Изображения страниц

of the public peace. I mention it to the Credit of the people-they receive you with welcome when you explain your object; and they hail as a messenger of peace, an angel of mercy, any one who comes to them. When I proposed to meet with them on the Sabbath Morning, the Catholics no less than the Protestants expressed themselves willing.


In the afternoon, I visited with another Lady, who had the same spirit, who is a person in middle life, between the poor who need and the rich and mighty who have no time to give, but possess the means and disposition for doing good: this Lady, while she goes forth and sees the necessities of the lower classes, brings from the higher classes blessings which she conveys like the waters of life upon the poor. was an Irish District: the poverty and wretchedness of the people, it would have melted any heart to behold: from room to room we went; and even here we found the most lovely children, the most beautiful that I ever beheld: so kind is the Almighty in his bounties, Ile visits with health and happiness, where Nature seems to have denied their access-an invitation to His servants here, that they should visit with the better health of eternal life, and the peace of conscience, and the glory to come, even the meanest district which God deigns and delights to visit with health and happiness. We found not one child out of three, of twelve years of age, who was able to read one syllable; yet they received us, because they were interested in the errand, and we departed with the satisfaction of having met nothing but a welcome. As we conversed with these honest, open-minded Irishmen, almost every sentence they said, "Lord bless him!" "Lord reward him!" "Long may he live!" and not one solicitation for charity was made of any kind.

I mention these facts, in order to encourage Gentlemen and Ladies in this good way; and to assure them, that a welcome they will receive: they need only to go in the grace of their Lord and Saviour, and in His spirit, to receivethat welcome which He never failed to find from the poor, however treated by the high and mighty. [Rev. Edward Irving-at the Sund.-Sch.-Un. Anniv.

Necessity of Education and the Scriptures for Ireland.

From what has been stated in the Report, it is impossible for us not to feel a degree of exultation, in knowing that the Word of God has been disseminated, through the instrumentality of this So. ciety, in a nation (which, indeed, ought

not to be called a distinct nation, because it is part of ourselves) and in a language in which I should be happy to see still greater exertions made to spread the Scriptures--the language of our neighbouring country, Ireland. I am satisfied, if any thing can be found to allay the terrors and to heal the wounds of that unhappy country, it is the dissemination of the Gospel of Peace; and the best mode in which that Gospel can be distributed, and the most likely to overcome the prejudices of the people, is, to present it to them, not in a tongue with which, from the unhappy prepossessions of many minds, they may not associate the most favourable ideas, but in their own tongue, divested of every thing that can give it any unfavourable impression.

[Earl of Harrowby-at the Bible Society Ann. Every day's experience convinces me more and more, that there is but one cure for Ireland, and that cure is God's Holy Word, brought home to the hear: by God's Holy Spirit.


In Antrim, Armagh, and Londonderry, the number of children educated in Sunday Schools is, to the whole population, in the proportion of one to twelve; and these are peaceable, quiet counties. in the County of Limerick-Limerick, too well known by its atrocities and murders; what is the number of children educated there? There are many who will be surprised to hear, that it is only as one to nine hundred and seventy-seven! In the whole of the Province of Ulster, it is as one to seventeen; and in Munster, as one to about five hundred. Many persons look for the cause of evil in a place where they will not find it: they do not look for it in the ignorance of the Scriptures and the want of Education.

A large part of the population of Ireland speak the Irish Language. In the provinces of Munster and of Connaught, I have taken the trouble to ascertain, from different accounts, the number of persons who speak only the Irish Language, and who understand no other; and it appears that their number is no less than two millions. And how are they provided with the Scriptures? I have been many years looking in booksellers' shops and stalls for the whole Bible in the Irish Language, and I never saw but one; and I bought that as a curiosity, at the price of two guineas*. I went into a part of Ireland, where you seldom hear the Irish Lan

The Irish Scriptures had become extremely scarce, until the British and Foreign Bible Society reprinted Bishop Bedell's Version; of which 5000 Bibles, and 17,800 Testaments have been printed at its expense.

