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Your Society, and its progress, animate my existence, and make me wish to prolong my sojourn, though it has been pretty long already.
Never did a similar spectacle present itself to the world! Your reports make me young again. My eyes behold clearly what Simeon could see only afar ofl. The world has quite altered its aspect to me.
From the Rev. George Thom, Cape of Good Hope.
Cape Town, April 22, 1818. When the Dutch man of war Amsterdam, of 74 guns, on her voyage
from Batavia to Holland sprang a leak, and was run on shore at Algoa Bay, to save the lives of the crew, a number of Bibles, indeed all that they
had received in Holland, were lost in her, so that not one was to be found among the hundreds of sailors, who were saved. When they came to town, several applied for the word of God; and at last so many called, that I was obliged to deny their applications, for fear of reducing my stock. The Bible and School Commission, however, answered the demands, which I was unable to supply, through the medium of the Rer. Mr. Fleck. I did nothing else for three days, but distribute, as prudently as I could, the number as stated in the general account of distribution. I have every reason to believe, that few, if any of these gifts, have been abused. The wonderful deliverance of all the crew, except three persons, from a sudden and awful death, will, I trust, have a powerful effect on the minds of these mariners. Several of the officers have assured me that the word of God has not been distributed in vain.
During the last three months of 1817 I travelled through part of the colony, about 1,800 miles, and having conveyance, I distributed a number of Testaments among Slaves and Hottentots. At two Missionary Settlements I heard the children read in those Bibles which were distributed in 1815. At the settlement Hooge-Kraal I went into the school, and found upwards of seventy children, the eldest not fifteen years of age, carrying on instruction by monitors from among themselves, and one class reading in the Dutch Bible. I called two out of this class; one, not ten years of age, read eight or nine verses; and the other, about eight years, read four verses from another part of the Scriptures, both with much propriety. Without doubt Mr. Pacalt has here, by God's blessing, donc much ; for, when I was at the settlement in 1813 none could spell, and the children were half wild.
From Mrs. Charlotte Chambers Risk, Corresponding Secretary to the Mill Creek
Bible Society. Ludlow Station, Mill Creek, near Cincinnati, Ohio, Murch 20, 1818. On reading the interesting annals of your Society, we felt the grateful emotion of being known to you as fellow-labourers, too strong to be suppressed: and, while we contemplate" the vast fabric, rising in all the solemn dignity of the Temple at Jerusalem, without the noise of a hammer, we praise and adore Him who is the foundation and the Corner-stone ; and unite our prayers with the thousands of Israel for the blessings promised in the Bible, when the whole eartlı shall be filled with the glory of God !
About three years ago the Female Bible Society of Mill Creek commenced its operations. The local circumstances of the neighbourhood were peculiarly interesting ; its citizens, emigrating from every state in our union, and from almost every country in Europe, laboured under an assemblage of difficulties; books of any kind were very scarce with them, and many families had not even the all-important Bible! To supply this want was the sole object of this Association ; and so greatly have we been favoured in the success of our labours and prayers, that we may really say, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.
Previously to our association sectarianism ran so high as to expel every thing like union in religion; but, as soon as a Bible Society was proposed and understood, as by one common impulse, party spirit subsided-all waslove: the rich laid aside their ceremony, the poor their embarrassment; they met as sisters, and conversed as friends. Emotions new and generous expanded the heart in “love to God, and good will towards man!"
The circular letter of the Female Bible Society of Philadelphia, accompanied by their constitution, and Bishop White's address, gave system and energy to our exertions ; though the minds of some of our members had been pre-disposed to it, by the frequent accounts received of the great and generous labours of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
Go on, dear brethren in the Lord—the source of your power is inexhaustible! He whom the winds and the waves obey, has the passions of men under his control, and with irresistible power can say, “ Peace, be still !" This mighty work is going on in our country.
Within a few months there have been six new societies formed within our knowledge, and they are increasing. “He that hath begun the good work will carry it on to perfection;" and will give efficiency to the exertions of the friends of Zion, until every intelligent being on earth will read the Word of Life.
