صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

cases, as they shall be applied unto by them for |

that effect.

4. The Commission are empowered to cognosce and finally to determine, as they shall see cause, in every matter referred to them, by any act or order of the Synod, and to do every thing contained in and conformable to the instructions given them by the Synod.

"5. The Commission are to give special care that the interests of this Church shall not suffer or sustain any damage or prejudice which they can in any manner prevent, as they will be answerable; provided always that this clause be not extended to particular affairs or processes before Presbyteries, regarding which their counsel has not by such Presbyteries been desired.

6. In the management of their business the Commission are enjoined to adhere to the forms and order of business observed in the Synod, in so far

as the difference in the constitution of the two Courts may permit.

7. The Commission, in all their acts and proceedings, are to regard themselves accountable to, and censurable by, the next Synod; and are, therefore, required to bring up their records for confirmation or otherwise, as the Synod may see


8. The Commission are empowered to admit, or authorize Presbyteries to admit, Ministers or Probationers of other Churches, according to the rules of the Church; but are strictly inhibited, in pensing with any of the rules or laws of the Church.

ations and omissions made upon the overture;
bell, seconded by Mr. Lamb, and unanimously
after which it was moved by Professor Camp-
agreed to-

"That this overture be sent down to Pres-
byteries in terms of the Barrier Act, and in the
meantime that it be passed and declared an
interim act of this Church."

And it was further agreed that the overture be printed in the appendix to the abstract of minutes, and the Clerk was instructed accordingly. The Synod at the same time repealed that part of the act of last year on the Commission of Synod, which required that the Commission should meet within three months of the rising of Synod; the other parts of that act still remaining in force.

There were two classes of your Ministers to which

labourers in the vineyard, whose decaying powers your Committee felt their sympathies peculiarly drawn forth; these were aged men,-grey-headed

were no longer adequate to the performance of the arduous duties of the ministry-such men the Committee have felt anxious to relieve, and in some cases they have been able to open up to them a door of withdrawal from active duty, leaving their functions to be performed by younger labourers: and your Committee have met with another class of Ministers most deserving of sympathy, who, finding themselves unable to subsist have been compelled to engage in the performance on the pittance supplied by their Congregations, of other duties, which have not merely divided the attention, but also distracted the hearts of men whose whole heart and attention are dethe Committee have felt most anxious to emanciIt being now four o'clock, the Synod adto go forth to the Lord's work with hearts lightjourned till six o'clock in the evening. ened from worldly care, and with hands relieved [The long intervals that occur between the from secular service, and to consecrate their undimeetings of Synod render it essential that vided time to the Ministerial work. In this way some provision be made for disposing of such have your Committee laboured to diffuse a spirit of livelier enterprize and of more enlarged exerquestions of general interest as, during such tion in your Congregations; and although those intervals, may arise, but which cannot be dis- labours have fallen far short of their wishes, they posed of by Presbyteries. It was therefore can nevertheless cherish the hope that their serfelt that the Constitutional Court of Commis-vices have not been altogether unavailing in stirgreater liveliness and activity.

manded by their sacred profession. These men

pate from their present bondage, enabling them

this or any other matter, from violating or dis- sion of Synod should not only be appointed, ring up both Ministers and Congregations into

9. It is a special instruction to the Commission to enquire into the condition of the schemes of the Church-the mode in which they are

Deferring, however, a statement of the fruit of their labours to a subsequent stage of their Report, your Committee would give some more detailed account of the measures which they have em

worked and managed-their receipts and disburse- it is necessary that the provisions of the Bar- Ployed for carrying their objects into operation.

ments-and to do what in them lies to promote the efficiency of the same. And in order to this, the Committees appointed to superintend such schemes are enjoined to make interim reports to the annual meeting of Commission of their receipts and disbursements, and the general condition of such schemes. Presbyteries also are required to transmit to the Commission a report of the state of the Congregational Associations within their bounds, and to receive instructions from the Commission thereanent.'

"Which motion having been seconded, the Presbytery unanimously agreed to transmit the

said overture."

[N.B. The regulations are printed here not as they were originally introduced to the Court, but as they were aliered and finally passed by the Synod.]

Professor CAMPBELL.-Moderator, the importance of this overture I think it would be difficult to exaggerate. Impressed though I have very strongly been with the conviction that such a measure is essential, I know not

that I should have undertaken to prepare it if some friends had not very urgently pressed it upon me. The provisions of this measure are taken principally from the act of the Scottish Church in 1717, altered in a variety of particulars, so as to adapt them to our condition and circumstances. No general remarks can do justice to a series of regulations all so important, and some of them so minute. It would require that one should

but should have its powers and its province
accurately defined. The regulations as passed
are for the present a law of the Church. Be-
fore they become permanent laws, however,
rier Act should be applied to them. The wis-
dom and experience of the Church being thus
for a twelvemonth directed to the subject, we
expect that at next meeting of Synod such a
constitution of the Commission may be ma-
tured as will enable the Church to conduct its
affairs with the fullest regularity and order.]


