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Lord's Supper at its quarterly celebration; the Elders to be elected as often as circumstances shall render such election necessary.
7. The management of the pecuniary affairs of the Society, to be entrusted to a Committee of twelve of the Members, with the addition of Treasurer and Secretary; the Minister and Elders being likewise ex officio Members of the Committee; the Committee to meet in the first week of every month. The Committee shall be chosen at the annual meeting, on the first Monday in November; one-third going by rotation out of office every year. At the annual meeting, a
Report of the Committee of the proceedings of the past year, shall be presented for the information of the Society.
8. Trustees or Managers shall, as often as occasion may require, be elected by the Members of the Society, for the purpose of holding the heritable and other property belonging to the Society; and the said property shall be vested in the names of the said Trustees, or Managers, and the acceptor or acceptors, survivor or survivors of them, and their successors in office—the major number surviving and accepting, to be a quorum, and his or their assigns; and the said Trustees or Managers shall, in managing, disposing of, or conveying the said property, or in borrowing money thereon, or discharging the debts, be subordinate to and regulated by the resolutions of the Committee of Management, as evidenced by an extract thereof communicated to them, signed by the President and Secretary of the meeting of Committee.
As a measure of prudence, new Trustees or Managers shall be elected, whenever the previous Trustees or Managers have become reduced, by death or otherwise, to two in number; and the said surviving Trustees or Managers, Trustee or Manager, shall make a disposition or conveyance of the property held by them or him in favour of the new Trustees or Managers.
9. That in terms of a pledge, given when considerable pecuniary assistance was received by the Society from Unitarian Congregations in England, it shall be understood, that, in the event of the discontinuance, for two years together, of public worship, upon Unitarian principles, as expressed in the Preamble and Rules, in the Chapel which may for the time being belong to the Society, the property shall be sold, and the clear proceeds applied to such Unitarian Institution as the surviving Trustees or Managers may deem most eligible; it being understood, that such Institution shall undertake to apply the annual income of the sum thus received by them for the promotion of Unitarianism in Scotland; provided that such discontinuance of public worship do not arise from the Chapel being under repair-being in course of rebuilding—the Society removing from one Chapel to another-or other accidental cause of a similar nature.
10. The money arising from the collections at the Chapel door, at all meetings of the Society for public worship, shall be appropriated to the general purposes of the Society; and an extra quarterly collection shall also be made in aid of the funds; but the collections at the Lord's Supper shall be placed at the disposal of the Committee of Management of the Benevolent Society in connection with the Congregation.
11. Besides other meetings which may be considered necessary, the Society shall meet on the first Monday of March, June, September, and December, to receive the Report of the Treasurer and Committee; the notification and introduction of new Members; and to transact any other necessary business. The quarterly and other meetings of the Society, shall be regularly announced on the two Sundays previous to their taking place.
12. These Rules may be altered when deemed needful; but such alteration must, in the first instance, be proposed to the Committee of Management, and if approved of by a majority of two-thirds of their number, may be submitted to the consideration of the Members of the Society at one of the usual quarterly meetings; but shall not be considered as adopted, unless sanctioned by a majority of two-thirds of the Members present at the first or second quarterly meetings held subsequent to its first proposal to the Society.
THE AGENTS OF CIVILIZATION. A SERIES OF LECTURES. INTRODUCTORY LECTURE. The last fifty years have been the witnesses of striking changes in almost every portion of Europe. The de
thronement of kings, the curbing of aristocratical domination, the diminution of priestly influence, the decay of feudalism, the diffusion of liberal ideas on all matters of religion and of government--the elevation, enlightenment, and increasing power of the labouring classes-the incessant and irresistible demand for reform in institutions and in laws,-these are the phenomena which our own times and the times immediately preceding present. We might have lived in an age of more solid faith, of more daring action, of more unbending virtue, of more uncompromising truth ; but no previous age offers the same features of inquiry and speculation-the same disposition to solve the enigmatical, to fathom the remote, to question the seeming, and to enlarge on the possible,—the same habit of bringing all subjects of thought and all modes of social existence to the test of reason and experience.
