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THE HOME MISSIONARY.
Go,............PREach the GOSPEL............ Mark xvi. 15.
Our readers will excuse the absence of our usual selection of intelligence for our month. ly concert, which we omit the present month, in order to make room for a more extended notice of the Sixth Anniversary of the American Home Missionary Society.
SIXTH ANNIVERSARY. The American Home Missionary Society held its sixth anniversary, in the Chathamstreet Chapel, New York, on the evening of Wednesday, May 9th, 1832. The Hon. Stephen Van Rensselaer, LL. D., President of the Society, took the chair, and the meeting was opened with prayer by the Rev. Thomas M'Auley, D.D. LL.D., of Philadelphia.
The President made the following opening*
ADDRESS. The success which, under God, continues to attend the various institutions of Chris. tian benevolence, in our country, places all under peculiar obligations to the Giver of all good. With what gratitude and praise should we regard the bountiful Author of our mercies, when each succeeding year adds new testimonies to his loving kindness, and to his watchfulness over the interests of his church. The friends of Home Mis. sions, are under special obligations to the King of Zion, for the success which has fol. lowed their efforts: they have encouragement to persevere, and to enter upon the operations of another season with renewed zeal, and awakened energy. It is my object, briefly to notice some of the encouragements which are presented to the friends of home missions to persevere in sending the living messenger to the des. titute churches.
The first sign, is the great good which has been achieved. Our society has been in operation for six years; and, within that short period, has supplied with the stated ministrations of the word, many churches, which else would have been without pastors. It has afforded timely assistance to many others, benevolently co-operating with them in their exertions to maintain public worship in their sanctuaries. In this manner an amount of good has been accomplished, which eternity alone will disclose. The num. ber of churches thus relieved and supplied, during the year which is now past, is 745; and the number of ministers employed to labour in these different churches, 509. With sach truly gratifying results, how much encouragement have the friends of our cause to persevere.
The second sign is the gradual increase of means, and a corresponding enlargement of our operations, which have regularly taken place in cach succeeding year. This will be seen by the Report. Whilst we continue to receive such pleasing and substan. tial evidence of the approbation of the Christian public, we have reason to rejoice.
Another great encouragement is, that God's blessing has been specially manifested in various ways. Not only has the God of all grace enabled us to enlarge our plans of usefulness, but has watered with spiritual blessings, many portions of his vineyard, which we have been permitted to superintend. Many revivals of religion have follow. ed the labours of the ministers we have employed, and many members have been added to the church of Christ. The number of revivals the past year was 187, and the num. ber of communicants added, 7490.
If, then, we are allowed to interpret the indications of God's providence as the mani. festations of his favour, how much cause have the friends of Home Missions to re. new their strength, and to persevere! The principles on which our ciety is founded, affords us much encouragement to proceed. It is free from that rigid sectarianism, which too often obtrudes into measures and plans of benevolence of every kind. That Christians who think alike on fundamental points, should refuse to co-operate and act
together in the good work of advancing the cause of the Redeemer, is truly lamentable. We conceive it clear, that Christians who agree on all essential articles of faith, can accomplish more by union and active concert, than by separate associations. Nothing is more injurious to any church, than that feeling which would perpetuate sectarian di
. visions within the walls of Zion, and introduce a spirit not characteristic of the gospel. Let every one, however, be fully persuaded in his own mind let us continue to act on the same principles which have hitherto governed our conduct. They are principles which the Christian community will one day more fully embrace.
Another encouragement is, that the home missionary cause is closely connected with the future prosperity of the church. It is in vain that we have churches, unless we have ministers to perform the solemn duties of the sanctuary. The preached word is the great means which, under God, is made effectual to the salvation of souls. Without the stated ordinances of the Gospel, Zion can never prosper. It is this important means of proclaiming the offers of salvation, that the Home Missionary Socie. ty undertakes to afford. The importance of its object, ought to encourage all its friends to come forward with increased zeal, and aid in its work of benevolence. The cause of our Master appeals to us for support, and shall we not answer the appeal by the vigour of our future efforts !
