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temporal distresses and miseries, and to their spiritual condition, a distant spectator supposes them far less in want of help than they really are; as the experiment almost always evinces beyond doubt. This, therefore, becomes an important duty on parish ministers, and others, in subserviency to our great object.
And here give me leave to observe, that Dr. Marsh, from his own personal knowledge, as he says, having lived some years in Germany, at an University in that large country, contradicts the statement of the Rev. Mr. Steinkopff, Foreign Secretary to the Bible Society, concerning the want of Bibles in Germany. But do those who live in Universities, or among superior persons, or the laborious parish ministers, who go from house to house and inquire into the state of the people, know best in what degree Bibles are wanting. I have no doubt but you will agree with me, that the ministers of this description know, in their several neighbourhoods, the actual state of the inhabitants, especially of the poor, even here in England, better than the chancellors, and vice-chancellors, and heads of houses of both Cambridge and Oxford. Mr. Steinkopff has his information from ministers of this description, on the spot, in different parts of Germany; and, I will venture to aver, knows the fact better than Dr. Marsh: and, as to veracity in reporting it, if ever I saw a man of whom I should say, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there "is no guile," I would say it of my friend and brother, Mr. Steinkopff.
We give our opponents full credit for talents, learning, eloquence, and indefatigable diligence: but, if all these have been employed against the Bible Society, and have produced so little, or rather nothing, I infer that it is because nothing can be produced against it.
I conclude as I began 'Precious Bible, what a 'treasure!' "the light of our feet, and the lanthorn "of our paths;" our guide in youth, our comfort in old age, our antidote against the fear of death! The longer I live the more I feel for those who have not the word of God. I am growing old, and feel the infirmities of age ; I know I must soon die; I am a sinner against God; I must appear before him in judgment; I must exist for ever in happiness or misery; but I can find no light, no hope, no comfort, except from the Bible. What should I do without the Bible, and that Saviour whom the Bible reveals to me? Let us then, my friends, while the Bible is our own invaluable treasure, the source of all our knowledge, hope, and comfort, let us do what we can to communicate the precious treasure to others also, all over the world. We can do but little it is true, yet great multitudes, cordially uniting, may effect much. Time was, since I can remember, when, if I had possessed the means, I should hardly have known how to reach out the blessing beyond my own contracted circle. But this Society, and others of a similar nature, so to speak, lengthen our arms; and, by concurring heartily in the designs of those who conduct them, we may stretch out our hands to the inhabitants of the East and of the West; of Africa, of Asia, of America, as well as Europe; and hand to them "the light of life!'' Let us then, my friends, do what we can, while here; and so "wait for the "mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life!"
DELIVERER AT THE
FIRST ANNIVERSARY MEETING
VALE OF AYLESBURY AUXILIARY BIBLE SOCIETY,
HELD AT HADDENHAM,
AUGUST 7, 1816.