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Observations on the By-Laws.-Time of meeting.

shall be remunerated by an allowance, not exceeding five per cent. amount collected by him.

on the

XXII. When it is reported by the collector, that any subscriber to the society has discontinued his or her subscription, the Committee of the district within which such person resides shall endeavour to have such subscription renewed.

XXIII. The respective District Committees shall, at their discretion, canvas their districts for additional subscriptions, at least once in the year. XXIV. It shall be the duty of the Minute Secretary to supply every District Committee with an adequate number of the Annual Reports, as published, for the subscribers resident in the district, and a few for circulation. He shall also send twelve copies annually to the Committee of the Parent Society.

XXV. No new By-Law shall be proposed, nor any existing By-Law repealed or altered, without one month's previous notice being given, and a copy of the proposed alteration or addition sent to each member of the Committee.

5. Observations.

1. The place, day, and hour of the committee meeting should be selected with a view to the convenience of the members, and never be altered without sufficient reason. The importance of regular and punctual attendance has been already adverted to, in the preceding section. The Minute Secretary prepares an "Agenda,"-See Specimen, Chap. I. Section II.-which is laid, with a copy of the By-Laws, before the chairman, at every committee meeting. In county societies, and in all cases where the members reside at a considerable distance from the place of meeting, the Committee will find it advantageous to meet at twelve o'clock; but where a more limited district is embraced, the evening is found more suitable. As economy cannot be too strictly observed in every part of the system, the gratuitous use of a room should, if possible, be obtained.

II. While the minutes of the preceding meeting are read by one of the secretaries, his colleagues may be usefully employed in examining whether the treasurer's and depositary's reports be accurately filled up, and comparing them with the reports of the preceding month, which should always be preserved in a Guard-book. Specimens of these reports will be inserted in Section V. of this chapter.-It should be distinctly observed, that when Bible Associations are connected with a Branch Society, the Auxiliary Society recognises them only through the medium of the latter; as a different course of proceeding would interrupt the order and harmony of the system. It is the province of the chairman to conduct the business

• The commission to the collector should never exceed five per cent: in some societies, it is considerably less.

No orders should be given beyond balance due.-Choosing new Members.

according to the order prescribed in the IVth By-Law; by a strict attention to which, much valuable time will be saved.

I. In fulfilling the duties specified in the VIth By-Law, the secretaries will recollect the suggestions already offered in Chap. I. Section VI.; and never suffer the amount of their orders to exceed the balance at their credit in the books of the Parent Institution. An adequate and well-assorted stock should be always kept in the local depository; but this stock should never exceed the probable demand. When Bibles and Testaments are delivered to a Branch Society, or Bible Association, it becomes the duty of the secretaries of such society, or association, to inscribe or stamp the copies with the title of the particular institution by which they are issued to the public; and thus the facility of detection, in the event of improper disposal, is increased.

- IV. In the choice of new members of the Committee, the intimate acquaintance with the district, derived from the exertions of preceding years, may be turned to a profitable account, by enabling the members to select gentlemen properly qualified for the important office. A preference should always be given to those, if suitable in other respects, who reside in that part of the district which most requires attention. The plan of election by ballot is adopted in the Parent Committee, and is recommended as the most unobjectionable mode of admitting new members.

v. The depository should be established in a central and convenient situation, and be under the constant care and

superintendence of the secretaries. In many Auxiliary Societies which require an assistant secretary, the same individual acts as depositary with advantage to the cause; and, in others, the depositary is remunerated for his trouble, by a small per-centage on the amount of Bibles and Testaments sold to subscribers under their privilege. Where the gratuitous services of a suitable individual-a bookseller for instancecan be procured, it is scarcely necessary to say, they should be gratefully accepted; unless there be reason to fear that the absence of responsibility may induce neglect. Specimens of the depositary's book, and the secretary's order, will be found in Section V. of this chapter.

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VI. It is evident that the time of a Committee may be more profitably occupied than in the examination of bills; and that this necessary duty can be better performed by two

Arrangement of Meetings.-Balance in hand should be annually remitted. or three gentlemen, acquainted with business, and appointed for this special purpose. If the bills be presented at one meeting, entered on the minutes, and referred to the auditors, they should be returned the following month, either signed as correct-in which case, their discharge is immediately ordered, by minute or with the objections noted at the foot of the respective accounts.

VII. The XIth By-Law, in its practical tendency, is one of the most important in the whole code. The arrangement of the Annual Meetings of Branch Societies and Bible Associations ought always to be made in concert with the Committee of the Auxiliary Society with which they are connected, and the days of meeting should not, if possible, be altered. It is the duty of the Minute Secretary of the Auxiliary Society to report to the Committee, monthly, such meetings as fall in course within the ensuing month: the requisite appointment is then made, and a copy of the Minute sent to the Committee of the Branch Society or Association. A due consideration of this subject, in all its bearings, and of the responsibility which attaches to those who are pledged to the discharge of this important duty, cannot fail of drawing still closer the ties of Christian union and mutual regard, while it strengthens and extends the general interest in that great cause which all are engaged to support.

