« EdellinenJatka »
all who are friendly to its principles and measures, to unite in a thankful acknowledgment of the divine blessing on their labours. We cannot forget that, which, in comparison, was a "day of small things." It is to be ascribed to the Author of all good influences, that the Christians who originated our system of operations, were directed to a course, which, on fair and full experiment, has been found to conduce to the furtherance of the Gospel. Wise in their selection of missionaries, who had cultivated minds, who called "no man their master upon earth," who were free from sectarian views, and who had allotted them for cultivation particular portions of the vineyard; they have seen under their nurturing care, the extension of the social spirit of Christianity, the advancement of useful knowledge and the triumphs of catholicism and piety.
The year which has elapsed, since the Society, under Legislative sanction, offered itself to the general patronage of the State, may be hailed as an auspicious introduction to a more extended scene of service. It is a tribute due to our fellow Christians in Salem and its vicinity, that their kind reception and liberal contribution in aid of our general object, at the first semi-annual meeting, have strengthened our confidence in the rectitude and correctness of our measures, and given us fresh ardour in the application of our time and means to the promotion of the interests of our Redeemer.
Circumstances, which we deem it our duty to state, render the continuance of our charitable aid to the inhabitants of Jackson, in the District of Maine, indispensable. This is new settlement; has a thinly scattered population, and are of themselves unable to support the ministry. They have evinced an ardent desire for "the bread of life;" have sent us expressions of their gratitude, whose sincerity we could not suspect; and are bringing forth in their life and conversation the fruits of charity and righteousness, which we trust will be to the glory and praise of God. Their minister, the Rev. Mr. Warren, has a scanty support, is a pattern of exemplary diligence and fidelity, has been unwearied in his solicitude for the improvement and virtue of the rising generation, and his labours have been blessed to the growth of the temporal and spiritual interest of that people. We have for these reasons granted towards his support the past year $200.
Mr. Joshua Barrett has been three months in our employment in the towns of Belfast and Searsmont. An occasional in
*Till this time it had been composed of members from only the counties of Worcester and Middlesex.
difference and lukewarmness may be considered the natural effect of living long without the stated administration of the word and ordinances. In our new settlements, another cause has unhappily aided in producing a spiritual lethargy. Itinerants, without knowledge or a respect for order, who have obtruded themselves as religious teachers, and whose exclusive aim has been to advance a sectarian interest, have for a time enkindled a spirit of unhallowed zeal and fanaticism. The men who had listened to them, being left to the exercise of sober reflection, have perceived the contrariety of their instructions and manners, to the dictates of more enlightened reason. They have turned with disgust from a course of operation, unfavourable in its influence on the temper and morals. From reiterated lessons, which are dictated by a sound mind and which are a fair representation of the "doctrine which is according to godliness," we may expect an animated attention to religious duties, and an ameliorated state of public sentiment and practice. The report of Mr. Barrett gives us consoling proof that his "labour has not been in vain."
The Trustees feel a desire to stand justified in the view of the Society, in reference to the measures they are taking for the comparatively flourishing town of Belfast. Our fellowchristians there were labouring under peculiar embarrassments, arising from diversity of opinion. A general disposition appeared to listen to sober and reasonable ideas of Christianity. A laudable effort was making, even beyond their ability, to build a house for the worship of God. A bright prospect was opening for the re-settlement of the ministry. Good reason exists for believing that our encouragement has aided the accomplishment of their desires. Their union has been advanced, their meeting house is nearly completed. Through the charity of the 2d church in Worcester, we have sent the brethren, who are few in number, furniture for their communion-table. That the seed already sown might not be suffered to perish, for want of culture, we have recently commissioned the Rev. Seth Stetson to preach to them three months. Our hopes are raised by their previous measures, that an united and prosperous church will soon exist, who will stand in no need of charity.
The town of Nobleborough in that vicinity, has commanded our commiseration, and is now receiving our assistance. The inhabitants of this corporation have set their face as a flint, against all teachers and measures, which should interrupt their union, or give countenance to an intolerant or fanatical spirit. A desire for knowledge, and a respect for Christian institutions,
have led them the past year to the extent of their means, to support Mr. David Reed, as an instructor of youth, and teacher of religion. Viewing with delight their state and prospects, receiving from them earnest solicitations for assistance, and being addressed in their behalf by their sympathizing neighbours, we have continued Mr. Reed among them at the expense of the Society three months.
In addition to these labourers, the Rev. Seth E. Winslow has been sent out by us, on a mission to Holton Plantation. Of his reception and prospects, we have had no opportunity for collecting information.
