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every dwelling in the town of Sydney, that they might ascertain the number of bibles to be found there, and the number of per. sons who could read ; to facilitate which object they divided it into four districts, This examination, in addition to securing its immediate objects, has furnished some particulars of a statistical nature, by no means uninteresting. The town of Sydney alone is found to contain nearly a Thousand houses, and about Four Thousand (European) inhabitants ; and it is satisfactory to find, that of these more than Five-eighths are capable of reading the Holy Scriptures. The copies of the Scriptures found already among them, were, if averaged, equivalent to the number of houses ; but still a full third of the houses were found destitute.
The Report, which was printed at Sydney, in addition to much valuable matter contained in the speeches at the formation of the Society, has subjoined thereto an appropriate address to the Heads of Families,” to “Mechanics and Laborers” and to the Inhabitants in general.” On the whole, when we consider the hope thus afforded relative to this rising settlement, the capabilities of New Holland alone, so little inferior in size to the whole of Europe ; and look forward to the probability
of its being one day filled with inhabitants who love and obey the 1 Sacred Word, the heart dilates with joyful hope, and blesses
the God of mercy who is able to turn the wilderness into a fruitful field, and cause the desert to bloom like the garden of God. This bappy event, will, we trust be in some degree accelerated by the Seminary described in the following article.
INTELLIGENCE FROM EUROPE.
VIII, Church Missionary Society. New Zealand.
We contemplate with joy the prospect of good held out by the following account of a Semmary for the Christian Education of youth in New Zealand. Mr. Marsden having suggested the ad
vantage of establishing a Seminary in New South Wales, for the education of some young New Zealanders, the Committee of the Church Missionary Society immediately acquiesced in the proposal. The clergymen in the colony have expressed their conviction that such an establishment will be of the greatest service, and have accordingly began to carry the plan into execution. It is intended to instruct these Zealanders in some of the more simple arts, such as spinning their native flax, and manufacturing it, as a'so in smith's work, and agriculture. Four young men are already admitted, and are improving fast in useful knowledge. Such an establishment, independently of its immediate advantages to the New Zealanders, will afford a pledge for the safety of the settlers in that country, as the persons instructed will be either the sons of chiefs, or their near relatives.
IX. Gaelic Schools.
The following abstract from the Sixth Report of the Society for the support of Gaelic Schools, will not be perused without interest : Report. Year.
Estimate in round numbers.
1816, 3557. The funds of the Society are however extremely low. The account exhibits a balance against the Society of nearly 800 £. -While other institutions are steadily moving forward to that glorious consummation, when knowledge shall be universal, it is distressing to perceive that the exertions of this society, which have been conducted with the strictest economy and prudence, are fettered for want of funds. *
* Any thing which nay be sent the Editors for this object shall be remitted to the Committee at Edinburgh in the name of the subscribers with the utmost faithfulness.
INTELLIGENCE FROM AMERICA.
X. American Bible Society.
About the middle of the year 1816 several of the Auxiliary Bible Societies in America, determined to concentrate their efforts, and attempt the formation of a National Society, on the same principle with the British and Foreign Bible Society. Delegates from a considerable number of these Societies met at New York, and formed themselves into a convention, of which the first Resolu. tion was
“That it is expedient to establish without delay a general Bible Institution for the circulation of the Scriptures without note or comment.” A committee was then appointed to form the draft of a constitution, which after being read and carefully considered, was unanimously adopted. The venerable Elias Baudenot, Esq. of New Jersey is president of the Society, and fourteen gentlemen from the various sections of the Union are VicePresidents. From the First Report of the Society, which we have received, it appears, that the various denominations of christians have entered with much ardor into this extended plan. Fortythree Societies which existed before its formation, have enrolled themselves as auxiliary to it, and forty-one other societies have been formed since its commencement.
The amount of monies subscribed at the close of the Report was 37,779 Dollars, although its funds have not been enriched by contributions from all the societies in the union, many of y hich continue to prefer the plan of disbursing in Bibles the whole a. mount of their funds in their own neighbourhood. These local at. tachments are however highly advantayeouş, since they secure the diffusion of light within their own circles; and in a country where religion prevails to so considerable an extent as in America, they will perhaps produce a much greater amount of good than the amalgamation of all exertion in one society where the efficient agents must necessarily be few. Divine Wisdom is pleased to employ both these means, and from both to produce accumulated advantage to the general cause of religion. If local societies pos
gess superior advantages for diffusing the scriptures through every part of their circle, as it must be acknowledged that they do; one general society may attempt that which is beyond the power of a local society; and the extent of the field is such as to demand all the energies of united exertion. In South America and the Brazils, the inhabitants are still sitting in darkness, and though political events may for a short period retard the circulation of Bibles, the time will certainly arrive, when every obstacle to an unlimited diffusion of divine light in those countries will be removed. Every friend of man will therefore view with lively satisfaction the formation of a National Society in America, which, divested of all local incumbrances, shall be enabled to pursue with undeviating step the great object for which it was instituted, till not merely North America, but the whole of that vast continent, shall be illuminated with the light of Divine Revelation.
X. Dig-Durshuna, No. III. No. III of the Dig-Durshuna, in the Bengalee language, published last month, contains 1. A View of Ancient History from the creation to the flood, and of the Western world* to the birth of Christ, in which the rise of the four great monarchies is distinctiy traced, and those circumstances mentioned which bear in any degree on India. 2. The natural history of thie Elephant. 3. An account of the ancient city of Gour.
* The history of the Eastern World will form a separate article in another number of that work.
THE FRIEND OF INDIA. .
OUR last Number brought down the view of the various Instie tations at this Presidency for the advancement of knowledge and the removal of human misery, to the end of the eighteenth century. The beginning of this century brings before us those which involve a wider extent of operation. One of the first oba jects that meets our eyes is, the institution of the College of Fort William, of which, although it does not come within our plan to give a particular account here, its aspect on the future happiness of this country, would render us inexcusable were we to pass it over wholly in silence. We cannot however do any degree of justice to the subject without going back into the last century and noticing the efforts of our own countrymen in the cultivation of the Indian languages, which indeed deserve to be rescued from oblivion as developing the designs of Providence respecting India, in a way which may lead to results best appreciated in, future ages.
The state of India about sixty years ago, was deplorable in the extreme. To the most complete despotism ever yet exercised on the human mind, that of the Brahmanic tribe over their deluded countrymen, had been added, the oppressive rule of their Mussul. man conquerors, which had increased the ignorance, the wretchedness, and the general depravity of manners, found among the natives of this country. In these circumstances it pleased Dia vine Providence, by a series of successes in arms which rendered all opposition vain, to place them under the fostering care of Bri. tain. After this, the first care was of course that of settling the state of the country so as to impart to the inhabitants the blessa ings of peace, and of a regular administration of government.