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have shown willingness to co-operate, and the area of Bible work has been enlarged by the formation of nine new Bible organizations.
Of the 130 auxiliaries, 72 report, showing: sales, $5,136 39; collections, $1,412 50. Of this last amount, $219 25 was paid the American Bible Society on donation account, and the balance was used in local work by auxiliaries. They donated to the destitute $131 60 in Scriptures.
Non-reporting auxiliaries, fifty-eight. Three engaged in a canvass of their fields—Houston and Robertson Counties and San Antonio. The average distribution in the State per work-day was fifty-one copies, aggregating for the year about 16,000 volumes of Scriptures. The gifts of churches and individuals to the Parent Society for its general work was, as far as known, $746 83. The work of furnishing children who can read with Bibles has not advanced as was sanguinely expected, yet a large number of youth have been made glad by the ownership of Bibles.
During my sixteen years' labor in Texas, 461,430 copies of Scripture have been distributed, 49,386 destitute families supplied, and 26,378 destitute individuals in addition.
This State is a wide missionary one, containing an area about onetenth of the United States, with nearly three millions population, and embracing over twenty different nationalities. Yet the churches of all denominations are preaching the gospel in only five different languages. If the glad message of salvation is ever brought to the mixed multitudes of our cities and rural districts, it must be by some such agency as the American Bible Society, which, in obedience to the command, “Preach the gospel to every creature,” is endeavoring to furnish it to every one in his own tongue. This agency, being the most economical and effective in reaching the masses, strongly commends itself to the Christian public for aid.
The demand for the Scriptures in this field is increasing, which indicates that the Bible is not losing its hold on human hearts. The cry for the “bread of life " comes from mission churches, needy Sunday schools, destitute families, etc., far beyond our means to answer. Larger receipts, more friends of the Bible cause, more contributing churches and Sunday schools, ecclesiastical bodies to endeavor to have their resolutions carried out by the churches, more Bible meetings, more prayer for the work, every auxiliary to hold its anniversary and report, every one to know more about Bible work and to understand that contributions to local Bible societies are helping the neighborhood and not the Parent Society in its general work—these are among the pressing wants of this field.
My grateful thanks are due to officers of auxiliaries, co-operating pastors, and all friends of the cause who have, by kind words and deeds, aided and encouraged me in my effort to fill Texas with Bibles. Books sent to Texas, 15,594; of these, 500 were grants. UTAH.—(See Oregon.)
VERMONT.—The following statements are made in the eightieth annual report of the Vermont Bible Society :
As we review the work of another year, we find new evidence that the good people of Vermont are not losing their love for the word of God nor their interest in its circulation. Information in regard to the present need of Bible work has been more eagerly sought than in some former years, while unsolicited contributions have sometimes found their way into our treasury in a manner that showed that the Bible cause was dear to some hearts. As in former years, the secretary has devoted his time to the cause on the Sabbath, while he has allowed no opportunity to serve the society on a week-day to go unimproved. The methods of work in former years have been largely continued. To some branches of this work attention is now directed :
Depositories.-We have sustained thirty-two depositories and six sub-depositories where Bibles and Testaments have been sold at the same price as at the Bible House in New York. The sales at these depositories have been greater than for many previous years, and, we think, greater than ever before in the history of our society, amounting to $2,218 90. Ten years ago the sales were only $489 20, or only about one-fifth as large as those of last year. The needy have also been supplied by gift to the extent of $51 37. The whole expense of these depositories, including the freight on books from New York, was $256 74, or about eleven and one-half per cent. on the sales.
Colporteurs' Work. Three persons have been employed during the greater part of the summer and autumn. The canvassing committee do not think it wise to continue this work during the severe winter montlıs. These canvassers have visited twenty-six towns, completing the canvass of Addison, Grand Isle, and Rutland Counties. They visited 7,582 families and found 871, or about one in eight and seventenths, destitute of a Bible. One hundred of this number were Protestant families. They supplied 127 of those destitute families, thus putting the Bible into the homes of five to six hundred persons who had it not, besides those sold in homes partially supplied. So long as such destitution exists in our beloved State, can any one say that there is no need of Bible work in Vermont? In that canvass 150 illiterate families were found. This fact seems plainly to demand the strict and long-continued enforcement of some good truant law.
Sunday Schools. It is very gratifying to find that the young in our schools take so much pleasure in earning their pennies and giving them for the purchase of Bibles for the destitute. We received from this source alone during the year $849 80. With these funds the supply of Bibles bas been kept up in the public institutions of this State, destitute Sunday schools have been aided, $100 has been devoted to the
colored schools in the South, $100 has been sent to Bohemia, and our regular work greatly assisted. The opportunities for using such funds are so many, and the reflex influence upon the donors so great, that it seems desirable that every Sunday school in the State should have some share in this department of Bible work.
In accordance with the suggestion of the American Bible Society, that every child in our country who can read should have a Bible, some effort has been made to induce parents and teachers to see to it that every child under their care is supplied with a copy, and in some instances assistance has been rendered. We hope for greater results in this direction in coming months, and we cordially invite the assistance of every one interested in the young.
