special function of the church to carry out this law. This Assembly is doing this great work when it passes this motion, by thus throwing a protection over that race, and assisting in the great work of evangelizing them."

The article of the report was carried, as it originally stood. We believe the Assembly in this whole matter was divinely guided, and is in a far safer position than it would have been, had the contrary action been taken.

The relation of the church and of religion to politics is still greatly confused in multitudes of minds. And yet we apprehend that the difference is far less as to the principle involved than its applications. Is the church to shrink from the maintenance or affirmation of any principle or truth of morality or religion, because any political party opposes or advocates it, or because such truth has in any way became entangled with politics ? What Christian will say so, or give place to such a doctrine for an hour? Is she to be muzzled in speaking for truth, honesty, humanity, faith, repentance, regeneration, the Trinity, Incarnation, Atonement, Eternal Judgment, or against Popery, Socinianism, Scepticism, for any such reason? Never, never. But then when the ques

. tion arises as to the concrete methods adopted by any political party for carrying out or furthering these principles, we get into a region of expediency about which the best of men may differ, and do honestly differ. We get into a region in which these men may and ought, outside of the church, to adopt such measures as seem to them best adapted to carry into effect their convictions. We get into a region befogged, and befouled by all the passions which debase party politics. If we attempt to erect them into church deliverances, we introduce these passions into the church. As private Christians or citizens, let Christians uphold whatever administrations, officers, and measures they may judge right. But let them not undertake to make them deliverances of the Church of God, or to sustain them by such deliverances. If the advocates of the President may seek this sanction, so also may his opponents, until the church is engaged in an endless wrangle on matters essentially secular, and heart-burnings, alienations, strifes, divisions, and secessions are the baleful consequence.

The debates on this very subject in the Assembly itself, indicate a serious difference of judgment among the members, as to what course is most truly humane in the dealings of the government with the Indians. Some evidently thought that the Quaker agencies operate against Presbyterian evangelisin. Soine thought that the only practicable methods of doing the Indians any good, of Christianizing and civilizing them, preventing their massacres of the whites, and their own consequent extermination, was to give them reservations, and compel them to stay upon them. This view was warmly pressed by Col. J. Ross Snowden, as the result of his observation and experience among them. The tone of the speeches of those living on the frontier, or in vicinity to the Indians, was not indeed that of opposition to the vote as passed ; but of men who evidently and earnestly felt that humanity to the white, as well as red man, requires not only Christian kindness to the latter, but the vigorous exercise of the military arm of the government to prevent the massacre and butchery of our own defenceless pioneers.

We do not refer to these things for the purpose of giving any opinion upon them, but simply in order to show the wide room for diversity of opinion as to the concrete political application of moral and religious principles on which the whole church is a unit, and the danger of committing the organized church to the advocacy of the specific measures of political parties. There may be exceptions, on rare occasions, of paramonnt and overbearing necessity, when the national life is at stake; where there is no room for reasonable doubt or debate, and the church itself is essentially a unit, as in some exigencies of the late war. It may often be that the church will find it necessary to stand in opposition to wrongs espoused by politicians and parties, such as the exclusion of the Bible from schools. But it must be a very rare contingency that can justify it in espousing and sanctioning, as a church, the concrete measures of parties and politicians as such. This distinction between moral and religious principles, and their concrete embodiment and application, especially in politics, is recognized constantly in our daily living and practice. Who questions that parents ought to support and educate their children according to their means and position ? And yet how far from evident is it, what room for difference of judgment in any concrete case is there, as to what is a fit support and edn. cation? How far from certain is it how much spending money he should be allowed? All these things lie on the verge of ethical, and in the sphere of what are sometimes technically indeterminate duties. And if we may not privately dogmatize in such matters, much less may the high court of the church.

A motion to transfer the care of missions to the Jews, Chinese, and Indians, from the Foreign to the Domestic Board, was referred to the joint committee on Home and Foreign Missions, with instructions to report upon it to the next General Assembly.

