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SPEAKERS FOR THE BILL.
the flouse of Commons without a division, but was rejected in the House of Lords by a majority of twenty.
The numbers for the bill were 11
Marquis of Lansdown. The bill for abolishing the punishment of death, for steal. ing to a certain amount on a navigable river, was read a second time in the House of Commons. The third reading was fixed for various days, but, in consequence of the pressure of public business, was, from time to time adjourned. At the conclusion of the sessions, Sir Samuel Romilly moved, that it be read a third time on Wednesday next, (the 12th of June ult.) which was ordered.
When that day arrived, however, the other business before the bouse made it impossible to proceed on it ; and it being evident that there was no time to carry the bill through the other house, it was given up, and, a few days afterwards, the parliament was prorogued.
(To be Continued.]
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
In this age of improvement (for such, amidst all its errors and distractions, it may justly be called) no circumstances claim more strongly tbe notice and approbation of the Philanthropist, than the increased attention manifested to the cir. culation of the Holy Scriptures, and the facilities created for the accomplishment of this object. Our forefathers have long been honoured with the gratitude they deserved, for having, at the period of the Reformation, laid open those heavenly treasures to the eyes of the vulgar, and subsequently provided for their coming more immediately and generally into the hands of the people. Societies were formed, schools were founded, and other regulations adopted, for promoting
this desirable work. Little, however, comparatively was done towards generalizing the knowledge of the Bible, till within the last thirty years; when the invention (for such it was) of Sunday Schools brought the minds of the lower orders more extensively into cultivation, and multiplied the readers of the Scriptures to a degree beyond all former example. To this, and other causes of similar operation, may be ascribed the superior estimation into which the Scriptures have risen of late years, and the strong disposition which has been manifested to promote their diffusion and reception among all orders of society. At length, in the year 1804, an expedient was devised, of equal simplicity, liberality, and wisdom, for accomplishing this purpose, on a scale which promises eventually to comprehend, not merely the inhabitants of the British empire, nor the population of Christendom, but the whole family of man. This expedient was, to separate the sacred text, upon which all Christians are agreed, and to which they appeal'as their common standard, from every human interpretation, criticisin, and comment; and to present it in this simple state, as an object of universal circulation, to Christians of every name and description. The proposition was acceded to, and practically adopted, by a respectable body, made up of members from various communions of professing Cbristians; and it was ushered into public notice, and recommended to public patronage and support, under the designation of The British And Foreign Bible Society.
* The following is a brief view of the officers of the society, its object, consti. tution, &c.
As this was the first religious Institution of any magnitude and promise, which opened its arins for the reception of members, without any other test than that with which all Christians could conscientiously comply, it was naturally regarded with feelings of the liveliest interest, though operating in very different and in some cases even in contrary directions. Men of narrow minds and contractel bearts, in whom a selfish policy is every thing, and the welfare of mankind in comparison with it nothing, regarded this Institution with lively feelings of apprehension and alarm, and honoured it accordingly with the full tribute of their dispraise and opposition. While philanthropists of every name and almost of every persuasion, saw in it the germ of Christian concord and social happiness; and rallied round it, as the standard of “picty and peace and pure religion.”
Lecturer of Fulham.
Rev. JOSEPH HUGHES, M.A. Battersea.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY AND ACCOUNTANT,
Subscriptions and Donations are also received by Mr. L. B. SEELY, at the Society's Depository, where the Reports of the
Society may be had.
The object of the British and Foreign Bible Society is, distinctly and exclu. sively, to promote, in the largest practicable extent, the circulation of the Holy Scriptures both at home and abroad. By a fundamental law and regulation of the Society, the copies circulated in the language of the United Kingdom are those of the authorized version only, without note or comment.
The constitution of the Society comprehends all denominations of Christians, who profess to regard the Holy Scriptures as the proper standard of religious truth.
The proceedings of the Society are conducted by a Committee, consisting of thirty-six laymen, six of whom are foreigners residing in London and its vicinity; half of the remainder are members of the Church of England, and the other half members of other denominations of Christians.
