Page images

others, which taught that by grace heard of persons dying in faith, but we are saved, through faith, and

that till then he had never seen one that not of ourselves, for it was the die in faith. One thing which gave gift of God. The poor man seemed him encouragement was, the readiastonished, and cried out, “Is it ness of the natives to receive copies possible that it can be so ? is it pos

of the word of God, or portions of sible that I can be saved ?' and then that word. On one occasion, when listened to the instructions that were he had given a New Testament to a given to him. Mr. Gobat then re- priest, several persons came immelated another instance of the effects diately, and earnestly requested of superstition. About two years copies of the New Testament. Some ago, the Cholera raged dreadfully ; had been brought by reading them, the people were alarmed and began to the saving knowledge of Jesus to pray. The Christians and Maho- Christ. In some instances, persons medans went about, the Mahome- had given all their property to pur. dans calling out, “ Allah, Allah!' chase one copy of the Scriptures. and the Christians, • Lord Jesus One man, who had two oxen, gave Christ have mercy upon us !' After them for two of the Gospels; and two days, both parties seemed to another man, who had four oxen, have lost all hope of the mercy of gave them in exchange for four God, and they went about the Gospels. Mr. Gobat said, that he streets shouting and laughing, as if should conclude by delivering a they had been mad. They said that message which was entrusted to bim finding God not hear and answer some time since by a great assembly the prayers, they thought that of the learned at Gondar. Conversathey would try and reconcile the tions had been held as to how the Devil to them, as they considered word of God might be obtained, him to be the author of the evil. and a revival of religion promoted. He called upon Christians, there- They said, “You have seen our igfore, and besought them, while they norance, and our misery, and bow called upon God in every time of

we have been destroyed by wars, trouble, to remember that there were and famine, and disease, and how thousands who knew of no other the curse of God seems to be upon refuge but the will and pleasure of us, on account of our sins.

We the Devil. Perhaps they might cannot help ourselves. But do you think that there was but little hope pray the people of England to help for such persons; but having twice us. That was the message he had visited them, he did indulge a hope to deliver from the poor ignorant that many of them would be brought and miserable inhabitants of Abysto God, if Christians were but mind- sinia. It was not for him to preful to send them missionaries. One scribe the means of help, but he missionary had died there, and the trusted that the Society would send natives confessed that they had them ten or twelve missionaries, and never seen a man die like him; and housands of Bibles and New Tesone of those who were present, a taments, Mussulman, said that he had often


THE Thirty-Fourth Anniversary of this Society took place on Wednesday May 2, and was as usual very numerously attended.

The Report stated that in the last year, 120,654 copies of the Scriptures had been issued from the depot at Paris, being 32,500 more than that of the previous year. To Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, 47,634 copies. 50,800 copies had issued from the press at Frankfort. In Belgium there had been an ex

traordinary incrcase in the circulation, owing to the activity of the colporteurs employed by the Society. They had distributed upwards of 20,000 ; but in doing so they had encountered much opposition and violent abuse from the Roman Catholics. In Petersburgh, 7,444 copies of the Scriptures had been put into circulation. In Stockholm there had been distributed 8,047 copies of the Old, 11,411 Testaments, besides 1,450 Finnish Testa

