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fulfil his part of the contract, if he chooses to decline payment; for it is a first principle of ethics that promises are binding in the sense, and only in the sense, in which the promisor believed the promisee to understand them, at the time of making them. It is a matter of unspeakable rejoicing that this obstinate and bitter strife has been composed. It would have been sad to carry such a root of bitterness into the re-united church.
The committee on the Danville Seminary, having the Hon. Stanley Matthews for its chairman, was no less successful in its labors. They were deeply impressed with the importance of the seminary, and of its continuance on the soil of Keutucky; they also found that the want of harmony in the faculty made its reorganization very necessary. The professors nobly relieved the Assembly of all embarrassment by placing their resignations in the hands of the committee. The Assembly accordingly declared their chairs vacant, and ordered an election to fill these vacancies. It wisely discontinued the system of summer sessions recently tried in that institution. It ordered that no professor in the seminary should be either a trustee or director. The following persons were elected to the several vacant chairs : Dr. E. P. Humphrey, Didactic and Polemic Theology; Dr. Stephen Yerkes, Biblical Literature and Exegetical Theology; Dr. N. West, Biblical and Ecclesiastical History; Dr. L. J. Halsey, Church Governinent and Pastoral Theology.
The following gentlemen were nominated and elected Directors of the Presbyterian Seminary of the Northwest, in place of those whose terms expired last spring: Ministers—J. M. Buchanan, D.D.; Robert Patterson, D.D.; J. D. Mason ; M. C. Anderson ; Robert Beer. Ruling Elders—Jesse L. Williams; Charles A. Spring; J. G. Grier; S. N. Moore; Chas. E. Vanderburg.
And the following to fill vacancies in the Board of Trustees of the General Assembly: Rev. George Hale, D.D. ; Rev. D. A. Cunningham; Hon. J. K. Findlay ; Archibald McIntyre; James T. Young; Robert Cornelius; H. Lenox Hodge, M. D.
ACTION LOOKING TO CLOSER UNION WITH OTHER PRESBYTERIIN
AND CALVINISTIC BODIES.
Both Assemblies upon hearing the reports of Dr. Fisher and Dr. Musgrave, touching the causes of failure to obtain another meeting of the Joint Committee of New and Old School, and United Presbyterians, in order to negotiate an organic union between the three bodies, adopted the following resolutions :
" Resolved, That, rejoicing in the immediate re-union of the two Presbyterian bodies, so long separated, we would gladly hail a Pan-Presbyterian Union, em. bracing all branches of the Presbyterian family, holding to the same confession of faith and form of government.
“ Resolved, That until such desirable union shall be accomplished, we will gladly welcome to our church connection all congregations, pastors, and members who embrace the doctrines of the confession.
" Resolved, That all uniting with us may freely enjoy the privilege of using such songs of praise to Almighty God as their conscience may dictate; as, indeed, is already allowed to, and variously enjoyed in, and by the several congregations now in our communion."
It having become manifest, however, that the second and third of these resolutions were injuriously misconstrued, they were afterward reconsidered, and wisely stricken out, in both bodies.
Upon a memorial from the Synod of St. Paul asking our Assembly to send delegates to the Assembly of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church in this country, the Rev. Mr. Roberts moved that this Assembly send two delegates--one minister and one elder--to the next General Assembly of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church.
The motion was adopted, and the Rev. W. C. Roberts and Ruling Elder Mahlon Mulford were appointed said delegates.
HEIDELBERG CATECHISM. Rev. Dr. Knox-As this is a time of union, I ask leave to present the following paper :
"Whereas, The Heidelberg Catechism unquestionably states and defends the doctrines of God's word, held by our own in common with the other reformed churches, and inasmuch as the Reformed (late Dutch) Church has, by an act of its General Synod, formally placed the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly by the side of this, its own standard, allowing its churches to make use of either one at their option; therefore
" Resolved, That this Assembly is of opinion that if any churches desire to employ the leidelberg Catechism in the instruction of their children, such usage may be permitted."
Upon this, a committee of five was appointed to report to the next General Assembly, consisting of Messrs. Plumley, Rodgers, Knox, ministers, and L. J. Fox and A. B. Belknap, ruling elders.
An extended and elaborate protest was presented from the Board of Publication against the practice of making drafts on their treasury to defray expenses foreign to the purposes of the Board, and of its endowments particular reference being had to the order of the Assembly last spring, that it advance $5,000 to discharge the expenses of the church litigation in Kentucky, on which it reported that $2,000 had already been paid. We wish we had room to place this able and conclusive document entire upon our pages. A motion to lay it upon the table failed by a large majority. It was referred to a committee consisting of Dr. A. G. Hall, Dr. Cyrus Dickson, and Hon. J. T. Nixon.
The chairman of the committee, Dr. Hall, presented the following report, which was adopted.
“The committee to which was referred the memorial of the Board of Publication, touching the order of the General Assembly in May last, to the said Board, to pay the sum of $5,000 to the committee, of which Dr. Humphrey is Chairman, appointed by the Assembly to counsel and co-operate with parties to a suit at law, involving the rights of property of the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky, respectfully report:
“1. That the memorial be admitted to record by this Assembly.
"2. That the order of the Assembly above recited shall not be hereafter regarded as a precedent for any appropriation of the funds of said Board, aside from the legitimate objects of their creation."
