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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

Prefatory Note

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Prefatory Note.

The title of the following address represents the fact of its differing in man ner from what the speaker is in the habit of delivering to a congregation. Assuming the principle of "a nation's right to worship God," it is a discourse on citizen duty arising from that right. The North Otago Association is of citizens, male and female, banding for the discharge of this duty. Similar associations could be easily formed in other districts of New Zealand; and these in effect would be a National League for the people's deliverance from bondage of secularism. The Committee of this newly-formed Association have arranged for enlisting members within the district, by means of a certificate of membership, granted on payment of the one shilling of entry money for the year. Heads of families might, by so entering others of the household individually, enlist their feelings on behalf of the movement, interesting them in it by giving sensible reality to their individual connexion with it. Female members of Association in a locality might do invaluable service, to a cause in which they have deepest interest, by enlisting members; and for that purpose might be associated with the branch committee in the locality.

There is a thought of publishing, monthly through the year, a pamphlet which, in addition to immediate effect of "educating" citizens for present action, may come to form, in its twelve numbers collectively, a valuable book, illustrating the whole subject of the Bible as an instrument of education, and constituting a "complete armoury," of argument and information, for citizens disposed towards active service in this campaign of liberation from secularistic tyranny. Every number will contain, as leading article, some important paper on a leading aspect of the subject, such as Professor Harper's Melbourne lecture on the Canadian solution of the Bible-in-schools problem; and for completion of every number there is abundant available material in the shape of facts, opinions, reasonings, etc., which can here be collected into a focus.

Such a work would have been most suitably undertaken by a New Zealand League, if there had been a league in readiness for the work. The North Otago Association cannot be reasonably expected to do more in support of the undertaking than to take the periodical for distribution in their own district:—e.g., devoting the one shilling of entry-money to the expense of gratuitous distribution among all members of Association throughout the district. For any other district, the benefit to be expected from the work might be secured by friends of the cause in the district, ordering a quantity, say, not less than twenty, for distribution there, which would be forwarded at the lowest rate found practicable.

Friends of the cause are invited to communicate with the Secretary of the Association.

1st July, 1892.