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with whom they had formed a connection during their residence at Copenhagen, was, Justiciary Thorkelin, Privy Keeper of the Royal Archives, a person very generally respected, and distinguished for his zealous attachment to the cause of Christianity. This gentleman being a native of Iceland, and feeling, as a Christian patriot, for the spiritual welfare of his country, laid open to these disappointed missionaries a field of immediate usefulness, by directing their attention to the religious state of the inhabitants of that island, and to the dearth of the Holy Scriptures, at that time prevailing among them. Mr. Thorkelin stated, that the population, amounting to nearly 50,000, scarcely contained one person in a hundred above the age of twelve or fourteen, who could not read ; that no people in the world were fonder of reading ; and that as the only press of which they were possessed had not been used for many years, the inhabitants supplied the want of printed books by the laborious and tardy expedient of transcribing them ; that the Scriptures were no longer to be obtained for money; and that not above forty or fifty copies of the Bible were to be found throughout the island. These affecting particulars excited in the breasts of these excellent young men, the kindest emotions. Touched with compassion for nearly 50,000 of their fellowChristians, inhabiting a remote island, and destitute of those sacred oracles which they so dearly prized and revered, Messrs. Paterson and Henderson despatched the information with which themselves had been so deeply impressed, to their friends in
Scotland; and made an earnest appeal on behalf of this interesting and destitute people. Through this circuitous channel the intelligence was conveyed, by a respectable correspondent in Edinburgh, to the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and thus the question of administering aid to the necessitous Icelanders was brought regularly and seriously before them.
“Such were the circumstances to which we ascribe the introduction of the Rev. Messrs. Paterson and Henderson to the notice and employment of the British and Foreign Bible Society; and the origin of those exertions which, promoted by the wisdom and activity of those diligent labourers, and fostered by the paternal care of a benign and gracious Providence, have terminated in measures so dignified and comprehensive, on the part of the Northern Powers of Europe, for circulating the Holy Scriptures among the inhabitants of their respective dominions.”
Dr. Henderson edited and superintended the printing of the Icelandic Bible, of which he circulated the edition of 5,000 copies among the inhabitants of Iceland. Various most interesting details of this work are given in the published “ Journal of a Residence in Iceland, in 1814, 1815, &c."
These two distinguished men continued for many years to labour, wholly or occasionally, and with great efficiency, in the cause of the Bible Society, especially in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. But for details of their valuable services in the North of Europe, reference must be made to the Reports of the Bible Society.
Dr. Paterson at length settled in Edinburgh, but still rendered great service to the Bible Society, of which he was made a Life Governor.
Dr. Henderson settled in London, and acquired the highest honour as Professor of Theology in Highbury College, and by his Translations, with Notes, of the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Minor Prophets; and his Congregational “ Lectures on Divine Inspiration.”
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF DR. PINKERTON. “ THE Rev. ROBERT PINKERTON,” as Mr. Owen remarks,“ like his co-adjutors in the North of Europe, Messrs. Paterson and Henderson, is a native of Scotland, and emigrated from his country in May, 1805, under the patronage of the Edinburgh Missionary Society, in order to serve as a Missionary at the religious settlement at Caucasus. In this situation he continued at Karass, till the state of his health compelled him to leave it, in September, 1808. In the month of March, 1809, he took up his residence at Moscow, and obtained very honourable and advantageous employment, as preceptor in the families of persons of distinction.
“ While thus occupied, Mr. Pinkerton never lost sight of the spiritual object to which he had considered himself devoted; and as he had been diverted from the pursuit of it in one direction, he resolved to let no opportunity escape, by which he might be enabled to promote it in another. In this state of mind, a letter from Mr. Steinkopff, at the close of 1809, decided him to turn his attention to the state of the Scriptures in Russia, and to the means of providing for them, in that extensive empire, a more general and more effectual dissemination. In the winter of 1811, Mr. Pinkerton had so far succeeded, as to have prevailed upon some of the first nobility to take an active interest in promoting the establishment of a Bible Society in the city of Moscow. In the spring of 1812, the plan of such an Institution was digested in the Russian language; and this plan, which comprehended the Scriptures in the native Sclavonian as well as the foreign dialects of the empire, was to have been submitted to his Imperial Majesty in the ensuing winter, and, in the event of its receiving the Imperial sanction, the Society was to be forthwith established at Moscow. Anxious for the accomplishment of this important undertaking, and encouraged by the success of similar exertions both at Stockholm and Abo, Mr. Pinkerton was induced to open a correspondence with Mr. Paterson, which terminated in bringing them together.”
To detail the great services of Dr. Pinkerton on the Continent, a volume would be required. In 1830, he was placed at Frankfort, as the Agent of the Bible Society for Germany and the countries around. But for the results of his astonishing labours up to the present time, reference must be made to the Reports of the Society.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF CHARLES STOKES
Mr. Dudley was brought up in the Society of Friends; and his parents, who were of that denomination of Christians, zealous for the circulation of the Scriptures, taught him to believe in the Bible, and to venerate the Bible Society. He cherished their spirit, giving to the cause of the Institution a large portion of his time and influence. In the yeas 1819, he was led to relinquish his commercial engagements in business, and to devote himself entirely to the service of the Society. Since that period he has been an energetic and successful labourer in this great cause, especially in the formation of Auxiliaries in most parts of the United Kingdom; and he is esteemed throughout the country, as the originator of Bible Associations, particularly “ Ladies' Bible Associations.” Mr. Dudley rendered essential service to the Institution, in 1821, by the publication of his noble and instructive volume, “ Analysis of the British and Foreign Bible Society.”