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io extensions of operations, and its success by its means and instruments, have proved in the highest degree pleasing and satisfactory. But the gradually increasing operations of the Society have greatly exceeded its progressive means •f support; its designs having been truly laudable and excellent, its means and instruments well adapted to execute them, and the sphere of its labours admirably calculated to gratify British benevolence, and to reward Christian zeal. Under all these circumstances, it is a matter of surprise and regret that the income of this Institution, arising from Annual Subscriptions, does not amount to £!HM; whilst its Annual Expenditure is upwards of =£4000!! The deficiency has, in part, been supplied by Donations and Collections, and also by assistance received from Auxiliary Societies; but the arrears at length amount to a sum (£ 1 fi0.5) which must have become burdensome to the Treasurer, embarrassing to the Committee, and prejudicial to the interest of the Society.
That a work so truly important, that objects so highly benevolent, and that efforts so eminently successful, will be impeded or paralyzed for want of pecuniary support, the Committee cannot believe. For the appeal to Christian principles, feelings, and generosity, is made, in the present instance, to the religious public in Great Britain; whose noble liberality supports efforts of compassion and mercy, amongst the ignorant and the miserable in the most dist :int parts of the world. And this liberality will surely not be withheld from the Hibernian Society, whose labours are directed to remove the afflicting spectacle of ignorance, superstition, immorality, and mental degradation, which the lower classes of the community in Ireland exhibit; to place our " brethren according to the flesh," our fellow subjects, on the same high ground of moral and national advantage on which we stand, and thus to promote 'heir best interest, their highest happiness, and their eternal salvation.
Captain Pakenham, Ft. N. rose, and <hus addressed the Meeting.—Every Christian bosom must beat with delight at hearing the success which has attended the labours of the Society in Ireland. When he heard that during the last year the increase in the number of children in the Society's Schools had been 8000, be contemplated, with rapture the barren gloomy vale of superstition enlightened by tbe refreshii gbeams of the adorable Sun of Righteousness; and be trusted tbe Meeting would allow him to comment on a few passages iq the delightful report they had just heard read. In one part it was said that while a child was reading bis scripture task at home before his father, who was a Catholic, when be came to these words, " The Lord it
rich unto all that call on him," the father repeated the passage two or three times, and falling on his knees, blessed) God that he saw there what he never saw before; that God is no respecter of persons, and that people of other persuasions may be saved as well as Roman Catholics. Here we see, in this delightful instance, a Roman Catholic peasant in a lonely cottage learning the truths of salvation from the Bible of his child, and seeing, notwithstanding the bigotry and mistatements of his priest, that the blood of the Lamb was shed for men of every clime, nation, tongue, and people. When we hear another poor man telling his priest th"at he had one child in the school, but that if he had twenty he would send them all; and when he is told by the priest that he should be put out of the church, answers undauntedly, "Another church will take me in.'* Yes ; this Society would have taken him in, and the arms of Jesus would have embraced him. When we hear of another father telling his priest, who threatened to punish him severely if he ient his child to school," that he thought it better that he should bear the punishment than that his children should want education," who could help admiring the father become, as it were, a martyr for his children? Surely the light of heaven must have beamed upon his conscience!—In the recovery of Ireland from her gloom and errors, might we not say, "The people whe dwelt in darkness have seen a great light ?" and might we not als;o see the fulfilment of that pleasing prophecy, "The wilderness and the solitary place shall he glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose?" When we hear of an old man, even at tbe advanced period of 9T years ef age, taking a journey of SO miles to beg a large-print Testament, confessing he had been in the dark all his days, but now he thought he saw a little light from the New Testament, we were strongly reminded of that miracle on the blind man, who when he was cured by Jesus, thought he at first saw men like trees walking; but afterwards he saw things correctly, and in their true light. So when divine truth breaks at first on the gloom of the mind we see things only in part as thro' a glass, darkly. It was by the Bible, and that only, that men should be made wise unto salvation. In the hand of God this weapon became truly mighty for pulling down sin and] superstition. In the Havannah, a negro might, if he bad money, buy bis freedom, and if he had more money he might buy the privilege of ranking as a white man; and if after so doing any one should call him a black man, even though he was as black as the ace of spades, the negro could sue him in a court of justice an* obtain damage*. The Bible not only calls men (be children of God, but makes them such. It transforms them by conforming them to the image of God's eternal Son. He was glad the Society was opposed, because this hostility would teach them lessons of prudence. He was glad they were in debt, for it would stimulate their friends to relieve them. He would only add, it was unnecessary for him to say more than merely ask the Society to consider the heart-felt pleasure of seeing a father, once a dark and ignorant creature, now kneeling at the throne of grace, and teaching his little ones to lisp the praises of Him who loved them, and who himself is the "God of Love." He concluded by moving that the report now read be approved.
Rev. J. Pateeson, of St. Petersburg, seconded the motion. He was no speechiner, but a plain narrator of facts, and as some facts had been put into his hand he begged to read them. [Here the reverend gentleman entered into an account of some facts respecting the schools, and among other things added, that passing one day through a field, the writer of the account he held in his hand was asked by two men, " What news?" He answered, "Good news! glad tidings for perishing sinners, in the gospel of our salvation!" The men taking off their hats answered, "Blessed be God! this is good news to all people !"] The meeting would ex
fect as be came from the continent, that e should give them some news from thence. He would therefore observe, that though they had heard much of opposition being made by the Catholics in Ireland to the work of Education and the circulation of the Scriptures, he could bless God that this was not the case in the north of Europe. It was the glory of the Greek Church that she had never been a persecuting church, for, although she had many errors, still she never prevented men from worshipping God according to the unbiassed dictates of their own conscience. In Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, education was as common as in this country, few being found who could not read, and few who had not an earnest desire for Scripture truths. In one of the German provinces of Russia, a worthy dean, who was in the custom of giving books as rewards of diligence, was applied to by a poor woman for a Testament, for a child of hers between 4 and 5 years old. The Dean, being astonished, asked her if the child could read, to which she answered he could; and the eh Id being examined, read so admirably that he immediately obtained the Testament. Another clergyman was nominated to a parish consisting of 13,000 'fouls, but few of whom when he came there could read; and he immediately commenced a school and acted as school master himself, at the same time ap
pointing such parents at could read (« assist him. He held public examinations, and when a child was found to read veil he was in the habit of praising the parents for their pains, but when the contrary was the case he reprimanded them with the same fidelity: and thns by persevering, he had in a few years the pleasure of seeing every one in the parish able to read, both old and young.—The funds of the Hibernian Society were low, and he was astonished at this when he considered that the cause was the cause of God, and should therefore open all purses and all hearts. In Gottenbnrgh a school bad been established by the Prince there, and the children following the example of some schools in England had subscribed a penny a week to the Bible Societv. Some of them, however, being so poor as not to have even this, went to the person who provided their victuals and betted him to give tbem so mnch less dinner as would amount to a penny a week, lint they might give this to the Society. 0a that this example might be followed! and that, denying themselves the luxuriesof life, Christians would join heart and isti in supporting the great work of the bat Surely it would not fare worse w ith then or their families, that they had given something to the Lord.
C. S. Dudley, Esq. after statin; tie receipts of the Society and their erpesditure, which he considered of much importance, said he had heard it observed "that solid pudding was better than empty praise;" but though they had often praised their chairman, who W their treasurer, he was afraid by ft*'' heavy debt to him tbey had cut offa prod many slices of his pudding. He, however, would now move that the tbanksof the Society be given him for his valuable services, and that he be requested l» continue them. He was persuaded that he would do so; but hoped they would think of some way of re-paying him. This might be done by giving less to the lawyers, for one or two lawyers fees in a year would pay for two children; or by the ladies sacrificing some part of their superfluities of dress or ornament. Had the Soriety only the means, they could take in double, nay treble, the number of children. Those counties of Ireland in which schools had been established, formed a striking contrast» the others, in their loyalty and peace!" habits. Had Ireland been situated where Otaheite is, she would long ere n»" have been civilized; but somehow or other, because she was so near, therefore she had been overlooked. He had often thought that Missionaries in passineTM' the shores of Ireland to go to a fowjj clime, must have sometimes heaved sigh and cried, "There is a field where four Millions of souls are yet in dBrkM>>> and in the shadow of death.", Bat W*
led be God, Ireland was no longer to he neglected. He was glad to find tbe auxiliary branches increasing.
