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Title: Substance of a Sermon on the Bible Society - preached at Beccles, October 29th, and at St. Mary's Church Bungay, - on Friday, Dec. 1st, 1815
Author: Cunningham, Francis A. (Francis Aloysius)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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SOCIETY***


Transcribed from the 1816 Brightly and Childs edition by David Price,
email ccx074@pglaf.org



                                SUBSTANCE
                                   OF A
                                  SERMON
                          ON THE BIBLE SOCIETY,
                               PREACHED AT
                          BECCLES, OCTOBER 29th,
                                  AND AT
                       _ST. MARY’S CHURCH BUNGAY_,
                        ON FRIDAY, DEC. 1st, 1815.


                                * * * * *

                             SECOND EDITION.

                                * * * * *

                    BY THE REV. F. CUNNINGHAM.  A. B.
                      RECTOR OF PAKEFIELD, SUFFOLK.

                                * * * * *

                                 BUNGAY:

                    _Printed by Brightly and Childs_;

              AND SOLD BY GOWING, LOWESTOFT; SEELEY, LONDON;
                   CONDER, IPSWICH; ASTEN, BUNGAY; AND
                           CATTERMOLE, BECCLES.

                                * * * * *

                                  1816.

                           [_Price six pence_.]

                                * * * * *



SERMON.


                                MARK xvi. 15.

         _Go ye into all the world_, _and preach the Gospel to every
                                  creature_.

THIS was nearly the last command of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
addressed to his disciples: and to it was annexed in another gospel, a
_promise_, which shows that this was not only intended as a commandment
for that period, but for the present day.  “Lo I am with you _alway_” (he
said at the same time) “even unto the end of the world.”  The command
then extends to as long a period as the support is promised to be
continued, i.e. to the end of the world.

In placing myself therefore as an advocate for a society, the purpose of
which is, the distribution of the word of God, I have not thought that I
could choose a text which more strongly and persuasively urges upon you a
zealous promotion of this great work, than a command so directly laid
down upon this subject, and to the fulfilment of which such large
assistance is promised.  For what is the gospel which the disciples of
our Lord are commanded to preach?  The _Gospel_ in its strictest sense is
good news; it is all that good news of happiness now, which is promised
in the ways of religion, and of salvation hereafter.  The gospel which is
here recommended is all the communication of God to man, which has been
made to us in the holy Scriptures.  It conveys all the information which
man has of his condemned state by nature before God, and points out at
the same time a prospect of a full propitiation for his sins in the death
of Jesus Christ.  It offers to sinners, to all who are weary and heavy
laden, a free invitation to come, without any merit of their own, to
receive the benefits of Jesus Christ’s death; it affords to those who are
assured of their salvation, a measure by which they can determine whether
their hope of salvation be reasonable, or whether it be founded upon
their own delusions; it gives us a standard for every duty, an
encouragement for every exertion, a wanting against every sin; and whilst
on the one hand it declares that “without holiness no man shall see the
Lord,” on the other it testifies that “there is no condemnation with God
to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after
the spirit.”  Such is the gospel which we are commanded to preach to
every creature, and which is unfolded to us in the word of God.

I cannot in a Christian congregation for a moment suppose that any
command of our Lord can be disputed; I need, therefore, scarcely feel
that it is necessary to do much more than to take for granted that it is
one of the great leading duties of every Christian, to spread abroad this
gospel, or in other words, to promote the circulation of the Scriptures.
What can be the objection to circulating the simple word of God?  Is it
that some work ought to accompany it, in order to protect, or give it a
right application?  The command of our Lord has no limitation of this
kind.  “Go” says my text “and preach the gospel;” (this gospel which the
apostles have delivered down to us in the Scriptures,) “go and preach it
to every creature.”  Is an objection started that _all_ the word of God
ought not to be circulated, that some part of it is needless, some
unintelligible?  We have in answer to this, the words of an apostle, who
declares to us that “_all_ Scripture is given by inspiration from God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness.”  Thank God that very few have started the
notion, that the Scriptures alone should not be spread abroad, and it
seems to me wonderful that any should presume to determine, that what God
has sent forth for the salvation of mankind, is not sufficient for that
purpose, or would, without the assistance of the works of fallible men,
lead his creatures into error.  As _Christians_ then, we must admit that
the Scriptures should be universally circulated.  We are also called upon
to circulate them as members of a _Protestant_ church; for we must not
forget, that in distinction from those, from whom we as a church
dissented, that the great maxim upon which our fathers acted, and for
which so many of them gave up their lives, was “that the Bible, and the
Bible alone is the religion of Protestants.”  As _Protestants_ therefore
we are called upon to circulate the word of God.  As members also of the
_Church of England_, we are bound to engage in the same work.  Our church
has called herself the daughter of the Bible.  This was the holy origin
from which it was all its boast to have sprung.  Our church certainly had
its origin at a time, when, of all others in this country, the Bible was
the best understood, and was the most simply interpreted; it was
constructed moreover by men who with their blood, sealed the commentary
which they made upon the Scriptures, when they compiled the liturgy,
articles, and discipline of our establishment.  Whether then we come to
the consideration of the question of distributing the sacred Scriptures
without note or comment, as _Christians_, as _Protestants_, or as
_members of the established Church_, we must admit that it is our duty,
our high and bounden duty to do it; and, as the apostle said, “Woe is me
if I preach not the gospel,” so we must say, Woe is me, if I do not, as
much as in me lies, seek to give the Bible to every creature.  The
question now is, what are the best means to effect this end? and this, I
venture to suggest, is the British and Foreign Bible Society.

I shall endeavour to establish in the first place as a principle, that it
is only by a _system of co-operation of all parties_ that the work of
universally distributing the Scriptures can be effected.  Let us look to
a fact upon this point.  In our own country, a society was instituted,
about a century since, which is now called the Bartlett’s Buildings’
Society, or Society for promoting Christian knowledge.  The object of
this society was to distribute the word of God over the world, and to
promote the preaching of the gospel.  This society is confined to our own
church, for it admits no members who do not give good security that they
are churchmen.  The _object_ of this society was as pure as possible; the
administration of that branch of it at least which has been employed in
the circulation of the Scriptures, has, as far as I know, continued
faultless; but the operations of the whole society have been necessarily
contracted, because it was confined to the church.  The effect produced
by this society may be seen by examining the result of an hundred years’
trial.  It was found about twelve years since, that in many villages of
England, the Bible, except in the churches, was hardly known; within a
mile of its depository, not one half of the families were in possession
of the word of God; and in this diocese it was calculated, that ten
thousand families were without a Bible.  At this period the principle of
the co-operation of all parties, who took the Bible as the basis of their
religion, began to be understood, and the Bible Society was formed, which
admitted all subscribers of whatever denomination into its ranks; the
most astonishing results have thus been obtained.  This society has
distributed, in the course of eleven years, nearly one million four
hundred thousand Bibles and Testaments; and the Bible has been translated
and printed, in whole or in part, in fifty-five different languages or
dialects.  By this fact we may see the _comparative power_ of the two
societies; and also it is manifest, that a society, even carried on by
the largest and most opulent part of the community, _could not_ effect
the object intended; and that therefore no society, made up of only one
class in the country, could accomplish the great work which it is our
hope to perform. {6}

Now conceive a man contriving some great work which he hopes will be a
national blessing; which will cure the diseases, or lessen the sorrows of
his countrymen, and which work requires the exertion of all his
countrymen to carry into effect.  Would he stop short in his design,
because he might, by bringing all parties to bear upon the common object,
_unite_ them in that object.  Would he say, My object is indeed of the
highest importance, but I cannot consent to unite all parties in it,
because the union of all parties, although for a good purpose, would be
an evil?  Would he say, for example, I cannot bring all a country
together to build an hospital, or to erect an infirmary, because by doing
so, I should make peace amongst discordant neighbours, or I should heal
political breaches?  Would he not account the union, even the partial and
temporary union of all parties, to be in itself a great benefit?  Would
he not be glad, if by any influence, and especially by a good influence,
he could lay to rest the evil spirit of bigotry or malevolence?  He would
surely say, My plan has in it two great benefits: in the first place, by
bringing all persons together, I shall be enabled to effect my purpose;
and secondly, I shall unite those persons between whom discord and
rancour prevailed.

It is just in this way I would reason about the Bible Society.  We have a
great work to perform, a work which, as I have shewn, can alone be
effected by the co-operation of all parties.  We are bound to this work
by the most solemn and unequivocal command of our Saviour.  But now the
question arises, whether to effect this great point, we _may_ admit of an
union of all parties to accomplish it?  An unprejudiced person would say,
this union is an additional motive for my exertion.

