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and her admittance into a Penitentiary.-Reformation of a Drunkard.

although they found, in the following week, that she had removed to another street in the same district, she made it a point of meeting them, told them she was extremely desirous of leaving her way of life, and earnestly begged for a Testament. This was cheerfully voted by our Committee: and the Collectors in the following month report-" The young woman spoken of in our last report, on our next collecting-day, presented herself to us before we reached her abode: she was evidently looking for us; her demeanour was humble, and her looks expressive of great anxiety and contrition. We shall long remember her expressions of gratitude on receiving the New Testament voted to her: clasping it in her hands, she exclaimed, 'Never, no, never, under any circumstances, will I part with it.' From all that we beheld, we do cherish the pleasing hope that it has been said to her, Go and sin no more.' On the transfer of this scene of iniquity and woe to the Ladies' Committee, this young woman was visited by their Collectors: her anxiety to be removed from her wretched course of living induced the prompt exertions of those benevolent Ladies; and, on proper investigation, she was judged the most suitable object among many for immediate admission into that House of Mercy, the London Female Penitentiary. From the last report of the Ladies' Committee we extract the following passage, relative to this poor penitent :-' Since her admission into the house, she has conducted herself with uniform propriety, and there is every reason to believe that her repentance is deep and sincere. Her expressions of gratitude, when speaking of those who were the means of snatching her as ་ a brand from the burning,' were truly affecting and she has often said, I hope the instructions I have received will be blessed, to the saving of my soul from eternal destruction: there is no suffering that I would not gladly be exposed to, rather than return to a life of sin.' Frequently, with tears of sorrow, she expresses herself anxious to find that mercy which is only to be obtained by faith in Jesus Christ.”—Gratifying and encouraging as this fact has been to us, we have reason to anticipate still farther blessings. A neighbour of this poor penitent, having heard what was become of her companion in guilt, accosted our Collectors, expressing a strong desire to quit her way of life also. She was referred to the advice and counsel of the Ladies before mentioned; and we humbly hope that the day which has dawned upon the heart of her friend may likewise be the harbinger of peace and mercy to her.

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After detailing this interesting anecdote, the Collectors add-" We feel particularly encouraged to the punctual observance of the day and hour for collecting; for these two unfortunate females had noticed our regularity three times the one, and twice the other, met us at the accustomed hour as we passed toward their abodes: in waiting, they were not disappointed: and, we humbly trust, we may say that we have found our reward.

We felt much pleasure at an interview we had with a medical gentleman, who readily came forward as a contributor of a guinea per annum; adding, that he thought Bible Associations had wrought much good as it related to the improvement of the lower orders; and that he was pleased when he saw a Bible in the rooms of his poor patients, believing it had made many, whom he had known years before to be dirty and dishonest, cleanly in their dwellings and punctual in their payments.

In another district, a working man had been repeatedly called on, and invited to subscribe for a Bible, but without success. His habitual drunkenness exhausted those means that should have been appropriated to the support and comfort of his family, and his habitation bore evidents marks of the tendency of these habits of intemperance. The Collectors persevered in their visits of mercy; and at length he was induced to become a subscriber

Liberality of a Female Servant.-Exemplary conduct of a Jew.

for a Bible, which he received some months ago. The perusal of it has, under the divine blessing, produced a total change in his conduct: his habits of inebriety are entirely reliquished, and his family become comfortable and happy. This fact will appear the more striking, when we add, that his former dissolute companions repeatedly endeavoured to persuade him to desist from subscribing, and have since urgently invited him to join in their excesses; but in vain. His reply to their temptations is—“ Formerly I was always poor, and in debt; but now I am comfortable, and can lay by three shillings a week."

A female servant, who had been a subscriber of 1s. 1d. per quarter from the commencement of the Association, being lately called on for her subscription, put a double sum into the hands of the Collector, who asked her the reason of it; when she answered cheerfully, that as she found comfort and consolation to her own mind in reading the Scriptures, she was glad it was in her power to add to her contributions, for the benefit of others.

