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crowded to excess. The feelings of the audience during the services were overwhelming, and the singing, under the leadership of Mr. Cartwright, was such as had never been heard in the chapel before. The collections amounted to £20 Ss. ljd. For some time the greatest excitement had prevailed with regard to the tea-meeting to be held in connexion with the opening services, 700 tickets having been disposed of ten days before the time. In order to accommodate such a largo assembly, it was found necessaiy to commence tea at four o'clock, the body of the chapel being iilled by that time, and before six o'clock the whole number, amounting to 800, had been accommodated. The chapel presented a noble and animated appearance, being crowded in every part, the organ pealing forth rich and melodious music, being a foretaste of the entertainment provided for the evening. After the meeting was opened with singing and prayer, it was moved by Mr. T. Hall, seconded by Mr. T. Firth, and passed by acclamation, that the Rev. J. Poxon should preside on the occasion. During his speech the rev. gentleman was frequently interrupted by manifestations of approbation. He reverted to the objectof the meeting, the state of the Society, and gave a history of the introduction of the organ, and its future prospects. After alluding in a most affecting manner to the interest aud affection he felt for, the Church and congregation as their minister, and to the time he had spent among them, he resumed his seat amid loud and continued cheering. Here an anthem was sung by the choir, the rest of the evening being occupied by choice i-poeches aud beautiful singing alternately. Mr. Swift was next called upon, who spoke on the advantages of the voluntary principle. Mr. S. Gleadill thin moved a vote of thanks to the young ladies, which, being seconded by the Rev. W. Burrows and supported by Messrs. Taylor and Halhim. was carried by acclamation. Mr. F. Newbery (the eldest son of the late Rev. F. Newbery, once minister in this town) next proposed a vote of thanks to the young gentlemen who had so generously assisted at the tables. The Rev. T. Rudge, in an animated speech, seconded the motion, which was passed amid much cheering. J. Wittaker, "Esq., of Hurst, then came forward and expressed the delight and pleasure he had felt during the meeting, and moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Jones, the organ-builder; Mr. Hessey, the organist; and the choir, for
their efficient services; and his motion was seconded by Mr. G. Fox, in an animated speech of some length. A vote of thanks was passed to the organ committee, moved by Mr. J. Gleadill, seconded by Councillor Wood and snpperted by Mr. Bradburn, who expressed the sentiments of affection and esteem he held for the Rev. J. Poxon (the chairman of the committee), having sat under his ministry during bis two years'stay at Birmingham. Mr.Poxon then vacated thechair, and Mr. Wittaker was called upon to occupy it. Councillor Crowther then moved a vote of thanks to the chairman for the pleasing manner in which he had conducted the business of the meeting. When the motion was put to the meeting, it was met by the strongest marks of approbation. Mr. Poxon then came forward aud said,'4 Dear brethren, I thank you sincerely for your kindness. 1 came amongst yon a stranger, and you took me in; on all occasions you have been kind to me, very kind, aud more than kind. Oh, there is a balm in Christian sympathy! and when I reach the e»d of the journey of life, I shall look ba.-k on this scene of my ministerial labours as a bright and sunny spot in the laudscape of my existence; and believe- ine sincere in saying, that it is the prevailing desire of my heart to live aud die with you." The reverend gentleman then sat down amidst loud and continued acclamations. After the benediction was pronounced the as sembly broke up, animated with the hope that when days and years are past lhey woald all meet in heaven. Mr. Hessey, organist of South-street chapel, presided, and in a very talented and masterly style executed some of the mo«t difficult music. The tone and tune of the organ are of a very superior character, and reflect the greatest eredit on the judgment and skill of Mr. Jones, the builder. The cost of the organ is £150, and it is inclosed in a case of Corinthian order (originated by Mr. F. Newbery), beautifully executed and richly gilt. The collections abovenamed, with the surplus of the bHzaar and subscriptions, have served to defray the entire expense of the organ and necessary alterations.
ON PROVIDENT SOCIETIES.
(2'o the Editor.) My Dear Sie,—Having, as jou are aware, for many years taken a deep interest in everything relating to benefit or friendly societies, I feel it my duty to reply to the letter of " A Local Preacher" in your December number, aud also to
your owu remarks on the formation of a Connexional institution.
You "believe the establishment of a Connexional sick and burial society to be quite practicable." So did the writer and a few other friends in 1819. I regret, however, to state that subsequent experience proved our expectations on this subject to have been fallacious. The necessity for such an institution was proved by the fact that some of onr poor brethren were then subsisting on charity, owing to the failure of sick-clubs with which they had been connected for a lung period of life, and on the funds of which they had depended for assistance in their declining years. To remedy this evil the brethren to whom Ireferresolved to promote the establishment of a provident society on sound and equitable principles, and to confine it exclusively to the members and friends of our own community. With this view they employed Mr. Finlaison, the Government Actuary, and one of the most competent authorities of the day, to construct a set of tables so calculated as to provide against every contingency in life.
