Sivut kuvina

In the same number, there is a complaint respecting the representations made of the religious state of France, in a report delivered to the Missionary Society in London, September, 1813. The authors, it is observed, "say, that they searched four days without finding a bible in our bookstores." "Where," it is asked, "did they search? Without doubt in those bookstores where only medical or mathematical works are sold." In others, some of which are specified, it is said they might have found immediately perhaps a hundred bibles, and some hundred copies of the New Testament.

The following is taken from the eighteenth number.

"In our last number it was stated, that in Spain the custom had been suppressed of having a priest ready with the conse crated oil, in an apartment adjoining the avenue, when the bullfights are carried on, in order to administer extreme unction to those combatants who should be mortally wounded. This statement was erroneous. Our latest accounts from Madrid aftest that the custom still continues. Nothing more is wanted but to extend it to duellists; and to place by the side of two men who are attempting to murder each other, a priest with the consecrated oil, in order to administer it to the one who shall be wounded; who, without doubt, will be prepared by the action in which he has been engaged, to receive the sacrament in a very christian manner. Such customs are worthy of a country where the Holy Inquisition has been reestablished for the purpose of maintaining purity of morals and doctrine."

In the fifteenth number, there is some notice of the present state of Hayti. It is observed that in both divisions of the island, there is a zeal for establishing schools of mutual instruction, colleges, and Lyceums for instruction in the learned languages and higher branches of knowledge. "Several works which deserve to be mentioned with respect, have been published by blacks and men of colour."

"I am ignorant," says the writer, "what periodical works are published in the northern part of the island; but in the western, besides the Bulletin of the laws, there are le Telegraphe and l'Abeille Haitienne, (a political and literary journal, a miscellany of prose and verse) which would prove the aptitude and capacity of the children of Africa in literature and science, if these had not for a long time been made evident. The 21st

number of l'Abeille Haitienne contains a poem on the immortality of the soul against the Materialists and other unbelievers."*

The facts mentioned in the following paragraph show the liberal feelings with which the Protestants in France are regarded by the members of the royal family.

"M. Marron, President of the consistory of the reformed church in Paris, having had the honour of putting into the hands of the king, and of each of the members of the royal family, the peroration of his discourse on charity, recently delivered, has enjoyed the inexpressible satisfaction of announcing to the consistory, in the name of these august personages, the following benefactions for the poor of his church, viz. 1000 francs from her R. H. Madame, 800 francs from his R. H. Monsieur, 500 loaves of bread during each of the months of January, February, and March from his R. H. the Duke of Angouleme, and 500 francs from his R. H. the Duke of Berri. Our readers, touched by this act of benevolence, will perceive in it a proof of the interest, which our princes have wished to manifest for all the Protestant Christians of the kingdom."

The following notice is from the number of the Archives for April.

"Mr. John Henry van der Palm, pastor at Leyden, and professor of the Oriental languages and of Hebrew antiquities in the university in that city, having issued proposals during the last year for a new version of the bible into Dutch, in 3 vols. quarto, has had the satisfaction of obtaining in a short time 2200 subscribers for this honourable undertaking; a fact which proves equally the religious character of his countrymen, and the esteem and confidence with which he is regarded by them. These sentiments are justified by the numerous preceding works of this distinguished scholar, particularly his new Dutch translation of the Prophet Isaiah in 3 vols. 8vo.; and several volumes of sermons. At the epoch of the reformation, there appeared a Dutch version of the bible, very remarkable for the time when it was made, and which the Dutch appear disposed to retain in use as a respectable model. Mr. van der Palm announces that he shall preserve its language as much as possible. During the last quarter of a century, various undertakings similar to that of Mr. van der Palm, that is to say complete translations of the bible, have been executed in Holland. We shall mention only those of Van Nuys Klinkenberg, Van Vlooten, and Van Hamelsveld.

*We should be much indebted to any friend and correspondent, who would furnish us with any number of the above-mentioned works, directed to the Editors of the Christian Disciple, care of Messrs. Wells and Lilly, Boston.

Mission to Otaheite, &c.-A narrative of a mission to Otaheite and other islands in the South Seas, down to Sept. 1817, has recently been published in London. The work itself has not reached us, but we have been able to obtain some account of it, and a few extracts, which we think will be interesting to our readers.

The first exertions of the London Missionary Society in this place were exceedingly ill-judged, indiscreet, and unsuccessful. But it is now stated that the perseverance of the Missionaries under discouragements the most trying and disheartening, has at length issued in producing a very extensive renunciation of idolatry among the islanders of the Southern Ocean. The Missionaries had begun to print the Taheitan Spelling-book on the 30th of June, on which occasion the king was present, and worked off the first three sheets. This edition consisting of 2600 copies, has been completed, and between 7 and 800 had been distributed in Otaheite and Eimeo. Translations of different parts of the Holy Scriptures were going forward, and an edition of 1000 copies of St. Luke's Gospel was about to be published.

