« AnteriorContinuar »
lonies, and foreign settlements, dependent on the crown of the United Netherlands.
At Surinam more especially, the work of distribution has been going on very prosperously. Hebrew Testaments have been largely demanded by the Jews inhabiting that colony, who (in the language of the report,) exhibit a desire for this holy volume, which is rarely to be met with in Europe.
Switzerland.-We now pass on to Switzerland, which has continued to evince a laudable zeal in the great work of disseminating the Holy Scriptures among her simple and interesting population.
The Basle Bible Society, and the printers connected with that institution, have issued, in the course of the past year, 30,000 copies of the Scriptures, and 30,000 more have either just lett the press, or are on the point of being completed. The number either issued or undertaken, within the last eighteen months, amounts to upwards of 55,000 copies. The German translation of the monthly extracts has been attended with very considerable advantages. Copies have been widely circulated both in Switzerland and Germany, and the perusal of them has tended greatly to dispel prejudice and encourage exertion.
The Zurich Society has increased in support; and the Schaffhause Society, since the festival of the reformation, has been under the necessity of giving applicants tickets, to be exchanged for Bibles, in proportion as the required copies could be successively furnished from the presses at Basle.
At St. Gall, the last edition of 3000 copies of the Testament is nearly exhausted, and preparations are making for proceeding to a new impression.
The Grison's Bible Society is engaged in printing the New Testament in the Upper Romanese dialect'; and in the mean time, the distribution of the Scriptures in the Romanese, German, and Italian languages, is proceeding with equal diligence and discretion.
From Bern, the intelligence received is particularly gratifying. “ Our Bible associations," writes the venerable vice-president of the Bern Bible Society, " maintain their zeal, collect liberal contributions, and assist us with much prudence and discretion, in the dissemination of the word of God: and we frequently receive 'from them most affecting intelligence of the blessing which attends their labours. We also assemble the Committees of this city, in order to communicate to them the most interesting particulars from the accounts thus transmitted, and to animate them with fresh zeal."— The printing of an edition of Piscalor's German versión of the Bible, and which has been from time to time deferred, seems likely soon to be accomplished. * A few weeks ago," writes a correspondent, "we were still uncertain whether we might venture to undertake so expensive a work : but God confounded our unbelief by the arrival of a letter from England, cominu icating
an extract from the last will of my departed friend, George Moslyn, Esq. ; who has generously bequeathed 2001. sterling to our society in aid of the distribution of the Bible in this country.”
A new and promising Bible society bas been established for the canton of Glarus.
The distribution of the Catholic Scriptures in the cantons adhering to that communion, has been industriously and discreeily continued by the enlightened ecclesiastics, and other individuals, whose exertions in this line the society have had frequent occasion to commend. More than 6000 copies have passed into those channels, within the year, through the useful inedium of the Basle Society.
The Committees of Lausanne and Neufchatel are indefatigably employed in preparing a revised quarto edition of Ostervald's Bible.
of the Geneva Bible Society, the Committee only remark, in the words of its excellent president; “ Our Biblical labours proceed well : thanks to your powerful support. The translation of the sheets of correspondence is attended with success, and the transmission of thein into France appears to have produced great benefit."
Germany. - Germany has furnished much intelligence of a satisfactory nature, in the course of the past year; from which we can select only a very few brief particulars.
The Hambro'-Altona Bible Society has commenced printing an edition of Luther's Bible.
The Bremen Society has paid attention to the wants of the Catholics; who have received Testaments in the version approved by themselves, and many of whom have become members of the society, and contributed liberally towards its funds.
The auxiliary society at Gottingen has established five associations in connexion with it, in the three ecclesiastical circuits of Gottingen, at Dransfeld, and Hertzberg. The spirit of this society, and the useful influence it is producing, will appear from the following declaration of the Rev. Professor Staendlin, on transmitting a copy of its report : " The word of God is again obtaining its former authority and influence in Germany, triumphing over the systems of a spurious philosophy and the efforts of a merely profane science, which, while it abounds in criticisms, and glories in philological learning, loses sight of the very essence of religion.”
The Bible society of Hesse Cassel is in full operation. The good effects of a recent visit from the president of the SleswigHolstein Bible Society, the Landgrave Charles, brother to the sovereign of Hesse, are thus pleasingly described : -" The friends of truth in this place have been materially strengthened in their pious activity by the animating example of our Landgrave Charle during his last visit here; the hours spent in conversation with this enlightened prince, on subjects which the world can neither discern nor relish, were seasons of delight and refreshment to all those to whom he communicated the pious sentiments of his heart."
The society at Hesse Darmstadt, as well as those at Giessen and Worms, continues to distribute the Scriptures among a populaion suffering from the distressing consequences of the late destructive war. The venerable superintendent Muller writes : “ Our stock of Bibles is now almost entirely exhausted, and it is incredible with what eager desire and grateful joy this sacred work is received by all. Since we commenced our distribution, the number of applicants for a Bible has increased to several thousands, whom we cannot supply; the promised subscription for the year being utterly inadequate to such extensive demands."
Of the Fraoktort Bible Society the most satisfactory accounts have been furnished. From its position as a thoroughfare for travelling journeymen and mechanics, and the reputation it has acquired by the condescending notice of it on the part of the Emperor Alexander, the society of Frankfort has found abundant opportunities of diffusing far and wide the oracles of God.
The Wurtemberg Society is assisted by seven auxiliaries, and one association; in addition to which it has derived contributions from nearly all the corporations of tradesmen, and from the merchants' clerks. Since the establishment of the institution, more than 35,000 copies of the Scriptures have been put into circulation, nearly two-thirds of which were Bibles. The patronage of the sovereign continues to be accompanied by indications of a sincere and increasing interest in its prosperity and efficiency. In addition to the grant of a building formerly referred to; which grant was afterwards enlarged, his majesty has sent 500 florins to the society, and given permission to apply freely to him whenever they have any request to make.
