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Girt round them as a rosy belt, they bear
His waves to thy dominion, and they go,
Rising and falling in eternal flow;
Thou lookest on the waters, and they glow,
And change to clouds, and then dissolving throw
The mountain and the vale, as proudly on they bear.'
way. For his offences against the moral sense of society are of a heavier stamp than those against its literary taste; and we certainly could not desire that these should be removed, if the for. mer are to remain. We do not care to have the cup made brighter and more inviting, if it is to contain poisoned waters.
But this is a topic upon which we do not find it easy to speak. For the truth is, there is in these poems no fixed and permanent moral complexion at all; but it is constantly shifting and changing, apparently the sport of accident or circumstance. We have here the strange contradiction of a man eulogizing, in language of strong feeling, the sentiments of a pure morality, and the sublime truths of religion ; even writing hymns, and other poems of a religious cast ;-and yet, in the same volumes, speaking contemptuously of faith, and doubtingly of futurity, and dealing in sarcasms and sly insinuations, which can be readily construed into nothing but scepticism or infidelity. Now how are we to interpret all this? Is it mere levity, or shall it be accounted something worse? Is the advocate of religion to treat it tenderly and forbearingly, or is he called upon to denounce it harshly, and unsparingly? Are we to question the writer's honesty and sin
, and suppose that he' makes holy subjects only a tool to play with, as suits his fancy at the moment-to be sneered at or lauded, as may produce the best effect ? We are forbidden to think this by what appears to us the evident candour and undisguised reality of feeling, which breathe and reign throughout his works. Is it then a mistaken ambition to walk in the path of Byron, and play the misanthrope for the sake of the poetry ? This we can hardly reconcile with the high spirit of independence every where manifested, which would seem to disdain this acting of a part in any case, and much more the copying it from another. Are we then to suppose that he has no settled convictions on the all important subjects of human welfare and divine truth? Or is it that he feels and reverences the holy things of religion, as nature and providence teach them, and the pure sentiments of the moral law as written on the heart; but has taken disgust at the forms of religious faith, which have been offered him as revelations from God, and has been driven by them from the divinity of our religion? So many men of fine understanding, of deep moral sense, and really devotional susceptibility have been by this cause turned away from the faith and peace of the gospel ; which they would have embraced gladly if they had from the first seen it as it is, and never been prejudiced against it; that we cannot help indulging the charitable hope, that this may be the case with the author of these poems, and that he only needs with a sincere heart to study our religion free from the corruptions of man and the strange dogmas which have been mixed with it, and to behold it in its native purity, majesty, and beauty,—in order to throw away the inconsistency of that scepticism which disfigures his writings now, and take to his beart the enjoyment of a message from heaven.
We should not feel ourselves to be doing right, even if we had mure room, to quote any of the objectionable passages to which
have alluded. We hope they will be forgotten and perish For their author, we have better wishes,—that he will have more respect for his own talents, and for the public for whom he writes ; and that when we meet him again, we may be able to bestow the unmixt commendation, which belongs to the labours of eminent talents, faithfully devoted to the cause of letters and virtue. Nezo Series-vol. V.
Sixth Report of the American Bible Society, presented May 9th, 1822, with an appendix, containing extracts of correspondence
, &c. &c. New York, Daniel Fanshaw, 1822.
The American Bible Society is persevering in its truly Chris. tian labours with most honourable activity and gratifying success. It appears from the Report before us, that in its sixth year the society printed at its depository, in English and Spanish, 36,375 Bibles and Testaments, and issued in the same period 53,470, a number nearly twice as great as the average of the preceding years since its formation. At the time of this Report being made, there remained in the possession of the society nearly 75,000 Bibles and Testaments. Of the Testaments which have been distributed, the largest number, next to the English, were in the Spanish language. Of the destination of these the following account is given.
• It will be seen, by a subsequent list, that a large number of copies of the New Testament in Spanish, have been sent to various parts of South America, and other places, where the Spanish language is spoken. The Managers find the facility of introducing these Scriptures to be increasing, and the number of those who aid them in this work is considerable. They have been assured that in one place, these Testaments were received as a most acceptable gift by a Roman Catholic Ecclesiastic, that he proceeded immediately to a judicious distribution of them, and that he appeared to engage in this charity with lively pleasure. The Board feel grateful for the assistance with which they have been favoured; and they are determined to embrace and to improve, to the utmost, every opportunity of circulating the Scriptures in Spanish. They rejoice in the prospect of being thus more and more instrumental for the Divine glory, and for the good of multitudes who have hitherto remained ignorant of the Oracles of God, and among whom, till lately, a copy of the Scriptures was bardly to be found. As the truths of Religion become more known, the desire of these persons to possess the Sacred Book, will be more general; and the hope may be entertained with confidence, that in a few years, the New Testament and also the whole Bible, will obtain a vastly greater circulation among those who use the Spanish language in America and in the West Indies. In this work, the British and Foreign Bible Society have already engaged with zeal and vigour, and they are preparing copious editions of the Scriptures for the Spanish and for the Portuguese Catholics. pp. 14, 15.
