear from this statement,’ the report observes, ‘how entirely Mr Lee’s time had been occupied.’ |19
The Syriac and Arabic Bibles, together with his ministerial duties, occupied the attention of Mr Lee during the year 1818.
The commencement of the next year introduces a new era of his life. The Arabic professorship at Cambridge became vacant by the resignation of Mr Palmer. His friends proposed that he should become a candidate; but as it was necessary that he should have an M.A. degree, the first step was to procure a royal mandate for conferring that degree upon him before the statutable time had been completed. For this purpose, the consent of a majority of heads of houses, and a vote of the Senate, were required. Mr Lee’s modesty and retired habits had made him little known in the University. He was opposed also by a gentleman already of the degree of M. A., who had been many years in India, and was an accomplished Oriental scholar. Under these circumstances, a paper was printed and circulated among the members of the Senate, simply giving a list of the various Oriental works which he had edited, and a few testimonials from well-known Oriental scholars. Amongst them was the testimony of four native Persian gentlemen at that time residing in London, who testified |20 to his thorough acquaintance with the idiom and pronunciation, as well as with the grammar of that language, in the following emphatic terms :– ‘Upon the whole, this being the entire persuasion of your servant, and in like manner the belief of all his companions, who have spoken with the above-mentioned Mr Lee, both in Persic and Arabic, that, whether as regards pronunciation, or reading, or writing, he is learned and perfect.’ The claims of Mr Lee upon the vacant chair, and his pre-eminent learning, were recognised by all parties. The petition to the Crown for a royal mandate was triumphantly carried through the Senate. The Government used every effort to expedite the business, so that Mr Lee obtained his degree just in time for the election. The election is vested in the heads of houses, and Mr Lee announced his success to the Secretary of the Church Missionary Society in the following letter :–
To the Reverend JOSIAH PRATT.
‘March 11, 1819.
‘MY DEAR SIR,–I have now the happiness of announcing to you my complete success in |21 being elected to the Arabic professorship. The candidates had all withdrawn except Mr Keene of Haileybury and myself. The numbers, I understand, were nine to four, so that my majority was great. But had it been necessary, I should have had a few more votes, Now let me pay the tribute due to Him who governs “all things after the counsel of His own will” My prayer and hope is, that this and every other dispensation of His providence may at length promote His glory, and the good of His church. I hope in this to be joined by many a warm and devoted heart; and also that some pious breathings may be put up for me, that I may not be led into temptation but delivered from evil.
‘My kindest regards to all friends–Mrs Pratt and family, Mr Bickersteth and family, etc. I hope soon to see you in town, when I will tell you particulars. Please to excuse haste.–I am, my dear sir, yours very affectionately,
The elevation of Mr Lee to an University professorship naturally closed his official connection with the Church Missionary Society. |22
His labours were never intermitted, but they gradually became of a more general character, and a large share of them was engrossed by academical duties.
He delighted whenever he had the opportunity of giving instruction to any students or missionaries of the Society in the Oriental languages. This he continued to do even to the last year of his life. One of the alumni of Cambridge would scarcely reach his mission in West Africa before he would hear of the death of the venerable friend who encouraged and helped him in the study of Arabic. Such pupils will bear witness that the learned professor omitted no opportunity of inculcating spiritual truth, or ever failed to respond to the motives which carry a missionary into a far country. One of his earliest letters lies before us, in which he thus speaks of the advice which he had just given to a student of the Society under his instruction : — ‘Private prayer is the marrow of religion. It is that which makes the soul “delight itself in fatness”; but for literary men it appears to me to be almost the “one thing needful.” ‘
The literary works which he undertook in |23furtherance of the Society’s objects after his election to his professorship were the compilation of a New Zealand Grammar and Vocabulary, in which he fixed the orthography upon a system which has proved eminently successful. This work was accomplished mainly by availing himself of the assistance of two New Zealand chiefs, Hongi and Waikato, who resided near him at Cambridge for several months in the year 1820. In 1824 he also edited the controversial tracts on Christianity and Mahommedanism by Henry Martyn, being the substance of his public disputations at Shiraz with learned Mahommedans.
Among works of a general kind may be noticed a Hebrew Grammar first published in 1827 (of which a second edition appeared in 1832, and a third in 1841), and a Hebrew and English Dictionary in 1840; also an edition of Sir William Jones’s ‘Persian Grammar’ in 1828, which nearly deserves the title of a new work ; ‘The Travels of Ibn-Batuta,’ translated from the Arabic (1833) ; and the Syriac version of ‘Eusebius on the Theophania,’ from a recently-discovered MS., 1840; together with a translation of the same in 1843. He published also |24 a volume of ‘Sermons and Dissertations,’ as well as several controversial tracts and single discourses.
In the year 1831 Professor Lee was removed from the Arabic Professorship to the Regius Professorship of Hebrew. As this professor enjoys certain privileges at Trinity College, he migrated from Queen’s to that Society. In the same year he was presented by the Crown to a stall in Bristol Cathedral, through which he obtained the Vicarage of Banwell, Somersetshire, which he afterwards exchanged for the Rectory of Barley, in Hertfordshire, on the borders of Cambridgeshire.
The following testimony from one of his pupils, afterwards well known as Bishop Gobat of Jerusalem, will show with what grateful affection he was remembered by those to whom he so gladly imparted instruction.
‘JERUSALEM, Feby. 13th, 1874.
‘DEAR MADAM,–I cannot express the delight which a letter from the daughter of my dear teacher and almost parental friend the late Dr S. Lee, has given me. |25
TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. PROFESSOR LEE’S ROOMS, OVER THE LAMP.
From a photograph by Mr. Hunt,Cambridge.
‘It is forty-nine years since I had the privilege of being taught by him Hebrew, Arabic, and Ethiopic, but his memory is still as fresh in my mind as if it had been last year, and is ever refreshed when I read the Prophet Hosea, and other portions of the Holy Scriptures, as well as, occasionally, the Koran in Arabic, and the Psalms in Ethiopic, which I then read with him.’
In reference to the translation of the Bible into the Malay language, my father wrote some years later:–‘I superintended an edition of the Syriac Testament for the use of the Syrian churches in Malabar, which was printed at the expense of the Bible Society, and published in 1816. The Metropolitan of the church of Malabar, in a letter dated December 3, 1821, to two distinguished noblemen in this country, says,–“With respect to the books of the New Testament which you sent to us, we have divided and given them to the churches which are in Malabar, and with great joy does every man present his prayer to God for you.” Since these New Testaments have been sent to Malabar, I have had the good fortune to complete |26 a large impression of the Old for the same church, and I have some hopes that I shall be able to do a similar work for the churches in Abyssinia.’
The following letter from Lord Teignmouth refers to his candidature for the Arabic Professorship :–
‘PORTMAN SQUARE, Feb. 18, 1819.
MY DEAR SIR,–I wrote to you yesterday, and hope you received my letter. Happy shall I be if my testimonial should be of use in promoting the object of your wishes, although it cannot add to your merit. God has done much for you, and I hope will do much through you; to Him be the praise.
‘The object of this letter is to inform you that the Most Reverend Dr Giarve, Archbishop of Jerusalem, is now in London, and I hope your time and pursuits will allow you to see him, and appreciate his character and talents. He visited me this morning, and is a simple, unaffected man, more like a monk than an archbishop. He writes Arabic and Syriac, and talks in Italian, so that I had an interpreter. I have ordered a copy of your Syriac Testament to be sent to |27 him; he wants the whole Bible for his Syrians; but, if I understand him, it is the Arabic Bible in Syriac characters, for Arabic is the vernacular language in and about Jerusalem.–Your very sincere
In the life of the first Lord Teignmouth a notice of Professor Lee occurs, from which an extract is given:–‘Among the young students whose ardour in Oriental pursuits he had befriended or encouraged, and amongst whom he had distributed nearly the whole of a considerable collection of Oriental books he had brought from India, was one, in the removal of whose difficulties, whilst laying the foundation of his extensive acquirements, Lord Teignmouth had felt a deep interest — Mr Samuel Lee, now Regius Professor of Arabic in the University of Cambridge. . . .’
‘It was some time after Mr Lee had quitted Shropshire that Lord Teignmouth, having heard from his relations in that county of the circumstances of his history, formed an acquaintance with him, and derived from his intercourse with this remarkable scholar not only the gratification which his |28 communicativeness, amiable qualities and piety afforded, but also the delight of interweaving the studies of his youth with the important pursuits to which he dedicated his declining years.’ |29
DR LEE published his first edition of ‘A Grammar of the Hebrew Language, comprised as a Series of Lectures’ . . . ‘designed for the use of students in the universities,’ in 1827, and in 1841 a third edition ‘enriched with much original matter.’ He says, in the preface to the former edition :– ‘Everyone knows that, since the times of Elias Levita, various have been the efforts to abridge the labour of acquiring the Hebrew language. Some have reduced the grammar to one sheet or page, and the lexicon to but little more, persuading their readers that, as the Hebrew is the most ancient, so it is the most simple of all languages, and that men cannot look with too much suspicion on those attempts to make it complex and difficult, which were first set up by the Rabbins, and afterwards adopted by their equally blind advocates, the |30 grammarians, who have followed them. But if we allow that this language is the most ancient and simple, still the question will remain as to what this abbreviating and plausible system has hitherto done. Has it, it may be asked, supplied us with principles on which we can rely ? or, by diffusing an overpowering light over the sacred text, been sufficient to bear down all opposition, or even to satisfy one candid inquirer that he is a jot wiser on these subjects than his pious forefathers were ? In most instances, I think, it must be granted that our light has gradually become less, that the scope of the context has appeared less obvious, while the liability to mistake has been increased in an amazing degree. In others, the discovery and exhibition of amusing and splendid theories has, perhaps, tended more to bring both religion and philosophy into disrepute than anything else could possibly do. Hence it is probable that the study of the original Scriptures has, for the last century or more, been daily on the wane in this country, and our knowledge of divinity has not made that progress which might otherwise have been reasonably expected it would. . . .
‘The Rabbinical system of vowels and accents has been adopted (in these lectures) as that which is the |31 most likely to promote a sound and accurate knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures ; not, indeed, with a view of ascribing to it anything like a Divine origin or authority, but because it seems certain that among the various human systems hitherto proposed for the purpose of assisting the learner, this is incomparably the best. . . .
‘Although the Rabbinical system is infinitely superior to those proposed by Masclef, Hutchinson and others, yet it must be confessed that this also has its defects ; not to insist upon the consideration that it appears to Se advanced but little farther than a state of infancy. . . . Hence the great desideratum appeared to be the construction of grammars which should at once combine the labours of the Rabbins with a system of analysis delineating the principles upon which the language is founded, in such a manner as to form the judgment and to interest the understanding; to detail the rules, indeed, but, at the same time, to ascertain the principles upon which they are founded, so as to satisfy the scruples and to ensure the confidence of the learner.
‘Towards arriving at this point, Alting seems to be the first who did anything considerable. After him, Albert Schultens, Schrï¿½der and Storr |32 have, perhaps, been the most successful writers. Dr Gesenius, the present Professor of Hebrew at Halle, certainly ranks next. . . . Dr Gesenius is closely followed by Professor Stewart of Andover, in America, in the very excellent Hebrew Grammar which he has published, and which was printed at Andover for the second time in 1823. . . . As I have occasionally cited the Arabic grammarians, the question might be asked–to what extent the cultivation of this language and of its sister dialects should be carried, in order to enable the student to become well acquainted with the Hebrew? I answer, as the Hebrew language has now ceased to be spoken in its purity upwards of two thousand years, and as these dialects still retain a very considerable portion of its words, and are manifestly regulated by the same grammatical laws, generally speaking, he who is the best acquainted with these dialects is by far the most likely person to be a successful commentator on the Hebrew Scriptures. On the versions of the Septuagint and Vulgate, entire reliance cannot be placed ; and the same may be said of all the Oriental ones. To these versions, indeed, we are very greatly indebted on several accounts; there are, nevertheless, so many |33 marks of human infirmity discoverable within them, that it is certainly incumbent on everyone who is anxious to see the beauties, and to feel the force of the Holy Scriptures in all their bearings, to add to these helps others which Providence has placed within his power, and thus to further the progress, and to advance the clearness of that light which alone can be said to shine to the perfect day. In this point of view, therefore, we are greatly indebted to the Rabbins, who were the first to go to the language of Ishmael for that assistance which circumstances had taken out of their own hands, and thence to transmit it to us. … The names of Pococke, Castell, De Dieu, Schultens, Schrï¿½der and others will ever be revered by those who appreciate the Holy Scriptures. . . . It is true no new doctrines are to be expected; those which are the most important are to be found in the very worst translation. But, then, their clearness may have been obscured, and their force diminished. . . . Difficulties, apparent discrepancies and obscure passages may yet remain, which it could not but be advantageous to the cause of Christianity should be removed. Besides, the general endeavour to translate the Scriptures for the use |34of missionaries makes it doubly binding that we should endeavour to give nothing to the world which is not, as nearly as human industry can make it, the unadulterated Word of God. And for these ends, I believe, we have sufficient helps within the compass of our command. . . .
‘It has long appeared to me that the short grammars with which our market abounds have produced the most lamentable effects among learners. . . . While, on the other hand, many who might in the end have become good scholars have been alarmed at the sight of a large grammar to such a degree as to give up everything at once in despair. It has been my endeavour to provide for both these cases. To learn the grammar by one continued effort, without an application to the text of Scripture, will be tedious and unprofitable. The rules will appear difficult to retain, the reasons on which they are founded obscure and uninteresting, and both will, therefore, soon be forgotten. On the other hand, the text of Scripture, without recurring to the grammar, will appear equally perplexing, dark and indefinite; but when both are wrought up together the mind will gradually rise to the subject, so that scarce an hour will pass in which |35 some new accession of knowledge will not be realised. In this stage, however, he will stand in need of constant advice to sobriety, to be jealous of the discoveries now made, and exceedingly sparing in making public the new lights he may have the good fortune to elicit. These, indeed, he may register for future inspection– and this would be an excellent plan–but let him be content to wait for a maturity which, he may rest assured, however calm his judgment or brilliant his talents may be, he will stand in need of.’
Again, later on, he says:–‘An experience of some years has convinced me that the criticism of the Hebrew Bible is not to be mastered in a few lessons, whatever some pretenders may affirm to the contrary. Its language, indeed, is not inferior either in regularity, ease, elegance, strength or extent, to many others which are cultivated among us with the greatest ardour; while its history, doctrines, prophetical declarations and morals are as much superior to anything to be found in them as light is to darkness, or as the glories of heaven are to the poor and perishing enjoyments of this state of things. Still, it must be confessed, much time, |36thought and diligent inquiry are indispensable to its right understanding, especially in those parts which are the most interesting and of the greatest practical moment. To study its language . . . has appeared to me to promise the best means, both of thoroughly imbuing the mind with a real knowledge of it and of keeping up that interest in the meantime, which is absolutely necessary to its acquirement.
‘It is not my intention to infer, or to have it believed, that I have now at length discovered something from which none should in any case presume to dissent. By no means. My only wish is to recommend investigation, and this on grounds the most liberal and extended ; and thus to obtain that additional light and knowledge on the contents of the inspired Scriptures of the Old Testament, of which I think everyone mustconfess we stand in need. I will only say, that if indeed I have been fortunate enough to have advanced, in any degree, a mode of inquiry in the more elementary parts of the Hebrew language likely to render good service in this respect, I shall have ample reason to be most thankful to Him who is the giver of every good and perfect gift. I will only add, |37the advancement of Divine truth, and of the honour of Him to whom we owe it, has been my sole motive in so far venturing to differ from others who have preceded me in this line of literature.’
Now that we have for some years had the Revised Version of the Bible, it may not be uninteresting to have my father’s opinion on the subject, in the year 1822.
‘If it be allowed that certain parts of the Authorised Version are now incorrect, is there not a probability that these would, in another revision, be improved ? If, then, there is a probability of improvement, are we to be restrained from making it because some other dangers stare us in the face ? Are we to merge what we know to be the truth because, forsooth, there is a question of expediency presenting difficulties and dangers? For my own part, I believe every proposal for building an infirmary, a bridge, or a charity school has ever been attended with difficulties and dangers equally great. It has been said that no theological advantage would be gained by such revision. Had this argument been thought good in the days of Jerome, I do not see where could have been the necessity of |38his making a new version from the Hebrew, when the old translation from the Septuagint contained every religious truth as far as it could be gathered from the Old Testament. Nor again can I see why the Authorised Version was itself made ; for I suppose no one will contend that the former Bibles did not exhibit religious truth. But I may be allowed to add, that if by a revision no religious truth be likely to suffer, but many passages, which are now obscure or unintelligible, be made plain and clear, I believe the dangers, whatever they may be, will be diminished, as we shall confessedly lose nothing, but probably, and I will say certainly, gain much. I agree, too, that the Bible is not intended to teach verbal criticism, but I do contend that the translation, if it be allowed to carry the name of the “Word of God,” should be correct; and if it be intended to edify the people, it should be made intelligible, which, in many instances, it now is not.
‘Had I leisure sufficient for the task, I should have no hesitation in attempting to make out a list of passages in the Authorised Version which I believe stand in need of correction; and to point out, as far as I may be able, how such |39corrections should be made; but I should never think of submitting to such a task upon the hope that critics would be unanimous in adopting them, because I know such concurrence is not to be expected, either in this or anything else. The most important question that appears to me as proper to be proposed with respect to such an undertaking is, whether there is among us at this day a sufficient quantity of Hebrew learning to justify the hope of success. And on this point, I am sorry to say, I have considerable doubt’
Letter from the Reverend W. PAUL to Dr LEE on his ‘Hebrew Grammar.’
‘MANSE OF BANCHORY, DEVENICK,
‘REVEREND SIR, — Having acquired a taste for the study of Hebrew literature, and a great proportion of the knowledge of it which I possess from your works, I have much pleasure in acknowledging my great obligations to you, and in expressing my anxious desire that you may long be spared in health and strength to enjoy the distinguished reputation which you have so justly earned by your literary labours. My long |40 acquaintance with your works has created on my part a sort of imaginary intimacy with you, and a real feeling of gratitude, which I trust you will not repudiate, and I feel assured that you will not discourage the pursuit of studies, a taste for which you yourself have been instrumental in creating. Not very long after commencing the study of Hebrew, which I have learned without any instructors, I fortunately had your grammar put into my hands, which threw a light upon the whole subject which I have failed to discover in any other, although I have perused all those of any note which have lately appeared in this country. I assure you I have too high a respect for you to attempt to flatter you, and that I am expressing the real sentiments of my mind when I say that it is without exception the best grammar I have ever seen in any language, and that my wonder is that any other has got a footing in our universities and schools. I can only account for this from the low standard still possessed by those who teach the Hebrew language. Little progress can be expected in the study so long as a preference is given to grammars stored with facts but destitute of principles, and so long as teachers are more |41desirous to load the memories than to exercise the judgments of their pupils. I am satisfied, from what I have experienced as an examinator in Hebrew in the Presbytery of Aberdeen, that this mode of teaching it makes it to many little better than labour and sorrow, and tends more than anything else to disgust the student with the language altogether.
‘Your system of syllabication is most important as the groundwork upon which the changes of the vowels depend ; and the principles of contraction of vowels and consonants which you were the first to introduce are of great consequence in showing how every defective word has been changed from its triliteral form, as exhibiting the uniformity of the laws under which these contractions take place, and as thereby enabling the student to perceive the grounds upon which the variations of verbs from the regular paradigm proceed.
‘I cannot here refrain from stating that I have derived more benefit in ascertaining the principles upon which the vowel changes proceed, from the following observation made in your grammar, than from all that I have seen |42 upon the subject in any other work:–“Were words to be augmented in addition to their own primitive vowels, they would become inconveniently long. And on the other hand, as those vowels which have been termed immutable constitute the distinctive character of the words in which they are found, perspicuity forbids that any change should take place in them, otherwise the peculiar forms of such words would be lost, and with that the sense intended by writers generally. Art. 103, p. 41, 3d Ed.”
. . . . . . . . . .
‘Your treatment of the segolate nouns is most satisfactory, and sets the whole of that matter in the clearest light. I am of opinion that the principles there laid down may be applied to many other cases where the changes of the vowels are ascribed to oblique correspondence. Many words as well as segolates assume new forms, and in these cases the changes of vowels appear to proceed with reference to the original vowels of the old and not those of the new form. . . .
‘It is, however, your general views upon the grammar and syntax of the language which, in my judgment, constitute your triumph as a grammarian. I am quite satisfied as to the correctness |43of your theory that the noun is the root, and that the simple form of the verb is actually a primitive noun concrete or abstract, with fragments of pronouns prefixed or affixed, the former becoming the past, the latter the present tense. Verbs having thus their nominatives incorporated with them, apparent nominatives are either to be understood in the absolute case (to speak in a manner applicable to other languages), or are in opposition to, and explanatory of, the nominatives contained in the verb. On this principle you have accounted for a mass of anomalies in regard to concords which have never before been satisfactorily explained. The extension of your general principles to the other conjugations of the verb, by the prefixing or postfixing the same fragments of pronouns to compounds of the original root, whether concrete or abstract, is most ingenious and convincing, and the simplicity of the view is a great confirmation of its correctness. . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
‘If your doctrine concerning the verb is correct, and if the noun is the root, then, with the exception of your own, in which this view is assumed, no Hebrew Lexicon that I have seen, whatever may be its other merits, is based upon sound etymological |44 principles, and hence the student is liable to be misled at every moment.
‘As you very justly remark, a great obstruction has arisen to the study of the Hebrew language, from attempts to reconcile its general structure and syntax with those of other languages with which it has no affinity. . . .
‘Nordheimer has, in my judgment, completely failed to show that futurity is primarily inherent in what you properly call the present tense. Your doctrine on this point is, I believe, new, and is most important, and it is confirmed by the analogy of verbs in all languages, which, like the Hebrew, have only two tenses. . . .
‘I have been much profited by your excellent observations, showing how the Hebrew language can dispense with peculiar forms for the subjunctive or potential moods.
‘The principles which regulate the sequences of the tenses create, as it appears to me, the greatest difficulty in Hebrew syntax–a difficulty which you have had the honour of being the first to solve. It may be said of the Hebrew tenses, with greater truth than of those of any other language with which I am acquainted, that they express time, not absolutely, but relatively. This, |45indeed, may be said to be a peculiar feature of the syntax of the language, and you speak equally philosophically and truly when you affirm that what is called ‘w conversive’ has no such conversive power as is usually ascribed to it. …
‘I feel inclined to pursue this subject further, but I perceive that I have already extended this letter to unwarrantable length. I can scarcely suppose that the pleasure which I have in repeating in a very imperfect way what can impart no information, and can be of very little interest to you, is a sufficient warrant for thus occupying your valuable time. . . .
‘I have a work nearly in readiness for the press, with a special view of applying the principles established in your Grammar to the study of the Hebrew Scriptures. This I have attempted in an analysis of the whole of the book of Genesis. . . . The analysis is likewise preceded by a short Grammar. . . . The Grammar is contained in about sixty pages, and is of little value but as connected with the analysis. It is to your Grammar that the references are chiefly made.
. . . . . . . . . .
‘I believe that such a work would be useful |46for the study of the Hebrew language, and that it would familiarise the minds of students with the doctrines on Hebrew grammar, which you have been the first to propound. Were this the case, I believe I should be rendering the highest service to the interests of Hebrew literature. It is perhaps not wonderful that views so new and so subversive of much that has been advanced, both by preceding and succeeding grammarians, should be received with hesitation by some, and rejected by others, who have prejudices and theories of their own to maintain, and that they should, from these and similar causes, make their way less quickly than could be wished. But sure I am that they will triumph in the end. The more recent grammarians are evidently approximating towards them, and are throwing them into such forms as may enable them to adopt them without acknowledgment. I have seen Professor E.’s letter, addressed to the editor of the “Journal of Sacred Literature,” on the subject of his plagiarism from your Grammar. . . .
‘I have now to apologise for the liberty I have taken in writing to you, and for the length to which this letter has extended. Were you to give me a word of kindly encouragement in the |47 pursuit in which I am engaged, it would cheer me greatly in a task to myself extremely agreeable and useful, whatever it may prove to others. This is all that I crave at your hand.–I am, rev. sir, with sincere esteem and respect, very faithfully yours,
‘The Revd. Samuel Lee, D.D.’ |48
TRANSLATION OF JOB
IN 1837 Dr Lee published a translation of the Book of Job, with an introduction on the history, times, friends, etc., of the patriarch, accompanied by a commentary.
One of his pupils, the Rev. C. A. Hulbert, author of ‘The Gospel Revealed to Job,’ acknowledges in his preface his indebtedness to his former teacher. ‘Attendance on the Hebrew Lectures of the Reverend Professor Lee, during my residence in the University of Cambridge, particularly those in 1833 on the Book of Job, contributed to increase my knowledge of, and attachment to, that divine book. The complete translation and copious notes which I then took down formed the basis of the criticism of the following work. The subsequent publication of the learned author’s translation |49 and commentary by himself, enabled me to correct my own notes.’
The reasons which led him to undertake this work may best be given in his own words.
‘There has, perhaps, been no period in which much doubt has not existed whether Job was or was not a real character.’ . . . ‘I hold that everything which tends to deprive this book, and such books as this, of their real historical character, cannot but administer to infidelity in the end. I therefore considered it my duty to investigate this question in all its essential bearings ; and in doing so I soon found that everything necessary to its determination was at hand. I found, as I thought, the family of Job, those of his friends generally, the parts in which he and they resided, as well as the times in which they lived, all determinable in Holy Writ, in a manner never found in cases of parable, and to an extent quite sufficient to prove that the whole was real history, and intended to be received as such.’