The following contingent benefit of Bible Associations we cannot pass unnoticed, although perhaps not strictly within our province. A free contributor, residing in our eleventh district, was in the constant habit of opening shop on the sabbath-days. The Collectors ventured to allude to the immorality and inconsistency of this practice; especially in one who supported the Bible Society. Some time afterward they visited the shop, and were accosted in the following words-"We have given up serving on Sundays-we had long thought it not right, and we have now made up our minds never to serve again on that day: our customers came into our way very well; we take as much as ever, and we were never so happy in our lives." In a conspicuous part of their shop they have pasted up, in large letters, "No serving on Sundays."

In a former report we had occasion to notice the liberality of a Jew in procuring a Bible for a Christian lad in his employ; and, as whatever discovers a diminished prejudice in that interesting people is pleasing to record, we beg leave to introduce the following particulars:-After delivering the sacred volume to the youth, we asked his master to allow him time for its perusal : he replied, "As I never suffer him to work on my sabbath, so I never permit him to work on his own: he will therefore have two days in a week to himself. I also require him to attend divine service on his own sabbath, for I wish every one to worship GoD according to the dictates of his conscience." The limits judiciously prescribed for these Reports, preclude our entering into further details. In conclusion, we congratulate you and the religious population of Southwark, on the immense circulation of the Bible among our labouring poor, which we hesitate not to affirm has produced the best effects, in promoting that good order and peaceful demeanour which is witnessed in this populous district, where so many have been, and are, in want of the common necessaries of life. This is one of the benefits arising from the dissemination and perusal of that sacred volume, which is calcu lated to teach all classes submission amidst the most trying dispensations of Divine Providence, and dependence in the hour of need, by inducing the sufferer to view all as coming from His hand " who ordereth all things well."

SECTION VI.

GENERAL REMARKS.

As no district in Great Britain has exhibited a more gratifying illustration of the system, in the moral effects produced,

Answers to some popular objections.

than that wherein it was originally adopted; the author feels himself justified in extracting, from the reports of the Southwark Society, his former observations in reference to this subject. The facts by which they are supported have lost none of their importance; and the correctness of the views originally taken by the exemplary Committee of that Institution, has been abundantly confirmed by subsequent and more extensive experience,

1. Firm and erect on the rock of Truth, the British and Foreign Bible Society neither dreads nor courts opposition: when her motive and design have been assailed by argument, she has found her defenders, and their triumph is attested by her success; but when the object and results of her Auxiliary and subordinate Societies are called in question, it becomes the duty of those entrusted with their management to step forward to correct misrepresentation and to check the progress of error. Far be it from your Committee to ascribe improper motives to any individual; that perfect liberty of sentiment which they claim for you and for themselves, they most cheerfully concede to others; but they would ask, Whether those hypotheses and consequences, started and deduced by a few individuals avowedly hostile to the Bible Society, and practically ignorant of its operations, should weigh in any unprejudiced mind against the simple and single object of that society, and the actual effects of its establishment an object confined as it is exclusively to the universal diffusion of the holy scriptures without note or comment; and effects proved to be beneficial, and in no respect injurious, by the intimate personal observation and concurrent testimony of more than 650 disinterested individuals in your district alone? They would respectfully submit, that, when the calculations of theory have been thus refuted by the results of experience, it is the province of wisdom not only to withdraw from the side of imagination, but to join the ranks of Truth.

2. It has been more than insinuated, that there is a concealed design in the members of the Bible Society to subvert the established religion of the land: now, without entering the lists of disputation to prove the absurdity of this groundless supposition, it may be fairly assumed, that were it possible for such an intention to exist, some indication of its existence would be apparent in Southwark, and that the ramifications of this dangerous conspiracy would be traced through the open and unguarded barriers of your Bible Associations. But what is the fact? Let the clergymen of your district be asked the question-they will tell you that their churches have been better filled, and more regularly attended, since your establishment that their congregations not only progressively increase in numbers, but improve in habits of decorum and propriety of conduct -and that, amongst them, there are many individuals who have been awakened to a sense of their religious duties, through their con

Union and peace promoted in Southwark.

nexion with your Bible Associations. From amongst numerous anecdotes illustrative of this fact, your Committee select the following:A tradesman in the parish of Rotherhithe had been frequently solicited to join the Association, but had declined, having, as he expressed it, "nothing to do with the Bible;" and truly his practice corresponded with his sentiment, as he lived in utter violation of the sabbath, never attending religious worship, and keeping his shop constantly open on that day. After many months, he was induced by the example of his neighbours to become a free-contributor; and on being asked by the collectors whether he had a Bible, he replied that he had, and that he should now look into it and see what it was about : he kept his promise, and the effect has been such as might be expected; his shop is now closed on the sabbath-day, his conduct and manners have undergone a total change, and he is constant and regular in his attendance on divine worship at his parish church. Surely every ingenuous mind must acknowledge, that the dangerous tendency of societies producing effects like these, is purely imaginary; and that the only unpleasant consequence to be apprehended from their universal establishment, is, that every place opened for Christian worship will be found insufficient to accommodate those who are desirous to attend.

