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circulation of the English and Irish scrip
tures ; the distribution of tracts ; and the The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the employing of itinerant ministers of the Baptist Trish Society was beld on the gospel, who also superintend the schools. 19th inst. at the City of London Tavern, The agents employed by tbe society at preBishopsgate Street. J. E. Gordon, Esq. sent, are eighty-two schoolmasters and took the Chair at 7 o'clock.
schoolmistresses, fifty-thee Irish scripture After prayer had been offered by the readers, and six itinerant preachers. Rev. Peter Anstie, of 'Trowbridge,
“ The number of scholars in the day The Chairman briefly introduced the busi- schools, is about seven thousand, principally ness by adverting to bis exertious in Ireland, the children of Roman Catholics. The Comas having given him an opportunity of ob- mittee have just received from the superinserving the usefulness of this Society in that tendents particular accounts respecting the country. He could cordially bear testimony schools, and especially of those beariog the to the success of the labours of the Institu- names of their respective supporters in tion. The worthy Chairman then made a England, which are highly satisfactory. reference to an observation of Dr. Marsh- “The Committee would have felt happy, man's opinion, that the best mode of facili- could they bave reported an increase of the tating the spread of Christianity in the number of schools, but instead of this, they world, was to establish it fally in the have to state that they have been reduced Britisb Empire.
from ninety-three, the number reported last The Secretary, Mr. Isimey, then read the year, to eighty-two. This bas arisen partly Report, from which the following are ex- from some having been given up to other tracts :
societies, and partly from others having The former Reports of the Society have been broken op, in consequence of the destated, and the Committee would now renew termined opposition made to them. Mr. the assertion, that while all attempts at pro- Wilson (speaking of those under his soperselytism to the peculiar principles of the intendance) says, “ All of them would be devomination whose name it bears, are ut- doing well, were it not for the persevering terly disclaimed; yet, that being a protest- opposition of some of the Roman Catholic ant instilation, and those who conduct it priests; the teachers in general are quite considering 'popery to be injurious to the competent to accomplish what is expected present, and dangerous to the fature interests froin them; the children are desirous to obof their fellow men, they intend, so long as tain the edacation given in the schools, and the public support is given them, to perse the parents are very anxioas tbey should vere in the employment of the means which, receive instraction.' through the blessing of God, may tend to “It was stated that the number of readers prevent its increase on the one hand, and to of the scriptures in the Irish and English bring over its professors to the protestant languages, amount to fifty-three ; of these, faith on the other; or they would rather seventeen are itinerant readers, constantly say, those means which, by teaching all men employed in that service, and the rest are the necessity of repentance towards God, engaged to read on the Lord's-days, in the and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,' may respective towns or villages ju which they enable them to become partakers of the reside. divine nature,' and to escape the corrup- “ The Committee have in the last year tion which is in the world through lust.' engaged the Rev. John Franks, late of New
“ The Committee are increasingly satis port, in the Isle of Wight, as an itinerant fied, that no better means can be used for minister in Ireland ; bis labours have been the gradual evangelization of Ireland, in re- mach interrupted by a very heavy affliction, gard to religious instruction, (because none bat he is now mercifully restored. are so well adapted to the destitute condi- “ The Committee have been gratisied tion of the mass of its peasantry) than those from month to month with the journals of which have been adopted by the society; the itinerant ministers, who have for so viz. the establishment of free day schools, long a time been employed by the Society, in which children may be taught to read and viz. Messrs. M'Carthy, Wilson, Davis, commit the scriptures to memory; the sup- Thomas, and Briscoe. For the parpose of porting or assisting of Irish protestants as raising funds, they have been under the reuders of the scriptures to their country. necessity of employing Mr. Davis several men in their own language ; the gratuitous months in the past year, to collect in Evg.
land and Wales, during which timo his con- | ference, the Baptist Irish Society, it is gregation at Clonmel has been supplied, hoped, will persevere in its bumble course, partly by his son, a student for the ministry endeavouring to disseminate the knowledge of Bristol Acadesay, during his Midsuminer of the glorioas gospel of the blessed God, vacation, and at other times by the Rev. that it may have the bonor and happiness of Mr. Hamilton, a respectable Baptist Mivis- contributing towards tbe fulfilment of those ter at Youghall.
