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bollections in England, Wales, and Scotland, the particulars of which will be stated in the Appendix ; viz. in England_from the Parish churches of Guil. foril ; St. Andrews, at Liverpoot; South Collingham, Stow, and St. Michael's, at York; from the Meeting-houses at Little Baddow, Witham, and Great Yarmouth ; at many places in North Wales, and in Scotland-at Aughter. gavern, Balmade, Cortachy, Dumfries, Moniave, and Muthil.
The funds of the Society have also been augmented by various miscellane. ous Contributions, which it is now the task of your Committee to particularize.
The Holborn Sunday School has made a further donation of 221. 98. 4d.; and the sum of 1542 has been received from twenty-nine Sunday Schools in North Wales.
A contribution of 121. has been made by the young ladies of Miss Teulon's School, at Hackney : this is the third contribution from that seminary.
A donation of 501. has been received from the Committee for conducting she Youth's Magazine,
To different individuals, also, the Society is indebted for liberal contributions in the course of this year; but, as a specification of them would lead too much into detail, the enumeration of particulars must be reserved for the Appendix.
And lastly, under this head, your Committee have to report the following legacies and bequests :
Miss Mary Stringer, late of Watlington, Oxfordshire, 1001. Mrs. Allan, Jate of Aberdeen, 101. Mrs. Elizabeth Pentycross, late of Wallingford, 1001.
per cents. Mr. John Hankinson, late of Hackney, 1001. Mrs. Elnısall, of Thornhill, Yorkshire, 2001. of which a moiety is payable in 12 months, and the remainder subject to contingencies. Mr. James Collyer, late of Chobe ham, 401. Captain Ross, late of the Coldstream Regiment of Guards, 211. Rev. John Clark, late of Trowbridge, 501. Miss Mary Howlett, late of Springfield, 501. Mrs. Rebecca Tomkins, late of South Place, Finsbury, 2001. payable after the expiration of one life. Mr. Allan Cuthbertson, of Glasgow, 1001. The Society is indebted to the heirs of Mr. Cuthbertson, John and James Cuthbertson, Esquires, for fulfilling his intentions ; as the bequest, from circumstances peculiar to the Scottish law, was not binding on them; they have nevertheless paid the same as a donation, with interest.
The Society's Library has been this year enriched by the accession of some valuable Books, the donations of different individuals. These acts of liberality have been duly acknowledged ; and the description of the several works, toa gether with the names of the donors, will be particularly stated in the Appendix.
This may be a proper place for observing, that, desirous of testifying the gratitude which the Committee consider as due from the Society to one of its earliest, most constant, and useful friends, thc Rev. Josiah Pratt, they have unanimously placed him among those Life Governors who have earned that
distinction by rendering important services to the Institution. • On a general review of the Society's transactions during the last year, your Committee are fully authorized to congratulate its members on the increase of its influence and efficacy. This prosperity is, under God, to be attributed to the simplicity of its object, and the fidelity with which that object has been pursued, both at home and abroad. Anxious to secure the continuance of this .conduct by every possible precaution, your Committee suggest the expediency of altering the arrangement of the words, “ without Note or Comment," in the first Article of the Constitution, with a view to render it more prespicu. ous and explicit The rule will then stand as follows:
" The designation of this Society to be “ The British and Foreign Bible Society," of which the sole object shall be, to encourage a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures without Note or Comment: the only Copies in the Languages of the United Kingdom to be circulated by the Society, shall be the Authorized Version.”
Your Committee will now conclude their Report, with some reflections suggested by a review of the progress of the British and Foreiga Bible Society, from its institution in 1804, to its present state of efficiency.
It is most gratifying to remark, that the approbation generally bestowed on the principle of the Society, and annually increasing, has uniformly attended its proceedings; that, in the wide range of communications for promoting the object of its institution, your Committee have received the inpst zealous assistance : Their inquiries have been cheerfully answered; co-operation, where solicited, has been cordially granted ; and even their wishes have beea frequently anticipated: As the sphere of the Society's operations has expand. ed, its resources have been proportionably augmented: numerous Societies, animated with the same spirit, have annually arisen ; the ornament and the support of the parental stock: and hence, the British and Foreigo Bible SGciety has been enabled to advance so largely toward the attainment of its object--the diffusion of the Records of Eternal Life over the habitable globe. Its growth has indeed been rapid : a small seed has become a large tree; luxuriant in its branches, and abundant in its fruits : let a hope be cherished, that its maturity will show still larger dimensions, and yield fruits in still greater abundance.
