Page images
PDF
EPUB

formation of the actual state of may calculate on the future servireligion in that country as may al- ces of this gentleman, in any profift the Society to form a discreet per measures to promote the Pro judgment respecting the most eli- teftant caufe ; and he feels fo gible means of promoting the in- much animated by the account of terests of pure Christianity there. the design and proceedings of our in, have the satisfaction to fub- inftitution, as to have formed the mit to them the process and result intention of being present at our of their mission.

next annual folemnities. They deem it, however, in But it is not in the French lan. cumbent on them, in the first guage only that the Society is place, to record their grateful tes. | likely to be instrumental in the timony to the goodness of God, circulation of the New Teftament not only for their safe preservation, and of the Essay it is highly but also for having prospered their probable, that at the present moway by preparing and disposing ment the latter is under translation suitable instruments to promote into the Italian language, by anotheir object, whose friendship has ther individual, whom God has proved of confiderable advantage ; raised up and filled with zeal aparticularly, as it has been the me- gainst the errors of the Popis dium of introducing them to per- Communion. The Directors will fons of respectable tation and in learn with pleasure, that an Italifluence, who have received them an Bishop has expressed his difinwith cordiality, highly approved terested desire to serve their cause the benevolence and utility of in this way ; and it waits only their design ; greatly encouraged their own determination to give them by allurances of its probable full effect to his zealous difpofition. success, and their co-operation to This dignitary of the Romilh See, promote it.

in the early periods of the revolu. Bearing on their minds the im- tion, directed his enlightened efmediate object of their mission, forts against the pretensions of the which was the Translation of the Papacy, and for three years sufferEssay, and its Circulation with ed imprisonment, as well as the the New Testament tliro' France, loss of his worldly substance. Feel. they have taken measures for its ing strongly on account of the aaccomplishment ; and have the bominations of Popery, he appears pleasure to inform the Directors, ready to lend his utmott altistance that they have succeeded beyond to diffuse the purer principles of their expectations. It will afford the Protestant faith. thein fatisfaction to learn, that Another member of the legisGod has graciously disposed the lative body, a zealous Protestant, heart of a respectable member of and who appears eminently devotthe legislative aliembly to take a ed to the Lord Jesus Christ, en lively interest in our cause ; in tered most cordially into our views. consequence of which he volunta- He lamented the want of faithrily offered his services to tranf- ful and zealous ministers; and on late the Essay; and is now aslidu our expressing a hope that our ously engaged therein, receiving, Society might be disposed to eduaccording to his own declaration, cate some truly devoted and zealincreasing edification as he pro ous young men for the exercise of ceeds. The Society, we believe, the ministry in France, said,

* That he thought he could find ftated, that it was the Proteftant out, in the south, fix young men, Scriptures that he wanted, and for truly devoted and spiritual, whom the purpose of selling them to he would send over to England, the Catholics, who were eager to to be trained up there for the fer- procure them, in preference to vice of the Protestants in France;" | their own. - and he waits the direction of the That the Directors may form a Society for the accomplishment of judgment, as to the probable exthis purpose.

tent in which the Scriptures, and The resolution of the Society the works of the best Protestant was limited to the New Testa authors may be circulated, it may ment ; because, it was concluded be necessary to state to them the that the addition of the Old, would information received from a genoccafion an inconvenient expendi- tleman who was formerly in one of ture of its fands, it being under the highest departments of ftate stood that they were to be distri- in Sardinia. Prompted by his buted gratuitously : but on this approbation of the object, and desubject, as well as others, the firous to promote its success, he minds of the deputation were eve communicated the following intelry day receiving more juft and com- ligence :-That in Piedmont, and prehensive information ; and they other Popish countries, the Bible have now the satisfaction to say, was prohibited, under the penalty that the Directors are likely to of eternal darnnation ; but that have the opportunity of printing fince their union with France, and circulating the whole Scrip. Proteftantism is not only tolerated, tures, as well as the Effay, and but its worship is public ; and other Proteftant works, to a very that the benevolent views of the great extent, without any eventu- Society would meet with the al expence to the Society : and greatest success, if profecuted with although we would not too strong-order and wisdom. In Piedmont, ly indulge this expectation ; yet, and especially at Turin, there are the following circumftance, among a confiderable number of Geneothers, may in fome degree encou vans who would affift it, as well as

