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"Many of the Testaments are frequently read with care, and many thanks were given to those good people who sent the present. Some have gone more constantly to a place of worship: husbands read them after their labour is over, while others read them only on the Sabbath."
"In many families I found the Testament in constant use, and the thanks of the poor people for it are not at all abated. One woman expressed herself as very thankful, and said, 'she was in much distress till she had it, being so poor that she was not able to purchase one.'
"A poor blind woman, a believer in Christ, said, 'I take great care of it, I have put a cover on it, my grandson reads it to me.' Another old woman, said, 'I could not live without it,' and the joy which she appeared to possess in having the book, was truly pleasing. When I asked another woman, she said, "Oh, yes, there it is, the book lay on the table as if ready for frequent use. And what moved me very much was, that in more families than one, where there were a number of half-naked children, and everything in the apartments truly miserable, the Testament was in safe keeping. What I noticed also was, that when I asked for the book, the children said, 'What, from the British and Foreign Bible Society?' Will not the grant have a good effect in preparing the minds of the rising generation to have a good feeling towards this noble Institution?"
"A large number of the Testaments," says another, "have been presented to me; great care are taken of them. Some having been covered with paper, cloth, or green baize. In visiting in the Grand Surrey Outer Dock District, where more than forty of the Loan Testaments had been left, I was much pleased to find the book with the various families, though the chief part of them are Roman Catholics. In five cases only, when persons had removed, were the books not brought to me. At the wife of a man who works in the said, 'I cannot read, but my husband reads to me every night when he comes home from work. He takes the book with him, and at his meal times he reads it. We are more happy, and now go to Church or Chapel.'
"In most families on whom I have called," says another, "I have inquired as to the possession of the Word of God, and have been rejoiced to see the beneficial results of the distribution of the New Testament last January; the books in many very many instances, bear evident marks of being frequently used. One case I will relate out of the many I have met with, to show the beneficial effects of supplying the poor with the best of all books. It was of a man and his wife, both of them ill, living in I was constrained to stay a short time with them and to read and pray, being requested to do so, for they said they were neglected by all, and if it had not been for the Testament which some kind gentleman left them last January, they thought they should have sunk under their trials; but that book had afforded them much consolation, and they had spent many happy hours in its perusal."
Another Missionary says, "that several females told me of the influence the New Testament had upon the minds of their husbands, having that in their possession it frequently prevented them from going to the public-house. One woman had much regard for the Testament, and the persons who lent it to her, and asked me if she might be allowed to let her child have it to read, as he was just learning to read in the Testament. Another family have formed such an attachment to the Word of God since it has been left there that they are determined on having a Bible, and for that purpose have been subscribing a penny per week for some time. Another poor aged
woman, when I asked her what good she had received from her Testament, took it up in her hands, and said, evidently with much feeling: 'Oh! Sir, it is the only comfort I have; but more particularly in poverty. Whenever I am in trouble I go here, and let it be what it will here I find a promise of support.""
"At No. 4, I inquired if the person residing there had had a Testament on loan? Yes, Sir,' answered a young woman, and I will pay you for it if you please. My aunt you see sitting there, Sir, has lost the use of her limbs, and it is such a comfort to her when I read it, which I do as often as my work will let me-you had better let me pay you for it now. 'Ono,' I said, 'I cannot take any money for it: the object is gained, if it is useful.' 'Thank you, thank you, Sir,' they both replied, evidently overjoyed at having it still in their possession."
"I have generally found the Testaments," says another, "except in cases where the family had removed. One man, who works with a great number of men, told me he had met with many instances where the Testaments had been the means of inducing persons to attend a place of worship, and has heard many pleasing remarks of those who never read the Scriptures before. I found that this man is a member at Surrey Chapel, and a tract distributor. It would be impossible to enumerate half the expressions of gratitude expressed by the people for the Testaments, and likewise for the tracts. poor woman begged hard for one to put into a parcel she was just packing to send into Staffordshire, with two other little tracts she had procured for the purpose, saying, 'I sent two in a parcel before, and the people so much prized them." I of course gave her one."
"Mrs. informed me," says another, "that her husband had died in the month of May, and that the Loan Testament was then, and has been ever since, a great source of comfort to her mind. I read a portion of it to her, and made a few remarks, to which she listened with attention."
"I have still to report," says another, "as at the first, so at the last, as all through the work, what pleasing satisfaction I have received respecting the Loan Scriptures. In Burns'-place, on Monday, Mr. Shippery was with me for one hour, who expressed himself much gratified in witnessing so many of the very poor persons, who would bring their Testaments to show
What a change was produced in their countenances when they were asked, 'If they were ready to give them up?' Then again, what grateful thanks, as they were informed they were to retain them still.-Mr. -, of Burn-street, of whom I have reported as notorious formerly for his blasphemies, took a tract very kindly, and said he had read from the Testament a chapter every day. A Jew, who keeps a clothes-shop, standing by, begged a tract, which was given to him, of course. A Jewess, in Georgestreet, also took one kindly, a few days back."
