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Gentlemen whose zeal and exertions were
The Bishop of London begged leave to call the attention of the company to a similar Society in a sister Island, connected with the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in England by the most sacred ties; and co-operating cordially in the same good work—the Association in Ireland for the Discouragement of Vice and the Promotion of Christianity.
The Bishop of Limerick returned thanks; and felt it his doty to say, that the Association in Ireland has endeavoured at a humble distance, but with zeal, to follow the footsteps of her venerable sister in encouraging whatever wight tend to the promotion of true religion:—that it has been the object of that Association to promote Christianity, not merely in the general sense of the term, but according to the doctrine, discipline and forms of the Established Church of England and Ireland.
The Bishop of London gave—prosperity to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts—as a younger branch of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; pursuing the same object, and equally supported by the friends of the Established Church and the Christian Religion. His Lordship then gave successively " the National Society,'' and " the Society for the Enlargement of Churches and Chapels;" adding, that it was a gratifying fact, that for every Pound laid out by the latter Society a poor man had been accommodated with a seat in a place of worship; that no Charity in the Kingdom had, according toits means, rendered more important or extensive benefits to the community; nor was there any one which better deserved the support of all the friends of the Church of England.
The Bishop of London next mentioned a Society the objects of which are con
fined to one class, the black population of the West Indian Islands; and his Lordship added, that the individuals into whose hands had been put the Ecclesiastical affairs of these Islands, were, be fdt amply assured, perfectly competent to discharge the important trust confided to them. At the same time his Lordsulp was happy to say, that the West Indian Proprietors have shown the most liberal spirit, with a disposition to encourage the education of the negroes. The day he therefore hoped might not be far distant, when it might be in his power to congratulate the friends of humanity on the success of the effectual labours of that Society, the prosperity of which be now proposed—the Society for the Education of Negro Slaves in the West Indies.
The Bishop of London then gave the Clergy Orphan Society, —as one which undoubtedly had a claim on the attention of the Clergy, from whom it had obtained much patronage, but not so much as it deserved. His Lordship stated, that there was room in the house of the Institution for 150 children, but that the existing funds would not allow of the building being filled— which he could but consider as a disgrace to the Church. His Lordship entreated that the gentlemen present who came from different parts of the country would do their best to make known the deficiency, and endeavour to supply it, in order that 50 more orphans than can at present be admitted, may receive the benefit of the education provided in the Schools—an education such as few schools can offer. His Lordship suggested tliat a very trifling annual subscription from Diocesan Committees would form a material addition to the funds of the Charity, and enable the Society to complete the purposes for which the School was originally constructed. If any evidence were required as to the excellence of the education given, with regard to soundness and accuracy, and its effects on the minds and manners of the children, it was only necessary to refer to the last Annual Examination. He could say, without exaggeration, that the education was better than that which could be had at most schools.
The Bishop of London, in proposing the next toast, remarked, that it was a part of the professional duty of the Clergy to support such Societies as that for Promoting Christian Knowledge; and that it was also unquestionably the duty generally of the Laity to promote the honour of God and the welfare of their fellow creatures; but, when the Laity came forward actively and prominently in aid
of snch institutions as are more especially clerical they are obviously disinterested, and deserve the warmest thanks of all classes. His Lordship begged therefore to give—the hea'.th of Lord Kenyon a id the respectable body of Laity who were then present.
Lord Kenyon replied, that he and the laymen present had done no more than their duty in supporting a Society which so well consulted the religious, the civil, and the social interests of mankind;—and as they had done their duty, so would it always be their pleasure to encourage and sustain all the Societies that day recommended from the Chair.
Lord Kenyon again rose, and stated, that for tin-gratification of his personal and hereditaryfeelings, lie had obtained permission to give a toast usually given from the Chair. It was a common saying, Justitix soror Fides—he would add, Fidei soror Jnstitia. He proposed the health of Mr. Justice Park and the Judges of the land.
Mr. Justice Park, with great feeling, acknowledged the honour done him and his brother Judges, who were unavoidably absent on the occasion, and added, that he had seen for three and thirty years the gradual progress of the Society from small to great, and that nothing had afforded him greater satisfaction than its growing prosperity.—The Company then retired.
The Tenth Report of the Chichester Diocesan and District Committee, Established in 1812, in a id of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
In submitting the Tenth Annual Report of their proceedings, the Chichester Diocesan Committee of the Society For ProMoting Christian Knowledge anticipate with pleasure the gratification with which the friends of the Church of England will receive the intelligence of their increasing prosperity. ,
Notwithstanding that each succeeding year, since the establishment of the Committee in 1812, has exhibited a progressive improvement in its affairs and objects, it is with peculiar satisfaction that general attention is invited to the following statement; by which it will appear that the same readiness to give, anil gladness to distribute, which has all along been manifested by the friends and promoters of this excellent Institution, still characterizes their zeal, and authorises the humble hope
that there will be no weariness on their part, so long as ignorance, error, and unbelief, remain to be informed, reclaimed, and refuted.
