One of the largest sets I received from Redcliffe College was William Canton’s exhaustive 5 volume work on the History of the British and Foreign Bible Society [published 1904]. The complete series, consisting of almost 2,500 pages is now available for free download in PDF. These books are in the Public Domain.
William Canton [1845-1926], A History of the British and Foreign Bible Society, 5 Vols. London: John Murray, 1904. Hbk. pp.2425.
Volume 1, Chapter 1: “The Power With the Need”
The British and Foreign Bible Society was founded on the 7th of March 1804.
In the early days of its activity, to those who looked back on its origin, it appeared to be “one of the most remarkable designs of Providence that the thunder of universal war should have been the harbinger of the still small voice of the gospel of peace.” 1 When fifty years had grouped events into clearer perspective, the thoughtful began to perceive that the Society was “one of the many fruits of that religious awakening which took place in this country in the middle of the r8th century.” Indeed, to understand the spirit of the time which made this and other associations of the kind possible ; to appreciate at its real value the character of the men who founded and maintained them, we must revert to that great awakening, and trace in their sequence the various results which sprang from that “passionate impulse of human sympathy with the wronged and afflicted, which, raised hospitals, endowed charities, built churches, sent missionaries to the heathen, supported Burke in his plea for the Hindu, and Clarkson and Wilberforce in their crusade against the iniquity of the slave-trade.” [Continue Reading]