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To the Editor of the Christian Remembrancer. Sir,—The information on the subject of “clerical societies,"contained in your miscellany, dated March, 1823, p. 175, and in that of October of the same year, p. 649, and three following, has been read here with great interest. The present communication is offered on the principle which, it is presumed, led to the publication of the articles to which reference is now made.
The advantages likely to arise from clerical associations, were discussed at this place in August, 1814; and in January, 1816, a club was formed, to meet six times in the year. The general object of these meetings is expressed in the following memorandum: “ To promote a friendly intercourse with each other as neighbouring clergy; and to hold conversation on subjects which relate to clerical duties, or to parochial affairs in which as clergymen we may find ourselves concerned."
At a meeting of this club, on the 15th of February, 1816, it was resolved, that this association “ shall bear the name of The Rubric Club." The number of members was at first limited to twelve ; but in 1821, it was extended to sixteen. The time of meeting is after dinner; three o'clock.
In 1822, a plan of a book club, greatly similar to that at Ashby-dela-Zouch, was introduced ; the subscription, fifteen shillings a year; and at the same time, a Rubric fund was added, to which each member of the Rubric Club is obliged to subscribe seven shillings a year This fund is a stock at the disposal of the club as circumstances may require.
The appellation of this society was assumed in reference to the importance of clerical rules, and to the value of our most excellent liturgy and church order. Although the passage quoted in your note, pages 649 and 650, from Burnet's “ Pastoral Care,” was not adverted to at the formation of this club, the sentiment of Bishop Burnet was acted upon in the fixing of its rules, which provide that an exact sobriety be observed. Our refreshment on meeting extends no further than that of a mere tea-party.
The Editor of the Christian Remembrancer needs no information we can give, concerning the responsibility of the parochial clergy, or the importance of the station they occupy; nor concerning the extensive benefits likely to result from a judicious regard to unity of design, uniformity of conduct, and to measures tending to inspire mutual confidence in the members of such a body. If an apology be required for advocating clerical associations, it will be found in the combination of the foes of our church establishment. It is not sufficient for a parish priest to possess rectitude of principle and goodness of intention, - that he be learned, devout, sound, zealous,-he wants the armour and the address of a warrior in active service, and all the encouragement from his brethren which an extensive and familiar intercourse alone can inspire. On entering the service especially, and at other times, he frequently meets with obstructions and annoyances; the friendly advice of his, more experienced brethren will, on such occasions, be the “ointment and perfume” which “rejoice the heart” of the individual, while the
common good is thus promoted. No order in society is better qualified to taste the "sweetness" of " hearty counsel.".
The subject is copious, but I will enlarge no further than to suggest what is supposed to be an important inquiry : viz. How far a friendly communication occasionally held between clerical societies in different parts, might be supposed to extend the benefits of such societies.
I am, Sir,
HAMMOND ROBERSON. Healds Hall, near Leeds, 8th Feb. 1826.
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
STORRINGTON DISTRICT COMMITTEE. Patron.— The Right Reverend the Bishop has made a liberal grant for the like of Chichester.
purpose :-and this attention to the President - The Venerable the Archdea
comfort and spiritual improvement of con of Chichester.
these persons, (who have few opporVice-Presidents.-R. Aldridge, Esq. ; E.
tunities of attending public worship, Barker, Esq.; E. Bligh, Esq.; J. Broad
or of receiving religious instruction, wood, Esq.; Sir C. M. Burrell, Bart. M. P. W. Burrell, Esq. M.P.; Major Chichester;
except from the pious care of their Hon. and Right Rev. the Bishop of Dur:
officers,) has been most gratefully ham; J. T. Daubuz, Esq.; J. Eversfield,
acknowledged. Esq. ; C. Goring, Esq.; R. H: Hurst, To the prisoners in Horsham Gaol, Esq.; Lieut. Gen. Sir R. Jones, K.C.B.; and to the inmates of the workhouse J. M. Lloyd, Esq. M. P.; G. Lyall, Esq. ; at Preston, the customary gratuitous T. Sanctuary, Esq.; Major Sandham ; supply of books has been affordSir T. Shelley, Bart.; W. Smith, Esq. ; ed. H. Tredcroft, Esq. ; J. Trower, Esq. ; Several schools have also partaken J. Wakefield, Esq.; R. W. Walker, Esq.
of the bounty of the Committee; and Treasurer. - The Rev. W. Woodward,
it is a source of unfeigned joy to obWest Grinstead.
serve that some new National Schools Secretaries. - The Rev. H. J. Rose, Horsham ; the Rev. J. Penfold, Steyning ;
have been established, and that others the Rev. J. Austin, Pulborough; the
are now forming; and it is hoped that, Rev. W. Davison, Worthing.
