« AnteriorContinuar »
the Parent Society as was announced in the last year's Report. The total income of the society is £2360 73. 7d., of which £1314 12s. 4d. is the ample contribution of the Ladies' Branch. Of this whole amount, £183 58. 7d. has been locally expended; £577 18. 11d. has been remitted for the purchase of Bibles and Testaments; and £600 as a contribution for the general purposes of the society, exclusive of £1000 remitted for the same purpose by the Ladies' Branch. The total sum contributed since the formation of the Liverpool Society in 1811, is £10,636 95. 3d. in addition to £2948 2s. 7d. remitted to London for the purchase of copies of the sacred scriptures, making in all £13,584 i1s. 10d.
So large an issue of Bibles and Testaments for the supply of local want was announced in the last Report of the Ladies' Branch, as to make a considerable reduction in the number distributed during the past year: 3392 Bibles, 2704 Testaments, together 6096, have been sent from the depository. The total number put into circulation by the society since its institution, is 36,574. Twelve Bibles, and 136 Testaments, have been intrusted to different persons, about either to visit or reside in Jamaica, Rio de Janeiro, Newfoundland, and Africa, in answer to requests for such grants, and promises of conscientious regard to their appropriation. Twenty Bibles were voted at the urgent request of the Managers of the Female Penitentiary; and as one is given to every person leaving the house, there is hope it may noi be read in vain, but that the injunction of Him who said to the object of his mercy, “Go, and sin no more, lest a worse thing happen unto thee," may be recommended to their hearts, and evidenced in their future lives.
Extracts from the Third Report of the Ladies' Branch of the
Liverpool Auxiliary Bible Society, for the year 1819. The distribution this year is necessarily less than the preceding one. It amounts to 1631 Bibles and 1620 Testaments, making the total number distributed to subscribers since the establishment of the society 7891.
The number of Bibles and Testaments gratuitously given this year is only 38. The smallness of this number may be attributed to the plan of lending, which has peculiar advantages, and which was detailed in the last Report. The loan of Testaments, under the direction of the Collectors, who are responsible for them, and who make periodical reports of their condition, has been found exceedingly useful in quieting that impatience which many subscribers feel until, on the completion of their subscriptions, they obtain their Bibles ; and in exciting in many, who at first set little value on the scriptures, a reverence for them, and a desire to possess copies for themselves. The number of sub
scribers this year is 7022, of which 2575 are free contributors, and 4447 Bible subscribers ; the total number, from the establishment, is 14,435.
The respective associations have made grants to this society, for the general objects of the British and Foreign Bible Society, amounting this year to £607 2s. 6d. ; total, since their formation, £967 138. 8d.
The Committee having had an adequate supply of Bibles and Testaments on hand at the commencement of the year, have ventured to remit, through the Liverpool Auxiliary Bible Society, £1000, to the Parent Society, on moiety account, i. e. claiming one-half back in Bibles. This sum makes the total sum remitted by the Ladies' Branch, from the commencement of its operations, £2000. The receipts of this year have been £1482 78, 7d., and the total amount received since the establishment £ 4448 2s. 8d.
The decay of trade has rendered this year peculiarly distressing to the poor ; but many are the instances in the Monthly Association Reports, in which the power of the scriptures in comforting the poor and aged, has been exemplified by producing a meek and quiet spirit, and leading the mind to stay itself on the only real and ultimate source of consolation. We hope we do not deceive ourselves in believing, that the peaceable temper evinced by the generality of the lower orders in Liverpool, during the late turbulent period, has been, in a great measure, effected by the blessing of God accompanying the perusal of his holy word, now diffused so generally among them.
Encouraged to perseverance by a sense of duty, the Collectors bave not only been cheered by observing the happy effects of their labours upon others, but also by perceiving the blessing return to themselves. The question naturally suggests itself, “ If a knowledge of the Bible which I distribute, is essential to the present and future happiness of others, is it not equally so to mine ?" They have hence been induced, in more instances than one, to "search the scriptures” with personal interest; and two Collectors, who now rest from their labours, left behind them an undisputed testimony, that, having been firsi led by this consideration to an attentive examination of the contents of the sacred volume, under the blessing of God, they found them able to make them“ wise unto salvation.”
Many are the proofs of the reciprocally affectionate interest created between the Collectors and the subscribers. One of the former changed her residence that she might, with more ease and punctuality, attend to her interesting charge. The inoral effects of the ladies' visits are increasingly apparent; their enlightened and active sympathy has necessarily produced civility, order, confidence, and gratitude in the labouring classes. '“ To be roused to the heights of mercy,” says Dean Kirwan, “you should have personal experience of what passes around you ; one sin
- Do not put
gle morning devoted to explore the recesses of misery would preach to you through life !"
There may, to a casual observer, be an appearance of oppression, in requiring from a labourer the full price of a Bible; and were it deinanded at once, it might possibly be felt by the indi. vidual as such ; but on their own reiterated testimony “ a penny a week is never missed," and in the end the Bible is received almost as a gift, though as the fruit of their own industry, they are more pleased than if it were gratuitously presented.
There are those whose claims upon the sympathy of your society, and the assistance of its sunds, are silently but forcibly urged. We refer to the daily increasing number who, having manifested a desire for the scriptures, and commenced subscriptions for the purpose of obtaining them, have been obliged, by unwonted privations, to suspend their payments. my name out of your book, I will begin again as soon as I get work," has frequently been the language of such ; and we trust the plea will neither be inefficiently addressed to us, nor to the generous friends whose almoners we are, and to whom we thus render an account of the trust committed to our care.
In reviewing the proceedings of the past year, your Committee desire unreservedly to lay the grateful praise with which their hearts overflow, at His feet, “whose they are, and whom they serve;" who has prompted the heart to desire and the band to dispense the word of life, and who has graciously afforded such abundant evidence that their labour has not been in vain.
Extracts from the Appendix. Association No. 6.-A poor woman, who received her Bible some months ago, addressed the ladies with~" I shall never cease to be grateful to you! Had it not been for your visits, I should never have been in possession of a Bible ; too poor to pay for it all at once, I should not have been inclined to make any sacrifice to obtain it, as I was then ignorant of its value."
Association No. 2.-Two young women, who were reported last year as giving hopes of reformation, and were then in the Penitentiary, have since conducted themselves well: one has left, and is well married. A third, who was induced to forsake her former habits, has been also admitted, and gives satisfaction 10 the Matron.
Association No. 3.-A poor woman, living in a cellar, paid twopence a week for a Testament, with which she was so much pleased, that she continued her subscription for a Bible, and obiained it; the first she ever had in her possession ! Neither she nor her husband could read, but she said, “Our little boy reads for us every Sabbath evening, and as often as I can spare time to hear him; but my husband and I am endeavouring to learn, that we may read the Bible for ourselves."
An aged and industrious couple had been, from the first, con. stant and cheerful subscribers of one penny a week, and in return have received four Testaments, which they have given to poor children. When the order for the last Testament was given them, it was asked if they proposed continuing their subscription; “ Yes," was the reply, " there are plenty of poor children, and we cannot give them any thing better than a Testament.”
A servant, who is a free contributor, having early last year obtained a large Testament, subscribed for another, which, with feelings of anxiety, she sent to her father, who resides in a distant county. In the course of a few weeks, she had the happiness of hearing, that he had not only received it well, but, to the surprise of all in the neighbourhood, studiously perused it, and since regularly attended a place of worship.
Association No. 4.-A negro gave thirteenpence quarterly, saying, he had a Bible, and felt thankful that he had learned to know its value. He aftewards doubled his subscription, adding, that he had come to a determination to do all he could for the glory of God.
Association No. 13.—The majority of our Bible subscribers are Roman Catholics ; one, an elderly woman, followed the Collectors freely to give her mite; she said, “the Southwark facts had convinced her that Catholics ought to read the Bible for themselves; and she begged, when the ladies came down the lane, they would call at her cottage, and she would save another shilling for them, for she was sure the Lord would bless his own
Association No. 3.— The salutary effects of perusing a loan Testament have been evident in a girl not six years old. In the illness which caused her death, she desired to have the Teslament brought her; throwing her arms round her mother, she said, “Oh! mother! I do love you, but I am going to Jesus, where I shall be for ever happy! and I would leave this Testament to my little brother, but you know it is not mine. Do subscribe for one when I am dead, and have my name written in it, and the day when I received it, and keep it for him. I shall leave you, mother, but I shall be so happy!” Thus, “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings doth He perfect praise."
Association No. 7.-One of the first persons admitted to our Adult School was Anna , a respectable servant, who had lived eighteen years with Captain and Mrs. B- Steady and persevering industry enabled her, in twelve months, to read the Testament, which she had purchased of the Ladies' Bible Society, with ease and pleasure to herself; a pleasure not merely derived from an ability to read, but communicated by the light of divine truth, which, through this medium, dawned upon her mind. She was not now, as formerly, ashamed to confess her ignorance. “Many an hour have I," said she," sat on a Sunday, for years back, with a book in my hand, pretending to read, wbile, for aught I knew, it was wrong end up." Her gratitude for the privileges enjoyed at school was not so much evinced by words (though these were not wanting) as by actions. She cheerfully assisted her junior pupils, several of whom were foreigners, and slow in their progress. Her patience never failed, for their difficulties had been her own;" and she encouraged them early to commence a subscription for a large Testament, that it might be ready as soon as they could read it, and the pence were regularly paid over to the Ladies' Bible Society. When, at the commencement of 1813, the town was divided into associations, she obtained permission to attend public meetings, and by her favourable report induced her mistress also to attend them, who offered her services, as well as her sister's, to collect in different associations, that they might relate to each other the proceedings.
Anna's faithful and incessant attention to a sick child in the family, brought on a severe and dangerous illness, during which she experienced a return of kindness, and was sent for recovery into the country, to the house of a relative of her mistress at Humble as was the individual, and apparently insignificant as was the circumstance, it led in an interesting manner to the establishment of a Ladies' Bible association there, which has effected much good.
Anna is now a teacher in the adult school, and is very attentive to the class under her care. She has also procured for a poor girl, a fellow servant, a spelling-book and Testament, and has taught her to read at home.
LONDON SOCIETY FOR THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS. The following is Mr. Nitschke's reply to the question, “Which division of the present Jewish race affords, under the divine blessing, the greatest hopes of success ?"
“At this time the Jewish nation," he remarks, “may be suitably divided into the following five classes :
"1. Enlightened persons, who lay aside the Mosaic law and the traditions of the elders, profess pure Theism, and endeavour in introduce among their nation the principles of mere morality. They properly aim at natural religion ; most of them are disciples of the late Jewish philosopher Mendelsohn; though many of them still observe the revealed law of God. This class, which has spread much, and consists of the best informed part of the Jews, wish to make common cause with the Christians, while they do noi desire to believe in the name and salvation of the Son of God, and are enemies of the cross of Christ. Among VOL. VII.