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in the Free Church, but it was a school that exists in the country outside the Free Church, and he thought it belonged to that venerable Assembly, as the guardian of the interests of the Church, to see that no member of such a school found an entrance into the Free Church, or if he did find an entrance, that he be made to cease from teaching the doctrines of that school. Dr Wood concluded by saying, if they did not give Mr Smith an opportunity of being heard, it would not be just to the Assembly, nor to Mr Smith.
Dr Rainy said he would not detain the House by any formal reply; but in answer to the remarks of Dr Wood, he might observe that the reference brings up all the parties. Mr Smith had full opportunity of sisting himself if he had chosen. He knew this, and it was intimated from the bar that he was ready to come up there if called, although be exercised bis own judgment, and, in his present state of health, he chose to stay away.
He did so, no doubt, in the belief that full materials were before the Assembly in the statements upon record, and if Mr Smith was content, they had no occasion, in bis interests, to be discontented. (Hear.) With regard to the book, the Assembly knew nothing of it, except the fact of its publication. They were not entitled to say that it contained the sermons “ without a word of explanation.” They did not know that. The safe ground for the Assembly to stand upon was to say that, on the strength of his explanation, and believing it to be an honest one, we send you back, but you are bound not to repeat teaching of the quality we have found this to be ; and if Mr Smith does not comply with that injunction, he takes the consequences. The vote was then taken, with the following result :For Dr Rainy's motion,
301 For Dr Begg's amendment,
Majority for the motion,
190 The result was received with some applause by the audience.
Dr Berg dissented in his own name, and in the name of those who might adhere to him.
The Assembly then adjourned at twenty-five minutes past one in the morning, to meet again at eleven o'clock.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29.
DEPUTATION OF IRISH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
There was laid before the Assembly an extract minute from the records of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, from which it appeared that at their last meeting they had received the deputation from this Church, and heard their addresses with much satisfaction; that they rejoiced in the continued prosperity of this Church, and in the prospect of union among Presbyterians in Scotland, and that they had instructed the deputation to convey the expression of their warm and fraternal feelings.
Another extract minute was read from the same records, from which it appeared that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland had appointed the Rev. Henry Wallace of Londonderry, and the Rev. James Gibson of Strathbane, with Hugh Simpson, George M'Carter, and Thomas Sinclair, junior, esquires, ruling elders, a deputation to this Assembly.
The deputation was then introduced by Dr Hugh Miller, one of the deputation last year from this Assembly to the Assembly in Ireland, Mr Wallace, Mr Gibson, and Mr Simpson being present, addressed the Assembly iu succession.
Mr WALLACE tirst addressed the Assembly. After some introductory remarks, he spoke of the Presbyterian Church as a witness for the truth in the midst of the speculative activity and the aberration of activity wbich prevailed at the present day. We were easily taken with some startling novelty, whether in science or theology. We loved anything very sensational, and not only in literature but in theology was there a tendency to the sensational which the Church had need to watch. He believed very great vigilance was manifested by the Presbyterian Church in watching the tendency of the times, and he was sure no man could have read or heard the debate of yesterday without feeling that there was as much activity on the side of truth as against it—that there were men as capable of standing up to maintain the truth of God as there were men of science and literature active to assail it. (Applause.) This was hopeful, and he thought the debate would serve an admirable purpose. It came most opportunely in the present day-most opportunely for Britain and for Ireland, although Ireland was slower to partake of the speculative activity which reigned more in England and in Scotland. But still that literature and theology was coming amongst the Irish, and he thanked God for the debate of yesterday, for it would show that there was a power in the Presbyterian Church to stand up as a witness for the truth of God, and to deal with error when it appeared. Without taking upon him to say anything upon either side, it was manifest that, however the debate might have issued, there was a power to deal rationally, reasonably, and argumentatively with error, and to deal with it as a matter of discipline-a power which belonged to the Presbyterian Church alone, for there was no other Church capable of taking up the same position and of carrying it out. There was great need to watch for the purity of divine worship. He should have supposed that Scotland was the last place in the world where there was any need to testify this, but there was a movement going on in Scotland which had proceeded further than he thought. He had observed a goodly six shilling volume lying on the booksellers’ tables, manifestly with the view of introducing liturgical worship into the Church of Scotland. He thought that if they looked into the Word of God it was perfectly evident