« PreviousContinue »
Christendom will profit by this example. our ordinary purposes; so that one hunThe idea of supplying every family with dred thousand copies of the Scriptures at a Bible seems so simple, when once sug. least, must be at the disposal of the Sogested, that we wonder it did not sooner ciety, in the course of three years_01 occur In this respect it resembles ex. these too, a considerable proportion pust actly, the first idea of that British and Fo be in the German language, of which reign Bible Society, whose example, for nearly the whole must be imported from more than twenty years pas, has been Europe. No inconsiderable number of filling the world with associations, formed explorers, agents, or distributors, must be on its own model. If the Western world employed in all parts of the State, wbose shall reflect back some rays of light, in business will be one of detail and diffi. return for those which it received from culty. The funds indispensable for far. the East, let us not believe that the inha. nishing the necessary copies of the Scrip. bitants of the East will shut their eyes tures, and for the unavoidable expenses against them. Let us rather hope, that of agents, and for many incidental charges, while looking abroad with the spirit of cannot be scanty. Much time, labour, true Christian philanthropy, they will and activity, also, will be necessary on also, influenced by oup example, look our part, and on the part of the commitmore attentively at home, and feel the tees which we must appoint, to superio. obligation to introduce a Bible into every tend and direct the operations on which family, within the states and kingdoms io the success of the measure will essentially which they severally belong-If this shall depend. be realized, who can calculate the bless. Such is the view which we have delings and benefits wbich will be the certain berately taken of the enterprise before result!
us; and still we have not a doubt that it We have already intimated that the is practicable, and but little fear that it measure we advocate is PRACTICABLE-A will not prove successful.-Permit us, in belief in its practicability indeed, must, it closing our Address, to state the grounds is obvious, have been the ground of our on which our hopes and expectations whole proceeding. Now, that those who rest; and while we do so, to make sorse may be ready to differ from us in opinion, explanations, and offer some considersmay not impute our confidence to an im tions, which we deem important. perfect and hasiv estimate of the magni. The copies of the Scriptures which wil tude and difficulty of our undertaking; as
be needed in the English language, can, well as that our friends and fellow citi. we believe, be furnished from our own zens may be fully apprized of the extent stereotype presses, and from some chean to wbich we shall need their aid; we purchases which can be made in this city'. shall make a brief statement of what we We doubt not the readiness of the Ame. are aware must be effected, in order to rican Bible Society, to afford us assistance, render successful the measure in contem if their resources would permit. But that plation.
society must be drawn on largely for coBy the Census of 1820, it appears that pies of the Scriptures, by the States of the population of our State, on the 20th New York and New Jersey, and probably of August of that year, was one million, by several others. On much aid from forty-nine thousand, four hundred and this quarter, therefore, we ought not to fifty-eight. Add a fourth of this number, reckon; and it is gratifying to find our as the probable increase, in somewhat selves so circumstanced, that we need not more than seven years, and our present add to the burdens which the National In. population will be, thirteen hundred and stitution is called to sustain, and which i thirteen thousand, eight hundred and is probable will be constantly increasing thirty-two. Say that, on an average, five Olir stereotype printers inform us, that individuals compose a family; and the with but a small additional expense, they pumber of families in the State will be can deliver four thousand copies of the two hundred and sixty-two thousand, English Bible per month; which is proseven hundred and sixty-six. Admit that bably as many as will be required. For one-fourth of these families-and we fear tunately, we some time since ordered the number will prove to be greater ra from Europe a considerable number of ther than less-will be found without a German Bibles, the arrival of which may Bible; and the result will be, that there daily be expected. We propose, without are (disregarding fractions throughout) delay, to order a large additional importa sixty five thousand, six hundred and ninety tion, which we may reasonably hope will families, in the State of Pennsylvania, to be in hand, as soon as they will be wantbe supplied with copies of the sacred ed. The copies we shall need, in the Scriptures. But while these copies are French and Spanish languages, we can in distribution, an additional number, to a obtain without difficulty. The visiting of considerable amount, will be necded for all the families throughout the whole
State, however arduous, has, we know, best of books, and to distribute them actually been effected, and that repeated among the poor and the necessitois. ly, for the purpose of making a Census; On the clergy of all denominations, in and inquiries, far more numerous and mi every part of the State, we reiy for a nute than any which we shall need to prompt and active co-operation. In such propose, bave been made and answered manner as they shall judge most expediWith us the undertaking will be far less ent, we respectfully and earnestly request troublesome, and more expeditious, than them, to make known the contents of this it was found by the civil officers. The Address to the people of their charge; extent, however, of the explorations to favour the efforts of our agents; to ani. which must be made, and the nuinber of mate their people to new exertions for copies of the Bible, in different languages, extending the knowledge of the sacred which must be obtained, are the causes Scriptures; and in every proper way to why we have allowed ourselves so long a promote a work, which seems to us to be period as three years, for the accomplish- immediately connected with the duties of ment of our work. In that space, we their vocation. doubt not, it may be achieved-we hope From the pious youth of our State, in a shorter period.
