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and the election of the Rev. Benjamin B. Wisner, D. D., Rev. Rufus Anderson, and Mr. David Greene, as Secretaries of the Board.
The following persons were elected officers of the Board for the year ensuing:
John Cotton SMITH, LL. D., President;
WILLIAM J. HUBBARD, Esq. } Auditors.
The selection of missionaries, and the particular direction of missions, are, by the laws and regulations of the Board, made the specific duty of the Prudential Committee. That Committee has made it an invariable rule hitherto, to give appointments as missionaries to all suitable preachers of the gospel belonging to the Reformed Dutch, the Presbyterian, the Associate Reformed, and the Congregational churches, who have expressed to them a willingness to devote their lives to missionary labors among the heathen. Acting on this rule, every reasonable facility will be furnished to ministers and candidates in these several denominations, for becoming missionaries in heathen lands. The joint committee see no way in which it is possible for the Synod to render it easier for the missionary candidates in their church to avail themselves of the experience and patronage of the Board of Missions. The joint committee would recommend, as the most convenient and effectual method of securing the object which the Synod has in view, that the friends of missions in the Reformed Dutch Church, whether acting as individuals, or in voluntary or ecclesiastical associations, exercise, if they please, their right of appropriating their contributions to the support of missionaries from their own church, and such others as they approve. In this way they make their election of missionaries, as really as if they nominated them in the first instance, and the Prudential Committee move onward without embarrassment.
The joint committee are informed that the Prudential Committee intend inviting Mr. Abeel to visit this country, partly with a view to his performing
an agency in the denomination to which he belongs. It is understood also, that if Mr. Abeel should on his return find young men in the Reformed Dutch Church, possessing the requisite qualifications for missionaries, and willing to accompany him to the East, the Prudential Committee will gladly give them an appointment, and send them forth as missionaries of the Board. Nor will there be any objection to their forming a new and distinct mission, with an ecclesiastical organization and public worship according to their own views and wishes, as has invariably been the case with the missionaries under the superintendence of the Board. And should the friends of missions in that church prefer appropriating their contributions to this, or any other mission, or object within the proper scope of the Board, and should it be practicable to expend those contributions wisely upon that mission or object, there can be no objection to such appropriations, and the wishes of the donors will be sacredly regarded. Should there be any excess in the receipts from the Reformed Dutch Church above the proper expenses of the missionaries from that church, the balance will of course go for the general objects of the Board. Should it at any time be expedient to increase the number of missionaries in the missions commenced by missionaries from the Reformed Dutch Church, and should suitable men in this church offer their services, and prefer going to those missions, they would have the preference of others.
These views, if sanctioned by the Board, place it within the power of the friends of missions in the Reformed Dutch Church to employ the Board and its Committee as their almoners and agents in conducting missions among the heathen; and, at the same time, have the satisfaction of supporting missionaries from their own church. The ecclesiastical relations and responsibilities of missionaries are not at all affected by their coming under the direction of the Board.
This report was accepted and unanimously adopted.
Missions among the southwestern Indian tribes, and the imprisoned missionaries. The committee on the correspondence between the Prudential Committee and the executive of the United States respecting the imprisoned missionaries in Georgia reported, which report was re-committed, and Mr. David Greene was added to the committee.
This committee subsequently reported the following resolutions:
Resolved, That the Board approve the memorial and proceedings of the Prudential Committee in relation to these subjects.
Resolved, That the Board approve the measures adopted, under the sanction of the Prudential Committee, by the Rev. Samuel A. Worcester and Doct. Elizur Butler, missionaries of the Board, now confined in the penitentiary of the state of Georgia, for - bringing their case before the Supreme Court of the United States; and that the Board express their satisfaction in view of the decision of that high tribunal, and also that the Prudential Committee be instructed to adopt such other measures as they may think expedient for protecting the persons and rights of these missionaries.
Resolved, That the Board express their continued confidence in the missionaries named in the preceding resolutions, and their fraternal sympathy with them in the painful separation from Christian privileges, their families,
and their missionary labors, and in the protracted and illegal imprisonment, to which these servants of Christ have been subjected for more than a year; and that the Board commend them and their bereaved families to the prayers of the friends of missions throughout the country.
It was also moved and ordered, that the Prudential Committee prepare and publish, at such time as they shall deem the most expedient, a concise statement of facts respecting the missions established by the Board among the southwestern tribes of Indians, in conformity to the resolution on that subject which was adopted at the last Annual Meeting, and with which circumstances have hitherto prevented a compliance.
On salaries of missionaries. The committee to whom was referred the report of the Prudential Committee in reference to the salaries of missionaries, reported that, upon consideration of this difficult subject, and feeling great respect for the wisdom and long experience of the Prudential Committee, the committee recommend that the arrangement reported by the Prudential Committee in respect to the Bombay mission, be approved, as a useful and important experiment. The report was accepted.
Grants from the American Bible Society were acknowledged in the following resolutions:
Resolved, That this Board acknowledges with lively sensibility the donations of five thousand dollars for printing and circulating the Holy Scriptures and parts thereof, in the Mahratta language, by the mission at Bombay, and five thousand dollars for the like object in the language of the Sandwich Islands, voted by the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society in the month of November last.
Resolved, That the Prudential Committee be instructed to communicate the above resolution to the Managers of the American Bible Society, together with such information as the Committee possess relative to the progress which has been made in printing the Scriptures, under the encouragement derived from the timely and liberal grants above mentioned;—
;-a reference to the period within which the expenditures for these objects will render it desirable to receive the sums granted, or portions thereof;
-a notice of the existing facilities and calls for further expenditure for like objects, in connection with the missions of this Board in the course of the ensuing year;—and an expression of the fervent desire and hope entertained by this Board, that the National Bible Society may be enabled, in connection with its other foreign operations, to supply the growing demands for the Holy Scriptures at all our missionary stations.
