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assistants is one hundred and six, forty-three of whom are preachers, five preachers and printers, one printer, three school-teachers, one farmer, and fiftythree female assistants. Of native preachers and assistants there are eightyfive.—Total, one hundred and ninty-one. Three preachers, nine assistants, and ifteen native assistants, have entered the service of the Board during the past year; one preacher, two female assistants, and one native assistant, have retired from their connection; one semale assistant missionary has died. The number of churches is forty-five, embracing about two thousand members; and of baptisms, reported during the year, five hundred and seventy. There are sixty-eight schools reported, containing from twelve to fifteen hundred pupils. Printing has been executed in fourteen languages, amonnting in the years 1836 and 1837 to thirty-four million pages. Two founts of type and a printing-press have been added to the printing department in Siam, and a fount of type prepared for printing in Shyan. Other founts are in course of preparation. The receipts of the Board during the year ending April 15, 1839, were $88,240 73, and the expenditures for the same period, $110,190 74-deficiency of receipts, $21,950 01. On the other hand, the receipts compared with those of the previous year, have increased by about $25,000, and the comparative deficiency decreased by $21,000.”
American Baptist Home Mission Society celebrated its anniversary April 26. The amount received into the treasury during the year is $18,727 84; the expenditures were $17,682 55; thus paying off the debt of the last year, and leaving a small balance in the treasury. During the year, one hundred and twenty-one missionaries and agents had been employed in twenty-two different States and Territories; eighty-eight and three-fourth years' labor had been performed; three thousand four hundred and fifty-three sermons had been preached; eleven ministers ordained; twenty-four churches constituted; two hundred and seventy received by letter; and one thousand and fifty-eight had been baptized. Rev. Henry S. Jackson was elected Corresponding Secretary, in place of Rev. Luther Crawford, deceased.
American Bible Society held its anniversary in New York, May 9, 1839. “The receipts of the year, from all sources, amount to $95,125, which is nearly $10,000 more than those of the year previous, but less by about one-third than the demands of the institution. The number of books issued is one hundred and thirty-four thousand nine hundred and thirty-seven, making an aggregate, since the formation of the Society, of two millions four hundred and eightyeight thousand two hundred and thirty-five. The issues of the past year, including books imported, were in seventeen different languages.”
American Tract Society held its anniversary May 8. The receipts during the year were $131,295 40, exceeding those of the year ending April, 1837, which were more by $25,000 than in any previous year. Circulated during the year two hundred and ninety-nine thousand one hundred and sixty-six volumes; four milliou ninety-nine thousand one hundred and seventy publications; one hundred and nineteen millions seven hundred and thirty-ihree thousand three hundred and fifty-six pages; making the total circulation, since the formation of the Society, one million one hundred and fifty-threc thousand three hundred and ninety volumes; fifty-one million thirty-nine thousand six hundred and seventy-eight publications; nine hundred and seventeen million nine hundred and eighty-three thousand five hundred and seventy-eight pages.
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions held its meeting May 10. (Statistics not yet published.]
| HENRY Little, at Stamford, Ct., March 26.
BUCKLEY C. Morse, at Lyons Farms, N.J., JAMES PARKER, in Sharon, Vt., March 17,
March 4. aged 76.
ANDREW POLLARD, at South Gardner, Mass., Joshua Roberts, in Porter, Me., March 26,
May 9. aged 71.
NATHANIEL Ripley, at Coleraine, Mass., Josiah Stone, in New Boston, N. H.,
April 24. March 22, aged 77.
Edward G. Sears, at Marshfield, Mass., Ashley Vaughn, in Natchez, Miss., March
March 20. 29.
JOEL TERRY, at Bethel Church, St. Clair
co., Di., April 6. ORDINATIONS.
CONSTITUTION OF CHURCHES. James P. Appleton, at Dublin, N. H., May| 1.
At Mount Morris, Liv.co., N. Y., March 21. Jacob Brar, at Bridgton, Me., April 24.
Reat Bridgton. Me. April 24. At Covington, Tenn., March 23. THOMAS BRAND, at West Troy, N. Y., | At Boston, Mass., March 27, the Boylston March 12.
St. Baptist Church. D. B. CRAWFORD, at Vernon, Miss.
At North Kingston, R. I., April 24. Julius G. Hall, at Beamsville, U.C., April At Champaigne co., Ohio, April 6.
At Memphis, Tenn., April 8. Foster HARTWELL, at Conway, Mass., May At Boston, Mass., April 21, First Free 2.
Church. Adieu Harver, at Westboro', Mass., April 17.
DEDICATION. E.G. Leach, at New Portland, Me., March In New England Village, Grafton, Mass., 24.
