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fidelity, on our warmth or coldness in what concerns Christ's glory as connected with the maintenance and propagation of His truth. And it depends on our zealous performance or guilty neglect of the duty we owe to the ignorant, debased, and perishing heathen at home and abroad. If a healthy, vigorous, and active Christianity be not sustained among usif we settle down contented with the enjoyment of our own spiritual satisfactions, and without a lively and operative sense that God has iutrusted us with a mission to a world lying in wickedness—then may we be justly startled by such words as these, “ Enlargement and deliverance shall arise from another place, but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed.” For, under the righteous government of God, no valuable blessing is won, or can be retained, without labour and faithfulness, patience and sacrifice-hear, hear.) And, fathers and brethren, it is not possible to stand in this place, and to look around on this Free Assembly, without an expression of gratitude to God for our liberty to prosecute without let or hindrance the spiritual ends and objects for which the Church of Christ has been divinely set up in our world. If we fail in the fulfilment of the duties incumbent on us, we cannot allege in excuse that our Church is denied the exercise of any of the powers bestowed on her by her Divine Head. When we mark the bondage by which the free action of many Churches is impeded, and the divisions which distract them—when in the Church of England, for example, we see Ritualism spreading on the one hand, and Rationalism on the other, and charcb-rulers utterly powerless to arrest their progress-and when We see evangelical truth, in the person of its friends, seeking to nestle in an uncongenial home, and in the company of unworthy associates, we can contemplate without alarm the probable issue of things so incongruous, and so injurious to the interests of the pure doctrine of God's Word. From our personal experience we can promise the faithful ministers and people of our common Lord that, in the event of a dissolution of their connexion with the State, they will bave no cause of lamentation. They will be introduced into a region wherein, with their loyalty to their Queen unquenched-burning rather with a brighter flame-they shall breatbe the air of spiritual freedom, and, as Christ's servants, acknowledging His sole sovereignty in His Church, sball enjoy an independence and liberty of action, with the value of wbich the emoluments of the richest Establishment are not worthy to be compared. (Loud applause.) As for ourselves, let us continue to “stand fast in this liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." And if it is allowable for me to give utterance here to my personal longings, I would add, let us endeavour to prosecute to a happy consummation, in accordance with the claims of truth and love, a cordial union with the other Churches of our native land, which, rejoicing with us in the same spiritual ancestry, and inheriting the faith of Calvin and Knox, bold as firmly as ourselves the sole headship of Christ, and our other distinctive Presbyterian doctrines and principles; that so, with our resources duly husbanded, and our energies concentrated, we may stand together for the mutual defence of our liberties, may make common inroad against the enemy of souls at home and in heathen lands, and may, with the blessing of God, transmit our religious rights and privileges unimpaired to the generations following. (Applause.) From such a union may we not warrantably anticipate, in addition to other advantages, such an impulse to the cause of vital godliness in the land, and such an enlargement of its sphere of influence, as shall go far to prevent or cure the sordidness, the worldliness, and the enervating luxuriousness, which are to be dreaded as the baleful fruit of ever-increasing but unsanctified wealth. The most effectual antidote to that love of money wbich is the root of all evil, is to have the heart of the community inflamed, expanded, and invigorated through love to Christ and His cause. And this end, so devoutly to be wished, is most likely to be achieved by the Church when her scattered members, one in doctrine and discipline, shall be one also in visible communion, “walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, and having favour with all the people.” (Loud applause.
ADDRESS TO HER MAJESTY.
Mr Wilson, late Moderator, moved that the Assembly appoint the following members as a committee to prepare a loyal address to her Majesty :The Moderator, Mr Wilson, and Mr C. S. Murray Dunlop, M.P. (elder.)
The motion was agreed to.
After the appointment of the Committee on Arrangement of Business, the Committee on Bills, and the Committee on Overtures, the Assembly adjourned.
FRIDAY, MAY 24. The General Assembly met at one o'clock. The greater portion of the sederunt was, as usual, occupied in devotional exercises, which were conducted by the Moderator, Mr Wood of Elie, Professor Douglas, and Mr Somerville of Glasgow.
