« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the rejoicing assembly were the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, Earl of Harrowby, Earl of Rocksavage, Lord Calthrope, Admiral Lord Gambier, the Rev. S. Dwight, from the American Bible Society, Rev. Mr. Monod, from Paris, Professor Tholuck, from Berlin, Sir T. S. Raffles, from Java, Rev. G. Hamilton, from Ireland, Rev. J. Dyer, Baptist, and Rev. R. Newton, Wesleyan.
THE TWENTY-SECOND YEAR OF THE SOCIETY,
1825-1826. CONTROVERSY agitated the Bible Society in the early partof this year, as the Committee were charged with making grants to Foreign Societies, circulating the Apocrypha with the Holy Scriptures. Such was the case in some instances; as, in many parts of the Continent, the people had been accustomed to receive the Bible with that addition. The friends of the Bible in Scotland were most determined on effecting an abandonment of that policy. A special Committee was, therefore, appointed to consider, “Whether or not it might be right in itself, and consistent with the established rules of the Institution, to countenance the circulation of versions of the Holy Scriptures containing the Apocryphal books, in countries where the Bible would not be received in its simple and canonical form ?”
This Committee made their Report November 21, 1825, when it was resolved by the General Committee specifically summoned:
“I. That the fundamental law of the Society, which limits its operations to the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, be fully and distinctly recognised as excluding the circulation of the Apocrypha.
“II. That, in conformity to the preceding resolution, no pecuniary aid can be granted to any Society circulating the Apocrypha; nor, except for the purpose of being applied in conformity to the said resolution, to any individual whatever.
“III. That, in all cases in which grants, whether gratuitous or otherwise, of the Holy Scriptures, either in whole or in part, shall be made to any Society, the books be issued bound, and on the express condition that they shall be distributed without alteration or addition.”
During this year, Dr. Pinkerton visited the chief Bible Societies in seven kingdoms on the Continent. His reports regarding the Societies in the Netherlands, Hanover, Saxony, Baden, Hesse, Darmstadt, France, and Prussia, were very encouraging, especially in relation to the Bible cause in Prussia, where “the king granted, December, 9, 1825, to the Prussian Bible Society, an annual collection in all the Protestant churches of the kingdom, to promote the circulation of the Bible.” By a decree, also, he “ authorized the introduction of the Bible and the New Testament into all the schools in the Prussian dominions.”
Dr. Van Ess continued his important labours in the Bible cause; and, on his report of a short journey, the Committee ordered him to procure 15,000 copies of the New Testament, for the German people in the “ Black Forest.”
Spain, Portugal, and Italy still remained closed, as far as the priests could prevail, against the Bible.
Russia continued its Biblical labours ; but the Bible Society lost its devoted friend and patron, by the sudden death of the Emperor Alexander, in December, 1825. The friends of the Bible dreaded a new policy by the Government—the Emperor Nicholas confirmed his subscription to the Russian Bible Society.
The work of the Society was still carried on in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, in Switzerland, at Malta, through Greece, in the Ionian Isles, at Constantinople, and in several other parts of the Turkish Empire, at Cyprus, Smyrna, Aleppo, and even at Jerusalem.
The Calcutta Bible Society issued during the year 16,064 copies, in Bibles, Testaments, and separate books of Scripture, in twenty-eight different languages, besides nearly an equal number issued by the Bombay and Madras Bible Societies.
The Colombo Bible Society continued its labours in Ceylon, where the demand for the Tamil Scriptures exceeded the means of supply.
The Missionary translators at Serampore prosecuted their labours with unabated ardour ; and Dr. Morrison, aided by the Rev. Messrs. Humphreys, Collie, and Kidd, in the Anglo-Chinese College, proceeded in circulating the Chinese Scriptures.
New grants were made to the Bible Society in South Africa ; and, to the Missionaries, 150 reams of paper, for printing the Scriptures translated by them into the Madagasse language.
The Society made a grant of 1,100 Bibles and Testaments to the New South Wales Society, for the convicts in that settlement.
South America was visited by the Rev. Messrs. Armstrong and Thomason, as agents of the Bible Society; and, in the different provinces, they disposed of a large number of the Portuguese and Spanish, and German Bibles and Testaments. Mr. Thomason's labours were especially important. In Jamaica, and other West India Islands, the Bible cause progressed, aided by several Auxiliaries.
Good progress was made in the translation of the Scriptures in the language of Tahiti ; for the printing of which grants of paper were made by the Society.
The American Bible Society advanced with zeal in the good work, and reported the issuing this year of 63,851 copies of the Scriptures, aided by many valuable Auxiliaries.
British North America reported much pleasing intelligence from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Montreal, Quebec, and some other places.
Domestic operations were anxiously carried forward in relation to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, as well as the several districts of England; and the issues from the Repository, this year, were 110,963 Bibles, and 175,439 Testaments; a total of 286,402 copies of the Scriptures. The receipts of the Society for the year were £83,768 2s. 9d; and its grants amounted to £20,057 3s. 10d.
The General Meeting was large, as usual ; and, among others, it was addressed by the Bishops of Lichfield and Coventry and Salisbury, the Earl of Harrowby, Lord Calthorpe, Baron Polet de la Lozere, from Paris, the Rev. Dr. Philip, from South Africa, the Rev. W. B. Fox, from Ceylon, and the Rev. W. Ellis, from Polynesia.
THE TWENTY-THIRD YEAR OF THE SOCIETY,
1826-1827. Various difficulties arose in carrying forward the object of the Bible Society during this year, partly from misapprehension regarding the Apocrypha. Some on the Continent could not receive any grant, therefore, from the Society ; while others received the Bible without the books so denominated. The Committee, in the hope of satisfying their friends, further resolved, on the 31st of July :
“ That all grants of the Scriptures to Societies which circulate the Apocrypha, be made under the express condition that they be sold or distributed without any alteration or addition, and that the proceeds of the sales of any such copies of the Scriptures be held at the disposal of the British and Foreign Bible Society."
Still the Committee had to state their "unfeigned regret that they have failed in their effort to unite and conciliate all the friends of the Society at home. Several of the Bible Societies in Scotland have withdrawn from connexion with the British and Foreign Bible Society; and others have, at least for a season, suspended their usual remittances." +
* Report for 1827, p. xvii. Ibid, p. xix.