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The Annual Meeting of the Kent Union Society was held on Tuesday afternoon, when, in addition to the usual annuities, several sums were voted as gratuities to aged or infirm Ministers, or the Widows of Ministers deceased. The Rev. Edmund Jenkings, of Maidstone, was appointed Secretary in the place of the Rev. Stephen Gurteen, late of Canterbury, deceased, who held that office from the formation of the society, in the year 1802, until his decease, in February last.
The Annual Meeting of the County Auxiliary to the London Missionary Society was held on Wednesday evening; the Rev. R. Knill attended as a deputation from the parent society.
RESIDENT SECRETARY Of The ConGREGATIONAL UNION, &c. We are happy to announce that the Rev. Algernon Wells, late of Coggeshall, Essex, who was elected at the last Annual Assembly of the Congregational Union, to be the acting and resident Secretary of the Congregational Union and its Colonial Mission, has entered upon the duties of his office. He will attend at the Congregational Library every day to receive communications; and it is requested that all letters relating to the business of these important associations may be addressed to him at that place.
OPENING OF HEYWOOD CHAPEL, NORTHOWRAM, YORKSHIRE. On Wednesday, June 23, 1837, a new Chapel was opened at Northowram, near Halifax, The Rev. James Bennett, D.D., of London, preached in the morning; the Rev. John Ely, of Leeds, in the afternoon; and the Rev. John Thorpe, of Huddersfield, in the evening. The devotional services were conducted by the Rev. R. W. Hamilton, and the Rev. John Cummins, of Leeds; the Rev. W. Colefox, of Pudsey; the Rev. Thomas Barker, of Éccleshill; the Rev. J. Gregory, of Thornton; and the Rev. J. H. Cooke, of Gomersal.
On the Sabbath following, July 2, discourses were delivered by the Rev. J. Miall, of Bradford; the Rev. A. Ewing, M. A., of Halifax; and the Rev. James Scott, of Cleckheaton.
The Pastor, the Rev. J. White, introduced the service morning and evening.
On the Monday evening the Rev. James Pridie, of Halifax, preached ; the weather was particularly fine; the attendance good, in the afternoon and evening of the Sabbath crowded; the sermons were appropriate, impressive, and edifying, and the collections, considering the great depression of trade, as well as could be expected; they amounted to $74. 6s. 2d.
This house of prayer has been crected to replace the old chapel, which was built by the Rev. Oliver Heywood, one of the most celebrated of the ejected ministers in 1688, and is called, out of respect to his memory, as the founder, Heywood Chapel. It is forty-eight feet by forty-two feet inside, having galleries on three sides, with school and vestries under it, furnishing room for 300 or 400 scholars. The chapel will accommodate 600 hearers and 200 children.
The cost, including the purchase of land and writings, (£200) is expected to be £1500.
Subscriptions and collections received are near £900. To the friends of Leeds, Halifax, Cleckheaton, Gomersal, and the metropolis, who have kindly contributed to this undertaking, the minister and his people return their grateful acknowledgments, and as £600 have yet to be supplied, the assistance of those who have not yet contributed will be very thankfully received.
ORDINATIONS. On Tuesday, June 19th, the public recognition of the Rev. Francis Henry Green, as pastor of the Independent church Chedworth, Gloucestershire, took place with the following order of service.
At seven o'clock in the morning, (previous to the arrival of the Baptist and Independent ministers, who united' in the solemnities of the day) a meeting for special prayer was held by the church and congregation : at eleven o'clock, the
Rev. H. Larter, of Highworth, commenced the service by reading the Scriptures, and
prayer : the Rev. J. Clapp, of Cirencester, delivered the introductory discourse, in which the nature of the service was stated with clearness and perspicuity: the Rev. J. Hyatt, of Gloucester, solemnly supplicated the Divine blessing on the pastor and the church: the Rev. J. Burder, of Stroud, in an impressive address from Phil. i. 27, gave to both pastor and people much affectionate and valuable counsel : and the Rev. D. Williams, of Fairford, closed
The evening service, which was held at six o'clock, was commenced by the Rev. T. Coles, of Bourton-on-the-Water, with reading and prayer. The Res. E. Jones, of Rodborough, had engaged to preach, but being by a distressing domestic affliction prevented from attending, the Rev. J. Rees, of Chalford, consented to supply his place, and preached from Col. i. 18 : the Rev. D. White, of Cirencester, closed with prayer.
