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including, under that term, the correspondence PART with Societies and individuals, dispersed over so wide a field, and requiring to be addressed in so many different languages, it will appear, 1813-14. that the duties attached to the management of the Institution, were become in a high degree onerous and important.
Having put the reader in possession of this information, concerning the internal direction of the Society's affairs, the author will proceed to describe the transactions which constitute its
proper history; observing, in the course of his narration, as nearly as circumstances will permit, the track prescribed by the geographical relations of the several countries, and the chronological order of the Societies established within them.
Of the Bible Societies at Berlin, Basle, Stockholm, Abo, and St. Petersburg, it may be stated, in general, that they continued to prosecute their several undertakings with great zeal, and with effects proportioned to the extent of the sphere which they respectively occupied, and the resources of which they were possessed.
The completion of the second edition of the Bohemian Bible, which left the press in November, 1813, was a proof of the persevering exertions of the Berlin Society; and the grant of a loan to enable it to make good its pecuniary engagements, was an equal proof of the confi
III. CH AP.
dence and solicitude with which its exertions continued to be regarded by the Parent Society in London.
The Evangelical Society at Stockholm persevered in its labors with unceasing activity and success; having printed 2000 Bibles, and 5000 Testaments, in the preceding year, and distributed gratuitously a large proportion of them among a numerous body of necessitous and grateful receivers. To this Institution, always characterized by an energy beyond its means, a fresh donation of 2001. was transmitted; which, arriving in a moment of need, was peculiarly seasonable; drew forth the warmest acknowledgments; and enabled the Society to purchase materials for printing an additional number of Bibles and Testaments. An important change took place in this Society, in the month of September of this year, when the Hon. G. Leyonmark, constrained, through infirmity, to retire from the office of President, was succeeded by His Excellency, Baron Rosenblad, Minister for the Home Department, a Nobleman of the highest rank in Sweden, and to whose good offices with the Government, the Stockholm Society had been essentially indebted, from its first establishment.
The answer of Baron Rosenblad to the deputation which announced to him the wishes of the Society that he should become their Presi
teud, is too memorable to be omitted: ConSIDERING THIS AS A DIRECTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE, I CANNOT DECLINE ACCEPTING THE Office, The Baron's account of the principles upon which he had acted, as expressed in his introductory speech, on the 1st of October, 1813, forms a very striking commentary on his own admirable text, and may suggest matter for reflection to persons of elevated condition, and great secular employment, in every part of the world :
“ Gentlemen, I have considered your call as the finger of Providence, pointed by that unerring Hand, which, unseen, directs the conduct of mortals, and always with a view to lead them nearer to himself. The principal part of my life has been occupied in my extensive and laborious official engagements; and the unceasing care I have been obliged to exercise, in order to accomplish their many important duties, has not seldom awakened in me the painful reflection, that but a small portion of my time had been alike laboriously devoted to advancing the cause of religion. But now, although in the autumn of life, a gracious Providence has been pleased to open to me a new field, and thereby favored me with an opportunity of correcting my past neglect: placing me, through its kind guidance, within this not only more exalted, but VOL. II.
also more peaceful sphere of action ; in order that I may do my part in furthering and supporting the important objects of this Society. To do so is my resolution ; nay, the very desire of my heart.”
In the course of this speech, which is not more remarkable for ardent piety than for just conceptions of religious truth, and enlightened views of Christian policy, this revered Nobleman adverts, in the most striking manner, to the reign of infidelity, and its happy termination :
“ We have outlived the awful period when the doctrine of the atonement of Christ was shrouded in darkness. Mournful was the lot of those who confessed His name. For almost an entire century, did infidelity, with unblushing front, deride the revealed will of God, and either openly or secretly undermine the sacred foundations of the Gospel doctrine. The deleterious poison, having worked its way among what are called the most enlightened nations of Europe, and established its influence in their higher circles, soon spread abroad among the mass of the people; and rolled on in fearful torrents of iniquity, carrying with it a sweeping destruction wherever it went.-We have, truly, the most abundant cause for thankfulness to a gracious God, for having preserved our native land from such scenes of
desolation. We dare not, however, deny, that PART even among us were found an increased indifference to the word of God; and, with many, a bold contempt of it. Not a few were ashamed 1813–14. to confess the name of Jesus: and have we not ourselves had to endure long discourses upon religion, in the course of which we scarcely once heard that blessed name mentioned, before which, however, every knee shall bow, whether it be upon earth, or under the earth ?—But the promises of God are fulfilling; for,
· Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.' (Luke xxi. 33.) And, · Upon this Rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.' Gospel light is dawning again on those nations where the shadow of death sat almost enthroned; and barriers are raising against “ the abomination of desolation.”
“ In a certain country, most powerful because of its veneration for religion, and consequently for the laws; where, as a result, the welfare of the public and of individuals rests on the surest foundation; a Society was established, and in times too while the whirlwinds of desolation were yet laying waste the earth: the aim and glorious object of this Society embrace a distribution of God's holy word and Gospel light, through the whole habitable globe. That revered Society which has also held