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Of the Trustees of Plymouth and Norfolk Bible Society, together with a brief account of the origin and progress of the Society.
THE Clergymen and others, in the northern sections of Plymouth and Norfolk Counties, being apprised of the amazing charities of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and of the very respectable efforts of the Massachusetts Bible Society, &c. were thereby led particularly to enquire into the deficiency of copies of the scriptures, in their respective Societies and vicinities. This deficieney was found to be so great, that it was thought expedient to form an Association, whose primary object should be, to supply the destitute in their neighborhood, but which should also contemplate lending its aid to some larger institution, whose charities are more extended, whenever the state of their funds should permit.
"No sister kind My fate shall mourn;
"No breast for ME, a sigh will heave,. "No bosom friend wait MY return! He said, and sinking, sought the happy shore
Where toil and slavery vex his soul
Accordingly at a meeting of the Bay Association, at Marshfield, April 24th, 1816, a Constitution was reported by the Rev. Jacob Norion; and adopted and signed by William Shaw, D. D. Zepheniah Willis, John Allyn, D D., Elijah Leonard, Jacob Norton, Nehemiah Thomas, Nicholas B. Whitney, Jacob Flint, Morrell Allen, Samuel Deane, Henry Colman. A meeting was likewise appointed to be held at Hanover on the 2d Wednesday in June, 1816, for the purpose of organizing the Socisty. A very respectable number of Clergy and Laymen, 'appeared at the time and place appointed, who be came members and chose their offcers for the year to commence Sept. 1816. They assumed the name of the Plymouth and Norfolk Bible SoVol. VI. No. 11.
In seeking for objects on whom to bestow your charity, we have gone to the cottages of the poor; we have enquired for destitute persons whose livelihood is procured on the seas; we have look d for servants in opulent families; and for the aged that they might be supplied with fair and legible copies.
Of the first class we have found many. Perhaps in but few instances we have bestowed the Scriptures on persons in whom was a total inability to procure them for themselves. But too generally we have found, that the Scriptures have not been prized sufficiently, to call forth an effort.From our hands, however, they have been cheerfully and gratefully received. To children they have been 66 as the dew upon the tender herb."
Of the second class a considerable number has been found. It is incredible to one who has not inquired, how few copies of the Bible are on board our vessels. It is worthy of attention. If the idea, that the ship is safer for having copies of the Divine Book on board, seem too superstitious to be entertained, at least it can be well comprehended, that the moral influence of the Scriptures will tend indirectly to safety and prosparity.
Of the third class we have found some to receive our charity. Families too often permit servants to enfer and leave their service, without being furnished with the Bible, or receiving any intimation that it is necessary to become acquainted with its contents. We would not be severe, farther than a simple statement of the fact is severe.
Of the fourth class, as may naturally be supposed, fewer instances
have occurred. But in no instances have the receiver and the donor shared so much pleasure. Aged persons to, whom the common editions of the Bible were nearly or totally illegible, on receiving a large and fair copy, have cast their eyes upon it, and instantly raised them to heaven in gratitude. It has filled their hearts with joy; it has revived the lamp of life; it has shed a light around them at evening time.
For large copies however, there cannot be an extensive demand.Nor indeed, will so great a deficiency of Bibles, in our vicinity, soon be found again. A much less annual supply will serve. With this impression, the Society from this time propose to become auxiliary to the American Bible Society, and have already transmitted the sum of $100.
We trust that those persons whose aid we have a right to expect, will not withhold it, with the idea, that their exertions should be limited to a county or a district. To the frontiers and new settlements there is a loud call for attention, as appears from reports of the American Bible Society. Liberal things only are worthy of liberal hearts. Extended views belong to the Christian, who should labour to promote his Master's kingdom, and the conversion and salvation of the whole family of man.
SAML. DEANE, Per Order.
Summary of the Treasurer's account for the year ending Sept. 1818. Wm. Torrey Treasurer, to the TrusDr. By balance due last settle't. $74 67 By cash received of members 77 32 By donation received through
the hands of Rev. Mr. Colman 8 37 By do. do. of Rev. Dr. Sanger 11 00 By do. do. of Rev. Jacob Nor
ton By do. from a friend transmitted By do. Rev. Jonas Perkins By do. do. of Rev. Dr. Allyn By cash received of the Trustees
12 86 50 25 00 3.50
By contribution at Bridgewater 33 18 $258 55 WM. TORREY, Treasurer.
Rev. John Reed, D. D.
Rev. Jacob Norton.
By small children in the central
We also so far anticipate the report for the ensuing year as to state, that at our present anniversary meeting at Duxbury after divine service, a collection was made by which the Society's funds received the encouraging additional sum of $121.
S. DEANE. The Society has received the subscriptions at different times, of 147 persons who are recorded as members-viz. From Scituate 36; Hingham 30; Bridgewater 17; Pembroke 13; Plymouth 12; Hanover 9; Marshfield 9; Abington 7; Duxbury 6; Weymouth 2; Cohassett 2; Kingston 1; Carver 1; Rochester 1; Braintree 1.-147.
Officers for the year beginning Sept. 1818.
Hon. Joshua Thomas, President.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE FRAG-
On the return of another anniver
sary, the Managers of the Fragment Society would beg leave to submit an abstract of their proceedings during the last year-being the sixth, since the organization of the Society. Amount of annual subscrip
tions collected during the last year 727 43 Balance on hand 26489 Interest of the permanent fund 26 23 Donations and life Tickets for the permanent fund
The Directors have taken the utmost precaution to ascertain the character of those who have solicited their charity; and such only as have been found deserving, have received assistance.
