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Mr. F. Carey, in a letterfrom Rajtgoos, dated Jan. 1811, observes:
"I am now able to smatter a little in the Burman language, and hope I shall be enabled to put it into use as opportunities occur. I often get into conversation with. my teacher, who I think at times is ashamed of his religion. He is a man of real learning, of deep penetration, and is very inquisitive: he is not satisfied unless he gets to the bottom of every thing. I believe he is also greatly attached tome. My mind, is bent on getting a perfect knowledge of the language, which 1 hope the Lord will enable me to accomplish. Pray for me. My only wish now is, that I may be made a blessing in this country, even as you have been in Bengal. To see the cause ofi Christ established in this land will be the consummation of aU my desires.
"The Burman I delivered from the cross has turned out a bad man. He has been again detected in thieving, and is in custody for it. The agonies of a cross weep insufficient to reclaim him."
Of the Orissa mission it is said:
"Mr. John Peter, who engaged in this mission but from the beginning of 1810, has in less than a year seen good fruit arise from his labours, and those of the native brother Krishna-das. On Oct. 1, he says, the Church here consists of Europeans, Portuguese, and Mussulmans; and if God please he can bring in some Oorivas. AU the members of the Church, except one, give me pleasure. Their conduct is as becometh Christians.."
(To be continued.)
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
In our last number we gave our readers some account of this alma mater of the different English Bible Societies, and some abstracts from its 8th annual report. We now lay before them a few of the most interesting documents annexed to that report.
From a German Correspondent at Paris, dated August 2,1811.
** I am confident, that the German Bibles and Testaments, which I received in Halle, have proved a great blessing, both in Austria and Hungary. I never was, in all my life, received with such real delight, as when I made my appearance at Presburg;, with the Bible in my hand. The Bibles and Testaments which I could spare for them at that time, were all sold the next day, with the exceptien of a fewwhicu were furnished to the very poorest gratuitously. All who could, would pay. The Hungarians wish to establish a Bible Society, and an office of their own, for printing Bibles, both in the Hungarian language, and in other similar dialects. They will begin a subscription among themselves, provided the Parent Society in London will assist and support them in such a measure. I gave them great hopes of this, having myself seen what the British and Foreign Bible Society has done, and is willing to do. Remember, and proclaim it as loud as you can, that there are upioards of a million and a half of Protestants in Hungary, and but a few Bibles among them'.'*
From a pious Roman Catholick Parish Priest, in Bavaria, dated March 20,1811.
• Your love to Christ, and your impartial and comprehensive love to all Chrisians, who sincerely profess our Lord Jesus, are known to me and to many in Germany. I therefore embrace this opportunity of saluting you, (though the least of your brethren,) and of thanking you for the lively interest you have taken in our Ratisbon Bible Institution. Our New Testament goes oft' rapidly. Indeed, there still exists a hunger in the land after the heavenly manna; and the Lord has promised to satisfy this hunger. The Scripture is also a bond of union in Christ: for who hath. 'the words of eternal life,' but Christ alone.' 'To whom else, therefore, shall we go?* Whether the translation of the Bible be in Latin,German, or English, is immaterial: the great point is, whether we become better; that is, new creaturesin Christ, through faith in him, which worketh by love. This is not effected by the Greek, Latin, German, or English letter, but by the Spirit of God, which we receive freely by iaith, that we may work the works of grace and love. Surely the hand of the Lord is not shortened. In these times of general fermentation, when all is shaking, and the vessel of Christ's Church appears sinking, he rises with power, cheers his tri°-btened disciples, and commands the winds and waves to be still. Let us show 4 ric&le courage; confiding in Christ we W»y riak eTeI7 *&"$• "VOJ,. I,—NO., tf. 3 M
"Willi us matters seem to proceed to such lengths, that we must expect a penerut ion for oar faith's sake; but God will Rive us all needful grace. We cncourijrc teach other in faith, prayer, patience, confidence. Assist as with your prayers. Wt wave to fight the same fight of faith; and have one and the same Lord, even oar Ixird Jesus Christ United to him, we are united to each other: neither continents, nor seas, various formsof government, nor different outward confessions of religion, can separate us: all these things pass away; but love abidcth. Help us, tliertforr, to pray, to believe, to suffer, to love; and all will go well: for it is a faithful saying, 'that all things work together for good, to them that love God.'"
