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sonable proof, that one of the effects of such a synodical union of our churches, is, that the weak are helped by the strong, and that when one member of the body suffers, all the other members suffer and sympathize with it.



especially in times like the present, when | what he had witnessed in all parts of that
all other religious denominations in this kingdom.
country are so much alive to the import-
ance of retaining the young under their
educational influence, and when, if we are
negligent in educating our youth, that
negligence is sure to be punished by
their absorption into other religious
bodies more zealous than ourselves,
either in teaching the truth or in reviving
and extending baneful and superstitious





Number of Returns.
Number of Children under
fourteen years.

Children of Congregations
No. of Sabbath Schools.
attending Sabbath Schools.
Children of Strangers.
Number of Day Schools.
Children of Congregations
attending Day Schools.
Children of Strangers.
Children at other Schools
with our Catechisms.
Children at other Schools

without our Catechisms.

We do not here allude to the Revivals which have taken place in various parts of Scotland, and are still progressing—as at Knapdale, a part of the country we visited, and of the intensely interesting events which are taking place in which we can speak from personal knowledge. We allude to the general state of religion throughout the bounds of the Free Church, and repeat, that nothing struck us so much during our recent tour, as the extent and depth of vital active godliness which we witnessed wherever we went.

This is the true secret of the success that has attended the Free Church, the basis on which it rests, and the spring which impels it onwards. It is the measure by which to guage that Church's prosperity, the line to circumscribe her extension, and the term by which to date her continuance. Let her piety-fresh, warm, living-bloom, glow, operate, and no limit can be presented to her enlargement, no term to her prosperity. But let her vital godliness shrink, fade, languish, and however the glorious recollections of | the past, the talents of her ministers, and the sectarian activity of her members may, for a time, preserve a hectic flush upon her countenance, and give a spasmodic activity to her movements, the living spirit is fled, and what remains will sink Totals 44 5005 44 2868 1743 21 858 604 411016 deeper and deeper into corruption. But

Lancashire ....

737 4 256 22 2 135 7 60 152
678 6 315 126 3

Cumberland.... 5 520 5 232 91 0

92 132
24 225
75 56 12 45
0 0 112 144

Newcastle...... 374 4 191 394 2
Northumberland 9 1983 8 854 134 7 288 96 161 225
London ........ 9 713 9 156 528 1 84 6 47 225
375005/36/2004 129515674297 4191016

5 577 1995 104 227

Newcastle..... 1


1 87 149

2 200 100 1



8 864 448 6 184 307


But the necessities of these schools do not constitute the whole of the case which the Committee have to press upon the attention of the Church. There is the most urgent need for the formation of additional schools in all the Presbyteries of the Synod. Out of seventy-five Churches and stations, only a few more than twenty are yet provided with them, and in many places, particularly in the northern Presbyteries, such schools will never be commenced without the prospect of assistance being given to support them when formed. Many of the congregations there are suffering severely, and are even in danger of utter extinction, from the want of such schools. At Wooler, Felton, Framlington, Widdrington, and North Sunderland, in the county of Northumberland; and at Brampton, Maryport, Workington, and Whitehaven, in the county of Cumberland, the speedy formation of day-schools is essential to preserve and extend our and the strongest desire is expressed by our ministers in these localities for the accomplishment of this object. Northumberland 2 But to accomplish it, it will be quite indispensable that the Church should extend its aid, both in the erection of schoolhouses and in the payment of teachers. And while the Committee confidently hope that the School-building scheme which is immediately to be submitted to the Church will secure the attainment of the former of these objects, they would now earnestly plead for liberal contribu tions to the "School-sustentation Fund" for the attainment of the latter In not a few cases temporary accommodation could be obtained at a moderate rent, and schools could be immediately commenced with the best prospects of success, if the Committee were able to guarantee a small The first thing that struck us was the grant to meet the liabilities thus incurred; spirit of deep devotional and active piety and thus classes would be made ready that pervades the membership of the Free for the occupation of the school-houses | Church. This must strike every imparafterwards to be erected. tial observer who has familiar access into Surely these are all deeply inter- Scottish society; and has struck them. esting and important objects; surely A minister of another denomination, who | every one must see that they affect was present with us in the Free Assembly, very vitally the best interests of the told us that he was much impressed with young of our flocks, for whom we what had been stated to him by a brother are bound to care with peculiar tender- minister. "In our own communion," was ness; and that they concern no less the remark alluded to, "I believe that vitally the preservation and progress of vital religion is as general as it is in the our Church in England. A Presbyterian Free Church, but we lack the depth, the Church without schools is an anomaly in fervour, the activity of godliness which Presbyterianism, and a very imperfect characterizes that body." A member of exhibition of an ecclesiastical system the foreign deputations to the Free Aswhose historic honours have been ever sembly, on his return to England, after associated with the school as well as with travelling over a great part of Scotland, the pulpit. And a Presbyterian Church and having been admitted familiarly into without its full complement of schools, the household circles of its families, exwill never strike its roots deep, or spread pressed to us, in terms still more strongly, its branches wide, on the soil of England, the impression produced upon his mind by

