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rest,” and fell asleep in Jesus, Lord's day, 30 Jan. 1820. He left a widow, four sons and five daughters, to sorrow most of all that they shall see his face no more. “ Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.”
REVIEW. The History of the Origin and first ten years of the British and
Foreign Bible Society. By the Rev. John Owen A. M. late Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Rector of Paglesham, Essex, and one of the Secretaries of the British and Foreign Bible Society.--New-York, J. Eastburn & Co. 1817, 8 Vo. pp. 6.34.
The true reason of our noticing this work at the present time, three years from its first publication in this country is, that we have lately observed it on sale at less than prime cosi, and that, not on the principle of charity, but for want of a ready market. Surely the History of the British and Foreign Bible Society is not an uninteresting subject, nor is the historian a dull and spiritless writer. If the book has not been eagerly sought and diligently read, the conclusion must be, we believe, against the taste, and good sense, and piety of the community. Perhaps the true state of the case is this :— The religious people of this country do take an interest in the prosperity of the church, but that interest is casual, intermitting, and always too feeble. So far as acquiring information is concerned, the most take very little pains.Even the cheap and easy mode of periodical publications of intelligence, reaches but a small portion of the communily; and that portion are so much engrossed in business, so little inclined to reading any continuous train of thought, that very few are found, besides professional men, whose minds are in a state to enter with courage upon a close printed book of 600 pages, however interesting the subject or the execution. The very fact, that it might require a month amid their other avocations, to read it, is sufficient either to dishearten them when they feel an inclination to attempt it, or to prevent that inclination altogether. We could wish (it may be thought a very natural wish for those whose business it is to disseminate it) to see the current religious intelligence of the day more eagerly sought and more diligently read; especially, we wish earnestly to recommend this continuous view of the first ten years of the British and Foreign Bible Society, to a greater share of public attention, that it may have a greater public influence. Never, it seems to us, has the period of ten years, since the creation of the world, been marked, except by the ministry of the Saviour and the miracles of his Apostles, by events more truly interesting in their nature, more grand in their aspect, more big with future consequences to the world at large, ihan those which this history records. The career of some great conqueror, may have filled the world with terror, and have prepared events of slaughter and devastation, enough to make a volume of dreadful interest; or, the seeds of discontent may have ripened to a revolution, and its ten years' annals of blood and slaughter may close with presenting a nation delivered from oppression, and rejoicing in the noveliy of self-government and in the blessings of freedom. The annals of the British and Foreign Bible Society, present many characters more truly sublime, than that great conqueror; their fortitude, and courage, and perseverance, have been mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; they have wrought a splendid revolution, and presented to the world the best of blessings, without leaving in their track a single trace of sorrow. And if such a political revolution as we have noticed, receives additional interest as the nation increases in happiness and glory through successive years; if, down the vista of ages and generations, a remote posterity looks back with admiration and gratitude upon the early history of its preparation for future happiness, surely the British and Foreign Bible Society, by its constant progress in promoting the happiliess of mankind, is every day rendering its early annals a subject of deeper and still deeper interest, and bids fair by its future operations, to render the history of its first ten years, a book to be read with delight by millennial saints.
We say not this to magnify the subject beyond its proper bounds; it requires not hyperbole ; we barely express our genuine impressions. We have read the history under consideration with the highest emotions of delight, gratitude, and love. Not with that sort of clevation of feeling which novelty and magnitude of events excite, but, we trust, with something of that profound satisfaction and admiration, which a progressive developement of divine goodness and wisdom, on the theatre of human observation aflords to the mind-which we feel, when we see the exhibition of His attributes in the character and conduct of his children.-Nor this only. As we read, we feel a stronger desire to be devoted to the Redeemer's kingdom, and to be ourselves imitators of those, whose faith, and patience, and piety, and zeal, are presented before our eyes; to be as watchful, as diligent, as steady, as courageous, as persevering, as successful. Indeed we can hardly think it possible, that there should be any Christian who can read this history of the wonderful works of God, by the instrumentality of men, without the gratification of his most holy feelings ; without having his desires more ardent, his prayers more fervent, and his views of the Redeemer's reign enlarged.
We consider the work as still more calculated to be useful, from its having considerable length. Our desultory reading makes its various impressions so slightly that they are easily effaced; our continuous leading makes indelible impressions,
establishes the habit of reflection, and rivels and fastens sentiments in the mind. This history cannot be read in an hour, or a day; it must be gone through by a succession of readings, and, by most persons by a prelty numerous succession. A briefer view might make a single impression only, to be effaced by the multitude of subsequent impressions, which in this busy world would be made upon the mind. As it is, whoever will enter upon it with a real desire to be profited, will at every reading have the impression repeated and deepened in the mind, until, by the time be has completed the interesting story, he has not merely caught the spirit of the thing so far as to applaud, but until he has imbibed it, until it has become his own, and by the grace of God, an energetic principle, urging him forward to devise all he can and do all he can ; whether his sphere be little or large, to spread the Bible, and the knowledge of the Bible through the world. His faith will be strengthened by a view of the divine condescension in blessing human efforts ; and, in his admiration of the power of God working the mightiest wonders through the weakness of men, he will lose his self-sufficiency, and will forget himself and his interests in contemplating the approaching glories of the Saviour's reign ; when, in the words of the poet, quoted by our author
“One song employs all nations, and all cry
Worthy the Lamb, for he was slain for us!!