Many additional subscriptions and donations have been received by the Committee daring the last year.
The numbers of Books distributed by the Committee since the last Report, is as follows: 375 Bibles, 357 Testaments, 960 Common Prayer Books, 672 bound Books, and 4298 half-bound Tracts, &c. the whole of which, to the Parent Society, amounted to 231/. 4j. 9rf. but, owing to the very liberal terms on which its Members arc supplied, the funds of the Committee have been charged only 180/. 1*. 1 lrf.for them*.
The benefits, which wc trust have been derived from our endeavours to promote Christian Knowledge, may be estimated by a reference to our Annual Report*; while the advantage which has resulted to the Parent Society, through whose instrumentality we have been enabled to be thus useful, may be seen in the printed Account of Benefactions received by the Society from Diocesan and District Committees. When it is considered that in the last year alone we have distributed nearly sixteen hundred Bibles and Prayer Books, we may be allowed to hope that our labour will not be entirely bestowed in vain; but that some of the good seed, so plentifully sown, has fallen on good ground, and by the Divine blessing will bring forth fruit accordingly. It is, moreover, satisfactory to us to reflect, that, through the encouragement and assistance with which we have been so highly favoured, we have had it iu our power, not only to provide for the necessities of our poor neighbours in the District, but in the twelfth year of our establishment, to contribute a Donation of upwards of 100/. towards furthering the general designs of the Parent Society.
So sucressfu) have been the endeavours of the friends of education to diffuse the blessings of it around them, that the
* A comparison between the cost and selling prices of the Society, will shew the reasonableness of the Tenth Standing Rule, which stipulates that "an entire third of all Subscriptions and Receipts by sale of Books, &c. be transmitted as a Donation to the Society." The amount of the Donation sent up by the Chichester Diocesan Committee, for the year 1823, is 101/. 3;. 1 lrf. which sum, ample as it may appear, does not make good the loss sustained by the Socjbty.
means of knowledge may be said to have .been brought within reach of most of the lower classes. The faculty of reading, and understanding what they read, awing .to the improved system upon which they are generally taught, is no longer routined to their superiors. There are few who do not, or may not, possess it. This acquirement has created in them, as might naturally be expected, a desire for information, and the Society For PromoTing Christian Knowledge, with a provident foresight of their wants, has not left them to " run here and there for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied," but at the same time that, from its permanent list, it provides them with a plentiful supply of spiritual food in the Holy Scriptures, and other works of a purely religious character, presents them also in its Supplemental Catalogue, with a judicious selection of works of a lighter cast, as a source of moral entertainment.
The Committee, sensible of the expedience of combining amusement with instruction, will be happy to aland every facility in their power to the formation of Lending Libraries. They hope to see the day when every School, if uot every Parish within the District, is provided with a Library of this description*.
The advancement of the Dean of Chichester to the Bishoprick of Gloucester has deprived the Committee of the superintendence of a President, under whose auspices it has been raised to a degree of efficiency and importance, which few similar Institutions have hitherto attained, and none have surpassed. The Committee could not contemplate the dissolution of a connection which had been productive of so much satisfaction to themselves, and uf so much benefit to society, without sotue memorial of their gratitude and respect— and accordingly at the last Quarterly Meeting (which was attended by his Grace the Duke of Riclrmood in the chuii—the Riglrt Hon. Lord Selsey, Lord G. Lennox, Sir Thomas Brooke Pechell, Bart. M.P. Sir James Brisbane, the Venerable Archdeacon of Chichester, the Canons Residentiary, the Prebendaries, and the principal Clergy and Laity of the District) the following Address, moved by Lord Selsey,
* With a view to promote the establishment of Lending Libraries, the Committee undertake to supply any School or Parish, where such Library is formed, with a copy of the Society's Family Bible at the cost price, and to be at the expence of the binding.
and seconded by Sir T. B. Pechell, was unanimously adopted:—
"To the Right Reverend Father in God, ^Christopher, by Dirine Permissum Lord Bishop of Gloucester.