in a short time, one or more will be
found in every town and populous REPORI
parish within the district. Since its last Report, the Committee To these institutions the Committee has obtained several new Subscribers, proves of great benefit, affording them, and has been honoured by an acces in all cases, the utmost facility in the sion of Vice-Presidents.
obtaining of books, and at very reDuring the past year, it has distributed above Sir Hundred Bibles and
But it is important to notice, that Testaments, and above One Thousand to the poor generally, and without disPrayer Books.
tinction, the supplies of the Committee To the Coast Blockade Stations are freely opened, and at so low a at Worthing and Lancing, it has rate, as to be within the purchase of made a grant of books (including
Bibles are sold to them at Bibles, Prayer-Books, Doctrinal, De Two Shillings each, New Testaments votional, and Practical Treatises, at Ninepence, and Prayer Books at Voyages, History, and Biography) Sirpence; and in some parishes, as a for the use of the seamen employed further accommodation, a plan has been in that service :-the Parent Society successfully adopted of receiving even
these sums by small weekly instalments; Bxpenditure
. . £250 14 41 so that two weekly payments of Three - Balance in the hands of the pence will purchase a Prayer-Book,
46 8 6 three a New Testament, and eight a Bible.
£297 2 101 Ten years have now elapsed since the establishment of the Committee; Bibles, Testaments, Prayer Books, and its members cannot look back on Books and Tracts, distributed by the its formation and progress and con
Committee between Michaelmas 1824 tinued support without sincere satis and Michaelmas 1825. faction and devout thankfulness.
342 The Committee is authorised to state Testaments
278 that this labour has not been in vain, Prayer Books
1057 and trusts that a blessing has attended
Other Books and Tracts 3103 it in many unreported instances. How
Total often the careless and wandering sin
4780 ner may have been brought back from the paths of misery and perdition, Bibles, Testaments, Prayer Bocks, or how often the sinking and despond. &c., distributed by the Committee, ing penitent may have been supported since its establishment in 1815. and comforted in the road to heaven,
2038 can be known only to Him, who alone
2354 can cause human exertions to prosper,
7962 and to whom the Committee ascribes
Other Books and Tracts 38885 all the praise of success.
It is the intention of the Committee to hold an Annual Meeting at Horsham and Worthing, alternately, on the first
The number of Schools within the Tuesday after Midsummer :-and by
district, 57; the number of children permission of the respective Ministers,
educated in these Schools, 1947. to attend Public Worship, and have a
In addition to the above, the ComSermon preached on the occasion.
mittee has sold several sets of the
Parochial Lending Library, and of the Balance in hand at last Audit£ 47 5 2 Society's Family Bible. The latter Subscriptions and Donations
may be had in numbers at 6d. each; received ...
93 17 6 Cash received for Books sold
and for all poor persons the Committee at the Reduced Price of the
undertakes to pay the expense of Committee
156 0 24
binding it. 26,000 copies of the
Family Bible have been sold by the £297 2 104 publishers, and a new edition is now
in the press.
BOMBAY DISTRICT COMMITTEE.
Motives of economy have induced attend to ;—first, to ascertain what this Committee to suspend for the parts of the Society's publications are last three years the putting forth any most likely to be serviceable within printed statement of their proceedings. their limits, in order that a proper The report, therefore, which has supply of such as are most likely to recently been received, exhibits the he in demand may be generally relied details of that whole period, and is to on; and secondly, to consider the the following effect:
most efficacious method of making I. The Distribution of Books and these supplies available for the public Tracts.