T. Pellatt, Esq. seconded a motion of thanks to the treasurer.
On thanks being unanimously voted to the Chairman, he said, he was deeply sensible of their kindness, and should he happy to be always their willing servant in the Lord. Bible Societies were good; but if the friends of Religion wished those Societies to prosper, they should promote this which opened the way, for Bibles were useless to those who could not read.
Rev. W. Evanson, a clergymen from Cork, proposed a vote of thanks to the Committee.
The Rev. Legh Richmond seconded the motion, and in a very pleasing and humourous speech advocated the cause.
The Rev. Jos. SLATTERiB,of Chatham, moved the thanks of the Meeting to the various Auxiliary and other Societies, that have rendered assistance to this Institution.
The motion was seconded by the Rev. Or. Smith, of Hoinerton, an early and steady friend to the Institution.
R. H. MartF.n, Esq. moved the thanks of the Meeting tc those Ministers and Congregations who had contributed to the funds of the Society, respectfully requesting the continuance of their aid.
Rob. Steven, Esq. in seconding the motion, observed, that it was not an unusual thing to renew an oath of allegiance. He would therefore again declare his allegiance to Ireland, and would hold himself at the disposal of the Society, to aid it with his best ability in begging for its support. He called upon England, in the most solemn manner, to remember that all the political evils in Ireland were chargeable to her, because she had neglected to do her duty to that unhappy country.
The Rev. Js. Stratton, Minister of York-street Chapel, Dublin, moved the following resolution:—" That this Meeting, deeply impressed with a sense of the magnitude and importance of the objects of this Society, and of the inadequacy of its funds, in their present state, for the attainment of those objects, do most earnestly intreat the friends and supporters of the Institution, to use their utmost in(iueiice in the circle of their respective connexions, to obtain annual Subscriptions, Donations, and Contributions, and aUo to form Auxiliary Societies, that by their combined and continued exertions, the Society may be enabled to persevere in the pursuit of its benevolent designs, till all Ireland shall be covered with Schools, and the Scriptures be circulated through the whole mass of the population."
The Rev. John Campbell, (the African Traveller,) seconded the motion, observing, that human nature was the same in every country whether savage or civilized VOL. III.
—the same means mutt be employed to enlighten the mind and renew thelieart, in the one case as in the other, and the same Divine power was necessary to render those means effectual. He was glad, to see the Meeting so numerously attended, and hoped that the Society would meet with adequate support.
The vote of thanks to the Chairman was moved by the Rev. Sam. Hilltard, of Bedford, and seconded by Mr. Sam. Webt (one of the Society of Friends). The latter assured the Meeting that the interest of the Institution lay near his heart, and that it would give him great pleasure to see more of his own denomination engaged in the support of it. However humble his services might be, as a member of the Committee, he protested that he would rather be a labourer on th» road to be of public utility, than roll id his carriage an unmoved spectator of the miseries of his/ellow creatures.
The Chairman having returned thanks, the Meeting broke up*
BAPTIST IRISH SOCIETY.
This Society held its third Anniversary, on the morning of Friday, June 27 th at the City of London Tavern, Bishopsgate Street. J. Bdtterworth, Esq. M. P, in ■ the chair.
He stated, that he was happy to acquaint the meeting that considerable exertions were now making in Ireland to teach the natives the knowledge of the Scriptures in their own tongue. That this Society had excited exertions in other quarters totally unconnected with it, and that a spirit of enquiry had gone forth among the lower classes of the Irish, many of whom were exceedingly desirous of knowing the Scriptures for themselves. He trusted that by the exertions of this and other Societies, that a change would, ere long be effected in the moral character of that people. That they would be delivered from that miserable condition of darkness, superstition, and ignorance in which they had long been held. That they were a hospitable, generou3, noble people, and when made fully acquainted with the truths of the Bible, would add dignity and strength to the British empire. He lamented that so little had been done for the education of the poor in Ireland, and that what had been done in times past by the chartered schools in that country, had only reflected disgrace upon the parties concerned.
The Chairman then related some affecting facts with regard to the want of education among the lower classes in Ireland. He then stated the objects of the Meeting, and called upon the Secretary for the Report, which was read,
We find by it that the Society has in all thirty-ona schools, containing about 2 K
3000 scholars. That it employs eleven readers of the Irish Scriptures: three of whom are itinerants. Four new Societies have been formed: and Jive itinerant preachers are constantly employed.
