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BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. Tae Anniversary Meeting of the British partially obscured and clouded, it would and Foreign Bible Society was held on soon shine again with renovated lustre. Wednesday, May 7.
He regretted that the Continental AssoAt eleven o'clock the President (Lord ciations still persisted in refusing to Teignmouth) took the Chair.
co-operate with us, in consequence of He said, that he had so often expe- the publication of the resolution that rienced the indulgence of the Society, the funds should be restricted to the that he had no hesitation in accepting circulation of the inspired writings. the situation he had the honour to hold, Means, however, were found and although from debility he was incom adopted to supply the pure canon of petent to the discharge of its duties. Scripture; and, after all, he was satisThe meeting was called on at the close fied, that the issues of Bibles on the of another year to return their thanks Continent had been greater than in to God, through whose favour they preceding years, particularly the New were chosen to work for his glory, and Testament. The Society, therefore, had the benefit of man. On this blessing only to continue the labour of love in they should rely for their progress in the spirit they had begun, and they the work, and on that hope they should would prove how correct was the obrest their confidence of future success. servation of an old divine, “ that truth In the success they already had, there and love were the most powerful agents were motives for joy no less than grati- in the world, and that when the golden tude. It was sufficient for him to thread of love was twined with the Idention, that since the commence- silken cord of truth, a bond was formed ment, the British and Foreign Bible which led men on whether they would Society had distributed five millions and or no.” a half copies of the Old and New The Rev. Mr. BRANDRAM then read Testaments, from their immediate funds, the Report, which stated that visits and that they had the happiness of had been paid to Foreign Societies supplying that book, which, if duly by Messrs. Pinkerton and Sibthorp, read, could not fail to make men wise, in order to remove the differences and holy, and happy. If in addition to which existed ; and the Committee this they consider the impulse which returned their thanks to Mr. Sibwas given to the Christian world, and thorp, who had undertaken this that their operations pervaded every journey without any expense to the quarter of it, they would find that it Society. These gentlemen had interhas acted as an example which should views with Professor Kieffer at Paris, at encourage them to enlarge and perse whose disposal they had placed several vere in their labours. When it was large editions of the Bible. They had recollected that portions of the scripture also been to Berlin, Leipsic, Dresden, had been translated into sixty languages and Nuremburg, in which latter place, and dialects, which were never attempted they had agreed to receive the Society's before the establishment of this Insti. Bibles. In France, 56,000 copies of tution—when it was seen that they had the Scriptures were circulated last year, opposed a barrier to the torrent of infi- which was 10,000 more than the predelity and profaneness, which threatened ceding year. The printing of the to overwhelm the whole continent of Turkish Bible had also been completed, Europe, and even to pollute the soil of and had undergone the examination of our own country, they could not fail to Dr. Henderson, who was entirely have ample grounds for rejoicing, while satisfied with it. Notwithstanding the they ascribed all the glory to Him from continued illness of Doctor Leander whom the Bible proceeded, and who Von Ess, applications for Testaments alone could crown their efforts with were numerous ; and in consequence success. Their exertions had already two editions of 20,000 each were ordered, heen favoured by many blessings, and the number of copies issued last year they could estimate their value, by from Darmstadt was 28,723. The Paris merely considering what would have Society had experienced a great loss in been the case had Bible Institutions the death of their Secretary, the Baron never existed. In this they had the de Stael, who passed his few last days strongest motives for exertion; , and in fervent prayer. In consequence of though their path might sometimes be the destitute state of the French Protestants, 5000 copies had been granted, work. In Bombay, 8257 copies had making the whole number 14,500. been distributed, and there was also A gentleman, also, in Brussels gave an increase of subscribers. an assurance, that since 1815, 50,000 From Philadelphia, it was stated copies had been given to Roman Ca- that the people had turned their tholics in France. In Osnaburg, as attention to South America, and, in soon as it was known that the agent had consequence, 5000 Bibles and 2000 Bibles, his house was crowded by the Spanish Testaments were granted. Mr. poor, both young and old. The King Thompson, the agent in South America, of Wirtemberg had renewed his annual had sold all the Bibles he had, at grant, and Bibles without the Apocrypha prices equal to the original cost, and