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The following is a summary of the Nine Missions of the Society:—
STATions, exclusive of Out-Stations in India . . . . 47
Country-born and Natives—
Ordained English Clergyman, 1 Catechists, Schoolmasters,&c. 338 X 351 Females . . . . . . . 12 491 Schools: Male . . . . . . . . . . 220 Female, including 70 in India . . 75 304 General Schools . . . . . . 9 Scholars: Boys . . . . . . . . . 9553 Girls, including 1513 in India .2364} 12,561 Youths and Adults . . . . . 644 s
The deficiency in the number of Scholars now stated, compared with that given in the last Report, arises principally from the assumption of the care of the Village Schools in Sierra Leone by the Local Government, as has been before stated. Untoward circumstances have likewise produced a considerable reduction of the number of Scholars at Burdwan, and in Antigua.
It has been already stated, that, in order to maintain the operations of the Society in these various Missions on their present scale, a permanent increase in its income is absolutely necessary; and that, unless such increase is made, it will be compelled to contract its labours. In making this statement, the Committee desire to guard against any expression that would imply an unscriptural estimate of the value of human means; and would unequivocally disclaim the sentiment, that the prosperity of a Christian Society is to be measured by the silver and gold which are brought into its treasury. It is within the range of human capacity to collect and to
expend a large annual sum for the attainment of the noblest of objects; but however well concerted the plans of a Society might be, however wise its measures and extended its labours, all would come to nought, unless its plans and measures and labours received a heavenly impulse. Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord. Let it not, however, be forgotten, that God has appointed His Church to be the instrument of her own enlargement; that she has received the light of Divine Truth in order that she may exhibit it to the world; and that by her efforts God has manifested His glory in the face of Jesus Christ to the conversion of multitudes of sinners. That she has not duly felt the sacredness of the trust, or been fully awakened to a sense of her immense responsibilities, the awful extent of Satan's empire at the present day is a decisive evidence. Let her, then, again behold the misery of a world estranged from its God, the dreariness which hangs over the eternal destinies of millions, and the dishonour done to her Lord; let her contemplate these overpowering subjects, not through the opinions of men, but in the mirror of God's Word; let her view of duty, her encouragements and her hopes, be drawn from the Records of Truth; and, above all, let the love of Christ be felt in all its heavenly influence;—then will her dormant energies be stimulated; she will arise with becoming zeal to the Lord's work; and neither the Messengers of Salvation, nor the means of helping them forward in their labours, will then be wanting; but the mystery of the o of Christ will, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, be made known, for obedience to the faith, among all nations.
(See Page 26.)
ADDRESS TO ASSOCIATIONS."
The Committee have directed us to communicate to the Friends and Contributors to the Society the following Statement relative to its Funds:— It is the practice of the Committee to close the Yearly Accounts of the Society on the 31st of March, and to audit them Quarterly. At the termination of the First Half of the Current Year, on the 30th of Sep. tember last, it appeared that the Income of the Society had fallen short, by a very considerable sum, of the corresponding half of the preceding year. In some principal Associations there has been a considerable declension from former years; and though New Associations have been formed, the Returns from them have not been of such an amount as to supply the deficiencies of the Old Associations. The importance of calling the attention of the Friends of the Society to the state of the Funds will be more clearly seen, when it is remembered that the Society nearly expends from year to year its whole Income; and that, as its exertions are enlarged. there will be an increasing expenditure in each Mission. On balancing the Sales and Purchases of Stock for the last Seven Years, it appeared that the addition to the Funded Property of the Society had been, in that period, but a few hundred pounds—so closely has its Expenditure kept pace with its Income. In the last half-year, considerable Sales of Stock have necessarily been made, to cover the above-mentioned deficiency of Income; so that the whole extent of our resources under this head is at present considerably less
than the amount of half-a-year's expenditure. If such a deficiency in the Income of the Society, as has been now stated, were not to be retrieved, it would unavoidably follow. that some of those plans which God has hitherto blessed must be abandoned ; and it would become necessary to reduce within much narrower limits, if not altogether to withdraw, some of those Missions, the extension of which the state of the World loudly and powerfully claims from British Christians. A Special Committee has been formed for the purpose of fully investigating the state of the Funds, with a view to ascertain, not only by what means the present deficiency may be supplied, but whether any, and what reduction can be advantageously made in the Society's Expenditure. Though various concurrent causes have probably contributed to this deficiency, the Committee feel it to be their duty to state their conviction, that one principal cause has been their incompetency to meet the wishes of the Associations, that more persons might visit them at their Anniversaries, and for a longer period of time. It had been hoped that the arrangement (see p. 506 of the Missionary Register for November 1825), by which it was provided that Four Visitors of Associations should be appointed in the place of a Third Secretary, would have met the wants of the Associations; but the Committee have not had it in their power to bring that arrangement into full effect; and have some reason to fear that its tendency, so