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To the Am. Bap. Miss. Union for German Scriptures, 500 00
German Bibles, for use of
their Missionaries in
1500 00 English Scriptures, for use of
Missionaries among the
aries among the Che-
124 60 To Rev. J. G. Oncken, for Colporteur's salaries, stereotype plates, and German Scriptures,
1130 00 To the English Baptist Miss. Society for Bengali, and other Scriptures in the language of India,
2500 00 To the English Baptist Miss. Society, in English Scrip
tures for the use of their Missionaries in Calcutta, 100 00 To the General Baptist Missionary Society for Oriya and Chinese Scriptures,
1000 00 To the American Colonizution Society in English Scrip
tures for Sunday Schools at Bexley and Bassa Cove, Liberia,
27 00 To the Grand Ligne Mission, Canada, in English Scriptures,
37 46 To the army in Mexico, in English Scriptures,
76 75 Several appropriations of Chinese and English Scriptures have been made to the Southern Baptist Triennial Convention for the use of Missionaries in China, and some payments have been made for the support of Colporteurs, but the whole account has not yet been received, and an estimate of the amount is not attempted.
Chow, a Colporteur in Canton, under the direction of brother I. J. Roberts, states in his annual report—"During this year I have distributed Scripture portions, 7868 volumes. Thanks to the true God for his grace and to the Saviour for his merits, who have added to my life one more peaceful year: also, grateful acknowledgments to the Bible Society for granting me one year's allowance.”
Domestic Appropriations. The Scriptures gratuitously appropriated for the home field, since the date of the last report, amount in value to $1359 27.
Publications. The publications of the year amount to 17,018 Bibles and 33,877 Testaments—total, 50,895. The whole number hitherto published by the Society at the Depository, is 262,734.
Issues. The issnes of the year have been 14,157 Bibles and 29,662 Testaments-total, 43,819.
All other means of doing good may be compared to stars and moons which derive all their light and power from this. The real value of it can only be properly appreciated by supposing this sun of the system to be obscured, and then contemplating the unavoidable results.
“Onr station at Rhunditta, from which three persons, while I write, are asking for baptism, and which has furnished three native preachers, received its first holy light from the gospel of Mark.”
Brother William Robinson, the oldest Baptist missionary in India, writes
"I can tell you of a church, the origin of which may be traced to the leaving of a New Testament at a shop, in a village. The missionary wished to give away this New Testament, but no one would have it; the Scriptures were not sought after then as they now are; so he laid it down in a shop, and left it there for any one who might come to the shop and wish for it. The shop-keeper could have torn it up for waste paper, but he did not. After a time, a few hours, I believe, two or three men came to his shop, and saw the book; they opened it and read it, and liked it, and took it away with them. The result was, that several persons from that village were eventually baptized; the men who took the Testament, and their wives. I know the men and their wives too, and the church which sprung up from this little incident is as palpable to the senses as any other church. Come to Calcutta, cross the river to a little village called Howrah, and there you may see, assembled in a neat chapel, the very church in question."
Again he says“But, perhaps, some will say, Is there then an appearance of much good in India? There is; the Scriptures are every where gladly received. it was not so at first; but now it would a strange thing were a man to refuse a volume of the Scriptures, unless it was a small one, and he refused it for the purpose of getting a larger; nay, we have but to show the people that we have the Scriptures for distribution, and they will beg them, they will almost snatch them out of our hands. Many who have read parts of the Scripture say, 'We like your books;' and having read one, they will come and ask for another. It may be said with great truth, that the mind is in a transition state. Granting that we have not many converts, get good, much good has been done. The leaven is spreading idolatry is sinking into disrepute, and many are beginning to think well of Christianity. Such is the true state of things, and we want help, much help to enable us to continue this liberal distribution of the Scriptures. Let this be continued, and it will much accelerate the transition that is now taking place, and great results will eventually follow-greater than unbelief, or even much faith, dares to expect."