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why do we insist so much upon this matter? Is it for the sake of the Free Church alone? Assuredly not. Few of her members will read these lines. It is principally for the sake of our own beloved Zion. Had we but the depth and extent of piety that pervades the Free Church, and were the godliness which exists amongst us, and which to overlook or undervalue were to do dishonour to the Spirit of God-were that godliness as active and as devoted to the advancement of our own special interests as it is in the Free Church, we most verily believe that the success which has attended that Church would not be greater than the success with which God would crown our own. As the organ of the English Presbyterian Church-a Church inferior to no Church on earth in ancestral glories, in territorial position, in well-grounded prospects-we shall not cease to press upon all our members the vital connexion between the godliness of Churches and their success. Established Churches may, for a time, stand upon the basis of State support; but a Church like ours, depending, under God, upon the character of its members, cannot exist without vital godliness.

Another thing that struck us in connexion with the Free Church, is the pervading spirit of liberality which characterizes her members. The amount of funds towards the support of all the schemes of the Church, which have been contributed, is very extraordinary.

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nature of things that excitement cannot | knows the grace of God and feels the
outlast a few years more, and yet there is value of reconciliation through the blood
every reason to expect that the contribu- of the atonement; look at the millions
tions shall go on indefinitely increasing, of our own countrymen, our kinsmen
for no man can foretell to what sum they according to the flesh, who, under our
may ultimately amount. We must, | very eyes, are perishing for lack of know-
therefore, search for some other reason ledge, and then, in the sight of God, let
for the disparity in financial contribu- him say whether he has given what he
tions between our own and the Free well might unto the Lord to diffuse the
Church. Our own decided conviction, knowledge of the truth. The "Messen-
and it is a conviction founded upon an ger" was established for the purpose,
intimate acquaintance both with the past among others, of advocating the claims
history and the present condition of our of Missions and the other schemes in
Church, is, that the reasons why our which our Church is engaged, and we
contributions have been hitherto so trust our brethren will not only bear with
disproportioned to our means, may be us, but will cheer us on, while, to the
reduced to the following :1st, Our | best of our ability, we strive to stir them
ministers must confess that they are not all up to a full, cheerful, gladsome dis-
altogether free of blame in this matter. charge of their duties, and appreciation
There is a false delicacy amongst them. of their privileges in this matter.
They do not like to be continually urging
their people to increased liberality. But
against this false delicacy we must protest.
We cannot sympathize with it. We can
easily conceive why a minister of sensitive
feelings might shrink from urging his
people to contribute more largely to his
own personal support, although even this
feeling is carried too far by our ministers,
as we know but too well. But we cannot
imagine how a faithful minister of Jesus
Christ can reconcile it to his own
conscience to spare any effort by which
the cause of the blessed Redeemer may
be extended over the face of the earth.
Without funds we cannot preach the
Gospel at home or abroad. To contribute
to the extension of Messiah's kingdom is
one of the first duties of Messiah's

