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The Annual Meetings of the Society commenced, as last year, in unfavourable weather, but the public meetings were, upon the whole, well attended, and the spirit that pervaded them was gratifying to all our friends.
The Prayer Meeting, with which the services began, was held on Thursday the 19th of April. It was conducted by Mr. Branch of Waterloo Road, and the brethren Wigner of Lynn, Hamilton of Ballina, Walcot of Stanwick, W. L. Smith, and Dr. Hoby engaged in prayer.
On the evening of the same day, after prayer by Brother Larom, of Sheffield, the Rev. James Sherman preached at Surrey Chapel from the last verse of Mark's gospel. From this passage the respected preacher found occasion to illustrate the employment of human agency in the service of Christ, the combination of divine power with human agency, and the confirmation that ensued, a confirmation which was to be seen in the miraculous powers imparted, in the overcoming of mighty difficulties, and in the decision of believers amidst sufferings and persecution.
On Lord's day the 22nd, Sermons were preached at most of the Baptist chapels in and near London, and in the afternoon special services were held in several of them for the young, at which the attendance was very good.
The following day Juvenile Services were held at Surrey, Bloomsbury, and Bishopsgate chapels, at which, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, upwards of 3000 children were present.
On Tuesday the Annual Meeting of the Members of the Society was held at the Mission House.
J. L. Paillips, Esq., of Melksham, having been called to preside, the Rev. J. Angus gave out a hymn, and the Rev. Dr. Godwin engaged in prayer.
Part of the Minutes of the proceedings of the Committee was then read, and various questions in reference to matters
of business asked and answers given. The Secretary laid upon the table the Reports of the Committee and of the Treasurers for the year.
After the reading of the Minutes, it was moved by the Rev. Dr. Cox, and seconded by the Rev. T. F. NEWMAN, and resolved,
That this meeting regard with the highest satisfaction the determination of the Committee, as expressed in their resolution of April the 18th, to abandon the proposerl application for a charter of incorporation, and record their opinion that the measure, as it has been submitted to the judgment of the subscribers, would, if adopted, be attended with serious injury to the Society; and their confidence that the peace and progress of the Society will not be endangered by any introduction, by the Committee, in future, of this or any similar measure
On the motion of Rev. W. Robinson, seconded by E. B. UNDERNILL, Esq., resolved, That a Special Committee be hereby appointed to prepare a schedule of all the property
vested in Trustees in the name and on behalf of the Baptist Missionary Society, stating the following particulars, viz.:
1. The nature of such property, whether chapel, school, mission-house, or otherwise. 2. The place in which such property is situated. 3. The tenure by which such property is held, whether freehold, leasehold, copyhold, or as
the case may be. 4. The names of the Trustees in whom such property is vested. 5. The original cost, and as nearly as can be ascertained the subsequent outlay on such
property, its encumbrances, if any, and its present estimated value. And that the said Committee present, at the next General Meeting, their report on the above mentioned points, together with any other particulars connected with the property, and the influence which it exerts on the welfare of the Society.
Resolved, also, That the following be the members of the Sub-committee :-Messrs. PEWTRESS, UNDERHILL, RUSSELL, Bowser, STEVENSON, and ROBINSON.
Rev. J. P. MURSELL gave notice that, at the next Annual Members' meeting, he should move the adoption of the following resolutions :
That inasmuch as the Baptist Missionary Society has purely religions objects in view, it is the opinion of this Meeting that its constitution should be purely of a religious character, and therefore it is proposed that henceforward its affairs be conducted by a Committee chosen by representatives of the churches connected therewith.
That in accordance with the foregoing principle, the following amendments be made in the plan and regulations of this Society, to take effect at the Meeting 1850.
Instead of the present reading, the rule respecting "members " to stand thus:
That this Society shall consist of the officers and members of those churches who make an annual contribution towards its funds.
That in the rule respecting "General Meeting of Members," for the words “ General Meeting of Members,” there be substituted the words “General Meeting of Representatives of the Churches,” both in the title and body of the law; and after the word “transacted," that there be inserted the following paragraph
This meeting shall consist of representatives of all churches which shall have made a con. tribution towards the funds of the Society during the past year. Not more than the pastor and two other representatives to be allowed to each church.
Rev. J. VENIMORE gave notice that, at the next Annual Members' meeting, he should move the adoption of the following resolution :
That no proposal to alter the constitution of the Society shall be submitted to any General Meeting for decision until (six months) after notice of such proposal shall have been conspicuously inserted in the Missionary Herald, and that further notice of such proposal shall be given, with every official notification of the meeting at which it is to be decided ; or otherwise, shall be sent, with a notice of the meeting, in a circular to every member of the Society.
