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KNOWLEDGE.

[Continued from page 120.] Ir would be tedious and occupy too much of your time to trace the history of the society through its successive stages, the enlargement of its funds, and consequent increase of its schools to the present time. Suffice it in general to state that there are now maintained upon its establishment above three hundred teachers of schools beside missionary ministers, catechists, and pensionary students of divinity having the Gaelick language, and that the expense of their salaries amounts to the average sum of about £3600 per annum. The whole of the society's annual revenue is but about 4000; so that only £400 per annum remains for supplying their schools with books, (Bibles, New Testaments, Spelling Books, &c.) and for the Decessary unavoidable expense of carrying on the business of so large an establishment.

The economy with which the business is conducted, is great beyond what can easily be conceived by strangers. Three salaries only are paid to the officers of the society; the Treasurer; the Bookholder, and Clerk; each of them having departments of great importance and labour, and the sum allowed to each of them is but £25 per annum. These salaries were fixed many years ago, and have never been increased. The Secretary, Librarian, Comptroller, and Accountant have no salary, nor pecuniary emolument whatever; theirs are labours of love.

But still in spite of all our econ

omy, the unavoidable annual expense of such an establishment far exceeds our income; and were it not for the occasional and annual subscriptions and donations of the charitable and benevolent, among whom with the deepest sense of gratitude, we number the gentlemen whom I have now the honour to address, it were impossible to maintain it, and the number of our schools must of necessity be reduced.

But in making up the scheme of our schools, &c. for each successive year, and proportioning it to our ways and means, we are accustomed to count upon your long experienced liberality, and we have never been disappointed.

A taste for literature and intellectual improvement has gradually diffused itself even to the remotest districts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Many petitions for more schools are annually poured in upon us. Not a few have been transmitted to me since I came to London. These with deep regret, we find ourselves obliged to refuse, merely because our funds do not enable us to grant their desire.

Our schoolmasters too are objects of our sincerest commiseration. Though I know no class of men more meritorious or better deserving of their country, than they as a body are, (and I know them all,) yet their salaries, (almost their sole dependence their school fees being next to nothing,) are by far too small to enable them to live with any degree of comfort. They do not exceed at an average £13 per annum. Even this sum, small as it is, in remote and cheap countries, was in former times adequate to the expense of living.

Of late, as every body knows and feels, things have undergone a wonderful change. The necessaries of life have advanced to a double price in every part of the empire, not excepting the most remote districts. Earnestly do we wish to increase the salaries of our worthy schoolmasters: but this we cannot do, without either diminishing their number or receiving an increase to our funds.

To abridge the number of teachers, when so many more are wanted and earnestly petitioned for, is a measure which no friend to religion, to his country, or to humanity, would wish to see put in practice. Much depends upon you, gentlemen, to whom God hath given the means, and, I trust, the hearts, to prevent its necessitv.

To one other object, which at present is matter of great solicitude to our society, I beg leave for a moment to call the attention of this large and most respectable company; and that is, a proposed new edition of the Bible in the Gaelick language.

Gentlemen, I will not enter into the question, how far the preservation of that ancient dialect of the Celtick, the language of our forefathers, the primitive inhabitants of this Island, is an object of just desire.

It is the earnest wish of many wise and good men, that the whole inhabitants of Great Britian and Ireland should speak in the same tongue, and be perfectly understood by one another in their mutual intercourse; my sentiment on this point differs not from theirs. But surely while the Celtick, whether in the Irish, Welsh, or Gaelick dialects, is the existing language of great bodies of remote and ignorant people, no wise and good man will refuse to give them the means of instruc

tion in the only language in whichr they are capable of receiving it. And of all the means and modes of conveying instruction and improvement, in religion, in morals, and civilization, the scriptures are without doubt, the best and most effectual.

Proceeding upon this idea, our society as soon as publick and private benevolence enabled them to do so, translated and published the Holy Scriptures in the Gaelick language. But this they could not do at once; the work was great and expensive. They published the Bible at different periods and in detached portions: in the year 1767, the New Testament in Gaelick by itself; and in various successive years, and in separate volumes, the several books of the Old Testament.

