תמונות בעמוד

ment and self-denial. We see them stimulating to industry, and teaching economy. And if the poor learn economy, and become industrious, from a desire to benefit others, they will soon become industrious and economical FOR THEMSELVES. If retrenchment and self-denial be practised to assist the holy designs of Christian love, we may reasonably conclude, that, when the beneficial results of such conduct are seen, it will be diligently pursued in all the regulations of DOMESTIC LIFE. Thus will the poor assume “ a higher tone of morals,” and rise in the scale of being. The prevalent but dispiriting idea, that their poverty and their fancied insignificance exclude or excuse them from all acts of benevolence, will vanish. They will be convinced of the possibility of becoming, not merely useful individuals, but blessings to society; and the consciousness of this ability will give a noble impulse to all the worthiest feelings of the heart, and make them desirous of being private and public blessings.

Nor is this all. Effects of a superior nature may be produced. Missionary benevolence is a virtue of no common interest. Transcendent in its operation, it aims at no less than the salvation of five hundred millions of souls! This life limits not its prospects; nor does this world bound its sphere of usefulness. Its projects are carried beyond the grave. Its plans are laid for eternity. It seeks to bestow on idolatry's savage millions, not only the blessings of civilization, but the unutterable bliss of an eternal weight of glory. The demolition of the power of the devil, the subversion of his empire; the destruction of his hellish worship, and the emancipation of his blinded and miserable slaves—together with the promulgation of Emanuel's Gospel, of the wonders of his love, of the triumphs of his cross, the blessings of his redemption, the establishment of his kingdom, and the universal worship of his glorious name ;-THESE, THESE are the stupendous objects of his benevolence!

Now, can any one cherish a principle so inestimable, and teeming with benefits so invaluable to others, without thereby being blessed himself? While he contemplates the lost estate of the heathen, will he not reflect on his own? Will he sincerely aid efforts to publish peace and glad tidings of forgiveness, through a crucified Lord, to Heathen Nations, without desiring that forgiveness, and sighing for that peace himself? In remembering their souls, will he forget his own? No, it cannot be! What gracious results, then, inay Associations of this kind expect from penny subscriptions ? Exalted morals—just ideas of usefulness—the annihilation of narrow-mindedness

and the expansion of the heart in all that is lovely and of good report, may be promoted. Yes! and the slothful may be induced to diligence, the drunkard may become sober, the profligate may learn frugality, and the wicked and the immoral may be won over to the cause of virtue and religion. A laudable thirst for pleasing and profitable information will be excited; the monotonous and tiresome recurrence of thought in the illiterate may be agreeably diversified ; and that well-known maxim, It is more blessed to give than to receive; will, in every point of view be realized.


From the Boston Recorder. Mr. Willis—I notice, with very great satisfaction, the information contained in your paper, from time to time, concerning Sabbath Schools; and for a week or two, I have felt an inclination to forward a communication on that subject. It was one of the felicities of my early life to be actively engaged in the formation and the service of the first Sabbath School Society that was instituted in Scotland, the land of my nativity. I have ever since kept the religious instruction of children in view as a very endeared object. And ever since I sustained the pastoral relation to a beloved people, I have not been unmindful of the lambs of the flock. For many years I laboured alone, not a single minister or private Christian, that I knew, making any attempt of the kind in any part of the United States. At last general attention is excited ; and truly, when I consider the extent on which the Sabbath School system is practised, I am filled with adoring gratitude. The spontaneous and vigorous efforts that are making in every city, in every village, and in almost every country vicinity of the protestant world, to make the rising generation acquainted with the Scriptures, which, through faith in Christ, are able to make wise unto salvation, present the mind with the most cheering and animating prospects as to the prevalence of pure and undefiled religion in the world.

During a period of thirteen years, I have conducted a Sabbath School in the principal village of this town, with various success. In other parts of the town I assembled the youth sometimes on week days; but, with the single exception of one individual, and that only for a few weeks, I could not prevail with any of our people to conduct any of these schools in my absence. About a year ago, I perceived a great alteration in the minds of several members of the church, indicating a readiness to engage in the business of conducting Sabbath Schools. And the happy result is, that ten schools have been put in successful operation; besides two meetings that are expressly designed for the edification of our young men and young women.