animating predictions," Many shall run to "In addition to those regularly employed and fro, and knowledge shall be increased,” by the Society, the Committee have paid and “ The knowledge of the glory of the the expenses incorred by the itinerant la Lord sball cover the earth as the waters do bours of two otber ministers in Ireland, the sea." viz. the Rev. Mr. Hardcastle, of Waterford, Resolution I.-" That a retrospect of and the Rev. Allen, late of Cork.
ibe past fifteen years of the Society's labours During the past year, there have been presents alike a powerful claim to the dedistributed ahoot 2000 English and Irisb vout gratitude of all its friends and supTestaments, besides Bibles in both lan- porters, and an encouraging stimulus to guages ; 3440 of the first part, and 2400 of renewed and persevering exertion; and that the second part of the Society's Spelling the statements contained in the report of this Book. There has likewise been a consider- day, additionally proclaiming the necessity able quantity of writing paper given as re- of humble dependance on divine aid, and wards to the children of the schools. increased and united endeavours to meet the
" It has been very encouraging to the exigencies, and further the objects of this Committee, that some of their former liberal important Institution, it be received and benefactors bave this year renewed their circulated under the direction of the Combountiful donations ; the Treasurer has re- mittee.” oeived from Tbomas Key, Esq. of Water- The Rev. J. Birt, of Manchester, in rising fulford, 1001. ; from Mrs. Holland, of Bris- to move the reception of the Report, said tol, 501.; from a lady at Liverpool, 501. ; be knew not whether most to admire, the also a legacy of 2001. left by the late Mrs. resolution or the report which had just been Brown, of Dakbury, near Derby; another read. The plan which this Society bad of 100l. by the late William Aspinall, Esq. adopted was, in his opinion, the one which of Liverpool ; and 201. by the late Mrs. was of all others best adapted to promote Harris, of Hackney.
tbe best interests of Ireland. In that “The Committee gratefully acknowledge country the people were overwbelmed with a quantity of tracts from the Religious ignorance and superstition. Nor was that Tract Society; a donation of 25l. from the of a negative character; those who thought conductors of the Youtb's Magazine ; and thus fell far short of the truth. Ignorance 200 copies of a neat edition of Bunyan's was dangerous ; it was bondage; it would Pilgrim's Progress, from a benevolent friend lead to evil. Although education tended to to the Society.
enlarge the mind, and improve its faculties ; “ In concluding this Report, the Com- yet it was necessary that every precaution mittee take the liberty to remind the friends should be taken to prevent the entrance of of the Society, that the aspect of the times corrupt and debasing principles. One of in regard to Ireland, portends important the greatest benefits of this Institution, was events. Should political animosities be- the system of scriptoral education which it tween its Protestant and Roman Catholic adopted. It supplied to the people that inbabitants be benceforth extinguished, it scriptural kvowledge which would make will indeed be a most favorable circom-them wise upto salvation. If the schools of stance, as it may be expected their agents the Society were visited, the children would will no longer be annoyed, por their schools be found reading in the bible. If the readers interrupted or dispersed. But it is possible employed by the Society were observed, it that such undisturbed peace may engender a would be found that the book which they spirit of apathy, relative to propagating the read was the bible; and if other books were reformation, that Ireland may share in the read, they were those which would illusblessings wbich the other parts of the trate, and throw light upon the scriptores. united Kingdom bave unqaestionably de- Not only was the tree of knowledge planted rived from an unrestrained circulation of in Ireland ; tbat of life was also placed near the Bible, and the preaching of the ancon- it, so that those who plucked the produce of ditional salvation made known in the gospel. the tree of knowledge might also gatber It is not, indeed, likely that Protestants those fruits wbich endured unto eternal life. will ever so far forget or undervalue those All the letters received from the agents of doctrinal principles which their forefa- the Society bore testimony to the progress thers, the Reformers, spent their lives and of scriptural knowledge in Ireland. This spilt their blood to promote and defend; but, was the best remedy against popish ignoshould any manifest sach laxity and indif- rance and superstition, and it must eventu
