Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

and at the same time to render our plates While using their endeavoury " that the
instrumental in giving to the Bible as wide word of the Lord may have free course and
a circulation as possible, the auxiliary is re- be glorified" throughout the United States,
stricted by these conditions from distributing and especially in those parts where there is
Bibles out of its own district on its own ac- an incredibly swarming population, the
count; and it is at the same time obligated Board have not been unmindful of their
to act as the agent of the Board when re- brethren of the woods. The condition of
quired. Every Society imposed this restric- these natives, divided from us by their lan-
tion on itself when it became an auxiliary ; guage, their manners, their ignorance, their
and the condition leaves to the auxiliary all degradation,--by every thing which distin.
the rights to which it is entitled. It may guishes savage from civilized man---too often
expend all its funds in supplying the wants by the fraud and other injuries of profligate
of its own district. The auxiliary to which whites, addresses to us a mute but piercing
the plates are sent will probably begin im- expostulation for that help which they can
mediately to print Bibles ; and then, the obtain only in very small portions from any
Board will have all the advantages of an other quarter.
experiment, without participating in its risk. What their aggregate numbers are, it is
We shall soon ascertain on what terms Bi- impossible to calculate with precision, but,
bles can be printed at Lexington, for in- small as their population is in proportion to
stance ; and should we deem it adviseable the territory over which they are spread, yet
to establish there a great depot of Bibles for surely it is not beneath the notice of Bible.
the supply of the Western States and Ter-philanthropy : nor, should they escape the
ritories, the Kentucky Bible Society will, extermination which threatens them, will
under the third condition, afford great faci- they fail to make, by their conversion and
lities for the accomplishment of this import- increase,* a large accession to the Redeem-
ant object. The Board may direct any er's glory, when he shall appear " having
number of Bibles to be printed for them, on his head many crowns."
and may distribute them with no other trou. The Managers have taken up this matter
ble than giving an order on the Depository with a view to ascertain what is practicable
in Lexington.

in itself, and can be accomplished by the
“On the whole, the Committee believe, Society.
that the plan they now recommend is at least Two modes present the only alternative;
free from danger; that no injurious conse- either to teach them English, as the mediuna
quence will result from its adoption; and of their access to the Bible, or to translate it
that until the Board shall possess more in for their use into the vernacular tongue.
formation it would be imprudent to locate The former has its advantages. It would
the remaining plates, with the exception put into their hands the same translation from
already mentioned; since in concerns of so one end of the Continent to the other; and
much magnitude and importance it is easier that derived immediately from the originals,
to avoid mistakes than to correct them when instead of being translated from a translation,
made."

as must in a considerable degree be the case Conformably to the principles contained if the Bible be rendered into India. It in the above report, an offer was made by would tend to break down the great barrier the Board to the Kentucky Bible Society of to friendly intercourse between them and a set of the octavo in connexion with one of the whites of a better disposition than they the duodecimo stereotype plates of the Bible. The Managers of that Institution have

* It is satisfactorily proved, that where the

Gospel has been introduced among the Indians, expressed their entire approbation and ac- accompanied, as it regularly is, with improvequiescence in the conditions stipulated, and ment in civilization, the population facreaset ; their grateful acceptance of the grant. while that of the heathen tribes diminishes

[ocr errors]

are accustomed to see. It would facilitate and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico ;the introduction of useful arts, and the ex- while the English preacher is wasting is change of their roving for a settled life. life in penetrating a few miles into their own Having moreover no letters, it is not easy country. And why should we imagine that to embody their speech in sounds of the God, with whom “there is neither Jew nor English alphabet, and no successful attempt Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor bas yet been made to simplify their lan- free,” may not in his mercy“

open the guage, when written, by the invention of hearts" of the red men of the woods, as well original characters.

