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British and Foreign Bible Society, Feb. 24, 1834, on occasion of the Decease of its President, the Right Hon. LORD TEIGNMOUTH, the Right Hon. CHARLES GRANT, M.P., Vice-President, in the chair, the following Tribute of grateful respect to his Lordship’s memory, was unanimously adopted :
In announcing to the Society at large the loss of its venerable and beloved President, the Committee feel that they discharge a duty, more painful than any they have hitherto been called upon to perform. Yet, in this moment of sorrow, they cannot forbear to offer a tribute of gratitude to Divine Providence, which, from the beginning, placed Lord Teignmouth at the head of the Society, and has enabled him to preside over it for a period of thirty years. His Lordship's rank and station in the world were of no small importance to the Institution, especially during the weakness of its infancy: but these were always of small account, when compared with the qualities of his mind and heart. He united in himself qualifications and talents—rare if separately taken, while it might have been deemed vain to hope for their union in a single individual. To a dignified courtesy of manners, becoming the high stations which he had filled, he added, in an eminent degree, the simplicity of Christian benevolence, great sagacity and decision in forming his own judgment, the utmost candour and facility in giving full weight to the reasonings and opinions of others, and the most patient attention in tracing the bearings and weighing the difficulties of every question.
For many years after the formation of the Society, he paid unremitting attention to the details of its proceedings. The earlier Annual Reports were wholly written by himself; and the extensive correspondence, both Foreign and Domestic, carried on for several years under his immediate direction, derived the greatest advantage from the purity of his taste and the perspicuity and elegance of his style. The admirable manner in which he presided at the Annual Meetings of the Society—the piety and grace that breathed in the addresses delivered by him on those occasions—the delight which he visibly felt in meeting the body of subscribers and friends, drawn together from so many parts of the world as well as of the United Kingdom, and differing in so many particulars, but united in the one purpose of doing homage to the God of the Bible, by sending for the Sacred Volume to all who might be accessible to their exertions—these are points too fresh in the recollection of numbers to require enlargement.
It must not be supposed, that, when declining years prevented his frequent presence in the Committee, he was inattentive to the operations of the Society. He still continued to exercise a superintendence over its affairs, by means of the unrestricted intercourse with him, which he afforded to the Officers of the Society: and it has been no small consolation, to learn, from those who enjoyed this intercourse, that his affectionate prayers were continually offered up on behalf of the Institution. Of this fact, his written communications, moreover, scarcely ever failed to give them pleasing assurances. His patient attention and accurate judgment never forsook him. In many a case of difficulty and diversity of opinion, he was enabled to point out, by his directing counsels, the course to be pursued; while the acknowledged candour and impartiality of his mind gave at all times a weight to his decisions, which few thought themselves at liberty to dispute.
To the Oriental operations of the Society, his extensive knowledge of the languages, and his intimate acquaintance with the manners and sentiments, of Eastern nations, were of the highest importance. These studies he had long pursued, with eminent success, in India, in conjunction with his friend, the late Sir William Jones: to whose memory he has left a lasting and valuable monument, and with whom he may in fact be regarded as the Founder of the first Literary Associations in India.
But while literature, in its various departments, was indeed the recreation of Lord Teignmouth's leisure, it was in sacred literature especially that he found his chief delight: for all his talents were subordinate to that “ charity," which “ thinketh no evil,” and “rejoiceth in the truth,” and to that piety which
has its “conversation in heaveu.” Accordingly, his companions were chosen among the most eminent Christians of his day; and the friend of Porteus, of Barrington, of Gambier, of Granville Sharpe, of Hannah More, of Henry Thornton, of Charles Grant, and Wilberforce, has now followed them to their Rest.
To the suggestion of the first of these eminent characters, the Society was indebted for the acquisition of his Lordship's valuable services; the venerable Bishop having pointed him out to the late Rev. John Owen, with a kind of Providential and prophetic discernment, as “ one of the Subscribers who would make an excellent President."
