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By-Laws recommended for adoption.
appoint a deputation to attend the same, and to assist in the proceedings, if necessary
XII. The treasurer shall not pay any money without receiving a copy of the Resolution of the Committee, authorising such payment, extracted from the minutes, and signed by one of the secretaries. He shall present a state'ment of his receipts and payments to every monthly meeting of the Committee.
SECRETARIES. XIII. The three secretaries shall be one, a clergyman of the Established Church ; another, a dissenting minister; and the third, a layman.
XIV. The secretaries shall be ex-officio members of all Sub-Committees.
XV. The secretaries shall call a special meeting of the Committee, on receiving a requisition signed by five members; or they may do so on their own authority alone : such meeting not to take place till three days after the summons; which shall specify the object of the meeting.
DISTRICT COMMITTEES. XVI. The General Committee shall be divided into the following twelve District Committees ; viz. 1. Charles,
7. Torpoint, &c. 2. St. Andrew,
8. Millbrook, Kingsund, Cawsand, &c. 3. Stonehouse,
9. Saltash, 4. Northern Dock,
10. Plympton, &c. 5. Southern Dock,
11. Ivybridge, 6. Sloke and Morice-town, 12. Tamerton, Knackers-hole, St. Bude, &c. each of which shall be charged with the duty of establishing, if deemed expedient, a Branch Society, or Association, within the particular district, and of affording it the requisite advice and assistance when established.
XVII. Each District Committee shall appoint, monthly, one or more of their members, to attend and assist at the Committee Meeting of the Branch Society, or Association, within their district.
XVIII. Each District Committee shall present, monthly, a written report to the General Committee, which shall specify, 1. The present state of the Branck Society, or Association, within their
district; with the names of those members of this Committee who
have attended the Branch, or Association, Committee: 8. The amount of subscriptions received for this society, with the
names and address of að new subscribers ;—with any other requisite
information. XIX. In the appointment of every District Committee, Sub-Committee, or Deputation, one of its members shall be designated as Secretary of such Sub-Committee; to whom a copy of the minute of appointment shall be handed, and who shall give any requisite notice to his colleagues, and present the reports to the General Committee.
XX. Any member of the Committee neglecting to attend for three successive months, shall be reminded by the Committee of such breach of the rules of the society, and requested to state whether he is unavoidably pre. vented fulfilling the duties of his office.
XXI. A COLLECTOR shall be appointed by the Committee; who shall give security for the trust reposed in him, and who shall not keep in his hands a sum exceeding forly pounds. He shall pay over the whole of his collections to the cash-secretary, by whom the particulars shall be entered in the 'Subscription Book,' and the amount transmitted to the treasurer. The collector Observations on the By-Laws.-Time of meeting.
shall be remunerated by an allowance, not exceeding five per cent. amount collected by him.
XXII. When it is reported by the collector, that any subscriber to the society has discontinued his or her subscription, the Committee of the district within which such person resides shall endeavour to have such subscription renewed.
XXIII. The respective District Committees shall, at their discretion, canvas their districts for additional subscriptions, at least once in the year.
XXIV. It shall be the duty of the Minute Secretary to supply every District Committee with an adequate number of the Annual Reports, as published, for the subscribers resident in the district, and a few for circulation. He shall also send twelve copies annually to the Committee of the Parent Society.
XXV. No new By-Law shall be proposed, nor any existing By-Law repealed or altered, without one month's previous notice being given, and a copy of the proposed alteration or addition sent to each member of the Committee.
5. Observations. 1. The place, day, and hour of the committee meeting should be selected with a view to the convenience of the members, and never be altered without sufficient reason. The importance of regular and punctual attendance has been already adverted to, in the preceding section. The Minute Secretary prepares an " Agenda,”—See Specimen, Chap. I. Section II. -—which is laid, with a copy of the By-Laws, before the chairman, at every committee meeting. În county societies, and in all cases where the members reside at a considerable distance from the place of meeting, the Committee will find it advantageous to meet at twelve o'clock; but where a more limited district is embraced, the evening is found more suitable.
As economy cannot be too strictly observed in every part of the system, the gratuitous use of a room should, if possible, be obtained.
11. While the minutes of the preceding meeting are read by one of the secretaries, his colleagues may be usefully employed in examining whether the treasurer's and depositary's reports be accurately filled up, and comparing them with the reports of the preceding month, which should always be preserved in a Guard-book. Specimens of these reports will be inserted in Section V. of this chapter. It should be distinctly observed, that when Bible Associations are connected with a Branch Society, the Auxiliary Society recognises them only through the medium of the latter; as a different course of proceeding would interrupt the order and harmony of the system. It is the province of the chairman to conduct the business
The commission to the collector should never exceed five per cent: in some societies, it is considerably less.
No orders should be given beyond balance due.-Choosing new Members.
according to the order prescribed in the IVth By-Law; by a strict attention to which, much valuable time will be saved.
