Imágenes de páginas

The interests of both Rich and Poor promoted by Bible Associations. would prove resistlests, if exhibited on the side of virtue; and who, while they receive the greater share of benefit themselves, give, by their individual and combined exertions, the moral tone and feeling to the country.

8. That the destitute families in Southwark could have been supplied with the holy scriptures without the adoption of those means, is not denied, though it may admit of a doubt;-but it is unquestionable, that many years must have previously elapsed, and a degree of zeal and perseverance beyond what we generally witness must have characterized the agents employed. This however is not the question;-a gratuitous distribution could not satisfy the minds of those who wished to counteract the degrading influence of Pauperism, to check the progress of Infidelity, and to extend the empire of Religion and Morality. They beheld in this unfolding system a moral engine of incalculable power, but which could be employed only on the side of Virtue. The spring that governed its movements was the BIBLE;-the power that directed their application was Christian Charity. To bring the rich in contact with the poor, in a manner peculiarly calculated to increase the knowledge and promote the interests of both;-to direct the footsteps of Benevolence into those obscure lanes and alleys whose inhabitants had rarely been beheld by their superiors, except in the casual light that Charity shed upon their miseries, or the stronger glare that Justice flashed upon their crimes ;-to raise the sinking spirit of honest independence from the degradation of abject and sensual addiction, and elevate the tone of moral feeling by giving it a just and Christian direction-these were the considerations that incited hope; these were the prospects that appeared worthy of steady and persevering pursuit. Here, if HE Vouchsafed His blessing who can alone command success, that success would be the best reward; and if the effort failed, the consciousness of an upright motive would at least acquit.

9. Nor were these the only incitements. The "signs of the times" appeared, as now, portentous-"Men's hearts failing them for fear;" and something was required that should erect a secure mound against the tide of infidelity and the waves of licentiousness. Of what materials could that safeguard be composed, if the BIBLE proved insufficient to stem the torrent? What voice could lead the poor man to the path of peace and safety, if that of sympathy and kindness from the

Results of the system in Southwark.

lips of his superiors proved ineffectual? What footsteps would be welcome at his humble door, if those of Mercy and Gentleness and Benevolence were repelled?

10. Influenced by these considerations, and animated by these hopes, the Committee of the Southwark Society entered on their new and arduous duties. In the pursuit of their object, many impediments were presented; but fully appreciating its importance, and confident of ultimate success, they steadily persevered, and at their Second Annual Meeting had the unspeakable satisfaction to report the full completion of their dearest wishes: they beheld the whole of their extensive district divided and enclosed; the boundaries of each allotment defined; the mode of cultivation agreed on, and practically pursued:-above all, they beheld competent and voluntary husbandmen resident on the soil and acquainted with its nature; and they rejoiced in the anticipation of that day, when the "wilderness and the solitary place should be glad for them, and the desert should rejoice and blossom as the rose."

11. These hopes, sanguine as they were, have been realized to their utmost extent. Whether the effects produced be considered in a moral or pecuniary point of view, and whether we contemplate the direct or collateral advantages of the system, the results have been equally gratifying: they have afforded the most delightful recompence to those on whom the labour and the responsibility devolved; and they have evidently satisfied the public mind on this important subject. Although it does not comport with the design of this work to enter into a detailed statement of the morul effects resulting from these institutions, many evidences of their existence will be found interspersed throughout the following pages. The following statement of pecuniary results in Southwark, unexampled as they are, is introduced rather as a proof of the interest excited and steadily maintained, than as affording an incentive to similar exertion:-this will be found in higher and infinitely more important considerations.

Abstract of Pecuniary Results in Southwark.

ABSTRACT of the Results of the TWELVE ASSOCIATIONS of SOUTHWARK, to the 31st of March 1820.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ABSTRACT of the ACCOUNTS of the SOUTHWARK AUXILIARY SOCIETY, to the 31st of March 1820.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Total Number of Bibles and Testaments issued from the depository:

[blocks in formation]

Total number of Copies issued in Eight Years, 31,722

In the following sections, the mode of establishing and conducting a Bible Association, as pursued in Southwark, and subsequently adopted throughout the other districts of the Metropolis, will be fully explained. Such improvements as

Rules and Regulations originally prepared for Associations.

have been suggested by experience are interwoven with this detail, which is now submitted, under a hope that it will be found applicable, either wholly or in part, to every place wherein it may be deemed expedient to form a GENTLEMEN's




1. The following are the Rules recommended by the Parent Committee for adoption, at meetings convened to establish Bible Associations:

I. That an Association be formed for the purpose of contributing toward the circulation of the holy scriptures without note or comment, particu larly among the poor of this neighbourhood; and that it be denominated

the Bible Association of

II. That every Member of this Association subscribe not less than one penny a week: the contributions to be payable quarterly, monthly, or weekly, at the option of the subscribers.

