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Another Society, less numerous, but remarkable on account of its several excellent members, is at Nurenberg: this is the source of several subordinate flocks in Franconia. Amongst its constituents are two men so richly endowed with gracious gifts, that we cannot be sufficiently grateful for such a present from the hand of the Lord. One of them assists us with most valuable manuscripts, full of scriptural knowledge, and enriched by the results of an uncommon experience; every word, as it were, breathing power and love. Being by trade a merchant, he travels twice a year into the Austrian provinces, as far as Transylvania, and never returns with. out having scattered his presents all over the country through which he passes: schools and churches, as well as individuals, par. take of his bouiity. He makes it his business to distribute yodly books; and will enter the meanest hut, on the road, to speak the word of salvation to great and small. Though happy in this course of well-doing, he wishes for more ample means to extend his use; fulness still farther.
A third provincial Society exists at Frankfort on the Main, in connection with Wetzlar, Giessen, Krentznach, Marburg, &c. Several ministery, known as authors, are among the associates: one of the inost celebrated writers of the day, Professor Yung, of Marburg, a bold confessor of Jesus, and the most popular opposer of the Antichristian spirit, being of their number.
A fourth Society rose gradually in Saxony, where Luther's rea. formation begani, which poured so great a light over the world. Dresden is the focus of our connections there. In tliat country there is still a great number of people of all ranks, from the minister in the cabinet down to the day-labourer, who are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but think it their duty to profess him in word, and walk before a wicked generation.
A fifth connection we have at Elberfeld and Dusseldorf. At the latter place there is a company of young mechanics, that have agreed to put by every week a trifle of their savings, with a view to assist in supporting the glorious Missionary canse.
A sixth Society centers at Osnabruck.
A seventh at Wernigerode, which for a long time has been fa. roured particularly, with being governed by an illustrious and truly pious family, in consequence of which, much good is to be met with anong áll classes of people in that little couuity.
In the Prussian dominions, where light and darkness are stronger contrasted than anywhere else in Germany, we have six Provincial Societies, viz.
ist, At Berlin, where the number of real children of God among different denominations, amounts to one thousand at least. 2d, at Breslau, in Silesia. 3d, At Prenslau, in Pomerania ; where the Spirit of the Lord has imparted to a common taylor great gifts for the edification of many. 4th, At Bielefeld, in the county of Ravensberg. sth, At Leer, in East Friesland, where a respectable number of Gospel-ministers have joined us.
We only mention the central places; to which it is to be understood many more belong.
Since Joseph II. (of immortal memory) gave more religious liberty to the Protestants in the Austrian dominions (till then greatly oppressed) several hundred Protestant Congregations have been settled ihroughout Austria, Carinthia, Styria, Hungary, and Transylvania; and those that existed previously, have been greatly increased.
Through Through the good providence of God, many truly converted men from our parts, some Ministers, others people of the lowest rank, but full of the Holy Spirit, have been sent to those places, but chiefly to Inner Austria ; by the labours of whom a fire of faith and love has been kindled, which continues to blaze unparalleled to this day. To these congregations the Lord has chiefly directed our at. tention; and partly by means of our above-mentioned Brother in the mercantile line, we have been enabled to furnish them with money and books, such as Hymn-books, Bibles, New Testaments: thousands of which, together with our own publications, have been sent thither. Concerning Hungary and Transylvania, we are enabled to boast of several worthy friends among the Protestant Ministers there ; and, no doubt, much more good is there to be found than we can possibly be aware of at such a distance. In Bohemia we have Ro acquaintance but our friend, the Rev. Mr. Heinrich, of Reibersdorf, in Upper Lusatia, writes, in a letter of March 16, 1798, as follows :-- From a principle of charity and compassion, I have made it my study, for these several years, to trace the good to be rret with in the Roman Catholic Church, which I am the better enabled to do, as I border upon Bohemia. Is it possible that so respectable a society of men, redeemed by and baptized into Jesus' death, should be quite void of light, grace, and experience of the love of Christ? God forbid! Though their distinguishing doca trines, resting merely on the authority of Councils, running contrary to holy writ, admit of no coalition of churches, yet I find indivia duals extremely susceptible of the teaching of the Holy Spirit. There are amongst them bishops and priests of clear discernment in Gospel matters,
there are laymen, especially in the lower ranks of society, whose thoughts hinge chieflý upon Jesus Christ and his atonement. They have prayers and hymns, that one cannot possibly read without feeling a tender love to our Saviour kindling in our breast. Their expressions betray frequently a heart absorbed in the love of Christ, and baptized into one spirit with him. His blood bonght grace is considered by them as being of infinite more value than the celebratiou of Mass; sinners' tears better than oral confession; and the humble appropriation of his death, beyond comparison, superior to the sprinkling with holy water. Ever since they have been permitted, and in certain instances encouraged, to read: the Bible, which some of their own Ministers have desired them to do, a more reasonable worship is gái mng the upperhand with them; and their belief is less streharged with superstition. The zeal, ree speet, and devotion displayed in their places of Worship, suggest a charitable hope, that our Saviour has a greater portion in their afa fections than at the first thought we are willing to admit. This is confirmed by those biographies, appearing from time to time, of Roman Catholics converted, and joining Protestant communities. Why are we to suppose that these instances of grace, operating on their minds, stand quite single? If my ideas on this subject are mistaken, they are at least charitable and harmless." -Thus far this interesting letter, the tenor of which agrees perfectly with the observations of several of our friends in Roman Catholic countries.
We shall add a few words concerning those little branches of our Society that are in France, Denmark, Prussia properly so called, and Sweden.
Strasburg, in Alsace, is the only place in France where we have a few Brethren and Friends. Among theme stands foremost a menchant, whom God has blessed with the goods of this world, which Voc. X
he liberally spends in the cause of God, by printing, distributing,
The same Society, in a priated address to the Danish Clergy, use very energetic language, by way of reproving the more and more pre. vailing custom of wresting the true sense of the word of God into Socinian errors, and denying the Lord who bought us. In a letter, they mention their conviction, that there are more than 7000-nay 70,000; souls ia Denmark, who have refused to bend their knees to Baal; and who, if asked whether they also meant to forsake Christ? would certainly reply, “Lord, to whom should we go, thou hast words of eternal life." In this number we comprised several families of the first nobility of the kingdom,
In Prussia, properly so called, we have a friend at Mohrungen, in the person of old Rev, Mr. Tresho, a blessed Minister of the Gos. pel, who has been in connection with us ever since the beginning of our Society. He always has been, and is still blessedly active in the good cause, by issuing publications that have the stamp of the Spirit of God.
Hé but lately coinplained to us of the larrentable state of vital Christianity in his country, where the number of Gos pel Preachers, and consequently that of practical christians, is exs ceeding sınalt; yet even there, a seed is left, and among them a few of the nobles of this world. The same is applicable so Koningsberg, Warsaw, and other places of Prussia, Lithuania, and Poland. From Warsaw, the former capital of Poland, we learn in a letter written, by an awakened Schoolinaster, whom we furnished with books, that the breathing of the Spirit of God is perceptible there in a rather distinguished manner. 'The above mentioned Mr. Tresho writes ; "On Epiphany (being the Festival of the Heathen I communicared to my congregation the news of the Mission to raheite. I wish to engage at least their minds so far for this work, shat they may give it the support of their prayers, wrestling with the Lord for its pros pericy." ...
The only place in Sweden where we have a friend, is Gottenburg: Our dear Correspondent there has taken the pains to translate and publish some of our prints. At the same place preaches a gran cious and highly-gifted Minister of the Gospel, with such success, our friend writes, that his church is constantly crowded, and niany are forced to return for want of room. In su inmer, all the outside of the place is encircled with hearers, desirous of receiving a blessing from the word ; and the number of believers increases considerably: Though we are in no connection with Russia, yet we are i
e informed from good sources, that in the German colonies along the Wolga, there are several Gospel Ministers that labour with blessing.
Finally, we have the satisfaction to state, that by means of our worthy friends Vander Saissen of Altona, our Society has beca fransplanted to North America ; and we send our Collections and Extracts regularly to New York and Philadelphia.
This, Reverend Fathers and Brethren, are a few outlines of the work of God either committed to us, or at least carrying on in those countries with which we are connected. The scattered good being thus collected into one focus, cannot but kindle the feelings of the friends of the cause into joy and gratitude; but if we were to bring the mass of evil, the power and the means of infidelity before your eyes, it would chill your hearts; and a whole library of volumes would not suffice for the purpose of displaying the growing depra: vity of manners, the decay of morals, churches and states. Still we do not despair ; He who has called us is faithful, and our cause is his own. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against his church: on the contrary, As long as Jesus Lord remains, It was, it is, and will be so, Each day new rising glories gains ;/With his church militant below.
[Translated from the German.] After this interesting letter was read to the Society, expressive of their solicitude about the Mission at Otaheite, a Director rose and addressed the Brethren, nearly to this effect:
“ You have heard, my Brethren, in the Report t, the health and
safety of our Missionaries at Otaheite, and their united petition " that a considerable body might join them with a Director; “ for which, the Missionarios declare the way was never so prepared " as it now is, The arrival of Capiain Wilson, daily expected, * will more fully explain to us their circumstances, wants, and * wishes. I rise, therefore, to pledge myself to the Society, * that whenever their request shall be carried into effect, I will “ give a thousand pounds towards the equipment: and the sooner
it is called for, ihe more gladly it will be paid." Afay his real provoke very many! t The Annual Report, which will be prefixed to the Missionary Sermons,
Letter from Otaheite, just come to hand, Honoured Father and Brother, Osaheite, Jan. I, 1807. "I hope you are alive, and well in all respects. I have not heard from vou since I left England; but have sent you many letters This will in. for you, that I ain well, and enjoy a good share of health, and peace. We have much favour among the natives and the chiefs. This year i have not done so much work as aforetim . We have built a boat, made a lia
garden, made combs, &c, I have been out a few times among the Her, then this year; but, for want of more constant conversation with them, I, ain still deficient in the language. How far the end of my being here is answered, I cannot now say: but I ain kept praying, and hoping for it, and that God would create in me a clean heart, that I may live among this filthy people without dehlement; and that he will put his Holy Spirit within me. It is his work: I am in his hands, and wish to do his will; and when I am persuaded I am doing it, I am happy. I shall be glad to hear from you, and to know the state of England, and of the Church of God. All the captains of ships which touch here are kind to us; which adds to our respectability among the natives. I send this by Cape. Bunker, of the Albion. Remember me at a throne of grace. I do not forget you. My respects to Mr. Breit, and all christian friends. May God support and comfort you.-Father, be not over much concerned about me, I am in God's hands. Your dutiful son, HENRY BICKNELL.
My dear Brothers and Sisters, I write this day to you at a venture, as I have an opportunity. I know, all I can say will be acceptable to you. This will inform you that I am alive and well. I have not received one letter from England ; yet I have sent many. I have had many troubles; but, blessed be God, he hath delivered me out of them all, and will yet deliver. I am kept looking 10 God for help; and he hath helped me to this day. I am an infinite debtor to Sovereign Grace. We know nothing of 'what is before us in this life ; but the promiscs are many and great, and calculated to encourage us to persevere in our warfare unto the end. I hope I have not come hither altogether for nought. In some respects, I have done my dury. I hope the Directors of the Missionary Society will not give up this Mission. I am sorry to hear the Mission to the Friendly Islands, for the present, fails. The Lord must have all the glory of his own work. I refer you to the public letter for farther information and particulars. It may be, you have yourselves had more trcubles than I. I know nor how it is with you may the Lord bless and save you all. Reinember, every one of us must soon give an account of ourselves to God consider eternal things. This life must end, as the century has done.
Brethren and Sisters, not having time to write to you separately, I mean this for you all. We are now spared to begin another year; if I am spared to the end of it, I hope, I shall inform you of the conversion of the poor Heathen : O pray for it! Please to give my love to all my Christian friends. My love to all your help-mates and little children. My respects to Captain Wilson, and to the Missionary Society. I wish they would send us an addition to our number! O that the Lord may send them! I conclude with my love to you all; and subscribe myself your brother in the first, and, I hope, to most of you in the second bond,
H. BICKNELL. PS. We have five men-missionaries, two women, and two children. What I sent to Brother Andrew for, by the Betsy, I do not want; you need pot send it. Captain Meader and Roads were very kind to us; and Captain Clark. of the Betsy, has done much for the Missioraries. The Albion came here for hogs, from New Holland, and is returning thither again. Captain Bunker is very kind to us : soine of us have been on board to dine with him ; and he hoisted and kept his colours up all the day, as a token of respect to us. We are not ainbitious of more re, spect than will serve the cause of the Mission. The natives consider us above the common race of men, from what they sec of our conduct, and