The weather proved unfavourable, yet the chapel was crowded, and many persons failed of obtaining entrance ; a lively interest appeared to prevail, and there is reason to hope that the blessing and presence of the Lord was, in answer to united and fervent prayer, then granted, and still continues to abide with the people, to quicken the seed so long sown among them by their late pastor, the Rev. S. Phillipps, who entered on his rest in May, 1836, leaving others to reap the fruit of his toil.
June 20, 1837, the Rev. Henry Joseph Haas, late student in Homerton College, was ordained to the pastoral office over the Congregational Church at West Mersea, in the county of Essex. The morning service was introduced by the Rev. George Landale, of Brightlingsea, with the reading of the Scriptures and prayer, in which earnest supplication was made for supporting and consoling mercies to Her Majesty the Queen Dowager, and for every suitable blessing to Iler Majesty Victoria, the Queen Regnant, on this day commencing her auspicious reign, which every Christian prays may be long, peaceful, and adorned with the brightest real glory. The introductory discourse was by the Rev. Robert Burls, of Maldon. The proposing of the usual questions, and receiving the replies of Mr. Haas, were by the Rev. Henry March, of Colchester; after which he offered up the ordination prayer. The charge was delivered by Dr. Pye Smith, of llomerton, from 2 Timothy ii. 15; “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing ihe word of truth :” and he then offered the concluding prayer of this first service.
The congregation and their visitors separated, and many partook of a collation. John Chaplin, Esq., the Mayor of Colchester, presided. Conversation and addresses by different gentlemen took place, replete with instruction and piety; especial honour was paid to the memory of his late Majesty, and the warmest expressions of loyalty and prayerful hope for the riches of divine blessing were utiered, on behalf of the illustrious Princess upon whom, on that day, the crown had devolved of the empire which, as to real dignity and important influence upon the well being of all nations, is undoubtedly the greatest upon earth.
In the evening the congregation assembled again; the Rev. Richard Robinson, of Witham, preached the sermon to the people, full of faithful direction and encouragement, from Ezekiel xlviii. 35; “ The Lord is there." The Prayers were by the Rev. William Merchant, of Layer Breton, the Rev. J. Johnson, of Nayland, and the Rev. J. H. Cadoux, of Weathersfield.
The Rev. Richard Penman, Jun. Tunbridge, Kent, has accepted the invitation tendered te him to become the assistant of his father, the Rev. Richard Penman, Frederick Street Chapel, Aberdeen, and entered upon his labours on the second Sabbath of July,
THE PROTESTANT BIBLE SOCIETY OF PARIS.
The Seventeenth Anniversary.-M. Francios Delessert, member of the Chamber of Deputies, presided, and expressed his warm attachment to the objects of the Society, as also his sympathy for the committee, whose members have been much diminished during the last year, by the visitations of death.
From the report and interesting addresses delivered on the occasion, it appears that three millions of Bibles and two hundred and fifty thousand New Testaments, have been printed and circulated by the Society since its commencement. A specimen was presented of an edition of the New Testament in course of publication, for the benefit of the aged and others, of infirm sight. It is in beautifully large, clear type, and is particularly called for by the present condition of the afflicted poor, who are advanced in years, in France. The plan previously adopted by the committee, of presenting a copy of the Bible to newly married couples, and of the New Testament to catechumens, has been fol. lowed out with great advantage, and will in future be acted on as generally us possible.
The report of the Ladies' Auxiliary to the Society, evinced the solicitude of its members for the spiritual instruction of the children attending the various schools. Their perseverance in distributing the sacred volume among Roman Catholic families, has in many cases been attended with the most happy results, both at Paris and Bordeaux.
