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fer upon me, I feel myself called upon to express my warmest wishes for the prosperity of the great cause which has brought us together. So far as my humble exertions can promote its glorious object, they will not be wanting; and I think it an honour and a privilege to be thus employed. If facts of the most interesting nature can operate upon our minds, what facts can be more impressive than those which we have this day heard? If our reason is to be swayed by arguments, I have never heard arguments more cogent aud conclusive. To me, indeed, the whole range of argument, for the dispersion of the Scriptures, whatever else we distribute, appears to lie within a very narrow compass. If these records are indeed the revelation of God, and expressly intended to tnake us wise unto salvation, where is the Christian that shall dare to arrest their progress? The pretence, that the free circulation of the Bible can do harm, what does it anount to ? That, in the most important of all concerns, Infinite Wisdom has devised means ill adapted to their end ' That man is wiser than his Maker! That God is not to be trusted with the declaration of his own will in this world, which his hands have made 1 “When the disciples of John inquired of our Saviour what were the proofs of his divine authority, he crowns the catalogue by stating, that the poor hare the Gospel preached to them. And what is the object of the Bible Society? It is to give that Gospel to the poor: it is to sulfil, as far as human agency may be permitted to sulfil it, the great end of our Saviour's mission. And who could endure the thought of refusing to a poor man the comfort of a Bible ! What sort of consolation would any of us derive upon his death-bed fronu reflections like these: “I saw my poor brother hungering for the bread of life, and I withheld it : I perceived hini thirsting for the waters of salvation, and I refused to give them: he was perishing for lack of knowledge, but I turned and passed by 1” Is there in this assembly one person, who would not shrink with terror and dismay, if addressed in that awful hour by the voice of conscience and in tones like these? Let us act now, as we shall then wish that we had acted. Are we command. ed to make the Gospel known to every creature ? Let us have the Christian courage to do so, and leave the consequences to God. Is there a member of the Church of England, who can reasonably entertain apprehensions for the Establishment from the widest dispersion of the Scriptures? As a minister of that church, I beg leave to say that I fear
not the test; she is not built upon a founation of sand, but upon the firin basis of the everlasting Gospel. She has no need to hide herself in darkness: her goodly proportions are then best discerned, her pillars and her towers are then seen to the fairest advantage, when reflecting back the full blaze of the light of truth. “I would even venture to adopt the language of a distinguished ornament of the university of Cambridge (Dr. Clark') upon a recent occasion, and declare, “So soon as it shall be proved' (what I am sure never will be proved) " that the distribution of the Bible alone is hostile to the interests of the Established Church, then, and then only, be that church subverted." “I have been led into these observations by a printed paper now in my hand, and which was yesterday circulated through this town and neighbourhood with considerable assiduity. It bears the signature of a “Churchinan:" and, with views not very friendly to the object of this meeting, presents us with a sort of parallel between the Bible Society, and another admirable institution, the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. I am myself a member of this latter society; other members have been admitted on my recommendation; and I heartly wish that every churchman in the land, whe can afford to subscribe, would lend his assistance to both institutions. But for what end can any man wish to introduce jealousy and hostility in a cause like this Why should there be any other rivalry between these great institutions, but the generous rivalry of conferring benefits on mankind? Here is a world lying in sin: here is a world to be evangelized; surely there is abundance of room for the labours of both; every heart and every hand should be pressed into the service, and invited to partake of the reward. In attachment to the Church of Eugland, I will yield to no man living: but God forbid that I should fetter the liberal exertions of any benevolent mind, or seek to deprive my church of the distinguished honour of assisting and co-operating with good men, though not of my own communion, in the diffusion of universal blessing. “If the time would permit me, and if I considered the paper in my hand as likely to produce much in pression in the county, I would enter more at large into a discussion of its statements. My observations for the present shall be very concise. I would first call your attention to a question of tact. It is here asserted, that the British and Foreign Bible Society is patronised by “a small proportion of our bishops.” I need not inform this as sembly, that the number of prelates in Great Britain and Ireland is forty-eight. I will now read you the names of those who patronise the Parent Society or institutious of a similar nature. In Great Britain, we find the Right Rev. the Lord Bishops of Durham, Salisbury, Bristol, Norwich, Chichester, St. David's, and Landaff". In Ireland, i.e. Most Rev. the Lord Prinate, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Archbishop of Cashel, the Archbishop of Tuan, the Right 1&ev. the Lord Bishops of Kildare, Derry, Clogher, Cloyne, Limerick, Cork, Down, and Killala. The archbishops and bishops, whose names have just been recited, annount to niucteen. I am not wholly unacquainted with arithmetical calculation; and I know that lineteen is not a small proportion of forty-eight t. So much for the matter of fact. .
