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church, and whom he regarded with the af. section of a brother. The Bishop of Norwich having moved the thanks to Lord Teignmouth, for his Lordship's conduct in the chair, Mr. Owen came forward, and closed the business of the day by an animated address. He congratulated the meeting on the services which had been rendered this day to the cause of the Society, by Irish and English prelates, by the defenders of our country (alluding to Lord Gambier), and (pointing to Messrs. Vansittart, Wilberforce, and H. Thornton,) by the enlighteners and liberators of mankind. Mr. O. then called upon the meeting to take a view of the Society in reference to the agents which it had called into employment, the various scenes in which it was acting its dignified part, and the objects on which its kindness was extended. The direct advantage of this society was, he said, scarcely greater than the contingent benefit which resulted indirectly from it. While civil polity and social happiness were ultimately promoted, it was impossible not to see and admire in what degree religion profited by the influence of such an association. The correspondence which it elicited, and the testimonies which it collected from every part of the world, were so many depositions from independent and concurring witnesses to the truth, the power, and the excellence of Chris. tianity. After a train of remarks, illustrative of these positions, Mr. O. concluded, by urging the members to take encouragement from the triumphs which they had witnessed this day. “Be ye steadfast,” said Mr. O. “ unmoveable—always abounding in this work of the Lord: forasmuch as ye know that your labour has not been, is not, nor ever will be, in vain—in the Lord.” Thus terminated the eighth anniversary of this great institution. The multitude, amounting to between 2 and 3000 (and which would, had there been space, have amounted to almost double the number) were literally of one heart and one mind. Never did the countenances of men indicate more visibly the strong feelings of joy aud affection. So perfectly had the great subject absorbed all subordinate considerations, that not an expression dropped from any speaker which betrayed a controversial feeling. A stranger to what has appeared in print would have supposed that in this institution of pure and vast benevolence there is (as we trust there soon will be) but one opinion and one feeling throughout the British empire, and the Christian world. And when the substance of the Report which we are about to give, shall have been read,
we scarcely think we assume too much in claiming for an association so employed and supported, the contributions, the co-operation, and the prayers of those who are sincerely desirous “that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.” The following is a brief abstract of the Report of the Committee which was read on this occasion: The success which has attended the exertions of the Society has been established in the former Reports. The Report of proceedings during the eighth year of its existence will prove not less gratifying. I. Europe. 1. Finland.—It appears that the number of persons who speak the Finnish language is not less than 1,300,000, and that the various editions of the Scriptures printed in it have never been adequate to their supply. No edition either of the Old or New Testament has been published for the last thirty years; and scarcely a single perfect copy of the former is to be purchased. On the ground of this information, the printing of the Finnish Scriptures has been encouraged by a grant of 500l. The result has been, that the Governor General, and the Bishop of Finland, have most cordially approved the measure; and that the Emperor of Russia, in testimony of his approbation, added to the Society's grant the sum of 5000 rubles from his own privy purse. “Thus,” to adopt the words of the Bishop of Finland, “in the Lord's name, a foundation is laid for a work, from which religion in geueral, and the Finnish Church in particular, will, by the help of God, derive a certain and lasting advantage.” A society has been formed in Finland, on the suggestion of the Committee, for the continued circulation of the Holy Scriptures. 2. Lapland.—The Laponese Testament; stated in former Reports to have been printing under the superintendence of Bishop Nordin, is now completed; and 2500 copies have been sent into Swedish Lapland. The Royal Chancery of Stockholm has addressed a letter to the Committee of the Stockholm Society, expressing the satisfaction of the King with the exertions made for improving the religious knowledge of the Swedish Laplanders. The Russian government has issued a proclamation authorising the importation of the Laponese New Testaments into Russian Lapland. Measures. have been adopted for the distribution of 1000 copies in Danish Lapland. The disposition manifested by the Russian government encourages a hope of the adoption of some extensive plan for the general distribution of the Word of Life throughout the Russian empire. ,3. Iceland.—The obstacles to the printing of the Icelandic Bible have been surmounted; and the work will probably be completed by next spring. There is reason to hope that the remainder of the Icelandie Testaments have been forwarded to leeland. 4. Poland.—The completion of the Polish Bible was announced at the last meeting: it is sold for two shillings a copy. The Committee have directed 1000 copies to be gratuitously distributed. By the last accounts from Berlin, the Polish Scriptures were in great demand. Many copies had been sent
