Sunday, 2 June 2013

Introduction to the New Testament in Braid Scots - 1901

"The New Testament in Braid Scots"

Preface: "Thar are mony folks, wha hae spoken English a' their grown-up days, wha like to gang back to the tongue o' their bairnhood, i' the mirk and shadows o' auld age. Thar are ithers wha seem tae tak better to the Word when it comes to them wi' a wee o' the Scottish birr. And thar are a hantle o' folk and I meet them a'gate--wha dinna speak Scots theirsels, but are keen to hear it, and like to read it. "And thar is anither consideration--the Scots tongue is no gettin extendit, and some folk think it may be tint a'thegither or 'or lang. And God's Word is for a'men; and ony lawfu' means ane can use to get folk to read it, and tak tent til't, is richt and proper. For a' thae reasons and ithers I coud bring forrit, I hae putten the New Testatment intil Braid Scots. Lat nae man think it is a vulgar tongue--a mere gibberish to be dune wi' as sune as ane is bye the schule-time. It is an ancient and honourable tongue; wi' rutes deep i' the yird; aulder than muckle o' the English. It cam doon till us throwe oor Gothic and Pictish forebears; it was heard on the battle-field wi' Bruce; it waftit the triumphant prayers and sangs o' the Martyrs intil Heeven; it dirl't on the tongue o' John Knox, dencouncin wrang; it sweeten't a' the heevenlie letters o' Samuel Rutherford; and aneath the theek o'mony a muirland cottage it e'en noo carries thanks to Heeven, and brings the blessins doon!........." "And I haena putten pen to paper unbidden. A wheen screeds o' the Word dune intil Scots I had at times putten afore the public een; and folk wad write me, "Hae ye ony mair o't? Is the hail Testament in Scots to be gotten?" till I begude to think that aiblins Providence had gien me the Scots blude and the Scots tongue, wi' the American edication, for the vera reason that--haein baith lang'ages--I soud recommend the Word in Scots; and juist Scots eneuch not to be unfathomable to the ordinar English reader." "Whiles thar has been a chance o'making the meanin planer; whiles a Scots phrase o' unco tenderness or wondrous pith coud come in. And at a' times, ahint the pen that was movin, was a puir but leal Scots heart, fu' o' prayer that this sma' effort micht be acceptit o' the dear Maister--and, survivin a' the misca'in o' the pernickity and the fashionable--micht bring the memoryh o' a worthy tongue, and the better knowledge o' a Blessed Saviour, to this ane and that ane, as they micht chance to read it."

William Wye Smith (The Rev.) St. Catherines Canada