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£165 13 3 165 16 S

THE LATE MR. WILD'S GIFT.

the

On the 18th September, 1865, the late James Wild, Esq., purchased £948 198. 7d. of India 5 per cent. stock, costing £1,000, in the names of James Wild, John Carter, G. W. Treasure, and Thomas Chamberlain. The purpose of the investment was, in his own words, dated October 19, 1865, that, “ The interest every year be given in 108. extra to the most advanced in years of my brethren in Jesus to provide them extra cheer for every Christmas day, but not in any way to lessen their receipts from the Mutual-Aid Fund. Should the Committee see fit in trying cases to exceed 10s., they are at liberty so to act, provided they do not exceed in any case £2 sterling."

In May, 1866, the venerable and generous donor passed to his reward, and since that time the fund has been administered by the other gentlemen in whose names the original Stock was purchased. For several years interest was adequate, or was made so, to meet the cost of the annual sum of 10s. to all the annuitants (never in any case has that amount been exceeded). But, owing to the growth of our Association, and the increased number of annuitants, the interest became inadequate to meet the demands, and in the year 1875, at the Annual Meeting in City Road Chapel, a gentleman from Louth offered £20 on condition of £300 being raised to permanently augment the original sum. This was responded to, and £316 14s. was contributed. £300 was invested in the India 4

But still the claims were greater than the fund could meet, though in 1878, 118 of the annuitants received their half-sovereign. It was then resolved that until the fund righted itself, no new annuitant should receive the amount, but only those who had previously received the Christmas gift should participate in future; and, consequently, at Christmas, 1879, only about one hundred received the sum. Bint at the close of that year the Treasurer was £33 in advance. Last year, moreover, the India 5 per Cents. were paid off, and the original Stock bad to be transferred to the 4 per Cents., thus entailing a future permanent loss of £10 per annum.

Last Christmas ninety-five annuitants received the 10s., and still the Treasurer is £10 19s. 10d. in advance.

Looking, therefore, at the fact that we have at present, at least, sixty annuitants non-recipients, the majority, if not all of whom are just as necessitous as those who have hitherto received this annual Christmas gift ; looking, again, at the fact that the present Stock only produces £52 per annum, less income-tax, it is not only desirable but really necessary that, to place the fund on a satisfactory foundation, a further sum of £1,000 be raised. By so doing, all our aged brethren will be placed on an equality in this matter. If this is not done, it is apparent that next Christmas only about eighty of the brethren can participate;

APRIL, 1881.

per Cents.

н

that is, only half our number, and at no future period can more than one hundred of our old and disabled fathers in the faith receive this Christmas allowance.

So impressed is our valued Treasurer with this fact that he has generously promised £100 on condition that the £1,000 be raised. Words are not necessary to convey the desirability of the attainment of this sum, and so complete the scheme so nobly started by our late Treasurer. Had he been alive still, this effort would have elicited his cordial sympathy and help. There is, we are assured, plenty of ability in our midst to carry out this matter, even before our Annual Meeting in Sheffield. Who will support this worthy object ?

THE WESLEYAN METHODIST LOCAL PREACHERS'

MUTUAL-AID ASSOCIATION.
CHAPTER V.-SHEFFIELD ANNUAL MEETING. 1851.

BROTHER W. B. CARTER, Nottingham, President. ONE very important question had to be debated and settled at this meeting, namely, the construction to be put upon the words, “ Wesleyan Methodist Local Preachers." A committee was formed to consider this matter, and the following resolution was passed :

“ That the words, Wesleyan Methodist Local Preachers,' and ' accredited Local Preachers' occurring in the rules, shall not be taken in such sense as to exclude those persons who, in the present afflicted state of Methodism, are connected with the Branch Societies."

So exceedingly anxious were these founders of the Association to do justly to all, and if possible, to offend none.

At this meeting it was proposed and carried, that at the death of a member's wife he might draw half the amount of his own funeral allowance, the other half to be paid to his surviving family at his own death. This arrangement is carried out to the present day.

The report this year records 107 sick cases relieved, and 27 deaths : rather a large number, but the Association at the first took in brethren at all ages. The membership had risen during the year from 1,260 to 1,806, being an increase on the year of 546. This was good progress, and showed that the Association was rising in the public estimation. The balance-sheet also showed progress in the funded property, £500 "being added to it, making the total investment £1442 7s. 6d.

The Magazine had been started this year, and although there were different opinions respecting its articles, there was but one opinion as to its importance as the organ of the Association.