In 1796, the first edition of the New Testament being exhausted, they published another, consisting of twenty thousand copies. And now, some of the first printed volumes of the Old Testament are so much reduced in number, that they will scarcely supply the urgent demands of the Highlands in general, and of our own schools in particular, till a new edition can be printed.

The society have it much at heart to furnish to their countrymen in the Highlands this much desired work: but their own funds, as may easily be collected from what I have already said, are utterly inadequate to the expense. The new impression, it is proposed, shall consist of twenty thousand copies the calculation of the expense, of which in printing and paper given in by the Printer, amounts to 2284l. 168. The members and officers of the scciety have contributed according to their ability, and were their subscriptions to be made known, there are few who would not

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deem them liberal. Many among the opulent and well disposed of their countrymen have joined them in this good work. Near one half of the sum required, is now subscribed for, but above eleven hundred pounds are still wanting. Yet notwithstanding, the society with that trust in Providence and in the benevolence of the publick, in which they have never been deceived, have begun the work. They feel the importance of hastening it forward for the accommodation of no less than three hundred and thirty five thousand persons, of whom it is computed that three hundred thousand understand no other language than the Gaelick, or at least cannot comprehend a book written, or a continued discourse spoken in any other.

Gentlemen, I speak not upon mere information: I have travelled in the service of the society through every part of the Highlands and Islands, and have preached to congregations consisting of many hundreds who from curiosity flocked together to see and hear a strange minister: but of whom perhaps not above a dozen in each, understood what he said.

What benevolent heart would not rejoice to be instrumental in sending to so numerous a people, and these our fellow citizens, the word of God in their native language and at such a rate, as the poorest among them can afford? Who that is guided by a spark of humanity, would not wish to convey to successive generations of many thousands of children, this best and most effectual means of instruction and improvement in every thing valuable and important, whether regarding man as a member of human society, or a being destined for immortality?

One circumstance claims particular attention at present. From a variety of combined causes, unnecessary to be enumerated, a rage for emigration to America has for some years prevailed through the Highlands and Islands. Instead of diminishing, it continues to increase. It is com. puted by those who have best access to information, that at least twenty thousand people are engaged to cross the Atlantick during the course of the present season. Should this disposition remain, these countries will, ere many years elapse, be deprived of their native inhabitants; and surely the climate and soil contain few attractions to strangers to come to supply their place. A few solitary shepherds and their dogs will constitute the inhabitants of the Highlands and Islands. The mischief which from this unhappy change will result to the empire at large, is obvious to every man of the least reflection.

Are not the Highlands and Islands the nursery of our army? From their heath covered mountains, have not a multitude of our most gallant defenders sprung? Men, who in every field, and in every climate have covered themselves with glory? And does our country stand less in need of their assistance now, when a proud and violent foe threatens to invade our coasts and deprive us of every thing dear and valuable to us as men and as christians ; as citizens of the happiest country, blessed with the noblest constitution of any on the face of the earth?

Gentlemen, is not this a time when such a people should be soothed, and by every possible means encouraged in their ancient and well known attachment to their native country? Much i

trust, the wisdom of government will see it necessary for them to do, for this most important purpose. And ought not we in our several stations, to do all in our power to promote the same valuable end? And I affirm from a thorough knowledge of these people, that we can do nothing more grateful to them than to send to them the scriptures in their native language, and schools to teach their children to read them.

Gentlemen, to be sensible of the value and importance of these schools, think only of what the Highlanders were, and what they now are. I will not resume the sad description of what they formerly were; but I assert from personal knowledge and experience, that there is not now upon the face of the earth a people more peaceable, more honest, or more attached to the king and constitution of their country.

Compare their character with that of the peasantry of a neighbouring island. It is needless to descend into particulars the broad facts which constitute the difference are well known, and the contrast is distressing. What is the cause? Is it not, that the inhabitants of the one country are blessed with the means of education and instruction, while those of the other, uneducated and uninstructed are left to all the dismal effects, which ignorance and superstition combined, produce upon the mind and character of man?

