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fellow-labourer, proposed the following resolution:-“ That we desire to express to the Rev. James Forrest, our deep and unfeigned regret at the prospect of his approaching departure from this neighbourhood; and at the same time to assure him of our high respect for his character, our admiration of his excellent and invaluable services in the cause of Christian truth and virtue, our gratitude for the kindness and perseverance with which he has endeavoured to promote the best interests of the Congregations of both Devonport and Plymouth, and our heartfelt wish and prayer for his future usefulness and happiness.”
This resolution was seconded by Mr. S. Gibbs, in an excellent address; and supported by Mr. Perry on behalf of the Devonport Congregation. On its being put by the chairman, all present testified their concurrence in the sentiments it expressed, by standing up.
The Rev. James Forrest, in reply, assured his friends around him of his thankfulness for the
friendly recep; tion he had met with on his first coming into the west, and for the kindnesses he had since received from them-expressed his earnest wishes for their prosperity, usefulness, and happiness—and declared his firm determination to go on disseminating those great principles which he believed to be most honourable to God and most beneficial to man.
Charles Howe, Esq. then proposed, and Mr. Edward Davies seconded the next resolution:- “ That we are gratified by the presence of the Rev. W. Evans of Tavistock. Long may our friend continue to shed the sunshine of his own mind on the circle of his family and friends, and enjoy the delightful recollection of a well-spent life.”
To this the Rev. W. Evans replied, expressing, in his own happy manner, his pleasure at being present at this meeting, his regret at being called to separate from Mr. Forrest, and his friendly regard and good wishes for all present. He concluded by reading the next sentiment:—“May these social meetings prove a means of uniting us more closely in the bonds of Christian truth and love:” which was responded to by Mr. Heppen.
Mr. Harris then proposed, and Mr. Alfred Browne seconded, a vote of thanks to the Committees who had made the preparations for this meeting. The resolution was acknowledged by Mr. C. Boolds.
Thanks were then given to the Chairman, for his readiness at all times to stand forward as the advocate of Christian Unitarianism, and for his kindness in taking the chair on this occasion. The friends then retired, obviously much gratified by the proceedings of the evening. W. J. 0.
BIRMINGHAM UNITARIAN DOMESTIC MISSION SOCIETY. We have read, with interest and pleasure, the first Annual Report of this institution, and rejoice in the measure of success which has manifestly attended the efforts of its faithful and indefatigable missionary, the Rev. Thomas Bowring. Some of the instances of the good the Society has already accomplished, are most cheering; nor among the least important statements, are those which show the kindness of the poor the one to the other. We gladly give the following extracts from Mr. Bowring's address to the friends of the Society:
66 The poor have great and peculiar clams on the followers of the Saviour. He made them the principal objects of his mission; he emphatically declared, that to them the gospel was preached; but, from his times to the present, even his professed disciples have not had his faith, his mind, with respect of persons.
All have had too much reason to say, that whilst the poor have been always with them, Jesus—the love of Jesus—has not been with them. Too much have they been neglected, and their claims set at nought. The very phrases by which they have been designated—“ the common people, “ the lower orders”-have savoured of any. thing rather than the Christian principle. The injunction to “honour all men,” has been practically disregarded; the proud man's contumely has borne them to the earth; the pride of caste has prevented man from meeting man as a brother, as the child of one common Father, the disciple of a common Master, the heir of a common Salvation. Oppression, and insult, and contempt, have induced degradation of feeling, and brought about most of the physical and moral evils which affect the poor, and which are eating like a canker into the heart of civil society. The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint because of them; and if some great and searching remedy be not speedily found, from the sole of the foot even unto the crown of the head there will be no soundness. We know, that, as human nature is constituted, there is no probability that the poor will speedily, if at all, cease from the land. This world is a state of discipline, a scene of probation, whose objects and pleasures were never intended to satisfy the longings of an immortal spirit. It seems to be an essential part of the scheme of Divine Providence, that there should be many gradations in human life, that numbers should be exercised by the severest trials. We believe in no Utopia, no community where an equality of outward circumstances shall prevail; we imagine that no surer method to depress the energies of the mind, and to take away all stimulus to active exertions for the benefit of others, as well as all motives to personal virtue, holiness, and spirituality of mind, could be devised. We rejoice in the conviction, that the world is under the government of a Being who must do all things well, and who is causing all the events of life to issue in good to those who love him; and with this strong, abiding faith, we are not troubled, though all be dark around us. But, my Christian brethren, these considerations should powerfully influence our conduet with regard to the redemption of the world from the bondage of ignorance and vice, and from misery the most appalling and heart-rending, resulting from these dreadful evils. We are, in such a work, labourers together with God. He works chiefly by secondary causes, and, as it concerns the welfare of our race, by human agency. He has bound man to man by the pleasant ties of brotherhood and by a common nature; we are each our brother's keeper, and he best fulfils the purposes of his being—best serves God, and best performs his duty—who loves his neighbour as himself, and is ever careful to promote his comfort and edification.
56 There are those who cannot help themselves, whose early disadvantages—whose want of the elements of instruction whose position in society—whose habits, and views, and feelings, effectually preclude the faintest attempt at self-culture and self-discipline; who live in the very heart of an intelleetual and highly cultivated community, like the Pariah caste among the Hindoos; who have no moral strength, and whọ must, from the very nature of the case, sink yet lower in the scale, unless a friendly hand is held out to them to raise them; and for such persons, low and degraded though they be, the Domestic Mission is especially designed.