The British Governor RAFFLES, has taken possession of his government, at Bencoolen, in India. Among his first acts were the establishment of a Bible Society, and the suppression of gaming houses and cock-fighting farms. He means to abolish slavery and the various impositions on the natives.
POWER OF CHRISTIAN TRUTH.
[Extracted from Dr. Franklin's Memoirs, g, inserted in Boston Rec.]
In 1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr. WHITEFIELD, who had made himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher. He was at first permitted to preach in some of our churches; but the clergy taking a dislike to him, soon refused him their pulpits, and he was obliged to preach in the fields. The multitude of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was matter of speculation to me (who was one of the number) to observe the extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers, and how much they admired and respected him, notwithstanding his common abuse of them, by assuring them they were naturally half beasts and half devils. It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street. And it being found inconvenient to assemble in the open air, subject to its inclemencies, the building of a house to meet in was no sooner proposed, and persons appointed to receive contributions, but sufficient sums were soon received to procure the ground and erect the building, which was one hundred feet long, and seventy broad; and the work was carried on with such spirit as to.be finished in a much shorter time than could have been expected. Both house
and ground were vested in Trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion, who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia. The design in building was not to accoinmodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Musti of Constantinople were to send a Missionary to preach Mahomedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.
Mr. Whitefield, on leaving us, went preaching all the way through the colonies to Georgia. The settlement of that province had lately been begun, but instead of being made with hardy, industrious husbandmen, accustomed to labour, the only people fit for such an enterprise, it was with families of broken shop-keepers, and other insolvent debtors; many of indolent and idle babits, taken out of the jails; who being set down in the woods, unqualified for clearing land, and unable to endure the hardships of a new settlement, perished in numbers, leaving many helpless children unprovided for. A sight of their miserable situation inspired the benevolent heart of Mr. Wbitefield with the idea of building an orphan house there, in which they might be supported and educated. Returning northward, he preached up this charity, and made large collections ; for bis eloquence had a wonderful power over the hearts and purses of his hearers, of which I myself was an instance. I did not disapprove of the design; but as Georgia was then destitute of materials and workmen, and it was proposed to send them from Philadelphia, at a great expense, I thought it would have been better to have built the house at Philadelphia, and brought the children to it. This I advised, but he was resolved in his first project, rejected my counsel, and I therefore refused to contribute. I happened soon after to attend one of his sermons, in the course of which I perceived he intended to finish with a collection, and I silently resolved he should get nothing from me. I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold; as he proceeded I began to soften, and concluded to give the copper. Another stroke of his oratory made me ashamed of that, and determined me to give the silver; and he finished so admirably, that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collector's dish, gold and all! At this sermon there was also one of our club, who being of my sentiments respecting the building at Georgia, and suspecting a collection might be intended, had by precaution emptied his pockets before he came from home; towards the conclusion of the discourse, however, he felt a strong inclination to give, and applied to a neighbour who stood near him, to lend him some money for the purpose. The request was fortunately made to perhaps the only one in the company who had the firmness not to be affected by the preacher. His answer was, “ At any other time, friend Hopkinson, I would lend to thee freely ; but not now, for thee seems to be out of thy right senses."
FILIAL PIETY. Nancy Ellis, one of the scholars belonging to the Tresco Sabbath School, (one of the Scilly islands,] was at the house of a benevolent person one evening, when the good man asked, “ Have you plenty of potatoes, Nancy?” “No," said the little girl, “ we have neither potatoes nor bread, and I have eat nothing but limpets since yesterday at breakfast time.” “ Sit down, Nancy, and take some supper with us.” She drew near the table, and the master of the house filled a plate, and desired ber to eat. She hesitated some time : at length she said, "My poor father has had nothing to eat since yesterday; be is in bed very sick, and cannot eat limpets; shall I take this plateful to him? I can cat limpets for my supper." “ You must certainly be very hungry, and had better eat the stew, Nancy. Of course," added he, in order, as he informed me, to try her love to ber father, “ much
your father, you must love yourself better. Come, begin-there's a good maid." "No," said she, “ Mr. J. preached to us last Sabbath, about the fifth commandment, and I cannot eat unless you will let me take it to my poor father; but if he leave any
I will eat that.”
