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“But it must be admitted also, that Christ died effectively for those only, who are actually and finally saved, through the merit of his cross and passion. For, as it would involve a strange and unscriptural solecism to say, that Christ is really and intentionally the Saviour of those, who are not or never will be saved ; so it is a precious truth, that none of those, whom he hath purchased with his own blood, ever were, or shall be, lost.
“ This distinction may be further illustrated by that eminent type of the Redeemer under the Law, the Brazen Serpent. This was hung up and exposed to general view, and was instituted as an object of faith, denoting Christ bearing Sin and the Curse, to all the camp of Israel without exception; and the direction to view it for remedy was sent generally and without exception to all. But it was of actual benefit to none but those, who felt the rankling poison in their bodies threatening death, and who, accepting the general proclamation and promise, looked up be. lievingly to the Cross, (for such it is believed to have 4'. been,) or Pole, on which the Serpent hung. These persons, therefore, lived by looking and believing: to all the rest, though equally set before them all, the emblem was merely an outward sign, which indeed might be examined and descanted upon with the nicest accuracy, but, without faith in the divine promise, imparted no real comfort or advantage to body or mind.
“ In like manner, Christ may be said to be a universal object of faith, as proposed universally to all men; but the efficacious object to those only, who have been led by the Divine Spirit to feel the plague of their own hearts, the curse and bitterness of sin, their ruinous alienation from the life of God, and to seek relief through the blood of the cross."
, and desc faith in the rage to body
(To be continued)
The third report of the Bible Society of Philadelphia, read
before the Society, May 1, A. D. 1811. . THE Managers of the Bible Society of Philadelphia, in executing that part of their chartered trust by which it is rendered incumbent * that they lay annually before the society a statement of the issue of their labours with respect to the objects of the society," find, at this time, a lively pleasure in the performance of their duty. The year past, though it has not been marked with any event or occurrence of great magnitude or interest in the concerns' of the society, has notwithstand. ing, been distinguished by that uniformity of happy results in the ma. nagement of our ordinary business, which enlivens hope, animates exertion, and dictates gratitude to the Author of all good.
Early in the last summer the managers were informed that, in some few instances, the charity of the society in the gift of bibles had been abused, by their being offered for sale, or pawned for other articles. From the first it was foreseen that it would be impossible entirely to preclude this evil, because it is incident to the very nature of all chari. ties. But though a greater measure of the evil than had been anticipa. led was not discovered, yet as every instance of the kind is not only an act of Alagitious wickedness in itself, but has a most unhappy influence in discouraging contributions to the funds of the society, the managers felt themselves peculiarly called on to do all in their power to prevent a repetition of these acts of fraud and impiety. They accordingly divi. ded the city and suburbs of Philadelphia into districts, appointed a dis. tributer of bibles in each,-directed that the most particular inquiries should be made into the character of those who should apply for bibles; that, as far as practicable, the dwellings of applicants should be visited; and in a word, that the best endeavours should be used, before a book was bestowed, to ascertain that it was likely to be applied to its proper use. Since the adoption of these measures, no cases of the spe. cified abuse have come to the knowledge of the managers; and few, it is believed, will hereafter take place in the city. Precautions, similar in their spirit to those employed by the managers in Philadelphia, but varied in their application as circumstances may require, will, it is hoped, be used by all those who distribute the scriptures in the various parts of the State. Care, indeed, must be taken not to discourage, but rather to invite applications, from those who need, and who will duly prize the gift of a bible: but all proper means should certainly be de. vised and employed, to prevent impositions and to detect impostors. Yet, after all, the managers are still of the opinion, which was ex. pressed in the first address of the society, that though the guilt of the frauds contemplated admits of no palliation, yet the favourers of this charity ought to be less influenced by the apprehension of them, than
perhaps in any other concern; for though a bible may be improperly obtained, yet,wherever it shall be found, it will be a bible still; and it may teach the knave to be honest, the drunkard to be sober, and the profane to be pious.”
