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CONGREGATIONAL Tea Party.-On the evening of Nov. 5th about 150 of the members of the Unitarian Congregation at Bury, Lancashire, met to take tea together, and, by a friendly interchange of kind feelings, to promote additional social interest and increased zeal in the promotion of the different institutions connected with their society. After a pleasant social repast of that beverage which cheers but not inebriates,' Edmund Grundy Esq., one of his majesty's justices of the peace for the county of Lancaster, was unanimously invited to preside; and the remainder of the evening was most agreeably occupied by appropriate addresses from the chair, the minister and several members of the
congregation, from Dr. Alexander of Wakefield, and from the Rev. J. R. Beard. The officers of the following institutions connected with the congregation, recommended to the meeting their respective claims: the Chapel; the Sunday School; the Library; the Benevolent Society; the Fellowship Fund; the Tract Society; the Sunday Scholar's Clothing Society; the Friend's Institution. In urging the claims of the Sunday School, the chairman introduced to the notice of the meeting a very interesting letter which he characterized as in itself an ample reward to his own feelings, after thirty years' labours as a Sunday-school teacher. It was written by one who had formerly received instruction there, but who had been for the last two years confined to the bed of sickness; and in the sick chamber the letter had been penned. A short extract may be interesting and encouraging to the Sunday-school teacher. I naturally feel' says the writer, an interest in the welfare of your Sunday School, and gratefully acknowledge the truly valuable instructions I received there, which enabled me to read, and write, and cast accounts. Gratitude to my instructors, and a wish to improve myself and the Sunday scholars, is the motive which impels me to write. To
I can assure you, it is a source of great comfort, and helps me to pass my lonely hours, sometimes very agreeably, by reading the good books which my friends, from time to time, have been pleased to lend me. The gloomy, unfriendly and discouraging opinion which once prevailed, and is still entertained by some, that the education of what are generally termed the working class,” tends to evil, is, I hope, unfounded, and will ere long, through the zeal and perseverance of the Sunday School Teachers, become extinct. My friends, two years and two months of severe suffering and close confinement to my room, convince me of the value and the blessing of early instructions.'
A word or two on some of the above-named institutions - may, it is hoped, be acceptable, and convey a few useful hints to those who are desirous of forming similar institutions.
The Benevolent Society was founded by one of the truly excellent of the earth, the late highly respected Thomas Jackson Wood. The object of it, is to afford timely aid to the poor, in meeting the wants of sickness, and the expences of funerals. The subscription is one penny per week. The allowance in sickness is four shillings per week, fourteen shillings for each delivery in case of child birth, and two guineas at each funeral of a member. Many members of the congregation, approving of the object, contribute, without receiving from the funds of the Society, and thus enable it to sustain the liberal allowance we have just named. Since its commencement in the year 1820 the sum of €792. 9s. has been paid, viz., for cases of sickness £576. Is., funerals £109. 4s., births £107. 4s. And all who have thus received seasonable
relief in sickness and bereavement, have felt a claim of right on the ground of their own subscriptions, and have thus experienced the influence only of that best kind of charity, which helps men to help themselves.
The Sunday Scholars' Clothing Society was instituted by the prompt and unwearied benevolence of the ladies superintending the Girls' Sunday School, at the suggestion and kind recommendation of the Rev. Robert Smethurst of Stand, who had witnessed the benefits of such a society in the Sunday School connected with his own congregation at Monton. Any Sunday scholar may become a member by paying one. penny per week. At the commencement of Winter, the congregation, by a public collection, makes a present of ten or twelve pounds to the Society, and the members receive clothing to the value of about six shillings for their fifty-two weekly payments of one penny. By this means many are provided with comfortable garments, who would otherwise not enjoy protection against the inclemencies of the season, and they are practically taught the value of habits of economy and forethought.
The Friends' Institution differs from an ordinary sick list, mainly in the circumstance of its meetings being held in the Sunday School, instead of a public house, and in no part of its funds being necessarily spent in intoxicating liquors, and in the gratuitous subscriptions of parties who never draw from its funds.
The effect of the operation of these various societies, and of a kind and grateful intercourse between the rich, the middle classes, and the poor of the congregation, was most delightfully manifest in the spirit of union, of zeal, and of Christian love, that appeared to pervade the whole assembly, and to picture happiness on every countenance.
The Rev. Lant Carpenter, L.L.D. is about to publish, by subscription, a Harmony of the Gospels : being a synoptical arrangement of the records of our Lord's ministry, agreeably to the most ancient opinion respecting the duration of it, and to the probable order in which the events occurred, with preliminary dissertations.
The Rev. Jerom Murch announces, in one volume 8vo., a History of the Presbyterian and General Baptist Churches in the West of England, with memoirs of their ministers.
TO CORRESPONDENTS. Received H. B. P.; On Pulpit Eloquence; The Christian Hierarchy; The Spirit and Power of Methodism. Chapters for Children :- A Happy Sunday; Description of the Elements. The first of a series of Evangelical Tracts; The first of Sketches of Society in Lancashire; A Layman.
The Christian Teacher and Chronicle will in future be published by C. Fox, 67, Paternoster Row, London; who can supply a few complete copies of the first volume. Articles of intelligence are solicited, regarding not only Unitariau topics, but the interests of religion, beneficence, and education, generally.
N. B. Communications to be inserted in the body of the work, must be in the Editor's hands by the 15th of the current month; and articles of intelligence not later than the 20th-as much earlier as possible.
Forrest and Fogg, Printers, Manchester,