began to be more inquired after. The wished that a thousand Bibles, and number of Danish copies distributed an equal number of Testaments, should was 142,310 ; of Swedish Old Testa be sent, which was done. At San ments 3400, New Testaments 17,000. Augustine be found the principal of a At Abo, which was consumed by fire, convent very well disposed, and at all the copies of the Scripture had been Quiricaro he had been introduced to a destroyed—500 Swedish copies of the friar, who was of great service to him. New Testament were sent, and a Fin- The want of the Apocrypha had been nish translation was in progress. At objected, and the subject was quietly Malta, between 2 and 3000 copies had discussed in the convent. At Zilaya been distributed, 2000 of them Greek, the friars first encouraged the buying and a translation had also been made of Bibles, and brought their friends; into the Albanian, which gave great and Mr. Thompson, speaking of the satisfaction in that country, as it was difficultles he expected, said, that he the first time the Albanian people ever was surprised more at the freedom he had the Word of Life in their own experienced, than at any impediments tongue. In Constantinople, before the that were thrown in his way. He agent left, nearly 2500 copies had been hoped to be able to send £500. as a disposed of by sale, and 36,000 sent to substantial proof of his success. different parts of the Turkish dominions. In North America there had been During the residence of the Agent there, 67,000 Bibles distributed, making the in the years 1824-5-6, 21,000 had been total issued by the Society there, circulated and the total in seven years 501,000; the last year exceeding the was 30,000 copies. There had been preceding by an issue of 16,000. In made by sales, in the whole, 50,000 Pennsylvania it was determined to piastres, or between £1700. and £1800. supply every family in the province with which was very gratifying, as the agent a copy, this would require 100,000 was told when he first went over, that copies. A subscription had been entered though numbers of Bibles might be into, and 14 or 15,000 dollars received. taken as gifts, the people would In Montreal, betwsen 3 and 4000 never buy any. The exertions of the Bibles and Testaments had been disBible Society had raised the character posed of; but it was a subject of regret of the English in Turkey and amongst that Upper Canada had so few Societies the Greeks, who had heretofore supposed for the distribution of the Scriptures. that we were a nation of Freemasons, In adverting to domestic affairs, the or that we believed in the transmigra Report recorded the death of Mr. tion of souls; but they now found that Robert Steven, who had peculiarly deour faith rested on Holy Writ. From voted his time and attention to the Smyrna the accounts were equally Society. The issues of the Society at favourable, and gave great hopes of an home had been about 162,000 Bibles, increased circulation of the Scriptures in and 199,000 Testaments, making an the Greek Islands and the Morea. excess of 42,000 over the issues of
The distribution in Calcutta had last year. School-books to the numamounted to 7500 copies, and the ber of 78,943 were issued, making last meeting there was attended more an excess over last year of 4000, numerously than any former.
and fifteen new Auxiliary Societies At Madras, progress was making in had been added. From Scotland, vathe three branches of translation, print- rious subscriptions have been received ; ing, and distribution. Eight thousand amongst others, £50. from Edinburgh, copies had been given away, and the £137. from Glasgow, £300, from AberCommittee had bestowed no less than deen, as well as several others; and all 1750 reams of paper for carrying on the the Societies there not only express their thanks for the aid given them, but with the Noble Earl, that there was their full confidence in the Society. not much novelty in the Report; yet, The Inverness Society, though not an of all the Reports he had read, there Auxiliary to this, received its assistance, was none in any Society which presented and had 10,000 copies for the High more encouraging features than the lands and Islands. The Gaelic School present. He was not encouraged solely Society had also a grant of £500. on account of the wide distribution of
The Hibernian Society had issued in the Scriptures, for of the readiness with the last year 51,412, and other Societies which they were received there was there continued to increase in their abundant testimony, but they never circulation, making from the commence- before had so satisfactory a specimen ment 479,000 copies. Notwithstanding of the spirit in which the Scriptures that the issues and receipts had been had been received. In one commugreater than on any former occasion, nication, and one only, the writer still the Irish Societies had not sufficient complained of the apathy of the peofunds of their own. In conclusion, the ple, but even that should be an inCommittee recommended the Society to ducement to encourage us in the work. continue from year to year stedfast and Far, then, as human eye could see, he unmoved, with a determination not to would say, God was with us. Having be dismayed, and to depend on the arm heard that there were persons here to of the Lord.
