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London Hibernian Society.-On the 4th of May, the Annual Meeting of the above Society was held at Freemasons' Hall, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester in the Chair.
The Report, which was read by the Rev. Mr. RITCHINGS, the Secretary, stated, that the number of the Society's schools in Ireland had increased in the last year from 534 to 575, and the number of scholars was 53,233; 35 of the schools were under the superintendance of Catholic priests, from which it would be seen how entirely the Society was divested of sectarianism. The Society had received 1000 Bibles and 10,000 Testaments from the British and Foreign Bible Society, and had distributed upwards of 80,000 Bibles and Testaments. The progress of the Society had been slow but sure, and extends now to 23 counties out of 32, and they looked with confidence to complete success, as the cause was not that of a party, but truly catholic.
The Earl of GosFORD Congratulated the Society on the success of its labours hitherto, and argued for the necessity of its perseverance from the present melancholy state of Ireland, which he attributed to the want of education, and of a resident gentry among them. Lord G. concluded by moving the reception and printing of the Report.
The Rev. GEORGE CLARKE seconded the Resolution, and warmly recommended the objects of the Society, which were to benefit the people of Ireland, who were bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh-whose characteristics were bravery, generosity, and gratitude.
The resolution was unanimously agreed to.
Mr. STEVEN, one of the Vice-Presidents, who had visited Ireland during the last year, gave an interesting account of the Society's schools, many of which, he said, were held in Roman Catholic chapels, and greatly promoted by some excellent men among the Catholic priests. He was amazed at the quickness with which the Irish children acquired learning: the dullest learned to read the Testament in a year; and he had known an instance of a child after having learned to read, committing the four gospels to memory in a quarter of a year. The people were of most amiable dispositions, and he was convinced that all their miseries and crimes lay at our door.
Lord CALTHORPE moved a resolution of thanks to the Royal Chairman, for condescending to become the patron of the Society, and presiding at the Meeting. His lordship eulogised the warm-hearted people of Ireland, who were never deficient in gratitude and affection for those who showed them kindness or justice.
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The Rev. Dr. RANDOLPH seconded the resolution -He said, Never was any country plunged in greater misery than Ireland, but he hoped food and raiment would soon be sent to their relief. (The enthusiastic applause with which the expression of this hope was received, showed how deeply the Meeting sympathized with the sufferings of Ireland.)
The Resolution being put by Lord CALTHORPE, and carried by acclamation,
The Duke of GLOUCESTER declared, that he felt he owed thanks to those excellent patriots who had proposed to him to unite with a society, that had the happiness of much-injured Ireland for its object: England had incurred a long debt to Ireland, which could not be better repaid than by affording them the benefits of religious and moral education, on the advantages of which His Royal Highness dilated at some length. He would ever consider the people of that country as members of the same family with the people of England, and endeavour to extend to them a participation of every blessing their brothers enjoyed in England.
Rev. J. BROWN hoped that some elevated and benevolent characters in England would import themselves into Ireland, and carry with them the more regular and orderly habits of this country. If, indeed, they were afraid to go, they had only to send more Bibles and teachers to prepare their way, and secure their welcome reception.
A vote of thanks being passed to the Vice-Presidents,
Mr. WILBERFORCE, M.P. as one of them, addressed the Meeting in a speech of considerable length, in which he feelingly lamented the injuries and the insults that had for ages been offered to the high-minded gallant people of Ireland; but expressed his hope that the time was now come when justice would be done to their virtues and their sufferings. In adverting to a remark of their illustrious President, that England had been long indebted to Ireland, he remarked that the former would promote her own interests in speedily repaying those obligations. Ireland had been so enslaved and degraded, that it was difficult to persuade an Irish peasant to consider an Englishman in any other light than as an enemy. He considered this Society as calculated to do great good, and promised his utmost support to their exertions.
J. GRATTAN, Esq. M.P. could not but feel grateful for their attention to his native country. He assured the Meeting, that by any attempt at proselytism their object would be defeated. His own tenants were all Catholics, and more honest, faithful, and well disposed persons could no where be found. Mr. G. moved thanks to the Treasurer and Committee; which being seconded and carried, the Rev. G. Clayton returned thanks in their name.
J. SCOTT, Esq. the Treasurer, then gave a brief statement of the Society's accounts. The income of the last year was 5,562l., and its expenditure 6,8631., which left a deficiency of 800l., which could only be made up by drawing on their capital.
