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The Christian Armonr. Ten Sermons. By the Rev. Samuel Walker, B.A. of Truro, Coruwall. London: Religious Tract Society. 12mo.

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Heat ; its sources, influence, and results. London : Religious Tract Society. 12mo.

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The Church and the Army. Second Edition. London: Religious Tract Society. 12mo.

The Mother with her Family; being Scriptural Exercises and Prayers for Children every Sunday Evening. By the Rev. T. Timpson. London : John Snow. 12mo.

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What have I to do with Missions ? Exhibiting the Miseries and Degradations of Heathen Nations. By the Rev. T. Timpson. London: J. Snow. 12mo.

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Calvin's Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Translated from the Latin, by a Beneficed Clergyman of the Church of England. London: S. Cornish & Co.

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A Practical Exposition of the Lord's Prayer. By the Rev. Thomas Manton, D.D. Reprinted from the Edition of 1684, being No. 30 of the Library of Standard Divinity. London: Ward & Co. Medium 8vo.





The extended efficiency of the Home Missionary Society, is closely connected with the confidence and co-operation of the Congregational churches. But while individual churches may do much in aiding the funds, and in suggesting new spheres of operation, it is to the systematic superintendence and prudent counsel, which the committees and officers of associations give to the missionaries on their several stations, that much of the comfort and usefulness of the agents will depend. On the reports of county secretaries, great reliance must necessarily be placed by the directors of the Society. They are better informed respecting the localities, and the peculiar character of each station. They can more easily become acquainted with the adaptation of the agents to the spheres they occupy. They can draw forth the sympathies of the churches and pastors around, in favour of the missionaries; and lead them to feel that they are in the midst of brethren, ready to co-operate with them in spreading the Gospel.

Hence the directors have been anxious to secure as intimate a connexion as possible, with the county associations. They have not directly addressed them on this subject; nor have they urged them to join the Society. They considered that all the Congregational churches were aware, that it was hoped this would be the result of the union that had taken place; and would seek to render it productive of that good to England, which the consistent friends of Congregational principles so earnestly desired. The hopes and wishes of the directors have, to a considerable extent, been realised. A more intimate connexion than had existed before has taken place during the past year between the Society and the associations in the counties of Northampton, Nottingham, Leicester, Wilts, Gloucester, Bucks, Oxford, West Berks, and others. The principle of giving and receiving has begun to be acted upon. The exercise of a kind and watchful local superintendence, and of active co-operation, has commenced—while the promise of more extended efforts has encouraged the directors to expect still more beneficial results, both to the counties themselves, and to England at large.

But there are other counties, in which the associations have not connected themselves in any way with the Home Missionary Society. In such cases, even though the Society should have missionary stations in several of those counties, it would be unreasonable for the directors to expect that the same interest should be taken in them, or care exercised towards them, as in those counties where the churches contribute largely to support the stations around them, and consider them as much their own, as the Society in London can do.

The question has been again and again asked, What is the nature of the connexion between the Society and the county associations ? It was asked at the meeting of the Congregational Union, and no better time can be fixed upon than the present, for replying to such an inquiry.

As the connexion between the Society and different county associations is of a varied character, it may be desirable to refer to the causes of this variety.

1. In several counties, such as the East and North Riding of Yorkshire, South Devon, Warwickshire, and others, the associated churches form auxiliaries to the Home Missionary Society, and provide a certain sum, for every missionary station adopted by the Society.

The connexion thus formed between the parent Society and their auxiliaries, is therefore of the most intimate kind. No station is occupied in those counties, with

out consultation with the committees or officers of the auxiliaries, and in compliance with requests sent from them. The counties referred to are, in fact, the allotted fields of labour to those auxiliaries, and the directors find that the correspondence between the co-operating parties elicits the wants of the population, and secures aid, as far as it can be given in consistency with claims from other quarters. A station is adopted when a missionary is needed, and the directors send one, if able to do so, and he goes on probation. If there is a Christian church on the station, the people are consulted, and their choice settles the matter as to his continuance among them. If the auxiliary has a suitable person in view, and can send satisfactory testimonials to the directors, he is appointed for that station, but it is not considered eligible for any of the Society's stations out of that county, unless he passes their own examination committee. The auxiliary also sends its Annual Report to the directors, and the whole, or the substance of it, is published either in the Magazine or in the Annual Report of the Society.

