Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

13th Anniversary of the Br. & For. Bible Society. 7 her pre-eminence, and anxiety respecting her influence and authority. But there were two topics which, in Switzerland especially, excited unqualified admiration ; first, the emancipation of Africa from the slavery of the body; and, secondly, the emancipation of the world from the darkness and ignorance of the mind. When it was said, with gratitude and praise, that England had abolished the Slave Trade, and established the Bible Society, there remained behind no petty sorrow for her acknowledged superiority, but a desire to imitate her conduct, and emulate her benevolence. The guiding spirits, and providential instruments of these two achievements, were then present before them; and he could add, from his own experience, and he believed there were those dear to his Lordship, who, at this moment, experienced the same, that the name of his Lordship, as President of the Bible Society, was a passport, not through Switzerland alone, but he believed through almost every nation in Europe.

He had now, for the second time, had the honour of seconding, in the name, and on the behalf, of every man who heard him, with out exception, the unfeigned thanks and acknowledgments of the Society, to their Noble President, for that patronage, and those exertions, wbich had so materially contributed to maintain the reputation, and extend the influence, of the Society : but he hoped ibat it might yet be bis lot, and that of many others then present, (if it should please God so to prolong their lives, to approach bis Lordship, not merely as the centre of that holy union, and the elder of that band of Christian brethren, but, in the course of years, with the more endearing appellation, which earliest attachment, and long-continued kindness, would entitle them to give, and him to receive, and which, in common parlance, was often bestowed on the first, the oldest, and the best of any association--that of THE FATHER of the Society. He was extremely happy to have had that opportunity of again expressing his regard and esteem for his Lordship; and the only difficulty he had had in undertaking so pleasing a part in the proceedings of the day, was, that by thus presuming, in the name of the Society, to honour his Lordship, it was impossible for him not to feel, that he was, at the same time, honouring himself. LORD TEGNMOUTH, in reply, said:

- Gentlemen, “ In returning my cordial and grateful acknowledgments for the honour conferred on me by your resolution, I cannot but feel that

abilities to promote the interests of the Institution were equal to my ardent wishes for its prosperity, I should better deserve the approbation of my services, which you have been pleased to express. For thirteen years it has been my pleasing office to report the progress of an Institution continually advancing in interest, respectability, and usefulness-such, by the divine favour, has been the effect of the disinterested benevolence of its principle, the catholic spirit of its constitution, the restrictive wisdom of its regulations, and the integrity with which its concerns have been

if my

Speech of Lord Teignmouth. administered. The British and Foreign Bible Society is no longer an experiment : experience has decided for it more favourably than its warmest advocates ever anticipated, and has pronounced it one of the greatest blessings to the human race that Christian charity ever devised.

& Permit me for a moment to take a slight view of that magnifiicent scene which it has been the means of exbibiting to the world, and which has been most amply delineated in the Report. Princes and patentates, the noble, the wise, the learned, and valiant of the earth, proclaiming their homage to the word of God, and aiding and encouraging the circulation of it, by their influence and example. Dignitaries and pastors of every church, Christians of all Confessions, cordially uniting, and contributing, according to their several means, their talents, their time, their labour, their wealth, or their pittance, to promote this beneficent work, animating and encouraging each other in the career of benevolence, themselves animated and supported by the prayers and benedictions of thousands who have benefited by their charitable labours.

If I were to name a particular instance, out of many, in which the benevodent spirit of our institution shines with particular lustre, I would advert to the affectionate intercourse which it maintains with kindred Societies all over the world, exciting emulation without envy, and provoking each other to love and good works. And may we not hope that this kind and harmonious feeling, so cordially displayed in the Correspondence and Reports of Foreign Bible Societies, may gradually extend its benign influence, softening the asperity of national jealousies, and insinuating that spirit of conciliation and good will among nations towards each other, which the whole tenour of the Gospel inculcates, and the interests of búmanity require. If such sbould ever be the blessed result of our endeavours to promote the happiness of mankind, through the medium of that holy Book, in which only the knowledge for obtaining it is to be found, the British and Foreign Bible Society will then haye acquired a triumph more splendid, more honourable, more useful, than ever was achieved by arms ; and the word of God, which has had such free course, will then indeed be glorified. But, without expatiating on this cheering hope, which all present will, I am sure, be inclined to participate, I may venture to affirm, that, if it were possible to trace, in all its variety and extent, the good produced by the British and Foreign Bible Society, the result would incontestably prove, that public liberality was never more profitably directed, than to support an Institution which breathes peace and good will to men, without distinction of colour or country, Christian or Heathen—was never applied to better or holier

