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And we are desirous of seeing them increased, and established in all our societies.
The number added to the list of life members the past year, is eighteen, making in all, three hundred and serenty-four.
They are the following: Rev. J. M. Merrick, Walpole. Francis Appleton, Esq., Dublin, N. H. George Whittemore, Esq., Boston, Richards Child, Es q., Boston, Mrs Mary Jernegan, Edgarton, Rev. Addison Brown, Brattleboro', Vt., Dr. Zadock Howe, Billerica, Rev. J. Crosby, Charlestown, N. H., John R. Manley, Esq., Boston, Miss Mary Manley, Boston, Rev. A. C. L. Arnold, Fall River, George Frost, Esq., Durham, N. H., Miss Charlotte Jones, Enfield, Miss Polly Willard, Lowell, Rev. F. H. Hedge, Bangor, Me., Rev. 0. C. Everett, Northfield, Rev. Warren Burton, and Rev. George E. Ellis, Charlestown.
Besides these there are a number who' are making themselves life members by paying the sum required for membership in five annual installments of six dollars.
We have made ourselves acquainted with the condition of the destitute societies of the denomination. have deeply sympathized with them. The members of these societies feel sensibly the importance of religious institutions, and are willing to make almost any sacrifices to sustain them. But so limited are their means, that they are compelled, though commonly with great reluctance, to solicit aid. They call on us for assistance. The appeal is loud. And we do not hesitate to lay their claims before our more favored societies; believing that they will be heard. And we will repeat what we have before stated, that it is the duty, the bounden duty, of the denomination to sustain such societies; at least those (and it is our rule to aid only such) which require but temporary assistance to become strong and self-sustaining-societies.
The number of societies which have been aided the past year by the Association, is sixteen.
Of these, ten were in New England, three in the state of New York, and three in the Western States.
The Committee are more and more convinced of the importance of missionary operations. We see many of our faith so situated that they cannot worship God in accordance with their views and feelings - many, especially in the more distant parts of the country, who can seldom hear the voice of the preacher, and are in a measure cut off from Christian influences. Our sympathies are called forth ; and we rejoice to supply their wants, to send out the missionary to “the waste places of Zion - to carry, as it were, the bread of life to those whose souls are suffering for want of spiritual food.
The number of preachers employed by us the past year, is ten. They were good and faithful missionaries. And their labors have been blessed. They have formed societies, established churches, sabbath schools, and Bible classes ; and done much to instruct the ignorant and reform the VOL. XIV.-NO. 167.
vicious among the poor. In many places they have awakened a new and deep interest in religion, and have strengthened and comforted our distant brethren.
There is much that is encouraging in the condition and prospects of our new societies at the West. Churches have recently been built at Chicago, Quincy and Hillsboro', Illinois. And if, in addition to funds already raised, some farther aid can be procured from New England, others in that part of the country, will be erected during the coming year. The Committee would express their thanks to the benevolent individuals who have aided in the establishment of religious institutions in the Western States. And they trust that Providence will raise up new friends and benefactors to this philanthropic and truly Christian work.
Besides those which have sprung up during the year in various parts of the country, new societies have recently been formed in Rockford, lll., Rahway, N.J., Vernon, N. Y., Frankfort, Me., Manchester, N. H., Cabotville, Mass., and Boston.
As the friends of uncorrupted Christianity, we have aimed to diffuse abroad, by our publications and our missionaries, correct views of religion; and thus to meet the wants of many in every part of the country who are dissatisfied with the popular faith, and will never receive it; and who must have a pure and rational religion, or ere long they will have no religion..
As the advocates of religious freedom, we have been disposed to allow to others the privileges we claim for ourselves. But we feel that on this subject we have yet much to do
that some of the great principles of Protestantism — "The sufficiency of the Scriptures," for
instance, and “the right of private judgment” – should be better understood and more sacredly regarded ; so that we, and all Christians, can enjoy equal rights and privileges.
Other denominations have in some instances manifested towards us a more tolerant and kindly spirit than former. ly. But our religious rights are yet invaded. Whoever has looked at all upon the religious movements of the past year, will see abundant proofs of this in what has come from the pulpit and the press ; — in the excommunications of our brethren from the churches of Christ, of which they were exemplary members, and in united efforts among the clergy to exclude individuals of our faith from a participation with others in philanthropic objects, even in the circulation of the holy scriptures.
Let it not, then, be said that our system of faith has done its great work. No. Far from it. It has not done its work here, or any where. It has much yet to do for the truth the truth as it is in Jesus - for that Christian love, without which faith and hope are vain, and that glorious liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.
The Committee are happy to state that, as a denomination, we have great reason at this time to congratulate ourselves on our prosperous conditioň.
If it be said that we have trials among us, it must be remembered that the same is true of all other denominations. It is believed, however, that we have fewer than others, excepting those on account of our faith ; and in them we glory, and will glory.
If it be said that some of our faith have joined other societies, it must be considered that the number of such is comparatively very few; - so few that they scarcely deserve to be named - and that although they have changed their churches, they have not essentially changed their faith. No. Where one has changed his faith and gone out from us, ten at least have embraced our views and espoused our cause, as the cause of God. We have from our correspondence seen proofs of this in every part of the country. And besides the many laymen who have embraced our faith, several Trinitarian clergymen of great worth and respectability might be named. Of whom three, educated in a neighboring Theological Institution, have, from a careful and prayerful examination of the Scriptures, become Unitarians, and during the past year have been settled over important societies in this state.
Our responsibility as a denomination is greater than we have words to express.
We have much to do in the cause of Christ, and for the advancement of his kingdom - the kingdom of truth and righteousness. We are the guardians of God's holy truth. And it is our duty to make it more known ; – to send it abroad to those who are in comparative darkness, and need its light and its guidance. The command of our Savior, " to preach the Gospel to every creature," was by no means confined to his immediate followers. It addresses itself to Christians in every age of the church. It teaches us a most important duty. And we are under strong obligations to make efforts for the spread of the Gospel and the salvation of men.
The more the Committee have known of the spiritual wants of the country, the more deeply have they felt the importance of supplying them. There is a call which comes to us from almost every part of the land, like that in Apostolic times, “ Come over to Macedonia and help