give details upon these subjects, he The Earl of HARROWBY proposed should be sorry to detain the Meeting, that the Report should be printed, under but there were one or two circumstances the direction of the Committee. His to which he wished to draw their attenLordship adverted to the late Baron tion. One was the alacrity with which de Stael ; for a more intelligent, highly- the Committee went forward with every cultivated person, a man of more pleas- thing which called upon the Society to ing manners, as well as one of more support their exertions. The Danish, unaffected piety, and better disposed Swedish, and Finnish translations to this Society, it was seldom his had been immediately furnished, on good fortune to meet. The Report, receipt of the intelligence of their satisfactory as it was, had less of the being wanted ; in Albania, too, the attraction of novelty in it than many Scriptures were, for the first time, others, but that was far from discouraging. heard in the language of the country. At this period of the Society they could In turning to the Domestic Affairs of not expect much novelty because so the Society, he asked, was not the much had been already done. There number of copies of the Scriptures cirwas one or two instances in which they culated, being no less than 162,000 had succeeded in despite of the various Bibles, and 199,000 Testaments, and obstacles which they had met; and it which gave an excess of more than appeared that while some had antici- 40,000 over any preceding year, a topic pated that the circulation of the Scrip- of just congratulation to them! It was iures would be altogether opposed in frequently asked, after so many years the provinces of South America, the circulation of the Scriptures, and after unadulterated word of God had made the sums expended on it, what necesa progress which was becoming more sity existed for doing more? his and more extensive. Another place, answer was, refer to the reports, and too, in a different quarter of the globe, particularly that which they had just afforded a prospect of success : he meant heard, as well as to the monthly extracts, Sincapore, a place from which the beam and no one of them could be found of true light might with effect radiate which did not contain fresh accounts of through the dark and dismal atmos the eagerness with which the Scriptures phere which surrounded it. He should were inquired for, and the gladness with be gratified if, in this as in other in which they were received. But it was stances, commercial interests were the not to written statement alone he would cause of good, and that where ever refer, but to the local knowledge of any were carried by the love of gain, those, who had inquired into the state they should leave a thirst for the word of their own neighbourhoods, and they of God; that in return for the spices would find that there was still a wide and fine gold produced by those coun- field for their exertions. In the Report tries, they should bestow that Pearl from Wiltshire, from Newcastle, from which was above all price.
Birmingham, and even from within a The Bishop of WINCHESTER agreed few miles of this metropolis, it appeared that there was urgent want of the progenitors, or go to countries where Scriptures, and this was a topic not only they conceived the favour of God for exertion but for prayer, that the was to be obtained by putting spikes Scriptures might be circulated, and in their flesh or nails in their shoes. men be rendered wise unto salvation. In Australasia the effects produced
Mr. WILBERFORCE rose to move by the Society were greater than thanks to Lord Teignmouth. It gave could have been anticipated, notwithhim, he said, peculiar pleasure to take standing the darkness which might a part in that Meeting, because he had almost be felt, and which proceeded been for some years estranged from their from the joint effects of superstition and Meetings, and at one time feared that of despotism; for it was remarkable, he never should be able to come that the principles of Scripture and amongst them again. For himself he those of civil liberty proceeded hand in would say, that the weakness he felt hand. Indeed, he must say, that the more and more confirmed his resolu- constructor of the Roman Catholic tion, that so long as any strength religion, whether he came from above remained to him, he would exert it, or below, understood well what he was and so long as he possessed a voice he about, when he prevented the circulawould raise it to pour forth the effusions tion of the Scriptures, because he kuew of his gratitude for the blessings bes- that wherever they were, the career of towed upon the Institution. When he bad principles was sure to be arrested. attended this Society after the estrange. Let the Society, then, urge forward the ment in which he had for some time study of the Sacred Writings, and they lived, he looked around him to see would bring the nations to light, and whether it appeared better or worse than life, and liberty. He could not help formerly, and he expressed his happi. feeling deeply when the Noble Earl ness to find that an improvement bad (Harrowby) had spoken of the Baron taken place in the language addressed de Stael, because he knew him well, to the Society. He was also happy to and had hoped that he would have been hear sentiments worthy of their high usefully employed in his line of life. station in the Christian Church from The connexion he had formed was a its exalted Ministers present-Ministers proof of his purity, for he had not (as by who, so long as they expressed them- his birth he was entitled) allied himself selves in that way, would do honour to to any of the high families of France, the Society, would diffuse the blessings but married the daughter of a respectaof the Church, and prove the best secu ble clergyman of Geneva, where he rity to the Church of England. Indeed endeavoured to rectify the errors, and it would be strange if he differed from purify the corruptions which had crept the Resolution, so long as he had into his own Protestant country. The strength to utter his approbation, when Society had also lost Bishop Heber; he recollected his Lordship's labours in but, by that, they were taught that the cause of the instruction of mankind, God works with