We hope that in such exigencies hereafter the liberality of the church will be found equal to its necessities, without diverting the resources of any of our Boards from their appropriate ends. Although the proposition had been made to defray the expenses of the committees at Danville and Chicago from the funds of the same Board, it was happily abandoned, and they were ordered to be paid from the treasuries of the respective seminaries on account of which they were incurred.
CONSUMMATION OF RE-UNION. Early on the first day of the session both Assemblies referred all matters concerning re-union to the joint committee who arranged the plan of union last sent down to, and approved by, the Presbyteries. The stated clerk of the Old School Assembly, Rev. A. T. McGill, D. D., reported that,
“The Presbyteries in connection with this Assembly have reported, in writing, on the overture of re-union, as ordered in the Brick Church, at New York, except the following ten, viz. :-- Austin, Corisco, Knox, Knoxville, Maury, Ogdensburg, Shantung, Siam, Stockton, and Western Africa.
“The stated clerk of the Santa Fé Presbytery has reported by letter that it is impossible for this Presbytery to have a meeting in present circumstances. The Presbyteries of Allahabad and Canton, being unable to meet within the time specified, have sent circulars, signed by a majority of each, to indicate the will of the Presbytery in favor of the re-union as now proposed; but these are not counted in declaring the result. Another Presbytery, Lahore, formed by the Synod of Northern India, in December last, but not regularly reported, as yet, by any officer of that Synod, has sent its answer to this overture in written form, and this has been counted; on the presumption that the Assembly will recognize, at this meeting, the existence of that Presbytery on our roll.
“We have thus one hundred and forty-four Presbyteries. One hundred and twenty-eight of these have answered the overture sent down affirmatively in writing. Three-Hudson, Rio de Janeiro, and West Lexington-have answered in the negative. Fifty-eight have been unanimous in the vote. Not including Presbyteries in which the divided vote is not specified in the answers, and those in which the want of unanimity is expressed only by a non liquet and “excused from voting,” there may be counted two hundred and forty-five negative votes detailed in these returns, and distributed among sixty Presbyteries, and in about equal proportion of ministers and ruling elders. The Presbytery of Nassau has reported a formal protest along with the detail of negative votes."
The stated clerk of the New School Assembly reported that,
“The number of Presbyteries connected with this General Assembly is one hundred and thirteen. Official responses have been received from every one of them. They have all answered the overture in the affirmative. In each of the Presbyteries of Albany, Millsboro, and the Distriet of Columbia, a single negative vote was cast. In each of the remaining one hundred and ten Presbyteries, the vote was unanimous. Respectfully submitted.
"EDWIN F. HATFIELD, Stated Clerk. “PITTSBURG, November 10, 1869,"
REPORT FROM RE-UNION COMMITTEE.
Elder Henry Day, Secretary of the Joint Committee of Conference on Re-union, submitted the following report from the Committee:
The Joint Committee of Conference on Re-union met on the 10th of November, 1869, in the lecture room of the First Presbyterian Church.
The following resolutions and plans of procedure for the consummation of the re-union of the churches, were adopted, and recommended as proper to be passed by the respective Assemblies :
1. That each Assembly should declare the vote of the Presbyteries in the following language :
" This Assembly having received and examined the statements of the several Presbyteries on the basis of re-union of the two bodies now claiming the name and rights of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, which basis is in the words following:
* * The re-union shall be effected on the doctrinal and ecclesiastical basis of our common standards. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament shall be acknowledged to be the inspired word of God, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. The Confession of Faith shall continue to be sincerely received and adopted, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures, and the government and discipline of the Presbyterian Church in the United States shall be approved as containing the principles and rules of our polity;'
“Do hereby find and declare that the said basis of re-union has been approved by more than two-thirds of the Presbyteries connected with this branch of the church.
"And, whereas, the other branch of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, dow sitting in the Third Presbyterian Church, in the city of Pittsburg, has reported to this Assembly that said basis has been approved by more than two-thirds of the Presbyteries connected with that branch of the church; now, therefore, we do solemnly declare that said basis of re-union is of binding force."
2. That this committee do recommend that a special committee of five from each branch of the church shall be appointed to take into consideration the affairs of each of the Boards and Committees of both branches of the church to recommend to the Assembly of the United Church, next to be held, what changes are required in said boards and committees.
3. That each Assembly also pass the following :
* Whereas, It is apparent, from the size of the two Assemblies, that some changes must be made in the present method of representation; therefore,
* Resolved. That each of the Assemblies of 1869 do appoint a committee of five, to constitute a joint committee of ten, whose duty it shall be to prepare and propose to the General Assembly of the United Church, a proper adjustment of the boundaries of the Presbyteries and Synods, and the ratio of representation, and any amendments of the constitution which they may think necessary, to secure efficiency and harmony in the administration of the church so greatly enlarged and so rapidly extending."
4. That the Assemblies do meet at nine o'clock on Friday morning next, and that the vote of the Presbyteries be declared in each Assembly at ten o'clock, and that each Assembly be then dissolved in the usual manner prescribed by the form of goverument. That each Assembly do imniediately repair to the Third Presbyterian Church, there to hold a joint meeting for prayer and praise, and that a joiut communion service be held on the same day at three o'clock in the