to Warsaw, to Upper Silesia, and to Austrian
Gallicia. It was the intention of the Koningsberg Committee, to furnish every Polish school in these parts with a few Bibles and Testaments gratuitously. 5. Lithuania.-The printing of the Lithuanian Bible would probably be completed in the month of March of the present year. The Committee have directed 500 Polish Bibles and 1000 New Testaments to be sent to Koningsberg for sale or gratuitous distribution; the proceeds of the sale to be applied towards a second edition of the Lithuanian Scriptures. Some copies of the Polish New Testament have been ordered for the use of Poles residing in Great Britain, or visiting it. 6. Bohemia.—The edition of the Bohemian Scriptures promoted by the Society has been exhausted, and the demand sor them is still extensive and urgent. The Committee, with a view to supply it, have voted 300l. for aiding a new edition. 7. Livonia and Esthonia.-The offer to promote the publication of the Scriptures in the dialects of Livonia and Esthonia has produced the most beneficial effects. A Society has been formed in Dorpatian Esthonia, for printing and distributing the New Testament. A Society in Revalian Esthonia has directed its attention to the supply of the holy Scriptures, in the design of furnishing every cottager with a New Testament: and several respectable characters are engaged in establishing a Livonian Bible Society. The result is, an increased ardour for
publishing editions of the livonian and .
Esthonian Scriptures. Arrangements were making for this purpose; and the Committee, with a view to forward it, have enlarged their grant of 600l. to 1000l.
8. Sweden.—The active zeal of the Stock
holm Society. has suffered no abatement,
The Swedish Bible is now completed, on standing types; and the number of Swedish Testaments, separately printed, amounts to 16,600. Another edition of the Bible, and of the New Testament, will be immediately undertaken; for which an additional donation of 200l. has been voted. 9. Hungary.—The distribution of some German Bibles in Austria and Hungary at the expense of the Society, has made known its existence in Presburg, and has produced most interesting communications from two Professors in that city, by which it appears that there are upwards of a million of Protestants in Hungary, and but few Bibles among those who speak the Sclavonian and Hungarian dialects ; many of whom are much depressed by poverty. The Committee have promised a donation of five hundred pounds, to aid the printing and circulation of the Hungarian and Sclavonian Scriptures, if a society shall be established in Hungary for that purpose. 16. France.—The Committee, having sent to France some Bibles for the British prisoners of war in that country, received a letter written by direction of the Minister of Marine, stating that they should be properly distributed. A German minister, having distributed many copies of the Scriptures in France, which were gratefully received, the Committee directed one thousand copies of the French Bible to be distributed at the Society's expense, among some Protestant congregations in France. A member of the Imperial Institute having signified a wish that copies of the versions of the Scriptures printed by the Society might be deposited in that institution, the Committee did not hesitate to comply with it. 11. Germany.—They have acceded to a similar request from the keeper of the Imperial Library at Vienna; as well as for copies of the Society's Reports. This last request was accompanied by an observation, that “a multitude of strangers, who daily resort to the Imperial Library, would obtain a knowledge of the institution; and perhaps not a few would be inspired with a desire to attempt something similar in their sphere, and according to their power.” The Ratisbon Bible Society have printed and circulated four editions of the New Testament, and a fifth was in the press. This society is supported by Roman Catholics; and, though produced by the example, is independent, of this society. 12. Italy and Greece.--The Seciety's Ita