But _opposers_ have said, that by all parties being brought together,
Christians have been led to feel less distinctly the points upon which
they disagreed, and that thus great evils have arisen _amongst Christians
in general_, and to the _Establishment_ in particular.  I will now then
endeavour shortly to examine the effect of the union of all parties,
which is produced by this institution, upon _Christians in general_ and
_upon the Church_.

What, in the first place, has been the effect upon _the general body of
dissenters_?  But a few years since, within the recollection of many of
us, the consequences of a thoroughly dissenting spirit, in politics and
religion, were to be seen.  No temper was then preserved, either on the
side of the church, or the dissenters.  Each party was employed in
discovering all that was objectionable in the other: little evils were
magnified—particular faults generalized: a spirit of envy and hatred
reigned in the meetings of men, who, as Christians, might have taken
“sweet counsel together.”  _Now_, this is certainly not the case.  Both
amongst churchmen and dissenters, a considerable abatement of hostility
has taken place.  Whilst, on the one hand, churchmen have, in general,
fulfilled more carefully the duties of their profession; I may say, that
on the other, the spirit of dissenters has exceedingly changed.
Dissenters may have had some well-grounded blame to attach, in many
cases, to the members of our church; yet, it is likely that they by no
means gave the church itself credit for the good which now they find to
be in it.  They thought that the lamp of our temple had gone out, that
the branch was withered which once produced that glorious fruit, in the
time of the Reformation.  But now I believe that the dissenters are
undeceived; and that the Bible Society has tended to undeceive them.
They have seen that want of zeal, is not the effect of the system, but of
the individuals; and, as they have discovered this, I may say, most
honourably to themselves, they seem to have laid down the weapons of
controversy against us, and are engaged in fighting our common enemies,
in wielding that sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Now the
meetings which we have of dissenters and churchmen, are not to wrangle
and dispute with each other, but to take new pledges that we will oppose
the enemies of our common Christianity; they are to join in consuming the
brand, which once might have been pointed against one another, upon an
altar of unity, piety, and peace.

But now, in the second place, what has been the effect of this union upon
the members of the _Established Church_?  It may be said, that such
meetings will tend to unfix our decided approbation of the doctrines and
discipline of the Established Church.  But they can know nothing of the
nature of these meetings who urge this objection.  There is nothing in
them either to convert a churchman or a dissenter.  The churchman will
come away still a churchman; and the dissenter still a dissenter.  No one
church-principle, or church-feeling; no one point of doctrine, of
discipline, or of practice, will be the least affected, or called in
question, by attending a meeting of the Bible Society.  The sole object
for which churchmen and dissenters are united, is to distribute the word
of God; but can the distribution of the word of God be injurious to the
establishment?  If we believe that the tenets of dissenters are plainly
contradicted in the Bible, should we not then as churchmen, be thankful
that they are willing to circulate, throughout the world, a refutation of
their own system?  Can the distribution of the word of truth, under any
circumstances, be injurious to a true church?  To say that the
circulation of the Bible can injure the Establishment, seems to me an
unwarranted scandal upon it; and perhaps no notion would be more
injurious to the interests of the Church of England, than that it cannot
bear examination, if brought to the test of the word of God.

It has been said, that the Bible Society is _an instrument_ of
_dissenters to overturn the church_.  But if so, it is a work in which
the greatest, the most wise and attached friends of the Establishment
have joined; it has been supported by bishops, and ministers, and
princes: men of all parties, and of no precisely similar views, or
interests, or feelings.  It is urged, that remote evils _may_ arise, that
the present principle of the Bible Society _may_ be departed from; that
dissenters _may_ in time preponderate, and direct this instrument against
ourselves.  Of all these objections, it must be said, that they are
entirely without proof, or the probability of proof: besides that we are
hardly, as Christians, allowed to calculate so nicely on one side, upon
evils certainly remote, and merely conjectural; whilst, on the other, we
have this ascertained fact, that fourteen hundred thousand Bibles have
been circulated, in fifty-five different languages.  It may still be
said, all churchmen should join in the society which is attached to the
Establishment.  I would urge all churchmen to do so.  But I would, at the
same time, persuade them to join in this society;—for the two societies
stand upon different grounds.  The _powers_ of the two societies are
different, their _objects_ are different; the one is a national society,
and its operations are almost necessarily confined to home; the other
takes the whole world for its sphere: the one is doing good in the
boundary of a little family; the other comprehends all the circumference
of the globe! {10}

I have now then endeavoured to point out to you the benefit of the
principle of co-operation, as proved in this society; its benefit in the
astonishing circulation which it has given to the word of God, and in the
spirit of union which it has produced.  I have also endeavoured to shew
that this union has been beneficial to Christians in general, and that it
has not been injurious, nor can be injurious, to the established church.