as of a “seller of purple,” to receive the But these advantages are counterba- things of his word, and purify their lips to lanced. In common with all other nations, proclaim among their fellows, “ the onthe Indians are strongly attached to their searchable riches of Christ ?" mother tongue. They will not submit to The principal difficulty in the way of the the pain of learning another, without such Indian translations of the Scriptures arises a thirst for knowledge as no savages possess. from the multiplicity of the Indian dialects. You must either convince them of its neces. It is long since the researches of Philologists sity by instructing them in the things of God have exploded the greater part of what through an interpreter, or their children were supposed to be radically distinct lanmust acquire it imperceptibly from their fa- guages. Those of the Indians are ascermiliarity with the white settlements around tained, in many instances, to be dialects so them. Experience shows the first to be an near akin, that unlettered as he is, a young Herculean task; and the question will Indian can make himself master of several. always recur, why the worship of God is The branches to which the Managers not as acceptable in Indian as in English? would more immediately bend their attenThe second cannot take place but upon a tion are the Mohawk and the Delaware. small scale; it is a very slow process; the The former would serve for the Five NaIndian strength is weakened with its acce- tions, the T'uscaroras, and the Wyandots leration; the young people are in danger of or Hurons. The latter, or Delaware, is of learning vice as fast as they learn English; higher importance, as it has extended itself the tribe is ruined when it is able to under. further than that of any Northern tribe. It stand you ; and your end is defeated. Be- can convey the Scriptures to many kindred sides, as the propagation of our language tribes that are strewed along the frontier of must keep pace with the extension of our the United States from Canada to Georgia. frontier, we shall not readily gain admit- These are the Monsees, the Shawanese, the tance far beyond the line of the worst exam- Kickapoos, the Kaskaskias, the Twightwee, ples that can be set before them; and it will or Miamis, and the Chippewas, Hurons or prove, not an encouragement, but a hinder- Algonquins. This last is said to be the ance to their embracing Christianity. Their most numerous tribe on the northern borders repugnance also to the whites, which, in of the United States. this situation, must every day grow more Among the Delawares the United Breinveterate from feeling themselves continu- thren have a mission already. The congre ally pushed off their grounds, will keep alive gation amounts to about five hundred. They their prejudices, will kindle their resent- are taught to read in their own language; ments, and render them not very friendly to they cultivate the soil; begin to practise the white man's talk. Indians speaking to some of the mechanic arts; and are increastheir brother Indians, “in the tongue ing both by natural population and by acwherein every one was born, the wonder- cessions from the neighbouring tribes. ful works of God," bid fair to carry the In their efforts to bring in these outcasts, Gospel from the Mississippi to the Pacific who are indeed afar off, the Managers must

1

submit to their circumstances, and take such of Brandt's translation of Mark, and Norparts of the Bible as from time to time they ton's of John, to be struck off and distribucan procure to be translated. A beginning ted among the tribes usually denominated has been made. The Rey, Christian Fre- the Six Nations. derick Dencke, one of the Missionaries of The Managers cherish the expectation of the United Brethren to the Delawares, sta- receiving the countenance of the Christian tioned at New-Fairfield in Upper Canada, community in the arduous attempt of transhas completed, and forwarded to this Board, lating the Bible into the Indian languages ; a translation of the Epistles of John; and especially as one Society has appropriated has also finished a translation of John's Gos- its surplus funds to be applied, under their pel, and commenced that of Matthew; both direction, to this specific object. which will probably be received in the The Board have also ordered to be cast a course of the year.

set of stereotype plates for the New TestaThe first, by request of the Managers, has ment, in Spanish: which will be executed undergone a revision by the Rev. Mr. Mor- as soon as a suitable copy can be procured timer, of the United Brethren, in this city, for the purpose. and by him pronounced to be correct. Hitherto the affairs of the Society have

In consequence of this acquisition, the been carried on, and the several species of Board, on the 2d of April last, ordered an their property have been kept in a small deedition of one thousand copies, with the pository, and, for want of room, in several English on one page, and the Indian on the other places. The value of this property, other. Of these, three hundred are to be amounting, besides the funds in the hands sent to the Red. Mr. Dencke at New-Fair- of the Treasurer, to twenty-four thousand field, and one hundred to Mr. Leuchenbach, dollars; the continual jeopardy of a large missionary in the State of Ohio, to be by proportion of it; the advanced premium of them distributed among the Aborigines. ensurance consequent thereon; the time lost The residue is lodged in the Society's de- in travelling from spot to spot, and the la. pository, to be transmitted, as opportunity bour incurred by this perplexing mode of offers, to missionaries in other quarters, exo superintending different parts of the same cept so many as may be requisite to send to business ; added to the daily increase of all the British and Foreign Bible Society, and these evils, induced the managers to conthe National Bible Societies on the conti- centrate their business into a single estanent of Europe.

