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lands have sent forward the results of years of patient labor, and the Managers have accepted the trust of transferring their manuscripts from the written to the printed page, and will soon be ready to send forth these new versions of the Scriptures to those who have been so long waiting for them. The magnitude and variety of this work can be seen by reference to other pages of this Report.
The following details will show the remittances, including the value of the books sent from the Bible House to the Society's foreign Agencies, as well as the aid rendered to missionary and Bible societies for work in foreign lands: To the Agency in China, including books
$19,843 17 the Levant
46,392 87 Mexico
19,508 60 Brazil
14,648 85 Cuba
2,583 62 La Plata
17,044 42 Central America
3,114 80 Venezuela
4,400 04 Japan
3,010 00 Persia
6,948 47 Siam
3,877 36 Miss'y Soc. Meth. Ep. Ch. for Germany 7,041 42
360 07 Italy
150 00 American Board for work in Austria
1,059 00 Spain
1,198 24 Waldensian Committee, Italy
750 00 Bible Society of France
1,128 00 Evangelical Society of Geneva
1,500 00 Russian Bible Society
The following are some of the more important grants made during the year, and not included in the disbursements for foreign lands: American Board of Com’rs for Foreign Missions
2,241 American Seamen's Friend Society
382 American Sunday School Union
15,500 American Tract Society
Congregational S. S. and Pub. Society, Boston
400 Brooklyn City Bible Society, N. Y. (for Marine work) 692 New York Bible Society
75,851 New York Female Bible Society
563 Rev. F. M. Gilchrist, Del Norte, Col.
525 Rev. W. P. Thirkield, Atlanta, Ga.
679 S. S. Union, African Meth. Ep. Church
6,000 The American Sunday School Union sends the following report of the distribution by its missionaries of the Scriptures granted to it by this Society:
Alabama, 270 ; Arkansas, 1,266; Colorado, 129; Florida, 27; Georgia, 614; Illinois, 100; Indiana, 31; Iowa, 1,693; Kansas, 694; Kentucky, 477 ; Louisiana, 1,267; Michigan, 478; Minnesota, 454; Mississippi, 396; Missouri, 881; North Carolina, 349; North Dakota, 197; New York, 96; Ohio, 195; Oklahoma, 156; South Carolina, 151 ; South Dakota, 428; Tennessee, 216 ; Texas, 1,699; Virginia, 336; Washington, 233; West Virginia, 61; Wisconsin, 686; Nebraska, 1,305.
We thank you most cordially for your kindness in granting these valuable aids to our work.
Grants of books were made to auxiliary and missionary societies, District Superintendents, churches, and individuals, to the value of $22,007 75; to Life Directors and Life Members, $8,158 11; discount on sales, 22,880 90; for colportage, $521 24; besides the $21,998 41 in books included in the above remittances to foreign Agencies.
WORK IN THE HOME FIELD. Although “the field is the world,” yet the Board of Managers have ever attempted, in their efforts to spread abroad His truth, to obey the command of the risen Redeemer, “beginning at Jerusalem.” They have realized that, while the peoples of the earth-the far-off nations-had claims upon the Society, the wants of this great country, with its forty-four States and six Territories, should not be overlooked.
It is a very extensive field which thus presents itself for consideration. Its importance in relation to the nations of the earth cannot be overestimated. Were the population of this great country of one nationality and of one speecb,
their evangelization would involve many perplexing problems; but when it is considered that Babel, with its confusion of tongues, obtains in every State and every Territory, the difficulty of the problem is intensified a thousand-fold. The people must have the Bible in the languages in which they were born, for, whatever may be said of the unifying effects of a common tongue, it remains true that every man must ordinarily be converted through the language which he learned at his mother's knee.
Believing this, it has been the aim of the Managers of this Society to provide the Scriptures in all the languages which are spoken by the people in these United States. Hence the variety of its publications. This has involved à vast outlay of money, without any regard to profit. If the Society has been justified in publishing the Scriptures for heathen nations, much more is it justified in publishing them for the citizens of this great Republic so that they can have them in their own familiar speech.
If nothing more than this were necessary to insure a Bible in every home, it would be comparatively an easy task, and soon accomplished. The presses of the Society could multiply copies of the word of God in all these languages, and increase the supply year by year till the land was flooded with the light of the glorious gospel. But experience, both at home and abroad, has demonstrated that publication is only the beginning of the work. The sacred book is not self-circulating Bibles and Testaments while they remain upon the shelves of the Society's Depository cannot accomplish their divine mission. The command to apostles and evangelists is “Go," but the Scriptures must be sent. The messenger, in obedience to his high calling, goes forth with his message; but the book must be carried, and that, too, by men who can commend it to others from their own experience.
The question is not, then, how to provide the Scriptures for this varied population, but how to open up channels for their distribution, which shall convey them to the most remote parts of the land and into every home.
The Managers would call attention to the variety of its agencies and the success which has been achieved through them :
DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS. The territory which is not occupied by State Bible societies has been divided among twenty-one District Superintendents, a list of whom, and of the fields which have been assigned to them, will be found upon subsequent pages of this Report. Although they are occupied only to a limited extent in personal distribution, yet their whole time is given to supervising this work, so that it may be carried on systematically and effectively. They are not mere financial agents, sent forth to gather up the free-will offerings of the people for Bible work. They incite to liberal giving by bringing before the people the work of the Society both at home and abroad; but this is only incidental. First and last, their best thoughts and most earnest efforts are given to the promotion of a wider circulation of the Scriptures.
When an auxiliary enters upon a canvass of its field, the District Superintendent usually selects the agent and instructs him as to the best measures to be employed. He receives his monthly reports and commends or admonishes him according to his work. When a pastor or a missionary applies for a grant of Scriptures to supply the wants of his people, the District Superintendent, from practical knowledge, recommends the grant and instructs him as to the best use he can make of it. Travelling over his field from year to year, and often, too, by night as well as by day, he learns the condition of the people as well as the best method of reaching and supplying them. The expenditure, the past year, of $36,701 66 for the salaries and expenses of District Superintendents was a necessary outlay, without which all the agencies employed by the Society in the home field would have been inefficient.
AUXILIARIES. For many years the number of auxiliaries upon our roll has been about two thousand. Some of them have
an entire State for their field, while the majority have a single county, and still others only a township. The chief dependence of the American Bible Society, from the beginning, has been upon these local organizations, both for the collection of funds for the general work and for the distribution of the Scriptures within their own territory. Some of them have been very efficient helpers. In many places the Bible cannot be obtained except at the depository of the auxiliary.
It is, however, to be regretted that while some of them are older than the Parent Society, and continue to bring forth abundant fruit even in old age, not a few have become weary in well-doing, and but for the persistent efforts of the District Superintendents would lapse into complete inactivity. Too many of them are satisfied with keeping a moderate supply of Bibles and Testaments in the principal town of the county, and their influence is not felt even throughout their own fields. But few destitute individuals or families are supplied by them, and consequently but little comes into their treasury. They seem to forget that giving is the condition of receiving.
Only 931 out of the entire number bave reported what they have done the past year, and only 107 of these bave been conducting a general canvass of their fields. IIad all been as actively engaged in seeking out and supplying the destitute, what a grand record could they have made !
WORK OF AUXILIARIES.
107 Paid agents employed by them
131 Families visited
424,370 found without the Scriptures
26,071 Individuals in addition supplied
11,494 Sunday schools' supplied
1,026 COLPORTAGE. It was not till two-thirds of the fiscal year had expired that the Board saw a reasonable prospect of being able at an early day to resume this important branch of the work.