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ests of our Church, have given Manchester a new claim to the gratitude of the Synod. The hearty response to the vote of thanks near the close of the proceedings abundantly testified to the truth of these observations.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE SYNOD OF
WHICH MET AT MANCHESTER ON THE 21ST,
4th. Overture anent Barrier Act, from the Presbytery of London.
2d. Overture on the State of Religion | ter; but in these cases I have found Presbywithin the bounds of the Church, from the terial visitation to do good. I have known it Presbytery of Northumberland. in many cases to be a means of reviving re3d. Overture anent Free Church of the ligion in congregations-promoting the supCanton de Vaud, from the Presbytery of Nor- port of the schools, and the preservation of thumberland. the prayer meetings of improving matters in a pecuniary point of view-reviving religion, and promoting its extension, and in every respect proving a blessing to the congregation. How are we to proceed to such a visitation? I conceive that the last part of the overture is essentially necessary in pointing out the steps for the proper management of such visitation. In the matter of the Church at Ulster such steps have been taken. Questions have been formed and printed for the guidance of Presbyteries. Mr. Wilson concluded by moving the adoption of the over
Order of Business for Wednesday.
2. Report of School Committee.
1. Home Mission Report, with relative documents.
The Committee recommend that the House, from ten to eleven to-morrow, should be employed in devotional exercises.
A Committee was then appointed to revise the records of Commission of Synod, and to report.
THE Synod met in St. Peter's-square Church,
OVERTURE ON PRESBYTERIAL
The Synod then called for the overture on
its ordinary Monthly Meeting, and was duly
Inter alia, Agreeably to notice formerly given, Mr. Wilson moved the transmission of the follow overture to the ensuing meeting of Synod,
Mr. FISHER, in seconding the motion, said, Some years ago, before the disruption of the Church of Scotland was contemplated, there was a movement made in some quarters of the Church towards the adoption of some such system; but owing to the state in which parties were at that period it was passed over. Whether the Free Church will carry out that system we cannot at present say; but I have no doubt that, if the Committee be appointed to form some kind of regulation, it might guide the Presbytery in carrying out the measure, and not only would good results follow from it, but congregations which are in good working condition, and many other congregations, might be preserved from falling into such a state as has been referred to.
of our Presbyterian constitution, and closely con-
and and members alike to
After the newly installed Moderator had addressed the House, Professor Campbell resumed his duties as Clerk, and a Committee on bills, overtures, references, and order of business, consisting of the following members, was appointed, viz., Messrs. A. Munro (Convener), Professors Campbell and Lorimer, J. Anderson, Murdoch, Drs. Paterson and Brown (Ministers), and Messrs. Hamilton, Lamb, and Glover (Elders).
The Synod then adjourned to meet in the evening at six o'clock.
EVENING SEDERUNT, APRIL 21, 1846. The proceedings opened with singing and prayer, and reading the Scriptures.
The Clerk of the Synod read the minutes of the morning Sederunt, which were sus
It was moved by Professor Campbell, seconded, and unanimously agreed to:
"That_the_best_thanks of the Synod be given to Professor Lorimer for the manner in which he has discharged the duties of Clerk during the past year."
When the thanks of Synod were conveyed from the chair accordingly,
It was then moved by Professor Lorimer, seconded, and unanimously agreed to:"That the thanks of this Court be given to Professor Campbell, our late Moderator, for his admirable conduct in the chair; and, adding to that, our best thanks for the excellent sermon which he has addressed to us to
Which thanks were given accordingly. The Synod then called for the Report of the Committee on bills, overtures, and the order of business, which was to the following effect-viz., that the following overtures were laid before them, and which the Committee agreed to transmit to the Synod.
1st. Overture on Presbyterial Visitations, from the Presbytery of London.
"It is, therefore, humbly overtured by the Presbytery of London, to the reverend the Synod of the Presbyterian Church in England, to take steps towards the establishment of a system of Presby terial and the of a series of regulations to be followed by the Presbyteries in the discharge of this office."
Which motion, having been seconded, the Presbytery unanimously agreed to transmit the said
Extracted from the records of the Presbytery of
London, by JAMES FERGUSON, Pres. Clerk.