Iian Testaments are in great demand, both at Messina and Malta; and the Archimandrita, at the latter place, has warmly recommended the perusal of the modern Greek Testament, and-publicly applauded, “ the zeal and ardour of the English to circulate the Word of the Lord.” This intelligence is from a Roman Catholic correspondent at Malta, of great respectability, who is of opinion “ that there is likely to result from the one thousand Testaments which the Society has sent, no ordinary good.” The Committee have granted fifty pounds for distributing the Scriptures to the poor in Denmark. II. Asia. 1. Syria.-The Committee have forwarded a supply of Arabic Bibles, for the use of the Episcopal churches in Aleppo and its vicinity. 2. Hindostan.—The Christians dispersed over this vast country, including Ceylon, are calculated at nearly a million, using various dialects; few of whom possess the Scriptures. Many of the descendants of Christians have consequently relapsed into idolatry; and many are Christians merely in name. The Hindoos and Mahometans subject to the British authority may be estimated at seventy millions These observations suggest the most sorcible motives for supplying the wants of the Christians, and for displaying the records of Divine Truth to the natives who are ignorant of it. With this general object, and especially with the view of supplying the demands of the native Christians in India, an Auxiliary Bible Society was, in February 1811, established in Calcutta, with the concurrence of the government; and with a very general approbation in all parts of India. At Fort William, it has met with the most liberal support. It has directed eight hundred copies of the Tamul New Testament to be purchased for distribution, as well as two thousand copies of the Portuguese Bible, and five thousand Portuguese New Testaments. It has contracted for printing at Serampore five thousand New Testaments in the Tamul, the Ciugalese, and the Malayalin dialects respectively. The Committee, anxious to encourage these laudable exertions, have determined to aid them by a grant of Bibles, Testaments, and printing paper, to the value of one thousand pounds. The translation of the Scriptures into the dialects of India and the printing of them, proceed as rapidly as could be expected. The Missionaries at Serampore have translated and printed the New Testament in five languages, and the Old, in Bengalee, and
have translated the Gospels of St. Matthew and Mark into Chinese; the New Testament into four more dialects, and portions of the Old Testament into as many; and have begun a translation of the New Testament into two more. The Rev. L. Sebastiani, many years resident at the Court of Persia, is advanced to nearly the end of the Epistles, in a Persic translation of the New Testament, from the Greek, intended for the Christians dispersed over Persia, who are stated as very desirous of possessing the Scriptures, in a plain translation. Sabat has completed the translation of the New Testament and the Book of Genesis into Arabic, The Hindostanee translation of the New Testament, by Mirza Fitrut, under the superintendence of the Rev. H. Martyn, the four Gospels in Persian by the Rev. L. Sebastiani, and the three first Gospels in Telinga, translated by the late Rev. A. Desgranges, are in the press. At Bombay, the printing of the Malayalim Version of the Gospels, in September last, was advanced as far as the 12th chapter of St. John. Of the Gospels translated by Dr. Leyden into five of the dialects of the Eastern Archipelago, none have been printed, in consequence of the death ef Dr. Leyden in Java. With a view to procure the best version of the Scriptures in the purest dialects of Arabia and Persia, the Rev. H. Martyn undertook a journey into those countries; and by the last accounts was at Shiraz. Sabat's Arabic translation of the New Testament having been shewn by Mr. Martyn to a learned Arab at Bushire, he pronounced on it the highest eulogium. It appears that the printing of Oriental manuscripts, (chiefly owing to the skill and disinterestedness of the Baptist Missionaries), can be executed at Serampore; at an expense much less than at any other press in India, or even in Europe. Of the distribution of the Tamul and Pots tuguese Scriptures, mentioned in the Seventh Report, the Committee have received most pleasing intelligence. Nothing could exceed the gratitude of the native Christians at Tanjore and Tranquebar. A single fact will prove the extreme scarcity of Tamul Bibles. A catechist, in the congregation of Mr. Kohloff, at Tanjore, had been employed twentyfour years in teaching the Gospel, without possessing the Old Testament. The Portu" guese Bibles and Testaments were equally acceptable. Among those who received a Bible in English, Malabar, and Portuguese, was a Roman Catholic Priest, who had frequently recommended the perusal of the holy Scriptures, in his sermons. The Committee, to encourage the efforts
making in India, have voted an additional sum of two thousand pounds; the total of their grant to Calcutta, for the current year, being thus five thousand pounds.