This was accomplished at an expense of about £-">0.
A very comprehensive code of rules was compiled with great consideration and care, and which were subsequently certified by J. Tidd Pratt, Esq.
A considerable number of tracts were issued, proving the insecure position of nearly all the existing benefitsocieties and secret orders, and the causes which had produced the ruin of thousands of such associations which had then ceased to exist.
The above publications were forwarded in the book-parcels to several of the leading Circuits, with a request that the same might be circulated. All our principal friends were corresponded wilh, and solicited to aid the institution by becoming directors or trustees. Yet all these efl'orts proved abortive. After this statement of facts, I leave it to you and "A Local Preacher" to judge how far it is practicable to establish a Connexional sick and burial society.*
* We believe that both onr principal friends and our ministers are behind no denomination in their desire to promote philanthropic institutions; but the subject was brought before the Connexion at a time of the most grievous commercial distress. Wc remember that durinff that period it required the constant attention of both ministers and wealthy friends to preserve numbers of our own poor members and still greater nnmbers of the general poor from absolute starvation. While we say this in
When, however, it was found impossible to accomplish this, the friends who had originated the movement determined to extend the basis of the contemplated association and throw it open to the public. They immediately succeeded in forming a highly respectable board of directors, including several clergvmen of the established Church, and those of our own friends who had consented to act. The society was launched under the designation of the Equitable Provident Institution, the objects of which are:
A weekly allowance iu sickness from 2s. (id. to 12s. Sums at death of from £5 to £:»00.
Pensions iu old age.
Endowments for children and adults.
Medical advice and medicines.
The amount of success up to the present time has been, iu the judgment of the writer, more than equivalent to the limited efforts which have been put forth to extend the principles of the society. The directors have practised the most rigid economy, and the writ«r believes that no similar institution has ever been founded for anything like the same limited amount of expenditure. It was resolved by the Board to proceed slowly and increase gradually, rather than by a large outlay to obtain a rapid accession of members.
The Equitable Provident Institution is now firmly established; it numbers 000 members, and is receiving daily accessions.
Branch societies exist in two or three provincial towns in the north of England, aud I would strongly recommend "A Local Preacher" to set about the formation of one in his own Circuit. The directors are prepared to establish branch associations at their own expense, wherever Twenty persons are willing to enrol themselves as members.
It wouH not be possible to secure for any Connexional institution superior advantages over those possessed by the Equitable Provident, aud therefore I regard a separate society as being Now altogether unnecessary. The tables are lower than those of other societies founded on similar principles; the direc
justicc to our ministers and friends, we feel bound to add that great praise is (hie to Mr. Bates and other benevolent friends for the sacrifices they have made both in time and money to work out into a safe and practicable shape an institution which promises to do much good, and the advantages of which we, recommend to the consideration of our friends throughout the Connexion.—El>.
tors having considered it of greater importance to a working-man that he be able to secure a certain advantage by the payment of a lower rate of premium amply sufficient to cover the risk than by the payment of a larger sum to provide a bonus at some distant period.
Every means has been taken to make the institution what its name imports, an "Equitarle Provident Institdtion." Its rules provide that, in the event of a member being out of employment, the payment of subscriptions may be suspended without incurring fines, so that a temporary illness may not necessitate the loss of membership; or if in the course of a few years a member should find himself unable to continue his contributions, whatever he has paid will bo valued and returned in money, or he may retain his membership and receive such benefits as the amount he has paid will purchase.
Females are admissible as members. No meetings are held at public-houses.
Persons may insure for any one or all the advantages offered by the institution. The government of the institution is under the entire control of the members. Existing beneiit-societies may unite their interests with this institution.
My object, however, is not so much to point out the advantages in detail of the Equitable Provident Institution* as to show that a ConuexioDal society is not practicable, and that the establishment of this institution has rendered such an association unnecessary.
I remain, dear Sir,
* The rules and tables, price 2d., may be obtained, through any bookseller, of Houlston and Stoneraan, Patcrnostcr-row, where also may be had "Are Friendly Societies, Secret Orders, &c, Safe?" price 1 \A.
MEMOIRS AND RECENT DEATHS.
