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terests • and purposes of this society, declared by them, and confirmed by the justices of the peace, according to the directions of the act of parliament in that case made and provided; but that all the rules, orders, or regulations, for the dissolution, or determination of this society, without said consent as aforesaid, or for the distribution or division of the stock or fund of this society contrary to the rules, orders, and regulations, which shall have been confirmed by the justices at their sessions and, filed in pursuance of the act in that case made and provided shall be void and of no effect.
RULES AND ORDERS
TO BE OBSERVED BY
THE SISTERLY SOCIETY,
JHE experience of some years has determined on the usefulness of Societies, instituted for the purpose of affording mutual relief and assistance in sickness and misfortune; and every reason which can be urged in the favour of such societies of men, applies with double force to a society of women. They are all of them equally exposed to the common calamities of human nature; and many of them, from the employments in which they are engaged, to all the ac-r cideuts and misfortunes, arising from external causes in a life of labour. Therefore from these considerations, the utility, and even the necessity, of the following institution, must, it is apprehended, be sufficiently apparent.
By the original Rules of the Society, each member of 20 years standing: was to receive 5l. per annum during life. Out of 160 original members on the 15th anniversary, there were 120 living. The society finding their funds would be/ inadequate, unanimously resolved to rescind the Rule, and to advance the weekly allowances to the sick,
TO THE SISTERLY SOCIETY.
THE liberality and good sense, which have been so powerfully exemplified in the resolution of your society, I may say, the unanimous resolution, for rescinding the twelfth
rule of your institution, cannot but afford the highest gratification to every feeling mind, and to all who are friendly to your society, its interests, and prosperity. As a body, the step you have taken may be viewed as a sacrifice; but as individuals liable to participate in the miseries incidental to humanity, you must be considered as having acted wisely and prudently. In your determination upon the subject, you have displayed a propriety and moderation which reflect the highest credit upon your judgment and feeling.
The immediate fruit of your decision will be, to afford a great additional comfort to the sick and afflicted. Under the regulation of the twelfth rule, which you have abolished, five guineas per annum was payable to every member of above twenty years standing; but under no circumstances could they receive any further relief:—by the regulation* you have now made, in case of a protracted sickness, fourteen pounds ten shillings may be drawn the first year, and thirteen pounds a year as Jong as the individual may require the aid of the society. Possessed of health, the sacrifice cannot be considered as bearing any comparison with the essential comforts and blessings afforded to the afflicted.
Within the period of the establishment of your society, a great and important change has taken place in the value of all the necessaries of life: the depreciation of money has rendered the allowance for sickness of five and three shillings per week inadequate to the times. The first object of your society was to render yourselves independent of parochial relief; failing in this, your institution must have fallen to the ground: it could only have been supported in two -ways, by the measure you have taken, pr by a further encrease of your monthly advances. As a proof that this statement is well founded, I may appeal to the smallness of admissions of new members. The deaths, from the commencement, are three in a hundred; .the admissions j}p pot exceed two, with the exception of the present year,
when when there are already ahove twenty, this may fairly be at• •tributed to the hope .and prospect of the change which has taken place, Thus, what appeared at first sight to be a matter of regret, has fortunately enabled you, by the sacrifice of a very uncertain benefit, to make such present advance of your weekly payments, as the circumstances of the times have rendered indispensable, with the best founded hopes of having the means of rendering the society a still greater source of solace in the hour of affliction. Past ex-. perience inculcates a lesson of caution, and it"will be well to liave some trial of'the scale of your present expenses, before you proceed further. To encrease the advantages of the society will always be acceptable; to retrench them, however readily you might be willing, in case of necessity, to acquiesce, would be very painful and distressing to all those who are interested for you, as has been most severely exemplified upon the present occasion. . •
The society has gained a great object by the immediate advance of the allowances, being five years previous to the period when further benefit was to be looked for. And here it must be observed, that the members of the oldest stand-, ing, in the course of nature, are the persons most likely to reap the greatest and most immediate advantage.
The equalising the benefit to all the members of the society is an act of sound policy as well as liberality: it will be the means of alluring the rising generation to join the society, and to become the prop of your age, as others in due course of time will be of their's. It is only by keeping up the numbers of the society, that it can insure the faithful performance of its engagements. On a fair, candid, and dispassionate review, it may be fairly assumed, that the more- the subject is discussed, the more reason there will be found to view what you have done as advantageous to .the interest of the whole body, collectively as well as individually.'