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Wilson, Lord Lifford, Lord Mountsandford, and the Rev. Mr. Brandram.
THE TWENTY-EIGHTH YEAR OF THE SOCIETY,
1831-1832. Divine inspiration calls upon us to “Behold, how good and how pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” This blessed concord has largely prevailed among the friends of the Bible Society. And for this unspeakable blessing, devout thanksgiving is due to the gracious Author of all good,—the God of love and peace, through Jesus Christ.
Several sincere supporters of the Bible Society, however, were not satisfied with the decision of the last General Meeting; and they requested of the Committee the reconsideration of the subject in dispute. This the Committee declined; as their duty was to conduct their affairs according to the laws of the Society, sustained by the general sentiments of their Auxiliaries. Without controversy, they proceeded therefore, in their work of circulating the Scriptures.
The Society's depôt in Paris was most successful, under Professor Kieffer. His labours were astonishing, “and the total number of books issued between the 1st April, 1831, and the 31st March, 1832, is 176,139 copies of Bibles and Testaments.” Much spiritual benefit resulted from this work.
The depôt at Frankfort was also successful; and
Dr. Pinkerton reported :-“During the year, we have issued to our numerous correspondents, scattered throughout Germany, Prussia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Bohemia, Bavaria, Switzerland, and Alsace, 71,509 copies of the word of God-of these 38,787 have been disseminated among Roman Catholics.”
The various Societies in Switzerland, continued to labour in the cause of the Bible; and the same appeared in Prussia, whose central institution at Berlin issued last year, 9,367 Bibles, and 37,507 Testaments, besides 44,000 Testaments among the Prussian military. And, in reply to an appeal for further aid, the Committee engaged to bear half the expense of 20,000 more Testaments for the army.
The Bible Societies in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, continued their operations with considerable success. Increased activity appeared also in the Protestant Bible Society of St. Petersburgh, notwithstanding the suspension of the Russian Bible Society. Some New Testaments were circulated in Spain through Gibraltar.
“Malta. From the stores of the Bible Society in Malta, 4,261 copies have been issued, principally in French, Italian, Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew. Many copies of the French have been sent to Algiers."
Various operations were carried on at Smyrna, Constantinople, and Alexandria, and in Persia, for the circulation of the Scriptures in many languages, including the Persian and Turkish.
Greece was greatly benefited by the Agency of the Rev. Mr. Leeves, at Corfu ; and important operations were carried forward in promoting the dissemination of the Word of God.
The Calcutta Bible Society had to lament the loss of its patron, by the decease of the Bishop ; but he was succeeded by the Rev. Daniel Wilson, a tried friend of the Institution. It continued, therefore, its operations. “The Serampore Missionaries being under engagements to supply 1,500 copies of the Hindoostanee Scriptures, a reprint of the New Testament was commenced.” And it was reported that the issues from its depository, in the year, were “14,661 copies of the Scriptures, or of parts thereof;" while encouraging efforts were making to extend the spread of the sacred Scriptures at Cawnpore, Allahabad, Benares, Meerut, Sangor, Mhow, Dinapore, Dacca, Gorruckpore, and Chinsurah.
The Madras Society proceeded with activity in printing the Scriptures in Tamil, Teloogoo, Malayalim, and Canarese; and it circulated in the year, 19,324 copies, in whole or in part, in fifteen different languages.
The Bombay Bible Society still proceeded; and the Parent Committee voted a grant of English Bibles, and paper for printing the Goojuratee Scriptures.
Ceylon required assistance, and the Committee granted 500 English Bibles, and £300 in aid of the Cingalese Scriptures.
At Malacca the circulation of the Scriptures in the Chinese, Malay, Tamil, Arabic, and Hindo-Por
tugese languages, through the Missionaries, proceeded satisfactorily; while the Siamese New Testament was completed; the printing of the Chinese Bible was advancing to a close ; and the Missionaries received £1,000 in aid of the Old Testament.
Useful operations were still carried on in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land in circulating the Scriptures.
Encouraging information was received from Africa, Sierra Leone, and Cape Town, as the translation of the Scriptures in the Sichuana tongue, by the Rev. Mr. Moffat, and in the Namaqua, by the Rev. Mr. Schmalin, were proceeding. At Madagascar the New Testament was printed, and the Missionaries were going on with the Old Testament, part of which was in the press.
Active zeal was shown in Egypt, where the Rev. Mr. Lieder states, “ The Holy Scriptures have been circulated not only in the Arabic, but in the Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, and Coptic languages.”
The West Indies appearing to require an Agent for this field, engaged the Rev. James Thomson, whose labours in Mexico showed him qualified for the office.
South America was almost closed against the Bible, partly through political convulsions, and partly, with some, through their dread of the Scriptures.
The American Bible Society, with 100 new Auxiliaries, continued its onward course, issuing in the year, 242,183 copies of the Scriptures. Details of this great institution cannot here be given ; but, at the stated Meeting in November, 1831, the Committee granted to the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the sum of 5,000 dollars, to be employed by the Mission at Bombay, in printing the Holy Scriptures in the Mahratta language ; and the further sum of 5,000 dollars, to be employed in printing an edition of 20,000 copies of the New Testament in the native language of the Sandwich Islands. They resolved also to print an edition of 30,000 copies of the New Testament in modern Greek, procuring stereotype plates for the same from the British and Foreign Bible Society. They resolved also to appropriate 5,000 dollars to aid the Baptist General Convention in publishing the Scriptures in the Burmese language.
Active zeal was manifested also in British America, in New Brunswick, Prince Edward's Island, Newfoundland, and Lower and Upper Canada ; and progress was made by Mr. Peter Jones and his brother John in translating into the Chippeway language, the Gospel of St. John, which was now printed in England.
Proceedings in the United Kingdom were varied and most important, as the labours of the Bible Society were so greatly extended. A grievous calamity was lamented by the Society in the sudden death of their Editor, Mr. Greenfield. The Auxiliaries in Scotland presented the sum of £422 9s. 2d., as free contributions; while 12,030 Bibles, and 37,470 Testaments were granted to the Schools and the poor of Ireland.