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Beneficial Results of the improved system.

of the receivers, and augmented to the Parent Institution the means of providing for the accomplishment of its object in foreign parts.”

12. Nor were the beneficial effects of this improvement of the system confined to the Auxiliary Societies already in existence :-many benevolent individuals, in different parts of the kingdom, were encouraged, by this production of a regular and uniform plan of operation, to adopt measures for the establishment of similar institutions : and the following comparative statement will afford a gratifying illustration of the results.

In the year 1809-10, the number of- Auxiliary Societies established was thirteen ; and the amount contributed, 59451. 4s. 3d. In 1810-11, the number of new Auxiliaries was seventeen; and the amount of contribution, 60711. 3s. 10d. In 1811-12, the number of new Auxiliaries was fifty-three ; and the amount of remittances, 24,8131. 5s. 10d. And in 1812-13, the number of new Auxiliaries was seventy-five ; and the amount of contribution, 55,0991. 3s. 10d.

Such were the immediate results of a plan, the details of which will be more distinctly considered in the following section. Devised and matured by an individual, who was originally drawn from the retirement of private life by his Christian sympathy in the wrongs of Africa,—and who brought into the service of the Bible Society the active philanthropy and steady perseverance by which he was distinguished as a member of the Committee for the abolition of the Slave Trade,-few schemes of benevolence exhibit a better specimen of practical wisdom, or have given more universal satisfaction. In contemplating these results, well might the Committee observe, in their Report for 1813_“ Your Committee cannot but rejoice, both as Christians and Britons, in presenting such a record, which, while it calls forth the warmest expression of their cordial gratitude and acknowledgments, will be read with admiration by foreign nations, and, they trust, will descend to posterity, as an example for imitation."

SECTION II.

RULES AND REGULATIONS.

1. It should be distinctly understood, that the following code of laws is merely recommended by the Parent Institution,

* Owen's History, Vol. II. p. 538 et seg.

Rules recommended by the Parent Committee for Auxiliary Societies. which assumes no control over the internal arrangements of its affiliated societies; and only insists, as the invariable condition of such connexion, on the recognition and strict observance of its fundamental principle—" the circulation of the holy scriptures without note or comment,”—and, in our own country, of the authorised version” exclusively. But while , each society is thus left at perfect liberty to frame its own constitution, and is responsible for its own measures, the importance of one uniform plan of operation will be acknowledged ; and that system be duly appreciated, which has borne the test of nine years' practical application.

As the regulations of an Auxiliary Society cannot be too clear and explicit, the author ventures to suggest the parenthetical additions in the 2d, 10th, 12th, and 17th rules.

2. Rules recommended for AUXILIARY SOCIETIES.* I. That the object and constitution of the British and Foreign Bible Society have the cordial approbation of this meeting.

II. That a society be (now) formed, to be called “the Auxiliary Bible Society of

,” for the purpose of co-operating with the British and Foreign Bible Society, in promoting the distribution of the holy scriptures, both at home and abroad.

III. That, conformably to the principles of the Parent Institution, the Bibles and Testaments, to be circulated by this society, shall be without note or comment ; and those in the languages of the United Kingdom, of the authorised version only.

IV. That all persons subscribing one guinea per annum, or upwards, or ten guineas or upwards at one time, shall be members of this society.

V. That the business of this society shall be conducted by a president, vice-presidents, a treasurer, secretaries, and a Committee, consisting of

other members, half of whom shall be members of the Established Church ; and that

members of this Committee constitute a quorum.

VI. That every clergyman, or other minister, who is a member of the society, shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meetings of the Committee.

VIl. That the Committee shall meet once every month, or oftener, on some day to be fixed by themselves.

VIII. That the Committee divide this town and neighbourhood into districts, and appoint two or more of their members for each district, who may associate with themselves any subscribers, for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions and donations from the inhabitants thereof; and that they establish proper agents and correspondents in different parts, within the limits of this Auxiliary Society.

IX. That the whole of the subscriptions and donations received by the society shall be from time to time remitted, after deducting incidental expenses, to the Parent Institution, in consideration of the advantages held out to Auxiliary Societies ; viz. “That the Committees of such societies shall be entitled to receive Bibles and Testaments, estimated at prime cost, to the amount of half the entire sum remitted to the Parent Institution,

• Of these Rules, the IXth was drawn up by the Rev. John Owen; the XIIIth by the Rev.Josiah Pratt; and the remainder by Mr. Phillips.

Rules recommended by the Parent Committee for Auxiliary Societies.

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if their local necessities shall require such a supply; and further, that the members of Auxiliary Societies shall be entitled to the privilege of purchasing, from the depositories of the Auxiliary Societies, Bibles and Testaments, on the same conditions as the members of the Parent Institution."

X. That, for the purpose of giving full effect to the benevolent design of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in their grant of the Scriptures for distribution among the poor, the Committee shall make it their business to inquire (either personally or by means of Bible Associations) what families or individuals, residing within their several districts, are in want of Bibles or Testaments, and unable to procure them; and that it shall be the duty of the Committee to furnish them therewith, at prime cost, reduced prices, or gratis, according to their circumstances.

XI. That, for the still further promotion of the circulation of the Scriptures, it is expedient to encourage the formation of Branch Societies in such districts, within the sphere of this Auxiliary Society, as may not be sufficiently populous to form Auxiliary Societies of their own ; such Branch Societies, and the individual members thereof, to be entitled to the same privileges from the Auxiliary Society as it and its individual members enjoy from the Parent Institution.

