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ACCORDING to recent reports made by Bible societies, a sum, considerably exceeding a million of money, has been expended in the great work of disseminating the Sacred Writings. The experience, however, of more than twenty years, very clearly proves, that this expense, and the active labours of those employed in this praiseworthy undertaking, have not produced beneficial effects, equal to the expectations of the friends and zealous promoters of it. Christ taught the doctrine of repentance and remission of sins, of the resurrection, and future rewards and punishments, to a people who knew God, but who had corrupted the truth, and degenerated into opinions and practices altogether inconsistent with it. Christians of this country are offering the Bible, and teaching the truths of it, to nations who never heard of it before. The two cases differ very widely, and seem to require different treatment and management.
When God was graciously pleased to make himself known, and to reveal his will to the house of Israel, he promised a land flowing with milk and honey, and abounding with every thing necessary for their comfort and happiness, as an encouragement for their obedience to his righteous laws and commandments. And, beyond a doubt, the prospect of great temporal good, would operate very powerfully upon the minds of people deprived of, and strangers to, all the blessings of life, in the house of bondage in Egypt, and exposed to dangers and difficulties in the wilderness for forty years. Wherever the Bible is carried, there, a picture of England's happiness and prosperity may be, and I think should be drawn, for the purpose of exciting admiration, and curiosity. And, if heathens could be made to understand, that England was once in the same state of ignorance and barbarism that they are now in, and only emerged from it, when her people were acquainted with the truths and religion of the Bible,—if they could be made to
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understand, that the same cause would produce the same effect,—that the knowledge of God, followed by the practice of righteousness, is sure to nation,”—and if they could be convinced, from the gentle, affectionate, virtuous conduct of their Christian instructors, who travel or live amongst them, that they had no other object in view than their real welfare, and the raising them to the same state of happiness with themselves and their countrymen, powerful motive would be created, to induce them to receive, examine, and understand a Book that had produced such extraordinary consequences,-such wonderful civilization, and knowledge, and happiness. If the Deity in this manner awakened the attention of Israel in Egypt, and kept it alive in th