Churches has been directed to the destitution In a certain measure the notice of the Sister of Presbyterian ordinances in this land, and to the means whereby the Synod is endeavouring to give increased efficiency to the Presbyterian Ministry, as well as to add to the number of its labourers in England. In the Supreme Judicatories of the Sister Churches, both in Scotland and Ireland, your deputations have not failed to represent your circumstances; and from both Churches they have received expressions of affec

The Synod reassembled at six o'clock, the tion and sympathy, betokening the readiness of Moderator presiding.

The Rev. Mr. Stuart, of Ballycarry, was requested by the Moderator to sit with the


your brethren to minister to the necessities of this Church and your Committee would strongly recommend that the Synod would instruct its de

putations to keep the circumstances and prospects

of the Synod's missionary schemes prominently Professor CAMPBELL read the minutes of before the attention of the brethren of other Churches, in order that the Synod may continue the last diet. and the benefit of their prayers. to enjoy the encouragement of their sympathy

The MODERATOR called for the Home
Mission Report.

Mr. FERGUSSON, of Liverpool, read the fol-
lowing Report from the Home Mission and

the Treasurer's accounts :

APRIL, 1846.

IN submitting a statement of their operations
during the bygone year, the Home Mission Com-
mittee would, at the outset, congratulate the Synod
upon the improved circumstances of the Mission,
graciously vouchsafed to the Committee in the
prosecution of their labours.

In so far as regards the supply of labourers, your Committee feel called upon to renew their testimony of gratitude to the Free Church of

Scotland which, since last meeting of Synod, has parted with some of her tried Ministers to your Congregations, as well as to the Presbyterian which, by their Ministers and Licentiates, they Church in Ireland, for the invaluable labours have supplied to the Synod: and your Committee trust that England has only tasted the first-fruits of a benevolence to be yet exercised on a scale far more extended.

Your Committee would wish to impress upon the Synod the necessity of not merely sustaining but of increasing the resources out of which the de

take each section and each clause and make and upon the encouragement which the Lord has mands on the Home Mission Treasury are to be

it the basis of observations. Perhaps, therefore, the best plan would be that I should read the various sections seriatim, offering upon each such observations as occur to me; and then, after hearing the objections or remarks of my brethren, I may, perhaps, be allowed to offer some reply or explanation. I may, however, state that this measure was subjected to a very lengthened and critical examination, at two several meetings of the London Presbytery, before they agreed to transmit it to the Synod. If the house consents to the plan which I have ventured to suggest, perhaps I may be now allowed to read and support the first section.

The plan suggested having been adopted, a very animated and lengthened debate, or rather conversation, ensued, which lasted for some hours, and in which almost every member in the court took part. Each section was discussed clause by clause, and various alter

To consolidate and extend the interests of Pres-
byterianism in England was the object of their
appointment, and this object your Committee

have endeavoured to keep steadily in their eye.
Where prospects of success have warranted their
interference, they have been forward to establish
a Presbyterian interest, and to foster rising sta
tions in new localities-and in some instances with
hopeful promise; but during the season now
closed, your Committee have considered it more
desirable to build up the waste places of Zion
than to attempt the possession of new territory:
they have therefore sought to stimulate rising
congregations to more vigorous effort;-where de-
cayed stations are struggling into renewed energy,
they have laboured to foster them, and where,
through a long neglect or an isolated position, Con-
gregations have become disheartened, the appli-
ances of fraternal intercourse and kindly sympathy
have accompanied such assistance as could be
extended, in order to engender confidence, and
fluences of the Presbyterian brotherhood.
to restore to some degree of efficiency the in-

responded to.

These claims are rapidly increasing, and to meet these, the resources must grow in proportion; and vigorous efforts must be employed, in order to secure a steadily increasing revenue. Your Committee have no doubt that the liberality of Scotland and of Ireland would not be appealed to in vain, were the Synod to send forth deputations to represent the Synod's necessities; but it must be borne in mind that Home efforts alone can insure permanent success. As long as the Church is dependent she can never do anything great in the matter of ministers, the Church is for the present dependent upon foreign Churches, and she must continue so until the students now training in your own theological seminary are qualified for entering upon the work of the Lord. But while this Church cannot at once escape from its position of dependence on this head, let her at least show her desire to do her own work, by endeavouring to find within her own congregations the pecuniary resources which are required for conducting her operations. And your Committee are persuaded that, by so doing, the Church will gain confidence in her internal

energies, and win the respect of the sister Churches, proving that she at least deserves to succeed in her endeavours to rouse English Presbyterianism from the ashes amid which it has lain so long dormant.

Your Committee have, therefore, laboured specially at the arduous, and often thankless, task of awakening the Church to something like an idea of what it is in her own power to do; and there is nothing which the Committee have found more difficult, than to convince ministers and congregations that they are not the poorest and the most helpless congregations in the Church, already straining their strength to its very extreme effort, while perhaps they have given little symptom of vitality, beyond the infantile cry for nourishment. And where, again, some efforts have been used, it is next to impossible to convince pastors and people that all the stores have not been exhausted, while their whole contributions have been little more than the untoiled for gleanings of stray pieces of ore, left by the torrent on the mountain-side or in the stream's channel, while the vein beneath has never been pierced or reached at all. Your Committee have grounds of thankfulness for the progress that the Church has made, and for the efforts which her congregations have put forth during the last year. That the revenue of your Committee should have increased fourfold, is an encouraging symptom of the growing interest which the members of our Church are beginning to take in the Lord's work. Still there is deep reason for humiliation, because of the ignorance which yet prevails in the Church respecting the Christian graces of liberality and self-denial; much need have we all to learn the lesson of looking, not at our own things only, but at the things of others, and of feeling it to be a privilege as well as a duty to give to the Lord who has given us all. And not until the congregations of the Church are brought to abound in the frequency and in the amount of their gifts, can they expect much of the blessing upon themselves.

