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as an escaped slave is well known-followed, and made some very touching remarks.
S. M. Peto, Esq., M.P., said, he was glad to have that opportunity of expressing his cordial sympathy with the object of the meeting, and called upon Christians of every denomination to unite in saying that they hated slavery, and in endeavouring entirely to destroy it.
The meeting was also addressed by the Rev. A. Crummell, the Hon. Horace Grealey (Editor of the "New York Tribune "), Rev. T. Binney, Elihu Burritt, Rev. J. Henson (formerly a slave), and Rev. W. Owen.
Other speakers had been appointed, but the proceedings having been protracted until after ten o'clock, the assembly dispersed.
RAGGED SCHOOL UNION.
THE Annual Meeting of this Institution was held on Tuesday morning, May 20th, in Exeter Hall, when Lord Robert Grosvenor presided.
After the Chairman had delivered a few introductory remarks, the Hon. Secretary read the Report, which alluded to the rapid increase of the Society since 1845. In that year there were twenty schools, two hundred teachers, and two thousand pupils; and the amount collected was £51.
During the last year, there had been 95 schools, 1392 voluntary and 167 paid teachers, and 10,900 children; the sum collected being £2658.
During the year, three girls and eighty boys had been enabled to emigrate, by the united efforts of the Union and local schools; fifty-three having gone to Australia, and thirty-one to America.
The various resolutions were submitted to the meeting by Lord Kinnaird, Rev. W. Cadman, Mr. Slaney, Rev. J. Burnet, Rev. Dr. Cumming, Rev. J. Branch, Rev. W. W. Champneys, Rev. S. Martin, J. Maxwell, Esq., and Mr. Rees.
The evening meeting was held at the same place, when the hall was crowded.
Lord Ashley, M.P., occupied the Chair. R. Baxter, Esq., Rev. G. Smith, Rev. Mr. White, J. Payne, Esq., and Rev. Dr. Archer, advocated the claims of this useful and important Institution.
TOWN MISSIONARY AND SCRIPTURE
THE Fourteenth Annual Meeting of this Society was held at the Music Hall, Store Street, on Tuesday evening, May 20th; the Marquis of Cholmondeley presiding.
After the Chairman's opening Address, the Secretary, Mr. Geldart, was called upon to read the Report, which urged the importance
of all Evangelical Christians uniting, upon unsectarian principles, to give the simple truths of the gospel to the masses of the people. The operations of the Society during the past year had been extensive, and crowned with encouraging success. The Missionaries had held numerous meetings in cottages, schoolrooms, and barns; besides Bible-classes, and adult evening classes. 134,880 Tracts had been distributed, and 2398 Bibles and Testaments sold.
The Report also announced the following gratifying results of the Society's usefulness:Instances of hopeful conversion, 301; those who have joined Christian churches, 152; children sent to day-schools, 501; children sent to Sunday-schools, 813; persons induced to attend public worship, 775.
The receipts from ordinary sources had amounted to £3652 5s. 4d., being an increase of £368 beyond those of the former year.
The claims of the Society were strongly impressed upon the meeting by the Revs. E. Pizey, W. Brock, J. Branch, D. Dibdin, J. D. Paul, Esq., Capt. Young, H. Owen, Esq., and J. H. Wright, Esq.
IRISH CHURCH MISSION.
On Friday, May 2nd, this Society held its Annual Meeting, at Exeter Hall. The Chair was occupied by the Earl of Harrowby. The Report showed that the receipts for the past year amounted to £6284 5s. 4d., exceeding those of the former year by £1609 8s. 8d. The expenditure for the same period was 6703 0s. 8d.
There were thirty schools, containing 2932 children, all of whom were the children of Roman Catholics, or of converts. There were 141 agents, and 83 Scripture readers employed, who instructed nearly 4000 Romanists in reading the Irish Scriptures.
The noble Chairman addressed the meeting, and was followed by several clergymen, who ably advocated the claims of this useful Society.
NAVAL AND MILITARY BIBLE SOCIETY.
