Page images
PDF
EPUB

Easter and September, has lately appeared here. It announces 1609 new works, in German and Latin; 100 new novels; and 50 new theatrical pieces; the number of geographical maps is 82; and about 350 new musical compositions.

Fair.—Leipsic, April 20. Our fair has been opened about ten days. We have as yet seen no Russians; the Poles are few ; the latter are usually our greatest purchasers, especially at the Easter fair. The Greeks, who were scarcely expected, seem disposed to visit us: some are arrived; others are expected. The Galicians, Transylvanians, and other inhabitants of the frontiers of Turkey, continue to drop in. If they buy largely, and pay well, they may greatly improve the state of the fair in some articles.

Lahland Schoolmaster.—Among the Laplanders of Kautokeino was one who lately bore the specious title of schoolmaster. The distinction was as great a subject of pride to this Laplander, as a red or blue ribbon may be to any one in the refined parts of Europe. This schoolmaster, both in his personal appearance and manners, was as complete a Laplander as his neighbours around him, except that from some defective conformation of nature, there was something very singular and ludicrous in his mode of walking, his feet being always turned out into what is called by dancing-masters the first position. Having passed the frontiers of Lapland, and continued some time in Norway, he had learned the Danish, or rather the Norwegian language; and his knowledge of this opened an employment altogether singular.

The priest, or minister, being wholly unacquainted with the Lapponian tongue, cannot convey his sentiments to his audience, who know not any other. To remedy this inconvenience, the schoolmaster takes his station beneath the pulpit, and when the minister has pronounced one sentence of his sermon he stops, and the schoolmaster repeats it to the congregation in the language of Lapland.

The minister, who understands not a word of what the schoolmaster says in his name to the people, presumes it is all right, and goes on without hesitation.

Bible society.—The following is a brief abstract of the Report of the Committee which was read on this occasion:

The success which has attended the exertions of the Society has been established in the former Reports. The Report of proceedings during the eighth year of its existence will prove not less gratifying.

I. EURoPE.

1. Finland-It appears that the number of persons who speak the Finnish language is not less than 1,300,000, and that the various editions of the Scriptures printed in it have never been adequate to their supply. No edition either of the Old or New Testament has been published for the last thirty years; and scarcely a single perfect copy of the former is to be purchased. On the ground of this information, the printing of the Finnish Scriptures has been encouraged by a grant of 500l. The result has been, that the Governor General, and the