Ackncwledgmeut of grants from the American Tract Society.-Resolved, That the thanks of the Board be presented to the American Tract Society, for the liberal donation of two thousand six hundred dollars for the printing and distribution of religious tracts in connection with the missions of the Board in Bombay, Ceylon, southeastern Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Sandwich Islands; and that the Prudential Committee be instructed to make
a respectful application and statement to the Executive Committee of that Society, with a view to obtaining further aid in the great department of Christian charity, which belongs appropriately to that institution.
High School at the Sandwich Islands.-Resolved, That the Board have heard with much satisfaction of the establishment of a High School at the Sandwich Islands, for accelerating the progress of education and religious knowledge among the islanders, and that it be recommended to the Prudential Committee to foster the infant seminary with great care, and to take all proper opportunities for introducing it to the favorable regard and patronage of the Christian community.
Missionary Seminary in Ceylon.--Resolved, That the Board regard with great interest the missionary seminary at Batticotta, in Ceylon, believing it to be a very important means of diffusing a knowledge of Christianity among the people in Ceylon and in the southern part of peninsular India speaking the Tamul language; and they would respectfully and earnestly commend this institution to the liberal charities of the community. They also cordially approve of the determination of the Prudential Committee to send out, by divine permission, an associate for Mr. Poor in the instruction of the seminary.
Encouragements of the past year.--Resolved, That the Board notice with gratitude to God the strong and cheering interest, which auxiliaries, associations, and individuals in different parts of the country feel in the prosperity of the missions under the superintendence of the Board; who have, by their prompt and liberal pecuniary contributions, enabled the Prudential Committee to send forth a greater number of missionaries than usual, with other means of exerting a Christian influence among the heathen, and so have greatly encouraged the Board, its officers, agents, and missionaries in their work.
General Agents for particular districts of country.—Resolved, That the Board approve of the appointment of General Agents to co-operate with the friends of missions in particular districts, and with its executive officers, in measures for promoting a missionary spirit, and that it be considered the duty of members of the Board to encourage and assist these agents in the several fields of their labor.
The Prudential Committee encouraged to prosecute their labors without fear. -Resolved, That the Board cordially approve of the disposition of the Prudential Committee to search out and obtain precise and accurate information concerning the unevangelized portions of the earth, and to send forth all the suitable missionaries to the heathen, who can be procured; and the Board would encourage the Committee to go forward in this work without fear, trusting in the power and grace of Christ, who has commanded that the gospel be published to every creature, and promised to be with his servants who engage in the performance of this duty with humble confidence in him.
Auxiliaries in New-York and Philadelphia.—Resolved, That the Prudential Committee be instructed to confer with the Auxiliary Society of New-York and Brooklyn, on the subject of holding a public meeting in behalf of foreign missions in the city of New-York during the week of the religious anniversaries in May; and also with the Auxiliary Society in Philadelphia on the
subject of holding a similar meeting in that city during the week of religious anniversaries there in the same month.
A resolution was introduced relating to persons desirous of being connected with missionary stations under the direction of the Board, and yet able and willing to support themselves, and was referred to the Prudential Committee, to report at the next meeting of the Board.
The thanks of the Board were voted to the pastors and trustees of the churches, in which public services were held during the session, and for the use of the room in which the meeting was held for the transaction of business; and also to the individuals and families in the city, to whom the members were under obligation for their hospitality and kindness.
The next meeting is to be held in the city of Philadelphia, on the third Wednesday of September, 1833, at 10, A. M. Dr. McAuley is the preacher for the occasion, and Dr. McMurray his substitute. The members of the Board residing in that city, are a committee to make the necessary arrangements for the meeting.
Perhaps there never has been a meeting of the Board, at which the spirit exhibited throughout was more in unison with the great object for which the Board exists. The same gracious influence from on high was manifestly present, which had crowned the year with loving kindness and tender mercy. And when the business of the session was nearly completed, and a series of resolutions were presented-recognising the institutions of learning established in Ceylon and the Sandwich Islands, the appointment of general agents for different sections of our own extended country, the goodness of God in the liberal benefactions of the churches, and the duty of the Prudential Committee to go forward in their work without fear, trusting in the power and grace of Christ-the benevolent feeling, which had been gathering strength during the meeting, broke forth in strains of touching eloquence. The speakers on that occasion were Drs. Beecher, McAuley, and Edwards, the Hon. Mr. Frelinghuysen, and Rev. Mr. Patton; and others were prevented from speaking only by want of time.
The responsibilities, cares, and labors in the department of correspondence have become so numerous, that the Board thought it necessary to introduce a new organization, and appointed three co-ordinate Secretaries, each with his separate sphere of duty, for which he is responsible to the Prudential Committee. The domestic correspondence, including the general superintendence of agencies, and the visiting of theological seminaries and meetings of ecclesiastical bodies—the foreign correspondence-and the correspondence with missions among the Indians, with the editing of the Missionary Herald;form the general outline in the distribution of particular duties: but there will be many duties common to the three, and each will of course assist the others as there shall be occasion. Some idea may be formed of the amount of labor necessary at the Missionary Rooms, in the correspondence alone, when it is stated that the sum paid by the Board for the postage of letters, the past year, was about $550, and that very little of this was occasioned by