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6 0 0
“ The amount of the Society's property now remains to be stated: There is owing by Agents, Booksellers, and country Societies,
m£66 18 0 Subscriptions in arrear, am
37 5 Estimated value of Stock ou hand, April 27, 1831, 489 Balance in hands of the Treasurer, mamammans
1 8 10 Making a total of
594 12 4 There is owing for Paper to this day,
60 5 0 Do. Printing,
6 11 Sundry small Debts,um
Leaving a balance of the Society's Property, ofrom £524 12
A General Meeting of persons friendly to the establishment of a Unitarian Tract Society, was held in the Meeting-House of the Second Presbyterian Congregation, Belfast, on the 9th of April. A Society was formed, denominated “ The Unitarian Society for the Diffusion of Christian Knowledge;" various regulations were adopted, and Committee appointed, Dr. Burden being the Secretary. From the address prefixed to the rules of the Institution, we extract the following sentences, at the same time heartily wishing the enlightened purposes of the Society may be fulfilled.
“We find man, as a member of the social community, bursting the chains in which he has been long enthralled, and, after ages of degrading servitude, progressing rapidly to that station which the God of nature designed him to occupy. It is not possible, that those who have ceased to dread the power of the civil oppressor will long continue to tremble at the anatbema of the priest, The moral and religious, as well as the social and political regeneration of our race, is hastening towards its consummation. Those false doctrines which are degrading to the understanding, and derogatory to the honour of the Christian religion, are beginning to disappear; and that era has commenced, in which man, in the full consciousness of his freedom from priestly domination, will fearlessly exercise his own reason, in the investigation of the laws of his Maker. Were Christianity disencumbered of the corruptions which accumulated upon it in the dark ages of the Church, it would cease to be the abhorrence of the Mahometan, and the mockery of the sceptic; it would gradually diffuse itself more widely-embracing within its
pale, and reducing under its influence, the several sects which compose the great family of man. As a means of accomplishing this desirable end-of disseminating the knowledge of the One True God, preserving the purity of Scripture, and promoting piety in the hearts of men, Unitarian Tract Societies have been found very efficacious; in as much as a Tract will be read, when a preacher would not be heard. The silent reasoning of one Tract will do more in carrying conviction to the mind, than a thousand arguments from the most ardent controversialist.”
Northumberland Unitarian Association. The Third Annual Meeting of the above Association, was held at Alnwick on Sunday, 24th April, 1831. The Rev. W. Turner of Newcastle discoursed in the morning on the invitation of the Saviour, Matt. xi. 28; and in the evening, he gave a lucid statement, and an admirable defence of the principles of Unitarianism, adopting the words of Paul, Acts xxiv. 13, “ Neither can they prove the things wbereof they now accuse (us.)" Though we were not favoured with many strangers, the audience on both occasions was highly respectable.
The Association meeting was held in the afternoon; Mr. W. Davison in the Chair. The progress of Unitarianism, and the advantages arising from union and co-operation, were the subjects chiefly noticed by the speakers.
It is to be regretted, that the Alnwick Congregation, composed chiefly of persons in the humbler walks of life, should still be burdened with a considerable debt. This has been more severely felt of late, owing to the depressed state of the agricultural districts. It is proposed to make an appeal to the Unitarian public; we hope it will not be made in vain.
M. Alnwick, 8th June, 1831.
On Sunday, May 29, 1831, a new Unitarian Chapel was opened at Sunderland, by the Rev. W. Turner of Newcastle; who in the morning preached a sermon from Psalm xxvi. 8, on the expediency and advantage of public social worship, and the necessity of holiness to its acceptable performance. This sermon had been preached in 1816, at the opening of the chapel at Thorne, and is now in the course of printing by the Newcastle Tract Society. Above five hundred persons were present; many of them of course gathered by curiosity, but it is hoped that all would agree in the general doctrine, and that none could be displeased, or at least offended, with the statement with which it concluded, of the particular views adopted by Unitarians. The afternoon's discourse was on the necessity of consideration to the due understanding of any subject, especially of a religious nature (from 2 Tim. ii. 7), applied particularly to the disposition with which hearers should attend to and apply discourses from the pulpit. In the evening, the preacher (from Ephes. iv. 1) endeavoured to enforce the necessity of “walking worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called.”
We quote the following paragraph from the Sunderland and Durham Gazette: “ From the known celebrity of Mr. Turner, as a philosopher and theologian, any eulogium upon the reverend gentleman's discourses might be deemed superfluous; suffice it to say, that his language was mild, his arguments strong and forcible, and his deductions conclusive; free from the least appearance of bigotry or intolerance. Many respectable members of other chapels attended, who manifested the greatest attention, while Mr. T. stated the principles of the Society to which he has the honour to belong.