Mr. Cox, rose and said, the Report we have heard, Mr. Chairman, must be recorded in every heart; it must be written in the book of remembrance of all who have heard it. I wish it were carried on the wings of angels to the extremities of the earth. Sir, I am apprehensive that the 19th century will eclipse the glory of the sixteenth. I confess that I have some strong feeling towards the sixteenth century, in which so much good was effected: that century is characterised as the era of the reformation, a period during which great things were done for the advancement of the religion of the Cross. The nineteenth century may be characterized as the era of the second reformation. Under Henry the Eighth the first reformation commenced, but under a more glorious name, and under brighter auspices, the second reformation has commenced—the reign of George the Third.
I shall only read the motion put into my hand, that the Report now read, be approved adopted, and circulated at the discretion of the Committee.
Or. Stevdman felt considerable diffidence in addressing the meeting. The worthy Chairman last year condescended to request me to visit Ireland. My mind, my inclinations, my strong desires have carried me over the Channel; and it would be one of the high gratifications of my life to preach to the Irish in their cabins, or any where else. Every individual in this large meeting, of any meeting that has the feelings of a Briton and a Christian, must be convinced, that it is his imperious duty to assist to the utmost of his power in promoting the objects of this society. To rescue our fellowcreatures from ignorance and vice; to teach the Hntutored to peruse the oracles1 of God, that book which has been written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, is an object nearly allied to that which is pursued by the Divine Being himself, who has condescended to put that volume into our hands; an object that perfectly coincides with the great design of our Redeemer himself in coming into the world. When I stand and survey this respectable meeting, when I realize the object it has in view, I congratulate my country upon its vast improvements. Could the kingdom have furnished such a meeting as this twenty-five or six years ago; a meeting convened on any special benevolent purpose? Were I to go to Ireland, I would congratulate those parts of Ireland where the native language is exclusively spoken and understood; yes, I would congratulate them on the means .of information which they possess oa the
most important subjects. Why was if that this expedient had not been resorted to for ages! What is there in the language of a mother country that should make it the exclusive medium of the circulation of the most important kinds of knowledge? There is nothing sacred in a language: the only thing that recommends it is its being intelligible. No doubt the Irish language is quite equal to the communication of thought.
Mr. Rogers, one of the missionaries to Ireland, thus addressed the audience. Ladies and Gentlemen, I mean to relate a few facts,or rather, to confirm the facts, as far as I can, which are ia your Report. I have not only heard of these things, but I have seen them. Many in performing penance have lost their lives. I can tell you an instance on good authority; not long ago, a certain woman, with a little child in her arms, was sent to the top of Brogh Patrick, to perform stations, (todo penance,) and I heard it was in consequence of her going to hear one of the Methodist preachers. A shower of snow fell, and she perished with the child at the top of the mountain! Say you,' Iwonder they should do so.' O 1 when we consider, we cannot wonder at all. How was it with the ancient inhabitants of, this kingdom? You remember their idolatrous practices; and since then it has been overwhelmed with popery. What has made us to differ 2 The Scriptures. British Christians have neglected Ireland in a shameful manner. They have been sympathizingwith the Hindoo, with the African, but the peasant of Ireland lias been left neglected, lying at our very doors, weeping over his lack of knowledge: exclaiming in our ears, "Hast thou but one blessing, O my father! Blessme, even me also, O my father!"
You have heard of the children in Ireland; of their committing the scriptures to memory; and I have heard them repeating the scriptures. You have heard of a young woman about fifteen years of age; I have heard her repeat 79'cJrapters of the New Testament. Another, six years of age has committed seven chapters to memory in six weeks and three days. Indeed, the priests are well aware, that when these children grow up to maturity, it will be in vain for them to request their attendance at confession. One of the priests told me, that he felt it his doty to oppose our schools; that he thought the children would know the scriptures a) well as the clergy. I agreed with him. the priest and myself never quarrel. I think they are perfectly correct in their notions about circulating the scriptures: they think popery will be ruined; aod» it will: they oppose the Testament in the most violent manner; call it the heretic1* book; cursing from the very altar those families that have the heretic's hook among them, saying they will be duu*' for ever. I heard one of the priests had ja.ii), in a congregation of about 1200, "I should not be surprised if the earth ■were to swallow up the cabins, families, testaments, and nil together."