Another observes that
"On my making inquiry about the Testaments delivered this time twelvemonth, I was much delighted to find that they all held them in their own possession; for, wherever I asked to see their book, each individual was able to produce it. One woman told me, though she could read but badly, yet she had read her New Testament three times through. In general the people were glad with the Sacred Volume, and appeared to value it."
"I have distributed 943 tracts in the ing Ground districts, and found in the former district, that all those who had received the Loan Testaments, and were not removed, had them still, and many of them had perused them. One woman, in one of the most degraded parts, said, 'her husband would not part with it (the
Testament) for any thing.' Poverty and wretchedness abound here, yet they all shewed the Testaments. About three-fourths of those who received the tracts in the latter district, are Roman Catholics, among whom my reception was far better than I expected. Generally, they received them gratefully, and two refused-a Roman Catholic woman refused; but I gave the tract to a boy that stood beside her, who read a part of it, and I explained its nature she then received it and thanked me.'
'Many of the people," says another, "recognised me as the giver of the Testament, and brought it out to shew me they had not parted with it, frequently thanking me for the gift. In many instances they bore evident marks of having been read. One person in -street returned her thanks for the Testament, and hoped if I ever came that way I would call upon her. A poor woman, upon a sick bed, remembered me giving her a Testament, at She said she had received much consolation from it. I spent a few minutes with her, directing her to Jesus, and to him only. Another very poor family have well read the Testament. The wife said, 'We read a chapter every night, thus the children become acquainted with the contents.' I advised her to continue the practice.-A man in has become a tee-totaller through my leaving the Testament. He was very thankful for it, and has read it through twice. In- passage I met with a poor woman, confined to her bed. She remembered having seen me in Middlesex Hospital, and my leaving tracts there. It appears the labours of Mr. the esteemed clergyman of that place, have been blessed to her. Since her return home, which took place soon after I left, the Testament has been her constant companion. She had it on her pillow, and says she has found consolation in it, and in nothing else. I had some conversation with her, directing her to Jesus: read and prayed with her." "One poor man, in said that he had learnt the New Testament nearly all by heart, since he had it given him, for he could repeat whole chapters out of it. All the children of another family have been taught to read since the Loan Testament has been given them; and it is constantly read by one of them, night and morning, in the family.”
A poor woman shewed me her Loan Testament. I took and examined it, and was led to judge from its appearance, that it had been very much perused: indeed, she spoke of it with such feelings as indicated a high value for its contents."
"I had this day," says another Missionary, "a most pleasing testimony from the lips of a Mrs. living at -, of the benefit she has received from the Loan Testament. Having inquired if she had read the same, and whether she had derived advantage, she replied, speaking of the Testament, 'If I cannot do with it, I am sure I cannot do without it. God,' said she, 'sent that book to me, Sir, when I was in a great deal of trouble. I can now, when on my bed, look up to the Lord Jesus, as my only hope and consolation.' Another female, a Mrs. supposing that I had called to have the Testament returned, requested that I would leave it a little longer, as she much wished that her son might be instructed out of it, having herself received benefit from reading it.'
"I have reason to believe," remarks another, "that the Testaments have been read, and in not a few instances made useful. A female, named —, informed me that reading the Loan Testament was the means of inducing her husband to attend public worship: that he now attends three times on Sunday, and twice through the week: also, that she attended herself as often as she could. She said that all this was owing to her husband reading the Testament, which was left about a twelvemonth ago."
Also, another woman, where I had left a Testament, who saw me distri
buting the tracts, ran out to me, and said, 'Sir, the Testament and your visit was made useful to an afflicted person in this house, but she is now removed to ——: she has often had a desire to see you, but we did not know where you lived; but do call on her, and see her again:' which I promised to do, and was thankful to God that the Testaments and visits had in any case been made useful."
"I have found," says another, "nearly one hundred of the New Testaments upon District. Many families have been fearful that I was about to deprive them of the Word of God; and one woman, in particular, said, that as she had had it so long, and had been so fond of reading it, and had taken such care of it, she should not like to part with it now on any account. On my asking an old man (who is about 70 years of age) If he still had the Testament, and if it was of any use to him?' he replied, Yes, Sir, it is of the greatest use to me, for it teaches me the ways of God, which I did not know before I had it, and I should not like to be without it.""
