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Paid Rev. E. L. Bascom, preaching at Sa-
50,00 6 printing and binding tracts,
HENRY Rice, Treasurer.
Boston, May 26, 1835.
The following letter from the Rev. J. Whitman, resigning his office as General Secretary, was read.
Boston, May 26th, 1835.
GENTLEMEN, - Having received an invitation to become the Pastor of the Second Unitarian Society in Portland, Maine, and believing that the labors of a pastor will better comport with my health, than those of my present situation, I hereby tender my resignation of the office of General Secretary of the American Unitarian Association.
VOL. VIII. - NO. XCV.
I deem it my duty on retiring from this office, to express my deep conviction of its importance, and my earnest hope that there may be no difficulty nor delay in obtaining some one to enter upon its duties.
With gratitude for the happiness enjoyed in my connexion with you as one of your number, and with sentiments of personal esteem, I am, Gentlemen, very truly yours,
On motion of Rev. Mr. Sewall of Danvers, the thanks of the Association were voted to Rev. Mr. Whitman for his services, as General Secretary.
On motion of Rev. Mr. Muzzy of Cambridgeport, a special committee, consisting of Rev. Messrs. Muzzy, Walker and Briggs, were appointed to confer with the Executive Committee in regard to supplying the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of the General Secretary.
The time for the public services in the church having arrived, it was voted, on motion of Rev. Mr. Gannett, that the choice of officers be deferred until Wednesday, at 12 o'clock, and that when the Association adjourn, it adjourn to meet at that time.
At half past seven o'clock, the Association proceeded to the Federal Street Church. Prayers were offered by Rev. Henry Colman of Deerfield. The Annual Report of the Executive Committee was read by the General Secretary of the past year.
TENTH ANNUAL REPORT
The circumstances under which the Executive Committee present their Tenth Annual Report, are peculiar and require a peculiar course of remark. During the past year the Association has employed a new instrument for the accomplishment of its objects. The General Secretary has been engaged in the active discharge of the duties of his office. The attention, therefore, of the community will be directed to one point, and all will earnestly desire to learn the course which has been pursued and the amount of good which has been accomplished, in order to form some estimate of what may be expected from this office. This desire is natural and
It should be met with a full and explicit answer.
The duties of the General Secretary have been divided into two distinct classes, those of a Resident and Corresponding Secretary, and those of a travelling Missionary and Agent. In the discharge of the first division of his duties the General Secretary has commenced several different classes of correspondence.
1. In the first place, he has endeavored to open a correspondence with all Auxiliary Associations. This correspondence has related to the history and condition of these Associations; to the best means of enlarging their numbers and increasing the amount of their contributions; to the manner in which the tracts have been received, and the estimation in which they are held, and the good which they are thought to have accomplished ; to the wants of the community in this respect, and the subjects upon which it is most important that tracts should be prepared ; and, finally, to the best means of keeping alive the interest of the individual members, and strengthening the sympathy which is desirable between the Parent Association and all its Auxiliaries. It has been the object of this correspondence to ascertain, as accurately as possible, the peculiar wants of the community, that so the operations and exertions of the American Unitarian Association might the better meet and supply them, and to learn the causes which have operated, either to increase or to diminish, the usefulness of these Auxiliaries. In most cases answers to these letters have been promptly returned. From the answers which have been returned it is ascertained, that the majority of the Associations are in a flourishing condition, while others have languished. In some, occasional meetings are held for consultation upon the objects of the Association, and for religious intercourse. And the testimony in regard to these meetings is, that they serve to excite and keep alive the interest of the members. In other cases, there is not even the form of an organization. The members are simply subscribers to the tracts as to a periodical publication, having an agent to transact their business. In such cases the interest has generally languished, and the number of subscribers has gradually diminished. From this correspondence it has been ascertained that the tracts, which have been published during the past year, have been well received, that some of them have been regarded as peculiarly adapted to the wants of the times, and have given
high satisfaction. Much has also been learned from this correspondence in regard to the particular subjects which more especially demand attention, and the peculiar style best adapted to the tastes of the community. And this information is precisely the kind which the Committee desire to aid them in their efforts. From the advantages attending the bare commencement of this correspondence high anticipations may be indulged as to its future good influences when it shall have become more frequent and full.
2. In the second place, a correspondence has been commenced with the different clergymen of our faith throughout the land. This correspondence has related to the history and condition of their respective societies. One object has been to obtain, if possible, an accurate statistical knowledge of our denomination, and to mark the visible progress which we have made from year to year. A second object has been, to learn from the clergymen
in different parts of our land, if there were openings in their respective regions favorable to the promulgation of our views, and to obtain the names and address of individuals, in such places, with whom correspondence might be opened. A third object has been, to call the attention of every clergyman in the denomination to the wants of the community in regard to the supply of the pulpit, and to the best means of meeting these wants. This correspondence has only been commenced. But a small number of the clergymen have been written to. In most cases prompt and full answers have been received. Much information has been obtained. And it is confidently believed that a correspondence of this kind, if judiciously conducted, may be of much advantage.
3. A third division of this correspondence embraces