THE Seventy-first Annual Meeting of this Society took place on Wednesday, April 30th, at the Hanover-square Rooms; when the Chair was taken, at twelve o'clock, by the Marquis of Cholmondeley.
After a short devotional service, the noble chairman, who had just recovered from severe indisposition, offered a few remarks on the important nature of the Institution whose Anniversary they had met to celebrate.
The Secretary then read the Report, which stated that, during the past year, more than 17,500 copies of the Bible and Testament had been distributed, through the different
channels to which the Society directed its attention.
From the Treasurer's account it appeared that the receipts amounted to £2080 9s. 7d., and the payments to £2153 18s. 5d.
Appropriate allusion was made to the death of two of the Vice-Presidents of the Society, Lord Bexley and Lieut.-General Orde.
The meeting was well addressed by Capt. Walker, Rev. C. Gribble, Rev. J. Stratten, Lient. R. C. Nantes, Rev. W. M. Wright, Major Montague, Rev. C. Hume, and Major Little.
The Doxology was then sung, and a liberal collection made.
CONGREGATIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION.
THE Seventh Annual Meeting of the Congregational Board of Education was held on Friday evening, May 16th, at Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate Street.
Samuel Morley, Esq., took the Chair, at six o'clock.
The Rev. J. C. Harrison offered prayer; after which the Chairman introduced the business of the evening, with some very striking remarks on the importance of giving a superior education to those who were to instruct the rising generation.
The Rev. T. James read the Report, which stated that the great work of the Board was to train up pious young persons, of both sexes, for the office of teachers. The Presidents of the male and female departments, who continue to occupy their responsible posts, were spoken of in the highest terms.
During the past year twenty-seven teachers had satisfactorily passed their examinations, and had been appointed to schools in different places.
The proposed junction of the Board with the Voluntary School Association had been declined.
The Report concluded with a touching reference to the loss which had been sustained in the death of the Rev. Algernon Wells.
The cash account was submitted by the Treasurer, from which it appeared that £2672 17s. 3d. had been received, and £2251 98. 3d. expended.
The meeting was ably addressed by the Rev. J. Corbin, Rev. J. S. Pearsall, Rev. J. Kelly, J. Buchanan, Esq., Rev. G. Smith, E. Baines, Esq., and Rev. G. Rose.
A cordial vote of thanks was presented to the Chairman, to whom the Congregational Board of Education is under the deepest obligations, for the warm and liberal interest he has so long manifested in all their proceedings.
A brief reply from the Chair closed the meeting.
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
THE Annual Meeting of this Society was held at the Institution, Lincoln's-inn-fields, on Tuesday afternoon, May 6th. The Lord Bishop of London presided, and briefly opened the business of the meeting.
The Secretary, the Rev. T. B. Murray, read the Report, which stated that arrangements had been made for opening a Depository at Knightsbridge, during the Great Exhibition. A larger number than usual of the Society's publications had been sold during the year. The expenditure of the year, however, had exceeded the income.
His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge was elected a member of the Society; and the Tract Committee for the ensuing year was appointed.
The Bishop of St. Asaph, the Bishop of Nova Scotia, the Rev. Dr. Russell, Sir T. Phillips, &c., expressed their firm attachment to the Society, whose publications they considered exceedingly useful, especially in the present day.
FEMALE EDUCATION IN THE EAST.
THE Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the friends of this Society was held on Friday, May 2nd, in the Music Hall, Store Street, Russell Square. The hall was crowded on the occasion. Thomas Fowell Buxton, Esq., presided; and opened the business of the evening with setting forth the claims of a Society, which, in his opinion, was doing an important work, in a quiet and unostentatious way. He considered that the females of the East were almost entirely cut off from every means of education, except that which the Society afforded.
The Secretary read an interesting Report, which fully proved the usefulness of the Institution, and the claims it had to enlarged support.
The Treasurer submitted his accounts; from which it appeared that the Income for the year was £2000.
The meeting was well addressed by the Revs. T. Nolan, Dr. Adamson (of the Cape), P. B. Power, Archdeacon Bell, and Dr. Cumming.