* It is further stated by the “Churchman,” that the Bible Society “ distributes Bibles alone.” We must really plead guilty to the charge. We give nothing, as a society, but the pure and unsophisticated word of the most higa God. The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge distributes “the Scriptures and other religious Books and Tracts.” This also is correct. Many of their tracts are very excellent, and cannot sail to do good. Bat awe we therefore enemies to the dispersion of good tracts, because, in the first place, 'and above all things, we wish to supply the poor with the New Testament? A worthy rector in this county, at present immediately below use, who has for nearly twenty years been a member of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, and who is now a very earnest advocate for an Auxiliary Bible Society, has supplied with tracts from the old society, all the poor families in his parish, that can use them. And great has been the benefit. But is our opinion of the New Testament such that we dare not trust it without a tract? Does the Church of England appeal for its authority to the inventions of men, or to the Bible When it can be shewn that religious tracts contain something more essential to our salvation than the word of God contains, or that in them the terms of redemption are more clearly and conclusively expressed than in
* We have since to add the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry.
+ There are, it is true, forty-eight bishops in England and Ireland, but only thirty-two of these belong to the Society for promotiug Christian Knowledge, while the number who patronize the British and Forcign Bible Society is, as above stated, twenty, Editon.
the language dictated by the Holy Spirit, then I will admit that the dissemination of such tracts will be more useful than that of the Bible itself: but till this proof shall be given, I will not be offended with the British and Foreign Bible Society for circulating the Bible alone, without note or comment, and unaccompanied by tracts of any kind. “It is further contended, that we ought to give Prayer Books with our Bibles. To whom, I would ask, ought we to give them * To Dissenters ? No; but to the members of our own church. Is it meant to be insinuated that we neglect to do so? 1 hold it to be the duty of every clergyman to supply his poor with Prayer Books to the utmost of his power: and I am well persuaded, that no men are more active in discharging this duty than the clerical meinbers of the Bible Society. The worthy rector to whom I have just alluded, has in this respect also set an example in his own parish, which all his brethren would do well to follow. In looking to general benefit, I never would forget, that I am a member of the Church of England. Does my connection with a society, from which I purchase the Scriptures alone, deprive me of the right or the inclination to do every thing for the poor of the Establishment, which a friend to the Establishment ought to do? The force of such logic I cannot perceive. By this connection I forfeit none of Iny means, I abandon none of my principles: but I procure incalculable good, which I could procure in no other way. By the united co-operation of Christians of all denouinations, in a cause where all can sately unite, asperity is subdued, Christian charity is promoted, and, above all, resources are called into existence, which descend in blessings, not merely upon this land and people, but upon every nation to which the liberality of Britain can direct them. “Gentlemen, if we would fully appreciate the glorious exercise of charity, to which the Bible Society invites us, we should consider ourselves not merely as Englishmen, but as members of the whole family of man. The miserable savage, who wanders in the desert or the forest, untutored and unsubdu ed, is still a brother of our own, created like ourselves in the image of God, and like us an heir of immortality. For near six thousand years, the groans of nature have bech heard in every laud: but sages and prophets have consoled us with the assurance, that these times shall have an end; that a new order of things shall arise; and that the blessings of the Gospel shall, ere long, call forth from all nations the sacred and lofty measures of adoration and praise. Even mow, I seem to myself to behold the dawning of that brighter day: even now, by the favour of Providence upon the labours of Englishmen, and especially by means of the Bible Society, the glad tidings of the Gospel are heard in the most distant regions. Translations of the Scriptures are proceeding to an extent beyond all example ; and if the society continue to act according to the promise of its present exertions, the Gospel will soon have been preached not in this land only, or where its institutions and language are known, but unto all that dwell on the earth, to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Wherever the footsteps of civilization can be traced, there will men read, in their own tongue, the wonderful works of God. In the contemplation of these things, I am struck with a degree of admiration and astonishment which I cannot express. I would venture to borrow the words of that sacred book, which it is the object of this meeting to dispense to all men, and inquire, ‘Who hath heard ouch a thing? Who hath seen such things?’ “Ask now of the days that are past, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heavcn unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?' Except the day of Pentecost, I know of nothing to compare with it. The temple of Truth has been founded and built up in Britain: but the light is streaming through every outlet to all the regions of the world. It has penetrated the hut of the shivering native of Labradore: it has cheered the dwelling of the poor Hin. doo. The glory of the Lord is visiting his Church; from every quarter the gentiles are coming to her light, and kings to the brightness of her rising. The consoling declarations of the prophets appear, even iu these days of conflict, to be fast approaching their completion; the brightest visions of our poets seen on the point of being realised, when,
* The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks Shout to each other, and the mountain tops From distant mountains catch the flying joy, Till, nation after nation taught the strain, Earth rolls the rapturous Hosanna round.'