far as it was brought into action, was rather to prevent their receiving the voluntary aid of other Clergymen. It is intended, therefore, to relinquish that design; and, in its place, to appoint Two Official Visitors of Associations, who shall be devoted to the service of the Society. The Committee cannot, however, butcherish the hope that other Clergymen will not fail gratuitously to render them that aid in visiting Associations which will still be absolutely requisite, and which has been one principal means of raising the Missionary Spirit throughout the Country, and of gathering together the funds of former years. For want of such aid, many Associations have been obliged to leave ground uncultivated which would have yielded abundantly ; and considerable sums have thus been lost to the Society in the last half-year. The Committee beg to urge this subject on those Friends who assisted them in former years ; but who seem to have thought their assistance unnecessary, since the appointment of Visitors of Associations. Other arrangements are in contemplation; but the Committee felt anxious to avail themselves of the earliest opportunity of communicating information to the Associations, in reference to the actual state of the Society's Funds. The work in which the Society is engaged is eminently a Work of Faith as well as a Labour of Love; and the Committee feel increasingly the importance of carrying on every part of their Proceedings in such a spirit as may draw down the Divine Blessing on their efforts. They would, therefore, earnestly press on their Friends the cultivation of a spirit of intercession in private, in the Family, and in the Social Circle, as essentially connected with the propriety of this Cause, both at Home and Abroad. The wide diffusion of Missionary Intelligence is also earnestly recommended, in order, under the Divine Blessing, to excite and cherish ex
ertions in behalf of the Society's object. It has been already observed, that should the Funds of the Society continue to decline, a contraction of its labours would be the distressing, but inevitable, consequence. But the Committee venture to submit to the Society's Friends, whether they would willingly abandon any one of those promising Fields of Labour on which they have been permitted to enter? Would they allow the sums that have been expended in establishing a Station to be lost by its abandonment? Would they recall those Missionaries, who have gone forth to the Heathen in full confidence that the Society would continue to maintain them in the prosecution of their work And have not these Servants of God, and their Families, a strong claim on our justice as well as on our liberality, for their continued support? Never had the Society more ample Fields of Labour open before them, and more general encouragement to proceed. And never have its claims been publicly made known without producing an increase to its resources. British Christians will not, we are persuaded, suffer this good work to languish for want of sufficient means to carry it on. The Committee address this Appeal to the whole body of the Society's Supporters, with the utmost confidence that the case needs only to be known in order to produce active and zealous exertions. Let every one do as he may be able; and the present deficiency will but act as a fresh impulse, and a point from which far more enlarged liberality shall flow into the Treasury of the Society. There are yet many large Towns and Parishes in which little or nothing has been done in support of the Society; and if its various Friends would undertake to ascertain what openings there are in their respective neighbourhoods, and in
DEAR S1 R, It was stated, in our Circular Letter of the 3d of November, that our inability to meet the wishes expressed by some Members of our Associations for more persons to visit them at their Anniversaries, and for a longer period than had been usual, might be reckoned among the probable causes of the deficiency of the Society's Funds. In order to remove this inconvenience, the Committee have determined on engaging the services of Two Clergymen, who will be principally employed in visiting the Associations. It is important that our arrangement of the journeys for the ensuing year should be completed as early as may be practicable: and, as the obtaining early information as to the wants of each Association will greatly facilitate such arrangement, we shall feel obliged by your informing us, by the 15th of January, if possible, what will be the most convenient time for holding your Anniversary, and those in the District for which you are in general kind enough to arrange—what number of Sermons you wish to have preached — what assistance may be depended on among the Neighbouring Clergy —how many persons are desired as a Deputation—and for what length of time they will be expected to remain with you. When the time which appears to you most convenient for your Anniversary has been
fixed, and the arrange-ests for the attendance of the Deputatico made. we trust that our various frieads will see the necessity of adhering to those arrangements: as the Ramber of Associations to be visited during the year prevents our promising the attendance of any Representative of the Society, excepting at the time which our friends have originally specified. The Committee is creasizzly feed the importance of systematizag. as far as circumstances admit, the local assistance which may be obtained: and, as it has in some Districts been found impracticable for the Mebers of the Deputation to crespy. during their visit all the pulpits to which they might have been admitted. we weature to express our hope that some regular plan will he formed for eatering on that ground which is open to the Society. and for which we cannot provide. If each Clerical Member of your Association would undertake to give his services to the Society for one Sus. day in each year, in his own neighbourhood—or, where that may not be practicable, preach one Sermon in aid of its funds, either in his own or a neighbouring Church — there is good reason to hope, that, by the blessing of God, the great objects of the Society would be materially promoted, and the Cause of the Re. deemer advanced. The Committee, having taken into