Page images
PDF
EPUB

published by the Society, drawn up chiefly by R. Phillips, Esq.

Every department of this vast organization seemed to prosper under a gracious Providence; and, while Bonaparte, the terror of Europe, was in degradation, and Paris in possession of the allied armies, our metropolis enjoyed peace and liberty, when the tenth Anniversary of the British and Foreign Bible Society was held May 4, 1814. The President was supported by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, several Bishops, and a large auditory, to whom his Lordship reported the gross income of the year, as more than £87,000; and the issue of Bibles and Testaments as more than 350,000 copies; the addition to the confederated Societies of sixty-seven within the United Kingdom, and of multitudes abroad. Among the advocates of the Society were the Rev. Mr. Paterson, from St. Petersburg; the Rev. Mr. Pinkerton, from Moscow; Comte de la Gardie, from Stockholm ; and the Rev. Dr. Romega, from New York; representing the Russian, Swedish, and American Societies, cordially co-operating with the Parent Society, in diffusing through the world, a spirit of benevolence, and enlarging the peaceful kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Reviewing the financial condition of the Bible Society through the first decade of its history, every one must admire its activity and progress, indicating the hand of a gracious Providence.

CHAPTER IV

SECOND DECADE OF THE BIBLE SOCIETY.

THE ELEVENTH YEAR OF THE SOCIETY, 1814-1815.

Though cruel wars had been desolating Europe during the first ten years of the Bible Society, Divine Providence favoured it in an extraordinary manner, in entering its eleventh year. It had enjoyed a continued flow of prosperity through the whole of that period. Its mission was heavenly peace to every human being. And now wars had ceased, by the humiliation of the despot, the allied sovereigns were visiting the British Court.

As the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia had welcomed the cause of the Bible into their dominions, it was deemed proper to seek an interview with those august personages by a deputation, to present unto them the homage of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Sunday, the 19th of June, at six o'clock, was the time appointed by the Emperor of Russia; and the deputation were :

Vice-Presidents.

LORD TEIGNMOUTH, President.
THE BISHOP OF SALISBURY,
THE BISHOP OF NORWICH,
THE BISHOP OF CLOYNE,
ADMIRAL LORD GAMBIER,
THE Rt. Hon. N. VANSITTART,

Chancellor of the Exchequer,
WM. WILBERFORCE, Esq., M.P.
THE REV. John OWEN,
The Rev. JOSEPH HUGHES,
THE REV. C. F. STEINKOPFF.

Secretaries.

The Emperor conversed with the Deputation in French, and assured them of the cordial interest that he took in the Society. On taking leave, he kindly offered to each of them his hand ; and, though all the rest received that honour in silence, Dr. Steinkopff grasped it with affectionate earnestness, and addressed that sovereign in German :

“ May the Most High God bless your Imperial Majesty for what you have done for my native land; and may your name go down to posterity, as the father of your country and the benefactor of mankind!"

The Emperor replied in the same language and in a similar spirit, to this overflow of Christian affection.

On the morning of the 21st, the same deputation was admitted by his Prussian Majesty, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer addressed him thus :

“ Sire, the British and Foreign Bible Society has charged us to present to your majesty, the homage of its gratitude, for the patronage which you have extended to its objects in your own dominions."

His majesty replied as follows:

“ The British and Foreign Bible Society is an excellent institution, well adapted to promote the interest of Christianity. I have a great regard for it, and it shall have my protection !"

These two great sovereigns being so cordial in their patronage of the Bible Society, facilities were afforded to establish auxiliaries in the good work in many parts of the Continent. The formation of the Danish Bible Society took place, at Copenhagen, May 22, 1814. And his Majesty the King of Sweden, in a full Council of State, July 6, 1814, consented to become the Patron of the Swedish Bible Society.

Dr. Paterson now returned to St. Petersburg, by Hamburg, through Holstein, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland; while Dr. Pinkerton took his course to Russia, through Holland, Saxony, and Poland ; and on his way, he procured the loan of the manuscript of an excellent translation of the whole Bible into the pure Turkish language, by Hali Bey, from the Directors of the University of Leyden, “ to be copied, revised, edited and printed at Berlin.”

The Grand Duchy of Berg soon adopted the plan of the British Bible Society; and a very promising auxiliary to it was formed at Elberfeld, under the patronage of the Governor-general.

At the close of July, another society was formed for the kingdom of Hanover, by the aid of Dr. Pinkerton. “ Lutheran, Calvinistic and Catholic clergymen were harmoniously invited on this occasion; the chief of the latter declared his opinion that the Scriptures should be put into the hands of every class of persons; and that the poorest of them should have it in his power to draw divine instruction from the fountain head.” Baron Arnswald, the President, declared, “ This society has no other purpose than to work with zeal in the great business of awakening and increasing true piety and religion, by encouraging a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures. Since only the pure doctrine given by God Almighty to all Christians is to be promoted thereby, and confessors of all Christian churches are alike to participate in the pure intentions of our society.”

Dr. Pinkerton proceeded to Berlin, where he had the happiness of aiding to re-organize the Society established eight years before, henceforth to be called “ THE PRUSSIAN BIBLE SOCIETY.” This was constituted under the highest auspices in the country. Lieut.-General Von Diericke, tutor to the Crown Prince, was appointed President; with a list of VicePresidents and Directors, among whom were four Ministers of State and some of the first dignitaries of the kingdom. His Majesty the King patronized it, declaring, “I do hereby confirm, for my states, this Society, and its laws, which have been presented to me. I have also granted to the said Society the freedom of the letter-post; and, for that purpose, have given directions accordingly to the PostmasterGeneral.” The Central Prussian Bible Society at

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »