Imágenes de páginas
PDF
[ocr errors]

cursions, we shall distribute them, and are certain we shall hear many similar expressions of joy and gratitude; yes, we anticipate a new period of blessings among our flock. May God abundantly bless you all; and, by distributing his word among all nations, render you a blessing to many thousands of the heathen. I have advanced with the translation of the Gospel of St. Luke to the 18th chapter, and hope to finish it in the course of this winter.” From the Cape of Good Hope. Gnadenthal, April 30, 1810.-" The chest of Bibles and Testaments, which we have been so long and so eagerly looking for, has at length arrived safely at the Cape. We are so greatly delighted with this most inestimable present from the noble British and Foreign Bible Society, that we cannot find words sufficiently to express our gratitude. But we are sure that the Lord will also hear our poor prayers in behalf of this excellent institution; and crown all the exertions made in diffusing the knowledge of God's Word, by that book of books in which He, as it were, speaks with his creature man. As soon as the chest arrives, we shall make it known to our Hottentot congregation; and we anticipate the joy and gratitude with which this news will be received. But we beg you, even now, to give our most cordial thanks to the venerable society, hu which we are sure, that all our people, young and old, most fervently join.” St. John's, Antigua.--"We have had the pleasure to receive a large quantity of Bibles and Testaments, through the goodness of the British and Foreign Bible Society, for distribution among those negroes who ean read. We cordially. thank the venerable society for this proof of their love to the negroes; that, by reading the word of God, they may instruct and edify each other during those few hours of liberty they enjoy. They spend, even now, many an hour in the night, to exercise themselves in reading the most blessed of all books.” St. Kitt's, Basseterre, Sept. 24, 1810.“With great joy we received, among the stores sent us, a chest containing Bibles and Testaments. We beg to tender to the generous donors our best thanks. We distributed them liberally among all those of our negro converts who can use them; and were desired by them all, to send their thanks, in the best manner, to the worthy British and Foreign Bible Society. They added, that they did not in the least deserve such humane attention from such good Christ. Observ. No. 1 18.

they are all returned from their different ex

men in England, living at so great a distance from them; but that they would not cease to pray the Lord to bless them, and be their eternal reward.”

(To be continued.)

EDINBURGH BIBLE society. The Second Report of this Society was made at a general meeting, held at Edinburgh on the 14th May, 1811. The following is the substance of it. The Committee present an account of their

-transactions during the past year with the

greater pleasure, that they have received so many tokens of the public confidence. The society has become more generally

-known, and its constitution and operations

have been sanctioned by a considerable humber of additional subscribers. The prisoners of war have continued to receive supplies of Scripture, in the Danish, Dutch, and French languages, which were accepted with respect, and followed by expressions of gratitude. The Destitute Sick Societies of Edinburgh and Leith, the Leith Female Society, the foreign seamen at that port, the African and Asiatic Society of this city, our countrymen in the Highlands, poor

soldiers, and children of the military, as

well as poor widows, have shared the society's bounty.

An application from Dumfries, for a small supply of Bibles to the prison, was granted with additional pleasure, owing to its being made by the keeper on behalf of his prisoners.

By a communication from Sunderland, it appeared that there were to be found there

twenty-five thousand people, who are not in the habit of attending any place of worship,

and that among the five hundred vessels trading from that port, but a few were furnished with a single Bible ! The Committee sent one hundred copies to Sunderland, with an assurance that any number would be cheerfully afforded at the reduced prices. The parent Society also voted a supply of Bibles and Testaments to the value of 50l. sterling. • Your Committee have, from the beginning, paid particular attention to Ireland. This important part of the United Kingdom atfords the animating hope of an extensive and rapid diffusion of Scripture. The Hibernian Bible Society, and its branches, have circulated by sale, at low prices, since their commencement, more than thirty-three thousand Bibles and Testaments; of which number nearly fifteen thousand were sold in the course of one year, ending in November last. Since the last anniversary, the Committee have contributed 300l. in addition to 4 R