In connexion with these observations, it may not be improper, briefly to notice some of the collateral benefits arising out of the Institution. In opposition to infidelity, it proclaims the public belief of thousands in the truth of Revelation ; implying at the same time a sense of obligation on the part of its inembers, to a practical observance of those holy precepts which Reretation inculcates. The co-operation of the numerous individuals composing the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the several Associations connected with it, exhibits an example of Christian concord, honourable to the character, and auspicious to the interests of religion. It shows how “the unity of the spirit may be held in the bond of peace."
The Society is also a medium of intercourse among Christians dispersed all over the world; concentrating their affections, and combining their exertions to promote the glory of God, and the salvation of their fellow-creatures. Nor is it a consideration of small importance, that it has a tendeney to conciliate the esteem and respect of foreign nations, for the religious principles and be nevolent disposition of the British character. . It may be further observed of the British and Foreign Bible Society, that it has awakened the public attention, at home and abroad, in a degree hitherto unknown, to the spiritual wants of their Christian brethren ; and has exeited an equal ardent zeal to relieve them. A cursory inspection of the several Reports, and of the correspondence annexed to them, will show the degree in which this benevolent spirit has operated, in supplying numbers of the poor, the afflicted, and the desolate, with the means of enabling them to exercise “ patience in tribulation,” and to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
It was justly said of the divines who first translated the Scriptures into Eoglish, “These, with Jacob, rolled away the stone from the Well of Life ;** and of the British and Foreign Bible Society it may truly be affirmed, that it has opened channels, by which the waters of this living spring have not only flowed to numbers who thirsted for them within the United Kingilom, but have been conveyed to the barren and parched soils of the remotest regions. The thanks and acknowledgments with which the benevolent exertions of the Society have been more than repaid, exhibit the combined expression of joy, gratitude, and piety; and must escite correspondent emotions in the hearts of all who peruse them.
The utility of the British and Foreign Bible Society has been so experimen, tally demonstrated, as to occasion an expression of surprise that its establishment should have been deferred to so late an era ; and that a nation professing its belief in the Scriptures, and commanding at the same time the most favourable means of circulating them, should have so long delayed its collec. tive efforts for their universal dissemination. But times and seasons are in the power of God : and those therefore to whom this high duty has now been -assigned, considering themselves as his honoured instruments for making “known his way upon earth, and his saving health among all nations," , will ascribe the praise to Him, to whom alone it is due ; with devout thanksgiving for his blessing, without which the best intentions, and most persevering exertions to promote even his glory, would be of no avail.
Under the influence of these sentiments, the members of the British and Foreign Bible Society may contemplate, with heart-felt satisfaction, what it has already accomplished, and look forward with cheering hope to its future and more enlarged employment. · The field of operation which lies before us is vast; and, when considered as including the never-ceasing wants of Christians both at home and abroail, and extending to countries where idolatry and superstition previl, may justly be deemed unlimited. This consideration should suggest the duty of accompany. ing our strenuous exertions with our earnest prayers; that the disposition and means to satisfy the increasing claims on the Society may oever fail : that the light of Divine truth which we are conveying to the eyes of our fellow-crea. tures, may shine into their hearts; and that both those who dispense and those who receive the Holy Scriptures through the medium of tlus Institution, may find them “the power of God unto their salvation."
Sabbath Society for Catechising Africans.
We publish the following Communication with pleasure,
hoping that it will draw the attention of Christians, more generally, to the spiritual wants of the Africans amongst
T'HE unhappy lot of a certain portion of our fellow-creatures, long since excited the commisseration, and aroused the exertions of a benevolent class of people, toward their emancipation from temporal slavery; and these exertions have been employed with assiduity, to effect the desirable objects of suppressing an infamous traffic in their persons, of rescuing them from their degrailing state of subjection, and of restoring to them the common rights of man.
As far as these objects have been properly sought and effected, the thanks of the community are due to the Manumission Society. But a slavery and degradation exist, infinitely more to ke deplored.
Contemplating the situation of the descendants of Africans in our city, with respect to Christian kuowledge, we cannot but compassionate their lamentable ignorance. Uiterly renouncing an opinion, received by many as a truth, that 6 Ignorance is the mother of devotion,” we rather view her as the parent of vice, and hesitate not to assert it as our helicf, that the want of a true VOL. IV.--No. XII.
. knowledge of God, and the blessed religion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ, in a city like ours, is frequently the cause of early departures from duty, and of the more flagrant crimes of riper years. It is a fact, that with regard to the great truths of Religion, many of the adult people of colour who are free, are most profoundly ignorant; and their children have hitherto enjoyed no means of instruction, in the things which belong to their everlasting peace. Others who are still in slavery, or at service, scarcely ever hear of a Saviour, or, to say the best of their situation, have not a proper enjor. ment of the means of grace. To rescue them from this state of ignoradce, to point them to an emancipation from the slavery of sin, to convey to them the blessed truths of the Gospel, and to teach them the knowledge of Ilim. whom to know aright is life eternal, are objects of the highest grade, and calculated to call forth the noblest exertions. We who profess to know the value of revealed religion, we who enjoy its soothing consolations, and who owe all that is called good, in our lives and conversation, to its blessed operation on our hearts, could not behold with indifference, our fellow-creatures perishing around us, for lack of knowledge.