Professor CAMPBELL.-By the simple adop tion of the overture we do not bind ourselves to anything, because a Presbytery has a right at any time to visit any congregation within its bounds. The difficulty will be when the system apparently contemplated in the overture comes to be put into practical operation. I am satisfied that a system of Presbyterial visitations will be productive either of great good or great evil. Such being the alternatives before us, there is the best possible reason why we should proceed with great caution. I am certain, from the state of public feeling amongst us, a Presbyterial visitation will leave no congregation in the condition in which it found it. I therefore repeat, that we should proceed with the greatest circumspection. But still I see no reason to oppose the measure at this stage. By adopting the overture and consenting to the appointment of a Committee to prepare a plan for conducting such visitations we pledge ourselves to nothing. After the Committee has given in its report we are as free as we are now to consider the matter on its merits, and adopt, amend, or alter, or reject, just as appears to us for the glory of God and the good of the Church. I am therefore in favour of adopting the overture and appointing a Committee.
Mr. WATSON.-Moderator, feeling, as I do, a great interest in the prosperity of our chapels, I confess to you that I should approach my congregation with great diffidence if this overture be passed. I should like to have heard something with reference to the second part of the overture-namely, the form of these questions-at this meeting of the
Synod. It would, I should think, be quite possible to prepare something for us by Thursday, from the documents which have been brought forward, and then the matter can be properly considered.
Professor LORIMER.-Moderator, I think that the overture will be the means of effecting much good. Although the Presbytery has the power of visitation, I think it would be well if the Synod would pass the adoption of the overture, and thus take the odium, if such there be, from those of whom it would be said that it had been forced by them upon a congregation, not out of any consideration for their duty to the Church. There should be a series of questions prepared for us. I think the Committee might prepare a series of questions. I am extremely anxious that if any step of this sort should be taken, care should be taken that the advantage of the Church should be mainly kept in view.
Mr. FERGUSON.-Moderator, with regard to the visiting of congregations, I confess that I should not like to be fettered and tied down in such a matter as that. I think that the overture contemplates the adoption of a regular course of visitation, and I also confess that I have been for a great many years strongly in favour of such a system of visitation. I was in favour of it when in the Established Church of Scotland. But whilst I do think that such a system would be found to be of great advantage, I also think that we should proceed with very great caution, and that it will be a very difficult matter indeed to conduct such visitation. We cannot do it
without having a series of questions prepared and examiners appointed; therefore I think that the Committee should be selected with great care. I am quite sure that, owing to the scattered nature of our congregations, it will be found to be a matter of great diffieulty; but if the system be carried out into full effect I have no doubt but that it will succeed.
Mr. COUSIN, of London.-Moderator, we have heard a great deal of the good that may be done by Presbyterial visitation in correcting error in congregations Unquestionably that is a good thing; but in going through a system of Presbyterial visitation we must take care to keep the proper object in view. I take it that the main object of Presbyterial visitation is to ascertain the spiritual state of congregations so far as that is to be done— to preserve whatever is good, and reject whatever is bad-to pray for and preserve the grace of God in the conversion of sinners. This, I take it, is the prime end of Presbyterial visitations, to go and bear each other's burdens-not to condemn each other's errors -not merely to correct each other when wrong, but I trust to encourage those who right, and correct those who have been
Mr. MURDOCH.-Moderator, I am happy indeed to hear what has been said upon this subject. We hear a great deal about the constitutional power of Presbyterial visitation. I do not put it in that light; for I think there is great danger of creating some jealousy. Our people expect a great deal from us, and I think that we ought to redeem the time, for our days are few and evil, and We ought to be active and up and doing; and the very ignorance and differences of opinion and the very difficulties we surround ourselves with will all speak strongly for us hereafter I speak these things with great deference. I have no doubt that the principle, if carried out, would be found to be salutary; but the difficulties of carrying it out are underrated. appointed to suggest
If a Committee were
various topics connected with this matter, and
The overture was then adopted, and the
Professor LORIMER.—Moderator, a Com-
the overture from the Presbytery of Northum-
Alnwick, March 25th, 1846.
The Presbytery of Northumberland being duly met
religion within the bounds thereof was brought
"Whereas among the subjects which come
pleased to take this subject into its consideration
Professor CAMPBELL. -Moderator, I move Anderson, and Dr. Brown (Ministers); and for that purpose, viz:-Messrs. Duncan, J. the appointment of the following Committee Mr. R. Ferguson (Elder).
Professor CAMPBELL.-Moderator, the next business is the Report of the College Committee, with the relative documents.