Thanks were voted to the Chairman, and the proceedings were closed with singing and
HOME AND COLONIAL SCHOOL SOCIETY.
THIS Society held its Fifteenth Anniversary on Monday morning, May 5th, at the Institution, Gray's Inn Road; the Earl of Chichester in the chair.
The Secretary read the Report, which referred, at some length, to the inspection of the Society's operations, by the Rev. F. C. Cook, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors, and to
the favourable opinion he had expressed at the system of teaching and discipline adopted. A large number of teachers had been carefully prepared to occupy situations, where they were usefully employed. Many teachers were still in training-particularly with a view to become nursery governesses, and conductors of infant schools.
The financial statement showed the income for the year to be £6759, and the expenditure, £5703; leaving a large balance in favour of the Society.
The Report was read, and adopted; and resolutions in furtherance of the Society's objects having been unanimously agreed to, the meeting separated.
THE WEEKLY TRACT SOCIETY.
THIS Society held its Third Annual Meeting in the lower room, Exeter Hall, on Thursday evening, April 24th.
Charles Jones, Esq., was called to preside. After singing and prayer, the Chairman opened the proceedings of the evening with a few appropriate remarks.
The Rev. W. H. Elliott, the Secretary, then read the Report, which set forth the unsectarian character of the Society, and the advantages of a weekly issue of religious tracts, to counteract the influence of the impure publications sent forth from the press.
During the past year, 138,250 tracts had been published by the Society, and circulated in various parts of the kingdom, especially amongst our soldiers, many of whom received them gladly. The Committee, anxious to avail themselves of the facilities thus afforded, to diffuse the knowledge of Divine truth among the multitudes who would visit the Crystal Palace, in addition to their ordinary operations, had published a series of eight. paged tracts in the English, and various continental languages, for gratuitous distribution among the visitors.
From the Treasurer's account, it appeared that the funds of the Society exhibited an increase, as compared with the previous year.
The Revs. G. W. Fishbourne, E. F. Woodman, J. Aldis, and Mr. Murphy, addressed the meeting, and urged the claims of this young but important Society.
Rev. I. Vale Mummery, of Hackney, and answered by Mr. Loudon, on the part of the church, and by the recognized pastor. Prayer was offered by the Rev. E. Stally brass, the minister's father. An affectionate and powerful charge was addressed to the pastor, by the Rev. W. Forster, of Kentish Town.
After the morning's service, a large number of Christian friends dined together, in the school-room adjoining the chapel, which had just been considerably enlarged.
In the evening, the Rev. G. Smith, of Poplar, addressed the people with great appropriateness and energy.
The Revs. J. Legg, W. Ward, and S. Hinckley, of Stratford; S. Davis, and G. W. Fishbourne, of Bow; G. L. Smith, of Zion Chapel; J. Woodard, of Ilford; R. Machray, M.A., of Walthamstow; G. Corney, of Barking; J. Stallybrass, W. Tyler, and S Saunders attended, most of whom took part in the interesting services of the day.
TESTIMONIAL TO THE REV. A. FLETCHER, D.D.
ON Tuesday evening, April 15th, a very numerous meeting was held in Finsbury Chapel, to witness the presentation of a splendid silver epergne and candelabra to the Rev. A. Fletcher, D.D., from the friends of Sabbath schools, as an expression of gratitude for the deep interest the Doctor has manifested in the spiritual welfare of the rising generation. Henry Althans, Esq., who presided, bore testimony to the steady and persevering efforts of the Rev. Dr. Fletcher, for the benefit of the young, during the last forty years.
Mr. John Cross then read an appropriate Address, and presented the candelabra to the Doctor.