Of the Bibles and Testaments issued by the society the number gratuitously distributed was 13,706, valued at $7869,50. The necessity for this appropriation, and the need that yet exists of liberal contributions for the same object, will appear from the following statements among others.
It will be surprising to some, but the Managers have had it positively asserted to them, and it may not be questioned, that, in the year 1821, in a city where more than one Bible Society had long existed, there were found, in a single ward, no less than thirty-six families living in total ignorance of the Scriptures. They were discovered, and they were supplied without delay by one of the most zealous and valuable of the Auxiliaries of the American Bible Society. But, in the Western States particularly, the necessity is very often manifest, while there is little or no ability to relieve it. By the Corresponding Secretary of one Bible Society there, it was officially stated to your Managers, that, “ with proper exertions, five hundred Bibles and five hundred l'estaments might be distributed, within a moderáte district, during the year, and then the want be not yet supplied.” The Corresponding Secretary of another Western Society declared officially, “ We could circulate almost any amount that might be sent us." From another Society information was received, that their stock of the Scriptures had long been exhausted ; that their Managers with a noble liberality, had purchased Bibles from the stores at their private expense, and given them to the poor ; and that three thousand copies would not be too many as an immediate supply. . As to another Society, the Board learned, from undoubted authority, that nearly three thousand Bibles and Testaments have been distributed by it, and yet that the want of the Scriptures was greater than at the time of the organization of the Society, owing to the vast additions to the population within its district, which was calculated to have trebled since the Society was formed.'
The amount of contributions of different sorts to the society, during the year ending in May 1822, was $12,280 31, and the amount received into its treasury in payment for Bibles $24.093 52. By the will of its late President it has become possessed of 4,589 acres of land in the state of Pennsylvania, and a legacy of $10,000 has been left it by a citizen of New York. More Auxiliary Societies have been recognized by it during the last year than in the two preceding, and information has been received of a considerable number which have not been recognized. There were in May last 301 auxiliary societies. Of those which were added during the last year we regret to perceive that our state furnished but three, while the state of Delaware and the District of Columbia gave each of them five.
The Report before us contains many interesting statements,
pp. 22, 23.
taken from the publications of the British and Foreign Bible Society,--relating to foreign operations for the distribution of the Scriptures. We have room but for a few extracts,
• The first station among the Bible Societies in our world is held by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Its stupendous labours are continued, and its Committee proceed in their operations with all the wisdom of age, and with all the ardour and vigour of youth. On the 30th of September last, this illustrious Society had 289 Auxiliaries, with 415 Branches and Associations. The number of copies of the Scrptures issued by it, in the year ending in March, 1821, amounted to 104,828 Bibles and 142,129 Testaments, making 246,957 copies. The whole number which the Society had issued, or which had been purchased and issued on its account from its establishment to September 30, 1821, was 3,347,272 Bibles and Tèstaments. The receipts into its Treasury, during its seventeenth year, were about $396,243, and its expenditures were about $353,603 ; and, at the close of its seventeenth year, it had expended upwards of four millions of dollars.' pp. 36, 37.
• The Russian Bible Society retains its high standing among the Institutions which are engaged in efforts to spread the sacred volume. In July, 1820, it had 196 Auxiliaries, ano many others have since been formed. Some of these minor Societies are found on the very borders of China, and in the extreme parts of the Russian Provinces in Asia. This noble Society is encouraged and aided by the Emperor, and the most distinguished personages in Church and State appear openly as its friends. At the end of its seventh year, it had printed, or was engaged to print, ninety-one editions of the whole. Bible, or of parts of the Scriptures, in twenty-six different languages, to the amount of 411,000 copies, and 275,669 copies had already been put into circulation. In its seventh year, it had issued, in thirty-two languages, 68,539 copies. There had been put to press 50,000 copies of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, in the modern Russ and the Slavonian, in parallel columps, and many of them had been circulated. The President of the Society states, that “the parts which have appeared have been received with enthusiasm by the whole nation," and that the Crimean Tartars, the Calinucs, the Tschuswashians, the Tscheremissians, the Mordwasbians, the Karelians, &c. to the most distant inhabitants of the borders of the White Sea, all begin to read in their own languages and dialects the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” And it is an express official declaration, that hardly a province in the immense empire of Russia is ignorant of the cause of disseminating the Holy Scriptures. pp. 38, 39.
• In Switzerland, the Bible cause still advances. The number of Societies had increased, and all appear to possess unabated attachment to their important objects. It is probable that, before this time, a Society has been organized in the Canton of Thurgau, and