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A large proportion has been given to individuals on their own application; several to managers of charity schools and of missionary societies; some to destitute seamen; and a few to the soldiers stationed at Marblehead, at the request of their commander. The distribution has been as cautious as is consistent with the liberal principles of the Society. Bibles are undoubtedly given, in some instances, to those who should blush to receive them without an equivalent; but we have this consolation, that we bestow a book which is the best remedy for their sordidness.
In the course of the last year, the Trustees ordered the Treasurer to remit $822 to the American Bible Society at New-York. It will be recollected, that when our Society became auxiliary to the American, several donations were made for the purpose of being forwarded to the lat
ter. On this account, the remittance of the last year was larger than can be expected hereafter. We regret that we have not received the last report of the National InstituWe continue to look to it with strong hope, that it will bear an important part in the distribution of the Bible.
During the last year, an earnest application was made to the Trustees by a respected American in Paris, for the aid of this Society in distributing the Scriptures in France. The Committee, to whom the subject was referred, having considered the very depressed condition of Christianity in that country, the great scarcity of Bibles and the difficulty of obtaining them among the common people, the influence which the French nation will always have over the opinions and manners of the civilized world, and the peculiar importance of recovering it to the knowledge and belief of the gospel, and having learned that an edition of the New Testament had been commenced which required foreign assistance for its completion, recommended to the Trustees an appropriation of such funds, as could be conveniently spared, for this purpose. It was also considered, that the present was a favourable opportunity for repaying an obligation which we
had contracted to Europe. It is probably recollected, that at the establishment of our Society a donation was made to it of 1.100 sterling by the British and Foreign Bible Society.Whilst this liberal act was received with gratitude, the opinion of many was, that in the prosperous state of this country, we ought not to employ the funds of another for our relief. Under these impressions, the Trustees resolved to apply the donation just named to the distribution of the Bible in France; and it is believed, that better service cannot be rendered to Christianity than by giving its records to a great people in the heart of Christendom, where the prevalent ignorance of our religion almost surpasses belief.
A great excellence of Bible Societies is the simplicity of their 'object; but this produces a corresponding simplicity in their operations, which makes the report of each year in a great degree an echo of the last. Your Committee have always laboured to entrust Bibles to faithful hands; and having done this they have not been solicitous, nor have they been able, to collect accounts of the effects of the distribution. The influence of á Bible in an obscure family is necessarily silent and without show. We infer that good is done from the nature of the gift, and not from immediate and strongly marked consequences. The mere presence of a book, which is acknowledged to be from God, tends to keep alive in the mind a feeling of "obligation to him and an occasional perusal of the Bible can hardly help giving some moral and religious ideas, which, in the course of providence, may be subjects of meditation and principles of a christian life. Let it not be objected to us, that the circulation of the Bible has wrought no great change among the poor; for does it seem to have wrought a greater among the rich? The truth is, that in every class it does much good by correcting and refining public opinion, whilst in many individuals it works powerfully to the saving of their souls. The Bible is not a mechanical and necessary cause. It is counteracted continually by passion, prejudice, misinter
pretation or neglect; but because it accomplishes less than we desire, let us not overlook the immensely beneficial change which it has produced in the state of society, wherever it is generally read; and let us continue to spread it, in the assurance that, in God's time, it will be better understood and more deeply felt, and will give a new face to the earth.
It is encouraging to know that the
zeal which has broken forth on this subject is not shrinking, but rather gains strength; that sovereigns, from policy and we will hope from principle, are lending the splendour of their names and examples to the cause; that revenues, once lavished on conquest and bloodshed, are now in part consecrated to the spreading of the gospel of peace; that great men count it an honour to be enrolled among the patrons of Bible Societies; and that the different denominations of Christians, as if happy to find a common object, seem willing to postpone the advancement of their peculiarities to the circulation of that authoritative book to which they all profess to bow. Whilst worldly motives may have a share in this great enterprize, we hail it as a pledge and promise of a more prosperous and peaceful state of the church, as the dawning of a brighter day, in which the knowledge of God shall fill the earth, and Christians, drinking deeply into their Master's spirit, shall "love one another with a pure heart fervently."
