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that ought never to have been abandoned or omitted. The address of the Doctor was considered so valuable that it was resolved, not only to print it in the Magazine, but also to print it separately for general distribution. This was done; and the sale not only covered the expense of printing, but returned a profit to the Association.
The thanks of the meeting were given to the editors and the publica. tion committee for conducting the Magazine, and they were requested to continue their services for another year. The profit of the Magazine for 1876 was £28 93. 1d.
CHAPTER XXXII.- ANNUAL MEETING AT HULL, 1878.
BROTHER Dowsing, Hull, President. THE General Committee met on Saturday evening, June 1st, in the Schoolroom of Waltham Street Chapel, Hull. Thirty-four chapels and four open-air stations were occupied by the brethren on the Sunday. Collections also were made in most of the chapels. It is stated that the congregations were numerous, attentive, and devout.
The brethren met for business on Monday morning, June 3rd., in the Schoolroom of Waltham Street Chapel. The Report showed 2,175 benefit and 703 honorary members; being an increase of 101 benefit and 23 honorary members. The benefit members' subscriptions amounted to £1,101 178., an increase of £8 2s, on the year. The funds had risen another primal figure, from £8,564 158. 9d. to £9,286 78. 5d., £1,300 having been invested this year. Two brethren were put in nomination for President; and, as was fitting, the Hull brother, Alderman Dowsing, of the town in which the meeting was being held, was elected by a majority of 13. Bro. John Carter was re-elected Treasurer, and Bro. Thos. Chamberlain, Hon. Secretary.
This being the year for making alterations in the Rules, old propositions were again brought forward and new ones introduced. The most important alterations made were the continuance of eight shillings a week in special cases of sickness beyond the former limitation to twenty-six weeks as per Rule 36. The brethren were in a liberal mood, and raised the funeral allowance to the former amount of £8, and that of annuitants to £4; and the maximum allowance to annuitants, in extreme need, to six shillings per week. Whether these alterations were wise or not, remains to be seen. The number of annuitants has risen rapidly of late. It would be hazardous to sell out stock, as many of the legacies and other contributions were given by farseeing and thoughtful persons for the purposes of investment.
The Magazine showed a larger amount of profit for 1877 than had ever occurred before, being £47 178. 1d. Of course it was to be continued under the same management.
A large and enthusiastic public meeting was held in Waltham Street Chapel on the Monday evening, Alderman Waller, the Mayor of Hull, wearing his insignia of office, in the chair. There was splendid speaking ; but no report of the meeting has come into our hands.
After Tuesday morning's sitting, the brethren adjourned to the chapel to attend the Lord's table. Rev. H. W. Holland delivered an appropriate and seasonable address.
The Hull friends have been, and still are, among the most bountiful givers. One gentleman, we understand, appropriates the interest of a thousand pounds, being £50 a year, during his life; at his death it will fall into the funds of the Association.
CHAPTER XXXIII.--ANNUAL MEETING AT OLDHAM, 1879.
Bro. JOSEPH Milsom, Reading, President. THE General Committee met on Saturday evening, June 14th, in the Schoolroom of Downing Street, Oldham. Thirty-five chapels in Oldham and surrounding places were supplied by the brethren. There was quite an Evangelical Alliance here; for chapels belonging to Wesleyans, Free Church, New Connexion, Primitives and Congregationalists, together with nine open-air stations, were occupied by the brethren. Collections for the Association were made in most of the chapels.
The meeting for business was begun in Manchester Street Chapel, on Monday morning, June 16th. The Report was read by the Honorary Secretary, showing 2,368 benefit members, and 746 honorary; an increase of 193 benefit and 43 honorary; total, 3,114 members.
This large addition is accounted for by the union of the Newcastle Local Preachers' Association with ours. The benefit members' subscriptions the last year amounted to £1,161 10s. 6d. ; being an increase of £59 17s. 60. Mr. Hume, of Manchester, having left £1,353 4s. 5d. for investment, it raised the invested fund another figure, viz., from £9,286 7s. 5d. to £10,938 13s. 7d. Bro. Joseph Milsom, Reading, was elected President, Bro. J. Carter re-elected Treasurer, and Bro. Thos. Chamberlain Hon. Secretary.