Dr. Fletcher replied in a very pathetic speech, in which he was repeatedly interrupted by the plaudits of the company. The meeting was subsequently addressed by the Revs. Dr. Hewlett, II. S. Seaborn (who had been pupils in Dr. Fletcher's school), and by Messrs. Howitt, Hartley, Harrison, Nashbrook, and others. The Doxology having been sung, and the benediction pronounced, the meeting broke up at a quarter before ten o'clock.
ings of the Union, the management of the Chapel Board, and the place of meeting (viz. Glasgow) for the Union in 1852. On Thursday, at six o'clock, the general assembly of the Union was held at Ward Chapel, when the Rev. Dr. Wardlaw presided. After prayer, by the Rev. Mr. Russell, of Stirling, Dr. Wardlaw delivered a very interesting and eloquent address, and called on the Secretary to read such portions of the Report as might tend to acquaint the meeting with the proceedings of the Union, especially in reference to those churches which received partial aid from its funds. In the absence of the Treasurer, the Secretary read an abstract of accounts, from which it appeared that, in addition to the regular income of the Union, by Contributions, Collections, &c., and about £300 arising from Legacies, the Treasurer had been obliged to draw from the reserved fund £200, to enable him to meet the claims of the year.
The Chairman, then, with his usual courtesy and gentlemanly bearing, introduced Dr. Halley, the Delegate of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, who, after acknowledging the kind and fraternal manner in which the Chairman had introduced him to the meeting, delivered a most impressive address, assuring the friends of the Union of the deep fraternal feeling entertained towards Scottish Congregationalists by their brethren in England.
It was then resolved to carry on, with all the vigour possible, itinerant and Missionary operations, and to do all the Union could effect to strengthen the hands of weak churches. Thanks having been voted to Dr. Halley, the meeting, long to be remembered, closed with appropriate exercises of prayer and praise.
Watts' by other collections, only including a limited number of his unrivalled compositions. But with all this strong feeling, which we believe to be extensively cherished, and well founded, we have always been friendly, under certain conditions, to a revision both of the Psalms and Hymns of the venerable poet of the sanctuary. We could trust very few with this delicate and difficult task; but, from the taste and Christian feeling of Mr. Conder, we can look to him with confidence, that he will do the thing that is needed, and will be acceptable to the churches of our Denomination. We shall let him speak for himself; and only entreat that he will take care of his Index, for we do not absolutely know of a good one.
"In the present Edition, the Psalms are given in their order; omitting a few unsuited to Christian worship, many duplicate versions of Psalms not often used, and the bracketed portion of others. By this means, the whole is reduced in bulk nearly one-half. Of 339 Psalms, 230 are retained, either wholly or in part, which will be found more than twice as many as are comprised in any mixed collection.
"The Hymns contained in the Three Books are arranged in One Book, in the following order :-Adoration of the Divine Perfection-Praise to the Redeemer-To the Holy Spirit Doxologies Morning and Evening, Lord's Day-Lord's Supper-Baptism-Funereal-Close and Beginning of the Year-Old Testament Subjects-New Testament Subjects. The arrangement will be found especially convenient to those who conduct our public worship. Of the 365 Hymns, 245 are retained, a larger proportion than is found in any collection, and none are omitted that are adapted for congregational use.
"The verbal corrections which have been made, are such only as it is believed the venerable author, were he living, would approve of; as he is stated by his biographer to have been not unwilling to meet the objections raised by contemporary Divines against the phraseology of some of his Hymns, upon doctrinal grounds; and his own language in the preface to his Hymns is,- Blessed be God! we are not confined to the words of any man in our public solemnities.' Many of the corrections are so unobtrusive, that they will escape notice; others are so obviously necessary, that they will obtain immediate assent; while few, it is hoped, will be deemed either superfluous or questionable improvements. They have, at least, been made with a reverential regard for the Author's memory, and under a paramount sense of what is required to perpetuate the use of his works among our churches.
"In this abridged and corrected form, Dr. Watts' Psalms and Hymns will admit of con2 &
venient incorporation with the existing sup- | labouring,-for it was but a mile or so from plement, in a single volume, without sacrificing the distinct identity and substantive character of a book, which has exerted so salutary an influence upon our psalmody and which has heretofore, as the Hymn Book of our congregations, been a bond and symbol of our unity. Whatever convenience may attach to the substitution of a single collection for two distinct books, would be, it is submitted, too dearly purchased, by merging the Psalms of Dr. Watts in an ill-arranged mass of Hymns of all descriptions, to the manifest danger of deteriorating our devotional standard."