benefit. The experience of a few In the distribution of books, every years has now, perhaps, given suffiCommittee must have two things to cient insight into the wants, in this
respect, of this country. While occa they will be throwing away a great sional demand is made by subscribing deal of what has been gained for the members or other individuals for the individual and for society, and conSociety's publications for their own verting, in a great measure, solely to a use over a wide range of the catalogue, civil benefit that which presents the the great stream of the issues of the means of serving also in an equal Indian Committees, in the present degree the higher cause of virtue and state of Christian population, must religion. For these reasons, it seems be into the schools, the barracks, and to be now more especially necessary the hospitals of the military, and to offer, both in the harrack and in occasionally among the seamen of the hospital, such works of useful inthe Honourable Company's ships and struction, and such helps 10 serious other vessels frequenting the Indian and devout reflection, as appear most ports; and it is upon the ground of likely to engage the autention and imtheir usefulness in thus supplying prove the character of the soldier. religious books that they chiefly rest These objects the Bombay District their claim to public support
. With Committee have constantly had in out the stores of the District Com view, and the means which ihey make mittee, it is not easy to see how the use of are such as the circumstances books of elementary instruction, abso of the couutry obviously point out. It lutely necessary for them to go on is to the clergy that the Committee with, could be procured for schools in must look for the best information this country; and without their aid, respecting the wants of each particular although other institutions might afford station, and it is through them that the means of providing bibles, every their issues must reach the bands of congregation assembled for public the individuals who require them.worship, according to the ritual of the On their part, again, the clergy conChurch of England, would labour tinue to acknowledge withi gratitude under great deficiency of the means how much they are indebted in the of following the Liturgy, and conse course of their duty 10 the liberal quently be deprived of the best help supplies of the District Committee, to editication as well as to devotion, which enable them to minister to the wbich an uninspired production can spiritual necessities of their poorer afford. But it is not to supplying the fellow-countrymen far more effectually book of Common Prayer for the use than they could otherwise have hoped of soldiers and others in the Church, to do; and to every member of the or for private devotion, that the useful Church, but above all to her clergy, ness of a branch of the Society for it must be cheering and delightful Promoting Christian Knowledge is to be followed in a foreign and a confined. The number of those in heathen country by the streams of her England, in the inferior ranks of life, benevolence and piety. It is the wish who have been taught to read, has of the Committee that at every station increased so rapidly of late years, that where a chaplain is resident, beyond there are few who come to this coun the boundaries of the Presidency, try in the capacity of soldiers, who each should be constantly provided have not the ability to profit by the with an adequate supply of such of perusal, to a greater extent, of the the Society's publications for the works of devotion or religious and school, for the soldiers, or for other moral instruction which the Society residents at the place, as are likely to distributes. Here then profligacy be required. from utter ignorance is hardly to be Having made these preliminary obmet with; but if the better classes, servations on the nature of the occawho have contributed so effectually to sion for the exertions of the District the spread of education, do not every Committee, and on their mode of where, by offering some variety of proceeding, the next thing to lay reading of a beneficial tendency, en before the public is an account of the deavour to take full advantage of this issues made by them during the last change in a moral and religious view, three years, which is as follows:
1822. 1823. 1824. The demand upon the Committee Bibles....... 300 ..
132 for school books keeps pace with the Family Bibles... 9
30 progressive increase of Christian eduArabic Bibles.. 1
20 cation in the country. For the three Testaments.... 235
years now reported of, the number of Psalters
those pablications disposed of for Common Prayer
English schools are respectively books ...... 374. 334 272
1467, 2404, and 3355. For a more Other books and tracts ......4140
particular account of the state of 4358
Christian schools within this ArchdeaTracts in the native languages 1157 1185 4301
conry, the Committee beg to refer to
the annual reports of the Education 6430 6317 12862 Society. The number of persons in
the different schools using the Society's Making a grand total of 59,550 books cannot be accurately ascercopies of the Scriptures, Liturgy, and tained, but it is probably about 1200, other books and tracts dispersed since exclusive of those in native schools. the formation of the Committee in In reference to the supplemental 1816.
catalogue, which has received conIn the course of the present year
siderable additions since the publicaan arrangement has been made with tion of the Committee's last report, Government, by which in future only the Committee must gratefully acone half of the sum formerly allowed knowledge the liberality of the Parent for the purchase of bibles and prayer Society, which not only granted a books for the use of the hospitals supply of books from it on credit to the and the marine will be appropriated amount of one hundred pounds sterto that purpose, and the other balfling, but subsequently learning that will be expended under the direction books of this class were in great of the Archdeacon in the purchase of request in Bombay, not only for the books for the more advanced classes public, but for lending libraries and of regimental schools. With respect for prizes in schools, directed Messrs. to the disposal of bibles by purchase Rivington to furnish the Committee to individual soldiers and others, with double the number of those books which is the mode of dispersing the specified in the list transmitted by Holy Scriptures which the Committee the Committee to London. are most anxious to encourage, they The Society's Family Bible is now bave the satisfaction of saying that it so generally dispersed within the is decidedly on the increase.
sphere of the Committee's operations, An increase of nearly one half in as to render any particular description the distribution of bound books has of it here unnecessary: the number taken place within the period, taken disposed of during the last three chiefly from the supplemental cata years may be seen in the general logue. One principal remark to be abstract. Several copies have been made upon this increase is, that it is sent by the Society on account, and in a great measure the result of more it will be the endeavour of the Comextensive usefulness in the Committee mittee to have constantly on hand a to the public in general by the sale of sufficient supply of both editions, the religious and moral books, and that large paper and the small, of which it indicates a greater proportion of the prices are respectively 120 Rs. issues in that way to the gratuitous
and 80. distribution of small tracts. The In the last report, it was anformation also of the Government nounced that the Committee had military lending libraries, and the begun the formation of station lenddistribution of prizes at the annual ing libraries, in imitation of the examination of military schools, have parochial libraries of late years inin a considerable degree affected the troduced by the Society at home. issues of bound books within the last They had proceeded as far in the year.
execution of their plan as their stock