ments. In Berlin there had been a native tribes. The attempt to introgreat increase in the distribution ; duce the Scriptures into South 8,000 copies had been issued for the America had not been attended with use of the Prussian troops, in the any great results, but still an openGerman, Polish, and Flemish lan- ing was made for their introduction guages. The Committee stated, with into some of the States. The copies mingled feelings of gratitude and of the Scriptures circulated by the astonishment, the extraordinary United States Bible Society had progress of Bible circulation in been 206,240, making a total circuSpain. In that long benighted lation, from the commencement of country, and amidst all the disorder the Society, of 2,195,670 copies. and confusion incidental to a civil The income of the British and Fowar, the Holy Scriptures were mak- reign Bible Society in the last year ing a silent entrance into many had amounted to £97,237. 18. 11d. parts of the land. They were now of which £31,892. 16s. had been openly issued in considerable num- derived from the free contributions bers from the Spanish press, and of Auxiliary Associations, being an were publicly bought and sold in excess from that source of £1,258. many of the chief towns, and in 16s. 4d. beyond the amount of any some of them they were in extensive preceding year. The donations had demand. In Malta, Greece, Wal- amounted to £4,845. the legacies to lachia, Smyrna, and Constantinople, £11,911. 15s. The total expendithere had been a great increase in ture of the year had amounted to the number of copies of the Scrip- £91,179. 14s. 11d. The issues for tures put into circulation. In Brit- home circulation had been 369,764 ish India, on which the Society had copies, and for foreign circulation expended the sum of £112,000. the there had been issued 224,634 copies, Scriptures had been translated into being the greatest number issued for the languages and dialects of many foreign circulation in any year since districts; but still, though much the formation of the Society ; makhad been effected, the supply was ing a total distribution of 4,216,580 inadequate to meet the wants of a Bibles, and of 6,671,460 Testaments population of 134 millions of people. -in all 10,888,043 copies. In the In all parts of British India there course of the past year there had bad been a great increase in the been formed seventy new Associacirculation of the Scriptures. In tions, making in the whole 2,374 China, the progress of the Society Associations at home, and of 265 in had not proved as great as bad been the colonies, Considerable progress expected, owing to the vigilance had been made in the publicawith which every attempt to intro- tion of books printed in raised letduce the Scriptores was resisted by ters, by which the blind might be the Chinese authorities. In New taught to read. Copies of the South Wales and Van Diemen's Psalms, and portions of the New Land there had been an increased Testament have been completed in demand for the Scriptures. In this manner. The Report, in conMadagascar, the Queen of that clusion, made a brief recapitulation island still continued to persecute of the progress of the Society in the the Christians, some of whom had past year, and pointed out the suffered martyrdom, which they had necessity of going forward and being borne with a patience and fortitude active in giving the Bible, and never worthy of the early martyrs. In ceasing until the Bible was given to western and southern Africa, consi- every man, in every tongue, and derable progress had been made in until they could say, “O earth, the translation of the Scriptures into earth, hear the word of the Lord.” the languages of several of the

VALUE OF AN OLD BIBLE. The Rev. M. Merle D’Aubigne that he had been sent for to a village was happy to say that the Bible in that country, where the mayor of had begun to be received with great the place had caused all the inhabijoy in France, and one of their col- tants to be assembled with the drum, porteurs, who had gone there as a for the purpose of enabling him to missionary, had written them word, have a more abundant sale of the JUNE 1838.

2 H

God ;

Bibles he had taken with him for tant soldier, and some others, who that purpose. But the missionary had left Paris during the revolution informed the mayor, that he could of 1830, had, when they, after that never think of selling the Bible at event, returned to Paris, the greatan auction, assembled by the sound est possible difficulty in finding a of the drum, and that he would church where they could hear the much prefer going from house to word of God preached as they had house, and taking his chance. This formerly heard it. They went about he consequently did, and with the from church to church, but could greatest success, for he sold a very not succeed in discovering one great number in that place. Three which appeared to them to be the years afterwards, one of the mission- church of their own God. At last aries of the Paris or Geneva Socie- they went to the church of the Paris ties, had found the word of God Evangelical Society, and there they making great progress in that very at length heard a minister preaching village. There was also a village

the word of life. One of the poor in Normandy, called Siouville, men called to the preacher,

“ Your which in former times had been God i's my

and this, he altogether a Protestant village, but thought, was a sufficient illustration which the French Revolution had of the folly of saying that notes and succeeded in rendering Roman comments were necessary. He had Catholic. In that village there was himself left Geneva, that cradle of left an old church, and one solitary the Reformed faith-the town of copy of the Protestant Bible. This Calvin--and bad lately crossed the Bible had been miraculously pre

channel and come to this great city served in the village for an extraor- of the west. I have (continued the dinary number of years, and a col- Reverend Gentleman) seen and porteur happening to go there, visited your places of Worship, and chanced to see it. The effect of I too can readily say, “Your God this visit was, that not long after- is my God.” I have been received wards all the inhabitants of the at the houses of friends and at the village, with its chief magistrate at