It is likewise expected, that the secretaries of these auxiliaries exercise a kind and careful superintendence of the missionary stations in their several districts. They can call for the journals of the missionaries before they are sent to the directors in London, in order to see that the parent Society is put in full possession of all the facts connected with each station. It is evident, therefore, that the directors are anxious to have not a nominal, but a real watchful care of the stations and missionaries on the part of the officers of auxiliaries. Any changes that are to take place form the subject of correspondence, and no alteration is made without mutual concurrence. In the matter of building chapels on village stations, no missionary is authorised to engage in such an undertaking without the approval and encouragement of the associated churches. Their local knowledge, and the deep interest which they necessarily take in the spread of the Gospel around them, render them better able to decide, in such cases, than a committee in London.

2. There are some county associations, such as Somerset, Northampton, and others, that give no promise of a specific sum in aid of the support of every missionary employed, but open their pulpits to the deputations of the Society, and in this way realise more for its funds, than by any other method. If applications are made for missionaries, or grants from those counties by individual pastors, the applicants are referred to the secretaries of the associations. Their concurrence is sought, because each additional station that is adopted is considered as an additional claim on the churches of the county, to aid the Home Missionary Society. In such counties the agents are generally selected, and sent by the directors to the new stations.

3. Some county associations, such as Nottinghom, Leicester, Bucks, &c. have applied to the directors through their secretaries, to adopt destitute stations, without promising collections in all the churches, but have either voted a small sum towards the station in which they were interested, or obtained the promise of a certain sum from the churches in the neighbourhood. In such counties there is a friendly co-operation-a helping forward of Home Missionary work, without the intimate connexion which exists in the former cases. But even here, when applications are made by individual pastors to the directors for grants, or agents, the applicants are, in the first instance, referred to the county associations; and their advice or concurrence is sought for, before such aid is given, either in men or money.

4. There are several counties in a still more anomalous situation, as far as the Home Missionary Society is concerned. The associated churches in Hampshire, Kent, and some other counties, have not in any way, as associations, connected themselves with the Society. They have, as separate institutions, pursued Home Missionary operation for several years. This it was their duty to do. It may be a question, however, left for those to decide who are most interested in this matter, how far hese isolated movements benefit the most destitute parts of England- or even promote vigorous and extended operations in their own counties. Of this the directors are certain—that there have been few efforts beyond the limits of their own districts; and even within them, the work has not yet been fully performed by the associations —nor is there any immediate prospect of its being done. The fact is this—that, for several years, the Home Missionary Society has had agents, and has given aid to pastors, in several counties in which the churches have never, in their associated capacity, given any encouragement to the Society; not even since it became more ostensibly connected with the Congregational denomination.

In former years, when an application was made for assistance by individuals, from the counties now under consideration, the directors only sought evidence of the necessity of the case, and, if in their power, relieved it. During the last year, several applications for aid have come from Hampshire. The applicants have been referred to the association, as the proper source of supply. The applications have however been renewed, with the virtual sanction of the association, as it had voted grants ; but in some cases had been compelled to lower them, in consequence of a deficiency of funds. Hence the necessity of drawing from the funds of the Home Missionary Society.

In Kent the Society has three missionary stations, and, with the exception of the Auxiliary at Chatham, and one or two churches in the county, the Society receive no aid, but from the stations themselves. The expenditure last year on the county of Kent was £251. 28. 3d. The amount received from the sources referred to, being £110. 68. 4d. The directors cannot but believe, that a more intimate connexion between the churches of Kent and the Society, would prove mutually beneficial. In Hampshire, the association never directly applied to the Society for agents; these however have been sent to districts for which help was sought by individual ministers and churches. For a number of years the Society has assisted that county. No deputation, however, has ever visited all the churches to collect for the Home Missionary Society; though several of them have contributed, to enable it to sustain stations in their several neighbourhoods—while a few have sent contributions, in aid of the general objects of the Society. The expenditure last year in the county of Hants was £260, while the contributions received from it amounted to £128. 178. 2d.

