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To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I BEG leave to solicit answers to a few questions, through the medium of your excellent publication, if they are such as you shall think compatible with its object, and worthy the attention of its readers.
My next question is of far less but as I know not where to obtain importance than the preceding ones; information respecting it, you will, I trust, allow me to ask it here. From Mat. xxvii. 52,53, we learn that after the resurrection of our Lord, "many bodies of the saints which slept it would seem, had been thrown arose from their graves," which, as open by the earthquake at his crucifixion, and went into the holy does not seem, from this phraseocity, and appeared unto many." It that they continued in the city; what, then, became of them? I am, &c.
Justin Martyr affirms, as most who have read his works will recollect, that the Jews expunged passages from their sacred writings, which bore testimony to the vicarious sufferings and death of Jesus Christ; and, among them, the following logy, very striking passage: "When Ezra celebrated the passover (as is related Ezra, ch. vi. 19), he spake (says Justin) thus: Aud Ezra spake unto the people, and said, This passover is our Saviour and our Refuge and if ye shall understand and ponder it in your heart, that we shall afflict him for a sign; and if afterwards we shall believe on him; this place shall not be desolated for ever, saith the Lord of Hosts. But if ye will not believe on him, nor hear his preaching, ye shall be a laughing stock to the Gentiles *.'" Now, if this has, as Justin affirms, been expunged from the Septuagint, the Jews have taken equal care to strike it out of their Hebrew copies likewise; for I am not aware that it exists in any copy extant. But what I wish to ask is,
1st. Is Justin's assertion confirmed by any other author of equal antiquity?
24. Was it denied by any Jew of that period?
3d. Is the passage to be found in any ancient copy?
The only place, I conjecture, in which there is any chance of finding it, is in the Buchanan manuscript. Mr. Yeates, who has already given us such an interesting account of this manuscript, will perhaps have the goodness to communicate the requisite information on this point.
Just. Martyri Opera ab Aberthur. vol. ii. p. 196. 1
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I BEG leave, through the medium of your publication, to spread abroad the following observation of Mr. of the Prayer-Book printed by Mr. Scott. "I have seen some copies Reeves, in which the word 'help' is substituted for health.' I hope it is an error of the press, and not intentional for certainly no authority, except that of king, lords, and commons, in parliament assembled, is competent to make this alteration."
This error is continued through every edition I have seen subsequent to the year 1802. These editions, from size, type, paper, and binding, are the fashionable Prayer-Books. But I more particularly wish to draw the notice of your readers to another omission of some magnitude. In the Prayer-Book printed by Mr. Reeves, in 1808, at the end of the Second Collect at Evening Prayer, he has omitted "the merits of" Jesus. Alt who feel their want of spiritual health, and look to the merits of Jesus Christ for everlasting righte ousness, will naturally be dissatisfied with such alterations,
THE following communication has been made to us by a much esteemed friend; and in compliance with his wishes, as well as from sincere respect to the memory of the deceased, we take the carliest opportunity of inserting it.
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE OF THE
Richard Hall Kerr, was the elder
"John Sterne, Bishop of Clogher. The Sternes were originally of Mansfield in the county of Nottingham; and this prelate was, I presume, of the family of Richard Sterne, who died Archbishop of York in 1683, aged 87; and the son of English parents, though born in Ireland, from whom also descended the late Lawrence Sterne, that eccentric genius, more commonly knowu of late years, by the familiar name of Parson Yorick. Dr. Sterne was Switt's immediate predecessor in the deanery of St. Patrick's, Dublin; and on a resignation thereof, by compromise in his favour, was, in May 1713, promoted to the bishopric of Dromore from which he was, in March 1717, translated to Clogher, where he died in June 1745, at the age of
85. The generosity, hospitality, and charity
of Dr. Sterne, were unbounded. The deanery house of St. Patrick, the palaces of Dromore and Clogher, and cathedral of Clogher, are lasting monuments of his munificence; and shew us what bishops can do in the cause of
recently died at an advanced age.
Dean Swift's hospital, 6001.; towards the
prelates."-Mr. Nolle's Continuation of Gran
ger, vol. iii.
But notwithstanding all this munificence, it becomes necessary, on the present occa sion to observe, that his sister having married without his consent, Bishop Sterne was so highly incensed at this neglect, although she had been his favourite sister, as never afterwards to notice her. The paternal estate of Bishop Sterne was Belough, situated in the county of Dublin. After his death, it was enjoyed by his nephew Richard Hall, who, dying unmarried, left, together with his maiden sisters, legacies to a very considerable amount to Dr. Kerr's father. On the death of Richard Hall, the Belough estate became possessed by the trustees of St. Stephen's Hospital, in whose hands it still remains. Dr. Kerr's father was the heir-at-law, and was perhaps the person who ought to have possessed the estate; but he never adopted any measures to establish his right to it, being averse from engaging in the vexations, expensive, and uncertain process of a tedious litigation.