3. An opinion having been expressed, that the union of persons of different religious persuasions would not only impede the progress of this work of mercy, but lead to strife and contention, it is observed:-Several years having now elapsed since the formation of your society, ample opportunity has been afforded for forming a just estimate of those means which have contributed to its success; and your Committee would not do justice to their feelings, did they not record, as one of the most prominent of those means, that spirit of harmony and love which has constantly governed their proceedings. Nor has this cementing power been confined to their own members; -like the precious oil poured on the head of Aaron, and which fell even to the skirts of his garment, it has descended to your children, and its sweet and balmy influence has been equally perceptible in the several Committees of your Twelve Associations; evincing its presence by that affectionate forbearance, that mutual concession, and that cordiality of co-operation, which so well become the singleness and purity of the object, and the character of its professed advocates. Your Committee cannot contemplate a scene like that which is continually before them, without asking whether this happy union of more than 650 individuals, comprising members of every denomination of professing Christians, annually formed, renewed, and preserved, could possibly exist, were the object in view unworthy of decided and unqualified support? On the broad and firm basis of THE BIBLE, they meet and they unite-they erect no separate tabernacles, but they preserve inviolate their individual partialities -they regret that they have been so long divided, but they rejoice in the discovery of that common centre where they can conscien

Ability of the labouring classes to contribute, illustrated.

tiously and cordially meet, and where the love which they bear one another is but an evidence of that affection wherein they embrace the universal family of man.

4. It has been asserted, that the labouring classes of society cannot comprehend the Bible alone. It is at all times painful to contradict a positive assertion; but your Committee would be guilty of a dereliction of their duty, did they not unequivocally declare, that they have had ample proof that the poor do comprehend the sacred writings, so far at least as to experience, in numerous instances, a happy change wrought in their lives and conversation by the perusal. How far the individuals who compose the great mass of society may view every text and passage in precisely the same light, it is not for your Committee to judge; nor, perhaps, would it be reasonable to expect it, until their more enlightened brethren exhibit this clearness of vision and unity of comprehension. You have already received the most satisfactory evidence, that the Bibles hitherto distributed by you have produced a great and beneficial effect; but if there be any one who is desirous of placing the "Book of Common Prayer," or any other "Illustration" of the Sacred Text, in the habitations of the poor, the way is plain and open; and he may conscientiously satisfy his benevolent intention, either personally as an individual, or through the medium of those excellent institutions formed for this special purpose. Your object is the circulation of the volume of inspiration alone ;-here, there can be no doubt, no diversity of opinion, no obstacle to cordial and entire union: this is the ground of our common Faith, the source of our common Hope, the pledge of our common Charity: it is the sacred charter of our dearest privileges: it is equally addressed to all it is the common property of created man; and he who withholds it from any portion of the universal family, deprives them of a right which they derive from GOD.

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5. Some opponents of the Bible Society, who formerly denied both the inclination and ability of the labouring classes to co-operate in promoting its design, have now changed sides, and affect to trace, in the astonishing growth and success of Bible Associations, a desire to 66 oppress the poor." If such objectors be actuated by the spirit of Christian candour, they will behold satisfactory proofs of this ability and inclination, in the aggregate amount contributed; in the decided preference given to the highest-priced bibles; and in the lists of subscribers, which comprise a body exceeding 21,000 persons within the sphere of your society. And the same candid feeling will intimate, that it is a voluntary co-operation on the part of their less affluent neighbours, who experience, in this new exercise of benevolence, a pure delight to which they had previously been strangers; while many of them acknowledge that they have thus acquired habits of domestic order, sobriety, and economy, highly conducive to their temporal welfare. Among the many practical illustrations of these remarks, which have fallen under the observation of your Committee, there is one so peculiarly applicable to this sub

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