In order to awaken and cherish a spirit of more general liberality, your Committee issued addresses, diffused information, distributed circulars, and sent forth deputations to most of the presbyteries of the Church. The results are very marked already; and, although yet far from being adequate to the wants or expectations of your Committee, they are such as to give promise of a liberal harvest to the reapers of a future day. In order that the Synod should learn the financial results that have attended the labours of your Committee, they refer to the Treasurer's Report. In submitting the financial statement, your Committee feel assured that the Synod will survey, with gratitude to the Lord, the success which has attended the Committee's labours; but if the Church is to be instrumental in supplying Presbyterian ordinances to localities yet remaining destitute, there must be a greater extension of liberality exercised. It is true that certain congregations are likely to be soon selfsupporting, which have long been a burden on the funds; and it is also true that demands have during the bygone year been made which will not be repeated; but while this is so, there are new fields of operation opening up, calling for new and increased expenditure, and to meet this, there must be new and increased efforts, in order to put it in the power of your Committee to extend their labours. It ought to be remembered that your Committee's means are made available not merely by adding to them, but by sparing them; not merely by contributions to the treasury, but by limiting the solicitations for grants from the treasury. And your Committee would wish to observe different congregations and Presbyteries vying with each other, first, as to the amount of their contributions, provoking one another to liberality in the Lord's service; and second, as to the moderation of their demands. And your Committee are persuaded, that poor congregations which, by a hard struggle have relieved the funds from all charge, often make greater efforts and sacrifices than the wealthy congregations, which, out of the abundant means of their members, have poured liberal gifts into the treasury; for while these congregations exhibit the laudable desire not to be burdensome to others, they, by the exercise of such self-denial, become positive benefactors of localities more helpless than their own.

While treating of this subject, your Committee would wish to impress upon the Synod the desirableness of a scrupulous investigation, on the part of Presbyteries, of all cases recommended to the favourable attention of the Committee; and

when the cases from any one Presbytery are so numerous as to render it impossible for the Committee to reach them all, it would be expedient that Presbyteries, who are necessarily best able to judge of the destitution within their bounds, should suppress such applications as are least likely to be favourably entertained.

But your Committee take leave to observe, that it is by extending the congregational organization, both as to the number and efficiency of congregational associations, that a permanent and steady amount contributed from Associations presents a revenue is to be secured to the Mission: the given in donations. It is clear that an income, miserable disproportion to that which has been arising from donations, can never be securely calculated upon.

Among the Associations that have collected to the Fund, Regent-square, London, has attained an enviable position ;-that Association having itself contributed nearly two-thirds of that whole branch of revenue.

The Committee are impressed with the absolute necessity of establishing a Missionary Association in all the congregations of the Church, and take leave to urge upon the Synod, the necessity of adopting such measures as will secure such an agency in active operation. Your Committee are persuaded, that there exists in the Presbyterian polity an agency which, if properly organized, is eminently qualified for effecting the object desired; and were it recommended to the Presbyteries, to issue instructions for the general revival sible), an agency would be secured which would of Diaconal Courts (where their election is posbe able to conduct Associations for Missionary purposes in all the congregations of the Church, of which quarterly reports might be transmitted and a periodical investigation by the Presbytery, to the Clerks of the Synod's Missionary Committees, would secure activity and efficiency in their operations.

Your Committee have received with peculiar delight contributions from the Sabbath Schools connected with several congregations. Your Committee long for additional manifestations of youth: ful benevolence: apart altogether from the aid that is thus given to the funds, your Committee know of no more promising feature in any congregation, than the appearance of its youthful members in the Missionary field; for, while such efforts are evidences of present vitality in individual congregations, they give promise of continued activity and zeal in the generation following.

In connexion with these topics, the Committee would mention that the Treasurer of the Home Mission Fund, during the first six months of the year, only received 67. 16s. 10d.; but, since then, he feels truly grateful in recording the spirit of liberality which has been exhibited towards this important scheme.

Treasurer's Circular, issued in October last, in About 300l. was received as a response to the order to meet the immediate exigencies of the case; £208 1s. 1d. was afterwards collected by Messrs. Murdoch and Anderson, in London; £65 14s. has since been received, making £573 15s. 1d. in donations; £295 19s. 11d. has been received from subscribed to Messrs. Murdoch and Anderson), and Associations (which includes 361. of donations £469 0s. 9d. from collections, making the receipts, throughout the year, £1,302 15s. 9d.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

in the contributions from the Presbyteries of Cumberland, Northumberland, and Berwick-onTweed, may be looked for, as most of the nume rous vacancies in these Presbyteries have now been supplied with efficient ministers. The new congregations also, recently formed in the Presbyteries of London and Lancahsire, as they grow in strength and stability, may be expected to be able to extend their liberality.