DEATH OF THE REV. JOHN HILTON. Our community is called to sustain another loss in the death of our universally-beloved brother and minister the Rev. John Hilton. Words cannot express the shock we felt on opening the following note from our esteemed brother, the Rev. C. Ward of Stafford :—
My Dear Sie,—It is my very painful duty to inform you that the Rev. J. Hilton is no more. He expired yesterday morning, after dressing and walking down stairs to breakfast! His end was rather sudden, although I had been expecting it some days. His expiring moments were characterized by eminent peace and confidence in the Saviour. May God sustain his sorrowing partner, and protect his fatherless children! No time for more. Yours very affectionately,
It was only a few days before this we had received from Mr. Hilton the interestingand soul-stirring article on "Working for God," which appears in the present number of our Magazine. We had, indeed, no hope of our brother's recovery, but from the vigour of mind displayed in that
article and the physical strength necessary to write it, we thought it probable he might be spared a few months longer. But he is gone— gone to his glorious reward; his pure spirit is translated from its shattered and suffering tenement to its eternal mansion above. We feel the loss— language cannot express the sense of loss we feel in his removal; but our loss is his eternal gain! Our beloved brother was no ordinary character, either in intellectual power or religious principle and attainment. To a naturally vigorous and well-cultivated mind he united sterling integrity of principle, sincere and elevated piety, deep humility, ardent zeal for the divine glory, sincere love for his brethren in the ministry, and strong attachment to the Connexion. May the removal of one so excellent in character and in the noon-tide of life quicken us all to increased devotedness and zeal! His example, and his dying words, summon us to "work while it is day!"
RECENT DEATHS. Died, on Friday, the 14th of Nov., 1851, aged sixty-seven years, Mrs. Hilditch of Fenton, in the Longton Circuit. In early life her mind was brought under the influence of serious impressions and convictions; and about forty years ago she united herself with us as a mem ber of the Methodist New Connexion. During the whole of this long period she has been distinguished by an exemplary deportment; and although her reserved and retiring habits prevented her occupying any prominent position in the Church, a gracious Providence favoured her with the means and the disposition liberally to aid in circumstances of pecuniary difficulty. Her general experience was considered sound and scriptural, having obtained redemption through tho blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins. For many months she suffered much affliction of body, which prevented her from a regular attendance on religious ordinances; but, her sufferings were borne with Christian resignation, aud we doubt not, she has Row, through Christ, taken possession of a "house above, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." On one occasion, a few days before her death, she said to me, " How unworthy I feel! but my hope is in Christ." And then, with considerable emotion, she added, " He is my Saviour, and I cannot doubt but he will save me to the end."
J. Howard. Died at Hartley, Blyth Circuit, Nov. 20th, Jane Dickenson, aged ninety-five years. She had been a member of the Society from the commencement of our cause in Hartley, and a sinoere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ for a considerable period before that time. Through a long life of varied troubles and toils, religion had been her comfort and strength. Those who best knew her character can bear testimony to the simplicity and uniformity of her Christian profession.
The sickness which hurried her to the tomb was of short duration, but she was prepared for the result, and calmly resigned her spirit into "rest."
J. Ramsden. On Sabbath morning, Nov. 23rd, 1851, our late brother, John Settle, entered into the joy of his Lord, in the seventyfifth year of his age. He was brought to a knowledge of the truth in the year 1811, nnder a sermon preached by the Rev. T. Bosher, from John xiv. 1—3. He immediately joined our Society and continued a member until his death. Our deceased brother was decidedly attached to the Connexion, stood by it in times of difficulty, loved its ministers, valued its ordinances and enjoyed its privileges. As a prayer-leader, Sabbath
schaol teacher and class leader he was distinguished for punctuality and perseverance. His religious experience was rich, and his communion with God delightful. His faith in Christ as a Saviour was unshaken, and in death he found him precious. His end was peace. Dewsbury, Dec. Wth. 3. H.
Died Nov. 20th, aged forty-seven, of consumption, Sarah Hand, a member of our sister Heath's class. During the whole of her lengthened illness, she manifested unshaken confidence in the Saviour, a confidence giving rise to a serenity, a joy, a holy triumph which Christian friends who visited her were delighted to witness. A corresponding spirit of patience and submission was displayed throughout the period of her illness. When her voice could but just be heard, it expressed ber joyous anticipation of a better world, and the mention of the Redeemer whom she was shortly to see in glory lighted up with rapture her dying eye. "To die is gain." Newcastle^under-Lyvie. G. G.
On the 22nd November, 1851, Ann Elkington, of Pendleton, departed this life in the (iOth year of her age, and with the prospect of eternal life in heaven.— T. C.
