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If this zeal for Missions which we have been contemplating, and which has, for the last thirty years especially, swelled the song of heaven, has constituted a new era in the church, no less has the powerful operation of a sister spirit which bas carried forth the Bible to every nation.
In 1803, a Mr. Charles minister in Wales, went to London to obtain if possible, some Welsh Bibles for the destitute poor in that country. His affecting representations and appeals excited numbers to unite, March 7, 1804, in the formation of that now magnificent institution,
THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
The great object of this society from its commencement has been, the circulation of the Scriptures, without note or comment, in the principal living languages. Its early and unrivalled popularity, the vastness of its exertions and its blessed results are and ever must be objects of wonder and lively gratitude. It has already issued from its depository in twenty-two years, above four millions of copies of the Scriptures, and assisted in disseminating or translating the Bible in one hundred and forty-seven different languages and dialects. Its expenditures have been above six millions of dollars.
While it has been thus active in supplying the spiritual wants of the vast family of man, it has excited Christians in different parts of the world to go and do likewise. Noble societies have been formed in Switzerland, Ireland, Russia, Prussia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, North America, Holland, Germany, Parisalso in Asia and Africa, which, by their numerous auxiliaries, are rapidly filling the earth with the word of life. About 3,000 are now in active operation, whose annual receipts are about 500,000 dollars.
In this age of benevolence have also arisen the industrious Tract SOCIETIES, which are fast filling the world with little heralds of salvation. The first was instituted in 1799 in London, which has issued from its depository 80 millions of tracts in forty-two different languages. The Ainerican Tract Society was formed at Boston, 1814. In 1825, it became auxiliary to the National Tract Society formed at New York. These institutions have also sent forth millions of publications for the spiritual instruction of mankind. In 1817, the Methodists, with a like commendable zeal, formed at New-York the Methodist Tract Society, which has been active in the cause.
In 1822, the Reformed Dutch Church, established under the
auspices of the General Synod the R. D. C. Missionary Society, whose operations have been chiefly domestic. The Evan. gelical, Lutheran, and German Reformed Churches, have each missions connected to their respective synods.
To supply the great demand which exists for preachers of the Gospel, a society was formed in Boston, N. E. Aug. 29, 1815, called the AMERICAN EDUCATION SOCIETY, whose object is the education of pious young men for the Gospel Ministry. This society has, during its existence, rendered itself eminently serviceable to the church, and promises by its permanent funds, to continue to do so to the end of time. 660 beneficiaries have received assistance in the first twelve years.
Toward the close of the last century the attention of the church was directed to her children and youth. Schools were established in Great Britain on the Lord's day, through the agency of Robert Raikes, for the instruction of the ignorant poor in divine things. The churches in America and other parts of the world saw their utility and followed the example. İn Great Britain and Ireland 700,000 youth are now receiving instruction in 6,000 schools from more than 50,000 teachers. In the United States, about 180,000. In the whole world more than a million. .
The Seamen, who have in all ages, been deplorably destitute of Religious instruction, have also of late received great attention from the pious and benevolent. Places of worship have been prepared in some of the principal sea-ports in the Christian world; preaching has been afforded, and some thousands have been converted to the Lord.
That the divine blessing may descend on all these efforts for the redemption of the world, a Concert for prayer has been for some time very extensively observed, on the first Monday in every month throughout the Christian world, and by Missionaries and Converts to Christianity, in Heathen lands. Concerts for prayer are also extensively held for particular objects ; as Sabbath Schools, Education Societies, colleges, &c.
We have briefly contemplated the operations of the Protestant world for the enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom. By these, the great Captain of salvation is going forth conquering and to conquer. How beautiful are his feet upon the mountains! The church is moving rapidly toward millenial glories. Forgetting in a measure, the contentions and sectarian animos. ities, which have, in past ages, engrossed her, she is with apostolic benevolence and zeal, carrying the light of life to “ the old wastes, the desolations of many generations." Who is not
grateful that he lives in this age ? that he stands on this spot between the living and the dead? Who, in this moment of holy enterprize, of lofty exploit, will not pray, with greatest earnestness, Thy kingdom come ? Who will not consecrate to Messiah's triumphs over Pagan darkness and idolatry, Mahometan imposture and Popish superstition, his time, his talents, his possessions, his influence ?
6BEHOLD THE TABERNACLE OF Gon IS WITH MEN; AND HE WILL DWELL WITH THEM ; AND THEY SHALL BE HIS PEOPLE ; AND GOD HIMSELF SHALL BE WITH THEM AND BE THEIR GOD. And GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES ; AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN ; FOR THE FORMER THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY."
APPENDIX. HISTORY OF THE JEWS FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM TO THE PRESENT TIME.
A coin struck at Rome after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, representing the conquered country-she that was full of people sitting a widow, solitary and weeping.
No mind can contemplate the ancient history of the children of Israel, the chosen people of God, without feeling a strong desire to trace their course subsequent to their excision from the Church, for their unbelief, and to know something of their present state and future prospects. In this place can be presented only a brief view of THEIR RESIDENCE, GOVERNMENT, RELIGION, LEARNING AND LEARNED MEN, THE FATE OF THEIR BELOVED CITY AND COUNTRY, THEIR FALSE CHRISTS, PERSECUTIONS, AND SUFFERINGS, NUMBERS AT VARIOUS PERIODS AND COUNTRIES, EMPLOYMENT, ATTEMPTS FOR THEIR CONVERSION, PRESENT STATE AND PROSPECTS.
The Jews have been scattered, as Moses declared they would be, among all people, from one end of heaven to the other. When the Roman General, Titus, in the year of our Lord 72, had destroyed Jerusalem and ploughed up its foundations, all the lands in Judea were ordered to be sold, and such oppressive acts were passed, that only a few who felt an attaohment to their land, which could not be destroyed, remained to die amid its desolations. Multitudes retired to Egypt and the Islands of the Adriatic; great numbers fled to Persia and Babylon ; and many took refuge in Italy and the western part of the Roman empire. From that day to this, they have been found, when suffered by civil governments, in every region of civilized man.
It was predicted that the sceptre should not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh should come. The Jews, with few exceptions, governed themselves until Christ came, and then the government departed from them, and they have now for 1800 years, without a moment of indepenent sove. reignty, been subject to others. They have, excepting in the United States, served their enemies in every land and had an iron yoke of bondage put upon their necks. They could not, however, well long remain as a separate body without some internal organization, and soon after their dispersion, they divided into two great branches, the eastern and western, and chose distinguished leaders to be their guides. The head of the eastern Jews was styled the prince of the Captivity. His residence was at Babylon or Bagdat. The head of the western, the Patriarch. He resided at Tiberias. These chiefs were of the Levitical race; and being excluded from the royal dignity and confined to religious concerns, they never became alarming to the Romans. As the Sanhedrim could meet in no place but Jerusalem, it became extinct at the destruction of the city, but tribunals called houses of judgment, for the decision of religious disputes, were afterwards erected.
In the year 429, the office of Patriarch was abolished by imperial law to the great grief of the western Jews. They were in consequence of this, left solely under the direction of the chiefs of the synagogues, whom they called Primates. The Princes of the captivity were splendid and powerful, but they were totally extinct in
when the Jews were banished from the East. In