i ally procure their overthrow. The best re- increased'; they are situated in the counties
medy for the heretical doctrines of popery, of Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, and would be found in the course of means which the King's County. The fifteen schools at this Society employ. It was not, therefore, present onder my care are in a prosperous matter of surprise, that it bad obtained so state, and the others may be re-established large a sbare of publio opinion, of English in several places, if the funds of the society opinion, and Irish opinion. The Committee would admit. Great good bas been done, might congratslate themselves on this, for and the conduct and example of the cbilit was of great importance to them. With dren, bave differed materially from otbers, respect to the principle of the resolution, it who, if they get any at all, are under that was, the duty of confidence in, and depend“ instruction that canseth to err from tbe ance on the divine aid. We heard much way of saving knowledge.” The quantity of the march of intellect, and it would be of Scripture committed to inemory by the found that the Almighty bad on various children in your schools is almost incredible, occasions made the intelligence of the age and such is the anxiety to receive instruction, the means of promoting his own work. He that a child in the school at Parson's rejoiced that the difficulty adverted to in the Town, walks to and from the school ten report was not a falling off in exertion, or in miles, and commits a chapter to memory success, but in the funds. This was the every day. At Arbour Hill, in the 'county least evil, and the oue wbich might be most of Tipperary, a young lady, Miss Francis easily remedied. God was thus putting the Antisell, took compassion on two or three friends of the Society in recollection of their poor children, and she determined to teach doty, and pointing oat to them what they them to read ; they increased to five or six; ought to do. He might congratulate the the books were of a bad description which meeting on the success of the Society's they bad. She applied to me for some books; labours. No Society bad been established and when tbe children leard that she refor promoting religion, that had not been ceived them, a greater nomber fled to her acknowledged by the Almighty. His for instruction. Sbe appointed to meet them blessing bad also rested here, and he trusted in one of her father's tenant's booses on the that it would continue to accompany their following Lord's day, when, instead of meetexertions until Ireland should be delivered ing, as she expected, ten, there were forty, from her darkness and her superstition. with their parents, who said, When will Mr.
The Rev. E. Clark (of Trnro) said, that Tbomas come to this part of the country? the resolution had been so amply discussed we hope you will prevail upon bim to give hy the preceding speaker, that little remained us a day school, and no pover on earth shall to be said upon it. He bighly approved of prevent is from sending our children. I was the resolution, because it was of a practical obliged to comply with their wishes last nature. He had no idea of an assembly Lord's Day week, when I met the Miss being convened to hear speeches, unless they Antisells, Lady Osborn, and other bigbly were prepared to follow them up by practi- respectable persons, and about sixty chil. cal efforts. The aspect of the resolution was dren, and many of their Roman Catholic two-fold; it referred to the work already parents. When I classed the school, I accomplished, and to that which remained to shewed the master and the persons present, be effected. Whether it was viewed, tbere- the system of instroction they were to pur. fore, retrospectively or prospectively, it was sue. They were all deligbted with the soa practical resolution. One of the most ciety's book. The people are so poor, that pleasing features of this society was the em. they cannot afford to buy books, even of an ployinent of Scripture readers. He never inferior description, mach less pay for the heard of the special adoption of that plan in education of their children. They were the evangelization of Ireland, till it was pur- very grateful to the society, and although saed in connexion with this society. He the school had been only a few sabbaths esembraced the present opportunity of return- tablished, fifteen of the children bad coming the society bis individaal acknowledy- mitted from two to six chapters each to mements, and those of bis Cbristian friends in mory. A respectable priest in the neighthe country, for the example of the en-boarhood of Limerick, went into one of your ployment of Scripture readers, in going schools, sas how the obildren were taught, among the poor, and acquainting them with looked at the books, and said, this is a the word of life.