most of the literary characters of In Paris, it required a search a- the country. Besides books, be mong the booksellers, of four days, recommends, that well instructed, to find a fingle Bible :-we fear prudent, and discerning Missionathis is also the awful situation of ries be sent. There will be an ethe greater part of France, and qual opportunity of spreading inother countries formerly connected ftruction into the Cisalpine repubwith the See of Rome. The re- lic; and from thence into Tufca. port of an intention to publish it, ny. Books and Missionaries would produced an application from one also, he ftates, be received with bookseller, for 1500 copies ; and enthusiasm at Naples ; and this we found on calculation, that the would prepare the way to Rome sale of 5000 copies on his terms, itself.--Without entering into furwould leave some advantage to the ther detail of the plan which he Society. This bookseller being suggests, the Directors will pera Catholic, it was supposed, that ceive the immenfe fcope which he might be inquiring for their Divine Providence has prepared edition of the Scriptures ; but he for the exertions of Christian bene

rage it.

volence, in the cause of the blessed the deputation, will illustrate this Redeemer : indeed, the moral ef. remark. They had been informfects produced over a very exten-ed that, in one of the departments five and populous part of Europe, through which they had to pass, by the late conflict of the nations, there were a number of their Proare so evident and important, as testant Brethren deftitute of a palnot to be overlooked without im- tor : conceiving it to be their dupiety ; and the facilities for the ty to visit them, in order to rouse introduction of the Gospel, are fo and animate them, they itaid for greatly increased, as to invite, and one day in that diftria. "The afeeven demand, the earnest prayers ful friend who accompanied them, and unwcaried efforts of the disci. being acquainted with the prefeci, ples of Christ, to improve to the called on him, and informed him utmost so interesting a dispensation of their design in coming to It is extremely manifest, that a France : this great officer entered wide door is opened for the Gore with much zeal into the subject, pel ; and it will be a great privi- highly approved of the measure, lege and honor, if the Missionary trongly recommended the ProSociety should, in any degree, be-testants to exert themselves, and come instrumental in making it an promised them a church and a effeclual one. The operations of house, both well repaired, for the Divine Provid nce, in rendering use of the minister whom they the political convullions of the might get appointed. This cirworld subservient to his fuperior cumstance being made known to plan of wisdom and grace, in rela. two of the Proteltants residing tion to the kingdom of the Mef- there, whose minds had previoulfiah, has seldom been more appa- ly been filled with gloomy apprerent than in the public events henfions as to the state of religion, which have lately occurred ; yet, it had such an enlivening intiu. it is not by great political arrange-ence upon them, as to induce them ments only, but also by moral im to pledge themselves to furnith a pressions upon the minds of those very liberal support to any Prowhose authority controuls the af- teftant minifter who would settle fairs of nations, that the duty of among them; and expressed their Christian Societies is pointed out undoubting perfuafion, that the and enforced. This observation church would soon be filled with admits of an appropriate applica- fuch Catholics as would willingly tion.

contribute to the support of a The Protestant cause is confi- Protestant ministry. This last dered by the prefent government sentiment, which is of very great of France to be favorable to its importance, appears to be well stability : the apprehenfion of founded. It is highly probable, danger is from the party attached that an energetic ministry, in to Popery ; the government there which the great principles of the fore, is on its guard with respect to Gospel should be powerfully inthe latter, but is well disposed to culcated, would be numerously the former : this is demonitrated attended by the Catholies in vaby its appointments to stations of rious, if not in all parts of France. political importance, or to offices Indeed, the religion of Rome, uniof magistracy. An occurrence supported by extensive funds, and vhich lappened on the return of destitute of civil power, leems tal