III. That for every twenty-four members, the Committee appoint a gratuitous collector, (or that office may be filled by the subscribers in rotation, each for a certain period,) to receive the contributions, who shall pay the same to the treasurer early in every month.

IV. That the business of the Association be under the management of a Treasurer, a Secretary, and a Committee, consisting of other Members; and that the Treasurer, Secretary, and three-fourths of the other Members, who have most frequently attended the Committee, shall be eligible for the ensuing year.

V. That the Committee meet once every month, or oftener, on some day to be fixed by themselves; and that should form a quorum.

VI. That the Committee divide this neighbourhood into districts, and appoint a Sub-Committee for each district, for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions from the inhabitants thereof.

VII. That the Committee shall make it their business to inquire whether any families or individuals residing within its sphere, are in want of Bibles or Testaments, and unable to procure them; in which case it shall be the duty of the Committee to furnish them therewith at prime cost, or reduced prices, according to their circumstances.

VIII. That the funds of this Association, or so much thereof as the Com
mittee shall direct, whether arising from subscriptions, donations, or the sale
of Bibles or Testaments, at prime cost or reduced prices, shall from time to
time be expended in the purchase of Bibles and Testaments at prime cost,
to be given or sold among the poor of this neighbourhood, as before directed;
and that the remainder of such funds shall be remitted to the Auxiliary
Bible Society at
or the Branch Bible Society at --- in aid

of its benevolent designs.
IX. That application be made by the Committee to the Auxiliary Bible
Society at
or to the Branch Bible Society at
for per-
mission to lay out the funds of this Association, in purchasing, at the depo-
sitory of the said Society, Bibles and Testaments at the cost prices.
X. That a General Meeting of the subscribers be held at


in each year; when the accounts (as audited by the Committee;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Regulations recommended for adoption at the formation of Bible Associations.

shall be presented, the proceedings of the past year reported, and a treasurer, secretary, and committee-men, appointed.

XI. That

be Treasurer,

Members of the Committee for the year ensuing.

Secretary, and

XII. That subscriptions and donations be now entered into; and that they be also received by the treasurer, secretary, and the members of the Committee.

2. When these regulations were originally issued, they appeared to their benevolent projector and to the Parent Committee fully adequate to the end designed; nor could any consideration short of that derived from experience justify the suggestion of any material alteration in their provisions. It may however be safely asserted, that the Third Rule involves two principles, the advantages of which, in their practical tendency, are more than questionable-that of a personal, and consequently uncertain sphere of exertion, instead of a local and defined district,-and the employment of individuals, as collectors, who are not members of the Committee. Nor is the last clause of the same Rule less objectionable; the inexpediency of any payments to the treasurer, except in Committee, being sufficiently obvious. Besides the omission of this Rule, several alterations, principally with a view to greater perspicuity, were adopted in Southwark; all the other leading provisions, and even the phraseology of the regulations issued by the Parent Committee, being studiously preserved. The reader, who collates the following Code with that already given under the preceding division of the section, will appreciate the very few discrepances, and make his election accordingly.

RESOLUTIONS recommended for adoption at Meetings assembled for the Formation of BIBLE ASSOCIATIONS.

At a Meeting of several friends to the British and Foreign Bible Society: in the Chair:


I. That we form ourselves into an Association in connexion with the British and Foreign Bible Society, through the medium of the Auxiliary (or Branch) Bible Society, for the purpose of contributing towards the circulation of the holy scriptures without note or comment, particularly among the poor of this neighbourhood; and that it be denominated the Bible Association of

II. That every person subscribing not less than one penny a week, or making a donation of one guinea or upwards at one time, shall be a member of this Association. The contributions to be paid annually, quarterly, monthly, or weekly, at the option of the subscriber.

When a Bible Association is formed where no Auxiliary or Branch Society exists, the first part of the resolution should conclude thus:-" in connexion with the British and Foreign Bible Society."

« AnteriorContinuar »