The Committee expect that a translation of the Old Testament in the Cingalese dialect, will be undertaken by a competent person at Ceylon. — They have voted five hundred pounds to the Rev. Robert Morrison, at Canton, for promoting the translation and printing of the Scriptures in Chinese.
The donations to Bible societies in America have been respectfully acknowledged. The Committee have received satisfactory reports of the proceedings of the societies in Philadelphia, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. The zeal excited for the diffusion of the Scriptures, continues undiminished. The most persect cordiality subsists among the various Bible societies in the United States: and since their existence in America, the sale of Bibles to individuals has considerably increased. The Committee have agreed to assist “ The Bible and Common Prayer-book Society," of Albany by a donation of Scriptures to the value of fifty pounds. Anxious to aid the circulation of the Scriptures in America, and aware of the expense of the Philadelphia society in providing stereotype plates for the Bible, they have granted a second donation of one bundred pounds to that society; and trust it will be accepted as a pledge of the union they desire to maintain with their American brethren in promoting the interests of Christ's kingdom.
IV. The UN 11 En King poss,
The approbation of the society has been most extensively manifested, by the zeal and co-operation of the Auxiliary Societies noticed in former Reports, and by the still more numerous societies formed during the last year. . The Auxiliary Societies formed since the last meeting amount to fifty-one, besides sixteen branch societies, and their contributions to the parent society to upwards of 18,900l.; besides upwards of 9,700l. from societies previously formed. - The Committee rejoice to see the zeal for disseminatiug the blessings of Revelation keep pace with that charity which has provided so many institutions for relieving temporal distress; and while they gratefully acknowledge that liberality which augments the funds of the institution, they are equally sensible of the benefits to be derived from the exertion of its auxiliaries, in supplying the local wants of their respective districts with the holy Scriptures.
The Committee express their regret, that it has not been in their power to comply with the application for Bibles and Testaments in the degree required, though every possible exertion has been made by them, to procure a sufficient quantity. In addition to the two Universities, they have now obtained the assistance of his Majesty's Printers. They therefore trust, that the inconvenience from this cause will be speedily removed. But though the supply has been so inadequate to the demand, a much larger number of Bibles and Testaments has been issued in eleven months, ending the 21st February last, than in thirteen months preceeding, viz., 35,690. Bibles, and 70,733 Testaments, making the total number issued up to that period, 140,415 Bibles, and 291,524 Testaments, exclusive of those circulated at the charge of the Society in various parts abroad. , W. D1st RIBUTIon of Bin LEs. Considering the poor of the United Kingdom as having particular claims on the Society, the Committee have invited clergymen and dissenting ministers to encourage Bible Associations, and to investigate the state of the poor in their several vicinities; and they have engaged to return Bibles and Testaments, at the cost price, to the amount of one half of any congregational collections they may receive within a year. The Committee are of opinion, that the plan of selling the Scriptures to the poor, where practicable, has been found to possess several important advantages over gratuitous distribution. The list of the Society's benefactions in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, is too long to be inserted at present. Suffice it to say, that their benevolence has visited every quarter of the globe, and has contributed to cheer almost every form of misery to which man is heir-The correspondent at one of the principal naval stations, who has so frequently received the acknowledgments of the Committee, for an unwearied attention to supply soldiers and seamen, foreign troops, prisoners of war, convicts, and others, with the holy Scriptures, has devoted the same active exertions to this object, during the last year. In the course of that period, S850 Bibles and Testaments, in various lauguages, have been distributed by this correspondent alone; who has received satisfactory testimonies that they were no less gratefully received than eagerly sought. The Committee have reason to believe, that the Scriptures distributed in the various modes above stated (which will, probably, not fall short of 32,000 copies), have proved real blessings to many who have obtained them.
