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government encourages a hope of the adoption of some extensive plan for the general distribution of the Word of Life throughout the Russian empire.
3. Iceland. The obstacles to the printing of the Icelandic Bible have been surmount ed; and the work will probably be completed by next spring. There is reason to hope that the remainder of the Icelandie Testaments have been forwarded to Iceland.
4. Poland.-The completion of the Polish Bible was announced at the last meeting: it is sold for two shillings a copy. The Committee have directed 1000 copies to be gratuitously distributed. By the last accounts from Berlin, the Polish Scriptures were in great demand. Many copies had been sent to Warsaw, to Upper Silesia, and to Austrian Gallicia. It was the intention of the Koningsberg Committee, to furnish every Polish school in these parts with a few Bibles and Testaments gratuitously.
5. Lithuania.-The printing of the Lithu anian Bible would probably be completed in the month of March of the present year. The Committee have directed 500 Polish Bibles and 1000 New Testaments to be sent to Koningsberg for sale or gratuitous distribution; the proceeds of the sale to be applied towards a second edition of the Lithuanian Scriptures. Some copies of the Polish New Testament have been ordered for the use of Poles residing in Great Britain, or visiting it,
6. Bohemia. The edition of the Bohemian Scriptures promoted by the Society has been exhausted, and the demand for them is still extensive and urgent. The Committee, with a view to supply it, have voted 3001. for aiding a new edition.
7. Livonia and Esthonia.-The offer to promote the publication of the Scriptures in the dialects of Livonia and Esthonia has produced the most beneficial effects. A Society has been formed in Dorpatian Esthonia, for printing and distributing the New Testament. A Society in Revalian Esthonia has directed its attention to the supply of the holy Scriptures, in the design of furnishing every cottager with a New Testament: and several respectable characters are engaged in establishing a Livonian Bible Society. The result is, an increased ardour for publishing editions of the Livonian and Esthonian Scriptures. Arrangements were making for this purpose; and the Committee, with a view to forward it, have enlarged their grant of 600l. to 1000l.
8. Sweden. The active zeal of the Stock holm Society has suffered no abatement,
The Swedish Bible is now completed, on standing types; and the number of Swedish Testaments, separately printed, amounts to 16,600. Another edition of the Bible, and of the New Testament, will be immediately undertaken; for which an additional donation of 2001. has been voted.
9. Hungary.-The distribution of some German Bibles in Austria and Hungary at the expense of the Society, has made known its existence in Presburg, and has produced most interesting communications from two Professors in that city, by which it appears that there are upwards of a million of Pro. testants in Hungary, and but few Bibles among those who speak the Sclavonian and Hungarian dialects; many of whom are much depressed by poverty. The Commit. tee have promised a donation of five hundred pounds, to aid the printing and circulation of the Hungarian and Sclavonian Scriptures, if a society shall be established in Hungary for that purpose.
10. France. The Committee, having sent to France some Bibles for the British pri soners of war in that country, received a letter written by direction of the Minister of Marine, stating that they should be properly distributed.
A German minister, having distributed many copies of the Scriptures in France, which were gratefully received, the Committee directed one thousand copies of the French Bible to be distributed at the Society's expense, among some Protestant congregations in France.
A member of the Imperial Institute having signified a wish that copies of the versions of the Scriptures printed by the Society might be deposited in that institu tion, the Committee did not hesitate to comply with it.
11. Germany.-They have acceded to a similar request from the keeper of the Imperial Library at Vienna; as well as for copies of the Society's Reports. This last request was accompanied by an observation, that "a multitude of strangers, who daily resort to the Imperial Library, would obtain a knowledge of the institution; and perhaps not a few would be inspired with a desire to attempt something similar in their sphere, and according to their power."
The Ratisbon Bible Society have printed and circulated four editions of the New Testament, and a fifth was in the press. This society is supported by Roman Catholics; and, though produced by the example, is independent, of this society.