guage, as they have English enough to answer a common question on the roads or in the fields; but I found Irish the language of their fire-sides. In one place some good friends had set up a large Sunday School; and one Sabbath, there came in some Young Men to look at what was going on: I brought them our Version of the Scriptures, and the moment they saw it they turned away, and said they could not read that book: I asked them if they would read Irish: Yes, they said, if there were an Irish Class they would all come. I then got a Schoolmaster to send his Son, who could read Irish; and, in that place, there is now an Irish Class, reading the Scriptures, where they before turned away from the Scriptures with disgust. We must meet the prejudices of the people, and not keep from them the corrective of their errors and their crimes.

I am well informed, by having an intercourse and correspondence with many parts of Ireland, that there is now a greater stir about getting the Word of God, than there ever was before; and, even in those parts of the country which are the most disturbed, there is a demand for the Word of God; and many are inquiring-Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? I trust many here will give their hand to this glorious work; and rejoice in prospect of the time when he that soweth and he that reapeth shall rejoice together.

I feel obliged to your Lordship and this Society, for the kindness which you have always shown to Ireland; and my only design has been to put your benevolence into that effectual channel, the Word of God: it is that which we ask-it is that which we want-and being without that makes us poor indeed.

[Rev. Robert Daly-at the Bible Society Ann. Generous exertions will not be wasted on an ungrateful soil; for there is no part of Europe more anxious for education and religious education than Ireland. It is a lamentable fact, that, in the absence of knowledge and education, all those disorders, which have so long banished tranquillity from parts of Ireland, have taken root. Before the establishment of the Schools of this Institution, there were what were called "Hedge Schools;" but religious instruction did not enter at all into the system of education at those Schools. I have seen some of these Schools at which the Bible was never read, but at which the children were reading the "Arabian Nights," or some such book: and yet they showed a wonderful anxiety to peruse the Sacred Volume when

it was put into their hands, and even carried it home to their parents as a trea


Nothing but the free circulation of the Scriptures in Ireland can eradicate the superstition, or allay the spirit of conten. tious discord, which prevails there; for where Schools have been established and the blessings of education disseminated, peace and good order prevail; while those parts, such as Limerick, which are remarkable for the ignorance of the people, are also most remarkable for the insubordination of their conduct. In that part of Ireland whence the Royal Chairman takes his title (Connaught), though the population is very dense, yet, from the influence of a system of education the people are orderly and well-behaved.

[Viscount Lorton-at the Hibernian Society Ann. It is gratifying to see, that, in the universal system of religious instruction, which extends almost to the borders of the earth, our brethren at home now form a prominent part. And this attention to the wants of those at home is the more praiseworthy, as it seems less glorious; for it is the tendency of the human mind to catch at foreign and difficult undertakings-to be dazzled with the magnificent and extraordinary, but to overlook the useful and homely. Perseverance in both objects, however, is not inconsistent with the success of either: they may be compared to the heavenly bodies, each of which forms a part of a great system, and yet performs its duty within its own orbit. No man is expected to be so taken up in doing universal good, as to neglect the safety of his own limbs.

[Rev. J. W. Cunningham-at the Hibern, Soe, Ann,

Progress of Bible Societies in France.

My Lord, I certainly do leok forward with great satisfaction to the increased prosperity of the Bible Institution in France. I cannot help thinking it is admirably adapted to supply, in that country, the wants which it still lamentably feels and that we are best evincing the sincerity of our friendship to that country, in our hopes that it will make progress in every thing that is excellent, and become our ally in every thing that is a benefit to mankind. I trust the day may not be distant, when we shall find that even the Princes themselves of France co-operate in this great work. They will feel, that indeed they are proving Monarchy to be a blessing, when those, who are connected with the family that fills the throne, testify, in a form like this, those high feelings of benevolence, and piety, and sympathy, for the

necessities of their fellow-creatures, which the patronage of our Royal House for this Society does so unequivocally manifest.