THE CHRISTIAN REVIEW.
HISTORY OF THE PROGRESS OF LANGUAGE.
The materials for a complete history of the progress of language, cannot be supposed to be in the possession of any human being. In order to trace such a topic through all its labyrinths, we should need an accurate knowledge of all languages, with their various idioms and modes of construction, and of all the various habits of thought which characterize, or have characterized, persons speaking those languages, living or dead. An individual, writing such a history, should have discernment to distinguish between real and apparent resemblances; to mark, definitely, the transition points of period after period, in the progress; and to estimate rightly all facts and conjectures, giving to each the weight it deserves. In the philological historian, something needs to be superadded to the qualities requisite to an eminent historian in other departments. Not only a compass and breadth of mind, to comprehend events and their bearings, but an accuracy and minuteness of knowledge, and especially an amount of linguistic attainment, almost more than human, is necessary to form him to his work. Nothing could be more interesting to a person, fond of that peculiar sort of investigations, than a philological history of the world. But no single age could furnish it. The most that could be done, by any generation, would be to present
VOL. IV.-NO. XV.
a few contributions, or helps, towards it; the mass of which, increased by gradual accumulation, might at length be used by some master spirit, capable of managing so vast a theme, as the basis of reasonings, which would throw important light on many subjects now veiled in impenetrable obscurity. The lamented Greenfield, the editor of Bagster's polyglotts, might have done something towards such a history. The indefatigable Germans might do something more. The combined faculty of learned schools, as of the school of languages, at Paris, or of the Propaganda, at Rome, might do still more. Their united labors could easily lay a foundation, in the present age, upon which future and successive generations might build. A truly philosophic mind, such as it is ever the tendency of sound learning and discipline to nourish, loves to contemplate the affinity of nation with nation, the characteristics peculiar to each, or common to two or more, and the causes which have led to the production of that community of characteristics. Who can tell, but analyses of this description might lead us back, from age to age, till we should be brought again, almost to Eden, with its single pair and its single language; and thus silence the audacity which dares to doubt the records of the Old Testament? Much of the extinct registers of various nations might, also, thus, with considerable accuracy, be recalled. We do not affirm that it would be possible to settle the question of the original language of the human race by any such means. On the contrary, we believe that, whoever should attempt a history of the kind of which we have spoken, ascending up to the first man, would find a break at the period of the confusion of tongues, beyond which it would be impossible for him to proceed with any certainty; to say nothing of the aid which ingenious conjecture and lively imagination, added to nice discrimination, would need to furnish.
The following items, thrown in, as it may appear to the cursory reader, in a very desultory manner, will serve to illustrate our positions thus far. If all history and all remembrance of it were instantly annihilated, the prevalence of the English language, in various spots on our globe, would be a sufficient proof that there had, in time past, been some connection between England and those places. And this fact, once established, might lead
to a thousand inferences deducible from it, which would be of the greatest importance in illustrating the history of England, its conquests, its empire, its power, its influence, its arts. The numerous words of Latin origin, with which our language abounds, testify to the fact, of some ancient and very familiar intercourse with the Romans at the period when the language was in a forming state; or, to the existence of a Roman literature, with which our forefathers must have had a profound acquaintance. And the numerous words in every-day use, which are traceable to the same roots with the corresponding words in the German language, immediately suggest the idea of our remote, common origin. Any person who has attained to the slightest knowledge of the Spanish and Arabic languages, is at once compelled to notice the influence of the latter upon the former. Though accidental, in part, the Spanish tongue is, also, in part, almost purely oriental; abounding in idioms and inflections unlike those of any other modern language of the west, but precisely like the Shemitish dialects. The very speech of the people is an enduring memorial of the ancient dominion of the Moors in Spain; and it would stand a philological testimony to that event, should all direct traces of it, in any other form, be blotted from the page of history. President Edwards held the opinion, that the elements of the vast number of dissimilar dialects, spoken by the various tribes of Indians on the American continent, might all be found in the single language of the Mohegans.
Statements like the above, to which, if our knowledge were competent, additions might probably be made, almost to an indefinite extent, seem to carry us back to the cradle of the human race. The confused elements of the speech of Babel are analyzed and classified. The multitudinous mass of forms assumes shape, and comeliness, and order, and relations. The thousands of dialects, which prevail upon the earth, are reduced to a few families. And, if our knowledge were more complete, and our critical discernment more thorough and penetrating, even these few families of tongues might, perhaps, be found capable of still further reduction, to two or three. Having ascended thus, to the beginning of the mystery of speech, it would be easy to return again, threading the labyrinths, and exhibiting, and illustrating the ramifications