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several of the Society's Missionaries, about to proceed to different Stations abroad—the Rev. Joseph Fawcett Beddy, at Ipswich and in its vicinity; at Edmonton, Southgate, Kettering, and Walthamstow; at Turvey, Olney, Northampton, and Leicester and in its neighbourhood ; and at Bath, Bristol, Monmouth, Gloucester and in its vicinity, Hereford, Worcester, and Stratford—the Rev. John Raban, at Bedford, Carshalton, Bromley, and Broadway Chapel— the Rev. S. Ridsdale, at Walthamstow and in Southwark. On several occasions, in the preceding visits to the Associations, the practice recommended in the last Report, of holding a Meeting specially for the benefit of the Labouring Class, was resorted to with such advantage, as to induce the Committee to urge the adoption of it in all populous places where local circumstances may not render it inexpedient. At such a Meeting held at Manchester, upward of 1200 persons were present, and listened with great interest to the details brought before them. At Sheffield, at Norwich, at Gloucester, and at Carshalton, similar Meetings were held with the best effect. They afford opportunities to the Representatives of the Society to state a number of circumstances, relative to the Heathen and the labours of the Missionaries among them, which cannot, for want of time, be sufficiently brought before the regular Annual Meetings of the Associations. a The Committee beg to return sincere thanks, on the behalf of the Society, to all the friends who have thus, by their visits to the Associations, not seldom with much inconvenience to themselves, so greatly promoted the interests of the Society: while they also request the Conductors of the different Auxiliaries and Associations, and the Clergymen and other friends in and near the places where they are formed, to accept the cordial acknowledgments of the Society for the efficient share which they have taken in advancing its prosperity, they consider the gratitude of the Meeting as especially due to two of these bodies. In reference to Bristol, the Committee remark, that though many other Associations have made exertions equally proportioned to their means, it will be readily allowed to the Committee to renew their particular mention of one which has furnished to the Funds, in the Eleven Years of its liberal aid, no less a sum than 23,677l.—which contributed, at its Anniversary just passed, upward of 700l.—and which has, on the present occasion, sent us its devoted Secretary to plead before the Society that Great Cause, in the promotion of which he has himself for many years taken a distinguished share. To the Auxiliary Society of the Sister Island, the peculiar acknowledgments of the Members are due, not only for the very ample sum which it has contributed during the year, but because this sum was raised under circumstances of domestic difficulty which give it the exalted character of even Macedonian Charity. But this Charity is as wise as it is beneficent. The liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand: not only will the dew of heaven, which waiteth not for man, nor tarrieth for the sons of men, refresh and gladden the hearts of those who out of their deep poverty abound unto the riches of their liberality, but a reciprocation of kind acts will be ensured and enlarged on the part of Christians among us; and the objects which are more immediately Irish, on account of local circumstances, will be more than ever felt, as they ought to be, the common care of every lover of his country throughout the United Kingdom.
NEW ARRANGEMENT IN THE DEPARTMENT OF
The Committee have now to state an arrangement in the Society's domestic concerns, which has been rendered necessary by the increase and great extent of its business. Additional help has been obtained, from time to time, in the Secretary's Department, by as the immediate exigencies seemed to require. The Secretary has occupied that office since December 1802: in December 1815, he was joined by the Assistant Secretary; and, since June 1820, Mr. Coates has devoted himself to the work of this department. The Income and Expenditure of the Society, by the amount of which an estimate may be formed of the extent of its business, are at present more than double what they were when the Assistant Secretary entered on his office, and nearly one-third more than at the time of Mr. Coates's engagement with the Society. While the business of this department has been thus rapidly augmenting without an adequate increase of assistance, the Secretary himself has been progressively but unavoidably withdrawn from the active share in it which he had so long taken ; the Missionary Register having occupied the chief part of his time, as the proper conducting of that publication requires a constant and vigilant attention to all that is passing in respect of Missionary Exertions throughout the world. It may be proper to remark that the Missionary Régister is not an official Publication of the Society. This Work was suggested by the Secretary: but, as its avowed object was to awaken the public attention to the state of the Heathen, by giving information derived from all quarters, and by regular reports of the proceedings of all Protestant Societies aiming at their conversion, the Committee considered that they could not officially issue a Publication of that nature; but were desirous of making it the medium of an early and detailed communication of the Society's proceedings to its Members. Connected with the suggestion of this Publication was that of giving a copy of it to each Collector of fifty-two shillings and upward per annum. To what extent this plan has benefitted the Society, will be seen by the fact,that the Committee now require 7500 copies monthly, chiefly for the use of such Collectors, whose united contributions form a very large portion of its Annual Income. The Society has
had the advantage of procuring, at cost price, all the copies of this work which it uses; the Secretary considering himself compensated by the Stipend which he has continued to receive as Secretary. As he now relinquishes that Stipend, the Society cannot receive the Missionary Register, as heretofore, at the price of paper and print; but the Bookseller will charge a small advance on that price. In consequence of the intimation from the Secretary that he felt it incumbent on him, on the grounds before stated, to retire from the responsibility of an office, the duties of which he had it no longer in his power to discharge, and aware that the great augmentation of the Society's concerns required new and efficient arrangements in his department, the Committee entered into a full investigation of the nature and amount of the Society's business, in order to ascertain the measures which it had become necessary to adopt on the occasion. The result has been, a full conviction, not only that a new arrangement of Officers was required, but some addition also to their number. Two Clerical Secretaries being found inadequate to discharge the duties of the department, even with the very efficient assistance of Mr. Coates, and when the Secretary could devote his time more exclusively to those duties, it became necessary, not only that a Secretary should be appointed in conjunction with Mr. Bickersteth on Mr. Pratt's retiring, but that another Clergyman should be added. These three Clergymen, under the title of “Secretaries,” together with Mr. Coates, to whom that of “Assistant Secretary” has been assigned, will divide among themselves all the duties of the Secretary's Office: and the Committee recommend, for the better despatch of the business of the Society, that the Secretaries and Assistant Secretary be considered ex-officio Members of Committees. Your Committee received with real concern Mr. Pratt's resignation of the office of Secretary of the Society, which he had held for a period of one-and
twenty years with the highest advantage to the Society. The Committee attest, with grateful satisfaction, the distinguished share which, under God, the zealous, judicious, and unwearied labours of your late Secretary have had, in drawing forth the large resources now enjoyed by the Society, and in gradually enlarging its operations to their present wide extent. While they express the strong sense which they entertain of Mr. Pratt's long and able services in the Society, the Committee cannot refrain from recording, also, the lively feelings of personal esteem and respect, which have grown up and been matured during their long official intercourse with him. In taking a reluctant leave of him in the capacity of Secretary of the Society, the Committee have requested that he will allow them to retain his name in connexion with their transactions, under the designation of “Chairman of the Committee of Correspondence.” By this arrangement, the Committee will continue to avail themselves of Mr. Pratt's counsel and co-operation, in the prosecution of their labours; and their future proceedings will participate in the advantages to be derived, as well from his intimate acquaintance with the Society's concerns, as from his extensive information on all topics connected with the undertakings and operations of Missionary Institutions. When the Committee shall have been enabled to complete the arrangements before detailed, in uniting two other Clerical Secretaries with Mr. Bickersteth, it will be in the power of the Society's Officers more effectually to promote its interests throughout the country than has hitherto been possible. Notwithstanding the exertions which have been made, Associations might be formed in various places where as yet there are none; and the present Associations might be rendered still more productive, if adequate time could be devoted to these objects. It is obvious, too, that visits of this nature make such large demands on the spirits and strength, that