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And this presumption rises even to “ Bible Societies, it is true, are not the force of demonstration, as it res- the only distinction of the present pects the books of Moses, when we age ; but in the peculiar principles of consider that any deviation from a their organization, and in the pre-euimost minute and punctilious adher- inently happy and beneficent effects ence to the rites and ceremonies of of their operation, they present, behis institution had been sacrilege and yond comparison, the noblest feature abomination in the sight of the pious and finest practical expression, of the Jews, so that the actual observance of religious and moral spirit by which these rites and ceremonies among the age is characterized. No other them at any period of their history institutions have been so decidedly may be affirmed to prove the existence conducive to that melioration of senand authenticity, at that period, of the timent and feeling in the religious books of their great law-giver.” world, that enlightened and just

and tolerant catholicism, which has

already done so much, and in its furBut we wish to draw the at. ther progress promises so much more, tention of our readers more

for the success of great and extensive particularly to Bible Societies. plans of Christian benevolence. The

great and fundamental principles' upThis institution originated in on which these societies have almost England, in the year 1803. It uniformly been organized, and to the is impossible to contemplate its peculiar merit of which they have present immense scale of op- unexampled patronage and success

been chiefly indebted for the rapid and crations, and reflect on the un

of their exertions, is that of distribuparalleled rapidity with which ting the Bible alone without note or it has grown up to such greate comment.6 Here then is the first ness, without astonishment, and peculiar and distinctive excellence of the conviction forcibly impress- most liberal and enlightened principle;

these institutions ; formed upon this ed, that it has received the they open the widest possible field gracious protection, aid, and for the united resources, and co-operblessing of the Almighty. The ative exertions, of christian philaninstitution of the British and thropy in every part of the world.”

"I cannot therefore but regard Foreign Bible Society has well

these benevolent institutions as the been denominated “a grand purest and most perfect now existing epoch in the history of reli. in the Christian world. They are, fion, and we agree entirely conceive, of all others the most Prowith Mr. Warner in the opin- milder and more lovely form, of the

testant—the best exemplification, in a ion, that the age in which we

genuine spirit of the Reformation. live may with great propricty There are no others founded upon be called the “ age of Bible so full and just a recognition of the Societies"

principles of religious liberty; and

none, of course, that present a range The following is an animat.

so wide and elevated, and unimpeded, ed picture of the character

to the most aspiring and comprehenand operative effects of these sive aims and efforts of religious charsocieties, and it is drawn in ity.”—pages 26, 27. colours so just, and exhibits in so creditable a light the feel In speaking of the superior ings and habits of thinking of advantages of Bible Societies the author, as they are shown to Missionary exertions in in many parts of his sermon, making known the truths of we will not withhold it from christianity, with singular proour readers.

priety, and in a truly catholic

ed for

spirit he makes the following hended in them, we should still remarks.

maintain, that incalculable ben“The living teacher-I speak it efits must necessarily arise to not to disparage the importance of his every nation and tribe of men, office--is, in some respects always among whom the scriptures more or less a sectarian : zealous, it is can have a free circulation. admitted, to make good Christians of Were it practicable we should his disciples, but apt to be a little more zealous to make them good desire, to be sure, to have the christian Churchmen, or good chris- mighty fabric of the christian tian Presbyterians, Methodists

, Bap- dispensation clearly undertists, or United Brethren, &c. ; where- stood, and properly estimated, as, upon the great evangelical principle of Bible Societies, all these denom- by every mind among them, in inations meet and unite—the sectari- the majesty and beauty of all an no longer makes any part of the its parts. But this is not with. Christian--and the Bible, without in the compass of our hopes. comment and without appendage, is Christianity in its scope

‘and sent abroad with a purity and disin

doctrines was not des terestedness of christian charity altogether singular, I believe, and unpre- savages.