Instead of giving a report of our own,
which might be charged with partiality,
we prefer to give here the statement of
perhaps the best financier in Scotland,
who certainly cannot be accused of undue
partiality towards the Free Church. The
following extract is taken from the
Scotsman newspaper, and gives a very
good condensed statement of the
financial affairs of the Free Church :-
"In the short space of two years, 530
churches have been erected, at an expense of
335,000, of which £285,000 is already paid.
There are 70 other churches in progress,
which will be completed in the present year;
and it is assumed that 140, in addition to
these, will ultimately be wanted, raising the
whole number of congregations, in connexion
with the Free Church, to 740. This is
exclusive of 42 quoad sacra churches, possession
of which is disputed by the Establishment.
The whole sum collected for church building
is £320,000. Last year the Sustentation
Fund produced £52,500, yielding the ministers |
then employed about £100 a-year each. In
the present year, the produce of the fund is
£75,500, yielding each clergyman £122. This
allowance from the Central Fund is a guarantee
to the ministers of the weaker congregations
against extreme poverty; but each congregation
is expected to add to, or supplement' the
allowance in proportion to its means, and the
duty is rarely neglected. Indeed, we believe
that most of the clergymen in towns are as
well paid in the Free Church as they were in
the Establishment, though their brethren in
thinly-peopled districts are of course less
fortunate. In addition to the sums mentioned,
about £100,000 has been raised for missions
in the two years, and £120,000 more for what
is called the Congregational Fund. Altogether
the sum raised and expended amounts to
£725,000, exclusive of 60,000 subscribed
for schools, and a new college, which will be
forthcoming when required. These astonishing
pecuniary efforts have been made by a small
part of the population of Scotland (probably
not exceeding one-fourth), consisting partly of
the working, but chiefly of the middle classes.
Very few of the landed proprietors, or what
are called the gentry, or persons combining
fashionable habits with independent means,
adhere to the Free Church. its strength lies |
among the serious, thoughtful, and busy
classes, including, no doubt, some men of enjoy.
considerable wealth. The disruption was a
bold experiment, and the success with which |
it has been carried through exhibits a most
gratifying proof of the vast resources which an
intelligent people, acting in union, can find
within themselves for the accomplishment of
any object which stirs the depths of their
moral feelings."

Such have been the financial contributions of the Free Church towards the support and extension of the cause of Christ at home and abroad. Now, what prevents our own Church from making similar efforts, and raising sums proportionably large? Various answers can be given to this question. Some will say, We have not had the excitement of a disruption, with the impulse arising from the pressing and felt necessities which that disruption communicated to all the parts of the financial machinery of the Free Church. But then that excitement has very much diminished, while the funds contributed have increased. In the

subjects. The minister that does not
give his people an opportunity of con-
tributing towards that blessed consum-
mation, and the people that do not gladly
avail themselves of every such opportunity,
fail in one of the most important duties,
and neglect one of the most delightful
privileges, which men, whether as indi- |
viduals or as communities, can perform or

But, secondly, our congregations are
also, and we would add equally, as com-
pared with their numbers, although not
as compared with one another, to blame
in this matter. There is not one of our
congregations which has not opportuni-
ties of contributing to the spread of the
Gospel. Now look at the sums contri-
buted, even by the most liberal of them,
and will any man say they have given
what they might,-what they ought?
The stipends which some of our congre-
gations give to their ministers are, but
we must not speak strongly, although we
certainly do feel strongly; neither must
we at present bear on this particular sub-
ject, although it deserves, demands, and
will, if God spare us, receive ample and
reiterated discussion. But let any man
look around on the state of the world,
its teeming millions of heathen at home
and abroad, living without God, and
dying without hope,-let any man who

But we are bound to acknowledge, in the third place, that a portion of the blame, which rests upon us in connexion with our pecuniary contributions, must be laid to the charge of the circumstances in which we are placed. For years many of our ministers did not regard England as their home, nor was the English Presbyterian Church the Church of their affections. In these circumstances it could not be expected that they would labour with devoted, self-sacrificing zeal to extend her pale, or consolidate her interests. The crippling, paralysing influence of this state of things, and of which our new ministers can form no conception, has now, we trust, passed altogether away. Now we are a distinct Church. Our ministers feel her to be

their own chosen Church, the Church of their warmest affections, which has the principal, the first, the last, (and if it were not that they are too Catholic to be sectarian, the exclusive) claim upon their love and their services. This altered state of feeling has already shown what it can accomplish, and we are assured, that the present healthful, hopeful interest and activity in our own proper sphere will increase and flourish.

