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Of German New Testaments in the three years
Ditto, of the Ratisbon edition
Together - 3489 ditto.
Making a general Total of - 21,132 ditto. Auxiliary Societies have this year also been formed at Ruhland, in Upper Lusatia, and at Ruhrort, in the vicinity of Duisburg; and from the connexion in which they stand with other filial Societies, the sphere of action of the latter is likely to be enlarged.
Although the exertions of all these filial Societies are, in a great measure, obstructed by the still continuing difficulty of obtaining a supply of Bibles, there is a prospect, that, by the new editions now undertaken, and the enlargement of other printing establishinents, the supply may be rendered equal to the demand.
May the zeal for the dissemination of the Holy Scriptures never cool among us! May it be excited in all who feel deeply interested in the progress of the Gospel, by a due consideration of the want of the Holy Scriptures, and of the blessed effects resulting from the promulgation of the word of God! Then, with the blessing of the Lord, this our work wil infallibly contribute to build up and edify the church of Christ, both in purity of doctrine, and holiness of life.
Letter from his Majesty the King, to the Central Bible Society. I have observed, with peculiar interest, the happy success which has attended your exertions to promote the promulgation of the Holy Scriptures, communicated to me in your letter of the 19th of this month, which accompanied your Second Report: and I join you in the wish you express at the conclusion of it.*
(Signed) FREDERIC WILLIAM. Berlin, February 21, 1817. To the President and Directors of the
Central Bible Society in Berlin.
From the First Report of the Geneva Bible Society. December, 1817. Faithful to the essential and fundamental principle which the British and Foreign Bible Society has so wisely laid down, and so scrupulously observed, the Geneva Society has distributed the Sacred Books without note or conment : thus nothing human is found associated with those lessons which the word of God inculcates; nor is their purity endangered by any admixture.
The number of families in which the pastors have found that no copy existed, has surpassed any estimate which before could have been made. Whether all who were in need have applied, is more than we can venture to affirm ; but so much we can say, with as much truth as satisfaction, that there has been an anxiety to receive the Sacred Books. As soon as the distribution was announced, a multitude of persons came forward to ask for them ; gratitude for this gift expressed itself with evident marks of sincerity, and in a manner corresponding with the different characters of the receivers : tears of religious emotion flowed from the eyes of more than one unfortunate person, on taking into his hands the book from which he was to draw true consolation; and such testimonies have proved, that there always existed among us souls affected by the grace of their Saviour and their God.
The moral and religious effects of this distribution of the Holy Scriptures cannot yet be appreciated; nor is this to be wondered at. It is not to be expected, that in so short a time, langour can be changed into an active principle,
* May the Giver of all good bless what is doing with a sincere desire to promote the extension of his kingdom among all nations.
or indifference into zeal; that faith can have been re-animated, morals purified, and circumstances ameliorated. Yet there are not wanting consolatory facts. The pastors in their visits have, in some places, found persons occupied in reading the Bible; in others, families assembled to hear it read. Charitable persons, on entering the dwellings of the afflicted, have discovered, that consosation had entered before them, by means of the word of God.
Progress of the Translation and Circulation of the Scriptures, by the Baptist
Missionaries in India. The whole of the Scriptures in the Ooriya have been printed. A new edition of the Testament, of 4000 copies, has been begun, and the printing advanced to the middle of Matthew.
In the Bengalee, in which the opportunities for distribution are becoming daily more extensive, we have commenced a new edition of 5000 copies of the whole Scriptures, in a new and much reduced type. By means of this alteration we shall be able to comprise the whole Bible in one large octavo volume of 850 pages, which has hitherto occupied five volumes of 800 pages each.
In the Sungskrit, (the Latin of the East, and intelligible to almost all the learned men throughout Hindoostan,) the Historical Books have been completed, and the printing advanced to the middle of Jeremiah. We therefore expect to complete this volume within the next three months, and shall then have printed the whole of the Scriptures in that language.
The Hindee Bible is still further advanced ; and we fully expect that within a month the last part will be ready for distribution. We shall then have printed the first edition of the whole Scriptures, with a second edition of the New Testament.
In the Mahratta, the Historical Books have been printed off, since the last Memoir, and the Hagiographa advanced to the middle of Proverbs.
In the Sikh, the Pentateuch is just completed, and the Historical Books are begun.
In the Chinese, we have just completed the Pentateuch, and are now pro. ceeding with a second edition of the New Testament.
In the Telinga, the New Testament is printed as far as the Thessalonians.
In the Pushtoo Testament, the printing is advanced as far as the 1st of Peter; and in the Assum and Wutch, to the Romans; while in the Bruj Bhassa, although a delay has arisen in consequence of the distance of Mr. Chamberlain's station, who was superintending the version, we are preparing to proceed with the printing as before.