especially from those who are looking In many counties of the State, Bible so. forward to ihe ministry of the gospel, we cieties and Associations have long been expect considerable aid, in visiting fami. established. From these, we look for rea. lies and distributing Bibles. While this dy and vigorous assistance. If some of is stated, however, it may be proper also them have relaxed their efforts, or even to mention, that as the Bibles we disapproached the point of extinction, we pense are all without note or comment, trust they will now waken into new life, so it is, and will be, the express injuncput forth all their energies, and prove tion of this Board, that those who deliver powerful auxiliaries, in the great and good them use no endeavours, more or less, to cause which is common to them and us. inculcate, or even suggest, any sectarian We must, however, in passing, respect. opinions. It is not to promote a sect, but fully ask, that in taking their measures, to deliver a Bible, and to recommend its they will act in concert with our agents, careful perusal, that every family is to be and not adopt plans inconsistent with the visited. instructions which these agents will re As to finds, which must be consideraceive; inasmuch as a uniform system of ble, and a large part of which must be operation will greatly tend to prevent in. promptly supplied, we have no other reterference, collision and discontent, and liance than the Christian, philanthropick, to ensure ultimate success. In places and patriotick liberality and zeal, of our where Bible societies do not exist, and fellow citizens--On this liberality and perhaps in some where they do, it will be zeal we have calculated, because we have the business of our agents to form, or as already often witnessed their exercise, sist in forming, new Associations, which and because we believe that an object will exert an active agency in carrying was never presented to them, more adaptinto effect the directions of our Board, ed to draw them forth, in all their ardour within their proper spheres. With and productiveness, than the object which Bible societies, Associations and agents, we now present. Already have we exit must rest, to decide when and in what pressed the favourable opinion and kind places, publick meetings of the friends of sentiments which we cherish, toward the ibe Bible may be held, at which speeches various charities and benevolent designs in favour of the proposed measure may be which exist anong us; in many of which made, collections be taken up, and plans we have taken our part, and for their pro. for collecting funds and for visiting tamis motion are now using our best endeafies be formed.
