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SEVENTY-EIGHTH ANNUAL MEETING
The Seventy-eighth Annual Meeting of the American Bible Society was held at the Bible House on Thursday afternoon, May roth, 1894, at halfpast three o'clock, pursuant to adjournment. Theophilus A. Brouwer, Esq., of New York, one of the Vice-Presidents, occupied the chair, assisted by James H. Taft, Esq., of Brooklyn, Vice-President.
There were present, as representatives from auxiliary Bible societies, the Rev. Samuel Whaley, president of the Long Island Bible Society; the Hon. Hiram C. Clark, president of the Sussex County (N. J.) Bible Society; and the Rev. Charles Beattie, of the Orange County (N. Y.) Bible Society.
The Rev. Talbot W. Chambers, D.D., of New York, read a part of the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm and led in prayer.
The Recording Secretary, Mr. Caleb T. Rowe, reported the names of nine Managers whose term of office expired at that time, and a Committee, consisting of the Rev. Dr. Chambers, Rev. Samuel Whaley, and Hon. H. C. Clark, was appointed to nominate suitable persons to fill their places.
Secretary Gilman read an Abstract of the Seventy-eighth Annual Report of the Managers, for the year ending March 31st, 1894.
On motion of the Rev. B. B. Tyler, D.D., of New York, it was Resolved, That the Report, an Abstract of which has just been read,
be printed and circulated under the direction of the Board of Managers.
The Treasurer, Mr. William Foulke, presented a Statement of the receipts and payments for the year just closed, with the certificate of the Auditing Committee.
On motion of George E. Sterry, Esq., of New York, it was
Resolved, That the Financial Statement be accepted, and printed in the Annual Report.
The Committee appointed to nominate Managers, to fill the places of those whose term of office had just expired, reported, recommending the following persons, and the same were duly elected Managers for the four years ending May, 1898 : Caleb B. Knevals, Andrew C. Armstrong, William L. Skidmore, Anson D. F. Randolph, Alexander E. Orr, Gerard Beekman, E. Francis Hyde, John A. Hardenbergh, and Henry D. Nicoll, M.D. Upon the recommendation of this Committee, Mr. James S. Baker was also elected a Manager to fill a vacancy.
On motion of Henry A. Oakley, Esq., of New York, it was
Resolved, That the Board of Managers as now constituted be directed to meet in the Bible House on the third Thursday of the present month, for the purpose of organizing for the ensuing year and the transaction of such other business as may be presented.
On motion of A. D. F. Randolph, Esq., of New York, it was
Resolved, That when the Society adjourn, it do adjourn to meet in the Bible House, New York, on the second Thursday in May, 1895, at 3.30 P.M.
In response to an address of welcome from the presiding officer, remarks were made by visiting delegates.
The Minutes of the meeting were read and approved, and the Society adjourned.
SEVENTY-EIGHTH ANNUAL REPORT
AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY.
In the United States the past year was marked by the celebration of the discovery of America by Columbus, and by the consequent presence among us of many from other lands, some of whom were born and reared under the sway of venerable forms of religion which are not founded upon the revelations of the Bible. The Republic which gave its warm welcome to guests from every clime is itself a most impressive proof of the power of an open Bible. Legitimate and instructive contrasts are readily drawn between the Republics of Latin America, where the dissemination of the Holy Scriptures has been persistently opposed by both civil and ecclesiastical authority, and this North American Republic, whose founders devoutly believed that civil liberty could only be secured and perpetuated by the widespread diffusion and the reverent study of the Word of God. It may also be noted that as from time to time in the Congress of Missions, the Parlia- * ment of Religions, and elsewhere, allusion was made to the sacred books of the East, there was apparently no difference of opinion concerning the transcendent superiority of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, chiefly because of the revelations which they contain of Jesus of Nazareth, the Saviour of the world. The striking fact, too, that Christianity is the only one of the “Book Religions” which annually expends vast sums of money for the translation and distribution of its Sacred Oracles was never more supremely emphasized than it has been
during the past year. Such considerations confirm the Managers of this Society in their long-cherished belief that the Bible, which has accomplished so much for themselves and for their beloved land, is perfectly adapted to the deepest wants of all men everywhere for this life and for that which is to come.
The last meeting of the Managers for the year was made sad by the announcement that their beloved and honored associate, Elbert Brinckerhoff Monroe, Esq., had been suddenly removed by death. The following memorial minute is taken from the official records of the Board :
“ The announcement of the death of Elbert Brinckerhoff Monroe, Esq., which occurred at his residence in Tarrytown, on the Hudson, on the evening of Saturday, April 21st, 1894, gave a severe shock to a large circle of friends, for he was not yet fifty-eight years of age, and seemed to be in the very fullness of his strength. Mr. Monroe was elected a Manager of the American Bible Society and made a member of the Committee on Distribution in May, 1890. It is most unusual for one, in the brief period of four years, to gain the position which he held in the esteem of his associates, who gratefully recognize not only his attractive personal qualities but his intelligent interest in the work of the Society. He was a man of decided convictions, for which he could give a reason, while the kindest personal consideration for others whose opinions were not in harmony with his own was never wanting. His grasp of the far-reaching plans of the Society, and his remarkable memory for details connected with cases which called for special attention, have been frequently observed during the past year. This seems more worthy of note when it is remembered that the representatives of many other religious and philanthropic institutions and enterprises are, with this Society, mourning the sad loss they have sustained in the removal of one of their wisest counsellors and most generous supporters.
“There rested upon Mr. Monroe the benedictions of a long line of ancestors distinguished for intelligence, patriotism, a devout love of the Bible, and an unwavering belief in the efficacy of prayer. One of his paternal ancestors was wounded in the morning and killed in the afternoon at the battle of Lexington. His maternal grandfather, Elbert Brinckerhoff, whose name he bore, was at the time of his decease the Senior Elder of the Consistory of the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church of New York, of which Consistory Mr. Monroe was himself a member. Heredity, however, but partially solves the problem before us when we ask the secret of the rare symmetry and poise of his character, and of the singleness of aim and tireless fidelity which characterized his Christian activities. The secret is out when we learn that while still in his youth he dedicated himself without reserve to the special life-work which he pursued to the last. His godly mother wished him to become a minister of the gospel, but he said : "No! Facts and figures are my forte. Perhaps I can make money for the use of the Lord, and do good in that way. Successful in his calling, he not only consecrated his wealth to his Lord but he gave himself with his gifts, and so gained an honored place among those who faithfully serve their generation by the will of God. His modesty would have forbidden him to say, but he might truthfully have said, to the Saviour he so deeply loved, “Thy gentleness hath made me great. His departure was so sudden that he left no 'dying words;' but as the law of affinities must be potent in the spirit world, as well as here, we know that he has found his true place in the Father's House of Many Mansions, where all the good are gathered.”
On the 5th day of May, 1894, two days subsequent to the last meeting of the Managers for the year, the Society was sadly bereaved in the death of the Hon. Jolin Jay. Mr. Jay was elected a Manager in 1880, and a Vice-President in 1885. For thirteen years he was a member of the Committee on Anniversaries, in which position his large familiarity with public affairs and his delicate literary taste proved most helpful to the Society. His father, the Hon. William Jay, bore a conspicuous part in the movements which led to the organization of the American Bible Society, and his grandfather, the Hon. John Jay, so distinguished in the early history of the United States, was its second President; but neither of these ancestors excelled him in integrity, in unselfish and patient labors for the welfare of humanity, or in full consecration of time and talents to God. In many other official relations he manifested his rare and varied qualities of mind and heart, but here and now we will emphasize his profound love for the Oracles of God. While he regarded their revelations as requisite for the salvation of the soul, he utterly distrusted all plans for the education and civilization of mankind which failed to accord the first place to the Bible. No notice of Mr. Jay, however brief, should fail to state that in him dignity, refinement, and Christian simplicity were blended in a most charming way. He was so attractive in person and so kind and courtly in bearing that all with whom he associated found in him their highest ideal of a Christian gentleman. His character and services are a precious legacy to this Society, in whose work he was so deeply interested.
The Hon. David Josiah Brewer, of the District of Columbia, Merrill E. Gates, LL.D., of Massachusetts, the Hon. William J. Northen, of Georgia, the Hon. Edward H. East, of Tennessee, William A. Robinson, Esq., of Kentucky, Elbert A. Brinckerhoff, Esq., of New Jersey, and John Noble Stearns, Esq., of New York, have been elected Vice-Presidents of the Society during the year, and have signified their acceptance of the office.
LIFE DIRECTORS AND LIFE MEMBERS.
Eleven Life Directors have been constituted during the past year, by the usual payment of one hundred and fifty dollars; and three hundred and seventy-nine Life Members, by the payment of thirty dollars each.