[Lord Calthorpe-at the Bible Society Ann. I am convinced, My Lord, and that conviction can alone support me, that no human eloquence, no ornaments of speech, or grace of delivery, would cheer and delight this Meeting so much as the good tidings of the advancement of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by the increasing distribution of the Sacred Volume, and by the more serious study of those Scriptures which testify of the Son of God.


Such tidings will be the more welcome to the disciples of our Blessed Redeemer, here assembled, as they concern a country, which, at no distant period, exhibited the awful spectacle of Infidelity and contempt of Divine Revelation, in all ranks of society. - Blessed be God! those times are pastit is to be hoped, never to return. severe trials, with which it has pleased the Almighty to visit us, have turned to the advantage of religion. Throughout the land, people in every situation of life, and of every degree of mental cultivation, are beginning to feel, that a general diffusion of the knowledge which maketh wise unto salvation can alone produce that essential and lasting improvement of the moral and social state of man, which is as fondly as vainly expected from human laws and varied forms of public administration.

My Lord, the more these sentiments gain ground, the more our brethren, awakening from darkness to light, from lethargy to life, are seeking relief from spiritual anguish in religious comforts, the more important it is to have ready for them, and at hand, the only certain remedy, the only substantial nourishment that has been prepared for them by the Father of Lights and the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

With heartfelt gratitude to the God of all grace, and with the liveliest satisfaction, I assure your Lordship and this respectable Assembly, that the Paris Protestant Bible Society, zealously supported by its Auxiliaries, is labouring, in its limited sphere, with increasing and remarkable


That success, My Lord, and we embrace every opportunity of stating the fact, that success is your own. Since the commencement of our operations, your Lordship and your fellow labourers in this holy work, have assisted us by your counsels, and furnished us with the means of keeping pace with circumstances, and of meeting the duties of our sacred trust. The ties which

unite our Society to yours were formed, if I may be allowed so to speak, in its very cradle, by the hands of our beloved and ever-to-be-regretted Mr. Owen: they became our leading-strings as we advanced : they have been found stronger and more useful at every step: nothing, we trust, can weaken or dissolve them. No, My Lord, the bonds of Christian Love, the ties of Christian Gratitude and Fellowship, are as imperishable as the principles by which they have been woven.

As the Fourth Annual Report of the Paris Protestant Bible Society will be laid before you in a very short time, I shall not trespass on the Meeting, by entering into the details of the exertions and the progress of the last year. I must content myself with stating succinctly, that we have now the active and liberal co-operation of 65 Auxiliaries and Branches and 49 Associations: of these 114 Societies, 58 have been established since our last Anniversary. The income of the Paris Society has, this year, amounted to 125,000 francs. Since the origin of the Society, 30,000 Bibles and Testaments have been issued from its depositories; and the wants of the country seem to extend with the efforts made for their diminution.

One of the means most successfully employed, under the Divine Blessing, by the Committee of Paris, to rouse some of our brethren from indifference, and to excite to greater zeal our associates in this beneficent work, has been, the monthly publication of a Paper, containing Extracts from the Correspondence of this Parent Society, as well as from our own; and striking examples of the salutary influence of the circulation of the Scriptures, that come to our knowledge. This publication has been plentifully distributed among our brethren, in all parts of France: it is now eagerly inquired after we owe to it 17 Associations, formed at Paris; and we hope that it will still powerfully contribute to the extension and the consolidation of our Holy


Biblical Union.

Thus, My Lord, in a much narrower sphere than that of your glorious Society, but in the same spirit, and in reliance on the same grace and the same saving power of our Blessed Redeemer, we are endeavouring to accelerate the coming of the days, foretold by the Oracles of God, when all men shall be taught of the Lord; and feel, by conviction, founded on repeated and infallible tests, how wide is the difference between knowledge drawn from the Word of God and doctrines derived from every other source.