The receipts of the past year are £1,233. 8s. which, with the balance of last account, forms a total of £2,345. 16s. The expenses have been £1,670. 3s. leaving in hand the sum of £675. 15s. The number of Bibles issued during the year is 2,871, of which 1,629 have been presented on marriage occasions; and of Testaments 5,451. Of these 4,144 have been distributed among catechumens. In order to meet the increasing demand for the Holy Scriptures in France, the committee have resolved to apply for the edition printed by other Societies; and have just agreed to purchase 250,000 copies of an edition in 12mo, about to be published at Valance.
The opposition to the labours of the Society has been as strong as ever. But it pledges itself, and calls upon its friends, never to rest until every family in France is supplied with a copy of the Book of God.
EVANGELICAL SOCIETY OF FRANCE. The Fourth Anniversary.— The President, M. T. G. Dobrée, rejoiced in the great success which had already attended the Society; and expressed thanks in the name of the committee, to those Christian friends in the various departments and of other countries, who had so kindly promoted that success. To the friends in England, and in the United States especially, a large share of gratitude was due.
That the divine blessing had been increasingly resting on the Society, although only of recent existence, the following statement will prove. In 1833, the year of its establishment, it sent 6 labourers into the missionary field. In 1834, this number increased to 17. In 1835, to 30; and during the past year to 43. Of these 14 are stated ministers of the gospel ; 8 evangelists; '9 teachers; and 12 colporteurs. In the past year, the Society has also wholly supported 9 students under the care of M. Cailliate, pastor at Chatillon-sur-Loiré. Its income, meanwhile, has only been £1,678, making, with the balance from the former year, £2,378. Os. 10d. The expenses have so far exceeded he sum as to leave the committee in debt upwards of 6,000 francs : a fact, in their opinion, which most eloquently appeals to the liberality of their friends.
Notwithstanding the virulent opposition of the Roman Catholics to the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, an opposition which they frequently carry so far as to commit them to the flames, 100,000 copies of that blessed book have been distributed by the Society during the past year. Its agents have also been successful in the establishment of Sunday schools, and in preaching the gospel to their countrymen, M. le Professeur Merle d'Aubigné, deputy from la Société Evangélique de Genève, eloquently pleaded the cause of the Society ; and met the objections urged against such efforts to spread the gospel in France by the Catholics and Sceptics in a masterly style. In replying to the objection so frequently advanced by the former, that the reformed religion, from the meanness and simplicity of its worship, can never make an impression on the common people, the case of a poor shoemaker and his family, exposing the futility of such objection, was mentioned. Having been asked, how they came to the knowledge of the truth, they stated that they had found by experience the insufficiency of the Confessional, as practised in the Romish Church, to afford peace of conscience, and strongly desired to hear the good news proclaimed by the Pro. testant preachers. They were then led to make confession to God only, and to spread at his feet all their sins and miseries. When their neighbours enquired why so many tears fell from their eyes ; they desired that they might be allowed to weep on, for they had never known what true happiness meant before. This was a blessing which all the paintings, music, and incense of the Catholic worship could never produce or bestow.
M. de Chateaubriand has said that the reformed religion was only suited to the great and noble; that its worship was entirely aristocratic. But the gospel shows us, that it was originally preached to the poor, and by the poor. Thus it was at the Reformation. Luther came from the forge; Zuingle from a small cottage on the Alps; Calvin from a cooper's shop; and the success of the Evangelists was greatest among the poor and feeble.
The Colporteurs have been blessed in their work in some signal instances. The conversion of a young man by the instrumentality of one of these pious labourers, mentioned by one of the speakers, was extremely interesting. In several cases, they have met with encouragement from the public authorities. When one of them was lately summoned before a magistrate, at the instance of the Roman Catholics, having examined his journal, he exclaimed,-0 how happy would it be for France, if the country were filled every where with such agents!