2001, stated in the first Report, in aid of the Hibernian Bible Society. One hundred pounds was voted last year towards printing the Scriptures in the Icelandic. The early period at which this people received the volume of revelation in their own language, connected with the affecting intelligence, that the remaining copies of their last edition were daily wasting away by frequent use, gave a peculiar interest to this translation. An edition of the lcelandic New Testament was printed some time ago, by the parent society (which was most singularly preserved from the flames during the bombardment of Copenhagen), and the whole Bible in that language is now in the press. The Evangelical Society of Stockholm, having spent their funds in printing and publishing the Swedish Scriptures, were anxious to distribute copies among the poor gratis. The Committee had received information of thousands in Sweden, who are never in possession of a shilling to pay for a copy, so that, without such a measure, they must have remained destitute of the word of God. The Committee voted 100l. to be spent in circulating the Swedish Scriptures amoug the poor of that nation ; and they have had much reason to be satisfied with the faithful application of this money. To the Oriental translatious of the Holy Scriptures now carrying on at Serampore, the Committee have voted the sum of 200l. The Committee express their obligation to a member of the society for a cominunication respecting the present state of Abyssinia, and the importance of examining into the possibility of sending the inhabitants of that empire a version of the holy Scriptures in the Ethiopic language. Considering the subject to be of no small moment, they resolved to łay it before the parent society, which has concluded to print an Ethiopic version of the Book of Psalms, for the use of the Abyssinians,—and is also endeavouring to procure a version of one of the Gospels in that language. During the year, the sum of 700l. has been remitted to the parent institution, muaking a total of 1500l. sterling since the commencement of the society. The following Auxiliary Associations have been constituted within the last six months, with the intention of aiding the funds of the Edinburgh Society, viz. those of Dunfemiline, Biggar, St. Andrew's, Elgin. The Committee have also witnessed, with pleasure, the commencement of other Bible Sesieties—at Montrose, at Aberdeen, and Pumfries.

The Committee have resolved to afford all such associatious every degree of accominodation in circulating the holy Scriptures. In addition to this, any minister who makes a collection in aid of the society, may receive Bibles, for the supply of his own neighbourhood, at subscribers’ prices. The military had last year been furnished with the Scriptures at reduced prices, and, in some instances, gratis; but no idea was entertained that this would prove the occasion of benefit to the society's funds. It is only a few days, however, since the sum of 29. sterling was paid by the Major of the Rossshire Militia, stationed at leith, as a domtion of gratitude, being one day's pay from the non-commissioned officers and privates belonging to that regiment". From a society of female servants at Aberdeen, the Committee received the sus. of 20l. sterling, collected by the weekly

* The following letter accompanied the donation.

“We, the non-commissioned officers and private men of the Rosshire regiment of Militia, having taken into consideration the great necessity for spreading abroad the knowledge of the Gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ throughout the world; we bumbly. therefore, cast in our mite towards the cause (through the hands of our worthy commanding officer, Major R-), with an eye. we hope, to the glory of God, and the ssvation of immortal souls. For in the degree that we are convinced of our perishing state by nature, we cannot but feel for those who are in the same state, and yet who may not have the means administered to them: als in the degree that we have believed in Christ, and sakwation through him, we would have the same declared and recome meuded to others.

“We cannot forbear to make mention bere.

of the change that took place in our ree;

ment since this time two years, by means of some Gaelic Bibles, received through the

worthy Mrs G., Portsmouth, at which time

a reformation took place in the regiment. which, we know, still continues: though we know not who shall bring forth fruit to persection—the harvest day will declare that “We wish to return sincere thanks for lobles, &c. received, at reduced prices, since our landing at Leith, and conclude with expressing our most grateful thanks. Max that God, whose word you hotour, and -i-e has put it into your hearts to send it furth into all lands, bless and prosper yourseworty. and make it the joy of the whole earsh.”

coutribution of one penny” : and from friends in and near Inverkeithing, a larger sum has been received, which was collected chiefly in the same manner. . In fine, copies of the sacred oracles are imultiplying at houle. They are conveying to the most distant heathen nations, and are even in the course of return to those countries, where they were received from above, and whence they were originally disseminated. Numerous efforts are making on behalf of the Pagan world, while the Greek and the Jew have again become the objects of commiseration. We behold, at the same moment, the light of divine Revelation struggling for the mastery in the East, and its rays about to penetrate into the darkest countries of Europe. The millions of India and China are placed before us in the same affecting point of view with the Tartar tribes, and the shivering inhabitants of Iceland, of Lapland, and Labrador. Asia appears full in view, as appointed to receive in all her languages the sacred volume; and Africa, too long forgotten, has come up in remembrance before the present generation. The blessings of divine Revelation have not only visited her shores, but, through Abyssinia, they may, at no distant period, find access to the centre of that deeply injured continent. America, alive to the importance of the exertions in this kingdom, has received an

* The institution of this society is interesting.

Some time ago, a few female servants in Aberdeen, desirous of testifying their good will toward the support of those excellent institutions formed of late in this country, for sending the Scriptures, and, by them, the knowledge of salvation, to such as are yet destitute of that interesting privilege, resolved to meet together, and contribute a little in aid of the funds of such institutions. Their numbers increasing, and having obtained the consent of some ministers of the Gospel to preside at their meetings, they did, on the 16th of August, 1809, form themselves into a society, to be called “The Aberdeen Female Servant Society, for promoting the Diffusion of the Scriptures.”

