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INSTITUTION OF THE FLINTSHIRE'•…

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INSTITUTION OF THE FLINTSHIRE MXin-jrtr niitLE society.- 0111 Tuesday, August Sist, a M-eettng was held to form a Bible Society for rtie County of t'i in i, auxiliary to j¡,/ nritis'¡¡ <ind \F()r('i: 'Hi1¡le So- ciety,at the White liorse Inn, Rolywelt, in a spacious room conveniently prepared, with, a temporary elevation for-1lie President arid Vice- President, and seals for (tie company. The at- j tendaiiee was numerous and highly respectable, the presence of a number of ladies" added nuieh to the interest of the Meeting. Soon after 12 o'(!Iock Ili-et. Right Itpn. Earl GROSVKVOTI, Lord LictJte- nant of the County, took the Chair. His Lord ship opened the business of the day with observ- ing, that he felt gratitude in seeing such a large meeting, assembled with the view of forming a Bible Society, and addressed the meeting to the followill, -effect British and Foreign Bible Society has met with general support, and is spreading its benefits in alt parfs of the world. I am sorry that the county of Flint should fro the last in coming forward to aid its exertions..(1. maybe supposed that a zeal for its success would still more generally prevail', wore it not, for some doubts that influence a portion of the commu- nity, respecting its expediency. Some of the Cfergy are apprehensive that. it interferes with the designs of the Society for promoting Chris- tian Knowledge, which they consider adequa-te to the purpose pf circulating rke Holy Scrii)tiire. and seem to think, that hy not adhering exclu- sively to that Society, they fait iM their adherence to the Established Church. Such aplmhensious had at one time some weight upon ray own mind, and are the reasons why 1 did not come forward earlier than I have done, to support the British an(I Foreign Ilihic Society. I was likewise in- fluenced to decline it, from a notion, that aM over anxiety to distribute, Bih-Ies miht produce an overplus of supply, destructive of that peculiar esteem and veneration which should always he as- sociated with them. Tbatophrion,however,was er- roneous.Theincreasedcirculation of theScripturcs has proved a general benefit. Persons who have iu consequence of this new source of supply, become possessors of Bibles, have made good use of them, and afford convincing proofs of thentility -i I-c,. iw of the Itistittitio(t. Niticti s e.t file for promoting Christian Knowledge, I have to observe, that it had slept upon its post, and was i t not so effective Wit might have been. Tile es- tablishment of the British and Foreign Bible t Society, has given its existence a new vitality, and operated as a spur that has roused it from tts torpor into more active exertions, all:1 we now witness the effect, in the greater good which it is doiug, ill consequence of this new Society.— Great and useful as may be the result of its in- creased activity, it must fall short, of the object of the British and Foreign Bible Society. This Institution admits as members, christians of any -detioininatioti, ancl.oti that account, possesses a decided superiority over the other, in the accu- mulation of means to accomplish its designs — It is alleged, that this coalition has a tendency to undermine our National Religion. Now, if it could be supposed, that a s,s(Cm of religion in which I have been educated, and to whieh my attachment grew with my growth-a reliioll which abounds with consolations, and illcl, le, ates the purest principles of morality-would be in- jured or overthrown hy the proceeding of the new Society, I should be the last to ,ive it my support. But. I view it in a different light.- These apprehensions of danger from the Society, are happily imaginary.—Many of the objections advanced agamst it are absurd. Though some I partial abuses of it may take place, yet the ad- vantages and benefits to be derived from it are universal, I have before me the ninth Report of the Society, which contains an abstract of its proceedings the last year. It affords a specimen of the-spirit of union and brotherly love, which are excited and cherished by the operations of the Society. The perusal of this Report gave uie the greatest possible satisfaction. Some parts of it I shall read It is certainly difficult which to select, they are throughout so very interesting fflere his Lordship read some passages out of the report ) Some testimony to the merits of the Society, is, to be found in the splendid patro- nage with which it is sanctioned. It is patroniz- ed by Princes of the bloorl royal, Dukes, Bishops and M'embers of Parliament. The Bible Society recently established in Oxford, a'place most dis- tinguished for its attachment to the religion of the country, recommends itself to our notice, by the patronage of nobility of the first order, as well as some of the most distinguished scholars of the age The beneficence of the British and Foreign Bible is displayed in similar establish- ments both at home and abroad. These Soci- etfes present us with a,pleasing contrast to the scenes where contending armies are engaged in destroying each other. 