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And it deserves special notice, that when Job prayed for his friends, God had mercy on him, and delivered him from his sufferings and sorrows. And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,

WHEN HE PRAYED FOR HIS

FRIENDS, and gave him twice as much as he had before. His prayer for them, after having received, such treatment from them, was so acceptable to the

God of all grace, that it seems tó have had more effect to procure mercy for himself, than any which he had been able to offer for himself. The scriptures are full of examples which proclaim that important truth-the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, and no less when offered up for others, than when made for himself.

[To be continued.]

THE AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY.

It may be thought, that in this age of societies, when their multitude almost defies enumeration, no new Institution can be needed in our country; and it is feared, that not a few individuals may be terrified by the constantly increasing demands of these instruments of charity, from giving due attention to the association to which the present article is devolved. But the American Bible Society ought not to be confounded with those projects of doubtful utility and of sectarian tendency, for which the aid of the liberal is frequently solicited. Its establishment is an era in our history. Its object is the most sublime to which the bounty of Christians can be directed, and its necessity, or, at least, its great importance, will hardly be disputed by those who are acquainted with the opera

tion of similar institutions in Europe.

National Bible Societies are not experiments of uncertain issue. They have been tried with the most animating success. They are planted in the most flourishing capitals of Europe, and their influence is felt even to the ends of the earth. When the believer casts his eye over the old world, the sight, which most gladdens his heart, is that of Christians of all names and all nations, forgetting their differences, and uniting in the Godlike work of diffusing the divine word through every inhabited region. He looks on this as on the rainbow in the clouds, and his thoughts are carried forward by it to an age of new peace and splendour for the Church. When so many nations are competitors in this new race of glory, this

unexampled labour for the illumination of mankind, shall we be deficient in zeal, and form a melancholy contrast with the Christian world?

Its

It may be thought that our local Bible Societies are sufficiently adapted to the distribution of the scriptures, and that no other instrument is needed. But whilst it is cheerfully admitted that they have done great good, and whilst it is hoped, that their agency will be uninterrupted, it is an undeniable fact, that our efforts in this cause have not been proportioned to our national resources, and it is believed that these resources can best be called forth by a national institution. In the first place, such an institution is needed to collect and distribute that knowledge, which is required to a judicious distribution of the scriptures. managers, placed on a commanding position, and pledged to extensive activity, will have every opportunity and every inducement, to discover and make known the wants of this country and of the world. This Institution will be a centre into which information will be poured from every region. It will maintain an enlarged correspondence both at home and abroad, and watch the movements of every other Society. Who does not discover the immense advantages which this concentration of light will afford for spreading the scriptures? Local societies must always be limited in knowledge. Extensive districts may be left without supply, whilst others may derive from interfering so

cieties an excess of aid. A central institution, like the sun, will diffuse more wide and equitable bounty.

Another advantage of a national Society is, that the extent of its funds will enable it to circulate, at a reduced expense, much better impressions of the Bible than are now common among the labouring and the poor. The rich are not sensible, how much a legible Bible is needed by their indigent brethren. The comfort of this Holy Book is now in a measure lost to many aged persons, and to many who are imperfectly skilled in reading, in consequence of the smallness and obscurity of the type in which the common Bible is printed. The plan already adopted by the National Society of spreading through the country stereotype plates, which will furnish fair copies of the Bible, is the best which could have been devised. Let the means for accomplishing it be liberally bestowed.

Another very important advantage of a National Bible Society, is this; it will awaken new zeal, give new energy to Christian charity, call forth new resources for this best of objects. This institution, simply by collecting and diffusing knowledge in regard to the want of Bibles, will give a new spring to the exertions of the charitable. Christians among us have little conception of the limited circulation of the scriptures, even in their own country. They judge of other regions from their own immediate neighbourhood, and can hard

ly conceive of a family living for years without the sacred volume. The annual reports of a National Bible Society, unfolding the wants of this and other countries, will, it is believed, communicate an impulse to Christians, as yet unknown in our land. Christians will blush, at remembering the property which they have wasted on superfluous indulgencies, whilst multitudes of suffering and destitute fellow-beings have wanted that book, which can alone speak peace to conscience and minister consolation to grief. It is a mortifying truth, that Bible Societies have awakened less zeal in this country than in England, and one reason is, that we have known comparatively little of the state of the world. Local Bible Societies, with scanty funds, have had little inducement to extend their inquiries, to multiply correspondences, to discover wants which they have been unable to supply.