During the last year, the managers have distributed one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight bibles and new testaments. Of these, twelve English bibles, and twelve new testaments, and six French new testaments, were sent to the Lazaretto, below the city, on the Dela. ware; one half of which were to be left for the constant use of such persons as might be confined there by indisposition, the other half to be distributed among suitable persons on their leaving the place.
Fifty English bibles, and twelve new testaments, have been sent fop distribution in Washington county, Penn. Twelve English bibles and twelve new testaments to Geneva, in the state of New York. Twelve English bibles and twelve new testaments to a region above Albany, New York. Twenty English bibles to a new settlement on Susqueban. na, in Pennsylvania. Twenty English bibles and twenty new testa. ments to Steubenville, on the Ohio. Thirty English bibles and twenty. five new testaments to West Chester, Pennsylvania. Twelve English bibles to Alexandria, Virginia. Six English bibles and twelve German new testaments to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. One hundred En. glish bibles and twenty-five new testaments to George G, Miller, and John Heckewelder, missionaries of the Moravian brethren among the Indians. Twelve English bibles and twelve new testaments to the Alms House, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Six Welsh bibles, and one English bible, to Ebensburgh, Pennsylvania. Seventy-two English bibles, at two different times, to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Twelve English bibles to Long Branch, New Jersey, for the use of the fishermen. Thirty four English bibles and twelve German bibles, to the Cherokee Indians, under the superintendence of the Moravian brethren. Fifty English bibles to Pine Creek, Pennsylvania. Fifty English bibles and six Ger. man new testaments to men employed in the iron works, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Six English bibles to the asylum of the Magdalen society. Six English bibles to Columbia, Pennsylvania. Twenty-eight English bibles to be distributed by an agent, in the necessitous parts of the country at large. Six English bibles to Newcastle, state of Dela. ware. Six German bibles to Berk's County, Pennsylvania. Two hundred English bibles, and fifty French new testaments, to St. Genevieve in Louisiana. Thirty-eight English bibles and twelve German new testaments to the frontiers of the country, to be distributed by the Rev. Mr. Osgood, a missionary.
The remaining number of bibles, stated as having been distributed within the year, have been given away within the city and suburbs of Philadelphia, and the country adjacent.
The whole number of bibles and new testaments distributed by this society, since it was organized about two years and a half ago, is five ** thousand four hundred and twenty-two. And as it has been a rule of distribution from the first, not to give a copy of the scriptures where one was already possessed, and as very many of the copies have been for the use of families, there is reason to believe that, through the immediate agency of this society, the words of eternal life are now read or heard by at least eight thousand souls, who three years since, were strangers to this inestimable blessing.
Vol. IV.NO. VII. 3 E
It will, no doubt, be gratifying to the society to be informed, that in 1. the course of the last year six additional bible societies have been es
tablished in various parts of the United States. The whole number which now exists in the American union is fifteen. The most perfect cordiality subsists'among these sister institutions : and as our society was first established, we have been honoured with addresses and applications from the most of them, inviting us to correspondence, and to make known the result of our experience, and our methods of conduct. ing business. It has given us pleasure to communicate whatever information or assistance we had in our power. In some cases we have acted as their agents, to effect an advantageous purchase of bibles; and we have also been able to furnish them with a few copies in the French, German, Welsh, and Gaelic languages, which they could not other wise have obtained, without waiting for an importation from Europe. At the suggestion of one of these societies, eighty copies of the Gaelic bible, at cost and charges, have been furnished to a Scotch settlement, in the State of North Carolina.
In their last report, the managers announced to the society that . set of stereotype plates, for the printing of the bible in English, had been ordered from Britain. Those plates have been preparing, with all practicable expedition, through the year past ; and, by information some time since received, they are supposed to be now completed. If the importation of them shall be permitted, they may be expected to be in use in the course of the current year: And then we shall have the pleasure of furnishing copies of the scriptures of a superior kind, and at the lowest rates, not only for our own use, but for the accommodation, as far as it may be desired, of all our sister institutions in the United States.