The last motive I shall mention, as urging us to persevere in our efforts to supply destitute churches, is the fact that so much remains to be done. The friends of Home Missions have a wide field open before them; their labours are but just begun. There cannot be less than 1500 churches in the three denominations of which this Society is composed, who have no means of enjoying the ordinances of the Gospel. What a powerful inducement to a Christian community to come to the help of the Lord, and io build up the walls of Jerusalem! Let us derive encouragement instead of feelings of despondence! May this spirit animate our zeal, and let the operations of the Society another year, testify that they discerned the “signs of the times.
The Treasurer's Account, with the certificate of the Auditor, was read by Mr. Knowles Taylor, Treasurer. The whole amount of receipts during the year, ending May 1st, 1832, $50,299 25. Expenditures, $52,808 39. Balance against the treasury, $2,509 14. The Corresponding Secretary then read the
Of which the following is an abstract. The year to be reviewed, at the present || sued with greater energy, with larger preanniversary, is distinguished in the an. paration, and more glorious success, than nals of the world. It has been, at once, ever before. While the enemy has come an “acceptable year of the Lord,” and a in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord has “day of vengeance of our God." Even || lifted up a standard against him. This our own republic has been moved with || has come to pass, not only in the increas. conflicts, which have led some of little ed energy and extension of benevolent faith, to predict its disruption, while, in efforts throughout Christendom, for the the older nations, thrones have tottered, conversion of the world, but especially in and political structures, whose walls had the new and extraordinary manifestations been cementing for ages, have been rent of the power of the Holy Ghost, in the by convulsions, which have agitated the revival of religion in the churches of the whole fabric of civil society.
United States. The moral world, also, has been moved It is estimated, that two thousand with conflicts of high, and decisive, and churches, of different denominations, in momentous bearing. On the one hand, the United States, have been visited with infidelity of every grade has been com. revivals of religion, within the last twelve bining its energies with the mighty pow. | months, and that not less than one hun. er of “the man of sin,” the “son of per- | dred thousand souls have been converted. dition,” to roll back the car of salvation. || Here is exhibited the brightest aspect of On the other, the faith of Christians has the providential government of God over fastened, with
than its former | this world. And here has been especially strength, upon the promises of God to his felt the influence of the AMERICAN HOVE people; and the great enterprise of re. MISSIONARY Society. While the field of claiming the whole world to the rightfulll its operations has been much enlarged, dominion of the Saviour, has been pur. ll and the number of its missionaries in.
VIVALS OF RELIGION.
creased, it has been chosen of God, as the || sum, which, after due inquiry, has seemed instrument of salvation to many souls. sufficient to enable the congregation aided, So sigual, in this respect, have been its to sustain the minister of its choice; and triumphs, that the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, so strict has been their adherence to this in presenting their Sixth Annual Re-rule, that the support afforded to most of Port, would not feel that they had duly | the missionaries, in their arduous labours, honoured the divine grace, which has ac. || has been such as would have been com. companied their operations, should they || plained of, as inadequate, by any but selffail to designate the year which is nowdenying men, who count it a privilege to past, as characteristically a YEAR OF RE- make sacrifices to preach the Gospel to
the poor. But, notwithstanding the stu. (Here follows, in the Annual Report, || died economy of the Committee, the in. the alphabetical list of Missionaries, Con. crease of missionaries has required a cor. gregations, &c., which are omitted in this respondent increase of expenditures. The place.)
amount actually paid out from the treasu. Whole Number of Missionaries, g-c. ry during the year, including office rent, From the preceding details it appears,
Secretary's salary, and all the incidental that the whole number of missionaries, expenses of the Society, is $52,808 39, and agents employed by this Society du- / which is more, by $5,550 79, than the ring the year, is 509; and the number of payments of the previous year. Yet, this congregations and missionary districts,
amount distributed among 509 missiona. aided in their support, 745. Or the mis|ries and agents, would divide the average sionaries and agents enumerated, 351
sum to each of only $103; and, deducting were in commission at the commence. If the amount paid to several agents, and to ment of the year; a large proportion of a number of missionaries in distant and whom have been reappointed, and are still frontier stations, who derive almost their in the service of the Society. The re
whole support from the Society; it affords maining 158 have been new appointments, not more than about $100 for each year during the year, making, in all, 509.