“As sure as the voice of prophecy has foretold them, these glorious times will arrive; and we in our generation are called to the distinguished honour of acting as instruments in the Divine Hand to hasten their approach. We are invited to the privilege of humbly
combining our efforts as workers together with God.' The ardour and unanimity, which we have this day witnessed, afford a convincing proof, that we shall enter with zeal upon this work of faith and labour of love. Let us then work, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work : the opportunity is now in our hands. we soon shall go hence and be no more seen.” In the course of his speech, Mr. Dealtry took occasion to read part of an interesting and appropriate letter from the Principal of the East-lndia College, which was received with much attention and applause. Sir John Sebright observed, that he persectly concurred in the sentiments expressed by the last speaker, and was a warm friend and well-wisher to the Church of England. It was in this view that he felt himself particularly called upon to support the society. A motion for thanks to the secretaries of the parent society, for their valuable assistance on this occasion, having been made by the Rev. J. H. Mitchell, seconded by Mr. Fordham, and adopted by the meeting, Mr. Owen entered into a lively description of the extensive field of labour which lies before those persons who wish to supplant the Bible Society and its numerous dependencies. After leading them through all parts of Great Britain and Ireland, he then proposed, that they should visit the contiment of Europe, and pass over into America and Asia. When they should have accomplished their purpose to the extent already pointed out, he thought that he could tell them of additional employment. His conclusion was marked by some striking observations on the retrospect of the proceedings of this day. It would prove a source of consolatory and animating reflection to many distinguished gentlemen around him, particularly to those who were terminating a long career of public usefulness by their generous co-operation in support of the cause of religion throughout the world. Mr. Plmmer, seconded by Sir John Sebright, then moved the cordial thanks of the meeting to William Baker, Esq. for his able conduct and important exertions in the business of this day. Mr. Baker, in an address of great feeliug, expressed the delight which he experienced in seeing, on the close of a long political life, one meeting of unanimity. It had been his lot to witness many of dissension; he had been opposed to gettlemen near him on questions of great interest to public men, when both sides considered themselves as engaged in the right cause. It rejoiced his heart to find, at last, that there was one subject on which they could all agree, and especially that this subject was the disper*ion of the Scriptures. “They are,” he observed, “the only solace of affliction in this life, and afford the only ground of hope for the life to come.” An eye-witness of what passed at this meeting assures us, that “ the harmony, so uniformly manifested on the formation of auxiliary societies in every part of the kingdom, was eminently displayed on this occasion.” “A more gratifying scene,” he adds, “has seldom been witnessed. The effect produced upon the minds of those who were present, will not be the transient in pression of a day. They will, many days hence, acknowledge the excellence of a cause that can unite in perfect cordiality gentlemen of distinction who have long been opposed upon political questions, and elicit the best feelings from men of every class. Their principles of Christian charity will be enlarged and confirmed. From the good which has already been done by means of the Bible Society, they will see what the united exertions of Christians can effect in the most benevolent of all projects, and will perceive, that we are not merely called by a sense of duty, but invited by our best interests to co-operate in its service, and to share its blessings.”
On the 23d of Dec. 1811, a society was formed at Sutton Coldfield, for that town and neighbourhood, in aid of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Henry Grimes, Esq. the warden, was appointed treasurer, and the Rev. Joseph Mendham secretary. The committee consists of the rector, the Rev. J. Riland; Sir F.C. Harlopp, Bart. ; Francis Hackett, Esq.; Thos. Terry, Esq.; and W. Webb, Esq.
In the address of the society, it is well observed, “Religion is communicative. One of its two great branches is love to man; and he who understands the value of divine blessings by his own enjoyment of them, will be desirous of imparting the benefit to others. This is the best benevolence : it is benevolence eminently Christian : we add, it is a benevolence, which will return sevenfold into our own bosom. For, certainly, it will prove no unprofitable bargain, if, in return for our liberality, we become instrumental in conferring upon a fellow-creature the best of blessings, obtain a share in the fervent
Christ, Ossery. No. 122.
prayers and benedictions of the righteous and find our own piety rekindled and increased by contemplating the zeal of others.”
Bristo L. Auxi LIA rv Bible society.
