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sons and of young men studying for the ministry than we have ever had in our old college, and it is believed that the interests of religion will be subserved by thus countenancing us on this occasion.
President of the College, "HENRY W. GREEN, G. W. MUSGRAVE, JOHN C. BackUS, CYRUS Dickson."
Judge Wm. STRONG : Mr. Moderator: I move you, sir, that a delegation of twenty members of this Assembly, to be appointed by the Moderator, be sent to attend the laying of this corner-stone on the 28th inst., one week from to-morrow.
I need hardly say, sir, that a more interesting ceremony can hardly be devised. As Presbyterians we are deeply interested in the College of New Jersey.
It is our institution more than any other collegiate institution of the country. It well befits us, therefore, I think, sir, to attend the ceremonies of laying the corner-stone of a new building to be dominated Re-union Hall. My motion, therefore, is for a delegation of twenty members of this Assembly, to be appointed by the Moderator, to attend the laying of that corner-stone, and that the day be fixed for the 28th iust., to-morrow week.
Dr. BREED: I would make an amendment. In addition to the delegation of twenty, I move that any others be sent who may choose to accompany them.
The motion as amended was passed.
On Saturday, May 28th, from two hundred and fifty to three hundred of members and others connected with the Assembly, came up
from Philadelphia to Princeton, to participate in this solemn and significant ceremony. The corner-stone was laid with due solemnity by Dr. Backus, the Moderator. Happy addresses were then made by him, Drs. Adams and Jacobus, by Judge Strong, and Hon. Wm. E. Dodge; and at the collation by Drs. Prentiss, Nelson, R. Patterson, Prof. Stoever, Hon. S. F. B. Morse, Hon. J. McKnight, and others. The interest of the occasion was enhanced by the unusual religious attention which has prevailed of late among the students. We trust that the Re-union of which it is a monument will prove lasting and happy, on foundations of truth and piety, more lasting than the rock of which the edifice is built; and
that the college in her future expansion, as well as in her past history, will evermore be devoted Christo et ecclesiæ.
Change in the Structure and Composition of the Boards.
The Boards of the past Old School Church have been composed of a large number of ministers and elders, generally exceeding fifty, selected from all parts of the church, divided into four sections, each one of which was in turn elected by the Assembly every four years. The result is, that the business of each Board must be conducted by the few members residing convenient to its principal office, and, in all ordinary cases, by an executive committee of these. Saving a few exceptional instances, the relation of the distant members of these Boards to their actual conduct and operations has been merely nominal. The advantages of this plan have been supposed to be, that it tends to awaken interest in the cause under the care of the Board in all parts of the church, and that in case of emergency, involving serious conflict of opinions, the more distant members could be summoned, so as to represent the mind of the whole church. This is good in theory. In a more compact body, like the churches of Scotland or Ireland, or our own half a century ago, it might be so in fact. But as it is, it is notorious that members of our Boards at all remote from their place of business, have little more to do with them, or the causes under their charge, than if they were not members. The only way in which the whole church is felt in shaping the policy of the Boards is in the annual meetings of the General Assembly, to which they report, from which they receive all instructions it inay be pleased to give, and by which their vacancies are annually filled. This essentially corresponds with the actual working of that oldest and most successful of our foreign missionary organizations, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, so far as an ecclesiastical organization can correspond in its movements with a close corporation acting as agent for the Congregational churches of our country, and such others as may choose to employ it for the purpose. The actual ordinary business of that Board is done, not under its immediate direction, but under the supervision
of its prudential committee, consisting of not more than ten members, and living in Boston or its adjacent suburbs. The Board itself, with great numbers of its supporters, whose spirit it aims at once to reflect and guide, meet once a year, and once only. It then fills vacancies, chooses its prudential committee and other executive officers, and gives such directions to them, as it may judge requisite. Here, in fact, is a committing of the whole business to the supervision of a small but competent body of men, who are annually made immediately responsible to the appointing Board, and, through them, to the great constituent body of contributors for whom this Board acts.
With us this responsibility is not to an unorganized body of contributors, but to the organized church, acting in her organic capacity, through her supreme judicatory, and thus enabled to make herself immediately and officially felt in guiding or correcting the policy of any of her Boards of evangelism. If the business of the several Boards, then, must be done under the supervision of men living at or convenient to their places of business, let them be composed of the most competent men living there, and let these be responsible, not mediately throngh a large and scattered Board that never meets, but immediately to the General Assembly. This is the surest way to unity, efficiency, intelligence, and fidelity of management; the most complete responsibility to the church; and the adoption of the best means for inspiring and organizing the bener. olence of the whole body. This change in the composition of our Boards, therefore, seems to us judicious and salutary. The Assembly has ordered an investigation, with instructions to report to the next Assembly, as to the best means for proper local assistant agencies, so that efficient influence may be propagated from the centre to the circumference of the church.