The question of the Bible Society however, is one, which in my mind takes
much higher ground than that of the advantage or disadvantage of a
particular church.  It takes its stand upon the authoritative dictate of
One who has commanded us to preach the gospel to every creature; and to
whose command, if we will not submit, the Son may be angry, and so we
shall perish from the right way: it takes its stand upon our own feeling
of the value of this book: which feeling calls upon us to act vigorously
in the dispersion of the blessed truths which it promulgates; that as we
have received mercy, so we should shew mercy; that as Christ has loved
us, so should we love one another.

I will now, however, yet consider more particularly _some of the results_
which have attended the establishment of this society; and the _want_ of
the Scriptures which now exists in the world.

The Bible Society, which was instituted without any hope of very great
extension, has, in the course of eleven years, spread itself not only
over this country, but over the greater part of the world.  In this
country it has now four hundred and eighty-eight branches attached to it;
and in the four quarters of the world, institutions similar to itself
have been formed.  In _Europe_ forty different societies have been
established: in _Asia_ four: in _Africa_ two: and in _America_ upwards of
eighty.  Most of the capitals of Europe have a society formed in them;
and these are again, as in England, subdivided.  In the _Netherlands_,
for example, there are thirty-two subordinate societies; and the city of
Amsterdam has besides, thirty-two associations.  Societies have been
formed throughout _Russia_, under the munificent patronage of the
Emperor; and, in a part of Russia, they are established in every parish,
under the direction of the pastor.  The establishment of this society
seems to have formed a new æra in the religious history of Russia; for we
read, that at the great meeting of the Russian Bible Society, the first
dignitaries of the Greek, Armenian, Catholic, and Georgian churches, all
most heartily co-operated in this work; none seemed to fear the
subversion of their own religion, by the dissemination of the Bible; all,
although they retained the opinions of their respective churches, yet
felt, that in this one point, they might fully and heartily join.  In
Asia, and especially amongst our own fellow-subjects in _India_, the work
of translating the Bible has been carried on with very great success.
The Bible has there been translated, or is in the course of translation,
into _twenty-five different_ languages.  The New Testament has also been
translated, and is distributing in the language of _China_, which is said
to be spoken by three hundred millions of people.

The income of this society has of course been very large, to meet the
expenditure which has been necessary to these vast operations.  This
income has every year been increasing, but as the supplies are made, the
wants of the world are more known; and the demand at this time, seems
almost to be infinite.  I will now lay before you, some of the cases in
which the wants of the world have been remarkably shewn.  In the
_province of Georgia_, where a Christian church has existed about one
thousand four hundred years, and where there are about half a million of
inhabitants, there have not been found, in two thousand churches, two
hundred copies of the Scriptures; i.e. not one Bible for ten churches.
In _Iceland_, five silver dollars have been offered in vain for a copy of
the word of God; and the case of a clergyman is presented, who had sought
in vain to obtain a copy of the Scriptures, for the long period of
seventeen years.  In many parishes were found two Bibles, in others none
at all.  Whatever country has been searched into, whether catholic
countries, where the Bible has never been fully circulated; or protestant
countries, where once the fire of religion blazed with a pure flame, and
spread a warmth around, which even reached, and animated our own shores,
the Bible is now scarcely known, or known only as a monument of departed
piety, as a relic treasured up, of other, and of better times.  Europe
has not suffered more political, than it has religious convulsions.
Whatever may have been the effect of the one, all the changes of religion
seem to have been for the worse.  The Bible, which had been the support
of the only pure religions, has been taken away, and now these fabrics
have fallen, or decayed.  I will only mention one more fact concerning
the wants of the world, which is that of _our fellow subjects in India_,
and which may serve to give us an idea of heathen nations in general.
Although, says the correspondent of this society, “_we have ten presses
at constant work_, _we have not had a copy of the Bengalee and
Hindoostanee New Testaments the last six months_; _and we are obliged to
give away a single copy as soon as it leaves the press_; _yet_ we have
demands from every quarter for copies.”  In this state of want and
anxiety, are fifty millions of our fellow-subjects.

