Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

upon

a condition, with regard to information and connexion, of fulfilling their own wishes. The General Committee have reason to believe that there are thousands who wait only for the call, to make their contributions to objects which, as professed Unitarians and as Unitarian worshipers, they feel themselves pledged to promote. They have indeed no apprehension that an individual of their body will be found who will not cheerfully make some annual allowance, according to his ability, to an Association which will have perpetually in its view all the various modes by which the common cause of truth and righteousness can possibly be served. It is by individual efforts that other religious denominations are able to serve their respective interests so effectually, and it would be a reflection the Unitarians to admit for a moment the apprehension that they will fall below those in point of liberality above whom they justly conceive themselves to stand in a knowledge of the true meaning of the records of salvation. The General Committee confidently reckon upon a large accession of individual subscribers to the Association by means of its ramifications in Congregations and District and County Societies, throughout all which it is hoped that from the first an interest will be excited in the proceedings of the Association, as it is believed that that interest will be kept up and increased by the reports that shall from time to time be made of its exertions. It is too plain to need stating, that a small annual contribution from the numerous Unitarians throughout the kingdom, to whom such a contribution could be a matter only of trifling consideration, would place the Association on a scale of respectability and influence far beyond any thing yet known amongst us. And if our cause be the cause of Revealed Truth, of Divine Benevolence and Human Happiness, why should not each of us be eager to do his part in favour of pure and undefiled religion before God even the Father-were it only to wipe away the reproach, that Superstition has been able to excite a warmer zeal and more energetic labours on its behalf, than have yet been seen amongst the friends and upholders of that pure Christianity which professes both to inspire and cherish "the spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind"?

The General Committee, whose names are set down in the sheet of Rules that accompanies this Circular, trust that they are too well known to their brethren to allow of any wrong interpretation being put upon this Address. The plan submitted to the Unitarian public is the result of many years' experience. There is no wish to dictate or even to instruct. The leading members of the Association state their views

because they believe them to be practicable and conformable to the actual state of the denomination; and they leave the subject to the consideration of Societies, Congregations and Individuals, persuaded that this appeal will be regarded at least with candour, and not without expectation that they shall receive such answers as will put the existence of the Association beyond all doubt, and place the Unitarian body in a more commanding attitude than it has yet been able to assume.

In order to ascertain the degree of support on which the General Committee can rely, by which, of course, their various proceedings will be determined and regulated, it is in the highest degree desirable that they should receive early instructions on the following points:

1. How many of the District or County Societies are disposed to unite with them, and to what extent they are prepared to offer pecuniary assistance.

2. What Congregations are willing to join the Association as distinct members. Many Congregations were connected with "The Unitarian Association for the Protection of Civil Rights," which is now dissolved in "The British and Foreign Unitarian Association," and it is not doubted that these will also join the existing and more comprehensive Society but they are specially requested to make an early communication of their intentions in this respect, and of the amount or mode of their respective contributions.

3. With regard to Individual Subscribers, many of whom have been members of several of the societies in the metropolis, it is of importance to the General Committee to be informed at an early period whether they consider themselves subscribers to the new Association, and to what amount. The General Committee are desirous that individuals should consider themselves entitled by the plan of the Association to apply and apportion their subscriptions among the objects of the Society, ad libitum; but at the same time they trust they shall be excused for recommending, to such as may have no strong feeling or decided inclination upon the question, a general subscription in preference to an appropriated one, in order to leave those persons whom the Association shall from year to year entrust with the administration of its funds, in the full exercise of one of the great advantages contemplated in the formation of this new and extended Institution, viz. the power of applying the resources of the Society to such objects as shall

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

at any one time appear to them to stand in need of peculiar support: each of the objects pursued by the Association will probably be benefited in turn by this discretionary power.

Several District and County Societies, some congregations, and many individuals, have already enrolled themselves amongst the subscribers or contributors, a list of whom will be published as soon as time shall have been allowed for answers to this Circular.

In the answers which the General Committee beg earnestly to solicit, it is requested that individuals will favour them with their names and addresses in full; that congregations will give the names and addresses of their ministers and representatives; and that District and County Societies will communicate the names and addresses of their representatives and officers.