‘One consideration which has appeared to me of great moment presented itself during this investigation; it was this:–If I have rightly ascertained the period in which Job lived, the |50 allusions so often made in his book to God’s will, commands, ways and judgments, must be allusions to revelations existing before the times of Moses; and as I find many of them made in the very words of the Book of Genesis it would follow that this book was in existence and generally known before the times of Job; those not to be found in this book might have been taken from others which Divine Providence has not deemed it necessary should be preserved ; and of such we have some intimations elsewhere in the Old Testament, and in the Epistle general of Jude in the New. But what appeared to me the most important and remarkable was the real citations made in considerable numbers from the Book of Job by subsequent writers of the Old Testament, as well as by those of the New; and these, together with allusions less direct existing to a very great extent. Job is not, therefore, merely cited by name, but his book is quoted verbally and literally in very many cases; in many more it is manifestly imitated, or else alluded to. If this, therefore, can be relied on–and my own conviction is that it can, and is, moreover, indisputable– nothing farther can be wanted to complete the |51proof that the Book of Job is strictly historical, and canonically true; the sacred penmen themselves of the subsequent Scriptures having both considered and treated it as such, and as being of paramount Divine authority.’ . . . ‘It will now appear that even the patriarchs were much more enlightened on the subject of revealed religion than has been usually believed, which cannot fail to throw much light and interest on their histories as recorded in the Old Testament and appealed to in the New; as also on the state and expectations of believers generally in their days. It will also be seen that the Bible really contains within itself much more that is calculated to supply the best elucidation of its own contents than many have supposed; for if it be true that the Book of Genesis, as above remarked, is actually quoted and commented on in the Book of Job, and that the Book of Job is, in like manner, in subsequent portions of Holy Writ, it must also follow that from a careful comparison of the same doctrines, events, phraseology, etc., thus occurring in several places, considerable light will be elicited, and may be thrown upon them in all.’ . . . ‘This consideration, moreover, may be fairly reckoned upon as |52 supplying in every case a most powerful argument in favour of the divine authority and inspiration of the Scriptures. For if there does exist the most perfect agreement in all and every one of the most minute particulars of this sort–which certainly could never have been effected by human means — and this I will affirm is the fact, and that it will every day become more and more apparent as we become more familiar with the original Scriptures ; and again, if it should also appear–which I will likewise affirm it eventually will–that not a jot or tittle of prophecy has failed, but that all has been fulfilled, then I say we shall have such a twofold cord of evidence as never can and never will be broken : and, what is best of all, this will be obtained by means the most unexceptionable, the just and natural method of arriving at the genuine intentions of the author of Holy Writ, namely, a minute but comprehensive investigation of its own declarations.’
As this interesting work has been for many years out of print, it may not be out of place to give here Dr Lee’s views as to the ‘scope and object of the Book of Job,’ as contained |53in his ‘Introduction.’ ‘A little consideration will enable us to see that the primary object of this book is to show that there is a power attendant on true religion sufficient to enable its possessor eventually to overcome every temptation and every trial. This, I say, is its primary object. For, in the first and second chapters, which were apparently given as a key to the whole, we are informed that Job was a just and perfect man, and one who feared God. This was manifestly his character. It is suggested, however, by the great adversary of mankind, that, whatever appearances might be, a little trial would prove the contrary. The sacred penman assures us by means of a vision (as already shown) that, in order to prove the falsehood of this, Job is allowed to be exposed for a season to trials of the severest kind, but still he retained his integrity, and in the end came off victorious, to the entire approval of Almighty God, who restored him, and gave him wealth double in value to that of his former state of prosperity. He is also accepted in making a sort of atonement for his friends. I think, therefore, no doubt can remain that this was the primary object of this book.’ |54
‘A secondary object seems to have been to show how very imperfect the notions of even good men are on the moral economy of God. The friends of our patriarch meet, as we are told, for the purpose of condoling with him; and there appears no reason, as far as I can see, for questioning their sincerity. The sufferer proceeds, in the first place, to state his afflictions and then to pour out those lamentations and complaints which are natural to such a state. His friends–men evidently acquainted with revealed religion, and apparently very much in earnest as to accurate views respecting it– proceed to correct him. They professedly take the side of God, and their main endeavour is to vindicate His wisdom, justice and mercy. For this purpose they argue from revelation, from experience, and from very extensive and just views of God’s works; and as they are too well informed to suppose that there can be any effect without an adequate cause, particularly where there is an all-powerful, wise and good God overruling all things, their conclusion is that Job’s sins must have led to his sufferings. The patriarch very justly and very successfully combats their conclusions, without at all calling |55 in question their several general doctrines–for these were no doubt true and worthy of all acceptation–and in this God Himself eventually declares for him.
‘Their great fault was the misapplication of truth. They knew not the real cause which led to Job’s trials, and the consequence was, they supposed one which was false; and to this were their arguments universally directed. The pertinacity and warmth with which they pressed their opinions could not but have added considerably to Job’s sufferings, who evidently had a greater insight into the general dealings of God with believers than they had. Still, there is no reason, as far as I can discover, for calling in question either their fidelity, good intentions, or sorrow for their friend. They only did what thousands daily do — they misapprehended the question at issue, and, as they were more willing to believe themselves right than to stop and consider in how many ways they might be wrong, and, in fact, how very little they could know on the subject, they pressed their sentiments to an extent which real religion, good sense, and the sympathy due to a friend would hardly justify; and of this, Job’s mission to them from the |56 Almighty (ch. xlii.) must have more than convinced them, and have shown them to demonstration, that although He was truly no less mighty, wise and good than they had represented Him, yet that His wisdom was unsearchable, and His ways past finding out to men such as they were.’
‘A third object, apparently, was to provide a book of doctrine, as already remarked, adequate to the wants of believers for ever, illustrating, as just now stated, both the economy of God with His people, and their ignorance as to His thoughts and ways; to keep alive the doctrine of Salvation through a Redeemer, the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, and the certainty of a judgment to come.
‘It might seem superfluous, after what has already been said, to dwell on the other doctrines, promises and experience incalculated throughout this book, and so frequently appealed to in the subsequent books of the Old Testament as well as in the New.
‘I shall conclude, therefore, by remarking that . . . the genuineness of its piety, the purity and beauty of its morality, the great extent of its range, the exquisite chasteness at once |57of its style and sentiments, and, above all, the solidity and depth of its devotion, cannot but conspire to recommend it as one of the most valuable productions of antiquity; at the same time, as a book of undoubted inspiration, and of the most unquestionable canonical authority.’
Letter from a SON of ARCHDEACON CORBETT on receipt of a copy of Dr Lee’s ‘Translation of Job.’
‘LONGNOR, Septr. 7, 1837.
‘DEAR SIR,–Tho’ duly impressed by the favour done me in receiving a present of your new translation of the Book of Job, not knowing your present residence, and having nothing to say but expressions of my continual admiration of your learning and industry, I delayed my acknowledgment of this book till the term would probably restore you to Cambridge; but receiving a second copy of the same valuable book, I write to ask if, as I suppose, it is a mistake, what I should do with the second vol. I would send it free to any person you may name, and if I hear nothing I will present it to the Library of Pemb. Coll., |58 Oxford, which I intend enriching with other specimens of your great learning.
‘With every respect and good wish to you and yours,–I remain, dear sir, your obliged and most humble servant,
WORK ON MOHAMMEDAN CONTROVERSY
IN 1824 Dr Lee published a work entitled ‘Persian Controversies,’ translations and explanations of ‘Controversial Tracts on Christianity and Mohammedanism by the late Reverend Henry Martyn, B.D., of St John’s College, Cambridge, and some of the most eminent writers of Persia,’ with an additional tract on the same subject, and some account in a preface of a former controversy on this subject, with extracts from it.
It is dedicated to the Right Honourable The Earl of Liverpool, K.G., First Lord of His Majesty’s Treasury, etc. etc., as follows:–
‘This attempt to develop and refute the religious opinions of the Mohammedans of Persia, as a public acknowledgment of a grant of one hundred pounds per annum made from His |60Majesty’s Treasury for the purpose of enabling the Arabic Professor of this University to deliver a public course of Arabic and Hebrew lectures annually is most respectfully inscribed by his Lordship’s most obedient, obliged, humble servant, the translator and author.’
He says in the preface:–‘As the following pages may perhaps be found useful to missionaries and others who wish to make themselves acquainted with this question, I have thought it might not be amiss to give some notices and extracts from the controversy as it existed prior to the times of Mr Martyn ; especially as that controversy was prosecuted to a much greater length than his, and contains much valuable matter on the subject. It may also be desirable to know where books treating on this question are to be found, because we hear it sometimes affirmed that a missionary has not the means in this country of acquiring a deep and accurate insight into the opinions of the Mohammedans — that Grotius, Sale and others have left us in the dark as to their metaphysics, mysticism, etc., and therefore that it is necessary, not only |61to learn their language in the East, but also their opinions. As far, however, as my knowledge of this subject goes, I must be allowed to express a different opinion, having no doubt that both the languages and opinions of the Orientals can be learned in this country at as little expense and in as little time as they can in the East, and at a much less risk. Our public libraries contain the very best books on every subject connected with grammar, history, ethics, theology, geography and every other science, and to which, even in the East itself, access is seldom to be had. Valuable as the labours of Mr Martyn certainly were, yet I have no doubt that if he had passed a short time in this country in a preparatory course of Oriental reading, he would not only have done more than he has, but he would have done it better, and with far greater comfort to himself. Time was when the student of Oriental literature was almost a singularity in our universities, and such was the ascendancy obtained by classical and mathematical learning, that a young man must have had more than ordinary courage and self-denial to engage in studies which could afford him so |62 little in prospect, with so much difficulty in their prosecution.
‘The state of the case is now considerably altered. A student may now commence the study of the Hebrew or Arabic without the fear of being cited as a monstrous singularity, or of being met at every turn with the appalling maxim, that Hebrew roots thrive best on barren ground. And, if he persevere, he may hope, not only that a generous public will applaud his endeavours, but that even posterity will allow him a place among those who have been considered as benefactors to mankind, and the best ornaments of the ages in which they lived. Another consideration, and one which has the greatest weight with me, is a belief that no book with which I am acquainted stands so much in need of elucidation as the Hebrew Bible. From the times of Grotius to the present day, I believe we can find scarcely one original commentator. And many even of his remarks have been borrowed from the Jews. The Dutch and German commentaries are the books most worthy of the scholar’s regard; but many of these are such as to make it a question whether they should be |63recommended or not. Nothing, if we except the dreams of Hutchinson, has come out in England for the last hundred years in the shape of original investigation. Compilation has long been the order of the day; and names, respectable indeed and valuable in their time, are now appealed to as the only safeguards against innovation, or as instructors in the way of truth. In almost an universal dearth of Scriptural knowledge, this is not to be wondered at, nor is it to be condemned. It is without doubt the best and safest path. But it should not satisfy the minds of those who have both ability and opportunity for making further progress. And as the character of the times in which we live calls for such exertion, it is to be hoped that the call will not be disregarded.
‘The object of these remarks, however, is not to disparage the institutions of this country. Certainly not. I believe that they constitute one of its greatest excellencies and best guardians. I would only turn them to a greater public account by converting a portion of their provisions to a more extensive cultivation of those studies which have ever been the glory of the |64Reformed Church, viz., the study of the Holy Scriptures, which cannot well be done without an extensive acquaintance with Oriental literature. The general attention, too, that has of late been paid to missionary exertions, both within and without the pale of the Church of England, constitutes a further motive for the prosecution of these studies; and I am of opinion that, without an extensive cultivation of them, there is not much reason to anticipate the success to which it is their object to attain. … It was once, indeed, my determination to give, as a sort of prolegomenon, an account of the creed of the Shiah or Mohammedan sect of Persia, followed by the principal tenets of their mysticism from the Dabistan of Mohsin Fï¿½ni and other writers to whom I have access; but as this work is sufficiently extensive, and has occupied a much larger time than might have been wished in the publication, I shall reserve my materials on these subjects for a future work.’
In connection with the subject of Mohammedan controversy, I well remember the visit to Barley Rectory of the genial Dr Pfander, a German missionary to the Mohammedans working under |65the C.M.S. He was the author of some treatises on the Christian Faith for Moslem readers — the ‘Mizan-ul-haqq’ was the title of one of them, and in the line of argument adopted, had taken up and expanded a plan suggested by my father, to whom he gladly acknowledged his indebtedness. |66
BIOGRAPHICAL, AND LETTERS, 1840
SAMUEL LEE was married three times. In a letter to his brother, in 1810, he mentions the fact of his marriage at Worcester; very soon after this the fire mentioned in the letter to Dr Jonathan Scott occurred, for in May of the same year, writing to his brother’s wife, he says : ‘You would perhaps wish to know what progress I have made in the literary world–much greater than in the pecuniary one. I have stocked my head with more lumber than my pocket, consequently my loss is less than it might have been. I have a pretty general knowledge of Hebrew, a smattering of Scriptural philology–Greek and Latin are secondary things with me. I intend giving you a specimen that I am no contemptible poet; but do not let these things give you too great an opinion of me!’ His first wife died when his children were still young, and this great loss was followed, in 1829, by the death of his only |67
LOCKING MANOR; THE HOME OF THE JENKINS FAMILY.
son, a very promising youth of seventeen, who died of consumption. His second wife died in 1837, at Banwell, in Somersetshire; and in 1840, when his daughters were either married, or about to be so, he married my mother, Anne Jenkins, whose father, the Reverend Stiverd Jenkins, lived at the old manor house at Locking. He was not then an incumbent, but gave his services gratuitously to Archdeacon, afterwards Dean, Law, at Weston. His family had for some years been acquainted with that of Dr Lee, Banwell and Locking being about two miles apart. Many and hearty were the congratulations received by Anne Jenkins when it was made known to her family that she had become engaged to the learned Professor, Dr Samuel Lee. Her uncle, Mr W. Portal of Laverstoke, wrote :–‘The alliance of a gentleman of his distinguished talents, acquirements and professional eminence, would be an honour to any family. I beg you to accept my sincere congratulations.’ And her brother-in-law, the Reverend Thomas Vores, then of Park Chapel, Chelsea, and afterwards of St Mary’s, Hastings, thus expressed himself:–‘Dr Lee is confessedly the first Orientalist in England, probably in |68Europe. He has unwearyingly devoted his wondrous attainments to the defence of the great and blessed truths of God’s pure Word, and God has called you, dear sister, to the honourable office of being a helpmeet to such a man.’
Banwell is fifteen or sixteen miles by rail from Bristol on the Exeter line. The Church is a very beautiful specimen of florid Gothic, and it is believed to have been erected about the middle of the fifteenth century. It is so surrounded by trees and buildings that it is not easy to get a good view of it The interior is strikingly handsome.
Before my mother’s marriage, my father, in order to be within an easy distance of Cambridge, had exchanged the living of Banwell for that of Barley, in Hertfordshire. The following extracts from letters were, for the most part, addressed to my mother between the years 1840-52, during his absence from Barley, when lecturing at Cambridge, or in residence at Bristol, on those occasions when his family could not be with him.
‘I have indeed been a hard-working student, but |69
TOWER OF BANWELL CHURCH
I trust an attachment to something much higher than mere study has been my stimulating and supporting motive in all this.
‘And He whose glory I have sought has almost miraculously assisted, encouraged, and sustained me. Were I indeed more a Stoic than I am, many anxieties under which I have suffered would have been strangers to me. . . . Perhaps my life, which some have been induced to think a useful one, may be much lengthened to carry into effect the many labours which I have before me, likely, as I trust, to advance God’s glory and the welfare of His people.’
‘No one can be more sensible of his own shortcomings than I am. I lament them daily, I pray over them continually. “In me,” I know but too well, “there dwelleth no good thing,” but help has been laid upon One that is mighty, and Who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities,” and One who has said that “He will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” To perfection I never expect to come, yet by His grace I do hope to be able to grow to a meetness for His kingdom, and to make some progress at least towards the full measure of His stature. Still, this must be done in much patience, often in |70much tribulation, always in fear and trembling, lest I should be lifted up above measure. But then this is the fight of faith, the warfare of hope, the trial of our patience which is “much more precious than gold that perisheth,” and in such a contest who shall doubt, be faint-hearted, or desperate? Are not the promises sufficiently clear? Is not the Spirit, the Comforter, sufficiently potent to sustain the fainting spirit, and to strengthen the feeble arm ? We cannot humble ourselves too much, we cannot love Christ too much, we cannot depend too much upon Him, nor cast our cares too implicitly and fully upon Him, nor indeed can we rejoice too much in His power, readiness and willingness to “save to the uttermost all those who come” to Him by faith.’
‘I might truly say my God has done wondrously for me and with me. Worthless, indeed, I am, perfectly unworthy of the least of all His mercies, yet I have trusted while I have wept, I have endeavoured while I felt that of myself I could do nothing, and what has been the consequence ? I have always found my God both near and dear to me; much, very much, has He enabled me to do, more than has fallen |71 to the happy lot of most men ; much, very much, He has given me, more than either I desired or deserved.’
‘I am much more a creature of feeling than people generally imagine, and I believe and pray that these feelings may be good and rightly directed. Where I love, I love much and constantly; where I cannot love I dare not hate, and I feel that I can, by God’s good grace, pray cordially and earnestly for my enemies. This is a great source of liberty to me. May God’s holy name receive all the praise.’
‘I was sorry to be almost forced to run away so soon from you and your dear family, but I knew I should be expected here. It was so. The congregation was very large, and among them Mrs D. (Lord A.’s sister) and her family, who are disgusted with the Puseyism of their own pastor. I had an admirable subject on the occasion, viz., Rom. iv. ver. 16, to the word “seed.” I was greatly aided, and felt very much indeed drawn out in that most interesting and noble subject. The silence was death-like, and |72 the interest most intense. God be blessed, it was of His mercy! Indeed, it was a-season of great refreshing to me. “To the end the promise might be sure to all the seed’‘ It is by grace, therefore it is sure–and what could our God have done that could have made this more sure ? Nothing, so far as I can see, could even Omnipotence have suggested, so good, certain, and lovely.
‘As to the ministry, I do feel most grateful to Almighty God for the honour put upon me. I do feel that it is a very great one. I do, above all things, rejoice in being enabled to put forth those glorious doctrines and promises which form the peculiarities of our holy faith; and I never feel so much cast down as I do when anything has put it out of my power to stand up in my pulpit for this purpose, nor so comfortable as I do when I have reason to think that I have laboured to good effect. A most happy composure in such cases rests upon me, and my night passes in rest the most sweet and refreshing. As to self-abasement, if I feel one thing more strongly than another it is indeed my utter unworthiness of such an honour, and never, no, never do I ascend the stairs of a |73 pulpit but I feel a fear and dread upon me lest, through my weakness or inability, the cause of my glorified Redeemer should suffer. I do trust that if I see any one thing more strongly than another, it is the absolute and utter abasement of self; on nothing else can the divine blessing be expected. It is the sick only to whom the Physician can in this case afford any help, and as such, my wants, deficiencies and sins I never cease to lay before my gracious Saviour, and I never fail to find strength accordingly. Oh, yes, it is when we are weak that indeed we are truly strong, and that we can realise all joy and peace in believing.’
‘I thank my God–and do you thank Him too, for me–for all my trials, privations and sacrifices. All have been and are made to me sources of the richest blessings. Blessed be His holy name for this and for all His other mercies!
‘The old Syrian Bishop of Malabar waited my return hither. I have seen him, but was not much interested with him. He could not read my Syriac “Eusebius,” although he is an Archbishop of the Syrian Church. He is, however, a tolerably good Syriac scholar. He had never seen a copy of my “Eusebius” before, |74 although he had heard that such a book was in existence.’
In the spring of 1841 my mother went on a visit to her family, who had removed to Stone in Glo’stershire. The following were addressed to her whilst there:–
‘Surely if men are generally duly called upon to be thankful, how much cause have I to be so! My cup of blessings has never been empty–for years it has been full, and now how it truly runs over! Blessed be the Holy Name of Him who has thus blest, and is now blessing, me! It is very gratifying to find so much kindness expressed by the people of your neighbourhood, nor is the kindness of your dear old red-cloaks the least welcome to me.
‘They must have been delighted to see you. May their prayers for us be daily put up and received, and answered by Him who is our Father and our Friend.
‘You judged quite rightly of my rounds of exercise on Sunday in our delightful grounds. I paced them round and round both before and after service.
‘My text was James i. vers. 2, 3, 4, involving |75the very question of afflictions as noticed in your letter of to-day. I observed that it was Christianity alone that did or could consider afflictions as blessings; to every person otherwise minded they were real marks of wrath, and were generally attended with mourning, woe, murmuring and repining. Then, as to patience and its perfect work; the entireness in Christ which wanted nothing; the completeness in Him, without which Heaven itself would be but a sort of hell; the meetness for this place now to be acquired, the mind of Christ now to be realised. I found myself overwhelmed with a subject so delightful, so deeply interesting, and at the same time so awful that I hardly knew how to leave it or how to go on with it. If, indeed, this happy experience is ours in any degree, and in some degree I hope it is, how thankful, how happy, how rejoiced ought we to be. … One of our senior fellows came over to Barley on Monday, both to see my palace and to carry us all over in a fly and to give us a dinner in his rooms. He is an old and warm friend of mine. He introduced me many years ago to the Duke of Sussex, out of which grew nearly all my present dignity and wealth.’ |76
AT this time ray father was much occupied with the Syriac version of Eusebius’s ‘Theophania’ (Divine Manifestation), which was published in 1842, and in preparing the English version which appeared a year later. Further on will be found some account of both works. He refers to them in these letters as ‘My Eusebius.’
‘ GREAT WESTERN HOTEL,
‘BRISTOL, Novr. ’41.
‘Were not the causes of our little separations proofs of the Divine mercy in giving me at once honour and the opportunity of employment, I certainly should be more than half disposed to complain ; but our Friend is at once a kind and a wise one ; there is nothing he will do or appoint for us which shall not be of first value. . . .
Well, I had the whole inside of the coach to |77myself from Barley to London. Mr Cross, the coachman, asked me, as soon as I got in, whether I should like anything to amuse myself. I said I should. He accordingly brought me a new tragedy just finished, “spike and spon new,” as they say. The title was “Edric the Forester.” He did not, indeed, furnish me with the last and fifth act, for that he had not with him. He furnished me, however, with quite as much as I could read before it got dark. The plot is laid in those times soon after the Norman Conquest, when the Welsh, with the Saxons, made many inroads and attacks upon the castles of the Norman lords. The scenery in this case is mostly laid in and about Shrewsbury, and I must say I was both delighted and astonished at the performance. There are in this play some of as good verses as any I ever read, and which would not be unworthy of Shakespeare or Milton. There is a love tale in the piece told almost as sweetly as that of Miranda and Ferdinand in the “Tempest.” I was highly delighted with this work of Mr Cross’s, and I was as much surprised at it. I could not help telling Mr Cross so, and I do hope it may be the means of affording him the encouragement which |78he deserves. You will bear in mind that I saw only four acts of this play; the last and fifth I have yet to see. Yet I cannot help thinking that the last is not likely to fall short of the preceding ones. If so, the coachman will surprise the literary world. Well, so much for the tragedy. My next recital will be more of the comic turn. I got to the “White Horse” safely a little after seven o’clock, and soon got a comfortable dinner. Not long after came two gentlemen quite unknown to me into the coffee-room, and not long after an old Hertfordshire clergyman, whom I have met at the visitations. One of these first two gentlemen began to talk rather loudly, and, I thought, not very wisely. I was talking to the old clergyman about the railways, and saying how much better the Bristol one was than that from London to Broxbourne. Upon this the said noisy gentleman attacked me very fiercely, asking me why I did not then lay out my own money on the railways and make them better. I answered as civilly as I could that I had no further interest in railways than they contributed to my comfort in travelling, and to that of the public. He did not mend his manners upon this, but launched out most |79 violently against the parsons generally, and those of Cambridge in particular, saying that they were ignorant, incapable of office, etc., etc. As to the famous Dr Lee of Barley, he was said to know something about Arabic, but he was nothing, etc., etc. I did not say one word to this ; was not this exemplary? He then said, among other things, that he had a living to sell, the incumbent being 70 years of age, etc. I asked him where ? “H—-,” he said. “Oh!” said I, “I think I now know whom I have the honour of addressing.” “Yes,” said he, “I am Sir P—- —-.” He then went on to say of Dr Lee, “he heard him say,” that 17 shillings an acre was too little for the tithe of Banwell. I asked him whether he was quite sure of this. “Oh yes,” he said, “quite sure, and he would bring witness of it.” In some other cases he offered to bet 1000 guineas. I asked him whether he would bet 1000 guineas on this also. “Oh, yes,” he said, “he would swear it, and bring witness of it,” etc. “Well,” said I, “I am Dr Lee himself! Did you ever hear me say this?” This was a death-blow. You never saw a coward quail with so bad a grace! “You Dr Lee?” “Yes,” I said, “it is even so.” |80 “Then,” said he, “you are the first and greatest man,” etc., etc. All was now flattery of the grossest sort. “Sir P—-,” said I, “let me say one thing only–as I do not fear the scandal of any man, neither do I want the praise of any.” Hereupon Sir P—- became quiet as a lamb.’
Letter from Dr LEE to his Wife on the death of her Father, the Reverend S. Jenkins.
‘TRIN . COLL., March I, 1842.
‘I have been very sorry that my lectures have carried me away from you on this occasion. This is one of the evils attending our office, but as I hope I am doing the work of my heavenly Master, and as I would not easily allow any obstacle to stand in the way of this, I trust you will not ascribe my absence to any want of regard or of feeling. I hope you are not allowing yourself to indulge in excessive grief. Believe me, you ought not to do so. The removal of our dear friend is to him a glorious change indeed, as it is the realisation of all his hopes, prayers and faith. We should, indeed, have been thankful for a longer sojourn among us; but then we must not evince |81 unthankfulness now that the will of our Heavenly Father has not exactly coincided with ours. Besides, excessive grief destroys health, unfits the mind for entertaining better things, and at one and the same time injures the body and soul. I would not, nevertheless, inculcate the apathy of the Stoic ; far from it. I believe it is well pleasing to our God that we should evince sorrow for the loss of valued friends. Our Lord himself, we know, wept at the tomb of Lazarus; Abraham mourned for Sarah ; and so did Isaac at the loss of his mother, as he also did for that of his wife. Our great point is prudently to moderate these feelings, and not to sorrow as men that have no hope for them that sleep in Him, as we know our dear father does. Meditate on these things, but, above all, on the glories now enjoyed by the dear departed. Consider how he rejoices with the spirits of just men made perfect, and in the recollection of the labours he here underwent for the purpose of bringing many with him to the same place of rest and of blessedness; and still, it may be, thinks of those who were near and dear to him here, and to whom he gave so many affecting lessons of |82 righteousness and truth; anticipating, too, perhaps, the period when they shall again join him.’