blessed society, and the map that would opThe Rev. William Thomas (of Limerick, I pose it, lifts his pang arm against the Maone of the society's ministers) said, " I beg jesty of Heaven, and deprives bis creatures leave to state, that the number of schools of the greatest happiness they can enjoy on under my superintendence were twenty-two; this side the grave.' 0, continued this that these schools have been reduced by the respectable gentleman, .wbat a pleasure it unabated persecution of the priests to fif- is to see the children reading and committeen ; but the Irish scripture readers were ting the Scriptures to memory, and teaching
their parents at home who gave them birth.' y of the society, and felt at a loss for suitable I wish I could speak as respectfully of other agents. By the blessing of God, however, priests as of this worthy man; but I will opon my humble exertions under the soci
not render railing for railing,' I will not ety, he bas raised up an excellent set of speak unkindly of my countrymen, some of teachers and readers from among the Roman them think they are right, but we are as- Catholics, who are decidedly pious, mighty „sured they are awfully and dangerously de in the scriptures, and zealously devoted to ceived ; but I hope the time will come when the service of the society. My labours ex
a great company of the priests will be tend over a great part of the province of obedient to the faith.' Jobn Nash is a most Munster, and in some parts of Leinster and usefal servant to the society. I beg leave Connaught, in the counties of Clare, Limeto say a little respecting his exertions as rick, Tipperary, Galway, and the King's school-master and Sabbath reader. About County. Large congregations have been ten years ago I went to the western point formed in the houses of several excellent and of the county of Clare to establish an Irish highly respectable gentlemen, whose names school, about sixty miles west of Limerick. I might mention with great respect and alWhen I arrived, it was reported that I was fection. The congregations are greatly enan officer who came from the King, and had creased. The last month at Carhue, there a ship in the Shannon to take away all their were more than 200 Catholics ; at Camas children. The people drove their children more than 100 were denounced and excombefore them, and bid them in the clefts of municated for hearing me preach where the the rocks on the Atlantic shore. John Nash gospel was never beard until I went among came to the cabin in which I lodged, and them. I trust I bave endeavoured to mainbegged of the mistress of it to intercede to tain the motto of the Baptist Irish society, get an Irish Testament for him, having heard who, to their bonour be it spoken, took the that I had some to give away. She did, most difficult, and dark, and dangerous part and I asked bim whether he could read of the Lord's vineyard for oultivation : that the Irish ;" he said he could. I opened the motto is, “ Glory to God in the highest, and testament, and be read the 3d chapter of op eartb, peace, and good will towards men ;' John in a most pleasing manner, which af- and while I endeavoured to contend for fected some persons present to tears. 1 the faith once delivered to the saints,' I promised him a Testament from the society, laboured to give no wilful offence to Jew, and that if he was a diligent, good man, I nor Gentile, nor to the church of God, but would encourage him, by recommending bim to win them to Christ. The Irish tbank to the committee. When I again visited for your kindness; they are grateful and gethe country in a sbort time, I found he was nerous, and your enemies koow they are very diligent. I employed bim as Sabbath brave." reader and schoolmaster for the society, he The Rev. Joseph Ivimey, read a letter became an enlightened, zealous, and very from Mr. Bevan, a magistrate in Ireland, pious man. I shall never forget the large confirmatory of the statements made by Mr. tears that rolled down his cheeks when I Thomas. told bim of the love of Jesus. He and all II. “ That the index of Divine Providence his family have left the Romish religion; he distinctly points to this as the period when has taught a school at Kilfera, containing every friend to the evangelization of Ireland from 60 to 100 children, He has also should be found at bis station, contributing taught about 400 adults to read the Irish to the utmost to its emancipation from the scriptures, and reads them to congregations intolerance of ignorance and superstition, in the villages round where he lives; the and endeavouring to invest the liberated people love to have the Scriptures in their mind with principles derived from the Scripown language, and admire his amiable and tures of truth, whose sanctifying influence pious spirit. The people told me, that they is the best security for the righteous and bedid not know wbat a Testament was, nor did neficial influence of civil enlargement, and they hear of it, uotil I went among them in the only safe guide to the possession of perthat remote, neglected, but very popolous fect and everlasting freedom." part. The readers of the Irish and English The Rev. Joseph Tyso, (of Wallingford) scriptores are a most useful set of men ; the in proposing the second resolution, observed, number under my superintendence is six iti- that clocks and watches would be useless, nerants fully employed, and ten Sabbath and if the index did not move. The index of dievening readers ; they have also taught a vine Providence was moving, and pointed great pamber to read the Irish Scriptures, to a variety of things and events. There and have been employed by the society to was a time when it was inquired “ watchgood effect. When I commenced the ope- man, what of the night? watchman what rations of the society in the most dark and of the night?" But when Christians now dreadful parts of the south-west of Ireland, looked at the index, they inquired not the I bad only one protestant in the employinent the lour of the night, but of the morning.