"With respect to the Scriptures,' says another, "I generally found those who had been put in possession had them in safe keeping, with some instances of usefulness, which I shall name. The first is that of an aged female, a widow, living at I inquired of her if she had been put in possession of a copy of the Loan Testament, she said she had. I asked a sight of it, she said, 'I hope you are not going to take it from me again, it has been a blessed book to me, Sir, I hope you will not take it away, leave it with me or I shall be miserable without it.' She again said, 'It taught me the way to heaven; before I got it I neglected the house of God, now I attend on Sabbath on the preaching of the Gospel.' This poor aged woman, from her simple statement, it appears, had made a good use of the treasure she is now possessed of, her only fears were that I was come to take it from her."
"Those families," says another, "who had been put in possession of the Loan Testament, as far as I found such, had them in safe keeping, and I believe they are made good use of. One case I shall notice where the Scriptures have been made a blessing to a woman; it is that of Mrs. I inquired if she still possessed the book that was given her? Her answer was, Sir, do you suppose I should ever part with such a book?' I said, I hope not. What benefit have you derived from it?' She said, 'I have not a strong constitution, and before I got the Testament, I sometimes thought I should not be long in this world, but where I should go I did not know. These thoughts sometimes came into my mind, but having a large family to struggle with they put all these things again from me-all seemed a mystery to me. After the kind gentleman left this book, I began to read it, and now I know what shall become of me, for it teaches me the way to heaven; it tells me of Christ, I can go to him in prayer; I do love to read such a book, for it tells me so much of Christ.' I said, I was happy to hear she thought so much of the Scriptures, and reminded her what interest Christians had taken in her behalf, and, more especially, what the Saviour had done. She said, 'Yes, we can never do too much for him.' Another case is that of Mrs. This poor woman was afraid I was going to take away the book that was left her; poor as she was, she said, she would rather give me a shilling for it than part with it, as she said, What shall we do on Sunday without it, as it is the only book we have got to read? My husband would be quite ill if he was to lose it.' I satisfied this poor woman's mind that I only wished to know what use she was making of the book. She informed me it had been the means of keeping her husband from the public-house on Sunday, that he takes more pleasure in his home, and they are more happy and comfortable
altogether. Another said, 'Sir, will you come and visit us regularly with tracts?' I said, 'No, I cannot.' She said, 'We may live and die heathens for any thing people care about us.'"
Another Missionary says—
"The greater portion of the Testaments have been shown me; some without my request, and not a few are, by appearance frequently read. Pieces of paper, thread, &c., are placed as marks in different places. In two instances they were in actual use, independent of two cases as showing the great benefits received from them. A poor old water-carrier, a Mrs. who now resides in is a poor widow, and obtains a livelihood by carrying water. She told me she could not part with it. It was read daily. I regularly go to church and chapel every Sunday, and wish to love the Saviour whom I have long rejected: I thought nothing about these things till I had this book,'-holding the Testament in her hand."
"The most interesting part of my work has been the ready manner in which the people have produced the Testaments, and the grateful manner in which they have acknowledged the benefit thus bestowed on them. The books had been generally used, and used well; some have been induced to attend the house of God, and some to subscribe for Bibles, and many were evidently prepared for Ministerial or Missionary instruction. I was delighted with many simple yet interesting questions proposed, which evidently had their origin in reading the Testaments. A shoemaker in —, as soon as I named the Testament, said, O Sir, that has been a blessed book to me, it has taught me what I never knew before, that I am a sinner, and that Christ is a Saviour; it has taught me to pray, and to believe.' He gave me a simple narrative of his experience, from which I learned, that at the time he received the book he was in the greatest trouble and affliction, that he had a strong desire for a Testament, and, from the reading it, was soon induced to attend Surrey Chapel. He has now a great desire to unite with the people of God, and the providence of God has brought him into connexion with a Christian who appears to have been raised up for the purpose of leading him into the green pastures where Christ the good Shepherd feeds his flock. I have called upon the man twice while in the District, and have the fullest confidence in his statement."
“In Brunswick-street, we found, though it was Sabbath-day, three un-happy girls playing at cards, which they persisted for some time in doing; at length they swept the cards off the table and offered us an apology. I addressed them on death and judgment, and the love of Christ, but I appeared to them as one who told idle tales. In one of these girls
had received a Testament; on asking to see it, she opened her box and gave it me. While doubling a few chapters down, I said, 'You can do without this;' she snatched it from me, and raising her voice while she put it carefully in the box, said, 'Never, Sir, till death.' She had been educated in Rev. J. Clayton's Sabbath-school, and though she was living as she was, yet she read a portion of it nearly every day."
Many other instances of benefit resulting from the loan of the Testaments might be mentioned, but enough have been enumerated for the present Report. The Committee of the London City Mission, before leaving this subject, cannot but renew their thanks to the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society for the grant of the Testaments, and sincerely congratulate them on their