The first donation of this society was presented to the Edinburgh Bible Society, amounting to 20s. Sterling; aud 20s, 1s. have been lately given towards aiding the translations of sacred. Scripture, now carrying forward by the Missionaries at Semompore, in the East Indies.

impulse corresponding to the magnitude of the object proposed. On the continent of Europe, the holy Scriptures are circulating, and the Gospel of Peace is received with joy in the time of war. We have lived to see the day when the members of the Romish church have, in various European languages, received and circulated the sacred volume; and when even a Bible Society has been established by the people of that persuasion. After this slight detail, the Committee conceive that many in the four continents of the world Inay with propriety be said to understand each other, to be animated by the same principles, and pressing towards the accomplishment of the same design. Let it be observed, that the population alluded to in the foregoing Report amounts to not less than several hundred millions; and with this may now be connected the remarkable fact, that the holy Scriptures, in not less than Firty different languages or dialects, are proposed for execution. Nay, a number of these are in circulation; others are just completed and, what is still more animating, we now behold the inhabitants of different countries in the very attitude of receiving, for the

first time, the oracles of God!

[ocr errors]

A meeting was held at the Guildlall, Norwich, on the 11th of September, the Mayor in the chair, for the purpose of instituting an Auxiliary Bible Society. The business was opened by the Mayor; after which the Bishop of Norwich rose, and, in a concise but impressive speech, laid before the assembly a luminous view of the nature and advantages of such an institution, congratulating them at the same time on the union of enlightened Christians of so many different persuasions. The secretaries of the parent society were present, and addressed the meeting with their accustomed energy and effect. Upwards of 800l, was immediately subscribed. The Bishop of Norwich was chosen president of the institution. The vice-presidents are: the Earl of Orford; Lord Calthorpe ; Sir J. H. Astley, Bart. M. P.; T. W. Coke, Esq. M. P.; J. Pattison, Esq. M. P.; W. Sinith, Esq. M. P.; and the Mayor of Norwich.

The address of the society states that, “from observations lately made (chiefly in the neighbourhood of Norwich), it has been ascertained, that, amongst the poor families, containing individuals who have been taught to read, a very great proportion are without either Bibles or Testaments; and it is supposed, upon the most moderate calculation, that there are at least 10,000 families in the county in this truly lamentable condition. The question, therefore, here agitated, is not, whether it be right to instruct the oor, if that can be a question; but whether it be not our duty to give instruction already received its proper direction.—The Committee trust, that a consideration of the important facts here detailed, will be sufficient, with the Divine blessing, to insure the Norfolk and Norwich Auxiliary Bible Society the support and patronage of all within the limits of this county, who wish. well to the best interests of their neighbours, and the great cause of truth upon earth.”

the High wycom he auxilian y E1ble - society.

A meeting was held on the 26th inst. at Wycombe (Bucks), for the purpose of forming an Auxiliary Bible Society, in co-operation with the British and Foreign Bible Society, which was most numerously and respectably attended. Viscount Mahon having been called to the chair, delivered a very able and impressive speech, detailing the reasons for such an institution as it was proposed to foriu; and concluded by reading letters from several persons of distinction, among whom were the Marquis of Buckingham, and Lords Carrington and Grenville, expressing their approbation of the measure, and their regret at not being able to attend. The Vicar of Wycombe, the Rev. W. Pryce, then noved a string ef Resolutions, after prefacing them by au address characterized by neatness, piety, and feeling. The London secretaries were then called upon, and Messrs. Steinkopf and Hughes, having been introduced by the Rev. Mr. Owen, laid open more particularly the character and proceedings of the parent society and her auxiliaries. The several votes of thanks were moved by Sir Thomas Baring, member for the town; R. Lowndes, Esq. member for the county; the Rev. Messrs. Scott, Marsh, &c. with appropriate and animated addresses. The thanks to the London secre. taries were acknowledged by the Rev. Mr. Owen,who took that occasion of corroborating the statements made by the several speakers who had preceded him, and delineated the characteristic features of the institution, and the honourable attitude in which it placed Great Britain, as extending the everlasting Gospel to every nation and kindred and tongue and people. Nothing could exceed the harmony and Christian feeling which per

vaded the meeting. The Marquis of Buckingham was appointed president of the Auxiliary Society;-the Lords Carrington, Mahon, Grenville, Gardner, Cardigan, and Hampden; Sir Thomas Baring, and Sir E. Dashwood King, barts.; and W. Lowndes, Esq. M. P., vice-presidents, &c. Upwards of 400s. were subscribed before the conpany left the room.

We are happy to learn that the Bishop of Chichester has given his countenance to the Sussex Bible Society, by enrolling himself as a subscriber.

reducation or trir, poon.

We are happy to understand that a meet. ing has been held with a view to the formation of an institution for extending the benefits of Dr. Bell's plan of education as widely as possible throughout the kingdom. The meeting was attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, and many other persons. A liberal subscription was immediately entered into.

Methodist conferex co.

