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English Christian Knowledge Society.
Formed in 1698 The objects of this society are, 1st. The superintendance and support of charity scholars in and about London. 2d. The dispersion of bibles, prayer books, and other religious publications. 3d. The establishment and support of missions and schools in different parts of the East Indies.
It will be observed that this society has been in existence more than a century. From small beginnings, it has, by the unwearied exertions and patronage of many of the most distinguished, and wealthy men in England, extended its usefulness to almost every part of the globe. Some idea may be formed of the extent of its doings, and the pains its members haye exerted to distribute knowledge in the world, when it is known, that about the year 1813, an abstract of the annual reports and correspondence of this society from 1709 to the present time, (1813) was published, and that it composed an octavo of more than 700 pages. Our plan however, confines us only to a statement of the success and result of these exertions.
In the report of the society for 1821, the following is an abstract of the home proceedings. The members of the society were then 14,530. The committee at home and abroad amounted to 225. The total number of children who appeared by the returns to receive assistance in their education from the society, was 181,946, of whom 16,320 were in London. This number, says the report, falls short of the whole number of children to whom the aid of the society is extended, the returns not being fully received.
The number of books stated by the secretary to have been distribnted by the society that year, were as follows: Bibles, 32,199; NewTestaments and Psalters, 45,682; Common Prayer books, 85,601; ether bound books. 75,550. These were distributed gratuitously, on the terms of the society. The committee had also distributed during the year, 827,044 small tracts; and other books and papers to the number of 176,315-making the total number of books distributed in that year, one million two hundred and forty two thousand and ninety one.
Of the society's Family Bible four impressions have been printed, and about 20,000 copies sold.
The society has a special committee, appointed for the purpose of counteracting blasphemous and infidel publications. This committee during the year, issued nine hundred thousand books and tracts calculated to counteract the influence of these works of darkness.
The receipts of the society from April 1820, to April 1821, amounted to 245,533 dollars, and the payments to 235,150 dollars.
The Christian Knowledge Society have Diocesan committees, either sent out, or appointed to watch over, and facilitate its objects in various parts of the world. These committees make annual reports to the society, on the progress of education, the number of children under care, the number of books distributed, the prospects of the society &c.
The committee at Bombay in India, report in 1821, That they have distributed during the year, 170 bibles, 360 testaments and Psalters, 1391 prayer books, and 5536 other books and tracts. 22 copies of the Family Bible, and 22 copies of the Arabic Bible. The committee at this place had been appointed only three years
when this report was made. Considerable progress had also been made in the translation and printing of books for the use of schools, and for general distribution among the natives.
At Calcutta the exertions of the district committees had been greatly increased. The number of books received from the society at that place during the year, was 10,822; of which 5,885 had been sold or gratuitously distributed. Lending libraries have been established there, and it is stated have given much satisfaction to those who take an interest in the moral and religious improvement of the country.
The Bengal committee state, that the schools at that place are in a highly encouraging condition. The children make greater proficiency than formerly, and the value of education is more duly estimated.
The committee at Madras have made this year a highly interesting report, from which it appears that the society possesses there considerable property, left it by a Missionary who died in its service at that place. The property consists of money, the church, the mission house, and houses occupied by the school teachers; printing press, and materials for printing and binding books.
The number of scholars at this station are considerable and increasing, and the prospect of the society encouraging.
British Foreign School Society.
This society was formed in 1803. It has for its object the general diffusion of such useful elementary knowledge, as may fit the poor for the discharge of the common duties of life; especially to enable them to read the bible, and to induce them to observe the sabbath.
For the furtherance of this object on correct principles, the soci ety have established at London central schools, where those are educated, who intend to teach in the service of the society, either at home or abroad.
At the annual examination of these schools on the 17th anniversary (1822) the committee were gratified with the progress and good order of the scholars. At these schools instruction is afforded to 500 boys and 300 girls. The number of children received into these schools since their establishment is 21,397-viz. 14,188 boys and 7,209 girls.
In Ireland the British and Foreign School Society have in connection 513 schools, containing upwards of 40,000 pupils, all of which have been established since 1814.
