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have passed away while others are still formidable. Bitter and relentless opposition of the priesthood is always to be expected. The fanaticism of the people is a constant element of friction. Illiteracy, indifference, poverty, war, difficulties of travel and of transportation, and the lack of men both able and willing, for the gospel's sake, to endure hardness and toil that they may convey the bread of life to the famishing, suggest the most prominent reasons why the Scriptures are to-day so little known and read in the countries referred to. There is some satisfaction, however, in recalling the fact that, under such adverse circumstances, there have been sent from the Bible House during the past twenty years to Cuba and Latin America 775,873 volumes of the Scriptures. The work, too, is on the increase. Two-thirds of the whole number were issued during the last ten years, and 76,222 during the year just closed. This enumeration does not include many thousand volumes of Madrid and Lisbon editions ordered from Europe at the Society's expense.
The number of volumes sent from the Bible House to the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of America, including Cuba, from year to year, is shown in the following table:
18,587 15,969 24,692 8,997 5,645 11,602 7,521 7,770 11,469 12,798 125,050 Cuba..
3,357 2,013 3,300 2,156 1,686 5,483 5,874 6,402 3,306 5,418 59,055 Central America. 11,980 93 24
9224 935 14,467 Peru 8,437 10,733 9,940 17,467 6,835 2,227 4,034 2,996
5,595 La Plata Region. 12,039 19,418 12,081 16,818 32,278 21,734 17,446 9,229 12,290 8,025 161,361 Brazil.
13,614 12,786 8,083 11,246 11,691 5,706 6,653 10,647 14,830 8,231 103,487 Venezuela..
Totals........177,222 66,935 58,799 59,465 58,472 50,210 40,568 42,342 49,517 35,407' 538,237
The prevalence of cholera in Persia, the war of factions in Venezuela, the antagonism of civil authorities in various parts of Turkey, in Peru, and in the United States of Colombia, have obstructed the colportage work in those countries; and in consequence of the unfortunate delay of some letters in the mails, the returns thus far received do not fully represent what was really accomplished during
The work of foreign missionaries in many lands is coordinate with that of the American Bible Society, and acknowledgment is gladly made of their invaluable cooperation in the distribution of the Bible among their converts and in the regions beyond.
The thanks of the Society are due to Mr. George H. Prince, of St. Petersburg, for his continued and valued assistance.
Table of Foreign Distribution.
Number of Books. 77th Year, 76th Year. 75th Year. 74th Year.
23,363 18,923 21,200 26,942 14,140 15,745 Testaments.. 55,048 38,190 37,100 94,650 67,326 64,832 Portions.
315,646 249,919 256,370 293,000 291,727 299,951 Totals...... 394,057 307,032 314,670 414,592 373,193 380,528 Purchased abroadBibles 5,417 7,149 5,204 4,267
4,853 3,955 Testaments.. 55,295 43,227 52,486
29,802 15,061 19,903 54,829 20,220 15,659 Totals 90,514 65,437 77,593
76,362 $5,998 Issued abroad Bibles
21,130 17,092 22,212 Test's & Parts
340,613 417,753 468,094 417,589 449,763 Totals
468,926 361,618 445,013 489,224 434,681 471,975 Sent abroad...... 88,337 72,622
79,083 73,593 75,101 63,832 Foreign circulation 557,263 434,240 524,096 562,817 509,782 535,807 Value of Books
sent abroad..... $23,210 97 $24,258 36 $19,815 82 $16,320 48 $16,477 22 $12,745 40 Cash Remittances
to foreign lands $132,602 10 $150,308 68 $137,597 53 $147,132 40 $161,439 97 $143,570 58 Cash Receipts from foreign lands $22,234 99 $37,702 72 $34,212 24 $38,626 50 $45,289 30 $39,707 05
The following list gives the names of the Agents and Assistant Agents now serving the Society in foreign lands by appointment of the Board, whose whole time is devoted to its interests, with the dates of their appointment:
Rev. Marcellus Bowen, Constantinople, 1888.
1889. La Plata, . 1864, Rev. Andrew M. Milne, Buenos Ayres, 1864. Rev. Francis Penzotti, Callao, Peru,
1887. Japan, . 1876, Rev. Henry Loomis, Yokohama, . 1881. China, Brazil,
Rev. H. C. Tucker, Rio de Janeiro, 1887.
Appointed. Mexico, . 1878, Rev. H. P. Hamilton, Mexico,
1879. Persia, . 1880, Rev. Wm. L. Whipple, Tabreez,
1880. Caba, 1882, Rev. Andrew J. McKim
1884. Venezuela, 1888, Rev. Joseph Norwood, Curacao, . 1891. Rev. John Carrington, Bangkok,
Besides these Agents, three hundred and twenty-six persons are reported as having been employed, for a longer or shorter time, in distributing the Scriptures in foreign lands, the average time of actual service during the year being about six months and two-thirds.
For detailed particulars concerning the foreign field, reference is made to the special reports of the Society's correspondents.