The President, Vice-presidents, and Treasurer, are ex officio members of the Committee ; and every clergyman or dissenting minister, who is a member of the Society, is entitled to attend and vote at all meetings of the Committee.
Lord Teignmouth, a nobleman, who, in addition to the reputation he had acquired as Governor-general of Bengal, was distinguished by talats, virtues, and manners, which made him equally an object of public consideration and private regard, accepted the appointment of President; as did the highly respected Bishops of London, Durham, Salisbury, and St. David's, together with certain lay lords and gentlemen of the highest character, that of Vice-presidents of this new and extraordinary Association. Thus constituted and patronized, from the popularity of its plan and the exertions of its conductors, it obtained a rapid establishment in the world ; and may be considered as already possessing a larger and more eflicient operation than was ever acquired by any Institution for charitable purposes to be met with in the records of mankind.
Upon its first appearance before the public, Wales and Scotland distinguished themselves by individual, congregational, and associated contributions to its funds; and rivalled each other and their fellow.christians in England, by the promptitude and liberality of their support. Ireland did not remain uninterested in this strife of love ; but manifested as strong a disposition as its local impediments would allow, to aid in promoting so glorious a work. The continent of Europe felt the impulse which London had excited ; and evinced the effects of it, in local associations for prosecuting the same common purpose, under the auspices and by the aid of the parent Institution. Asia displayed a similar spirit; and Calcutta (where certain individuals from the Baptist Society had made a most auspicious beginning in the work of translations) became the seat of a Corresponding Committee, professing, in the name, and chiefly by the funds of the Society in London, to aid and encourage translations of the Scriptures into all the vernacular dialects of the East. America caught the same holy ardour; and a similar union of Christian Philanthropists, upon kindred principles, and with the same objeot in view, was speedily witnessed in various great towns, throughout the United States, which compose that vast and improving Empire. Thus the flame which was kindled in London, has been propagated generally over more than tbree-fourths of the world ; and is on its way for a still more extensive and particular diffusion.
So vast is the confederacy which this Society combines, and so momentous are its consequences likely to prove, that neither the Philosopher nor the Politician, any more than the
Christian or the Philanthropist can be justified in neglecting to investigate its character, and to consider its probable influence on the condition of human society. And what pheno. menon can be more calculated to excite astonishment, or to repay the labour of investigation, than that which is presented to the mind of the inquirer in this prodigious, complicated, and efficient machine ;-a machine which, composed of various yet well adjusted parts, and covering a field of immense extent, is producing an indefinite diffusion of that heavenly knowledge, which is alone adapted to make men wise, and good, and happy!
In order to form a just conception of this important Institution, and to prognosticate its effects on the civilized world, it will be necessary to view it a little more nearly, and to enter more particularly into the details of its present vast and increasing magnitude.
The seat and centre of this Institution is in London, the metropolis of the British empire, and in the foremost rank among the cities of the world. Its larger component parts are to be traced in auxiliary societies, or other aggregate associations, formed under its encouragement, and contributory to its object and operation, in several of the most considerable, and in some of the minor towns, throughout the united kingdom; and in conspicuous and convenient stations, throughout the other portions of the world already enumerated. Its auxiliaries within the united kingdom comprehend, among others, the important positions of Birmingham, Reading, Nottingham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Manchester, Exeter, Leicester, Kendal, Sheffield, Full, Bristol, Swansea, Neath, Haddington, Glasgow, Greenock, Edinburgh, Dublin, Cork, Dungannon, Armagh, Belfast, Limerick, Londonderry, New Ross, &c. On the continent of Europe, it bas three auxiliaries of great activity, and operating under the most respectable patronage, in Stockholm, Berlin, and Basle. These stations, from their local position, and the conveniences both literary and mechanical with which they abound, are peculiarly favourable to the object of supplying the inhabiiants of that continent with the Scriptures in their several languages. In Asia it possesses a powerful auxiliary in the corresponding committee established at Calcutta ; consisting of individuals, eminent alike for their piety and learning, and honoured with the countenance and support of the governinent in that place. Through this association, and the instruments employed under its direction and encouragements