LOVE OF THE BIBLE. Mr. Steven, at a meeting of the British and Foreign School Society, related an affecting anecdote of an industrious girl. She was employed in cotton spinning, the earnings in which trade are not considerable. Her mother became unable to work, and said that she must go to the parish.—“ No," said Mary," while I have hands to work you never shall. I will work a little sooner in the morning, and a little later in the evening, and then we shall have enough. . A Bible Meeting was to be held near: Mary said she must rise earlier and sit up later still : her mother asked the reason; when she told her that it was to earn a little money to send to the Bible Meeting : her mother told her that she would not be expected to give any thing; but she replied, that she must give something, for she was a great debtor to that blessed Book. She earned six shillings, and took it to the Clergyman of the parish : knowing her situation he refused it; but, being much importuned, he offered to take half, but this would not satisfy the child, and he was compelled to take the whole to prevent his little parishioner from being unhappy. On a former occasion, when distress prev ailed in her neighbourhood, Mary, who had husbanded a little money to purchase a chest of drawers for her scanty wardrobe, relinquished her intention with a spirit wbich did her honour, and distributed her money among the poor.
A little girl, after hearing an account of the schools of the Black Children, (as related by a Secretary of the Church Missionary Society,) brought a two-guinea
piece, which she had received as a present, and said to the Assistant Secretary, “ Take this for the poor Black Children.” The poor Children at Hamstall Ridware interested
themselves much in the success of the Sermon at Yoxall; and voluntarily collected fifteen shillings, which they sent by deputation. These feelings will grow with the growth of these children, and render them blessings to their country, and to the church of which they are members.
THE ROBBER DISARMED BY CHARITY. A pious lady of Montpelier, who devoted the greater part of her property to the relief of objects in distress, one day passing through a little wood, accompanied by her servant, was stopped by a man who presented a pistol to her, demanding her money or her life. The good lady, without being terrified, looked on him with an air of kindness, and said, “ Ah! my friend, you must be reduced to great extremity, since you are determined to take a part which both draws on you the wrath of God, and exposes you continually to all the rigours of human justice. I wish I had wherewith to supply your wants, and extricate you from the dangerous situation in which you are; but I have, alas ! only eighteen francs, which I had taken for my journey, and I offer you them with all my heart." The highwayman looking upon her attentively, before he would take the money, wished to know who she was; and when she told him,- Wretch that I am,' said he, throwing himself at her feet, I have many times experienced your bounty, and have never been denied relief when I sought it of you; and I was now upon the point of injuring you! Ah! believe me, my good lady, I did not know you, or I should pot have molested you; for though I have given you but too great a proof that I am a robber, yet I am not a monster-which I must be to injure a person so charitable as you are. Go on then, keep your money, and I will myself éscort you out of the woods, and if any one come to attack you, I will defend you, at the hazard of my life.' The lady was exceedingly affected, and endeavoured to represent to him his danger, and to urge motives of honour and religion to induce him to quit so dreadful a way of life ; and, promising to do more for him another time, she again offered him the eighteen francs : but knowing she wanted them for her journey, he would not accept them; till, at last, she prevailed on him to take nine of them, which she threw to him on going out of the wood.
Intemperance.- The Grand Jury for Philadelphia County have presented the large number of Tippling Houses within the county, as a great and growing nuisance, which demands the especial and active exertions of the citizens and officers of justice to diminish and suppress.” To this cause they principally ascribe the very abundant use of spirituous liquors, producing drunkenness, assaults and batteries, violations of social obligations, breaches of every domestic tie, pauperism, and their accompanying miseries and vices.