Bishop of Finland, have most cordially approved the measure; and that the Emperor of Russia, in testimony of his approbation, added to the Society's grant the sum of 5000 rubles from his own privy purse. “Thus,” to adopt the words of the Bishop of Finland, “in the Lord's name, a foundation is laid for a work, from which religion in general, and the Finnish Church in particular, will, by the help of God, derive a certain and lasting advantage.” A society has been formed in Finland, on the suggestion of the Committee, for the continued circulation of the Holy Scriptures. 2. Lapland.—The Laponese Testament, stated in former Reports to have been printing under the superintendence of Bishop Nordin, is now completed; and 2500 copies have been sent into Swedish Lapland. The Royal Chancery of Stockholm has addressed a letter to the Committee of the Stockholm Society, expressing the satisfaction of the King with the exertions made for improving the religious knowledge of the Swedish Laplanders. The Russian government has issued a proclamation authorising the importation of the Laponese New Testaments into Russian Lapland. Measures have been adopted for the distribution of 1000 copies in Danish Lapland. The disposition manifested by the Russian government encourages a hope of the adoption of some extensive plan for the general distribution of the Word of Life throughout the Russian empire. 3. Iceland.—The obstacles to the printing of the Icelandic Bible have been surmounted; and the work will probably be completed by next spring. There is reason to hope that the remainder of the Icelandic Testaments have been forwarded to Iceland. 4. Poland.-The completion of the Polish Bible was announced at the last meeting: it is sold for two shillings a copy. The Committee have directed 1000 copies to be gratuitously distributed. By the last accounts from Berlin, the Polish Scriptures were in great demand. Many copies had been sent to Warsaw, to Upper Silesia, and to Austrian Gallicia. It was the intention of the Koningsberg committee, to furnish every Polish school in these parts with a few Bibles and Testaments gratuitously. 5. Lithuania.—The printing of the Lithuanian Bible would probably be completed in the month of March of the present year. Committee have directed 500 Polish Bibles and 1000 New Testaments to be sent to Koningsberg for sale or gratuitous distribution; the proceeds of the sale to be applied towards a second edition of the Lithuanian Scriptures. Some copies of the Polish New Testament have been ordered for the use of Poles residing in Great Britain, or visiting it. 6. Bohemia.-The edition of the Bohemian Scriptures promoted by the Society has been exhausted, and the demand for them is still extensive and urgent. The Committee, with a view to supply it, have voted 300l. for aiding a new edition. * 7. Livonia and Esthonia.-The offer to promote the publication of the Scriptures in the dialect of Livonia and Esthonia has produced the most beneficial effects. A Society has been formed in Dorpatian Esthonia, for printing and distributing the New Testament. A Society in Revalian Esthonia has directed its attention to the supply of the Holy Scriptures, in the design of furnishing every cottager with a New Testament: and several respectable characters are engaged in establishing a Livonian Bible Society. The result is, an increased ardour for publishing editions of the Livonian and Esthonian Scriptures. Arrangements were making for this purpose; and the committee, with a view to forward it, have enlarged their grant of 600s. to 1000. 8. Sweden.—The active zeal of the Stockholm Society has suffered no abatement. The Swedish Bible is now completed, on standing types; and the number of Swedish Testament, separately printed, amounts to 16,600. Another edition of the Bible, and of the New Testament, will be immediately undertaken; for which an additional donation of 2001, has been voted. 9. Hungary.—The distribution of some German Bibles in Austria and Hungary at the expense of the Society, has made known its existence in Presburg, and has produced most interesting communications from two Professors in that city, by which it appears that there are upwards of a million of Protestants in Hungary, and but few Bibles among those who speak the Sclavonian and Hungarian dialects; many of whom are much depressed by poverty. The Committee have promised a donation of five hundred pounds, to aid the printing and circulation of the Hungarian and Sclavonian Scriptures, if a society shall be established in Hungary for that purpose. 10. France.—The Committee, having sent to France some Bibles for the British prisoners of war in that country, received a letter written by direction of the Minister of Marine, stating that they should be properly distributed. A German minister, having distributed many copies of the Scriptures in France, which were gratefully received, the committee directed one thousand copies of the French Bible to be distributed at the Socicty’s expense, among some Protestant congregations in France. A member of the Imperial Institute having signified a wish that copies of the versions of the Scriptures printed by the Society might be deposited in that institution, the Committee did not hesitate to comply with it. 11. Germany.—They have acceded to a similar request from the keeper of the Imperial Library at Vienna; as well as for copies of the Society's Reports. This last request was accompanied by an observation, that “a multitude of strangers, who daily resort to the Imperial Library, would obtain a knowledge of the institution; and perhaps not a few would be inspired with a desire to attempt something similar in their sphere, and according to their power.” The Ratisbon Bible Society have printed and circulated four editions of the New Testament, and a fifth was in the press. This society is supported by Roman Catholics; and, though produced by the example, is independent, of this society. 12. Italy and Greece.—The Society's Italian Testaments are in great demand, both at Messina and Malta; and the Archimandrita, at the latter place, has warmly recommended the perusal of the modern Greek Testament, and publicly applauded, “the zeal and ardour of the