XII. That such persons as may not find it convenient to become members of the Auxiliary Society, or of any one of its branches, shall, upon forming themselves into Bible Associations, (and sending a copy of their Rules to the Committee,) be entitled to purchase at the depository of this society, under the direction of the Committee, copies of the Scriptures, at prime cost, for gratuitous distribution, or sale at prime cost, or reduced prices, among their poorer neighbours.

XIII. That all clergymen, and other ministers, within the sphere of this society, making collections in their respective congregations in behalf of the institution, shall be entitled, on remitting such collections to the treasurer of this society, to receive Bibles and Testaments to an amount not exceeding one-half of the said respective collections, estimated at prime cost, as shall be found to be needed by the poor in the vicinity ; such return of Bibles and Testaments to be claimed within one year from the remittance of the collection. It is recommended, in all practicable cases, to supply the poor by sale, rather than by gift.

XIV. That a General Meeting of the subscribers be held at the

in each year; when the accounts shall be presented, the proceedings of the past year stated, a new Committee appointed, and a report agreed upon, to be printed under the direction of the Committee, and circulated

among

the members. XV. That, in the formation of the new Committee, the president, vicepresidents), treasurer, secretaries, and such three-fourths of the other members as have most frequently attended the Committee, shall be re-eligible for the ensuing year. XVI. That be president,

vice-presidents, treasurer,

secretaries, and members of the Committee for the year ensuing.

XVII. That annual subscriptions and donations be now entered into, and that they be also received by the treasurer, (the secretaries), and the several bankers of this town and neighbourhood.

XVIII. That these resolutions be published in such manner as the Com. mittee may direct; and that a copy of them, signed by the chairman, be transmitted to the President of the British and Foreign Bible Society.. XIX. That the Committee meet the

instant, at o'clock, and prepare, print, and circulate, an address on the object and views of this society.

Importance of a strict adherence to the principle of the Institution.

3. Observations. 1. In defining the district proposed to be embraced by an Auxiliary Society, regard should be had to the boundaries of similar institutions previously established in the neighbourhood, and to the relative strength and efficiency of the Committee. It is easier to extend than to contract the limits of the society; and by including a larger field than can be conveniently and properly cultivated, the services of other labourers may be lost. This observation is particularly applicable to County Auxiliaries, from which the Parent Institution has derived so material an accession of patronage and influence: but it is worthy of consideration, whether the same advantage may not in future be secured, and the general object be more fully accomplished, by assigning a smaller district as the sphere of an Auxiliary Society. When the executive members reside at a considerable distance from the central depository, it is impossible to ensure their regular attendance at the committee meetings; and, without this attendance, the interest gradually subsides. It is true, these and other difficulties have been, in some degree, obviated, by the formation of Branch Societies; but it is equally certain, that these latter institutions are generally less effective than “Auxiliary" establishments. This subject may be profitably illustrated, by consulting the annual reports, and comparing the results of a county society with those of any other county, similar in extent and population, which contains several Auxiliary Societies.-In all practicable cases, the centre of the society, where its Committee meet, its depository is kept, and its business is conducted, should be a town of some considerable population, where a sufficient number of the Committee reside to transact business, and which has easy means of communication with the capital.

11. In reference to the Third Rule, the attention of those who are concerned in the establishment or direction of those societies, cannot be too strongly directed to the following extract from the Eighth Report of the Parent Institution :

“ It is the object of the Committee, in all their transactions, to adhere with the utmost strictness to the simple principle of the institution; viz. the distribution of the holy scriptures without note or comment:-and, while they feel the obligation to this duty increase with the increasing magnitude of the establishment, they trust that a similar feeling will pervade the several Auxiliary Societies and Bible Associations throughout the United Kingdom, and that one correct line of operation may continue to characterize the whole body."

II. The primary object of Auxiliary Societies is, to interest

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Advantages of Punctuality illustrated.

the higher and more wealthy classes of the community, and to procure their contributions : leaving it to Bible Associations to excite a similar feeling in the labouring classes. They should, therefore, endeavour to procure the patronage of persons of rank and influence; and fix their rate of subscription, not with reference to the poor, but to the middle and upper ranks of society. In this respect they cannot adopt a better scale than that of the Parent İnstitution, by which the risk of interference with Bible Associations is completely obviated.

iv. In the selection of suitable persons for President and Vice-Presidents, much will depend on local influence, and still more on respectability of character :-and, in every appointment, the latter ought to be a paramount consideration. It may not be improper to observe, that an individual, rather than a banking establishment, should fill the office of Treasurer, and that he should be a person who possesses the public confidence. Allusion has been made, in the preceding section, to the advantage of selecting the secretaries from different denominations of professing Christians; and as the duties of those officers will be hereafter adverted to more distinctly, it is only necessary to add, that in no appointment is the welfare of the society more deeply involved. The number of the Committee will necessarily depend on the extent of the society and the local interest in the cause; and it

may be sufficient to observe, that in few cases should it be less than twenty-four, or exceed forty-eight :-in some of the most effective Auxiliaries in Great Britain, the medium number of thirty-six has been adopted.

The usual number to constitute a quorum is five, exclusive of the officers.

v. The regularity of attendance at the meetings of the Committee may be safely taken as a criterion of the health and vigour of a Bible Society; the success or declension of which will always be in proportion to the degree of zeal and attention manifested in the Committee Room. The author is acquainted with two facts which will sufficiently illustrate this part of the subject.— In the one case, during a period of more than four years, the average attendance, monthly, exceeded two-thirds of the whole Committee: the chair was taken punctually at the hour appointed; and the society progressively advanced towards the attainment of its object. There was always business to be done, because there was always an inclination to do it. The district was covered with Bible Associations; and the Auxiliary Committee found their

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