The author of the Continuation of Granger, we presume, from this insinuation, was a Roman Catholic. Editor.
daughter of Colonel Lynden, a gentleman who had resided many years at Gibraltar, and who was unfortunately drowned in returning thence to England. Though he entered into holy orders, he never held any preferment in the church. With less worldly prudence than is consistent with a due regard to his own interest and the welfare of his family, he was invariably respected for his upright and independent conduct; for the unaffected simplicity of his manners, and for his actively benevolent disposition. In the course of a long and eventful life, he presided over several respectable seminaries of education in Dublin and its vicinity; but his exertions were constantly more beneficial to others than to himself. His reputation, however, as a teacher, was always eminent; for, with a profound knowlege of the mathematics, he blended a refined taste for the beauties of Grecian and Roman literature.
The subject of this sketch was educated under the tuition of his father, until he attained the age of fourteen years. He was then admitted a pensioner of Trinity College, Dublin; and on the 27th February, 1788, he took his degree of Bachelor of Arts in that university.
About this period, his father be came involved in pecuniary embarrassments, and the family was in consequence plunged into deep distress. Mr. Kerr, deeply affected with this reverse of fortune, and desirous to relieve his father from expenses which he was no longer able to support, quitted college and formed the design of settling in America in the medical profession. With this view, he engaged in a course of study and professional attendance at the hospitals of Dublin and London; but the exigencies of his situation did not admit of his devoting to these studies sufficient time for maturing the attainments which he felt to be necessary, in order to a conscientious discharge of the duties he had proposed to underCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 122.
take. He accordingly relinquished this design in favour of another pursuit, and embarked for Virginia on Good Friday, 1788: but he had scarcely arrived there before he was attacked with an obstinate intermittant fever, the long continuance of which impaired his constitution; and it was to the effects of this disorder that he was wont principally to ascribe the ill health to which he was ever afterwards subject. To this visitation of Providence, he was also wont with fervour to attribute the mental revolution which disposed him to undertake the sacred duties of a profession to which his whole life was thenceforth exclusively devoted. It was in consequence of these deep and serious impressions that he returned to England early in 1789, and, thence passing over to Dublin, resumed his studies in the university. On the 21st October, of the same year, he was ordained deacon by Dr. Crigan, bishop of Sodor and Man; and on the 1st November, that prelate appointed Mr. Kerr his domestic chaplain. This venerable dignitary of the church, who is still living, was the friend of Mr. Kerr's father. His lordship honoured the son also with his friendship, and on various occasions gave him unequivocal proofs of warm and unalterable attachment*.
The most scrupulous view of his
In an account of the Isle of Man, published in the Monthly Magazine for September 1802, this accomplished and venerable prelate is thus spoken of.
"The bishop is near sixty; in his countenance, benevolence and penetration are strongly marked; at times the latter is peculiarly severe, and at such moments it is difficult to bear steadily the scrutiny of his eye. He has great dignity in his deportment, especially when he addresses a stranger; his manners are the most finished, his conversation is replete with fashionable anecdote, and his style of expression is uncommonly fluent and elegant. His family are amiable and highly accomplished; as may be supposed, when it is known that his lordship himself undertook the principal
care of their education."
whose official connection with the navy introduced him to his acquaintance, to establish a seminary on a respectable and extensive scale in the Black Town of Madras. To this object he exclusively directed. his attention; and he had the satisfaction, in a very short time, of succeeding in it beyond his expectations.
new duties could not, however, render aid of the Hon. Basil Cochrane, him insensible to the distresses of a father; and if Providence should not enable him to alleviate, he was determined, at least, got to add to his embarrassments. Our Indian settlements appeared to be a field well suited to the combined duties which pressed upon his mind; and having obtained letters of recommendation to gentlemen of respectability at Bombay, he accordingly embarked for that settlement, and arrived there on the 5th June, 1790. Neither the hopes of filial piety, nor the objects of a vocation to which he felt the most serious impulse, were much promoted by the first results of this voyage.
Soon after his arrival in India, he was appointed to superintend the Portuguese College at Mankeim, in the island of Bombay; a situation which, although by no means congenial to his wishes, he held during the space of nearly two years. After that period was elapsed, despairing of obtaining an appointment that would enable him to accomplish these objects, he determined to return to Europe; among other purposes, for that of obtaining priestly ordination, to which, when he embarked for India, he had not attained the requisite age to be admitted.