During the present year a considerable increase

The payments by the Treasurer, throughout the year, in addition to a large amount raised by private contributions, more especially in the Presbyteries of London and Lancashire, for the support of new congregations, and stations which have not applied for assistance from the Funds, will be found in the annexed Statement :

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

£. s. d. 110 15 5 185 0 0

Newcastle-on Tyne. 32 16 0


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Berwick-on-Tweed Cumberland

147 0 6

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Sundries, as per General Statement 49 17 0

£605 12 5

Those on behalf of the Presbytery of Lancashire are greater than was anticipated at the commencement of the year; two of the stations on the fund, Stafford and Crewe, having required a succession of supplies until lately that ministers were appointed: and it is expected that the grant to Bolton will be materially reduced, if not exAs-punged, in the course of the present year.

It is gratifying to be able to record the fact, that sixty-six congregrations have made collections, that a collection is promised from another, and that, in another instance, where the congregation is meeting in a hall, a collection has not been taken, from the temporary pressure of local circumstances, but a liberal response has been made through the sociation.

Some current claims remain undischarged, but these do not exceed 50%.

looked to from the Associations and Collections; The permanent sources of income must be It is creditable to the Presbytery of Newcastlesion of the former, only eleven congregational Assoand there appears to be great room for the exten-on-Tyne, that its congregations appear in general to be self-supporting. ciations having sent in contributions, amounting to £268 1s. 3d., of which £196 Os. 4d. is from Regent-square, London.

It is pleasing to observe, that our Sabbath schools are in some instances affording the children an opportunity of contributing to missionary objects; but there is ample field for the enlargement of this principle, as only eleven Juvenile Associations have made contributions, amounting to £27 18s. 8d., of which £17 1s. 8d. is from the Sabbath school in connexion with St. Peter's-square,


The amount of contributions from each Presbytery is as follows:

It must be kept in view, that the collection in behalf of the Home Mission has just been made,

which will account for the considerable balance on

hand, but no further funds can be calculated upon, except from Associations, for nearly a year. would allude to a subject that has occupied much Before closing their Report, your Committee of the attention of their Treasurer during the by

gone season.

For some time past he has been maturing a plan for securing a minimum Annual Stipend to each of the ministers of the Church, and it is expected that a draft of the proposed scheme shall be laid on the table before the rising of the Synod. Should this scheme be brought into operation, your Committee feel as

sured that its projector will require no other monument of his many benefactions to the interests of English Presbyterianism.

In looking to the past, your Committee have much to deplore of declension as regards the Church, much want of efficiency as regards themselves;-in looking to the present, they have much ground for encouragement;--in looking to the future, there is much to stimulate and to hope for. Your Committee feel that a glorious career is opening upon the Church: there is a career of labour, but how can the servants of God be better employed than in such labour? a career of sacrifice, but how can men that love souls better expend their substance than in such a service? and there are prospects of glorious success, if the Church but exercise faith in the promises, and go forward in the strength of the Church's living Head. Let it, however, be remembered, that triumph is only achieved as the Church depends on an arm stronger than her own. Soon shall all labours prove but folly, soon shall all liberality appear no better than so much gold cast into the ocean,and soon shall expected success vanish like a dream of the night, if the Church engage not in her work with a single eye to the advancement of Christ's honour, and a simple reliance on His strength. Let not the brethren give effort alone, but consecrated effort; let them not give offerings alone, but let the offerings of their benevolence be sanctified by the spirit of prayer,—and to prayer let them add a patient waiting for the answer, and oh, shall not all your toils, and all your prayers, and all your patience, be more than recompensed, even although your watchmen have had to go seven times to the mountain top, and to sigh, at each return," There is nothing," if, in the end, the little cloud be seen rising out of the sea no bigger than a man's hand,-telling of the coming shower of the Spirit, which will make the waste places of our Zion to blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing, when they shall see the glory of our Lord, and excellency of our God.

In name of the Committee,

D. FERGUSSON, Secretary.


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

£ s. d.

10 4 4 1302 15 9

£1313 0 1

£32 0 0
50 0 0

28 15 5

Presbytery of Lancashire.



40 O 0

[ocr errors]


50 0 0

43 10 0
51 10 0

[blocks in formation]

20 0 0

Presbytery of Cumberland,


15 00
10 0 0

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

£475 11 11 energy and fraternal feeling that has been exhibited, I thank God for it; and I feel sure that in every other part of the country God is opening the ways of usefulness before us. In one part of the country, four years ago, this 4000 subject of Presbyteries was little known; but now there is one of our most faithful, devoted, young servants of the Lord labouring there. When I tell you that the descendant of the sainted Matthew Henry, aspiring to apostolic fame, is now there, you will readily believe me when I tell you that our prospects are cheering.