The annual meeting of this institution was held at the Guildhall on the 13th inst. the Rev. Dr. Randolph, prebendary of Bristol, in the chair. The report of the committee having been read, and received with great approbation, several gentlemen addressed the meeting; among whom were, Mr. S. Cave, Mr. J. Smith, the Rev. Mr. Thorpe, Mr. E. Protheroe, Mr. Lowell, the Rev. Mr. Rowe, and the Rev. Mr. O'Donnoghue. Mr. Smith observed, “ that England had been called the land of Bibles; yet the scarcity of them, before the establishment of this institution, was truly surprising. Even in our city and neighbourhood it had been a subject of equal regret and astonishment.” To prove the truth of this statement, Mr. Smith read a letter from Keynsham, where, although a small place, and lying between two such cities as Bath and Bristol, yet, on inquiry, 150 grown persons were found without Bibles in their possession. “Even in the Bristol Infirmary, out of 205, only
fourteen possessed this sacred treasure."—
Mr. Thorpe, among other things, observed, “In the year 1804, if any man had ventured to predict that an institution would soon be formed, under the patronage of the mitre and the coronet, with the sanction of genius and literature, comprehending the religious of all denominations, whose jarring principles had so long repelled them from each other, but who should all at once feel themselves drawn, as by some powerful but invisible magnet, into a friendly association, where, actuated by one spirit, they would combine to promote one and the same object: if he had gone farther, and ventured to predict that, within a few years after the establishment of this society, the Scriptures would be printing in about fifty different languages, into many of which they had now, for the first time, been translated, and that near 200,000 copies of the Old, and near 300,000 copies of the New Testament, would be dispersed in the course of six years. would he not have been deemed a visionary?" The amount raised by this society, during the preceding year, was about 1750s. Upwards of 1700l of that amount was remitted to the British and Foreign Bible Society.
tri - Birl E. society A. N. D. Dr. xi. Artsn. We should have been glad, had our limits
admitted of it, to have noticed the formation of many other Auxiliary Bible Societies; but this we must reserve for another opportunity. We were also anxious to have given some account of a pamphlet which has recently appeared, against the Bible Soeiety, from the pen of Dr. Marsh; because we think the air of confidence with which it is written may produce some effect on persons ignorant of the real merits of the subject. We have only delayed, however; we have not abandoned our purpose; and we here pledge onrselves to prove, that the learned author's single ground of objection to this society—the forlorn hope of his party— is as destitute of weight, and as little entitled to consideration, as any one of the “eighteen" refuted objections of Dr. Wordsworth, Mr. Spry, and Mr. Sykes; most, is not all, of which, indeed, Dr. Marsh himself seems to consider as too weak to be defended. His own single objection, though produced
with much “ pomp and circumstance,” ap‘pears to us to have already received its answer in Mr. Dealtry's speech, inserted two pages back.
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
The missionary Read, writing from Cape Town, in the month of June last, states, that he and Dr. Vander Kemp had been sent for from Bethelsdorp by the Government, in order to assist in investigating the complaints which had been made ef cruelties exercised towards the Hottentots by the Dutch boors. From his account, a considerable degree of concern about religion had been excited at Cape Town; which was greatly increased by a severe earthquake, which occurred on the 'th of June. “I found,” he says, “on inv arrival at the Cape, tny hands full. I have preached four times
a week to the soldiers and others. Amongst the soldiers, the work of the Lord seems greatly flourishing. Among the Dutch is a greater revival than we ever saw. One speaks to the Christians on the Saturday evening, and another instructs the slaves on the Sunday evening. Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Hyser are indefatigable in their lubours, instructing the slaves, &c. We have inorning and evening lectures in our own hired liouse, which, in the evenings especially, is not only crowded, but numbers, who cannot comé in, hear from the open windows. I have commenced a Sunday school for the poor slaves, which is likely to be of important service. There are numbers of young friends who will carry it on, and much good, we hope, will be done." A revival of religion, similar to that at the Cape, is said to have taken place in other parts of the settlement.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian. Church, in the United States, have proposed the establishment of a Theological School for the education of ministers. In the prospectus it is affirmed, that the progress of population. is four times greater than the increase of ministers; that ministers and missionaries are loudly called for, and that there are 400 vacant congregations within the bounds of their jurisdiction.
The Philadelphia Bible Society have distributed during the last year 8185 Bibles. and Testaments. It is a rule of the society not to give a copy where one was previously possessed.
Dr. Buchanan's Christian Researches in India have been re-published in America, and are said to be producing much effect in that country. The Christian Observer is also regularly re-published at New York.