The sixty-eighth annual Conference of the Preachers late in connection with the Rev. John Wesley, was held at Sheffield on the 29th of July last. The numbers in the society in Great Britain, this year, are stated to be 145,614, being an increase since the for. mer conference of 7617; in Ireland, 28,143, being an increase of 393; in the British dominions in North America, 1390; in the West ladies, 11,892, of whom only 425 are white persons, the rest coloured people and blacks; in the United States of Anerica, 170,000. In the course of the conference it is inquired, “Can any thing be done in order more effectually to promote family religion amous our people 3" To this it is answered, “We again earnestly ensorce upon all the people under our care, a conscientions and uniform attention to this important subject; and solemnly exhort them to maintain the practice of daily prayer in their houses; to have stated times allotted for this purpose; to fix their morning worship, for instance, just before breakfast, and their evening wo. ship just before supper; to make the daily reading of the holy Scriptures a constant part of their domestic devotion; to require not only some, but all the members of their re. spective families, to be present at the time of family worship; and to allow of no excuse. except in case of sickness, or other us. voidable emergencies; and once, at least in every week, to catechise their children and servants, and converse with thein individually on the business of religion. We require all our preachers to make particular inquiries into the state of family religion in their circuits; to enforce the duties abovementioned in the leaders' meetings, aud in the society meetings; and to speak on the subject closely and strongly to every class, in their quarterly visitatious of the societies.” Part is il REGISTERs.

. It was prematurely asserted in our Number for June, that a bill for the regulation of parochial registers had passed through the legislature. We understand that the provisions of the proposed act are so obnoxious to the clergy as to have occasioned among them a resolution to oppose its passing into a law. A pamphlet on the subject inay be expected from the Archdeacon of Sarum. In the mean time, we have been desired to give publicity to the following address, drawn up on the occasion by a respectable clergyman in the west of England.

“To the Parochial Clergy and Others.

“It is submitted to the serious consideration of the parochial clergy, whether the Bill amended by the Committee of the House of Commons, at the close of the last session, entitled “A Bill for the better regulating and preserving Parish and other Registers of Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials,” be not fraught with such iuconveniences to the Clergy, and whether it does not, in many cases require of then things so impracticable that they:-uught-to-awaken in them the exertion of all the influence which they may have with the Members of either House of Parliament, to prevent the same from passing into a law.

“By the fifth section it is required that at

the end of every year the clergyman officia-.

1ing in any parish, do make outli before a justice of the peace, in order to verify the entiles made in the respective registers of baptisms, Iuarriages, and burials. Now, not to mention the huniliating circumstances with which this requisition is attended, by placing the clergyman on a level with the juserior visicers of civil police, and that it takes himu out of the hands of the ecclesiaslical superior and ordinary to whom he is amenable with respect to the luatter of registers; it seems impossible that in inauy cases parochial registers. can be thus verified on path, because in the course of the year, seyeral clergymen may be employed succesfively in the duty of the same church, and

before the expiration of the year removed. perhaps, to a distant part of the kingdom. “If it should he expected that each clergyman must verify his own entries, it would surely be vexatious and unreasonable in the extreme, to require a clergyman who may serve a church for an absent or sick friend, to repair the following week to a justice of the peace to verify on oath an entry made by him in the parish register of a baptism, or marriage, or a burial, at which he may happen to have officiated the preceding Sunday. “By section ninth, the clergyman is required to receive inemorandumus from persons not using the riles of the Church of Eugland as by law established, and to transmit them to the register general. By which direction the clergyman must be subjected to the caprice of persons perhaps hostile to his character as a clergyman; and in addi tion to the trouble of keeping the register of baptisms, marriages, and burials, at which he has officiated himself, have the care of a multitude of certificates or menuoranduns, of the accuracy of which he has no means of being ascertaiued. “By section twenty-seventh the clergyman is required in fact to turn informer upon oath against all persons who may refuse to give in an account, or may neglect or refuse to deliver memorandums of the several particulars required to be inserted in the respective registers, that the persons so neglecting or refusing may be prosecuted and punished by fine or commitment to the house of correction. Besides the invidiousness of such a requisition as it respects the clergyman, it ought certainly to be considered, that in extensive manufacturing parishes and

in large and populous cities, there are vast

numbers of poor and ignorant people; many of these would not be able to recollect the several particulars required; and they are also often changing the place of their abode. In places also of polite resort, where parties reside only for a short time, it would not be easy to ascertain cvery birth which takes place; unless it be the will of the legislature to institute sonething like domiciliary visits, and render the clergyman as it were the officer to make them; or to adopt a prying add scrutinizing police, well suited to the genius of the government of a neighbouring country, but very inconsistent with the mild and liberal principles of the British government, and that freedoid from suspicious observation to which the happy, inhabitants of this kingdom have been so long accustonued. When all this is rightly understood and setiously considered, it is presumed that the

« AnteriorContinuar »