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BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE | SOCIETY.
Address of the Archbishop of Upsala, to the Clergy of his Diocese.
Upsala, September 2, 1816. Reverend Brethren,
It is but a few years ago that some zealous friends of Christianity in England united together for the purpose of promoting the dispersion of the Holy Scriptures, as well among Christians, as among those of other religions.
The time past, so pregnant with great and extraordinary events, has been a time of searching visitation on the part of God; a time when mankind, more than at any former period, have been taught how vain are all their undertakings and endeavours, when in the blindness of their pride they revolt from eternal wisdom, and pretend to accomplish any thing without God:—but it has also been a time, when the Gospel of Christ, that word of life and comfort, in defiance of the machinations of infidelity and wickedness, in defiance of the attempts of false wisdom to reduce it within the sphere of the natural man's conceptions; and finally, in defiance of the indifference, the lukewarmness, the prejudice against godliness, which have taken possession of men's minds—has shewn itself as "the power of God unto salvation."
The whole world will soon have to acknowledge, "The word of God dwells richly among ns." The holy writers (peak now in almost all the languages of the world. "Their voice is gone forth in every land, and their words to the end of the earth." The Bible is in the course of translation, and printing, in dialects which have hitherto escaped fhe researches of the learned. The followers of Mahomed,Confucius,and Bramah, read it. They see the Star of Jesus in the East, and go to adore him. Within the dominions of Christendom, numerous Bible Societies have been established, upon the model of the British and Foreign Bible Society, by whose munificence they have profited greatly. Bibles are re-printing in all the languages of Christendom. This treasure of the immortal soul, which is of more value than all the riches of the earth, may be obtained at a very low price,and frequently gratis. The Gospel makes itself known, in its original purity, to the poor; and from the palaces of the great, down to the cottages of the lowest, one common voice begins to resound, "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
If, however, this great work is to be brought to perfection; if every piom father of a family, anxiously desiring to possess a Bible for the edification of himself, and those belonging to him, is to obtain his wishes, it is necessary that such as have better means, should unite more closely together, for the purpose of distributing the word of God among the children of poverty. In our dear native country, there are already five great Bible Societies established ; namely, at Stockholm, Lund,Gothenburg, Westerns, and Wisby. The Archbishoprick it hitherto without one. I have, however, the satisfation of announcing, that a Bible Society, for the same object, and upon similar grounds, under the consolatory hope of the Almighty's assistance, is about to be established at Upsala. A considerable benefaction, in aid thereof, has been promised by the justly vene rated Bible Society in London. Thi( information will, no doubt, be received with delight by the clergy of the diocese, of whose zealous co-operation and assistance I make myself assured.
The door is opened, my brethren, to promote the increase of Christ's kingdom; and who ought to have this more at heart than ourselves, who are called to spread the saving knowledge of God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent!
Let us then, brethren, while we have yet time, do good, and not grow weary; remembering, that if the opportunities which a wise Providence hath prepared for the advancement of what is good, be neglected, the fault will lie with those whose duty it is to forward it. The time is hastening on, when we shall be no longer labourers in the Lord's vineyard, but shall be called before him to receive our reward. Yet a little while, and the favourable circumstances which now offer, and encourage us to labour while it is to day, will have vanished. We shall recollect the time when it was but too common to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, and a pretended wisdom of reason threatened the expulsion of "the word of everlasting life."— Another era is come, with more gladdening signs. Let us profit by the more encouraging disposition that begins to prevail, and "our labour shall not be iu vain in the Lord."
For these and other weighty reasons, I have hereby not only to desire the reverend Clergy of the Archbishoprick to participate in this establishment for glorifying the name of Jesus; but also as a friend to intreat, that they will, each within his own sphere, in a judicious and
From the Bishop of Janina, of the Greek Church.
'Janina, January 10, 1816.
As soon as I arrived in this place from ■Cyprus, I undertook, with renewed courage, to distribute the Modern Greek New Testament among my beloved people; and, I assure yon, that at Candia, Cyprus, Rhodes, and wherever I was, I met with a great disposition to receive the Scriptures, and many applications from a distance.
I get what I can 'for the Testaments, but I never lose an opportunity of disposingof one, when a poor well-disposed head of a family, or an indigent clergyman, or a poor caravanist, desires to acquire it gratuitously. We are ardently desirous to have in our bands the whole Scriptures in Modern Greek; and it never happens, when we meet together on the Sabbath day, in our place of worth! p, that we are not excited to pray for the welfare of the British and Foreign Bible Society, that it may extend its labours of love, and give plenty of Bibles In the vernacular Greek and Arabic languages.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN SCHOOL SOCIETY.
On Friday the Uth inst. the first stone of a School was laid at Newington Butts, T>y the R. H. the Lord Mayor. This School, for 400 boys, is to be conducted on the principles of the British and Foreign School Society, and will admit children of all denominations.
On this occasion the Rev. Dr. Collyer addressed a very numerous assembly, on the advantages of extending knowledge both in respect to the present and future state of man. Thomas Scott Esq. the Secretary, read the inscription on the plate which was deposited with some coin of his present Majesty—the patron and friend of education on this broad and liberal plan. The Lord Mayor then laid the stone, and addressed the company in an appropriate speech, which was received with reiterated applause; and the Rev. Mr. Fowler concluded, by imploring the blessing of God upon the institution.
Afterwards the friends of the Institution dined together at the Horns Tavern,
W. Williams, Esq. in the Chair, and a liberal subscription was made for the School, which is founded in connection with the Southwark Auxiliary Society instituted last year, and we hope will be followed by other attempts, in order to provide instruction in reading and writing for a district containing 10,000 children. The building is contracted for at the moderate expence of =£530. And it is expected that the funds will be aided by a weekly penny subscription from the parents of the children.
BAPTIST MISSION TO 1NUIA.
No. XXX. of th« Periodical AcCounts of the Baptist Missionary Society, has just made its appearance: but of its contents, we have not room to say much this month. It exhibits a view of the state of the Mission from the close of the year 1814 to Midsummer 1815, and we are told that "some unusual delay has prevented the reception of Letters, later than that period," and that very little prirate intelligence of a subsequent date has been received.
As the present number is the commencement of a new volume, it is introduced by a Preface of six pages, com. prisinga Review of the affairs of theMission from its feeble origin—it traces the kind hand of God and his superintending care in its formation, establishment, and progress— and gratefully acknowledges the success with which it hath been hi* good pleasure, by his blessing, to crown it. As this Preface breathes throughout an ardent spirit of piety, and principles that are truly catholic, we feel much satisfaction in calling the attention of our Readers to it.
"We trust," say the Secretaries, "that whatever our dear brethren have been enabled to effect, for the diffusion of the knowledge of Christ, among the various nations of the East, has been done with a single eye to his glory, and not with a view to the advancement of a party; and we would unite with them in giving him all the praise.
Though we think the Congregational form of church government, more conformable to the apostolic plan, than that of the Established Church, yet we can cordially rejoice in all the success of our Episcopalian brethren: and in like manner, though we conscientiously dissent from our Independent brethren at to the ordinance of Baptism, yet w« bless God for all the good they have dene, in Africa, in any part of Asia, or in the South Seas. Hence we hope, that our fellow-christians, who think us mistaken as Anti-pajdobaptists, will rejoice also, if by means of our Missionaries, sinners are turned from Heathenism, Mahometanism, profligacy, or fornwfity, to serve the living and true God, anil to wait for his Son from heaven, even Jesus who saveth us from the wrath to come.
"Many such friends we have, both in the Northers and Southern parts of this island, as well as on the other side of the Atlantic; to whom we deeply feel our obligations. A great number of them, notwithstanding their differences of sentiment, have helped onr Mission in a more general way; and a greater number still have lent their aid to the translation of the Sacred Scriptures into the various oriental dialects.
"God forbid that we should wish any Christian, of whatever denomination, to make a sacrifice of principle, to obtain our most cordial good will; and we are persuaded, that no one who is possessed of genuine candour would require such a sacrifice from us. So far as we have attained the knowledge of divine truth, we would walk by the same rule, we would mind the same thing; and if in any respect the sincere followers of Christ are differently minded from each other, we trust the time is hastening, When God will shew those who are mistaken in smaller matters, what is the mind of the Lord respecting them also."
All this is, in our opinion, exceedingly proper, and the sentiments, which are happily expressed, reflect honour on the writers. We hope they will be allowed their foil force in the quarter where they are intended to be applied. It is a miserable thing for professed Christians exclusively to identify the great cause of the Redeemer with their own little party. It should be their grand aim to co-operate in every effort to promote the interest of that cause, so far as they can do it without sacrificing principle—and when that intervenes, let each pursue the dictates of conscience apart from the other, remembering that "to their own master they stand or fall."
But we proceed to the notice of a very painful occurrence mentioned in this preface, viz. the removal by death of several persons connected with the Mission. Although this be an event which in the ordinary course of nature we ought to expect, yet when, as in the present instance, we find the names of nearly a dozen of these individuals, each of whom recently occupied a sphere of relative usefulness in the Mission, but now numbered with the dead, all crowded together in the short space of three lines, it inevitably diffuses a degree of melancholy over the mind, and almost makes us tremble for the fate of the Mission. The brethren, Thomas, Fountain, Grant, Brunsdon, Biss,. and Marden; and the sisters, Chamberlain, Moon-, and Rowe, have all been snatched away in the East—and this vast loss is farther augmented by the death of Mr, John Howe, (of Falmouth)
"a most valuable, diligent, and prudent missionary in the West Indies." Tothisaffecting catalogue wemust add, Mr. Trowt, who is recently dead at Java. This is a subject which calls loudly upon all the friends of the Mission, to abound in prayer for its continuance and permanency; and in order thereunto, that God would spare useful lives, and as the harvest is so plenteous, that it would please Him to raise up, and qualify, and send into his harvest many faithful labourers, as well as that He would succeed in their work those who are already employed.
"We are aware," say the Secretaries, "that as the number of our Missionaries increases, they need so much the more to be assisted from on high, that they may all preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We also, at home, shall feel the same necessity of imploring large supplies of wisdom, frowi the Father of tights, that all the concerns of the Society may be conducted with discretion, unanimity, and singleness of eye to the divine glory.
"Hitherto the Lord has helped us, and though he has removed the most able and judicious founders of this little Society, yet we would bless his name that their lives were so long continued, that they weie enabled to guide it's concerns with so much prudence, and promote it's interest with such indefatigable zeal. With him is the residue of the Spirit. If we are enabled thoroughly to realize our dependance on him, and are kept from the baneful influence of all party-spirit, and vain glory, ever bearing in our mind our Lord's intimation, that he is indeed the greatest among bis followers who is most willing to be servant of all; we may still hope for increasing success in the work of the Lord, and for the cordial affection and liberal aid of our dear brethren of other denominations.
"Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth; without whom we can do nothing, but through whose strengthening us, we can do all things: who giveth power to the faint, and increaseth strength to them that have no might; and who is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever."
It was probably the interest which, at an early period of life, weexperieuced in reading Johnson's Journey to the Hebrides, that has led us to take a more than ordinary concern in the success of the Gaelic Schools, from their first institution: and we have accordingly noticed in our former volumes, the Reports of the Society as they have successively appeared. Every reader recollects the Sage's reflections on visiting the inland of Io.va. "We were now treading that illustrious Island which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, and the blessings of religion." We need not quote more of the passage; the reader who needs to have it recited to him, is to be pitied for his dulness. Yet there is a paragraph in the same connection, which we shall venture to transcribe, and it is the following. "The fruitfulness of Ios* is now its whole prosperity. The inhabitants are remarkably gross, and remarkably neglected: I know not if they are visited by any minister. The island, which was once the metropolis of learning and piety, has now no school for education, nor temple for worship, only two inhabitants that can speak English, and not one that can read or write." Johnson made the tour of these islands in 1773, and such is the picture he then drew of the most renowned of them for learning and science! What benevolent mind can read it without a sigh, or that can fail to rejoice at witnessing the vigorous exertions that are now making by the " Society for the support of Gaelic Schools" in order to do away this national opprobrium.
We have before us the Sixth Annual Report of this Society, and most sincerely do we congratulate the friends of humanity on its continued utility. The Schools are rapidly on the increase, both in the Highlands, and also on the Islands—the success which every where attends them is calculated to diffuse the most heartfelt satisfaction—but much, very much yet remains to be done. We have carefully examined the Report for some intimation of a school on the island of Ion A, but we lament to say, that our search has been fruitless. There is another most painful consideration attendant on the perusal of this Report; namely, that the expenditure of the Society has last year exceeded its income by the sum of .£791 0 5|. This furnishes a loud call upon every well-wisher to the Institution, to make encreased exertions for its support. The unprecedented pressure of the times, also, adds to the difficulty under which the Society at present labours: for it it to be feared that the nnmber of those who would gladly contribute their mite to an undertaking so truly meritorious and praiseworthy, is rather diminishing every month, than encreasing. We are pleased, however, to see that the Committee do not despond. "A deficiency of .£800," say they, "would be more than alarming, did not your Committee encourage themselves with the assurance that as you have pruceeded in this labour of love without either timidity or rashness, the work is one on which you may expect the blessing of Jehovah ; and He, in whose hands are the hearts of all men, can easily provide the meant for the accomplishment
of his designs." May He powerfully incline the minds of those whom He in his providence has blessed with the means of doing it, to supply tbe necessities of the Institution, and may encreasing prosperity attend the Gaelic Schools!
We should mention thai the present Report is accompanied by a Map of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland— which furnishes a very useful appendage. Tiie price of the Report, which may be had of Mr. Seeley, in London, is 2s. to Non-subscribers.
From the Caledon Auxiliary Society, fa
Caledon, March 4, 1816.
Through the instrumentality of the Reports of the British and Foreign Bible Society, which happened to fall into our hands, we have been roused, likewise, to cast our mite into the treasury, in aid of that Society; and, in order to do this in a regular manner, we have established a Society, under the title of " The Caledon Auxiliary Society," a plan of which you find inclosed. We now beg to be informed who is the agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society at the Cape, in order that we may annually deliver our small contributions to him, against a receipt; soliciting, at the same time, to be favoured with the Society's Annual Reports, and with a small number of Bibles, together with an instruction, in what manner the Society wishes the distribution thereof to be made.
Wishing that the British and Foreign Bible Society may abide upon a lasting foundation, until the earth be covered with the knowledge of Christ, as the waters cover the deep, 1 remain, &c.
A. C. BERGMAN, Secretary.
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