---BIBLE SOCIETY 8 MEETING. ,|1877-06-30|Pontypool Free Press and Herald of the Hills - Welsh Newspapers Online
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BIBLE SOCIETY 8 MEETING. On Tuesday evening the annual meeting of the Pontypool Branch of the above society was held at the Town School,—$. J. Phillips, Esq., J.P in the chair. The chairman, after a few introductory re- marks, called upon the treasurer to read a state- ment of accounts. The treasurer read a statement showing that at the last annual meeting the collections amount- ed to £4 4s 4d received in annual subscrip- tions, £14 9s 611 ladies' association, £13 6s 6d; sale account, £919s 4d. The balance now in hand amounted to £18 2s. Rev R. C. Page was called upon to move the first resolution, which was—"That the state- ment of accounts he taken as read, and printed and circulated among the subscribers." The Rev. T. L1. Jonea seconded this resolu- tion, which was put to the meeting and carried unanimously. The Rev Mr Walters proposed the following resolution—"That tbe following names be added to the committee: The Rev W. R. Thomas, Abersychan Vicarage Rev R. C, Page, Pontypool and the Rev p. O. Davies, Pont- newynydd." The resolution was seconded by the Rev. W. Dickens Lewis, who attended as a deputation from the parent society. The rev. gentleman said he felt great pleasure in meeting them on that evening to advocate the claims of the Bible Society. It was nearly eleven years since he had had the pleasure of appealing to them for the first time in that room and he had attended from time to time since, but the pre- sent meeting was the largest that had been held in that room (hear, hear). The Bible Society had been in existence 73 years, and had since that time worked well and successfully, but had as much work to day as it had then, and greater opportunities to do it. The Bihle Society had expended over 7 millionR on the work of print- ing and translating the Bible. The Bihle had been translated into 211 different languages, and over 80,000,000 copiejhad been distributed. There was hardly a country of any extent throughout the whole of the globe but had felt the power and influence of this society. Not only had this society agents, correspondents, and contributors throughout the worhl, but it had been a most efficient aid to the various mis- sionary societies of almost every denomination. Not only was it an aid to missionary societies, but schools, workhouses, prisons, reformatories, ships, railway stations, &c., had experienced the benefits and liberality of the Bible Society. The speaker, after other remarks, dwelt upon the financial condition of the society. At the end of March, 1873, there were two distressing facts in connection with the finances of the society the first was that the receipts had been £3ÓOO less than in the previous year; the second was that the expenditure had exceeded the receipts by £16,000, so that the society were forced to begin their year of labour with a heavy debt resting upon them of uot lesB than £19.000. The warmest friends of the society hesitated some urged them to make a special appeal to the country at large, and lay open their circum- stances to them others thought the society had better curtail its operations in Asia whilst others again suggested that the cumber of colporteurs in Europe should be curtailed. But there were men who suggested that the society should go on for another year, and to have faith. They did and he was present at a meeting held in Loudon in May, 1874, and theje he heard a report read stating that the receipts for that year exceeded those of the former year by the sum of £24,000 (applause), so that they had sufficient to wipe away the burdensome debt and a clear balance of £5000 to go on with the work of the coming year. False prophets had come forward and said that the society had reached the heyday of its prosperity but how vain was the prophecy. The speaker was"pre- sent at a meeting held in May, 1875, and they were told that the receipts for that year ex- ceeded those of the former year by and in 1876 the increase of £150 upon the receipts of 1875 was reported. He had for the year 1877 a different story to tell, for the receipts were £15,000 less than those for the year 1876 but he had an explanatory note to make this de- crease was due chiefly to the legacies, and lega- cies were a fluctuating source of income. But if free contributions were any criterion of the kindly feeling of the oountry, he was glad tc tell them that the free contributions bad been as high as before and they had reason to be of good cheer and to take courage. The Bible Society was not an institution merely for the purpose of supplying England and Wales with Bibles its field was the world. The speaker, after mentioning the death of M. de PresseMee, an ag«mt wiw» had worked in the interest «f fh* society in France, and how his place had been filled up, went on to detail the system by which the distribution of Bibles was carried on in France. This was by means of colporteurs whom the speaker described as wonderful and extraordinary men, who had to overcome a great many difficulties in the prosecution of their tasks. These colporteurs were men who had been convinced of the errors and supersti- tions of the Catholic faith and embraced Pro testantism. The speaker then gave instances of how the colporteurs worked. The colporteur, he said, would go to a village: immediately, the Roman Catholic priest goes to every house, and instead of urging the people to take eaeh of them a copy of the Word of God, he telle them that it is a dangerous book that they should not read it except he ia at their elbows to help them. When the colporteur sets hi pack down and raps at the door, it is slightly opened and the man of the house, seeing who is there, bids the eolporteur to pack up, that he does not want the Bible because it is a dangerous book. The colporteur opens a Testament, and begins to read the first chapter of the Gospel of 8t. John. The man becomes astonished at the beautiful words and sentiments; the door gra- dually opens, and finally the colporteqr, who began reading the chapter outside the door, finishes it in the arm chair, with the man, his wife and chil iren, sitting round him, and many of the neighbours eagerly listening; a few copies of the Bible are sold, and the colporteur goes on his way but on his return, in twelve tnonths' time, he finds that a Christian Protes- tant community has been established in the valley,—(loud applause),—and all through the simple reading of the Word of God. Thus, not withstanding all the hindrances, 98,000 copies of the Word of God had been circulated in France by this society. The speaker then went on to detail the progress of the work in Spain, which had been closed to the Bible for genera- tions, until the late Queen Isabella bad been driven from the countiy. A depot had been es- tablished at Madrid, and open Brbles were now placed in the windows. Hundreds of the poor Spaniards would, during their dinner hour, stop at the windows to read the Bible and many, very many, would stay outside reading the Word of God instead of going to their midday meal, and return hungry to their work One morning a mandate came from the highest au- thority in Spain that the Bibles should betaken out of the windows. This was protested against, but protesting was all in vain the order had to be obeyed. Daring- the night someone came with a ladder and a pot of paint and daubed over the sign above the door of the depfit, and in the morning the place presented a melan- choly appearance. But peisecution always de- f'oa18 its own object. There weio morf Bibles and Testaments sold daring three days at the depot than had been for months before. Then came a command that they should place the Bibles in the windows and now there was per- fect liberty for the circulation of the Bible in Spain, where 600,000 copfes of the Word of God had been sold. The society had circulated amongst theFrench and German soldiery during the Franco-German war 100,000 copies of the Scriptures. They had also taken in hand the supplying of the Russian and Turkish soldiers with Bibles during the present war in the East. Eighty thousand copies had been already circu- lated amongst the Russian soldiers, one officer having himself bought 100 Biblea and distri- buted them amongst his men. Similar work was in progress among the soldiers of Turkey and the English people, who walked in the light, tshould do their beat to scatter its beams through the four quarters of the globe, (Ap- plause.) The resolution was put and carried. Rev.1. C. Llewellin moved the third resolu- tion, "That the thanks of the meeting be pre- sented to the ladies' committee and that they be requested to continue their labours for an- other year." Mr Lleweliiu suggested that in all the churches and chapels, on the Sunday pre- ceding the annual meeting, a collection should be made in aid of the funds of the Society. This was seconded by Rev W. N. Q, Eliot, and carried unanimously. Rev J. C. Llewellin#proposed a vote of thanks to the onairman, which was carried unanimously. Mr Phillips having suitably acknowledged the compliment, a hymn was Blln, a colleetion 1 was niade, and the proceedings were brought to c)°se-

THE USK GRAMMAR SCHOOL.I

PONTYTOOL COLLEGE.

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ABERSYCHAN

GARNDIFFAITH.

IBLAENAFON

Family Notices

THE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION.

OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT.j