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and Mr. Kerr asks, If some of the homilies were only fitted for those times, why does not the Church revoke the order for their being read? and if the Bishop disapproves of their being acted on, why is he the patron of the Society?
Why, indeed, Lord Stanley? If you would instil into your followers, the spirit of meekness and forbearance, you must forget that you belong to a church, which consigns all beyond its pale, to everlasting damnation! But here is matter of reflection to you, and thousands of benevolent and tolerant members of your Church. In this correspondence, by statements too prolix to be inserted here, made by the friends of the Church themselves, it is seen that the Homilies, to which every clergyman is compelled to give assent, are in direct opposition to the Scriptures. Either the Scriptures or the Articles of the Church are in the wrong. If you believe in the former, you utter a manifest untruth when you declare, in the 35th Article, that the Homilies contain a godly and wholesome doctrine; if you abide by the latter, you prefer the doctrines of man, to those of Him whom you profess not only to obey as your divine instructor, but to worship as your Infallible Creator.
Great YARMOUTH, March 15, 1841.
APRIL 1, 1841.
BIRMINGHAM UNITARIAN Domestic MISSION Society (concluded from page 144).—Mr. Earl, in acknowledging a vote of thanks to the Secretaries, spoke as follows:—If, Sir, on ordinary occasions, and under ordinary circumstances, I ever feel a difficulty in expressing my opinions in public, how much must that difficulty be increased on the present, to me deeply interesting occasion; especially after the flattering manuer in which my humble services have been acknowledged by this meeting. Allow me, Sir, to say, that that expression of approbation is doubly grateful to my feelings; for while it recognises in me, an humble yet willing labourer in the cause of human improvement, I recognise in it the harbinger of the enduring prosperity of this institution; indeed, the very feelings wbich prompt that expression, proclaim at once a sympathy in our labours, and a determination
that those labours shall not be in vain. I must here, Sir, beg to protest against the too exclusive praise of my very kind friends, the mover and seconder of the resolution; and I feel bound to do this in justice to those with whom I have had the pleasure and the privilege to labour in this work; for when I look back to the time, when the provisional committee commenced their labours, and consider the many difficulties they had to encounter, the many obstacles they had to overcome—when I think of this Society, in its infancy, struggling month after month, not for life, but for mere existence; and when I think of its present state of comparative prosperity-when I look on this meeting, moved by one spirit, the spirit of Christian philanthropy-when I“look on that picture, and on this,” I am astonished at the progress of this work; and it is evident, there must have been a cordial union of congenial spirits, to have produced the results we now witness. It has been said, Sir, and in reference to this Mission, that “the poor man's house is his castle, and equally so with that of the rich man, and we have no right to intrude:" but, surely, this principle cannot be brought into operation without severing some of the most sacred charities that bind man to man; and if mere right be our rule of action—if we are to do nothing, to suffer nothing, but what mere abstract right commands or allows-why, what a world of misery should we not create around us! But, Sir, there is one fact which I fear the opponents of Domestic Missions have not well considered, viz. that there exists in the midst of society, a mass of ignorance, depravity, and wretchedness, which all the exertions of individual or collective alms-giving can never take away; and against which, pulpit eloquence (even such as we heard on Sunday) is unavailing, for it cannot reach the homes of the poor, where misery sits brooding in all the darkness of ignorance. Now, Sir, I would place this one fact against all the arguments of our opponents, and ask—if they will not admit the agency of the Domestic Missionary, how do they propose to remove this enormous mass of evil? If they lay elaim to the character of Christian philanthropists, they cannot pass it by, and they ought to be prepared with some means for its removal. But there is no intrusion in the way in which our Rev. friend goes about his work; he does not force himself upon the notice of the people—he does not go forth with fiery zeal, and with fierce denunciations“ break the bruised reed;” but in the spirit of Christian brotherhood, and with persuasive benevolence and kindly feeling, endeavours to * fan the smoking flax into a flame." He goes forth as a brother, among brethren, believing that in the soul of every
human being, however lowly his estate or debased his condition, there yet exists a germ of perfectibility, an undying vitality, destined for endless ages of ever-advancing purity and intelligence. Some time ago, Sir, I read a letter from the city of Adelaide, which stated, that “vice and depravity existed there, to a fearful extent;” and I could not help reflecting on the amount of responsibility this country had incurred, first, by neglecting the education and moral improvement of her people at home, and thus engendering evil habits, and then transplanting those habits into distant climes, to become the ruling spirit of new societies; nor could I help reflecting, that, if half the wealth which has been spent in foreign missions, had been employed in forwarding the cause of human improvement at home, much of that responsibility would have been avoided. But these things are beginning to be better understood: the intemperate zeal for foreign missions, had wafted men's sympathies to distant lands, but " the voice of suffering humanity hath at length recalled them to minister at our very thresholds;" we have been straining our powers of vision, in looking out for objects of compassion abroad, while we have overlooked and neglected the wretched outcast that lay weeping at our feet;the command to go forth and preach the Gospel to all nations, has been obeyed, but the accompanying injunction, " beginning at Jerusalem,” has been forgotten. I trust, however, that this meeting will not prove of that ephemeral character that its proceedings will vanish from our minds like a dream of the night; but that the plain, unvarnished narrative of facts, contained in the Report adopted this evening, will excite such an interest in this Society, that its permanent prosperity and usefulness will be secured—that we may enable our Rev. friend, not only to exercise his own benevolent feelings, but that he may continue our proxy, in going about doing good, that,
“ There may soft charity repair,
And break the bonds of grief;
That man to man may bring relief." Mr. Ridge, in a few brief remarks, also acknowledged the resolution.