VIII. The importance of selecting a suitable person as Treasurer has been adverted to in the preceding section. This subject demands the more attention, as he generally acts as Chairman of the Committee, where his prudence and knowledge of business are of material consequence. It is scarcely possible to define the balance which ought to remain in the hands of a treasurer; but, as it cannot be supposed he accepts the office under any view of deriving pecuniary profit from his appointment, and the Parent Institution has a constantly-increasing demand on the funds placed at its disposal, the standing balance should not exceed the sum required for incidental expenses.-On closing the accounts at the end of every year, the whole of the balance in hand should be remitted to the Parent Society, by which the cashstatements will be rendered more clear and intelligible,

IX. The success of every benevolent institution depends, in no inconsiderable degree, on the zeal, the wisdom, and the diligence of the Secretaries; but in no cause are these valuable qualities more requisite, than in that of the Bible Society.

Duties of the respective Secretaries defined.

Nor should it be forgotten, in tracing the unexampled progress of this institution, that much of its efficiency has been derived from the piety, the talents, and the disinterested services of nearly two thousand gentlemen of extensive personal and local influence, who fill this important office within the United Kingdom; and who have still further illustrated, in their respective districts, that union of spirit, and that devotedness to the object in view, which are so conspicuous in the secretaries of the Parent Institution.

Although it is certainly desirable that an Auxiliary Society should have three secretaries, and that they should be selected as prescribed in the XIIIth By-Law, many establishments of this description adopt a different plan; some having four, or even six secretaries; others, two; and a few, only one: -in the latter cases, especially, an assistant-secretary is indispensable. But the experience of the best-organized societies, the example of the Parent Institution, and the natural division of the official duties, concur in strengthening the recommendation of the By-Law. As the secretaries are the representatives, not only of the local societies, but in some degree of the Parent Institution, as public advocates of the cause, they should be selected with the greatest care :-the suggestions already offered, in reference to this subject, sufficiently explain the author's meaning.

The duties of the respective secretaries may be thus defined :

1. The MINUTE Secretary takes charge of the rough and fair "Minute Books;"-preserves the records of the Society;conducts the business of the Committee;—and directs the official correspondence with the Parent Institution, the connected Branch Societies and Associations, and individuals. 2. The CASH Secretary takes charge of the "Subscription Book" and "Leger;"-receives all remittances from the connected Branch Societies and Associations, and the collections from the District Committees and collector ;-and presents a report monthly to the Committee.

3. The BIBLE Secretary takes charge of the "Order Book ;"superintends the Depository, and attends to the state of the stock; gives and receives all orders for Bibles and Testaments; and examines, monthly, the "Depositary's Book," and his report to the Committee.

Specimens of all these Books, &c. will be inserted in the Vth Section of this chapter.

As the Minute Secretary conducts the correspondence of the Society, it follows, that many accounts and documents are

Division of labour essential to success.

addressed to him which appertain to the departments of his colleagues, to whom they should be immediately transmitted for insertion in the proper book, but are subsequently returned to him. For instance:-when the Minute Secretary receives from the Parent Institution an invoice of Bibles and Testaments, he hands it to the Bible Secretary, by whom, and the Depositary, it is compared with the books received, and the particulars entered in the Depositary's Book ;-the Bible Secretary then marks it as "correct, and entered;" signs and transmits it to the Cash Secretary, by whom the British and Foreign Bible Society is credited for the amount in the Leger; and the invoice, signed as "entered," is returned to the Minute Secretary, by whom it is preserved.

By a strict adherence to system, the duties of a secretary become light and pleasant, and occupy considerably less time than may appear necessary for their regular discharge. The proceedings of the Committee should be transcribed into the "Fair Minute Book," as soon as possible after each meeting; and a copy of every Minute requiring attention sent immediately to the party whom it concerns:-an attention to this point, however apparently trivial, will materially tend to the order and regularity of the society. If the secretaries meet, monthly, half an hour before the time appointed for the Committee, it will considerably facilitate the proceedings.

In reference to the XVth By-Law, it may be observed, that "special meetings" should be avoided as much as possible. All the meetings of a Committee are important; but it should only be on extraordinary occasions that the members are specially convened.

x. It will be evident to the reader, that the XVIth By-Law is simply an extension of the principle laid down in the Eighth general Rule; and which is thus applied to the permanent arrangements of the society. By this division of labourassigning to every separate part its particular and defined duty, and making each responsible for its allotted portion alone-the pressure is equally felt throughout the whole, and no spring in this moral machinery is overloaded; an intimate knowledge of the specific duty is acquired; and, as this is seen to be essentially requisite to the good order and welfare of the whole, the interest is constantly kept alive. The business assigned to one cannot be delegated to another, without interrupting the general harmony; and, at every monthly meeting, the Committee have a clear view of the separate and combined results of their system.

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