« AnteriorContinuar »
spirit. The Committee have distributed many copies of the Scriptures, in both Corfu and other islands. They have also engag ed priests to read the New Testament, in the different villages, on Sundays and other particular days, and also in the prisons in the town of Corfu.
Abyssinia will, it is hoped, enjoy at no distant period the privilege of being admitted to a participation in the benefits of Scriptural light. The four Gospels in the Amharic, the vulgar dialect of a large portion of Abyssinia, were prepared for the press, and were to be immediately printed.
East Indies.-The first event which the Committee announce in adverting to the Eastern operations of the Bible Societies, is the institution of an Auxiliary at Madras. A depository has been established at the Black Town. In the native languages, 2474 copies of the Scriptures, either entire or in part, have been issued; in the English and other European languages, 606: the soldiery and the prisoners in the gaol have shared the benefit of the latter. Various versions and other important designs are in progress.
The Calcutta Auxiliary Society proceeds diligently in executing and distributing various versions of the Scriptures. The list of places to which copies of the Scriptures have been remitted, comprehends all the most important places in the presidency. Gratifying intelligence of the progress of the translations at Serampore has been conveyed to the Committee. No less than twenty-four were either printed, printing, or in a state of preparation for the press.
The translators engaged at Canton and Malacca state, that during the year 500 copies of the Chinese New Testament, as many of Genesis and of Exodus, St. Luke, and Isaiah, with 200 copies of Joshua, Deuteronomy, and the Psalms, respectively, had been printed atMalacca, and the greater part were in
circulation. Other portions of the Bible are in a state of preparation. Dr. Morrison had not been able to distribute any part of the sacred Scriptures in China.
The Auxiliary Society in New South Wales continues to receive many gratifying proofs of the effects produced among the inhabitants of the villages, and the prisoners on board the convict ships, by the distribution of the Scriptures. During the year 898 Bibles and Testaments had been issued from the Society's depository, and 2967. 10s. 9d. collected; making a total of 1,210l. 15s. 7d. received since the formation of the Society.
The Gospel of St. John has been printed, and is circulating in Tahiti. The missionaries are also printing at this station a second edition of 3000 copies for the Leeward Islands.
Africa, though still enveloped for the most part in the shades of midnight darkness, has yet some bright spots on which the beams of the Sun of Righteousness bave fallen. The impression made on the western coast by the Christian labourers in the settlement of Sierra Leone, is truly gratifying; and the account of the Auxiliary Bible Society at Free Town is as encouraging as, from the circumstances of the country, it were reasonable to expect. Copies of the Scriptures, which at first were received gratuitously, are now readily purchased at a reduced price; and there is ground for believing that they have proved a real blessing to many settlers, Maroons, and liberated captives, by whom they have been seriously and diligently perused.
In tracing the progress of the Society in the New World, from the Straits of Magellan to the confines of the Polar Sea, the Committee announce, with satisfaction, that the Bible bad found a new and unexpected inlet into an unfrequented region of South Ame rica. A chieftain of Patagonia had been discovered in possession of a
New Testament, printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society. He procured it at Buenos Ayres, whither he had repaired for trading purposes, and thence conveyed it to his home, that he might explain its contents to his fellow-countrymen. A native of Rio Negro (a small fort under the Brazilian Government), on the river of that name, on the east coast of Patagonia, was so pleased with a copy of the New Testament, that he requested the person who had brought it thither to bring several copies with him on his return from Buenos Ayres, for the use of his family and friends. In the region of Rio de la Plata, in Chili, at Rio Janeiro and Pernambuco, the Spanish and Portuguese Scriptures were sought with eagerness; and the number of copies in circulation cannot be inconsiderable. The progress of education in these vast regions will afford increasing facilities to the efforts of the kindred institutions.
In Demerara the instruction of the Slaves is advancing, under the direct encouragement of bis Excellency the Governor. "A few of the adult Negroes," writes a correspondent, are very diligent in reading their Bibles; a Slave, of the name of Gabriel, reads in his house to his fellow-slaves."
In Jamaica, the Auxiliary Society of the People of Colour at Kingston continues to prosecute the object of this Society, as far as circumstances will admit; and having generously offered to purchase some Spanish Testaments, for the purpose of sending them, as opportunities might offer, into the Spanish colonies, the Committee have placed a larger quantity at their disposal for sale, or gratuitous distribution, through such channels.
From the Bahama Islands the Committee have received very gratifying intelligence. In these, and likewise in Cuba, the Scriptures are sought for. From Nassau, New Providence,a correspondent writes,
"Several of those who had purchased Spanish New Testaments, seem desirous of circulating them among their brethren in those quarters. Send me one hundred more copies."