The changes and revolutions in Europe, and the rapid progress of liberal principles, have added a new interest to the operations of the
Society, and created increased demand for the Sacred Scriptures.
The Society maintains six Colporteurs in Germany, exclusively engaged in Scripture distribution. Rev. J. G. Oncken, under whose direction they act, urges an increase of the number in view of the great field of labor, the facilities for doing good, and the success attendant upon present efforts. This success has been beyond anticipation. Great numbers have been converted. Brother Oncken writes
"Five thousand and forty copies of the word of God left the depot during the past year, and have been distributed in most parts of Germary, Hungary, Switzerland, Elsas, Denmark, and Poland.Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Roman Catholics, have been enriched with heaven's best gift, and sinners from each of these classes have experienced that the word of the Lord is like a hammer breaking the heart of stone, and then, like a precious balm, healing the wounded spirit. No longer dare we ask in the voice of complaint, 'Who hath beleived our report?' but rather exclaim with holy and grateful astonishment, Who hath begotten us these?"
We close with the last words of the ReportThe results of the year are encouraging. They have been attended without noise, without excitement, with no special appeal for aid, with no loud-sounding cry of alarm. They demonstrate that a steady, unobtrusive, but persevering prosecution of systema, tic effort, is preferable to the irregular, spasmodic energy of excited impulsiveness. Your Board believe that religious benevolence is a matter of principle; that principle, to be steadfast, should be founded on an intelligent sense of duty, and should be cultivated with a view no less to its permanent strength and growth, than to its temporary effects. The vine, that by unwonted stimulants, is made to yield an extraordinary harvest of grapes, is little more in after years than a sickly monument of exhausted energies; while the one that is properly cultivated, pruned, and trimmed, every season adds to the number and richness of its juicy clusters. Your Board are endeavoring so to prosecute their business, as every year to increase the receipts and extend the operations of the Society; and at the same time so to cultivate the field of benevolence, as to make its agents increasingly welcome in their annual visits to contributors.
Still it is not to be denied that the amount raised for the Bible cause is very far below its just claims, and the abundant abiltiy of those who ought to be interested in it.
It is a melancholy truth, and one that should penetrate the heart of every lover of the Sacred Scriptures, that this Society is every year obliged to forego large and inviting opportunities of doing good for the want of the pecuniary means. The warm-hearted believer, when he presses his Bible to his bosom, and feels that it is heaven's precious boon to man, should remember that the American and Foreign Bible Society cannot give that book to whom it would, because the contributions to its funds are so limited. The humble, grateful soul, who feels that he owes his all to the Lord that bought him, should reflect that what he holds in stewardship on earth was entrusted to him for usefulness, and that no mode of usefulness can be greater, none more pleasing to the Master, none more permanently beneficial to mankind, than to give extensive circulation to the record of a Saviour's dying love, the sacred volume that testifies of Jesus.- -With Christian regards,
WM. H. WYCKOFF, Cor. Sec.' The above extracts will enable our readers to appreciate the character and claims of the American and Foreign Bible Society upon us and all who build upon the Bible the hope of eternal life.We are glad that the Society has, under a general act of incorporation, at last obtained a charter under its own proper name. Will not our brethren esteem it an honor and a duty to be very forward in contributing to the diffusion of the Bible translated on our own principles of translation, through the various channels opened at great expense of men and money by our Baptist brethren? Their treatment of us, as a denomination, is no just reason why we should not avail ourselves of their instrumentality in sending the Scriptures by their agents and ministers to the benighted heathen, whether in America, Europe, Asia, or Africa. We are all serving one Master, and laboring in one vineyard. If the Master will acknow. ledge them and acknowledge us in the great day, though they should never give us a crumb of bread on earth, verily we shall yet acknowledge one another. If then one party must be ashamed of itself, as doubtless one of us must, let us now endeavor that the shame be not ours.