It being understood that the Perseverance frigate was shortly to be dispatched to England, Mr. Kerr solicited the appointment of chaplain to that vessel, chiefly with the view of being enabled to home without expense. But another of our Indian settlements was destined to be the scene of his future Jabours; and the Perseverance, having sailed from Bombay in 1792, proceeded, contrary to his expectation, first to Madras, and arrived there on the 3d June.
At this settlement, he was attacked by a severe fever; in which he long lingered, friendless and forlorn, at St. Thomas's Mount near Madras, and the ship sailed to England without him. On his recovery, how ever, he was enabled, by the kind
Hitherto we have seen Mr. Kerr struggling against adverse fortune with laudable perseverance. But his industry, his good sense, and his exemplary demeanour, could not fail to attract notice, and attach to his interest friends respectable from their worth, talents, and official employments. Occasionally solicited by the resident clergymen, he officiated in the church of Madras ; and Sir Charles Oakley, at that time the governor, was so gratified with his discourses, and held his character in such high estimation, that, unsolicited by Mr. Kerr, he resolved to appoint him one of the East India Company's chaplains. This appointment accordingly took place on the 10th April, 1793. He now discontinued his school, and shortly afterwards proceeded to join the 4th battalion of European infantry at Ellore, at that time the principal station in the northern territories subject to the Government of Madras.
Arrived at Ellore, he evinced his zeal in his sacred profession by a sedulous attention to its duties. He was the first clergyman who had been stationed in that part of the Company's dominions; and, as might be expected in a society which had long been deprived of a spiritual instructor, he found that the observances of the Sabbath were entirely disregarded, and, in general, all the established rites of religion. To overcome this prevailing indifference to Divine institutions, and to excite and keep alive in his congregation that devout and reverential feeling which constitutes one of the chief benefits resulting from religious ordinances, he conceived no measure
would be so effectual as that of erecting a building exclusively for the performance of Divine worship. Having communicated his sentiments on this subject to the principal of ficers of the district, he was encouraged, in February 1794, to address the public and solicit contributions towards erecting a church at Ellore. His exertions to promote the subscription were unremitted; and for this purpose he undertook a journey through the Northern Circars, performing divine service at every station. A considerable sum was thus obtained through his individual exertions, which, with the addition of 1000 pagodas contributed by the Government, was deemed adequate to defray the expense of the building; the erection of which together with a free school adjoining were begun about that period.
On the 16th August 1794, Mr. Kerr was married at Madras to Miss Eliza Falconer; a lady who, with an excellent understanding and a cultivated mind, blended every feminine virtue. With such a companion he had the prospect of every happiness which the matrimonial state can confer, and never was there a union crowned with more perfect harmony.
In the endearing society of his amiable consort, in providing materials for his church, and in the performance of his ministerial functions, his time was for a while delightfully occupied. In January 1795, he received the distressing intelligence that the Court of Directors had thought proper to annul his appointment as a chaplain in their service; a resolution adopted not from any personal objection to Mr. Kerr, but because the appointment had been conferred upon him in India, and not, as is usual on such occasions, by the Directors in England. To his merits, Lord Hobart, then governor of Madras, was not a stranger; and his lordship was pleased in this instance to suspend the execution of the order, and await the result of
a further reference in Mr. Kerr's favour to the authorities at home.
In February he received instructions from Government to desist from his preparations for the church, it having been determined to remove the troops from Ellore to Masulipatam. Mr. Kerr had reason to regret this arrangement; for, in the expectation that Ellore would continue to be a principal military station, he had expended a considerable sum in building a suitable house for the accommodation of his family. Mrs. Kerr's health had sustained a severe shock about this period; and his anxiety for her recovery, his apprehensions respecting the confirmation of his appointment, the welfare of all most dear to him being deeply involved in the decision, together with the loss attendant on the removal of the garrison, owing to the great depreciation in the value of property in consequence of that event, were so many circumstances conspiring to ren der his present situation peculiarly distressing. But
Fortunaque perdat Oppositâ virtute, minas." And besides the consolations he derived from religion and the applaudreceived, in this period of adversity, ing testimony of his own mind, he
seasonable relief of another kind.
A friend, who appears to have barrassments, sympathizing in his been well acquainted with his emdistress and solicitous to relieve it, forwarded to him by the post a letter, of which the following is a copy, containing a Bank note of 500 pagodas (2001.)
"5th March, 1795. "A friend to virtue in distress takes this method of contributing to its relief. It will be sufficient satisfaction to him to know, by a line in the Courier, that A. B. has received the favour of a Christian."
Such an instance of genuine benevolence commands our admiration. In the highest degree delicate