The Trustees congratulate their associates on the adoption of important measures in the District of Maine, to advance their benevolent design, and that a branch of this Society is this day employed in Portland in celebrating the anniversary of their establishment. We affectionately wish them a benediction from the Author of all good, and that prosperity may attend their well directed efforts for spreading the savour of the knowledge of Christ.
We are invited to encourage the Society from a consideration of the increased number of their friends; from the general approbation of their proceedings; from the liberal contributions to assist them in their works; from the recollection of their past usefulness, and that a number of Christian churches have been edified and built up, through their instrumentality, to continue their labours. We feel authorized in behalf of the Society, to give to the Christian community a renewed and solemn pledge, that the monies with which we shall be entrusted, shall be faithfully applied to the promotion of common and religious knowledge; that the men employed by us shall be alike distinguished for their learning, candour, and piety; that we will use every means in our power to keep a respect for human creeds and the words which man's wisdom teacheth, in subordination to a reverence for the sacred scriptures; that we will encourage regular christians of every sect, to friendly intercourse and communion, and, that at the return of each anniversary, we will make a faithful report of our measures. We ask all the friends of charity, and of pure and undefiled religion, to unite with us, in a devout supplication for a blessing on our desires and labours.
The following named gentlemen were chosen as officers for the ensuing year.
Hon. BENJAMIN PICKMAN, Jun. Pres.
Rev. SAMUEL RIPLEY, Cor. and Rec. Sec'y.
ICHABOD TUCKER, Esq. Assis. Treas. for Essex.
Hon. Joseph Allen,
Rev. Dr. Bancroft,
Rev. Dr. Foster,
Rev. Mr. Pierce,
Preachers for the next annual meeting.
Rev. Samuel Ripley, 1st. Rev. Abiel Abbot, 2d.
Massachusetts Peace Society.-The third anniversary of this society, in which the Christian Disciple must always take a strong interest, was celebrated on the 25th of December last. An excellent address was delivered in the evening by the Hon. Andrew Ritchie, to a large and attentive audience. The annual report was likewise read in public. The following extracts from it exhibit the flourishing state of the society, and the encouraging progress of pacific principles.
Since the 10th of December 1817, eight thousand two hundred and ninety-eight Tracts have been distributed in behalf of the society; of which 4785 were copies of the various numbers of the Friend of Peace. The remaining 3513 were copies of the smaller Tracts-the Solemn Review, the Sermon on War, the last Annual Address and Reports, and copies of several Tracts from a Peace Society in London.
Besides the distributions which have been made in the United States, a considerable number of Tracts have been sent to four of the British Provinces in America-to London, Liverpool, and Manchester in England-to Glasglow and Dundee in Scotland, and to St. Petersburgh, in Russia.
In addition to the distributions which have been made at the expense of the Society, many thousands of Peace Tracts have been sold or gratuitously distributed in different sections of the
United States; and much evidence has occurred that these Tracts have been favourably received, and have produced considerable effects. They have not only excited attention to the objects of the Society, but have increased the number of its friends and its members. At the last anniversary this Society consisted of 304 members. It has since been increased to upwards of 550, including six auxiliary or branch societies, which have been formed in the course of the year.* The Society now extends by its members to nine of the United States, and two of the British provinces. Several new Peace Societies have been recently organized in different states. From information received, it appears that there are now in this country at least seventeen organized Peace Societies, including Auxiliaries; and that several others are about forming, if not already formed. To these may be added a conference of the Methodist Reformed Church in the state of New York, which has assumed the character of a Peace Society, and a Society of Young Friends in Bucks county, in Pennsylvania, which has been formed for the purpose of distributing Peace Tracts. Respectful notice should also be taken of an individual mechanic in the state of New York, who has published, at his own expense, fourteen thousand copies of the Friend of Peace, and two thousand five hundred copies of the Solemn Review of the Custom of War. A man of such energy and benevolence may justly have his name enrolled with Peace Societies. What may not be done in this good cause when men of wealth and enterprize shall truly feel its importance!
In London there are two independent Peace Societies. The Society for Promoting Permanent and Universal Peace, has a considerable number of Auxiliaries in different parts of the kingdom; it has published many thousands of Tracts-some of which have been translated into the German language. This will doubtless be followed by an extensive circulation on the continent of Europe. Several of the English periodical works favour the cause of peace-the Philanthropist, the Eclectic Review, the Edinburgh Review, the Evangelical Magazine, and the Christian Observer. In each of these, articles have appeared which must have excited much reflection, and multiplied the advocates for peace.
The Report then goes on to take a view of the obstacles to be encountered.
Among these are the following;-the extensive influence of a mis-directed education,-the accumulated prejudices of seve
*The Society has been enlarged since the Report was communicated.