Page images


LETTER FROM THE ISLANDS. Mr. Orsmond, who arrived at Eimeo in May, 1817, writes from Papetoai, in Eimeo, June 30, 1817. “Our voyage," he says, “from the Colony to Eimeo, was long, but safe. The field is large, and white; and all I need now is prudence, perseverance, unquenchable love for souls, the wisdom of the serpent with the harmlessness of the dove, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The brethren here are very kind, and are anxious to spend the remainder of their lives in the cause of God.

“I am learning the language from Mr. Nott. I have written three prayers in the Taheitean language, one of which Pomare copied as soon as he saw it. There is nothing 1 so much desire as to be useful to these poor benighted people. They cry for instruction; they call for our exertions; they demand the vigilant improvement of every minute for their eternal welfare. Soon, I hope, with the blessing of Jesus, to speak to them. Let us still share in your prayers, and we hope, while our pulses continue to beat, to seek the prosperity of Zion. The natives say to me, 'Make haste, and learn our language, that you may be able to teach us.' This has been said by several; indeed from the first it has continued to ring in my ears.

I have at this moment a letter before me from Pomare, stating his determination to visit England. My dear wife is at present very ill.

“ A little tiine since there was some uncommon lightning at Taheite; and the natives went to the mountains and caves, and brought forth the gods that had not been consumed in the fire, and prepared to burn them, supposing that God was angry with them for keeping them at all. Conscience is a faithful monitor. Mr. Barff will, I hope, soon be here.”

QUARTERLY EXTRACTS, published by the American Bille Society

in August, 1818. Already has the American Bible Society begun to occupy a station among the great Bible Establishments in Christendom, which are an ornament and a blessing to the nations which gave them birti). The increasing resources of this Institution, and the comparative importance of its operations, are already exciting an interest which it is essential to keep alive and to cherish. To communicate to the public more frequent and extensive information of its proceedings, of the patronage which it continues to receive, the contributions to its funds, and the good opinion entertained of it by those societies or individuals who are disposed to second its views and aid its efforts, appears to be a duty incumbent on those to whom the direction of its concerns has been intrusted. The Managers of this Society are also persuaded, that a more copious diffusion of intelligence relating to the

progress of the Bible cause, derived from foreign as well as domestic sources, would tend to awaken and interest the public feeling in its favour, and stimulate to more active exertions in promoting it. American Christians, being more generally informed of the extensive and successful operations of kindred Institutions in other parts of the world, will feel an additional encouragement to aid their own National Society, whose labours are directed to the accomplishment of the same grand and beneficent designs.

Under these impressions, the Board have ordered, that a Publication be issued every three months, which is to contain

1st. An account of such measures adopted by the Board during the preceding quarter as it may be expedient to publish:

2d. An account of the contributions to the funds of the Society :

3d. Extracts from the Reports and Correspondence of Auxiliary Societies :

4th. Such parts of the publications of the British and Foreign, and other Bible Societies, as it may be deemed useful to insert therein.

The concentration under the same roof of the mechanical operations carried on for the Society, has greatly facilitated the systematic conducting of its business. But though the number of presses employed in printing the Bibles has been increased, the demand for the sacred volume has considerably exceeded the means of supplying it. Ten presses are now in operation for the Society, and one or two more will be added as soon as they can be procured.

The following copies of the Scriptures have been printed for the Society during the last three months :

2,000 Octavo Bibles,
4,000 Duodecimo Brevier do.
2,000 do. Minion do.
2,500 Octavo New Testaments,
2,500 Brevier do.
1,000 Epistles of John, in the Delaware Indian and English,

1,000 Gospels of John, in the Mohawk and English. The contributions to the funds of the Society received in May, June,

and July, 1818, were as follows : From 59 Auxiliary Societies, in part for Bibles and New Testaments,

$ 7539 58 7 Bible Societies not auxiliary, do.

763 68 7 Charitable and Religious Societies, do.

630 25 3 Congregational collections

41 80 Sundry individuals, for Bibles and Testaments 120 24 3 Directors for life

350 00 66 Ministers, members for life

1990 00 13 other members for life

321 25 15 annual contributors

93 10

Total in the first quarter of the third year $ 11,849 90

For want of room, we are obliged to reserve for our next Number the Extracts from Reports of Auxiliary Societies, contained in the above document.

Vol. V.]

Saturday, September 19, 1818.

(No. 12.

Extract from the Third Report of the Directors of the East Ter='

NESSEE Bible Society, presented at the Annual Meeting, April:* 29, 1818.

The Directors of the East Tennessee Bible Society have occasion for renewed congratulation, that the smiles of Divine Providence have still continued to bless its exertions. Returns have been received during the past year from every county within our limits, except two, and from these returns it appears that the number of members now belonging to the society is six hundred and sixteen, making an increase, since the last anniversary, of three hundred and sixty four.

Though returns from several counties have not been received by the Treasurer, yet the amount received by him on account of the Society is greater than in any former year. The whole sum received, since his last report, is $569 20, which added to the sum before in the Treasury, makes an amount of $727 28 }; of this sum $268 36 has been paid for incidental expenses, leaving at this time, at the disposal of the Society, a balance of $458 92.

During the past year the Directors have ordered the distribution of One Thousand and seventy-five Bibles, and Two Hundred Testaments. The

greater part of these has been sent to the place of deposit in each county, for the use of the Agents, though we regret to state that in two or three instances, the books have not been forwarded for want of a suitable opportunity.