During the year a number of meetings on behalf of the Association were held in different parts of the kingdom.

It had been proposed, and at Sheffield it was carried out, that the ex-President preach before the brethren. This Brother English did, on Monday morning, October 6, 1851. This sermon was published by request of the meeting, and appears on page 449, Vol. I., LOCAL PREACHERS' MAGAZINE. Why should not this practice have been kept up ?

CHAPTER VI.-HUDDERSFIELD ANNUAL MEETING. 1852.

BRO. WILLIAM NELSTROP, President. The Committee at this meeting resolved to have a more ample report of its proceedings than had appeared in the Magazine the previous year.

On the Monday evening, October 4th, a large tea-meeting was held, followed by an enthusiastic public meeting. It appears from the report that the business meeting did not take place till Tuesday morning. The report having been read, a spirited discussion took place on the subject of the Magazine. One of the brethren inquires, “I wish to ask the acting secretary what we have lost during the year on the Magazine ?The acting secretary: “I believe it is about £150.” The shots now fell thick and fast. This awkward loss, as it was regarded by several, was by no means a pleasant thing to contemplate. Others took a more just and reasonable view of the matter. One of the brethren asked, “Have we not a pro-contra statement against the Association for the benefits rendered in the shape of reports, advertisements ? ” &c.

The Magazine had become a most important arm of the service, and it could not be worked without expense any more than the artillery arm in connection with an army. In fact, this arm of the service has been of incalculable value to the present, even when it was not self-supporting, much more now that it is so.

After the financial aspect of the Magazine had been before the meeting for some time, one good, warm-hearted brother rose to place before the meeting its literary side ; and he declared, “That so necessary had it become to his spiritual and mental growth, that if it came to this, that he must either go without the LOCAL PREACHERS' MAGAZINE or go to bed without any supper, he would choose the latter alternative.”

The report having been passed, the meeting proceeded to elect the President, and Bro. W. Nelstrop was nominated and carried unanimously. Although public meetings are not always right, in this case the unanimity of the meeting has been fully justified by the lifelong service of this brother.

When the meeting had settled down to business the question of the editorship came up for consideration. This brought on a lengthened discussion. And we may say,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.” There were the same hackneyed objections then as may be heard to day; and they were generally made by those who, like the Pharisees of old, bind burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but touch them not with one of their fingers. One good brother said, “I take this ground, that the character of our literature for a good part of the year has been in my mind of a meagre kind.” This critic, who spoke of the character of our literature being meagre, was very properly handled by the next speaker, who really possessed qualifications to judge of literary worth; and he most triumphantly defended the character of the articles wbich had appeared, and supported bis view by giving the opinions of others who were capable of judging. Then came another profound critic, who said, “ It is not equal to the times. I take exception to the Magazine for its miscellaneous character.” If this critic had paused to inquire, he would have found that it, with other magazines, has obtained the title of Magazine because it contained miscellaneous articles. This brother took exception to certain woodcuts which had appeared, illustrative of sacred botany, which in our opinion were first class. The brother who followed spoke very sensibly, as he generally does; he said, " As there is a diversity of mind, so will there be a diversity of opinion. If a nian follows the plough, he won't care for articles which would please our brother. If a man has an imaginative mind, as I have, and loves to look upon a beautiful butterfly, his estimate of literary merit will be different to our brother's."

The discussion went on pro and con till several more of the brethren had their say.

The motion to re-elect the editor was put, and the reporter says, “ All hands appeared to be held up in its favour.”

We have tarried rather longer over the Magazine than we intended; but our brethren will see that the Magazine, like the Association, was rocked into existence by storm and tempest; however, it has weathered these early storms, and many a storm since; but it still exists, and we trust it will continue to exist in greater vigour and strength.

Up to this meeting any Local Preacher was received, irrespective of age; consequently there was a very large influx of aged men. Of upwards of a thousand who joined in the year, a great proportion were over sixty years of age. The brethren began to see that to render the Association safe, it was necessary to restrict the entrance fee of 10s. to those who were under thirty-five years of age.

At this gathering, in addition to the public meeting, the ex-President delivered a sermon before the brethren. They also partook of the Lord's Supper together, a very excellent address preceding it by the minister presiding.

WILLIAM NELSTROP,

PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION, 1852. MR. WILLIAM NELSTROP was born at Ackworth, near Pontefract, Nov. 20, 1801. He appears to have met in class at the early age of fourteen,

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