found satisfactory to them, which will reduce the Assemblies to proper dimensions. Viewing the whole case, the Reconstruction Committee at last recommended that the commissioners be elected by Presbyteries in the ratio of one for every twenty, or fraction of twenty, ministers, and in case of any odd number of delegates from any Presbytery, the odd menuber to be in alternate years, first a minister, then a ruling elder, all even pairs to consist of one minister and one elder.

The discussion of the ratio soon brought into debate the basis of representation. The Scotch, Irish, and we believe the English delegates, when inquired of, reported that in the bodies represented by them, no ministers were voting members of Presbyteries, or eligible to the General Assembly, except pastors and theological professors, unless as ruling elders, to which office ministers without charge are often elected in the congregations to which they belong. Then some proposed to make the number of churches, others of church-members, in a Presbytery, the basis of its ratio of representation in the General Assembly.

It soon became evident that no satisfactory solution of the matter could be reached without thorough discussion of these subjects, some of them new to many of the body, and that there was no time for the due consideration of them during the present session of the Assembly. No change in the ratio was therefore made, and the whole subject was referred to the next General Assembly. This was better than a hasty and crude decision now. It is, moreover, hoped that the union and reconstruction of old Presbyteries will reduce their pumber and afford some relief. We have no doubt, however, of the absolute necessity of some change in our large and rapidly growing church in the ratio of representation, in order to prevent the body from getting huge and unwieldy.

Some alterations of the constitution were proposed by the committee, and ordered by the house to be referred to the Presbyteries for ratification.

The principal of these were, that no Presbytery should consist of less than five members; and for the relief of the General Assembly in the dispatch of business, and to discourage pertinacious litigation in the church courts, that all bills,


references, and complaints terminate at the Synods, except in questions of constitutional law or the trial of a minister for heresy in doctrine. This latter it is proposed to accomplish by an alteration in the constitution in the following form :

“In the Form of Government, Chapter XII., Section 4, add to the first sentence, at its close, the following words, AND WHICH RELATE EXCLUSIVELY to the construction of the Constitution, or to the trial of a Minister for heresy in doctrine."

These amendments are so wholesome, yea, indispensable, that they can hardly fail to secure the requisite Presbyterial ratification.

Theological Seminaries. One subject on which important portions of the church have been much exercised, has been the relation of the theological seminaries to the General Assembly, and the placing of them all, so far as their charters and legal obligations would permit, upon a common basis in this respect. In order to this, the brief suggestions thrown out in our April number appear to have been carried into effect by the Assembly, as they had previously met with the approbation of all parts of the church. The Board of Directors of Princeton Seminary unanimously proposed to the Assembly to subunit the control of the seminary and the filling of vacancies in its chairs to themselves, subject only to the veto of the Assembly. The Board of Trustees of Union Seminary of New York proposed to the Assembly to submit their own election of professors to the veto of the Assembly. The way was thus prepared, under the discreet leadership of Dr. Adams, for the following ultimate disposal of the subject, with the utmost unanimity and cordiality—a result in which we are sure all parties will rejoice:-

"1. Accepting the offer so generously made by the Directors of the Union The. ological Seminary in New York, a seminary independent hitherto of all direct ecclesiastical control, to invest the General Assembly with the right of a veto in the election of professors in that institution, this Assembly would invite all those Theological Seminaries, not now under the control of the General Assembly, to adopt at their earliest convenience, the same rule and method, to the end, that throughout the whole Presbyterian Church there may be uniform and complete confidence in those intrusted with the training of our candidates for the ministry.

" 2. That the several Boards of Directors of those seminaries which are now

under the control of the General Assembly, shall be anthorized to elect, suspend, and displace the professors of the seminaries under their care, subject in all cases to the velo of the General Assembly, to whom they shall annually make a full report of their proceedings, and to whom their minutes shall be submitted whenever the Assembly shall require them to be produced. These Boards shall surther be authorized to fix the salaries of the professors, and to fill their own va. cancies, subject in all cases to the veto of the General Assembly.

"3. That a committee of five be appointed by the Assembly to propose such alterations in the plans of the seminaries now under the control of the Assembly, as shall be deemed necessary to carry into effect the principles above stated, and and that saià committee report to this or to the next succeeding Assembly.

"4. In case the Board of Directors of any theological seminary now under the control of the General Assembly, should prefer to retain their present relation to this body, the plan of such seminary shall remain unaltered."

The Assembly also approved of the action of the Directors of Princeton Seminary, increasing their salaries from $2,666 to $3,000.