JOHN FREDERICK OBERLIN. * The following sketch of OBERLIN, by that gifted lady Mrs. L. H. SIGOURNEY, will doubtless be interesting and profitable to our readers. Nothing can afford to the pious greater encouragement to exertion, or sweeter consolation amidst their labors, than such an example of the triumphs of faith and the influence of unfailing love. How delightful to contemplate such a character as that of Oberlin, and to see in it the actual and living exemplification of a genuine Christianity, which refuses to occupy itself with doctrinal dissensions; or to be confined within the stagnant pool of par. lyism, but, like the gushing fountain, diffuses itself every where around in sparkling rills to bless and fertilize the waste places of the earth!
R. R. JOHN FREDERICK OBERLIN was born August 31st, 1740, at Strasburg, in Germany. Kindness and gentleness of temper were visible in his infancy; and in his childhood he showed that disposition to do good to others, which distinguished his maturity, and remained with him antil the close of life.
The small sums of money which were given him by his father, who was poor, he carefully laid by, but not for himself. It was his pleasure to seek out and relieve sickness and want. Sometimes, when a bill was brought to his father, he would steadfastly watch his countenance, and if he saw it troubled, and imagined that he had not enough to pay the demand, he would run for his little box, and empty it, with joy, into his father's hand.
Piety continued to grow with his growth, and strengthen with his strength. His choice was to become a minister of the gospel. At the age of twenty he became the pastor of Waldbach, a parish situated among the high mountains which divide France from Germany. This region is called by the French, ban de la roche, or the district of the rock, and by the Germans, steinthal, or the valley of stone.
The sterility of this spot is in accordance with the names that have been given it. Winter begins there in September, and seldom are the snows melted by June. The inhabitants found it difficult to obtain by tillage enough for their subsistence, and their ig. norance equalled their poverty.
The predecessor of Oberlin had endeavored to raise the character of their schools. He found that one of their best ones had been kept in a miserable cottage, by a wretched old man, who said with great simplicity, that his business had been that of a swine-herd, but that when he became unfit for that work, they had employed him to teach the children.
To this people Oberlin went, following the footsteps of his divine Master, who pleased not himself, but came to seek and to save the lost. His zealous endeavors to raise their condition, and reform their habits, were at first misunderstood, and so far from awakening gratitude, led to abuse and persecution.
But he was neither daunted nor discouraged. Having been informed that some of the disaffected ones intended him personal violence, he preached from that passage of our Saviour's sermon on the mount, "I say unto you, that ye resist not evil.” While the conspirators were ridiculing the sermon, and wondering if he would behave as he had advised others to do, he suddenly appeared among them.
“Here am I, my friends!” he said with perfect calmness. “You are wishing to do me some harm. Is it not better that I should thus give myself up to you, than that you should be guilty of the meanness of lying in wait to take me?" Awed by his dignity and piety, they acknowledged their evil designs, and entreated his pardon. He freely forgave them, and they were in future his friends.
He showed the same moral courage when a boy. In the streets of Strasburg he once saw an unfeeling officer abusing a sick beggar. Going boldly up between them, he reproved the tyrannical man, who being very angry, would have seized him; but the neighbors, who loved the child, gathering round, protected him, and rescued the beggar.
Afterwards, passing in a narrow and lonely way, he saw the same officer approaching him. “Now, thought the boy, perhaps he will punish me. Shall I attempt to escape? No, I did my duty to the poor man.
God is with me. Why should I fear?” The officer, who had so lately threatened him, passed by, and did him no harm. True piety was the foundation of his courage.
The same holy principle led him to persevere in improving the condition and character of his poor parishioners. He found the roads among them so exceedingly bad, that intercourse between the hamlets was both difficult and dangerous. He induced them to break rocks, and build a wall of considerable length, on one side of the mountain road, to keep the earth and stones from being washed into the vale below. SERIES IIJ.-VOL, V