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Addresses on the Revised Version of Holy Scripture

To confer with the Convocation of York


We are now arrived at the time when what was simple tentative and preparatory passed into definite and authoritative realization.

The initial step was taken on February 10, 1870, in the Upper House of the Convocation of Canterbury. The Bishop of Oxford, seconded by the Bishop of Gloucester, proposed the subjoined resolution, which it may be desirable to give in the exact words in which it was presented to the House, as indicating the caution with which it was framed, and also the indirectly expressed hope (unfortunately not realized) of the concurrence of the Northern Convocation. The resolution was as follows:

"That a committee of both Houses be appointed, with power to confer with any committee that may be appointed by the Convocation of the Northern Province, to report upon the desirableness of a revision of the Authorised Version of the New Testament, whether by marginal notes or otherwise, in those passages where plain and clear errors, whether in the Hebrew or Greek text originally adopted by the translators, or in the translations made from the same, shall on due investigation be found to exist."

In the course of the debate that followed the resolution was amended by the insertion of the words "Old and," so as to include both Testaments, and, so amended, was unanimously accepted by the Upper House, and at once sent down to the Lower

House. After debate it was accepted by them, and, having been thus accepted by both Houses, formed the basis of all the arrangements, rules, and regulations which speedily followed.

Into all of these it is not necessary for me to enter except so far as plainly to demonstrate that the Convocation of Canterbury, on thus undertaking one of the greatest works ever attempted by Convocation during its long and eventful history, followed every course, adopted every expedient, and carefully took every precaution to bring the great work it was preparing to undertake to a worthy and a successful issue.

It may be well, then, here briefly to notice, that in accordance with the primary resolution which I have specified, a committee was appointed of eight members of the Upper House, and, in accordance with the regular rule, sixteen members of the Lower House, with power, as specified, to confer with the Convocation of York. The members of the Upper House were as follows: the Bishops of Winchester (Wilberforce), St. Davids (Thirlwall), Llandaff (Ollivant), Salisbury (Moberly), Ely (Harold Browne, afterwards of Winchester), Lincoln (Wordsworth; who soon after withdrew), Bath and Wells (Lord Arthur Hervey), and myself.

The members of the Lower House were the Prolocutor (Dr. Bickersteth, Dean of Lichfield), the Deans of Canterbury (Alford), Westminster (Stanley), and Lincoln (Jeremie); the Archdeacons of Bedford (Rose), Exeter (Freeman), and Rochester (Grant); Chancellor Massingberd; Canons Blakesley, How, Selwyn, Swainson, Woodgate; Dr. Jebb, Dr. Kay, and Mr. De Winton.

Before, however, this committee reported, at the next meeting of Convocation in May, and on May 3 and May 5, the following five resolutions, which have the whole authority of Convocation behind them, were accepted unanimously by the Upper House, and by large majorities in the Lower House:

"1. That it is desirable that a revision of the Authorised Version of the Holy Scriptures be undertaken.


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