blishment, either under one roof, or in conThe Board has also voted a donation of venient buildings contiguous to each other, one hundred dollars to the Rev. Mr. They would have preferred owning a suitaDencke, to encourage him in the prosecu- ble edifice, as ensuring greater permanency, tion of his work.

and a more perfect control; but the amount With regard to the Mohawk language, of their funds which such a purchase must the Managers find that the Gospel of Mark absorb, would have so diminished their has been translated by the celebrated Indian means and crippled their efforts, that they chief, Brandt; and the Gospel of John by deemed it more adviseable, in the infant Captain Norton, a resident of Upper Ca- state of their affairs, rather to waive some nada. Should further assistance be required, advantages, than to incur the hazard of disit may be obtained from the Rev. Mr. Jen- proportionate expenditure; and have rekins, formerly a Missionary among the solved to hire for the present. Oneidas; and perhaps from Cornplanter It is evident that the business of the Socihimself, who is represented as very favour-ety, embracing a multiplicity of objects able to such an undertaking.

which are every day accumulating, involves In the mean time, the Managers have or a responsibility and a labour which are indered an edition of one thousand copies compatible with a divided and casual in

spection. It is not possible for men, occu-| Bayard, Esq. to present the matter to Coupied with their own concerns, to detach so gress during the late session. The Philamuch of their time as justice to the public delphia Bible Society having at the same demands; and the danger was, that even time presented a petition for the exemption the most capable would successively relin- of duties on stereotype plates and Bibles in quish their charge, or the business of the foreign languages imported by them, both Society run into confusion.* All things applications were referred to a committee considered, they judged it to be of substan- of that honourable body, who agreed to retial benefit, and to subserve the purpose of port favourably on the several objects therein real economy, to appoint an agent for this specified ; but judging it best to divide them special trust, with a reasonable compensa. into two classes, and to present in the first tion; and they have accordingly made such instance, for the consideration of the house, an appointment.

those exemptions for which both Societies A serious article of expense arises from united in petitioning, that committee reduties accruing to the United States, on the ported, in part, the form of a bill exempting importation of Bibles in foreign languages, the American Bible Society, and the Philaand of paper for the purpose of printing delphia Bible Society from payment of duBibles; also on the postage of letters. ties on copies of the sacred Scriptures in

Foreign paper, especially the French, is foreign languages that have been or may preferred, as being made of better materials, be imported by them, and on stereotype and of a more durable texture than what is plates for printing the Scriptures. No final manufactured in this country at the same decision has yet taken place; but the Maprices; and could it be procured free of nagers cherish the hope, that in aiding an duty, would enable the Society to furnish enterprise of such magnitude as the difthe Scriptures at a reduced rate, and thus fusing, throughout even the most indigent to circulate them in greater abundance, as district and classes, the principles of know. well as bring them more easily within the ledge and virtue so valuable to a republireach of the poor.

can government, the councils of our counIn addition to the above will be the duties try will not refuse to add the national payable on a set of stereotype plates for the bounty to the bounty of individuals, arid Bible in the French language; which, it emulate the patronage given by other gowill be recollected by the Society, the Ma- vernments to that noblest of charities which, nagers in their first report agreed to receive without distinction or pre-eminence of sect, as part of the donation of the British and blesses their constituents with the word Foreign Bible Society, in lieu of money. of life.

