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the desire after the word of God marifests itself in so marked a manner in these poor people, and frequent proofs encourage us to cherish the pleasing hope that the Lord will make them rich in faith, by the communication of his word, the Committee will joyfully lend their assistance to the furtherance of this work :" nor can ii be doubted, that, in this pledge, every Member of the British and Foreign Bible Society will very cordially unite.
The WÜRTEMBERG Bible Society, proceeding with that zeal and activity by which the conduct of its Directors has been uniformly distinguished, has printed 18,000 copies of the New Testament, and is expediting the proposed new edition of 10,000 Bibles. So urgent, however, have been the demands upon this Institution, that, in order not to delay their supply altogether, your Committee have ordered 500 Bibles to be furnished from Basle, at two separate times; and added a pecuniary grant of 3007: The impression made by the
exertions of this Society has been extensive, and greatly conduced to the advancement of its object. Among others, the Clergy, in country places, have very zealously co-operated. On announcing their design, not only the rich, but even some of the most indigent of their parishioners, have come forward with contributions, in proportion to their respective circumstances; and “many who had not had a loaf of bread in their houses for weeks together, were not bebind others” in offering their mites, that they might obtain possession of a Bible. The distribution of Bibles which took place on the festival of the Reformation, and of which an interesting description will appear in the Appendix, while it gratified many, must have excited, in not a few, a desire to possess this Holy Book : and as the obstacles in the way of supplying them are great, the assistance of the British and Foreign Bible Society will still be required to enable the Wurtemburg Bible Society to surmount them.
In the principal Bible Societies of SWITZERLAND, the zeal so often commended continues to operate; and progress is making in each of them, though in different degrees, towards the attainment of the common object.
How truly this is affirmed of the Basle Bible Society, at once the earliest and most active of these Institutions, may be understood by the following statement of a respectable Member of the British and Foreign Bible Society, from his own observation on the spot: "Four presses are constantly in action for the purpose of multiplying the sacred page; but the supply is insufficient to meet the demand. On the 18th of June, in the current year, the eleventh edition of the octavo German Bible left the press; on the 18th of July not a copy was left. Again, on the 19th of August, the twelfth edition appeared ; and on the 30th of the same month the whole impression was disposed of.” In addition to this, an official letter from the Secretary of that Society contains the pleasing information, that, in February last another edition of 4000 COpies was produced; of which, a few weeks after, scarcely 50 copies remained on hand.
Among the works in the execution of which the BASLE Society has been engaged, may be mentioned, as recently completed, an impression of 5000 copies of the French Bible. From the extraordinary pains which have been bestowed upon the correction of the press, it is believed that this Bible will prove highly satisfactory; while its appearance will be found particularly seasonable during the interval of preparing the editions undertaken in other parts of Switzerland, and
the South of France. The Aargovian Bible Society, at Aarau, gives the pleasing intelligence, that, by the united exertions of Catholics and Protestants, a considerable distribution of the Scriptures has been effected among the Members of both communions.
To prove the zealous and successful operations of the Bern Bible Society, it will be sufficient to state the simple fact, that its Directors have distributed 2690 Bibles, and 9048 Testaments, and have ordered a further supply of 336 Bibles, and 7350 Testaments.
The St. GALL Bible Society had to state, at its fourth anniversary, in October last, that, from its commencement down to that period it had put into circulation not fewer than 13,696 copies of the Scriptures: and the Bible Society of the Grisons reports, that it is diligently employed in distributing copies of the divine word in German, Romanese, and Italian, “which causes great rejoicings among many of the poor.”
The Bible Societies of GENEVA, LAUSANNE, Bern, and NeurCHATEL, have concurred in a measure which will, when completed, be likely to prove very acceptable to the French population of Switzerland in general. The measure alluded to is, the printing of a revised edition of Osterwald's French Bible in quarto. Towards this object your Committee had contributed 500l. : a grant of 2501. has since been added in consideration of the proposed edition of 6000 copies having been increased to 10,000.