The Directors have the satisfaction to inform the Society, that their anticipations respecting the American Bible Society, expressed in last year's Report,

have not been disappointed. It has generously presented us with Five Hundred Bibles, of a very superiour quality. Nor has the Philadelphia Bible Society, during the last year, shown itself weary of well-doing. It has added to its former claims upon our gratitude by the very handsome donation of One Hundred Bibles and One Hundred Testaments. Seventy-five Bibles mentioned in the last Report, as furnished to our assistance by the Baltimore Bible Society, have since come to hand. These, added to the Bibles belonging to the Society, already in our possession at the last Anniversary, make up the number specified above, as ordered for distribution.

The Directors lament that they are not more extensively furnished, by their Agents, with a statement of the manner in which the books have been disposed of in the different counties, and of the effects produced by their distribution. The accounts which have been received are, however, very encouraging. In one instance, the Books in the hands of the Agent were all applied for within two hours after notice that they had been received for distribution. In another instance, the whole number of Books sent to a county were distributed in about a fortnight. A much esteemed clergyman, who

[ocr errors]

has done us the favour to accept an appointment as our Agent, writes as follows : “In some parts of the county the distribution of Bibles has been attended with very salutary effects. Persons who never could read have been stimulated to learn; and there are instances of some far advanced in age who have undertaken to qualify themselves for reading the inspired volume. Some also, who being able to read, had hitherto neglected the word of God, have applied for, and been furnished with Bibles, and have paid an attention to them which loudly proclaims the utility and glory of such benevolent establishments. Nearly all the Bibles we have received are already disposed of, and the demand is yet great, and increasing. The number of the destitute far, very far, surpasses our highest calculations.' Other returns are very satisfactory, and we are not destitute of evidence, that the Spirit of God has deigned to communicate his sanctifying influence through our poor endeavours to circulate his Word.

In addition to other encouraging circumstances, the Directors notice with much pleasure the recent formation, in this place, of an Auxiliary Female Bible Society. They are happy to see in this event, and some others of a similar nature, in different parts of the adjacent country, that the females of this State manifest a disposition to follow the noble example which has been so extensively set them by Associations of their sex in other parts of the United States. It is a circumstance which adds no little glory to the American character, that while other countries have greatly outstripped us in the early establishment and ample resources of their male associations, our females were the first, who, in any country, have associated, to any considerable extent, for benevolent purposes. Female charitable societies have spread through the land with an almost electrical rapidity; and they contribute no small part of the sums which are annually raised for benevolent objects. The station filled by women in society, no less than their natural tenderness, is admirably adapted to the successful application of these ennobling charities; and certainly, the female character can never shine with so bright a lustre as when employed in relieving the wants of the distressed, and furnishing to the destitute the means of eternal life.

From the event just mentioned, the Directors would take occasion here to remark, that it is on Auxiliary Societies that every extensive scheme of beneficence must rely for efficient and continued support. It is by means of its numerous Auxiliaries that the British and Foreign Bible Society is enabled to pour but so vast a stream of beneficence as to make it the Wonder of the World. It is on its Auxiliaries that the American Bible Society must depend for that patronage which can alone enable it to reach those high destinies which Providence seems to to have assigned it. It is by means of Auxiliaries only that the grand scheme of spreading the scriptures through the world can be made to embark every man's feelings; for it is by minutely extended Auxiliaries only that every individual in society can be personally called upon to aid in the promotion of the noble cause. It is by means of Auxiliaries only that our own Society can hope to accomplish the good of which it is capable; and the Directors anticipate the period as not far distant when an Auxiliary Society in every county, and a Bible Association in every neighbourhood, shall, in this region, as they have done in others, give perfection to the system of a universal distribution of the Word of God.

On the destitute state of a great part of our own continent, the American Bible Society appears, very naturally, to have fixed a steady and compassionate eye. Emulating, in the extent of its views and the wisdom of its plans, the example of its great Predecessor in Europe, it gives fair promise of accomplishing a similar career of glory. The untried fields of southern America will open to its growing powers a sphere of action sufficiently expanded; and we trust that the maturity of its growth will be signalized by other triumphs than those, which, on the same fields, once encrimsoned the banners of Cortez and Pizarro.

Extract from the Report of the ULSTER COUNTY AUXILIARE BIBLE

SOCIETY, presented May 5, 1818. This society was formed September 2, 1816. We immediately offered ourselves, and were received as one of those numerous Auxiliaries, which in this age of Bibles, are daily affiliating themselves to the American National Institution. The Treasurer's annexed report shows that we have bought and paid for three hundred Bibles. of this number we have voted, as a gratuity, twelve to each town; and eleven of the towns have taken their quota. To Marble-town, Hurley, and Kingston, seven dozen bibles were voted for the use of Sunday Schools. The collections for the Society have been exemplary. Kingston has, during the last year, contributed nearly seventy dollars to the American Bible Society : and one hundred and fifty dollars to the funds of this Society. Some other towns, as appears by the Treasurer's report, have also emulated these deeds of benevolence.

Extract from the Report of the Executive Committee of The

MASSACHUSETTS BIBLE SOCIETY, presented June 4, 1819. The Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Bible Society respectfully report, that they have distributed during the last year the following Bibles and Testaments :

-Large Bisles, 264-Small do. 1643—Testaments, 1637-making in all 3544.

A large proportion has been given to individuals on their own application; several to managers of charity schools and of missionary societies; some to destitute seamen; and a few to the soldiers stationed at Marblehead, at the request of their commander. The distribution has been as cautious as is consistent with the liberal principles of the Society. Bibles are undoubtedly given, in some instances, to those who should blush to receive them without an equivalent; but we have this consolation, that we bestow a book which is the best remedy for their sordidness.

During the last year an earnest application was made to the

« PreviousContinue »