The distribution of the Gospel of St. John among the Esquinaux, in Labrador, was repaid with tears of gratitude; and having been limited to such only as could read, an uncommon eagerness was excited in others to learn to read, that they might obtain similar presents. The Committee have taken an anxious interest in the state of Ireland, and have grantwd a further donation of 13ibles and Testaments to the amount of 500l. to the Hibernian Bible Society. They have also passed a resolution to encourage 1he formation of Auxiliary Societies in that country, by the promise of aid in proportion to their own exertions. The funds of the Society have been augmented by various contributions and collections. The legacies of the year have andunted to 1617l. The Counittee have nominated Granville Sharp, Esq., the Rev. John Owen, the Rev. Joseph Hughes, the Rev. C. F. Steinkopff, Rev. John Jacnické of Berlin, Thomas Hammersley, Esq., Rev. Professor Dealtry, and Richard Phillips, Esq., governors for life, in consideration of the essential services rendered to the Society. “From the facts now reported, tho menbers of the Society are authorised to adopt the gratifying inference, that as the institution advances in years, it increases in means, influence, and respectability. Like the little cloud which the Prophet's watchman saw from Carmel, rise out of the sea, and spread by degrees over the face of the heavens, cheering the Israelites with the prospect of fertilizing showers, the British and Foreign Bible Society, small in its origin, has attained a conspicuous elevation aud magnitude, and has been hailed as the harbinger of good tidings, and the dispenser of blessings, by the people of the north and the south, the east and the west.” “The theatre on which the Society displays its operations, is that of the whole world. Considering all the races of men as children of one common Father, who “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust;' and who wills, “that all men should come to the 'knowledge of the truth; the British and Foreign Bible Society offers the records of eternal life to the bond and the free, to Heathens and Christians,—in the earnest hope that they may become a lamp unto the feet, and a light unto the paths, of those who now receive them, and of generations yet unborn.” “To support the character which the British
and Foreign Bible Society has assumed, to realize the hopes which it has excited, to foster and enlarge the zeal which it has inspired, are obligations of no common magnitude, and which cannot be discharged without correspondent exertions. Immense portions of the globe, now the domaius of idolatry and superstition; regions where the light of Christianity once shone, but is now dim or extinguished; and countries where the heavenly manna is so scarce, that thousands live and die without the means of tasting it, —point out the existing claims on the benevolence of the Society. “To supply these wants, fill up these voids, and display the light of Revelation aniidst the realms of darkness, will long require a continuance of that support which the British and Foreign Bible Society has derived fron the public piety and liberality: and perhaps the persevering efforts of succeeding generations. Let us not, however, be weary in well doing; “for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’ “Let the British and Foreign Bible Society, uniting its prayers with those which are daily offered up at home and abroad for the blessing of God on its proceedings, humbly hope, that it may become an instrument of his providence, for accomplishing his gracious promises; and that, by means of the Scriptures distributed through its exertions, or by its influence and encouragement, nations now ignorant of the true God, may learn “to draw water from the wells of salvation.” The prospect is animating, the object holy; its accomplishment glorious: for the prospective efforts of the Society are directed to a consummation (whether attainable by them or not, is only known to him who knoweth all things), when all the ends of the earth, adopting the language of iuspiration, shall unite their voices in the sublime strains of heavenly adoration: ‘Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever: Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.’” The nett receipts of the year have amounted to upwards of 43,500l. : the nett payments to nearly 32,500l., leaving a balance of 11,000l.; against which there are engagements to be placed,amounting to 14,000l. The Society, therefore, with all its ample means, possesses only the semblance of wealth. If its income were multiplied tenfold, that income would find abundant employment in supplying the wants of an universe thirsting for the waters of life.