WILLIAM E, CHANNING, Chairman of the Executive Com.
Officers of the Society elected on this anniversary.
His Hon. William Phillips, President; Rev. John T. Kirkland, D. D. LL. D. Vice President; Rev. John Pierce, Recording Secretary; Rev, Francis Parkman, Cor. Secretary ; Mr. John Tappan, Treasurer; Mr. John Grew, Assistant Treasurer.
Rev. James Freeman, D. D., Rev. Eliphalet Porter, D. D., Rev. Abiel Holmes, D. D., Rev. Thomas Baldwin, D. D., Rev. Charles Lowell, Rev. Joshua Huntington, Chief Justice Parker, Họp. Peter C. Brooks,
Donation from a Lady to do.
Mr. James Wild, as a Life Sub-
256 annual Subscribers $2 512 45
24 440 20
Boston, June 1.
Paid for $800 U. S. six per cent. Stock,
Balance on hand from last year.
Received by E. Doane, Esq. from the Barnstable Bible Society
From 397 Annual Subscribers
Life subscription and donation to American Bible Society
From auxiliary societies and various persons for sales of Bibles.
Permanent funds of the Massachusetts Bible Society, the interest only of which is to be expended. Three Massachusetts Bank shares, at par Fifteen Manufacturers and Mechanics' Bank shares, at par $800 U. S. six per cent. Stock, at par
Bibles and Testaments, the past year,
Freight, carting and porterage.
Statement of receipts and expenditures of the Massachusetts Bible Society, from June, 1817, to June, 1818.
This sum voted to the National Bible Society,
J. Willard for collecting subscriptions,
Bill of Exchange remitted to Paris, as a donation from the
439 15 135
824 1230 63 584 17
18 4 35 87
444 44 822
JOHN TAPPAN, Treasurer.
Moreover, a great portion of the children who attend sabbath schools have ignorant parents, and many of" them have vicious parents. The te ligious instructions, and indeed any useful instructions which the children shall receive, they may be the instru ments of communicating to their par ents at home. Many striking and important instances have already been recorded of benefits which par ents have derived from sending their children to sabbath schools.
AMONG the many institutions of the present day for improving the character and condition of the inhab tants of our country, the Sabbath Schools are not the least important, The number of these schools has been greatly multiplied within a few years,
several of the United States, as well as in Great Britain. We hope the plan will become universal throughout Christendom, and indeed throughout the world-not only in cities and populous towns,but in every town and neighborhood in every Country.
The schools have already become so numerous in Philadelphia as to comprize 5970 scholars, superintended by 556 instructers. Many of these children would probably have grown up in ignorance, vice and irreligion, but for the advantages they derive from the sabbath schools. If the schools should be conducted with proper regard to decorum, virtue and religion, they will doubtless be a means of saving millions from perdition, as well as of rendering them more happy and useful in the present world. These schools are adapted not only to improve the minds of the pupils but the minds of the multitude of instructers who are employed in these institutions. For there is perhaps no way in which young people advance more rapidly than in the business of teaching. They not only increase their own stock of knowledge by the practice of communicating to others, but the more faithful they are in the discharge of the duty, the more advantage they derive to themselves, by acquiring a facility in communicating, and by having the instructions which they impart to others impressed on their own minds. Such of these instructers, whether male or female, as shall become heads of families, will be the better qualified to teach the children which a gracious providence shall commit to their care; and the more likely they will be to perform this duty with fidelity and advantage. While they are employed in bestowing favors on the children of others, they are laying up treasures for their own posterity,
Another consideration worthy of notice is this Children require some exercise on the Sabbath as well as on other days, and they are gratified with novelty, variety and change. The Sabbath Schools add to the vari ety of useful, virtuous and entertain ing exercises suitable for that day; and if properly managed they may contribute much towards rendering "the Sabbath a delight" to children and young people.
A REMARKABLE CONTRAST RELAT ING TO SLAVES.