The Rev. Hugh Hutton, after a few brief remarks, moved, and Mr. E. M. Martin seconded, the following resolution: "That this meeting rejoices in the presence of the Rev. Thos. Bowring, the Society's zealous and indefatigable Missionary; and while we would congratulate him, on the marked success which has attended his truly evangelical labourswhile we would offer him our sympathy and support in his
arduous undertaking, we would also acknowledge with thankfulness his unwearied and diligent attention to the duties of his office."
The Rev. Thomas Bowring said, be returned his grateful thanks to the meeting, for the kind manner in which his name, and the mention of his humble services, been received; but felt himself quite unable to acknowledge the resolution as it deserved. He had no words at command wherewith to clothe the thoughts to which he would fain give utterance. His sole end and aim was, to be useful in his day and generation; and if useful, he must be happy. He had endeavoured to steer his course, according to the advice given by the excellent Dr. Channing to a young friend in the ministry, “do not waste your time in lamenting over the wickedness of mankind, but do your best to make them wiser and holier.” He had been requested to prepare an address to the friends of the Society; but before proceeding with it, he must be permitted to present his most cordial thanks to Mr. Wicksteed, for the very eloquent and powerful manner in which he had advocated their most holy cause; none could have listened to his discourses, without feeling the necessity of exerting themselves for the benefit of the poor-without feeling that it was their duty to labour in the work of human regeneration, and endeavour to leave the world better than they found it. Mr. Bowring then delivered an impressive address, which it is intended to print with the Report.
Mr. Earl, in moving the next resolution, contrasted the present state of the subscription-list with its condition last year, and stated that they had also received the names of twenty-five new subscribers (since increased to thirty-five), to commence with the new year; and alluded to the increased interest in the Society, manifested in the collection after the morning service, which, on the present occasion, amounted to nearly double that of last year. Mr. E. concluded by moving, “ That this meeting rejoices in the knowledge, that this institution is daily advancing in the estimation of the friends of Christian benevolence and human improvement; that it is realising the hopes and wishes of its founders, in becoming a bond of union to the members of our different congregations; and that this meeting acknowledges with thanks, the kindness and cordial feeling of the Minister and Trustees of the Old Meeting-house, and the Vestry Committee of the Newhall-Hill Chapel, in granting the use of their respective places of worship for the anniversary sermons."
The Rev. Wm, M.Kean, of Walsall, in seconding the resolution, rejoiced that the whole evening's proceedings had been conducted in what he considered the spirit of Unitarian Christianity. The law of love had been uttered in every word, and kindly feeling had been spread by every breath. The religion of Jesus was the operation of sentiments ; those sentiments were inherent in all men as the offspring of God, and “waiting” developement by the preaching of the Father, who is love. The mutual kindness and self-sacrifice, for the benefit of each other, which the Report testified of the poor, was a leading feature in their character, and bore witness that the spirit of God was in them. It was universal in man, and was the cause of the welcome Mr. Bowring received in the homes of the poor; he went forth with the religion of man, and man's heart responded to it; the poor and afflicted of every creed fell into his embrace. Mr. Bowring's experience was a glorious testimonial of the fitness of the Unitarian Christian to become a “ Missionary to the Poor;" he recognised the brother in every child of sin and sorrow and destitution and the son and dau ter of the Father's unchangeable love, in every human being. The Mission to the Poor, was the most powerful preaching of our doctrine. Too long had it been in the hands of the theologian only. Too long bad it been a question of Biblical criticism. As such it could never be decided. But in appliance to the wrongs and woes of human condition, there its power and efficiency would be manifest. In sympathy with the sufferings of the poor, there its divinity would be tested; and in the pouring of oil and wine into the wounds of the spirit, there its heavenly origin would be declared, and the Son of the Highest invested with the glory of the Father.
The meeting was also addressed by the Rev.W.Whitelegge of Coseley, Mr. H. W. Tyndall, Jun., Mr. Ridge, Mr. John Green, and others. The chair having been taken by the Rev. H. Hutton, it was moved by Thomas Clark, Jun. Esq. seconded by Mr. Alderman Phillips, “ That the cordial thanks of this meeting be presented to Thos. Eyre Lee, Esq. for his attention to the business of the meeting, and for the interest he has ever evinced in the prosperity of the institution; and that he be respectfully solicited to continue in the office of President for the ensuing year.”
Mr. Lee having replied, a hymn was sung, and the Rev. Charles Wicksteed concluded with prayer; when the meeting separated, highly delighted with the proceedings of the evening, and with the increasing prosperity and usefulness of the Society.
On Sunday, December 27, 1840, J. Bateman, Esq. F. S. A. of London, delivered two Lectures in the Unitarian Chapel, Battle, Sussex, to attentive and respectable audiences; after