But so much of that good has appeared, that I cannot but offer my devout thanksgiving to Almighty God, who has been pleased to make me in any degree instrumental to the production of it; and if I were to name a day of my life attended with a peculjar blessing, I should fix on that in which I became a Member of thją Ipstitutigo."

uses.

ABSTRACT
Of the twenty-third Report of the London Missionary Society.

SOUTH SEA ISLANDS. From the last letter received from the Missionaries, dated Septeinber 6, 1815, it appears that the number of those who have entered their names, at Eimeo, as professed disciples of Christ, amounts to 362, and the scholars to 600 or 700 ; among whom are many persons of consequence : many more requested admission, but the teachers were waiting for elementary books, which have since been supplied.

Some of the Chiefs in Otaheite, observing the rapid increase of the “ Bure Atua,” or “ Praying People," as the converts are there called.; and conceiving, from the present of a book made by the king to his daughter, that he intended to educate her as a Christian, and that probably in process of time idolatry would be utterly overtbrown; formed a resolution, by one sudden blow, to destroy the rising sect. To effect this, several of the idolatrous chiefs, who had been previously rivals and enemies to one another, concurred in a plan to fall on the new converts in the night of July 7, (1815), and to exterminate them altogether. But some of the parties having been rather dilatory, and secret information having happily been given to the people whose ruin was intended, they were enabled to get on board their canoes, and sail for Eimeo, where they safely arrived the next morning.

The disappointed chiefs, reproaching each other for neglect, and calling to mind their ancient animosities, fell on one another with fury. Many, especially of those who first concerted the mischief, were killed, and a large portion of their country was laid waste. The question of religion was lost sight of; and the party feuds of former times were revived ; and those who thought themselves in danger, withdrew to Eimeo. The king, who was then at that island, sent repeated messages of a pacific nature to the conquering party, who assured him that they had no quarrel with him, but that they had not yet settled their old differences.

The king has been fully restored to his former sovereignty.

The brethren repeat their earnest desires for a reinforcement of their numbers, especially as they had been deprived by death of one of their most useful members, Mr. Scott. Mr. Crook, who is well acquainted with the language and customs of the people, and has for some years past resided at Port Jackson, has, with his family, removed to Eimeo.

Their work will also be facilitated by the reception of the books printed for their use at Port Jackson; and by the addition of eight labourers, who, together with their wives, have been sent out to assist them. A printing-press has also been forwarded, which one of the Missionaries is qualified to use ; so that the Scriptures which they have translated, I'racts, and school-books, will be printed, as occasions require.

The Directors cannot refrain from inviting all their brethren of

10 23d Report of the London Missionary Society. this Society to unite with them in grateful admiration of the grace of God, so eminently displayed in the Otaheitan Mission. When the hopes of all were nearly exhausted, then it pleased God to evince that the excellency of the power by which the change was effected was solely divine : then it was, that, in the district where the Missionaries resided, the principal priest openly renounced heathenism, publicly committed his idol to the flames, and united himself to our Christian friends : others followed his example, both in Eimeo and Otaheite : Morais were destroyed, the altars overthrown, and the materials employed to dress their ordinary food, of which different classes and both sexes partook, at one common meal; thus practically renouncing their ancient and established, customs.

It is stated in the Sydney Gazette, that “the number of candidates for Cbristianity exceeds 1000; and that idolatry has receive ed a universal shock, and totters from its foundation, throughout all the islands. Some of the opposing chiefs, with the priests and their followers, endeavour to prop up the rotten fabric, but their efforts tend to the acceleration of its fall."

