« VorigeDoorgaan »
afike of the history and predictions of their illustrious ancestors, they retain Little more than a name even in this happy land ; and in the East, in common with other females, debased in mind and degraded in society, they are often kittle better than slaves to their ignorant and despotic lords. Surely an institution which embraces in its important designs the removal of such ignorance, and the advancement of this degraded part of our sex, deserves our warmest acknowledgments, and most grateful support. Shall my countrywomen, whose bosoms have been taught to melt with the tenderest emotions of Christian pity, and the still more exalted sentiments and fervours of devotion, be backward in promoting what is so truly the work of the Lord ! Let us call to mind that the Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, was a British Princess, from whose pious care her son imbibed those blessed principles, which erected the triumphs of the cross of Christ on the ruin of the Heathen altars. Nor let us forget our glorious Queen Elizabeth, the mother of the Reformation, and the bulwark of the Protestant cause ; nor yet the numerous names of more humble individuals, who, in all preceding ages, have laboured to advance the glory of Christ.
Secondly, the imperious claims of gratitude, no less than the tender calls of pity, oblige us to further the designs of the London Society. Does not the inferior place which the Jewish women hold amongst us, make a strong appeal to the heart of every Christian female, whose advantages and privileges bave been so greatly increased by the Gospel ; nothing can be more wretched than the degradation of women in every age, and in every country, where the benevolent genius of Christianity has not prevailed ; and if, by the distinguished favour of Divine Providence, British females are exempted from those miseries, and possess an importance in the scale of civil scciety, unknown to women in other countries, it would argue a deplorable ingratitude to God, should we selfishly enjoy these blessings ourselves, without employing every means in our power for their extensicn to others.
If impressed by any of these considerations, or by the arguments which have been successfully urged in the publications of the London Society, any of my sex should be disposed to inquire in what way they can throw in their mite of assistance towards the promotion of this grand and magnificent object, the conversion of the Jews, I would suggest to their consideration four particulars. We may assist the Society.
I. By our Prayers. It is scarcely possible to be too sanguine in our expectations of the success of prayer. The prayer of faith has removed mountains, and has always returned into the bosom of the sincere and humble worshipper with tenfold blessings. Nor let us be discouraged from presenting our petitions to the throne of niercy, as if the Almighty would not deign to accept the oblations of a female mind. Does not the history of Hannah, in the Old Testament, and of Anna the Prophetess, in the New, exhibit examples of successful intercession ; and has not the dear Redeemer himself held out to us the importunity of the oppressed Widow, and an afilicted Canaanite, and taught us, in the event of persevering applications, that in the sight of the Almighty Sovereign of Earth and Heaven, there is neither male nor female, bond nor free; but that, without respect of persons, he giveth liberally to all who call upon him and upbraideth not ?*
II. We may curtail our own private expenses, and sacrifice those ornaments of person which shall perish in the wearing, that we may have to meet with an increased liberality the wants of the Society, and lay up treasures unto that world, “where neither moth nor rust shall corrupt,” we may employ our influence in exciting and calling forth the more active labours of the other sex. We may labour to correct misrepresentations and obviate objections, by making ourselves acquainted with the designs and measures of the Society, and, in many cases, may increase its funds by soliciting subscriptions.
* Many pious women have a Leady set apart an hour in a week to intercede more peculiarly for the race of faithful Abraham ; their example cannot be too highly recommended, and, I hope, will be followed by many readers ci lain short address.
London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews.
FACTS COLLECTED FROM THEIR SEVENTH REPORT. The Patron of the Society is the Duke of Kent. The Society has fourteen Vice Patrons, viz. one Dukė, five Earls, and eight Lords. The President is Sir Thomas Baring. The Vice-Presidents are seventeen persons of high standing
The life subscribers to the Society are 235 ; the lowest of the life subscriptions is 101. sterling, and the highest 2101. The amount of an annual subscription is at least one guinea. The annual subscribers are more than one thousand.--There are between fifty and sixty Auxiliary Societies. Many liberal donations have been made to the Society. One of 9001. one of 6001. and one of 4001. These three are anonymous, and they are the largest which we have discovered in the Report.
This Society is composed of members of the established Church and of Dissenters; and the concerns of the Society were managed for several years, by a committee composed of both descriptions. At length the Society became subject to pecuniary embarrassments of a threatening a spect; and it was found that many members of the established Church had declined affording relief, from a conscientious scruple respecting the propriety of associating with Dissenters in matters of discipline. When this became known to the dissenting subscribers, they held a meeting on the subject and passed several votes, the most important of which was the following:
“ That as it appears that many zealous members of the established Church have expressed their conscientious objections to unite with the Society, whilst its affairs are managed by a Committee consisting of persons of different religious denominations, anà have intimated their willingness to support it if carried on exclusively by Churchmen, this meeting ernbraces the opportunity of proving, that they never, as Dissenters, had any other design but the conversion of the Jews to Christianity: and as it is probable that the assets are nearly sufficient to cover the debts, they therefore cannot feel the smallest objection to withdraw in favour of such brethren of the established Church who testify a lively zeal in the grand cause, possessing also, the means for promoting it.”