"Called as yon have been, under the guidance of Divine Providence, to the high and arduous office of a Bishop in the Church of Christ; We, the Vice Presidents and Members of the Chichester Diocesan Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, of which you have been for many years the zealous and active President, cannot but rejoice in your elevation; and, as Members of the Church of England, look forward with pleasure to the good effects, which under the Divine blessing, we are persuaded will result from your labours in a more extensive field for their exertion. With the voice of gratulation, however, will mingle that of regret, when we reflect that your promotion will deprive this institution of a President, to whose zeal and unremitting attention it owes so much of its present prosperity and success. We pray tliat the Divine Grace which has called you to this great work w ill comfort and strengthen you in the discharge of it, and with the most sincere wishes for your health, happiness, and welfare, we subscribe ourselves, &e. Sec."
To the foregoing address, signed by the noble Chairman, and nearly eighty other Members of the Committee, the following reply has been received by the Secretary.
London, April 24, 1824.
You will have the goodness to communicate to the Members of the Chichester Diocesan Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge my liigh sense of the honour which they have done me in addressing to me their congratulations on my late promotion; and to present them (the noble Chairman of your Meeting, particularly, the noble mover, and the seconder of the address) my best acknowledgments and wannest thanks for this distinguished mark of their kindness and favourable opinion.
Though the affairs of the Committee have succeeded beyond our expectations, during the time I have been honoured with the office of its President, I am conscioos that it is in no respect indebted to me for its success. My residence at Chichester has been only partial: and the zealous exertions of the venerable Archdeacon, the Secretary, the Clergy of the District, ami the Friends and Favorers of the Institution, have left me little opportunity of taking an active part in promoting its prosperity.
Sensible as I am of the great importance of these Institutions to the promotion of Christian Knowledge and practice, I offer up my fervent prayers to the Almighty for the welfare and success of your Committee, and shall always feel the most lively interest in its charitable and pious labours ; and I am confident that, under a more able and efficient President, it will continue to increase in numbers, revenue, and usefulness.
'Die Committee may be assured that I am deeply sensible of the importance and difficulty of the situation to which I have been promoted, and I am truly thankful to -them for the prayer which they offer in my behalf to the fountain of strength and wisdom; as yet I have but little experience of the burdens attached to my office in the Church of Christ, but 1 humbly trust to God's grace for assistance and support in the discharge of its arduous and momentous duties.
I cannot conclude without adding my best wishes ami fervent prayers for the health and happiness of the individual Members of your Committee, and expressing my most grateful sense of the kindness, which I have uniformly experienced at Chichester in this and every other capacity.
Believe me to be,
C. GLOUCESTER. Rev. W. W. Holland, Secretary
of the Diocesan Committee, l[e.
Consolatory and cheering as is the view of the good already achieved by the Commit tee, and of tbe respectable patrooage by which their designs have been fostered and advanced, they are conscious that much yet remains to be done.—The powers of the human mind have within a lew years awakened, as it were, from a Jong sleep. The lower orders of the Community, who intent upon their worldly pursuits, with little either of leisure or ability to study the Scriptures, used implicitly to rely upon their Teachers, now learn to read and think for themselves— and as was to have been expected, and by no means to be deplored, scan with some jealousy those doctrines which they heretofore admitted with little or no examination. The change is most important to the cause of Truth, and consequently to the interests of Morality and Kcligion. Tbe Church of England, with her ready
reference to the Bible, as the fountain ef all her doctrines, with her constant appeal .to the precepts and practice of Christ anil his Apostles, as the model of all her rites and ordinances,—has nothing to fear, but exery thing to hope, from this advancement of the faculties of the human mind, and from the spirit of investigation to which it has given birth. But the population of the kingdom has been progressively increasing beyond the capacity of her Churches and Chapels, and to keep pace with the times, she must erect new places of worship,* as well as provide all the other ineaus which it may he in her power for the religious education of her people.
Of the Clergy, animated as they generally appear to be, to supply by National and Parochial Schools, by catechetical lectures, &c. the increasing demand for Christian Knowledge, it cannot be expected that their natural powers will suffice, under tbe most regular attention to their ministerial function.-, aud by the most unwearied parochial visitations to complete the edification of all the persons committed to their charge by oral instruction. They must have the meaus presented to them of aiding their own labours by an increased distribution of the word of God, and of that excellent formulary of Christian worship, which the Church of England has founded thereupon. And, as the enemy of souls is still permitted for tbe trial of human virtue, to roam the earth: as it is his unceasing endeavour to beguile the senses and captivate the judgment, and to make, as in the case of our first parents, even the thirst for knowledge a snare for those who may not suspect his specious wiles, other means are required to check his insidious progress. To remove the obscurities which have in process of time gathered over the sacred volume, to set in their proper light those holy truths which the passions of man are ever inciting him to misinterpret or to misapply, further expositions of the letter of the sacred volume, and written illustrations of its spirit, become necessary in furtherance of ministerial exertions. These expositions and illustrations, composed principally by the Clergy, but in a few honourable instances by their lay brethren, the Society have long and abundantly supplied in various Books and Tracts, now amounting to
* The Committee have great pleasure in announcing that arrangements have been made for rebuilding the Parish. Church of St. Bartholomew, in Chichester, which was totally destroyed by tbe Paikamentary Forces in 1643.