COWPER. A gentleman, in public company, inveighing against the prevailing custom of card-playing, was requested to give his reasons for such invective, which he did in words to this effect: “I will, (said he,) since you desire it, give you my reasons; first, in general, and then, in particular. "I have observed that cards waste a great deal of time, which I esteem the most valuable treasure that God hath bestowed on us : in the next place, they exclude conversation, which is the highest of all social pleasures : and, lastly, they too frequently excite envy, repining, and ill humour. To be more particular.-In young persons, the habit of playing at cards absorbs many of those hours which should be spent in improving the mind, and which, thus simply lost, can
never afterwards be repaired; and by thus losing the opportunity of improvement, are uiterly unfit for proper employments, and, of course, fall into pursuits unworthy of the situation they might have filled, and become insignificant in themselves, and useless to society. With respect to the old: this humour of card-playing is a most wretched example, and contributes greatly to ruin the rising generation : it removes that reverence which ought naturally to wait upon years, and renders that season of life disgraceful which ought to be the object of veneration : it increases avarice, the too natural vice of age, and corrupts the heart, at a season when it should be employed in more serious pursuits. In a word, this is one great cause of that incapacity so justly deplored in our youth of both sexes, and of that profligacy which disgraces those in advanced years."
THE NEGRO PREACHER.
(An affecting Narrative.) In the Island of St. Thomas, in the West Indies, there was a negro named Cornelius : he was enlightened about fifty years ago, and soon began to preach to his countrymen. He was blessed with considerable talents, and was able to speak and write the Creole, Dutch, Danish, German, and English languages. Till 1767, he was a slave. He first purchased the freedom of his wife, and then laboured hard to gain his own liberty; which at last he effected after much entreaty, and the payment of a considerable sum. By degrees, he was also enabled to purchase the emancipation of his six children. He learned the business of a mason so well that he was appointed master mason to the royal buildings, and had the honour to lay the foundation stone of six Christian chapels for the use of the Moravian brethren. His gifts for preaching were good, and remarkably acceptable, not only to the negroes but to many of the whites. He spent even whole nights in visiting the different plantations, yet was by no means puffed up; but ever retained the character of a humble servant of Christ. When death approached (which was in November, 1801) he sent for his family: his children and grand-children assembled round the bed of the sick parent; he summoned up all his strength, sat up in the bed, uncovered his venerable head adorned with locks as white as snow, and addressed them thus :—"I rejoice exceedingly, my dearly beloved children, to see you once more together before my departure, for I believe that my Lord and Saviour will soon come and take your father home to himself. You know, my dear children, what my chief concern has been respecting you, as long as I was with you; how frequently I have exhorted you, with tears not to neglect the day of grace, but surrender yourselves, with soul and body, to your God and Redeemer ; to follow him faithfully.
Sometimes I have dealt strictly with you in matters which I believed would bring harm to your souls, and grieve the spirit of God; and I have exerted my parental authority to prevent mischief: but it was all done out of love to you. However, it may have happened that I have been sometimes too severe : if this has been the case, I beg you, my dear children, to forgive me. O forgive your poor dying father!"
Here he was obliged to stop, most of the children weeping and sobbing aloud. At last, one of the daughters, recovering herself, said, “We, dear father, we alone have cause to ask forgiveness ; for we have often made your life heavy, and have been disobedient children." The rest joined in the same confession. The father then continued: “Well, my dear children, if you have all forgiven me, then attend to my last wish and dying request : Love one another; do not suffer any quarrels and disputes to rise among you after my decease. No, my children, ” raising his voice, “ love one another cordially ; let each strive to show proofs of love to his brother or sister ; nor suffer yourselves to be tempted by any thing to become proud, for by that you may even miss of your soul's salvation ; but pray our Saviour to grant you lowly minds and humble hearts. If you follow this advice of your father, my joy will be complete, when I shall once see you again in eternal bliss, and be able to say to our Saviour, Here, Lord, is thy poor Cornelius, and the children thou hast given me.' I am sure our Saviour will not forsake you; but I beseech you do not forsake him."
His two sons and four daughters are employed as assistants in the mission. By them he lived to see twelve grand-children, and five great grand-children, being about 84 years old. He was attended to the grave by a very large company
of negro brethren and sisters, who, being all dressed in white, walked in solemn procession to the burial ground at New Hern hut.
What Christian can peruse this affecting narrative without blessing God, who, to our sable brethren hath vouchsafed this abundant grace! and who can refrain from blessing God who excited the Moravian church to these labours of love, and who hath so wonderfully succeeded their apostolic efforts.
ANECDOTES. Preservation of George Crow, and his Testament, May 26, 1556.
“ Thy word have I hid in my heart.”—Psalm cxix. 11. “George Crow, of Malden, Essex, having put to sea to procure a cargo of fullers earth, in kent, the barge was driven on shore, filled with water, and every thing washed out of her except a New Testament which Crow highly esteemed, and placed in his bosom. He had with him a man and a boy. Their situation became every minute more alarming, the boat being useless, and themselves ten miles from land, expecting that in a few hours the