This meeting of the Dissenters was held Feb. 6, 1815. Ata subsequent extraordinary General Meeting of the London Society, the offer of the Dissenting brethren was accepted, as manifesting “a spirit most truly conciliatory ;” and they were earnestly requested to favour the society still, both with pecuniary aid and their prayers. This conduct of the Dissenters must have made a favourable impression on their brethren of the establishment. In the annual report of May, 1815, the committee say, “ They believe that, with few exceptions, the Dissenters who were previously subscribers will continue their support to the Society.”
The London Society is now wholly under the control of the members of the Episcopal Church; and the established forms of worship are the only forms to be admitted in the houses of worship devoted to the converted Jews.
In the course of one year ending March 31, 1815, the London Society received, from Auxiliary Societies,
£ 2162 11 10 Penny Societies,
1276 9 4 Collections,
2929 2 Donations,
0 6 All the above was exclusive of lifs an annual subscriptiɔns.--C.i'n. Dis.
From the Alleghany Magasine. TAE writer of this article, long conversant with the powers and operations of the youthful mind, affectionately proposes that the young people of America should form themselves, with the approbation and encouragement of their parents and guardians, into little Societies for the purpose of committing to memory and repeating, at stated times, select passages of the Holy Scriptures.
This would prove a bappy expedient of strengthening the memory, of spending much of their time in a manner to ensure the commendation of the wise and excellent of the earth, of leading to a permanent knowledge of the most important science, of securing the most grateful reflections in riper age, and of laying, with the blessing of God, a good foundation for the time to come.
No faculty of the mind is susceptible, at an early period of life, of greater improvement, than the memory. Nothing but a daily and habitual exercise of this faculty, in committing things to its charge, is necessary to carry it to almost any desirable state of perfection. Instances on record evince that, by such a fostering attention, a person may, at length, so invigorate the powers of his memory, as to retain almost every thing he reads or hears.
The late Rev. Dr. Hemmenway, of Wells in the District of Maine, once related to the writer the substance of the following anecdote. Mr. Monis, the Hebrew instructor at Harvard College, a native of the south of Europe, when on his travels, visited Joseph Gnatho, a celebrated rabbi in Great Britain, who had taken vast pains in early life to improve his memory, and not without the most astonishing success. Mr. Monis, after becoming acquainted with bim, informed bim that he had understood that he could repeat, memoriter, almost any book he had ever read. The rabbi very condescendingly told him he might take any of his books and satisfy himself. He accordingly took down a volume from one of the spacious alcoves in his study, and opened at a certain page, where he gave a few words at the beginning of a paragraph. Gnatho began and went on repeating as if the contents of the whole volume were perfectly familiar to him. Monis opened at several other places in the same volume with equal result. He then tried the rabbi in a number of other volumes, in like manner, till he was convinced that the fame of this Israelite had not been exaggerated.
Although no one may aspire to vie with Joseph Gnatho: yet, any youth, with the most moderate capacity, may, in this respect, greatly profit by the exercise recommended.
A little * girl, nine years of age, once a pupil of the writer of this article, besides attending to her daily school employments, in one year committed to memory, and repeated with the greatest precision, chapters from the Bible and certain other things, to the amount of more than two thousand verses.
Besides the particular advantage of adding to the vigour of the memory from due attention to the proposed exercise, many others, of still greater importance, might be urged, some of which have been mentioned.
In these newly settled frontiers of the United States, these outskirts of Immanuel's kingdom where much fewer opportunities for mental and retigious improvement can be enjoyed, at present, than in older and more populous parts, such little memoriter institutions would be peculiarly beneficial to our offspring, the rising hopes of America. Even in the most thinly populated regions, not many places can be found, where it would not be convenient for a competent number to associate together, from
* S. Aldin's Collection, voi. 1. . 250.
time to time, to repeat such chapters of the Bible, as they might have been able to commit to memory.
It is recommended that none of these Societies should comprise more than ten or twelve members; that they consist altogether of one or of the other sex; and that they be as nearly of the same age, as circumstances may admit.
That the business of these little associations, formed for the express design of treasuring up much of the best of knowledge, may be regularly conducted, it is proposed that each should be furnished with appropriate officers. The first may be called the Patron of the institution, and should be some one advanced in life, whose particular duty it should be to visit the Society, occasionally, and examine the members as to their proficiency and for their encouragement. The second officer may be called the Auditor, whose duty it shall be to hear the recitations. The third officer may be called the Registrar, whose duty it should be to keep a fair record of all the chapters repeated. Wherever perfectly convenient, it is proposed that each member of these memoriter Societies should pay an annual tax, be it ever so small, the amount of which may either be disposed of annually, at discretion, or transferred to some other benevolent association, to aid in procuring Bibles for the poor, or in some other way, in doing good to their fellow-creatures. In this case, the fourth officer may be called the Treasurer.
