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DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE.
Passing over for the present month our Home operations, it affords us great pleasure, to lay before our readers the following items of information, relative to different and distant nations. We think the intelligence is such, -and refers so intimately to SEAMEN, that it cannot fail to interest every enlightened and philanthropic mind.
From the twenty-second annual Report of the American Bible Society, it appears, that the Institution embraces nearly nine-hundred auxiliaries, with two thousand branch associations; that it has issued one hundred and fifty-eight thousand, two hundred and ninety-eight volumes,-Bibles, Testaments, and Psalters,-in sixteen different languages, including Testaments for the blind ;—that there have been printed during the year thirty-four thousand Bibles, and one hundred and eight thousand Testaments,-in English, German, Spanish, and French; and that the receipts from all sources, amount to eighty-five thousand, six-hundred and seventy-six dollars, and eighty-three cents, or about Twenty-THOUSAND POUNDS, sterling.
But the grand feature in the operations of the Society, is the extent of distribution among SEAMEN AND BOATMEN. The language of the Report is :
This is a topic of constantly increasing interest. The great number of those whose occupation is connected with the water,—their inability to attend the regular ministrations of the house of God, and the great extent to which they are without the Bible ;-all lead your Board to embrace every opportunity to furnish them with that sacred book. Nor are the opportunities few for effecting distributions among this class of men. Many commanders of vessels, both public and private, encourage those under their authority, to procure and study the blessed word of God. The various Bethel Societies on our coast and on the lakes, are all instrumental in multiplying domestic distributions; while the American Seamen's Friend Society, through its foreign chaplains, increases the circulation in distant ports. Many missionaries likewise, as they embark for their remote stations, take with them a supply of Bibles for seamen, as they come in contact with them on the voyage, and in different parts of the world. These various efforts have awakened among maritime people, a new interest in the Bible; and many of them have become savingly acquainted with its truths. It is the fervent desire of your Board, that this species of distribution may be prosecuted with an increased zeal, both at home and abroad. The discharge of this duty is called for from the great number of those who thus need the Bible.
One who has long resided at the West, and has extensively traversed our western waters, says :-" The canals of the state of New York alone, now completed and in operation, extend the distance of 500 miles through a thickly populated country ;-they have on their banks 100 villages and cities,-bear on their bosom
1,800 boats, and employ in this kind of navigation between 10 and 12,000 men. Pass on to the line of lakes. Ontario, on the north, affords no inconsiderable amount of navigation by steam boats and sail-vessels, the exact number of which I am not able to state. Then there is Lake Erie, which forms a most important connexion between the west, and east, and north. That beautiful lake is whitened with the sail of 140 vessels, and will be pli this season by nearly 30 steamboats, constantly bearing on to the west, commerce, and a mighty tide of emigration. Glance at the villages and cities, and beautiful and growing country which lie along the borders of this lake ;-then bend your way across Ohio, through the great canal of that state, which is rapidly filling up with boats, and men, and business, and you reach the Ohio river--that beautiful stream, so much admired by travellers and all who have seen it, stretching a thousand miles through a fine picturesque country, amid a hundred flourishing villages which adorn its banks. Then, there is the Mississippi,“ the father of rivers," with its twenty-three tributaries, affording navigation the distance of 8,000 miles, in various directions, into almost every part of the great West.
The whole distance through which these lakes, canals, and rivers afford navigation, is near 20,000 miles, through a fertile and populous country. Their banks are adorned with 500 flourishing villages and cities. On their bosom float 260 vessels, between 3 and 400 steamboats, 2,000 canal boats, and 4,000 flat boats,-employing, in this kind of navigation, between 60 and 70,000 men, and transporting above two hundred thousand passengers annually.
Besides these, there are probably as many more who are engaged in collateral business, and situated in the vicinity of the waters, who are designed to be benefited by the efforts made in behalf of sailors and boatmen.
To meet some of the wants of this class of men, your Board have recently granted, on request, 100 Bibles and 400 Testaments to the Boatmen's Society, at Buffalo; to the American Seamen's Friend Society, they have granted 145 Bibles and 169 Testaments, for the use of their chaplain in France, and for seamen and boatmen visiting New Orleans, and Mobile; to the same Society, they have granted 250 English and 25 French Bibles; also a few copies in Swedish, Welsh, and Italian ; and 100 English Testaments for distribution by the Rev. John Diell, Seamen's chaplain, at Oahu, Sandwich Islands.
NEW YORK MARINE BIBLE SOCIETY.