ASSEMBLY SERMONS. The Assembly Arrangements Committee recommended to the Assembly the following minute as to appointments to preach in the hall during its sittings, viz. :--The General Assembly hereby appoint Mr John Adam, minister at Aberdeen, to lecture and preach in the hall at the forenoon diet of Sabbath the 26th of May; Mr A. B. Bruce, minister at Cardross, to preach there in the afternoon; and Mr James MacGregor, minister at Paisley, in the evening of the same day. The Assembly also instruct Mr Adam, when preaching in the hall on the 26th of May, to advocate the claims of the Society for the Benefit of the Sons and Daughters of the Clergy. The Assembly also appoint Mr Andrew Cameron, minister at Maryton, to preach and lecture in the hall at the forenoon diet of Sabbath the 2d of June ; Mr Hugh M Millan, minister at Glasgow, in the afternoon; and Mr Alexander Whyte, minister at Glasgow, in the evening of the same day. The minute was adopted.
IRISII PRESBYTERIAN ASSEMBLY. The Assembly also heard the report of the same committee with reference to a deputation to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, to meet on the 3d of June next, and with reference to the vacancy in the office of precentor to the Assembly. The Assembly approved of the report as regards these matters, authorise the Committee on Assembly Arrangements to name a deputation to the Assembly in Ireland at a future diet, and hereby appoint Mr Walter Strang, precentor to the Assembly and its Commission, in room of the late much regretted Mr Hately.
REPORT ON COLLECTIONS.
The Assembly called for the schedules and lists anent collections, and for the report and statement of the clerks thereanent, in terms of the deliverances of the Assembly in 1860 and 1864. The schedules and lists were produced, and laid on the table. A statement thereanent on the part of the clerks was read by Sir Henry Moncreiff as follows :" The whole contributions from our congregations towards the spread of the gospel and the religious instruction of the people, by means of the Assembly collections, have this year amounted to the sum of £20,473, 18. The whole amount last year was £20,750, 15s. 8d., leaving a balance in favour of last year of £277, 14s. 8d. The number of failures to collect
Last Year. This Year.
27 Foreign Missions,
13 » College Fund,
26 Conversion of the Jews,
35 Scheme, It thus appears that the collection for the Colonial Scheme is the only one of the fixed annual collections for permanent objects, which shows a greater number of failures than occurred last year. The number of failures is less in all the others, and very considerably less as regards the College Fund, and the fund for Foreign Missions. The failures to collect for the College Fund are, in some cases, left uuaccounted for. In others, it appears that collections were made, though not returned in time. In a third class, the statement is that the congregations were collecting for the liquidation of debt, or local purposes of a temporary or emergent kind, and in one case there is no other statement except that the minister was absent from the meeting of Presbytery. The 13 failures to collect for the Foreign Missions are all accounted for in a bopeful manner, except in one instance, in which the somewhat unsatisfactory statement is made, that all resources are required for the ordinary expenses ; and two instances in which no reason is given, the want of a reason in one of them being caused by the absence of the minister from the Presbytery. The 18 apparent failures to collect for the Conversion of the Jews are all accounted for, either by the collection having been made but not reported in time, or by temporary causes which are not likely to operate again, except four cases, in which no reason is given, the absence of the minister from the Presbytery being, in one instance, the occasion of the silence ; one case, in which the collection was made, but nothing was obtained beyond the ordinary average ; and one case, the same with that referred to under the previous head, in which all resources are said to be required for ordinary purposes. The 27 failures to collect for the Home Mission have nearly the same proportion of each description of answer given in the schedule, with that in the schedule for the College and Foreign Mission Funds. On the whole, it appears that the requisite attention by ministers, Sessions, and Deacons' Courts, to the Home and Foreign Missions, and to the College and Conversion of the Jews' Funds, has increased during the past year; especially to the Foreign Missions and College Funds. The comparative deficiency of attention, however, to the Colonial department of the Colonial and Continental Fund, has been considerable during the past year. It may, perhaps, be accounted for in part, by the circumstance of there having been this year a special collection for the Continental department of that fund. The failures are generally of the same kind with those already mentioned under former heads, but, of course, more numerous in each class. The same statement is here made again with reference to the one congregation that requires all its resources for ordinary purposes. In three instances the answer is in these words, “Could not get in.” The clerks do not profess to explain the exact meaning of this answer. It probably means the same thing with the answer given for two out of these three congregations, as well as for six others in the schedule for the Disruption Ministers' Fund, wbich is, “ Could not get it in.” In this last-mentioned schedule alone, the answer occurs in a few instances that the object is objected to by the minister, bis Deacons' Court, or his people. The state of attention to this object has not improved since last year, the number of apparent failures to collect having been 88 this year, as compared with 84 last year. They are accounted for to a great extent by the same causes as those mentioned with reference to the other schedules. In one instance, the statement is that the collection was interfered with per incuriam by another collection. The apparent failures to collect for the Continental Fund were 44 this year, as compared with 42 last year, in the case of the Evangelisation of the Masses at the same period of the year. The answers in the schedule are in proportion much to the same effect with those in the other schedules, except in one case where, strangely enough, with the Act of Assembly in his possession, the minister is said to have made the mistake of thinking that the collection for the Colonial department included that for the Continental. The apparent failures to collect on behalf of the Normal Schools aud the Church Building Fund combined were 35, as compared with 23 in the case of the Highlands and Islands last year, at the same period of the year. There is no variation from the other schedules in the answers given, except in one instance, in which the minister could give no reason, but that the people had given so little formerly that the collection was not worth minding.
