Ludolph, Henry William

, also a native of Erfurt, and born in 1655, was son to George Henry Ludolpb, a counsellor of that city, and nephew to the preceding Job Ludolpb, who had some share in the care of his education, and* the regulation of his studies. He thus became qualified for the post he afterwards enjoyed, of secretary to Mr. Lenthe, envoy from Christian V. king of Denmark, to the court of Great Britain. This gentleman, for his faithfulness and ability, recommended him afterwards to prince George of Denmark, and in 1680 he became his secretary, which office he enjoyed for some years, until, being incapacitated by illness, he was discharged, with a handsome pension. After his recovery, he took a resolution to visit some foreign countries, particularly Russia, which then was hardly known to travellers; and, as he had some knowledge of the Russian language before be left England, he easily became acquainted with the principal men of that country. He also met with some Jews there, with whom he frequently conversed, and became so great a master of the Hebrew tongue, that he could talk with them in that language; and he gave such uncommon proofs of his knowledge, that the Russian priests took him for a conjuror. He also understood music, and had the honour to play before the czar at Moscow, who expressed the utmost surprise and delight at his performance. Ludolph returned to London in 1694, when he was cut for the stone. As soon as his health would permit, in gratitude for the civilities he had received in Russia, he undertook to write a grammar of their language; by which the natives might be taught their own tongue in a regular form. This book was printed by the university press at Oxford, and published in 1696. This essay, as he says in his preface, he hoped might be of use to traders and travellers; as it was an introduction to the knowledge of a language, which was spoken through a vast tract of country, from Archangel as | far as Astracan, and from Ingermania as far as the confines of China.

Ludolph did not here conclude his travels. He had a great desire to go into the East, and to inform himself of the state. of the Christian church in the Levant. He began this journey in March 1698, and in November following arrived at Smyrna. Hence he travelled to Jaffa, from Jaffa to Jerusalem, from Jerusalem to Cairo; and made manyuseful observations relating to the productions of nature and art, and the government and religion of the countries through which he passed. The conversation he had with the commander of a Turkish ship in his passage to Alexandria is not the least remarkable thing in his travels. While he was on board, he was reading our Saviour’s sermon on the mount in the New Testament in Arabic, which was printed in that language at the charge of Mr. Boyle. The captain, having listened some time, asked, “what book that was r” to which Ludolph answering, “that it was the system of the Christian religion,” he replied, “that could not possibly be, since they practised quite the contrary.” To this Ludolph rejoined, “that he was mistaken; and that he did not wonder at it, as the Turks had little opportunity of conversing with any other than sailors and merchants, few of whom they reckoned to be good Christians,” c. The Turk seemed to be very-well satisfied, and afterwards was extremely kind to him.

The deplorable state of Christianity, in the countries through which he travelled, undoubtedly moved him to undertake after his return the impression of the New Testament in vulgar Greek, with the ancient Greek in tbie opposite column, and to make a charitable present of it to the Greek church. He printed it from a copy in two volumes which had been published several years before in Holland. These two volumes were by the industry of Ludolph, and the generous contributions of the bishop of Worcester, and their friends, printed in one volume, 12mo, in London; and afterwards distributed among the Greeks by Ludolph, by means of his friendship and correspondence with some of the best-disposed among them. He often expressed his wishes, that the Protestant powers in Europe would settle a sort of college at Jerusalem; and in some degree imitate the great zeal of the papists, who spare neither cost nor pains to propagate their religion everywhere. He wished also, that such men as were designed for that | college, might be acquainted with the vulgar Greek, Arabic, and Turkish languages, and might by universal love and charity be qualified to propagate genuine Christianity: “for many,” says he, “propagate their own particular systems, and take this to be the gospel of Christ.

In 1709, when a vast number of Palatines came over into England, Ludolph was appointed one of the commissioners by her majesty to manage the charities of her subjects to these unhappy strangers, and to find out ways to employ them to the best advantage. He died Jan. 25, 1710, aged 54.

His works, besides the Russian grammar already mentioned, are, 1. “Meditations on Retirement from the World.” 2. Also “upon divers Subjects tending to promote the inward Life of Faith,” &c. 3. “Considerations on the Interest of the Church Universal.” 4. “A Proposal for promoting the Cause of Religion in the Churches of the Levant.” 5. “Reflections on the present State of the Christian Church.” 6. “A Homily of Macarius, done out of Greek.” Some of these were printed singly, and all of them together in London, 1712, under the title of his “Remains,” with his funeral sermon, by Mr. Boehm, chaplain to the late prince George of Denmark. 1

1 Lives and Characters of the most illustrious Persons British and Foreign> who died in 1710, Lond. 8vo.