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The whole area of this vast chapel being devoted to communicants, a far greater nuruber than on any former occasion united in commemorating the dying love of that adorable Saviour, whose kingdom among men, it is the object of the Society to extend.
The liberality of the religious pub. lic has had another opportunity to manifest itself. It was supposed, last year, that the novelty of the measure of making collections, might occasion a larger sum than could afterwards be expected; but experience has now evinced that it was genuine philanthropy that opened the hearts and hands of our fellow Christians, so that about one third more was produced by the collections of the present year than of the past. The Directors of the Society derive no small encouragement from this circumstance; as it affords additional reason to hope that, however widely the operations of the Society may be extended, and consequently the expenditure increased, the liberality of the church of Christ will proportionally be enlarged. This circumstance, coupled with the great increase of Missionaries, who have consecrated their services to this object during the year past, enlivens every heart with the most cheerful hope, that the work of God among the Heathen will prosper yet more and more! Ev. Mag.
RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY, LONDON.
MAY 15, 1806, this Society held their seventh annual meeting at St. Paul's coffee-house, London, which was more numerously attended than any formerone, and proved a meeting of peculiar interest, from the extended exertions and growing usefulness of that institution.
The zeal for the diffusion of divine truth, which induced the formation of this society, appears to increase in proportion as new objects present themselves, and as the means of attending to them are afforded to the committee, from whose report it ap pears, that in the course of the last year, seven new tracts, of the first series, have been published. Five have been translated and published by the society in the Welch language, one in the Gaelic, one in the Spanish, one
in the Italian, and two in the German languages. That since the last report, about 600,000 of the first series have been issued from the deposito. ry; and that the whole number issued since the commencement of the institution, in 1799, exceeds 2,700,000.
That the committee have gratuitously distributed among the army and navy, to foreign prisoners of war, among the Roman Catholics in Ire land, and to other places where the necessity was urgent, 110,000 tracts.
That the committee had commenced the important attempt, which was sanctioned by the last annual meeting, of subverting the pernicious tracts, so extensively circulated by hawkers throughout the kingdom, by the publication of a new series of tracts, peculiarly adapted for sale by such persons; designed to be both entertaining and instructive, having cuts, and being printed in the same form as those usually sold by the hawkers; three of which have been translated and published in the Welch language; and, as an inducement to such persons to engage in the sale of them, the committee have fixed the price so low as to yield to the venders and hawkers a profit superior to that on any other tracts hitherto published.
A very extensive correspondence has been opened for the furtherance of this concern, and about 260,000 of the new series of tracts have been al ready issued; but as returns have not yet been received from many of the society's agents, the exact number sold cannot be ascertained.
The committee strongly recommend to their Christian brethren to consider the vast importance of subverting the vicious tracts, and profane ballads, which supply temptation and corruption to the rising genera tion; and they earnestly entreat eve ry friend to religion and virtue to look around on the shops near his residence, which are the depositories of such vehicles of vice, and to exert his influence to introduce in their place the tracts published by this society; and it is especially desirable that wholesale venders, who at pres.. ent supply the small shops and the hawkers, should be made fully ac quainted with the circumstance f
the increased profit of two pence in the shilling to be obtained by the sale of them. As it must rejoice the heart of every Christian to be able, in any degree, to eject the poison, or to counteract its deadly influence, let every reader use immediate exertion for that important purpose.
The committee have recently published a uniform edition of the first series of tracts in two handsome volumes, the price of which is fixed extremely low; but as it has necessarily occasioned a heavy expense to the society, they earnestly entreat every friend to promote the sale of them, for the purpose of replenishing the funds, and promoting the interest of the institution.
Several very encouraging accounts were related, by members present, of the conversion of sinners to God by the reading of tracts published by this society; some of which, we hope, will be made public, as an encouragement to perseverance in the distribution; and as a persuasive to those, who have not yet begun this work, to delay it no longer, and to reflect how many opportunities they have lost of putting tracts into the hands of others, which might have been instrumental in saving souls from eternal punishment, and leading them to joys, which will nev. Ev. Mag.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
THE second report of the committee of this beneficent institution being published, we are enabled to lay before our readers a summary of its proceedings during the last year.
Great exertions have been made to give it publicity and promote its success, and the advantage of these exertions is manifested in the rapid increase of the society's funds, by the donations both of individuals and congregations, and by the enlargement of the list of its members.
The example of the society, as was stated in the report of last year, had extended its influence to the continent, and has, as now appears, produced there very beneficial effects.
The Nuremberg Bible Society, which owed its origin to the British society, has printed a German Protestant edition of the New TestaNo. 6. Vol. II. Oo
ment, which is sold at the low price of five pence each copy; the use of standing types having enabled the society to supply New Testaments at this easy rate. It was afterwards proposed to print a complete copy of the Old and New Testaments by standing types, and in an improved form; but although the expense was estimated only at 1000/. it was found difficult to collect so large a sum, in consequence of the calamities in which Germany had been involved. The committee resolved to assist the Nuremberg society by a farther donation of 2001. This has enabled them to proceed to the execution of their proposal, only substituting for the standing types, the stereotype, by which considerably more than 300,000 copies may be printed without renewing the plates. A supply of cheap Bibles will thus be afforded to the poor Protestants of Germany, probably for some years to come.
The expectation held out in the report of last year, of establishing a Bible society at Berlin has been realized. It is under the direction of persons of rank, and his Prussian Majesty has not only signified his approbation of it, but has assisted the funds by a donation. In the prospectus of this institution, its formation is expressly ascribed to the example and aid of the society in Eng. land; and its objects are declared to be the gratuitous distribution to the Prussian poor, or the sale at very low prices, of Bibles and Testaments, and the printing of a new edition of the Bohemian Scriptures. Another 1007. has been remitted to aid this last object, and a farther donation of the same amount is promised to the Berlin Society, in the event of their undertaking to print an edition of the Polish Bible. These transactions were previous to the rupture between this country and Prussia.
In the last report mention was made of the anxiety manifested by some Roman Catholics in Germany to procure the Scriptures, and that the Committee had agreed to distri bute among them at the expense of the Society 1000 copies of the Protestant New Testament. This donation has been thankfully accepted. A Bible Society has also been established at Ratisbon, supported by Roman
Catholics, for the express purpose of circulating the New Testament among their own poor, thousands of whom have never had an opportunity of reading the Scriptures. The translation employed by them is said by competent judges to be unexceptionable.
A sum of twenty pounds has been remitted to Dr. Knapp, of Halle, in Saxony, for the purpose of supplying the poor in Gallicia, who are in great want of the Scriptures, with Bibles from the Bible Institution, which has been established at Halle for more than a century.
To the Bible Society at Basie 1007. has been sent for the purpose of purchasing French Protestant Bibles to be sold or distributed among the Swiss and French poor, at the discretion of the Basle Society.
It having appeared that a great want of Bibles prevails in Esthonia, Finland, and Sweden, the Committee resolved to grant a donation of 150l. to promote the circulation of the Scriptures in those parts, as soon as a Bible Society shall have been established there.
1000 Testaments for distribution among the Roman Catholics of that country, and they have agreed to furnish the Association at Dublin for promoting the knowledge of the Christian religion, with Bibles and Testaments on the same advantageous terms, on which they themselves procure them from the University. It clearly appears that Bibles may be circulated among the Roman Catholies with little difficulty; a Society has been formed for that express purpose; and the admission of them into schools has been recommended, even by a Roman Catholic Bishop.
With a view to supplying the French and Spanish prisoners of war in this country with the Scriptures, a contract has been entered into for a stereotype edition of the French Bible; and in the mean time 100%. has been expended in distributing French Testaments among them; and 2000 copies of the New Testament have been ordered to be printed in the Spanish language, with 1000 extra copies of the Gospel of St. Matthew only. The bounty of the Committee has been gratefully acknowledged by the prisoners, and a farther supply has been solicited.
The Committee have directed 1000 German Bibles and 2000 German Testaments to be procured for the accommodation of the natives of Germany residing in England.
The edition of the Gospel of St. John, translated into the Mohawk language, by Teyoninhokarawen, a chief of that nation, and printed at the expense of the Society, reached Montreal at the close of last year. The Indian interpreters have declared the translation to be very correct.
The Committee have furnished a respectable clergyman in Ireland with
The zealous exertions of the friends of the institution in Scotland have been continued with unremitted acIn this tivity and great success. good work the Presbyteries of Glasgow and Edinburgh have signalized themselves. And the Society for propagating Christian Knowledge in Scotland have signified their willingness to unite their cordial efforts with those of the British and Foreign Bible Society. From the information obtained by the Committee, there remained no room to doubt, that although the Society in Scotland were about to publish an edition of 20,000 Gaelic Bibles, a great want of Gaelic Bibles would still necessarily prevail. By this consideration, independently of the claim which arose from the liberality of the contributions received from Scotland, the Committee were led to determine on printing forthwith another edition of the Gaelic Scriptures of 20,000 copies.
To the Island of Jersey, where the Scriptures in the French language, the common language of the island, were become very scarce, the Committee have directed 300 copies of the French Testament to be sent for distribution.
The publication of the proposed edition of the Welch Scriptures has hitherto been delayed, notwithstanding the anxiety of the Committee to fulfil the just expectations of the people of that principality, chiefly by impediments connected with the mechanical process of stereotype printThe Welch New Testament ing. has however been at length completed, and the whole Bible, it is hoped, will in no long time be ready for Twenty thousand codistribution.
pies of the entire Bible, and ten thousand more of the New Testament in 12mo. will be printed.
