Imágenes de páginas

Jersey, have been recently admitted. Those who have been for some time under the care of the tutor, have afforded hit much satisfaction, by their prudence, piety, zeal, and diligence in their studies. Some of them will probably be qualified for very important stations. During the last year, four students have left the Seminary, Mr. Thompson, Mr. May, and Mr. Spratt, who are now on their way to India ; and Mr. Smart, who is just embarking for Canada. The Directors entertain pleasing hopes of their proving useful Missionaries of Jesus Christ.

Besides these, five German brethren, who were educated at the Missionary Seminary at Berlin, under the Rev. Mr. Jænicke, have been taken under the patronage of this Society, ordained in England, and are about to sail for the Cape, as soon as a suitable conveyance can be obtained.

The Directors, having thus presented to the Society a general view of the state of every Mission under their care, submit the whole to their consideration, and trust that they will find in it occasion for tlianksgiving to God. This insti. tution has now subsisted nearly sixteen years, during which, about one hundred Missionaries have been sent forth « to heathen and other unenlightened nations." They have not been uniformly successful; the Sovereign Ruler of the Church has not seeu fit to gratify all their sanguine expectations; but he has been pleased to bestow such gracious to. kens of his approbation, in various instances, as are amply sufficient to reward their endeavours, to animate their hopes, and to stimulate them to greater exertions. It cannot be recollected without gratitude, that the first energetic move. ments of this Society gave an impulse, unknown before, to the church of God at large ; númerous institutions of a simi. lar nature, and having the same object in view, have since arisch, beneficial in a high degree to the best interests of mankind. Had no other effect been produced, this alone would have been a noble reward: but, by the divine blessing, the specific object of this institution has been attained in a happy measure.

Look at Southern Africa! at Bethelsdorp, the Orange River, and the Namaquas; and behold several thousands of people, whose existence was scarcely known, now listening with eager attention to the Gospel of our Saviour; more than a few of them converted by his power ; baptized into his church, and humble communicants at his table, living to the praise of

the glory of his grace; while neighbouring tribes, astonishod at the change, long to resemble them, and entreat the Missionaries to visit and instruct them also.

Look at the East-Indies ! The language of the country acquired; three of the Gospels translated into it; Bramins converted, and become evangelists; children educated in the Christian faith ; and many of the natives inquiring, - What shall we do to be saved ?' This hopeful work may perhaps be retarded by the death of two of our Missionaries, but others are still there, and more are on their way thither; and such a good foundation is laid as to justify the most pleasing hopes of future success.

Look at the West-Indies! There also the word of God grows and prevails. In several places, besides the spiritual privileges afforded to men of our own country or colour, many of the poor negroes, low as they are in the scale of talent and of rank, have been made « wise to salvation," and are become “ free indeed!” In some of these places, sąvages have been civilized, the dissolute have been reclaimed, and idolaters have cast their images to the moles and to the bats, Slothful servants have become industrious and faithful ; the drunken have become sober, and the impure chaste. Surely this is the finger of God! Shall it be a question, “whether the Lord is among us or not?” No. He promised to be with his Missionaries to the end of the world, and he is faithful who hath promised,

But while we rejoice and give thanks, let us not sit down as if our work were done ; as if we had nothing more to ef. fect. We have made a beginning, but it is merely a begino ning. At every station a?ready occupied, our Missionaries are earnestly entreating us to send out additional labourers. What are seven or eight Missionaries in India ? Hundreds are wanted there. What are twelye Missionaries in South Africa ? Hundreds are needed there also. What are four or five in the West? A great number is wanted there too. What are twenty stations in different parts of the globe ? Hundreds of places equally need our help. “ The fields are already white unto the harvest.” Many, many more labour. ers are required. Populous regions of the earth appear ready to welcome the Gospel of Christ; thousands cry, « Come over and help us !" Millions of men are in darkness. Who shall enlighten them? Men, themselves enlightened. Who shall select them? Who shall send them forth? Who shall support them? You; our dear and honoured friends of this Society, and others like-minded with you. To you they stretch out their arms--to you they direct their eyes, And will you not regard them? The experience of fifteen years will not allow a doubt on this head to remain in any mind. Your exertions will be renewed, your contributions will be increased. Yes, let us this day determine, in the strength of the Lord of Hosts, to persevere, and to abcund more and more in our efforts. We have already reaped no scanty harvest, and we may be confident that harvests more abundant shall crown our more abundant efforts.


British and Foreign Bible Society, 1811.

(Concluded from page 632.) The preceding enumeration, which might be more detailed, will suficiente ly demonstrate the attention of your Committee to the accommodation of individuals with the Holy Scriptures. The total distributed under the stated heads, may be estiinated at not less than 4,000 Bibles, and 20,000 Testa. ments; and, further, an order has been sent to Stockholm for the purchase of 1,000 Swedish and Finnish Testaments, for the use of the Swedish seamen. employed in the British service.

The members of the Society will learn, with pleasure, that its benevolence lias been gratefully acknowledged, nor are instances wanting of the most pleasing effects produced by it.

Among others, prisoners of war have expressed the liveliest gratitude for the Bibles and Testaments distributed to them.

The warmest acknowledgments have been received from varions ministers among the Hottentots, for a seasonable supply of the Dutch Scriptures, which could not otherwise have been procured ; accompanied by information, that several of the Hottentots can read very well, and are sensible of the obliga. tions thus conferred upon them. For the attention paid by the Committee to the wants of the settlers at Van Dieman's Land, they have received the thanks of the late Governor Colliás.

The Portuguese Testaments, sent to Lisbon, have been circuiated with great rapidity there, and are represented as held in high estimation by persons of all ranks.

The same success has attended the distribution of Italian Testaments at Malta and Messina, and different other places in the Mediterranean.

At Messina it was at first opposed, on the ground of some objections to the translation. These objections were referred by a meeting, at which the Bishop presided, to the examination of several of the most learned among the clergy ; and the result was so favourable, that the Bishop not only permit. ted the Italian Testament to be retained by those who has received them, and from whom they had been at first demanded, but allowed the further. distribution of them, under such restrictions as were fiot likely to interfero with tlie general circulation. Some copies have been sent from alla to Trepolezza, a town in the Morea, and have been cordially accepted.

Of the disposition of the Roman Catholics to receive the Seriplures, other instances might be quoted. They have been gratefully received by the priests of that persuasion in South-America, and by many Ronso Catholies

in Germany, Switzerland, and France. Your Committee hase anxiously availed themselves of any indication of such disposition, to afford the members of that communion the benefit of the Institution, and have even, in many cases, anticipated it.

The Gospel of St. John, published in the Esquimaux language for the inha. bitants of Labrador, has reached its destination, and has proved a most accepte able present. Their thanks for this gift, have been conveyed to the Society, by the Rev. Benjamin Kohlmeister, and other ministers of the United Brethren associated with him, who have also translated the Gospel of St. Luke, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistle to the Romans.

Your Committee have also received the most grateful testimonies of the be. neficial effects among the negroes, in the West-Indian Islands of Barbadoes, Antigua, and St. Kitts, from the copies of the Scriptures furnished by the Soeiety.

Their Gorrespondent states, that many of the Negroes steal time from their rest to learn to read, that they may be able to read the Scriptures; while others, who have acquired this talent, spend many an hour in the night, in exercising themselves in reading, (to use the simple language of the relater,)“ the most -blessed of all books.” Such testimonies afford the most gratifying proof of the utility of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Your Committee have again to repeat their acknowledgments to the Cor. respondent mentioned in the last report, for a continuance of that active zeal which has so largely contributed to extend the benefits of the Institution to rhe army and navy, and prisoners of war, at one of the principal naval stations ; and to whom, with the assistance of the commanding officer, who has the sua perintendance of the cartels, they are indebted for the introduction of no less than 2,000 French Testaments into the various families of the prisoners who have returned to France. This Correspondent alone has circulated through these several channels, during the last year, no less than 8,396 Bibles and Testaments, either by sale or gratuitous distribution.

It only remains to add, under this head, that the grants made to Ireland have been gratefully acknowledged. By the Annual Reports received from the Hibernian and the Cork Bible Societies, it appears, that each of these Institutions is advancing in patronage, influence, and operation ; and that the demand for the Scriptures throughout that part of the United Kingdom, keeps an almost equal pace with the increasing circulation of them*.

The next topic for report, is the augmentation which the funds of the Society have received from donations, congregational collections, and legacies, since the last general meeting; the enumeration of which, in the Appendix, will show the continuance of that zeal and liberality from which the Institution derives its efficacy and support.

