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by the fact that the Lamaic priests found it necessary to interdict it, apprehending that their craft would be in danger, in case the doctrines gained ground among their followers. Notwithstanding this prohibition, copies were eagerly sought by the Calmucs; and it was found necessary to issue a third edition in a smaller form, that the volumes might be more easily concealed among the stuff of their tents.
Some pecuniary aid was received by Dr. Schmidt, the translator, from the emperor of Russia; and in 1820 the Gospel of St. John was completed and laid before the Russian Committee. The eagerness of the people to know what this Gospel contained was so great, that before it could be carried through the press, it was sent in MS. for their perusal. An edition of 500 copies was printed of this Gospel alone, besides 2000 copies containing the Gospels both of St. Matthew and St. John, In 1822, an edition of the Gospels and the Acts was put to press at St. Petersburg. In a letter bearing the same date, it was stated by Dr. Pinkerton that twenty-two individuals had forsaken their idols, and had joined the Sarepta congregation on the Volga; and at that period there appeared every reason to hope that a still richer harvest would speedily ensue from the seed of the Divine Word diffused among the Calmues. Concerning the effects which may have been more recently produced by their perusal of the New Testament in their own dialect, we have no means of obtaining intelligence, for the labours of missionaries among this people are now wholly suppressed.
B U R I A T.
FOR SPECIMEN OF THIS VERSION, SEE PLATE 7, PAGE 338.
1.-GEOGRAPHICAL EXTENT AND STATISTICS.
The Buriat Mongolians now dwell near Lake Baikal, in Siberia, where they probably settled at the period of the revolution under Genghis Khan. They form the principal part of the population in the government of Irkutsk, north of the Baikal, and of the provinces of Selinginsk, Oudinsk, and Nerchinsk, eastward of that lake: they are thought to number about 150,000 individuals. The dialect of the Buriats is the same as that of the Khalka tribes of Eastern Mongolia. It differs from the Calmuc chiefly in the interchange of consonants, and is distinguished by its abundance of guttural and nasal sounds. The Buriats also differ from other Mongolians in employing the alphabet of their Mantchou neighbours, instead of the true Mongolian letters.
II.-VERSION OF THE SCRIPTURES IN THIS DIALECT.
When a translation of the New Testament into Calmuc was projected, it was anticipated that it would be found as intelligible to the Buriats of Siberia and to the other Mongolian tribes, as to the Calmues themselves; and, under this impression, the Buriats contributed towards defraying the expenses of the version. When, however, the Gospel of St. Matthew in Calmuc was completed, it was found that the Buriats were unable to read it; and though they afterwards endeavoured to obtain the key to the Calmuc writing by acquainting themselves with the Mongolian letters, yet it soon became obvious that the differences between the two dialects rendered the preparation of a distinct version for each people absolutely essential. To remove every difficulty, Prince Galitzin, president of the Russian Bible Society, wrote to the Governor of Irkutsk, requesting him to send two learned Buriats to St. Petersburg, for the purpose of accommodating the Calmuc Gospel to their native dialect, and, in conjunction with Dr. Schmidt, to translate the other parts of the New Testament. Two saisangs, or Buriat nobles,
accordingly repaired to St. Petersburg, and with the consent of their prince and lama, they engaged in the work of translation: the Divine Word was blessed to their conversion; and, in a.letter which they addressed to their chief, they avowed their faith in Jesus. In 1818, an edition of 2000 copies of the Gospel of St. Matthew, in Buriat, was printed under their care, followed, in 1819, by 2000 copies of the two Gospels of St. Matthew and St. John. An edition of 2000 copies of the other two Gospels, with 2539 copies of the Acts, was published in 1822. During the same year. owever, a severe loss was sustained in the death of Badma, one of the Buriat translators, who was called to rest from his labours just as he had translated as far as the middle of the Epistle to the Romans. The remaining portion of the New Testament appears to have been completed under the superintendence of Dr. Schmidt, and was published about the year 1824, at St. Petersburg.
The surviving Buriat noble was afterwards associated with Messrs. Swan, Stallybrass, and Yuille, missionaries at Selinginsk, in the translation of the Old and the revision of the New Testament. The Old Testament was translated immediately from the Hebrew, with constant reference to such critical apparatus as could be obtained, and every portion was successively submitted to the inspection of learned natives, chiefly lamas or priests, in order that the idiomatic peculiarities of the language might be observed. The style of writing adopted in this version holds a middle place between the vulgar colloquial language of the people, which varies in different districts, and the abstruse modes of expression employed in some of their books. It is above the common business dialect, but not so much higher as to place the subject beyond the reach of any one of common understanding. In 1834, the expenses incurred in this translation were defrayed by the British and Foreign Bible Society, and an edition of 1000 copies was undertaken by the same Society. This edition was subsequently extended
. to 2000 copies, in consequence of a grant from the American Bible Society. The printing was carried on at Khodon in Siberia, and portions were put into circulation almost as soon as they left t e press. This edition of the Old Testament was completed in 1840; and during the same yea" Messrs. Swan and Stallybrass accomplished a fresh translation of the New Testament from the original Greek, based on the version previously made. An edition of 3000 copies of this New Testament was completed at press in 1846, at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
III.-RESULTS OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF THIS VERSION. It has already been mentioned that the “ beautiful sayings of Jesus," as they called them, produced an almost immediate effect on the two idolaters employed in translating the New Testament. The portions they translated were blessed in a similar manner to some of their countrymen. One of the natives, after reading with devout attention the Gospel of St. John, emphatically exclaimed, “This is the soap which must cleanse us from the defilement of the old system of religion:" and this version has been made useful even in China, for many of the Chinese are acquainted with the language, and the missionaries were repeatedly informed of copies having been eagerly sought by natives of that benighted empire. Among the Buriats themselves there appeared, till recently, every reason to look for the happiest results from the distribution of their vernacular Scriptures; a spirit of enquiry was awakened, and, in a seminary established at Khodon, several of the young people had given evidence of being truly converted to God. Since the year 1841, the mission has been relinquished, and opportunities no longer exist for the circulation of this version,