The heavy expense of the stereotype plates, and the purchases made of bibles for the supply of the constant and large demands which have been made for them, have rendered it necessary for the managers, dur. ing the year past, to use their best exertions to increase the funds of the society. Applications for contributions have accordingly been continued in the city of Philadelphia, as far as circumstances would ad. mit. But the measure on which our chief reliance has been placed, has been a plan for engaging religious congregations, of various deno. minations throughout the State, to make an annual contribution in aid of our funds. Many considerations seemed powerfully to recommend this measure. It appeared equitable that our country brethren should share with the citizens of Philadelphia in the expense, the pleasure, and the honour of this extensive and important charity. At the same time it was manifest, that if the system proposed should be adopted and contipued, it would, without being burdensome to any, furnish a full and permanent supply of all the funds which the society would need. But what was considered as even more important than all the rest, the plan recommended would erect a small auxiliary bible society in every con. tributing congregation, and thus ensure a constant supply of the scriptures, and a discreet distribution of them, to every neighbourhood in Pennsylvania. We therefore drew up and published, in the month of July last, an address to those congregations who may, in a sort, be considered as represented in this society, by having one or more of the members of their several communions placed in the board of managers, In this address the plan to which we have just adverted was fully de. tailed, and earnestly recommended. Whether it will be generally
adopted or not, remains yet to be seen. Some congregations, of differ ent denominations, have already acted upon it with spirit and liberality, And the managers think it their duty to seize this opportunity, to request that all the friends of the institution, who may hear or read this report, will encourage and endeavour to set forward the measures re. commended in the address we have mentioned ;-measures equally calculated to afford an important, if not an essential aid, to the funds of the society, and to give effect to the very design of its institution, the communication of the holy scriptures to all the necessitous in the State in which the society is established. Neither, it is hoped, will the friends of the institution think it improper, that we here suggest the propriety of their using suitable endeavours to obtain testamentary bequests to the society. To become able to receive these was a leading motive in our application for a legal incorporation : And the distribus tion of bibles is so interesting' and unexceptionable a charity, that it is believed there is none which pious christians will generally be more willing to prodote, by such legacies as they may have destined to benevolent purposes.
We have to acknowledge, and we do it with lively gratitude, the rer ception, through the year past, of a number of generous and seasona. ble donations. These will appear generally, in the statement of the treasurer, which will accompany this report. There are, however, a few items which call for a more particular notice. The first is a dona. tion from lord Crawford and Lindsey, in England, of 251. sterling, or 111 dollars, which, on hearing of the organization of our society, he was pleased to present to it without any solicitation. The second is the appropriation, by the editors of “ The Religious Instructor," a monthly miscellany or magazine, published at Carlisle, in Pennsylva, nia, of the whole nett proceeds of that publication, to the funds of this institution. The third is the very generous grant of 300 dollars, which the bible society of Beaufort, in South-Carolina, have intimated that they have made, and intend to forward, for the purpose of assisting in paying for the stereotype plates which we have ordered...
The fourth benefaction to be mentioned is of so peculiar a kind, and attended with so many remarkable circumstances, that it is believed the society will be gratified by hearing the account of it in detail. This will principally be given by taking an extract from the minutes of the managers, on the 25th of October, 1810. It is as follows, viz. * " The meeting was called for the special purpose of laying before the board of managers the following letter, received by the treasurer, which was ordered to be entered in full on the minutes, as follows.
ROBERT RALSTON, Esq.
Alexandria, October 16th, 1810. Sir,
We, the pastors of the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist congregations, send you the sum of 546 dollars and 31 cents, for the use of the bible society.
This money came in a singular manner into our hands. We were visited by a Mr. —, under the assumed character of a missionary from a society, said by him to be established at St. Louis, in upper Lou. isiana, for the purpose of meliorating the condition of the savage tribes : the vouchers, which he had artfully drawn up, had hitherto furthered bis views : Having nearly completed his collections here, he,