A national institution will in another way quicken our zeal. Possessing larger funds, and wider knowledge, than any limited society, it will fill a wider sphere with its operations; its reports will detail more extensive communications of the word of God; and the influence of this must be, to give energy, joy, and fervour to Christians. It is the nature of the human mind, to dilate itself in proportion to the objects of its contemplation. It is the nature of benevolence, to be kindled by the view of diffusive and generous activity, and to find in the increase of its fer

vour an extension of its powers. Why is it that the British and Foreign Bible Society is the object of an interest so unexampled, so intense both at home and abroad? The answer is to be found in the extent of its operations, as developed in its annual reports. As the Christian follows the streams which this hallowed and life-giving fountain is sending forth, his conceptions are enlarged of what man can accomplish. Objects which once seemed to surpass the power of human nature, now appear practicable, and their very vastness becomes a motive for aiming at their accomplishment. It is a fact, that the animation which has been discovered by Bible Societies in our own country, has been very much inspired, nourished, and sustained by the view of the sublime operations of the parent Institution in England. A National Society among ourselves, filling a wide space, and approaching in its agency the grandeur of similar establishments in Europe, will still more surely diffuse warmth and zeal through the community. It will be an object of attention to Christians of every district of our country. It will be the topick of conversation. It will concentrate their prayers. Who does not see that new fervour will be communicated to the friends of religion?

And this is not all. A National Society, by its extent and respectability, will become an object of attention to a large class of men, who, without being wholly indifferent to religion, yet

criminally neglect it, and can only be roused to contribute to its extension, by the view of great and improving institutions. Many,

who will overlook a confined and local society, will be attracted by a greater; and they who are apt to "despise the day of small things," will not disdain to be patrons of an extended and respected association. The principle of imitation, and the powerful sentiment of respect for opinion, will thus be pressed into the service of piety.

Another important benefit of a national institution, is this:-It will be a centre, a bond of union, a source of charity and Christian affection, to the various religious denominations in our country. This is a distinguishing glory of Bible Societies. They break down the barriers between Christians. They annihilate the distinctions of sects. Christians, when they enter them, lay aside the badges of party, and assume the appointed badge of disciples, that of mutual love. Nothing strengthens affection, nothing reveals to men each other's virtues, so much as cooperation in a great and beneficent work. Much of the uncharitableness of Christians should be ascribed to reserve, to distance, to ignorance of each other's character. Let them come together on this holy ground, and read in each other's countenances, words and actions a devotion to the cause of their common Master, and their jealousies and alienations will gradually give place to candour and love. Who that remembers the

prayed in his last hours, that his disciples " might be one,” can doubt that he will regard with peculiar favour an institution which attaches Christians to each other by the holiest bond, by cooperating in sending his word to every family and every nation under heaven.

To conclude, we may hope from a National Bible Society, a happy influence on our national character. It will help to heal our divisions. Common interest is thought to be the strongest bond of union to a people; but perhaps a stronger may be found in common sentiment, in common feelings, in attachment to generous objects, diffused through every class and district, and exciting general zeal and activity. In this country peculiarly, we need institutions of a generous character, which shall be regarded as the property not of a particular state, but of the nation. These are the best nutriment of patriotism. A country, to be loved, must possess something more than physical advantages; something more than a favoured climate, or a fertile soil. It must possess institutions, which will be monuments of its intellectual and moral progress, which will render it venerable in the eyes of its citizens, which will speak to their hearts, and awaken a consciousness of its glory. The association, whose cause we have been pleading, will be surpassed by none in communicating this moral dignity and lustre to our country.

Such are the benefits of a earnestness with which Jesus National Bible Society. In

Vol. IV. No. 10.

37

these remarks, I have all along supposed, that this Institution will be conducted on the most catholick principles. This is essential to its usefulness and success. The least mixture of a Sectarian spirit will be the stroke of death to all its promises of good. Never had an Institution to contend with keener jealousies than this. Let its elections, its reports, its whole proceedings, be marked by an entire superiority to the narrow views of party. Let the most powerful denominations remember that to them, in an especial manner, belongs

the part of condescension and disinterestedness. Let not this noble wish be dishonoured, even by the appearance of Sectarian partialities. Its principal conductors have a solemn responsibility. Be it their care, by conciliation and wisdom, to inspire universal confidence, and to call forth the power and resources of all classes of Christians, so that this people may be partakers in the joy and honour of working together with God, and with other nations in the illumination of the world.

SIR,

ON THE OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD'S DAY.

To the Editor of the Christian Disciple.

I PRESUME it is compatible with the designs of your useful magazine to admit strictures on prevailing habits in society, of immoral and unchristian tendency. I know, however, from constant perusals of your pages, that all angry denunciations are sedulously avoided; that the moral and spiritual lash and cord are never employed; that you aim to make men ashamed of their sins and follies, and to engage them on the side of virtue and religion, by mild persuasion and sound arguments. This course deserves the approbation of every one: it is the most successful course of doing good. The Saviour came, not to drive, but to call men to repentance. There is something in the mind

of a man of fine feelings, exceedingly averse to compulsion, to threats; and he ranks the passion of fear among the lowest in our natures. Place his errours before him in a friendly manner, discuss their evil characters, and you win him to your opinion. Men are generally addicted to this or that errour from want of consideration. With these remarks, I wish to call the attention of your readers to certain inattentions to the Lord's day, prevalent among us, particularly in this metropolis. It is highly honourable to the good sense and sobriety of the community, that this sacred day is so respectfully and religiously observed. I believe there is no city in christendom, where there is greater

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