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"Sect. 32. Such moneys may be assessed on the pews in such church or house, and the assessment may be committed to the treasurer, chosen by said proprietors to receive the same; and the treasurer shall forthwith give notice thereof, by posting up an advertisement at the principal outer door of such house, stating the completion of such assessment, and the day of delivery thereof to him; and if said taxes, or any part thereof, remain unpaid for three months, after the posting up of notifications as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the treasurer to collect the same forthwith, by sales at public auction of the pews, whereon the tax or any part thereof shall remain unpaid, in the manner provided in the following sections.
"Sect. 33. When it shall become the duty of the treasurer, to sell any pew for taxes, he shall post up a notification of the intended sale thereof, at the principal outer door of such church or house, at least three weeks before the time of sale, therein setting forth the number of the pew, if any, the name of the owner or occupant, if known, and the amount of the tax due thereon; and if said tax or any part thereof shall remain unpaid, at the time appointed for such sale, the treasurer shall sell the pew, by public auction, to the highest bidder, and shall execute and deliver, to the purchaser, a sufficient deed of conveyance of the same; and the money arising from such sale, beyond the taxes and incidental reasonable charges, shall be paid by the treasurer to the former owner of the pew so sold, or to his as signs.
"Sect. 34. The affidavit of any disinterested person, annexed to any original notification, or to a copy thereof, made before a justice of the peace, and recorded on the proprietor's records, within six months next after such sale, shall be allowed, as one mode of proof of the posting up of the notifications herein before required.
"Sect. 35. Any meeting of the proprietors of a church or house of public worship, for any of the purposes aforesaid, may be called by a warrant from a justice of the peace, granted on application to him in writing, made by any five of said proprietors, which warrant shall be directed to one of the applicants; or such meeting may be called by a notification by the clerk of said proprietors, whose duty it shall be to warn a meeting, on a like application to him; and, in either case, such meeting may be warned by posting up a notification thereof, at the principal outer door of the church or house, fourteen days at least before the time appointed for the meeting.
"Sect. 36. Whenever any such proprietors shall deem it necessary, for the purpose of altering, enlarging, repairing, rebuilding, or removing their church or house, to take down any pews therein, it shall be lawful for them so to do; such pews being first appraised by any three or more disinterested persons, chosen by said proprietors for that purpose; and the pews newly erected, shall be sold by the treasurer of the proprietors, by public auction, to the highest bidder, and deeds thereof shall be given, in like manner as when they are sold for the payment of taxes; and the moneys arising from such sale shall be applied, so far as may be necessary, to paying the appraised value of the pews taken down to the owners thereof; and the deficiency, if any, shall be paid by the proprietors of such church or house, within thirty days next after the sale.
"Sect. 37. Whenever any parish or religious society, being the
owner of any church, meeting-house, or other house of public wor ship, shall deem it necessary, for the purpose of altering, enlarging, repairing, rebuilding, or removing any such church or house, to take down any pews therein, it shall be lawful for them so to do; and, in such case, the like regulations shall be observed, and the like proceedings had, as are provided in the preceding section.
"Sect. 38. Nothing contained in the two preceding sections shall entitle any person to compensation for a pew so taken down, in any case, where such church or house shall have become unfit for the purposes of public worship.
66 DONATIONS AND GRANTS FOR PIOUS AND CHARITABLE USES.
"Sect. 39. The deacons, churchwardens, or other similar officers of all churches or religious societies, if citizens of the United States, shall be deemed bodies corporate, for the purpose of taking and holding, in succession, all grants and donations, whether of real or per. sonal estate, made either to them and their successors, or to their respective churches, or to the poor of their churches.
"Sect. 40. In all cases, where the ministers, elders, or vestry of any church shall, in the grants or donations mentioned in the preceding section, have been joined with such deacons or church wardens as donees or grantees, such officers and their successors, together with the deacons or church wardens, shall be deemed the corporation, for the purposes of such grants and donations.
"Sect. 41. The minister of every church or religious society, of whatever denomination, if a citizen cf the United States, shall be capable of taking, in succession, any parsonage land granted to the minister and his successors, or to the use of the ministers, or granted by any words of the like import, and may prosecute and defend, in all actions touching the same.
"Sect. 42. No conveyance of the lands of any church shall be effectual to pass the same, if made by the deacons without the consent of the church, or of a committeee of the church, appointed for that purpose, or if made by the churchwardens, without the consent of the vestry.
"Sect. 43. No conveyance, made by any minister, of lands held by him in succession, shall be valid any longer than he shall continue to be such minister, unless such conveyance shall be made with the consent of the town, parish, or religious society, of which he is minister, or unless he be a minister of an episcopal church, and shall make the conveyance with the consent of the vestry.
"Sect. 44. The several churches, other than those of the episcopal denomination, are authorized to choose committees, for the purpose of settling the accounts of the deacons and other church offi cers, and, if necessary, to commence and prosecute any suits in the name of the church, against the said deacons or other officers, touching the same.
Sect. 45. The income of any such grant or donation, made to or for the use of any church, shall not exceed the sum of two thousand dollars a year, exclusive of the income of any parsonage lands, granted to or for the use of the ministry.
"Sect. 46. The overseers of each monthly meeting of the people called Friends or Quakers shall be a body corporate, for the purpose
of taking and holding, in succession, all grants and donations of real or personal estate, made to the use of such meeting, or to the use of any preparative meeting belonging thereto; and to aliene or manage such real and personal estate, according to the terms and conditions of the grants and donations; and to prosecute and defend in any action touching the same; provided, that the income of the grants and donations, to any one of such meetings, for the uses aforesaid, shall not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars a year."