yours. But none of them do we esteem That the editors of religious periodi. comparable, in point of importance, to cals, which are now numerous and popu. the distribution of the Bible; and we lar, will appear decisively in favour of our hope we may say it without offence, that undertaking, and use their whole influ- contributions to none of them, ought even ence to promote our views, is confident. to diminish what should be given to send ly expected; and we greatly miscalculate, a Bible into every family in our state. if most of the multitudinous gazettes and Then, as we have already shown, there newspapers of the day, whose editors are will be a powerful reaction, in favour of generally friendly to good morals, liberal all other charities. But till then, let this views, and benevolent schemes; whose have the preference: For liberal dona. paragraphs are widely diffused and not a tions, we repeat, are essential to success, little influential, will not be found coming Unless the rich will come forward with forth in favour of a plan, whose scope is contributions, far, very far, greater in to multiply exceedingly the copies of the amount than they have ever given to this
object-and the poor with their mites, they request explicit answers. “ 1. Why and all classes of the community with bas the missionary fund belonging to the such liberal offerings as a peculiarly great General Assembly been permitted to isand interesting object demands, we know crease to $20,700, while the spiritual that we cannot succeed. But we address wants of the destitute within our bounty
, a people who have ever proved them have been constantly accumulating : la selves beneficent; and we believe that reply to this question, we might refer in all we have said, we have only been the Presbytery to the Digest, page 159, responding to the sentiments of thousands where they will see how the Permanent and ten thousands of pious and benevo. Fund was formed, and that the Assembly lent hearts, throughout the State in which can use only the interest arising from the we live. If we had not believed this, capital stock, but cannot touch the capi. believed that our fellow citizens and fel. tal stock itself. low Christians were prepared to go along The second question proposed by the with us, and that some of them were wait. Presbytery is this: "Why, while such ing and wishing for us to take the lead, fund exists, should the churches be call. we should not have dared to embark in ed upon annually for collections for the this enterprise. But we do believe, that missionary fund? When the Board rean overwhelming majority of the popu. flect upon the wide spreading desolations lation of this State are prepared for this among which they send their missionanes, measure ; and if they are, they have only and how many more might be employed, to will its success, and success will fol. and how the term of service allotted to low as surely as the effect follows the those whom they send, might be extend. cause. We view ourselves, in fact, only ed, they feel a little surprised at such: as representatives and factors of the question. Indeed 820,000 annually would friends of the Bible. They have put us not be too much for our churches to com in trust, and the State in wbich we live tribute; and $20,000 might be expended has favoured us with a competent char- in conducting the operations of domestick ter. To our constituents, and to our missions. Had the Presbytery compared State, we feel that we owe important ser their own contributions to the missinnary vices; and we solemnly believe that the fund, with the aid they have received best service we can render is, to see that they would have seen the necessity of effectual provision be made, that every congregational collections, and libera inhabitant of the State may read or hear
onęs too. They are an opulent Pres. the revealed will of God. This, with the bytery, and fully able to make large com belp of God, and the aid of our fellow tributions. Last year they paid into your citizens, we are determined shall be ef- treasury 88 dollars and 35 cents, and dres fected-at least to such an extent, that out of it 99 dollars. This year they have the fault of any deficiency shall not be contributed 100 dollars and 13 cents; and ours. We earnestly and affectionately they request, solicit the prayers of our brethren, that 1. The appointment of a missionary, the smiles and benediction of Heaven for three months, in the township of may rest on our labours; may crown this Hempstead, wbich will cost 99 dollars; a arduous undertaking with signal success ; request that has been complied with for and may attend every Bible that is distri- five or six years in succession; and buted with a saving blessing, to the whole 2. The appointment of one or more family into which it shall be introduced : missionaries to labour in West Chester, and with the assurance that our humble and in the upper parts of the city of supplications shall be united with theirs, New York. we close our Address.
It would conduce to the prosperity of Signed in behalf of the Managers of the the missionary cause, if large, and to Philadelphia Bible Society, by
spectable, and opulent Presbyteries WILLIAM WHITE, President. to adopt it as a rule to contribute one Philip F. MAYER, Secretaries.
undivided and liberal collection, in each SILAS E. Wxin,
of their congregations, to the Assembly Philadelphia, Sept. 22d, 1827.
fund, and not to request any aid, at
some of the states is forming; and it is 1827.
all important that it should be forced
under the sulutary influence of evangel (Concluded from p. 430.)