THE ordination of the Rev. L. H. Byrnes, B.A., late of Cheshunt College, as pastor of the Congregational Church, Kingston-onThames, took place on Thursday, 22nd May. The morning service was opened by the Rev. G. Wood, B.A., of Bristol; the introductory discourse was delivered by the Rev. W. H. Stowell, D.D., President of Cheshunt College; the questions were proposed to the church and pastor by the Rev. T.W. Aveling, of Kingsland Chapel, London; the ordination prayer was offered by the Rev. Thomas Archer, D.D., of Oxendon Chapel, London, who kindly undertook this part of the service in the absence, through illness, of the Rev. W. Holmes of Wisbech; and the charge to the minister was delivered by the Rev. J. Harris, D.D., now President of New College, London, but under whom the newly elected minister studied at Cheshunt. In the evening, a very telling sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Archer to a full congregation. The Rev. W. Collings, minister of the Baptist Church, Kingston; Rev. J. Morris, of Leatherhead, Rev. E. Davies, of Richmond, Rev. J. Hall, of Brixton, Rev. G. P. Davies, B.A., of Wandsworth, and several other ministers from the neighbouring churches, took part in the services of the day. Upwards of a hundred persons sat down to dinner in the Town Hall, which was kindly granted by the mayor for the occasion; Apsley Pellatt, Esq., of Staines, in the Chair. The whole proceedings of the day were deeply interesting, well sustained, and much enjoyed. The day was remarkably fine, the attendance large, and the occasion, we are assured, will be long remembered for good.
The circumstances by which Mr. Byrnes was led, ultimately, to enter upon the ministry of the gospel, were singularly providential, and just at the present time, peculiarly interesting, as the following extract from the answers to the usual questions will show:
It is now some years since my parents were requested by the Roman Catholic priest of the chapel, situated almost on the very spot where the late minister of this place is now
Hanley in Staffordshire,—to give me up as an acolyte. The acolytes in the Roman Catholic church, I should perhaps say, are the boys elected to wait upon the priest at the altar, to light and extinguish the candles on the altar, and to utter the responses. To my great grief then, but now to my inexpressible joy, no sooner had my parents given their consent, than they were suddenly removed from the locality, and afterwards settled at Wisbech, in Cambridgeshire. Here there was no Roman Catholic Chapel, and my parents, having a great dislike to the Established Church, thought of attending the Independent Chapel, as they conceived the Independents were least bigoted towards their religion. I believe it was almost the first time that my mother attended. That hymn of Watts' was unfortunately sung, in which occurs the couplet
Then let our souls in Zion dwell,
Nor fear the wrath of Rome or hell.'
"This gave great offence; but, as I had taken to the Sunday school, I was permitted to remain. To yourself, sir (Rev. T. Aveling), and to Rev. G. Wilkinson, also present this morning, as well as to other friends then connected with that school, I can never return thanks that will express my sense of your kindness. To Mr. Wilkinson, especially, I owe the enkindling within me of the Missionary flame. **** I was afterwards occasionally engaged in village-preaching, and my services proving acceptable to neighbouring churches, and to our own, I was urged to apply for admission to Cheshunt College, where I had the privilege of sitting at the feet of Dr. Harris, present with us to-day; whose great kindness to me, as well as that of the other tutors, I would take this opportunity of gratefully acknowledging."
A DEEPLY interesting service was held on Thursday morning, the 22nd May, for the public recognition of the Rev. Joseph Steer, late of Plymouth, as pastor of the Independent Church and Congregation worshipping in George-street Chapel, Croydon.
The Rev. George Smith, of Poplar, delivered the introductory discourse; the Rev. John Adey, of London, asked the usual questions; the Rev. Samuel Steer, of Castle Hedingham, Essex, offered up the designation prayer; and the Rev. E. Mannering, of London, delivered the charge to the minister. The service throughout was of a highly instructive char
In the evening, the Rev. Eliezer Jones, of Plymouth, preached an impressive discourse to the people. The Revs. John Bunter (a former pastor of the Church), Thomas Ken