Domestic Missions. It having been decided by eminent legal counsel that the New School Committee of Home Missions, incorporated by the State of New York, and the Old School Board of Domestic Missions, incorporated by the legislature of Pennsylvania, could not be welded together without danger to their legal franchises, unless the requisite enabling legislation could be obtained in each of these States; and it having been further decided on the same authority that, prior and in order to snch legislation, the location of the chief office for conducting business must be determined, the most important action of the Assembly on this subject consisted in appointing committees to procure such legislation before the meeting of the next Assembly, and in fixing said location. The vote on location was: For Philadelphia, 153; for New York, 306. New York was therefore chosen by a two-thirds majority.

Any heart-burnings and griefs awakened by this choice were quickly soothed by the election of Rev. Henry Kendall, D. D., and Rev. Cyrus Dickson, D. D., as co-ordinate Secretaries, and Samuel Powell, Esq., of Philadelphia, so long Treasurer of the Old School Board of Missions, as Treasurer. This was done unanimously by acclamation, on motion of Dr. Adams, commended by one of his happy speeches. No step better fitted to pacify and unify the church, and smooth its future workings, could have been taken. A resolution, highly commendatory of the services of Dr. Musgrave, as Secretary of the Board, an oflice which he resigned on account of advancing years, was unanimously adopted.

We rejoice in the unmistakable signs of the universal prevalence in the Assembly of the opinion that the allowance to domestic missionaries, as well as the salaries of the ministry generally, ought to be largely increased. We trust that reunion, with proper unity and efficiency of organization, will evoke a beneficence in this department, of which all the present is but the mere dawn. The Assembly indeed voted that all salaries of inissionaries now short of $800 ought to be raised to that sum.

Reconstruction. This term has been used to denote ecclesiastical changes, whether of the constitution, or of the bounds and composition of Synods and Presbyteries, rendered needful or expedient in connection with re-union. From the nature of the case, it was impossible that the joint committee on the subject should do more than present a programme for the Assembly to perfect. The subject is one of extreme difficulty and delicacy, and requires a knowledge of localities from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and froin the St. Lawrence to the Gulf, which is impossible to individuals, and can only be had in the Assembly containing commissioners from all these localities. All felt that the committee had done their arduous work elaborately and faithfully, and furnished an outline chart, by the aid of which that body could press the work forward to completion. This they proceeded to do, first with regard to Synodical boundaries, in which they followed the scheme presented by the committee with some modifications. The only question of principle that arose here was, whether the Assembly should constitute the newly-constructed Presbyteries, and out of these constitute the Synods in the natural order; or whether, having constituted the latter according to the book, it shonld leave to the Synods the formation of the Presbyteries, as the book also directs. The former course was recommended in the report of the Reconstruction Committee, and advocated on the floor of the Assembly by Messrs. Beatty, Musgrave, Hat

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field, and Judge Strong, as having been contemplated by the Assemblies at Pittsburgh, as being within the constitutional prerogative of the Assernbly, and as necessary to expedite reconstruction. It was earnestly opposed by Dr. Spear, Judge Haines, and others, as unconstitutional, and inexpedient because impossible to be done by the Assembly with competent knowledge of what the boundaries of the Presbyteries onght to be. These reasons prevailed with the majority. As to the constitutional question, we do not doubt, we do not believe a majority of the Assembly doubted, that, although the constitution expressly gives this authority to Synods, yet, in the absence of any express self-imposed prohibition, it also leaves it potentially in the Assembly as the original repository of the fulness of the whole church's power, to be exercised, if nced be, in extraordinary emergencies. But we quite concur with the large majority who, aside of constitutional scruples, regarded this course as inexpedient in the present case, not only because the Assembly was so ill-qualified to do the work, but because such large numbers questioned its constitutionality

Basis and Ratio of Representation. Perhaps there is no subject in regard to which there is a more universal conviction that some change ought to be made, and so little agreement and certainty as to how it should be made, as that which respects the ratio of representation. All agree, with scarce an exception, that the body under the present ratio of representation is too large for convenient dispatch of business, and for the endurance of ordinary, practicable hospitality. The reconstruction committee at first recommended Synodical representation, which has the great merit of surely accomplishing the object through existing organizations of the church. But they found it unacceptable to the church, which is strongly wedded to Presbyterial representation, from immemorial habit and other grave considerations. We confess that we prefer this, not from any scruples respecting the constitutionality of Synodical representation, but because we think the Presbyteries are more suitable bodies to elect commissioners, if a method of apportionment can be

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