‘TRIN. COLL., CAM.,
‘March 17, 1842.
‘To-morrow I shall conclude my lectures for this term. I shall not quite get through the “Book of Proverbs.” I shall, however, within four or five. Last Monday I had a very comfortable lecture, and to-morrow I hope to have another. I now look forward with great pleasure to a few weeks’ domestic happiness, and, at the same time, to join my “Eusebius” again, and to carry him on towards completion.’
‘TRIN. COLL., CAM.,
‘ April 2.0/42.
‘E. tells me that the Duke’s [of Northumberland] letter was pleasant to you. It is, indeed, a pleasure to find so many who wish well to my labours and so kindly to myself.’
‘THE “WHITE HORSE,” FETTER LANE,
‘LONDON, June 2, 1842.
‘I have to thank our Heavenly Father that I had a prosperous and pleasant journey to this place, and that I am in the best health |83and spirits. I look before me, indeed, to a rather dreary sojourn at Bristol, but as I know in whom I trust, I have no doubt my dearest friend and friends at home will be better kept than I could keep them, and that He will bring us together in all health and comfort at no great distance of time. For these things my prayers shall be fervent and constant, and all shall be well. In the meantime, I shall be sedulously employed in the service of the best of Masters, and in this privilege it shall be my endeavour to rejoice and be thankful. . . .
‘But I must tell you the news which has put London into a ferment. Yesterday, the Queen was shot at by a carpenter in the Park. No injury was done to Her Majesty, thank God! The man is committed to Newgate for trial. It is said that he attempted to do the same thing on Sunday last, but for some reason or other did not fire. I did intend to be at Bristol to-morrow, but having just now called on Mr Guest, at the Temple, he tells me that a meeting of the Council of our Philological Society is to meet to-morrow evening at eight o’clock at No. 49 Pall Mall. As I am one of the said council, I have made up |84 my mind to stay for the meeting. On this account, I cannot be at Bristol before Friday. I shall therefore, D. V., endeavour to be there then. My “Eusebius,” I am told, is looked for with great interest. May God give me wisdom and strength to send it forth such as it ought to be! I called at the British Museum, and found that the Syriac MSS. turn out quite as good as I had represented. I am glad of this. I shall often be with thee and thine in the spirit; often imagine I am admiring, with you, at once our Paradise, and the greater mercies of Him who has so blessed us, and, indeed, provided for us a better Paradise above, where no fall, either of leaf or flower, ever happens, and where chilly winter or piercing winds shall never have place.’
‘4 COLLEGE GREEN, BRISTOL,
‘June 3, 1842.
‘I have, with God’s good assistance, arrived safely here. Blessed be His name ! I got in by the railway train a little before ï¿½ past 2 o’clock, i.e., a little under 4ï¿½ hours. The weather has been remarkably fine. The country looks rich and beautiful in the extreme ; all, indeed, seems |85
BRISTOL CATHEDRAL IN 1837.
to predict peace and plenty. I could not help going to church, as I arrived in good time, and lifting up my heart in thanksgiving to my God and Saviour for the great mercies vouchsafed to me. The sight of the church much refreshed my mind. The service was solemn, and the anthem very sweet. . . . I met the Philological Council last night. They were exceedingly complimentary to me, and pressed me to take the chair as president. I declined, because I could not allow myself, on my first appearance among them, to take the highest place. I therefore proposed, and pressed it, that Professor Wilson of Oxford should take it. We got through a good deal of business, and this morning I was very agreeably surprised to find the secretary, Mr Guest, a member of the Temple, had sent me a couple of volumes of very interesting matter on the ancient and modern verse of the English. This was very gratifying. I read a good deal of the first volume — for there are two — as I came by the railway, and I was very much delighted with it. I shall read the work through at my leisure. . . . Nothing remarkable has occurred here, except that the place is in fine, verdant and flourishing condition. The trees |86in College Green are looking very rich and full, as, indeed, all the country does. … I shall be enabled to go on prosperously with my “Eusebius,” and, indeed, to be more than a conqueror in everything.’
‘4 COLLEGE GREEN, BRISTOL,
‘. . . Pray go to Dr Haviland . . . if he advises you to change the air, then come here to me at once. . . . Set out at once in the close carriage, and post your way through St Albans, Oxford, Cirencester, Cheltenham, etc., etc., to this place. From ï¿½15 to ï¿½20 will be wanting to clear your way. Or if you prefer the railway, go to London, and the next morning get into the train, either at 10 or 12 o’clock. In that case you will be here either at half-past two or at about a quarter before 5 o’clock respectively. The train will bring the carriage for ï¿½3, 10s. I myself should like this best, because I shall see you the sooner, and because you can at any time take the carriage and go to our friends at Cheltenham, and then return to me here. . . . But, I fear, anything I can say about the railway will be in vain. I must say, however, that the comfort of |87 the travelling without dust or delay, the goodness of the accommodation, and the ease and comfort are so great that I hardly know how to speak highly enough of it; besides, I do not know whether you can now find on the road a regular supply of horses, although I should think a cross country road, like that of St Albans, would not be affected by the railway. . . . Four or five days’ travelling post will almost kill you through this hot weather, and it will put the “dear little body” almost into a fever. If you think of travelling post, you must travel early and late–that is, set out at six o’clock in the morning–travel till ten, Then rest till five, and after this, travel till nine or ten. The whole middle part of the day given up to rest, and from five till nine or ten o’clock to travelling. I do not think you would find any inconvenience whatever from such a plan. The change of air would daily do you good. But if you could venture on the railway, you would be here in a few hours, and would experience all the comfort of no dust, no delay, etc., etc. . . . Your notice about our poor old people at Barley was indeed most gratifying to me. Oh, I do hope I may and shall be found faithful in the |88great charge committed to my care. . . . I am to preside at the general examination of the school children at the Diocesan School, Nelson Street. To-day I had to assist in drawing up addresses to the Queen, Prince Albert, and the Duchess of Kent on the Queen’s late providential escape from assassination.’
‘4 COLLEGE GREEN, BRISTOL,
‘June 13, 1842.
‘Alas ! I am at this moment beset with a company of glee-singers in the streets, singing very beautifully. I must give them something to allow me to be at peace. Tis done, and they are gone. Now to my own matters again. I had a good Sabbath yesterday. I had a very large and attentive congregation. The sermon was impressive, and was listened to with an intense interest, apparently. Oh, that these may indeed be preparations to the endless Sabbath reserved above for all God’s children! I cannot help saying that the contemplation of these things is one of the greatest comforts I have. Praised be God for this: may this feeling be increased a thousandfold! Next Sunday we are to have the sermon for the distressed |89 manufacturers, in obedience to the Queen’s letter. I trust this also will be a season of refreshing. It would much heighten my happiness were you here to partake with me in these undertakings.’
‘4 COLLEGE GREEN, BRISTOL,
’19 June 1842.
‘I have had a most delighting and comforting day this day here. I preached my sermon, which was evidently well received. The contribution, as things go here, was good, viz., ï¿½23, 6s. 8d. But my greatest happiness has been the hope that something better than mere human sympathy has been put forth. I mean the warm and awakening love of God our Redeemer. Be this as it may, certainly I have felt my heart much drawn out, and much, I hope, excited and led onward toward that better state, which, I feel confident, we shall one day see together in the Kingdom of our Father above. . . . We have had some very fine and refreshing rains ; how happy that it is not to the earth alone that the gracious dews of our Father are granted, but also to the hearts of them that love Him, in all their sweetness, freshness and comfort! May His name be ever praised by us for this His unspeakable gift’ |90
‘BRISTOL, June 22/42.
‘ To-day I presided at the Diocesan school. We had a remarkably good examination; and, at the close of this, I made as good a speech as I could, commending to the school children, to their instructors, their patrons, and their parents, the love which Christ has shown to them, with the hope that they would evince the same one to another; this is, indeed, a theme on which one might dwell forever. . . . I am afraid I have been very naughty; I have not written to Cheltenham. The truth is, what with my “Eusebius,” etc., I have hardly a minute to spare. Church from ï¿½ before eleven to about twelve daily, and again from 3 to 4, then half-a-dozen letters to write, etc.’
‘COLLEGE GREEN, BRISTOL,
‘I am glad to hear of Mr L.’s sermons being so good. But this is not all. I must, if possible, have someone who will also look after the parish, the parish school, and be less accessible as to dinner-parties, etc., etc. Mr L. is a very kind man ; but then this is not enough; he appears to me to want the requisite anxiety for the spiritual good of the people, which is all |91 important. But this, I fear, he will not soon acquire. I must not, however, be in a hurry. It is anything but an easy thing “to get a good curate. And, perhaps, it is too much for the same incumbent to expect to have a good wife and a good curate. Blessings rarely come unchecked by some evil. In the former case, God be praised, I am greatly blessed. . . . I dined on Thursday at Mr Battersby’s, at Stoke. I met there with an entertaining old gentleman from Shrewsbury who had been in India, seen a great deal of military life, and knew many persons well known to me. To – morrow the Dean preaches, so I shall have an idle Sabbath, nevertheless of rest.’
‘June 27th, 1842,
‘. . . I did not preach yesterday. The Dean preached a very good sermon. But I never feel so happy as when I have been actively engaged myself. Nevertheless, I had a very sweet day. . . . My time is much occupied–three hours every day in church, or thereabouts, and the rest at my “Eusebius.” It is, however, all good work, and praised be my God that I am able to attend to it all. It is a great privilege. |92Mr Profr. Scholefield has found the place in “Plato” for me; and this day I received it from him. It was very kind in him; I doubt whether I should ever have found it. I now have all my places found, and nearly the first book in the Syriac printed. God be praised! I am this day invited to dine with Mr Montague, but must decline it.’
‘BRISTOL, June 29, 1842.
‘Many thanks for the Homily Society’s letter. I will do the work for them, D. V., and by this post I will write to that effect. You have no conception how many letters I have to write. Last night I sent only four; when I wrote last to you the number was ten! What with the duty of attending the church, my “Eusebius,” etc., etc., you will readily suppose I have not much time to spare. Last night I read over Dr C.’s note. It is a very rambling production, and seems to prove to me that this very kind friend has not yet found the Rock of Ages–no, nor anything like it on which to rest the sole of his foot. He seems to think it is time for me to drop the mantle to some other. He is not at all aware that a very large portion of my best pleasure is in my labours. The work is pleasurable for the time being, but then there |93 is a hope that when I am dead it shall speak, and shall give God the glory when my tongue and tongues shall have ceased.’
‘BRISTOL, July 11, 1842.
‘To-morrow the gay doings commence here.’ (Probably Agricultural Show.) ‘I have received an invitation to dine with the Mayor, to meet the Duke of Cambridge, etc., etc., and I have promised to go. The weather, I am sorry to say, is very rainy here, and not at all likely to be otherwise, which will greatly damp the gay proceedings. A sad tale is prevalent here just now, and causes great excitement, viz., that a marvellously fine bull belonging to the Duke of Devonshire has been poisoned. The animal is certainly dead, and the investigation is going on as to whether this has come to pass by poison or not. I wish the contrary may be the result; but, knowing as I do the abominable spirit of many of the people here, I fear this will not be the case. . . . A few days ago, I took up “Martyn’s Journals,” as edited by Archdeacon Wilberforce, and read a little way into them, and what do I find? Generally nothing beyond the reprehension of self, the |94 painful detail of a miserable heart; prayer had recourse to for two hours at a time, and still no comfort! But is this the way to realise God in the heart? Is it likely that an everlasting recurrence to self, and to the unprofitableness of the human heart, will raise the soul to heavenly exercises? Would it not be better to fill the heart with God, God’s love, God’s deeds, God’s mercies, and to eclipse, as it were, our own wantings with the grace and bounty which is from above? To rejoice in the victory obtained by the Redeemer, rather than eternally to repine over the fall of our forefather? Not, indeed, that we should forget the latter; but that we should rejoice the greater in the former, knowing that our battle is won, our Captain perfect, our warfare accomplished, I cannot help thinking, therefore, that this disposition to self-torment is wrong and unscriptural.’
‘BRISTOL, July 13, 1842.
‘This evening, thanks to my God, I am at home. Yesterday I dined with the Mayor, the Duke of Cambridge–and I know not with whom besides–but this evening is my own. . . . How worthless is all the show and |95 splendour of wealth, royalty, etc. when compared with the sweet retirement and enjoyment of Christian hearts united in Christian love! I was wearied and tired beyond description with last evening’s doings. . . . You will, perhaps, like to hear of our grand company yesterday. About eighty people dined, I think, with the Mayor; among these was the Duke of Cambridge, the American Minister, whom I met at Cambridge, the Dukes of Richmond, Beaufort, and I know not how many else–earls, marquises, lords, etc., etc. The only lord I knew was Lord Clive, whom I met at Cambridge. I met, too, with Sir T. Dyke Acland, who was very polite to me. Mr Kingston, too, I met, who asked kindly after you. Our Dean and Mr Harvey were there. The dinner did not commence before half-past eight o’clock, and I did not get home before eleven, although myself and the Dean were the first that moved off. I shall not go to any other great dinner. I have had more than enough of these, although, thanks’ to our Redeemer, I am very well in health. All is noise, uproar and confusion here. The streets are filled with people promenading, etc., etc., so that one can hardly |96pass. To-day there is a great dinner at the New Assembly Rooms; to-morrow at Leigh Court, at the rich Mr Miles’. The Bible Society at Barkway is put off to the 4th of August on my account, when, D. V., I shall have it in my power to be there, and to take the chair.’
‘BRISTOL, July 16, 1842.
‘. . . I will bring you a copy of “Martyn’s Journal,” because we can talk over it, and while we avoid anything which may be unscriptural, we can select for use everything which may prove valuable. . . . But I must tell you of my doings. I said, I believe, that I should go out to no more gay scenes here. I was, nevertheless, prevailed upon by Mr Harvey to go to Leigh Court on Thursday evening, to an evening party, at which the Duke of Cambridge and many other grandees were to be present. I went accordingly, and passed an extremely agreeable evening. . . . I have made myself useful in the Council of the Bp.’s College, of which I am a vice-president, and hope I have facilitated some of their proceedings. My “Eusebius” is going on in one way |97or other. The second book is nearly printed in the Syriac, and I hope to put the English translation to press soon after my return to Barley.
‘Thursday; July 28, 1842,
‘. . . I visited the jail to-day, and had a discussion with a thorough infidel. Oh, what a waste and howling wilderness was his mind! I never in my life saw such a state of desolation and misery! Poor, miserable, conceited, human nature! O Lord, grant us to know Thee, and that this is indeed eternal life! I am sorry I cannot see him again. But I feel I could do him no good. He has so much to unlearn before he can expect to find the truth, that many visits must be necessary, even to set him on inquiry in a way likely at all to get to the truth; and this is impossible with me. The feeling he expressed at parting was good ; but of this at Barley by-and-by. I am to drink tea this evening with a Shropshire lady of Cheltenham. . . . I am, it should seem, a great lion with her; but, you know, there is much more of the lion’s skin, etc., in all this than anything else.’ |98
‘THEOPHANIA’ OF EUSEBIUS
IN 1843 my father published the ‘Theophania (i.e., the Divine Manifestation of Christ) ot Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea and Father of Church History, being a defence of Christianity against the philosophers of his times; a work in five books, long supposed to be lost, but which has lately been discovered in a monastery in Egypt. Translated into English, with notes critical and explanatory.’ A French review thus speaks of the work :–
‘”Eusebius,” or “The Theophania,” translated into English, with notes, from an ancient Syriac version of the Greek original, now lost. By Samuel Lee, Cambridge, 1843. Syriac version, edited from an ancient MS. Printed for the Society for the Publication of Oriental Texts. London, 1842.
‘Eusï¿½be, ï¿½vï¿½que de Cï¿½sarï¿½e, en Palestine, au commencement du 4ï¿½me siï¿½cle, fut, comme |99on le sait un des hommes les plus ï¿½rudits et les plus ï¿½loquents de son temps. On lui doit entre autres ouvrages une histoire ecclï¿½siastique trï¿½s-estimï¿½e. Il assista au Concile du Nicï¿½e, y porta la parole devant Constantin, et ce fut lui qui rï¿½digea contre Arius la formule de foi orthodoxe, que les Pï¿½res du Concile adoptï¿½rent, en y ajoutant seulement le mot ὁμούσιος, ou consubstantiel, expression qu’Eusï¿½be n’admit, ï¿½ la vï¿½ritï¿½, qu’avec peine. La rï¿½pugnance qu’il manifesta au sujet de ce mot, et plusieurs passages d’un commentaire sur les Psaumes dont il est auteur, l’ont fait assez gï¿½nï¿½ralement considï¿½rer comme partisan des opinions d’Arius. Aujourd’hui son orthodoxie n’est plus douteuse, grï¿½ce ï¿½ la prï¿½cieuse dï¿½couverte qui a ï¿½tï¿½ faite d’un de ses ouvrages dont on ne connaissait que le titre. La gloire de venger la mï¿½moire de ce savant prï¿½lat, ï¿½tait rï¿½servï¿½e ï¿½ un des ministres les plus distinguï¿½s de l’Eglise Anglicane, qui est en mï¿½me temps un des Orientalistes, Europï¿½ens les plus instruits, les plus laborieux, et aussi les plus cï¿½lï¿½bres. M. Samuel Lee dans son zï¿½le infatigable pour les travaux d’ï¿½rudition Orientale qui ont rapport ï¿½ la religion, a trouvï¿½ la traduction Syriaque du- |100 livre dont il s’agit. Cet ouvrage, dont l’original Grec est perdu, traite prï¿½cisï¿½ment du sujet dï¿½licat de la divinitï¿½ de Jï¿½sus-Christ, ï¿½ laquelle on accusait ce Pï¿½re de l’ï¿½glise de ne pas croire. Ce livre, intitulï¿½ ΘEOΦANEIA, c’est-ï¿½-dire la manifestation divine (en Jï¿½sus-Christ), nous dï¿½voile la vï¿½ritable pensï¿½e d’Eusï¿½be, et on ne peut douter aprï¿½s l’avoir lu, que le saint prï¿½lat n’ait cru ï¿½ la vï¿½ritï¿½ fondamentale de la religion chrï¿½tienne, vï¿½ritï¿½ sans laquelle elle n’est qu’une secte philosophique. M. Lee, a publiï¿½ le texte et la traduction de ce traitï¿½, il en met en relief les doctrines, et il conclut ï¿½ l’orthodoxie d’Eusï¿½be. Nous ne le suivrons pas dans ses consciencieux recherches, et nous n’entreprendrons pas non plus d’analyser le traitï¿½ de l’Evï¿½que de Cï¿½sarï¿½e. Il nous suffit d’appeler l’attention des savants sur la double publication de M. Lee, une des plus intï¿½ressantes qui aient paru dans ces deniï¿½res annï¿½es.
‘Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, in Palestine, at the beginning of the 4th century, was, as we know, one of the most learned and eloquent |101 men of his time. We owe to him, among other works, an ecclesiastical history which is much esteemed. He was present at the Council of Nice, spoke before Constantine, and it was he who drew up the formula of the orthodox faith against Arius, which the fathers of the council adopted, only adding the word ὁμούσιος, or consubstantial, an expression which Eusebius, in truth, admitted but reluctantly.
‘The objection which he entertained in regard to this word, and several passages from a commentary on the Psalms, of which he was the author, caused the impression that he was a partisan of the opinions of Arius. Now his orthodoxy is no longer doubtful, thanks to the valuable discovery which has been made of one of his works, of which the title alone was known. The glory of justifying the memory of this learned prelate was reserved for one of the most distinguished ministers of the English Church, who is also one of the most enlightened, painstaking and celebrated of European Orientalists. Mr Samuel Lee, in his untiring zeal for the works of Oriental learning which relate to religion, has found the Syriac translation of the book in question. This work, of which the |102original Greek is lost, treats in a special manner the vital subject of the Divinity of Jesus Christ, in which this Father of the Church is accused of not believing. This book, entitled “The Theophania,” that is, the Divine Manifestation (in Jesus Christ), unveils to us the real faith of Eusebius, and one cannot doubt, after having read it, that the good prelate believed in the foundation truth of the Christian religion, a truth without which it is but a philosophical sect. Mr Lee has published the text, and the translation of this treatise, and, in a learned preliminary dissertation, he has given an epitome of the doctrines, and thus established the orthodoxy of Eusebius. We will not follow him in his conscientious researches, and we shall not undertake to analyse the treatise. It is sufficient for us to call the attention of the learned to the double publication of Mr Lee, one of the most interesting which has appeared of late years.’
He says, in a preface to the ‘Theophania’:– ‘The first, and probably the only, mention of this work, which occurs in any ancient Father of the Church, is to be found in the “Catalogue of Ecclesiastical Writers,” otherwise styled, “The |103 Lives of Illustrious Men,” “Vitae Illustrum Virorum,” by Jerome.
‘It is worth remarking that not only was this work written long before the appearance of Mohammed, but the MS. itself was written nearly 200 years before he was born.’
‘Sometime in the year 1839, the Rev. Henry Tattam, of Bedford, who is an excellent Coptic scholar, formed the resolution of visiting Egypt for the purpose of procuring Coptic manuscripts, in order to complete, if possible, an edition of the Coptic Scriptures. At the suggestion of his friends, a subscription was set on foot for the purpose of assisting in defraying the expense of this undertaking, and this subscription was headed by a contribution of ï¿½300 from Government. Individuals contributed to a small extent, and Mr Tattam accordingly set out for Egypt. In a short time he returned, having procured some good Coptic MSS., of which a list has been printed and circulated ; and also about fifty volumes of Syriac MSS., some of which were of an extreme age, and very valuable. These manuscripts Mr Tattam sent me, with the request that I would give him some account of their contents, and at the same time say what I |104thought their value might be, which I did as soon as my other engagements would allow. It was in looking over these manuscripts that I had the extreme pleasure of discovering that of which the following work is the translation. Knowing then, as I did, the extreme rarity of this work, in other words, that no other copy of it was known to exist, I requested Mr Tattam to allow me to take a copy of it before it should leave my hands, in order that the work might not be lost, whatever might happen to the MS. Mr Tattam, with the disinterestedness for which he is so remarkable, instantly gave his consent, allowing me, moreover, to retain the MS. as long as I might want it; and although he soon after disposed of the collection generally to the trustees of the British Museum, he was so obliging as to make this stipulation, that I should be allowed to retain this MS. as long as I might deem it necessary.
‘My first business now was to make a correct copy of this very rare and valuable Codex, so far as our work was concerned ; and I accordingly copied it out myself with all the expedition I could command. Soon after I had done this I applied to the Society lately established in the Metropolis for printing Oriental texts, requesting |105
FAC-SIMILE OF SYRIAC MS. ‘THEOPHANIA.’
|107 they would print it, and thus multiply the copies, so as to ensure the safety and permanency of the work. To this request the committee of that Society very graciously acceded. The work was accordingly put to press, and printed by Mr R. Watts, long and well-known for his ability in printing Oriental works generally. In his hands it had, moreover, the advantage of being printed in a Syriac type, which was made some years ago under my own inspection for the purpose of printing a Syriac Bible for the use of the Syrian Churches in Malabar. I will add that, during the passing of the sheets through the press, I collated every one of them with the MS., so that I do trust the Syriac text, now some time completed, will be found as neatly and correctly printed as the greatest care on the part of both the editor and printer could be expected to insure. The MS. containing our work is very neatly written in the Estrangelo, or old Church-handwriting of the Syrians, on very fine and well-prepared skin. It is of the size of large quarto, each folio measuring about 14ï¿½ inches by 11ï¿½, and containing three columns, each of the width of 2ï¿½ inches, as may be seen in the fac-simile.’ |108
The MS. contains 245 folios, 71 of the first of which contain a Syriac translation of the ‘Recognitions of St Clements,’ as they were called. Eusebius died about A.D. 340. This MS. with the others referred to, were purchased by Mr Tattam at the monastery of the ‘Blessed Virgin’ in the desert of Nitria, situated on the west of the Nile, and somewhat more than 80 miles from Cairo.
‘BRISTOL, June 15, 1843.
‘. . . My Sabbath yesterday was one of comfort, for although I took no part in the service, except in that of the Communion, this proved one of much refreshing to me. The attendance was larger than usual, and was apparently very devout. Mr C. preached for me, a sermon moderately Puseyistic, though not so much so as to alarm anyone. Our singing was, indeed, very good, although the choir was thin, from the circumstance that one of the men and several of the boys were ill. We have a splendid singer here from Armagh, who is a candidate for one of our lay-clerkships, which will soon be vacant. There are some more candidates to be tried this week, so you see that I am promoted to the office of judge.
‘The leisure I experience since my late pressure of business at Cambridge seems very acceptable, |110and to have put me into quite new circumstances. . . . The weather continues very rainy and unpleasant here ; notwithstanding this, to-day has been one of much parade and show here. We have had processions with flags, drums, trumpets, etc., almost without end, and the poor Bristolians, steeped in rain, mud, etc., witnessing the spectacle. A man riding on horseback in polished armour, others carrying battle-axes, and all manner of odd things. But all is now over, and the rumbling of carts, iron bars in loads, and the like, have succeeded, and Bristol is quite itself again. . . . I hear that the Oxonians have suspended Dr Pusey from preaching for two years. This, if true, will fall short of the matter. He will be now a martyr to his cause.’