Sunday School Society for Ireland.-The Right Hon. the Earl of Roden presided at the Annual Meeting of this Society, which was held on April 17th at the Lecture Room of the Dublin Institution.
James Digges Latouche, Esq. read the Report, from which it appears, that the number of schools which the Society has assisted amounts to 1558, containing 156,255 scholars, being an increase during the past year of 205
schools and 20,655 scholars. The income of the Society during the past year has been 3193/. 6s. 6d.—360l. was contributed by associations in England, and 2987. from Scotland. A bequest of 840l. was left to the Society by Sir Gilbert King, and another of 200l. by Mrs. O'Donnell. The Society has also received a liberal donation of 10,000 Testaments from the British and Foreign Bible Society. They have issued during the same period 1022 Bibles, 17,574 Testaments, 47,842 Spelling-books, a number of Alphabets, &c.-During the year the total expenditure has been 2,947l. 17s. 7d.
Several Resolutions approbatory of the Report, and returning thanks to the patrons of the Society, the Ladies' Associations, and all who were employed in the great work of Sunday-school instruction, were moved, or seconded, by the Right Hon. St. George Daly, the Rev. Rt. Shaw, the Rev. Mr. Simeon of Cambridge, J. D. Latouche, Esq., Lord Viscount Powerscourt, the Rev. Mr. Marsh of Colchester, Js. Digges Latouche, Esq., Rev. Rt. Daly, Rev. Mr. Anderson of Edinburgh, Rev. Peter Roe, and the Hon. Js. Hewitt.
Many of the speakers addressed the Meeting at considerable length, and viewed the subject of Scriptural Education in a variety of bearings, as to its influence on the peace and prosperity of the country, on the happiness of the domestic circle, on the teacher as well as the pupil, in fitting them for the proper discharge of the relative duties of this life, and preparing for a better. When the number of gratuitous teachers throughout Ireland (11,000) was mentioned, it excited a burst of astonishment and admiration.
At a Meeting of this description, the distracted state of Ireland presented itself with considerable force, and irrefragable proofs were adduced, that the want of a religious education in the disturbed districts was the grand source from whence it flowed. A contrast was drawn by the Rev. Mr. Shaw between the state of Sunday-school instruction in the provinces of Ulster and Munster, the population being nearly equal: in the former there are 1027 Sundayschools, in the latter but 52. View the state of the provinces, and the inference is obvious. The Rev. Rt. Daly said, that in the small county (Wicklow) where he resided, there were 4000 pupils in Sunday-schools, and 395 gratuitous teachers; peace and good order reigned there; they had only 50 soldiers in the whole county; but he considered the Sunday-school teachers their best protectors. Mr. Daly read some extracts from Serjeant Lefroy's admirable address to the Grand Jury of the county of Limerick, and eulogized, in the most energetic manner, the enlightened view he had taken of the subject of education, as it affected the general peace and happiness of the country. Mr. J. D. Latouche dwelt principally on the happy influence of religious instruction in private life, and called upon all who wished to see their peasantry sober, industrious, and tender parents, and their children dutiful and affectionate, to support the Sunday-school Institution.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
On the 1st of May, the Anniversary Meeting of this excellent Institution was held at the Freemasons's Tavern. On three sides of the great room benches had been erected for the accommodation of the company, who began to assemble at an early hour; and long before eleven o'clock every place, including the high galleries at each end, was filled by persons of the first respectability, among
whom were H. R. H. the Duke of Gloucester; the Bishops of Salisbury, St. David's, and Norwich; the Earls of Harrowby, Gosford, and Rocksavage; Lords Calthorpe, Gambier, Suffield, and Sandon; the Rt. Hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. C. Grant, Sir T. D. Acland, Sir R. H. Inglis, Sir C. S. Hunter, Sir Mont. Chomley, Barts.; S. Wortley, W. Whitmore, and Wm. Wilberforce, Esqrs. M.P.
