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at Cambridge ; and this art was advanced towards perfection by Mr. A. Wilson and Earl Stanhope, and applied to aid the printing of Bibles. The Committee ordered, September 3, 1804, 20,000 Welsh Bibles and 5,000 additional Testaments, which seemed to excite the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, whose Committee ordered, March 12, 1805, 20,000 Welsh Bibles. Some difficulties now arose between the two Societies respecting the standard edition of the Welsh Bible; but the matter was satisfactorily arranged by a sub-committee.
Statements of the plan and objects of the Bible Society were communicated to other institutions, at an early period; and some acknowledgments expressed admiration and gratitude. But a reply from a Roman Catholic priest, in Swabia, produced the most intense surprise and delight. He wrote: _“I had the pleasure to learn the great number of zealous friends of the Bible in London, who are filled with a desire to send out the pure Word of God, as the best teacher, into the world. I felt also unfeigned affection for you and for all the members of the venerable Bible Society, for whom I wish a thousand blessings. This prohibition of the Council of Trent has never been admitted as binding by the whole body of the Roman Catholic clergy in Germany. Many of our clergy, both in Swabia and Bavaria, strongly recommend the reading of the Bible, chiefly of the New Testament. I have distributed many New Testaments, and some Bibles, among more-enlightened Catholics; and several of my dear brethren do the same.
“I feel a very great desire to witness the formation of a similar Bible Society among the Roman Catholics. I cannot express, in terms sufficiently strong, the fervency of my joy, and of my love towards all who, throughout England, heartily believe in Jesus Christ, as their only Saviour, and zealously endeavour to extend the Redeemer's kingdom. I embrace them all as the beloved and elect of God, as friends and brethren in Christ. Truly, God has a numerous army of reserve in England. Let all who know his name, glorify him for this mercy! May the peace of God, and the all-sufficient grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all !”
This truly Christian letter induced the Committee to place 1,000 copies of the New Testament, then being printed in Nurenberg, at the disposal of their correspondent, for sale or gift among the Roman Catholics in Swabia and Bavaria ; assuring him of the cordial regard of the members of the Society.
Appeals having been made to friends of the scriptures on the Continent to form Bible Associations, the foundation of the first Foreign Bible Society was formed at Nurenberg, May 10, 1804, the Committee in London having offered £100 towards the object. With this Society were united the friends of the Bible at Bâsle. This Institution originated chiefly with Mr. Kiesling, a merchant of that city, a zealous friend of the Religious Tract Society. .
At this period, the first application of the Society's funds was made to the printing of 2,000 copies of the Gospel of St. John, in the language of the Mohawks, the Six Nation Indians of Upper Canada. This translation was made by Captain Norton, a chief of the Cherokees.
Replies to the circular address of the Society in friendly assurances of liberal co-operation were received from many of the clergy and dissenting ministers; and every thing indicated prosperity in the Society.
Noble efforts were made to aid the friends of the Society. The Rev. Mr. Charles laboured in promoting a subscription, and the Society being recommended by Dr. Warren, the Bishop of Bangor, the contributions amounted to nearly £1,900. The Welsh correspondent stated :-“There are none of our poor people willing to die without contributing their mites towards forwarding so glorious a design. Great joy prevails that poor Heathens are likely soon to be in possession of a Bible ; and you will never hear a prayer put up without a petition for the Bible Society, and Heathen nations.”
Scotland took up the cause of the Bible Society, by David Dale, Esq., of Glasgow. The Presbytery of that city resolved, in February, 1805, on public collections being made for it in all their churches, besides a general subscription. The same was determined, April 11th, by the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, on the proposal of Dr. Dalrymple, then eightytwo years of age.
Favoured thus by Divine Providence during the first year of the Society's existence, though it was unable to issue any Bibles, as the printers could not complete their works,—its Noble President, Lord Teignmouth, drew up the Report, which was submitted to the Anniversary Meeting, May 1, 1805. The Bishop of Durham, Mr.Wilberforce and other distinguished friends of the Society were present. “Persons of various communions, circumstances and stations; the Prelate and the Presbyterian, the Lutheran and the Calvinist, the Peer and the Quaker, here mingled in a new and undissembling concord ; and agreeing in the truth of God's holy Word, mutually professed their determination to live in unity and godly love. Pride and contention, prejudice and bigotry, arrogance on the one part, and contumacy on the other, appear to have fled before the genius of the Bible. Each individual seemed to feel that the long and disgraceful reign of misunderstanding and hostility among professing Christians was passed away; and many a tear attested the sincerity of that reconciliation which promised to heal the breaches of intestine division, and to unite the heretofore conflicting members of Christ's holy Catholic Church in an indissoluble league of peace, and amity, and cordial co-operation."*
Ignorance or prejudice might be expected to occasion opposition even to the Bible Society : and such was the case, by“ An Address to Lord Teignmouth, President of the British and Foreign Bible Society, occasioned by his Address to the clergy of the Church of England, by a country clergyman.” A meeting of the Bishops, then in the Metropolis, was convened, therefore, by the Bishop of London, March 9th, when Lord Teignmouth and the Rev. Mr. Owen satisfied the prelates of the in
* Owen's History of the Bible Society, vol. i., p. 164, 165.
tegrity of the Society, which the latter, as secretary, nobly vindicated in “A Letter to a Country Clergyman, occasioned by his Address to Lord Teignmouth.”
THE SECOND YEAR OF THE SOCIETY, 1805-1806. RENEWED zeal for the Bible Society was excited by the report of the proceedings of the first year, submitted to the friends at their anniversary meeting. Public spirit was aroused, even in Ireland, and R. S. Moncrieff, Esq., proposed to the Directors of the “Society in Scotland, incorporated by Royal Charter, for Propagating Christian Knowledge,” to patronize and co-operate with the British and Foreign Bible Society. They published their decision in the Edinburgh Advertiser for 1805. They state, January 29, 1806,—that “ having considered the objects of the British and Foreign Bible Society, they give their cordial approbation to it, and appoint a collection for it to be made in all the churches and chapels within their bounds, on Thursday, February 27, being the day appointed by the King, to be observed as a national fast through Scotland, on the present state of the kingdom.”
Excited by the zeal of the Protestants of Nurenberg, some enlightened Roman Catholics at Ratisbon established a Bible Society, under the presidency of the Rev. Mr. Wittman, Director of the Ecclesiastical Seminary. Their address to those of the Roman Catholic persuasion is worthy of evangelical Protestants.