‘BRISTOL, July 2d, 1843,
‘It is a great comfort to me at the close of the Sabbath to turn my mind and my best affections to my dear home. . . . We have had the Sacrament here to-day, as we have on the first Sunday of every month. The attendance was large, considering what it usually is in such churches. The Dean preached this |111morning. . . . A minor canon gave us this evening a discourse highly seasoned with Puseyism. Oh, what a dreary, helpless sort of teaching is this! Man labouring, mortifying himself in order to set up his own righteousness, while he seems in terms to abjure this. Many, indeed, and plausible, are the devices of the tempter, and, alas! how often do these succeed! May we have the wisdom and simplicity to abjure self and to glorify our God and Saviour, who has indeed wrought out a perfect salvation for us, and offered us the surest means of cultivating a genuine humility in the gracious gift of His Holy Spirit. How simple this doctrine, how efficacious and powerful is it! Our God grant that we and ours may cultivate and realise this in all its depth and fulness! Yesterday I ran over Pusey’s sermon which has made so much noise of late, and what does it contain? A laboured attempt to make the means of grace those of justification! to make the consecrated elements the very human flesh and blood of Christ, and thus the means of uniting the Believer to Christ in the flesh! and this in a perfect fleshly union! Of the spiritual union and communion not a word is |112 said. No, having begun in the spirit the Church is now to be perfected in the flesh! A great deal of mawkish piety runs throughout the whole, and a great deal of persecution is anticipated for righteousness’ sake! The whole appears to me as perfect a piece of Jesuitism in argument as the feelings it evinces are morbid and monkish. I really do not know whether I ought not to attack it and point out its fallacies to the thousands who may otherwise never perceive them. Think this over, and pray over it, and then tell me how you feel upon it. I should not like to omit a duty to the Church of Christ which it may be in my power to fulfil. Nor should I to thrust myself into a hot controversy if my services were not wanted. Many, no doubt, will attack this sermon, but, of the many, perhaps not one equal to the task in a learned point of view. Many, too, will do this from mere party zeal, or the hope of raising self in importance in the eye of the public. In this last case I need nothing; I am rich, and abound. As to the question of learning, I am vain enough to think that I should not fail. But I feel anything but certain what it is best |113to do. I would not neglect a duty on the one hand, nor rashly obtrude myself on the public on the other. I will wait the intimation of Providence, as I always have done in such cases, and I feel sure that I shall not wait in vain. . . . The thought of this sad pest overrunning our Church gives me much concern; but I will cast my burden and care on Him who careth for me, and wait patiently for His good guidance. . . . I often think of our little unostentatious church, and of the attentive hearers, and the gospel truths there put forth. How much better are these things than the splendour of worship where the truth of God is not heard, and the love of God not felt! I think, too, that these temporary privations may be intended for my good, by showing me the more clearly the vanity of mere forms and formality, and the worth of those simple and sublime truths, which at once raise, purify and delight the soul. . . . I met with a son and daughter of Leigh Richmond in our church yesterday, and walked up to Clifton with them, where I found their mother residing. They seem in comfortable circumstances. I promised to call on them again.’ |114
‘BRISTOL, July 9, 1843.
‘Just now returned from church. Upon the whole, this has not been a day of great comfort to me. Our church is too much a place of resort for all sorts, merely to hear the music. It was so noisy this morning, that you would have thought you were in a market-place. This evening it was better, as I thought it right to give to our Claviger a tolerably good setting down. Our Precentor was irregular this evening, and I gave a similar lecture to him. It is very uncomfortable to have to go through things such as these when one’s mind ought to be raised to better considerations.’
As my father recurs to the subject of the music and chanting in several of his letters, the reader may be amused to see the following remarks about the ‘Chanting Battle’ from a Bristol paper.
‘”Chapters on an Old Chapter,” three papers written by the “Church-Goer.”–Of the array of canons who attended the memorable visitation of 1849, when the chaunting battle was fought and won by the chanters, perhaps the most striking figure, as well as the most determined anti-chanter, was Dr Samuel Lee, the learned Professor of Hebrew. He skirmished on the |115 subject with pamphlets for some time before the fight came off. In these brochures he pronounced vigorously in favour of what he declared was the superior common sense, dignity, reverence and respect of saying our prayers in the natural voice instead of “drawling through the nose,” which he considered all chanting, single and double, amounted to. Yet Professor Lee, like Dr Musgrave, was himself no bad musician, and could take part in a vocal quartette, or blow his flute effectively enough in an orchestra; but we are told there was something the Professor liked better than music, better even than his annual division of capitular profits, and that was controversy, verbal warfare, on paper or off paper, but particularly the former. This chanting business afforded grand scope for his favourite pastime, and he rushed with all his pugnacious instincts into the fray. The great Hebraist, however, bore no actual malice to anyone; his heart, it is true, was with Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, or, at the least, with their literature, but he was a blunt and honest Englishman, both by nature and combative instinct.’ |116
‘BRISTOL, 14 July 1843.
‘Prince Albert is to come next week to see the great iron ship launched. To-day the clergy held a meeting to prepare an address, which was done, and I have the honour of being on the deputation, and so shall probably have the honour of kissing his royal hand. The weather is uncommonly fine, and I hope will so continue for some time. I am going on with my remarks on Pusey’s Sermon; and I think I shall succeed in writing something on it worth printing. When I come, which will not now be very long, I will show it to you. It is worth knowing that the old English fathers, whom he cites, are point blank against him ! and as full of the most important truths of the Gospel as heart could wish. The ground on which he has placed himself, therefore, can be effectually cut from under him; and this I am now doing. . . . The note from the Dean of Wells was indeed a most kind and friendly one. It must be a pleasure to you, dearest, that there are some who think well of your poor partner’s labours. It is an encouragement to me, and the more, as I hope it is pleasant to you. I do not seek |117popularity, nor do I labour with reference to encouragement. I hope I look higher; still, it is something to be thankful for that our God also prospers me in other ways. I am hoping that my remarks on Pusey’s sermon may be extensively useful.’
‘BRISTOL, July 15, 1843.
‘ . . . Dear Mrs H. is, as you will perceive, a little unhappy because out of active duty. I will write to her, and do the best I can towards relieving her. I think I see how she is affected. She has, like myself, too active a mind to allow her to be doing nothing, and hence a strong feeling of dissatisfaction with self whenever she is not fully employed. So it is with me. If I am doing nothing, I soon get into mischief of one sort or other. This is the case with dear Mrs H. What they have done they have done with the best intentions; it is mischief, therefore, to be unhappy on that account, and because it does not seem to have been direct service rendered to the Saviour. Her work should now be–I mean, she should make it this — to wait in faith and hope for the instructions of that |118 kind Providence which will not suffer so faithful a minister as Mr H. to be long unemployed. But here lies the great difficulty which all find it is in making our own will fully and entirely to acquiesce in that of our Heavenly Father. I have no doubt you have often felt this. Alas! I do daily, and my busy, wandering heart is constantly hewing out its broken cisterns, and then wondering that it finds no water! We look to friends, but they cannot effectually help us. At last we flee to Him who is ready and willing to do all we want. May our trials ever end in this!’
‘ . . . I finish this after evening service. Just returned from church, where our music has been very fine indeed, and we had a tolerable sermon, except only that the Redeemer was not sufficiently prominent. But not much is to be expected from minor canons. They are, I fear, for the most part, a race among whom Puseyism is likely to find many advocates ; we have, at least, two here who go far in this way. We have had very large congregations, and upon the whole, I feel very thankful for all I have seen and heard. May |119our God give good effect to it all! Yours too has, I hope, been a day of heavenly rest and peace. The Lord grant you all blessing and spiritual prosperity upon it. Pray tell me how the school is going on, and how the numbers in the Sunday School. . . . You see how large the letters are that I write; and I can say, that if they were as large again, I should not be tired in writing them. I seem to feel at home when I am engaged in them. . . . These things are much more precious to me than all that pomp or power could give. This next week we are to have great doings here, as I said in my last, and in some of these I am to bear a certain part. Oh. how much rather would I see and enjoy my delights at Barley . . . one fortnight more, and then, with my God’s good blessing, I shall again hope to see and to enjoy the presence of those I love, and our pretty scenery, and our peaceful little paradise, wherein Christian love, and harmony, and faith, and hope, and every Christian grace will, as I hope and pray, ever flourish and abound in and through the sweet and constraining influences of that Holy Spirit, which we shall ever seek as our best ruler and guide.’
‘BRISTOL, July 19, 1843.
‘I am just now returned from presenting myself to Prince Albert at the railway station, and while all is uproar and confusion about me, I sit down and turn my thoughts and affections to my dear home. . . . What a delightful change! How much, sweeter is one’s own dear home with the dear objects of one’s own heart than all the noise and vanity of the excited world! This evening I am to be at Leigh Court, D. V., where there is to be music. . . . I must close for the present, as the time for launching the great iron ship is approaching. I must go and see this sight. I will fill up my space afterwards. Just returned from the sight of the launch, which was very fine indeed. The day has been showery, but upon the whole tolerably fine.’
‘. . . The turmoil here is now pretty well over; we shall now be quiet during the few days I have to stay among them. All has gone off extremely well, much to the satisfaction of all. I have not heard of so much as one accident. . . . I was much gratified with the account of our school and congregations. . . . It delights me |121 to hear that all is going on well; but I am distressed when I hear the contrary. Thanks to our God for all His mercies to us; they are indeed new every morning, and, what is best, they preserve us from the many dangers and difficulties to which others are constantly subject. . . . I often feel disposed to bemoan my seemingly very long captivity here. But all– in hands such as I trust we are–cannot but be for the best.’
‘BRISTOL, July 23d, 1843.
‘I have been much delighted with Pye Smith’s letter. It is a very good specimen of real Christian feeling. I will answer it in a day or two. I think you never saw a sharp controversy so sweetly terminated ; oh, that my blessed Redeemer may make me sufficently feel His goodness in thus giving me more than expected success!’
This refers to a long but amicable correspondence with Dr Pye Smith, an eminent Nonconformist of that day, on the subject of Dissent, suggested by a sermon of Dr P. Smith’s on the ‘Necessity of Religion to the Well-Being of a Nation.’ My father published his own letters, in tract form, ‘On the Subjects at Present |122Agitated between Churchmen and Dissenters,’ viz., ‘On National Religious Establishments in General,’ ‘On the Election of Bishops in the Primitive Church,’ ‘On the Antiquity of Liturgical Services,’ etc., etc.
‘BRISTOL, July 23,1843.
‘I have felt greatly encouraged in my Pusey controversy. I do think my God will enable me to render a good service to His Church. This is encouraging–and indeed I do not know any employment so encouraging–not because it is controversy, for I believe I shall be enabled so far to restrain all unkindly feeling, at least that has hitherto been the case, and that my tract will not appear to be much of a controversial character. I think, too, I shall be able to make it short, which will be a great recommendation to it. My “Theophania” is going rapidly off, and seems to be making some impression. May God grant that the impression be good and abiding! People are inclined to think that I have vindicated Eusebius from the charge of Arianism. The Socinians, however, will be very unwilling to believe this. Of the prophetical part of my Dissertation I have heard nothing. I have |123no doubt, however, I shall have some hard hits. Well, may God’s will be done! I have usually benefited much by hard usage. Thanks to Him who can thus bring water out of the stony rock, and make all things work together for good to them whom He loves! . . . Just come from church; we had a very good sermon from one of our minor canons. “He who is not with Me is against Me.” The subject is a most important one, and a most extensive and searching one. I will lay it up in my mind for Barley and for myself. Our congregations are large, but I fear the music is the main attraction with the many. . . . The weather is cold and dark with us, which, I fear, portends more rain.
‘But God’s will be done. Our mercies, whether as a nation or as individuals, are far, very far greater than we deserve. I fear, however, times of much trouble are coming on us. In the great manufacturing districts there is scarcely anything to do, and an immense irreligious population is assuming a very threatening position. In Ireland it is all but open rebellion! South Wales is in a sad state of excitement. It was only a few days ago I saw a train of artillery |124moving up Park Street on its way thither, where there is now a very large number of soldiers. God will, no doubt, fully protect His; yet, when there is war and uproar, all partake to some extent in its evils. Let all these considerations have the effect of bringing us nearer to God, in faith, hope and every Christian grace and feeling.’
‘P.S.–I send a Bristol newspaper that you may see all the glories of the Prince’s visit here.
‘BRISTOL, July 25, 1843.
‘This will be my last from this place at present. . . . I breakfasted this morning with Carus at the Dean’s, and afterwards read over to him my sketch of an answer to Dr Pusey, which he seemed to like much. I also gave him a few pages from my “Theophania,” on Prophecy, which staggered him considerably. He has promised to study the whole question with the greatest attention, as he much feels its importance. I do not hear of any reviews of my “Theophania” at present. A month or two hence there will no doubt be plenty. Well, God’s will and word prevail is my theme. If any one fairly shows that I am wrong I will recant, as it can give me no satisfaction to be the |125 author of error. But of all this when I have the pleasure of seeing you. Now, therefore, may thy gracious Saviour preserve thee and me, and thine and mine, in the full faith and fear of God, and under the guidance of His grace, and the protection of His providence !’
‘TRIN. COLL., CAMB.,
‘October 3rd, 1843.
‘I find all here in extreme quietness, but very few are in residence. The consequence is there is no temptation here to wander from one’s immediate business. I am getting on gloriously with my shot at Pusey. I trust I shall in the course of the week entirely finish it. I was mortified to find on Monday that the Library was closed for four days; fortunately the College Library was open, and supplied all my wants. It delights me greatly to find daily the old Fathers more and more directly opposed to this new-fangled Divine. It would indeed be a mortification to find that all the ancient worthies had discovered nothing better than the figments of this Oxford school. . . . The quiet of this place has settled me down after the late dissipation, etc., at Barley, so that I am gradually forgetting all its excitements. . . . I am, however, often induced to cry out for a |126 simple desire to serve Him who has done so much for us–for Him who made Himself poor that we might be rich!
‘*Poor little Barley! O that thy seed-time may be in the exercise of true faith and hope, and thy harvest in the abundance thy God has promised to give to all who love and serve Him faithfully! And that thou mayest occupy diligently until He come! The more I know of myself, and of men generally, the more I fear lest a deceiving and deceived heart turn us aside, and some lose the right way! God grant this may not be our lot!’
[ * This refers to a sermon he preached on the Sunday previous to his departure for Cambridge.]
Extract from the ‘Theophania’ :–
‘If the word of Prophecy is “the more sure” evidence to the believer of the truth of the hope that is in him, then it must have been delivered in terms such as would at once be intelligible to all, and would, at the same time, set forth such facts as would be obvious, convincing and accessible to all. And this character it certainly sustains. All authorities concur in the declaration that “when all these things should have been |127 done” “The End” should come : that “the mystery of God should be finished as he had declared to His servants the prophets” : it should be completed : time should now be no more : the End of all things (so foretold) should be at hand, and be fully brought to pass : in these days should be fulfilled all that had been spoken of Christ (and of His church) by the prophets : or, in other words, when the gospel should have been preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations, and the power of the Holy People be scattered (abroad), then should the End come, then should all these things be finished. I need now only say, all these things have been done : the old and elementary system passed away with a great noise; all these predicted empires have actually fallen, and the new kingdom, the new heaven and earth, the new Jerusalem–all of which were to descend from God, to be formed by His power, have been realised on earth ; all these things have been done in the sight of all the nations ; God’s holy arm has been made bare in their sight: His judgments have prevailed, and they remain for an everlasting testimony to the whole world. His kingdom has come, as it was foretold it should, and His will has, so far, been done; His purposes have been |128 finished; and, from that day to the extreme end of time, it will be the duty, as indeed it will be the great privilege of the Church, to gather into its bosom the Jew, the Greek, the Scythian, the Barbarian, bond and free; and to do this as the Apostles did in their days–in obedience, faith and hope.’
‘On the Restoration of the Jews.’ ‘On this question much need not be said, for if the events of prophecy have all been fulfilled, and were so fulfilled upon the establishment of the Christian Church, as already shown, every hope of a restoration of the Jews to Palestine must be groundless and futile. Besides, it must be most incongruous to look for the temporalities of the Old Testament under the New, in which we are taught that there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all. That neither on Mount Gerizim, nor in Jerusalem exclusively, should the Father be worshipped, but that wherever there was a real spiritual child of Abraham there should be a temple of God the Holy Ghost. And, let it be remembered, this was the doctrine which the Apostles themselves felt the greatest difficulty in receiving, met |129the greatest in its propagation, and laboured most anxiously and constantly to preserve entire from commixture with Jewish notions. . . . In this case, then, as before, nothing short of a new revelation and a new dispensation can justify the expectation of any such things as these. Whether we are to expect any such new light and new appointment, I leave it to others to determine. I can find no such things foretold. I conclude on this question, therefore, that no restoration of Jews, either to temporal or spiritual exclusive privileges, is to be expected ; that all such expectation is groundless; and, what is worse, that it tends only to confirm Jewish prejudices, which have hitherto proved all but invincible without it; and further, that those who are so anxiously pressing it are unwarily calling into exercise a power more than equal to all their better efforts to the contrary. To call the Jews to a belief in Christ is a legitimate work of Christian faith and love. It is that which our Lord commanded, and it is that in which the Apostles persevered to the utmost. Circumstanced as the Jews now are, they are “strangers to the covenants of promise, they are without hope and without God in the world.’ |130They are as branches broken off and dissevered from the stock of Abraham ; and it is faith in the Redeemer alone which can graft them in and make them the spiritual seed of Abraham, the fleshly descent availing nothing whatever under the New Covenant. To this end it is the duty of the Christian Church to labour; and in this work there are the best grounds for believing that their labour shall not be in vain.’
‘TRIN. COLL., CAMB.,
‘Nov. 18, 1843.
‘ . . . I have no particular news to tell you, except that I am to dine, D. V., with the new Bishop of Litchfield at King’s Coll. Lodge. I expect to have a pleasant evening. Yes, there is one thing more, I met a gentleman at our dinner table a day or two ago, who said my “Eusebius” was exciting considerable interest, and especially the views of Prophecy therein put forth. It seems to have struck him forcibly that the views of those days differed so greatly from those of these. So it is possible, and I think probable, that at no very distant day my views, and those of the early Church, may |131prevail. My impression is that they certainly will, and then it will be seen that I am not of mind so unsound as some have imagined; but this is not my chief glory. My great hope is that the truth will prevail, and that Jewish notions will be so far got rid of as to enable men to see the truth as plainly in the Old Testament as in the New, and that these are most intimately connected together. . . . The good and great men of former times can hardly be expected to have equal weight with the good and little men of the present, because, what is near does, by common perspective, appear to be much larger, higher and more commanding than what is removed to a considerable distance. And so, alas! is it with our holy Faith. The nearer object stands in the way of the more distant one.’
‘BRISTOL, Dec. 20, 1843.
‘I send herewith my answer to Dr Pusey, and when you have read it be so good as to put it into an envelope and direct it to the Revnd. Dr Pusey, Christ Church, Oxford. Do not forget to put a Queen’s head on it. You see, dearest, the ground he takes — that of persecution. I had no doubt this would be the case, and |132 have abundantly guarded against it. I have no doubt I shall in this same way get blown up and cried down by the party throughout the length and breadth of the land; and so I shall have to experience many ups and downs! I think, however, I have the truth of God on my side. Nor am I quite so young and raw in matters of this sort as to allow myself to be blinded by plausibilities. I entertain nothing like hostile feelings towards Dr Pusey or his party, but I do a perfect hatred, as I hope, towards the unscriptural and earthborn notions which I think they are labouring to propagate, and this, D. V., I will still entertain. I am glad you like my views of the means of grace. I have great confidence in your opinion on matters of this sort, and I always benefit by them. I hope I have not merely taken a negative view of things in this little work, but also a positive one, which will do much good. I think Dr Pusey feels that my letter will have some effect. God grant it may be a good one, and that only which will further His glory and the good of His Church. . . . Pray take a correct copy of my note to Dr . Pusey and lay it up by you, as it may be necessary for me hereafter to publish it. I think I have |133 not mistaken Dr Pusey’s “little ones“ for this reason : he mentions these in opposition to others, who, he says, have been brought up in an erroneous and defective mode of teaching. Surely, then, these “little ones” must mean his own party. What think you ?’
FIRST LETTER TO DR PUSEY, ETC.–1843-44
IN 1843 Dr Lee published a letter to Dr Pusey on his sermon on the Eucharist. In the shape of remarks on this notorious sermon, he demonstrates that Dr Pusey had both misunderstood and misrepresented the authorities that he quoted in support of his heretical views, and, with them, the Holy Scriptures and the formularies of our Church. In reference to this pamphlet, the ‘Morning Herald’ of December 20, 1843, remarks : ‘It is indeed painful to think of the position in which Dr Lee has, by these proofs, placed Dr Pusey; for he has shown that “every one of the extracts, with their author,” is opposed to Dr Pusey’s notion on the Eucharist, and that his sermon, with the notes and appendix, is consistent neither with the express declarations of Holy Writ, nor with those of the orthodox |135 Fathers of our own Church claimed by Dr Pusey as his teachers, nor yet with those of the Syrian, Greek and Latin Churches quoted as his supporters; and all this in language most courteous, and with kindness most tender. Dr Lee is no Low Churchman, as the following passage will prove : “You were probably offended that a few are to be found among us who think and speak too lowly of the means of grace adopted in our Church. I can feel the force of this, and can lament it with you. But, let me ask you, can you re’cognise no mean between the sin of making these nothing and of making them everything ?– between considering the Eucharist a mere sign or symbol on the one hand, and as consubstantial with the Deity and with man on the other? Can you believe the absolute deification of the elements to be less sinful in the one case than a defective view of their value and efficacy is in the other? For my own part, I believe the former to be the greater sin, tending, as it does, to rob God of His honour, and contributing, as it must, to disseminate ignorance and superstition of the very worst sort throughout the Church of Christ. If, indeed, you had adhered closely to the guidance of Andrewes and Bramhall, you would have done well. If, |136 together with them, you had vigorously enforced the best sentiments of the ancient orthodox Fathers, you would indeed have done a good and a great work. You would have given to Holy Scripture its due authority and pre-eminence, as they have done; to our Catholic, Apostolic and Protestant Church the place and preference which are so justly its due ; and you would have shown, as your teachers have done before you, that both Romanists and Dissenters are living in open and unwarrantable schism. This could not, under God, but have tended to enlighten and to benefit both of these: to give a true and salutary bias to our young men in the ministry, and preparing for it, which must have been felt as a blessing for ages to come. Unhappily, however, you have mistaken the way. Equally so has your misguided zeal found its admirers and flatterers, and you seem to be gliding on smoothly under this, at once unmindful, unconscious of, and even glorying in, the manifestly ruinous tendency of your course. “The Holy Truth,” which it seems to be your object to propagate, is, as you must see, daily creating and increasing an unholy division among us. Dissent is, on the one hand, rejoicing at your progress and gathering strength under it. Romanism is still |137more anxious for your success, daily congratulates your heroism and your blindness, receives now and then one of your deluded followers into its bosom, and anxiously looks forward to the period when your leaven shall have so leavened the whole lump that darkness, superstition and cruelty shall again extend their ample ravages over this so long and so richly-favoured land! Infidelity, too, hails with no less enthusiasm the mystified reserve, the priest-ennobling projects, the superstitious, blind and irrational theology of the Tractarian School, as something well adapted to its extension. These, wiser in their generation than the children of light, know full well how to appreciate efforts of this sort –efforts from which the well-informed and well-intentioned cannot but turn with sorrow, and over which the true disciple cannot but lament and mourn.”‘
‘On the tendency of Dr Pusey’s writings and teaching, Dr Lee thus beautifully and truthfully addressed the Hebrew professor of the sister university :–“It is no less instructive to observe that just in proportion as you have lost sight of the Scripture, and of its simple but efficient modes of teaching, and of the genuine results of these, the renewal of the soul through grace, in the same have you also lost |138sight of the true intentions of the orthodox Fathers of the Church, and of the doctrines of the Apostolic and Protestant Church of England, of which you are a minister. In the same, too, have you approached to the formal, spiritless, earthly and superstitious notions of the Church of Rome. Instead of that Faith which once animated our reformers and martyrs, of that Light which poured in upon them from the simple spiritual apprehension of Holy Writ, of that Love to God and to man which was shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, of that Hope and Faith which enabled them to glorify God even in the very fires, and which has so abundantly since their days not only emancipated the human mind, especially in this happy land, from the darkness and folly which ages of ignorance had laid upon it, but has enlightened, inflamed, and led it onward, even to these our times, to results the most excellent, whether as it regards the things of this world or of that which is to come, and which still seems to hold out further prospects of wealth, both temporal and spiritual, to be realised here and elsewhere, which it hath not yet entered into the heart of man fully to conceive ; instead of this, I say, and of those still higher stages of spiritual and intellectual illumination and |139 prosperity which it is but reasonable to expect the unfettered energies of man will arrive at, you and your school are proposing and urging, with all the earnestness of a zeal the most blind and perverse, that we should again return to the mummeries which had so long chained down to earth our best and noblest endowments, and that our Church should again become the willing slave of ignorance the most palpable, and of superstition the most degrading. . . . Are we, having begun in the spirit, now to labour to become perfect through the flesh? Let us, then, throw away the principles which have so far and so happily led us, and then to these vanities we shall certainly come. If we serve Baal at all, we shall serve him much. .To this the traditions of men have ever led; to this the prostration of the human intellect, and with it ignorance, folly and vice of every description must necessarily succeed. It was by this that men once, professing themselves to be wise, became fools; by this that they changed the glory of God. to the image of a calf that eateth hay ; by this that both Gentile and Jew became earthly, sensual, devilish ; by this that the infatuated Church of Rome became the cage of every unclean bird, enslaved and impoverished the nations of Europe, imbrued its hands |140in the blood of the saints ; and by this it is now endeavouring again to reinstate itself in that dominion of ignorance and of tyranny which it so long and so mercilessly exercised.
‘The great difference between this system and that of the Catholic Church of Christ, against which you are now–unwittingly, I trust–arraying yourself, is one of principle. It is that of an unflinching, well-grounded adherence to the Commandments of God; of taking these, and these only, as the grounds of Faith; and by these exclusively to abide. On this foundation now stands our Apostolic, Reformed and Protestant Church, and so long as it stands on this rock the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. It shall carry with it, and within it, the elements of its strength, and these are nothing short of almighty. They are the doctrines of the Scriptures of truth, of the Word of His grace ; and the power of His spirit attending its due administration shall be able to build up its members, and to give them an inheritance among all them that are sanctified.”‘
‘BRISTOL, Dec. 31, 1843.
‘With this I begin another series of my |141Sabbath epistles from this place; with this I close the last year. . . . I feel thankful for many mercies received since this time twelve months. No real sorrow has overtaken me, but much positive happiness has been granted. My “Theophania,” and my letter against Puseyism, will, I trust, long remain as testimonies of these mercies, but rather tending to further the honour of God and the good of His people, and as checks to error and heterodoxy among our fellow men. Our church at Barley has, I hope, been making some progress, and that our own souls have partaken in the growth in grace, which we hope we witness among our neighbours. To all this may our God add, in the coming year, the increase of thirty, sixty and an hundredfold !
‘Mr Bedford, the incumbent of St George’s, in Park Street, is dead ; he died a few days ago . . . I shall make early inquiry whether Lord Wm. Somerset wishes to take the appointment to St George’s as his option. If he does not, it will probably come to me. What must I then do ? Is Mr H. the man ? I feel rather in a strait on this matter. Do let me have all your mind on it. I should greatly wish to |142put in a good man there; it presents a scene of great usefulness. . . . The weather here is a little cooler, which I am glad of. Yesterday, in London, it felt quite winterly, and particularly so as there was a thick London fog coming on.’
(My father had the option of appointing to St George’s, Park Street, Bristol, and gave it to his brother-in-law, the Reverend R. L. Hopper, whose ministrations were greatly valued during the long period — over five-and-twenty years– that he held the living.)
‘I have received another note from Dr Pusey, much of a piece with the last. He says he knows I shall object to what he does hold, although I may have misunderstood him ; that he feels he has Bp. Andrewes with him, but that he declines controversy. He is sorry to hear I have been unwell, and ends with “your humble servant, E. B. Pusey.” I shall send him an answer to this, couched in terms as respectful as possible ; and here I suppose our correspondence will end. I wonder that he drops Abp. Bramhall here, as well as the Fathers generally. This is odd, surely ; but he is a very odd sort of writer, and, I suspect, a very eccentric man. I think I shall |143have no public controversy with him ; but whether all his followers may be silent or not is another thing. I suspect they will not. God’s will be done. I know I have only His sacred truth before me, and I fear nothing, knowing as I do His faithfulness and goodness. My next year’s work will, I think, be my exposition of prophecy, D. V., and it is not improbable I may find matter sufficient even to convince Mrs Professor Lee that hitherto she has been greatly in the dark on this interesting and momentous subject. But this, you will say, is counting on victory without my host. Well, wait and thou shalt see what God can do through an instrument so weak as the poor Professor. . . . Love me and pray for me, and I shall be greatly prospered in all I take in hand.’
Note from Dr PUSEY to Dr LEE.
‘MY DEAR SIR,– I thank you for your note. I ought to say, in answer, that I believe you would object to what I do hold, altho’ you mistake my meaning, as your own language is painful to me. I ought to say thus much, lest I seem to withdraw anything I do hold. I feel persuaded that what I hold Bp. Andrewes held. However, I do not |144 mean to enter into controversy, but commit all to God.
‘I was sorry to hear that you had been ill.– Your humble servant,
E. B. PUSEY.
‘BRIGHTON, Dec. 29.’
‘BRISTOL, Jan. 1,
‘. . . I received an Oxford newspaper to-day, I suppose from Barley, which speaks in high terms of my letter to Pusey. I must say I had to-day a conference with Mr C., who behaved exceedingly well. I begin to hope I have done him a real good. He promises to read the “Homilies,” and some of our best divines. I hope I have let in a ray of light to him which may be of great service to him as long as he lives. God be praised for this hope.’
‘BRISTOL, Jan. 4, 1844.
‘I have just received a very delightful note from the Duchess of Northumberland, which I send with this. I think the religious feeling of the Duchess will please you and give you cause for thankfulness. May God of His mercy grant that my little work may redound to the advancement of His glory! I do not know whether E. |145and you saw it, but the last “Church and State Gazette” gave to my letter against Pusey a splendid character in a very few words.’
‘2d Jany. 1844.
‘REVND. SIR,–I delayed for a few days acknowledging the receipt of your tract and welcome letter, as the Duke and I were desirous of reading together your explanation of a subject Dr Pusey had attempted so to mystify in his sermon; it was impossible to comprehend him. We both feel not a little obliged to you, and pray accept my thanks for presenting me with a discourse so clear, so firm, and so temperate, that I have felt an innate thankfulness and satisfaction that it adds strength to the faith in which I have been brought up, and makes me more than ever lament the awful attempts that it would be blindness to deny are making to destroy our admirable institution. I do believe, however, that exertions like yours are producing good effects ; those who always meant well will, like Palmer, make an honourable retreat when they find an honest zeal has led them astray, and with pure Scriptural truths and a true |146 understanding of the Orthodox Fathers I trust this most incomprehensible conspiracy will be stopped and defeated. I had just read Palmer’s pamphlet and the Bp. of Ossory’s charge when your “Answer” reached us, and I wish I could tell you how much the Duke approves it, but your own feelings and the motives that govern you will best tell you. Allow me to tell you how sincerely we hope a blessing will rest upon your good work, and help to sustain our Holy Church in its Christian purity,–and I remain, revnd. sir, yours very truly,
C. F. NORTHUMBERLAND.’
‘BRISTOL, Janry. 7, 1844.
‘I sit down with great pleasure to write my little Sunday love-despatch to you, and this is the more pleasing as I have experienced mercies many, which suggest at once feelings of thankfulness and love. We had a very excellent sermon this morning from Mr C., so good, indeed, as to surprise me greatly. It contained the marrow of Scripture truth, and this plainly and fully put. The text was I John v. 11, which you will say contains a fine subject. After this we had a very full communion, in which between 3 and ï¿½4 was collected. This evening’s service had |147 too much of the play-house in it. We had a fine anthem from Haydn, too fine much, in my opinion, for a church; then, as soon as this was over, a host of the vulgar instantly turned out, which greatly disgusted me. I will, if possible, put an end to this. . . . My lectures at Cambridge must commence soon after I leave this place. We had a most pleasant evening at Blaize Castle. . . . My letter to Pusey is very highly thought of. You will smile to hear that I have had another note from him, which is in much better humour than the two former ones. You must have been pleased with the Duchess of N.’s note. She evidently is a very discerning lady. But the great comfort is, that my poor endeavour promises to advance the truth, to give glory to God, to advance the knowledge of the Saviour, and to give strength to our Holy Apostolic Church. . . . May God second it in this way, so that all the glory, all the praise, be His !’
‘BRISTOL, Janry. 9, 1844.
‘. . . I believe I told you that I had had another note from Dr Pusey. He seems to me to be in rather better temper than the two former; but, as he is obscure, this is doubtful. One thing |148is most clear, he has felt the force of my letter. May God grant it be for his spiritual good. It should seem that my pamphlet is making considerable ground; it seems to have made considerable impression. I have said in my note to E. what the “Church and State Gazette” said about it. … There is nothing new here, except a fierce east wind with small drops of rain, which makes all dark and dirty, and necessarily cold. Thank my God I am in a warm and comfortable room, shielded from all the inclemency of the wintry sky. Soon I expect we shall have a world of snow, which will be acceptable. I always enjoy it greatly.’
‘BRISTOL, Janry. 14, 1844.
‘. . . I am glad you noticed the note of the Duchess. It certainly gave me much pleasure, and this principally in the belief that she well understood what she was writing about. I dined at Mr George’s on Friday last, and passed a pleasant evening. I was rather excited by the arguments of a Mr C, a clergyman here, about prophecy, who, alas! has not the least idea as to how an argument ought to be conducted. This is what always exceeds my forbearance; |149but I hope to learn better things. I preached this morning at the Cathedral to an attentive audience. . . . This evening we had an uncommonly good sermon from Mr Milner. It really was the sermon of a man of experience ; it suited me well. It discoursed on pressing through the strait gate, a thing of which I have not always felt so great a necessity as I think I begin to feel, and to see absolutely necessary. The sermon, however, did not insist on an extreme mortification of the flesh, but on an absolute effort of the spirit; an effort which should resist sin in thought, and inculcate purity of heart as a principle. This was very good. I liked it much. May God give the consideration its due effect. Our anthem was one of Boyce’s, and was indeed a very impressive one; Job xxviii. 12, to the end. The matter contained in this particular part of Scripture I have always thought extremely beautiful. Pray look at the place in my translation. It is pregnant with instruction, and Boyce’s music is admirably adapted to it, giving it a force and solemnity which ordinary minds hardly ever feel. My own sermon this morning was quite new. You shall see it when I reach Barley. Its object was to put down all |150self-sufficiency. “We are not sufficient of ourselves,” etc., 2 Cor. iii. 5, and to inculcate reliance on the sufficiency alone which God gives. One of the Oxford heads was present, as I was told, viz., Dr Jenkins, the head of Baliol. I intended to touch the Puseyites, and this but slightly. I mean, not to fill the sermon with a refutation of their fooleries, but mainly to inculcate the power of the Spirit, and in this, the sufficiency of the believer. . . . My tract, I feel, is making a great impression. May I not say with St James, “How great a fire a little matter kindleth I” I mean, how much our gracious God may please to do by means so weak and so worthless! . . . I enclose a note from the editor of the “Church and State Gazette,” and take it for granted that you have read my letter against the Puseyites therein.’
‘342 STRAND, Janry. 11th, /44.
‘The editor of the “Church and State Gazette” presents his compliments to Professor Lee, and begs to thank him expressly for the very valuable communication to the “Gazette,” this day received, and now in the press. From such a source the M.S. is doubly valuable, and the editor cannot |151 too warmly express his obligations for the honour conferred in, the columns in which it will appear.’
‘BRISTOL, Janry. 17, 1844.
‘. . . If my correspondence last week was not so frequent as usual, it was owing to the endless calls I have to go out to dinner parties. This occupies my whole evening on such days, and it was the evening which I usually devoted to this delightful work. This I am forced to write in the middle of the day, having to go out to a dinner this evening. I have been so out every evening this week; that of to-morrow I have refused so to spend. Friday’s is promised, and Monday’s, next week, solicited: Believe me, this greatly teases me, and particularly as it injures my correspondence with you. . . . My heart is hourly stealing away to Barley . . . and in these short reveries I feel as if I were at home. They are therefore very delightful to me. . . . Pray, did you see my severe letter against Newman in the “Church and State Gazette ? “‘
‘BRISTOL, Janry. 24, 1844.
‘. . . Every day have I had one or two invitations out to dinner to deal with, until I have |152 been perfectly tired of them. I have determined not to go out again during my stay. The kindness I have received has been truly great; and it should seem I am becoming marvellously popular. The letter to Pusey seems to have done wonders in this way–I hear nothing but praise of it. I trust, however, I shall not become vain therefrom. To-day a Hampshire paper arrived, with a very good short review of the controversy.’
LETTERS TO ARCHD. THORP, DR PUSEY, ETC.
‘TRIN. COLL., Nov. 19th, 1845.
‘ALTHOUGH I expect to see you very soon, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of sending this, because I think it will amuse and gratify you. . . . ‘Our Bible Society on Monday evening went off charmingly. The meeting was a large one, and was nobly supported by the speakers. I was roused, and gave them a short, animated address at its close. I have not heard what was collected. Mr Carus walked with me to my rooms; he was highly gratified at the proceedings, and opened his heart much on the state of his religious young men. He said he had not fewer than two hundred and fifty at his rooms on Sunday evening, when the Bishop of Calcutta addressed them in his usual animated way. I was not a little surprised and delighted to hear him say that I was little aware how much I was strengthening his hands. Particulars I did not |154ask, but could not help thanking God for this. My last letter to Archdeacon Thorp seems to have made considerable impression here. I hear of it from several quarters. The Camdenians have, I am told, left the University. I am delighted to hear this. If my efforts have in the least promoted this, I thank my God most heartily for it. Yesterday I dined with the Vice-Chancellor, and we had a very pleasant party. When we dispersed I went to Scholefield’s to meet the Bp. of Calcutta. The Bp. had taken a little cold, and was gone to bed before I arrived there. I was requested to be chaplain. I consented, and read 2 Tim. 1. for them, it being the lesson for the evening. The son of the Duke of Manchester was there, to whom I was introduced, having known his father many years ago. . . . This evening I am to dine at our Lodge to meet the Bp. of Calcutta.’
In June 1845, Dr Lee published a letter to the Venerable Archdeacon Thorp, President of the Camden Society, on its late re-organisation and apparent objects, in the ‘Christian’s Monthly Magazine.’ He says–‘ The laws of this society, as they originally stood, went simply and solely to what everyone seemed to wish for–the |155 encouragement of the study of Church Architecture.’ But now ‘the new code to be adopted would confer upon the committee new powers and exemptions which they had hitherto not possessed,’ and one of the committee openly avowed ‘that it was not architecture alone for which the society was formed, and for the advancement of which it had been carried on even from the first.’ ‘It was,’ said Mr Hope, in the words of the president himself, and therefore invested with the best authority, ‘also for the great purpose of advancing and carrying out those esoteric principles of good Church – membership, which carried a religiosity with them, etc., that this society had been formed, and hitherto had exerted itself.’
Dr Lee goes on :–‘I would ask on what authority it had been assumed that this society had ever any real connection with the University at all? The said church principles are the principles of Romanism.’ He then quotes the facts which had induced him to think so. One of the members of the new committee was a Mr Stokes, who had been denounced by Professor Sedgwick as the author of the ‘Ecclesiastical Calendar,’ the title of which was ‘A Christian Kalendar for the members of the Established Church, by a Lay Member of |156 the Camden Society,’ Cambridge, etc. It was carried surreptitiously through the University Press, and on this account it was that the authorities forbade any other works of the society being printed at their Press. ‘In this Kalendar,’ says Dr Lee, ‘we are presented with the “six general laws or precepts of Holy Church.” The first enjoins “auricular confession.” “To confess our sins, as occasion is, to a learned and discreet priest.” “Not to solemnise holy matrimony at certain seasons.” ‘An extract from Dr Pusey is given as to how the Lenten fast is to be holily observed. The Holy Sacraments are presented to members of the Established Church as being seven. The two great sacraments are ‘Baptism’ and the ‘Holy Eucharist’ Five lesser sacramental rites are ‘Confirmation, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.’ Then we have ‘the seven spiritual works of mercy,’ etc., and the seven canonical hours of prayer–‘Matins and Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, Compline,’ none of which have as such ever been taught or enjoined in the Established Church. They are all, in fact, nothing more or less than transcripts from the Romish service books!’ Then we are told (Jan. 6) after some other trash about the Magi, |157that their relics, after several translations, were removed to Cologne in the twelfth century.’ Then that the ‘relics of St Prisca are preserved in her church at Rome, which gives title to a cardinal.’ Extremely important indeed ! Again (Jan. 21), ‘A church was built over the spot on which St Agnes was decapitated at Rome, and in it is blessed the wool from which archiepiscopal palls are made ; it also gives title to a cardinal.’ (Jan. 22) ‘The relics of St Vincent,’ it is said, ‘were honoured with miracles.’ In some places these relics are ‘blessed,’ ‘sacred,’ ‘precious,’ and so on. Passing over other similar worthless matter we come to Feb. 3. Here ‘St Blase was Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia. He is the patron of wool-combers.’ Feb. 6. St Agatha ‘is the patroness of the island of Malta.’ March 1. ‘St David, the patron of Wales.’ April 23. ‘St George, the great martyr, the patron of England,’ etc. I will remark here, once for all, on these patron saints; their patronage is worth either something or nothing. If they are in a situation to receive the petitions and to relieve the wants of their clients, then it is worth something. But this taken for granted, that they are vested either more or less with divine powers, and are to be considered as worthy and acceptable mediators with God ; |158this Romanists teach; this, however, the Established Church denies; this every sound member of it repudiates ; and this Holy Scripture condemns ; as does in one way or other every orthodox writer of the Catholic Church, both ancient and modern ! But Mr Stokes, it should seem, thinks that it ought, at least, to be believed by members of our Church, and your society, that it is too harmless to be objected to. To come to matter of graver import. March 12. We have ‘St Gregory the Great . . .’ he occupied the Chair of St Peter from 590-604. Mr Stokes has told us that ‘Rome is the only Apostolic See of the Western Church,’ that it is the ‘ Holy See,’ the ‘Chair of St Peter,’ etc. … But Mr Stokes was elected with thunders of applause. I have, therefore, a right to conclude that the dogmas put forth in this Kalendar, of which Mr Stokes appears to be the author, are not at variance with the opinion, in other words, “the esoteric principles of good Church membership,” under which alone this society is determined to act; and these dogmas are purely Popish. I conclude, therefore, that the said esoteric principles are also Popish and nothing else. . . .
‘Yes, Mr President, get these principles of Church membership again in the ascendant here, and what |159must be the consequence? The extinction, of necessity, of all civil and religious liberty among us; the Established Church not what it is now, the House of Prayer and spiritual refreshing to many a pious soul, but a “den of thieves”; the throne trampled on, the priesthood deified. One of this body, the worst and weakest, perhaps, of them all, honoured and obeyed as the vicar of Christ on earth, and as the only fountain of truth and unity to be found in this system of things.
‘This, or something like it, you may perhaps be looking to with increasing interest. But, let me tell you, although neither prophet nor the son of a prophet, this will never come to pass in this country. Your labours may, and will, in all probability, lead to great and violent political commotion, and, it may be, to distress and bloodshed, but the end apparently had in view will never be realised. That marked Providence, which has watched over this nation ever since the days of what Mr Stokes terms a “change of the religion”–the glorious Reformation–will not desert it while there is to be found in it anything like the remnant, now its denizens, which have not bowed the knee to Baal. And this, I will venture to predict, notwithstanding your boast of the extended and extending number of |160your supporters, the light imbibed, the good sense entertained, the real knowledge and real English honesty, visible far and wide among us, shall, whatever may become of our Apostolical Establishment, which it is not improbable your endeavours may succeed in destroying, secure to it, and enable it to continue in, its beauty and strength to countless generations. I will add only one word more. I ask, can the University, consistently with its character and obligations both to the Church and the throne, allow such a society as this to continue within its precincts? Can it, I say, allow an esoteric theological institution, producing such fruits as those noticed above, wholly opposed to the doctrines which it is bound to teach and enforce upon its members, to remain a moment within it, now that its character is known, that its practices are ascertained to be bad, that it has apparently ruined the religious principles and prospects, perhaps for ever, of one at least of the most promising young men committed to its charge ?’
TRIN. COLL., CAMS.,
‘Feb. 10, 1846.
‘An old pupil of mine has just now left me, full of the question of Prophecy. He came on purpose to talk with me about it. He says many are |161 waiting with anxiety for my work, and are most anxious to see my views established, as they are quite tired out with the tyranny of Bickersteth, Birks, etc. I can only say the Lord knows I expect nothing from man. I seek none of the honour that comes from them; but I do exult in the hope that I shall be able to put down in God’s good strength some of the vanity floating about during many years past, and to vindicate the truth and power of the Gospel. I can say but too truly, I have in this undertaking received no encouragement from man ; no, not of my own household. Thanks to His great goodness, which has so far upholden me, yet I know and feel that He is with me, and that nothing man can do shall hurt my progress, and His rod and staff shall comfort me.’
‘TRIN. COLL., CAMB.,
‘March 3, 1846.
‘I have, thanks to my gracious Redeemer, nothing but blessing to tell you of. I got safely and comfortably here, got through my lecture with great comfort also; since that time all has been blessing and peace. Mr Fares seems to be pretty well . . . we go on very well upon the whole, and I hope, before he goes, we shall have the greatest part of our work done. |162The rest must be done after he returns to Malta, and finished by epistle. I have seen no one since I left you about whom you would be interested, except Prof. Scholefield and General Tom Thumb. . . . As to the General, he was riding in an open car about Cambridge to-day, dressed in uniform. The whole street full was, of course, after him; my impression is that the whole is “a take in.” He is, I think, a small child of about four years old, who will after a time stand in need of larger clothes. In the meantime, however, he is making, as they say, about three thousand a year! Oh, how easily mankind is gulled! And how difficult it is to get them to spare one farthing to things of infinite value and moment! People must have something to stare at! or to wonder at! or about which they themselves can talk, or write, in a wondrous way!’
The above refers to the new translation of the Bible into Arabic, which my father was making for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Mr Fares, a Syrian gentleman, was helping him. The work was not finished when he died in 1852, but it was taken up by his pupil and friend, the late Professor Jarrett, and a letter from the |163secretary of the society, referring to Dr Lee’s labours on this behalf, will be found in its place, among others received by my mother after his death.
‘TRIN. COLL., CAMB.,
‘March 24, 1846.
‘Thanks to the best of Friends, I have nothing but comforts to speak about. My lecture was easy to me and comfortable, and the recollection of it has been comfortable. The meeting last night was large, spirited and highly spiritual. I begin to be afraid that I may possibly become popular. I concluded with a speech which was well received, and, in my recollection of it, I do not know of anything I would since have unsaid. . . . I have also to be thankful that I have just finished my article on Pusey’s second sermon; I yesterday sent one packet, this evening I sent the last So far, my God be praised. I feel quite relieved ; what with my lecture, the paper to be finished, the meeting to be held, and my speech to be made, I feel quite out of prison, and in good health and spirits. . . . My heart is at liberty to think and speak for itself. And what shall I say? Why, that mercy, and loving-kindness everywhere meet me. I have had, too, a letter from Mr Faber, which I also send for |164your perusal. I am sure it will please you. You will see that he is full, as a prophet, with seemingly forthcoming events. To-morrow I shall answer it, and will send my answer through you. . . .’
The two following letters from Mr Faber appear to me sufficiently interesting to be inserted here :–
‘March 22, 1846.
‘MY DEAR SIR,–Thank you very cordially, for all the trouble which you have taken. If I had not mistrusted my own speculation, I should not have applied to you. In truth, I felt that I was somewhat in the predicament of the “Incidit in Scyllam cupiens vitare Charybdin.“ I was removing one difficulty only to fall into another. In fine, while I did not feel sure about my bare grammatical translation, I had a consciousness that my limitation of this, “I was not known,” to Abraham was more like a contrivance to serve a turn than a legitimate interpretation. It is curious enough, and which rather endangers my humility, that the very solution (as I understand it) which you propose had flitted through my brain many years ago. As sanctioned by your authority, I |165 very much incline now to think, that it is the true key of the present very perplexing passage. That we may not be at cross-purposes, and that I may ascertain whether in the solution we really have coincided, I will briefly give what I had thought might do away the difficulty. Exactly on your editorial theory, which I think quite indisputable, I conceived that the name, really given by Abraham to the place of sacrifice, was not Jehovah-Jireh, but El Shaddai-Jireh; and that, afterward, on the occupation of the country by the Israelites, the old patriarchal name, like many other recorded names, was changed to what had become its equivalent, by the revelation which Moses received ; namely, to Jehovah-Jireh. To this I the more inclined, because the very place bears clearly the mark of an editorial hand The addition, ‘”as it is said to this day,” in the Mount of Jehovah it shall be seen’ (or rather, perhaps, in the Mount Jehovah shall appear), could never have been written by Moses himself. In the modern manufactory of a book the clause would have been an editorial foot-note ; in old simplicity it was, what we should deem unwarrantably, inserted in the text. On the whole, I recalled that I mentally traced the pedigree of the name thus:– |166
‘1. Abraham, not knowing the name Jehovah, called the place El-Shaddai-Jireh.
‘2. When the Israelites occupied the country, the name Jehovah, being then known, gave rise to the proverb, expressive of any remarkable interposition of God, “In the Mount, Jehovah shall appear.”
‘3. And, finally, the verbal use of the proverb produced a change in the original name of the place, so that, conformably with the wording of the proverb, that place lost its old original name of El-Shaddai-Jireh, and acquired the new, but henceforth permanent, name of Jehovah-Jireh.
‘This was one of my speculations; and I think it is the same, or pretty much the same, as that suggested in your letter. You will know whether I judge correctly as to the identity of our views. If the present, or something like it, be not the true solution, I shall be at sea again, for not one of the old solutions that I ever met with gave me any satisfaction. I know how much engaged you are ; but a single line of yea or nay as to whether this is or is not your solution would very much gratify me.
‘I knew that you wrote the “Letters on Isaac Taylor.” Very conceited book, the first portion of which so completely satisfied me that I went no further. . . . |167
‘I was very glad to find that you gave such a dressing to Dr Thorp, particularly in connection with Nasmyth Stokes. That unfortunate, but very conceited, youth, like a nephew of my own, has ended his Tractarian vagaries by going over to Popery. The letter which I wrote at the request of his uncle, Mr Stokes, appeared in the “Christian’s Magazine,” and has been followed, and is still in course of being followed, by other letters upon Mr Newman’s “Development” and Dr Moehler’s” Symbolism.” The whole number will be ten, and, when they shall have successively appeared in the magazine, they will be printed collectively in a small volume by the Reformation Society. I shall look forward with much interest to your announced letter in the next number of the same magazine.
‘I was fully aware of the difference in our views on Prophecy. You, I know, are a Preterist, and a modern party among the Tractarians are all Futurists. Now, as I am neither, I must either condemn myself or set both Preterists and Futurists down as mistaken. According to my own view, we are on the very brink of a precipice, for I certainly believe that we are on the eve of that last fearful bouleversement which is the concurrent theme of all the prophets. Remarkably enough, |168on the principle, I suppose, of coming events casting their shadows before them, mere secular politicians seem equally to be anticipating some great crisis, notwithstanding the frequent talk in the newspapers that a long peace is certain, and that nations are now too wise to go to war. I fear that the peace of the world depends upon the life of a man who is only a fortnight older than myself –Louis Philippe, to wit. However, I shall be most happy if I prove mistaken. I think, nevertheless, that we may clearly enough see preparations for the final dissolution of the component parts of the mixed colossus of Empire, which is so distinctly announced by Daniel, chap. ii. 35, 44. But difference in our views of so difficult a subject as Prophecy will, I am sure, produce no diminution of respect and regard on either side. . . . I observe you threaten an assault on Mr Forster touching his Arabic, as respects the old language. I have read his book. He strikes me as perhaps a little too sanguine anent the Hamyar, but he does not describe it as an absolutely different language from Arabic. As I understand him, he exhibits it rather as old Arabic than as a different language. I am quite at sea as to how he attains the deciphering of the rock inscriptions. I |169 had anticipated something analagous to the Rosetta stone, but did not find it.–Believe me, dear sir, yours very truly,
G. S. FABER.’
‘April 4, 1846.
‘Your brother professor, in good sooth, whatever may be his knowledge of Hebrew, is one of the most muddle-headed persons in argumentative powers that I ever met with. A great deal of the “mistings” of Tractarianism on the part (for instance) of such a man as Newman was, I believe, intentional, and introduced for the nonce; but Pusey’s “mistings,” so far as I can judge from every writing of his that has passed under my eye, is really innocent; though Pusey, by some sophism of not very easy comprehension, manages to hold conjointly his preferment and his opinions. Still, inherently, I believe him to be an honester man than Newman, simply because he has not a tithe of his intellect. . . . In my letter, the whipster, who ruled Luther “to be an apostate monk and an atheist, and who determined, in short, that the Reformation is a sin of three centuries,” is my ill-persuaded nephew, the dupe of Newman and others who have played upon his besetting sin of |170vanity, much in the same manner, I suspect, as the young Cantab Stokes was played upon in your university. My nephew has showy talents, and a mint of vanity. He has an imagination and poetical bend, but certainly not an iron head. Had he possessed the latter article, albeit more useful than ornamental, he would not have been where he is.
‘G. S. FABER.’
‘TRIN. COLL., March 26,
‘You had from me this morning my answer to Mr Faber. To-morrow, D. V., I hope to be with you. But, I must tell you, I have begun to be Puseyite in good earnest. Yesterday, being Lady-Day, I fasted! This was a good beginning, you will say. No doubt it was. But, to see its merits, you should know all about it. I was invited to meet a party at seven o’clock, which I supposed must be a dinner party. I was more than punctual, for I was ten minutes before the time at the place appointed, as I had a great horror of keeping people waiting at so late an hour. Nearer to eight o’clock than seven, in came coffee ! “Oh,” said I, “I am finely dished ! I am to have a dish of tea, then, instead of a well-dished-up piece of roast beef, etc. ?” “Well, dear friend, this being the |171case, make the best of it.” “So I will,” said I to myself; and accordingly I looked out for the solids. These consisted of toast and butter, plum cake, etc., and so, philosopher-like, I made a very good dinner upon what everybody else would have considered a mere pretence for eating. I felt very comfortable, partook in some good music, was at home by ten, went to bed, and slept sound and well ! This is my Puseyitish commencement, and, I trust, termination of austerities.’
In this year my father published his second letter to Dr Pusey, which bears the title, ‘The Doctrine of the Keys; or, Sacerdotal Binding and Loosing,’ as taught in Holy Scripture, the Fathers of the Primitive Church, and in the United Church of Great Britain and Ireland,’ in refutation of certain notions lately put forth by him in a sermon preached before the members of that university.’ The letter is not a very long one ; I will only give one sentence from it:–‘Your views and feelings are in direct opposition to those which are taught and urged in the Reformed Church of these realms.’
The appendix to the letter is very lengthy, and deals exhaustively with the subject of the Confessional and its origin ; a passage from the end of |172 it is here quoted as summing up his views on the subject:–
‘The particular thing had in view, is the establishment of private confession, with the full and entire power of absolution in the priest. For this, as Dr Pusey tells us, there is no want of any new appointments ; the whole may be adopted with the greatest ease, and with the best effects possible. We have only to take his statements as those of all orthodox antiquity, and as recommended by our own soundest divines. But here, again, it unhappily turns out, upon a little inquiry, that orthodox antiquity never recognised any such thing, as it likewise never did the power, in the ministers of religion, directly to absolve anyone of his sins; all that was ever professed by the true Church being, to teach the remission of sins upon the due use of the means of grace, and through the tender mercy of our God in our Saviour Christ. All here, therefore, is, as before, very promising, but quite groundless, alluring, but utterly void of truth. But then private confession would, as Dr Pusey thinks, be a good thing, no matter what the infidel Michelet or others may have said to the contrary. Medicine is good, as is also law, although these may have been so abused in unskilful or dishonest hands as |173 even to have destroyed life. The difference, however, lies here–medicine and law are not in themselves bad ; it is the abuse of these only which can make them so. The principle which governs private confession, as here recommended, is a totally different thing ; it is in itself essentially bad, and can in no way be made otherwise. It necessarily puts artful and designing men–and such the school of its advocates have universally been– into a situation the most ruinous to society, public and private . . . and to this the history of the confessional will supply the most satisfactory proofs ; while the powers of the faithful minister can in no way be increased by it. … Of its abettors, and of Dr Pusey in particular, I myself believe nothing short of a judicial blindness as to the truth, ignorantly hoping to discover something better than the Word of God, as interpreted by Christ’s Church, has to supply, can account for their conduct. It must be that secret and unseen power of error which induces men to do things which, in its earlier progress, they never would believe it possible they could do. “What,” said Hazael to the Prophet, “is thy servant a dog that he should do this great thing?” 2 Kings viii. 13. Well indeed might the man of God weep at |174 viewing, in the young traitor and murderer, the germ of sins and cruelties he was so soon to commit, and of which he probably had then neither the slightest conception nor the will to undertake. In the absence of Divine light there ever is a progress from bad to worse ; and in nothing has this been more visible than in the progress of the Tractarian party. Dr Wiseman admonished Mr Newman of this a few years ago. He very clearly saw whither the arch-Tractarian was wending his way, and sagely told him that, as he had begun to see as through a glass darkly, the day was not far distant when he should see and feel wholly as he himself did. The day came; Newman halted no longer between two opinions; and now, in Dr Pusey’s “other vineyard” he is serving “Baal much.” The loss of spiritual sight has here, alas! precipitated both the leader and the led into the same ditch !
‘It is painful to me to say anything which may appear personal; certainly my intention is to do no such thing, but only to illustrate the principle above adverted to, the working of which I most deeply lament. I may say, however, to Dr Pusey himself, that in my last I admonished him of certain grossly palpable errors in his quotations and reasonings on the Eucharist. He has, |175 nevertheless, without so much as a word in explanation, or otherwise, just now again printed and published that same sermon, together with the one here noticed, with all its errors, just as it issued in the first instance from the press! . . . Does this evince that regard to the public which a conscience so tender, and a piety so deep, as those which he appears to cultivate will justify ? I think not; nor can I account for this on any other grounds but those of the heathenish principles by which he has allowed himself to be so implicitly deluded and led. I can say of myself, I entertain no feeling towards Dr Pusey but that of sorrow at the course which he has taken, and the unhappy differences which he has created, and is still creating, under the plausible but mistaken view of restoring greater union and a better state of things. Never, surely, was the zeal of a very zealous man more unhappily exerted, or time, which might otherwise have been well employed, more unwisely thrown away; nor, probably, were ever efforts, so far from challenging respect in themselves, followed by consequences so extensive and distressing. In the part which I have taken in this controversy, and which may terminate here, I have endeavoured to know nothing of the |176 extremes of either High or Low Church; feeling, as I do, the exceeding sinfulness of fostering party feeling in the Church of Christ. Nor is the question here that which has respect to either High or Low Church, as such, but to the Protestant establishment of these realms, as opposed to the corrupt one of Rome. And, in discussing this, I have, I trust, endeavoured honestly to follow the declarations of Holy Scripture as these have been seen, felt and urged by the best expositors, both of early and late times. . . . Nor have I felt any desire to diminish the value of the means of grace, as applied under our holy religion ; my endeavour has been to restrict these to their due province as means, while I have hoped and prayed that I, and all who embrace them, may find in them, and through them, what these themselves are not and never can be, viz., the grace and holiness which bring salvation.’
‘COLLEGE GREEN, July 19, 1846.
‘NEXT Sunday is my last for this season ; but my period does not end until the end of the month. . . . I met Lord Wm. yesterday, who pressed me much to stay and do his duty. But it is impossible at. this time; at some other, perhaps, I may be able to do so. . . . I hope I have got through the College matter here; a very good man has been elected. I hope he will accept the situation, and work it well. I shall know to-morrow, most likely. . . . I must now say something of to-day’s preparations and duties, for I have not been idle. I have written an admirable sermon, as I think, which I intended to preach this morning. I will read it to you when I come home. During this morning I have been reading the Prophets, and putting down some notes on |178 particular places. I find the inquiry most interesting and instructive. I think I see more and more clearly daily the intimate connection between the two Testaments; or, if you like the term better, between the “Two Witnesses.” The inquiry is most rational, I think, and I feel it to be very edifying–it tends to substantiate, as to embody, the Old Testament declarations in such a manner as to make them very impressive. A very intelligent Jew from Bath called on me a few days ago, and brought me several papers on prophecy, and with these two sermons with notes, of the late Dr Arnold of Rugby. I will give you a specimen of his proof that prophecy must have a double interpretation. It is, says he, the word of God; it is also the word of man, and to each of these an interpretation is to be given, therefore, prophecy has necessarily a double interpretation. He illustrates this notable canon by the case of Caiaphas, who said it was expedient that some one should die for the people.
‘Caiaphas then, we are to suppose, meant one thing, the Holy Ghost, who caused him to speak, another. The Evangelist, however, makes |179 the whole a prophecy and nothing else; and such it really is (John xi. 50), for he adds, ‘and that the whole nation perish not,’ which could hardly have been said if Caiaphas meant nothing more than that the Jews of Jerusalem should be gratified thereby. Consider the whole place. Did you ever hear of such reasoning as this? Then, again, he makes all prophecy to be doctrine of one sort or other, all centreing in Christ, but to be fulfilled times innumerable, even to the end of time. How do you like this? Here is surely scope enough for the wandering imagination of clever and plausible men. In Isaiah liii. he can see nothing whatever of Christ, but something like the return of the Jews from Babylon. Nor can he discover that the citations made in the New Testament from the Old do generally give their true sense. This is only a shoot from the trunk to which the religious world is in bondage. Is it not a beautiful illustration, and, indeed, proof of the goodness of the principle adopted? Now, I contend that the Evangelists and Apostles have cited correctly as it regards the sense; with the letter they had but little to do. The principles which |180they adopted are the true and rational ones, as are the interpretations which they gave, Now, Dr Arnold was a very clever and very extraordinary man; all the world is in love with him. How do you like him? Mr M. and my good friend Mr F. are not a whit better in their principles; nay, their leading principles are identically the same, the only difference is, they are not so badly followed out. But I must not deal so unmercifully with what so many good folk are in love with. I will spare for the present. I have sent all my attack on Pusey to press. It is somewhat longer than I intended, but the matter is too important and too little understood to be shortly treated. I think you will be pleased with it when you see it. I suppose it will be out by about October. It is not desirable it should be out earlier, as people are travelling about now, and do not read much.’
‘COLLEGE GREEN, BRISTOL,
‘July 26, 1846.
‘I did not think this day week that I should have to send you another Sunday epistle during my stay here. It afforded me many a pang to feel that I could not be with my own so soon as I wished, and, |181indeed, hoped to be. It will not, however, inflict any serious injury on either of us. … I preached my sermon, intended for last Sunday, to a crowded congregation, which was, during the whole, as still as death. May God give His blessing upon it, both to the preacher and hearers ! I felt much warmed in the delivery. I felt the subject, I hope, myself, and hence, I suppose, I got the attention just now noticed. I certainly get more and more tired of our everlasting music. It is far too much. It lengthens out the time of the service, and distracts the mind to things of inferior moment. The many come for nothing else; and also the singing men themselves, who from their very manner show that nothing else concerns them. The chanting of the psalms, is, however, very expressive, f I feel that I can enter into this. But, upon the whole, Barley is better than Bristol, much; ay, in every respect. The more I am held from it, the more do I love it; its simplicity, in many cases, piety; but, above all my peaceful and orderly home. . . . I believe I told you that I have finished my Bishop’s College labours, and have succeeded beyond my expectations. We had Lord Wm.’s family here at church to-day. His brother, Lord Fitzroy was expected, but I rather think he did not come. He came from |182 London yesterday to see his brother, Lord John Somerset, who, it is to be feared, is in a dying state. To-morrow he returns by an express, or quick train. I wonder much why people make the risk so great by travelling by the express train going at the rate of nearly a mile in a minute. The common trains go at about half that rate, that is, a mile in two minutes. The risk is a very rash one. . . . I have nothing here to talk about that can interest you. It will avail you nothing to tell you how our singing men are behaving themselves ; how the College Green is looking, or how much plague I have with the man who is hired to take care of it. . . . But I forgot to give you my text. It was 1 John xiv. 16–“God is love,” etc. I viewed this first in nature, next in grace, showing that the same love was visible in each, and that these served mutually to illustrate and explain each other.’
‘TRIN. COLL., CAMB.,
‘March 10, 1847.
‘ . . . Dr Wolffe* [* Missionary to the Jews.] has but just left me. He has been dining here, and he took his tea with me. He attempted to get up a lecture at the Town Hall. But, alas ! none came to hear. To-morrow |183he tries again ; and I have no doubt will again fail. He has been marvellously amusing. Our young men in hall and combination stared at him with all their might. My name, he says, is well known throughout India, and even in Bochara. Only think that such a creature should be known almost from pole to pole! If, however, I am known and recognised above that is infinitely better.
‘Yesterday Mr B.’s brother, who became a Dissenting preacher, called on me. He told me he had returned from Dissent to the Church. He begged a copy of one of my tracts against Pye Smith, which 1 gave him, and promised to procure another for him. He seemed much taken with my reasoning. He requested to be allowed to come to tea with me. He came accordingly ; but, alas ! in came also Mr Dodd, the gentleman who calls occasionally to talk on Prophecy, and the consequence was, we had no talk about Dissent. I have no doubt I shall see him again in a day or two, and certainly I shall be glad to do the best I can to deliver him from the libertinism of Dissent. We had a long confab yesterday evening almost to midnight. It was very interesting. All entered, as I thought, very feelingly into the Scriptures which we had to consider. It struck me as |184 primitive and edifying. I received yesterday an invitation to dine with our master at the Lodge on Tuesday next. To-day I called and apologised that I must be at Bristol. Our master made himself exceedingly agreeable, as also did Mrs Whewell. He was much interested with my prophetical scheme, of which I told him some time ago. By-and-by I hope to gratify not a few on this great and interesting question. Thanks to our God, I have been very well, and in very good spirits.’
In July 1847, during the Long Vacation, the Queen and Prince Albert visited Cambridge on the occasion of the Prince’s Installation as Chancellor of the University. During the Royal visit, Professor Lee was presented to the Prince, who, in the course of conversation, expressed a wish to do something for him in recognition of his services to Oriental literature. Dr Lee replied, whilst gratefully acknowledging the kindness of His Royal Highness, that he already had all he could wish in regard to earthly comfort and prosperity, and desired no further preferment, but added that he should esteem it as a personal favour if, in the bestowal of his patronage, the Prince could promote the interests of his faithful and valued curate at Barley. To this Prince Albert |185gave a most kind and gracious assent, and shortly afterwards a living falling vacant in the Duchy of Cornwall, it was presented, in accordance with Dr Lee’s request.
‘Sunday, 8 Aug. 1847.
‘. . . I was in one of my low moods last night, when even the grasshopper would have been a burden. Poking about the room, I met with one of John Wesley’s sermons on the necessity of taking up the Cross and denying self. I read it through, and certainly it did me much good service. He is not an accurate writer, but is generally much superior to the many that are commonly read. This sermon induced me to think that I was setting rather too much value on my own feelings, which, after all, had no good grounds for discomfort. I now thanked my good God, and went to bed. I slept soundly and well, and got up in very good spirits. I had thought of getting Mr Caley to preach for me, but I now felt that, having no good excuse for being idle, I could not allow this day to pass without doing my duties myself. I had not quite finished my sermon on John xx. 23. This I now did vigorously, and |186went accordingly and delivered it, for all which I thank my God in the best way I can. We had a large and most attentive congregation, and I do hope the blessing of God will rest on myself and those who heard me.’
‘TRINITY COLL., CAMB.,
‘March 28, 1848.
‘Nothing but comfort has occurred to me– thanks to our good and gracious God! but the news from the Continent is full of strange events. At Berlin about 2000 have been killed ; at Milan, perhaps as many; at Vienna, many. The revolutionary spirit has extended itself to Denmark, and two of the Duchies, Holstein and Schleswig, have proclaimed a Republic. In Poland, the same thing is going on; and in the States of the Pope in Italy the same is likely to be the case. In Hungary and Bohemia, feudal claims and usages of the serfage are done away with. Throughout Germany, freedom of the Press is established ; and in Ireland, rebellion is next to certain ! What times we live in! France, with its new Republic, is in a state of bankruptcy, and knows not whither to look for money. In our own country, thanks |187to our God, all is promising tolerably well. Surely we are a very highly – favoured people, and very thankful and very prayerful ought we to be. God grant us the grace to be so! I hear nothing as yet of Ely. All is so far in statu quo! (The Canonry of Ely was to form the future endowment of the Hebrew Professorship. Dr Lee preferred to give up the latter and retain the Canonry at Bristol.) ‘Nothing is stirring here but newspaper – reading and talking about what is taking place in the world. God be thanked that we have nothing worse! As to myself, I am going on with my preliminary matter for my work, and I hope soon to bring it also to a close. I shall then have the last and very interesting part to perform, viz., to revise, illustrate with notes, etc., etc., until I have got the whole quite to my mind.’ (This refers to his work on Prophecy, published in 1849.)
‘I look back to our last Sabbath with much thankfulness and great satisfaction. The Lord be praised for it! all such retrospects are very comforting to me, and call forth many thanksgiving to God for them. The Lord enable us to make |188 all our Sabbaths real Sabbaths of spiritual rest and refreshment, and sources of much and continued thankfulness to us all !’
Letter from a LADY staying at Barley Rectory in 1848.
‘I must take the opportunity of giving you my first impressions of Dr Lee, though I had not intended to speak so hastily. He arrived at home yesterday to a six o’clock dinner, having travelled ever since six o’clock in the morning, and came in as fresh as a lark ; thus you see his physical powers are tolerably good for an old man of 70, at least I should think.’ (He was really not more than 65.) ‘He conversed with Miss Portal, Mrs Lee’s cousin, the whole evening, and I am delighted to find him very communicative, which I was rather afraid such a learned man might not be. I was fully prepared to see a man of great activity and energy in mind and body, but I confess I was surprised to see with how much mildness and softness it is blended. It was beautiful last night to see as well as hear him speak; his whole face was beaming with the greatest animation; there was no excitement, no fire; I do not think I ever saw anyone so thoroughly warm in his subject without being |189 warm, if you can understand me. I suppose it must be his remarkably mild blue eyes which throw such a peculiar softness over his features, for though he is not handsome his expression is most pleasing.
‘I like the little peeps I have had into his mind very much ; his face appears to be a very good index to it, for though it is and must be a “master spirit” it is not an iron one. Music and poetry have had their softening influence, and he is as great an admirer of the beautiful as he is deep and sound. As far as I can judge, imagination and judgment are nicely balanced. His defects, whatever they may be, do not lie on the surface. He exhibits a beautiful specimen of superior intellectual powers, brought into subjection to the power of the Gospel, the finest and most interesting sight a Christian can behold. This morning being wet we have had recourse to the piano, and I am happy to say I have at present given tolerable satisfaction, having succeeded in playing at sight all that Dr Lee has selected to sing. He has evidently had a fine voice ; he brought home a new flute, so I expect we shall have a good deal of music.’
WORK ON PROPHECY
EVER since his translation of Eusebius’s ‘Theophania,’ my father’s mind had been more or less occupied on the subject of Prophecy, and he became convinced that the views which he entertained, known as the Preterist, were those held by the early Church. The subject was one of absorbing interest to him during the few last years of his life, and as a child I can remember the animated conversations between him and my mother on Prophecy in their walks about our beautiful garden, or in the leisure of meal times, she holding the more general and popular opinions of the restoration of the Jews to their own land, etc.
In the year 1849 he published his ‘Inquiry into the Nature, Progress and End of Prophecy.’
A Scotch minister, the Reverend W. Paul, himself a Hebrew scholar, with whom my father |191 corresponded, has so clearly and forcibly set forth his views in one of his letters, as he gathered them from the book, that I give an extract from it:–
‘MANSE OF BANCHORY,
‘BY ABERDEEN, 30 March, 1850.
‘REVD. AND DEAR SIR,–Since I last wrote to you I have perused with great care and interest your work on Prophecy, and I felt every inclination to write to you sooner with a view to the expression of my opinion of its contents. I, however, delayed doing so until I had fully and maturely considered the principles you set out with, and the result you have arrived at. I had given very little attention previously to this important subject, chiefly from the very unsatisfactory manner in which I had seen it pursued. I could discover no solid ground to rest upon, and I was called upon to hold, almost as a matter of faith, results which had no foundation but that of ingenious conjecture, which left ample scope for anyone becoming a prophet who was not deficient in vanity and presumption. . . .
‘Notwithstanding these views, which in a somewhat confused form occasionally floated through my mind previously to the perusal of your work, I do confess that I was completely staggered by |192 enunciations that all prophecy had already had its fulfilment; that the Book of Revelation is rather confirmatory of old than a record of new predictions–that the believing remnant of the Jews have become the heirs of the world, and that to them have been already fulfilled all the promises made to their fathers–that there exist no promises in Scripture of the restoration of their brethren on their acceptance of the promised Saviour, to the earthly Canaan and Jerusalem– that the fulness of the Gentiles has arrived in the Scriptural sense of the term, and that the Gospel has in that sense been preached to every creature under heaven — and that the Jews, at whatever time converted, will, on their conversion, lose all their distinctive characteristics as a nation, and will become, with the Gentiles, one body in Christ.
‘I have marked with great attention and interest the way in which you have cleared your ground, and laid down, followed out and established your principles. I have carefully considered these principles, weighed the arguments by which they were supported, and reflected upon the results to which they have led, and I am happy to say that they have carried full conviction |193to my mind. The fact is, I cannot resist your conclusions. I find nothing in them to clash with the great leading principles of divine truth which are most surely believed in by all the true Church of Christ, while they throw a flood of light upon otherwise unintelligible parts of the Old Testament history, doctrine and prophecy which is most satisfactory. One regrets to see the talents and learning of such men as Mr Elliott and Dr Todd wasted in confirming and perpetuating the errors of Mr Mede. The year-day theory you have very properly rejected, and have rightly tested the application of prophecy by the whole of the circumstances taken in cumulo. No one has succeeded, who has attempted, to fix down the accomplishment of a prophecy to periods calculated from time specified in the prophecy itself.
‘One great difficulty has been removed in regard to the application of prophecy to the Jews, by the dissertation on the Covenants introduced into your work. You have there clearly pointed out the different condition, under these covenants, of those that serve the Lord, and of those that serve Him not–that the promises made to Abraham are the portion only of the former ; that these promises do |194not include any peculiar blessings of a temporal character in Canaan or Jerusalem; and that Jews as well as Gentiles were only to be blessed in Christ by their being turned from their iniquities, and obtaining salvation through Him. In that dissertation, likewise, the confusion between doctrine, i.e., contingent prediction, or intimation of the consequences of certain conduct as good or evil, on the fate of nations or individuals, and prediction, properly so called, has been removed, by which means many otherwise very difficult passages of Scripture have been made extremely plain.
‘I have often thought that “Glassen’s Rhetorica Sacra” might, in the hands of one mighty in the Scriptures, be of essential service to the elucidation of prophecy. I have often thought that the rhetorical figures of Scripture might, through the instrumentality of that work, in good hands, be reduced to a precision, which would make the study of prophecy, conducted on proper principles, comparatively easy. Nothing can be more satisfactory than the manner in which you have arranged this part of your subject. Indeed, you have accomplished in this way more than I ever thought to be practicable. You have, indeed, brought unusually great talents and |195theological attainments of every variety to bear upon this very difficult question, and a mind, unless I am much mistaken, sincerely anxious for the Spirit’s light and guidance in the investigation of divine truth, together with an earnest desire for the advancement of the spiritual interests of others.
‘It is not wonderful that prophecy is expressed under highly figurative language, but it is remarkable to trace the extent to which what is figurative is involved in the whole of the Jewish history. In their journeyings from place to place; in their captivities and deliverances ; in occurrences that happened to individuals ; in Egypt, in the Wilderness and in Canaan; in the language and ceremonies of their ritual; in their offices of prophet, priest and king, are perceptible types and shadows of good things to come, and events applicable to the circumstances of the Church under the last dispensation of the Covenant of Grace. All this fully justifies the spiritual interpretation which you have given to many of the prophecies, where temporal events in the first instance are evidently pointed at.
‘I have only now to conclude with the expression of my hearty concurrence in the views you have |196 adopted, of my thanks for your having put the work into my view, and of my sincere desire that it may be extensively read and pondered, and impart to others the same gratification and instruction which it has afforded me. . . . Were mine the prayers of the righteous man which could “avail you much,” be assured they would be offered up for you with all sincerity.–Believe me to be, rev. and dear sir, with great respect and esteem, very faithfully yours,
‘ WILLIAM PAUL.
‘The Rev. SAMUEL LEE, D.D.’
The following letter is from the Reverend W. Carus, acknowledging a copy of his work on Prophecy, which Dr Lee had sent him :–
‘March 31, 1849.
‘MY DEAR DR LEE,–How much have I been longing for the appearance of your work on Prophecy ! But I little expected the favour of a copy from the author, especially valuable from the kind inscription, and also from the but too kind note which accompanied it. Allow me to express to you my grateful and affectionate acknowledgments for this very gratifying remembrance of |197 me. I can truly say no one in Cambridge will feel your separation from us more deeply than myself. Your presence and friendship has been one of the bright and happy gifts which made my labour here pleasant, and self-sacrifice light and easy. But we are not separated though we cannot meet just so frequently within the walls of our good College. I shall feel more than ever bound to visit Barley, and so fulfil my long-made promise. Indeed, I have here a volume brought from Armenia for you, by Mr Birch, about which I wrote to you last autumn. Shall I send it? or bring it ? I go on Monday to the Pyms. . . . I shall take your book as my company. Whether you will make me a convert or not, I don’t think you will have a more friendly reader. Wednesday I go to the F.’s of S., the week following, the Scholarship Examinations will detain me here. But, about June, if you are at Barley I will gladly come over.–With kindest regards, ever believe me, your affect, and obliged,
Letter from Dr LEE to his BROTHER-IN-LAW.
‘BARLEY, Jan. 1st, 30, 1849.
‘MY DEAR BROTHER HOPPER,– . . . I think |198I said in my last that I should show what the principles of Mr Mede were, and what sort of reliance can be placed on them. I have finished my preface, and in a day or two shall send it to press. You will not be sorry to hear that I find my principles and the main of my results to accord exactly with those of the early Christian Church. So far as it judaized, Mr Mede and his school are with it.’
‘BARLEY, May 2, 1850.
‘My DEAR BROTHER HOPPER,–Many thanks for your kind note, and for all the kind things said in it. I have no doubt Mr N.’s letter would please you, not only as entering very fully and particularly into the character of my book, but as exhibiting a very rare specimen of an ingenuous mind. In this last respect, I must confess it surprised me. I have had some letters much to the same point, but none that so particularly and carefully investigated the matter before he pronounced his conclusions. Only a few days ago I had a letter, much to the same effect, from London, and a little earlier another from Brighton. What I prize principally in Mr N. is the care he has taken to understand the subject. I am not one of those who labour under a very high opinion either of |199myself or my productions. I am therefore greatly obliged when anyone takes the trouble to follow me, and to state his reasons either for approving or disapproving of anything that I have written. Of one thing I think I may say I am certain, viz., that I am not wrong in the main, that my system is good, and hence, I have no doubt, it will first or last prevail. Its results are certainly good. I care not, therefore, for the present popularity of the opposite view. It must have its day, and this, God knoweth, I do not envy it. I have, indeed, much to be thankful for, and I praise my God for the great honour He has been pleased to put upon me. I must confess I do not expect much from a review by Mr Nangles, for, in the first place, I have doubts whether he has either ability or candour sufficient to enter fairly into the question. He cannot in a day or two see where the great point of the question rests, and he cannot spare more time, as the editor of a newspaper, to bestow upon it. Then, again, he writes for a party who will not take his paper if he desert the Millennarian, etc., doatings of his supporters. The manner, too, in which he has been accustomed to view Scripture will not quadrate well with that adopted by me. He is, and will |200continue, like many others similarly circumstanced, satisfied with his present notions. If this is not the case, you may fairly conclude that, whatever I may be as an interpreter of the prophets, I am no prophet myself; you will soon be able to judge in this matter if, indeed, Mr Nangles is at work on the book. Poor Lamb! *[ * Dean of Bristol.] I saw him about nine days before he died. He seemed then to have no idea of his danger. I invited him to Barley, for I thought a change of air might do much for him. But it could have done him no good. . . . You, and those about you, are very kind in wishing to see me at the Deanery. I am pretty sure, however, this will not be the case. I am told that Lord Wriothsley Russell has long been wishing for it; if so, he will have it, of course. Lord Melbourne wished Lamb to take Ely, and to vacate Bristol, in order, as it is said, to make way for Lord W. R. If he comes to you, you will have a most excellent man, and one who will fill that post much better than I can. . . . We are all, thanks to our God, doing very well. I do not think I shall see you now before Midsummer, unless, indeed, our new Dean should deem it right to summon us earlier.’ |201
‘BARLEY, July 27, 1850.
‘My DEAR BROTHER HOPPER,– . . . This day week I must be in Bristol to commence my two months’ residence there. . . . I am interested in hearing of any progress made in the knowledge of prophecy. The case you mention seems to promise well. Still, I know that many — no matter how right or wrong — will not take the trouble to investigate a question of so large an amount as that of prophecy, merely for the truth’s sake. Others would rather accept a system which seems to promise so much that is glorious than be convinced that it is not true. And here I think the stumbling-block and rock of offence to my scheme is likely long to continue, perhaps to the end of time. But I must be content to succeed in just as much as the great Head of the Church will allow me, and for this, little as it may be, I shall be thankful. You will be glad to hear, I think, that I shall shortly publish an outline of my work, D. V. In this it will be my object to fix the dates and events of prophecy in such a manner as to be incapable of misunderstanding, and I think of avoiding their adoption. My own convictions certainly grow stronger daily on this great and interesting subject. Every day adds |202something to my stock which I had not before, and this, I have no doubt, will be the case to the end of my career. If so, I believe I shall be made the honoured instrument in the hands of Him who has, of His mercy, done so much for me, of more effectually arresting the progress of doubt as to the inspiration of the Scriptures than I had ever imagined, or perhaps than anyone hitherto has.’
AFTER the year 1848 the home-letters are few. His Hebrew lectures no longer took my father to Cambridge, as, in that year, he resigned the Professorship. Also, after that date, whilst in residence at Bristol, his family were either with him there, or staying in this immediate neighbourhood. I have selected the following letter out of several to show how the scholar could unbend to interest and amuse a child.
‘Aug. 13, 1850.
‘MY VERY DEAR LITTLE ANNA MARY,–I thank you much, indeed, for your very kind and interesting note which I have just now received, as I do all the dollys (dollies?) for their very kind remembrances of me. I am glad to hear, too, that Jenny Donkey is behaving so well. It is owing, no doubt, to the good training she gets from Miss W., Susan, etc., etc. She may, perhaps, become as famous as the dog of the Sleepers in the |204 Cave, which, because it had slept with his masters so long, that is some two or three hundred years, became at last so humanised as to claim, and get, all the honour due to any one of his masters. You say, however, that she is not equal to the journey proposed in my last, unless I can send you a pair of seven-league boots. But what can these be ? I never heard of such things! I remember reading many years ago about Lorenzo’s jack-boots, which were so large as to stop a river into which they fell by accident, and actually flooded all the neighbouring country for several miles ! But I think the reading must be erroneous here; it must be seven-legged boots ; that is, such as make up seven legs to every creature that wore them, so that while four were travelling three would be taking rest, and the animal gallop on night and day without stopping. But, if seven-leagued be the true reading, then perhaps every step would be seven leagues in length. I prefer, however, the seven-legged reading. I will at my leisure turn into Levi’s shop; it is possible he may have some of these marvellous boots to sell. If so, I will get some and send them through the Post Office, for I understand legs and arms often travel in this way. But dear mamma also complains of her legs being weak. If I could |205get a new pair for her, oh, how much I should rejoice! For then she may perhaps be able to come to me here, without venturing into the railway. But do tell her from me that faith in God’s goodness is a much more safe and easy conveyance. It will even carry its possessor to Heaven ! Oh, what a railway is this ! But dear mamma has promised to come whenever I shall desire it; and I have desired that it be as soon as possible, and I now beg through you that she will put on the legs of faith forthwith, and no more either trust, or distrust, her own, which are evidently too weak to be trusted. I think I know what the “operation” was. I have some notion that there was a rebellious tooth so conducting itself that it no longer deserved a place in the mouth of anyone, and so Mr Balding came and gave it notice to quit, but, being a rebel, it would not quit, and the consequence was, he turned it out perforce. Am I right?
‘Good-night, dear little Anna Mary. Hoping to see you soon, believe me, with kindest regards to Miss W., dollies, etc., thanks to Dr Broadley for your nice wine-glass, and warmest affection to dear mamma, your affectionate papa,
To his WIFE.
’41 PARK ST., BRISTOL,
‘Aug. 24, 1851.
‘I betake myself with very great pleasure to give you some account of my day, in the form of my usual bulletins. The day then has been a very prosperous one with me. I have felt very well and strong, and preached my sermon this morning on Ps. ex. 4, with vigour. The subject is, as you will see, the Priesthood of Christ, and it is truly a noble one. One thing occurred to me, that had not before, and, as it may interest you I give it. It is 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5. “A living stone,” said of Christ; and “ye also as lively stones,” etc., i.e., Christ is here the Rock out of which the water of life flows, as the Rock of Ages. The “lively stones” are those who have been made so by virtue of His grace; in this sense Peter was a “lively,” not the “living stone,” and this distinction is actually made in the Greek original, thus : Christ is termed the Petra, i.e., the Rock. Peter receives the name Petros, i.e., rocky, or belonging to the Rock ; which will show that he received no greater privilege in having this name or title than any other true believer does, for they all are stones used in building up the spiritual house, or Church of God. But you may read my sermon by-and-by if you choose.’ |207
’41 PARK STREET, BRISTOL,
‘Aug. 31, 1851.
‘I have but just returned from the morning service at the Cathedral, where I had much comfort in delivering a sermon on the Divinity of our Lord, showing that He was the Jehovah of the Mosaic and patriarchal dispensations incarnate. This consideration I find a most edifying and instructive one; it seems to open to me the doctrines of the prophetic Scriptures in a most encouraging point of view, and to ascribe positively to Christ all that has been said in the Psalms and Prophets of the right, etc., of the Lord, i.e., of Jehovah. I think my next must be an expansion of this consideration to show how intimately the doctrines of Scripture are connected with the true interpretation of prophecy. I have occasionally mentioned this to you generally. I now feel more particularly its value; and, as it will enable me to throw an immense amount of light on the Old Testament, and hence make the reading of it very profitable, and connect it closely with the New Testament, I cannot help thinking the endeavour will have great good both with myself and others, especially as it will have the effect of dispelling some of the Jewish–may I not say Egyptian–darkness under |208which it labours with the many. I got leave yesterday for *[ * Pupil at Blind Asylum.] Miss W. to come to the Cathedral today. She was “much gratified” and hopes to come again. So it always is with the things or persons we love; we no sooner have the pleasure of seeing them but we want to see them again. Well, I suppose I must ask leave again for her. The housekeeper at the asylum (for the blind) spoke very highly of her, particularly as exerting a very good influence upon those about her. This “liked me much.” . . . Just returned from church. Mr C. preached a very good and really evangelical sermon. Some parts of it were echoes of mine this morning.’
’41 PARK STREET,
‘Septr. 14, 1851.
‘. . . I have been doing exceedingly well. I accordingly preached this morning to an overwhelming congregation, which was extremely attentive. My text was, Ps. lxxxvii. I, 2, 3. Its object was to show that this psalm had before it the establishing of Christ’s Church throughout the world on the mountains of holiness, i.e, this, God’s Zion was to occupy the high places of the |209 earth, just as the Zion of Jewry did the mount so called in Jerusalem ; that Christ was the chief corner-stone of its foundations, the rest of those, His Apostles, as the precious stones in the Revelation of St John ; that the distinction of holy and unholy Jews was made in the dwellings of Jacob and the gates of Zion ; that the holy party, in the Apostles, founded our Zion throughout the world ; that this man, born here and there, related to the spiritual birth of all who entered it, whether in Egypt, Babylon, Tyre, etc.; that the glorious things spoken of in it (not of it) were the mighty deliverances thus wrought universally and individually ; and that “all my springs are in. thee,” were the “wells springing up to everlasting life” in every believer in the power of the Holy Ghost, given according to the promise of our Lord. It was full and pointed, and ended by showing that on this model was our own Church constructed, etc. But you will perhaps read it by-and-by.’
’41 PARK STREET, BRISTOL,
‘Septr. 28, 1851.
‘It is with great pleasure and thankfulness that I sit down to write my last Sunday bulletin for this year. I have indeed much to be thankful for |210 that I have been enabled to get through my duties with so much ease and comfort to myself. My sermon was on Rom. viii. 28, 29, 30 ; rather a long and comprehensive text. My object was to show that the predestination here was that of prophecy, or promise, to be fulfilled in all believers under the New Covenant, just as those belonging to the temporary Israel were under the Old; that conformity to Christ, and hence justification and glorification, were in like manner pre-determined for all believers. You may like, perhaps, to take much of this with John Calvin. I think, nevertheless, you will not readily object to my more practical view of this great subject. Mr —- gave us a casuistical discourse on the virtues of Jona-dab, the son of Rechab, telling us that he was descended from Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, and not from Abraham; and, further, that the Midianites were descendants of Jethro, all of which is quite apocryphal, for the Midianites must have been descended from Midian, the son of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine. How he had discovered that Jonadab was of this people I do not yet see. He next told us that these Rechabites were, in the Essenes, among the first to receive Christianity. But here he was wrong, for this was the privilege |211of the remnant of Israel. Besides, these Essenes, otherwise termed Ebionites, as it should seem, were the first who denied the divinity of our Lord! All the rest was very poor indeed. So much for this. . . . A curious coincidence happened this morning. I quoted 1 Thess. iv. 14-18 inclusive, which was the anthem for this evening’s service, and a most impressive one it is. Another, too, less remarkable perhaps, we had in the gospel for the day, “seek ye first the kingdom,” etc., which I had also inserted without being aware that it was in the service. . . . I have written seven elaborate sermons since I have been here, with all the other etc.s!’
To the Reverend R. HOPPER.
‘BARLEY, April 8, 1852.
‘MY VERY KIND BROTHER HOPPER,–Accept my best thanks for your very feeling and kind letter. . . . I must now give you some account of myself. . . . My true complaint has been pleurodyne rheumatism, i.e., the side-paining rheumatism. I have, however, great reason to be thankful that it has been only of the chronic sort. The acute is infinitely worse. I have also to be thankful that I have had no febrile affections, no |212 loss of appetite, no loss of sleep, no pain, except a lingering slow one in my left side. I have never been laid up at all, so as not to be able to prosecute my labours to some extent. So that, putting all things together, I have very great reason to be thankful. I am become a little thinner, and not so much so as might have been expected. I am now hoping, D, V., that a change of air, etc., will soon set me up, in the west. . . . You will smile when I tell you that I am in correspondence with a lady of rank on the question of prophecy and the restoration of the Jews. How it may end I have no idea. Before I see you, I may, perhaps, be able to see farther on the subject than I now do. . . . But I must close.– Believe me, my very dear brother, yours very truly,
My father went to Bristol soon after this letter was written, and his malady considerably increased, so much so, that he was often quite unfit to attend the Cathedral services. He liked to go when he could, and on one of these occasions he found the following note, from a Bristol tradesman, had been left for him. He remarked to my mother that this more than repaid him for the |213 effort he had made in going to the Cathedral when in much suffering. He died in December of this year.
‘BRISTOL, 22 June 1852.
‘REVND. DR S. LEE.
‘SIR,–I was greatly concerned to hear of your serious indisposition some time ago. I assure you, rev. sir, that I did not cease to offer my humble prayer on your behalf, and now I rejoice exceedingly to see you once more in God’s sanctuary. I am more concerned in your behalf, because, through a sermon that you preached at the Cathedral in August 1850, from these words, “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,” I came to think seriously of the Christian faith, and I greatly rejoice for the hope that is within me. I trust, therefore, you will pardon a stranger in writing, but my heart is so full of gratitude to you that I write thus to strengthen you, and that you may know, even in this world, that your labour was not in vain. May the Lord bless you, and give you a long life and happiness here, and a crown of glory hereafter.– Such is the prayer of your humble servant,
Letter to the SECRETARY of the C. M. S. from the Rev. T. PRESTON of Trinity College, Cambridge, himself a distinguished Oriental scholar.
‘You have probably seen mention in the papers of the death of Dr Lee. He had been sinking for nearly a year, though, from the nature of his complaint, very sanguine, almost to the last, about his recovery. Long before that he had an asthma, which seemed to me to be much increased by mental exertion, of which he was most unsparing, as well as by the keen air of Barley.
‘I should think his review of my “Makamat” was about the last thing he sent to press. It is fully a year that he has ceased to look over the proofs of the Arabic Bible. I remember his saying that it did not seem likely it should be finished (i.e., the revision of it) during his lifetime. The whole of the translation has been made under his superintendence, to which it owes very much indeed. His biblical labours were assiduous in the highest degree, and aided by an amount of erudition unequalled in this country. His learning and perseverance have been the model of many others, to whom he kindly gave his aid and encouragement, myself among the rest, and by |215whom his loss is deeply felt. Along with enlarged and fervent charity he was remarkable for his strenuous disapproval of the presumptuous speculations of modern German Neologians, to whom he would hardly grant a hearing, so strongly was he set against them. He laboured conscientiously through life to promote the devout study of the Scriptures, and it is impossible not to deplore the departure of the possessor of such rare endowments, with whom so much that is valuable is lost’
Letter from Reverend T. VORES.
‘Dr Lee’s distinguishing characteristic as a Christian was his cheerful, rejoicing, thankful spirit. But when the period of suffering came he was able to kiss the rod.
‘He spoke of the abounding mercies which had attended him through life; he acknowledged the final mercy of his Father’s chastening hand, and his spirit was like Job’s when he said, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” I need not tell you, who knew him so well, that the Lord Jesus was to him the Alpha and Omega.’ |216
Letter to Mrs LEE from Professor JARRETT.
‘TRUNCK RECTORY, NORTHWALSHAM,
‘NORWICH, Feb. 23, 1853.
‘MY DEAR MRS LEE,–I am quite ashamed that I did not acknowledge the receipt of the packet of Arabic MS., but I could not write to you then, and I wished to allow some time to pass before I offered you my expressions of sympathy on your bereavement. And now I know that all such expressions will as yet be of no avail. After a while you will be comforted by the thought of the manifold labours that he whom you have lost dedicated to the cause of sacred literature, and that while he is in the enjoyment of rest from his labours, others will long continue to be edified and guided by the results of his unwearied toil. . . . Dr Lee’s removal was to me most unexpected ; I constantly hoped to hear of his restoration, and looked forward to additional opportunities of learning from him.–I am, my dear Mrs Lee, yours very truly,
Letter to Mrs LEE from the SECRETARY of the SOCIETY for PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
’67 LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS,
‘Feb. 26, 1853.
‘DEAR MADAM, — Nobody will believe more readily than yourself how deeply the Foreign Translation Committee of this Society, as well as all other members of it at all interested in the important works entrusted to that Committee, have felt the loss they have sustained in the death of the rarely gifted and excellent Dr Lee. His labours in connection with the Committee for many years past had been most valuable, and were, as they rightly deserved to be, highly appreciated. But it did not please the All-wise Disposer of events to permit him to see the accomplishment of the great and important work on which he had, in his later years, set his heart– the publication, I mean, of the whole Bible translated out of the sacred originals into the Arabic language. He lived, however, to see the completion of the materials for the work, and the Committee propose to request his esteemed pupil and friend, Professor Jarrett, to take up the labour of preparing those materials for the printer and |218 carrying them through the Press, where Dr Lee left it, an arrangement which they feel confident is only carrying out what would have been Dr Lee’s own wishes on the subject. With this object in view the Committee have charged me with the expression of their sincere and respectful sympathy, in which I beg most cordially to join, to request you will have the goodness to hand over to Professor Jarrett the rough copy of the translation by Mr Fares, the whole of which, the Committee have reason to suppose, was in their lamented friend’s possession.–I have the honour to be, with much respect, dear madam, your obedient, humble servant,
J. D. GLENNIE.
THE account of Dr Lee’s home life which follows was given by the lady who had come in 1848 to Barley Rectory to superintend his daughter’s education:–
‘As a student, it does not appear that his great attainments were acquired by any extraordinary effort, such as rising at unusual hours or sitting up late, but by one continued course of regular and diligent application. His mind never seemed to grow weary, but day after day, and week after week, nay, the whole year round, he was as fresh for his work, and went to it with as much energy and ardour as if he had just entered upon it after a long holiday. But notwithstanding this untiring energy of mind, he always allowed himself such time for exercise and relaxation as he considered conducive to his bodily health. He never knew what it was to have a headache, and till within |220eighteen months of his death his health was singularly good. No doubt this was attributable in a great measure to his great regularity and abstemious mode of living. The peculiarly happy disposition, with great evenness of temper and spirits with which it pleased God to bless him, and which led him always to take a bright and cheerful view of everything, contributed also in no small degree not only to his general health, but likewise to the vigour and elasticity of his mind, and helped him to triumph over difficulties which would have depressed or overwhelmed an ordinary character.
‘He never harboured a painful or vexatious thought, nor suffered himself to dwell upon a distressing subject, so that let what would happen, he was able to prosecute his studies with his usual serenity and diligence. He said, however, that at an early period of his life he was once completely cast down by some great affliction, so that for a time he sank under it and was quite overwhelmed ; but in a little while he began to reflect that this was not right, and by no means the way to glorify God, so he resolved to arouse himself and shake it off, and by God’s grace never again to be so mastered by his feelings as to be incapacitated |221 for his duties. He considered this a turning-point in his career of usefulness, as he never afterwards became the victim of unreasonable depression. His constant habit was to breakfast at 8 or 8.30, according to the season, after which, and family prayers, he retired to his study, which he seldom if ever left till 12.30 or 1. These, he was wont to say, were the best hours for study, when the mind had most strength, and was less easily injured by close application than at any other time.
BARLEY. CHURCH AND RECTORY.
THE ORIEL WINDOW TO THE LEFT IS THAT OF THE LIBRARY.
“Barley is a village 3ï¿½ miles south-east of Royston, in Edwintree Hundred. It is situated on the chalk range and on the London and Cambridge road, having a fine prospect over Wardington Bottom. The area of the parish is 2,542 acres and the population in 1841 was 792. The assessment to the Property Tax, in 1842, was ï¿½4,141. The church is dedicated to St Margaret. The living is a rectory, commuted at ï¿½581; about 35 acres glebe; patron, Bishop of Ely. The present incumbent is the Rev Samuel Lee, DD, in 1838. Dr Willet, author of Synopsis Paposmi, printed in 1612, and Dr Rutherford, professor at Cambridge, are interred in the chancel of the church. Here are a new Calvinist chapel and a National School. Smyth’s End is a hamlet, north west of the village, and forming part of it. Shafton End, Shaftnoe, Sharpenhoe, &c., are half a mile south east. At Rockley Wood, Roman antiquities have been found. Abbotsbury is a farm.” (Kelly’s Directories)
‘He often warned young men who were disposed to overwork themselves, whilst he commended their diligence, against too many consecutive hours of deep thought. Eight hours a day were the utmost that he said any man ought to apply closely, and, with that, two hours of daily active exercise should never be neglected. But to resume. At 12.30 or 1 he would, on a fine day, take a stroll in the garden, discoursing with his wife on his favourite subject of prophecy, or upon any topic of interest that had engaged his attention during the morning. If the weather did not admit of this, he would come and pace the dining-room with his little girl, and unbend his mind for her amusement by playful remarks and innocent jokes. His presence seldom |222failed to give an animation and sprightliness to all around him. His love of punctuality invariably brought him to the luncheon – table as the clock struck 1.30, after which, of late years, he indulged in a short nap in an easy-chair. Then, unless it was positively a wet day, he always took about an hour’s walk, generally in the garden, revolving in his mind the work on which he was then engaged. After this, he returned to his study until dinner-time, to prepare his letters for the post. Many of these were, of themselves, a task of no small magnitude, for he generally had some private controversy or discussion in hand, besides which, he devoted many hours of his valuable time to answering the inquiries of young students, and directing them in the pursuit of Truth. He took great delight in encouraging any, however humble they might be, either in circumstances or attainments, if, with an earnest and candid mind, they were in search of truth, let the subject be what it would. His wife said that he gave up, in this way, at least one-third of his time to the literary and spiritual benefit of others. His dinner-hour was 5.30, and many an hour after it has he beguiled by singing some of Handel’s or Haydn’s choicest airs. He had a fine taste for poetry, music, and everything that is |223 calculated to elevate and refine the mind. These things were a real relaxation to him, and afforded much enjoyment to those around him by the justness of his criticisms and his hearty appreciation of all that was beautiful. He used to say that he could not imagine how anyone could listen to fine music without having the mind elevated and improved by it; in his case, it seemed to warm his heart with pious feelings, and produce much the same effect as a good and spirit-stirring sermon would on others. He often spoke of his grateful sense of God’s goodness to him in thus affording him so many sources of gratification and relaxation. After tea, at 8 o’clock, he again retired to his study to resume his morning labours until 10, the hour of prayer, and 11 o’clock was the hour, which nothing seemed to tempt him to transgress, for retiring to rest himself.
‘His attachment to the Church Missionary Society and their cause was warm and lively to the last days, and he was in the daily habit of listening to some one or other of the missionary periodicals of the day, in which he took the greatest interest. Of his retentive memory every one who knew him is well aware, but they may not know how much he exercised it for the benefit |224and amusement of his family circle. Often would he quote whole passages from his favourite Shakespeare, as well as Milton, Goldsmith, Pope, and many other English poets. Some, if not all of these, he said he had not read for thirty years, nor had they been learnt by rote, but whatever he read with interest and admiration was impressed upon his memory in such a way that he could recall it, bit by bit, as each piece was brought to his remembrance by some other of similar import. During the last few months of his life, when he was in constant sufferings his kindness and consideration were shown by his choosing such books as he thought might be profitable and useful to others, but he preferred the works of some eminent divine, such as Bishops Hall and Hopkins, for in them, he said, there was something for the soul to feed upon. For a year or two after he gave up the Hebrew Professorship, in addition to his laborious work of translating the Bible into Arabic, he took the whole of the parochial duty on himself, visiting amongst his sick people as occasion demanded, and performing two full services on the Sunday. On his return home from the afternoon service, when Mrs Lee joined him in the study, she generally found him reading his |225
From a Daguerreotype, age about 60.