William, Sou of the late William Fletcher of Adwalton, Dewsbury Circuit, whose memoir appeared in this periodical December, 1847, died in the Lord July 16th, 1849, in the 21st year of his age. He had been a consistent member of our Society about seven years; and, while health would permit, he was a diligent labourer in the Sabbath-school; but his weak body was borne down by lingering affliction and was not able to contain his vigorous and intelligent mind. He was a scholar of no mean order. He was the subject of severe affliction for the last ten years of his life, but was able to follow his vocation till the last few months, when he was chiefly confined to his room. Though not able to speak much, the language of his soul was, " Christ is precious." A short time before hisdeath, on being asked by his leader, Mrs. Ann Gledhill, if he had any fears of death, he calmly answered, "No." His soul was cast on the Redeemer, and through him death had lost his sting and the grave its victory. He bore his afflictions with Christian-like patience and fortitude; never was a murmuring word known to escape his lips, even in his keenest sufferings. His death, like his life, was distinguished by a calm resignation to the divine will. He had "respect unto the recompence of reward." "Let me die the death of the righteous, audlet my last end be like his."
Adwalton, Dec. 20. J. F.
Died, December 1, 1831, John Griffith of Pmymynydd, in the 03th year of his age. Our brother was brought to God at the age of twenty, from which time to the time of his death he held fast not only his profession but the things he professed. For thirty years he sustained the office of class-leader with credit to himself and profit to his members. His upright and consistent conduct secured him the esteem of his brethren iu
the Church, aud the confidence of his neighbours in the world. The high esteem in which he was held was seen in the large number of weeping friends who followed him to the grave, and the still larger number who were present at the improvement of his death. His death was sudden and unexpected, but full of peace and hope. I believe our departed friend is gone to glory, and I should like to follow him there.
THE BRITISH BANNER. We beg to call the attention of our friends to an advertisement of the Biilith Banner on the thir.i page of our wrapper. The talent, the independence, the Liberal principles, the catholicity, and the public spirit of this journal, give it strong claims upon the support of all enlightened and large-hearted Dissenters. While we are thus free to acknowledge the general merits of this paper, we cannot forget the good service which it has generously and repeatedly done for our own community. Its pages are always open either to report our operations or defend our- principles, and we hesitate not to affirm, that there is no metropolitan journal which has done towards us equal justice and exhibited the same degree of liberality to us as a religious denomination. We therefore cordially reeommend it to our friends.—Ed.
Another Revolution In France.— This unhappy country seems destined to a perpetual series of sanguinary revolutions. On Tuesday, Dec. 2, Louis Napoleon accomplished the coup d'etat which, it is supposed, he had long been meditating. He dissolved the National Assembly and the Council of State, de clared Paris in a stote of siege, and concentrated in himself the whole power of the nation, under pretence of enlarging the franchise of the people and curbing the despotic tendencies of the Representatives. As might be expected, this tyrannical assumption met with resistance, and blood has again flowed in the streets of Paris. Hundreds of the people have been shot by the soldiers. Time alone will reveal what will be the result of the present arbitrary movement.
Eaethquake. — The Impartial de Smyrne, in its correspondence from Salonica, has melancholy accounts of an earthquake at Berat. We learn that a part of the fortress had been thrown down and 400 soldiers buried in the ruins. Some days after the catastrophe, and after great exertions, their lifeless bodies were withdrawn from the ruins, and their numbers ascertained. About 300 house-, two mosques, and a church suffered considerably, and many are no longer habitable. The Governor of Yanina sent tents and assistance to the remainder of the soldiers iu garrison
there. Among Christians and Mussulmans, 800 persons are missing, but it is as yet unknown how many among those have been lost, or how many have sought safety in flight.
Five Hundred Persons Destroyed Ry A Water-spout.—On Saturday week intelligence was received, under date Malta, Monday, 8th instant, of a most awful occurreuce at the Island of Sicily, which had been swept by two enormous w:iter-spouts, accompanied by a terrific hurricane. Those who witnessed the phenomena describe the water-spouts as two immense spherical bodies of water reaching from the clouds, their cones nearly touching the earth, and, as far as could be judged, at a quarter of a mile apart, travelling with immense velocity. They passed over the island near Marsala. In their progress houses were unroofed, trees uprooted, men and women, horses, cattle and sheep, were raised up, drawn into their vortex, and borne on to destruction. During their passage rain descended in cataracts, accompanied with hailstones of enormous size and masses of ice. Going over CasJellamare, near Stabia. it destroyed half the town, and washed 200 of the inhabitants into the sea, who all perished. Upwards of 500 persons have been destroyed by this ter rible visitation, and an immense amount of property, the country being laid waste for miles.