In all my previous attempts at leading the attention of the children to the Scriptures, I perceived a backwardness to the commit- . ting of them to memory. Even the chapters on which they were to he examined, and the texts which they produced in proof of the doctrines, were usually read. With a view to arouse their attention, and stimulate their exertion, I proposed the reward of premiums to those who should commit most Scripture and sacred poetry in a given time. This plan has exceeded my most sanguine expectation. The proposal was made in May; the public examination was

held in September; and in this short time, although they had never made trial of the strength of their memories before, it was ascertained that they had repeated upwards of ninety-seven thousand verses. The number of regular scholars were a little rising of two hundred. Three Bibles, eight Testaments, and a pretty large number of books of smaller value, were given to those above twelve years of age, several of whom had repeated upwards of 3000 verses. Three Bibles and eight Testaments were given to those between 8 and 12 years old, of whom many had repeated upwards of 1000 verses. One Bible and several Testaments were given to the best scholars under eight, one of whom exceeded a thousand verses. The day of the

public examination was one of the happiest of my life. Two hundred children, in their neatest apparel, arranged in the finest order, under the direction of their respective teachers, repeating their select portions of Scripture, with admirable propriety, and even melodiously uniting in several lovely songs of Zion, was a scene which angels might contemplate with joy and delight.

The experiment has satisfied me that premiums, in some shape, must be connected with our Sabbath School instructions, in order to excite general attention. I had formerly tried every method I could devise; but never succeeded until now, to the extent of my wishes. And never did I bestow a few dollars with such perfect satisfaction. My object in making this communication is to lead the attention of my fathers and brethren in the ministry to the subject. I mean those of them who have not exerted themselves in this work of faith and labour of love. It is of little consequence that they abound in unavailing lamentations over the carelessness and irreligion of the youth around them. Let them procure a few valuable books, and offer them as the reward of industry : it will operate as a charm, call forth latent powers, and produce a great moral change. I am not so sanguine as to imagine that the study of the Scriptures, and the storing of them in memory, will certainly produce a radical change of mind : yet these means have been blessed to many. Some of the dear youth, who have departed to the eternal world, from my ministrations, gave their dying testimony to the usefulness of our Sabbath School. But the effect in a temporal point of view, is excellent. Our youth too frequently spend much of their precious time in idleness or dissipation. The Sabbath School scholars in this place, during the past summer, redeemed that time, and appropriated all their leisure hours to the cultivation of their minds. How frequently is the Sabbath of rest misemployed and perverted ! In the remote parts of this town, the youth and children who were too distant to attend worship, instead of roaming abroad as usual, have occupied their Sabbaths of late in studying the word of God. I rejoice in the change, and exult in the hope that many of them may, by these means, be everlastingly saved.

I know of only one objection entitled to notice. It is this, that the mind is too much crowded with matter; and too little time

given to the teacher to explain what is recited. This difficulty may easily be remedied by the judicious management of the teachers. They can introduce changes at pleasure, and these will be found to be useful. Yet I am persuaded that the pure word of truth, early lodged in the mind, is of more permanent advantage than ali the instructions of man. When our illustrations are forgotten, the word of the Lord will remain. And what is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord ?

David SUTHERLAND. Bath, N. H. October 12, 1818.






From the Report of the Saton Bible Society.

