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BIBLE TRIUMPH S.
* Judgment regarding the Bible Society-Its JUBILEE—Its various
operations—Review of its Origin and of its History necessary - The Endowments of its PRESIDENTS - SECRETARIES — DIRECTORS TRANSLATORS-AGENTS—Indicate the Providence of God.
“Who, but the Author and Giver of all concord,” asks the eloquent Robert Hall,“ could have put into the hearts of the children of men a design so beneficial and Godlike ; so adapted to allay the heats and animosities which have so often disturbed the peace of society, and disfigured our common Christianity?
—The idea of a public monument, to embody the national sentiment, has been so nobly realized by the Bible Society, by taking pledges from the statesmen, the senators, the nobles of the land, of their devoted attachment to the Word of God: they have publicly lifted up their voice, and declared, in the face of all Europe, that the Bible is the religion of Great Britain !”
Men of the greatest intelligence and the soundest judgment in every nation of Europe and of the world, have pronounced their opinion concerning the British and Foreign Bible Society. They have been unanimous in declaring their regard for it as the most admirable instrument of the Divine Benevolence; and their conviction that its formation must have been suggested by Infinite Wisdom and Goodness. The character of its extensive operations is so entirely unselfish and purely benevolent; its design is so noble and beneficial to all nations ; and the cordial union of good men, of various religious sentiments and professions, is so zealous, that the work appears manifestly to have had a superhuman origin, and to have sprung from the influence of the Spirit of God.
Fifty years of steady, undeviating progress in the same cause of godly philanthropy, seem also to demonstrate that it has been guided by the infallible direction of Almighty Providence.
Unparalleled and truly astonishing have been the various labours of this great Institution. And equally remarkable have been its triumphs in success. Its wide field of operation-limited only by its means, is the whole world,—including all the nations of mankind. To review the instructive past, therefore, and to prepare a new generation of labourers for the eventful future, must be deemed peculiarly expedient, and acknowledged as our bounden duty. Every consideration of policy and utility must
prompt us to the commemmoration of its holy and happy Jubilee!
In surveying the past progress of the Bible Society, it will be necessary to recal to mind its remarkable, though humble origin,—and to trace the course of edifying history. It will also be indispensable to contemplate the eminent Christian character, the superior distinguishing talents, and the essential endowments of its principal officers and agents, qualifying them for their appropriate spheres of labour and service. These will not fail to excite in the observant mind, unfeigned admiration at the sovereign bounty and the manifest superintendence of the gracious Providence of God.
The Bible Society has been most highly favoured in its highly NOBLE PRESIDENTS, whose personal excellencies have recommended its claims to the notice of the great in all nations. Its SECRETARIES have been men of peculiar talents, possessing the rarest endowments of piety, practical wisdom, eloquence and devotedness to their responsible duties. Its TRANSLATORS have been raised up in various communions, especially among our Missionaries to the Heathen, enriched with uncommon learning and filled with a spirit of wisdom, to render the oracles of God in languages before unsanctified by the Holy Scriptures. Its EDITORS have been men of extensive learning, critical skill, and admirable industry, to watch over the revisions of the Sacred Books. Its
DIRECTORS have been selected for committees from among those men, who have been highly esteemed in our several churches, for their personal piety, sound knowledge, Christian liberality and experience in business. Its public Advocates, also, have been endowed with intelligence and eloquence, called forth as the exigencies of the Society required, to defend it against opponents and objectors, to vindicate its claims on all professing the Christian faith, and to recommend the Bible to all classes in every nation, as the precious word of the living God, the charter of our salvation by Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Redeemer.
Previously, however, to our survey of the history and triumphs of this great Institution, it seems expedient, for the sake of many, to examine “the Claims of the Bible” to be received as a Revelation from God. Unhappily all, even of those “ who profess and call themselves Christians," do not intelligently and cordially believe the testimony of God in the Holy Scriptures. Enemies of the gospel of Christ are numerous even in our favoured land ; and these are drawing away the ill-instructed and unstable into fatal errors. For the sake of such, and for the edification of believers, it is deemed desirable to offer a brief summary of the evidence of the truth and divinity of the Bible, as containing the only saving Oracles of the blessed God!
The Claims of the Bible.
DIVINE REVELATION NECESSARY AND PROBABLE.
God reveals Himself in His Works-More especially in the Holy
Scriptures—Revelation expected by the wisest of the Heathen
- Ignorance of the Grecian and Roman Philosophers-Doubts of Cicero and Seneca-Divine Revelation in the Old and New Testaments-Ignorance and Depravity of Men without the Bible The Bible worthy of God.
RELIGION, the worship of the blessed Creator, is the duty of every rational being. This is a principle felt among all people. It is founded on the belief of the existence and perfections of God. And this is the most rational exercise of the intelligent mind of man, by the acknowledgment of the wisest and best of men in every age and nation.
God has graciously revealed himself in all his wonderful works. Every visible part of the material universe exhibits the most indubitable evidences of one omnipotent Creator. In all the mighty mysteries of creation, we perceive the varied proofs