תמונות בעמוד

our Lord Jesus Christ, as laid down by himself, and salvation through his merits, are the chief points in which we are all interested.”

The Swedish National Bible Society at Stockholm continues its active exertions for the promotion of that end to which tbe common efforts are directed—the distribution of the Holy Scriptures. In pursuit of this design, it is aided not only by the patronage of his Swedish Majesty, and the personal influence of the first Members of the Government, particularly of His Excellency Count Rosenblad, but also by the Prelates and the parochial Clergy of the realm.

The Provincial and Auxiliary Bible Societies have shown a correspondent liberality and zeal in the proceedings which have taken place within their respective circles.

Of these, the GoTHENBURG Bible Society, as the oldest establishment, claims the first pecification. This Society has maintained its high reputation for energy and usefulness. In a year of particular distress its Committee have been enabled to distribute more than 4000 copies of the Scriptures. Large, however, as this distribution has been, it has fallen much below the demand. This the Committee of the Gothenburg Society deplore, the rather, as they have good reason to believe that the increased call for Bibles proceeds from an awakened seriousness in the people; which will not allow them, any longer, to do without this most important necessary of life for their souls.”

Your Committee now proceed to Russia: and here they feel equally at a loss to express their astonishment at the prodigious operations, in furtherance of the general cause, which are going forward in that extensive Empire, and to exhibit any thing like an adequate representation of them in the columns of this Annual Record.

Fostered by the paternal care of His Imperial Majesty, Alexander, the Russian Bible Society has, in the course of the past year, enlarged very considerably the field of its exertions, and strengthened itself by various newly-formed and promising Auxiliaries in different parts of the Empire. The following are the principal stations which they respectively occupy :-Penza, Kostroma, Tobolsk, Kief, Orel, Vladimer, Irkutsk, Kazan, Simbirsk, Pskoff, Minsk, Bialastock, Grodno, Posen, Bessarabia, Tahanrog, Tscherkask, and Twer. In the stations thus enumerated, (the last nine of which were among the places visited by Mr. Pinkerton, in his memorable tour,) the Russian Bible Society has made very important acquisitions: and whether considered with respect to the rank of the places in which they are seated, the population they comprehend, or the patronage, civil, ecclesiastical, and military, they have obtained, these auxiliaries must be regarded as powerful instruments for promoting the influence and the utility of the general Institution.

Nor ought those efforts which are making on a small scale to be overlooked. For, not only whole governments, but also departments, towps, and even single villages, have formed, within

their own circles, either Branch Societies, or Bible Associations, according to their circumstances and means. Of the latter, many have been already established; and plans have been formed for multiplying their number. So greatly, in fact, bas this expedient for bringing the cause of the Bible Society home to the bosom of the poor,

been approved, that there seems little room to doubt that its adoption will be general; and that ere long, in Russia, as well as in Britain, Bible Associations will follow in the train of Auxiliary Societies : and the institution of the former be co-extensive with the establishment of the latter.

Of the efficiency of the Russian Bible Society, in the prosecution of its object-the preparation and distribution of the Holy Scriptures, some judgment may be formed by the interesting facts that, within four years after its establishment, the Society had either published, or was engaged in publishing, not fewer than forty-three editions of the Sacred Scriptures, in seventeen different languages; forming a grand total of 196,000 copies :-that the issue of Bibles and Testaments in the fourth year fell little short of what had taken place in the three preceding years, while the increase of the funds had been in nearly an equal proportion :and, moreover, that preparations were making, at the close of that year, for stereotyping the Scriptures in five different languages; versions were going forward into the common Russian, Tartar, and Carelian languages; and measures were adopting for procuring translations into the Turkish-Armenian, and Buriat-Mongolian. When to these particulars, it is added, that, within a month after the Anniversary at which they were reported, sirteen waggon loads of Bibles and Testaments were dispatched from the capital for different parts of the Empire, nothing further needs be said to demonstrate the effective exertions of this zealous and enterprising Institution.