Another Catholick clergyman writes, "The Ratisbon Bible Institution, the design of which is to circulate the New Testament in the German language, among the Catholick people, goes on very prosperously. The demand for it is very great, even beyond our most sanguine expectation, so that we cannot but wonder and adore We can hardly print fast enongh. Considerable orders for it are received from every quarter, I might almost say from every corner of Catholick Germany. The fifth edition is begun; and were it completed, it would immediately have been sold. I have received 1000 copies of this Testament, (paid for by the private contribution of some benevolent British Christians,) from Ratisbon, and distributed them all either personally or by the band of friends. They are most gratefully received, and eagerly read, by old and young, by the children in the school, and by their teachers; nor can I doubt, for a moment, but they will be attended with a blessing. Only let us constantly and fervently pray, that the Spirit of Christ, which he promised to the children of men, may enlighten the minds of all those wlio read this blessed book, and kindle in their hearts that sacred fire, which our Lord so much wished to see kindled-"
From the Rev. ;in Merlin, dated April 9, 1811.
« As to die Bohemian Scriptures, we have received the pleasing intelligence from several quarters, that both in Bohemia and Moravia, there is still a great desire for the word of God. We are told, that we might immediately dispose of 2000 copies; but, alas! we have none left; and it is impossible for us, with our own means, u> commence the printing of another edition.
"To-day I received a letter from a Protestant clergyman in Prague, urging us to print another edition of the Bohemian Bible; and stating, 'that there were whole Bohemian congregations who had not received a single copy from die former edition, and that he alone could dispose of 500 copies in Prague and its vicinity.' Another clergyman in Moravia writes us also word, * that he had twenty reformed, (or Calvinistick,) parishes under his inspection, for which he wanted at least one thousand copies;' but adding, < that the people of his charge were extremely poor.'"
From Stockholm, dated July 9,1811. "No Bible or New Testament in the Finnish language has been printed since 1776, when the Finnish Bible in quarto, and New Testament in octavo, were printed in Abo. In 1774, Mr. CarlMom, in Stockholm, printed an edition of the Finnish New Testament. For twenty years, there have been no copies of the Bible for sale; and, according to certain information from Finland, there is not, at present, I copy to be found at any price. When the numbers who speak the Finnish Ianguagc_, (about 1,300,000,) are compared with the few editions of the Finnish Bibl; and New Testament, which have hitherto been printed, none of winch exceeded or GOOO, it appears evident that a vast many thousand copies of the Scriptures m be printed and circulated at a low prise, before the laud can, in any measure, provided with the sacred volume-"
From a Correipondent at Malta, dated October 2,1811.
"I have now the pleasure of confirming my friend's report relative to the & vourable reception which the modern Greek translation has had, both among* tat Greeks resident here, and those of the Levant; and it is with much satisfaction'! enclose a bill for 561. it. Id being the amount of sums received by the Doctor, for t various copies of which he has disposed in a manner highly creditable to his z and judgment Various copies have been confided to respectable individuals p seeding to the Levant, and the most pleasing accounts have been conmunju' relative to their reception." ^*
The same correspondent afterwards writes, dated March 26,1812: " Agreeably to my promise, I now hasten to acquaint the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society with some of the particulars respecting the execution of the important trust committed to my charge—the circulation of the inspired volume in these benighted parts of the earth; whieh has exceeded my expectations; having only about 200 remaining out of the 950 Italian Testaments. The distribution of these inestimable books was continued by me, without the least opposition, till my departure from Sicily. I have received applications for them from various parts of the island, and have had the pleasure of forwarding them for distribution, to Palermo, Trapani, Milazzo, Syracuse, Catania, Jaci Reale, Taormina, &c; to Corsica, Sardinia, Zante, i'altrass, Constantinople, &c. &c; as also to a number of French and Neapolitan. Officers, fee, prisoners of war on their return to Naples in June last."
"Since my arrival here, on the 25th of August last, I have forwarded to Zante, 66 Greek, and 58 Italian Testaments; and lam happy to say, that the whole of the Testaments and Bibles, with the exception of a few Italian, have been disposed of, by sale, and that I have applications for more in the different languages, particularly Greek. In short, I have received the most pleasing information from Zante, respecting their disposal in the Ionian islands; and have no doubt, from the favourable accounts I have received, that there is a large field open in these islands for the sale of these inestimable books.
"I have witnessed with equal pleasure the zeal and activity of our friend Capt
, in the distribution of the Scriptures, &c. at this place, on float, 8tc; and am
happy to inform you of our success in supplying the prisoners of war, (1500,) at this
place and at Gozo, with French and Italian Scriptures, with the consent and appro
bation of the Agent."
From Stocktutlm, dated October 24,1811. "It will give you pleasure to hear that the 2500 copies have been sent off to Swedish Lapland; and we daily expect to hear of their having arrived at the several places of their destination. The Consistory in Herno'sand have issued out a printed circular letter, in regard to their transport into the country, and their distribution. The Russian government in Finland have also issued a proclamation in his Majesty's name, authorizing their free importation into that country. These circumstances are particularly gratifying, as they manifest the readiness of the governments of both countries to encourage the circulation of the Scriptures; and in regard to Russia, I entertain sanguine hopes that they may ultimately lead to some extensive plan for the general distribution of the word of life through that vast empire."
From the Rev. B. Kohlmeister, one of the Moravian Missionaries in Labrador, dated June 20,1811. • I should have addressed the worthy Bible Society in a letter, had not the needful preparations for my voyage of discovery to the north taken up much of my time. Present those excellent men with my most respectful and affectionate salutations. Many affecting scenes took place when the Gospel of St. John was distributed among our Esquimaux, and their English benefactors were mentioned to them. Tears of gratitude ran down many a cheek; and they expressed their wonder and astonishment that there were friends in England who, though entirely unknown to them, yet wished to promote their eternal peace and happiness, by sending them the precious gift of the word of God. Some pressed the little book to their bosom, and looked as happy as if they enjoyed a foretaste of heaven. Others attempted to express their gratitude in letters which they addressed to me. Another advantage has been gained thereby; as the Gospel of St. John was given only to such as could read, an uncommon eagerness has been excited among such as could not, to learn to read, that they might obtain similar presents. I have also begun to instruct fifteen adult Esquimaux in writing, and I am delighted with the progress they are making. Some have written me very affecting letters. With the translation of the Gospel of St. Luke I have advanced to the 20th chapter."
From Bishop Tengstrom, at Abo, in Finland. "Since writing to you last, I have received a letter from his excellency Speransky, concerning our proposed edition of the Finnish Bible with standing types; and have now the heartfelt pleasure to inform you, that his Imperial Majesty has not only graciously approved of our accepting the British and Foreign Bible Society s generously-offered gift of 5001. for that purpose, but has also, from his own private purse, given 5000 rubles for the same good and Christian purpose. Thus, in the Lord's name, a foundation is laid to a work, from which religion, and our Finnish church in particular, will, by the help of God, derive a certain and lasting advantage."
In the Christian Observer, for September, we perceive an account of fifteen different Bible Societies recently established in the United Kingdom; among which, 'tis with pleasure we notice a ladies' society, culled " The Ladies' Auxiliary Bible Society of Dublin."
The following extract from the second report of the Neath Auxiliary Bible Society, we cannot forbear giving to our readers, as the facts therein related serve more than any arguments to show the utility of these institutions.
"Since the last meeting, among the several communications received from the Parent Society, we notice with pleasure one which, we trust, has had already a salutary efficacy, that of recommending the appointment of sub-committees, to visit the poorer classes of society in their habitations, in order to ascertain and relieve their necessities, with respect to the Holy Scriptures: and the formation of Branch Societies, and Bible Associations, wherever it is practicable.
"Your committee, in considering these recommendations, felt animated by the spirit they tended to excite, and in consequence, nominated several sub-committeei to prosecute their objects in the several districts of our sphere; some of these remain not yet fully reported to us, and still claim our attention; in other cases, die object has been either fully or in a degree attained. In one instance, we are informed, that the labouring people employed in shipping coal at Britton-ferry, and • number in the neighbourhood of Baglan, willingly contribute their penny per week to repay the cost of a Bible or Testament: in another case, namely, in the vicinity of the numerous works at Neath Abbey, a Bible Association has been instituted on the plan suggested by the Parent Society, which we have reason to hope, will not only enable us, on a future occasion, to state that the poor within its sphere, are supplied by the contributions of a penny per week made by the workmen, but will furnish its mite in aid of the foreign objects of the Society. Other objects, besides the mere collection of the poor man's mite, and affording him a Bible or a Testament, we hope will be attained by the examinations making into the state of society by these Bub-committees and associations. "" f
"The absence, or the apparent absence, of all idea of accountableness, and the extreme depravity of the minds of some of our fellow-creatures, become known to their more enlightened neighbours, and the necessity there is to endeavour to inform the minds of the uninstructed by education, becomes more glaringly obvious, and must excite the Christian to activity. But not the depravity only of his fellowcreatures, does the Christian observer notice, he is cheered in his task by the discovery of facts of an opposite nature. One or two of this description it is gratifying to record, as they are communicated to us through one of the sub-committees. 'An old man, (upwards of seventy-five years of age,) who is assisted to a maintenance by the, parish, has, within the last fifteen months, learnt to read his Bible in his native, (the Welsh,) language, through the persevering efforts of a religiously disposed workman, who lodges in his cottage; and now rejoices in the privileges he enjoys, at this late period of his existence, considering it as one of the greatest blessings of his life. His wife, (aged seventy-two years,) is now learning her letters, in the hope of more fully partaking in the benefits arising from the perasal of the Scriptures for herself; and, on a late occasion, emphatically expressed her strong preference for a participation in this privilege, by holding out her hat with an air of enthusiasm, and exclaiming; Yes! I would rather that I could read than to have this hat full of gold." One other instance, no less pleasing, there is of a near neighboui-of theirs. • A poor woman, (near sixty years of age,) has been taught to read her Bible within a kf months, (by a female lodger, the governess of a neighbouring charity-school,) and »he takes delight in the practice morning and evening.' In all these cases, the Bible Society may be considered to have been the means by which they have been furnished with the Holy Scriptures."
