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BIRMINGHAM

added to the number of students ; for had don. After public breakfast on the morning their number been fifty instead of ten, the of the 13th, addresses were delivered by chief additional cost would have been the Messrs. Elven, Sherman, Tindall, Griffiths, remuneration of the tutors.

and others. In the evening, a public tea The committee can only mourn that it is meeting was held, of which more than five their duty thus to record a failure, when the hundred persons participated-all the trays cause demanded a different result. They being gratuitously provided. After tea, an rejoice, notwithstanding, that good has been adjournment took place to the chapel, when accomplished, and sincerely hope that the George Ovenden, Esq., of London, took the members of the baptist denomination will chair. After singing and prayer, the Rev. J. yet feel it to be their duty and privilege to T.Wigner, the esteemed pastor, gavethe report do all they can to train holy and gifted men of the finance committee, and made the for the great work of the Christian ministry. gratifying communication that the debt was By order of the committee, entirely extinguished, and a balance sufficient

John Cox, Secretary. remaining to defray all ex pences. The Rev.J. Woolwich, May 21st, 1849.

Bane of Downham and Griffiths of Necton having addressed the large and joyous andi. ence, an unexpected scene was exhibited,

which electrified and melted the meeting. In conformity with the recommendations of Two of the deacons came on the platform, the Baptist Union, special services have been and in the name of the church and congregaheld here to invoke the divine influences of tion presented Mr. Wigner with a handsome the Holy Spirit, for the revival and extension gold watch and chain, and Mrs. Wigner of religion in our churches. They com

with an elegant and costly skeleton timemenced on Lord's day, June 10th ; and piece. The pastor, as well as his overcharged united public services were held on succeed- heart would permit him, briefly returned ing evenings of the week at Heneage Street, thanks, and the Rev. C. Elven in his address Mount Zion, and Cannon Street chapels feelingly acknowledged this exuberance of Prayers were offered or addresses given by affectionate liberality on the part of Mrs. brethren Morgan, sen., Pitt (from Ireland), ed by the Rev. S. Pike of Wisbeach, Har

Wigner. Addresses were afterwards deliverHull (late of Watford), Walsall (late student at Bradford), Saunders (late of Sydney), court of Sutton, Messrs. Groves, and J. Keed, Taylor, Mackay (from Scotland), Daniell, and T. Dawban, Esq. After votes of thanks Swan, Roe, and Harwood Morgan, The

to the finance committee, the ladies for the meetings were well attended, and it is hoped this series of deeply interesting services were

excellent tea, and to the worthy chairman, these interesting services, and similar ones convened throughout the country, will, under closed by the doxology and benediction. God, be introductory to a great revival of religion among us.

YORKSHIRE BAPTIST VILLAGE MISSION.

The fourth annual meeting of the Baptist

Village Mission was held on the 6th of April, LYXX, NORFOLK,

in the preaching room, Armley, when upStepney chapel was opened for divine wards of 130 subscribers and friends took worship in June, 1841. The sum total tea together. The meeting was presided which has been expended on the fabric, in- over by Mr. William Gatenby of Skipton. cluding some interest money for the first four The report, which was of the most cheering years, is £2829. In November last, the nature, showed that during the past year two debt was £520, when it was resolved to make missionaries had been employed, -that upan effort for its extinction; in six months wards of 3,400 household visits had been from that time, at the expiration of which a made,-500 meetings held for preaching and series of services were devised to give the religious instruction,--27 persons baptized finishing stroke to this undertaking, frequent on a profession of faith, at the Kirkstall, special prayer meetings were held for six Armley, and Woodhouse Carr stations, weeks to invoke the blessing which has so and that a church had been formed at Armeminently been dispensed.

ley. It was also reported that 5000 tracts On Lord's day, June 10th, three sermons had been distributed,–1700 cheap religious were preached and collections made after magazines sold, 200 children taught in the each, those in the morning and evening by sabbath schools, 60 of whom had been inthe Rev. J. Aldis of London, and that in the structed during the week evenings in writing afternoon by the Rev. J. Tindall (Wesleyan) and arithmetic,—that tours had been made of Lynn.

to Pontefract, Skipton, Castleford, &c.,On Wednesday, the 13th, two sermons that through the missionaries' visits to Skipwere preached for the same object, one by ton, a most important and hopeful door for the Rev. C. Elven of Bury, and the other by preaching the gospel of the kingdom had the Rev. J. Sherman, Surrey chapel, Lon- been opened, and that Skipton had been

SURREY MISSION.

made a permanent station, - that for the society to the Rev. J. E. Richards of Limevarious missionary operations £150 had been house, for the important services which, as received,—and that a growing interest was one of the secretaries, he had rendered to the manifested in the operations of the society. institution during the period of nineteen years. It was also stated that a mission chapel, with He is succeeded by the Rer. T. Kennerley of school, is about to be erected immediately at Mitcham. The reports from the several staKirkstall, towards which £130 had been tions were of an encouraging character, and promised.

numerous instances of usefulness were detailed as the effect of the divine blessing on the

labours of the devoted missionaries. The The fifty-second anniversary of this society Surrey Mission is identified with no party; it was held on Tuesday, April 12, at Hanover militates against nothing but sin, and its chapel, Peckham. The Rev. Thomas Ad- powerful auxiliaries, ignorance and infidelity; kins of Southampton preached an appropriate it seeks no interest but that of Christ and and useful sermon on Isaiah xiii. 4, last mankind ; it aims at uniting the talents, the clause. A public meeting, at which D. W. zeal, the influence, and labour, of the friends Wire, Esq., presided. In the various other of the gospel of every name. services of the day the following ministers were engaged, Revs. Messrs. Hill, Bean,

RESIGNATION. Hunt, Rogers, Thomas, Gamble, Adey, Brom. The Rev. Henry Evans has resigned the field,' Burnet, Dr. Massie, Richards, and charge of the church at Pisgah, PembrokeSoule. The report stated that the effort on shire, after labouring there six years and a behalf of the Jubilee Fund had been suc- half. During that time he has had the pleacessfully completed, and that a new district, sure of baptizing seventy-one persons, but, to as the result of this effort, would forth with the great regret of the congregation, he finds be commenced. A resolution was unani- himself unable to sustain the exertion which mously passed, presenting the thanks of the the station requires.

CORRESPONDENCE.

THE ELECTION OF THE BAPTIST MISSIONARY | founded their claim to vote, not on their subCOMMITTEE

scriptions (though they generally subscribed), To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine. but on their being pastors of collecting MY DEAR SIR,-Before your readers are

churches. Of the 170 who attended this hurried away by the spirit of discussion give year, 116 were pastors of churches, and me a quiet corner for a few facts in reference nearly all the remainder 54 (within a dozen) to our mission and the election of its com- were deacons ; so that the real electors of mittee. Since the last annual meeting, I our committee are brethren, all of whom aro have examined the list of attendances at the members of baptist churches, and nearly all members' meetings of the society for several of whom (within a very small fraction of the years, and hand you the results.

whole) are already honoured with the confi1. It seems that no member of the society dence of the churches to which they belong. has ever since our constitution was changed

4. While all the actual electors of the attended and voted at that meeting (where committee have always been members of the committee are chosen) who was not at churches, and the large majority of electors the time a member of one of our churches. have been country members of the society, So that all who have taken part in the elec- it is pleasing to find that these country election of committee have been at the time pro- tors have come from all parts of the kingdom, fessed Christians and baptists,

and though not clothed with delegated 2. Of the electors of the committee the authority, they have really represented the great majority have always been composed of different missionary districts of the country members of the society residing in the coun

with very fair exactness. The following table try. Of 109 electors who attended in 1848, will illustrate this statement :61 were country members; and of 170 whó

Electors present in 1848 1849 attended and voted in 1849, 111 resided in From Cambridge, Essex, Hunts, the country. So that the committee are Lincoln, Norfolk and Suffolk...... 11 really chosen by a meeting, the large majority From Kent, Sussex, and Hants of whom belong to our country churches. From Wilts, Somerset, Devon, Here3. Of the 109 electors who attended the

ford, and Gloster meeting in 1848, 78 were pastors of churches, From Leicester, Notts, Stafford, and and nearly all the remainder 31 (within From Oxford, Berks, Bucks, Beds, about 6) were deacons. Most of the former Herta, and Surrey.

16 16

6

10

18

6

17

13

16

17 4 7

61

111

TION OF THE BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

From Lancashire, Yorkshire, and

rate, we all wish that whatever changes are North of England

13 From Scotland...

either proposed or effected, they should be 2

improvements, and not operate in the wrong Miscellaneous

0

direction. The present constitution of the mission is only four or five years old; and

though not the least unkind reflection is cast From this exhibition of the working of the for its improvement, it must be confessed

upon the well-intended effort then made present system, I trust that it will clearly that the alterations have not secured what appear that any statemente to the effect that the committee of the mission are chosen by promoters. The committee is more restric

was the avowed aim and intention of their men not professing godliness, or that they tive and subject to fewer changes now than are chosen by Londoners, or that they are

under the former mode of appointment; and chosen by electors not connected officially with our churches, or that they are chosen by appears, though it is not in reality, more like electors that belong chiefly to one or two that whatever mode is adopted in the choice

a self-appointed committee. The fact is, districts, are all unfounded, and are contra- of the committee, the same men, or nearly dicted, in fact, by the most decisive evi- so, will annually be elected, and for the obdence.

Trusting that while anxious to perfect the vious reason, that their names and characters theory of our missionary institutions, we may, The working of the present mode brings out

are most extensively known and appreciated. keep in mind the practical and prayerful the result, that the wider the suffrage the support on which their efficiency depends,

more limited the choice; and if every church I am yours very sincerely,

in the kingdom were to send up its list June 14, 1849.

J. Angus.

as proposed, it is highly probable there

would not be a single change of names from THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE CONSTITU

year to year. In the former mode of selecting the committee, not only in the Baptist

Mission hut in all our other societies, ineffiTo the Editor of the Baptist Magazine.

cient members, and those who seldom attended

were not re-elected; but now in regard to the Dear Sir,--Itappears that the constitution foreign mission the committee is chosen in the of our different societies, and especially of our absence of whatever information past expeforeign mission, is to be a principal matter of rience supplies. I would not recommend discussion in your pages for the current year. a return to the former mode, fearing it would Well, be it so. If suggestions for their im not afford an equal degree of satisfaction; provement are in the minds of pious and but let no one suppose that the adoption of well-disposed Christians, it is better they any cther mode will, in any considerable deshould he spoken out than left to make un- gree, vary the result. favourable impressions in private circles. In one thing I perfectly agree with your While this is done in a frank and Christian correspondent and my friend, Mr. Pryce, that spirit, it is certainly the less evil of the two. there is at present a lamentable indifference Still I hold it to be an evil. All such dis- to the welfare and progress of our mission in cussions, if they do no good, do a positive many of our churches. As to what this indifinjury, by unsettling the public mind, and ference is owing, and how it may be remedied, leading to a suspicion of imperfection and I certainly do not agree with him. That it inadequacy which facts more closely viewed is owing to the composition of the committee, and more thoroughly understood, would, or a want of wisdom or devotedness on their perhaps, not justify. It is an evil, however, part, or that it would be remedied by a difto which everything human is exposed ; and ferent mode of election, or a different class of those societies which will not yield to it, or members, I certainly do not believe. From attempt to bear it down by authority or force, the nature of the remedy proposed, a stranger only expose themselves to more fearful perils might infer that the present committee was when distrust and opposition are roused into composed of men destitute of religion, and open conflict. So far as I am concerned, I | many of them not members of churches, will endeavour not to give the slightest occa- Mr. Pryce lays it down as the basis of his sion of offence in anything I may say, or in recommendations, that“ religious men should the manner of saying it; but if I should be be entrusted with religious institutions—that disappointed in this, I will promise not to the task of propagating the gospel should be take offence by anything that may be snid in attempted by those who obey it.” And then reply. The former may not always be in adds," there is nothing in the plan and one's own power; the latter is completely so. regulations of the society to prevent it from

It is not from any old-fashioned predilec- being-members, committee-men, and alltions for things as they are, that I do not find composed of persons destitute of religious any great cause of dissatisfaction with the character.” With the knowledge my good present constitution of our society. At any friend must have of the society and the mode VOL. XII.---FOURTH SERIES.

