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TWELFTH ANNUAL BALANCE-SHEET, from 1st January to 31st December, 1877.
£. $. d.
2 2 0
2 2 0
Balance in hand
1 Life Member
4 Life Associates
2 2 0
18 18 0
6 6 0
57 16 4
52 0 0
5 16 4
301 7 0
1,021 13 0
19 10 0
0 11 10
20 14 4
One Year's Dividend on £699. Ss. 70.
New 3 per Cent. Annuities
People's Edition Fund
£1,151 12 11
We have examined the Balance Sheet with the Books and Vouchers, and find a Balance in hand of £1. 8s. 6d.
* Tavested in December, 1877, making now 2787. 88. ld. (see Report, $ 7.)
The Right Hon. the EARL NELSON; had much pleasure in moving, " That the Report of the Council now read be received and adopted, and circulated amongst the members and associates.” In doing so, he wished to express his gratification at the progress which the Institute had made. It was, he said, ore of the glories of the Church of England that she had so nobly come forward, not to check Science, as some Churches had done, but to sanctify it. He condemned the crude deductions of men of science, which were put forward as irrefragable proofs of the absurdity of Revealed Religion. One of the essential works of this Institute was to sanctify Science, and to show that Revelation was in no way antagonistic to modern scientific discovery. He strongly counselled unity among all Christian bodies, for unity was essentially needed to meet the speculations and dogmatism of infidel writers.
Rear-Admiral J. SELWYN, R.N.-I regret to say that although one of the original foundation members, yet I have not been able to be present at any of the previous meetings, having been very much engaged in foreign countries for many years past. I have made myself acquainted with the nature of the report, which is now offered for your approval. While in many other institutions known to me there is a lamentably long list of defaulters, when the arrears of subscriptions come to be read, often amounting to 25 or 30 per cent., I am happy to draw your attention to the fact, that in this Institute the number of those who have not paid their subscriptions for 1877 is only about 3} per cent. of the total number of annual contributors. I think this result is largely due to the exertions of the officers of the Institute, but it is also a most gratifying feature of the Annual Report, as showing the real interest taken in the work of the Society. No test of this feeling is more certain than that of the regularity with which such payments are made, and no result can be more advantageous to the Society in which it occurs. The work which has elicited so solid a commendation has been, during the past year, of a character even more likely to interest large numbers of thoughtful men of all nations than ever before ; since the papers read, and the discussions that have taken place on them, have not only ably confuted much false reasoning on allimportant subjects, but have materially added to the true basis of reasoning, by bringing forward new facts and new explanations of old records. Among the latter I would especially point to the paper on the “Horus Myth,” by Mr. Cooper, most interesting as evidence of the primeral feeling among mankind as to the inevitable necessity to the human race of a Redeemer, however grossly portrayed. The refutation of errors advocated by Mr. Darwin and Professor Tyndal and their followers, ably conducted as it has been, can never possess the abiding interest which attaches to new facts, such as become the best weapons of future controversy. Theories and their authors often perish together, but new facts in each generation make up the true sum of science. To these facts, travellers by sea and land can largely contribute, and I cannot but think, if a wider field of observation were more closely studied, we should advance faster, and along safer tracks than by
generalizing on insufficient premises. As one of these travellers, I hope some day, by the permission of the Council, to contribute something towards the elucidation of the probable causes of the Noachian Deluge. A new fact which I have seen illustrated at another Institution this very day—the microphone-gives to the world the power of microscopic hearing, as it has long had that of microscopic seeing, and if the latter power has led philosophers into some errors of theory, it may be that this new power will correct their views, and bring them more nearly into accordance with truth. Meanwhile, we can scarcely be surprised if there are some in all ages—more and more, it is to be remarked, a minority–who misuse the increments of knowledge, as they are vouchsafed from the Divine Giver of all human science. Approving, then, as I do most heartily, the financial state of the VICTORIA INSTITUTE, and the manner in which the noble work on which it is engaged is conducted have the greatest pleasure in seconding the resolution. The resolution was carried unanimously.