There was not much serious business to do at this annual gathering. Thanks were expressed to Almighty God for the passing of the Act for Sunday closing of public houses in Ireland ; and a petition was sent to Parliament for the bestowment of the same benefit on England and Wales.
On the subject of "ways and means," and the revival of drooping Branches, the brethren seemed to breathe new life, and the youth of some of the aged was renewed like the eagle's. One of our aged brethren, over fourscore years, declared “ He would help in this matter, and was willing to go anywhere within one hundred miles of his own residence.” Well said, Richard ; die in the barness.
The Magazine was ordered to be continued as heretofore, with thanks to the editors. The profit on 1878 was £35 14s. 3d.
The Sacramental service, held on Tuesday at mid-day, presided over by the Rev. J. Exell, and addressed by the Rev. J. Pearson, was, as the report says, “a time of refreshing, of great spiritual enjoyment, of self-dedication, and bright anticipations ; mingled with holy memories of Christ the Lord.”
The financial result of this annual gathering was about £130.
CHAPTER XXXIV.-ANNUAL MEETING AT YORK, 1880.
BROTHER C. S. MADDER, Aylesbury, President. TAE General Committee met in the large room, Centenary Chapel, St. Saviour Gate, York, on Saturday evening, June 5th. Fifty-seven chapels in York and surrounding Circuits were occupied by the brethren on Sunday, June 6th. Four stands in the open air also were occupied by about twenty brethren. A lovefeast was held in New Street Chapel on Sunday afternoon. Collections were made on behalf of the Association in most of the chapels.
About one hundred and twenty representatives met in the Schoolroom attached to the Centenary Chapel, on Monday morning, June 7th. The Report was read by the Hon. Secretary, showing 2,659 benefit members, and 796 honorary; total, 3,455, being an increase of 291 benefit and 50 honorary members. The benefit members' subscriptions amounted to £1,291 1s. 6d. in the year; an increase of £129 11s. This was the largest amount received since 1853. Bro. C. S. Madder was elected President, Bro. John Carter re-elected Treasurer, and Bro. Thos. Chamberlain Hon. Secretary. The capital of the Association had reached the sum of £11,557 13s. 8d.
This meeting was rendered peculiarly interesting by the appearance of Bro. Field, as representative from the “ American National Association of Local Preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church.”
The afternoon of Monday was occupied principally with the Magazine ; or, rather, the cover of the Magazine. Some were for a plain cover, others for pictorial. On the matter being put to the vote, the pictorial, as heretofore, was carried by 46 to 34. Thanks to the editors were carried unanimously. The profit on the Magazine for 1879 was £35 11s. 3d.
In order to make the funds of the Association as secure as possible, a draft of a deed had been drawn up, which was submitted to the meeting. Ultimately it was voted to stand over till the next Annual Meeting.
A public meeting was held on Monday evening in the Centenary
Chapel, presided over by J. R. Hill, Esq., son of the late Alderman David Hill, who was President when the meeting was held in York in 1867. The meeting was addressed by the Hon. Secretary, the President, and the ex-President, John Field (the American representative), W. Bowron, Cossons, Chamberlin, and Rose. Bro. Field and Bro. Bowron delivered capital speeches; and this was a fitting initiation of Bro. Field, who had come from America to greet his English brethren ; and of parting with Bro. Bowron, who was about to bid them farewell, on his quitting England to take up his abode in New Zealand.
The Communion Service was held in the Centenary Chapel on Tuesday forenoon. An interesting and suitable address, written by the Chairman of the York District, but which he was unable to be present to deliver in person, was read by his colleague, the Rev. J. Haigh.
The net amount of collections at this annual gathering at York was £180.
CHAPTER XXXV.-MEETING AT SHEFFIELD, 1881.