Professor LORIMER read the following Re-
their second Report, are happy and thankful to be
In some respects the experiment of the second Session was a more trying one than that of the
with suitable powers, or otherwise, as in its
Extracted from the Records of the Presbytery
movement was then, to some extent, diminished; moreover, the Students of the first year had had some experience of the manner in which the classes were conducted, and it remained to be seen whether that had been such as to induce them to renew their attendance: two permanent appointments to chairs had also been made in the interval, and it remained to be ascertained whether these had produced satisfaction and confidence. sion is all the more satisfactory, that it has been mittee consider that the success of the past Sesobtained at a time when this interesting experi
Mr. HUIE.-Moderator, I feel that our time for holding this meeting is now drawing to a close, and if this overture is to undergo any discussion I will not trespass upon the meet-Taking these circumstances into view, the Com ing, but at the same time I beg to say, that I am quite prepared to make the few remarks that I have to offer to the Synod by way of supporting the overture. Moderator, I have been anticipated in much that I was about to say by the remarks which fell from Mr. Cousin.
In fact, the overture with respect to visitations is in many respects parallel. If the Synod sanction an overture like the present I am sure that we will really add to the glory of God and of his Christ. Being but a young member of this Synod, and having great reason to apologize for the
ment of the Church was subjected to a test pecu liarly severe, and when, besides, no inducements of any kind had been held out to encourage Students to come forward.
The Committee feel that it is their first duty on this occasion, after expressing their thankfulness to the Lord, to advert to the important and seasonable aid which the Institu tion has received, during the past Session, from the entrusted by last Synod with the responsibility of providing for the temporary occupation, during the Session now ended, of the Chair of Systematic
Sister-Church in Scotland. were
and Pastoral Theology. Among many eminent with able and accomplished ministers and divines, names in that Church,-a Church so richly blessed
the Committee addressed their application to Dr. Henderson, of Glasgow, and Mr. Hanna, of Skirling; and they cannot but impress upon the Church is indebted to these honoured ministers
manner in which I have introduced this sub-
they complied with the request addressed to for the promptitude and cordiality with which them, and for the great ability, and pains, and
success, with which they discharged the important duties assigned to them. Their Lectures gave the highest satisfaction to the Students, who, it is pleasing to add, did not fail to express to these -gentlemen their sense of obligation for the kindness and the value of their instructions. Nor will this Church soon forget the truly cordial reception which her Deputation received from the last General Assembly of the Free Church, when, setting forth the difficulties she had to contend with in establishing this Institution, and the present slenderness of her resources, they communicated her earnest request that the Assembly would aid her in procuring the temporary services which have just been referred to. The response made to that request was as generous and effective as this Church could have desired; and it will be the pleasing duty of her next Deputation to express her sense of obligation for the seasonable and valuable aid which she has thus received.
Having thus referred to the services rendered to the College by ministers of the Sister Church, the Committee feel bound, at the same time, to express their grateful sense of what the Institution Owes to their own brethren, Professors Lorimer and Campbell, for the faithful and efficient manner in which they have performed the duties of the Chairs of Biblical Criticism and Hebrew, and of Ecclesiastical History, and for the lively interest which they have uniformly manifested in the prosperity of the College.
The Classes were opened, as in the former Session, at the beginning of November, and the number of students who joined then, and in the course of the Session, amounted to 33; of these, however, 6 were compelled to discontinue their attendance soon after commencing it, from finding that it was inconsistent with the duties they owed to certain religious Societies in London, whose agents they were. The number was thus reduced to 27, of whom 16 attended the Theological Classes, and 11 the Preliminary Class for the study of Greek and Latin. Of these 27, again, 3 were unprofessional students, though in regular attendance, and 6 belong at present to other religious denominations; deducting both of which numbers, there remain 18 students,-12 in the Theological department, and 6 in the Preliminary, who may be considered available for the future ministry of our Church in England. This number, when swelled still further by the accessions which may confidently be expected in future Sessions, will bear a very adequate proportion to the rate at which our Church may be expected, looking to her resources in other respects, to extend herself in England, and also to the average annual number of vacancies which may be expected to occur. Of the whole 27 students, 16 joined for the first time this last Session, and of the 18 students, in whom we are principally interested, the gratifying number of 10 were new students.
The Preliminary Class was conducted, during the last Session, by Mr. William Hamilton, A.M., the senior student of the Institution, and a superior scholar and experienced classical teacher; and the Committee advert with much satisfaction to the case of several students who have lately joined this Class, in circumstances which give the best evidence of their devotion to the cause of Christ, and of their attachment to this Church, and who, but for the provision of this class, might have been lost to our ministry.
The arrangement that Mr. Hamilton should conduct the Preliminary Class was merely a temporary one, made to meet the exigencies of last Session. The Committee had received no authority from the Synod to make a permanent appointment; nor, indeed, has the Synod yet decided that a class of this kind is to form a permanent feature of the Institution. On this point there is room for a difference of opinion, and the Committee are not prepared to recommend, at present, that the Synod should decide to that effect: but they are of opinion, that the class should still be continued under such temporary arrangements, with regard to the tutor to be engaged, and the branches to be taught by him, as may seem best to the College Committee.
