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4 . Every congregation contributing annually not less than one guinea , shall be at liberty to send two , representative members : Officiating ministers of congregations shall be eligible as representatives . 5 . An Anntval General Meeting of the Association shall be holden on the Thursday in VVJiitsun Week .
6 . A Cbuimittee consisting of- ten persons resident in or near London , shall be chosen at the annual meeting , to transact the business of the Association , of whom four , viz . those who shall have g * iven the least attendance at committee meetings , shall he ineligible for one year .
7 . A Treasurer and Secretary shall also he chosen at the general meeting , who shall he added to the Committee . The Treasurer shall receive subscriptions , and make all necessary disbursements on account of the Association , and the Secretary record its minutes , conduct its correspondence , and summon committee and general meetings .
8 . In all meetings of the committee , the presence of five members shall he necessary for proceeding to business . 9 . Alt subscriptions shall he paid in advance , and be considered as due on tfie 1 st of January in each year , and no person shall be allowed to vote at the annual meeting , until his subscription for the current year be paid .
10 . The above Rules shall not he altered except by two-thirds of the members present at a general meeting . Any alterations intended to be proposed to the Society , must be first notified to the Committee at one of its meetings . Mr . Talfourd rose to second the motion .
He felt sure that much would not be necessary , after the observations they had just heard , to impress on the meeting the necessity of forming the Association which had been proposed to them . He had , indeed , hoped that the time had passed for
ever , when Unitarians had to contend , separately from the rest of their dissenting brethren , against the injuries of power \ that they were placed by the legislature on ihe same footing with all others who opposed the established forms , and were only called on to unite with them in the noble
effort to remove every vestige of their common oppressions . He believed that any candid and impartial mind must conceive that the Act called the Trinity Bill went to this length ; that , as it repealed not only the denunciation of penalties , but the clauses by which Anti-trinitartans were
excepted from the benefits of the Act of Toleration , it completely tolerated and protected Unitarian worship , and gave to institutions for the adoration of the Father alone , the opportunity of legal aid , should U become requisite . Had , indeed , the repeal of the provisions against Unitarian *
been- preceded by some prosecution- unite them , it might have been regarded as merely removing a punishment too severe , not as testifying the destruction of a principle . Butj granted as it was without any circumstance tending to bring odium on the particular statute , it could only be regarded as the
abolition of a principle , which the progress of opinion had long rendered merely ludicrous , and on which persecution by the common law , as well as l > y the statute ,. depended . Surely it could not be believed that the legislature would have conceded as a boon that- which they intended us a snare , or
that Unitarians would have earnestly sought the repeal of open and undisguised denunciations which no Attorney-General would have dared to enforce , to encounter mysterious and vague liabilities which Protestant Dissenting Ministers would not blush to revive against them !
They had , however , recently heard it contended , that all foundations for Unitarian worship constituted before the passing of the late bill , cannot be supported ; or , at least , that in ascertaining the will of the founders for the purpose of carrying it into literal effect , courts will decide that they never
designed to support a woi'sbip , at the time regarded a&illegal . This doctrine must excite greater surprise when advanced under the sanction of Protestant Dissenting Ministers , of high talents , influence and piety , whobav 4 i even called on the religious world to bring their charitable contributions to its aid . If
such a construction of the will of a founder were to govern dissenting trusts , it would lead to the strange conclusion that while all else might be progressive , while every other institution might be moulded gently to accord with the advances of the species , while acts of the legislature might ameliorate even the established system , the foundations of Dissenters should alone he
incapable of change ; struck , as it were , by some cold and deadening enchantment , and fixed immoveable , amidst an improved age , the only relics of more barbarous times And this consequence to follow the interpretation of the will of those who first
struggled for free inquiry—« in the principles of whose dissent was the germ of all future changes in opinion however extended , and who had given the first impulse to a progress which their endowments only would thus be suffered to oppose !
But we are further told ( said Mr . T . ) that Unitarians , by the promulgation of their opinions , are still offenders at common law , liable to criminal prosecutions , and that , their institutions , even now formed , are beyond
the pale of legal protection . Tbts doctrine can . only be supported by construing the proposition that " Christianity is part of the law of England , " to mean Christianity as established bylaw . And . to what period of time dot * the prwosilwm refer ?
fatel 2 tffence . ~~> Unitorian Association . 54
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1819, page 51, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1768/page/51/