The Assembly appointed the schedules and lists to be dealt with in terms of the deliverance thereanent in 1860, and the Assembly also renewed all the instructions given by the Assemblies of 1860 and 1864 to the Clerks of Assembly, to Presbyteries, and to Committees.
RELIGION AND MORALS.
Dr J. J. Wood, Dumfries, gave in the report of the Committee on the State of Religion and Morals, (No. XIX.) The report gives minute details of the evangelistic and revival work which has been going on during the
past year in different districts of the country. These details chiefly comprise communications from ministers in the vicinity of the Forth and Clyde Canal, at Kilsyth, Cumbernauld, Larbert, and Kirriemuir, in which a remarkable awakening has taken place, and many have been added to the Church through the instrumentality of the meetings held in these places. Reference is also made to the work done by the Territorial Churches in Glasgow and Dumfries, chiefly among the non-church-going population of these towns—a work which has been attended with remarkable and gratifying results. To the report is appended statements by the deputations appointed to visit the Synod of Moray and the Synod of Galloway; but these were reserved for consideration at a future diet of Assembly. In submitting the report, Dr Wood observed that an exceedingly interesting work had been going on during the year in many parts of the country. The committee did not think it necessary to issue inquiries to all the ministers of the Church, or even to all the Presbyteries, feeling that an annual inquiry of this kind was apt to become formal on their part, and to receive a formal answer from those to whom it was addressed. They understood, however, that in many parts of the land a very encouraging work of God's grace had been going on, and he was instructed, as convener, to address a note to the ministers of the Free Church in those districts, requesting information regarding the work, which he might lay before the Church. He accordingly communicated with a number of ministers, and received a number of very in. teresting returns. But he wished the Assembly to understand that what appeared in the report by no means comprehended the whole of the information, or even a considerable portion of it. Since the report had been made up, he had received communications telling him of the work of grace in other places than those mentioned in the report; and from other districts, where there was reason to believe that a work of grace was going on, he had received no communication. He believed, for instance, that in Forfar a very interesting and extensive work was going on, as also in Haddington and Stromness. A slight reference was made in the report to Kirriemuir; and he held in his hand a letter from the minister of Auchterarder, who, while saying it would be premature to give any formal statement, at the same time was convinced that many persons had teen awakened, and were giving evidence of a saving change of heart. In that town the revival had been characterised by an absence of excitement. The work had been connected to a large extent with the instrumentality of lay evangelists. He (Dr Wood) haid reason to believe similarly interesting movements had taken place in other districts of the country. In the places referred to in the report, ministers and other office-bearers had taken an interest in the movement, and bad put themselves at its head, preventing a number of abuses that sometimes were introduced at such seasons. The first result of this movement, and the most gratifying, had been the conversion of souls. From the testimony of the ministers who had communicated with him, it was plain that many souls had been brought to the Saviour, giving evidence of the reality of their conversion by a life and conversation according to godliness. But it was a remarkable thing that over the general community there appeared to have been a sort of awe restraining them from acts of gross wickedness. They experienced that in Dumfries some years ago, when he was informed by the head of the police that he had very little to do; and a similar