There is, in truth, an indispensable necessity in present circumstances for the continuance of such a class in the Institution. This necessity arises from the peculiar position of this country with regard to university education. London is the only city in England where Colleges exist, corresponding in the liberal footing upon which they are placed with regard to admission, to the Universities of Scotland; and in the London Colleges the fees are so very high that few or none of our students could afford to pay them. Where, then, are our students to obtain their pre
paratory classical and philosophical education, unless the Church provides facilities for that end? If the Church, indeed, were resolved to content herself with such chance-supplies of theological students, as she might obtain in future years from Scotland and Ireland, she might dispense with such a class as is now referred to;but if she aims, as this Committee hope she will never cease to do, to bring into the ranks of her students and ministers-Englishmen, and the sons of Scottish and Irish Presbyterian families, resident in Engiand-she cannot hope to accomplish this vitally important object without such a provision as the Committee are now recommending. She must do her utmost to supply, in the case of her own students, that defect of educational facilities which has just been referred to. other religious denominations in England, unconnected with the Established Church, have been obliged to meet this defect by providing in their Colleges and Academies, classical and philosophi cal tutors, as well as teachers of theology; and it seems indispensably necessary that our Church should follow their example.
cently made some inquiries upon this subject, as well as upon others, no less vitally connected with the efficiency of the Institution. As the Presbytery have resolved to send up to the Synod the result of these inquiries, it will not be necessary for the Committee to say more upon the subject than this, that these results were much more satisfactory than was anticipated by some, and that there does not appear to be much reason for anxiety upon the point referred to, so far as the profes sional Students at present in the Theological Classes are concerned. Still the Committee are quite prepared to allow that there is room for improvement in the Regulations with respect to admission; the standard of previous qualification should unquestionably be raised; the examinations both before and after admission should be made more stringent; the superintendence of Presbyteries over the summer studies of the Students should be rendered more efficient,-in a word, everything practicable and suitable to our peculiar circumstances should be done, in order to guarantee the literary and philosophical, as well as the theological qualifications of the future With regard to the Theological Classes, the ministers of the Church. The Committee are thereCommittee are unanimously of opinion, that it is fore gratified to understand that the Visitors of the highly important and desirable that a permanent College have resolved to submit to the Synod a Professor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology body of improved Regulations in regard to admisshould be appointed without delay, and they have sion and examinations, and they trust that the fuagreed to include a recommendation to the Synod ture working of these Regulations will be such as to to that effect in this Report. Considering the great secure every object contemplated by them. The and vital importance of these departments of Committee would further recommend, that the ministerial study and preparation, it is evidently Synod should reconsider the Regulations formerly of great moment to the Church that they should adopted, regarding the length of the session, be conducted in the most perfect and efficient and the employment of the Professors, and to manner that can be secured. The Committee institute such inquiries as it may deem necessary have already referred to the very able way in which or desirable, with the view of placing the educa Dr. Henderson and Mr. Hanna have lectured on tional arrangements of the College on sneh a these subjects during the past Session, and, there-footing as may best secure the efficient training, fore, they will not be misunderstood when they the rapid progress, and the ultimate accomplishurge that such an arrangement as was made at ments of our students. The Committee submit last Synod, however wise and indispensable at the this recommendation under the profound convic. time, was an imperfect one-was attended with tion that almost everything in the future extension some obvious disadvantages, and ought not to be of our Church will depend, under the blessing of continued one Session longer than is absolutely her Divine Head, upon the united godliness and necessary. The serious disadvantage to our stu- learning of her ministers; they are deeply sensible dents, of such frequent changes of instructors, that neither godliness alone, nor learning alone, will occur to every one, not to speak of the un- will suffice, but that both these excellencies must desirableness of repeating oftener than is quite be combined in the Church's ministry, to enable unavoidable such applications as the Synod made her to lengthen her cords, and to strengthen her to the Free Church last year-however cordially stakes in this great country: and while the granted,-involving as these do very considerable peculiar difficulties of our position, arising out of inconvenience and sacrifice, not only to the min- the imperfect educational institutions of the isters selected for such temporary services but country, will not allow us to seek the attainment also to their congregations. The only considera- of our wishes in exactly the same way as might tion which prevented the Synod from making be done in Scotland or Ulster; still the end in a permanent appointment last year, was the view is too important and vital to be ever lost state of the funds. But the Committee are sight of, and must be pursued by all the means of opinion that the financial experience of the and arrangements which are practicable in our Church during the past year has been such as circumstances, and which increasing experience to warrant the Synod to proceed to such an ap- may suggest. pointment without any further delay. It cannot be said that any very special effort has been made in behalf of the College-funds during the past year; still the contributions received by the Treasurers have been much more than sufficient to cover all the expenses of the Institution; while the very marked success which has attended the efforts of one or two Congregational Associations lately organized, is such as to give assurance to the Church of the ample sufficiency of her pecuniary resources for all her necessities, if only proper means are employed to develop them and make them available. The Committee are persuaded that a much larger sum may still be obtained from our people in support of the College; but it must first be needed before our people will give it. Let the Synod make the staff of Professors complete,-let our people see that the Synod is determined, from the very first, to put the Institution upon the most efficient footing,-let them see that everything that can be done is to be done to secure a supply of thoroughly educated and qualified ministers,-and let justice be done to the liberality of our congregations by their ministers and elders upon whom lies the responsibility of establishing and working associations among them, and this Committee have no fear for the result, they have no apprehension that enlarged funds will be wanting, they are persuaded that the standard of congregational contribution will be raised higher and higher throughout the whole Church, and will be found adequate to supply all the Church's wants.
Another very important subject which has engaged the attention of the Committee and the Visitors is, the amount of time which the students are able to devote to their studies. No pecuniary aid has yet been extended to them, to enable them to devote their whole time to study; the students have been all self-supporting; and it became an important point to ascertain what proportion of their time and energies they were in
circumstances to bestow upon the work of the classes. The Visitors will submit to the Synod the details of this investigation. The Committee will only remark of the results in general, that they are such as to make the necessity of providing some bursaries or scholarships abundantly evident. Several of our best and most promising students are at a very serious disadvantage in this respect, and the Church would discover a strange want of concern for her best interests, if she did not devise some means of enabling these young men-her rising hope-to do more justice to their studies than they can possibly do at present. An overture upon this important subject will be brought before the Synod at its present meeting, by the Presbytery of London; and the Committee earnestly trust that some practical plan of meeting the difficulty will be immediately suggested and carried out. They are persuaded that the provision of a few scholarships could be most efficiently worked, not only for the purpose of setting our students free from all secular engage ments unsuitable to their prospects, but also for the purpose of stimulating, by wholesome competition, their talents and industry.
As considerable anxiety has been felt in some quarters of the Church, regarding the general at- With respect to the College library, the Comtainments of the students already admitted to mittee are happy to be able to report that, in the Theological Classes, the Committee think addition to the works which have been purchased it well to state that the Presbytery of London, in during the past year, contributions of books have their capacity as Visitors of the College, have re-been steadily flowing in. The collection now
amounts to nearly 1,300 volumes. The enrichment of this library must of course continue to be an object of great interest and importance; and it is hoped that while the Committee continue to do their part, in voting such annual grants towards it as the state of the funds will warrant, the office-bearers and members of the Church will continue to do theirs, by adding from time to time their esteemed contributions.
The Report of the Treasurers for the past year will be submitted to the Synod by the Treasurers themselves. The Committee have already referred to its results with satisfaction; they trust that the improved condition this year, of all the departments of the Church's finance, may be looked upon as the evidence of a rising spirit of zeal and liberality among our people, and as an earnest of still greater things yet in reserve for us as a Church.
There is a point of importance on which the Committee desire to have an expression of the mind of the Synod, and which they must briefly refer to before concluding this Report,-they refer to the extent of their own powers. By the draft of the constitution of the College, which the Synod adopted last year, these powers appear to be limited within the very narrow range of the charge of the financial affairs of the College, and of the arrangements necessary for the accommodation of the classes. The Committee, however, are persuaded that it could not have been the intention of the Synod to narrow their province to such an extent as this, for it could not have been necessary to provide that a Committee entrusted with functions so limited should consist of twentyfour members, twelve of them ministers, besides the two Treasurers. The Synod must have designed to confide to a Committee so constituted, a more enlarged sphere of action than that which is indicated in the constitution referred to. And the Committee respectfully request the Synod to point out more distinctly what that sphere was intended to be, and to discriminate more accurately than hitherto, the several powers and provinces of the Senatus, the Visitors, and the Committee.
In conclusion, the Committee, referring the Synod to the Professors and Visitors of the College, for information on such matters as do not properly fall within their province,-beg again to congratulate the Church on the progress which the College has already made, a progress which she was certainly not prepared to expect when she commenced the undertaking. They beg also to be allowed to express their hope that this past success will only serve to stimulate and encourage the Church to renewed and still greater efforts, in order that the arrangements of the Institution may be made complete in every part, that every attainable advantage may be secured to our students; and that thus, by the blessing and grace of the Lord, our College may become a tower of strength to our cause in England.
