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SPECIMEN, [To occupy all the Book, except the Four last Folios.

No.

SUBSCRIBERS

NAMES.

Rate of Contribution.

Whether a Bible

or Testament is required or not.

1.

No

.....

2.

2 Guineas per ann. 1 Guinea 10s. 6d.

4d. a week

3.

No No No

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5.

3d.

6.

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7.

2d.

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NO
No
No

No
A Brevier Bible

No
No
No

ld.

Messrs. Storr & Co. Mr, William Storr..... Mr. Joseph Dyke John Brown... Thomas Johnson.. James Field.. Matthew Gage. George Jones Peter Grant... John Thomas.... Robert Bruce Edward Price.... Thomas Bond Joseph Ford.. William Took Charles Morgan Henry Hart. Samuel Stringer

9. 10. 11. 12.

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273 No. 1. -The Columns of the last two Quarters to be inserted before the Annual Amount.] January. February. March April. May. June.

Amount

sup3 / 10117 24 31 7 14 21126 132 27 3 10 17 241811:22 2 5 12 19 26 4. s. d. plied.

Annual When

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Peculiar importance of these institutions at the present period.

SECTION IV.

GENERAL REMARKS.

1. If there be any portion of the system of the Bible Society that is peculiarly applicable to the circumstances of Great Britain at the present period, it appears to be that which we are now considering. To those who possess a salutary influence over the minds of their subordinate workmen, a question of vital importance suggests itself—" How has this influence been exercised ?If every master-manufacturer and superintendant would seriously put this inquiry to his own conscience, and be governed by the answer he receives, the results would be speedily witnessed, and the best interests of our country be essentially promoted.

2. That universal education on the basis of the Bible would be an universal benefit, is the decided conviction of the author ; but whether this opinion be well or ill founded, is not now the question. The evil, if it be one, is done ;-an appetite is created, which must be fed; and if you do not supply it with wholesome and solid food, we too well know that there are others who will administer attractive poison. And shall we sleep, while the enemy is sowing tares? Shall the Christian be supine, when the Infidel is active? Shall the friends of good order and subordination slumber at their posts, when the advocates of anarchy and confusion are abroad? If apathy and indifference be the consequence of superior knowledge, then indeed education is an evil: but if wisdom and intelligence be conferred, as they undoubtedly are, for practical and good purposes, it is in such times as these that their value is felt and their application demanded.

3. “The Bible," says Locke, “has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter." The interest excited by a desire to possess it, or to assist in its universal diffusion, is as much superior to every sensual pursuit, as the concerns of eternity surpass those of the present hour. He who feels and cherishes this interest is elevated above the mean and sordid considerations that had formerly occupied his attention. His character expands with his capacity for enjoyment; and he rejects those incitements to evil, a compliance with which would degrade him in his own estimation, and in the opinion of those whose respect he can now appreciate.

4. The effect of this elevation of character will be felt in reference to his daily habits. The man who passes his evenThe effects on habit and character.-Illustration of the subject. ings at the public-house, and associates with the idle and the profligate, gradually depresses the spring of honest industry, and weakens his attachment to domestic pleasures : whereas he who is induced by reflection and conviction to avoid those scenes of dissipation, and to find his best and tranquil enjoyments at home, will have a perpetual stimulus to exertion, in the increased comforts of his family and the satisfaction of his own mind. A strong and increasing sense of duty will render his toil a pleasure; and his employers will not be the last to reap the reward of this high tone of correct moral feeling, which they have been the instruments of exciting.

5. These observations will derive tenfold force, if we consider the Mechanic in the light of a dispenser of charity. Those know but little of the labouring classes in our country, who assert, that selfishness is their predominant characteristic. The benevolent principle may be torpid, but it still exists; -it may have been kept down by the leaden influence of pauperism, or misdirected by artifice and sophistry; but if you place it under the guidance of Religion, it will rise above these obstructions, and acquire strength and vigour by exercise. He who knows himself to be a benefactor of mankind, however limited the extent of his aid, will find within his own heart a stronger incentive to economy and industry than legislative enactments have ever provided. “I never knew,” said an honest carpenter to the author; “I never knew, Sir, the value of independence till now. Formerly I never had a shilling to spare, because I always owed it at the public-house. I had a Bible, but I never read it, until the collectors of the Bible Association told me what it was. They asked me whether I could not spare a penny a-week, to send it over all the world; and I gave it without thinking about it. But when I read the paper they gave me, and my Bible afterwards, I found I had been for ten years injuring myself and my family, without getting any good by it; so I thought it was high time to make a change : and, blessed be God! He has enabled me to make it. I began to think, whether I could not give more than the poor penny a-week to such a great and good work; and I soon found I could double it without missing what I gave. This was the begin. ning, Sir ; and now I have eighicen pounds in the Savings' Bank, my family and home are comfortable and orderly, and I never was half so happy in my life.”

276

CHAP. V.

JUVENILE AND SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS. .

JOSIAH WHILE HE WAS YET YOUNG, BEGAN TO SEEK GOD."

2 CHRON. XXXIV. S.

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS.
Among the many considerations which a review of the Bible
Society involves, few are more replete with interest than that
on which we now enter. That

persons
of mature

age,

without distinction of country or sex, should co-operate in a work like this, does not excite surprise; but that the zeal and energy of Children should be called into exercise, is a subject of peculiar gratification, and affords one of the finest illustrations of that singleness of object and that simplicity of design which characterize this institution. It might naturally be supposed, that the interest manifested by the young, in this comprehensive scheme of Christian charity, had its origin in the suggestion of their parents, or was the result of similar exertions on the part of their seniors: but it is a memorable fact, that Juvenile Bible Associations constituted the earliest Auxiliaries of the Parent Institution; and have continued to the present day to pour their small, but unfailing rills into that mighty river by which the nations are refreshed.

It has been well observed by Mr. Owen:-“Ifa justification were required of this mode of employing the energies of the young, no other need be given than what is furnished by the following Scripture authority :- And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David, they were sore displeased; and said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise ?"

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