of ministerial service actually performed. Extent of Fields, and amount of Labqur || large in comparison with the payments of
The amount expended, therefore, though Performed.
former years, is small in comparison with Of the whole number, thus employed, the increased number of missionaries ern. 317 are settled as pastors, or are employed | ployed, and of congregations aided, and as "stated supplies," in single congrega. smaller still, when viewed in connexion tions; 131 divide their labours between with the glorious results of which we shall two or three congregations; and 31, in- speak in the sequel of this Report. cluding agents, have been employed on larger fields. Thus distributed, the mis-State of the Treasury, and the means of sionaries of this Society, during the year,
replenishing it. have probably preached the gospel, with more or less frequency, to more than
At the commencement of the year, May 700,000 people, and to a large portion of | 11, 1831, there were in the treasury these, their ministry has been constant. $877 13. This was the whole amount of The amount of ministerial labour reported
our stock in hand for the enterprise before as performed within the year, in the ser.
At the same time, the Committee vice of this Society, is 361 years and 5 || and agents, then in the field, to the amount
were under engagements to missionaries months.
of $36,785, which they were bound to Amount of Erpenditures. pay within the year. Thus destitute of To sustain these extended operations, resources, excepting in the confidence of eren on the strictest plan of economy, the co-operation of the Christian public, has required a large pecuniary expendi- and the manifested favour of God, they ture. To diminish as much as possible entered upon their work, as they had done this amount, the Committee have made in former years, trusting only in the bless. their appropriations with the utmost cau- | ing of him who is head orer all things to tion; and, on a review of their doings for the church.-- That blessing has not been the year, they are convinced that, in most withheld; but the Committee are constrain. cases, their grants have rather been belowed to report, that, during the whole pro. than above the righteous claims of the gress of the year, their faith has been needy upon the bounty of the Christian more severely, and they hope, more profit. public. Their invariable rule has been, to ably tried, than in any former year, in re. appropriate, in each case, the smallest | lation to the pecuniary means of sustain
ing the enlarged and constantly increas. | ceipts of the Society, during the last year, ing operations of the Society. From the as appears from the Treasurer's Report, ilth of May to the 1st of December, the have exeeeded those of the preceding year, disbursements from the treasury were | $2,174 52, and the expenditures have in. $20,236 67, and yet, during that whole creased $5,550 78. This leaves the trea. period, its receipts were only $8,616 29. | sury overdrawn at the present time, This left the treasury, at the latter date, || $2,509 14; and in addition to this, the overdrawn $11,619 88; for which indi- || Committee are under engagements to mis. viduals of the Committee had become per- sionaries now in the field $36,644 50, sonally responsible, that there might be making the whole amount, a part of which no failure in the prompt payment of the is now due, and the whole of which is drafts of the missionaries.