There are many who seem determined to wipe out the disgrace that has Jong semained on British Christians, in consequence of their neglect of Ireland. Collections are malting in Scotland, and we have only to send for them. I was in Wales last year. The poor Welch people seem determined to do what they can. 1 preached there, and mentioned some circumstances respecting the ignorance of the people in Ireland, and collected some money in Wales. After I had been preaching on one occasion, and pointing out some instances of the ignorance of the Irish people, a poor woman came out of the meeting-house much affected. She said, " I wish 1 had enough money to give to buy a Testament; I have only two-pence in the world; but I will give it to have that verse printed—* In that day a fountain shall be opened for sin and for uncleanness.'—If (said she) they knew the efficacy of that fountain as I have known it, I am sure they would not go to Crogh Patrick any more."
Dr. Ryland moved the grateful thanks of the Meeting to the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Bible Societies in Scotland, and the Auxiliary Bible Society in Liverpool, for their liberal donations of Bibles in aid of this Institution, and was happy to add, that he had received from that country within a week past, <£300 for the Baptist Missionary Society.
Mr. Saffkrv, of Salisbury, seconded the motion.
B.shaw, Esq. M. P. moved the thanks of the Society to the ministers, who during the past year, had made collections, in aid of the funds of the institution; and was seconded by Mr. Wilkinson, who in passing a just tribute of praise on Mr. Rogers, congratulated himself in being his countryman, an ancient Briton.
C.B. Smyth, Esq. of the Inner Temple. —I shall not apologize for presenting myself before you, upon a subject like -that which Bow engages your attention, though I may be incompetent adequately to impress upon your minds the feelings that urge me to address you; yet I cannot resist an occasion which, though it may not inspire me with the eloquence desirable for its support, will not allow me to give it only my silent advocacy.; as an Irishman, who has long witnessed with deep regret the mental wretchedness of thousands of my countrymen, I catch at any, the faintest hope of rescuing them from a bondage the most degrading and ruinous under which humanity ever suffered; and as one who sympathises with whatever does honour to our species, I exult in beholding the impressive spectacle which presents itself, in your union
to promote the great cause of intellectual emancipation.
Under the influence of these feelings, though I have not the honour of personally knowing the gentleman, 1 have much pleasure in moving the thanks of this meeting to William Burls, Esq. the Treasurer, and that he be requested to -continue his valuable services for the ensuing year.
—GaiERSON, Esq. a native of Ireland, unexpectedly introduced himself to the meeting. His speech chiefly bore upon one point: he disapproved of the Irish having the Scriptures in their own Ian, guage. Many of the audieuce expressed strong disapprobation and impatience: but through thejnterference of the Secretary, who said, "he hoped the gentleman would not be interrupted, as he was quite certain the Society would be willing to alter its plans, if the gentleman could prove they were acting wrong," he was then permitted to proceed.—
I rise, Sir, to congratulate the meeting ■ on the luminous confirmation they have heard of their own opinions. Your speakers have all been eloquent, or I had been less anxious to address you. You have acted upon the presumption that Wales and Ireland are in similar circumstances. Wales is a country of patriotic renown, isolated and united by an ancient language ; you accommodated your measures to her prejudices; you knew that she had an hereditary aversion to your language; that she had an unconquerable blindness to her interest—you acted wisely: but yours is narrow policy to my country; she well inclines to your language; she is not jealous of you. I am proud to say, that she is ambitious of English education. She is well disposed to that language which her posterity must inherit—the language spoken by the higher classes, and which is ultimately to lead her to intellectual and moral improvement. Compare then Ireland and Wales, and the comparison will shew you a broad contrast indeed. It was wise, it was liberal, it was fortunate to give their own language to the nations o. the East. If Ireland were bigotted to her native tongue, and yours were unknown to her, in such case it would be useful to apply your measure. Give her therefore the Bible in English, not in a barren language,which thousands cannot read, and which at all events she must exchange; because, when she is taught religion in Irish, she must come to British intelligence for morality.
John Sydney Taylor, Esq. (of the Middle Temple.)—Mr. Chairman, Two years ago I had the honour of addressing the friends of this Society. I trust the present meeting, so numerous and so respectable, has as undiminished zeal for the advancement of a cause, that pro*