As it would be impracticable to detail the proceedings of the Russian Bible Society, either as carried on at St. Petersburg, or by its Auxiliary Societies in different parts of the Empire, your Committee must satisfy themselves with subjoining, to what has been thus generally stated, a few brief particulars ; referring, for more copious and distinct information, to the documents contained in the Appendix.

The progress of the Bible Society in FINLAND, under the direction of the Archbishop and the Governor-General, corresponds with the expectation which its first promise excited. While the printing of the quarto Finnish Bible is going forward at Abo, arrangements have been made for the establishment of Auxiliary Societies, and eventually, it is hoped, of Bible Associations throughout the Province, in order to render the Finnish Bible Society (the earliest establishment of the kind in the Russian dominions) more complete and effective.

The Auxiliary Bible Societies in the East SEA PROVINCES of Esthonia, Livonia, and Courtland, are among those of the Russian Provincial Establishments, in which the warmest zeal has been evinced for the distribution of the Scriptures, and the strongest testimonies have been given of advantages from their perusal. The several districts in these Provinces, as well as in the Island of Oe, sel, are rapidly covering with local Associations; and many instances are reported of zeal and liberality among all classes of people, (the lowest not excepted,) which afford “ honourable proofs of their reverential attachment to the word of God, and their deep conviction of its beneficial tendency.

But of all the Auxiliary Societies, that at Moscow is (as, from the rank of this ancient capital, might be expected) the most splendid and efficient; and, as well in the zeal of its supporters, as in the scale of its operations, is inferior only to the Parent Society at St. Petersburgh.

On the recent celebration of its fifth Anniversary, (which Mr. Pinkerton describes as, in point of interest and splendour, surpassing every meeting of the kind which he had ever yet seen in Russia, Prince Galitzin, the President of the Russian Bible Society, adverted, in the most impressive manner, to the fitness of this ancient metropolis, from its hereditary dignity, its central position, its signal deliverance from the enemy, and its restoration to more than its pristine elegance and grandeur, to become the centre of the common operations for disseminating the word of the living God. “The importance of this station"(observes the Prince)" has not escaped the penetrating eye of our most pious Monarch ; ever watchful over the spiritual interests of his subjects, and sincerely desirous that all men may drink of that living water which springeth up into everlasting life. His Imperial Majesty, in consideration of the vast number of Bibles sent from this place, and of the hourly augmentation of the Committee's labours, (which also renders an increase of means for transacting its business absolutely necessary,) has been most graciously pleased to present this Society with a large stone house. Thus, the good will of the King of kings towards the cause of the Bible Society, is conspicuously revealed in the liberal aid which this cause receives from our most gracious Sovereign, who, having resolved to rule, live, and act, according to the doctrines of Christ the Saviour, and having bound biniself to this in the most solemn manner, before the face of all nations, invites to this celestial light those nations also whom Divine Providence has intrusted to his care. And thus is fulfilled that wbich was foretold by the prophet, “The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising'.”

In what degree these multifarious exertions have produced their intended effect, it might, in this stage of their operation, be premature very strictly to inquire. The information contained in the Appendix will

, however, furnish some satisfaction on this question; and it may suffice, in this place, to observe that the zeal of Christians has been greatly stirred up; Jews have been awakened to a concern for studying the Christian Scriptures; and Mahomedans and Hea

thens been brought to desire and peruse, in their own tongues, the sacred oracles of truth and salvation.

Among other circumstances illustrative of this statement, there is one fact, wbich, from its striking peculiarity, and the consequences with which it seems pregnant, deserves to be specially noticed The tribe of Buriats

, inhabiting a distant quarter of Siberia, having been particularly struck with some sheets, which they had received, of the Gospel of St. Matthew, in the Calmuc, dispatched two of their native Chiefs, persons of high family, and very intelligent and inquisitive, to St. Petersburg, in order to obtain a translation of the New Testament into their own, which is a kindred dialect. On this translation they are now occupied; and such was the almost immediate effect of what they expressively called," the beautiful sayings of Jesus,"on the minds of these Heathen inquirers, that they acknowledged, when they afterwards turned to pray to their idols, as usual, they felt an internal disquietude, of which they never before had been conscious: and they requested to be more perfectly instructed in the nature of the Gospel. “What a striking example" (exclaims His Excellency Mr. Papoff) “ of the life-giving influence of the word of God on the hearts of the simple, seeking after truth, though they be Heathens !"