Resolved, on the motion of Rev. S. G. GREEN, B.A., seconded by Rev. Dr. Cox, That the foregoing notices be published in the Minules of this meeting.
The Meeting then proceeded to the nomination of the Committee, and the ballot being taken, scrutineers were appointed to examine the papers, and the following names were afterwards brought up as the Committee for the ensuing year. Rev. JAMES ACWORTH, LL.D.
Rev. WILLIAM BROCK
London. JOSEPH H. ALLEN, Esq. .
Rev. FRANCIS A. Cox, D.D., LL.D. Hackney. Liverpool. John DANFORD, Esq.
London. *Rev. CALEB E. BIRT, M.A. Wantage.
Birmingham London. Rev. SAMUEL GREEN Rev. SAMUEL BRAWX Loughton, Rev. WILLIAM GROSER
Rev. CHARLES M. BIRRELL,
Rev. J. MORTLOCK DANIELL
Rev. WILLIAM B. BOWES
Rev. Joun H. HINTON, M.A. London. Rev. Joshua RUSSELL
Greenwich. Rev. JAMES HOBY, D.D. London. Rev. ISRAEL M, SOULE
Battersea. Rev. DANIEL KATTERNS Hackney. Rev. JAMES SPRIGG, M.A.
Margate. GEORGE LOWE, Esq., F.R.S.
London. Rev. EDWARD STEANE, D.D. Camberwell, Rev. WILLIAM H. MURCH, D.D. London. GEORGE STEVENSON, Esq,
Cambridge. EDWARD B. UNDERHILL, Esq. Nailsworth. On the motion of Rev. S. GREEN, seconded by Rev, J. P, MURSELL,
Resolved unanimously,—That W. B. Gurney, Esq., and S. M. Peto, Esq., M.P., be respectfully requested to continue their services as Treasurers for the ensuing year, and that the thanks of the Meeting be presented to them for their past services.
On the motion of the Rev. Dr. Murca, seconded by Rey. C. M. BIRRELL,
Resolved unanimously,—That the Rev. JOSEPH ANGUs, M.A., be respectfully requested to continue his services as Secretary.
On the motion of Rev. JOSEPH Angus, M.A., seconded by Rev. D. J. East.
Resolved, That George Gould, Esq., Charles Jones, Esq., and Thomas Hawkins, Esqı, be auditors for the year ensuing.
On Wednesday Mr. Winslow, of Leamington, preached at Bloomsbury Chapel from Solomon's Song vi. 10, taking occasion to treat of the church as justified, sanctified, and missionary. The service was commenced by Mr. BIRRELL, of Liverpool.
PUBLIC ANNUAL MEETING. This Meeting was held in Exeter Hall on Thursday the 26th, The Chair was filled by Samuel Morton Pero, Esq., M.P. and Treasurer.
The proceedings were commenced by singing the 575th hymn, after which the Divine blessing was implored by the Rev. Dr. Cox.
The CHAIRMAN addressed the meeting as We should emulate the conduct of those defollows : Dear Christian friends, on the last voted men, who must be regarded as the occasion on which we assembled together in fathers of our mission, in so far as they folthis Hall, on the last anniversary of our lowed Christ, and left us an example to follow Society, a report was presented to you, which in their steps. Let us, dear friends, for a few was not at the time read in all its length, but moments, see how far we are actuated by the which, I trust, you now all possess, and which same principle and the same motives. Those I regard as a most valuable compendium, or fathers of missionary labour of whom I speak, short history of the Society, which you will had but one great object in view-to spread do well to preserve and hand down to your the gospel of Christ among the heathen children's children. There are times when nations. They were animated by untiring it is particularly desirable and necessary that real, by a righteous and hearty consecration we should have especial regard to first prin- of their whole spirit and energies to their ciples—when we should look narrowly into work, and they were supported by the strong the springs of our action, in order to ascertain and undying faith they had in the glorious how far they are in harmony with the motives promises of their God. Let us look back to by which those actions should be guided; and the example of Carey himself, when, in 1792, I'deem this occasion to be one in an especial he was called from the humblest of occupadegree. In the first place, it is necessary that tions--called by the Spirit of God itself to our churches should form their conduct in originate his noble enterprise-we may regard missionary exertion on the model of Christ, him as the unquestionable father of the and in entire accordance with His commands. numerous Christian missions of this country. When so called to his great work by God's allowed to make one remark, that is, when Spirit, he said, “ If it should please God to we are sometimes engaged in the discussion give me but twenty years more on earth, I of matters of the machinery merely, let us not trust I shall be enabled to give the blessed forget the principles of the Society, nor the word of life to a million of heathens;" and overwhelmingly important objects it has in when we regard the fact, that he was main- view. I for one would never desire to prevent tained for a space of not less than forty-two the fullest and freest discussion on all sub. years in that field of godly labour, which he jects. It is necessary to the existence of our had, under God's blessing, opened for him- missions that we should stand well with our self, and that before he died he had the satis- churches; and, unless we have their cofaction of seeing, and of himself originating operation throughout the length and breadth and carrying out, the translation of God's of the land, which, after the blessing of God word to millions of the people of the East, I on our labours, is most essential, we cannot