BROTHER S. M. Johnson, Sheffield, President. The Committee met on Saturday evening, June 1st, 1881, in the Schoolroom of Norfolk Street Chapel, Sheffield. A large number of members present. About one hundred and thirty chapels and three open-air stands were occupied by the brethren on Sunday, the 19th. In most of these chapels collections were made on behalf of the Association. This was the fourth time that the Association had met at Sheffield. In 1851, thirty years ago, the third meeting of the Association was held there, and the brother who was then elected President is still alive, although entering upon his eightieth year. He has been, and still is, an effective worker for the Association,
About 170 representatives had been appointed by the Branches ; so, in respect to numbers, this gathering at Sheffield was about the largest that had been held. There was a good working Committee at Sheffield, with an indefatigable Secretary. The meeting began on Monday morning, June 20th, in the Schoolroom of Norfolk Street Chapel. In the absence of the Hon. Secretary through illness, the Report had been prepared and was read by Bro. A. R. Johnson, of London, showing 2,867 benefit members, an increase of 208 on the year; and 792 hon. members, a decrease of 4 on the year. Total members, 3,659. Benefit members' subscriptions this year amounted to £1,374 1s.; being an increase on the preceding year of £82 193 6d.
Free subscriptions and legacies had raised the capital to £12,204 178, 2d.
Bro. S. M. Johnson was elected President, Bro. John Carter re-elected Treasurer, Bro. Chamberlain and A. R. Johnson, Hon. Secretaries.
Some of the Trustees having died, three new ones were elected. The names will be found in the committee list.
The Magazine to be carried on as heretofore, with four brethren added to the Editorial staff. The profits on the Magazine for 1880 amounted to £47 195. 3d., the largest amount yet realised.
This being the triennial year, when alterations could be made in the Rules, no fewer than eighteen notices of alterations had been forwarded. Eight of these were accepted; but the alterations were such that the Constitution of the Association was not affected thereby.
District Committees were appointed to act on behalf of the Association in twenty-five districts. How far this will be workable remains to be seen.
The brethren and friends celebrated the Lord's Supper on Tuesday morning in the adjoining chapel ; and an address was given by the Rev. H. Hastling, Chairman of the Sheffield District.
A largely attended public meeting was held in Carver Street Chapel, presided over by Bro. J. Dyson, J.P.; and addresses were delivered by Bros. A. R. Johnson, S. M. Johnson, C. S. Madder, B. G. Berry, J. Milsom, E. Benson, J. Towne, and T. Cole.
On Tuesday evening a Temperance meeting was held in the Temperance Hall, Bro. G. Harvey in the chair. Addresses were delivered by Bro. Milsom, Dr. Scatliff, Bros. Amphlett, Bennett, Harding, and J. M. Spicer.
The Sheffield meeting was a great financial success, adding to the funds the noble sum of £326 48. 3d.
Our historic work is done. The result is before our readers. It may have been to most of them dry and uninteresting; but the facts and figures remain. All the reports, as they have appeared in “ THE LOCAL PREACHERS' MAGAZINE from 1851 to 1881, have been read. In addition to these sources of information, the early volumes of The Wesleyan Times, 1849 and onwards, have been examined. In this journal the first letter appeared which led to the formation of the Association; and lengthened reports of the annual meetings, as well as reports of local meetings, were for some time chronicled.
The Association has lived down the opposition and the prejudice arrayed against it in the early stages of its history. The brethren who from year to year have been its presidents have each of them done good service. The post of Hon. Secretary has been filled for more than twothirds of the period of its existence by one brother, who has left the impress of his well-balanced mind upon all its printed documents. The Association, in the choice of its general secretaries, has secured upright, plodding, and devoted servants. The first lived long enough to see the Association fairly established, and his successor has the satisfaction of seeing it still progressing. It would only be affectation of humility did we not say that the Magazine has done much in the past to promote the interests of the Association. May it do more in the future, when the hand which now guides the pen lies quiet in the dust!