The Chapel is very neat, and great pains bave been taken for its safe and commodious ventilation in warm weather, and also for its being comfortably warmed in winter. It will accommodate near 400 persons within the pews; but in the morning and evening, many were seated in the aisles, the vestry, and on the staircases.
About 300 tracts, supplied by the Newcastle Society, were distributed on the occasion; and we understand, 500 more have since been voted for circulation in Sunderland and the neighbourhood. May the Ruler of the Universe bless the exertions of the friends of truth; and may all the services conducted in this Chapel, tend to the production of that holiness of heart and life “ without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Welburn, near York.-On Monday, May 16th, was held the Sixth Anniversary of the Welburn Chapel and Sunday-School. The Rev. W. Hincks of Manchester College, York, preached on the occasion; and after the sermon, a liberal sum was collected on behalf of the school. In the evening, tea was provided for the children; and between fifty and sixty friends of Unitarianism partook of the same refreshment. For greater convenience, the meeting then adjourned to the Chapel, which soon became filled; and Mr. Heaviside was requested to take the chair. Addresses followed on topics relative to the local and general interests of our faith, and other suitable subjects, from Mr. Hincks, Mr. Corcoran of Malton, several students and other individuals of York and Welburn. Thanks baving been given to the preacher of the day, for his excellent sermon, the whole concluded with singing and prayer.
G. H. Y.
Dudley Double Lecture.—The annual meeting of ministers and friends at this Lecture, was held in Wolverhampton-Street Chapel, Dudley, on Whit-Tuesday, May 24th. After the service had been introduced by the Rev. Samuel Bache, minister of the place, two sermons were delivered to a very numerous, attentive, and respectable audience. The first was by Rev. Stephenson Hunter of Wolverhampton, on Deut. xxix. 29; the preacher dwelt upon the eagerness with which most Christians admitted mysteries as forming an important part of a divine revelation, and exposed with considerable talent, the absurdity of such conduct. The second discourse, by Rev. Evan Jones of Bewdley, was founded upon Psalm xxvii. 4; in which the duty and necessity of regular attendance on public worship, was enlarged upon.
After the service, several ministers and gentlemen dined together at the hotel; Rev. Samuel Bache being in the chair. When the cloth was removed, the usual toasts were given, which called forth spirited remarks and speeches from many of the gentlemen present.
The Annual Meeting of the Hull, East Yorkshire, and North Lincolnshire Unitarian Association, was held at Hull, on Wednesday and Thursday, the 22d and 230 June. The devotional service on Wednesday evening, was conducted by the Rev. R. K. Pbilp of Lincoln, and the
was preached_by Mr. Harris. On Thursday morning, the Rev. W. Duffield of Thorne and Stainforth, prayed, and Mr. Harris preached. After the service, a meeting for business was held; Mr. Duffield in the chair. The Secretary, Rev. E. Higginson of Hull, read the Report of the Committee, and various resolutions founded upon it were adopted. At two o'clock, the members and friends dined together; Dr. Longstaff presided, and. H. Blundell, Esq. Vice-President. Several ladies were in the gallery in the course of the afternoon. The
company were addressed by the Chairman, and Revds. Harris, Worsley, Philp, Duffield, Higginson, and by Messrs. Bedford, Lightfoot, Blundell, Watson, and Houldsworth. At half-past six, a public meeting was held in the Chapel. The meeting commenced with singing, and Mr. Harris prayed. The Rev. W. Worsley of Gainsborough, was then called to the chair, and made several excellent introductory remarks. The following resolution was then moved by Mr. Philp, and seconded by Mr. Blundell:“That the members of this Association, wbich is formed on the principle of mutual encouragement and aid in the profession and diffusion of Christian Unitarianism, rejoice to observe the unceasing efforts which are every where making with success for the promotion of what they deem the truth as it is in Jesus; and that they particularly rejoice to recognise the existence and operation of numerous similar Associations throughout the United Kingdom; they are further thankful to find, that their religious principles are becoming known and acknowledged in almost every nation under heaven, wbile in some foreign countries they are far more extensively prevalent than at home; that it is highly satisfactory to observe, that the progress of their opinions is apparently simultaneous with that of civilization, knowledge, and liberty; and that from these facts, they deduce continually fresh evidence of the soundness and value of their faith.”
The second resolution was moved by Mr. Harris, and supported by Mr. Gardner of Hull. It was as follows:“ That no form of religion is worthy of adoption, which has not a direct tendency to promote the intellectual and moral improvement of mankind; that with these views, we consider the intellectual culture of the people, by whatever means promoted, not merely as a temporal blessing to themselves, but as a grand auxiliary to the spread of what we deem pure and uncorrupted Christianity, destined ere long to produce a vast accession of rejoicing numbers to the profession of Unitarianism;-believing also, that Unitarian Christianity is pre-eminently calculated to improve the social character of man, and to answer one of the best ends of the Gospel the establishment of peace on earth and good will toward men.”