Since writing the foregoing, we have seen the election of the

persons named below, to fill vacancies in the Board of Directors in Princeton Senninary, being nearly all persons who have long and worthily filled the office, held forth as a "strange exception " to the course pursued in regard to the election of trustees of the General Assembly and directors of the Seminary of the Northwest ; because the Assembly did not drop froin their places these old and honored guardians of the seminary, and put New School men in their place. We knew nothing about the vacancies or the election to fill them until we saw the account of it in the published proceedings of the Assembly. The names are the following :

Ministers: William D. Snodgrass, D. D., Joseph McElroy, D. D., G. W. Musgrave, D.D., Robert Hammill, D.D., Joseph T. Smith, D. D., Robert Davidson, D. D., Gardiner Spring, D.D. Elders : Robert Carter, John K. Finlay, George Sharswood, LL. D., Thomas C. M. Paton, to fill the place of Moses Allen.

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For ourselves we should have considered it a strange exception " to the plan for the unification of our theological seminaries, had they been dropped without their own voluntary resignation. Would it be in keeping with the spirit of that plan for the other side to demand that a like number of the venerated guardians of Union or Auburn seminary should resign to make room for others, perhaps more strongly attach

ed and deroted to other seminaries? We are not disposed to censure the Assembly in this matter.

In regard to Chicago Seininary the case is different. That institution still chooses to retain its former relation to the Assembly unaltered. Its intestine feuds, revived unhappily into fresh violence, demand the interposition of the Assembly, and the infusion of new elements into its board of direction. Rev. Dr. Prentiss, of New York, was chosen to its vacant professorship of theology. We trust this will serve to put an end to its strifes. Dr. West was transferred to the chair of Theology, and Rev. S. H. McMullin elected Professor of Biblical and Ecclesiastical History; Rev. G. D. Archibald, D.D., of Pastoral Theology and Church Government in Danville Seminary.

It was agreed that the agencies and capital for publication, heretofore owned by both bodies, should be combined in one, under the charter and corporate title of the Presbyterian Board of Publication ; that it should be located in Philadel. phia; that adequate buildings and other acconimodations for its publishing operations should be put upon the property owned and used by the New School for this purpose, and that the edifice vi' the Old School, 821 Chestnut Street, be sold, as wholly insufficient and unsuited to the business. The location of the Board of Education for the united body was also fixed in Philadelphia. The New School Board of Church Extension, having a charter from the State of New York, under which it holds a large amount of funds, and that of the Old School, having no such charter or funds, it was agreed to combine them both under the charter of the New School, and to locate thern in New York. The Comınittee on Freedmen was continued for the present at Pittsburgh.

We should be glad to say something on the projected five million memorial fund, the function of the financial committee, the proposition to bave one financial board and treasury, to superintend all the fiscal affairs of the church, gathering all the receipts, and distributing to each evangelic department a portion in due season. These and other topics which we omit entirely would each justify an article. But we have no room. We shall recur to them, and to any other

see cause,

topics requiring discussion, in order to the right adjustment of our ecclesiastical system, in our new condition, as we may

We shall treat of the deputation to the Southern Assembly in a separate article.

On the whole, the first General Assembly of the re-united Presbyterian Church, the greatest and most memorable in our history, was enabled, by the blessing of heaven, to be true to its high position, and walk worthy of its high vocation. It is the universal testimony that it embodied an amount of wisdom, piety, culture, and weight of character never before shown in any ecclesiastical convocation on this continent. No less preeminent were the delegations to it from other bodies, especially from the Presbyterian bodies of Great Britain. It had an immense amount of difficult and momentous work before it; and in the main did it wisely and well. For their ability to accomplish this they were much indebted to the admirable preparatory labors of the various joint committees appointed at Pittsburgh. The proceedings of the Assembly were conducted with marked unanimity, and it was rare that the slightest discordant ripple marred the uniform harmony of the body, or the Christian dignity and courtesy of its proceedings. The first beginnings of the united church have surely been auspicious. May this prove the true angury of its future. So far we can see the gracious and guiding hand of God. May it never leave nor forsake us.

All accounts represent the closing hours and parting scenes of the session as a fit culmination of so glorious a meeting. The spirit, plentifully vouchsafed, filled the whole body with a holy love, peace, and delight, so that every face shone with a heavenly lustre, while every eye was moist, as all wept for joy. It was a very mount of transfiguration. All felt that it was good to be there, beholding the Saviour in his glory, and his church in her beauty. But it is not given to us here thus to tabernacle for more than brief season in the heights so resplendent with the Master's transporting presence. This can only be in the church triumphant in heaven, in which, when be appears, we also shall appear with him in glory.


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