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The Central Prussian Bible Society report issues for the year of 8,628 Bibles, and 262 Testaments, besides about 15,000 copies by the Auxiliaries. In five years, 98,034 Testaments have been distributed among the Prussian troops; and 24,000 more were being printed for them by the assistance of the Committee in London.
Opportunities were gladly improved for sending copies of the Scriptures into Italy, and some into Spain and Portugal. From the Malta depôt, 4,362 copies of the Scriptures have been issued in various languages. There were sent to the Rev. H. D. Leeves, at Athens, 14,088 copies of the Scriptures in modern Greek; and for the benefit of Greece, 25,380 copies were printed under the care of the Rev.-Fowett.
To the care of Mr. Barker, the Society's Agent for Turkey, 5,150 copies of the Scriptures were confided; his issues were 3,785 copies, besides many sold at Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Odessa.
The last report had not been received from Calcutta ; but from the monthly minutes of Committee the liabilities in printing the Scriptures appearing heavy, the Society voted two grants, £200 and £500.
No recent communications have been received from the translators at Serampore, on account of discussions between the Baptist Missionary Society and the Committee,“ relative to the translation of the words' baptizo,' &c., by terms signifying immersion, or leaving them, as in the English Bible, untranslated. The Committee determined to adhere to the course taken in the English and many other versions.” The Baptist missionaries, however, would not yield the point, and thus separated themselves from the Society ; though, since 1817, they had received, in grants, £13,500.*
The Madras Bible Society reports that the Teloogoo version of the Scriptures is under revision by the Rev. Messrs. Pritchett and Gordon; and the Canarese, by the Rev. J. Hands. The issues from the depository, were Bibles in the Tamil, 19,373 copies; and 2,717 copies of the Scriptures in the Canarese, Teloogoo, and other languages.
The Bombay Society proceeded in printing the Maráthí version, and the issues were 556 Bibles, and 3,003 Testaments, in various languages, including the Arabic, Persian, Syriac, and Armenian. The Colombo Society was aided from England in printing 2,500 Cingalese Bibles, and 5,000 Testaments for schools.
Mr. Lay, the Society's agent, conferred with Mr. Morrison and the Rev. Mr. Gutzlaff and the other missionaries ; and the Rev. Messrs. Dyer and Evans proceeded in the printing of the Scriptures, of which they had completed 13,003 copies this year at Malacca. The Rev. Mr. Stallybras proceeded in printing the Scriptures in the Mongolian language, for China.
The Bible cause increased in the efforts of a few friends in South Wales and Van Dieman's Land.
The Rev. Mr. Nott presented the Tahitian translation of the entire Bible, the fruit of forty years'
* Report of the Bible Society, for 1837, p. Ixvi.
labour; and an edition of 3,000 copies was printed, with the addition of 3,000 Testaments. The edition of the Rarotongan New Testament was completed.
Madagascar still remained closed against the Bible, yet the printing of the Malagassy Scriptures was completed, and part forwarded to the Mauritius.
Various operations in translating and printing the Scriptures in the Caffre and Sichuana languages were carried on by the Missionaries in South Africa. And Bibles were circulated at Cape Town and Sierra Leono. Many copies of the Old Testament in Hebrew were circulated among the Jews in the North of Africa, by the Rev. Mr. Ewald, of Tunis.
The American Bible Society pursued its course with increased efficiency; as the receipts for the past year were 104,899 dollars, and the issues 221,694 copies of the Scriptures.
British North America continued to cherish the Bible cause, in its various provinces; and in the West Indies, the desire seemed to be general to possess the Scriptures, resulting from the gifts of 102,904 Testaments to so many emancipated negroes.
Prosperity attended the Bible Society to the close of the year; and its Thirty-third Annual Meeting was held May 3, 1837. Lord Bexley presided ; when the report stated the issues to be 195,820 Bibles, and 182,977 Testaments, total 378,797; and on the Continent 23,740 Bibles, and 139,306 Testaments, grand total of 541,843 copies of the Scriptures. The grants amounted to £35,84018s. 11d., including 15,350 Bibles, and 33,600 Testaments, and 2,000 parts, for the schools and poor of Ireland. The nett receipts were £108,740 19s. 11d. The great assembly was addressed by the Marquess of Cholmondeley, the Earls of Harrowby and Chichester, Lords Glenelg, Morpeth, and Teignmouth, the Bishops of Ripon and Chichester, the Rev. Dr. Cox, Rev. H. Raikes, Rev. J. Crowther, of Colombo, Rev. E. Frazer, of Antigua, Rev. Dr. Philips, of South Africa, Rev. J. Williams, of Rarotonga, and Rev. A. Brandram.
THE THIRTY-FOURTH YEAR OF THE SOCIETY,
1837-1838. GRATITUDE to the blessed “Author of peace and lover of concord” is properly expressed that “unbroken harmony characterized” the proceedings of the Committee of the Bible Society during the year. “ Nothing from within, and, happily, nothing from without, has been permitted, for a single moment, to direct their attention from the great object which they have in view.” Yet their duties were very extended in business with most of the nations of mankind.
In France, the work was so advanced, that M. De Pressensé reported the issues from his depôt a Paris, as 120,654 copies of the Scriptures; and of these 60,399 were sold by forty-four colporteurs.
Dr. Pinkerton reports his issues from Frankfort, to be 47,634 copies of the Scriptures; 13,212 of which were for Roman Catholics. In connection with this service he was permitted to make a tour, in furtherance of the objects of the Bible Society, in
Leipzig, Dresden, Posen, Berlin, Lubeck, Hamburgh, Hanover, Gottingen, and Cassel, establishing eleven new Bible depôts. Under the direction of Dr. Pinkerton, as the result of this tour, the Committee made various grants to the number of about 10,000 Bibles and Testaments.
In Belgium the work of circulating the Scriptures greatly increased; as 20,548 copies of Bibles and Testaments were issued the last year by Mr. Tiddy, at Brussels.
Some zealous friends of the Bible Society were yet found in Russia; and these had distributed, in the past year, 7,474 copies of the Scriptures from St. Petersburgh. There were issued by the Swedish Society at Stockholm, 8,047 Bibles, and 11,411 Testaments in Swedish, with 1,450 Finnish Testaments, and many in other places, making a total of 44,015 copies in Sweden. In Norway, the issues were 1,815 Bibles, and 2,959 Testaments. The central Prussian Bible Society issued from Berlin, 11,965 Bibles, and 964 Testaments, without including those supplied to the military.
Spain was now practically open for the Scriptures; and it was with mingled feelings of astonishment and gratitude that the Committee learned, that 3,000 Bibles, and 13,000 Testaments, during the last two years, issued from the Spanish press, besides many which were sent from England.
Malta continued to pour out the Scriptures in the language of the peoples around the Mediterranean Sea; and 6,642 copies were disposed of at the depository the past year.