15 0 0
40 3 6

4 20

17 10 0

21 18 0

Postage and Advertisements 6 7 0
Balance in the hands of Treasurer

[ocr errors]

49 17 0 707 7 8 £1313 0 1 ROBERT BARBOUR,

Manchester, 31st March, 1846.
Examined and found correct,



Mr. COUSINS.-Moderator, permit me also to express the unmitigated delight that I feel this day at the Report which has been read. We owe a debt of thankfulness to God that at a time when there are so many things to draw away the attention of the English Presbyterians, who have been called upon in reference to other subjects, so much attention has been given to the immediate thing for which God has established his Church in the world. It is a blessed thing for us directly and immediately to begin and act upon man as a spiritual being. It is a blessed thing to direct one's attention to that which constitutes the very end for which Christ in ascending up on high hath given amongst us the ministry of reconciliation. A Church, if it will fulfil the end for which it is intended, must have a missionary spirit. We are every one of us much indebted to Mr. Fergusson for the admirable Report which he has made to us.

The MODERATOR.-Mr. Barbour, Mr. FerManchester, 14th April, 1846. gusson, and Mr. Munro, I know not in what Mr. WILSON, of London.-Moderator, I terms I should give vent to the feelings that beg leave to move that the Report be received. are now in my bosom, especially to the feelI think that I need occupy very little of your ings which I entertain with respect to the time in moving its adoption; for without ut- Treasurer of this Mission, and likewise with tering a single word in advocacy of the adop- reference to him who presented to us that tion of such a Report, the style in which it is most eloquent, exemplary, and Christian Rewritten, the delightful and interesting state-port that last night we were permitted to hear. ments that it has put forward, commend it to the I think I shall best convey to Mr. Fergusson attention and cordial approbation of all those the thanks of the Synod, by expressing a ferwho have had the good fortune to hear it; vent hope, that next year we shall be permitand this permit me to say, that, without in- ted to hear even greater encouragement than tending any disparagement to any document this year. With respect to Mr. Barbour, I that has been brought before you, or any bu- feel that it is far beyond my power to say that siness that has been brought before you, I which will adequately express our thoughts look upon this subject of the Home Mission to him. I dare not commit myself so far as as the most important that has yet been to bring forward the many circumstances brought before us. I look upon it as one of that have come to my knowledge with respect the most important things that belong to the to his services as connected with this import110 15 5 Church of Christ. I have much pleasure in ant Institution. His name is known to us moving the adoption of the Report, and the everywhere; it is known through the length and breadth of the land-his name is familiar appointment of the following Committee :Messrs. Hamilton, Wilson, Nicolson, A. to us all, from the hoary-headed Minister, Munro, Cowe, D. Fergusson, Welsh, White, who has for years laboured in the vineyard of 185 0 0 Gardner, Blackwood, Duncan, Dr. Paterson, the Lord,—it is familiar to us and also to the J. Anderson, Murdoch, and Burns (Minis- young children of our members, and I dare ters); and Hamilton, Stevenson, Barbour, not trust myself with language sufficiently Parlane, Major Anderson, Waddell, Greig, adequate to express the admiration which I 32 16 0 Burt, jun.. Lang, Adam, Dunlop, Hood, have felt for him. I shall conclude by reLamb, Cowe, Alison, Ferguson, and Glover; turning the thanks of the Synod to Mr. BarRev. Alexander Munro, Convener; Rev. D. bour, Mr. Fergusson, and Mr. Munro, were Ferguson, Secretary; and Mr. Robert Bar- he present, for the admirable manner in which bour, Treasurer. they have discharged the duties of their office. (Applause.)

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

MAJOR ANDERSON.--Moderator, agreeing in the Report that has been submitted to this Court, and participating in the feeling that has been raised by my reverend brother, I joyfully rise to second the adoption of that Report. I have long felt persuaded, Moderator, that the land of England is open to us: the Lord has opened it, and he calls upon us to take possession. One part of the Report spoke of new stations. When I look back a 147 06 few years ago, and think of the small number in the Church and Presbytery with which I was associated, and now when I look at the great increase that has taken place in the £475 11 11 number of faithful Ministers, and the spiritual

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The MODERATOR put the question, which was agreed to.



Professor CAMPBELL read the commission of the deputation from the Free Church, and then said-Moderator, I believe that as Convener of your deputation last year to the Free Church of Scotland, the honour falls to my share of introducing the deputation sent in return to this Church this year. In doing so I place considerable restraint upon my own feelings when I resolve at the outset that I

shall say very little. The history of that Church, its struggles, its adherence to principles, its trials, and its success-its high rank, not only in Scotland, but among the Churches of the Reformation, are known everywhere; and leaves no person anything like an apology, especially in such a Church as this, for saying anything of their affairs. They have established for themselves a name and character of which it were vain for me to attempt to say anything. But permit me to say, with respect to the members whom the Free Church of Scotland has deputed to represent them here this year, I am bound to say that had she looked through all her muster roll of great and learned names she could not have found men better qualified to represent her, nor more highly and justly esteemed in this house, than the men I now have the honour to introduce to you-the one the soundest constitutionalist in all Scotland, the other (not to allude to himself or his learned father) the grandson of Sir Harry Moncrieff, to whom Scotland owes so much-viz, the Rev. Dr. Cunningham and the Rev. Henry Moncrieff. (Applause.)

The Rev. William Cunningham, D.D., Professor of Theology and Ecclesiastical History in the New College, Edinburgh, and the Rev. Henry Moncrieff, A.M., Oxon., Minister of East Kilbride, Scotland, were then introduced.

The Rev. Dr. CUNNINGHAM.-Moderator, it gives me great pleasure to attend this meeting of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church in England; and in all its proceedings there has been much to gratify all who take an interest in its prosperity and welfare, and all who desire to see it grow in usefulness. I have been present in England at one of your previous meetings of Synod, but under different circumstances. I was the last time present as a deputation from the then Established Church of Scotland in April, 1843, just one month before the disruption of the Church of Scotland. I found that there was considerable doubt, and misrepresentation, and alarm, as to what might be the result of the changes that were manifestly imminent. You were then not all of one mind. You looked as well as we to see what might be the result of the changes that were to take place. After that-in a short time after that-the ecclesiastical establishment of Scotland was broken asunder; and in looking back upon those three years, both the Free Church of Scotland, and the Presbyterian Church in England, have abundant ground for thanking God for the provision which he has made for their support and usefulness, for all the means of usefulness which he has afforded, and for the measure (scanty as it is) in which he has allowed them to improve these opportunities. After many struggles the Free Church came out of the ecclesiastical establishment of Scotland; and the result has been such, that upon it we can look back with no small measure of thankfulness to God. Our ministers and people were called upon to make efforts not occurring every day, resting themselves more firmly upon the foundation which has been laid in Zion; and with this, it may be supposed, have been subject to a course of training and discipline that may be hoped to have stirred them up with zeal and energy in the work at which they are now labouring. We have been enabled to carry on all our missionary operations in Scotland with greater energy than ever before. That we have lost the countenance of the great body of the wealthy and powerful is quite true; but, notwithstanding this, we have set on foot several very large schemes for missionary operations

both at home and abroad. Indeed, our schemes | opened. You have devoted yourselves to the are larger than ever they were before-much object of qualifying for the work of the larger than were set on foot by the old Church ministry the members of your own congrebefore the disruption. I cannot help, while wit- gations. This, my friends, was manifestly a nessing this result in Scotland, expressing an work of great importance, and indispensably equal satisfaction at the same results having necessary to carry out fully this great work. been accomplished by Presbyterianism in You were recognised as an independent and England; and we think that we have some distinct branch of the Church of Christ, over ground for asserting that your circumstances which none of the other portions of the were not so advantageous as ours in Scotland, Churches of Christ had any claim of jurisand that you have felt the consequences of dictional control. Such is the state of the the disruption as fully as we have done. God Presbyterian Church in England. It was, has blessed to you and he has blessed to us indeed, independent before, and the only the work that we have been doing; and, in point that produced any difficulty on the looking back on the last few years of Eng-question of your practical independence was land's history, the Presbyterian might say that you were still in a sense dependent,-dethat the proudest period of his life is to be pendent upon Scotland and Ireland for a dated from the age of our disruption. It supply of candidates for the work of the seems to be a new era in English Presby- ministry. This was a condition of things terianism. I do not say it was the commencement of it. I remember the valuable address with which this meeting was opened. I know you are an historical Church; for two hundred years ago the Presbyterian Church was the Established Church of England. This circumstance suggests many important reflec tions, and it produces encouragement for the labour in which you are engaged. It affords us some salutary admonitions. While Presbyterianism was in the ascendant the features of England were entirely changed; and this is a branch of the history of English Presbyterianism upon which you have a right to look back with some complacency. When you compare what you have been doing during the last three years, and look back upon what was done in the last century by the English Presbyterians, we must perceive that the disruption of the ecclesiastical establishment in Scotland was a sort of connecting link in the process, and has had a most beneficial effect on the English Presbyteries. You are now cordially united. There is one service that the disruption has rendered to England. In virtue of the cause to which I adverted the representatives of the Scotch Establishment are now almost wholly, with one or two insignificant exceptions, entirely swept away from the soil of England; and the Scotch Establishment has scarcely any representatives in the great Kingdom of England; and with your great zeal and energy this result has been effected. I am aware that there are two or three ministers and two or three congregations. I have nothing to say about them. They are not very numerous, and they are not very likely to become much more numerous than they are; and there is no reason to fear that in anything like zeal and energy in promoting a Presbyterian spirit, and in promoting the interest of Christ's cause, will they be enabled to enter into anything like formidable competition with the highly talented body which I have now the honour to address. On this body, humanly speaking, rests the burden and the prospect of doing anything for promoting Presbyterianism in England. This is a work which, in God's providence, has been put into your hands. There is a noble field before you; and delightful must it be to the Church to see the spirit and zeal with which you entered on the work. You have attempted much; and your large plans have showed that you are not insensible of the magnitude of the work and the difficulties with which it may be attended. I think, that in virtue of what lies before you, that you are fully warranted in expecting much, and you will wisely and judiciously lay your plans, not with reference to what you now are, but with reference to what lies before you, and in widening the door of usefulness that God has

[ocr errors]

in which so numerous and so energetic a body as the constituted Synod of the Presbyterian Church in England ought not to be placed, and I rejoice to hear that you have provided for the work of training up men for the work of the ministry, and that you are determined to complete your theological faculty. It is surely possible that the Presbyterian Churches in the United Kingdom can be at more pains than they have been to cultivate a kind of fraternal relationship with each other, and to consider more carefully than they have done in what way the Presbyterian Churches of England, Scotland, and Ireland may do something in their peculiar spheres towards advancing the cause of Christ and promoting their own interests. There is not one of them that might not learn something from the others, and might not on the other hand be the means of communicating some useful and valuable information; and, I think, we would do well if we adopted some provision whereby we could do something better than the mere appointment of an annual deputation. The business of a deputation is, after all, nothing more than a mere formal annual ceremony. I think it would be worth while considering whether the three Courts of the three different Presbyterian Churches might not appoint a Committee of Correspondence to correspond upon any thing that might arise of interest to these bodies throughout the empire. I think that this would tend to make the capabilities of the Churches for doing good somewhat more extensively available than they are. There is an advantage in ascertaining the views of men who are settled in different and distant points of the nation. I can tell you nothing more than what is now well known, and with which, I dare say, most of the members of this Synod are not already familiar; there is, however, one matter rather interesting, not merely to the Free Church of Scotland, but to Presbyterians all over the world; I mean the proposal that has recently been broached to build two churches, two manses, and two schools in Edinburgh as a monument to John Knox, on the spot where John Knox himself lived when he was there. We propose to erect two churches in that part of Edinburgh where they are much needed. We venture to believe, and it has been stated by those who may not concur in all our views, that John Knox's house and corner have now fallen rightly and conclusively to the right party (applause) ; that those who inherit the principles of John Knox and assist in carrying out the policy for which he suffered have now obtained a right to the place in which he lived, and laboured, and died. It will, to a considerable extent, be a Free Church in connexion with the Free Church of Scotland. But we purpose to have a splendid tower, which will be

[ocr errors]

Mr. FERGUSON.-Moderator, I recognise among the deputation an old friend and a highly esteemed minister, whose sermons I have often listened to; and I cannot refrain from taking the privilege of seconding this motion.

Mr. NISBET (in allusion to some remarks of Dr. Cunningham explaining why it was that difficulties arose in the way of translating ministers to England) said,--Moderator, I have no doubt the venerable professor alluded to my claim that we should have two or three industrious ministers in this emergency. The Free Church have duties connected with England. The members of the Free Church must always bear in mind that they have sons and daughters, and sisters and brothers in England; that they still do continue to send their sons and daughters here; and that every steam-boat and packet that comes to London brings some of them. And who is to attend to their spiritual instruction? We have enough to do for our own; they must send instructors to instruct their children; for who in the world is to look after them? I do hope that they will carry home this message, and that they will appoint some one to come and look after their sons and daughters here.