cal truth and the ordinances of the game The Presbytery of New York have pel. As the interest of the Permanent ment in writing two questions; to which fund is but little more than 1000 dollars
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF MISSIONS
TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
and the contingent expenses of the As- nently settled; sinners have been con. sembly are defrayed out of this interest, verted, and the pious edified and conit is apparent that your missionary opera- firmed in the faith; religion preserved tions must depend chiefly on congrega. from entire extinction among a sparse tional collections. Is it not then to be population on our frontiers, till by an deplored that so little is obtained from increase of inhabitants, the gospel and this source? Why is this stream of cha- its ordinances were established and sup. rity diminishing ? Why do opulent con ported among a people, who, had it not gregations contribute 'such small sums? been for the occasional preaching of misWhy do congregations which could give sionaries, might have sunk into utter for. one hundred or one hundred and fifty getfulness of religious privileges." dollars, pay but ten or fifteen dollars into As the result of the last year's mission. your treasury? This certainly could not ary operations, the Board state, that four happen, if due regard were paid to the ministers have been settled, as stated Assembly's recommendations. It ought pastors of churches, on missionary ground; to be remembered that the Assembly three churches organized, and the way hare, again and again, recommended col prepared for the organization of five or lections to be taken up in all their six more; twenty-five Sunday Schools churches for the missionary fund; and and Bible Classes formed; nearly two lately recommended that a collection thousand discourses delivered, besides should annually be made, exclusively for numerous addresses, and very many famithat object. Yet these recommendations ly visits. All this is exclusive of what are disregarded by many ministers. It has been done by Synods and Presbytewill be recollected that on the fields now ries. covered with flourishing churches, under As the plan on which this Board conthe care of the Synods of Genessee and duct their missions does not seem to be Geneva, more missionary money and understood by some, it is deemed promore missionary labour bave been ex per to state it distinctly; from which pended, than in any other region; and statement it will appear how well it has yet not a cent was paid into the mission. been adapted to the circumstances in ary treasury of the Assembly, the last which they are placed, and the relation year, by the eleven Presbyteries under they sustain to the general wants of the the jurisdiction of those Synods. True, it Presbyterian church. And here they appears, from the appendix to your printed will take the liberiy of repeating what Minutes, that they raised money for mis was recently published by the Board, but sionary purposes; but they gave nothing not extensively circulated. to your funds. In the opinion of this “ At no time has either the Board or Board, congregations that have been the Committee acted on a plan recently watered by streams flowing from your adopted by the Home Missionary Society bounty, ought, now that they have ac with flattering success: that of assisting quired strength and wealth, to send, in in making up the support of ministers grateful return, streams to that fountain statedly labouring in a particular congre. at which they have drunk, that it may gation or congregations. On this plan, pour forth its healing and refreshing it would, in the commencement of the waters upon the parched regions of the Assembly's inissionary operations, have southern and western wildernesses. Can been impossible to act, except to a very the Assembly devise no means for se. limited extent. Congregations were to curing due regard to their recommenda be formed; and to form them the labour tions? An important rule (See Digest, p. of missionaries was necessary; and indeed 168) seems to have been overlooked. It no society acting exclusively on this plan, is this: “That the Presbyteries be, and can do any service but by reaping what they are hereby informed, that they are other men have sown, or building on not to consider the formation of auxiliary foundations laid by others. This remark societies, as exempting them from the is not made to express any disapprobaduty of taking up collections for the As tion of the benevolent efforts of those sembly's Missionary Fund.”
who have chosen to act on such a plan. The operations of this Board, it is be On the contrary, we feel disposed to lieved, have a claim upon the attention commend the endeavours made in this and benevolence of the Presbyterian way to secure the permanent settlement church. “By the labours of their inis. of ministers in feeble and infant churches; sionaries,” to use the language of an ad and so far as our funds, and the relation dress lately published, “sent out from the Board sustaing to the Presbyterian year to year, the most beneficial effects church at large will allow, we design to have been produced: churches have act more directly on it than heretofore. been organized, and ministers perma. The remark is made to show the proVol. V, -Ch. Adv.
priety and necessity of the course hither. and other distant states, were necessarily to pursued by the Board of Missions. exploring ones, tbough not so denomi
« Standing connected with the whole nated. It ought also to be considered Presbyterian church, applications for aid that the number of missionaries, and the have come from all our destitute regions; number of vacant, organized churches and consequently the Board, to satisfy have greatly increased; and consequen:these applications, as far as their limited ly a plan of operation can now be adopt. funds would permit, were compelled to ed, which could not, in the infancy' of scatter their labours over widely extend. missionary operations, and in different ed missionary fields. Still, however, circumstances, have been acted on with they have, from the beginning of their any propriety. operations, effected, to a considerable The Assembly has given to the Board extent, what has become an exclusive a very large field to cultivate. Furnish object with a particular society. Many them with means sufficiently ample, and valuable ministers were found connected put missionaries, in sufficient number, at with congregations, who, being unable to their command, and they will plant the support them, were willing to allow them gospel in every small district of this coloto act as missionaries for a few months in try. But while their means are so limited the year, or had stipulated for only a and the field of labour so extensive, and part of their time. Such men have been such numerous and urgent calls for aid employed by the Board to labour in con are reaching them from every quarter ; tiguous regions, or in a fiekmore remote how can they circumscribe the operations from their residence; and thus, while of their missionaries, as much as they the gospel was preached where other could and would do, if their means were wise it would not have been preached, more abundant? it was continued in congregations, who, In conclusion, the Assembly is respect. without this indirect aid, might have lost fully informed, that the condition of South their pastors. In some instances, indivi. America has attracted the attention of this duals have been employed as missionaries Board. Just delivered from the chairs on purpose that they miglit be enabled and fetters by which the band of civil ty: to remain pastors of particular churches. ranny bad bound and oppressed them, the Many licentiates and ordained ministers people of that extensive portion of this bave been located on missionary fields to western continent, are tasting the sweets which they were sent. Some have been and pleasures of civil liberty. They are commissioned to itinerate in particular beginning, too, to burst the chains of regions, with an express view io a per- debasing and enslaving superstition; and manent settlement; and in this way have should they not receive the light of pure become settled pastors.
religion to guide them in their new a “The Board have three objects in reer, it is to be feared they will become view; to form new congregations; 10 the prey of infidelity, deism, and eren foster infant and feeble churches; and to atheism. Withont the light of science, effect the settlement of ministers as per- and the light of Christianity, how will manent pastors of particular churches. they be able to sustain the new repubb, To attain these objects, it is necessary to can institutions, which, in imitation of give to some missionaries a wider range ; those which shed their blessings on our to direct others to labuur in narrower own happy country, they bave establish bounds; and to send some to places with ed? What can be expected, in such a a view to a seltlement. And so soon as case, but a deinolition of their fair and they shall obtain funds for the purpose promising fabricks, and the rebuilding of they will assist feeble churches in main- the castles, and fortresses, and prisons of taining statel pastors. But had they a cruel tyranny! This is the moment for acted on this plani exclusively, what interposing in their behalf. At this mo would have become of those destilute ment is demanded the compassionate si flregions in which a few years ago ibere pathy of all Protestants, and especially were no churches, but now, through the of Protestants in this country, for the ctinstrumentality of the Assembly's mis tical condition of the millions who inho sionaries, there are many flourishing bit that fair portion of the globe; nani Christian societies? Indeed from a sin- nally Christians, but, in fact, greatly need
! gle state, applications would have been ing the light of heavenly truth. Thes made sufficient to absorb all their funds." demand our aid on variogs accounts
When a missionary is sent from this They are human beings, rational and acpart of the country to Indiana or Illinois, countable creatures, and bound to the for instance, he must of necessity travel judgment seat, as well as the savages.com many hundred
miles in going to his field our borders, or pagans, who live in far dis of labour : and let it be remembered too, tant parts of the earth. They have gone that, till of late, many missions to those thing of the form, but they want the light