With these views of the importance of the subject, a society of six persons, was formed in the month of February, A. D. 1810, denominated, " The “ Sabbath Sociсty for catechising Africans.” The members were taken from the Presbyterian and Reformed Dutch Churches, of this city. Our meetings are held on the sabbath, between the services of the afternoon and erening. They have been attended by the brethren, two at a time, successively, who taught the persons assembled, the truths of our blessed Religion, as they are contained in Catechisms, recognized as evangelical by the Churches to which we belong. The general number of learners has been about twenty-five, and has frequently much exceeded that number. Many of our little learners were at first unable to read, but such was the anxiets ercated in the minds of their parents, to have them taught the truths of the Gospel, that they assisted them at home, in learning to repeat the questions and answers of the Catechism ; and even with this disadvantageous mode of instruction, some of them made pleasing progress. Wę rejoice to find that the African Free School is rapidly removing this obstacle out of our way. Some of the older persons, who have attended, gave frequent eridences, that they were not learning in vain ; and more than once has the heart of the teacher been cheered and encouraged, by the tear which has moistened the cheek, at the representation of a bleeding Saviour."
We presume no arguments are necessary, to convinee any of the realers of this Magazine, that the end we have in view is desirable. Those who know any thing of the blessedness of them who have passed from death unto life, or who rightly estimate the value of an immortal soul, will readily allow, that if but one soul is rescued from the dominion of sin, and made alive unto God, through the instrumentality of the word, conveyed to it through us by the great Head of the Church, it is an object worthy of all our past and future exertions.
The good of immortal souls, the extension of our Redeemer's kingdom, and the glory of God, are our primary objects. Compassion for a despised and neglected 'race, a desire of meliorating their condition, and the coustraining love of our Lori and Saviour, experienced in our hearts, are, we trust, the moving principles our conduct. And while we lay claim to motives and principles of so high à stamp, we desire to do it with humility, and to ac. knowledge that they come from the Author of every good and gracious dis position in the children of fallen man.
* Lately increased to sèren.
Exertions are now making to bring more fully into operation, a plan which has been devised, for extending the usefulness of the institution, and for increasing the number of learners. We solicit the aid of our fellow-Christians, by their prayers and their co-operation. We ask but a small portion of the time of those who serve, and that hour, on the day which God himself has set apart for his service, and for exemption from labour. This time is em. ployed in prayer, praise, and instruction in holy truth. We hesitate not to say, that the experience of this truth on the heart, will make its subjects better servants and more useful members of society.
The instruction will, in future, be confined to the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly, until the progress of the learner shall be such as to require a more extended field, when the Larger and Heidelbergh Catechisms will be employed.
To excite the children to diligence, small premiums will be granted to those who excel, of such a nature as the Society shall deem suitable to their situation, and the older learners will be rewarded with presents of religious books for peculiar progress.
During the winter season, the meetings will be held on sabbath afternoons, at half past four o'clock, in a school room in the rear of No. 7 Murray. street, occupied by Mr. Teasman, a pious descendant of Africa, who has warmly engaged in promoting the success of the institution, ever since its form. ation, and who has frequently borne a part in the exercises and instructions. It is hoped that those free persons of colour, who have a desire, that they and their children may be instructed in the truths of Religion, will not be backward in coming to partake of the benefits now held out to them.
We wish to prescribe no limits to our labours, and if the number of learners increases beyond our strength, more labourers are ready to join us in our pleasing employment. Impressed with a sense of the goodness of the Lord, to our own souls, in extending to us the knowledge of a Redeemer, it has become the desire of our hearts, that our poor neighbours should be made acquainted with a salvation, which is the fruit of infinite mercy and compass sion, the work of God himself, aud with à Saviour who is the best and dearest gift lo man.
Extracts from the Journal of the Stated Preacher to the Hospital and Almshouse in the city of New-York. (Concluded from p. 576.)
January 15th. THE EXECUTION. “ So bad a death argues a monstrous life.” “Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. “Close up his eyes, and draw the curtains round, « And let us all to meditation.
SHAKSPEARE. THE cell of the murderers was this morning opened at an early hour, for all ministers of the Gospel, who pleased, to enter and give instruction. To gratify a wish, which the cri. minals had previously expressed, I visited them, among many teachers of different denominations. Two German ministers deyoted themselves to their unhappy countryman, who con