Hebrew Bible, so untiring was his mind. Rarely did a Sunday pass without a little sacred music in the evening, when he would sing with more than usual animation; and this was no temporary excitement producing weariness or lassitude on the Monday, for he always declared himself better on that day than any other in the week. In visiting the sick and dying, his manner and style of conversation were gentle and encouraging, and his prayers simple and earnest. He was beloved and respected by all his parishioners, both Churchmen and Dissenters, for though he disliked exceedingly the principle of Dissent he was kind and courteous to all Dissenters, and much respected those whom he considered truly pious men. As a master he was strict, but not severe. He used to say, “he that ruleth, let him do it with diligence,” but his servants universally loved and respected him. His mind remained vigorous to the last, so that till within three weeks of his death he continued to write at intervals, as his strength and the severe paroxysms of pain permitted, what he intended as an appendix to his work on Prophecy, published in 1849. He was only able to accomplish half of what he proposed writing. His Christian resignation was remarkably shown in his |226 cheerful acquiescence in the Divine Will when unable longer to pursue that work in which his heart, was so much engaged–the translation of the Bible into Arabic. Throughout his life he had habitually acknowledged all that he had received to be of mercy from that God who “worketh in us to will and to do of His good pleasure,” and when sickness prevented him from pursuing those occupations in which his whole heart seemed absorbed, he at once yielded his own will, saying, “Have I received so much good at the hand of the Lord, and shall I not receive evil?” He was often in great pain, but no impatience manifested itself, nor could one at all tell how much he suffered except by his extreme quietness. This made it difficult to know his feelings, but when he did speak, all testified a genuine simple faith in Christ, through whose merits alone he hoped for salvation, and confidently expected to reign with Him in glory. On the day before his death he revived considerably, so that he asked for some of Handel’s magnificent choruses in the “Messiah” to be played to him. “Worthy is the Lamb,” and some others were played to him, which he seemed much to enjoy; after this he fell asleep and scarcely woke to consciousness again.’ |227
He died on the 16th December 1852, and was buried in a vault in Barley Church.
His own words shall close this brief sketch.
‘May His grace and love, shed abroad in our hearts, constrain us sweetly to sing His praise, sound forth His never-failing mercies, as revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord evermore, and when we shall have laboured for the advancement of His glory and the good of His Church here, so as to have become meet for an inheritance with the saints in light, we may, with the voice of praise on our tongues, and the experience of heaven in our souls, be transported thither.’ |228
‘TRAVELS OF IBN BATUTA’
IN February 1828 the Oriental Translation Committee was formed for the purpose of raising a fund, called the Oriental Translation Fund, to defray the expenses of translating and printing interesting Oriental works. It was under the patronage of the King (George the Fourth), and numbered among its subscribers the Dukes of Clarence, Sussex, Cambridge, Gloucester, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, and many others of the nobility, bishops, etc. In the regulations we find the following note :– ‘For the purpose of directing the attention of scholars to the literature of the East, and encouraging translations, the Committee is empowered to give annually, for such works as it may consider deserving of distinction, four rewards in money, in sums of from ï¿½50 to ï¿½100 each, and four gold medals of the value of twenty guineas each, inscribed with the names of the individuals to whom they are presented,’ |229
They state in their first report their ‘great satisfaction in the most liberal support afforded to them by the Royal Asiatic Society, not only by allowing the Committee’s business to be transacted in their house, but also by their handsome transfer to the Oriental Translation Fund of the Honourable East India Company’s munificent annual subscription of one hundred guineas. The English Universities have expressed their favourable disposition towards the undertaking, and received in the most friendly manner the hopes expressed by the Committee, of considerably diminishing the expense of printing by the assistance of the University presses.’
Many who had it in their power to do so were stimulated by the efforts of the Committee to undertake translations of Oriental works, both in this country and in Turkey, Persia, Egypt and the Barbary States, etc., and much attention was attracted to Asiatic literature; and several translations which had long remained unnoticed were brought to light.
In a list of works preparing for publication in the first year of their transactions, mention is made of ‘The Travels of Ibn Batuta,’ translated from the Arabic, and illustrated with copious notes, by |230the Rev. Professor Lee. Ibn Batuta spent above twenty years in travelling in the fourteenth century. Besides giving very interesting notices of Spain, Greece, Java, etc., he gives long accounts of Nigritia, the Maldive Islands, where he acted as judge for eighteen months, and China, to which he went as Ambassador from the Court of Delhi, at which he resided several years.
For this translation one of the gold medals was awarded to Professor Lee.
This work was dedicated to Lieutenant-Colonel Fitz-Clarence. In the dedication, Dr Lee expresses his views on the value of Oriental studies. He says:–
‘I think myself fortunate in having it in my power to dedicate to you the first-fruits of an Institution which owes its origin and efficiency almost entirely to your exertions; and as my author traversed and described many parts of the East, of which you, nearly five hundred years after his time, have given so many interesting and confirmatory accounts, this will constitute an additional reason for doing so. No one, perhaps, can better estimate than yourself the duty incumbent on this country to possess an accurate knowledge of the |231 history, geography, commerce, manners, customs and religious opinions of the East. Placed as we are in the proud situation of legislating to perhaps its richest and most important part, and hence looked up to by its almost countless inhabitants for protection, instruction, government,–nothing can be more obvious than that it is just as binding upon us to acquaint ourselves with their wants, in order to these being provided for and relieved, as it is that we should calculate upon the wealth of their commerce, or the rank and influence which our governors, judges and magistrates should hold among them. Unhappily, however, prior to the times of Sir William Jones, knowledge of this kind was scarcely accessible to the bulk of society; and since that period, notwithstanding his glowing predictions to the contrary (in the preface to his “Persian Grammar”), the study of Oriental literature has seldom been carried beyond its first elements. . . . It is not my intention to dwell here, with the admirable Sir William Jones, on the beauty of their poetry, the value of their sentiments as moralists or philosophers, or the almost boundless extent and variety of their languages ; but on the paramount necessity of our possessing an accurate knowledge of their countries, histories, |232laws, commerce, connections, tactics, antiquities, and the like, for purely practical purposes. Other considerations, indeed, will, and ought to, weigh with the divine, the gentleman and the scholar; and here, perhaps, our knowledge of philology may be mentioned as likely to receive as much improvement as any science cultivated in polite society possibly can.
‘It is customary, I know, to look to the universities for the tone of learning in any country; but in this respect these bodies are with us very inadequately provided for. The majority of students is interested in other pursuits, while those which are intended for the East are expected to keep terms at one or other of the seminaries provided by the Honourable Company. The utmost, therefore, that can be brought to bear here upon the ardpur of youth, or to stimulate the enterprising to the toil of years, which is, indeed, necessary to a moderate acquaintance with the languages of the East, is, perhaps, a professorship with an endowment of forty pounds a year, accompanied with duties and restraints of no ordinary nature. And the natural consequence has been, that whatever may have been known on these subjects, few have been found hardy enough to undertake laborious and expensive works with no |233other prospect than of being eulogised by their biographers as having “immortalised and ruined themselves.” Our institution, therefore, will, I trust, even here be the means of creating a stimulus to the cultivation of learning, for which, indeed, some provision has been made, and which the greatest ornaments of our Church and nation have deemed of the very highest importance. I mean that which immediately bears on the study of the Christian Scriptures, an acquaintance with the Hebrew and its sister dialects. As things formerly were, a Whelock, Castell or Pococke may have delivered lectures, but, as it was then facetiously said, “the lecture-room would exhibit an Arabia deserta rather than an Arabia felix”; and for the most obvious of all reasons, namely, that where neither emolument nor consideration are to be had, there will never be any considerable public effort made. In this point of view, therefore, I believe that under prudent government our institution may be productive of the greatest public good in filling up a chasm in our means of information which nothing else could effect. And I think I may say that whether we consider the amazing extent of its operations, the unprecedented support which in so short a time it has experienced, the aggregate |234 quantity of literary power concentrated in its Committee, or the number of works of the first importance which it already has in the progress of publication, to have projected and brought into active operation such an institution, cannot but be gratifying to everyone (and particularly to yourself) who took any part in its formation.–I have the honour to be, dear sir, your most obliged humble servant,
THE TRANSLATOR AND EDITOR.
‘CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 1829.’
‘The Arabic manuscripts of this work are three in number, and are all copies of the same abridgment. They were originally bequeathed to the library of the University of Cambridge by the late Mr Burckhardt, where they may at any time be seen. It is, indeed, much to be regretted that they are only abridgments ; but as they contain much curious and valuable information, and that obtained at a time of very considerable interest, namely, when the Tartars were making progress in Asia Minor, and the Empire of Hindustan was verging towards its final subjugation to the Mogul dynasty, I have thought it would be quite unpardonable to let the manuscript lie any longer untranslated, especially |235as its publication may possibly be the means of bringing the entire work to light, which Mr Burckhardt has assured us is still in existence.
‘The Sheikh Ibn Batuta, the author of these travels, left his native city, Tanjiers, for the purpose of performing the pilgrimage, in the 725th year of the Hejira (A.D. 1324-5). After passing through many cities he came to Alexandria, where he arrived in the evening. He was rather poor, and would not enter the city until he had witnessed some favourable omen. He sat accordingly near the gate until all the persons had gone in, and it was nearly time for closing the gate. The keeper of the gate was irritated at his delay, and said to him, ironically, “Enter, Mr Judge.” He replied, “Yes, judge! if that be God’s will.” After this he entered one of the colleges, and attended to reading, following the example of others who had attained to eminence, until his name and reputation for modesty and religion reached the ears of the King of Egypt. About this time the judge of Alexandria died. The number of learned men in Alexandria who expected this appointment was large ; but of these the Sheikh was one who entertained no expectations of it. The Sultan, however, sent it to him, and he was admitted to the office, which he filled |236with great integrity and moderation, and hence obtained great fame. In his narrative Ibn Batuta gives the reason for his further travels. “One of the greatest saints in Alexandria at this time was the learned and pious Imam, Borhan Oddin El Aaraj, a man who had the power of working miracles.” (It is generally believed among the Mohammedans that every saint has it in his power to perform miracles, without laying claim to the office of a prophet. This kind of miracle they term “karamet,” benevolent action.) “I one day went in to him, when he said, ‘I perceive that you are fond of travelling into various countries.’ I said ‘Yes,’ although I had at that time no intention of travelling into very distant parts. He replied, ‘You must visit my brother Farid Oddin in India, and my brother Rokn Oddin Ibn Zakarya in Sindia, and also my brother Borhan Oddin in China, and when you see them, present my compliments to them.’ I was astonished at what he said, and determined with myself to visit those countries. Nor did I give up my purpose till I had met all the three mentioned by him, and presented his compliments to them.”‘
The subjoined list of Arabic and Persian works consulted by Dr Lee in the preparation of ‘Ibn |237 Batuta’ for publication is a proof of the thoroughness of all his work, and of his untiring energy and zeal.
‘As I have occasionally cited some Arabic and Persian works in the notes, I take the opportunity here of apprising the reader what they are, and where the copies cited are to be found.’
1. The ‘Rauzat El Safa,’ a very celebrated and well-known history of Persia, written by Mir Khand in seven volumes. The copy here cited formerly belonged to the Right Honourable Lord Teignmouth, and is now in my own possession. Copies, however, are to be found in most of the public libraries.
2. The ‘Khulasat El Akhbar,’ an abridgment of the Persian historians generally. This is also in my possession.
3. The ‘Gwalior Namah,’ a history of the fortress of Gwalior, by Heraman Ibn Kardhar Das, the Munshi, a small, neatly-written quarto, bearing the class mark 324 of the library of Eton College. From this the notice of Gwalior has been taken.
4. ‘Tarikhi Badayuni,’ a valuable history of Hindustan, by Abd El Razzak Maluk-Shah of Samarcand. A neatly-written, thick folio, bearing the class mark of the Eton Library 439.
5. The first volume of the ‘Matlaa El Saadain,’ by Abd El Razzak Ibu Is-hak of Samarcand, a |238general history of Persia. A moderate-sized folio, incorrectly written, bearing the Eton class mark 366. These three volumes were lent me for this work by the kindness of the Reverend the Provost and Fellows of Eton College, for which, and the very ready access they afforded me to their valuable library, I take this opportunity of returning my warmest thanks.
6. ‘The Tabakati Akbari,’ a history of the Emperors of Hindustan prior to the times of Akbar, compiled, at that monarch’s request, by Nizam Oddin Mohammed Mukim of Herat. The copy cited formerly belonged to my late Valued and learned friend, Jonathan Scott, Esq., of Shrewsbury; it is a thick quarto, very neatly written, and is now in my possession.
7. The citations from ‘Ferishta’ are taken from a copy also in my possession.
8. The ‘Kanun El Tijarat’ is a well-written work, in Persian, on the nature and value of jewels, silks, etc., taken from the ‘A-ini Akbari, and other works, written originally in the Hindustani language by Iatimad El Daulat, and translated into the Persian, A.D. 1806. The copy is in my possession ; it is a thin, neatly-written folio.
9. The ‘A-ini Akbari,’ a most valuable work, |239giving a statistical account of Hindustan, with particulars as to its officers, customs, etc., compiled under the superintendence of Abul Fazl, prime minister to the Emperor Akbar; large folio, in the University library of Cambridge; this work has been translated into English by Mr Gladwin, but the copies are very scarce; our own library does not possess one.
10. The ‘Medical Dictionary of Ali Ibu El Husain,’ known by the Haji Zain El Attar. This work is entitled Ikhtiarati Badiai, and contains a list of medicines, simple and compound, arranged according to the Arabic alphabet. It is neatly written, and in the Persian language. The form is small folio, and contains 300 closely written pages. The copy is in my possesion.
11. The ‘Dabistan,’ a very valuable, and interesting work on the religious opinions of the Orientals, usually ascribed to Mohammed Mohsin Fani of Kashmire; the real author, however, seems to be unknown. This work was first brought to notice by Sir William Jones, but has not yet been translated, if we except the first book on the religion of the ancient Persians, which was translated and published in India by Mr Gladwin. The whole Persian work was printed in Calcutta in |2401811. Two MS. copies of this work are in my possession, one of which is the very copy noticed by Sir William Jones. If I can ever command leisure sufficient, it is my intention to translate this work.
12. The ‘Heft-Iklim,’ a very valuable biographical and geographical work in Persian, by Anun Ahmed Razi, giving notices of some of the most eminent Persian writers of every clime. The copy here cited is in large folio, very thick, and neatly written; it was lately purchased by the Public Library of Cambridge.
The ‘Maathari Rahimi,’ a valuable and elaborate history of some of the emperors and other eminent men of Tartary, Hindustan, etc., by Mohammed Abd El Baki Rahimi El Nahawendi. The copy used by me formerly belonged to Mr Hindley, but has lately been purchased by the Cambridge Public Library. It is fairly written, in large folio, and contains perhaps 2000 leaves.
13. The ‘Nafahat El Ins,’ a history of the Mohammedan saints, by the celebrated Jami. This work contains all that was most valuable in two writers who had preceded him, together with considerable additions made by himself from other works, as well as from information obtained by personal inquiry. It was dedicated to the Emir |241Nizam Oddin Ali Shir, A.H. 881, A.D. 1476 ; but, according to a note at the end, in 1478. The work, which is in my possession, is a large octavo of about three hundred and fifty leaves, very neatly but not very accurately written in Pattan in Hindustan, A.D. 1612.
14. The ‘Kulasat El Ansab,’ a short history of the Afghans, by Ibn Shah Aalam, of the tribe Kot-ha-Khail. A work in one small octavo volume– Persian. There are two copies of this work in the Public Library of Cambridge.
The Arabic works cited are the following :–
15. The ‘Kitab El Isharat,’ by El Harawi. This is an account of the pilgrimages performed by the Sheikh Ali of Herat early in the thirteenth century. The book is but short, and, according to the author, contains only an abstract of a larger work, which had been taken from him by the King of England when engaged in the Crusades. This abstract was made from memory; but of this the author does not fail to remind his reader when treating of particulars which might have escaped him. I had the use of two copies — one in the collection of Mr Burckhardt in our Public Library, the other was lent me by the kindness of Mr Lewin. These copies are near the size of our duodecimos. Mr |242 Burckhardt’s contains part of two copies, the latter of which was written 537 years ago, perhaps in the time of the author. I have generally cited him by the name of El Harawi.
16. ‘Abulfeda’s Geography.’ The copy used by me is in the handwriting of Erpenius, which is probably a transcript of that in the University Library of Leyden. It is in very large folio, and, like its original, presents many unintelligible readings; it is preserved in the Public Library at Cambridge, and has the class marks, Dd. I, ii. This work is, I understand, either entirely, or for the most part, given in a translation by Reiske in ‘Buesching’s Magazine’–a work published some years ago in Germany, but which has never come to my hands.
17. The ‘Geographical Work of Edrisi’ is too well known to need any description. I used the Roman impression.
18. The ‘Marasid El Itlaa.’ This is a sort of geographical dictionary, not unlike our gazetteers. It is occasionally cited in M. de Lacy’s ‘ Chrestomathie Arabe.’ Like all other Arabic dictionaries, it is very defective ; otherwise, many places unnoticed by me would have been more exactly described.
19. The ‘Geographical Work of Ibn El Wardi’ is too well known to need description. The copy I |243have cited belongs to the Public Library at Cambridge, and bears the class mark, Ll. 5, 30. There is also another copy in the collection of Mr Burckhardt
20. The ‘Yatimat El Dahar,’ a remarkably elegant and interesting work on the principal Arabian poets, with some extracts from their writings, compiled by A.H. 384, A.D. 994, by Abu Mansur El Thaalabi. The work is occasionally cited by M. de Lacy in the second edition of his ‘Chrestomathie Arabe.’ The copy used in this work is a large-sized, neatly-written octavo, containing about 250 leaves. It formerly belonged to Mr Hindley, but it is now in my possession.
21. The ‘Sukkardan,’ a work by Ibn Hajela on Egypt. It is occasionally noticed by M. de Lacy in his ‘Chrestomathie Arabe.’ The copy here used is a moderately-sized octavo, tolerably well written. It is to be found in the collection of Mr Burckhardt in the Public Library of Cambridge.
22. The ‘Khulasat Tahkik El Zunun,’ a biographical dictionary, apparently an abridgment of ‘Haji Khalfa’; but of this I am not certain, as the copy of ‘Haji Khalfa,’ with which I have compared it, contains scarcely half the number of works of which this gives some account. I suspect |244however that this copy of ‘Haji Khalfa’ is only an abridgment itself. The Epitomator’s name is Kamal Oddin Abu Futuh Ibn Mustafa Ibu Kamal Oddin Ibu Ali El Sidiki. The book is in Mr Burckhardt’s collection.
23. Another book from which some citations have been made is Ibn Khaldun’s ‘History of the Berbers’; and as this book is extremely scarce and valuable, I may be excused if I describe it a little more particularly. The full title, then, which stands on the first page is as follows:–‘The Seventh Part of the Book of Examples and of the Diwan of the Commencements and Accounts, on the Times of the Arabs, Persians, Berbers and others contemporary with them, who came into supreme power; a publication of the Priest and learned Sheikh, the very learned Wali Oddin Abu Zaid Abd El Rahman, son of the Priest and very learned Abu Abd Allah Mohammed Ibu Khaldun, of the sect of Ibn Malik, and of the country of Hadramant.’
The work is closely and accurately written in the Mogrebine hand, in large quarto, upon stout, well-polished paper. The ‘History of the Berbers’ covers three hundred and sixty-nine pages. The remainder of the book, which contains |245 seventy-seven pages, is an account of the family and life of the author, written by himself. . . . The cessation from writing it out was on the 8th of Moharram, in the year 1008 A.D., July 21, 1599. This book does not belong to the University Library of Cambridge, as some have supposed, but to the Rev. Richard Edward Kerrick, A.M., son of our late librarian, the Rev. Thomas Kerrick, A.M., who informed rne that it had belonged to his father, which is no doubt the truth, as an engraving containing his arms and name, Samuel Kerrick, S.T.P., is pasted within the cover at the beginning of the book. Upon discovering to Mr Kerrick, our librarian, the character and rareness of this work, I was permitted to copy and translate it, upon tendering a bond of five hundred pounds ensuring its safe return at the end of two years.’
Dr Lee’s valuable library was sold after his death.
LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO DR LEE, AND LIST OF WORKS.
‘PROVIDENCE, March 29, 1834.
‘SIR,–At the annual meeting of the Rhode Island Historical Society, held July 19th, 1833, you were unanimously elected an honorary member, and it is with no small degree of pleasure, as the society’s organ, I announce the same to you. Its objects are sufficiently indicated by its name ; its origin, rise and progress are spoken of in the preface to the first vol. of its collections, a copy of which, together with your diploma, is now forwarded.
In the upper left-hand corner of the diploma will be seen the State’s Coat-of-Arms ; in the corresponding right-hand corner two medallions ; the one intended for Roger Williams and the other for Wm. Coddington, two of the first settlers of the State. They are fancy sketches, however, as we have |247 never succeeded in finding a portrait or likeness of either. The main design is emblematical of the Present, the Past and the Future. In the centre is a mirror, from before which Hope has withdrawn a curtain, and a representation of the Future is exhibited therein. On the right, the Past is delineated by an Indian in his light canoe paddling down the bay. Mount Haup, the once favourite residence of the noted warrior King Philip, the chief of the Narragansetts, being seen in the distance. On the left, the Present is represented by a view of the Pawtucket River and Falls, with factory on either side. As this is truly a manufacturing State, as the village of Pawtucket consists chiefly of cotton establishments which adorn the river to its very source, and, moreover, as the first Factory ever erected in the country stands immediately above these Falls, the scene selected is quite appropriate, although apparently perhaps as destitute of beauty as the conception may be of classic taste. The following is the device contained on the seal: viz., around the outer margin is a circular raised band with the words and figures, Rhode Island Historical Society, 1822, within which band is a triangle composed of three raised lines with the words Mooshasuck, 1636, on |248the line forming the base thereof; Aquidueck, 1638, on the line forming the right side ; and Shawomet, 1642, on that forming the left side of said triangle ; and within the centre of the same, a foul anchor. These are the Indian names with the dates of the first three settlements within the State.
‘Everything relating to the early history of our Country, and more especially of our State, is highly desirable. There are numerous manuscripts, books, pamphlets and loose sheets of this description which would be of much value to us, but are unattainable here; yet such are sometimes met with at the book-stalls, antiquarian sales, etc., in London and other parts of England, sold for a trifle, and perhaps used as waste-paper, no one noticing them who deems them of sufficient importance to merit preservation. Should any such come under your observation, or to your knowledge, you would confer a favour by purchasing them for, and in behalf of, the society; and the expenses attendant thereupon shall at all times be promptly paid.–I am, sir, with sentiments of respect, yours, etc.,
THOMAS H. WEBB.
‘Rev. SAMUEL LEE, D.D.’
LIST OF DR LEE’S WORKS.
1816. — The Syriac New Testament.
1817-18. — Edited the Malay Scriptures, Arabic and Coptic Psalter and Gospels, translated Genesis into Persian, superintended the Hindustani Prayer-Book, and Morning and Evening Prayers in Persic.
1820. — A New Zealand Grammar.
1821. — A Letter to Mr J. Bellamy on his new Translation of the Bible, with some Strictures on a Tract, entitled ‘Remarks,’ etc., Oxford, 1820.
1821 -22– A Vindication of Certain Strictures on a Pamphlet entitled ‘Remarks,’ etc., Oxford, 1820, in answer to ‘A Reply,’ etc., Oxford, 1821.
1823. — The Syriac Old Testament.
1824. — Controversial Tracts on Christianity and Mahommedanism, by Henry Martyn, and some of the most Eminent Writers of Persia, translated and explained, to which is appended an additional Tract on the same question ; and in a Preface, Some Account |250 of a Former Controversy on this Subject, with Extracts from it.
1827;–A Grammar of the Hebrew Language.
1828.–A Grammar of the Persian Language, by Sir W. Jones, Revised, with considerable additions.
1829.–Prolegomena in Biblia Polyglotta Bagsteriana. 1829.–The Travels of Ibn Batuta, translated from the abridged Arabic MS. copies, with Notes.
1830.–Six Sermons on the Study of the Holy Scriptures, preached before the University of Cambridge, 1827-8, to which are annexed Two Dissertations, the first on the Reasonableness of the Orthodox View of Christianity, as opposed to the Rationalism of Germany ; the second, on the Interpretation of Prophecy generally, with an Original Exposition of the Book of Revelation.
1832.–Grammar of the Hebrew Language, second edition. |251
1837.–A Translation of the Book of Job, with an Introduction and Commentary.
1840.–A Lexicon, Hebrew, Chaldee and English.
1841.–Grammar of the Hebrew Language, third edition.
1842.–A Syriac Version of the ‘Theophania,’ by Eusebius.
1842-3.–The Prayer-Book, translated into Arabic. 1843.–A Translation of the ‘Theophania,’ by Eusebius.
1843.–Tracts on Tithes.
1849.–An Inquiry into the Nature, Progress and End of Prophecy.
1849.–A Letter to G. S. Faber, B.D., containing an Interpretation of 2 Peter iii.
1849.–A Letter to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Glo’ster and Bristol.
1849-51.–The New Testament translated into Arabic, and the Old as far as Numbers.
1851.–The Events and Times of the Visions of Daniel and St John investigated.
Colston & Coy., Limited, Printers, Edinburgh.