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secure such co-operation as would be in some degree commensurate with the work. The general diffusion of the Scriptures lies at the foundation of all Christian effort. Without the word of God we can have no abiding success in Christian work.
The American Bible Society is the special agency in this land for the printing and circulation of the word of life. The magnitude of its work is indicated by the fact that in addition to all the efforts of the various auxiliary societies, and the agents and colporteurs employed in this and other lands, this Society is the helper and efficient ally of the missionary, tract, Sabbath School Union, and all the other great organizations having for their object the spread of the truth and kingdom of God.
I am happy in the belief that many of our people are giving the Bible cause a large place in their hearts. In my visits to churches and ecclesiastical bodies during the past year, I have found an intensitied interest in our work. All conferences, conventions, and synods that I have visited during the year have given me most courteous hearings, and by official action strongly indorsed the Bible Society.
While this district is largely made up of settled communities, yet some sections and a number of the principal cities are continually receiving additions from foreign immigration. I have urged increased attention to such localities, and this work will be pushed the coming year.
While no county in this district bas made a complete canvass of its territory during the year, seventeen of the auxiliaries have been engaged in supplying portions of their fields, and pastors and other workers have manifested unusual activity in looking up the poor who were destitute of the Scriptures and supplying them with the word of life. About 8,000 families have been visited. Some of the county societies are strangely apathetic, and seem satisfied to run in the old ruts. They make but little progress in any way, and, after a very meagre preparation for the annual meeting, come together and deplore the small attendance and lack of interest, pass resolutions, and then adjourn for another year. But I am glad to report that the majority of our auxiliaries are more aggressive, and seem anxious to do the work expected of them.
There has been a gratifying increase in the collections, and plans have been made for greater things in the future. Some of the county societies are very wisely, as I think, seeking to interest the young people’s societies in our work. In one county every Epworth League and Society of Christian Endeavor will be asked to make contributions and send delegations to the annual meeting. The churches generally respond cheerfully to this benevolence. I believe there is really no cause to which the people give more willingly than to the American Bible Society. All that is needed to secure ample funds is that the people know the facts and have opportunity to make their offerings.
Wherever I have gone the past year, with the message of our work, wlien the way was opened, contributions have increased. instance, where the church gave last year twenty dollars, a contribution of nearly one hundred dollars was given. In another church, where fifteen dollars was given a few years ago, the people sent up in the envelope over one hundred dollars.
Most of the ecclesiastical bodies have passed resolutions promising a separate collection for the Bible cause the coming year wherever practicable. If this should be done generally it would double our income in two years. I am most happy to say that, while the last year has not been the most favorable for results along financial lines, there has been a very good increase of aggregate receipts in this district.
I have visited 23 auxiliaries, attended 22 anniversaries, addressed 14 ecclesiastical bodies, delivered 170 sermons and addresses in the interest of the Bible cause, sent out 1,592 official letters and 14,788 official documents, and travelled 12,910 miles in my official work.
I have enjoyed delightful associations with pastors and people in their churches and homes, and would express my gratitude for their many favors. I also here record my devout thanks to Almighty God for continued mercies.
Books sent into New Jersey, 12,694, of which number 200 volumes were granted by this Society. Books sent to Delaware, 747 volumes.
NEW MEXICO.—During the year 1,016 copies of Scriptures were sent to this Territory. All of them, with the exception of 143, were grants to pastors, missionaries, and others for the supply of the needy.
NEW YORK.—The Rev. D. K. Van Doren, the District Superintendent of a large portion of this state, sends the following statements concerning the work in his field:
It affords me much pleasure to present a summary of the work done in this field during the past year, since increased interest in the Bible cause has been manifested by many auxiliaries, and larger contributions have been received from churches, individuals, and auxiliary societies. There are now about ninety auxiliaries located in this State, most of which come, directly or indirectly, under the care of the Superintendent, so that his field is large. To visit the entire field in a single year is utterly impossible; nevertheless, much attention, either by visitation or correspondence, has been given to many portions, and reports obtained show that the labor bestowed has not been without some good results.
Three auxiliaries have completed a canvass of their respective fields, one other has covered much of its territory, and several more, though not engaged in a general canvass, have supplied many families with God's word. The reports of these auxiliaries show over 20,000 families visited and the destitute supplied, besides 84 Sabbath schools furnished with Bibles.
On nearly every Sabbath of the year I have been employed in the visitation of churches, especially such as have not been accustomed to make offerings to the cause. From nearly all of these churches liberal contributions have been received, while from those that have been accustomed to remember this cause there is an increase in the amount of their gifts. Such churches as have not been visited have been addressed by letter, and nearly every reply received gives assurance of interest in the cause.
In conclusion, it is safe to assert that the year closes with much encouragement. The prospects for the work of the American Bible Society are brighter than they were a year since, and it is believed that at the end of another year it will be possible to report results which will be in advance of those of the year just closed.
The following paragraphs are taken from the sixtyeighth annual report of the New York Bible Society. It is very gratifying to note the special work of distribution accomplished by this society, in addition to the usual distribution through their various agencies :
For sixty-eight years it has been the aim of the society:
First.–To seek out those who did not possess a copy of the written word of God within the city of New York, and to supply any need when discovered.