It is too large a cedented, since the apostolic age, to grasp for the mind, which has make men Christians, and for no oth- not been expanded by calculaer purpose."--page 30.

tion, and has not yet escaped These are not the sentiments from the contractile powers of of a narrow mind labouring to ignorance and prejudice. A establish its own peculiar te. certain degree of intellectual nets ; they are the result of culture is necessary before its enlarged thought on human truths can be communicated to nature, and the grand scheme the understanding. The husof christianity as adapted to bandman will look in vain for the wants and conditions of a harvest, if he scatters his mën, and they flow from a grain on the soil, which has christian benevolence, expan- not been prepared for its resive as it is disinterested. ception. The trees, which

The questions have been of- shoot up, and fourish, and proten asked, why will you send duce abundantly under the fosthe Bible, a book of so difficult tering hand of the gardener, interpretation even by the most would be stințed and barren in wise and learned, among rude the wilderness, and barbarous tribes, who can- Civilization must precede or not possibly understand its accompany any successful atmysteries, or comprehend its tempts to establish, on their designs ? Will not these peo. broader basis, the doctrines ple look with distrust on ma- of christianity. For this reany parts, whose objects are son we have sometimes doubt- . less obvious, and entertained the usefulness of the serdoubts at least respecting their vices of those missionaries in divine origin and authenticity? foreign parts, who begin their

To these questions we an- labours by iastructing the simswer; that although we should ple natives in the mysteries of admit the consequences appre- the trinity, the efficacy of the

atoning blood of Christ, and of the scriptures, yet they conthe pardoning grace of God. tain every thing, which is es. We recollect some instances sential to form the character of in which missionaries have a true christian, and one who made these the subjects of will be accepted of God, as their first lessons to heathens a faithful follower of Jesus and savages. How much bet- Christ. As for what are called ter would it be, if they would mysteries, if there are such,we first explain to them the char- are willing they should remain acter of God, and show froin such still; nor shall we think the fact of their own existence ourselves, or others, chargeaand of the objects around them, ble with blame for not underthat he must be wise, and good, standing whai we cannot unand powerful that he justly derstand. demands their adoration and We do not expect the worlove-and that they can in no shippers of Lama and Fo in way better serve him, than by Asia, the idolaters of the South living in peace and harmony Sea Islands, and the savages of with one another and showing America, to be much instructmutual kindness, gentleness, ed or edified by the account of and affection. These instruc- the Abrahamic covenant, or tions would prepare them for the predictions and highly receiving the rules of conduct wrought poetical descriptions pointed out in the scriptures, of the prophets. Before they and bring them gradually to a see the grounds or tho knowledge of their objects, and objects of these, they must be a reverence for their authority, well acquainted, not only with and from this their sphere of the general history of man, but christian knowledge, might be especially with that of the peoeasily enlarged till it should ple, whom God thought prop. embrace at length all that is in- er to choose as the subjects of portanţ in doctrine and practice. his peculiar dispensations; and

Precisely the same effects also of the nations with whom would be produced, we con- they were immediately or ceive, by the bible alone. We motely connected. We do not do not wish to learn savages to expect them to see the entire interpret the scriptures, but to force and appropriateness of teach them those parts, which all the discourses of Christ in need no interpretation. It is the Gospels, without a previa not the "things hard to be una ous knowledge of the circumderstood,” that we wish them stances under which he spoke, to learn. It is those parts on- resulting from the manners, ly, which are adapted to the habits, opinion's, expectations simplicity of their understand and prejudices of the people, ings, and their state of society. whom he addressed.

We And we do not hesitate to say, know, that many parts of the that although these may be Epistles must remain unintelcomprised in a small compass ligible to them, until they are compared with the whole bulk made acquainted with the par.


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ficulas conditions of the people heathen nations, and even re10 whom they were written- venge, in its most relentless the disorders and vices, which forms, is, by vast numbers of zhe writers wished to correct mankind, thought a virtue. and restrain, and the virtues, What could have a more saluavhich they wished to encour- tary and effectual tendency to age and promote. We do not correct these errors, so fatal to expect the bible itself to teach the peace and happiness of the evidences of its own au- millions, than the spirit of thority and reasonableness, to mildness, gentleness and forininds wholly ignorant of the bearance, which every where history of man, and the modes glows with kindling warmth in of his existence in civilized so- the instructions of Christ ? ciety.