IV. The following extracts are made from the New York Statute, entitled "An Act to provide for the incorporation of Religious Societies."
1. "Fifteen days previous to forming a society, notice shall be giv en at the place where worship is wont to be held, of such intention. This notice to be given for two successive Sabbaths.
2. "Two individuals from the society to be formed to be nominated by a majority of the members present, shall preside at such election, receive the votes of the electors, and certify under their hands and seals the names of those elected as trustees.' There shall not be less than three nor exceeding nine trustees.
3. "By such act, the trustees and their successors become a body corporate, and may be so recorded by the county clerk, who is entitled, for the recording of the certificate of incorporation, to seventyfive cents, and no more.
4. "The trustees shall have and use a common seal, and take charge of all temporalities belonging to such society.
5. The trustees shall continue in office three years, but those first chosen shall be divided into three lots, numbered one, two, and three, so that there may be annually a third part of the whole number chosen. A month's notice shall be given when a vacancy is to be filled, and the election shall take place at least six days before the vacancy occurs.
6. "No person is eligible to the office of trustee who has not been a stated attendant on the worship of said society and contributed to its support, for one year previous to his election."
V. CONSTITUTION OF A UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY.
We, the subscribers, feeling desirous to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," do hereby form ourselves into a society, that we may be helps to each other, and that by our united energies we may better serve the purposes of religion and of truth. We cheerfully adopt, and subscribe the following Constitution, as the basis of our government.
1. This Society shall be called the "First, [Second, or Third, as the case may be,] Universalist Society in
2. The object of this society shall be the promotion of truth and morality among its members, and also in the world at large; and as the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, is calculated above all truth to inspire the heart with the emotions of benevolence and virtue, this society shall deem it one of its main objects to support the preaching of the Gospel, according to the society's ability, and to aid in any other practicable way, in spreading a knowledge of it among men.
3. This society adopt, as the basis of its religious faith, the Profession of Belief accepted by the General Convention of Universalists, at its session in Winchester, New Hampshire, A. D. 1803, which is in the following words:
"We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest, and final destination of mankind.
"We believe there is one God, whose nature is love, revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.
"We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected; and that believers ought to maintain order, and practise good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.'
4. Any person sustaining a good moral character, and assenting to the aforesaid Profession of Faith, may be admitted a member of this society, on application to that effect, by a majority of votes, at any regular meeting.
5. It shall be regarded as the duty of every member to adorn the doctrine of the Lord Jesus with a holy life and conversation, to contribute according to his ability, in the manner determined on by the majority, towards the support of public worship, and the other necessary expenses of the society; to attend upon the exercises of the sanctuary, as well as the regular meetings of the society for business; and a habitual neglect of either of these duties shall be regarded as a sufficient reason for striking the name of any member from the roll, by a vote of the majority.
6. This society shall have an annual meeting, which shall be held on the day of ', at such place as the Standing Committee may direct, at which meeting the officers of the society shall be elected, and the sum necessary to be raised, and manner of raising money for the ensuing year, shall be determined on.
[In Massachusetts the annual meeting must be held either in March or April. See section 7, of the chapter before given.]
7. The officers of the society, shall be, 1st, a Clerk, who shall keep a true and faithful record of its proceedings; 2d, a Treasurer, to receive all moneys, and pay them out at the order of the Standing Committee; 3d, a Standing Committee, who shall be the executive power of the society, and 4th, a Board of three Assessors, to apportion all taxes, if the society should see fit to raise money in that
[The Clerk may be sworn by the Moderator; the other officers may be sworn by the Clerk, or by any Justice of the Peace. See section 10.]
8. The meetings of this society shall be called either by a warrant being left at the house of each member, or by posting it at the place at which the society holds its meetings for public worship; and the same length of notice shall be given as is required in calling a meeting of the town in which the society may exist; and the subject matter to be acted upon at the meeting, shall be fairly and fully stated in the warrant, and in the plainest possible manner.
9. Ten members shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a less nuinber may adjourn.
10. This Constitution may be amended in the following manner;
the amendment shall be proposed, and entered upon the Record, and shall lay over till the next regular meeting; when, if assented to by a majority, it shall become a part of the Constitution.
VI. Let it be observed, once for all, that the Constitution and By-Laws of any society must conform to the Constitution and laws of the State in which the society exists; otherwise, they are, of course, null and void. With a due regard to the laws, a society may make any by-laws it sees fit to; and every society has the fullest right to regulate, as it sees best, the admission and expulsion of members.
VII. Having thus marked out the way in which believers may form themselves into societies, we propose to speak in the next instance of Christian zeal. It is of great importance, that every member of a religious society should cherish an enlightened, steady, active zeal. By zeal we do not mean mere animal excitement, the wild-fire of human passion, which, like some combustible material, burns and makes a great light for a few moments, and then expires, and leaves you still more sensible of the surrounding darkness. Christian zeal does not operate in this manner. It is a heartfelt engagedness, a deep and abiding interest, a sense of the importance of the work to be done, an untiring perseverance, accompanied always with the tenderness of love. Such is pure Christian zeal; the best example of which, that the world hath ever seen, we find in the character of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The apostle says, "it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing." Some are afraid to be zealous, lest they shall have a zeal "not according to knowledge; " and hence they are moderate in every thing, and far too moderate in any good thing they undertake. It is surely very wise to be certain that our zeal is according to knowledge; but how shall we ascertain? how shall we determine when we shall be zealous, and when we shall restrain our zeal ? Here is the rule," It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing." Be sure that the object is a good