ADDRESS TO THE QUEEN DOWAGER. Pursuant to a resolution of the General Body of the Dissenting Ministers of London and Westminster, a Deputation proceeded to Bushy House, on Thursday, August 3d, to present to her Majesty, the Queen Dowager, an address of condolence on the death of the late King, which had been adopted at a special general meeting for that purpose. The Deputation, which consisted of the Rev. Messrs. Young, Simson, Tidman, Binney, T. James, Blackburn, Prichard, and Steane, arrived at the palace, about half-past one o'clock, and were received by Captain Curzon, who conducted them to the Queen's drawing-room, where her Majesty, supported by the Marchioness of Wellesley and other Ladies in waiting, the Earl of Derby, Master of the Horse; the Honourable Mr. Ashley, Vice-Chamberlain ; and the Rev. Mr. Wood, the Chaplain, received them. The Rev. J. Blackburn then read the following Address :
“ To Her Most Excellent Majesty the Queen Dowager. “We, the Protestant Dissenting Ministers in and about the cities of London and Westminster, would most respectfully approach your royal presence, to offer to your Majesty our sincere and heartfelt condolence on that mournful bereave
ment which has deprived your Majesty of your august Consort, and our countrymen of their paternal and patriotic Sovereign.
“ It might aggravate your Majesty's grief were we to recount the manly virtues which adorned the character of our departed King, and which have made his reign illustrious in the annals of our country.
« The sadness of your Majesty's widowed state must, however, be alleviated by the recollection, that in the discharge of your conjugal duties your Majesty has won the respect, affection, and gratitude of a free and moral people.
“As we loved our venerated King, so we owe to your Majesty the expression of our deep and lasting gratitude for that vigilant and untiring care with which, Madam, you ministered to his many wants, soothed his departing spirit, and watched the last mournful honours that were paid to his revered memory.
“Accept then, Madam, this expression of our unaffected condolence, and be assured that our prayers shall constantly commend your Majesty to the sympathy of our compassionate Redeemer, entreating that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter of those that mourn, may pour into your heart the consolation of that religion which your Majesty has so decidedly recommended, and that you may continue long to live amidst a people who will never cease to respect your virtues, and to be influenced by your example.”
Signed by the Members of the Body appointed as a Deputation to present this Address.
Her Majesty then read with much feeling the following appropriate reply:
“Gentlemen,-Accept my best and most grateful thanks for this respectful and very kind Address, and for the sympathy you express in the mournful bereavement with which it has pleased Almighty God to afflict me. Heavy is the loss I have sustained by the removal of a kind and powerful protector ; deeply do I feel the calamity this nation has sustained in the death of the best and most patriotic of kings; yet it will always be an unspeakable subject of consolation to know that the late King's character in public, and many excellencies in private life, have been appreciated by all ranks of his subjects, and that their lasting veneration and love will attend his memory beyond the grave.
“ I sincerely thank you for our kind expressions of condolence, and with you humbly raise my hopes for present consolation and future comfort to the only true source whence they can be derived."
After which she took off her glove, and each Gentleman of the Deputation had the honour to kiss her Majesty's hand. On retiring from the drawing-room, the Earl of Derby, and the other Gentlemen of her Majesty's household, followed them, and invited the Deputation to partake of a splendid luncheon, which was served in the Queen's dining-room, and at which Lord Derby presided.
The Deputation were highly gratified with the cordial reception they received from her Majesty, and with the courteous attention of her interesting Household.
REGISTER OF BIRTHS. To meet the urgent necessity of persons residing in the country, who were not able to send up the certificates of the birth of their children before the Register at Redcross Street was closed at the end of July, by order of the Deputies of Protestant Dissenters of the three Denominations in and within twelve miles of London, appointed to protect their civil rights,-a Supplemental Register will be opened, by order and under the superintendence of the Committee of that body, after the usual vacation of the present month, wherein certificates of the birth of children born before the first day of July, 1837, may be registered from the first day of September to the last day of December next, inclusively. The Registrar will attend for that purpose, at the Dissenters' Library, in Redcross Street, Cripplegate, London, daily, except on Sunday, Monday, and Saturday, in every week within that period. Forms may be obtained there; and the fee for Registration is increased to two shillings and sixpence, for the liquidation of the expenses incurred by the Committee in respect of the Registers.