The donations from the Auxiliary Bible Societies, since the last Report, are as follows:

The Leicester Auxiliary Bible Society, 4001. Edinburgh Bible Society, 7002.; and in aid of printing the Icelandic Bible, 1001. Swansea Auxiliary Bible Society, 1501. Uttoxeter Auxiliary Bible Society, 591. 108. 6d. The Association in London, 931. Reading Auxiliary Bible Society, 126l. 188. Ux. bridge Auxiliary Bible Society, 4001. East Lothian Bible Society 501. West Lothian Bible Society, 501. Nottingham Bible Society, 2201. Greenock and Port Glasgow Bible Society, 631. Cornwall Auxiliary Bible Society, 9151.

*" The demands on the Committee for Bibles and Testaments during the last year were so great, that had it not been for the liberality of the British and Foreign Bible Society, they would have been compelled to put a stop to their operations." Ilib. Dib. Soc. Report for 1810.

Leeds Auxiliary Bible Society, 4291. 78. 8d. Auxiliary Bible Society at Hui. dersfield, 1352. Newcastle Auxiliary Bible Society, 1877. 138 5d. Bristol Auxiliary Bible Society, 13141. 168. 11d. Of which sum 8141 168. 11d. is the balance of their first year's account, and 500l. is an offering presented this day with the hearty congratulations of the Bristol Society, in addition to the sum of 2,7001 before remitted. Kendal Auxiliary Bible Society, 1701. Birming ham Association, 3551. 48. Hull Auxiliary Bible Society, 294. 158. 72 Weymouth Auxiliary Bible Society, 572 158. in part of 11ol. Rotherham Auxiliary Bible Society, 1502. Llangollen Auxiliary Bible Society, 201. Man. chester and Salford Auxiliary Bible Society, 3981. 198. 11d. being the balance of their first year's account; in addition to 1,2001. before presented, and 10001. expended in Bibles and Testaments. Sheffield Auxiliary Bible Society, 400E. Liverpool Auxiliary Bible Society, 1,8001. Devon and Exeter Auxiliary Bj. ble Society, 1161. 98.

Of the above, some are wholly gratuitous contributions to the funds of the Parent Institution ; others are charged with the condition of refunding a por tion in Bibles and Testaments, either according'to the particular rule of the Auxiliary Society, or agreeably to the regulations before adverted to, for treating with Auxiliary Societies. A more exact specification must be reserv. ed for the next Report.

With respect to Liverpool, your Committee have to state the regret er. pressed by many respectable individuals of that town, that the commercial distresses under which it has recently laboured, prevented a more ample de nionstration of their liberality in supporting the benevolent object of the Bri. tish and Foreign Bible Society. The sum of 18001. produced by exertions so recently commenced, reflects the highest honour on this liberal people ; and evinces what large returns might have been expected from them in more atspicious times.

It is but justice to certain other towns, especially Manchester and Notting. ham, to remark, that their contributions to the Society have been made under circumstances of similar discouragement; and when the difficulties with which manufactures and commerce have had to contend, are duly considered, it will be matter of astonishment and gratitude to reflect, that exertions in this benevolent cause have been so little restrained in any place; and have, in most places, been even stimulated and onlarged.

Your Committee have again the grateful duty of repeating their acknor. ledgments to the Rev. the Presbyteries in the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, colJectively and separately, for their contributions to the Society. Since the close of the former accounts, as stated in the Appendix to the last Report, the sům of 13821. has been remitted by their Treasurer at Glasgow, William Muir, Esq. on account of collections from the several Presby teries and Dis senting Congregations, of which 8001. 128, 4d. is the second annual collection from the Presbytery of Glasgow.

In consequence of a recommendation from the Rev. the Synod of Aber deen, to make collections on account of the British and Foreign Bible Society in the Parochial Churches within its bounds, the sum of 3051. has been collected and remitted.

From the Rev. the Presbytery of Stirling, the Society has received 1472 53. 64. being the amount collected at eight Parochial Churches in that Pres. hytery; making, together with those included in the last report, the total amount of their second collection, 2502. 125, 1d.

The Rev. the Presbytery of Annan, having recommended that collections should be made in the Parish churches within their bounds, the sum of 401. has been remitted from those of Cambertrees, Hoddam, and Ruthwell.

The funds of the Society have also been augiaented by the Congregational

« AnteriorContinuar »