In the United States of America, national institution, under the designation of the American Bible Society, continues to extend the scale of its operations by the enlargement of its funds, the increase of its issues, and the multiplication of its auxiliaries. The publication of Monthly Extracts of Correspondence has been adopted by the American Society. From April 1821, to January 1822, there had been printed, or were in the press 13,500 Bibles, 23,250 Testaments, and 250 German Bibles purchased; total, 37,000. Bibles and Testaments printed, or procured for circulation, during the first five years, were 231,552; total, 208,.552 The present number of auxiliaries in connexion with the American Bible Society, is 267. The receipts during nine months were 27,170 dollars.
From the continent of British North-America the Committee continue to receive encouraging reports of the progressive distribution of the Scriptures, through the exertions of the various societies in Upper and Lower Canada, in New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
The Committee announce the establishment of an Auxiliary Bible Society in the territories of the Hudson's Bay Company. It had received the support of the Governors and Directors of that Company, and had already commenced its operations.
In Labrador the grant of New Testaments to the poor Esquimaux has been received with extreme gratitude. "Several of our Esquimaux," writes one of the missionaries of the United Brethren from Nain, "who had been informed of the nature of the Bible Society, and its aim in the distribution of the sacred Scriptures throughout the
world, of their own accord began dred and sixty-three thousand to collect seals' blubber, by way nine hundred and seventy-four of making up a small contribution Bibles and Testaments! towards the expenses of the Bible Society. The expressions they made use of in presenting their gifts deeply affected us all."
A new version of the New Testament in the Greenland language has been completed; and the first edition of 1000 copies is now print ing in London.
Returning homewards, the Committee state that the Hibernian Bible Society has added, during the past year, twenty-six new auxiliaries, or associations, to those previously in connexion with it; making the total number of Bible
institutions in connexion with the Hibernian Bible Society throughout Ireland, one hundred and thirteen. The following numbers of copies ofthe Scriptures have been issued from the Society's depository during the year:-118,766 Bibles, and 136,973 Testaments; making, with those issued at the expense of the Society from foreign presses,
since the commencement of the institution, three millions five hun
With this simple but astonishing fact, which needs no comment, we close our abstract; adding only, in the impressive words of the conclusion of the Report before us, that "those who have found in the word of God a balm for the cure of all natural and moral evil, prepared by their heavenly Physician himself, can never contemplate the calamities attending human existence, and the future eternal destinies of their fellow-creatures, without an anxious wish and correspondent efforts to put them in possession of that remedy from which they themselves have derived health, comfort, and hope; even that blessed book which opens to those who believe its promises, and practise its precepts, a perennial fountain of inward peace and consolation amidst their severest trials and afflictions, and enables them to exclaim triumphantly, amidst the pangs of dissolution, 'O death, where is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory!""
PARIS SOCIETY FOR ELEMENTARY INSTRUCTION. THE following is the substance of the Report of the Society for elementary Instruction at Paris, read at the last general meeting of the Society. During the year, the total number of schools had not increased; it appears even to have lessened; but the recent formation of several new ones and the continual improvement of others amply compensate for this deficiency. The number of schools established during the last year is 157. "It furnishes cause not only for surprise but admiration," remarks the Report," that 157 schools should have been esta blished in 1821, in the midst of the unjust opposition which arrests the progress and paralyses the generous efforts of the friends of education,"
An interesting application of the system has been made in the formation of schools for adults. The first adult school at Paris was opened by M. Delahaye, of the Isle of Saint Louis: it is free, and is supported entirely at his own expense. M. Sarrasin, superintendent of the Normal School, animated by this example, has requested the Prefect to allow him to open one in the evening at the Normal School: the offer has been accepted,and the plan already accomplished: labourers and domestic servants attend it with zeal and earnestness, and the very rapid progress they make, it is stated, would scarcely be believed by those who are ignoraut of the method. The departments of the Rhine containa large number of adult schools, At Munster, Metz, Troyes, and
Marseilles, there are also several. Schools have likewise been established at Maisons and Bourg la Reine, near Paris, and there is every probability that the number will increase. The Society intends to call the attention of its correspondents every where to the establishment of evening and Sunday schools for adults. Satisfactory information is given of the schools established in the prisons. At Saint Denis 144 young prisoners were admitted into the school during the year 1821: fifty-three have left who are able to read, write, and cipher; and their minds are impressed, it is added, with good principles and pure morals. They have all entered into some description of trade. In reply to the objections made to the general education of the poor, the Committee ask; "Who will venture to assert, that among fifteen or eighteen millions of individuals in France who can neither read nor write, there is more piety, morality and virtue than among those who have been instructed? How shall we reply to the argument deduced from the judgment of the courts of assize, that out of every ten persons condemned, scarcely one can read and write? or how account for the reformation of those who have been confined in prisons which are provided with schools? Let us then persevere in spite of this unjust opposition, in the good work which we have undertaken, and not rest satisfied until we are confident that the means of instruction are given to the whole population of France. What remains to be done is immense but let us not be discouraged; what we are obliged to leave undone, our children may accomplish after us."