English to circulate the Word of the Lord.” This intelligence is from a Roman Catholic correspondence at Malta, of great respectability, who is of opinion “that there is likely to result from the one thousand Testaments which the Society has sent, no ordinary good.” The Committee have granted fifty pounds for distributing the Scriptures to the poor in Denmark. II. Asia. 1. Syria.-The Committee have forwarded a supply of Arabic Bibles, for the use of the Episcopal churches in Aleppo and its vicinity. 2. Hindostan.-The Christians dispersed over this vast country, including Ceylon, are calculated at nearly a million, using various dialects; few of whom possess the Scriptures. Many of the descendants of Christians have consequently relapsed into idolatry; and many are Christians merely in name. The Hindoos and Mahometans subject to the British authority may be estimated at seventy millions. These observations suggest the most forcible motives for supplying the wants of the Christians, and for displaying the records of Divine Truth to the natives who are ignorant of it. With this general object, and especially with the view of supplying the demands of the native Christians in India, an Auxiliary Bible Society was, in February 1811, established in Calcutta, with the concurrence of the government; and with a very general approbation in all parts of India. At Fort William, it has met with the most liberal support. It has directed eight hundred copies of the Tamul New Testament to be purchased for distribution, as well as two thousand copies of the Portuguese Bible, and five thousand Portuguese New Testaments. It has contracted for printing at Serampore five thousand New Testaments in the Tamul, the Cingalese, and the Malayalim dialects respectively. The Committee, anxious to encourage these laudable exertions, have determined to aid them by a grant of Bibles, Testaments, and printing paper, to the value of one thousand pounds. The translation of the Scriptures into the dialects of India and the printing of them, proceed as rapidly as could be expected. The Missionaries at Serampore have translated and printed the New Testament in five languages, and the Old, in Bengalee, and have translated the Gospels of St. Matthew and Mark into Chinese; the New Testament into four more dialects, and portions of the Old Testament into as many; and have begun a translation of the New Testament into two more. The Rev. L. Sebastiani, many years resident at the Court of Persia, is advanced to nearly the end of the Epistles, in a Persic translation of the New Testament, from the Greek, intended for the Christians dispersed over Persia, who are stated as very desirous of possessing the Scriptures, in a plain translation. Sabat has completed the translation of the New Testament and the Book of Genesis into Arabic. The Hindostanee translation of the New Testament, by Mirza Fitrut, under the superintendence of the Rev. H. Martyn, the four Gospels in Persian by the Rev. L. Sebastiani, and the three first Gospels in Telinga, translated by the late Rev. A. Desgranges, are in the press. At Bombay, the printing of the Malayalim Version of the Gospels, in September last, was advanced as far as the 12th chapter of St. John. VOLe VIII, 2 Y

Of the Gospels translated by Dr. Leyden into five of the dialects of the Eastern Archipelago, none have been printed, in consequence of the death of Dr. Leyden in Java. With a view to procure the best version of the Scriptures in the purest dialects of Arabia and Persia, the Rev. H. Martyn undertook a journey into those countries; and by the last accounts was at Shiraz. Sabat's Arabic translation of the New Testament having been shewn by Mr. Martyn to a learned Arab at Bushire, he pronounced on it the highest eulogium. It appears that the printing of Oriental manuscripts, (chiefly owing to the skill and disinterestedness of the Baptist Missionaries), can be executed at Serampore, at an expense much less than at any other press in India, or even in Europe.

Of the distribution of the Tamul and Portuguese Scriptures, mentioned in the Seventh Report, the Committee have received most pleasing intelligence. Nothing could exceed the gratitude of the native Christians at Tanjore and Tranquebar. A single fact will prove the extreme scarcity of Tamul Bibles. A catechist, in the congregation of Mr. Kohloff, at Tanjore, had been employed twenty-four years in teaching the Gospel, without possessing the Old Testament. The Portuguese Bibles and Testaments were equally acceptable. Among those who received a Bible in English, Malabar, and Portuguese, was a Roman Catholic Priest, who had frequently recommended the perusal of the holy Scriptures, in his sermons.

The Committee, to encourage the efforts making in India, have voted an additional sum of two thousand pounds; the total of their grant to Calcutta, for the current year, being thus five thousand pounds.

The Committee expect that a translation of the Old Testament in the Cingalese dialect, will be undertaken by a competent person at Ceylon.—They have voted five hundred pounds to the Rev. Robert Morrison, at Canton, for promoting the translation and printing of the Scriptures in Chinese.

III. AMER1c A.

The donations to Bible societies in America have been respectfully acknowledged. The Committee have received satisfactory reports of the proceedings of the societies in Philadelphia, Connecticut, New-Jersey, and New-York. The zeal excited for the diffusion of the Scriptures, continues undiminished. The most perfect cordiality subsists among the various Bible societies in the United States; and since their existence in America, the sale of Bibles to individuals has considerably increased. The Committee have agreed to assist “The Bible and Common Prayer-book Society,” of Albany, by a donation of Scriptures to the value of fifty pounds. Anxious to aid the circulation of the Scriptures in America, and aware of the expense of the Philadelphia society in providing stereotype plates for the Bible, they have granted a second donation of one hundred pounds to that society; and trust it will be accepted as a pledge of the union they desire to maintain with their American brethren in promoting the interests of Christ's kingdom.

IV. The UNITED KING Dom. The approbation of the society has been most extensively manifest

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »