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the holy labours of Christ and his apostles. Tlie Master himself was evilly entreted, bo wonder there sliould still be found those who are averse to the deciaration of his divine will. And here it strikes me, that ihe Bible seenis pecularly adapted to tie purpose of universal instruction; mo system of ethics, no synopsis oi' human huowledge, ever contained the same beautil combi. nation of sublimity and simplicity.. Isdortraits are heavenly, its precepts pure; and while it offers consolation to the probationary sutierer here, it reveals to him a more perfect state of being, where sighing and sorrow sliall cease for ever. . “ The imagery of the Bible is strong and nerv-. ous, and being selected from nature, becomes universally intelligible, and is, I imagine, strictly appropriate when transfused into the oriental tongues. These I conceive to be distinguishing excellencies in a book, which professes to point out to all men the way of salvation.
« The fervent friend of the Bible Society, will seldom bound his views or bis wishes, hy cold calculation on the success of the institution; he will reflect with astonishment and delight, how much has already been done, and relying on a continuance of the same heavenly impulse, he will anticipate with joy, the increased magnitude of its future operations: the continent of India in particular, presents a most interesting scene, Many specious objections have been urged against an attempt to christianize the natives; they will however, mostly be found to originate in ignorance or irreligion. Some allege the difficulty of qualifying missionaries with erudi. tion sufficient to confute the subtleties of the Brahmins. In the first place it is certain, that the
accounts of their skill in logic, are much exage gerated; but were it much greater than it is represented to be, truth must ever triumph, where properly defended against their sophistries. Were men of talent as eager to qualify themselves in the oriental languages for this noble purpose, as they are seen to pursue worldly fame, we might hope for the greatest results. Every one is acquainted with the labours of a Ziengenbalgus and a Swartz. The success of their efforis is a proof how inuch, under Providence, an eutire devotedness to the cause is able to accomplish.
“ Nothing could contribute more to the success of the eastern' mission, than a sense of religion prevalent amongst the British residents in India. The company have long been famous for wealth, power, and terrestrial acquisitions; it is high time they should be einulous for a reputation of another kind, that of assiduously labouring for the eternal welfare of their fela low-creatures. It is in their power to effect with ease, what solitary and unprotected indivi. duals might labour at for centuries. May the great disposer of bearts incline this opulent body of men, to care for the spiritual welfare of those whom they govern ; and to take a part in the great work, so bappily begun, proportionate to their iminense wealth and political influence!
“The purposes of Providence, though vast beyond human conception, have been mostly, accomplished, by means apparently the most insignificant; and the displays of His grace seem analogous to the economy of nature, where the still, small fountain becomes, by constant accession, a mighty river. I allude in the first instance to the planting of Christianity, which must ever
be a lasting theme of wonder and admiration. Twelve poor men, of mean origin, are sent forth to overturn the altars of Greece and Rome, (an undertaking as vast as it was replete with success), and to combat the united opposition of the whole world: but they warred not with carnal weapons ; accordingly, we see superstition, idolatry, and Grecian subtlety, rapidly give way before them. Their doctrines came home to men's bosoms, and were quickly adopted by the serious, as pointing out a more direct, simple, and luminous path to immortality, than had ever been revealed. · “The revival of pure religion at the reformation, had an obscure beginning, and seems at first, to have animated only a few individuals. The effects produced, seem unequal to the few instruments employed in the work, and from this, as well as other important changes which bave happened in the Christian world, is exemplified the truth, that Paulmay plant, and Apollos water, but God alone giveth the increase.'
« They who study human nature with benevoJent views, will always dwell with the greatest delight on those favoured periods, when society has seemed to advance by rapid strides towards religious and intelleetual improvement. May. I pot venture to mention the close of the eighteenth century, and a few of the succeeding years, as a time reinarkably auspicious to the interests of mankind ?--The abolition of the Slave Trade, the establishment of Sunday Schools, the new system of education, the existence of numerous benevolent institutions, and to crown all, the formation of the British and Foreign Bible Society ? May we not conclude, that the day star is arisen,
and that the Lord is preparing the nations of the earth for a great work, even the building up of Zion?
“ There is, in the proceedings of the British and Foreign Bible Society, a wisdom, a vigour, a concentration of talents, energy, and Christian zeal, which bear the evident impress of divine approbation.
“ With respect to the worthy Secretary who has written its history, there can be but one opinion; his zeal is temperate yet firm, his labours are indefatigable, and his eloquence serves at once as an ornament and a bulwark to the soci. ety. In the history of the Society's origin, he has evinced a most laudable impartiality, and is at once minute and comprehensive in his details.
“ What a concurrence of instruments has there been, eminently qualified and suited for the work! labourers differing in complexion, but agreeing in the grand point, an advancement of the Re. deemer's kingdom
1 see a peculiar propriety in the resolution adopted, to circulate the Scriptures without note or comment, and to this resolution the Society has most scrupulously adhered, in opposition to applications which have been preferred. The minute account given of the regular organization of the Society by the author of its history, is replete with interest. The description of his feel. ings on his attendance at the first meeting, is truly affecting; it is the picture of an ingenuous mind Jabouring under the effects of prejudice, alternately ready to advance or recede from the quesa tion, till at length, the full force of truth bursts upon his astonished view in all its beauty. Like the great apostle of the Gentiles, being once informed of the Lord's will, he loses no time in its fulfilment. See him go forth, the temperate, yet warm and eloquent advocate of the best of causes; his life, labours, and talents, all dedicated at tbe fout of the cross. I do not speak with any dispara gement of the merits of his worthy colleagues; they have honourably filled up their respective departments, and to the worthy President in particular, much praise is due for his pious vigilance, and unceasing attention to the Society's interests. The stimulus is now given to thousands; the goodly fabric begins to display the beauty of its towers and the symmetry of its proportions; the sound of the everlasting gospel is gone forth to the ends of the earth.
"--- I can scarcely conclude this letter, without adverting to the awfully distressed state of the country, and the increased financial burdens under which England labours. Much virulence is displayed by all parties, and sharp invectives are substituted in the room of calın ratiocination. Many of these wrong tempers however, are called forth by the exigencies of the times, which are extremely trying to the middle and lower classes. Whilst the political horizon is thus overcast with clouds, dark and lowering, how cheering, how animating is the prospect of the spread of pure religion, and the consequent defeat of bigotry, ignorance, and superstition ! The traveller, from viewing the ravages of the desert's whirlwind, turns to some verdant spot, rendered doubly delightful, from the contrast of surrounding desolation: thus the Christian stands upmoved by the shocks of political conflicts; one. object is to him paramount to every other, the increase of vital godliness; and provided this