think we cannot but look upon this mission expect to prosper. If we are not animated as the work of the Lord. And when we re by their prayers, supported by their exertions, member, that for many years the government and receiving their advice, what can we exsystematically prohibited the preaching of the pect? Let it be understood, once for all, word to the nations of India; that, until the that your Committee are simply the repreyear 1807, the distribution of the scriptures, sentatives of your churches; and, unless they or of religious tracts, was prevented by law, feel themselves to be such, and act in a corand the preaching of the word restricted, responding spirit, they are not worthy of their except by their own ordained preachers, -and position. I will now refer, for a moment, to that, by an ordinance of the government, the subject to which I have alluded, in order Carey was actually forbidden to set his foot that it may not be referred to again. It did on ladian ground—when we remember these occur to the minds of some old and dear things, and consider what, in spite of all this friends on the Committee, that, seeing the opposition, was done, who can fail to perceive position in which the Society was placed in the finger of God? Where was Carey all regard to holding its property in foreiga this time? All those present who are ac-lands, and in regard to the great expense quainted with the history of this mission, which was occasioned by every change of will, no doubt, find a ready answer to this trustees, a plan might be adopted, under question ; but to those who are not, it may which the Committee (who are annually not be superfluous that I should state, that elected) might be made the perpetual trustees fourteen miles from Calcutta was a small of the iety. The question was brought settlement belonging to the Danish govern- under discussion, and was considered by the ment, which has since been purchased for a Committee; it was, however, never put by trifling sum by this country, and that, in this the chairman for the adoption or rejection of little country, Carey found refuge and safety; the Committee ; but most of our brethren felt and, though the demand was made, to their that, before deciding, they would desire to bonour be it said, that the Danish govern- have the opinion of other friends of the denoment refused to give him up; their reply was, mination, and they found that many of the “He is a Danish subject while on Danish old friends of the Society considered such a ground, and entitled to all the rights and im- plan undesirable. The Committee felt, theremunities of Danish laws." And while we fore, that they had no other course to adopt honour the spirit that promoted this decision, than, rather than divide the Society, themI ask, can we fail to trace the finger of God, selves put an end to the subject ; and a resowhich gave to the authorities in that settle- lution was unanimously passed, that it be not ment the courage to return such an answer, further entertained. At our meeting on and thus to form, as it were, another land of Tuesday last, the subject was again consi. Goshen, in the midst of that Egypt, for the dered ; and I feel it my duty to convey to you father of our mission ? And do allow me to the impression on my mind, that the way in say further, that these are essential reasons which the subject was considered, was highly why we should now have recourse to first honourable to the Christian feeling of those principles and the motives of our actions. who differed from each other, all of whom
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I inust now refer, for a moment, to a subject I left the meeting bound and knit up together would rather not allude to, but which, not in feelings of Christian charity, brotherhood, being mentioned in the Report of the Com- and love. mittee, I feel I ought, as one of your tred- Now let me refer for a moment to another surers, to make some mention of, as many subject, which, since I have been conwho are present will, I have no doubt, expect nected with the Society, has pressed much some information in reference to it. You are on my attention. I feel that, somehow or aware, my dear friends, that during the past other, we have not that amount of support year a discussion of somewhat a public from, and identification with, the different character has been carried on in regard to churches throughout the length and breadth some parts of the machinery of this Society; of the land, which we ought to have. I and, in speaking to this point, I must be believe that to be the fault, in a great mea
sure, of the churches themselves. I think it lessening the number of the stations, so as to bring might be entirely obviated by every Christian them within the bounds of your present income, church determining that it would, under all the pressing demands that Providence is putting on circumstances, communicate, at least once in us.-W. CAREY." every two months, with some one missionary. That there should be an understanding-a