verging towards its fall : the ac- of exciting already a very contitivity of its priests, who, by wri- derable impulse in the minds of tings and other means, are endea- many in favor of genuine Christia voring to revive its interests, may, anity. The objects of the instihowever, succeed, if no proper at- tution, and the disinterested phitempts are made to introduce into lanthropy, to which they attri. its place a purer fyftem ; because buted their visit, had a powerful the intellectual principle in man, effect on them, and awakened a conscious of its immortal destiny, train of ideas which were either feels the necessity of some religion entirely new, or had long lain dorwhereon its anxieties may repose ; mant in their minds. They foon and will therefore lean upon a formed the project of communifalse one in the absence of the true. cating their views and feelings to This anxious feeling of the mind others ; and we believe that, at after the true religion, seems to this time, a correspondence is be increasing in France. Dir. opening with the Protestants in gusted with the superstitions of every part of France, with a view Popery, they betook themselves to form a general and useful or. to the principles of infidelity, and ganization of the whole body, in have proved them to be insuffici- order to revive the long-persecuted ent for their happiness, as well as interests of true religion, and expernicious in their tendency. The tend them on every fide ; but they day of infidelity and of supersti- feel their need of the advice and tion is closing ; and, as soon as assistance of the Society in the the Sun of Righteousness arises, commencement of their efforts ; they will be chased into eternal and are disposed, in return, to darkness, their native region. It co-operate in all the measures may be added also, that the Pro- which may be recommended as testant religion would be support- likely to promote our great obed by a considerable portion of ject. What these measures ought the people, who, being friendly to to be, becomes therefore an imthe principles of civil liberty, con portant subject to be considered. ceive that a natural alliance sub- Probably the Directors will coinfifts between these, whilst that of cide in the conviction which this the Papal is supposed to be in hof- visit to France has produced in tility thereto. This is therefore our own minds,— That, dependthat political and moral state of ing on the blessing of God, the things in France and its depen. Bible, and an Evangelical Miniidencies, which the Directors will try, are the principal things requiprobably consider as a distinguish site to promote the cause of the ing character of a difpenfation fa-Redecmer in that country; and vorable to the interest of true re it will probably be the distinguishligion; and therefore deligned to ed honor of the Missionary Socibe a signal to Christians, and ef- ety to be the means of distributpecially to Christian societies, in ing the word of God, in a very order to engage their utmost ener extensive degree, through France gies to improve it.

and its dependencies, which apThe Members of the Deputa- pear to be now nearly destitute tion now proceed to state, that thereof; and this one circumGod has been pleased to render Itance will impress upon it a chatheir visit to France the occasion 'racter of usefulness, which will

ors.

afford to the mind a source of per- ciety in England would cheerful. petual joy and thanksgiving. It ly extend their liberal aid to supis also hoped, it will be in their port it ; and on this ground, the power to find out and recommend Members of the Deputation have to the Brethren in France, some inftituted an enquiry concerning minifters, whose knowledge of the the price of one of the churches, peculiar doctrines of the Gospel, well adapted for this purpose; the and experience of their power, result of which, we expect very may fit them for eminent useful shortly to lay before the Direct ness ; but fo great is the want of suitable ministers in these popu Another means for promoting lous and extensive regions, that, the success of the Gospel in France, without an interposition of Provi- we conceive would be the circudence in a way at present un- lation of various Protestant works, known, there must long remain a explaining and impressing the lead. great deficiency in this respect. ing principles, and beneficial efTo lay the foundation of supply. fects of Chriftianity; and espeing this, as far as circumstances cially by a publication of the napermit, it may probably be of ef- ture of the Evangelical Magazine; sential service to select a few the profits whereof should be apyoung men of the French nation, plied to the relief of the widows whose hearts may be inclined to of Protestant Ministers in that the service of God, for the pur- country; or to the education of pose of giving them such full and young men for the ministry; as appropriate instructions as may fit may appear beft. On these them for the Christian ministry in grounds the adoption of the foltheir own country. It appears, lowing Resolutions is recommendmoreover, to be a matter of great ed to the Directors :importance, that a member of the 1. That the measures already Society, or a friend in close con- taken for the translation of the nexion with it, thould refide in Essay, and its circulation by fale, Paris, for the exercise of his minif as well as the printing and sale of try, among the Protestants there ; the New Testament, be confirmed. whole number is estimated at from N. B. 2000 of each are order30 to 40,000; and who it is fear. ed ; the cost of which will be sed, are deplorably ignorant, as to bout 115l. the nature and effects of the reli. 2. That the Committee be augion which they profess. It may thorized to direct the following be neceffary, in the first instance, books to be printed and circulatto conduct the service in the En. ed by sale, for account of the glish language ; but the princi. Missionary Society, viz. pal defign is, to preach eventually in that of the French ; not only sooo Bibles and Tefaments,

which will cost about to Protestants, but to Catholics

625 Oo also. This measure appeared fo

5000 Watts's ift Catechisms,
which will cost about

800 important in its nature, fo honor- sooo do. 2d do.

20 0 O able to the society, and so essenti- sooo Assembly's Catechisms

*50 al in various views to the interests 4000 New Testaments in the of religion throughout France,

Italian language that the persuasion has been in

2000 of the Lillay dulged, that the friends of the So

848 oO

[ocr errors]

do.

1OO OO 70 00

« PreviousContinue »