Sivut kuvina

tee in Calcutta, of which George Udny, Esq. was chosen President, and the Rev. Mr. Brown the first Secretary. The office is now filled by the Rev. Mr. Thomason. This Committee, although it merely receives the funds voted by the British and For reign Bible Society, has contributed greatly to the enlightening of the country, by encouraging the translation and the dispersion of the Sacred Scriptures. It was by bringing the importance of this object fully into view, that it led to the formation of the Cala cutta Bible Society. The circumstances attending the origin of this society are too well known to render enlargement necessary. On the 18th of February, in the year 1811, at the request of the Rev. David Brown then First Chaplain of the Presidency, a sermon was preached by the Rev. Henry Martyn; and on the 21st of the same month a meeting was held for the sake of forming the Society, of which we cannot give a clearer and more impressive idea, than by inserting the original Resolutions of the Society in their own language and form :

" At a meeting held at the College of Fort William for the purpose of considers

ing the propriety of instituting a Bible' Society, ús Auxiliury to the British and Foreign Bibie Society established in Londor;

The Rev. DAVID BROWN, IN THE CAAIR, It was unanimously resolved,

1. That this meeting do highly approve the object of the British and For reign Bible Society established in London, and take a lively interest in its proceedings, and will co-operate with it by all means in their power.

2. That this meeting do now form themselves into a Society, to be entit. led, “ The Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society,the object of which shall be the same with that of the British and Foreign Bible Society, viz. to encoura age the circulation of the Eoly Scriptures, without Note or Comment; and especially to supply the demands of the Native Christians of India, computed to be nearly a million, including those in the island of Ceylon. 3. That the business of the Society be conducted by a President, VicePresidents, a Treasurer, Secretary, and a Committee, to be elected annually.

4. That in order to give effect to its design, Benefactions and Subscriptions be solicited, and books be opened for the reception of names.

6. That each person contributing his aid to the Society by an annual do. nation shall be considered a member of the Society.

6. That each person contributing annually Two Hundred Rupees be eli. gible to the Committee.

7. That Christian Ministers of all persuasions, who shall aid this instita. tion, be entitled to attend and vote at all meetings of the Committee, but 13 that no person deriving any emolument from the Society shall bàve that privilege.

8. That there he an annual General Meeting of Benefactors and Sab. scribers in the first week of February, to settle the accounts of the preceding year, and to chuse a Committee for conducting the business of the en. suing year.

9. That a Report with an account of the receipts and disbursements be published annually for the satisfaction of all the Subscribers.

[ocr errors]

10. That Johu Herbert Harington, Esq. be President.

11. That George Udny, Esq. and Neil Benjamin Edmonstone, Esq. be Vice-Presidents.

12. That Jos. D. Alexander, Esq. be Treasurer, and the Rev. D. Brown, Secretary

13. That the Committee for conducting the business of the Society dur. ing the present year, in addition to he President, Vice Presidents, Treasurer, and Secretary, do consist of the following gentlemen ; and that any tive of them be competent to act: viz. Lieut.-Col. Ball, Joseph Baretto, Esq. Alexander Colvin, Esq. George Cruttenden, Esq. W. Egerton, Esq. Commodore Hayes, W. Hunter, Esq. J. P. Larkies, Esq. Lieut. Col. Paton, R. C. Plowden, Esq. Johannes Sarkies, Esq. J. W. Sherer, Esq. James Stuart, Esq. John Thornhill, Esq.

(Signed) D. BROWN, Chairman. It was further resolved, on the motion of Mr. H Mr. Udny, that the thanks of the Society be given to Mr. Brown for his zealous assistance in forwarding the object and business of this meeting."

ngton, seconded by

This Society, commencing under such pleasing circumstances, was encouraged by the friends of religion nearly throughout In

and no less a sum than Forty-four Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-seven Rupees was subscribed the first year. It commenced its operations with two versions of the Scriptures of the

dia ;

highest utility; one of five thousand copies in the Tamul language for the Christians on the Coast; and another in the Cingalese language for the Christians in the isle of Ceylon. Steps were also taken to procure from Europe a supply of New Testa. ments in the Portuguese language, for such of that nation as wished to peruse the Sacred Scriptures.

In addition to this the Society have also printed in the Persian character an edition of the Rev. Henry Martyn's Translation of the New Testament into the Oordoo dialect, consisting of Two Thousand copies; and since, another edition containing the same nuinber of copies in the Nagree character, which is still more extensively read. But the two most extensive works in which they have engaged, and by which they have rendered a most important service to the eastern world, have been, an edition of the whole Scriptures in the Armenian and the Malay languages. The Armenian version, so highly celebrated for its accuracy and excellence, had never yet been printed in Eastern Asia, the last edition having been printed at Venice above fifty years before. Hence the scarcity of copies in India, as has been already hinted in a preceding number, was great almost beyond belief. A version of the whole Scriptures containing two thousand copies, was therea fore printed at the expense of the Society, in a new type cut for the occasion. To this good work, some of the Armenians themselves contributed liberally; and the version is highly acceptable to the Christians of that nation, both in Calcutta and in other parts of India.

The other great work which the Society have undertaken and in a great measure accomplished, is, a complete edition of the Malay Scriptures both in the Roman and the Arabic character. So important did this version appear, that Government was pleased to contribute the sum of Ten Thousand Rupees towards defraying the expense.

This version an edition of which had not been priated for nearly sixty years, was grcatly needed by Chris


tians whose low state in life rendered it impossible for them to be come possessed of such a treasure, had it not been thus gratuitously provided for them; and an extra three thousand copies of the New Testament which the Committee wisely ordered to be first printa ed, were nearly absorbed in Amboyna alone. In Major McInnes and the Rev. Mr. Hutchings, the Society have happily obtained that able assistance which has exceedingly enhanced the value of this version, by the care and skill with which it has been revised and improved by these gentlemen. Thus the Christians in the Indian Archipelago have now obtained a most seasonable supply of the word of God, by means which, a few years ago, were not in existence. Did the benevolent soul of the revered Sir Robert Boyle need any addition to its felicity, it must receive it when contemplating this work completed, which so interested his mind, that, a hundred and forty years ago, he in Britain printed an edition of the Four Gospels in this language and in the Roman character, wholly at his own expense. It is the privilege of the good to rejoice in every thing done for the best interests of mankind; and a period will surely come, when it will be impossible to prevent those who have sowed, and those who have reaped, from rejoicing together for evermore.

The care of Providence over this Society has eminently appeared in more instances than one. The lamented death of its first Secretary, the Rev. David Brown, who might with the greatest justice be termed, the Founder of the Society, seemed likely to interrupt its career of prosperity. The spirit with which he animated the Society survived him, however; and the arduous exertions of his colleague and successor, the Rev. Mr. Thomason, have repaired the breach made by his death.

The Seventh Report of the Society, which is now before the public, and to which we regret we have not as yet been able to pay that attention we wish, precludes the necessity of our saying any thing more on the present state of the Society, than that the

support it deservedly experiences, is increasing, and its funds are in the most flourishing condition.

(To be continued.)

II. Cursory Remarks in letters to friends during a journey to


(Concluded from the last Number.) Feb. 19, 1818. I have not a syllable of news. A boat is the worst place in the world for letter-writing: one can do nothing but read. I have read Franklin's life, but wish it had been all written by himself, though it contains few of the great events, and many of the worst actions, of his life. His frankness and simplicity render the work interesting, especially when we reflect that it is the history of the early life of so great a man. But how much do we regret the absence of that genuine piety which would have shone so gloriously in such a mind as his. I have also finished Toland's life of Milton, and read Mr. Grant on the Hindoos. A man who wishes to devote his life to the welfare of the Hindoos, will find many sound and important ideas on their state, and the means of improving it, in this latter work.

While I do not give up an atom of the importance of Sångskritů or Bengalee, I think that Mr. Grant's plan, of having the business of government and of the courts of law transacted in our native tongue, a good one, as a grand means of detaching the natives from their ancient prejudices, and of attaching them to us.

Burrisal, March 11. The former part of our journey supplied some incidents which I have already sent. I have since given tracts in a number of places, and yesterday I obtained a congregation at Rajbůndŭr, a large market : the merchants here forme clay storehouses in the inside of their warehouses, to prevent their property from being destroyed in case of fire': if the house be burnt, the clay-house in the inside remains entire, and their most valuable property is saved. Yesterday the boatmen killed a young alligator. Many of the rivers through which we have passed are very large, and the scenery on the banks is beautiful.

The couns

« EdellinenJatka »