In consequence of the interest of the first magistrate of the department of the Seine and the increasing zeal of the masters, the number of schools in this department has augmented. The total number is more than 100, including those of
every description,- city, village, Catholic, Jews, or Protestants; and lastly, schools for adults as well as children; to which may be added, a Normal School for each sex. At the head of the new establishments is a large free school founded at the expense of the city of Paris for 400 boys, situated in a very populous part. Scarcely was it publicly made known, before a large number of children applied for admission. The master was selected from a large number of applicants, after a very strict examination made of adult schools at Paris. The village schools in the department, have increased in number and made much progress during the last year.
"It is due," observe the Committee, "to the philanthropy of the Euglish to say that they continue to be, as they ever have been, the principal promoters of universal education. It is by their exertions that the truths of the Gospel are now spreading over every part of the globe. The desire of reading the holy Scriptures has been the means of schools being established in every part of the world; and the people, once acquainted with the art of reading, receive this valuable treasure with an eagerness which daily increases. The object. of the Bible Society is closely connected with ours. We are bound in gratitude to mention the gift lately bestowed upon us by the Bible Society through Professor Kieffer. Six thousand copies of the New Testament have been sent to the Society at Paris, which have been distributed to our different correspondents throughout the kingdom."
On the 1st January, 1821, of 2,882,000 boys from five to fifteen years of age, 1,070,500 attended the primary schools: the number of villages provided with schools was 24,724, and that of schools 27,851, managed by 28,945 masters. The number of schools belonging to the Frères was 187, attended by about
30,000 children; each conducted by three masters. The schools on the common plan contain thirtyeight scholars each; those on the new system 104. The expense of 27,581 schools is estimated at seventeen millions of francs per annum: by adopting the new method, it could be reduced to five. The number of boys without instruction
THE state of the Mission of the United Brethren at the Cape of Good Hope, has engaged the attention of many friends to the propagation of the Gospel among the beathen, ever since its renova tion in 1792, and more especially since that colony has been united to the British empire. The change effected in the manners of the Hottentots has also attracted the notice and approbation of the colonial government, and of all intelligent travellers who have visited Gnadenthal, Groenekloof, and Enon, the three settlements of the brethren now existing in that country. From numerous benefactors liberal contributions have been received towards the support of the mission, especially after the destruction of Enon by the Caffres in 1819.
Another severe visitation, we regret to learn, has befallen this mission by a late dreadful hurricane and floods, and likewise by famine, occasioned by successive failures of the crops. The following extracts from letters from the Rev. H. P. Hallbeck present some affecting details of the late calamities.
Groenekloof, July 25, 1822."My letter of the 22d gives you some account of the damage done by the rains and floods here at Groene kloof. Not only the gar dens are almost totally ruined, our large pond filled and turned into a sand hillock, several Hottentot cottages thrown down and their gardens swept away, but the northwest gable-end of our beautiful
[APP. amounts to 1,818,081. In order to instruct them, fifteen or eighteen thousand schools would be necessary; the annual and total expense of which would be from fifteen to eighteen millions. Half of these establishments would support themselves, and there would remain to the state an annual expense of from eight to ten millions more.
church is changed into a heap of ruins. Many thousand dollars will be required to repair the loss sustained; and no time must be lost, in order that we may save the other walls and the roof. But we live now at a time, when provisions can hardly be had for money, and the expense and trouble of providing for a number of labourers will be very great. God only knows how we shall find our way through the surrounding darkness. But after all, there is only one way for us open, which is, not to cast away our confidence, but to keep close to Him who alone is able to heat the wounds His band inflicts. None of the inhabitants remember such a rainy season as has been experienced in this part of the country this year. It is quite like the rainy monsoon of the East Indies. Among the Hottentots, who are now busy in clearing away the rubbish, no other word is heard, but the repeated ejaculation, Alas! our church, our beautiful church!'— Like them, my mind is quite harassed by the scene of desolation before my eyes. Farewell for the present: you shall hear from me again, as soon as I arrive at Gnadenthal."
The Rev. C. I. Latrobe adds to this account-"The loss sustained by the damage done to the church is so great, that the expense, added to that of restoring the gardens and the reservoir, which must be immediately done, will bring on us a burden not to be supported but by the kind assistance of our bre