What a beautiful object for contemplation would be the youths of our country formed into such little bands for the noble purpose of impressing upon their minds much of the words of eternal life! How pleasantly and profitably would they spend their time when assembled together! What parent would not rejoice to have his children so laudably occupied? Who can calculate the advantages, which might reasonably be expected to ensue? The writer need not add, how gladly he would record in the pages of this Magazine an account of all Memoriter Bible Societies formed in this delightful and flourishing part of the American republic.
The Alpha Memoriter Bible Society.
1. The object of this Society shall be to treasure up in our minds, and to repeat, memoriter, from time to time, such portious of the llol; Scriptures, as our abilities and opportunities may admit.
II. The officers or this Society shall consist: 1. of a Patron, being some gentleman whom we shall request to have a friendly superintendence over the Society; 2. of an Auditor, whose duty it shall be to hear us recite our respective lessous; 3. of a Vice-Auditor, whose duty it shall be to assist the Auditor in his task ; 4. of a Registrar, whose duty it shall be to enter in a waste-book a record of what portions of Scripture each one may repeat, memoriter, and at the close of the year to make a fair and methodical transfer of the same into a book, to be procured for that purpose, and to keep an account of the general proceedings of the Society ; and 5. of a Treasurer, whose duty it shall be to take charge of the annual tax, and of all donations to the Society, and to dispose of the same as we shall direct.
MI. Each member of this Society shall pay annually, the sum of fifty cents, to be devoted to the procuring of Bibles for those who are unable to purchase for themselves, or to such other benevolent object as may seem adviseable, to be determined at the anniversary meeting.
IV. This Society shall meet together, at such times and places, for the purpose of reciting portions of Scripture, as convenience may dictate.
V. The anniversary meeting, when the officers of this society are to be chosen, shall be held on the twenty-fifth of December, except that be the Sabbath, and then it shall be on the twenty-sixth of that month.
VI. On the anniversary meeting, an oration adapted to the occasion shall be delivered by one of the members, who shall have been previously appointed by the society; and, when circumstances shall be such as to render it proper, a collection shall be made to add to the funds of the institution.
Rev. Timothy Alden, Patron.
OFFICERS AND MEMBERS.
Timothy John Fox Alden, Auditor ; Robert Hurst, jr. Vice-Auditor ; George Augustus Colson, Registrar; William Archibald Crary, Treasurer ; Robert Wormsted Alden, Benjamin Davis, Wilson Dick, Charles Haslet, George Hurst, Jr. John Watson Jonston, James Duffer Torbett, Alexander White, T. J. Fox Alden, Orator for the first anniversary.
At the first annual meeting of the Meadville Bible Society, on the 5th July last, it was resolved, that this Society is consibly impressed with an idea of the importance of a general American Bible Society; and, had it been in their power, that they would gladly have been represented, by a delegate from their body, in the convention, which lately sat in the city of New-York for the purpose of organizing such an institution.
The Distributing Committee have exercised their discretion, in distri. buting the Bibles and New Testaments, and have reason to think, from the wants of the country in all directions, that many more than the means of the Society admit of procuring, could be readily bestowed, where they would prove à most acceptable and profitable donation.
In the absence of the Treasurer, they cannot definitely state the amount of money collected: yet, from the present number of subscribers, each of whom pays one dollar a year, it may be conjectured that at least one hundred dollars may be shortly vested in Bibles for gratuitous distrir bution. This, in connexion with donations expected from some eastern Societies, will enable the Meadville Bible Society to present a more favourable account at the next anniversary.
OFFICERS FOR THE SECOND YEAR. Hon. Jesse Moore, President ; Rev. Timothy Alden, Vice-President and Corresponding Secretary; Rey. Robert Johnston, Recording. Secretary ; John Reynolds, Esq. Treasurer.
A Female Cent Society has ļately been established at Meadville, the object of which is “ to promote the interests of true religion, and build up the Redeemer's kingdom at home or abroad, by contributing to pious and charitable purposes, as prudence may dictate, and as the state of our funds, may authorise." Each member pays one cent a week.
OFFICERS. Mrs. Jennet Mead, President; Miss Sarah Mead, Secrez tarý; Mrs. Eleanor Johnston, Treasurer.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER DATED “NORFOLK, Sept. 14, 1816.
" Religion appears to be reviving in the different churches, We (the Baptists ) had about thirty added to our church since the 1st of May, chiefly white members. Our Methodist friends sav that hundreds have joined them lately ; the Presbyterians seem to be gaining ground. I never saw such a prospect in religion as at the present time.”