In Bengal a commencement has been made in translating the Scriptures into Chinese. In March, 1805, the translation of the book of Genesis and the Gospel of St. Matthew was in a state of forwardness, and some chapters of each had been printed. And under the auspices of the college at Fort William, the Scriptures are in the course of translation into all the languages of Oriental India.*
Two editions of the English New Testament, (8vo. and 12mo.) printed by stereotype, under the direction of the University of Cambridge, have been printed for the Society, and members may now obtain copies of them on applying to the Depositary, 19, Little Moorfields. A large edition of the complete Bible is in the press.†
An Association has been formed in London, for contributing to the fund of the British and Foreign Bible Society, by small monthly subscriptions.
The different denominations of Christians at Birmingham have united their efforts in order to procure subscriptions for the institution, and a large contribution has been the fruit of their zeal.
In closing the report, the committee wish to guard the friends of the society against relaxing their exertions to procure contributions to its funds, under an idea that they are sufficiently ample. The completion of the various works already resolved on, will require large disbursements: The extent to which the Scriptures are circulated will materially depend on the moderation of the price at which they can be sold: and the reduction of price must be regulated by a regard to the society's funds. It would be highly desirable that the price could be so reduced as to suit the circumstances of the lower classes. In short, there is no limit to the
beneficial operations of the institution both at home and abroad, but what its funds may prescribe. Much, it is admitted, has been done towards accomplishing the Society's object; but that object must be regarded as imperfectly accomplished whilst any nations remain, to whom the blessings of the Holy Scriptures have not yet been conveyed. "And what object," the committee observe in conclusion, "can be more important; what more worthy the united efforts of all Christians? If the Scriptures contain the doctrines of salvation; and if there be thousands and tens of thousands, even among those professing the reli gion of Christ, and capable of reading the sacred records in which it is contained, who are yet prevented by poverty or other circumstances from possessing them, an institution, the sole object of which is to supply these wants, can stand in need of no recommendation. Such an object will sufficiently account for the deep in, terest, which the Bible Society has excited in the United Kingdom, and authorizes the fairest hopes that it will continue to receive the support of the friends of revealed religion. When we reflect on the alarming and afflictive dispensations of Providence, which have visited foreign nations, whilst we have been blessed with an exemption from them, gratitude to the great Disposer of events in every possible way is more than a common duty; and in endeavouring to promote his honour by the diffusion of the Holy Scriptures, we discharge but a small part of those solemn obligations, which his singular favour so peculiarly imposes on us. What effects may flow from the most successful labours of the Society, is not within the limits of human foresight: Paul may plant, Apollos may water, but it is God alone, who giveth the increase. But we may be allowed to entertain a reasonable expectation, that the seed of the word will not be sown in vain; and that amongst the numbers to whom it will be conveyed by the Society, many will receive it with joy, and cultivate it with profit; and that the beneficial effects of the institution will extend to generations yet unborn." Ch. Observ.
The Bristol Society, for promoting Religious Knowledge among the Poor, have published a Third Annu al Report, stating, That, since their commencement, they have distributed 110,000 Religious Tracts; and encouraging their friends to new and increased exertions.
At the late Anniversary of the Mag dalen Charity, which was the fortyeighth, it was reported, That since the commencement of that institution, no fewer than 2,400 young women, a considerable majority of whom were under twenty-one years of age, have been rescued from the vices and miseries of prostitution. The evil, however, still continues to a most alarming extent; and additional remedies are imperiously demanded. Another institution of a similar kind, conducted by pious persons of evangelical principles, and under the direction of Christian Ladies, would do honour to the sex and to the nation. Ev. Mag.
Ar a meeting of the General Association of Connecticut in Weathersfield, June 17, 1806, “Inquiry was made with respect to the state of religion, in the churches with which we have connexion, from which it resulted, that although much coldness and lukewarmness in spiritual concerns, appear in many places, yet in others, the spirit of vital piety eminently prevails; and various parts of the vineyard are watered and enriched with heavenly dews. The friends ¡of real religion have much cause to render
praise to the great Lord of the vineyard, and to persevere in prayer that showers may descend in plentiful effusions."
As there have lately appeared various accounts of Mr. Parke and his fellow-travellers in Africa, the following extract of a letter from him to his friend at Goree, being the only authentic information received since he reached the river Niger, will no doubt prove acceptable to those who feel an interest in the fate of that enterprising man :
A committee was appointed to consider whether it would be regular to exchange ministerial labours with any one, who openly denies the divinity and atonement of Christ, and made the following report, which was accepted.
"Whereas a few individuals in the ministry have openly denied the divinity and personality of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Voted, That this association, feeling it a duty to bear testimony against principles so subversive of the pillars of gospel truth, of vital piety and morality, do recommend to their brethren in the State, earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints; to hold no communion, and to form no exchanges in ministerial duties with preachers of this character."
The following motion was made and approved:
"Whereas the relation between a minister and his people is one of the most solemn that can be formed in this world, Voted, That this body do disapprove of the growing usage in the churches, by which this relation is dissolved, without making public the true reasons of discontent in the parties, as tending on the one hand, to shield the immoralities and erroneous opinions of a minister, and on the other, to gloss over the unreasonable discontents and vices of a people."
Attest, JOHN ELLIOT, Scribe, Con. Evan. Mag.