Ministers and other gentlemen who are willing to assist the Association in the country and in large towns by their correspondence, by receiving subscriptions as Local Treasurers, and by distributing communications, are earnestly requested to signify the same to the General Committee, and also to furnish any useful information with regard to the promotion of the objects of the Association in their respective neighbourhoods.

The General Committee have the pleasure of announcing that the Rev. Dr. CARPENTER, of Bristol, has kindly undertaken to preach the First Association Sermon, on the Evening of Wednesday in the Whitsun Week, May 17, 1826, and that another distinguished advocate of the Unitarian cause is expected to preach the Second Sermon on the next morning, Thursday, May 18, 1826. Further and ample particulars of the Annual Meeting, and of all the proceedings of the Association, will be laid before the public soon, and from time to time; it being the purpose of the General Committee to establish frequent communications between themselves and the subscribers and friends to the Society.

Signed on behalf of the General Committee,

ROBERT ASPLAND, Secretary.

N. B. The General Committee have the satisfaction of announcing that they have taken a commodious Room for carrying on the business

of the Association, in Walbrook Buildings, (near the Mansion-House,) 'where the Under Secretary, the Rev. THOMAS COOPER, (late of Hanley, Staffordshire, now of Hackney,) will attend every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from eleven o'clock in the forenoon to four o'clock in the afternoon, to receive subscriptions or names of subscribers, to give information on every subject connected with the Association, to facilitate its correspondence, and generally to superintend its business. All communications are requested to be addressed to this place. Subscriptions will a'so be received by the Secretary, Rev. ROBERT ASPLAND; by the Foreign Secretary, Rev. W. J. Fox; by the Solicitor, Mr. EDGAR TAYLOR, Temple; by the Treasurer, JOHN CHRISTIE, Esq., 52, Mark Lane; and by the Deputy Treasurer, Mr. THOMAS HORNBY, 31, Swithin's Lane, Lombard Street.

Form of addressing Letters on any business of the Society.

For the Secretary

of the Unitarian Association,

Walbrook Buildings,

London.

Form of a Bequest to the Association.

Also, I A. B. do hereby give and bequeath unto C. D. of . . and E. F. of. . . . the sum of.. . to be raised and paid out of my personal estate, upon trust, that they or either of them do pay the same to the Treasurer for the time being of a voluntary society commonly called or known by the name of THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN UNITARIAN ASSOCIATION: the same to be paid within: . . . months next after my decease, and to be applied to the uses and purposes of that society.

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

1. THAT a general Society be formed for the promotion of the principles of Unitarian Christianity at home and abroad-the support of its worship-the diffusion of biblical, theological, and literary knowledge on topics connected with it—and the maintenance of the civil rights and interests of its professors.

2. The Society shall be denominated "The British and Foreign Unitarian Association."

3. It shall consist of District Associations communicating with. the central body and sending representatives thereto-of Congregations or Fellowship Funds communicating in like manner-of individual Subscribers-and of Honorary Members.

I. By District Associations are meant any Societies already formed or hereafter to be formed in the country, (or in London, if thought advisable,) whether of Individuals or Congregations, for whatever particular Unitarian object, and comprising more or less extent according to local convenience. They may have their own' funds, and particular class of objects to be determined by themselves; but uniting themselves to the Association to the extent of appointing Two Deputies, (who will in that character become Members of the Association and of all its Committees,)-contributing not less than five pounds annually to the General Fund-appointing one of their officers the regular official Correspondent with the General Committee-communicating yearly reports to the General Meeting of the state of Unitarianism within their respective limits -and generally, promoting the leading objects of the Association. Such District Associations to be styled, according to their respective localities, "The [ ] District Association."

II. Congregations or Fellowship Funds (which may either not form part of any District Association, or which may in addition thereto be desirous of being more immediately connected with the General Association, and of contributing directly to its funds) may unite with, and send two representative Members to the General Public Meetings of the Association:-such Congregations either to make an annual contribution to the General Fund of not less than Three Pounds, or a collection at least once in three years for its benefit. The officiating Ministers of such Societies to be considered, during their continuance as such, Honorary Members of the Association.

III. The qualification of individual Members for voting and holding offices shall be an annual subscription of not less than One Guinea or a life donation of not less than Ten Guineas.

4. The Association shall pursue its general objects in such mode and under such divisions as shall from time to time appear most advisable and shall be directed at its General Meetings.

« AnteriorContinua »