Impelled by the above considerations, and The Managers having become acquainted by the desire of turning their means to the with the labours of the Rev. Frederick Leo best possible account, the Managers have at Paris, in procuring, by his extraordinary laid the case before Congress, requesting exertions, the printing of two fine stereothat copies of the Holy Scriptures in foreign type octavo editions of the New Testament languages, and paper imported by the So- in French, one according to the translation ciety for its own use, may be exempted from of the Reo. Mr. Ostervald, and the other impost, and that all letters to and from its according to the translation of Le Maistre officers, upon its public business, may be de Sacy from the Vulgate, and in circulating conveyed free of postage. They deputed them with unwearied diligence, at the exan active and intelligent friend, Samuel pense of great personal toil, judged it pro

* For a more detailed view, the managers per to countenance so pious a work by a refer to an extract from a representation of donation of five hundred dollars, which they their committee, appended to this Report. transmitted to Mr. Leo through their ex

[ocr errors]

cellent countryman, S. V. S. Wilder, Esq. Jone hundred to the Saratoga Bible Society. They have had the satisfaction to receive and fifty to the Bible Society of Adams and the most grateful acknowledgments of Mr. its vicinity, in Massachusetts ; in November, Leo, and to learn from Mr. Wilder, that sixty-five to the United States' ship the nothing could have been more opportune John Adams, for its crew; and 100 to the Fe. or encouraging.

male Bible Society of Wilkesbarre, in PennDuring the past year the Board have sylvania ; in December, 250 to the Marine received from England 700 Gaelic, 200 Bible Society of New-York, for the supply German, and 500 Welsh Bibles, bought of seamen from all quarters frequenting the of the British and Foreign Bible Society, neighbouring ports; and in January last, for the purpose of supplying the wants 50 copies to the African Bible Society: of foreigners in this country who speak making in all 1,521 Bibles gratuitously those languages. 399 copies of the Gaelic circulated by the Society in the course of Bible have been sent to Fayetteville, in the past year. Many more would have North-Carolina, agreeably to a request been distributed in the same manner during made to that effect by the Fayetteville that period, had not the means of printing Bible Society. One German Bible has for the Society been so limited, by the been sold. The remaining copies of that want of sufficient accommodations, as scarceimportation are still on hand.

ly to enable the Board, besides making the During the same period there have been above grants of Bibles, to supply the inprinted for the Society about nineteen thou- creasing calls of Auxiliary and other Socisand Bibles, chiefly of the brevier type, eties desirous of purchasing them. The 12mo. making the total number printed to enlargement of its printing establishment, be 29,500.

and the continuation of the public bounty, Of the 1,050 copies of the French Bible will, it is hoped, place the managers in a situin sheets, presented last year to the Board ation, during the coming year, to make a by the New-York Bible Society, six hundred more ample distribution of the Scriptures have been sent to the Louisiana Bible Society in destitute parts of the land. for gratuitous circulation among the French In consequence of sundry applications inhabitants in that region ; and six copies made to the Board, by individuals and by Bave been delivered to an individual going Bodies other than Bible Societies, to obtain to Mobile, for gratuitous distribution in that from it copies of the Scriptures for gratuitous place.

circulation, the subject was maturely conOf the stereotype plates for the French sidered by the managers, and at their Bible, to be sent out by the British and meeting on the 19th of March last the folForeign Bible Society, only those of the Old lowing resolution was adopted. Testament have been as yet received. The “ Resolved, that in ordinary cases occurremainder are expected shortly.

ring within the United States, it is incon. In addition to the Scriptures in the French sisteut with the best interests of this Society language above-mentioned, the Board have to distribute the Bible gratuilmusly, except made, since the last anniversary, the follow through the medium of Auxiliary Societies." jag donations of Bibles in English, viz. “ The Managers embrace the opportu

In June 1817, 100 copies of the Brevier nity which this notice affords them, of Bible were sent to the Steuben County recommending the formation of Auxiliary Bible Society, and one hundred to the Societies in all those places where the in. Essex County Bible Society, for the desti- habitants are destitute of the Bible. Howtute inhabitants on the frontiers of the State ever small these Auxiliaries may be in of New-York; in July, one hundred to St. the number of members, and unable to Louis, Missouri Territory ; in September, contribute, for the present, to the funds of

« AnteriorContinuar »