Besides, it ought to be acknowledged that hitherto we have had no proper organization,-no properly adjusted machinery by which the various schemes of our Church could be maturely planned, or actively worked. This defect has been in part supplied. We now possess the necessary Committees, and will soon have congregational associations. All, therefore, we now want is, that this machinery should be properly worked. But this is essential. The best machinery on earth can do nothing, except it be plied by As soon as judicious and active hands. our associations are formed, we shall, from time to time, supply them with rules and precepts and stimulants for the more efficient discharge of their important functions. At present, in prospect of hearing that such associations are forming, or speedily to be formed, throughout the country, all we will say is, let no one

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decline the appointment to be a member of these bodies under the plea that too large a demand will be made upon their time. This is a great mistake. A short experience will convince them that a few hours a week, or month, is all that will be required. Neither let any one say that the work is unpleasant. No one who has tried it has found it so. Indeed, the experience of all the collectors of the Free Church we have conversed with went to testify that it is not only a labour of love, but a joyous recreation. Let the districts allotted to individuals be small,let the collectors be numerous and animated with the proper spirit,-let ministers and elders and deacons countenance and counsel them,-let prayer meetings be formed, consisting of the collectors with some of the office bearers in the Church, and let all feel that they are engaged in the service of Jesus, and are thus honoured to be fellow-workers with God; and thus animated, counselled, and supported, the time spent will be amply rewarded. We verily believe, that many who mourn comfortless, while musing alone, would be relieved and comforted if they engaged in some of the active duties of Christ's kingdom.

There is one remark more that has been forced upon us by what we witnessed in the North. Now that the required number of churches have nearly been erected, we perceive that the Sustentation Fund engages, as it ought, the primary place in the schemes of the Free Church. With us, there are three schemes which require constant and strenuous attention, the Home Mission, the College, and the Schools. Everything else is subordinate to these, and must be kept so. Upon these great schemes of our own Church we must concentrate all our efforts, to these we must devote in the most special systematic manner our prayers, our labours, our funds. Our own Church has the first claim upon us. Begin at Jerusalem." Whatever sum any individual contributes to any exterior object, let twice that sum be contributed to the corresponding object at home. No one surely can grudge this. No one ought to act otherwise, and the "Messenger" shall not fail to make the maxim sufficiently familiar to the ears of all our members.

We have exceeded the limits we had at the outset prescribed to ourselves, and must for the present close. We shall however return to the subject.

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attacking our neighbours. At present, we purpose to give a sketch of some parts of that mechanism of Presbyterianism which are essential to the system, by which it is distinguished from other forms of polity, and through whose vigorous agency it is that Presbyterianism has accomplished so much of spiritual and temporal good, wherever it has been fairly worked. Our object, at present, is merely to give a simple sketch of the mechanism of the Presbyterian Church without citing any proofs, without adducing any arguments in favour of the system.

The Presbyterian Church possesses three orders of officers, the minister, the elder, the deacon, all different in office, rank, and power; and, so far as this goes, viz., in maintaining that there are three orders in the Church, Presbyterianism coincides with Prelacy.

The Deacon is the lowest officer in the Presbyterian Church. He is elected by the male members, or by the seat-holders, and is ordained or set apart to his office by a religious ceremony performed by the Session (of which we shall immediately treat). The distinctive functions of the deacon are to attend to the maintenance of the poor, the collection and distribution of the congregational funds, and generally to superintend and administer the pecuniary interests and temporal possessions of the congregation. The number of deacons in a congregation depends upon its magnitude, and the extent of its resources and necessities. The deacons constitute a board, or consistory, called the deacon's court, which assembles as often as business requires. We have often thought, and we hope to see the idea realized, that the trustees and managers of a Church, all, in short, who have any power in its pecuniary affairs, ought to be ordained deacons. We throw out the idea at present, and will be glad to receive the suggestions of our brethren regarding it.