In the Kurnata, we have finished Mark, and are proceeding with Luke ; while in the Kunkuna, the Mooltanee, the Sindhee, the Kashmere, the Bikaneer, the Nepal, the Doduypore, the Marwar, the Juypore, and the Khassee, not much progress in the printing has been made since the last Report; access to them, in many cases, being difficult, and their prosecution interfering with the supply of countries more extensive, and more easy of approach. As soon, however, as the Hindee and Sungskrit versions are completed, it is intended to proceed with them.
Our opportunities of distributing the Scriptures, when printed, are becoming more extensive.
From the Fourth Report of the Bombay Auriliary Bible Society.
September, 1817. The few copies of the Syriac Gospels received from England, at the time the last Report was printing, have been forwarded to the Residents of Travancore and Cochin, for the use of the Syrian Christians on the Malabar Coast; they proved exceedingly acceptable, and are said by their Priests to be correctly printed, in a very legible and beautiful type. There are very few copies of the Syriac Testaments among them; and the Catanars, or Clergy, ex. pressed a very anxious wish to have copies of the whole of the Holy Seriptures printed in a similar manner. As the Committee have since received a further supply of these Gospels, they will not fail to forward them for distribution in the best manner.
From the Sixth Report of the Blackheath Auxiliary Bible Society.
May 17, 1817. From the returns which have been made to them, the Committee of the Greenwich Association have now to report, that 779 families, comprising 2554 persons, have been visited ; of whom 1898 can, and 656 cannot read. In this population, 565 copies of the Sacred Scriptures were found, and 549 copies are immediately desired ; towards the procuring of which, 279 persons have offered to subscribe sums, amounting to il 128 6d per week. The sub-Committee, however, confidently believe that the existing demand for the inspired volume is very considerably under-rated, and that, eventually, it will appear, that the labourers who may undertake the distribution, will find more uncultivated ground than is at present supposed to exist.
It is now ascertained, that after the Blackheath Auxiliary Bible Society has been instituted more than five years, there remain, in two populous parishes, in the centre of its operations, at least Two THOUSAND PERSONS, who do not possess among them a single copy of the Holy Scriptures.
The orderly and peaceable behaviour of the poor in this populous vicinity, in a season of peculiar difficulty, may, your Committee have no doubt, be ascribed, in a great measure, to the increase of moral feeling, and of "that righteousness which exalteth a nation,” as promoted by the liberal circulation of the Scriptures.
From the Sixth Report of the CAMBRIDGE AUXILIARY BIBLE Society,
November 18, 1817. Of the Town Association—the last in the order of its establishment, but not the least in its energy and usefulness-your Committee are happy to report, that it has abundantly realized the hopes excited at its formation. In something less than two years, it has distributed, by sale, at about two thirds of the
cast price, 1000 Bibles and Testaments; and, after defraying all its own expenses, together with the voluntary loss it had entailed "pon itself, it has paid to the Auxiliary Society the sum of 1001. as the first-fruits of its increase'. Your Committee are authorized to add, that it is in contemplation to extend the benefits of this Association to every part of this county, by establishing in every town and village the same system of inquiry from house to house, which has been so happily pursued in this town and its immediate neighbourhood.
From the fifth Annual Report of the Committee of the HENLEY AUXILIARY Bi
October 8, 1817 Your Committee cannot refuse adding two or three extracts from the Reports of some of the District Committees, respecting the influence of these Institutions, under the management of 148 ladies, going about doing good; and by whose kindness it is fairly calculated, that not less than 1000 visits are, upon an average, paid to the cottages of the poor, nearly every week. Upon such a system, it is scarcely possible that the real circumstances of the poor should remain unknown: and it is equally improbable that those who are thus employed in weekly visits of mercy, to furnish the bread and water of life to only benehts of Bible Associations, they would well deserve the support and encouragement of every well-wisher to the happiness of the labouring classes of society ; but these are only the lesser fruits.
the hungry and thirsty soul, should be unmindful of the various wants of the :'poor in reference to their temporal circumstances. Indeed, if these were the
A poor boy, who had been known and marked as an idle and wicked boy, the corrupter of his companions, and the trouble of his master and friends, was present at one of these meetings, and was induced to become a subscriber for a Bible. From this time, an evident change was observed in his conduct : at length, he got his Bible ; and the effect of his reading it, was, that he became an example of industry, and that his whole character was greatly improved. This new course he has for a long time kept, and gained the entire respect of his employer. He lately subscribed for a pocket Testament, and gave as his reason, that he could not carry his Bible about with him, and that he had many leisure minutes in a day, in which he could read, if he had a Testament with him. Nor can your Committee omit to notice, that in one district of your Society, thirty-sit copies of the Sacred Scriptures have been received by hunds which had never previously handled, and perused by eyes which had never before beheld, the lively oracles of God.
From a Correspondent in Ireland, June 22, 1818. I am happy to have to inform you of the pleasing prospect this town and its neighbourhood afford. The Bibles and Testaments you gave me for distribution, among such of my neighbours and acquaintances as could not easily procure them, have already proved a great blessing; for their circulation through the different villages has, through the divine blessing, been the happy means of exciting many to read the Sacred Word, who, in all human probability, would have remained in ignorance of themselves and of their Creator. The Sabbath Day now becomes truly a delightful scene; the Scriptures being read in the different families, and all who can go out to hear them publickly read, assembling together for that purpose. And besides these meetings for reading the Scriptures, we have also, in my place, a great number of young women who attend, under the direction of some ladies, who hear them read and repeat their tasks, which these adults do with the greatest simplicity, and manifest the strongest desire for religious improvement. On last Sabbath we had 58, most of whom repeated their Scripture tasks, greatly to the satisfaction of the ladies who attended. This has ca used a very great demand for Testaments.
From the Rev. Dr. Paterson.
St. Petersburgh, June 19, 1818. We had a most interesting Meeting of Committee. Our new Russian Greek Metropolitan was present, and also the Metropolitan of the Roman Catholic Church, besides several others of high rank, both clergy and laity. It appears that we have now more than 120 Bible Societies in Russia, including Bible Associations. The letters from them, and from other correspondents, were numerous and interesting in the highest degree. Among others, a numher of letters from Russian peasants were read, which excited much feeling, and showed that they had not read in vain the Bibles furnished by the Society. All tended to prove that the Word of the Lord has free course, and is glorified in Russia. This vast empire is rapidly advancing in religious knowledge. This will be much hastened by the appointment of the learned, pious, zealous, and liberal Michael, to be Metropolitan, and Head of the Holy Synod. He is our friend, from conviction. His eyes beamed with joy when your account of your last Anniversary Meeting was read. Several undertakings were proposed, and agreed to. Among others, it was resolved to print 5000, copies of the Turkish Armenian New Testament. I am using my utmost endeavours to get the Modern Russian, and Mongolian put to the press : Matthew and John are already translated in the latter, and will be printed in one volume.
The translation of the New Testament in the Siberian Tartar dialect is also finished. Three other translations are preparing in different Finnish dialects, spoken in Russian Siberia. I shall soon send you a number of editions which have left the press since last Autumn.
From the two Burjat Nobles, to their Prince.
St. Petersburgh, April, 1818. When we beheld the contents of your letter, in which you convey to us kind exhortations and words of affection, expressing a wish that we might use all diligence in translating the Sacred Gospel, we were greatly rejoiced.
By your kind endeavours we have been brought near to the sacred feet of our highly exalted Monarch, (the Emperor,) and reached the City of St. Petersburgh, where shines the brightness of the holy doctrine ; for here we have seen and heard the most sacred words of the Most High and saving God.
That we ever should see and hear such things, we never before had an idea.
Of the words and doctrine of the Most High and saving God, Jesus Christ, weh ave transcribed, into the Mongolian language and character, the first book, called the Gospel of St. Matthew, and completed it. Another book, called the Gospel of St. John, will soon be finished.
The word of God being so very clear and intelligible, we cannot sufficiently admire it, and we feel that it is truth which may be relied upon.
This vehicle of a reasonable faith, this pearl of a devout heart, although existing eighteen hundred and eighteen years upon earth, has hitherto not yet come to our Mongols and Burjats.
According to our humble opinion, our highly exalted and gracious Sovereign is a hand of God: and the Society of the Holy Book of religion, called the Bible, a true Apostle of Jesus Christ.
When, by the grace of God, our people, as well as every creature who speaks the Mongolian language, shall forsake their own faith, and receive the doctrine of Christ--when they shall walk in the strict and saving way--they will, under his light and easy yoke, adopt a good conversation and good manners : that faith is the work of God alone.
We are fully and firmly resolved to receive the doctrine of the saving God Jesus Christ. Although we are not yet acquainted with the manners and usages of his religion, and when we return home, should find no teacher, upon whose breast we could lean our head, neither any house of God; yet after the conviction we have obtained, of the truth of the word of God, we can no longer endure the want of it; we must abide by this doctrine.
We hope, that our highly exalted and most gracious Sovereign, when he shall hear that his subjects on the outermost borders of his kingdom have adopted Christianity, will favour us with wise and worthy teachers.
From the Rer. Professor Levade.
Lausanne, March 27, 1818. Our work is proceeding—10,000 copies of the first sheet of Genesis left the press the evening before Easteran auspicious circumstance!
It is superfluous to tell you with what lively sensations your new gift (250l.) has been received, and with what care we shall fulfil the conditions under which it was granted. We are ten of us, who are all engaged with full purpose of heart, and without looking to any remuneration, to render our edition superior to all those we know, both as to the version, and the correctness of the press. We introduce no alterations into Ostervald's version, except such as are recog. nised as evidently necessary.