Financial Condition. Besides our permanent fund of $200, we close the year with $1,429 11 in the treasury. This is a little more than twice the amount on hand one year ago. But this amount will soon be
expended in supplying depositories with Bibles for the holiday trade. à Still larger funds are needed at an early date, if we would promptly att meet our financial obligations during the coming months.
Number of copies of the Scriptures sent into Vermont, od 6,893, of which 10 were donated by this Society.
VIRGINIA.—Mr. T. D. L. Walford, the corresponding secretary of the Virginia Bible Society, has forwarded the eightieth annual report, from which the following extracts are taken:
Eighty years ago this society was organized. Its object is to supply, at the lowest possible cost, the Holy Scriptures, of the generally accepted version, without note or comment, to those who can buy at cost price, and without price to the appreciative who are unable to
buy. The object of the society commends itself to the hearty co-opd* eration of every one who believes the Bible to be the word of God.
The managers have continued to use their best endeavors with the funds placed at their disposal to carry out the plans and objects of the society. They have tried to secure the co-operation of all Christian people of every denomination. Some have practically held aloof, although all express hearty approval of the objects of the society and profess to be its friends. We rejoice, however, that our present board represents five different denominations.
There are many families in our State who have not the Bible, and we have numbers of appeals for help from sections of the State where the applicants say that there are no Bibles for sale in their counties.
We are aiming to occupy every such field, either by engaging an active esan agent or by placing a small deposit of Bibles in the hands of some
reliable person who will take an interest in supplying the neighborhood at cost price.
The destitution, from the best information we can get, is greatly varied. In some parts of the State, we are told, from about one-fiftlı to one-half of the people bave not the Bible, while in other sections about one-tenth are without it. To meet this destitution we are employing reliable men and women to go from house to house when we can find the proper persons to do such work. We are also co-operating with the colportage boards of the different churches by supplying them with all the Bibles and Testaments that they can use in their work, at less than cost price, to help them pay the expense of their colporteurs.
We are also doing what we can to get Sunday schools to see the importance of placing in the hands of every child a Bible to call and have for its own. In doing this work we have found that in many schools the use of the Bible as a volume has been ignored. This ought not so to be. We should educate the people to “search the Scriptures;" and while we would not say aught against the present system of Sunday school lessons, we must deplore everything that will educate our children out of the habit of searching for truth inside of the book itself.
We have sent books to various sections of the State, and are constantly finding new doors opening for us to enter. The greatest hindrance is the want of friends to sustain the enlargement of the usefulness of the society. Our contributions this year are a little in excess of those of last year, and we gratefully acknowledge the same.
We have continued to relieve destitution by sale when possible, and in no case have we refused to give where it was thought the gift would be properly used. We have supplied Bibles for the use of a number of jails when we could make arrangements for safe-keeping, but to be freely, loaned to all prisoners who will read them; also to our State penitentiary and other institutions for the unfortunate who are unable to buy. Thus the seeds of truth have been sown, which we hope will bring forth fruit unto eternal life, remembering that our Lord has said, My word shall not return unto me void.”
The following statistical statement will show the business of the year, also the number of volumes circulated: Value of books sold and settled for
Total sales, 10,36) volumes, valued at
Total circulation, 10,650 volumes, valued at
$4 340 51 If we take into consideration the fact that these books are all sold at cost of publication, and that if published by others and sold at prices such books are usually sold they would bring about $7,000, we will have some idea of the saving that the Bible society is to the Christian world.
We have received in donations from all sources, including churches and individuals, $1,565 38; balance from last report, $101 33. Grand total, $6,007 22.
This has been appropriåted and accounted for as follows:
550 00 Freight, postage, and other expenses
Total expense :
for life memberships
$1,135 83 3,900 00
42 00 74 73 365 27 189 39
$6,007 22 Number of volumes sent into Virginia, 14,966; of which number, 470 were donated by this Society.
WEST VIRGINIA.—The following report is from the Rev. Thomas Cotton, of Parkersburg, who for seven years las superintended the work in this State:
With no small degree of thankfulness and satisfaction, I send my report for the past fiscal year. Thankful to a kind Providence in travel and exposure through summer heat and winter cold, unusually severe, I record my satisfaction from the conviction and assurance that my labor has not been in vain, and in noticing the steady increase in the circulation of the word of God by sale and gift, and the more efficient work done by the auxiliaries, the officers giving more time and attention to the depositories. To accomplish this has been one of my chief objects, believing that a well-equipped depository, situated in a central place, with our Bibles and Testaments advertised at list prices, would certainly place them, with few exceptions, within the reach of all who really need them.
An exception is a part of my district not yet organized with auxiliary or Bible societies, situated in the sparsely-settled and mountainous part of the State, the population mostly poor and destitute. This being purely mission work, can be done only by colportage. In past years the Parent Society has, by its colporteurs, canvassed a considerable portion of this mission field, but the necessity is still with us and the demand greater than ever, from the fact that, as this mountainous part of the State, with its mineral wealth, is being opened up by the new railroads, a foreign (population is pouring in. We have been