May it not be expected that Yet after all, there is enough the kindly influences of the in the bible for all the desired christian virtucs will insinuate çbjects of its distribution which themselves imperceptibly into is intelligible to the plainest their minds? Their effect may capacity and rudest intellect; be slow, but it will be certain. renough to produce the best ef- To suppose a savage, while he fects on the minds and social is a savage, can be made to uncondition of barbarous nations. derstand the whole christian Our highest hopes will be re- scheme, would be unreasona. alized, if we produce a grad. ble and absurd. Even the atual amelioration and moral tempt to teach it to lion would dignity in their characters, by be injurious to the cause. Namaking them acquainted with ture seldom delighis in viotheir perfect rules of conduct, lence. All her operations, the nature of that divine au- which result in obvious good, thority from which they pro- are calm and gradual. It is ceed, and the sanctions on the gentle showcr, which wakes which they rest.

into being the dormant gems These have a very special of vegetation, and clothes the tendency to correct the false fields with verdure ; the miid notions of right action, univer- breezes of spring waft life, and sally prevalent among nations, health, and strength on their that are strangers to Christian. wings; but the angry tempest ity. Even the enlightened carries ruin in its train and Greeks and Romans could neve leaves desolation behind. So, er arrive at the true principles in teaching christianity to unof virtue. To be brave, dar. civilized nations--we inust use ing, quick in resentment, bold the gentlest means and be conin enterprize, undeviating in tent with a slow progress. We purpose, and eager for fame are fully persuaded, that the were considered the strongest bible left to itself in any hands marks of a great mind, and will ultimately make its way, qualities most highly esteemed and carry with it the desired by the gods.' These opinions effect. Allow it to give rise are still prevalent among all to some errors, yet it will do

incalculable good, and who among whom the bible is a would forego the opportunity book more heard of, than of conferring a certain im- known; they have been born mense benefit, because it may ir a christian land, and have be attended with possible, lived in christian communities, though very improbable barm, and thence they are called and even this probable harm christians; but in their lives totally disproportionate to the and practice they give few evicertain good

dences of having been instructAlthough the great field for ed by the precepts, or of being the operation of Bible Socie- guided by the examples of Jeties is abroad among uncivili. sus Christ. The laws and senzed nations, yet their utility, tinents of society give a tone and even necessity, amor.g of general rectitude to their those, who support regular es- actions and feelings, and sug. tabiishments for christian in- gest the only motives, which struction is also most obvious. operate on their susceptibiliTo say nothing of those large ties and decisions. But if the portions of Europe, “where bible be put into their hands, ihe bible printed by heretics its treasures opened, its charis to be numbered among oth- ities and its excellencies diser prohibited books,"—when played to them, we have every the inhabitants still bow with reason to believe, that by the abject submission under the blessing of God, they will yoke of an ecclesiastical des. gradually heed its commands, potism, and quietly submit the and be made better by its incontrol of their consciences structions ; they will rise in to papal bulls and royal de- the scale of intellectual and crees—when the only prerog. moral worth, and rest with alivės, that mark the dignity confidence on the hopes of an of the human character are eternal life in the kingdom of tamely yielded úp--where the the Redeemer. spirit of inquiry has slumber- We intended to say a few ed for ages, and still slumbers words on one or two points, on-and where the mind is not which we have not mentioned, allowed the freedom of its own but we have already been led operations and decisions-to beyond our limits. We do not say nothing of these countries, agree with Mr. Warner iz which are extensive and pop- some of the theological opinulous, we shall find ample ions, which he has expressed, scope for the beneficial effects yet we should think ourselves of Bible Societies, where frec- deficient in what we deem esdom of thought and christian sential christian virtues, if we liberty are unrestrained. did not cordially unite with

Any oe has only to look a. him in such sentiments as round him to discover the truth prompted the spirit of enlightof this remark. Ceriain clas. ened zeal, and truc christian ses of people are every where catholicism, which breathes to be found, and these by no from every page of his disin meåns small or insignificant, course.

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