In public meetings or anniversaries of a religious or a benevolent character, the custom in regard to resolutions is essentially different from that laid down in the foregoing. In these meetings it is usual, immediately after the organization is effected, to present a report of the past year's proceedings, which is read by the Secretary, or the chairman of the Executive Board. After this the resolutions are brought forward singly, by different gentlemen present.
A gentleman will rise, address the Chair, offer his resolution, and proceed with his remarks. When he has concluded, another speaker will rise and say, "Mr. President, I second the resolution just offered," and then go on with his address. On the conclusion of his remarks, the President will say, "The following resolution has been moved and seconded, - it will be read by the Secretary," - and being so read, the Chairman, finding the meeting prepared for a vote, proceeds to put the question. This course is pursued with all the principal resolutions offered.
This is a beautiful mode of doing business, and prevails, very generally, at all large anniversary meetings in England, as well as in this country. The plan affords an excellent opportunity for bringing systematically forward, a large number of speakers, and greatly adds to the interest of a meeting.
To carry out this design in the most effective manner, it is necessary that all the business proposed to be acted upon, should be arranged some time before the meeting. Those expected to address the meeting, should be furnished, some time in advance, with a copy of the resolution upon which they are desired to speak. It is exceedingly improper to defer this matter until the speaker is upon the platform, as without some previous knowledge of the particular point assigned him, he may find himself almost wholly at a loss, the current of his thoughts having taken another direction. This caution is also necessary in order to prevent two speakers from falling into the same train of argument. Sometimes the committee of arrangement request speakers to prepare resolutions for themselves.
When these matters are previously arranged, it is customary to have the order of exercises, resolutions, names of speakers, etc, printed on a slip, and distributed among the meeting.