The Saxon Bible Society, after issuing more than 15,000 Bibles, and 6000 Testaments, has found itself so pressed by demands, as to be under the necessity of having recourse to another imn. pression of the Bible. The whole edition of 3000 copies, in the Wends' dialect, had been disposed of by anticipation before it left the press.
At the anniversary of the Saxon Society, the noble president, Count Hohenthal, mir ister to his Saxon majesty, delivered a very striking address, in which, after many pertinent remarks on the degeneracy of the age, (which he ascribes to the neglect of a religious education as its principal cause,) he draws the following conclusion :
“O let us, who are members of the Bible society, daily read the Bible, with fervent prayer to God that he would open our understanding, and give us to experience in our own hearts the power of his word. The more we make ourselves acquainted
with the Scriptures, the more plain will that become which at first was unintelligible to us. Let us take care that our children ac. quire a taste for the word of God; and that by the use of the Bible in schools, the volume itself be put into the hands of the children of the poor: that the rising generation may enter into the world, enriched with scriptural ideas, and filled with divine truth: this is the surest way to improve the condition of mankind."
A very gratifying report has been transmitted by the Eisenach Bible Society, from which it appears that their anniversary meeting in July last was highly satisfactory. The grand duke and duchess have manifested a warm friendship towards the society; not a few of the poor have brought their humble offerings; and the most grateful emotions have been excited by the affecting acknowledgments of those clergymen and schoolmasters whose parishes and schools had been supplied with copies of the Scriptures.
Prussia.—Under the continued patronage of the king and the members of the royal family, the Prussian Bible Society enjoys that prosperity which encourages the belief that the blessing of God is upon it. The number of Bible societies, more or less connected with it, amounts to thirty-three, independently of Bible associations. Through these societies, 13,750 Bibles, and 11,550 Testaments, have been put into circulation during the past year: and the central institution alone, within the five years since its formation, has issued 22,724 Bibles, and 8,900 Testaments, in the German, Polish, Bohemian, Wendish, and Swedish languages. The hospitals and prisons have been furnished with copies of the Scriptures, and every prudent regulation has been adopted for securing the permanence of the books in the several wards, and their constant and attentive perusal.
Denmark.--The Danish Bible Society appears only to have waited for a sufficient supply of the Scriptures, in order to develop its energies. So rapidly has the society extended itself over the face of the country, that there are few places of any consideration, in which an auxiliary has not been, or is not likely soon to be established. The cause is also very warmly espoused by numbers of the clergy of every rank, and among them the bishops stand particularly distinguished. Much had been done towards effecting this pleasing result by the residence of ihe Rev. Dr. Henderson in Denmark.--Of 10,000 Bibles, and as many Testaments, printed by this society, nearly the whole have been distributed, and new editions of both are now in the press.- His Danish majesty, on receiving the last report of the Sleswig-Hol- • stein Society, addressed to the secretary, the very Rev. Dean Callisen, the following acknowledgment:" We have received, to our highest satisfaction, the Third Annual Report of the Sleswig(lolstein Bible Society humbly transmitted to us by you; and it is
our wish, that the exertions of this society may ever be attended with the best effects. We commend you to the kind providence of God. “Given at our castle of Fredericksburgh, June 22, 1819.
(signed) - FREDERICK Rex." A similar testimony of approbation was given to the proceedings of the high court of chancery for the duchies of Sleswig-Holstein and Lauenburgh.
It was not, however, by the supreme authorities and persons of elevated condition alone, that the conduct of this society was approved; its labours were also appreciated by those who moved in the humblest walks of life. "A farmer, who wishes not to be known (writes Dean Callisen,) has presented to the society 10 rix-dollars, collected by the daily deposit of one Danish shilling."
The Bible associations in the country parishes continue to flourish, under the pastoral encouragement of their ministers; and the Committee at Sleswig watch over all the numerous auxiliaries and associations throughout the duchies with parental attention, and see the fruit of their cares in the returns of an active and cheerful co-operation. The zeal of their pious president, the Landgrave Charles of Hesse, operates powerfully on the movements of this Committee. His highness enters very earnestly into the affairs both of the Sleswig-Holstein and the Hesse Cassel Society.
Sweden.--The Swedish Bible Society, under the patronage of his majesty, and the prudent direction of its indefatigable president, Baron Rosenblad, continues to maintain its high rank among the Continental Bible Societies. At the close of its fourth year, the society had printed, inclurling what had been done by its predecessor the Evangelical Society, 66,700 Bibles, and 71,100 Testaments; making a total of 137,800 copies of the scriptures, of which 118,140 had been put into circulation.
The Upsala Society was stimulated to great exertions by the last address of the venerable Archbishop, a short time previous to his decease. Having
Having invited and admonished all the clergy in his diocess to unite with him in personal inquiry from house to house, in order to ascertain the want of the scriptures, a large number of copies was ordered from Stockholm, and distributed among the poor, in the grammar schools, work-houses, hospitals, prisons, and other public institutions. The expense of this distribution was discharged by the liberal collections made at the Jubilee of the Reformation, in consequence of a recommendation to that effect from the throne.
The Skara Society, aware of the difficulty, on the part of the poor, of raising a sufficient sum to purchase a Bible, yet desirous to encourage the principle of purchasing, adopted the plan of accommodating the poorer parishes on credit ; and the effect has been, a considerable increase in the number of applications.