By the assistance of this institution, schools have been established on the same system, or are now in progress in France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Geneva, Asia, Africa, and America.
This socidty originated in the Lancastrian Institution, and has adopted, in general, its system of teaching.
The expenditure in 1822, of the home society, was nearly ten thousand dollars.
(English) African Institution, established 1807. Object.--Not only to promote the civilization of much injured Africa, but also to watch most carefully over the conduct of those who might attempt to evade the laws for the abolition of slavery.
The means which the society have used to accomplish their objects are to enforce the laws passed by Parliament for the Abolition of Slavery, and to educate the native Africans in their own country. Through this society remonstrances have been made to all such na¬
tions, as still tolerate this dreadful traffic; and though much has been accomplished by the unwearied exertions of the institution, more remains to be done before this trade, so disgraceful to our species, shall be universally abolished. Spain, Portugal and France, still authorize or permit, their subjects to deal in human blood, and though France and Spain have enacted laws of abolition, still the traffic is carried on by the subjects of both nations, to a vast extent. Portegal legalizes this trade. This society then has still much to do, and in addition to remonstrances and enforcement of the laws, the education and civilization of the native Africans, as the only means of preventing their selling each other to Ecropeans, is the only sure method of accomplishing the great object.
As an example of what may be done to meliorate the condition of this oppressed race of men, the present state of Sierra Leone, a colony of natives on the western coast of Africa, may be taken.
The establishment of a colony of natives at this place, was undertaken in 1806. At that time the few inhabitants who resided there were of course in the lowest state of African ignorance and barbarity. The population of the colony is now 13,000, a considerable proportion of which, have been liberated from slavery, being taken from on board slave-ships, in execution of the abolition laws. The colony is divided into 14 parishes. Many of these parishes consist of handsome villages, regularly laid out into streets, and containing good or comfortable dwellings. Upwards of 2000 adults and children are under the instruction at the schools. Many of them read and write well, and some have considerable knowledge of arithmetic and grammar. The people regularly attend public worship. Many of them are communicants, and are exemplary in their conduct. Some of the natives are school teachers. Agriculture and some of the arts have been introduced, and are cultivated, and in general, regularity and decorum prevail throughout the colony. The expenditures of the society for the year 1821 were about 5000 dollars.
This society was formed in 1807. Its object is to diffuse religious instruction among the poor in Ireland, and in order to do this it is required, that instruction in the common branches of education, be premised. The society have therefore established schools where the poor Irish can be taught to read and write, and where they receive moral instruction at the same time. Elementary books for children have been published in the Irish language, and have been generally diffused among the poor who attend the schools.
In the report of this society for 1821, it is stated, that the number of schools founded by the society was 575--that 41 new schools had been formed that year, and that the number of scholars under instruction, in all, were 53,233.
The schools, it is stated, are under the superintendance of the following visitors: 176 ministers of the established church; 123 noblemen; 7 dissenting ministers; 35 Roman catholic priests; and 25 ladies.
The number of bibles distributed by the society since its commencement, is 80,000.
The expenditures for the year 1821, for salaries of schoolmasters and agents, purchase of books, printing and stationary, and sundries, amounted to 27,791 dollars.
English National Education Society.
Founded in 1811. The objects of this society are to educate in the common and useful branches of learning, such poor children of both sexes, as are denied this blessing from other sources; and thus to make them capable of obtaining honest livings, and of being useful members of society.
At the eleventh examination of the central school at Ely Place, London, the society found that the average attendance during the year at that school had been 493 boys, and 232 girls-making 725, and that the attendance had improved in regularity.
The committee found that during the year, (1822) 82 new schools had been formed on the national plan, and had been received into union. The society having had, already under its protection 1708 schools, this makes the number 1890.
The total number under education in schools united to the society, besides those who are training in, those formed on its principles though not received into union, amount to about 250,000.
In the schools at Bombay, there were when last reported, 1023; and in those of New Brunswick about 1800 scholars.--The annual income of this society exceeds 10,000 dollars.