Dresden, August 13, 1817. From the Speech of His Excellency Count Hohenthal Koenigsbruck, Presi

dent of the Society. DELIGHTFUL and cheering as it is, on the one hand, to perceive the zeal and energy excited in Germany, and throughout the Continent, by the British and Foreign Bible Society, in promoting a more general dissemination of the Holy Scriptures, particularly among the poorer classes of society-to which the accounts from the various Bible Societies in Germany, Switzerland, and Russia, bear ample testimony-so, on the other hand, there are two occurrences, which, to those who revere and love the word of God, may have given cause for grief and discouragement: namely, in the first place, that two foreign powers, ecclesiastical and secular, have attempted to prohibit the distribution of the Scriptures in certain quarters; and, secondly, that in one of the many pamphlets, published on occasion of the third centenary of the Reformation; the merits of Luther, as they respect the translation of the Bible, have not only been depreciated, but the very circumstance of his having believed it to be of divine origin, and by his translation into the German language contributed so much towards its becoming generally known, has been made a mat1er of reproach against him.

low are we, as Members of the Bible Society, and as friends of the word of God, to meet such events ? Let us, for a few moments, consider this question.

First of all, we have cause for the most cordial gratitude to God, that we live under the government of a King, whose piety, during a reign of nearly liny years, has always held out an example to his subjects; whose unshaken confidence in divine help was not made ashamed, even in the dark days of severe trial; and who has publicly acknowledged, that the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures had long since been his guiding star. From such a Monarch we have no prohibition of Bible Societies, or of Bible dissemination, to fear.

May God so bless our King Frederick Augustus, that we may long continue, under him, to live a quiet and godly life! May He who is able to turn the hourts of the mighty, like the water-brooks, bring them all to the conviction, iut rulers, as well as subjects, can never be truly happy till they know the word of God, and obey it?'

Secondly, the more there are, who, by their writings, endeavour to render doubtful the divine origin of the Holy Scriptures, or, by arbitrary explication,

to involve their contents in obscurity, the more zealously let us strive, by due attendance on our proper callings, to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord.

And by what means can we more easily and more safely acquire the riches of that knowledge, than by making the Bible, that Book of books, our daily study, thence deriving food for our souls ; by diligently attending public worship; by properly valuing what we know to be the truth, and by acting up to it in our life and conversation? But in order to do this, it is necessary to be convinced, that what we read in the Bible is, indeed, the word of God.

From the Rev. Mr. Strubell, to the Secretary of the Sazon Bible Society.

Wildenfelt, July 10, 1817. By the transmission of the Bibles and New Testaments, you have given me unspeakable joy; and not only me, but also my parishioners, all of whom received them, calling fervently for the blessing of God upon the Society. I had scarcely made known that a fresh supply of Bibles had arrived, when my house was crowded with applicants, (intreating for copies,) who were continu? ally followed by others: so much, indeed, that by far the smaller number of them only could be satisfied ; and my whole store was disposed of in an hour's time. I offer the revered Society my most cordial thanks; it has again sown a seed in my congregation, which, I trust, through the grace of God, will produce abundance of fruit. I am most anxious to promote a diligent reading of the Scriptures among them; I often exhort them to it, and inquire into it, in my visitation from house to house.

How much good is doing by the Bible Societies! What real blessings are they imparting ! How painful it is to see them publicly blamed for their good work! May they never become weary; may they never yield to difficulties ! We can only assist you with our prayers. Our mountains are poor; and though gold and silver may lie deep under our feet, they are not to be met with in the cottages of the inhabitants, particularly at this season, when most of them have to contend with famine and unspeakable distress. Very few of them were, consequently, able to pay any thing; though it was strikingly evident how much they desired to pay something. But when, with all the marks of genuine sincerity, they assured me, that they had not had a bit of bread either yesterday or to-day, and this assertion was but too well corroborated by their pale emaciated aspect, (for the truly industrious poor rather suffer hunger than go begging,) it was no more than my duty to give them the bread of life, without money, and without price. I was still happy to perceive, notwithstanding their bodily want, such an eagerness after this food. Many declared the Bible, and particularly the New Testament, to be their greatest treasure, and made use of the words of David : “The law of thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver.' Some, however, could pay a trifle, and they did pay it with the greatest cheerfulness.

From the Third Report of the Prussian Central Bible Society, from Au

gust, 1816, to August, 1817. In the three years since the establishment of the Bible Society, there have been circulated,

German Bibles

9944 copies. Bohemian ditto

3347 ditto. Polish ditto

3952 ditto. Wendish ditto

400 ditto.

Total ... 17643 ditto.

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