ابتداده كلام وار ايدي و كلام الليث قاده إيدي و الله كلام ايدي بو ابتداده الله قاننده ايدي هر شي انكله يراد لدي و هپی بر راديش شي آنسز پرادادي ، انده حیات
و حيات آدمث نوري ايدي : تور دخي قاليده ضيا وير و لكلق أني إدراث ايدي ايمدي • اللکن کوندرلش بر آدم وار ایدي که آنك آدي يوحنا ايدي ابو شهادت النجون لدي تا که نورتن اوترو شهادت ويره تا که جمله سي آنك تبيله انانه تر و كندوسي نور دل اما تا که نورتن اوترو شهادت ويره وحق نور او ایډي که دنياية كلى هر آدمي
ايدي ايدي تنویر ایدر - دنياد، ايدي و دنيا آنگله يالشدر و دنيا إني بلدي " آو گندونيل كلوي و كندونشير أني قبول ایمدیگر
1.-GEOGRAPHICAL EXTENT AND STATISTICS. The Turkish language in its numerous dialectic varieties is more or less diffused through the vast regions which extend from the Mediterranean to the frontiers of China, and from the shores of the Frozen Ocean to Hindoostan. The nations to whom this language is vernacular have acted an important part in history; and though their power has now declined, and the Crescent has fallen like a star from heaven, yet a member of this race still occupies the throne of Constantine. The peculiar dialect of this language, to which the name of Turkish is generally, by way of pre-eminence, applied, is spoken in European Turkey by the Ottoman or Osmanlee Turks, the number of whom is variously estimated, by recent authorities, at between 800,000 and 1,100,000 individuals.
There exists, however, great discrepancy in the estimates formed of the population of the Turkish empire, and the population of European Turkey alone has been variously calculated at upwards of 15,000,000, or reduced to a total of only 8,500,000. The latter number is probably below the truth. More than three-fourths of the whole are members of the Greek Church. Wallachian, Albanian, Sclavonic dialects, and other tongues, prevail among the different sections of this population, yet Turkish is the only language which can be employed as a general medium of communication with all the various kindreds of people inhabiting European and Asiatic Turkey. But the use of this language extends beyond the present confines of the Turkish empire, and in point of practical utility it ranks among the foremost of languages; in fact, if we are to receive the statement of Sir William Jones, “there is scarce a country in Asia cr in Africa, from the source of the Nile to the wall of China, in which a man who understands Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, may not travel with satisfaction, and transact the most important affairs with advantage and security; nay, we may say with equal truth, that the Turkish language, in one or other of its dialects, is understood and spoken from the south of Europe, to the frozen shores of Kamschatka."
II.-CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LANGUAGE.
The Turkish language, like the race by whom it is spoken, affords a curious instance of the intermixture of the Asiatic and European type. The condition of this language in the primitive stages of its history is still exhibited by the Turkish dialects of the East, which have remained to the present day comparatively uncorrupted or unembellished by words of foreign origin; and it is in these dialects that the links connecting this tongue with those of the Mantchoos and the Mongols are to be sought. The analogy which pervades this class of languages has been elsewhere remarked: it is most observable in the pronunciation of the guttural and nasal consonants, in the orthographical regulations collectively designated the “quadruple harmony of vowels,” and in the euphonic law requiring certain consonants to be only associated with certain vowels.
The Turkish of Constantinople deviates in many important points from its cognate dialects. Its structure has in some degree been altered by joint influences from the East and West. like the Latin, have six cases; it possesses complex derivative conjunctions; and with respect to its vocabulary, it has amassed Persian, Arabic, and even Chinese words from the East, and Albanian, Greek, and Italian elements from the West. Yet, although so many heterogeneous principles enter into its composition, the Turkish language is replete with grace and beauty. Rich, dignified, and melodious, in delicacy and nicety of expression it is not, perhaps, surpassed by any language; and in grandeur, beauty, and elegance, it is almost unequalled.” The perfection of its mechanism, with respect to verbs, has been often noticed; the addition of a single letter or syllable renders a verb passive, negative, impossible, causal, or reciprocal, according to the will of the speaker, thus frequently conveying the sense of an entire phrase in a single word. Notwithstanding its multiplicity of grammatical forms, however, this language has not yet shaken off the yoke originally impressed on it in common with most of the tongues of High Asia; it is still remarkable for its stiffness of construction, and for what we call artificial disposition of words in composition. The extensive employment of gerunds and participles, to the almost total exclusion of conjunctions, and the grammatical law requiring words governed to precede the governing, combine with other causes in producing long, involved periods, in which the sense is not ascertained till towards the close, and in which the words are ranged in an order directly contrary to what appears to us the natural sequence of ideas.
The most ancient Turkish alphabet is the Ouigour, from which the Mongolian is derived; but the modern Turks use the Arabic and Persian characters. Their present alphabet consists of thirty-three letters, twenty-eight of which are Arabic, four are Persian, and one is peculiar to the Turkish.
III.-VERSIONS OF THE SCRIPTURES IN THIS LANGUAGE. Two versions of the Scriptures in kindred dialects of the Turkish language appear to have been completed about the same period. One of these versions, executed by Seaman, and printed in England, 1666, will hereafter be noticed. The other, comprising both the Old and New Testaments, was the work of Ali Bey, whose history is rather remarkable. His original name was Albertus Bobowsky, or Bobovius; he was born in Poland, in the beginning of the seventeenth century, and while a youth was