“Don't fear the money," said Pearce to routine laid down, as to the mode in which Carey, “ God is for us, and the silver and the such communications should be kept up gold are his, and so are the hearts of all that That the church should communicate, in a have it. I will see the churches from Land's letter of fraternal Jove, with the missionaries, End to, Orkney, and we shall get money assuring them of their fraternal love-of their enough.” Now, let us strive to emulate the sympathy, and their prayers. I am sure that spirit of these the first founders of our mission. our missionary labourers would receive such Let us be actuated by the same entire zeal, communications with heartfelt satisfaction, and the same identification with the cause, the that they would tend to elevate their spirits, same hearty desire for the salvation of keep alive their zeal, and make the churches the heathen, and with the same strong feeling themselves feel more identified with she mis- of the inestimable value of their immortal sionary work; and what I feel to be of still souls, and we shall have no occasion to say greater value, it would support the sinking any thing to you as to the condition of our spirits of our friends abroad. I have conferred funds, nor will you have cause to regret the with many of our missionaries, and they have position of our Society. often told me that the greatest affliction they
Before I sit down, I will refer, for a few feel in their absence from their native land, is moments, to the subject of Jamaica. I have the want of such communications, and such felt, as I am sure you must all do, an intense assurances of sympathy and support, on the interest in the position of the suffering church part of their Christian brethren at home. of that suffering country. You know all Let me refer to the letter of a dear friend of the circumstances that led us to feel that wo mine, connected not with us, but with the were not justified in accepting the proposition established church. Some friends at home which was made to us,- you know well, that, had sent him four numbers of a religious by diverting the funds to other purposes periodical, and this act called forth the follow. than those to which they were pledged, we ing letter from the absent missionary, dated should be inflicting a great injury on, and September, 1848.
endanger the prosperity of, the Society. But "My dear Sir,-Pray tell me if you are the same
it is the duty of the church, in connexion anonymous benefactor who had time to think of and with the mission, without infringing on the gladden me with the first four numbers. What a general funds, to aid, in every possible way, hand which posted that periodical for me in secret, There is a most valuable institution in that treat for a transport! Whosoever the unknown their suffering brethren in Christ abroad. the Lord will reward him openly; for truly he has refreshed my soul in the Lord.' 'That publication island (Jamaica), whose object is to train has worked on my broken mind like a healing well up young men, and qualify them for the mion invalids. They go for a season to a cure place, nistry; and last night only I received a letter perusing those pamphlets, got quite sprightly
enough from Joshua Tinson, dated Rio Bueno, Jato stand the dreariness of years of banishment." maica. He says: I believe, also, dear friends, that a most
“The students are well, and, if I mistake not, valuable result would be obtained in the progressing in piety, while they continue cheerfully reflex influence such communications would and successfully to pursue their studies. That we bave on the churches themselves. I believe can find young black and coloured men in our that our funds would feel the benefit, and, their studying for the ministry, is no longer a matter
churches, of sufficient capacity and religion to justify for my part, I always feel that funds produced for inquiry. The question now is-Shall such enjoy. by free and spontaneous goodwill, are far by the continuance of this Institution, those ad more valuable ihan such as are obtained by gent and respectable teachers of their fellow-men:
vantages that shall enable them to become intelliappeals on the ground of our distressed posi- or shall this work cease, for the want of two of tion. If we had the sympathy, the hearty three hundred a-year? I am quite aware that it support and love, and the true Christian feel may be said, perhaps many say, The Institution
should be sustained, but it ought to be done by the ing of the various churches of the country churches in Jamaica ; England has enough to do, with us, we should never want for funds. claims are coming from all quarters. India, Africa, Let me refer to a letter from Carey himself China, France, Canada, and elsewhere, besides the to Dr. Ryland, as showing that the same and increasing societies, political, civil, and relle
continual demands for carrying on the increased feeling actuated him. Many persons were gious,
in the parent land." All this I fully admit, then urging that some of the missionary sta- but the admission effects nothing-our churches tions should be abandoned in consequence of cannot do what they did formerly. The people ibe insufficiency of funds; and, in answer to but it is indeed little they get. The pay for ablea communication on this subject, Carey then bodied men varies from 1s. 3d. to od. a-day, in some writes,
places only 6d.; and for that they have often to wait
for weeks, then get paid in dribblets, and, not an"Dear brother Ryland, -1 entreat, I implore you frequently, are never paid; and if we get no help not to think of the petty shopkeeping plan of out of Jamaica, we must give up, even with our