domestic altar, and can there say their head, went in a body to the that “ Your God is my God.And Roman Catholic priest of the parish, I have come to this great and interand said to him-Sir, you must esting meeting, and here again I can leave this place, for we can no say, “ Your God is my God.” You longer have anything to do with know what is the condition of the your doctrine.' They then sent into continent, and of France in particuthe neighbourhood for a Protestant lar. You must, therefore, work with minister, who had, no later than zeal and energy, and never cease last July, preached to the extraor- your exertions until the time shall divary number of 2000 hearers the come when a Christian can cross the Gospel of Christ. Thus then through channel, and going to Paris, there the means of that one Bible, which enter the churches, and be enabled bad been preserved in this village to say to those he finds there, “My for a period of nearly two centuries, God is your God.” Above all, you had a great multitude of people must pray that the time may soon been restored to the light and to the arrive when the word of God and blessings of the Gospel. With res- the light of the Gospel shall pervade pect to what had been urged about every part of the earth, and each distributing the Bible without note shall be able to say to the other, or comment, he could mention to “ Your God is my God, them as a fact, that an old Protes- Father is my Father.”

A SYRIAN CONVERT. Yagouba Asaad Ei Kebaya said in dependence on the principle ex--My costume already proves I am pressed by the Apostle, that in the not master of the English tongue. community of the Gospel there I do not only introduce myself to should be distinctions of neitber this honourable and most noble Greek nor Jew, bond nor free, barassembly through the kindness I barian or Scythian. Perhaps my have received, both in my first and dress may make me look as if I come second visit to this country, but also from China; but whether Christians

and your

come from China, or Persia, or any demn the solid principles of the other part of the world, they are all church. My little education gave brethren in the Lord. I am come me some influence in my own from that country where the Lord country. I began to read Arabic appeared, and where the first Apos- and Persian, and, of course, the tolic Church was formed, and that Koran. I made acquaintance with honourable name of Christian was some Mahomedans, who taught me first made in my beloved country, the Koran secretly, and I had the the city of Antioch. Many are fond opportunity of reading many of their of studying history, and you have books; but in the mean time I had more books than we have ; you about me that beloved fountain of know very well what was the state truth, the Bible. I wanted to comof our country both before our pare them to see what it was that Lord's era and afterwards. But now made one hundred and sixty milit is supk in a dreadful state, and lions of people embrace the dochas been since the second Caliph trines of that man who came from Mahmoud. But the providence of the deserts, Mahomed. My MahoGod kept some countries from being medan teachers began to flatter me, subdued by our foes ; and from and to say that of course I was not them have come the Scriptures to a Christian, but a Mahomedan in

I am exceedingly indebted, heart, though a Christian in profesfirst, to the missionaries who came sion, and that by God's predestinafrom the United States of America tion I should become a Mahomedan. to our country; and, secondly, to I was not then a real Christian, but the noble British and Foreign Bible only professed to be so for the sake Society, who enabled those mis- of worldly honour. Still I said, I sionaries to bring us the Bible in am a Christian, and I do not find our own language. My father any thing solid in your principles to thought from the state of the coun- make me embrace them, although try, that I must make up my mind you give me every sort of complinot to stay in it; and by the provi- ment, and Datter me with your dence of God he was able to give me worldly manners. The Sheik of the some education, with a view to my Mullahs was surprised that I was becoming a monk. I went to some not convinced. While discharging missionaries who came from Rome, my office at Damascus, I corresand I learnt Arabic, and Greek. ponded with the missionaries, and I then thought it was


a pity I asked them how I could be useful. should go to the convent; so I went In the mean time some people into some of the other missionaries, troduced me to the Pasha, to whom who received me kindly, and assist- I acted as interpreter, when he was ed me with a little more education, visited by many noblemen and which has enabled me to address