Shortly after eleven o'clock the chair was taken by Lord Teignmouth, who, after explaining the object of the Meeting, moved that the Report be read.The Report was read accordingly, and the following is an abstract:
It contained a number of most cheering facts relative to the prosperity of the Institution, from which it appeared, that the Auxiliary Societies have increased both in numbers and in the amount of the subscriptions; that the friends of similar institutions in various parts of the world have been prosecuting the same cause with increased energy and success; and many instances were mentioned in which their exertions have produced very striking moral and religious benefit. The income of the Society during the past year exceeded that of any former year, and amounted to the astonishing sum of upwards of One hundred and three thousand pounds. The expenditure during the same period, in translating, printing, and circulating the Scriptures in a variety of European, Asiatic, and some African and American languages, as also in assisting the benevolent labours of kindred institutions, exceeded 90,000l. So great, however, are the demands, and such the confidence of the Committee on the continued generosity of the Christian public, that the engagements of the Society were calculated at no less a sum than 50,000l. The reading of the Report occupied nearly an hour, and was received by the Meeting with the most cordial approbation.
The Earl of HARROW BY expressed the high satisfaction he felt at the Report which had been read, by which it appeared that the Gospel had extended to the most distant parts of the world; to men of every colour and of every clime. His Lordship moved that the Report be printed under direction of the Committee.-Agreed to.
The Rt. Hon. the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER moved the thanks of the Society to their Noble President, Lord Teignmouth. The Society had now entered into its nineteenth year since its formation; and although it had long been discountenanced by many, it had grown above all difficulties. His Noble Friend had called their attention to the Report which had been read; but in order that the Report might be understood, it would be necessary to refer to the map of the world; because otherwise it would be impossible to trace all its operations. By that Report, it appeared that in every quarter of the world, ignorance and idolatry were giving way before the light of Truth and of the Gospel.—Although this Institution formed but a small part in the efforts made to extend that light, it would form a memorable era in the history of the Christian Church; and he hoped that all selfish feelings would be overlooked in supporting the great cause in which they were all engaged.
This motion being passed,
Lord TEIGNMOUTH then rose, and after expressing his acknowledgements, observed, that the happy effects of this Society had every day been extending from nation to nation, in consequence of the universal distribution of the Holy Scriptures. Efforts so extended as those could not have procecded
ceeded from any cause purely human, but from God himself, who must have disposed the hearts of men to promote his glory and the happiness of his creatures. If history was a record of the crimes of mankind, it was reserved for modern times to form new institutions, founded on evangelical principles, for the prevention of crimes, and for promoting the good of mankind. He was happy to find that the Bible Societies comprehended, at this time, Christians of all denominations, and that universality was given to all their operations, which were directed, not to the subjugation of empires, but to the subversion of ignorance, idolatry, and vice. They aimed at the moral and religious improvement of mankind; the Bible alone was the instrument by which it was to be effected; and he hoped this Society would continue its operations until all the nations of the earth should be acquainted with that sacred work, which had already, by the vast extent of its circulation, greatly improved the moral condition of mankind, while it tended to conduct them to eternal salvation.
The Rev. Mr. MONOD, Secretary of the Paris Protestant Bible Society, was now introduced to the Meeting. This gentleman addressed them in very good English. He said he appeared before them as the representative of a Bible Society, which took the greatest interest in the proceedings of this Society, and which contemplated them with admiration and gratitude. The Members of the Society to which he belonged valued no other distinctions than those of the disciples of Jesus. He considered himself there among children of the same Father, and followers of the same Saviour. With sentiments of this kind he prayed the indulgence of the Meeting, and assured them that their brethren in France were animated by the same spirit as those whom he now addressed, although they had not the same means. Little more than three years had elapsed since the Society in Paris was established, and since then there were forty Branch Societies from it; and from having at first no more funds than 40,000 francs, they now had 300,000 francs. They had distributed vast numbers of Bibles; and a generous friend of their Institution had sent 2000 francs, to be given to the author of the best work in the French language upon the reading of the Holy Scriptures.
Mr. DEALTRY now passed some compliments on the respectable foreigner who just spoke, for the information he had given, and the intelligent manner in which he had delivered himself. It must excite the admiration of every man to hear of such a Society as that just described being established in Paris.
Lord CALTHORPE also expressed his admiration at what he had just heard from the Secretary of the Paris Bible Society. Nothing could more gratify the feelings of all persons in this country than the assurance that such an Institution could be held in support of the Society of England. So great was the extent of those Institutions, and so far had they exceeded the most sanguine hopes of their supporters, that nothing less than a Divine influence could have produced such wonderful effects. It had been, within the last year, objected that this Institution had deviated from its original purpose: the objections urged, however, had all been of.a minor kind, and not directed to its great and essential objects. He was convinced that this Society had reflected higher glory on the country even than the progress of its arms and its arts; and its evangelical nature would ever make it pre-eminent over all other Institutions. It happily had the support and patronage of Royalty;