(English) Prayer Book and Homily Society.
This society was formed in 1812.
Objects—To offer religious instruction, not only to the poor, who are unable to purchase books, but to the thoughtless, who neglect such instruction. Also to translate the formularies of the church into the different languages of the heathen world.
In the report for 1822, it is stated that the number of prayer books and psalters circulated during the year, was 9433, making the total number of prayer books issued by the society since it was formed 83,730, and the total number of psalters 10,044. The number of Homilies, Articles, and Ordination Services, as tracts, disposed of during the year, were 58,648. Besides this number, the society had printed at Amsterdam 5000 Homilies, 5000 do. at Bremen, 2000 at Malacca, and 8000 at Toulouse, Montpelier, and Monaco. The society have procured translations of Homilies into Spanish, Dutch, German, French, Greek, Arabic, Chinese, and Italian languages. The expenditures of the society for 1822, were 8,222 dollars.
American Colonization Society.
This society was formed at Washington in 1817. The second article of the constitution will show the objects of this society.
"ART. II. The object to which its attention is to be exclusively directed is to promote and execute a plan for colonizing, (with their consent,) the Free People of Colour residing in our country in Africa, or such other place as Congress shall deem most expedient; and the society shall act to effect this object, in co-operation with the General Government, and such of the States, as may adopt regulations upon the subject.
In accordance to the plan of the society to send a colony of coloured people to Africa, measures were taken to obtain liberty of the natives, and a grant of land for this purpose; both were accordingly obtained without difficulty. The location first fixed upon was Sherbro Island, situated in Western Africa, and in extent about 22 miles by 12.
A place for the colony being thus prepared, and the American
Government co-operating with the Society, in 1819 the United States sloop-of-war Cyane, accompanied by another vessel chartered by the society, to carry out colonists, sailed for the African coast. The Cyane was commissioned to guard the coast for one year, for the purpose of seizing all such American vessels, as attempted to bring away slaves. The chartered vessel carried out about 80 coloured people as colonists, and a settlement was established under favorable circumstances. The spot was, however, found to be unhealthy, and the society received the melancholy tidings that most of the whites had died within a few months after their arrival at Sherbro.
This settlement was therefore abandoned and another tract of land in the country of Grand Bassa was obtained of the natives as a place of settlement.
This lies a considerable distance from the former place. This tract of country is from 30 to 40 miles square; for which the headmen of the country agreed to receive an annual tribute, amounting to about 300 dollars. Circumstances, however, changed the opinions of the agents in respect to settling at this place, it being found that Cape Mesurado, if the land could be obtained, presented superior advantages, as a location for the colony, to any other portion of the coast. On application to the head-men, the agents concluded a purchase of the whole Cape. To this place, therefore, the colony, consisting of about 100 people of colour, have been removed, together with the agents, missionaries, &c.
By the most recent intelligence from this colony, there is every prospect, that the objects of the society will finally be in a good measure accomplished. The natives are friendly to the whites, and to the undertaking; the place of settlement, after so many difficulties, is formed to answer the expectations of the colony-and the people of colour in this country are not unwilling, but many hundreds are known to be anxious to join the colony.
Calcutta School Book Society.
Formed in 1818, for the purpose of facilitating and assisting the operations of all other undertakings, engaged in Ñative Education. One of the regulations states, the object of the society shall be the preparation, publication, and cheap, or gratuitous supply of works useful in schools and seminaries of learning.
The society is proceeding with much vigour in the preparation of elementary tables and books in the Bengalee, Hindoostanee, Persian, Arabic, Sanscrit, and English languages.
Calcutta School Society.
Formed in 1818, with the design to assist and improve existing schools, and to establish and support any further schools and seminaries which may be requisite. It is also an object of this society to select pupils of distinguished talents and merit, from elementary and other schools, and provide for their instruction in seminaries of a higher degree, with a view of forming a body of qualified teachers and translators.
This society has a considerable annual income by subscription, and it is believed that the undertaking will be finally crowned with success. This society has under instruction upwards of 4000 chit
British India Company. This society was formed in London 1821