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MORAL RESULTS OF THE BIBLE SOCIETY.
EVERY class of society among us has felt the moral results of the Bible Society, especially in the improved habits of the working classes. These have been immensely benefited by the benevolent operations of Ladies' Bible Associations. Still there is room for much improvement among all ranks.
Many have complained, however, of the deficiency of education in England; and there appears great reason for lamentation over the large amount of ignorance among the worst of the lower ranks of the community. But among a people so greatly increasing, and congregated in such masses, as are found throughout our manufacturing districts, there cannot but bemuch ignorance prevailing. Consequently there will be much crime. Yet it has never been proved that our people generally are inferior to the population of any other country. And, considering the degree of freedom that is enjoyed here, and the facilities for acquiring wealth in our country, there is no region upon earth that has ever exhibited evidence of such loyalty and social order, such patriotism and moral virtue, as prevail in England.
Contemplate the great centre of our manufacturing industry,— Manchester, and examine two recent facts in that great town: they will serve as illustrations, both of the moral virtue of the people, and of the blessed operations of the Bible Society. One of these facts was the assembling of nearly eighty thousand Sunday scholars, led by their teachers, to meet our beloved QUEEN VICTORIA, in Peel Park, Manchester, on the occasion of Her Majesty visiting that populous city, October 10, 1851. The most complete order was preserved among the multitudes, without the aid of the military; and the most delightful harmony prevailed in the vast assembly, while raising their united voices in songs of cordial welcome to their Sovereign. Her Majesty was overpowered with astonishment at this extraordinary and unparalleled demonstration of loyalty and affection, while passing through their well arranged assemblage, such as could not possibly be exhibited in any other country upon earth ; as no other people has been favoured with a like training in the principles of the Bible.
The other fact to which reference is made, is that of the sale at Manchester, in the course of a few months, of about 96,000 copies of the Society's Bibles, chiefly among young persons, and by themselves as agents. These precious volumes were read to purpose, as appeared by their peaceful and moral behaviour in the presence of their Queen. Results like these are the sure fruits of the Bible Society, so far as its operations have extended. They are seen also, in a high degree, in the United States of America ; where intelligence and religion prevail, in many states, nearly as in England; and where patriotism and philanthropy influence the population, deriving their principles and spirit, peculiar to Christianity, from the blessed teaching in the Holy Bible.
THE MORAL RESULTS OF THE BIBLE ON THE
Are worthy of being contemplated. They will be found instructive by us. Precisely in the degree in which the Bible has been circulated in the nations of Europe, have personal virtue and social morality prevailed. Thousands of instances of conversion to the true faith of Christ and to holiness of life, have resulted from the circulation of the Scriptures. These are furnished abundantly in the reports of the Bible Society's Agents in France, Belgium, Germany, and other places. Whatever difficulties may attend their labours in many countries, Prussia, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, France, Switzerland, and even Italy have felt the influence of the Bible Society, and have furnished examples of virtue and true holiness, by the living power of the truth found in the Word of God. Christian sentiments are become more powerful in the policy of the Courts of Europe. National antipathies, if not dying, are far less powerful than in former times, in different countries ; the people seem far more disposed to seek each other's welfare ; and sovereigns could do no better for their own security and honour, or for the
welfare of their people, than by promoting to the utmost among them, the free circulation of the Holy Scriptures. These, as the Oracles of God, possess the only conservative principles for nations, as they contain the only incorruptible seed, by which the soul of man is regenerated and sanctified to moral virtue, to true happiness, and to eternal life.
MORAL RESULTS OF THE BIBLE AMONG THE
Are truly wonderful. Divine light and truth, by the power of the Gospel, have made great progress, as we have seen, in many nations beyond the boundaries of Christendom. Spiritual conversion, it is admitted, has not taken place generally among the Heathen. The population of India is not yet nominally Christian. But there are tens of thousands among them, who “have turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven.” And what do we behold among those people, as the fruit of the principles of the Bible? Heavenly illumination has visited the nations, and many of their abominations have been destroyed. Where is now the shocking custom of female infanticide, in Tahiti or India ? It has been abolished by the doctrine of the Bible! Where is the horrid custom of suttee among the Hindoos ? This has been relinquished through the principles of the Bible! Where is the degrading and senseless worship of idols in India and Polynesia ? In the islands, the idols have been “ cast to the moles and the bats;" and, in the East, they are perishing out of the land. By the progress of the Bible, through the operations of the Missionaries, the whole fabric of idolatry has been smitten for total destruction; and thousands, once idolaters, have received the truth in the love of it, to rejoice in Christ Jesus, and to " adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.”
Some of the noblest triumphs of the Bible have been witnessed among the Caffres and Hottentots ; and they can declare the moral results. “When the Word of God came among us,” said the Caffre Chief, Jan Tzatzoe, when in England,“ we were like wild beasts ; we knew nothing! We were so wild, that there was nothing but war and bloodshed. Every one was against his neighbour; there was no confidence between man and man, and each man tried to destroy his brother. The Word of God has turned us; the Word of God has brought peace, has reconciled one man to another; and in us is fulfilled that text of Scripture, “ The wolf shall dwell with the lamb.'"
Andries Stoffles, the Christian Hottentot said, “I will tell you what the Bible has done for Africa. What would have become of the Hottentot nation, and every black man in South Africa, had you kept the Word of God yourselves? When the Bible came among us, we were naked; we lived in caves and on the tops of mountains; we had no clothes, we painted our bodies with red paint. The Bible charmed us out of our canoes, and from the tops of the mountains. The Bible made us throw