Mr. MUNRO.-Moderator, I move that the Report be received. I think that the Synod should give some distinct recognition of their having received that Report.
Mr. GARDNER.-Moderator, I second the motion, but on the distinct understanding that we are not committed to all the points contained in it.
The MODERATOR put the motion, which was agreed to.
Mr. WM. HAMILTON produced the Treasurer's Report, which was as follows:
REPORT OF THE TREASURERS OF THE COLLEGE FUND.
that others would follow their example, contributed the largest proportion of these donations. The Annual Subscriptions are less by 541. 13s. 4d., owing probably to the circumstance of a number of small sums having been reported (as was understood at the time of subscribing) under this head, but which have since been paid as donations. This deficiency has, however, been more than made up by the increase in the Congregational Collections, amounting to 235l. 4s. 8d., which is an encouraging feature in our present circumstances, and justifies the expectation of large additional support from the same source. Our chief financial dependance must be placed on such collections, and on annual subscriptions, but specially on Congregational Associations. Of the latter, it is scarcely possible to over-rate the importance. A few specimens have already been given of what may be accomplished by them, even in an imperfect state, and before they have been fully organized, and the machinery for effectually working them fairly set a-going.
We therefore most earnestly urge the formation of such an Association in every Congregation within the bounds of our Church, under the direc tion and superintendence of the Deacon's Court, not for the benefit of the College alone, but for all our schemes, as affording at once the surest and least burdensome means of obtaining the necessary funds for carrying successfully forward the vitally important work committed to us. In the emphatic language of our distinguished country. man, Dr. Chalmers,-" To rest our financial pros"perity on powerful but momentary appeals, and "not on regularly working associatious, were as grievously impolitic as to build our calculations "for the agriculture of a country on the brawling "winter torrents, which perform their brief and "noisy course in channels that soon run out, and are only known to have existed by the dry and "deserted beds they have left behind them, in"stead of building our calculations and our hopes on those tiny but innumerable drops, which fall "injuniversal and fertilizing showers on the thirsty "ground that is beneath them." Active and zea. lous agents for working these Associations will, we doubt not, be readily found, leading to a profitable interchange between the services and liberalities, of the Church's friends-"the services "awakening and calling forth the liberalities, 66 -the liberalities sustaining and extending the "services."
Notwithstanding the gratifying measure of support which the College has already received, it is quite evident that more vigorous efforts will be required to meet the additional expenditure to be incurred by the permanent appointments, which remain to be made to complete the staff of Professors, and to give to the College, as an efficient academical institution, increased claims to the confidence and support of our Church and of the Christian public.
London, 14th April, 1846.
THE TREASURERS OF THE COLLEGE
561 13 0
To balance in hand per last audit
not reported 1844-45.. 153 8 0
385 12 9
ALEXANDER GILLESPIE,} Treasurers.
We, the Auditors appointed by the Committee of the English Presbyterian College to examine the Accounts of the Treasurers thereof, have accordingly examined the foregoing Account of the said Treasurers to this date, and having compared the same with the vouchers, find the said Account correct, and that the balance in the Bank of England, as appears from the thereof, amounting to 7617. 5s. 2d. is duly lodged Pass-book kept between the Bank and the said Treasurers. JAMES NISBET, ROBERT STEPHENSON.
London, 11th April, 1846.
Mr. HAMILTON.-Moderator, I would first of all repeat, what is expressed in the Report, my thankfulness that our income this year is so satisfactory. I agree with what is stated in the Report, read by Professor Lorimer, with } Treasurers. reference to completing the staff of professors of the College, by which means it will be able to take the station which it ought to occupy, and until it does occupy that station, it will never answer the object and the expectations of its founders. I am quite sure that, from £. s. d. the little experience which we have had, ample means will be obtained to maintain our College in the fullest efficiency. We have not given our people the opportunity which they ought to have of showing their desire to support such an institution. In Regent-square Church, we have, by means of our Congregational Associations, received, from 152 regular contributors, in nine months, upwards of 100%. per month. Our income up to the present time amounts to 1,150/. 19s. 1d. The service is, in a great measure, performed by temporary agents, such as Committee-men, although, of late, we have increased the number of our deacons. I am satisfied that, without going to £. s. d. Ireland and to Scotland, we have abundant means within our own Church in England to work out this and all our other schemes in all their integrity. But we shall never have complete success without greater efforts than we have yet made. There is not, I am sure, a single town in England where a Presbyterian minister, of competent education and good character, would not be received with open arms. (Applause.)
Annual Subscriptions... 413 12 5
To Amount from Students' Fees Introductory Lecture Tickets...
THE TREASURERS, in submitting their Second Annual Report to the COLLEGE COMMITTEE, would renew their congratulations on the continued To Interest received on Balance prosperity of their lately opened Institution, and on the encouraging prospects afforded of its even
tually accomplishing the important purpose for which it was established.
The income for last year amounts to 1,159.
1098 7 11 45 13 6
5 2 0
10 15 8 £1721 12 1
19. Id., of which 153/. 8s. is from arrears of By payment for printing in 1844-5; and on referring to the annexed abstract, embracing the different items of which it is composed, it will be observed that there has been a diminution in the Donations, as compared with the previous year, of no less than 516. 1s. 6d. This was in some degree anticipated in the last Report, and is easily accounted for. A few generous friends, who were anxious to secure the establishment of our Institution, and in the hope
14 4 0 31 13 0
£45 17 0
Mr. GILLESPIE.-Moderator, I quite concur in every thing that my friend Mr. Hamilton has stated. We ought to rely upon our cause, and trust to God's blessing to carry the thing out. I had entertained the idea of sending a deputation to Ireland and Scotland, to aid us in this matter, but I will not move it now; for if we send a deputation to either of those places, they will be sending other deputations here, and the balance will be on the wrong side, and we shall be losers on the account.
The Report of the College Committee, with the relative documents, were then remitted to the Committee, with instructions to put its various recommendations into a practical shape, and report to a subsequent diet.
"1. That every overture requiring an innovation | London, and I seconded its transmission. It to be made in the constitution of the Church in was an act quite called for, and I believe it matters of doctrine, discipline, government, or will be in the mind of this meeting to pass worship, sent up to the Synod, shall, before it be passed into a standing law, first be sent down as So far back as the meeting at Carlisle I proan overture to all the Presbyteries of the Church, posed it. Last year the Presbytery of Norand receive the approbation of such Presbyteries, thumberland brought forward an overture on or the major part of them; that such approbation the subject, but it was withdrawn. The Loning thereof; that notice shall be given at the be given by each Presbytery at an ordinary meetdon Presbytery subjected the present overture meeting of Presbytery immediately preceding that to a lengthened discussion, and it has been such overture is to be taken up at the meeting unanimously transmitted to the Synod. I next following; and that the decision of Presby- have great pleasure in seconding its adoption. teries be recorded in their minutes; and an extract thereof sent to the Clerk of Synod before its next meeting.
"2. That the Synod, however, if it see cause, may pass such overture into an Interim Act, which shall possess the force of law, aye and until the Presbyteries have, as herein required, expressed their judgment upon it.
have, as hereinbefore required, expressed their
A conversation then ensued regarding the terms and provisions of the act, and after several explanations from Professor Campbell it was unanimously passed.
[The principle of the Barrier Act, we regard as one of the wisest ever introduced into the
Mr. MUNRO.-I move that the Treasurer's Report be received and printed, and that the thanks of this Court be given to our respected friends, Alexander Gillespie and William Hamilton, for the excellent Report which has been read, and for their services as Treasurers of the College Fund which motion was 3. That each Presbytery shall, at an early constitution of the Church. That principle is agreed to, and the thanks of Synod communi-meeting after the meeting of Synod, appoint a simply this;-that matters which pertain to cated from the Chair. Committee of their own number, consisting of not all, should by all be determined. In the Scotfewer than two ministers and one elder, to whom tish Church, where the Supreme Court is a such overture may be committed, with instructions to examine the same carefully, and to report representative assembly, it was absolutely es thereafter to as early a meeting as they conveni-sential that every overture which proposed to ently can; notice of such report to be given at innovate upon the constitution should be sent the ordinary meeting of Presbytery immediately to Presbyteries, in order that the whole Church preceding the meeting at which it is to be received should have an opportunity of deciding upon and discussed. Supreme Court is not a representative asit. And although in our Church, where the sembly in the same sense as is the Scottish General Assembly, the necessity for such an act is not so essential or at least so apparent; yet, to any one at all acquainted with our forms of business, and experienced in the conduct of the Church's affairs, the necessity must appear sufficiently urgent to evince, that such an act could not longer be delayed. Crude, hasty legislation, acts passed under temporary excitement, to which every assembly of men may sometimes be exposed, ought, of all things, to be avoided. Every possible impediment which wisdom can suggest ought to be placed in the way of every attempt to innovate upon matters of fundamental importance. Time, cool reflection, brotherly consultation, and fervent prayer, ought to precede every attempt at meddling with the framework of our constitution. The Barrier Act, now happily passed into law, secures these important ends.]
[We do not purpose to offer any remarks upon the Report of the College Committee, but we cannot allow this opportunity to pass without recurring to our favourite theme, the importance of Congregational Associations in aid of the schemes of the Church. We rejoice to know, that many of these will be instituted in the course of this summer; that, at next meeting of Synod, Regent-square Church will not stand so much alone in its noble contributions to our cause. Most heartily do we concur with the remarks of the worthy Treasurers of the College, to whom the Church on very many accounts, and for many years, has been so deeply obliged, that we possess the amplest resources within ourselves for supporting all our institutions. It is not, we have repeated over and over again, the fault of our people that our contributions are not larger. Our people value the principle of giving, and when an opportunity for contributing is not afforded, by those whose duty it is to provide for it, how many generous friends of our cause have already sought out means and occasions of giving, and giving largely. Our funds for this year bear testimony to the liberality of our people, and we have no doubt whatever that, were the proper machinery for receiving free will offerings provided, it would require no stimulus to double our funds.]
Professor CAMPBELL.-Moderator, the next business on the roll, is an overture on an address of sympathy to the Free Church of the Canton de Vaud, from the Presbytery of Northumberland. [Which overture was withdrawn, as the Commission of Synod had sent such address.]
OVERTURE ON BARRIER ACT. Professor CAMPBELL.-The next overture is one concerning the Barrier Act, which is as follows:
"At Exeter Hall, 10th February, 1846, which day monthly sitting, and was duly constituted; and, inter alia, agreeably to notice given at last meeting, Professor Campbell now moved that the Presbytery transmit the following overture to the Synod, viz. :
the Presbytery of London held its
"That whereas it is of the last importance that all laws proposed regarding matters of doctrine, discipline, government, or worship, should, before they are finally enacted, receive the patient and prayerful consideration of the Church; and, whereas it is manifestly impossible that such consideration can be given during the session of one meeting of Synod, it is therefore hereby humbly overtured to the very reverend the Synod of the Presbyterian Church in England by the Presbytery of London
5. That when a major part of the Presbyteries have, as hereinbefore required, expressed their disapprobation, then the Synod may reject such "Which motion having been seconded, the Presbytery unanimously agreed to transmit said overture."
Professor CAMPBELL.-I do not propose to occupy an unnecessary portion of the attention of this house in submitting this overture. It has been extracted almost verbatim from the law passed by the Church of Scotland, in 1697, and known by the name of the Barrier Act; the only difference is in the regulations appended to the act as it is here presented. The reason why I thought it necessary to introduce these regulations into the overture was this, I was afraid that some of our members might not be aware of the best or at least a uniform plan on which to work the Barrier Act. Our brethren in Scotland have this advantage over us. They have in every court of that Church some aged men,men well acquainted with the laws and forms of business, and the younger ones are trained up under their wing. We, on the contrary, have come young men to England, have formed young Presbyteries, and have been compelled to acquaint ourselves as well as we could with the necessary forms. From a desire to save trouble to my brethren I have put into the overture itself the regulations by which it may be worked. The regula tions are simple. It is unnecessary to say one word to convince the house of the necessity of possessing some such check upon our legislation as this act proposes. That necessity has been felt for several years, and last year there was an overture on the subject from the Presbytery of Northumberland, but it was withdrawn merely because its provisions and forms were contrary to those required by this Church; but at the very time when that overture was withdrawn it was announced, another would be submitted this year. with the approbation of the Court, that Reserving to myself the right of replying to any objections that may be offered to this overture, I at present, in order to save the time of the house, content myself with simply moving that it be adopted and passed into law of this Church.
OVERTURE ON CONSTITUTION AND
POWERS OF COMMISSION OF SYNOD.
The following overture, anent the constitution and powers of Commission of Synod, was then read:
At 16, Exeter Hall, the 14th day of April, 1846, which day the Presbytery of London held its ordinary monthly meeting, and was duly constituted; inter alia, agreeably to notice formerly given, Professor Campbell moved the transmission of the following overture to the ensuing meeting of Synod:
"Whereas doubts have been felt regarding the constitution and powers of the Commission of Synod, and whereas it is most desirable that the constitution and powers of the Commission should be determined and made known, for the satisfac
tion and guidance of all parties, it is, therefore,
"1. The Commission of Syuod shall meet on
"2. The Commission are empowered and ap pointed to take care that what is enacted aud by this and preceding Synods be duly observed by all concerned. Mr. GILLESPIE.-I was a member when "3. The Commission are empowered to give this overture was before the Presbytery of advice and assistance to any Presbytery in difficult