Welsh Journals

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104 THE CAMBRIAN REMEMBRANCER. APRIL, 1879. Are we justified in keeping up the remembrance of this great saint in the manner we do? If by that is meant that we are not to eat and drink and be merry upon St. David's Day, the question might be answered in the negative, but underlying all the feasting and fun there remains the patriotic sentiment of Nationality; and surely it is both good and wise to cultivate that feeling always. The English glory in their St. George, whose mythical history is hardly deserving notice; the Scotch, with more reason, keep up the remem¬ brance of St Andrew; the Irish, of the Welsh St. Patrick, and why should the Welsh give up St. David to gratify the miserable antipathy of the English to the leek, and to the grand old language of their former masters and governors ? I have no desire to elevate the old Cymry at the expense of the modern Welsh, but I should be glad to see the latter more zealous than they have been of late in defending the character of the nation against the assaults of the enemy on every side. We do not dwell sufficiently upon the past history of our country—are far too ready to fall into English ways, to snub our own people, and to forget that before England gave us laws, our St. David had stamped the character of our nation with a great¬ ness which neither time nor spite can efface from the page of history. St. David's Day, 1870. Allottd. APRIL 12th, 1879. The Holy Scriptures in Welsh.—I closing my remarks upon the distribution of the Holy Scriptures in Wales I have to commence this last paper with a reference to:— 21 Welsh Bible of 1769.—No less than twenty thousand copies of this octavo edition was required to meet the demand for it, and the Christian Know¬ ledge Society deserves especial thanks for the spirited manner in which it proceeded with the work. To the honour of Dr Llewelyn he busied himself zealously in the enterprise, and it was at his request chiefly the Society was induced to print so large an edition. The editor, the Rev John Evans, followed the text of Bishop Lloyd's Bible, and Mr Richard Morris, not without reason, blamed him for doing so. It is use¬ less to revive the old controversy, for however mis¬ taken Mr Evans may have been, no one can doubt the purity of his motives, nor does it now much matter to the general public how far he was right or otherwise. John Evans was a native of Cardiganshire, and author of a Welsh work upon the ' Harmony of the Gospels.' He was a well educated man, and at the the time he undertook the oversight of this edition of Bible, was chaplain to the king. According to some authority he was born in Carmarthenshire, but that statement has no better foundation, I apprehend, than his registration as a member of the Cym- rodorion Society, from which fact we may gather 1 hat he took a very warm interest in the literature of his country; indeed he gave abundant proof thereof by his own labours in the same direction, for his translations of useful English works into the Welsh language sufficiently attest, both his fitness for the supervision of the Scriptures, and the love he bore to the religious welfare of his countrymen. Thomas Llewelyn was born in Glamorgan¬ shire, about the year 1720, and being a Baptist, his education was conducted at Pontypool, and Bristol Academies He afterwards settled in London, where he founded an academy for the education of young men destined for the ministry. The Univer¬ sity of Aberdeen conferred upon him their degrees of M.A. and LL.D., and soon afterwards he began to devote his attention to the spiritual condition of his countrymen in Wales. The great want of Bibles in the vernacular caused him sorrow, and probably led him to the study ot the question. In 1768, he published "An Historical Account of the British or Welsh Versions and Editions of the Bible," a valuable and exhaustive pamphlet of some hundred and twenty octavo pages—the text book in fact, from which all subsequent writers on the subject have derived their information. He spent much of his own money, and considerable sums obtained from friends, in supplying the Welsh with Bibles; he was a true friend to his nation, an earnest worker on her behalf, and an intelligent advocate in her interest. He died full of honours, rich in faith, and sublimely pious, in 1783, and it is our bounden duty to hold his name in reverence for all time. 22. The Welsh Testament of 1769.—This is a very handsome volume, but, of course, is nothing more than the separate issue of so much of the Bible of the same year. 23. The Welsh Testament of 1779.—This is a small duodecimo volume minus place of publication or printer's came, but Mr Rowlands believes it was published at Shrewsbury secretly. Of course, the enactment, which gave the king's printer, and those of the Universities, the monopoly of printing the Scriptures was intended to secure the uniformity of the work to the standard then adopted, otherwise it sounds strange to us that so many a book should have to be issued as this Testament was, in violation of the law. The secret has been so well kept, how¬ ever, that to this day we know nothing about the promoters of this adventure, and we may, therefore, pass on to:— 24. The Welsh Polio Bible published at Oxford, 1789.—This edition was designed for public use in the Churches, and it was edited by my much esteemed and valued friend the Rev Henry Parry, who in 1798 became vicar of Llanasa, and in 1833 canon of St. Asaph. The long history of his life is a chapter which would occupy too much space to dwell upon now, but I may be allowed to say in passing, that it is a great comfort to me to have to record his name as one of the promoters of Bible distribution in the last century, and that this great Bible should have passed through his hands as it* editor.