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The mention of Mr. Richardson reminds the Committee of the public loss sustained, in the same quarter of the kingdom, by the decease, about two years before, of the late William Hey, Esq. of Leeds. The Life of this distinguished man, which has lately attracted and amply repaid the public attention, presents his support of the Society in a light which may serve as an example to others:—
Mr. Hey was an early and zealous supporter of the Church
Missionary Society: his earnest desire of the salvation of his fellow-creatures excited him to co-operate with various Socie
judices against what he considered the parade and display of Public Meetings, so bluntly and unceremoniously, that persons not acquainted with him might have supposed that he did not value the services of these advocates of the Cause, and was even disposed to chill the ardour of their zeal. But it is gratifying to remark, in his private minutes of that period, how gratefully he acknowledges the services of these good men, and the benefit which he and his people derived from their visit.
An extract from the “private minutes” referred to cannot fail to ratify the Members. A few weeks after the visit of the Society's riends, Mr. Richardson writes—
Hitherto hath the Lord helped me, and brought me on my journey through life—showering down mercies upon me, when I deserved punishment—attend. ing to the voice of my supplications; forgiving mine iniquity, transgression, and sin; blessing my ministrations; and crowning me with mercy and lovingkindness. During the last four weeks, I have experienced a time of refreshing from His presence; which seems, in my seventy-third year, to have renewed the days of my youth, and to have made me young and lusty.
After mentioning the visit of the Society's friends as peculiarly refreshing to him, he adds—
The ardour and strong interest with which they embark in the grand cause of Christ against Belial, made me ashamed of my own slothfulness and languor, during the course of my long Ministry. I seemed to have been slumbering upon my important post, as a watchman to the house of God in this place; and to have done nothing, compared with what I might and could have done, to serve him in the Gospel of His Son. The effect of this visit has been, I trust, good to myself and the flock committed to my charge. The duties of this and the last Lord's Day, both in the Minster and in my Parish Church where I preached, were evidently enlivening and useful to us. My dealings with hundreds of Young Persons, to prepare them for Confirmation, have been satisfactory, and I may not have bestowed labour in vain. I can yet rejoice in Christ Jesus, and bless God for shewing me light, which shines upon my path, and makes known to me my portion in the blessings of the Gospel Covenant. May the Lord the Spirit continue to guide me by his counsel, through life; and finally receive me to glory !
It has been observed by Mr. Richardson's most intimate friends, that, from the period when his heart became thus more warmly interested in the extension of Christ's Kingdom among the Heathen, his views and feelings were more habitually cheerful and happy, until, about four years afterward, he departed in peace, in the seventyseventh year of his age and the fifty-third of his Ministry.
ties, which had for their object the civilizing and evangelizing of the Heathen, by a more wide diffusion of the Gospel. . . . . But, as a Member of the Church of England, Mr. Hey regarded it as his more immediate duty to assist and cherish the Church Missionary Association in Leeds. . . . . The Committee were accustomed to meet on the business of the Association in Mr. Hey's study, where he was conscientiously punctual in his attendance; and when those Clergymen who travel in aid of Bible and Church Missionary Societies visited Leeds, he generally accompanied them to the surrounding villages which had Churches, in which they were invited or permitted to preach, He was vigilant in availing himself of every opportunity that occurred of advancing the interests of those Societies; and took great pains to excite a similar zeal and interest in others, by making their proceedings the frequent subjects of conversation in company, and by circulating their publications *.
New Associations have been formed—at Chichester, for Chichester and the Western parts of Sussex; at Sunderland, North Shields, Retford, Harrow, and Edmonton; at Taunton, for Taunton and the Western Division of the County of Somerset; at High Wycombe, for the Southern part of Buckinghamshire; at Llanfyllin, for Montgomeryshire; at Bromley, for Bromley and Beckenham ; and at Darlington. The County of Montgomery was included in the NorthWales Auxiliary Society, formed in 1816: but as it was found that the Six Counties, which it was intended to unite under that denomination, could not conveniently act together, it is thought expedient to form an Association in each as opportunity may offer.
At Cove, an Association has been established in support of the Hibernian Auxiliary: at Monk Wearmouth, a Branch of the Sunderland; at Shawbury, a Branch of the Shropshire; and at Bridgewater, a Branch of the Taunton and West Somerset.
Ladies' Associations have been formed—at Guildford, in aid of the Guildford Association—for Stamford-Hill, Newington, and Kingsland; in aid of the North-East London—and at Gloucestcr, in aid of the Gloucestershire.
The Committee think this a proper place to notice the formation of a Ladies' Society, for the especial purpose of supplying suitable articles of clothing to the Female Negroes in the West Africa and West Indies Missions of the Society. To the benevolence of Mrs. William Williams, of Portland Place, the Society is indebted for this seasonable aid to its objects. Many Ladies have enrolled themselves among the Members; and the Committee have particular pleasure in remarking, that Mrs. Fry and other Ladies have contributed parcels of clothing for the benefit of Negroes, made by the Female Convicts in Newgate. There is something in a Charity of this nature “twice-blessed” indeed ; and benevolent La
dies may feel singular gratification, in employing their
annual contribution to set reformed Female Convicts of their own country to work, for the benefit of Negro Girls and Women, rescued from vice and oppression, and brought under Christian Instruction.”
* Further particulars of the Society are given in Appendix I.
Plymouth Dock & Stonehouse, 117 13
* Whee New Associations are formed, which comprehend sma
* one wres, and the names of th
258 15 4
Yoxall and Hamstall
as under the total of
ller Associations that had been ons are placed under the total
the South Wooburn,
BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF ASSOCIATIONS, ON PARISHEs AND IN DIVIDUALS.
The most beneficial effects have been found to result, in various parts of the Country, from the formation of Associations.
The testimony of the late Rev. William Richardson on this subject has been already adduced. The Committee will quote that of another Clergyman, now living, respecting his own very populous Parish ; and which is applicable, they doubt not, to many other places.
The Association (he writes) has been one chief means of reviving religion among us. It affords a ready way of shewing, and of strengthening, the reality and the energy of religion. As soon as a Young Lady, for example, becomes truly awakened to the concerns of Eternity, she finds, in collecting for the Association, a visible and striking means of doing good to the souls of others. In these Collectors we have thus an increasing number of serious persons; who will form, we trust, the centre of a large religious body among us.
It cannot, indeed, be too strongly urged on the friends of the Society, to form Associations in every practicable case, and to engage Collectors of Weekly and Monthly Contributions. This is far more easy to be accomplished, and far more effective, than those persons who have not fully entered into the subject would suppose. Temporary difficulties may, indeed, in some places, delay the measure; but there is every encouragement for the Clergy, in particular, to embrace the first opportunity of associating their Parishes with the great work of propagating the Gospel throughout the World,
A striking evidence of the truth of this statement occurred, during the last year, in the Parish of Harrow, near the Metropolis. The Committee will quote the words of their friend, the Vicar of Harrow, on occasion of his communicating to them the formation of the Association:—
It has often grieved me, when pleading for the Society in distant parts of the kingdom, to feel that my own parish had not arrived at circumstances favourable to the establishment of an effective Association. You can well estimate my satisfaction,