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American Congregational Union,
FOR THE YEAR
18 5 4.
CLARK, AUSTIN & SMITH.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853,
BY THE AMERICAN CONGREGATIONAL UNION,
SIBELIS AND MAIGNE, PRINTERS,
11 Spruce Street, New-York.
To those who in any way have been made acquainted with the difficulty of securing accurate statistics, it will not be thought strange that the First Annual Register of the American Congregational Union should make its appearance in an imperfect form :--especially when it is known that it was found to be impracticable fully to organize the Society by the choice of officers, until the summer was past; and consequently that this work could not be entered upon until the autumn had far advanced ; leaving but little time for the collection and arrangement of the minutes of the State Associations; and rendering it altogether impracticable to secure that information respecting the literary and benevolent institutions of our own land, and the kindred churches and institutions of other countries, which it is designed to furnish in subsequent volumes of the Year-Book.
The partial want of order in the arrangement of the volume must be attributed to the same cause ; some of the Reports of State Associations not reaching us until the work had advanced far beyond the place in which they ought to have appeared. In subsequent volumes of the Year-Book we shall endeavor to present a larger number of engravings--and a complete list of our Literary as well as Theological institutions.
To all the ministers of our denomination,-especially to the Scribes or Registrars of the State and District Associations,—we would most affectionately and earnestly appeal ;-since the completeness of our statistics can only be in proportion to the promptness and carefulness of their co-operation. We would suggest the very great desirableness of a uniform system. And for
general usefulness that which is adopted by the General Association of Maš. sachusetts is to be commended ;--in which the statistics of the churches are
arranged in the Alphabetical order of the several District Associations ;"_and the churches placed in Alphabetical order in each Association. Care shonld be taken to give the address of those members of association who are without pastoral charge.---which in many Associations is systematically omitted. It will also aid us materially, if two copies of the Minutes are sent to the Secretary of the Union,-one for use in compiling the Year-Book, and the other for preservation in the library.
If, in addition to these carefully corrected Minutes, the Scribe of each District Association would send to the Secretary of the Union by the 1st of Oct. in each year, an account of the changes which have occurred since the printing of the Minutes, we should be able to issue tables so accurate and complete, that it would no longer be impossible to “walk about Zion--to tell the towers thereof-to mark well her bulwarks—to consider her palaces—and to tell to the generation following."