In the mean time, supplies of the Scriptures have been forwarded to the inhabitants of the Valais, and other destitute parts; and the President of the Lausanne Bible Society makes, in reference to his own particular sphere, the following pleasing declaration.
“ Our country Clergymen perceive the blessed fruits of the Bible Society in our Canton; and, notwithstanding the great distress in which we have been, the bread of life has been distributed to the poor.
The Bible Society established at La Tour, for the VALLIES OF PIEDMONT, has distributed 150 Bibles, and 1865 New Testaments, and subscribed to the edition of the French Bible, undertaken as above, the sum of 1800 francs. The poor inhabitants of those Vallies, stirred up again by the spirit which so eminently distinguished their pious ancestors, actually come and intreat to be received as Members of the WALDENSES Bible Society, and urge the acceptance of such mites as they are able to present.
FRANCE and Italy have borne a part, though in very different proportions, in the great work of distributing the Holy Scriptures.
Of the Protestant New Testament by Osterwald, and the Catholic by Maitre de Sacy, stereotyped at Paris, many thousand copies have been dispersed in various parts of France. At Montauban, a large edition of the Protestant Bible, by Martin, is printing, under the direction of a very respectable Committee: of the Bible undertaken by the Bible Society at Strasburg, the New Testament is finished and now in circulation, and the Old Testament is in progress; and, in general, it appears that an increased desire is manifested in France to possess and peruse_the Holy Scriptures. Your Committee think it due to the late Rev. Henry Oberlin, of Waldbach, in Alsace, to bear their testimony to that real by which he was urged to sacrifice his valuable life, in exertions for distributing the Holy Scriptures among his countrymen.
In Italy, editions of the Catholic New Testament of Martini, without note or comment, have been printed both at Turin and NAPLES : and many channels have been found through which copies could be circulated without impediment, and with the prospect of being very thankfully received.
In the Mediterranean a Bible Society was formed, in May last, at Malta, under the designation of the Malta BIBLE Society. This active Institution (for the encouragement of which your Committee voted 5001.) has opened a correspondence with places of considerable importance, and is using every exertion to render its advantageous position conducive to the dissemination of the Scriptures along the shores of the Mediterranean, and even in the interior of Asia.
Before quitting the south and west of Europe, it will be proper to add a brief statement to what has already been said of the distribution of the Scriptures among members of the Catholic communion.
Of the facilities which have been found for this purpose, your Committee have already spoken : but they are compelled to admit that such facilities have not been universal.
In some of the countries of Europe, professedly Catholic, difficulties have arisen, which have caused a temporary interruption to the progress of Bible Societies, and to that circulation of the Holy Scriptures which it is their sole and exclusive object to promote. Such has been particularly the case in AUSTRIA and Bavaria, in each of which edicts have been published forbidding the establishment of Bible Societies, suppressing those already in existence, and actually prohibiting the receipt and possession of copies of the Scriptures printed in foreign countries, though furnished only to the Protestant population.
Your Committee have, however, the satisfaction to state, that
in various parts of Catholic Germany, notwithstanding the opposition which has been made to the free circulation of the Scriptures, a wide and effectual door for their entrance has been opened. Several versions of the New Testament, executed by Catholic Clergymen, continue to be most eagerly inquired after, thankfully received, and attentively read; the more so, as they have obtained the sanction of several episcopal authorities.
In particular, the Catholic Professor of Divinity at Marburg, Leander Van Ess, bas persevered in his illustrious career of printing successive editions of his German New Testament, and distributing them, through a variety of important channels, among the members of his own communion.
Encompassed with difficulties, he has been neither intimidated in his resolution, nor obstructed in his work.
“ Never,” he observes, "did I disseminate in so short a period, such a vast number of copies of the New Testament, as since the time of the late Bible prohibition; and no where have I perceived a more lively and ardent desire after the word of God, than in those very places where infatuated men strive to dry up the fountain of living water, or to prevent the people from baving free access to it."