Could those who contribute to the support of the Fragment Society, once witness the tear of lively joy and gratitude, and the sincere, though simple expressions of thankfulness, awakened by their benevolence in the recipients of their bounty, we humbly believe their hearts would be filled with gratitude to Him who has graciously made it their part to con 1126 55 fer, not to receive, this charity.
On reviewing the past year, we find much cause for gratitude to Him who has enabled us to do so much for the relief of the poor and afflicted; the aged and the infirm; the widow and the fatherless.
graciously favoured us with tolerable health. We have been busily employed in endeavoring to meet the urgent calls of these people for books, and have printed 2300 spelling books, which, with the exception of those for the Leeward Islands, are already in circulation among the people, who received them with the liveliest emotions of joy. There is a call for double that number, did our paper allow us to print so many. People are daily coming from Taheite with bundles of letters (written on plantain leaves) for books, but we are obliged to refuse them. We are now engag ed in preparing a catechism, of which we intend to print about 3000 copies after which we think of beginning the Gospel of Luke.
LETTER FROM EIMEO.
Extracts of a letter from Mr. W. El-
I beg your acceptance of a Tahitian spelling-book, as the first effort of the missionary press among the South Sea Islands. It contains the most general and useful words in the language, and the lessons are principally translations of different parts of scripture. I trust God will abundantly bless brother Davies and Nott's exertions in teaching these people to read, and rendering so much of the word into their language. As a reward of their labours, they can look around, and see upwards of 5000 peo
reading in their own tongue the wonderful works of God. I trust the Lord will bless the distribution of books among them to the eternal salvation of many immortal souls.
A great work is going on. There is no longer a partial profession of Christianity, but a general acknowledgement of Jehovah as the true God, and Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. Doubtless, with some it is but pro'fession, but with many it is otherwise; there is every reason to believe they are become new creatures in Christ Jesus. An ardent desire prevails among them, with the use of every means in their power to increase their knowledge. Some of them have paid so much attention to their books (though containing upwards of 100 pages) as to be able to repeat them from memory, from the beginning to the end.
Though we might excite your compassion by presenting scenes of suffering which often meet our eye, while discharging our duty as your almoners, yet we forbear. We fondly believe that you need no excitements of this nature. "The poor ye have always with you," says our Lord, and surely every benevolent heart can testify that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."-ple Let us then do with our might what our hands find to do, trusting in Him who hath said, "cast your bread upon the waters and thou shalt find it after many days," and rejoicing in the opportunity given us of following in some humble degree, the example of our Father in Heaven who "maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
Subscriptions and Donations will be received at No. 90 Newburystreet, or at 17 Cornhill,-by Miss Pierce, 22 1-2 Marlboro'-street, or the Secretary, Mason-street. Boston, Oct. 1813.
There are about 67 places of worship at Taheite, and 20 at Eimeo, be
sides those that are building. Their regular attendance on every means of grace would put many congrega tions in England to the blush, and it would cause the hearts of many ministers to rejoice were their hearers as punctual at their places in the house of God at the stated times of public worship. Very frequently the service commences before the usual time, in consequence of the house being full, and the people waiting.
I desire to rejoice in having entered on the work so soon in life, and trust my youth will afford me a facility that I otherwise should not have had in acquiring the language; the study of which, with the labour of printing, now occupies my time and engages my attention.
THESE promising institutions are rapidly multiplying in our country. The reports of the proficiency made in them are very animating. Some extracts will be given from recent reports.
The number of scholars who have attended the school, has varied from three hundred and fifty, to six hundred and fifty. The numbers of teachers usually employed is not far from sixty. As a stimulus to excite the scholars to constant attention, tickets for punctual attendance are given to them at every meeting, and these are redeemed from time to time, either with books, or with other tickets, to which a pecuniary value is prefixed. Certificates also, purporting to be rewards of merit, are in some instances bestowed on those who are distinguished by extraordinary proficiency, and good behaviour. These latter to be redeemed by some valuable token of approbation.
through the Divine Songs to the study of the Bible.
From Paris, N. Y.
The school has been attended nine Cabbaths. Thirty-eight, too young to get their lessons by study, are able to rehearse the first catechism. Sixty-two are now in different stages of the Assembly's Catechism, from the fore part of the commandments to the end. Forty-four have committed the whole. Twenty-two have advanced
One of the scholars, after committing the four first chapters of Genesis, and then commencing at the second chapter of Matthew, has recited 17 chapters, making 570 verses. Another, commencing in the same manner, has proceeded to the 12th chapter of Matthew; making in the whole 14 chapters, 426 verses. A number of others are in near advance with this.
From Thelford, Vermont.
"In the compass of 20 weeks, there were 24 of the number that attended who committed to memory from 1,000 to 1,500 and 1,800 verses each and three of them committed upwards of 2,000 verses each; and the sum total of verses recited by the scholars was over one hundred and fifty five thousand." Upwards of 430 scholars attend the Sabbath schools in the several districts of that town.
These schools are established in many of the principal towns in the Northern and Middle States. Their popularity is increasing, and should they be prudently conducted, the seed thus sown will produce a plentiful and glorious harvest.
AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY.. The number of Auxiliaries to this National Institution officially known, is one hundred and sixty seven. Of these, there is one in the state of New-Hampshire, there are fourteen in Massachusetts, three in Vermont, nine in Connecticut, fifty seven in New-York, sixteen in New-Jersey, fifteen in Pennsylvania, one in Dela ware, two in Maryland, one in the District of Columbia, fifteen in Virginia, three in North Carolina, five in South Carolina, three in Georgia, thirteen in Ohio, four in Kentucky, two in Tennessee, one in Louisiana, one in Missouri Territory, and one in Michigan Territory. Forty of the above are conducted by females.
RHODE-ISLAND BIBLE SOCIETY.
THE fifth annual meeting of the Rhode Island Bible Society, was held in Providence, on the 3d of Sept.