Rev. Principal BOULTBEE, LL.D.-I beg to move “That the thanks of the members and associates be presented to the Council, Honorary Officers, and Auditors, for their efficient conduct of the business of the Victoria Institute during the past year.” If the length of a speech were any measure of one's sense of the importance of a subject, my speech ought to be a very long one. The success of the Institute has been beyond any expectation that might fairly have been raised. This has been due to the wisdom and industry of the managers, amongst whom the honorary secretary deserves conspicuous mention. They have had many delicate and difficult matters to deal with, and their discretion and good judgment have safely carried the Institute through its earlier struggles to its present position of power and usefulness. But experience tells me that a lengthy speech is out of place and out of taste at these annual meetings, as tending to keep us from the leading object of our assemblage, the delivery of the Address from the eminent person appointed to speak. I would therefore only observe that the existence and success of the Institute testify to two facts :-First, our conviction that true science can never be discordant with revelation rightly interpreted-God's voice in nature and in His word must be in harmony ; secondly, that a certain section of men of science are unfairly using supposed scientific discoveries as weapons against Revelation. Instead of the simple endeavour to discover and establish the truth of scientific knowledge, there is a manifest tendency to use imperfectly discovered or doubtful and speculative matters as stones to be thrown at Revelation. To meet and expose this unfairness-to examine and adjust the real bearing to Revelation of that which is known and established - to sift the speculative from the ascertained, is under these circumstances a duty of the gravest nature; and this work has been faithfully and efficiently done by this Institute (ch s).
M. H. HABERSHON, Esq.-I have great pleasure in seconding the resolution so ably moved by Dr. Boultbee. The progress of the Institute in times which have tried every Society, more or less, is a sufficient evidence both of the careful manner in which the executive have managed the affairs of the Institute and of the need of our existence (cheers).
The resolution was carried nem. con.
Rev. ROBINSON THORNTON, D.D.--I rise to express the thanks of the Council for the vote of confidence, for such I presume it may be called, which has been so kindly proposed, seconded, and affirmed. It cannot be denied that the duties of the Council are important, and, as has been said, involve many difficult matters requiring discretion and judgment, and it is not unwelcome to be told that we have acquitted ourselves to your satisfaction in performing those duties. Starting with the grand principle that between Scripture rightly interpreted and scientific conclusions rightly drawn from ascertained facts there can be no opposition whatever, the Institute endeavours to meet the attacks upon Revelation, made in the name of science or philosophy, by investigating the scientific or philosophical grounds upon which those attacks are made, with the view of eliminating such theories and hypotheses as prove baseless. In this work we are careful to keep within our lines as a scientific Society, and neither to trench on theological questions, nor to waste the time of the Institute in airing new hypotheses, however ingenious. We leave theology and speculation to others, and content ourselves with our own definite work; and are glad to find that you see reason to continue that kind confidence which you have hitherto reposed in us as your Council. For the vote of thanks, and the terms in which it has been expressed, I beg to return, in the name of the Council, sincere thanks.
THE ANNUAL ADDRESS.
THE PRESENT POSITION OF CHRISTIANITY AND
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IN THIS COUNTRY.
My LORD SHAFTESBURY, LADIES, AND GENTLEMEN,
My task to-night must be a humble one. I have at all times too little leisure, and I have too little learning, even if I had the general ability, to be able to provide for this annual meeting any such a discourse on the present condition or position of science in relation to philosophy or theology as we have been favoured with in several former years. I have, therefore, shrunk very much from undertaking so responsible a task as that which, notwithstanding, has been forced upon me. Nevertheless, other men-men who could have brought valuable contributions to the literature of the Institute, and whose names would have conferred distinction upon our annual meeting—having proved unable to accomplish what had been expected from them, and there being no one else, as it appeared, to whom the Council could at the present moment resort-no one at least who had not already delivered the Annual Address,--I was obliged to leave myself-under protest, I am bound to say--in the hands of the Council; and, at their risk, hardly with my own proper consent, I shall to-night say what I may best be able in regard to the present position of Christianity and the Christian faith in this country.
There is one thing, I venture to affirm, which can hardly be disputed; viz., that such an association as the Victoria Institute was very greatly needed at the time when it was founded, that its course has been one of marked usefulness and of undeniable success, and that at this moment the relations of Christian faith to philosophy and science are better settled, and at the same time more satisfactory, than for some years past. Ten years ago infidelity was more confident in its tone, notwithstanding all that has since been published in the way of sceptical argument or speculation, than it is to-day. Ten years ago it was not suspected by many how much support Christianity could claim from philosophy, or how powerfully the defenders of Christianity would be able to maintain their contention against the usurpations