It is, My Lord, a general, and, I think, a most reasonable opinion, that the mighty exertions and the wonderful success of the British and Foreign Bible Society, presenting as they do, not only the possibility, but the high probability, or, rather, the certitude, of the final accomplishment of prophecy, will add new force to the proofs of their heavenly origin ; and thus, by strengthening the faith of mankind in their divine inspiration, hasten the arrival of that period, when all tongues shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.

[Rev. Professor Stapfer-at the Bible Society Ann.

Progress of the Russian Bible Society.

My Lord and Gentlemen-You see before you an individual, who, being just come from a distant country, has now, at this solemn Meeting, the most desirable opportunity of declaring the great importance which my countrymen attach to the cause of the Bible Society. In their name, I must return our sincere thanks to the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society, for the assistance with which they have been always ready to aid all the efforts which the Russian Bible Society has made during the ten years of its existence. I can assure you, Gentlemen, that the Russian Nation, in general, revere the Bible as the foundation of our religion and faith; and our Committee, notwithstanding all their efforts in publishing and giving out many hundred thousand copies of the Scriptures, are still at a loss, and cannot satisfy the numberless wishes of those who demand copies of the Divine Records.

The Committee of the Russian Bible Society have for their object, the promoting the knowledge of the Word of God in the extensive provinces of the Russian Empire, from the shores of the Frozen 4 Ocean to those of the Black Sea, and from the Baltic to the confines of China and America; and we are ready to give the Bible into the hands of Turks, of Tartars, of the Chinese, and other nations, not Christians. Our Clergy take the most active part in the operations of the Bible Society in Russia: all the Governors of the Provinces, and our Bishops, without exception, unite in the cause. We know that our salvation depends only on believing the Word of God; and we look now with joy and delight to those days, in which, according to the promise of our God, all nations shall be united in the Name of Him who was crucified for our sins. We ask for the Bible, because this is the way

in which we can learn to worship God in a manner worthy of Him, in the sole manner that He has required from us, in spirit and in truth.

My friend, Dr. Paterson, will give you more satisfactory details than I can of the progress of the Russian Bible Society.

[His Excellency M. Papoff-at the Bible Society Ann. It is with peculiar pleasure that I take this opportunity of assuring the Members of the British and Foreign Bible Society, that the grand principle on which this Society is founded, that of giving the Scriptures without note or comment, and uniting all religious professions in that noble enterprise, is steadily kept in view by the Russian Bible Society; and could I represent to you one of our Meetings of Committee, you would be convinced that the Bible, and the Bible alone, is capable of uniting all hearts. There you would see Prince Galitzin, with the Metropolitan of the Greek Church on his right hand, and the Metropolitan of the Catholic Church on his left, and Members of Committee belonging to all Christian Denominations, and not a discordant word is heard among them.

I am happy in being able to confirm, what my worthy friend has stated, that the Clergy of the Russian Church take an active part in the diffusion of the Scriptures. During a long journey with Dr. Henderson, we had many opportunities of seeing them zealously devoting themselves to the circulation of the Scriptures.

It will be gratifying to know the effects produced by reading the Scriptures in Russia; which are greater than the people of this country have any idea of. Thousands have received spiritual benefit from reading the Word of God, throughout that extensive empire. We met many of the peasants who came to solicit the Bible; who spoke concerning its contents in a manner which I have seldom heard surpassed in my native country.

The Russian Bible Society pursues its course with vigour. It printed 161,000 copies of the Scriptures last year; and brought into circulation 115,000: this year, it proposes to publish 100,000 copies


One circumstance, which has come to our knowledge since we left St. Petersburg, I will state. His Imperial Majesty, still animated by the same sentiment of love to the Scriptures and the cause of the Bible Society, has ordered that the Modern Russian Testament, which was printed in parallel columns with the Slavonic, shall be printed in the Modern Russ alone, that

it may be diffused more widely in the Schools and in the Army. I frequently have had the opportunity of witnessing the ardour, with which the brave soldiers of Russia demand the Volume of Divine Truth: there is not a day in which our depository is not visited by Russian Soldiers, who bring their copecs and their rubles to purchase copies of the Bible; and they always desire to have the New Testament in a portable form, in Modern Russ, that they may carry it with them into the field, and read it when they are far separated from the public ordinances of religion. To this his Imperial Majesty has now consented; and 25,000 copies are to be printed this year.

But I must forbear. Thank God, there are deputies here from other countries as well as Russia, to take part in this happy, this glorious day. I can assure this Meeting, that the Russian Bible Society will still continue, with the utmost vigour and unity of heart, to co-operate in carrying the Scriptures of Truth through the vast extent of the Russian Empire, and to assist in furnishing the world at large with the Sacred Volume.

[Rev. Dr. Paterson-at the Bible Society Anniv.

Effects of the Bible Society in Foreign Parts.

It is nine years, since I had the pleasure to attend the Anniversary of this Society; and during that period, it has fallen to my lot, as a Representative of this Institution, to travel through great part of Europe and some parts of Western Asia; and to see the banners of this Society raised in many of the capitals of the Continental Kingdoms, on the shores of the Black Sea, on some of the fairest isles of Greece, and in the centre of Athens itself-a city which cannot be mentioned, without exciting in the mind of every classical scholar, and of every man that venerates the great Apostle, the most pleasing and interesting sensations.

Among the principal nations of Europe, where the operations of the Bible Society during the last twelve years have been so extensive and useful, they have drawn forth, from almost every Protestant Government, declarations of the most unequivocal kind in favour of the truths of the Gospel of our Blessed Lord. These have been contained in their Edicts in furtherance of Bible Societies; and in the Addresses of Princes, Ministers of State, and Nobles, at assemblies of this kind. In many of the habitations of the great on the Continent, where the impure and impious doctrines of Voltaire and his associates had gained a strong ascendency, we now hear the pure

principles of our Blessed Saviour, and the sublime doctrines of St. Paul, freely advocated.

A second result of the efforts of Bible Institutions among the principal nations of Europe, is the increase of attendance at the Churches, and an augmented regard for Divine Ordinances.

A third result is, the far more general introduction of the Holy Scriptures into the Schools of both Protestants and Catholics; and the great anxiety manifested by parents to have the minds of their Children imbued with the doctrines of the Sacred Oracles.

A fourth instance is, that, in many of the Universities of Europe, where alas, Infidelity has prevailed to an incredible extent, we now find many able Professors, men no less distinguished for talent and learning than for their genuine piety, occupying the Chairs of Theology in those Universities.

The last instance which I shall mention of the good effects produced, is the increased demand for the Sacred Writings among all classes, but especially among the lower orders; for, notwithstanding the many hundred thousand copies which have been disseminated, and the exertions made to print according to the demand, yet, as the copies are circulated, the demand increases, and it is impossible to say to what extent it will still increase.

These effects of the labours of Biblical Institutions abroad, taken collectively, have given a powerful check to the spread of Infidelity; and have produced a strong re-action in favour of pure Christian principles, among all classes.

I shall not enter on particulars respecting the operations of the Bible Society in Russia; but I cannot sit down without completing the threefold testimony to the glorious achievements of that Institution; and expressing my sincere desire, that the Society in Petersburg and its two hundred Auxiliaries, may long continue to scatter the seed of righteousness and peace among the numerous nations and tribes of that Empire.

The operations of this Society in NonProtestant Countries have not been without beneficial effects. Here, also, we have much to inspire us with a desire to pur. sue our course with alacrity. When I call to remembrance my travels in Greece and Turkey, and the scenes which came under my observation in those countries, I have often been pained to the heart at hearing of the slaughter and bloodshedthe shakings of the earth, and devastations by fire-which have since visited those unhappy regions; but, amidst these awful

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »