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FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF PASTORS, DEACONS, AND CHURCHES
The financial condition of the society having engaged the serious attention of the committee, we, whose names are appended to this statement, were appointed to consider the subject and report thereon. Our report was received and adopted by the committee, and we are requested to carry out its recommendations. We therefore respectfully invite your attention to the following statement.
The present debt began in 1842. It has gone on increasing, not from incautious expenditure, but from inadequate income. During the years 1841-1844 the average annual excess of expenditure was £259 ; but, during 1815—1848, it has been reduced to £129; while during this period the income has increased about £140 per annum.
The expenditure in Ireland could not be materially reduced without dismissing long-tried and faithful agents. The reduction which has been effected is the result of the strictest economy in its working expenses there. On this head there has been a saving of £332, or about £80 yearly. Moreover, the committee hoped that, as the usefulness of the society increased, its funds would have increased also; but in this they have been painfully disappointed.
At the close of 1844 a change took place in the secretariat. This could not be accomplished without considerable expense. For a time the home expenditure was increased; but having a secretary wholly devoted to his official duties, the committee were enabled gradually to reduce it; and they felt that a considerable augmentation of income might be reasonably expected.
A saving was also effected when Mr. Davis retired from the office of collecting agent, as the secretary undertook nearly the whole of the travelling and collecting, in addition to his other duties. The gratuitous supply of the Chronicle to several religious publications was stopped; and the expense of printing the Report was diminished one third. By these arrangements the home expenditure has been reduced to the amount of £150 per annum. But, as the average yearly debt has been about £1,200 for the last eight years, nearly £500 has been paid for interest alone, during that time: a very large sum to be added to the usual working expenses of so small a society.
The publication of a History of the Society, about four years ago, involved an expense of £70. It was thought that by this publication the society's operations would be better known, and its funds increased; this item is included in the home expenditure, and will account for its apparent increase ; but as one half this sum has been repaid by the sale of the work, and the stock in band is worth more than the balance, the funds will not ultimately suffer.
In 1846—7 Ireland was risited with famine. Noble efforts were made by our churches to forn a relief fund. But the contributions to the general purposes fell off, in consequence, £500. The past year was one of almost universal pecuniary distress. But in spite of these difficulties the committee were enabled to sustain the society's operations with an increase to the debt of only £127, which is a matter of grateful surprise when we know that the Scottish collections for that year were less than usual, by at least £150.
The present liabilities amount to £2,000! This sum, in addition to the usual contributions, is necessary to keep the society in operation. It should be raised within the next six months! We purpose to lay these facts before a few tried and liberal friends—to appeal to our more wealthy churches—and to solicit a special contribution from those churches which have not assisted the society for these two or more past years.
We have entered into these particulars to show how the debt originated, and to prove that its increase has been unavoidable. The expenditure has been reduced as rapidly as circumstances would allow ; but the income has not increased so as to leave a surplus with which to pay off any portion of the debt.
The committee having confided this matter to us, we earnestly press the foregoing statement on your notice. We shall be glad to hear from you, through the secretary, what you purpose doing to relieve the society from a burden, under which, if left alone, it will soon sink.
Signed, JOSEPH TRITTON, Treasurer.
FREDERICK TRESTRAIL, Secretary.
Mr. EccLEs writes, Belfast, January 15, thought of us now, posterity will thank us for and his report is highly encouraging. not having despaired of Ireland. The report though brief, will show what bas been
Mr. Bates is enabled to speak hope
fully of the cause at Banbridge. At the THE PROGRESS MADE IN A YEAR. time we write he is in England, seeing The Lord continues to regard us with a
what pecuniary aid can be obtained very encouraging share of favour.
towards the building of the new place, last, I believe I mentioned the baptism of which is now become almost necessary two persons, a labouring man and his wife. to the existence of the church. We I have now the pleasure of reporting an addi- heartily wish him success.
He has great tional increase to our number of three persons, difficulties to contend with just now, one of them received by letter from brother owing to the stagnation of trade and the Pike's church in Derby. Our present number great poverty of the people, hence the is thirty-eight, implying, as reported to the greater need of sympathy and help. Baptist Union for the statistics of the current year, after deducting excisions and emigrations, a clear increase, from January, 1848, to January, 1849, of eighteen members. The We have much cause for humiliation of congregation, too, continues to increase heart before God, yet we are favoured with steadily. The ground floor is filling fast. some tokens of the divine blessing. We have New doors of usefulness are opening in vari- been favoured with ous quarters. Many of the common people hear us gladly; and the language of Providence seems evidently to be," Go up and possess the land." Ours is yet the day of small
A few nights ago I preached from Luke i. 6, things, but it is full of hope for the future.
“And they were both righteous before God, The Lord is practically declaring to us, “My walking in all the commandments and ordiword shall not return to me void ;" and we
nances of the Lord blameless," and baptized rejoice to believe that “the little one shall two young females in the river. May every become a thousand,” that the land of our addition to our number prove to be an addiheart's best affections shall yet arise from its tional blessing. Oh that the Spirit may be degrading attachment to a strange superstition, poured out from on high, then we shall have and however down-trodden, distressed, and times of refreshing from the presence of the reckless hitherto, shall constitute one of the
Lord! brightest jewels in the Redeemer's crown. While we toil, amid unimagined difficulties, upon a stubborn soil, isolated from our
Mr. ALEXANDER HAMILTON, assistant brethren, dejected in spirit, our souls having missionary for districts occupied by no rest through fightings without and fears brethren Mulhern, Bates, and Eccles, within, we feel that the dawn of a happier day has been labouring for the past three is already evident, and that, whatever may be months in Belfast and the vicinity.
VARIOUS OPINIONS ABOUT IT.
Several out-stations which the pastor hearing me attentively, said, “Oh, then, I could not visit, except very rarely, are have spent my days in sin and rebellion now regularly attended to.
against God, but in my youthful days we had
no bibles, nor good men to teach us their THE RESULT.
sacred contents. May it please the Lord to Though Mr. Eccles will from time to time pardon my great ignorance and neglect. But furnish you with information regarding the you, addressing his family, have now the opchurch in this town, yet I may just add, that portunity offered, and I earnestly beg you al the truth is evidently progressing. There are to embrace it." This poor man died a few still persons being added to the church, and days after, and I trust we have some reason the denomination is becoming more generally to hope that his confidence was placed in the known.
Lord Jesus. I have been able to open seven stations for preaching. At some, however, of these, The proposed payment of the Romish the attendance is small, but at others it is priesthood agitates even the peasantry very good, and at all it is increasing. A few in this remote district. of the people attending these out-stations are now beginning to come to evening service in our chapel. So far this is well and en. couraging, and invites us to expect other has been raised among the lower classes that
Within the last few weeks a general cry fruits in God's own time. I may say that in their priests are about to accept a governall cases my visits are thankfully received, and ment stipend. Some of them seem glad, as also that I am frequently invited to preach they think it will put an end, for the future, amongst the people.
to their severity and harshness. Others suppose, if they accept of it, that it is a sterling
proof that they are not infallible guides, as The following facts are from the re- they have hitherto pretended to be, and thereports of the readers in the Connaught fore they will not be regarded as their spidistrict. They continue to prove the ritual instructors. What this agitation of usefulness of this agency. It is a matter mind may end in, none can tell. But God of constant regret to the committee that will bring good out of evil. the offers of service which they so fre
SUPERSTITION CONQUERED. quently receive from persons eminently qualified for this work, are necessarily who is a Carmelite, and wearing three rings
I have visited pretty often lately, a woman declined from want of funds. This is the inore to be regretted, because some Dominic, and St. Francis, together with ::
on one finger, in honour of St. Joseph, St. of the agents labouring among the scapular, and other consecrated cords and largest populations, as Cork and Water- badges, which she obtained from friars and ford, have no assistance whatever. others who traffic in such consecrated
trumpery. THE POWER OF THE WORD.
On meeting with her last week, strange to On entering a house where I had been in tell, I missed the rings. Not seeing them in the habit of reading for some few months their old berth, I said to her, “ Biddy, what past, the woman living in it gave me a hearty did you do with the consecrated rings ?” She welcome, saying she longed to see me again. replied, “I have cast them off for ever, for Haring asked why, she said, “You know my I need not trust in them when God's word son, since his father's death, turned a bad boy tells me that the blood of Christ washes to us. On one oceasion I complained of him away all sin.” “ Don't believe what she says," to the priest, but it was of no use. You observed a young woman, “ for in quilting commenced to read the scriptures for us, and her petticoat last week, she hid the rings in to tell him of the evil consequences of his it.” “ No," said Biddy, “ I would cast a conduet ; and blessed be God, he seems not thousand of them away, if they were gold, only changed himself, but strives in a proper that I might put my trust in Christ alone.” way to advise and counsel others in the family, who were following the evil example set for them. So I am glad you are come, I have no hesitation in saying that the and hope you will come often, and counsel people are increasingly reverencing the the others who need it as much as he did.” authority of scripture rather than the comAbout eighteen months ago, this very woman mandments of men, The tracts you gave refused to let me read the word of God. It me for distribution lasted no length of time. is a great change indeed,
The children in the school took the greater
part of them away. Those who could read THE ENTRANCE OF THY WORD GIVETH LIGHT.
were eager for getting them, and they are so I lately visited an aged sick man, who after careful of them, that they most commonly
THE WORD PREVAILING.
carry them in their books, to and from school, , persons, and distributed a hundred and three lest they should be soiled.
tracts. Two members have been added to the church by baptismyoung men of great
respectability and worth. Mr. Wilshere The reader at Athlone, Pat. Walsh, preached a suitable sermon on the occasion, writes under date of Nov. 2, 1848 :
which produced a deep impression. I heard
much of it during my visits the following week, In the course of the last month I have and had an opportunity of showing them visited eighty-seven families, and spoken on chapter and verse for what was brought forthe grand concern to about two hundred 'ward on the subject.
POSTSCRIPT. Our friends will perceive from the Appeal in the first page, what is the pecuniary condition of the Society. We beg them distinctly to ponder the fact that this terrible debt has not arisen from increasing the expenditure ; for, during the past four or five years, every effort has been made to reduce it. The income has not kept up to the average of the previous years. We believe none will deny that every effort has been made to improve it. No labour has been spared, but hitherto without the expected measure of success.
What then was to be done? Ordinary means having failed, there was only one course open, and that was a frank explanation of the circumstances, and a strtement of the whole case. Circulars have been forwarded to churches who have given no help for two or more years, and to such private friends as are known to be anxious about the Society's welfare and success. Some fruit has already been gathered. We wait with considerable anxiety for the result. May all who can help be inclined to offer it promptly and liberally!
CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED SINCE OUR LAST.
Jay, Mr. A...
Friends, by Rev. C. Anderson 1 2 0
£ s. d.
£ $. d. Collingham--Mrs. Nicholle....
1 0 0 1 10 Cambridge-Lilley, W. E, Esq........... 30 0 0 1 1 0 Ipswich-Contributions by Miss Limmer. 1 9 1 1 1 0 Royston - Mrs. Goodman....
2 0 0 1 0 0 Ampthill-Mr. Claridge
0 10 0 1 0 0 Ashton-under-Line-by Mr. Mulhern 2 2 6 2 2 0 Oldham- contributions
2 7 8 1 1 0 Gravesend-collection at Zion
3 3 6 35 00 Maidstone- ditto King Street
6 2 6 2 13 0 Brighton- ditto by Rev. W. Savory... 5 0 0 4 18 9 Olney-contributions by Wr. Soul.... 5 0 0 2 13 4 Lewes- ditto by Mr. Button 7 0 0 2 0 0 Sabden-Foster, George, Esq.....
30 0 0 5 0 0 Halstead-collection by Rev. J. Bates..... 1 14 0 2 2 0 Earl's Colne
2 15 6 Bures .......ditto.......................
3 10 0 Sudbury ..ditto...
1 15 6 2 2 0 W. A., by Rev. J. Angus..
1 0 0 1 1 0 Camberwell- Mr. Moore
0 10 0 1 0 0 Banbridge-the Church.
12 € 0
Peto, S. M., Esq., M.P....
DONATIONS TOWARDS THE DEBT.
£ &. d.
50 0 0 M. M. H...
£ .. d. 5 6 0 2 2 0 0 10 0 1 10 0
Subscriptions and Donations thankfully received by the Treasurer, JOSEPH TRITTON, Esq. Lombard Street; and by the Secretary, Mr. Frederick Trestrail, and Rev. JOSEPH ANGUS, at the Mission House, Moorgate Street; and by the pastors of the churches throughout the Kingdom.
COLLECTOR FOR LONDON, REV. C. WOOLLACOTT,
4, Compton Street East, BRUNSWICK SQUARE.
J. HADDON, PRINTER, CASTLE STREET, FINSBURY.
THE PROVINCE OF ASSOCIATIONS.
BY THE REV. GEO. B. IDE, D.D.
Tae Philadelphia Association has just the association in matters of discipline. closed a very interesting session. The By one of the churches certain queries veneration in which this ancient body were sent up, having reference to subis held, its prominent position, establish-jects connected with its own internal ed character, and the large number of administration, on which advice was churches represented in it, give to its sought. The association, by a very deliberations and movements an im- | large majority, decided that such quesportance that belongs to few similar tions did not come within its legitimate organizations throughout the land. scope ; that it was foreign from the The meeting was one of much harmony design of its formation to give counsel and spiritual enjoyment. The accounts in affairs of ecclesiastical government; presented by the delegates from the and that difficulties arising in an indiseveral churches indicated, in general, a vidual church, or between different healthful tone of religious feeling and churches, should be adjusted in the action ; while the interest manifested customary and authorized way. In this in the various objects of benevolence, conclusion we rejoice, believing it caland the liberal contributions made for culated to promote order, to preserve their support, afforded the most cheer- the independence of the churches, and ing evidence that this noble cause has a to determine the real province of those firm hold upon the hearts of the multi- voluntary bodies emanating from them. tude there assembled.
To show that our approval is not But the decision which appears to us lightly given, we shall take occasion to of chief moment, and fraught with the offer a few thoughts on the true nature happiest consequences to the peace of and purpose of associations, as a recogZ on, was one relating to the sphere of nized department of baptist polity.
FOL. XII.-FOURTH SERIES.