The Ruling Elder, as he is called to distinguish him from the minister who is the preaching elder, or presbyter, is elected by the male communicants of mature years, and is ordained to his office by a religious ceremony performed by the Session where one exists, and by the Presbytery where a Session has not been formed. The number of elders in a congregation depends upon the amount of labour required, and the number of fit persons that the congregation presents,

A communicant is a member in full communion with the Church; that is, one who having been examined as to his faith and morals by the Session, has been approved of as entitled to be admitted o the Lord's Supper, and has been admitted accordingly. In the Presbyterian Church, no person is admitted to the Lord's Table who has not thus been examined and approved of, nor allowed to remain a commubear witness to the orthodoxy of his faith and nicant longer than his profession and practice the purity of his morals.

but there must be at least two to form a Session. The distinctive functions of the elders are to assist the minister in superintending and administering the affairs of the Church. To each elder is assigned a district of the parish or a portion of the congregation, and it is his duty to visit at stated hours the members committed to his charge, to make himself acquainted with their spiritual condition, to instruet, comfort, counsel, and pray with them, and if necessary to bring their case under the notice of the minister. It is further, the duty of the elder to accompany the minister when he visits that portion of the congregation placed under his inspection, to assist the minister in the administration of the Lord's Supper, and in the exercise of discipline, in the admission, exclusion, suspension, or censure of members; and, finally, to sit in, when appointed, and act as a member of the superior Courts of the Church. The elder continues in office for life, or till deprived of his powers by competent authority. This most important officer receives no remuneration for his most arduous services. The experience of every Presbyterian minister will gratefully acknowledge that much of the superiority of Presbyterianism and of the good it is calculated to confer upon the Church and the world, is owing to the eldership. We have only further to add, that the elder is not a layman, and that the title, lay-elder, is abhorrent to the principles of Presbyterianism.

Of the minister we need not here treat particularly, both because his functions are much the same with those of ministers in other denominations, and because the points of difference will appear under one or other of the heads that follow. All that it is here necessary to state is, that he is elected by the male communicants of matured years, examined as to his knowledge of the classical and oriental languages, science, philosophy, and theology in all its departments, and having been found qualified in these, and possessed of personal piety, is ordained by the Presbytery.

We next treat of the Church Courts, by which Presbyterianism is particularly distinguished from all other forms of Church government. In a Presbyterian Church, fully organized, and embracing many congregations scattered over an extensive territory, there are four orders of courts, graduating the one above the other, viz., the Church Session, the Presbytery, the Provincial Synod, and the General Assembly. We treat of them in order.

The Church Session is composed of the minister and all the ruling elders of a particular congregation. The minister is exofficio moderator or president; summons the meetings as often as there is occasion, possesses a casting vote, and without his meetings are opened and closed with presence no meeting can be held. The prayer by the moderator; the acts are re

corded by the clerk, who is also an elder, in a register of the minutes, signed by the moderator and clerk. The elders are constituted members of court, and entitled, as such, to speak and vote. The special duties of the Session are the admission and exclusion of members of the Church, and to superintend and promote the spiritual interests of the congregation. Whenever any delinquency has occurred in the parish or congregation, it is the duty of the Session to investigate it. They cite parties in regular form to appear before them; examine witnesses, if necessary; and if guilt is proven, censure, suspend, exclude, or excommunicate, according to the nature of the heresy embraced or immorality committed. Against the sentence of the Session, however, an appeal lies to the Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly; and whenever a party appeals, the Session is bound to grant him full extracts of all their acts and proceedings in the case. When the appeal comes before

and in all matters is recognised as primus is incomparably the most important court
inter pares, superior in rank and official in the Church, and it is not without
authority, but not in order or inherent propriety that the designation of the
jurisdiction, to the rest of his brethren, to Presbyterian Church is taken from
whom, in fact, he bears very much the this most important and essential judi-
same relation that the Speaker in the catory.
House of Commons does to the rest of
the members.

his grievances.