The number of natives in the Georgian islands only, who were able to read and spell has increased to between four and five thousand, and Pomare (the king) had issued orders, that in every district of the islands, a schoolhouse should be erected, separate from the places of worship, and that the best instructed of his people should teach others. Several schools had already been erected in Otaheite, where the elementary books and the catechism are taught, and since the establishment of the printing press, the natives of that island pass over in crowds to Afareaitu, to obtain books from the Missionaries there. At this station a school had been erected, which was well attended; and of the natives who had been taught in the school at Papetoai there were few who could not both read and spell well.

The attendance on the public worship at each of the missionary stations, continued on an average to be from 4 to 500.

The christian religion is now professedly received by the inhabitants of Otaheite, Eimeo, and six other islands, in all of which, the Lord's day is devoutly observed.

This change has not been adopted without deliberation. The Otaheitans, for twelve years, had opportunity of closely observing the nature of practical christianity, as exemplified by the nissionaries; and during most of that time, its doctrines had been explained, and urged upon their attention, in every district of the island. In declaring themselves christians, therefore, they well know what they profess to believe, and what kind of conduct they bind themselves to observe. That this

was very far from being the state of the barbarous nations of Europe, when first converted to Christianity, is obvious; neither do the sacred scriptures imply, that equal information had previously been acquired by the earliest converts of the Gospel.

Although Pomare, the first in rank, professed himself a christian before any person among his remaining subjects did so, he appears to have been too well informed of the principles and nature of christianity, to think of enforcing it on others. He patiently travelled round the only island, then subject to him, argued with the higher and lower ranks against their inveterate superstitions (to which none could be more notoriously addicted than he had long been,) prevailed with some, was opposed by others, but never appears to have aimed at any other influence than that of reason.

The London Missionary Society appear to be taking the most effectual measures for rendering this wonderful revolution in the religious opinions of these islanders permanent, by introducing among them a system of regular labour, as the best safeguard of their religious and moral habits. They have sent out a person at the recommendation of Mr. Marsden, for the express purpose of directing the attention of the natives to the sugarcane, the coffee, and the cotton trees, and other indigenous plants.

[Abridged from the Eclectic Review.]

Massachusetts Bible Society.-The anniversary of this society was held on Thursday, June 2d. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Jonathan Homer of Newton, and the following report was presented by the executive committee.

"THE Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Bible Society respectfully report, that they have distributed through the last year, Bibles and Testaments as follows.

Large Bibles, 183, Small do. 1846, Testaments, 1578, whole number, 3607.

It is gratifying to your Committee to state, that an important object, early proposed and steadily pursued by this society, is now in a great degree accomplished, viz. the distribution of bibles in a fair type and on good paper. Much service has been rendered to the cause in this particular by the American bible society. The poor now receive copies of the Scriptures, which they can easily read, and which claim, by their appearance as well as by their contents, a respectful treatment.

The demand for bibles has been increased by the establishment of numerous charity schools. Your committee are also

New Series--vol. I.


bound to express their fear, that the liberality of this institution sometimes, if not frequently, produces applications from those, who are able to purchase the scriptures for themselves, and from some, who propose other advantages than spiritual, by obtaining your bounty. Among the inestimable benefits of Bible Societies, abuses have sprung up, not easily corrected. Your committee are disposed to think, that were the gratuitous distribution of the Bible to be considerably discontinued in our old settlements, and were the society to direct its efforts more to the procuring of cheap and good editions, and to the vend ing of them at the prime cost, it would do more good at home, whilst its bounty would flow more widely to the destitute parts of this and other countries. The truest method of perpetuating charitable institutions, which depend on voluntary subscriptions, is to free them from corruptions and perversions. Our very zeal in spreading the bible may sometimes defeat itself by making the benefit too cheap and common. In giving this book, we wish for some pledge that it will be valued, retained and used, and perhaps the best pledge is a willingness to make some exertions and sacrifices for obtaining it.

Your committee have no facts to report, which are not probably known to the society in general. The good cause is every where making progress. New friends and patrons of Bible Societies are springing up in every quarter of the globe. History affords no example of an equally extensive cooperation in a benevolent and pious work. It seems to us a corroboration of the divine original of the Bible, that it is binding together good men of so many nations, that it is calling forth an unheard of charity, that it is a central point to the benevolence of the world. Of one fact we have the fullest evidence, that no institutions have done so much as Bible societies to break down the partition walls between christians, to bring near to one another the long divided disciples of Jesus, and to teach them to recognize in each other the features of brethren.

Of the operations of the parent institution in Great Britain we need not speak. We must cease to praise, because the language of praise is exhausted. The extension of the Bible Society in Russia under the patronage of the munificent Alexander, when joined with other expressions of the christian dispositions of that sovereign, is one of the most encouraging events in this age of hope and promise. We have heard with peculiar pleasure of the formation of a Bible Society in France, which we hail as the bursting forth of a living fountain in a parched land, from which many are to drink and be revived. We have received letters from Paris acknowledging gratefully the reception of the sum forwarded by this society to assist in the dis

« EdellinenJatka »