12. Italy and Greece,The Society's Ita
lian Testaments are in great demand, both at Messina and Malta; and the Archimandrita, at the latter place, has warmly recommended the perusal of the modern Greek Testament, and-publicly applauded, "the zeal and ardour of the English to circulate the Word of the Lord." This intelligence is from a Roman Catholic correspondent at Malta, of great respectability,who is of opinion "that there is likely to result from the one thousand Testaments which the Society has sent, no ordinary good."
The Committee have granted fifty pounds for distributing the Scriptures to the poor in Denmark.
1. Syria.-The Committee have forwarded a supply of Arabic Bibles, for the use of the Episcopal churches in Aleppo and its vicinity.
2. Hindostan.-The Christians dispersed over this vast country, including Ceylon, are calculated at nearly a million, using various dialects; few of whom possess the Scriptures. Many of the descendants of Christians have consequently relapsed into idolatry; and many are Christians merely in name. The Hindoos and Mahometans subject to the British authority may be estimated at seventy millions These observations suggest the most forcible motives for supplying the wants of the Christians, and for displaying the records of Divine Truth to the natives who are ignorant of it.
With this general object, and especially with the view of supplying the demands of the native Christians in India, an Auxiliary Bible Society was, in February 1811, esta blished in Calcutta, with the concurrence of the government; and with a very general approbation in all parts of India. At Fort William, it has met with the most liberal support. It has directed eight hundred copies of the Tamul New Testament to be purchased for distribution, as well as two thousand copies of the Portuguese Bible, and five thousand Portuguese New Testaments. It has contracted for printing at Serampore five thousand New Testaments in the Tamul, the Cingalese, and the Malayalim dialects respectively. The Committee, anxious to encourage these laudable exertions, have determined to aid them by a grant of Bibles, Testaments, and printing paper, to the value of one thousand pounds.
The translation of the Scriptures into the dialects of India and the printing of them, proceed as rapidly as could be expected. The Missionaries at Serampore have translated and printed the New Testament in five languages, and the Old, in Bengalee, and
have translated the Gospels of St. Matthew and Mark into Chinese; the New Testament into four more dialects, and portions of the Old Testament into as many; and have begun a translation of the New Testament into two more. The Rev. L. Sebastiani, many years resident at the Court of Persia, is advanced to nearly the end of the Epistles, in a Persic translation of the New Testa ment, from the Greek, intended for the Christians dispersed over Persia, who are stated as very desirous of possessing the Scriptures, in a plain translation. Sabat has completed the translation of the New Testament and the Book of Genesis into Arabic, The Hindostanee translation of the New Testament, by Mirza Fitrut, under the superintendence of the Rev. H. Martyn, the four Gospels in Persian by the Rev. L. Sebastiani, and the three first Gospels in Telinga, translated by the late Rev. A. Desgranges, are in the press. At Bombay, the printing of the Malayalim Version of the Gospels, in September last, was advanced as far as the 12th chapter of St. John. Of the Gospels translated by Dr. Leyden into five of the dialects of the Eastern Archipelago, none have been printed, in consequence of the death of Dr. Leyden in Java. With a view to procure the best version of the Scriptures in the purest dialects of Arabia and Persia, the Rev. H. Martyn undertook a journey into those countries; and by the last ac counts was at Shiraz. Sabat's Arabic translation of the New Testament having been shewn by Mr. Martyn to a learned Arab at Bushire, he pronounced on it the highest eulogium.
It appears that the printing of Oriental manuscripts, (chiefly owing to the skill and disinterestedness of the Baptist Missionaries), can be executed at Serampore at an expense much less than at any other press in India, or even in Europe.
Of the distribution of the Tamul and Por tuguese Scriptures, mentioned in the Seventh Report, the Committee have received most pleasing intelligence. Nothing could exceed the gratitude of the native Christians at Tanjore and Tranquebar. A single fact will prove the extreme scarcity of Tamul Bibles. A catechist, in the congregation of Mr. Kohloff, at Tanjore, had been employed twenty four years in teaching the Gospel, without possessing the Old Testament. The Portu guese Bibles and Testaments were equally acceptable. Among those who received Bible in English, Malabar, and Portuguese, was a Roman Catholic Priest, who had fre quently recommended the perusal of the holy Scriptures, in his sermons.