The tendencies of the present age determine, and are determined by, the tendencies of its literature. Of great authors, or of everduring masterpieces, the age can less boast, as of the multitude of its authors, and of the number and practicalness of literary and scientific endeavours. We have no Shakspeare, endowed with magic hand, to clothe with hues and symmetries of undying beauty the shapes evolved from his teeming brain. We have no Milton, to talk with God as with a household friend, and to descend again into the arena of ordinary being, with the beams of the divine and the eternal upon his brow, to communicate to his brethren the secrets with which intercourse with the Heavenly Father had dowered his intelligence. We have no Bacon, to walk with unwavering foot over sixty centuries of sophistries, of falsehoods, and of absurdities, and to gather from that measureless and appalling chaos the materials with which to build the temple of science. There were giants in those days:-we have no such giants now.
But if we have them not, we have, instead, exactly the sort of intellectual labourers that suits the taste of the age; men, not of bold individuality, or of original genius, or of apostolic singleness of heart'; but of extensive though superficial attainments, of prompt activities, of exhaustless tact and talent, of worldly skill, and, if occasion necessitates, of worldly subserviency. This brief description applies, in
general, to newspaper editors, to reviewers, to pamphleteers, to lecturers, to all to whom authorship is a profession. These professional labourers in the field of literature never or seldom produce anything full and matured in matter, or elaborately finished in execution. All that they do bears the marks of carelessness and haste. It is manifest to the most inattentive observer, that they have written, not in a missionary spirit, but with the mechanical rapidity wbich the hired servant gradually adopts. Yet it is precisely this defect, which enables the productions of these men more fitly to represent the lineaments and to supply the wants of the age. When Milton wrote Paradise Lost, and wben Shakspeare wrote Hamlet, they endeavoured to embody a great idea in a form commensurate to its sublimity; and the very grandeur of the idea, the very perfection of the form, in both cases, hindered either the idea or the form from becoming contemporaneous agencies in society. That which made Paradise Lost or Hamlet a perpetual model and a perpetual agency for remotest generations, made it an isolated, and unapproachable, and unimpulsive glory for the generation that saw its birth. Whereas, modern writers, seeking neither to obey a conviction of the conscience, nor to embody an idea, but to obtain a certain amount of pecuniary compensation for a certain amount of labour performed, supply the just quantity of mental food, and no more, which their readers require; and become useful and instructive from the very circumstances which will make them the soonest forgotten. The age being an age of change, they mirror that aspect of change, whatever the political creed that they profess. And as all warfare connected with the institutions of a country, whatever may be the origin of such warfare, ultimately becomes a warfare of principle, the most valuable point in the writings of living authors, is the general opinions that they introduce for the purpose of discussing Their pretended earnestness, their vague declamation, their epigrammatic commonplace, their borrowed wit, their apparent erudition, their ostentatious paradoxes, -all these will perish, as they deserve. But the general opinions which they have helped to circulate, and by the circulation of which they are the unconscious · missionaries of truth, will perish not, but illimitably fructify. The more that literature becomes a profession, and the more that the mechanical means for the diffusion of knowledge are augmented, the fewer will probably be the number of great men gladdening and brightening different literary departments. But to compensate for this, we may rationally anticipate, from what we see of the present age, that writers will always become more and more practical, will fill their productions with a greater number of general maxims applicable to the social and political wants of their land and times; and that thus the real purposes of human progress will be as effectually served, though with far less merit in the individual workmen, as in periods more perilous and perplexing.
The tendencies of the age, and the tendencies of its literature, are prominently shown in the manner in which history has come to be studied. Formerly, history was considered as scarcely intended for anything more than the relation of events. All the ancient historians limited themselves almost exclusively to this. And their narratives consist principally of a succession of pictures, poetically suggestive to the imagination, but not philosophically suggestive to the reflection. Shortly after the Reformation, a change took place in the mode of writing history. The adherents of the Popish and of the Protestant Churches, could not carry on their controversies without alluding to the circumstances which preceded and accompanied the Reformation. Such allusions necessitated, of course, detailed relations, which were the signals for fresh contentions. Narrative was heaped on narrative, and controversy on controversy. This fierce antagonism was followed by this beneficial result among others—that history, which previously had been nearly confined to the mere chronicling of incidents, became a field for the controversial spirit, all historians insensibly imitating in this, the historians of the Reformation. The causes of the Reformation, the events connected with it, became the topic of bot dispute ; and it was legitimately concluded, that no reason existed why the causes and events connected with other national or general changes, political or religious, should not be subjected to a similar ordeal. But this transition from simple narrative to