Second.—To visit vessels in the harbor, and whenever possible to place on such a copy of the Bible for general use, as well as to give to individual sailors a Testament.
Third.—To maintain at the landing station an agent whose duty it is to find those who have no Bible or Testament among the vast army of immigrants that reaches our shores through this port—the great gateway of our country for those seeking in a new land a home where they hope to find the conditions of life less severe than those to which they have been accustomed.
In each of these departments of the work satisfactory progress has been made, though there is much still to be done. The population of the city has rapidly increased, and among a very large class frequent changes of abode are the rule. Notwithstanding the many agencies for the spread of the gospel, a careful canvass made under the auspices of our city committee las demonstrated that there are many localities right here in our midst where there are whole families who have no copy of the Bible. Over 55,000 families have been visited, living in over 8,500 houses, and an average destitution of thirteen per cent. has been found among these, the figures ranging from three and one-half to thirty-five per cent. of the whole number visited. Nearly 3,000 volumes have been delivered to individuals as a result of this canvass. This special work is in addition to the usual distribution through the various agencies from whom we have had such cordial co-operation for many years, and has resulted in a considerable increase in the output of books. In this particular work great care is of course necessary and has been extended, while the methods are such as experience has commended. We believe that much good must result from further efforts in this direction.
In the distribution among the sailors and upon the shipping in the harbor, a large field of usefulness has always existed ; and our work in this direction has been faithfully prosecuted, the end sought being that each vessel before leaving this port shall be visited, and to individual sailors who will accept a Testament or a Bible one should be given.
Perhaps the most interesting part of our work is that among the immigrants. To a stranger reaching these shores a pleasant greeting in his own language, accompanied by the gift of a Bible or Testament which can be read, is most welcome, and our aim is that each one on arriving shall be thus met. The thanks of the society are due to the missionaries stationed at Ellis Island for assistance rendered to our agent there.
This is the work, and we believe that every Christian man and woman will utter a hearty “God-speed” to every branch of it.
The Brooklyn City Bible Society has continued the canvass of its field, and reports as follows:
The work accomplished by the society during the year has been upusually extensive and gratifying. The visits of the colporteur, Mr. J. Zimmermann, have numbered 14,944—in other words, about one in thirteen of all the families in the city have been seen by him during the year. Of this number, one-fourth-or, in exact figures, 3,813— were found destitute of the word ; and of these, 1,077, either by gift or by purchase, have become its possessors. Only He who seeth in secret can tell how far this will result in the spiritual blessing of those thus enriched, but the possibilities of blessing are incalculable.
A thorough canvass has been made of the Seventeenth, Twentyfifth, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Wards, and a partial one of the Twentieth, Seventh, and Twenty-fourth Wards. When it is realized that the first group represents a population of 148,201, some idea may be obtained of the magnitude of the work done as well as of that which remains to be done.
The issues of books to the State of New York were 222,745 copies, of which 81,752 were to the Society's City Salesroom, and 80,191 were donated.
NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA.-Rev. Thomas H. Law, D.D., of Spartanburg, S. C., sends the following encouraging report from these two States, which constitute his field:
The sixth year of my service as District Superintendent, now accomplished through divine favor, has been upon the whole the most pleasant and encouraging in my experience. The same good Providence has been about me as in years past, preserving, comforting, and prospering me personally, enabling me to prosecute without interruption my work, and granting me abundant kindness, hospitality, and courtesy from those among whom I have labored.
I have been permitted this year to see some of the fruits of the labor bestowed in former years, in the more intelligent apprehension of the cause and its more general and liberal support.
It has been my special aim and effort during the years of my service, while endeavoring to look after the immediate circulation of the Scriptures, to build up the work upon a sure foundation by setting the Bible cause, as represented by the American Bible Society, clearly before the minds of the people, that they might understand it and give it the support which it merits. To this end I have endeavored to expound the principles and operations of the Society to the communities I have visited, and especially to the representative bodies of the several Christian denominations which I have addressed. In that way I hoped that the great work of Bible distribution would be placed in the prominent position to which it is entitled in the divine scheme of Christian evangelization. And now I am encouraged at realizing, to a considerable extent at least, the success of this plan.
Despite all the recent assaults upon the Bible, as the inspired word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and practice, it was never more appreciated in my district than at present; and the Bible cause, I am sure, never stood out more favorably or prominently in the eyes of our people than at this day. Consequently, the ministers of the gospel are everywhere urging the circulation and use of the Scriptures, while the people are taking hold of it and contributing more liberally to its support. Hence, notwithstanding the financial stringency which has continued throughout the year in this section, seriously affecting all lines of business, the depositories have made fair sales in almost all quarters, and the gifts to the cause from individuals, churches, and societies have greatly increased even over the preceding year, which also showed a gratifying advance.
In my personal labors this year I have made 50 visits to societies, 25 of which were to annual meetings; 65 visits to ecclesiastical bodies, including Sunday schools and conventions; have delivered 99 addresses for the Bible cause, and about 50 more on other religious topics; have sent 1,286 official letters, distributed about 2,500 official