". The watchman said, the morning cometh, ber the reason, appealing to ber, whether and also the night; if ye will inquire, inquire he had ever said any thing to her on the sabye ; return, come. His friends around him ject; she replied, “ No Sir, but you put haud returned, and come again to the annual the Bible into my hand, and I could not find meetings to inquire the state of things, and a word about the mass, and I told father the resolution pointed to the period in which and mother so;" they said. 'ob, sure, it they should exert themselves for the evan- must be there,' and I offered to read it to gelization of Ireland.
them, and accordingly I began at Genesis, W. B. Gurney, Esq.- I have great plea- and went through to the Revelations ; but sure in seconding this resolation. The cir- we could not find either that, or many other cumstance I would refer to as improving the things we heard of from the priests, so faresolution is, the late establishment of a so-ther and mother said they would go no more ; ciety by the Roman Catholic hierarchy for and they have gone to preaching, wbich they the circulation of tracts, and wbich has al. found to be consistent with 'he Bible. The ready. circulated them very largely, and priest called to remonstrate, and mother told opened stops in various towns in Ireland him we could not find any thing about the for their sale. Hitberto, there has been a ceremonies he enforced the Bible. The design to banish tracts from Ireland, but priest said be knew it was a! there; but, that has failed, and now they have deter- being asked in what part, he coald not tell ; mined to take up these weapons themselves ; upon which inother said, 'Well, sir, when and were it not for the efforts of societies you come by shew os where it all is, we will like these, I should fear that this might for come back, but not till then.'” a time be attended with mischievous effects;
.-" That the efficient aid rendered to but I trust that our efforts will be in con- this society by Mr. Wm. Burls, jan. as its sequence increased, and if tracts are tole- Treasurer, on behalf of his highly esteemed , rated, those on both sides will no doubt be father, is duly appreciated by this meeting, read. The Roman Catbolics have been and that he be solicited to continue bis vamaking efforts also in the promotion of luable assistance during the ensuing year. schools ; but only let schools be established The Reo. T. Grifin said, he was requested by this society, and I have no doubt those to move the re-appointment of the Treasuinstructed by pious teachers, who have the rer. He never refused an invitation to best interests of the children at heart, and preach, though he always refused to make couducted on the system of Scriptoral in a speech ; bat on the present occasion, the struction, will be blessed. The mixture of goodness of the cause, and the zeal and beRoman Catholics with Protestants prevents nevolence that existed in the hearts of the the introduction of written catechisms, and audience preserved bim from excessive emthe system of catechizing on the Scriptures barrassment. He begged to advert to a , themselves, being in consequence adopted, statement often made in reference to some the minds of the children are familiarised individuals, but which, he trusted, woald with the sacred scriptures, and the habit never be applied with justice to that meeting, formed of searching them for themselves, either individually or collectively. It bad I know. instances in this country of those sometimes been said, that " persons were who have been instructed in this mode, which saints abroad, but demons at home.” His I would recommend to all Sunday-school Baptist friends had been acting like saints teachers, who have afterwards been exposed with respect to the miserable condition to the contagion of infidel principles, but of man in foreign parts. Saints loved boliwho have afterwards, when they made a pro- ness, and delighted in promoting it
. The session of religion, which they are now saints in beaven especially rejoiced when honouring, declared that their minds were sinners were brought to repentance ; and so imbued with the Scriptures that they ne- those who were still in the militant state, ver could receive, (although disposed to do prayed for the outpouring of God's spirit, for so) the sentiments contained in the books the accomplishment of that object both at pat into their hands. A few years ago, I home and abroad. He was sure that those heard from an excellent magistrate in Ire persons present who really desired to see the land, some very interesting statements res-accomplishment of so desirable an object, pecting the proficiency of many children who would do what they could to promote it. His had been thus instructed ; among other facts, friends had been contributing to the spread be stated, that many bad, without one word of the Gospel in foreign parts, bat they had being said on that subject, become attend a little sister at home demanding all their ants on Evangelical preaching, and were prayers, and every exertion that could be decidedly pious. I will mention one, a girl employed. He was persuaded that whatof twelve or fourteen years of age, after at- erer view was taken by the individuals comtending bim for some time in the school, posing the present meeting, relative to the ceased to attend the Roman Catholic wor-recent legislative enactments for Ireland, ship, and this gentleman meeting ber asked they must all labour more than ever for its