Foreign Missions. In this department, as the Old School had a chartered Board with the requisite property and agencies for conducting inissions among the heathen, while the other branch had operated wholly through the American Board, it was only necessary that the re-united church should adopt as their own the organization already in being for this purpose. In accordance with
the principles already explained, they reduced the number of the Board to fifteen, to be divided into classes of five each, whose terms of office severally expire every third year, five of the number to constitute a quorum. For reasons which we need not state, we deviate from onr usual course and give the list of the members of this Board appointed by the Assembly. We think it will commend itself to the church :
First Class, 1870-1873. - James Lenox, Esq., Robert L. Stuart, Esq., Hon. Wm. E. Dodge, Rev. Wm. Adams, D. D., Rev. J. O. Murray, D. D.
Second Class, 1870-1872.-Rev. Geo. L. Prentiss, D. D., Rev. Chas. K. Imbrie, D. D., David Oliphant, Esq., Walter S. Griffith, Esq., Rev. Robert R. Booth, D. D.
Third Class, 1870-1871.- Robert Carter, Esq., Robert Jaffray, Esq., Rev. Wm. M. Paxton, D.D., Rev. John D. Wells, D.D., Ezra L. Kingsley, Esq.
Only two points connected specially with this subject awakened much discussion. Of these, the first related to the transfer of the foreign missionary connections of the late New School branch from the American Board. In regard to this it is obvious, 1. That this portion of the church will not at once universally cease their contributions to the American Board. Old habits, tender attachments, and sacred associations will prevent the immediate completion of this transfer. Portions and members of some Old School churches continued to contribute to the American Board till a very recent period. 2. Our brethren of the other branch have in good faith concluded to co-operate with us in putting missions upon an ecclesiastical and Presbyterian platform, in supporting and working through the Presbyterian Board, and in bringing their ministry and churches to promote the cause through this channel as rapidly and generally as is practicable. 3. It is only right that as they withdraw their contributions from the American Buard to the Presbyterian Board, the latter should assume the support and control of some of the inissions heretofore sustained by the contributions so withdrawn. 4. In this transition state it must inevitably happen that some temporary anomalies will occur, which must be charitably borne with until, in due course of things, the working of the Presbyterial system will bring all parties involved into harmony with it. After hearing the report of the committee appointed by the New School Assembly to confer with the American Board,
action was adopted in substantial conformity to the foregoing views, and the same comınittee was continued further to mature negotiations now in progress, and to report to the next Assembly.
Evangelizing the Indians, Policy of the Government, Political
Deliverances by the Assembly. One of the resolutions recommended to the Assembly for adoption, by its standing committee on the subject, was the following :
"That the Assembly views with deep concern the upevangelized condition of the aboriginal population of our land, and deprecates the increasing tendency among many of our citizens to treat them as a race to be exterminated, rather than as the proper objects of Christian effort, to be thereby civilized and gathered into the fold of Christ; and the Assembly hereby authorizes the Board of Missions to put forth its utmost efforts to accomplish this humane and benignant purpose."
This commanded the general if not unanimous acquiescence of the Assembly, and was finally carried. Dr. Howard Crosby offered the following amendment to it, which was rejected :
" That we heartily indorse the peaceful and Christian policy of the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, and the other officers of tho government toward the Indian tribes within our borders, and trust that the humane and thoughtful of the land will join us in sustaining the hands of our President and government in this important action."
Dr. Crosby, Hon. Wm. E. Dodge, and others supported this on the ground that the government, especially those most responsible for its present humane policy, are entitled to the support and co-operation of the Christian people of the country. Dr. Beatty, Dr. Musgrave, and others, while avowing themselves republicans who voted for General Grant, and agreeing with every word of the amendment, were nevertheless strenuonsly opposed to its adoption by the Assembly. They regarded it as a beginning and precedent for political deliverances by the united church, which might work great mischief in the future. Some proposed a compromise, by leaving ont the words “President,” “Secretary of the Interior,” etc., and commending "the peaceful policy of the the government," or like softened phrase. Dr. Crosby, how