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Three main sources of influence upon this man's life may be noted. There was the influence of nature upon his spirit. He was born within sight and sound of the sea. It was the early natural wonder of his childhood and boyhood. It became his playmate and his teacher. It drew to itself his sympathies, and from his earliest years to his latest he was the eager sympathizer with human life upon the sea. The sailor touched his heart with a power that hardly any other representative of his kind possessed. It is obvious to all who knew him that to the influence of the sea upon his young spirit are to be traced, in some degree at least, the breadth of imagination that was his characteristic, the depth and seriousness of feeling, the capacity in him for the light ripples of mirth and the great surges of spiritual passion, the massive substance of his thought and the ever-changing colors and hues of his mode of speech, the stable, abiding element of his character and the perpetual movement of life, the retreat upon the Infinite like the deep withdrawing into the greater deep, and the flow of his spirit like the return of the tide upon the land.
There was the still deeper influence of his early home. In his inborn and cultivated refinement his mother's grace and honor lived again. His father was a man of unusual strength and courage. He had been a sea-captain and to the end of his days was known as Captain Herrick. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian church of his town. On one occasion the preacher happened to be a proslavery advocate, and told the people that they could do nothing better for the black race than build and equip a ship to enter the African slave trade. Elder Herrick rose in his pew while the sermon was being preached, and protested against the preacher's doctrine and sentiments with such vigor that the length of that sermon was mercifully abridged, and with such grace as to retain the friendship of the offending minister. This strong and good man entered into the structure of his son's existence.
Deepest of all was the influence upon him of his own wholesome human home. The secret of a good minister's life is to be found in the fountains of domestic honor. All great character rests upon this human foundation. The prophetic message from the beginning of the world has come in and through family life. The first great revelation of God comes in the vision of the worthy human lover; it is confirmed and
increased in the settled reverence of the husband and father; it is further expanded and touched with a new spirit in the sorrows that hallow and in the hopes that sustain family life and love. The prophet who comes through this discipline in honor and through this sacred possession to the great body of the gathered insight of Christian Faith is a fortunate prophet, and such a prophet was Samuel Edward Herrick.
MAY MEETING, 1907.
The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, at three o'clock, P. M.; the President in the chair. The record of the Annual Meeting was read and approved ; and reports were submitted by the Librarian and Corresponding Secretary.
George Walter Prothero, LL.D., of London, England, was elected a Corresponding Member.
The PRESIDENT, for a Committee appointed by the Council, reported a series of amendments to the By-Laws. The amendments were discussed, and the subject was postponed for further consideration at the next meeting, in accordance with the By-Laws.
The proposed amendments are as follows:
Art. 3. Fifteen members shall be a quorum for all purposes except the election of members, as hereinbefore provided ; and excepting, also, for alterations of the By-Laws, which shall not be made unless twenty persons are present, nor unless the subject has either been discussed at a previous meeting, or reported on by a committee appointed for the purpose.
Owing to the resignation of Mr. Smith, and the appointment of a new Treasurer, handling a much larger body of securities than had been handled by any Treasurer up to the time the present By-Laws were framed, certain changes in them have become expedient. As it is, in the opinion of the Council, desirable, for reasons which will be obvious, that the proposed amendments, if ordered, should take effect at the earliest convenient date, and as they could not be acted upon until October unless proposed and made matter for discussion at this meeting, with a view to their adoption at the June meeting, the Council report the following proposed amendments, and submit them for immediate discussion.
An additional article is proposed in relation to the Treasurer, to be numbered Article 1, Chapter VII., in the following form :
Art. I. The Treasurer shall give bonds to such amount as the Council shall from time to time prescribe for the proper performance of his duties, and to secure the Society from possible loss in connection with the same. The cost of such bonding shall be paid by the Society. The Council shall further make such provision as may be reasonable and proper for payment of a book-keeper or accountant to aid the Treasurer in the performance of his duties.
The articles now numbered 1 of Chapter VII., and 2 of Chapter VII., shall then be respectively numbered Articles 2 and 3.
Articles 5 and 6 of Chapter I. of the present By-Laws read as follows:
ART. 5. Each Resident Member shall pay twenty-five dollars at the time of his admission, and ten dollars each first of January afterward, into the treasury of the Society, for its general purposes; but any member shall be exempted from the annual payment if, at any time after his admission, he shall pay into the treasury one hundred and fifty dollars in addition to what he may before have paid; and all commutation fees shall be funded by the Treasurer, and the interest only used for the current expenses of the Society. Each Resident Member shall be entitled to receive a copy of all the regular publications of the Society, issued after his election, without charge ; and all members who have paid the commutation fee shall be entitled to the privilege of the Library, and to copies of the publications, for life, even should their membership cease by removal from the State or by resignation.
ART. 6. If any person elected as a Resident Member shall neglect, for one year after being notified of his election, to pay his admissionfee, his election shall be void ; and if any Resident Member shall neglect to pay his annual assessment for two years after it shall have become due and his attention shall have been called to this article in the Bylaws, he shall cease to be a member; provided, however, it shall be in the power of the Treasurer, with the consent of the President, to dispense (sub silentio) with the payment of the assessment, whenever, in any special instance, they may think it advisable to do so. who shall be elected a Resident Member shall, when notified of it, be furnished by the Corresponding Secretary with a copy of this Article and the preceding one.
In view of the present financial condition of the Society, it is proposed to revoke both of these articles, substituting therefor the following:
Art. 5. No entrance fee or annual payment shall be required of members, whether Resident, Corresponding, or Honorary, except such as may from time to time be imposed by special vote of the Society.
Art. 6. Each member shall be entitled to receive a copy of all the regular publications of the Society issued after his election without charge.
The Council calls attention to these proposed amendments of the By-Laws, which will be formally notified in the call of the June meeting, and then be submitted for action. Meanwhile the proposed changes are reported for discussion at the present meeting, in conformity with Article 3 of Chapter II. of the By-Laws.
On motion of the Treasurer, it was
Voted, That the income of the Massachusetts Historical Trust Fund for the past year be retained in the Treasury, and applied to such purposes as the Council of the Society shall direct.
The PRESIDENT, in accordance with a vote of the Society at its last meeting, presented and read the following minute :
It is unnecessary to remind the Society that at its Annual Meeting, held here last month, a change took place in the office of Treasurer, our associate Mr. Lord replacing Mr. Smith, who declined a re-election to the position he had held for thirty successive years. In grateful recognition of a tenure of office both exceptionally long and faithful, it was, at a recent meeting of the Council, directed that a memorandum should be prepared and submitted at the present session of the Society which, spread upon its records, should bear testimony to our appreciation of valuable services gratuitously rendered through a period of many years. Naturally I turned back, when complying with this injunction, to the record of the meeting at which Mr. Smith was first chosen to be our Treasurer, — the Annual Meeting of 1877,- held Wednesday, April 11, in the original Dowse room in the old Tremont Street building. To us who participated in the continuous centennial celebrations of those years, 1877 does not seem remote, – indeed “the tumult and the shouting” still linger in