“ The term Domestic Mission, at once points out the object for which it is instituted. It is by going about from house to house, by friendly domestic visits, by religious conversa ţion, by reading, by prayer, to endeavour to convince our brethren, that though they may be poor in this world's goods, they can still be rich in faith and be heirs of the promises it is to arouse the slumbering conscience, to bid its possessor awake, that Christ may give him light-it is to tell of a Father in heaven, who graciously regards all his children, who has made of one blood all nations of men, who “is no respecter of persons," who hears the prayers of the lowly, who is waiting to be merciful to the most sinful, who rejects none who come to him with penitence and sincerity of heart -it is to make them feel that they have an interest in the Saviour's love and redemption, that they also can come to him, though weary of the world and heavy laden with their iniquities, and that he will give rest to their souls—it is to exhort them to be reconciled to God, to induce them to break the power of evil habits, and to forego vicious indulgences to help them to subdue the animal man, by placing before them nobler objects of pursuit.”
“One result is, I trust, obvious, that of attendance on the Mission Chapel on Sunday evenings, which, from not more than thirty at first, now averages full ninety; and we have sometimes had as many as a hundred and twenty, and principally of that class who have seldom or never attended any place of worship. This to me is most cheering, and it must be equally so to all who have the success of the Mission at heart; and it is to my view a pleasing feature in the case, that I constantly see the same faces; which shows that an interest is felt in the services." “ The number of visits I have made since 6th April 1840 (forty weeks), have been rather above 4,460. I think it must be evident, that all these have not been made in vain; in a variety of instances they have, I humbly trust, been productive of great good.”
“A ministry to the poor, should be one of prevention as well as cure, and perhaps more so. It follows, that the education of the young should be particularly attended to. We have a large and increasing Sunday-school at the Mission Chapel. Those who have kindly assisted in this labour of love, have sedulously and zealously devoted their time, and very efficiently served the interests of the establishment. The warm thanks of all who feel interested in the schools, are their due. The children are making fair progress, and appear to satisfy the expectations of their parents.
66 The Sunday-school is one of my most valuable auxiliaries in the great, and frequently arduous work, of the Mission. It introduces me to an acquaintance with many families, whom otherwise I could scarcely induce to receive my regular visits; and it forms a bond of union betwixt the parents and myself, which but for it could not have existed. I must not omit to mention, that a regular morning service is conducted for the benefit of the School, and that it is attended by some adults from the neighbourhood. Ours is as yet but the day of small things; we must not on that account despise it, but trust that it is the dawn of a light which will increase and shine on to perfection.
“ Nearly five hundred families are, with more or less of frequency, visited by me; they are the result of a necessarily indiscriminate system of visiting. I have, as may well be expected, met with a great diversity of character, and with poverty, destitution, and wretchedness, of every possible degree.
“ The tracts I carry with me materially aid my progress. I know, that, in the great majority of cases, they are read and re-read; and, being found to be very superior to the common run of such publications, are much sought after, and cannot fail of doing good; in some instances, their perusal has been the means of reforming drunkards, and others of bad habits in general; in many more, they have confirmed the wavering, strengthened the feeble-minded, and upheld those who were ready to fall.”
We trust the subscribers to this valuable and truly Christian institution will rapidly increase. No one could find a better channel for his bounty, nor, we are persuaded, a more faithful almoner than the excellent individual who is devoting himself heart and soul to this righteous and beneficent labour.
MINUTES OF THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION, OR SYNOD OF MUNSTER.–At the Annual Meeting of the Southern Association, or Synod of Munster, held in Strand-Street, Dublin, July 7, 1841, the Rev. Joseph Hutton introduced the service, and the Rev. William M Cance preached from er. ix. 23, 24.
According to the standing rule of the Synod, agreed to in the year 1809, the following reports of the state of the several congregations in connection with the Synod, were furnished.
1. Strand-Street. The congregation continues in its usual flourishing state. Being desirous of having a Colleague with their present Minister, they invited the Rev. George Allman Armstrong, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Antrim; and having heard him four successive Lord's days, they presented him with a unanimous call; and they instructed their elders to request the Synod to appoint a Committee to ordain him at the Synod's earliest convenience.
2. Eustace-Street.-Nothing to add to the report of last year, except their anxiety to obtain an Assistant and Successor to their aged pastor Mr. Hutton.
3. Cork. The usual services regularly performed; in addition to which, a course of Lectures on the Early History of the Christian Church, by the Rev. Thomas Hincks, which was well attended. Instructions in Scripture knowledge given to children and adult members of the congregation every Lord's day. Lost a number of members by death and removal. Their losses compensated by an addition of new subscribing members.
4. Limerick. Their Missionary cause very successful. For this purpose, £125 had been collected, including £63 collected in Limerick. They have a Missionary in Tipperary, and another engaged for Youghal, and intend opening a station in Ennis. The Missionary in Tipperary visits Dundrum and Thurles. The congregation in Tipperary, prosperous. The attendance in Thurles, about fifty; and in Limerick,