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The plan adopted in Ireland, Switzerland, and Denmark.
the Clerical Secretary, in the autumn of 1818, led to the adoption of a similar expedient at Geneva, Basle, and other places in Germany, on an extensive and systematic scale.
The following extracts will afford satisfactory evidence, that the beneficial effects of the measure now under consideration are not confined to our own country:
The German translation of the Monthly Extracts has been attended with very considerable advantages. Copies of them have been widely circu. lated both in Switzerland and Germany; and the perusal of them has tended greatly to dispel prejudice, to encourage exertion, and to excite, in those who before were languid or indifferent, a degree of zeal which promises the happiest fruits. Your Committee cannot forbear citing, as illustrative of the general spirit of these remarks, the liberality of a carrier, who voluntarily transported from Bâsle to Zurich several packages of Bibles, destined for Chur, of nearly 30 cwt., without receiving any compensation.
“Of the Geneva Bible Society, your Committee will speak in the brief but satisfactory statement of its excellent President. • Our biblical labours proceed well : thanks to your powerful support. The translation of the sheets of correspondence is attended with success ; and the transmission of them into France appears to have produced great benefit.'”. Extract of u Letter from the Rev. Dr. HENDERSON; dated COPENHAGEN,
April 30, 1819. “ It must have given you great pleasure to hear that a Monthly Paper has been projected, somewhat analogous to your Monthly Extracts. The Com. mittee look to your Extracts as the principal source whence to draw the most interesting matter relative to the progress of the Society.”+
It was finally decided by the Committee of the Danish Bible Society, to adopt the measure; and the publication has regularly appeared, in monthly succession, since the close of 1819, with the best effects. Extract of a Letter from the Rev. THEOPHILUS BLUMHARDT; dated BASLE,
December 1, 1819. “An expedient which, under the blessing of God, has been evidently greatly instrumental in furthering the cause of Bible Societies in Germany, by diffusing information of the most encouraging kind, are the Monthly Extracts, of which 7000 copies are every month going forth into the German world. They have proved a bond of fraternal union among the different institutions ; and from every quarter we receive the expressions of the warmest gratitude for this blessed gift of the honoured Parent Society. Mr. Breitinger assured me, that these sheets had paved the way for their society appearing, now, before a public better prepared to appreciate its object and tendency. In Bern, and in the whole of Würtemberg, they are read in the monthly meetings of the different associations, which are daily gaining more consistency and regularity. Thousands among the wealthy and the poor have, by these sheets, been brought to co-operate with Bible Societies, who had not before manifested any interest in the
Sixteenth Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society, p. xxxi & xxxv. About 10,000 copies of the Monthly Extracts are printed at Bâsle ; of which 7000 are in German, and the remainder in French.
+ Sixteenth Report, Appendix, p. 59.
American Quarterly Extracts.—Russian Monthly Paper of Business.
cause. May the Lord abundantly bless the noble Parent Institution, for
“I request you to send us the following numbers of your Monthly Extracts ; namely, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 19, and 22; which we either have not received, or lost by frequently lending them to friends : these extracts are so edifying, and so adapted to awaken an interest for the Bible cause, that a complete collection of them would be considered a truly valuable gift.”+
From a Gentleman in UPPER CANADA, dated KINGSTON, January 12, 1820.
“ Our friends in England are not generally able to form an adequate idea of the happiness the majority of British Christians abroad experience, on learning the progress of that Institution, upon which the greatest part of the world are looking with solicitude for its utmost success. quarter we are asked for the sheets of Monthly Extracts, which give great satisfaction.” From the Third Annual Report of the AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY, 1819.
“ Believing that in proportion as the public mind is informed, public feeling will be excited and a corresponding activity produced on behalf of Bible Societies, the Board of Managers have directed the publication of a periodical work, entitled “ Quarterly Extracts.” The good effects of this measure have already been felt; and the Board would take the liberty of suggesting to the members of the society, the expediency of contributing, by their example and influence, to the circulation and perusal of the publication."
The Committee of the Russian Bible Society-never the last to adopt any measure for consolidating and extending the interests of the cause-perceived the numerous advantages of this plan at a very early period, and regularly issue a monthly “ Paper of business," similar in its tendency and effects.
A monthly publication at Berlin, exclusively devoted to the Bible and Missionary Societies, regularly gives a translation of the “Monthly Extracts" as printed in London, which are thus circulated throughout the Prussian dominions.
The good effects produced by these publications is spoken of in strong terms by correspondents from every quarter: they are stated to have contributed more than any thing else towards convincing those who were previously adverse or indifferent, removing prejudice, and securing the good-will and co-operation of many who formerly kept at a distance,
The Monthly Extracts” are published, as has been already stated, on the last day of every month, and are successively numbered and dated: they are regularly forwarded
Circulation of Speeches, Addresses, &c.—beneficial effects.
to all the Auxiliary Societies within the United Kingdom, and transmitted to kindred institutions on the continent of Europe, and in the other quarters of the globe. It should be an object of particular attention with the Committees of all these societies, that their Branches and Associations are regularly supplied with copies; and a degree of liberality in this respect will be found highly conducive to the interests of the respective national institutions, as well as to those of religion and morality.
Were every National and Central Bible Society to adopt this admirable plan, and publish a monthly sheet of correspondence and transactions, the results would be incalculably beneficial. Circulated throughout all their affiliated institutions, and a copy sent to every National Bible Society throughout the world, the spirit of Christian union and be nevolence would gradually extend ;—the tidings that filled a British heart with gratitude and joy, would produce a responsive glow of delight at St. Petersburg and Calcutta; and the notes of praise that arose on the banks of the Delaware or the St. Lawrence, be resounded on the shores of the Baltic and the Caspian. While the press is employed in proclaiming, with almost electrical rapidity, throughout the world, the follies and the vices of mankind, let us endeavour to consecrate it to the duty of annouricing to all kindreds, nations, tongues, and people, THE BLOODLESS TRIUMPHS OF PRINCE OF PEACE.
3. Under the class of Occasional publications, a numerous list of valuable documents, speeches, addresses, &c. may be included; the design and effect of which are thus described by the society's historian :
“ Another cause of the increased impression, which has been observed as characteristic of this era of the society (1812–1813) was the prodigious distribution of certain minor publications, adapted to explain its principles, and to confute the objections which, under different forms, were industriously circulated with a view to its prejudice, and, were that possible, to its extinction. This plan, which was devised and conducted by Richard Phillips, Esq. consisted in selecting such speeches, addresses, or other compositions, as were considered to be popular and impressive, and dispersing them, by means of a private subscription, in those parts of the country which required to be brought into a state of excitement, or to be fortified against the influence of sophistry and misrepresentation. To these causes -the regular publications of the Parent Society and its Auxiliaries, the - productions arising out of the existing controversy, and the minor pieces thrown into circulation by private liberality, all co-operating in their several degrees—we are to ascribe, under the blessing of Providence, that rapid growth of the institution which exhibited, between its eighth and ninth anniversary, an addition of seventy-five new establishments to the number
On Foreign National Bible Societies—their origin. of its Auxiliary Societies, and an advancement of its income, through that channel, from £.24,813, 5s. to £.55,099. 3s 10d." *
Several of those papers will be more particularly alluded to, in reference to Auxiliary Societies and Associations; and such of them as have been found most useful will be included in the Appendix.
With regard to those more voluminous works which explain and defend the principle and practice of the society, it may be sufficient to observe, that they do not fall within the scope of the author's design. His pages might, indeed, be easily enriched by quotations from the masterly productions of Dealtry, Milner, Vansittart, Owen, Cunningham, Otter, Cooper, Gisborne, and many other advocates of the institution; but the reader will find this part of the subject so ably treated in the History of the Society, that it is only necessary to refer him to those interesting volumes.
FOREIGN NATIONAL SOCIETIES. 1. Having considered, under the preceding heads, those various means and instruments to which the Parent Institution is indebted for her extraordinary success, it is necessary to 'take a review of those kindred societies which owe their establishment to her splendid example, and her munificent liberality. In discharging this duty, it may not be unnecessary to premise, that the manners and habits of foreign nations —with the single exception of the United States of Americapreclude a perfect assimilation to the system adopted in our own country, although the object of all their Bible Institutions is identified with that of the Parent Society. Whether the suggestions respectfully submitted in the present work be applicab] to continental establishments, it is not for the author to decide ; but having no reason to suppose that their organization is more complete than that of many of our domestic societies, he is induced, from experience, to believe that an improvement in this respect will be eminently conducive to their extension and success.
2. Without entering into a detailed statement of those causes which led to the formation of the numerous foreign societies, it cannot be uninteresting to observe, that the first of these institutions was established in a country which has been emphatically termed the Cradle of the Reformation.
* Owen's Hist. of the Brit. ard lor. Bible Society, Vol. II. p. 203 et seq.
First Foreign Society established at Nuren.berg.-—Berlin.
The importance of this commencement justifies the insertion of the following extract:
“ The communication which had taken place with certain individuals of piety and influence in the imperial city of Nuremberg, led to the proposition of granting a donation of £.100 from the British and Foreign Bible Society, in the event of a similar institution being founded in that place. The result of this proposition was, the establishment of the first Foreign Bible Society. The foundation of it was laid on the 10th of May 1804 ; and the pious simplicity of the correspondent on whom it devolved to take the lead in the transaction, gives a pleasing interest to the following statement of the manner in which it was effected :- We cannot but return you our most humble thanks for having encouraged us in the most liberal manner to co-operate with you in this excellent work of love.
While reading your kind invitation and offer, I was deeply impressed with that scriptureThey beckoned to their partners which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them ; and they came and filled both ships, so that they began to sink.-Your letter afforded me so much joy, that I could not contain myself, but immediately went to the Rev. John Godfried Schæner, one of the most respectable ministers of our city, in order to communicate to him the joyful news from a far country. He was no less affected than myself: and we agreed to appoint a meeting of Christian friends on "Ascension Day, at which we unanimously resolved to unite for the formation of a Bible Society, and, by a printed letter, to invite our Christian friends throughout Germany and Switzerland to assist us in so noble an undertaking.' This Address was soon after issued ; and while the generosity of England was warmly commended, and held up as an example, an animated appeal was made to the reverers of the Bible, ‘which yet remains the Bible of all religious parties,' to lend their aid in promoting its distribution. “The inherent value of the book, the religious wants of the people, the critical circumstances of the times, the present tranquillity of the states,' together with other cogent reasons, were seriously urged, as loudly calling for attention to this important undertaking.'
The seat of the German Bible Society was subsequently removed to BÂSLE, with the cordial consent of all the parties concerned ; and no similar institution on the continent has evinced a greater degree of prudence, ardour, and efficiency,
3. The establishment of this institution was followed, in the commencement of 1806, by that of the Berlin Bible Society.
“ No fire burns upon the altar of the LORD, without spreading its flames around. This fire has also extended its flames. The zeal of Christians in England has also infused itself into the hearts of Christians in Germany."
Such was the language of the Berlin Bible Society, in an admirable Address issued soon after its formation, " To the Christians of the Prussian States." This address was enclosed in an excellent letter from the Rev. John Jænické to the King of Prussia ; and the following reply gave the sanction of Royal approbation to the infant society:
* Owen's History, Vol. I. p. 111 et seq.