« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
The Committee had also to arrange with Dr. Van Ess, that he should act agreeably to these resolutions. They experienced also the loss of their Foreign Secretary, Dr. Steinkopff, who resigned his office on account of declining health. The Committee expressed, December 18, 1826, “their deep concern at the necessity which deprives the Society of the invaluable services of their Foreign Secretary; yet they indulge the hope that the Society may derive most important benefit from his services, in co-operation with the Committee, of which he continues to be a privileged member.”
The operations of the Bible Society in France, with those of its Auxiliaries, were increasingly extended and richly beneficial, aided liberally by the British Society. Individuals or Societies at Brussels, Antwerp, Hamburgh, Lubeck, Bremen, Rostock, Hanan, Bâsle, Berne, and Geneva, were active in distributing the Scriptures.
The Saxon and Prussian Bible Societies could not relinquish the Apocrypha; yet, 5,000 Testaments were granted to the former, and 5,000 with Psalms to the latter : and grants, in like manner, were made to other local Societies, particularly at Dantzig, Posen, Nieuwid, Cologne, Berg, and Duesseldorf.
The Danish and Swedish Societies made worthy efforts to circulate the Scriptures; especially in improved editions of the New Testament, in Danish and Icelandic.
Dr. Van Ess continued his extraordinary labours, in circulating the Scriptures ; and “through this in
valuable agent, hundreds of thousands of copies have been distributed, yet hundreds of thousands more are still wanted.”
Russia was now regarded with deep and sorrowful interest; as by the influence of enemies, “the operations of the Bible Society were suspended by an Imperial Ukase.” Prince Galitzin, its noble President, retired from that office, and resigned his situation of Minister of Religion. The Emperor's Ukase says, “the sale of the Holy Scriptures already printed in Slavonian and Russian, as also in other languages in use among the inhabitants of the Russian empire, I permit to be continued at the fixed prices.” Dr. Paterson attended to the winding up of the affairs of the British and Foreign Bible Society, as connected with those of the Russian.
The friends of the Bible and of Missions, whose labours were thus terminated in Russia, could do no more than commend their cause to God.
Italy, Spain, and Portugal, were regarded by the agents of the Roman Catholic priesthood, against the admission of the Scriptures; yet the desire of some was satisfied by small quantities of Bibles and Testaments.
Malta, as a central depôt for the Bible Society, became increasingly important, especially for the Italian, the Ancient and Modern Greek New Testaments, and the Old Testament in Hebrew; and the demand exceeded the supply. The case was similar at Corfu.
Constantinople had a depository for the Scriptures, especially Greek, Hebrew, and Armenian ;
and the New Testament became the means of converting three Jews, who nobly endured persecution for Christ. Translations were also being made in Turco-Armenian and Curdish ; and various successful efforts were made in Asia Minor and Syria for the circulation of the Scriptures.
The Calcutta Bible Society, with the Branch Societies at Benares, Meerut, and Cawnpore, continued its important works; and, in printing the Scriptures, “ the presses of all denominations of Protestant Christians residing in Calcutta, have been employed during the last year. The Serampore Institution, Bishop's College, the Church Mission School, and Baptist presses have all been engaged.”
Similar labours were prosecuted at Madras and Bombay ; but in this place it will be impossible to give the details of the learned labours of the Missionaries of the Baptist, the London, and the Church Societies. In Colombo also, the Bible Society carried on various operations making known the Scriptures.
Dr. Morrison, having returned to China, laboured in improving his version of the Scriptures, aided by his Missionary brethren at the Anglo-Chinese College.
New South Wales, the South Sea Islands, South Africa, and Madagascar, engaged the liberal attention of the Bible Society, especially in aiding the Missionaries in their Biblical labours.
South America also afforded new openings for the Scriptures ; and many in those region sought the Word of God.
The Armenian Bible Society still advanced with augmented funds and increasing issues of the Scriptures, aided by 506 Auxiliaries.
British America, in the principal cities of its chief provinces, exhibited many friends to the Bible; and useful Associations were formed at Quebec, Montreal, Fredericton, and New Brunswick. The West Indies also received an increasing number of copies of the Scriptures, especially Jamaica, Berbice, and St. Kitts.
Scotland became generally alienated from the Parent Society, on account of the Apocrypha : but many were the friends of the Bible in that country; and they laboured with zeal in circulation of the Scriptures.
Ireland offered an important field for the Scriptures, and this year the several grants of the Parent Society amounted to about 50,000 copies of Bibles and Testaments, for circulation among the poor Irish.
Scotland having suspended contributions for the present, the funds of the Bible Society appeared somewhat deficient : but prosperity generally attended the various departments of the Bible Society: the issues from the depository this year were 127,142 Bibles, and 166,864 Testaments; a total of 294,006 copies of the Scriptures. The receipts were £80,240 ls. 2d.; and the grants amounted to £27,988 7s. 5d.
The Twenty-third Annual Meeting of the Bible Society was held May 2, 1827; and, among those who addressed the large assembly were the Bishops
of Lichfield and Coventry and Landaff, Lord Bexley, Admiral Lord Gambier, Hon. and Rev. Baptist W. Noel, Rev. J. Burnett of Cork, Rev. H. Townley, from India, and Rev. Dr. Winter, who manifested a spirit of Christian benevolence worthy of the Bible Society.
THE TWENTY-FOURTH YEAR OF THE SOCIETY,
So extended and various were the operations of the Bible Society now become, that little more can be done here than refer to them with brevity. The numerous Bible Societies on the Continent generally progressed and prospered, in printing and circulating the Scriptures in different languages ; and being visited by Dr. Pinkerton with the Rev. W. Sibthorp, “misapprehensions were removed, misunderstandings cleared up, and fears allayed” regarding the principles of the Parent Society; so that large numbers of copies of the Scriptures were circulated without the Apocrypha.
The Prussian Bible Society received grants of Testaments, and allowed certain of its members to receive Bibles without the Apocrypha ; though it resolved “that the Prussian Bible Society, as such, cannot promote the dissemination of Bibles without the Apocrypha."
Professor Kieffer, in Paris, proceeded in circulating the Scriptures, with great success, and in printing the Turkish Bible. Dr. Van Ess continued