gentlemen from your this day. I now see that the He said, “ England is very fine, . providence of God sent those mis- very good, and so forth; but the sionaries into my country. I began British Government owes debts of to study with great interest, feeling eight hundred millions. The Enproud that I was a descendant of glish nobleman to whom he said so, The Phoenicians, a Greek, and, as I answered, 'What of that? Twentybelieved, a Christian ; a native of nine persons in my own country, that country where the Gospel was and my father the thirtieth, will at first preached and the twelve apos- any time form such a sum together.' tles first met, and where a good The Pasha was astonished, and so many fathers of my beloved church was I; and I wished to come to this spent their lives in writing their country to see its riches. I came homilies and sermons. But the state over as interpreter to some princes, of the country for many centuries who were Mahomedans, and all the sunk down; and, I dare say, your way we talked about religion. They theologians find some things intro- said, 'All would be happy if all duced into the Church which were were of one religion. I said, 'Of not in it hundreds of years ago, by course.' I was then obliged to think reason of the ignorance of the times. seriously, and to read much of the I do not like the changes which Bible, in order to meet the difficul. have been made, but I never con- ties of the Koran. When we came


[ocr errors]

to this couvtry, we visited different

country women. I know that by places ; and those noble princes nature, women have great influence could not have omitted seeing the everywhere. When a party of seven light of your country. Afterwards of us were travelling in the desert, we returned to Constantinople, and and were robbed by the Bedouins, I proceeded on our journey, talking said to a woman who belonged to of religion all the way. At last one them, “ We are strangers; why do of them said, 'If you come to Bag- you injure us, and do all this to us dad, I shall make one of the great who have done no harm to you?' Mullahs there convince you, and And then she began to speak in our give you all proofs.' I went home, favour, and even she had intluence. and as a member of the Greek The women in our country are the Church, I began to think it my duty most civilized and polite in the to do something for my country; East, but they are short of instrucand first, to get education on Chris- tion. We think if we instruct them tian principles, particularly for fe- we shall spoil them. But when we males. Many said I was wrong; see that ladies had some honour in some called me mad; but a great prophesying and carrying on the many liked it. But I did not mind word of God, and in serving and what they said, this or that. I said, attending the apostles, we should I must do it. The people said I teach women religion. I told them, came from the moon. I gave up my moreover, I may be wrong; but it is office to the Consul, and told him he my opinion, that nothing can must get some other person for in- strain any person from vice more terpreter, because I felt that I could than Christanity and education. do something for my country, espe- Every person would be ashamed for cially to introduce female education his honour and name's sake, to act on Christian principles, in order to any violation of good, or to bave bring in Christianity among the any bad manners; but you see a Mahomedans. I began to travel, low person, who is not educated, and every man was glad to see me, act vice. Oh,' they said,. but we because I gave them accounts of don't want it.' I went to Bagdad, England and other countries, and to the Mullahs, to hear their great also of the history of their own proofs. I was introduced by the country, of which they were igno- princes. They said I was an rant. They asked me the reason clean person. They said, They why England and Europe flourished would be happy to form my acso much? I told them it was a diffi- quaintance, but they were sorry that cult question to answer; but my our friendship would last only a own mind was satisfied that Eng- few years, for in a little time we land began to flourish, since re- should be separated, for they would ligion and Christianity flourished go to paradise, and I should go to there, by the blessing of God

bell.' I said, I should be sorry through the Bible, and these bene. indeed to go to that place which volent institutions. I said their re- they had mentioned, but that I ligion led them to have their Uni- looked to God for mercy. I don't versities, and their great philoso- see by my not following my own phers, so that though their language religion, any thing but wickedness is not so rich as ours, their philoso- and danger; but we have one perphers' make it richer and larger son who takes into paradise- the every year, and print thousands of Lord Jesus Christ. When the noble books every year. They were very Mullahs heard that, they said, “Is much astonished, and could hardly it possible?' We began to converse believe it, but I said I am satisfied every day, and continued for a year that as long as these institutions discussing religion, bringing the proceed, the country will flourish. gospel on the one hand, and the Allow me to say how the Bible can Koran on the other. I said, I can be introduced among the Mahome- prove from your own book, which I dans,-by education of the females. have studied as much as you, that I told the English Cbristian ladies, this book is a real book. They adthat they were very handsome, and mitted that Christians went to heavery clean, and very good;

but they

ven through Christ, up to the time don't do any thing for my poor of Mahomed. I then said, if you



« EelmineJätka »