Following in the same hallowed career, we find the New York Marine Bible Society prosecuting the even tenor of its way, encouragement and success. We take a statement from the twenty-first Report :
The distributing committee, together with the agent, have circulated among the seamen of this port, during the year just closed, 1937 Bibles and 829 Testaments, making in the aggregate 2,766 copies of the scriptures. Many of the sailors choose to pay a part or the whole of the price, rather than accept it as a gift. Still our rule is “ to send none empty away,” but supply all the destitute with the Scriptures, who will receive them, without money and without price; and yet our agent is instructed to receive whatever their own feelings may prompt them to give towards purchasing a copy, though it be a single sixpence. This is done for the double purpose of gratifying those who prefer it, and at the same time disposing them to prize more highly the sacred volume.
We rejoice to believe, that in the day of eternity, many a star of glory will be seen to deck the Redeemer's crown, whose beams were first kindled on the ocean, through the instrumentality of the Marine Bible Society.
To the “ Celestial Empire," falsely so called, the eye of the church is now turned with intense solicitude. Every thing even remotely bearing on its history and condition is deemed interesting; much more what is likely to impress and affect its future moral relations to the church and the world. It is needless, therefore, to add, that “the following deeply interesting letter," addressed by the Rev. Messrs. Dyer and Evans, of Malacca, to one of the great benevolent Institutions of America, will awaken no ordinary feelings of delight and gratitude :
We are happy to be able to report the printing of nearly 13,000 volumes of the Holy Scriptures, the last year, in Chinese. A considerable portion of these are now in store; not that we are unable to dispose of them, (for we could have disposed of treble the number,) but because we were desirous of holding a good supply in readiness, against the arrival of the Society's agent for China.
Whatever may be the result of the present commercial negotiations, between the Chinese and the British residents at Canton, we are most forcibly struck with one leading idea, viz :—the disposition to change, on the part of the former. To what this may lead, in the ways of an overruling providence, it is impossible to say: but it is a novelty, which, we believe, cannot be predicated of the Chinese nation for ages past; and it may be the first dawning ray upon China, for which the churches of Christendom have so long wrestled in earnest prayer; or, at least, it may be the breaking up of the dark thick cloud which has so long shut out the beams of the Sun of righteousness.
The appointment of an agent, to travel about the Archipelago, we hail with exceeding great joy: there is not a single town throughout this vast Archipelago, in which Chinese emigrants are not to be found by thousands and tens of thousands. So far as the Chinese themselves are concerned, such an agent would be every where well received : and thousands and tens of thousands of volumes of the Scriptures might be annually circulated through his instrumentality. The impediments to the circulation of christian books in China, are confined to China Proper; in the colonies, christian books are received by the Chinese, always with avidity. We do not know any portion of the globe, more suited to an agency of this kind, than this vast archipelago ; and we are disposed to view the appointment as a further developement of the plan of Divine Providence for the conversion of the myriads of China,
Pleasing as is this intelligence, it adds yet to the satisfaction of our minds to know, that Mr. Dyer has succeeded in preparing Chinese metal types.
This is an important achievement; for as soon as the characters of the language are settled, and the types fairly cast, the Scriptures may then be stereotyped ;-several sets of plates be taken -and from each set an impression of thousands and tens of thousands be obtained; and thus the supply, in some degree, correspond with the demand, however increased and urgent. The sword of the Lord the sword of the Lord,-shall soon lay low the walls of China !
ARABIA AND PALESTINE.
Professor Robinson, of the New York Theological Seminary, recently set out on a tour through the Holy Land, and is now pursuing his researches in the East. From JERUSALEM, under date of April 30th, 1838, he thus writes :
At length my feet stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem! A gracious God has brought us, as on eagle's wings, through the great and terrible wilderness; and here, in this city, where of old Jehovah dwelt, and where our Redeemer taught and suffered,we are permitted to hold sweet converse with all our brethren of the Syrian mission, and to celebrate with them the Saviour's dying love.
Passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. The results of our journey, thus far, have been much more important and satisfactory than I could have anticipated. At the Red Sea, both Mr. Smith and myself were able to satisfy ourselves, that the passage of the Israelites must have taken place at or near Suez; it being of course impossible, after the lapse of so many ages, to point out the exact spot. On the east side of the sea, we could trace the route of the Israelites through the desert of Shin, or Eliud-and beyond where they encamped “by the Red Sea.”