more immediately the monument of John | for by so doing, they are able to promote | large a debt of gratitude; and this without Knox, and which will afford a good oppor- their Evangelical objects more definitely any allusion to my hopes, that if we contunity to all Presbyterians who might not and at once, without abandoning their cha- tribute largely now, we shall be able with a identify themselves with the Free Church to racter as members of the Church Courts, than better grace to ask our friends to bestow aid in the erection of it; for although we have those of other denominations. I rejoiced to liberally, to do honour to men who have laid got possession of the place, we have no wish hear the remark, and it afterwards struck me, Presbyterianism throughout the whole world to monopolize the right, without aid, of build- that in witnessing the efforts made by Evan- under eternal obligations. Leaving the ing the monument in memory of John Knox. gelical men who were placed in other circum- House at a future diet more fully to express (Applause.) In conclusion, I beg to express stances, and work together for Evangelical its mind, I beg leave for the present to my great satisfaction at the interest which ends, that they were acting on Presbyterian move :— the Free Church of Scotland takes in your principles, namely, that if you are in England That the Moderator be requested to affairs, and to give you their assurance of to succeed in increasing the stamen of Presby- return the cordial thanks of the Synod to their readiness to render you all the assistance terianism amongst you, it must be by the the Members of the Deputation, and to in their power, inasmuch as they believe that fruits that come out of your Presbyteries by express the gratification which their presence you have good and substantial reasons for electing Evangelical men. I feel that, if our has imparted to all the members; appoint a maintaining the ground you have taken, and efforts are to be exhibited as the fruit of Pres. Committee to draw up a fuller deliverance that your labours have been blessed and will byterianism, it must be produced by the sys- on the sentiments cherished by this Church continue to be so. (Applause.) tem being fully carried out; for, from my own to the sister Church in Scotland; and also The Rev. Mr. MONCRIEFF.-Moderator, I experience in attending to the concerns of a to frame a measure by which a more frequent feel it a high honour to have been selected as country congregation, in indifferent circum-interchange of sentiments may be conducted one of the representatives of the Free Church. stances, I am satisfied that, if we had turned to between the two Churches.” I also feel it is a high honour that I am the right hand or to the left out of the path of permitted to address this assembly, and am Presbyterianism,—if we had neglected to have grateful that a kind Providence has permitted observed the rules laid down by our Church for me to enjoy these advantages. I feel quite the guidance of our ministers, and our Sessions, assured, that there is a work before this Synod, and our Presbyteries, we should have come to in all probability, more important than any complete confusion, if not destruction. I am that has been carried out in England since satisfied, that the Episcopal principle would not the day when the assembly of divines met at have succeeded with us; and I am satisfied, that Westminster; for, apart from any thing this the principles of Independency would not have Synod can do,-apart from any thing the succeeded either. We have found it is better Free Church can do,-apart from any thing to attend strictly to the operations of our the Evangelical members of the three deno- Church according to laws laid down for us in minations can do,-events are likely to take the Assembly, and by the constant superinplace that will bring to the test the value of tendence thereby carried on, with reference to all our systems. Being impressed with that every part of her proceedings, by never alconviction, I cannot but feel earnestly desirous lowing any proceeding to take place without that those vigorous efforts which you are pre- its being carefully digested, in accordance with paring to make, shall be carried out on as large the laws and regulations of our Church. I and extensive a scale as Providence can give would conclude by expressing it as my earnest you the means of doing. I feel that it is of the prayer, that the effect of your proceedings utmost importance, that every effort should here may be, that the following out of the be made to impress upon the minds of the very admirable suggestions which I have people of England, the value of our Presby- heard stated in the Report that has been read terian system,-its foundation on the Word this evening, may be to increase that feeling of God, and its especial tendency to enable to which pure Presbyterianism ever tends, and Evangelical men to carry into effect those to increase a simple-hearted dependence on objects which they have a right to do. I cer- Jesus Christ, the great Head and King of His tainly do not mean or wish that this should Church and people. (Loud applause.) be done, either in England or in Scotland, in Professor CAMPBELL. Moderator, there any spirit of opposition to the efforts or views has been some difficulty in framing a resolu- MODERATOR.-I presume that it will be of other bodies of Evangelical men. I was tion sufficiently full and explicit to express merely a matter of form that I should put led, in the year 1843, to entertain a deep feel- the sentiments that have been excited in our the question, Do you desire that I should ing of gratitude to the members of the various minds, by the addresses of our respected return thanks to the Free Church deputaEvangelical denominations in England when, brethren of the sister Church of Scotland. tion? (Applause.) Dr. Cunningham and in connexion with the disruption of the Church I had drawn up a resolution myself; two Mr. Moncrieff, it is with no ordinary feelings, of Scotland, they gave to us aid, counsel, and others have been handed to me, and it has my dear brethren, that I address you upon co-operation, with a view to the accomplish- been suggested that I should incorporate the this most exciting, and to me deeply interestment of what was deemed absolutely essen- three resolutions, but this there is at present ing occasion. At this time of the night it tial to be carried on; and, as the minister of no time to do. I shall therefore move a would be inconvenient to occupy much time a congregation in a country district, and as temporary motion upon the subject, leaving in this address; but to the declaration, that the minister of a congregation but poor in its the impression of the mind of the Synod to we look upon you as deputies of the Free resources, and standing in need of the aid be more fully expressed at a future time. Church, and that in so doing, we look upon that was so generously given, I feel called Without entering into the discussion which you as representatives, I cannot help saying, upon in England to acknowledge the fact. took place in the earlier part of this day's that in looking over the history of the Church Early associations led me to take great in- proceedings, between some judicious and wise of your fathers and our fathers, whether we terest in the proceedings of the Evangelical-members of this house, as to the advantages look so far back as the year 1638, or whether truly Evangelical-members of the Church of and disadvantages of sending begging depu- we consider the troubles of the reigns of the England; and, therefore, I could not desire to tations into Scotland, lest they might return first and second Charles, or whether we come of our objects carried out in a spirit of the compliment, I should be inclined to say down to more modern times, the historian opposition or hostility to them; and I would that there should be a special exception made is called upon to contemplate Presbyteriandesire that, in a scriptural way, I might be in favour of John Knox's monument, to theism, if at any time crumbling down into dust, permitted to have intercourse with them, that completion of which I mean myself to contriwe might profit by that intercourse, and by bute, and have no doubt many more will do the the explanation of our several views. I will same. I beg, however, to say farther, that we honestly confess, that I have a far stronger will soon afford our Scottish friends an opporinclination now to express myself as I am do-tunity of practising the principles of giff-gaff, ing, to indicate the views I have alluded to, than I should have had four or five years ago: different circumstances have led to that change of impression on my mind. I rejoice in what I have heard this evening with reference to Presbyterians acting up to their principles,



[ocr errors]

of which I am very fond, for it is our intention
to erect a suitable monument to the West-
minster assembly of divines. I hope that
every one will give largely in aid of the fund
for erecting the monument to John Knox,
to whom Scotland, and England too, owe so

only like the phoenix to arise out of its own ashes. Men are everywhere looking upon the position which you now occupy, and watch the issue of the contest in which you have been engaged; but God is now permitting you to say that he hath led you by the right way. We sympathize with you in your contentions for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. We bid you God speed, and we shall be glad year after year to hear of a similar amount of success on your part;

« السابقةمتابعة »