I will now say no more upon the particular circumstances of this society.
All its statements, and the account of its proceedings from the
beginning, are in the hands of many, and every one is requested and
invited to examine its structure and operations.  It requires no other
argument for its support, to a Christian mind, than the simple recital
which its own reports unfold.  In those reports are the facts specified
which I have been able so shortly to allude to; and there are the
testimonials which have been given to the blessed effects of this
society, from almost every nation, and language and tongue, and people!
There, is to be seen, pouring through this sacred channel, the homage of
an admiring and grateful world, to the zeal, the piety, and the
liberality of Britain! and there, may be seen, how many prayers are
continually rising up in her behalf,—those prayers, which have success in
heaven,—those prayers, which will I trust, bring upon our country the
choicest blessings, and upon this society, which has caused these
petitions, a growth which shall continually extend till all the kingdoms
of the earth shall see the salvation of God.

Such is the society for which I beg to claim your support.  I would use
every argument by which you might be most liberally affected towards it,
for I know not of any public institution which has so purely and directly
for its object the temporal and spiritual interests of mankind; I know of
no institution where so large a sum can be so well used, and which no
money can be well misused, whilst the simple object of the society is
acted upon, viz. to circulate the word of God without note or comment.  I
would then call upon you by every plea, according to your utmost ability,
to give liberally towards the great purposes of this institution.  Only
let us place ourselves in the situation of those millions who have not
had the word of God given to them.  Let us suppose, that another nation
were now deliberating whether the Bible should be sent to _our_ shores;
let us conceive that nation, now arguing whether some local attachment,
some municipal regulation, some system of church-government, should not
restrain its hands, when it had the power and disposition to give the
Bible to Britain.  How should we, who value the word of God, who feel
that we owe to it our pure religion, and all that is excellent in our
manners, and all that is pre-eminent in our character; how should we bear
_from others_ those arguments about giving the Scriptures to ourselves,
which we are compelled every day to hear, now that the case is reversed?
Would an argument of a Russian, for instance, satisfy _us_, that the
Bible should not be given to England, because the Greek, and the
Georgian, the Armenian, and Roman catholic churches, could not, without
danger, unite in a public meeting?  Should we be satisfied, that England
ought not to have the word of God, because a Roman catholic establishment
might fear the prevalence of what it might call heresy?  As then we
should say, what can be the evils arising from a meeting of Christians of
all the Russian churches, in comparison of the sin of refusing the Bible
to England? what would be the relative importance even of taking away an
established church in another country, when the alternative is, that
Britain should not have the word of God?  So let us now reason when _we_
have the Bible, and a disposition has sprung up in this country to give
it to all the world; so let us reason about our own hindrances in
co-operating in this work, and the urgent calls of the world upon us, for
the dissemination of the Scriptures.  We do not however give up our
establishment, by distributing the word of God, we hope to strengthen and
support it; we hold out the best test by which any church can be tried,
and we shew our confidence that it is built upon a right foundation, and
that therefore no enemy shall prevail against it.

Is there any one here, I may ask, who would willingly give up the effects
of Christian principles upon his own happiness, or the value of Christian
comfort to his own heart?  Is there any one here, who would consent to
have no knowledge of the true God; no hope in Jesus Christ; never to
witness again the peaceful joy of the sabbath; never to feel the
consolation which the gospel affords; when it may teach us that
afflictions are but the chastisements of a tender father; when it points
out a hope concerning our departed friends, that our brother Lazarus,
that our child, our parent, is not dead, but sleepeth?  If then we value
these things so much ourselves, let us not seek to shut them out from
others; but let us on the other hand, endeavour to disseminate them
through the whole world.  Let us seek that every nation may experience,
as we do, the blessings of religion, of peace, of a humble submission to
a good government.  Let us give them the Bible, which is, I may say, the
corner-stone of all that we can boast as a nation; and then they may be
as wise, as happy, as pious, as useful, as we are.  O let the cries and
tears of the heathen, let their wants and misery, let their ignorance and
sin, come up before you! and let these prevail upon you, to open your
hearts, and to supply them out of your abundance.  As you value your own
souls, look upon those who, not having the Bible, are living without
comfort, and dying without the consolations of the gospel.  Look upon
them for they call upon you for help; neglect them not, for to have
refused a cup of cold water, will not at the day of judgment be
unaccounted for: grant them your support and your blessings, so shall you
meet them with joy, when you with them, are called to receive your last
eternal sentence.