pledged to be paid within the coming Thus embarrassed, the Committee were twelve months, $39,153 64. constrained to pause and deliberate, whether they ought not to withhold further ap. Remarks on the state of the Treasury. propriations, until they should be possessed of the means of going forward in their This is a state of the treasury which, we work, without the necessity of increasing are aware, would be discouraging, were it their own pecuniary responsibility. But, || not for the increasing evidence, in the even under the pressure of this apparent results of its operations, that this Society necessity, they dared not to curtail, in any | is owned of God. But "he that observeth important measure, the operations of the the wind shall not sow; and he that re. Society. The spirit of the enterprise for- | gardeth the clouds shall not reap." What, bade it. Every lesson of their past expe. then, are these shadows of discouragement, rience, and the accumulating and extraor- / while the eternal sun-light of the divine dinary blessing of God upon the labours favour to his own cause is falling upon of the Society's missionaries, forbade it. the eye of faith, and will certainly, in due They therefore commended the cause to time, ripen the fruit of every labour of the
mercy of the Saviour, and determined love? It cannot be that the present defi. to go forward. They invited a meeting ciency in the treasury of $2,509 will be of a number of the friends of the object in permitted to retard the steady advance. the city of New York, before whom, they ment of an enterprise which appeals so exhibited the financial condition of the directly to the interest of our whole coun. Society, and were much encouraged by try, and to the heart of every American their liberal pledges and subscriptions. Christian. There are pecuniary means They also addressed the public through enough in the hands of the friends of this the religious vewspapers, and issued a Society, and ten times more than enough, circular to individuals in different parts of to push on this enterprise to the full extent the country. These were answered by a of the wants of our country; and if we few liberal returns to the treasury, and the have not entirely mistaken the spirit of our agency of the Corresponding Secretary, || holy communion, in the several denomiand the efforts of other agents, began soon nations who have combined to accomplish to be more productive ; and we report, it, there is piety enough to contribute all with gratitude, that the result of a conti. | that may be needed. nued and laborious effort, to the present The Committee, therefore, should they time, has relieved, in some measure, the be longer intrusted with this work, will responsibility of the Committee. The re not hesitate to go forward.
TABLE.-Exhibiting the amount of receipts from each state, the number of congrega.
tions and missionary districts aided, and the number of missionaries employed in each state within the last year, and the amount pledged to each state for the year to come.
Pledged. 7 Connecticut...
5,984 38.... 26.... 25.... 8 Illinois....
3,936 00 9 Michigan Territory.
350 00. 35.
1,458 00 10 Pennsylvania..
11.... 1,004 50 11 Kentucky
45 00 20.... 13.... 905 00 12 Missouri
25.... 12.... 2,455 00 13 Tennessee.
365 00 14 North Carolina
100 00 15 Rhode-Island
3.... 3.... 150 00 16 South Carolina.
67 00 2.... 1.... 40 00 17 Alabama....
40 00. 5.
300 00 18 New Jersey.
100 00 19 Virginia
6 50. 3....
275 00 20 Mississippi.
1.... 1... 21 East Florida...
1.... 1.... 100 00 22 Louisiana... 23 Upper Canada.
80 00 24 Massachusetts.
1. 25 Georgia..
14 00. 26 Delaware.
From this table it appears, that while || for their supply, than they have ardently the operations of this Society have en. || desired. couraged and strengthened the efforts of The whole number aided by this Socie. its Auxiliaries in the older states, to aid ty, west of the Alleghany mountains, the needy within their own bounds respect- since our last anniversary, has been 177 ; ively, the Executive Committee have not || and the whole number employed there, failed to concentrate as much as could be since the organization of this Society, has obtained of the resources of the older been 240; which is nearly one half of the states, both in men and in the means of Presbyterian ministers on that extended their support, to supply the wide spreading | field, embracing eleven states and parts of wants of the western and southern sections | states, with a population of nearly of our country. The state of New
York, | 4,000,000, in several sections of which, for instance, has contributed $14,159 88 || nearly their whole supply has been derived more than has been expended in sustain. || from this Society. In Missouri, there are ing the missionaries and agents within its now 18 Presbyterian ministers, and 13 of bounds; and each of the New England them have been sent there, or aided by the states, excepting Maine, has supplied some A. H. M. S. Illinois has now 32 Presby. thing to our treasury, besides the amount terian ministers, and 23 of them are, or required for the support of their own mis- have been missionaries of this Society, sionaries. This has been appropriated to and 19 are now in commission in that state. the newer and more needy states and ter. Michigan Territory has 18, and 15 of the ritories.
same have been sent there, or aided from In the southern states, it is true, we the same source; and in other large sec. have planted comparatively few labourers. tions of the west, the proportion is nearly The reason is obvious; but few labourers as great. have been found, of suitable qualifications, disposed to remove to those states. The
Results, Committee, therefore, have regarded, with deep solicitude, the claims of their southern But the number of missionaries employ. brethren, while, for the lack of labourersed, of congregations aided, and the amount to be employed, they have done far less raised and expended in their support