his own instruments; the lessening of their misery, and the and that they were not to look to rescuing them from the power of the the talents of men, but to the blessing kingdom of darkness. So long as he of God. As he had remarked on the had any power at all, he should pub loss of Bishop Heber, he shonld also lish his impression, that as religion was say there was something delightful in more Scriptural it became more im the testimony he hore to the usefulness proved. Sometimes there was a desire of their labours, when speaking of a to form religion according to the views Sister Institution, the Church Missionof mankind, and come to the Scriptures ary Society. They, however, were but merely for their sanction. There was, one, they had but one Bible as their however, no more striking proof of the instrument, and one object, by the natural weakness and infirmity of men, saving of souls to diffuse those benefits, and that the Holy Scriptures were neces- which all flowed from one and the same sary not only for correcting vice, but source. It delighted him much to see also for forming religion itself, than that such a soul as that of Heber pleased men destitute of the light of revelation, with the benefits which arose from always formed an erroneous opinion of those Societies. The example of the the nature of the Deity, and thought it Noble Chairman was eminently calcunecessary to propitiate him by some lated to diffusé a feeling of the value painful sacrifice. He might speak of of those Institutions, and to dispose the religion of our poor ignorant persons towards supporting them. He trusted the Noble Chairman would lators and Ministers of State that ever continue to attend the Meetings of this lived could have done. Let them Society, so long as bodily strength en- Christianize Ireland, and they civilized abled. He was confident that on every it at once. He thought he saw thousucceeding year he would be able to sands of his poor countrymen in their congratulate him on the glorious pros- humble cabins pouring out their warm. pect, and he felt, that at the close of thanks and blessings on this Society their lives, the Noble Chairman and He fancied he heard one of them say, himself could not have a more delightful in his own tongue, “ Thanks to you, retrospect than the time they had passed Old Ireland-thanks to you, Old Engin promoting the views of this Society, land, for giving me this blessed book, whose object was to give glory to God which whilst I live I will take the on high, and good will towards men. greatest care of, and bequeath to my
The Bishop of Sodon and Man in children at my death, as my greatest rising to second the resolution, said, treasure. Oh! may he who pours that he would not give vent to the feel blessings from above bless you, Old ings of gratitude and affection he en England.” This was not altogether tertained for the Noble Chairman, who imaginary : few who had visited Ireland knew that he loved him. He prayed but could testify as to the effects which God to extend his life in health and the circulation of the Bible had prohappiness, and to pour on him his duced in that country, and this was the gifts from above. As for himself he Union, the true Irish Union. The had long been the friend of the Bible was effecting a real Union beSociety, and anxiously observed its tween Ireland, his dear native country, effects, as well as watched its opera and England, his dearer adopted countions. He could truly say, that it not try. All this was owing to the Bible only promoted the circulation of the Society. He should say no more, but Bible, but that it was the life and soul would recommend those who heard bim of other good works. It not only gave to go home, and if there was no Bible rise to many useful Institutions, but it Society in their town or village, to stimulated and gave new life to many establish one without delay; and if one old Institutions, which were slumbering was established, never to relax, but in obscurity. If he wished to enlighten always to promote its interests to the the darkest spot in the kingdom, he utmost of their power. would commence by establishing a The Rev. BENJAMIN ALLEN (of PhiBible Society there. If he wished to ladelphia) said, that it was the opinion of put an end to discord and strife, and to many in his country that the promised promote harmony, he would begin with Millennium was near at hand, and he a Bible Society. If he wished to build certainly thought there were some evia hospital, or an almshouse, or to do dences of its near approach. Five millions any other good work, he would begin and a half of Bibles were distributed'; with a Bible Society. Wherever that the difficulties of the Society were giving flourished he was sure every other good way in every quarter; and the effects it work would flourish with it, for it had produced were breaking forth, like opened the heart to charity. He ex the morning, rapid, and clear, and horted them, therefore, when they went bright; or, he should rather have said, to their homes, to establish a Bible like the sun at its meridian, full of Society in every town and village in warmth, life, and loveliness. When he their neighbourhood. He would not remembered the spirit which actuated enter upon the various positive good all classes in his own distant land--the things that this Society had done, but zeal which actuated the young, and the he must be allowed to mention the steady perseverance of those of middle general good in that part of the United age, together with the fervour of the Kingdom which had his earliest affec old men, he felt that the dawn of the tions: he meant the poor kingdom of latter day was resting upon them. A Ireland. Many persons in that country new era appeared to have arisen as to now possessed a Bible who had never the mode of conducting the Society's seen one before the establishment of this operations. America looked to the Society. This Society gave the poor British and Foreign Bible Society, as Irishman the Bible, and enabled him to to a parent, and she was not unmindful read it: it gave the Bible to the coun- of the great example held out to her, try, and in so doing had done better and Some time ago in the interior of the more for that country than all the Legis- state of New York, it was thought de