To Sinai itself we came with some incredulity, wishing to investigate the point, whether there was any probable ground, beyond monkish tradition, for fixing upon the present supposed site. We were both surprised and gratified to find here, in the inmost recesses of these dark and lofty granite mountains, a fine plain spread out before the foot of the so called Horeb,-a plain capable of containing two or three millions of people ;~from the south end of which the mountain ríses perpendicularly, and overlooks the whole,--so that whatever passed upon its top would be visible to all. This part of the mountain is about 1,200 feet above the plain ;-the summit, now called Sinai, is about two miles further South, and is not visible from below. With that summit Moses, probably, had no concern. South west of this is Mount St. Catherine, 2,700 feet above the plain,--and nearly 1,000 higher than Gebel Mousa, or Sinai. We made minute and particular inquiries of Arabs, and others acquainted with the whole peninsula, and could not learn that there was so much room in any other spot among the mountains, certainly not in the vicinity of any of the loftier peaks.
Our journey through the great desert, this side of Akaba, was deeply interesting. Of the nature of the whole region which we traversed, you may judge from the fact, that from the borders of the Nile, till we arrived on the borders of Palestine, we saw not one drop of running water,-not a single blade of grass—except a few small tufts in two instances. The wadyss, or water courses of the desert and mountains, are sprinkled with skirts and tufts of herbs, on which the camel, and flocks of sheep, and goats browze; but no horses, nor neat cattle, are found throughout the whole region. It is true the present is a year of dearth, scarcely any rain having now fallen for two seasons. When there is rain in plenty, then, comparatively, the desert may be said to bud and blossom, and grass springs up over a great portion of its surface. In such a season the Arabs say they are Kings.”
Our plan is to make excursions from this city to the neighbouring sites of ancient places,-to Jericho and the Jordan, and also a longer one to Gaza,--thence to Hebron,--and thence to Wady Monsa,-so as to explore the north end of the Ghor, and the region of the Dead Sea. I hope to find some trace of Kadesh and other cities in that region. Afterwards we hope to go porth,-examine the sources of the Jordan and other points, as far as Damascus, and then pass from Beirout to Smyrna.-All this “ if the Lord will,” and as he will.
"SORROW ON THE SEA," It has been said, that seldom, if ever, in the recollection of those living, have there been more heart-rending disasters at sea, than during the late desolating gales. They have proved tremendous and fatal in the extreme; nor are their disastrous effects yet fully known. There has indeed been “sorrow on the sea ;" but it is to be feared, that we have yet heard only the first sigh of the afflicted;—that a thousand calamities yet remain to be told. From the abyss of the ocean a voice speaks to us ;—it is the voice of entreaty. Can we tnrn a deaf ear to its piercing-thrilling
call? Can we be unmoved, --unaffected ?
The following Table of vessels which have been wrecked, exhibits only those whose crews have all perished ! The period embraced is not more than six weeks. And what is the loss ? If we take the crew of each vessel to have averaged only TEN, then the number lost is probably not less than TAREE-HUNDRED AND THIRTY LIVES! It is high time to awake out of sleep. Work, while it is called To-day!
Name of Ship.
Places of trading
Crow Head Columbine
Lang London to Africa Weymouth A Collier brig
Follins London to Antigua A large ship
do. Deeply-laden vessel
Friesland Channel French, Chasse Maree
Weymouth French, Chasse Maree
do. Belgian vessel
Bartham [Head Vessel
Kelly's Cove, E. of P. Brig, apparently Eng.
Aldbro, Norway Dove
Roache Newfound. to Mirn. St. Peter's, Halifax Albion
Ball Malaga to Liverpool Whitehaven Thomas Tucker
Nassau to do. Near the Skull Julie
Douglas, I. Man A brig
Patrick's Causeway Juno Carson
Grenore Point Four large vessels
Wexford A schooner
Milford Carl Johann
Hammer| Trelleborg to Stock. Stralsund [Elsinore A vessel
Bottom upwards at Duchess of Gordon
Rattray Head Wohlfart
Maas Dantzig to Bordeaux Tremblade A vessel
In addition to the above, there have been wrecked TWENTY-NINE VESSELS, from which BIGHTY individuals have perished !
The " COLBOURNE,” bound from London to Quebec, was wrecked off Montreal, and out of sixty-four persons on board, FORTY-TWO, including the master and mate, perished !
The“ Betsey” left Labrador for Jersey, on the 27th of September, and has not since been heard of! The probability is, that all on board have perished!
The crew of the “ Mary Ann” of Ipswich, were all lost, excepting one man, near Abbotbury.