CHINA. The obstacles, which impede the full and free diffusion of the truths of Revelation in China, have lately been increased by the unsettled state of political affairs in that country, and the jealousy entertained of all religious efforts.

The letters received during the last year, detail various and new difficulties with which Mr. Morrison has bad to contend. He has however commenced new and large editions of the Chinese New Testament, both in octavo and duodecimo, which will probably be executed at Malacca rather than at Canton. Mr. M. is enabled to print his duodecimo Testament at the cost of only about two shillings and six

pence each. He has translated the whole of Ge. nesis, and a great part of the Psalms, as was mentioned in our last Report.

To the Embassy lately sent by the British government to the Court of Pekin, Mr. Morrison's attainments as a linguist recommended bim as one of the interpreters to his Excellency Lord Amherst. He embarked for that purpose in the month of July last, on board the Alceste Frigate.

By our American brethren, through the good offices of Mr. Bethune of New-York, and Mr. Ralston of Philadelphia, the sum of £400. sterling was collected, in aid of translating the Scriptures into the Chinese, and transmitted to Canton. Closely connected with this Mission is that at

MALACCA. Mr. Milne informs us, that the wishes of Mr. Morrison, of himself, and of the Society, respecting the formation of a settlement for the Extra Ganges Mission, have been in a good measure accomplished.

In the month of January, 1816, Mr. Milne paid a visit to Pe

Letter from Mr. Milne, at Malacca. 11 nang, or Prince of Wales Island, when he waited on the Governor and the Members of the Council, who received him graciously, and readily granted him a piece of land at Malacca, on wbich to build a Missionary house and other needful buildings. Malacca has since been restored to the Dutch government, which appears to be equally friendly to the object. The expense of the erections, which will be considerable, will be defrayed, partly by the Society, and partly by subscriptions raised in the Eastern Countries.

The Chinese scholars, under the care of Mr. Milne, had increased to 70. Mr. Thomsen had commenced a day school, and an evening school for the instruction of the Malays. These have been retarded by the temporary suspension of Mr. Thomsen's labours, who was induced, on account of the threatening illness of Mrs. Thomsen, and by the strong recommendation of the physicians, to take a voyage with her to Batavia. Her disorder not abating, she was advised to remove to the Cape, or to England. We are concerned to state, that she died on the voyage ; but Mr. Thomsen, who returned to England for a short time, has again taken his departure to Malacca, there to resume his labours in behalf of the Malays.

In addition to Mr. Medhurst, who went out last year to assist Mr. Milne, Mr. Slater, a student from Gosport, is appointed to the same station, and has just sailed with Mr. Thomsen.

Mr. Milne continues to prosecute his translation of the Scriptures into the Chinese language ; and to publish bis monthly Chinese Magazine, which contains information combined with entertainment, and seems to promise great usefulness to the Chinese people dispersed among the numerous and populous islands of the Eastern Sea. It is read with avidity by them.

DISTRIBUTION OF TRACTS IN CHINA. Extract of a letter froin the Rev. William Milne, dated Malacca,

April 18th, 1816. Having been requested to send bome 1,000 Chinese Tracts, to be placed at the disposal of the Religious Tract Society, for the use of such Chinese Sailors as visit the metropolis, I now forward a few for that purpose.

I went lately to Penang, for the purpose of distributing the Holy Scriptures and Religious Tracts among the Chinese ; and having also, in the course of this month, sent away a great many Tracts to Siam and Cochin China, by trading junks, my stock is at present exhausted, or I would have sent you more. Just now I have but one type-cutter, and his time is mostly occupied with the Monthly Tract, which we call The Magazine. From the peculiar ease and advantage of printing with stereotype blocks, I shall soon be able to furnish a fresh supply of Tracts, and shall not fail of forwarding more by some convenient opportunity.

I bave written to my revered friend and colleague, the Rev. R. Morrison, to send you some hundreds of various Chinese Tracts,

« ZurückWeiter »