The duties of the Presbytery are to exercise superintendence over the spiritual affairs of all the congregations within its bounds, promote their interests, preserve purity of morals, soundness of faith, and efficiency of discipline among them. The records or registers of the various Sessions are from time to time examined, so that the condition of each congregation may be known, and anything requiring interference redressed. The Presbytery also visits the congregations within its bounds, and on the spot enquires into their spiritual condition, in order to devise and execute whatever may tend to their advantage; examines the schools, and gives an oppora superior court for adjudication, the Ses-tunity to any party to obtain redress of sion has no vote, being placed at the bar along with the appellants. So useful is this court found in practice, that we know many parishes in Scotland where there is not one resident justice of the peace, or constable, or criminal officer, and yet from year to year no case arises that requires the interference of courts of law or equity, the Session suppressing all vice, and preserving peace, order, and morality among the parishioners. The power of the Session in Churches not established, although purely moral, is necessarily very great; yet such is the confidence deservedly reposed in their decisions, and such the manifest justice and paternal affection that regulate all their proceedings, that we are not aware of one single case in which the judgment of a Session was appealed from, for the last ten years, in any part of England. The Session ordains ruling-elders, and can also depose them; but can neither ordain nor depose, or even censure, a minister-that is the office of the superior courts. The principle of this last provision is, that while there are many elders, there is only one minister in a Session, and he, besides, ex-officio moderator of it. The Presbytery is composed of all the ministers of a district sufficiently small to enable them to assemble without much inconvenience, with an elder elected by each Session within the district. The moderator is always a minister, elected commonly by rotation, and holds office for six, or at most for twelve months. His distinctive duties are to open and close the meetings with prayer, preserve order, put motions to the vote, and, in short, act as chairman or president of the meeting. All the acts of the court run in his name, and his signature is essential to the validity of their registers and documents. He has no right to speak to the question or make a motion while in the chair, and has only a casting vote. While in office he takes precedence of the other members,

The Synod in Scotland is composed of all the ministers of a county or other convenient territory, with an elder from each session, and is simply a court of review to superintend presbyteries, decide appeals, and prevent business from accumulating on the table of the General Assembly. In a large Church, consisting of numerous congregations scattered over a large kingdom, the provincial Synod is a very useful court, but with us in England, it has not yet been deemed necessary to institute it. Our Synod is general, possesses the powers, and exercises the functions which, in Scotland, are vested in the General Assembly. Instead, therefore, of describing the provincial Synod as it exists in Scotland, we confine ourselves to a sketch of a general Synod, as it exists among us, which will be found also to be sufficiently descriptive of the Scotch General Assembly.

The Presbytery has unlimited power, in all matters spiritual, over its own members, and all matters pertaining to In the Presbyterian Church in Engthe religious interests of the congrega- land the Synod is the supreme court. It tions within its bounds; only there lies consists of all the ministers and an elder an appeal, from all its decisions, to a from each session with the professors of superior court. It can reverse, suspend, theology in the Church's theological or cancel all the acts of the session. It College. It meets once a year, is is the proper court to receive charges or opened by a sermon preached by the originate judicial proceedings against its moderator of the preceding meeting of ministerial members, and on conviction, Synod. It possesses both judicial and after full and orderly process, can cen- legislative powers. In the exercise of sure, suspend, depose, and deprive them the former it disposes of all appeals from of their benefices, and all official powers. the inferior courts, and in the latter, During a vacancy in a congregation the repeals old laws and enacts new ones; Presbytery supplies the place, and exer- and, as in the former, its judgments are cises the function of its minister. The final, so in the latter its edicts are bindelection of a minister to be valid must be ing upon all the members of the Church. in the presence, and with the approba- It examines presbytery records; if satistion of the Presbytery. The minister fied, approves of them, but if dissatisfied, elected, if unordained, is examined in admonishes, censures, erases, reverses, as literature, science, personal piety, and the case may require. It takes a general general fitness, and if approved of, or- survey of, and exercises a supreme superdained, and inducted by the Presbytery, intendence over, the condition and proor if disapproved of, rejected, and another ceedings of the whole Church. Like the election ordered to be made. A minister Imperial Parliament, to which, in many cannot have his charge temporarily, or respects, it bears a striking analogy, its permanently, without the consent of the power is felt throughout the whole body, Presbytery. On receiving a call from adjusting,-regulating, prescribing, another congregation, the Presbytery, and (in which it differs from Parliament) after hearing all parties having interest superintending the execution of its own in the case, decide peremptorily whether orders. The Synod is the centre of a minister is to remain or may remove, unity, the bond of connexion of the and the decision, unless reversed on ap- whole Church. It is the mind that peal to a higher court, is binding and devises the heart that sends the life's conclusive. The Presbytery has no legis- blood through every part of the system, lative power, it is only an executive and the arm of authority and power that court. It can, however, by overture, performs all the functions required for the submit to the supreme court any new well being of the whole body. Removed laws or rules it desires to introduce into from local influences and prejudices it the statute book of the Church, and no has no temptation to confirm an errolaw can be finally enacted without its neous judgment. Composed of members consent formally given. From this very vested with equal authority, individual meagre sketch it can be easily seen how dictatorship is precluded. Consisting of large is the jurisdiction, and how import- representatives of all the interests and ant the functions of the Presbytery. It congregations of the Church, no local

