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ever, said this would be “ taking the blade out of the knife.” The following speech of Dr. Musgrave made a clear and simple issue of the whole matter.

“I have listened to this amendment with great concern. You all know what bitter fruit resulted from what were called the political deliverances of, the General Assembly in past times. I hope, sir, that we shall not renew this thing and make any deliverance whatever on political subjects. It is not our province. We establish a mischievous precedent; we excite the ill-will and the jealousy of a large portion of the community. And no matter how we deliver ourselves on any political subject, we shall be met by opposition.

Now, sir, the resolution that was proposed by the committee, it seems to me, covers the whole ground. It is well, in my judgment, that this Assembly should take no action with reference to General Grant, and his Secretary, or any particular line of policy which any political party may pursue. Now I may speak with freedom on this subject, because I am what politicians call a Republican. But, sir, I don't want my church to indorse Republicanism. I voted for General Grant heartily, but I don't want this church to say any thing in favor of General Grant's policy. Let us have done with politics. We cannot handle it without damage to the cross of Christ. And what good will come of it? We can act in our capacity as citizens.

“We can have a convention whenever we like or a public meeting, and as citizens express our approbation or disapprobation of any political measure. But let the church of the Lord Jesus Christ stand aloof from all party politics. As I should deprecate ang deliverance in the Assembly on the subject of politics, I shall vote heartily against this amendment, and for that resolution of the committee which tends to advance the interests of the church we have at heart."

Dr. Crosby's amendment was accordingly lost by a large majority. A subsequent motion to strike out the clause against “extermination of the Indians," as being also political was advocated on the ground of consistency. It, however, utterly failed. Dr. McCosh said :

"I think the language in the report has been well weighed. It covers every point. I certainly wish to do away with the impression that those who may have voted for laying the amendments on the table, do by that mean to indicate that they approve in any manner of the exterminating policy.

"I think the clause that is put in this motion by your committee fills every object you have in view.

"It simply recognizes the need of evangelizing measures, and I confess I could not vote for that motion unless it contained all it does contain. It sets itself up against that feeling which is abroad in the scientific world, and which is propagated by a large portion of the public press, that the inferior races ought to be extorminated, and give way to the superior. That is not the law save as regards animals; not the law with regard to man, as established by our Divine Redeemer. His law is that weakness should conquer strength; that the suffering Redeemer should rise up to protect the weaker against the strong. It is the

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.”

T'he 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 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 inay 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, in

dicate 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 evangelism. Some 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 paramount 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 onght 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 wliat is a fit support and edo. 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 Secre: taries, and Samuel Powell, Esq., of Philadelphia, so long Treasurer of the Old School Buard 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 office which he resigned on account of advancing years, was unanimously adopted.

We rejoice in the unmistakable signs of the uviversal 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 missionaries now short of $800 ought to be raised to that sum.

Reconstruction.

This term has been used to denote ecclesiastical changes, wbether 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 from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf, which is impossible to individnals, 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 should 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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