From the schools of the society, beside their happy effects upon the civilization and improvement of the inhabitants at large, have issued numbers qualified by their knowledge of letters, and still more by their good principles and sober and regular habits, to rise in the army through all subVOL. I. No. 4.

Y

ordinate gradations to even the highest ranks, as many of them have actually done.

From the schools of the society have issued many, who in consequence of the first principles of literature imbibed in them, have been enabled to prosecute their studies and to become qualified for the places of trust and consequence in civil life, which they now occupy. There are present some, who from their own experience can bear testimony to the truth of these observations. And there are now in heaven thousands who give glory to God in the highest, that by the society, schools were erected in the High-, lands and Islands of Scotland.

Need I say more, gentlemen, to prove the importance of these seminaries to individuals and to the publick at large? I appeal to the understanding of every man who hears me, whether there can be a better directed charity, than to contribute to their support and to the increase of their number?

I have spoken perhaps too long and with too much earnestness, but your good nature will find an apology for me in the interesting nature of the subject; in this perhaps too, that with me it is in some measure a personal cause, because during the best part of my life I have been intimately connected with this society: for ten years as a director, and for fourteen more as its secretary that I have travelled much and laboured much in its service, and that still the largest portion of my time and attention is devoted to it.

Though my services are gratuitous, they are amply rewarded by the consciousness of endeavouring through this channel to promote the best interests of a very large proportion of my countrymen. This will be a source of

pleasant reflection to me during the progress of my life. I trust that on my bed of death, it will not desert me; and it is my wish, that on my tomb my constituents may find cause to inscribe ;

"HERE LIES AN ACTIVE AND

——

FRAGMENTS.

SOCIETY FOR PROPAGATING
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE."

29

USEFUL SECRETARY OF THE culcating those great scripture truths of redemption, grace, &c. which alone can incite and enable us to forsake sin, and follow after righteousness, what is it but to put together the wheels, and set the hands of a watch, forgetting the spring, which is to make them all go?

App. to Bp. Horne's Life.

MOUNT TABOR.

Mount Tabor is a lofty conical mountain, standing in the plain where the Turks formed an encampment. On its elevated summit is a very fertile spot, about half a mile in circumference, almost covered with beautiful oak trees, which bear extremely large acorns. The ancient remains of walls, trenches, and other fortifications, are also still visible on the top of the mount. The surround ing prospect is delightful. The mount of the Beatitudes appears to the north, and on the northwest the Mediterranean sea presents itself; to the east are the lakes of Tiberias, and mount Hermon; and to the south, are the mountains of Gilboa.

Mount Lebanon is seen from sundry places on the sea coast; and its white slate colour appears well to justify its name, which is derived from the Hebrew leben, signifying whiteness.

within the city. The same priv ilege was extended to his officers.

JERUSALEM.

THE number of houses at present in Jerusalem is between 3 and 4,000 its inhabitants are estimated at, Turks 10,000; Greeks 1,000; Franks 1,000; Armenians 1,000; Jews 3,500. Sir Sidney Smith is said to be the first christian, who, since the Turks have had possession of Jerusalem, has been allowed to enter it in the dress of a Frank, or to carry arms

PREACHING.

To preach practical sermons, as they are called, i. e. sermons upon virtues and vices, without in

Singular and authentick instance of fidelity and grateful attachment in a negro.

A gentleman of respectability, Dr. L. was lately confined for some time in the King's Bench prison, while his fortune, involved in a chancery suit, was unjustly withheld from him. During this distressing period, he was obliged by poverty to tell his negro servant that, however repugnant to his fellings, they must part: his pe cuniary difficulties being now such that he was unable to provide himself with the necessaries of life. The negro well known in the King's Bench prison by the name of Bob, replied with affectionate warmth, "No massa, we will never part! many a year have you kept me, and now I will keep you." Accordingly, Bob went out to work as a day labourer, and, at the end of every week, faithfully brought his earnings to his master. These proved sufficient for their support until the recent decision of the chancery suit by which Dr. L. obtained an award of 30,000%. It ought to be added to the doctor's honour that he has settled a handsome annuity for life on this faithful negro.

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