interest can be overlooked, no sectional GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
aggrandizement tolerated. Animated by PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN
one spirit, actuated by one desire, and IRELAND.
that the good of the whole, it is
distracted by no factions. Sound in
doctrine by the blessing of God, and
possessed of authority to condemn and
expel error from its borders, it affords a
warrant strong as any institution worked
by human instrumentality, that it will
continue to profess the truth in love, and
preserve the body in vital activity, and
render it the means of incalculable advan-
tage to this great kingdom.

Such is Presbyterianism. Viewed in the light of reason (although we would prefer to present it in the light of Scripture), tested by experience and compared with other forms of polity civil or ecclesiastial, Presbyterianism, we hesitate not to say, is, as might be expected from its Divine origin, the most perfect system of government the world has ever seen. It possesses all the excellencies which exist in other systems while it is free from their errors and weaknesses. It is equally remote from democratic anarchy and hierarchical domination. Among the the civil governments of the earth it has no parallel. It is neither a monarchy mixed or absolute, an oligarchy elective or hereditary, nor a democracy republican or representative. It is a mixed government checked and counterchecked; an aristocracy for life, popularly elected, with a popular tribunate of co-ordinate powers, composing a species of commonwealth never paralleled on earth, in which the clerical influence which might tend to hierarchical domination is counterbalanced by the eldership whose tendencies are naturally laical, thus producing in morals the effect which in mechanics results from the composition of the gridiron pendulum where the expansion or contraction of one part in one direction is counterbalanced by the equal expansion of a corresponding part in the opposite direction, all leading in the end to that steady, regulated, equable operation, which neither in heat nor in cold, in tempest nor in calm, can ever falter, vary,

or err.

Such is Presbyterianism, such is the form of Church government under which we have the happiness to live, for the development and display of which, God has placed us in this land. It has never hitherto in this country possessed a fair field for the manifestation of its Divine principles, or the exercise of its beneficent powers. The time, however, is now in the good Providence of God, we trust, arrived for the full display of its capabilities of doing good. Let this thought animate our hopes, stimulate our labours, and sustain our efforts, and the prayers of our Puritan fathers will be answered, their aspirations realized, and England shall yet behold our glorious constitution diffusing its benign influences over its institutions and fami


The Rev. A. P. Goudy introduced the Deputation from the Presbyterian Church in England, consisting of the Rev. D. Fergusson and the Rev. V. M. White, both from Liverpool; and William Stevenson, Esq., from London.