"THE following intelligence has been recently received and may be relied on as authentic:-The legisla ture of Antigua, having held a conference with the missionaries of the Moravian brethren, to induce them to extend their missions there, and finding it out of their power, voted them one thousand pounds to build a church and house, and three hundred pounds per annum for the support of missionaries at one station; granting and offering as much crown land as should be wanted for that or other stations; and in the despatch to Lord Bathurst, from the Government of Antigua, it is stated, that the legislature lamented their limited finances prevented their doing more, as they were persuaded, that to the labours of these missionaries they were mainly indebted for a state of profound tranquillity, while other islands had been exposed to revolt and insurrec tion. The brethren have about twelve thousand negroes in their cor gregation in that island." Phila. pap. Now behold the contrast:"AFRICAN CHURCH, Charleston, June 9. "One hundred and fifty Negroes,
́and Slaves, belonging to the African Church were taken up on Sunday afternoon by the city guard and lodged in the Guard-House. 7 The city Council yesterday morning sentenced five of them, consisting of a Bishop and four Ministers to one month's imprisonment, or to give security to leave the stare. Eight other ministers were also sentenced separately, to receive ten lashes, or pay a fine of five dollars. Patriot. The account from Antigua is truly gratifying; it evinces a spirit of wisdom and humanity. The account from Charleston is the reverse; it evinces a spirit of folly and barbarity. "Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad." Oppression has this effect both on the oppressor and on the oppressed. The barbarous course a dopted by the city Council is the "Road to Ruin," as truly as the course adopted at Antigua tends to conciliate the slaves and to prevent revolt and insurrection. Multiplying the oppressions of the slaves, and prohibiting their meeting for religious and moral instruction, are but treasuring up wrath against a day of wrath which will assuredly overtake the oppressors. The cries of these Africans cannot fail to enter into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth ;" and although he bears long with oppressors he will not bear always.
In the United States much has been said of the tyranny and oppression exercised in other countries. Loudly have we boasted of our republican institutions, our liberty and equal rights; yet in this land of freedom there is perhaps, a greater number of fellow beings held in absolute slavery than in any other nation on which the sun is suffered to shine. Of this we may be very certain, that, in this world, the sun has no opportunity to shine on another nation so palpably inconsistent as ours. If but an indi vidual pf our white citizens is deprived of his personal rights in a foreign land, our country is filled with clam or and threatenings of war from one end to the other. But as a nation, we can tamely behold a number of black and colored people, greater than the whole population of NewEngland was in 1800, degraded to the condition of slaves, liable to be
bought and sold as property, and great portion of them denied the means of education and religious instruction! In what other region does Heaven behold such a mass of op pression and iniquity!
In Charleston, it appears, a military guard is employed to interrupt the religious meetings of the oppressed Africans on the Sabbath; and their compassionate teachers are doomed by the city Council to imprisonment, or banishment, corporal punishments or fines! Thus the state of society advances in the capital of South Car olina! What will be their state at the end of the present century, if they continue to advance in this direc tion?
We know that the plea for this outrageous persecution is, that "by sundry acts of the legislature, it is positively forbidden that slaves or free people of color should assemble for the purpose of mental instruction, unless a majority of the assembly be composed of white people." Such are the republican laws of South Carolina ! What law of Spain, Portugal, or of the Pope, or of the Inquisition, is more repugnant to the rights of man? We do not wonder that these oppressors of the Africans are afraid of their lives, nor that they think a military guard necessary for their protection. But the time will come when a military guard will not defend them, either from the upbraidings of a self-comdemning conscience, or from the anger of a righteous God. And, on the whole, it is hard to determine, whether the slaves are entitled to a greater share of our concern than their unrelenting oppress
The Rev. John Gorham Palfrey was on Wednesday 17th ult. ordained as Pastor of the Church in Brattle-square. Prayer, by the Rev. Dr. Thayer of Lancaster; Sermon, by the Rev. Dr. Porter; Ordaining Prayet, by the Rev. President Kirkland; Charge by the Rev. Dr. Osgood, of Medford; Right Hand of Fellowship by the Rev. Mr. Frothingham; Prayer, by the Rev. Mr. Colman, of Hingham; Benediction, by the Rev. Mr. Palfrey.