In such circumstances, it cannot be expected that the directors in London should request the associations referred to, to superintend the stations in their several coudties. The agents must necessarily be, entirely and directly, under the care of the Society, and its own executive. The directors would gladly see a different state of things. They would rejoice in such a connexion, between themselves and the associated churches, as would secure for their stations the wise and kind superintendence of the officers of the associations; as well as their direct and zealous co-operation with the Society, in extending Home Missionary efforts, not only in those counties, but throughout England. They are, however, happy to state, that the pastors and churches, nearest to the stations, do encourage and assist the missionaries, and countenance their labours.

As an illustration of the mode of procedure adopted by the Society, a recent case may be mentioned. — From one county, application was made by a respectable minister, for a missionary to occupy a particular station, described as very destitute. An offer was at the same time made, of a certain sum to be raised, if the request was complied with. The directors forwarded a blank model, for the minister to fill up; in order that they might ascertain the amount of population, and the existing means of religious instruction, before the application should be considered at all. When the model was returned, it fully justified the representation that had been made of spiritual destitution. The next step taken by the directors, was their advising the minister

to apply to the county association ; requesting not only their assistance for the case, but their opinion respecting it. Accordingly, he did apply to the district secretary, and the case was brought before the association. They declined granting it any aid, assigning, as their reason, a want of resources. They made, however, no objection to the adoption of that locality as a Home Missionary station ; and the case being again pressed on the attention of the directors, they agreed to try it for one year. In this instance, then, opportunity was given to the association, to afford their counsel ; as well as to give their contributions, and connect the station with their churches. But this not having been done, the directors, along with the minister, through whose interposition the agent has been sent, are obviously the only parties who can watch over the station thus formed.

In all cases, the directors would prefer acting through associations; or failing them, through individual pastors and churches. But when no such co-operation can be obtained, they must act on their own responsibility, and according to the best of their judgment.

5. There are counties where no associations exist. In these, of course, individual pastors, or other friends, interested in the cause of Christ in particular localities, are the only medium through which the directors can act. And they seriously feel the greater degree of responsibility, under which they are laid in such cases, than in those where they can obtain more extensive co-operation and superintendence. Herefordshire, Lincolnshire, Westmoreland, and some other counties, are in this situation. On the application of various parties, the directors have assisted the two first ; and are now prepared, on similar grounds, to aid the third also. Nothing would give them greater satisfaction, than to see efficient associations formed in these counties. But they perceive that great difficulties are in the way. In one county, the churches are few and feeble; in another, though respectable, and influential in their own localities, they are widely scattered. It does appear, therefore, as if the planting of Home Missionary stations, is the very best means of removing such obstacles ; and enabling the churches already existing, to connect themselves together, in the union so much desired. In the mean time, the directors expect and hope for the countenance of those pastors and brethren nearest to the respective stations.

The directors wish to inform their friends, and to impress it deeply on their minds, that the active and hearty co-operation of all the Congregational churches, and county associations, is what they earnestly desire. This can be acceptably rendered to the great work they have undertaken :

1. By contributing to the funds of the Society, either by simultaneous, annual collections—by receiving a deputation from the Society—or in any other way best adapted to local circumstances.

2. By selecting and describing places, suitable to become Missionary stations ; and, in applying to the Society, for agents to occupy these stations, to promise such annual sum for each, as would justify the directors in acceding to the applicationalways of course, considering the general state of their funds.

3. By giving all suitable encouragement to the missionaries so appointed—advising them in cases of difficulty—and, where a change of agency becomes desirable, to give full information of all the circumstances to the directors in London.

4. Where there are auxiliaries, or associations directly and intimately connected with the Society, the secretaries are expected to pay attention to the state of each particular station-to examine the reports of the agents—and to use every practicable means for promoting their success, and giving efficiency to their labours.

5. Even where the associations do not otherwise connect themselves with the Society, or unite their operations—the directors will always be glad to receive from them such suggestions and counsels, as will assist them in judging correctly of any matters connected with agents, or stations, in those particular counties.

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