several hundreds; and, as lias been before pics of the Established Church, was intimated, arc constantly issuing new held at the Central School.Baldwin's Treatises adapted to the changed, and per- Gardens, on Thursday, June 3. haps improving, taste of modern times. Present—His Grace the ArchTo insure, therefore, the uninterrupted ... .,„ . . ., .-., _• issue of Bibles, of Prayer Books, and of b.shop.of Canterbury in the Chair; those approved Treatises of Christian in- "« Archbishop of York; the Instruction and Moral entertainment, the shops of London, Worcester, GlouCommittee respectfully, but earnestly cester, Lincoln, Oxford, and Exesolicit, their present Friends not only to ter; the Dean of Worcester; Rev. continue their subscriptions, but to advo- Doctors Walmsley, Inglis, D'Oyiy, catewith unremitted.seal, the cause of Burrow.Hawes,Wordsworth, Crane, the Institution in their respective neigh- , ,, :.. * . .. ', c bourhoods. Thus will they be the happy a,ud Hollmgworth ; the members of instruments of - turning many to righte- »>e General Committee and many outness,' who might otherwise be lost to others of the Clergy and Laity, peace in this world, and to happiness in As soon as the Chair had been the next—thus will they enjoy the glori- taken by the Archbishop of Canou« opportunity of snatching ingenuous and terbury, the Secretary, Dr. Walmsunsuspecting yonth-and .instructed age, , c(J u business of the meetas forlorn and pitiable, from the dangers . * * r ,. . „ , , which every where surround the path of lug. by reading the Report of the life—thus will they save them from those proceedings of the Society during fatal errors which spring from unwarranted the last year.
interpretations of holy writ, which mislead fhe Archbishop of Canterbury rose to
the moral sense, and teach the soul to re- move tllat tnc Report then read be adopt
pose in a fallacious security; but, above c(j and printed. His Grace said, that
all, thus will they effectually guard them af>er the clear and satisfactory account
against that spirit of infidelity which seeks w|lici, t|ley ua(j j^t heard, there remained
at once to intercept from fallen man the little with which he could have to trouble
light of Heaven, and to disqualify him for them; but he could not help congratn
its pure felicities. lating them that he saw around him the
(By order of the Committee,) Fame persons as were engaged the day
W. W. HOLLAND. before (at the Society for the Enlargement
Secretary, of Churches) in the same cause; for it was
Account O/"bibles, Common Prayer- obvious that the one undertaking without
Books, Tracts, &c. distributed by the the other would be but an imperfect work.
Committee, between tlie Audit of At the last annual meeting the Society
1822 and the Audit of 1823. was in want of money, but it did not dis
j,... „,- continue its work then in progress; it
Testaments 257 Cven vcntured t0 incnr a deDt. Dnt il »**
CommonPraym'.".'.'.'.'.' SCO "ow a f"ad "hich "ot TM% TM°>P<<*eIy
emcacy to its widely extended operations.
Total C7f2 *"' ^"race added, that he had himself wit
*" nessed the very great advantage which had
The whole Number o/BooKS distributed *!£ derived to the lower rank, from the
since the Establishment of the Com- d.,ffus,on .°/tl,e Nat,??a' ^stem °feduca
Mittee in 1812 is tl0n' M ll was mamfe8ted >n the candi
'dates for confirmation. • The difference
Bibles 2104 between the last and preceding confinua
Testaments . . 1993 tions, in respect of the due qualification of
Common Prayers .. 7211 the young people was most marked; and no
Bound Books 6687 stronger or more gratifying evidence of
Stitched Tracts .... 28,584 the benefits arising from religions ednca
—— tion could possibly be given.
Grand Total. .46,579 General Thornton fully concurred with
^ the Report on all the topics which had
NATIONAL SOCIETY. \tetxi mentioned in it, especially on that of
_,_ , ,. » .. VT the King's letter; but lamented that the
The annual meeting of the Na- bov8 we»e not instrncted in §0,nenseni,
tional Society for Promoting the work, 0f industry, and expressed his »p
EducatioD of the Poor io the Princi- prehension that to the omission of soma