11. In fulfilling the duties specified in the VIth By-Law, the secretaries will recollect the suggestions already offered in Chap. I. Section VI.; and never suffer the amount of their orders to exceed the balance at their credit in the books of the Parent Institution. An adequate and well-assorted stock should be always kept in the local depository; but this stock should never exceed the probable demand. When Bibles and Testaments are delivered to a Branch Society, or Bible Association, it becomes the duty of the secretaries of such society, or association, to inscribe or stamp the copies with the title of the particular institution by which they are issued to the public; and thus the facility of detection, in the event of improper disposal, is increased.
iv. In the choice of new members of the Committee, the intimate acquaintance with the district, derived from the exertions of preceding years, may be turned to a profitable account, by enabling the members to select gentlemen properly qualified for the important office. A preference should always be given to those, if suitable in other respects, who reside in that part of the district which most requires attention. The plan of election by ballot is adopted in the Parent Committee, and is recommended as the most unobjectionable mode of admitting new members.
v. The depository should be established in a central and convenient situation, and be under the constant care and superintendence of the secretaries. In many Auxiliary Societies which require an assistant secretary, the same individual acts as depositary with advantage to the cause; and, in others, the depositary is remunerated for his trouble, by a small per-centage on the amount of Bibles and Testaments sold to subscribers under their privilege. Where the gratuitous services of a suitable individual-a bookseller for instancecan be procured, it is scarcely necessary to say, they should be gratefully accepted; unless there be reason to fear that the absence of responsibility may induce neglect. Specimens of the depositary's book, and the secretary's order, will be found in Section V. of this chapter.
VI. It is evident that the time of a Committee may be more profitably occupied than in the examination of bills ; and that this necessary duty can be better performed by two
Arrangement of Meetings.--Balance in hand should be annually remitted.
or three gentlemen, acquainted with business, and appointed for this special purpose. If the bills be presented at one meeting, entered on the minutes, and referred to the auditors, they should be returned the following month, either signed as correct-in which case, their discharge is immediately ordered, by minute-or with the objections noted at the foot of the respective accounts.
VII. The XIth By-Law, in its practical tendency, is one of the most important in the whole code. The arrangement of the Annual Meetings of Branch Societies and Bible Associations ought always to be made in concert with the Committee of the Auxiliary Society with which they are connected, and the days of meeting should not, if possible, be altered. It is the duty of the Minute Secretary of the Auxiliary Society to report to the Committee, monthly, such meetings as fall in course within the ensuing month: the requisite appointment is then made, and a copy of the Minute sent to the Committee of the Branch Society or Association. A due consideration of this subject, in all its bearings, and of the responsibility which attaches to those who are pledged to the discharge of this important duty, cannot fail of drawing still closer the ties of Christian union and mutual regard, while it strengthens and extends the general interest in that great cause which all are engaged to support.
VII. The importance of selecting a suitable person as Treasurer has been adverted to in the preceding section, This subject demands the more attention, as he generally acts as Chairman of the Committee, where his prudence and knowledge of business are of material consequence. It is scarcely possible to define the balance which ought to remain in the hands of a treasurer; but, as it cannot be supposed he accepts the office under any view of deriving pecuniary profit from his appointment, and the Parent Institution has a constantly-increasing demand on the funds placed at its disposal, the standing balance should not exceed the sum required for incidental expenses.-On closing the accounts at the end of every year, the whole of the balance in hand should be remitted to the Parent Society, by which the cashstatements will be rendered more clear and intelligible.
ix. The success of every benevolent institution depends, in no inconsiderable degree, on the zeal, the wisdom, and the diligence of the Secretaries; but in no canse are these valuable qualities more requisite, than in that of the Bible Society,
Duties of the respective Secretaries defined.
Nor should it be forgotten, in tracing the unexampled progress of this institution, that much of its efficiency has been derived from the piety, the talents, and the disinterested services of nearly two thousand gentlemen of extensive personal and local influence, who fill this important office within the United Kingdom; and who have still further illustrated, in their respective districts, that union of spirit, and that devotedness to the object in view, which are so conspicuous in the secretaries of the Parent Institution.
Although it is certainly desirable that an Auxiliary Society should have three secretaries, and that they should be selected as prescribed in the XIIIth By-Law, many establishments of this description adopt a different plan; some having four, or even six secretaries; others, two; and a few, only one: --in the latter cases, especially, an assistant-secretary is indispensable. But the experience of the best-organized societies, the example of the Parent Institution, and the natural division of the official duties, concur in strengthening the recommendation of the By-Law. As the secretaries are the representatives, not only of the local societies, but in some degree of the Parent Institution, as public advocates of the cause, they should be selected with the greatest care :—the suggestions already offered, in reference to this subject, sufficiently explain the author's meaning.
The duties of the respective secretaries may be thus defined :1. The Minute Secretary takes charge of the rough and fair
“ Minute Books ;"-preserves the records of the Society ;conducts the business of the Committee ;-and directs the official correspondence with the Parent Institution, the con
nected Branch Societies and Associations, and individuals. 2. The Cash Secretary takes charge of the “ Subscription
Book” and “Leger;"-receives all remittances from the connected Branch Societies and Associations, and the collections from the District Committees and collector ;-and
presents a report monthly to the Committee. 3. The Bible Secretary takes charge of the “Order Book ;"—
superintends the Depository, and attends to the state of the stock ;-gives and receives all orders for Bibles and Testaments; -and examines, monthly, the “Depositary's Book,'
and his report to the Committee. Specimens of all these Books, &c. will be inserted in the Vth Section of this chapter.
As the Minute Secretary conducts the correspondence of the Society, it follows, that many accounts and documents are