might be permitted to say for himself, that, although no longer a minister of the Free Church of Scotland, he once had the honour of being a member of that body, and had shared THE General Assembly of the sister-in her trials, although he had had little part in her triumphs; and although, in point of numChurch in Ireland has closed its sittings. bers, the Presbyterian Church in England was Many most important objects occupied weak, yet he did not regret having transferred to it their attention. We are sorry that the his talents and his energies, such as they were; proceedings of our own Commission of he knew not that there was any Church more Synod, and a press of other matters, deserving of the sympathy of the House than the Church of Owen and Baxter, now that it prevent our giving, as we intended, a lengthened report of the proceedings the Assembly regarded the revival of an was quickening into fresh energy; and, whether of the sister-Church. We shall, in all ancient name, or the loud calls of duty, or the probability, resume the subject in our wide and unbounded prospects of usefulness, or next number. At present, after expressing the uplifting of the banner in the face of our heart-felt gratitude at the measure of many difficulties and dangers, he might be success that has attended the exertions allowed to say that he could scarcely conceive of the sister-Church, we must content of any post more honourable than that of a minister and master-builder in the Presbyterian ourselves with the following report of the Church in England. (Hear, hear.) He had reception of our own deputation :- been deputed specially, by the Church to which he belonged, to request sympathy and assistance in the efforts which his brethren and himself were making to infuse, by the blessing of God, new life into a Church that had almost ceased to have a being, except in name. The fields in England were whitening to the harvest, and there was all but an utter destitution of labourers. There were thousands of professed Presbyterians, and descendants of Presbyterian fathers, perishing for lack of knowledge in England-many Scottish and Irish youths sinking step by step into an that of those around them, who had grown up extreme of irreligion and profligacy lower than in utter ignorance of the truths of the Gospel. In this extremity the Church in England looked to this Assembly and the other sister Presbyterian communities for sympathy and support-for assistance in their toils, and for the prayers of their brethren that the Lord would crown their toils with success, and make His light to shine more brightly on the dark places in England. Mr. F. proceeded to say, that when he first entered that house, the Assembly was occupied in discussions regarding the revival of religion in their own day, the house had been occupied in listening Church; that, on the morning of that very to most interesting details regarding their Church's missionary operations at home and abroad; and that both these discussions indicated a state of healthiness, and also proved that they had a heart for those who were less advantageously situated than themselves. England had already had good proof of the kindly disposition of the Irish brethren, and he felt it a pleasant duty to express the acknowledgments of the Presbyterian Church in England for the aid she had received from the Irish Assembly. Many of the proba tioners of the Irish Presbyterian Church had accepted charges in England, and he (Mr. F.) had pleasure in testifying to the zeal and efficiency with which they gave themselves to the work of the ministry, and to the success which has almost uniformly attended their labours. But, in addition to this, England had got men of more experience, for whom he could not sufficiently thank the Irish PresbyHe could not say much as to his friend and fellow-labourer beside him terian Church. (Rev. Mr. White), because he was present; he might say this, however, that they (in England) were willing to do every thing to him or with him, except to allow him to get back to Ireland again. ("Hear, hear," and a He was not restrained, however, by laugh.) Rev. J. S. Dickson, who had not only given the same delicacy in speaking of his friend, them his untiring labours in Manchester, but

Mr. GOUDY said he would not, by any
lengthened remarks of his own, occupy the
time of the Assembly, so as to interfere with
the gratification which they were sure to re-
ceive from the statements of their brethren,
the members of the English Deputation. He
had attended the meeting of the English Pres-
towards the close of the sittings of that body.
byterian Synod at Birmingham, in April last,
From the lateness of his arrival, he had not
enjoyed the opportunity of addressing the Sy-
nod, and conveying to its members the Assem-
bly's message of sympathy and esteem, but
this had been done at a previous sederunt by
their late Moderator. He had been struck by
a remark made by Doctor Hetherington in
History of the Church of Scotland."
That historian, in stating that in several parts
of England schools existed, the members of
which received a small endowment on condi-
tion that they taught their pupils the Shorter
mented the loss which that country had sustained
Catechism of the Presbyterian Church, la-
in being deprived of Presbyterianism as one
of her institutions; and he expressed his be-
lief that its restoration would yet come to pass,
because he rested in the declaration that the
truth of God would universally prevail over
the earth. (Hear, hear.) Had this occurred,
England would scarcely have at this time
witnessed the ill-omened efforts of the enemies
of Evangelical truth to introduce Popery and
semi-Popery, or Puseyism-(hear, hear) or
if the attempt had been made, Presbyterianism
would have presented a barrier to its success,
and defeated the pro-Popish policy of Eng-
land's rulers. The Rev. Gentleman concluded
by expressing his conviction that the Synod
were preparing the way for the eventual suc-
introduced the Deputation.
cess of Presbyterianism in England, and then

Rev. D. FERGUSSON, of Liverpool, then said
it was not to be expected that the Assembly
should feel the interest in any statements
that attached to the address of the venerable
offered by such a youthful deputy as himself
man whom the audience was recently listening
to; neither was it to be expected that the
arrangements of such a small body as the
Church which he had the honour of repre-
senting could secure such attention as the
arrangements of a Church whose very name
watchword for Christian faithfulness and
was to all Christian Churches of Europe the
Christian liberality. (Hear, hear.) Yet he

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