4 striking instance is recorded in the last Report, of the Emperor of Russia's zeal for disseminating the Holy Scrip- tures, who amidst the din of arms and anxieties of a campaign, applied his attention to fhees- tablishment of a Bible Society in his capital s a measure that must promise, with the blessing of God, the most lasting I)eiielit-s.to the popula- tion of thatgcreat empire, where so considerable a portion of the inhabitants areas yet to be civi- lie(1. In taking n view of the populous countries of the East, tlw British and Foreign Bible So- ciety furnishes convincing proofs of its utility, -in the different translations which are now ex- ecuting in the languages of the country. A tran- slation of the Scriptures into Persic, has been completed by the Rev. H. Martyn, who is now no more, and whose death is much to be deplor- ed. I shall conchtcle with reading some obser- vations from an Address on the subject of the Flintshire Bibie Society, that has heen circulat- ed in this neighbourhood. As theBibteis the only medium by which the will of God and pllln of redemption is made known to mankind, since his communications by visions and extraordinary inspirations have ceased, this volume must be considered of the same importance in the moral,; as the Sun is in the natural world. The moral condition of the nations who are destitute of the light of Divine Revdai ion., cannot be viewed by the Christian wi'hout feelings of commisseration, and a desire that efficacious methods be adopted for the most extended circulation of the Scriptures among them. The British and Foreign Bible Society promises to be a distinguished instrument in the hand of Providence for the accomplish- ment, of thjs desirable event. It is founded upon the principles of the civil,, military and ecclesi- astical establishments of our country, receiving the pecuniary support of all christians, without reference to their religious creed, and opens its arms For the reception of the whole family of man. In the space of nine years, it. has issued from its depository in London, 321,731 Bibles, and 412,18;) Teslaments exclusive of those which have been published invariolls countries abroad, ft has contributed to promote editions of the: Scriptures, or portions of them, in about fifty, d i frul-eii i The local want of Bibles at k,"Jtlfe, the establishment of the British and. Foreign Bible Society, wis -greater than., could haie been supposed not one family in fi:tv throughout the countryhavingoncin their possession, (see the review of Rr. Marsh's en- quiry., in the British review.) Not above a 'bird pirt of the Protestant families in the Ilibles 111(1 'amongst the Roman Catholics, who are far more 'numerous, a Bible was hardly tobefouad in more tIuiii inn' out of Rve hundred families Notwith- standing rhe exertions of the Society, in conjunc- tit),I.w:tll it. Si.,tLr the venerable Society I'or promotil1 'Christian 'Know1-ec1ge; to supply ili(! want of Bibles in Wales, there still exists a call for the further exercise of its cha- rily, an;l particularly in the-publication of an edit win of the Welsh Bible, in a larger type than any hitherto published, which the Society is now printing forithe aceominodaUon of a portion of tlte Welsh population, to whom all the former editions were, in a degree, useless. In ten pa-! rishc-s of the county I of Flint, 1300 inhabited- ti-c wi!liotl(, I ilil)le. It is ta eappre- hended, that the same want may exist generally, in the same in other parishes, where the domiciliary investigation recommended by the Parcot Society, has Iwt heen cxecuted. Whilst the counties of England and Wales .present to public view, such displays of public, disinterest- ed charity, surely it shall not foe said, that the county of Flint does not exist in the map of an Institution, which commands the admiration of the World! Doubtless, in 114e support of a Bi- ble Society, it will take its rank with othercoun- ties of the united kingdom, with a zeal, unanimi- ty, and liberality, worthy of the cause—a cause which affords a criterion of the piety of the age, and a centre of union and co-operation for all Christians that would aid the speed of fhe Anel j of Mercy, who shall fly into lands bearing Ihe (osi)t Lordship concluded a i speech, (whieh is here but imperfectly sketehed) distinguished for great justness of remark, and much christian feeling,and peculiarly satisfactory and to file Nlcetilig., with committing the farther vindication of (he Society to other Gentlemen present, and particularly to the Rev. IVf-r. fiisbornc, the mention of whose name he urged as a call for their attention. Mr. (its/iouMi then came f«i ward, and addres- sed the noble CI);iir(iitri, and the Meeting, to the following effect (Truly sorry are we, that it is not in our power to do his luminous and argu- mentative speech any degree of justice in our epi- tome of its leading ideas.) My LORD,—-Having had no intimation from the Gentlemen^of rank, who now surround me, that my attendance here would be useful, I meiir lion it as a circumstance that takes away theeni- barrassrne-nt, I should otherwise feel, in appear- ing here, as I have, no connection with this county. As supplying the absence of the Secret "tat ies of the Parent Society, tarn bound to as- sist the formation of your Society, by detailing soil le fictfo, and Ieetiug ome objections. I can- not feel a necessity of entering at large into the subject, as I liave- already been ably anticipated in what I should have advanced, by the noble chairman. It may not be without its use, to ad- vert to the deficiency of Bibles in this kingdom, which shews the expediency of this Society. This last year the Bishop of Durham had an investi- gation made by his parochial clergy, of the local want of Bibles in that Diocese. Calculating from the reports of this investigation in that Diocese, as it has been stated to me by his Lordship him- self, it may be supposed,^that there are no less than 360,000 families in the kingdom without a copy of the Scriptures. It can well be conceived that one copy is not sufficient for the use of all the individuals who are members of the same family. For sotis and daughters will be oalled by the avocations of life, to remove from the paternal roof, and be separated from the use of the Bible there. It is a fact, that a distressing want of Bibles prevailed in our own country. Now the question arises, whaj were the subsist- ing means for supplying Ibis want ? If they were inadequate, was there not a necessity that calle(i for the adoption of new means and expedients ? If the otd Machines were adequate to the pur- pose of working up the Minerals of this place and neighbourhood, where was the occasion of introducing the use of the more powerful engines of modern invention ? If 'the old instrurbetfts were not of stifricient power, is the application of more effectual machinery'to be censured and con- demned ? The Gentlemen who maintained that the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, was sufficient for supplying the country with the Holy Scriptures, and that if superseded the form- ation ot a new Inssitution, seem not to he aware of the dilemma to which they reduce themselves. After the Society had existed for upwards of a century, and had been during that space applying its resources to this object, if such a defiçiellcy of the Scriptures was still existing, 'hey must ac- knowledge that it was inadequate to the accom- plishment of this purpose, or that it has not done its duty. Could I admit 'his latter charge I should have to attach a proportionate share of thf blame to myself, having been a member of that society a great part of my life. If it was in. competent to silpply the tvatit (if scriptures in this kingdom much less was it able ttflisperse them in foreign countries. Greater exertions were necessary; and blessed be God, more labourers in the vineyard have been found. I have been anticipated, to my great satisfaction, by the noble chairman, in statements of foreign pro- ceedings of the new society, and therefore mine are, superseded. I shall now proceed to consider some of the objections that are made to its con- stitutiori. It is saift to be adverse to the interest of the established church, and too ojuch favors that of the Sectaries—for dissenters are admit- led to a cO-opeiatio,! in its designs. It has on that account my pan icularapprobation, as afford- ing christians a point of union, where they may meet in peace and harmony and if it be dange- rons and prejudical to our national establishment, to avail ourselves of the assistance and services of dissenters, why then do we not petition the- legislature, to dismiss from the army of Lord Wellington, all the soldiers that are not members, ■of the church of Englaud ? Why do we not pc- f tition government, to strike Off the names of dis- senters from the list of subscribe, s to infirmaries and hospitals ? Let us be consistent. If the co- operation, in some concerns is known to he neces- sary, and productive of no evil, why should it be rejected, in endeavours to promote an object of the most universal benevolence ? If is mentioned as an objection to the society, tharit has origi- nated with dissenters. This is a statement that I I can by no means admit, I have been acquainted: with its institutors, I do not mean to determine whether the first hint of if was suggested by a churchman, or a dissenter, but I have to state, that the Bishop of London ^Bishop Porteus) Lord Teignmoulh, and another member of the church of England, had a leading share in its formation. It was tostered h> the united efforts of churchmen and dissenters-But where it ori- ginated is not the point that can effect its merit. But what is it ? what is its nature and character ? Useful inventions from whatever quarter they issue, and even the laudable institutions of our j enemies, we do not hesitate to adopt, and inge- nious .,iii(juseftif foreigners, we are glad to nalu- rallze.— The government of the society, is said to he exceptionable, as if it were put under the control of dissenters. In reply to this objection it (Htist be observed, that its offices consist of a President, Vice Presidents and a Committee of 36 Members, six of them are foreigners resident in London, or its vicinity, half of the remainder are members of otherchristian communions The President & Vice Presidents have+nvariably been members of the church of England, (though I know of no rule that excludes dissenters) we can conceive that the 6 foreigners,will he neutral with re-sjiiect to the points at issue, between the church of England, and dissenters and therefore it must beevident that the preponderance in the govern- ment of the society, is in favor pf the Church of England, But independent of this circumstance 1 we have to plead its object as the best security from danger to the church of England- lfs ob- ject. is to disperse the scriptures without nole or, comment. Is the diffusion of the^hoiy scriptures! likely to weaken her bulwarks,and effe ct herdown- fall ? every merfiber of the establishment will blush at the assertion.—It is, notwithstanding,] insinuated, that there is a danger lurking in iW{ constitution. Though we are not told what the! danger is, yet this insinuation is confidently CI I culated. Now I must remonstrate against tin4 mode of attack as a violation of comfijoii equity It is a maxim in the jurisprudence of our country, that assertions should not pass for evi' dence.and accusations should never condemn, less they are proved by facts. The British ao4i Foreign Bible Society, throws itself on the judgi ment of its country. We are now assemble I before. Magistrates, who at this time are to assist in the exercise of. judicial lions, -and well know how to maintain justicHj The accusations which its enemies advance it, they will regard no farther than tbey are siiP' ported by evidence. Though the society has bee assailed at all poiiiis, yet in proportion to th opposition it encountered, it has uniformly proj (Hired. It is the oak that has thriven under t storm. The more violent the concussion been the deeper it has struck its roots, and tl', wider it has spread its ramifications. It has ¡jIei with the support and patronage of all ranks, a", it is not too much to be presumed, that our I. uerable and afflicted Sovereign, who expressed^ anxious desire that every subject in his ref'j should be able to read his Bible, would have Pjf( ticularly countenanced a Society, which had its object the giving each of them a Riblc to rea —The apprehension that it may change its cM' racter is urged as an objection to^jve it suppofJ and what: huinrn institution is there that is "J liable to the same objection ? such o i^ea shCt deter Gentlemen from becoming members Agricultural Society, as it might 'iventualty j deter Gentlemen from becoming members —The apprehension that it may change its cM' racter is urged as an objection to^jve it suppofJ and what: huinrn institution is there that is "J liable to the same objection ? such o i^ea shCt deter Gentlemen from becoming members Agricultural Society, as it might 'iventualty j con)e aelub of Jacobins and a cabinet of sediti1'v The British and Foreign Bible Society, haslH. established for about ten years, and has a d?* racter tatie tried by its effects. It verified/ principles by its deeds, andowes not its prosP^ ty to panegyric. Like the fountain that g'jj name to this town, which does not depend legendary tales, for its celebrity, but appca'5] the purity of its streams, and beneficial oPe| tious, in the healing of diseases, and workiift Machinery, for proofs of its benefits and vif^j So does the British and Foreign Bible Soc'i appeal to its results and proceedings both at ""i and abroad for iis character. It.callson and religion to judge of its expediency and tfli ty. These are the sauje every where, the? j( the same on the ba,nks of the Dee. as well a« > of the Thames. Whilst these direct our jui ment and practice, tbey will influence cha'^j of all descriptions, and engage all hands jn3J tens of co.-o.peration to promote the object o i Saviour's incarnation, peace on earth, and h will towards Men. The cause will not fail tj tesest the best wishes, and engage the wa1" support of that sex, whose keeuness of sens'j ty, and the sympathies of whose nature,{e,^ them awake to suggestions of benevolence- i will doubtless evince by their exertions in sul^ of this Society, the interest they feel in tbe finess of Mankind. ( To Õ, concluded in ow next.)