                                 _FINIS_.

                                * * * * *

               _Brightly and Childs_, _Printers_, _Bungay_.



FOOTNOTES.


{6}  The sentiments of the late venerable Dr. PORTEUS, Lord BISHOP of
LONDON, are thus delivered to the world, in great part as recorded by the
bishop himself, in his life written by his relative, the Dean of Chester.

“A limitation thus absolute and unequivocal,” viz. “that the sole and
exclusive object of the society should be the circulation of the
Scriptures, and the Scriptures only, without note or comment,” removed
from the Bishop’s mind all doubt and hesitation.  He saw instantly that a
design of such magnitude, which aimed at nothing less than the dispersion
of the Bible over every accessible part of the world, _could only be
accomplished by the association of men of all religious persuations_.  He
looked forward to great results from such a combination of effort.  He
entertained the hope that it might operate as a bond of union between
contending parties; and that by bringing them together in one point of
vast moment, about which there could hardly be a diversity of opinion, it
might gradually allay that bitterness of dispute, and put an end to those
unhappy divisions which have so long tarnished the credit of the
Christian world.  Whilst, therefore, he remained firmly attached to the
original society, (for promoting Christian knowledge) whose exertions, as
far as its limited sphere allowed, no one ever held in higher estimation,
he gave at the same time the sanction of his name without scruple to the
new one: _and the more he considered its object_, _and the longer
experience he had of the spirit ant principles on which it was
conducted_, _the more deeply he was convinced that it merited all the
support which the Church of England could give_.

“It is now,” he observes in a passage which strongly marks his
sentiments; “it is now well known and firmly established, and has
completely triumphed over all the attempts made to destroy it.  None of
those secret dark designs, none of those plots and conspiracies to
subvert the establishment, and devour both the shepherds and their
flocks, which were so confidently predicted by a certain set of men as
the inevitable effect of this society, have yet been discovered in it.
It is in fact much better employed.  It goes on quietly and steadily, in
the prosecution of its great object, and pays no sort of regard to the
sneers and cavils of its intemperate opponents.”—In another passage,
written at a still later date, he says, “that he cannot but add, in
justice to this society, which has been so much opposed, misrepresented,
and traduced, that all the important works in which it has been engaged
have been carried on with the utmost harmony and unanimity; without any
difference of opinion; without the slightest symptom of any hostile or
treacherous design against the church; and without any other idea upon
their minds but that of extending as widely as possible, the knowledge of
the Christian Scriptures.”  The bishops of Durham and Salisbury attended
_several of their meetings_, and were delighted with the decorum,
calmness, and good temper with which their proceedings were conducted.
In short, _all the apprehensions to which this society has given rise are
now found to be but vain terrors_; and all the prophecies of the mischief
and evil, that would result from it, are _falsified by facts_.  It is
rising uniformly in reputation and credit; gaining new accessions of
strength and revenues and _attaching to itself more and more the
approbation and support of every real friend to the church and to
religion_.

{10} Extract of a speech made by the earl of Liverpool, on accepting the
office of president, of the Cinque Ports’ Bible Society, Dec. 5th. 1815.

As a member of the Established Church, from education and habit, but much
more so from consideration and conviction, he was particularly desirous
of promoting its interests, to the utmost of his ability, under this
impression he had recently appeared, on a public occasion, as a supporter
of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge.  He was anxious to
extend the influences and advantages of that institution; but he saw no
reason why he should not, at the same time, afford to the British and
Foreign Bible Society every assistance in his power, and evince an equal
anxiety to promote its success.  The objects of the two Societies were
one—that of dispersing the uncorrupted word of God; and, as the means in
each were pure, he should always consider it an honour to aid them, or
any other society which had the same object in view, and was labouring to
effect the same end—the dissemination of Christianity over the habitable
globe.  His lordship was a friend to the Bible Society, because it would
operate where, from national custom, or prevalence of different
sentiments, the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge would not
obtain admission.  The universality of the object proposed by the British
and Foreign Bible Society, and its tendency to unite all Christians
(however divided on subjects of minor concern) in the bonds of Christian
sympathy and benevolence, gave it, in his lordship’s mind, a powerful
claim to universal support.





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