This circumstance unites with numerous other incidents, of a similar character, to mark the present as an extraordinary era ; and seems to point to the exertions in Russia as designed, in the ordination of Divine Providence, to forward the accomplishment of that prophecy which gives to the Saviour the Heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.

Your Committee cannot take leave of Russia without bearing their testimony to the energy and harmony which characterize ali the proceedings of the Committee of the Russian Bible Society. Or the former quality, a fair specimen will be seen in one of the monthly papers of business, which will appear in the Appendix. Traces of the latter are to be found in the whole system of their operations throughout the Empire. Indeed, your Committee cannot but attribute a large proportion of the success on which they have had occasion to expatiate, to that spirit of unanimity and concord which has animated all orders of the Russian people. The Clergy and the Laity, through their different gradations, appear to have emulated each other in copying the example of their beloved Emperor, and in endeavouring to give effect to his designs for the spiritual welfare of his dominions.

“I consider” (said the Emperor, in his Address to the Moscow Bible Society,) the establishment of Bible Societies in Russia, in most parts of Europe, and in other quarters of the globe, and the very great progress these Institutions have made in disseminating the word of God, not merely among Christians, but also among Heathens and Mahomedans, as a peculiar display of the mercy and grace of God to the human race. On this account, I have taken upon myself the denomination of a Member of the Russian Bible Society, and will render it every possible assistance, in order that the beneficent light of revelation may be shed among all nations subject to my sceptre.”

With this declaration, so worthy of the Sovereign of a great Empire, and so consonant with the spirit of the British and Foreign Bible Society, your Committee will conclude the European division of their Report.

From the London Jewish Expositor. The following is an extract of a letter lately received by a friend at

Leeds, from the Rev. R. Cox. “ The state of the Jews on the Continent affords an encouraging prospect, and one which ought to stimulate us in our efforts to promote their conversion. After making full allowance for several instances of ignorance, bigotry, scepticism, and worldly-mindedness, it may still be added, that a spirit of inquiry on divine subjects pervades, not merely several individuals and families, but even whole synagogues; I refer to what are called the reformed Jews. At Berlin they have a synagogue bandsomely fitted up and numerously attended, in which the disgusting yells of three clerks are exchanged for the solemn singing of the whole congregation; an annual discourse, for a weekly sermon; a proverbial indecency of deportment, for the decorum of a Protestant congregation; and a heterogeneous jumble of prayers in an unknown language, for a careful selection of them, translated into their vernacular tongue. It is encouraging to behold so large a body of the most enlightened and respectable Jews acknowledging the necessity of a' radical change among them; rejecting the Talmud as a system of blasphemy and absurdity, and confessing, that in their own houses they occasionally read and approve parts of the New Testament. Not a few profess their belief in Christ as a true Prophet, though they inconsistently decline hailing him as the promised Messiah. At Hamburgh the most respectable Jews are arranging plans for a new synagogue, and have engaged an enlightened teacher, who instructs the children in the Old Testament in a most impressive manner : most of our Hebrew Tracts and Testaments have been thankfully received. Many Jews have themselves applied for them. A Jewish Burglier, at Posen, said to us, “the Lord be with you;" and added, "The majority of the Jews are evidently wrong; the reformed party attempt a Reformation by means which cannot accomplish it; and the Christian religion is, I verily believe, the only thing that can produce among us that moral change we all stand so much in need of.” The observation of another Jew is equally striking : “Why,” said he, “do you not impress upon Christians, that, pure and divine as their religion is, it cannot lead them to felicity unless it influences their hearts and lives. I am persuaded that a great part of the Jews would have embraced the Christian religion if Christians had manifested towards them that brotherly love and exemplary conduct which the pure and exalted principles of Christ inculcate.”

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