The next extract is taken from the Report of the Liverpool Society, and serves painfully to confirm all that has been stated, of the prevailing want of the Holy Scriptures in this country.'
"The town itself, independently of every more distant good which our commercial situation may enable us to accomplish, presents a vast field for the benevolent exertions of this Society. It appears, from an examination of the hooks of the Society for Bettering the Condition of the Poor, that of 4386 families, whose circumstances have been investigated and reported by their visiters, only 1544 are possessed either of Bible or Testament. No doubt there are many other families, which, in so large a population, the utmost activity and vigilance would he liable to overlook, equally destitute. Enough, therefore, yet remains to stimulate the zeal, and to exhaust the resources, of those who will be appointed to conduct the business of the Society; much of ignorance remains to be instructed; much of religious indifference to be roused into action; much of vice and licentiousness to be subdued; much of poverty and of affliction to be comforted. While we lament the darkness which still hangs over the minds of so many of our fellow-men, and intercepts every ray of inspired truth, we are yet animated by the hope, that the dawn of a brighter day, which gives the fair promise of a steadier light and a kindlier heat, has already appeared; and that the Sun of righteousness will shine forth, full orbed, and in unclouded splendour, on the dimness of our moral hemisphere. This hope rests fo* its accomplishment on the universal diffusion of the Scriptures."
In the second Report of the Bristol Society, are inserted two letters, from which extracts are given in the Appendix. One of these letters is from the Rev. P. M. Procter of Newland, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, and is addressed to the Secretaries of the Society. ,
"I did not expect," he says, " to have had occasion to address you again so soon; but immediately on the arrival of your valuable present of Bibles and Testaments, I was surrounded by so many earnest applicants, that in six days all the Bibles were disposed of. The price put upon them, appeared to enhance their value; and so anxious were the poor to have them, that many borrowed the money through fear oT losing the opportunity.—* Thank God! I have at last got a Bible,' was their heartfelt exclamation. They considered it a blessing and a treasure."
"The effects already excited by the circulation of the Scriptures among us, have been very conspicuous. I have unexpectedly found several individuals with their Bibles before them. A comparatively very full attendance at publick worship appears to have been already produced by the powerful word of God;* and an accession of eighteen communicants, shows an interest and emulation to partake of that happiness which a conformity with the precepts of Christ alone can inspire and secure. During my regular inquiries into the use made of the Bibles, various interest in the subject has been of course disclosed; but I find that a favourable idea may be formed of it. Many instances of a daily perusal have appeared, and some zealously use their newly acquired treasure.—Scarcely a solitary instance of abuse has been discovered, and a very great proportion of the books are well covered. A numerous body of poor individuals are daily gaining an increasing knowledge of the word of life, and many are the blessings and thanksgivings which ensue. The joy testified by some for the opportunity of becoming acquainted with God's word, is very great"
The other letter, in requesting a further supply of Bibles and Testaments for the soldiery, states:
"Last Friday we gave away a few Testaments furnished by a friend. Several soldiers went away disappointed, who had applied the Friday before, as our stock was soon exhausted. A pious soldier told me, I should be surprised to see the change which has taken place among his comrades, as twenty may be found at one time, while on guard, employed in reading their Bibles. He added, 'Yon cannot conceive the good that is doing among us.'"
The information contained in the following two letters is important. The first is from the Rev. John Owen, Chaplain-general, to the Right Hon. N. Vansittart.
** The sick of Lord Wellington's army are sent to Lisbon. Provisions of the Scriptures, 8cc. has been made by government for the English troops in the hospitals there; but the German Legion, who are in great force in Portugal, and have many sick in the same hospitals with the English soldiers, are wholly destitute of the Scriptures. If, therefore, the Bible Society should see fit to consign some Testa
* In tiis natural effect of the increased distribution of the Scriptures, -we may see the cause of the increased circulation of the Prayer-book which appears to have tfiken place. Persons -who are led to Church, naturally desire to have the book containing the services of the Church,