CUBA AND THE WEST INDIES. A few books have been sent to correspondents in Trinidad, Hayti, and San Domingo, numbering in all 228 volumes. Mr. McKim's work in Cuba, which has gradually extended over the whole of the island, has called this year for 3,357 volumes. It is interesting to mark the growth of churches in towns where a few years ago the Bible was unknown, and it was perilous to offer it for sale. From the Agent's report the following extracts are taken:
The year of our Lord 1892 has been very similar to its predecessors in character and in apparent results. Our enemies rejoice when they can get possession of one of our books to destroy it, resorting continually to fraud, deception, and violence for the sake of accomplishing their nefarious designs. Of course they are sometimes successful, as you will have learned from the monthly reports; but Providence guards in a wonderful way these first sowings of the good seed of divine truth. I inclose a letter recently received from San Juan de Remedios, that you may see convincing proof that the word sold there in doubt and timidity in the year of grace 1886 was not suffered to die, but germinated in good soil, so that the people are now ready for a preacher to minister to them in spiritual things.
It is not indeed a marvellous or an unusual thing to have sold and given away in the course of a whole year 3,151 Bibles, Testaments, and Portions; but I believe that the Holy Spirit can use these few books to illumine not only this island but also all Spanish America. All the Protestant churches in Havana are the direct and natural fruits of our Bible work, and the same is true of Matanzas, Villa Clara, Vedado, Cerro, and Guanabacoa. The work in Cienfuegos, Puerto Principe, and Holguin was begun by your Agent. The first work and the most effectual in securing what liberty we have in this island has been done by persons who are or were in the employ of the American Bible Society. Cases of interest in the truth have been reported only in part from month to month, but they are sufficiently numerous to show that missionaries must gather our harvests, or else a part of them will be scattered and lost.
It is commonly thought that the substance of the Bible is taught by the Roman Catholic Church, and that the difference is non-essential ; but no one would retain that idea in a Roman Catholic country where ignorance and superstition are as gross as in any heathen land. Few of the people have ever seen a Bible, or heard anything but mass in a foreign and unknown tongue, barbarously pronounced. The men rarely listen to a sermon, and those who do are generally satisfied with one in a lifetime.
I think that the signs of the times are quite as favorable here as anywhere. If the Holy Spirit shall continue to bless our work, the seventeen thousand volumes of truth may be doubled in five years, and every one become a central sun, illuminating a whole neighborhood. Our books do vastly more good than those sold by persons who have no missionary spirit, because they are recommended to the purchaser and commended to the special care of Providence. Our work finds encouragement chiefly among the poor in this world's goods, but many I trust will be made rich in spiritual things through the grace of Christ. Youi Agent prays for more faith and more success, more help and more strength, in 1893.
MEXICO. Mr. Hamilton's report tells the story of the hardships which brave and faithful men have encountered in their mission of love, enduring without complaint the opposition of the ungodly that they may bear the message of the gospel to their fellow-men. It tells also of an enlargement of the work, and the opening of new fields to which the Bible had never been sent before. Even if some of them should remain for awhile unread, the message will be fresh and true a score of years afterward:
The year 1892 was a year of famine in Mexico. The rains had ceased; corn, the staff of life, failed, and the price went up from six to fifty-six cents per quart. The President of the Republic, in opposition to the wishes of many feudal lords whose storehouses were full, declared free entry for American corn. When a birthday banquet was offered him he said, “I cannot sit down at such a table while my
people are starving.' His officers and soldiers showed like consideration, devoting to the relief of suffering the money raised for numerous celebrations. The Bishop of Puebla was noteworthy in his generosity, having, it was said, given all he had to feed the poor. One of our colporteurs wrote in September: “Many people have died of hunger ; many parents have given their children to the rich, having nothing to feed them with.” Another colporteur wrote in November : “Many families are dying of starvation ; others have only leaves of the prickly pear to eat. I go all day on the road without eating until night."
After the famine, the fever. The tifo has been raging for months in Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and Guanajuato, with hundreds of cases in other large cities. Such was the woful condition of Mexico in 1892.
There has been some progress, however. Railways were opened on November 15th to Oaxaca, in the south, and to Durango, in the north, but the general business of the country has been very dull. In the Missions aid was given the sufferers, notably in Chihuahua, Zacatecas, and San Luis Potosi. Dining-rooms giving free meals to the starving were established in many cities.
In the Missions, fine church edifices have been erected and dedicated at Chihuahua, Puebla, and Guadalajara ; new churches have been organized, and many fields are ready waiting for preachers and teachers.
The special work of the American Bible Society has been carried forward in the face of the usual obstacles—the ignorance of the people (only one-fifth in the State of Chiapas are able to read), the denunciation of our Scriptures by the clergy, the overshadowing of the civil authorities by the clerical, and the infidelity of men of wealth and influence. The principal work is done by our colporteur force, which at times has reached the number of forty-eight.
Some details of their work, and the general circulation effected by this Agency, are shown in the following table :