In how great a degree of veneration the name of Lord Teignmouth was held abroad, the extensive travels of the agents of the Bible Society will bear ample testimony. His introduction and recommendation never failed to ensure a kind and ready attention, from many of the most distinguished characters of every country which they visited; and removed many of the difficulties necessarily attending (especially in their first outset) the Foreign operations of the Society.
Such was the Noble President whose loss we deplore—such the brigbt example he bequeathed to the Society; an example, to which its future conductors will often recur with delight and advantage: for on all occasions, but more especially in moments of difficulty, doubt, and apprehension, (which must be expected sometimes to occur,) the recollection of the manner in which, under similar circumstances, Lord Teignmouth felt, counselled, and acted, combined with an endeavour to catch his spirit and tread in his steps, will prove a solace, and will tend, under the Divine blessing, to ensure a continuance of the Society's real prosperity.
It only remains that your Committee briefly advert to the secret springs of such exalted excellence. While few men have been more highly favoured by Divine Providence, as instruments of most extensive good to the human race ; few have been more remarkable for the deepest humility and self-abasement. Many have been the assurances offered by his Lordship to the Officers of the Society, in their more recent interviews
with him, that he was fully sensible of his own utter worthlessness in the sight of God, and that his entire and sole hope of acceptance rested on the merits of the atoning Saviour. To these statements he invariably added, that his ability to believe in that Atonement, as well as to do any good work, originated in the "preventing” and “furthering" grace of God the Holy Spirit. Animated and influenced by these principles, he lived; and feeling their firm support, he was enabled, as the outward man decayed, to speak with cheerful confidence of the solemn day, which should remove him from time into eternity. To him, Death was disarmed of his sting; and it may be truly said of him, that he has fallen asleep in Jesus.
MEMOIR OF LORD BEXLEY. NICHOLAS VANSITTART, LORD BEXLEY, born April 29, 1766. His father, Henry Vansittart, Esq., for some time Governor of Bengal, was lost at sea, in the Mozambique Channel, in the year 1771. His mother was Amelia, daughter of Nicholas Morse, Esq., Governor of Madras. The future Lord Bexley, in 1784, entered Christ's Church, Oxford, where he took the degree of Master of Arts, January 29, 1791. In May, he was called to the bar, at Lincoln's Inn.
Mr. Vansittart entered Parliament for Hastings, in 1796; and his political and financial pamphlets attracted great attention. In 1801, he was sent to Denmark, as Minister Plenipotentiary; and, after his return, he was appointed Secretary to the Treasury. In 1802, he sat in Parliament for Old Sarum. In 1804, he was appointed a Lord of the Treasury in Ireland ; and, in 1805, Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, and also a member of the Privy Council. His financial reputation was confirmed in 1809, by his thirty-eight resolutions, which were carried in Parliament. In 1812, he was returned a member of Parliament for Harwich, and became Chancellor of the Exchequer under Lord Liverpool, until January 1823, when he was raised to the Peerage, under the title of Lord Bexley, of Bexley, in Kent.
Lord Bexley was a constant supporter of many of the great religious institutions of our age. He was a liberal contributor to the Religious Tract Society, and especially a friend and advocate of the British and Foreign Bible Society. On the decease of Lord Teignmouth, therefore, in February, 1834, he was chosen by the unanimous vote of the Committee to the honour of President of the Bible Society. In this office his Lordship gave much attention to the interests of the Institution; and a few weeks before his decease, he presented to it a donation of £1,000.
Memorial adopted by the Committee, on occasion of the death of the Right Hon. Lord BEXLEY, the President:
The Committee have to announce to the Society the death of Nicholas Lord BEXLEY, their President.
In recording this event on their Minutes, the Committee cannot refrain from adding the expression of their own deep and personal sense of the loss which they have thus sustained. Before the decease of Lord Teignmouth, the first President of the Society, Lord Bexley was frequently called to occupy the place of his venerable friend; and when he afterwards, at the unanimous request of the Committee, succeeded him in office, his attention to the business of the Society, became still more