In the course of the last autumn the Professor, though greatly exhausted by incessant exertions, undertook a Biblical tour through some of the Provinces by which the place of his residence is surrounded. “My aim," said the Professor, “ will be, to strengthen and confirm many friends of the Bible, to reconcile enemies, and to scatter the blessed seed of the word on the right hand and on the left.” In this spirit he performed the journey he had projected, and returned from it considerably strengthened both in his determination to disperse the Scriptures, and in his means of accomplishing their dissemination.
Your Committee, regarding the circumstances of the Professor as particularly advantageous, and desirous to avail themselves of the opportunities which his zeal and activity afforded them, answered all his applications by the most liberal grants; and in the course of the year have supplied him with funds to the amount of 50001.
Ad account of their expenditure has been regularly transmitted ; and your Committee owe it equally to the Professor, and the Members of the Society, to say, that the statements have, on every occasion, been most minute and satisfactory.
The Appendix will contain a selection from the copious and interesting documents derived from Catholic sources, wbich attest, in the strongest terms, the value and efficacy of this intrepid and indefatigable propagator of the word of God. With his animated declaration your Committee will terminate this article.
“ I shall always continue willingly to labour, with all my strength, as long as it is day, for the honour of my Divine Redeemer: to the end that he may be known more and more, and many may be saved by the word of his salvation ; that his name may be hallowed, his kingdom more effectually come, and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Returning to the North of Europe, your Committee will commence their account of the transactions in that large and interesting portion of the Biblical field, by observing, in general, that the conduct of their excellent and indefatigable agents, the Rev. Dr. Paterson, Mr. Pinkerton, and Dr. Henderson, (the last of whom they have the happiness of seeing among them on this Anniversary,) has continued to be characterized by that diligence, zeal, and propriety, which justify the confidence reposed in them by your Society, and have endeared both their persons and their services to the Patrons and Directors of the Continental Bible Societies with which their labours are connected.
The Danish Bible Society at Copenhagen, formed under the sanction of his Danish Majesty, has been occupied during the past year in printing the edition of 10,000 copies of the Danish Bible, with 5000 extra New Testaments, towards which your Society had contributed 500l. To this undertaking, which was to be completed in the spring, has been added a distribution of French Testaments, supplied by the British and Foreign Bible Society, among the reformed congregations at Copenhagen, and Fredericia, in Jutland. In the mean time, two promising Auxiliaries have arisen in the Island of Zealand; one in the town of Kioge, and another in the village of Lyngtye: the latter, in November last, reckoned among its subscribers 329 persons, chiefly in the lower ranks of life.
The SLESWIG-HOLSTEIN Bible Society has obtained a degree of support, throughout the two Duchies of Sleswig and Holstein, which has already enabled it to prove an instrument of great usefulpess to the country.
It is pleasing to observe the manner in which this Society has been countenanced by the Supreme Authorities in both Duchies. His Serene Highness, the Landgrave Charles, and his illustrious Consort, Louisa, were the first to insert their names; next followed His Serene Highness the Duke of Holstein Beck, and his Duchess, with several other illustrious personages : and so rapidly did this spirit extend, that, at the expiration of the first year, the number
of persons connected with the general Institution, or its various Branches and Associations, was computed to exceed 10,000, and has since increased to several thousands more.
At the First Anniversary of this Institution, His Serene Highness, the Landgrave Charles, who fills the office of President, delivered an excellent address, which will appear in the Appendix; and, subsequently, in a letter to the Dean of Sleswig, the same illustrious personage thus expresses himself in reference to the success of the Institution : “The foundation of the building has been completed:
the raising of the superstructure chiefly devolves on the Clergy. The people feel a relish for real religion : they regard the Bible as its purest fountain. They ought, therefore, to be taught that the doctrines of