3 m

of electing its committee, I can scarcely bring let any one ask, How long such a state of myself to believe him serious in placing this things would last? How long would the subin the front of his objections. Did he ever scribers continue to supply funds which it was know, from the commencement of the society, left to another party to distribute ? Is it not a single member of the committee who was somewhat anomalous that the very persons not a member of one of our churches ? In who are zealous, and very laudably so, for the present committee of thirty-six members the separation of the church from the state, there are representatives from thirty churches, should in this instance advocate the system only six have duplicate members; and the they are aiming to overthrow ? We wil whole committee are not only selected from call the subscriber the state, and the church the churches, but from the largest churches the ecclesiastical corporation. The church in the kingdom. It is the piety and esta- says to the state — alias the subscriber – blished reputation of the parties which “ Give us your money, we will lay it out. recommend them to the office, and which Ours is a divine institution, you can lay no alone secure their election. What need then claim to so sacred an origin. The spread of of an entire change in the constitution of our the gospel is a duty left to us, we are resociety to secure what we already have, and sponsible for the sacred trust; therefore have not the least fear of losing? A change leave it with us." Now, as our good friends should be an improvement; if no improve- know so well how to answer the churchman ment, then is there no call for a change. who argues in this way, they can be at no

Of the objections to making a money loss how to answer themselves, when urging qualification for membership in a religious precisely the same argument. society, perhaps few are altogether ignorant. I would with deference ask our friends who But as Mr. Pryce only proposes to transfer are desirous of promoting this change, whe it from the individual to the church of which ther it would not be inconsistent with their he is a member, all those objections lie against principles as congregational dissenters. The his plan with augmented force; and when church of Christ is indeed a divine institution, he can remove them as applied to a church, and constant jealousy should be maintained it will be easy to remove them as applied to to preserve its spirituality and independence. an individual.

But this gives it no spiritual authority over My good friend has drawn somewhat other bodies or associations of men. No one luxuriantly upon his imagination, in stating lays claim to a missionary society as being a the supposed case of a friend living hard by divine institution; it is simply an expedient the Mission House who could afford ten devised by various godly and zealous men to shillings to the cause, but could not find the extend the knowledge and blessings of the odd sixpence, and almost sheds tears at the gospel to distant nations. It has no inherent thought of such a friend's exclusion. Let me, connexion with a Christian church at all. in return, draw upon mine, and suppose a We might suppose it to consist of members, case not a whit less extravagant. That if none of whom were connected with Christian the mission is to be controlled by the churches, churches; or, as in the case of some existing and not by the subscribers, we may imagine societies, of Christians of all or any churches. the whole income and resources of the so- It is true, the Baptist Mission naturally looks ciety to be drawn from one quarter, and the to baptist churches for support, as in them whole control given to another, so that there are likely to be found the larger proportion shall not be a single subscriber having any of good men actuated by a similar estimate influence in the disposal of its funds. When of the value of the gospel, and a similar zeal wings are given to the imagination, there is no for its extension ; but its call to them is as knowing where it may fly, either this way or individuals, and not as collective bodies. that. But is it becoming the dignity of sage, The influence of the church as a body full-grown men to remodel a society to meet can consistently and safely be exercised only contingencies which it requires a vivid imagi- over their own acts; to extend that influence nation to portray, and which do not fall beyond their own concerns is of the very within the reach of probabilities, or even of essence of popery. possibilities? In the days of the controversy Besides, let any one who is conversant with with Dr. Marshman, it was laid down as a the state of our churches, and the sad diversity self-evident maxim, “That control follows of sentiment and feeling prevalent among contribution as the shadow the substance;" them, ask himself, whether the society would but we are now recommended to publish a be in safer keeping, or in a condition of divorce between them the subscriber to greater unity and peace, by being entirely comgive the money, the church to expend it. If mitted to their control. In retaining it where there were any real, practical necessity for it now is, it is in the hands of those indithis change in the constitution of the society, vidual members of our churches who are it would arise from the fact, that though the actuated with sufficient zeal and ability to subscriber might have benevolence enough to support it; and it is hoped, to say the least, give, he had not piety and wisdom enough to with an average amount of wisdom to manage lay it out properly for the cause of God; but its affairs,

Still it will be said, the fact as stated at the warm friends of missions, and some the commencement of this paper, remains, churches too, maintained a direct correthat there is a lamentable indifference in spondence, not only with missionaries, but many of our churches to the progress and with the converts they had made from idolsuccess of the missionary cause. This is atry and superstition. They took a lively sadly too true ; and if this indifference be interest in the progress of truth in the in any considerable extent traceable to the minds of individual converts, and that want of control which our churches wish interest was extensively diffused at their soto exercise over the affairs of the mission, cial meetings. There are many now living who that desire, as far as prudent and practicable, will never forget the intense feeling kindled should be met with kindness and considera- by intelligence from distant fields of missiontion. For my own part, I must confess, I ary toil in the early history of the mission. want evidence of the fact; I do not think there And why should this be a mere matter of is existing, on the part of the churches them- history Instances are continually occurring, selves, any considerable feeling of loss on that equally pregnant with spiritual and eternal ground. If there were any urging this as a consequences, did we view the subject more ground of complaint, the remedy would be easy. closely and more correctly.

This aspect It would simply be to pass a resolution to the of the work may be varied to infinity. effect, that any church contributing a given Why should not those ministers who regret amount to the society, should, in addition to the the decline of a missionary spirit in their pastor, be authorized to send a representative churches open a direct correspondence with to the annual meeting. I cannot but think some one missionary station-call it, if they this regulation would obviate every real or please, theirown, and have periodical reports of supposed ground of complaint, while it its progress? In addition to what they contriwould not be open to any grave objections, bute to the general funds, let them take the to which the proposed entire change in the schools, and the children of the missionary constitution of the society is liable.

under their kind christian care ; let little It is, however, my firm conviction that the presents of clothes and books, and other decline of the missionary spirit in our testimonies of regard be made, as the case churches does not arise from any such cause. may require, and there will arise, especially It is to be found nearer home. I conceive it on the part of the young, feelings of interest is to be attributed to the simple facts of the and sympathy, which no contemplations of case, in combination with the nature of the the missionary work on a large scale would human mind. The novelty of the undertak- ever draw forth. And as an additional moing has passed away; and at the present mo- tive, look at the effect which such kind ment there are none of those secondary and notices would have upon the missionaries adventitious circumstances which give a zest themselves. Nothing is more common than and impulse to the missionary si-it. The to hear these devoted men lament that after persecution of the banished missionary-the quitting their native shores, and witnessing advocacy of the negroes social wrongs—the the affecting adieus of friends, they are left thrilling electricity of the word Knibb, and as if banished to some unapproachable clime, the power of his eloquence have subsided, apparently forgotten by those who appeared and we are called now to settle down to thé on leaving to take such a lively interest in unadorned and unpoetical duties of teaching their welfare. Were an active and pious the ignorant the way of salvation-establish- corespondence kept up between the churches ing schools, and stations, and churches, with abroad and those at home, how would it very little of novelty to chequer the monoto. encourage them in their self-denying labours, nous appeal for money. It is perfectly una- stimulate to renewed devotedness, bear up vailing to find fault with what constitutes one their spirits under discouragements, and, of the essential characteristics of human possibly, be the very turning point of a nature. The human mind looks for variety, missionary retaining or quitting his sphere of and is satiated with monotony. Complain as duty. we may, the fact remains precisely the same: Do we really wish to revive a missionary man's nature will not alter by all our com- spirit in our churches ? Let us look more plaints. If we would overcome this tendency abroad, and less at home-more at objects, to satiety, we must withdraw our attention and less at instruments. The theatre of a from the adventitious and the outward to the missionary society is among the ignorant and spiritual and the eternal. There is ample idolatrous heathen in distant lands, and not scope in this direction to sustain and increase in a mission house, or a public meeting in our the missionary spirit to the last stretch of native land. In a cause where success is feeling, and the last breath of life. We must more connected with divine approbation than come closer to the subject. We must not human agency, and where the feeblest means be contented with reading reports, we must

are often attended with the largest results, have reports of our own. We must not use there is a possibility of looking too intently other people's eyes, and ears, and pens, we

at the adaptation of human agency; and the must use our own. Time was when many of consequence may possibly be a withdrawment

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