The Committee, to encourage the efforts
making in India, have voted an additional sum of two thousand pounds; the total of their grant to Calcutta, for the current year, being thus five thousand pounds.
The Committee expect that a translation of the Old Testament in the Cingalese dialect, will be undertaken by a competent person at Ceylon. They have voted five hundred pounds to the Rev. Robert Morrison, at Canton, for promoting the translation and printing of the Scriptures in Chinese.
The donations to Bible societies in America have been respectfully acknowledged. The Committee have received satisfactory reports of the proceedings of the societies in Philadelphia, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. The zeal excited for the diffusion of the Scriptures, continues undiminished. The most perfect cordiality subsists among the various Bible societies in the United States: and since their existence in America, the sale of Bibles to individuals has considerably increased. The Committee have agreed to assist "The Bible and Common Prayer-book Society," of Albany by a donation of Scriptures to the value of fifty pounds. Anxious to aid the circulation of the Scriptures in America, and aware of the expense of the Philadelphia society in providing stereotype plates for the Bible, they have granted a second donation of one bundred pounds to that society; and trust it will be accepted as a pledge of the union they desire to maintain with their American brethren in promoting the interests of Christ's kingdom.
IV. THE UNITED KINGDOM. The approbation of the society has been most extensively manifested, by the zeal and co-operation of the Auxiliary Societies noticed in former Reports, and by the still more numerous societies formed during the last year.
The Auxiliary Societies formed since the last meeting amount to fifty-one, besides sixteen branch societies, and their contributions to the parent society to upwards of 18,9007; besides upwards of 9,7001. from societies previously formed,
. The Committee rejoice to see the zeal for disseminating the blessings of Revelation keep pace with that charity which has provided so many institutions for relieving temporal distress; and while they gratefully acknowledge that liberality which augments the funds of the institution, they are equally sensible of the benefits to be derived from the exertion of its auxiliaries, in supplying the local wants of their respective districts with the holy Scriptures.
The Committee express their regret, that. it has not been in their power to comply with the application for Bibles and Testaments in the degree required, though every possible exertion has been made by them, to procure a sufficient quantity. In addition to the two Universities, they have now obtained the assistance of his Majesty's Printers. They therefore trust, that the inconvenience from this cause will be speedily removed. But though the supply has been so inadequate to the demand, a much larger number of Bibles and Testaments has been issued in eleven months, ending the 21st February last, than in thirteen months precceding, viz., 35,690. Bibles, and 70,733 Testaments, making the total number issued up to that period, 140,415 Bibles, and 291,524 Testaments, exclusive of those circulated at the charge of the Society in various parts abroad.
V. DISTRIBUTION OF BIBLES. Considering the poor of the United Kingdom as having particular claims on the Society, the Committee have invited clergymen and dissenting ministers to encourage Bible Associations, and to investigate the state of the poor in their several vicinities; and they have engaged to return Bibles and Testaments, at the cost price, to the amount of one half of any congregational collections they may receive within a year. The Committee are of opinion, that the plan of selling the Scriptures to the poor, where practicable, has been found to possess several important advantages over gratuitous distribution.
The list of the Society's benefactions in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, is too long to be inserted at present. Suffice it to say, that their benevolence has visited every quarter of the globe, and has contributed to cheer almost every form of misery to which man is heir.-The correspondent at one of the principal naval stations, who has so frequently received the acknowledgments of the Committee, for an unwearied attention to supply soldiers and seamen, foreign troops, prisoners of war, convicts, and others, with the holy Scriptures, has devoted the same active exertions to this object, during the last year. In the course of that period, S850 Bibles and Testaments, in various languages, have been distributed by this correspondent alone; who has received satisfactory testimonies that they were no less gratefully received than eagerly sought.
The Committee have reason to believe, that the Scriptures distributed in the various modes above stated (which will, probably, not fall short of 32,000 copies), have proved real blessings to many who have obtained
⚫The distribution of the Gospel of St. John among the Esquimaux, in Labrador, was repaid with tears of gratitude; and having been limited to such only as could read, an uncommon eagerness was excited in others to learn to read, that they might obtain similar presents.
The Committee have taken an anxious interest in the state of Ireland, and have granted a further donation of Bibles and Testaments to the amount of 500l. to the Hibernian Bible Society. They have also passed a resolution to encourage the formation of Auxiliary Societies in that country, by the promise of aid in proportion to their own exertions.
The funds of the Society have been augmented by various contributions and collections. The legacies of the year have amounted to 1617.
The Committee have nominated Granville Sharp, Esq., the Rev. John Owen, the Rev. Joseph Hughes, the Rev. C. F. Steinkopff, Rev. John Janické of Berlin, Thomas Hammersley, Esq., Rev. Professor Dealtry, and Richard Phillips, Esq., governors for life, in consideration of the essential services render ed to the Society.
"From the facts now reported, the members of the Society are authorised to adopt the gratifying inference, that as the institution advances in years, it increases in means, influence, and respectability. Like the little cloud which the Prophet's watchman saw from Carmel, rise out of the sea, and spread by degrees over the face of the heavens, cheering the Israelites with the prospect of fertilizing showers, the British and Foreign Bible Society, small in its origin, has attained a conspicuous elevation and magnitude, and has been hailed as the harbinger of good tidings, and the dispenser of blessings, by the people of the north and the south, the east and the west."
"The theatre on which the Society displays its operations, is that of the whole world. Considering all the races of men as children of one common Father, who maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust;' and who wills, that all men should come to the 'knowledge of the truth;' the British and Foreign Bible Society offers the records of eternal life to the bond and the free, to Heathens and Christians,--in the earnest hope that they may become a lamp unto the feet, and a light unto the paths, of those who now receive them, and of generations yet unborn."
"To support the character which the British
and Foreign Bible Society has assumed, to realize the hopes which it has excited, to foster and enlarge the zeal which it has inspired, are obligations of no common magnitude, and which cannot be discharged without correspondent exertions. Immense portions of the globe, now the domains of idola. try and superstition; regions where the light of Christianity once shone, but is now dim or extinguished; and countries where the heavenly manna is so scarce, that thousands live and die without the means of tasting it, point out the existing claims on the benevolence of the Society.
"To supply these wants, fill up these voids, and display the light of Revelation amidst the realms of darkness, will long require a continuance of that support which the British and Foreign Bible Society has derived from the public piety and liberality: and perhaps the persevering efforts of succeeding generations. Let us not, however, be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.'
"Let the British and Foreign Bible Socie ty, uniting its prayers with those which are daily offered up at home and abroad for the blessing of God on its proceedings, humbly hope, that it may become an instrument of his providence, for accomplishing his gra cious promises; and that, by means of the Scriptures distributed through its exertions, or by its influence and encouragement, nations now ignorant of the true God, may learn to draw water from the wells of salvation.' The prospect is animating, the object holy; its accomplishment glorious: for the prospective efforts of the Society are directed to a consummation (whether attainable by them or not, is only known to him who knoweth all things), when all the ends of the earth, adopting the language of inspiration, shall unite their voices in the sublime strains of heavenly adoration: Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever: Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.'"
The nett receipts of the year have amount ed to upwards of 43,500l.: the nett payments to nearly 32,5001., leaving a balance of 11,000l.; against which there are engagements to be placed, amounting to 14,000!, The Society, therefore, with all its ample means, possesses only the semblance of wealth. If its income were multiplied tenfold, that income would find abundant em. ployment in supplying the wants of an universe thirsting for the waters of life.
SOCIETY FOR MISSIONS TO AFRICA AND
On Whit-Tuesday, the Society for Mis sions to Africa and the East held its twelfth anniversary. An excellent sermon was preached at the church of St. Anne, Blackfriars, by the Rev. William Goode; after which, a collection was made for the benefit of the institution, which, with donations and new subscriptions, amounted to 3281. At 2 o'clock, the Annual General Meeting was held at the New London Tavern, Cheapside, which was very numerously attended. The Right Hon. Lord Gambier having been called to the chair, the Secretary read a highly interesting report of the proceedings during the preceding year. It appears that the Society's missionaries at the Rio Pongas, on the western coast of Africa, have received about 120 children under their care, many of whom are children of native chiefs; and that there are the most encouraging prospects of establishing schools farther in the interior. The national system of British education bas been introduced, and is now making its way among the Susoos. One of the society's missionaries, the Rev. L. Butscher, was present at the meeting, with an interesting African youth, one of the scholars at the Society's settlement, who had accompanied his teacher on a visit to this country. The Missionary confirmed the representations of the Report, with respect to Western Africa, in an address of great information, simplicity, and piety; and particularly gratified the Society by stating, that 72 slave factories, which had existed on that part of the coast before the abolition, and had transported annually 4000 slaves, were now reduced to 18, and that these, under the vigorous measures of his Excellency Governor Maxwell, and of the naval officers on the coast, were dwindling away. Mr. Wilberforce reported, from the deputation appointed at the special general meeting of April 24th, that they had waited on his Majesty's late deeply lamented Chancellor of the Exchequer, and on the President of the Board of Controul, on the subject of providing, on the renewal of the East-India Company's charter, for the more easy access of Christian missionaries to India; and that they had found them to be very favourable to the general object, though strongly impressed with a sense of the delicacy and prudence, with which measures for the attainment of that object should be devised and executed. As, however, the charter of the East-India Company was not to be renewed this year, and as the fatal event, which all deplored, would lead to the appoint
ment of another head of the government, the deputation would anxiously watch over the business entrusted to them, and use all proper means to bring it to a successful issue. A new code of laws and regulations was adopted for the government of the Society. Lord Gambier was appointed president; and other noblemen and gentlemen, who had befriended the institution, were appointed vicepresidents. Lord Calthorpe, Sir Thomas Baring, Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. Grant, the Rev. Basil Woodd, the Rev. Thomas Robinson, and other gentlemen, addressed the meeting; and a strong impression was produced of the duty of the ministers, and other members of the Established Church, exerting themselves to augment the funds, by annual subscriptions, and collections in churches and cha pels, of the only society in that church which has for its exclusive object the evangelizing of the heathen world. Donations and subscriptions will be received by the treasurer, H. Thornton, Esq., M. P., Bartholomew Lane; by the secretary, Rev. Josiah Pratt, Doughty Street; by the deputy secretary, Mr. T. Smith, No. 19, Little Moorfields; by the booksellers, Mr. L. B. Seeley, 169, Fleet Street, and Mr. J. Hatchard, Piccadilly; and by the following bankers, Messrs. Hoare, Fleet Street, and Messrs. Ransom, Morland, and Co., Pall Mall.-The Sermon and Report will be published at Midsummer.
PRAYER-BOOK AND HOMILY SOCIETY.
A meeting was held on the 20th May, at the Freemason's Tavern, Great Queen Street, at which the attendance was numerous and highly respectable, for the formation of a society for the sole purpose of distributing gratis, and circulating at reduced prices throughout the British empire, its colonies. and dependences, and particularly in his Majesty's navy and army, the authorised formularies of the united Church of England and Ireland, without note or comment, viz. the Book of Common Prayer, including the Thirty-nine Articles; and the Homilies, in separate sermons, or in the entire volume.
Viscount Valentia having been called to the chair, his lordship stated the object of the meeting, when it was unanimously re solved, That a society should be instituted for the above purpose, which was instituted accordingly; and which, after many pertinent and excellent remarks on the necessity and probable usefulness of such an institution, from the movers of the several resolu⚫ tions, received the countenance and contri butions of the nobility, clergy, and gentry then present; and it is hoped from the sim