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the testimony of experience when I say, that in populous and extensive parishes a District Society, rightly organized, is to the Parochial Minister an auxiliary of inestimable worth. Where he once shrunk appalled and almost in despair from the overwhelming mass of vice and ignorance which encompassed him on every side, and 'with which no individual efforts could be competent to grapple, he may be now enabled, through the agency of District Visitors (who receive instructions from him and make reports to him) to pervade with a general superintendence the whole extent of his charge, yet at the same time to concentrate his energies on that portion of his work which cannot be delegated to another—the administration of the Sacraments, and the preaching of the Word, and the pastoral visitation of the sick and dying. In a word, were District Societies as universal in operation as they are scriptural in principle, we might approximate once again, to the bright example of the primitive saints; we might be assimilated to the perfect model of the Apostolic Church; we might realize a portion of that spirit which rested upon the Christian community in its first and best days, when not only “was there not among them any that lacked,” but “great grace was upon them all!”
To treat this subject as it ought to be treated, however, would not only exceed the bounds of a Preface, but overpass the limits of a volume. I shall, therefore, only add my prayer, that the Divine blessing may rest upon this directing plans, which have God for their object, and the eternal welfare of his people for their end: seizin; every opportunity of general and individual good, correcting mischiefs at their first rising, providing for the spiritual wants of every different age and class, and thus striving, as far as may be allowed, to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. - BISHOP OF CHESTER,
humble but sincere attempt to promote the interests of Christian charity; and that the Committee may receive the best recompense of their unassuming but most useful labours in the approving suffrage of those excellent persons by whom they can be best appreciated; those whose principle it is, “ to walk in love, as Christ also hath loved them;" whose practice,“ to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep themselves unspotted from the world."
of our Fellow-Creatures. 32 The Example of Christ in
Grace Bennet, the Blind
t the Blind The Blessings resulting from
The General Utility of Dis Anecdote of the late Rev.
trict Visiting . . . . . 257 Richard Cecil . .... 309