that it was the purpose of God that the exercises of His house should be carried on by the free exercise of those gifts which He has bestowed upon His people. And if the worship of God was to be maintained in its purity they required very jealously to guard the form of it, and he believed that our forms were capable of cultivation even by natural powers and by the Spirit of God; and, he said, our protection against danger lay in these elements. It was sometimes complained that Presbyterians were a little too narrow and needed comprehensiveness ; and they had seen some doctrines about comprehension in these latter days that would be comprehension enough to annihilate the Church. When they were told in a very bigh-standing literary periodical, by a young nobleman, that the Church ought to be able to comprehend within its communion and ministry such a man as Theodore Parker—when they had such a comprehension as that—there was no longer any use of making a distinction between the Church and the world. They were not comprehensive enough to embrace the world within the Church, but he maintaived they were comprehensive enough to embrace the whole Church of God, and to embrace all that held the truth of God, and to embrace all upon whom the Spirit of God rests. They had need to be watchful, and he thanked God that he had had the opportunity of seeing the vigilance of the Free Church on these great matters
. (Applause.) Mr Gibson followed, and commented on the various speculative terdencies of the age. Adverting to the position of the Church of England, he observed that, when we exchanged the sphere of the world for that of the Church, we expected to enter the shrine of peaceful meditations, of accordant doctrines, and of harmonious working, for is not the truth one ? And yet we seemed to enter a school of doubt rather than of faith, and instead of a house at peace with itself, we behold an arena of contending factions. On the one hand, the Church seemed hopelessly immersed in the inundation of the melted snows of German infidelity; on another side, she was decking herself with idiot pride in the trappings of medieval symbolism that are being laughed and hooted out of Italy. And her consecrated heads, when appealed to by the bleeding body of Christ, lift up their hands in the helplessness of children, and re-echo the wail of him in the Vatican-Non possumus.
Amidst all the errors of the day, however, it was cheering to know that the system of doctrine and polity to which the Presbyterians adhere maintains its efficiency and superiority on the side of truth.
Mr M'CORKLE, in connexion with the members of the deputation of the Irish Presbyterian Church who had just spoken, referred to the high theological qualifications of the students and ministers of the Church; to their soundness in doctrine, to their strong attachment to the Presbyterian discipline and worship, and their missionary zeal as a Church. In touching on the question of the Regium Donum, he said, to describe the reception of it as an adulterous connexion with the State was surely very exaggerated language. As having been for seven years a minister in Limerick, he had never had any difficulty in accepting the Regium Donum. He moved that the following deliverance :-"The General Assembly hereby record their satisfaction with the addresses of the Deputation, and instruct the Moderator to convey to them the cordial thanks of the House. The Assembly also renew the expression of their strong sympathy with the operations of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland for the furtherance of Christ's kingdom, and of their fervent prayer that the faithful Presbyterians of Ireland and the faithful Presbyterians of Scotland may be more and more closely united by the ties of faith and love, in the endeavour, by God's grace, to uphold the Saviour's honour, ani to advance His cause, according to the Scriptures.”
Dr Rainy seconded. He said the Free Church bad never forgotten and never could forget, that their Irish Presbyterian friends stood bx them in their struggle, when, if they had been willing to forsake them, they might readily have found a plausible excuse for doing so. (Hear, hear.) At that time the Irish Presbyterian Church had rendered a most grateful testimony, and given a most grateful sympathy. Therefore, while they gave a cordial welcome to Presbyterian deputations from any quarter, it was with peculiar satisfaction and sympathy they welcomed a deputation from the Irish Presbyterian Church. (Applause.)
The motion was unanimously approved of.
The MODERATOR, addressing the deputation, said-After the pleasant and profitable intercourse which bas so long been maintained between Four Church and ours, it is not needful that I should assure you that the visit of the Irish deputation is always a welcome occasion in our General Assemblies. It would be strange and unnatural, indeed, if we could regard your Church, and whatever concerns it, with other than feelings of almost parental interest. For, sprung from ourselves, your Ecclesiastical history has been closely connected with our own. You have had similar struggles for truth and freedom. And, embracing more than a half of the Protestant population of Ireland, you stand fast this day in the enjoyment of the spiritual liberty and independence, to secure which the Free Church of Scotland has endured so many costly sacrifices. (Hear, hear.) Moreover, as has been already said by my friend Dr Rainy, we can never forget your sympathy with us during our ten years' conflict, and how all your influence, corporate and personal, was employed to persuade the Government of the country to recognise our scriptural and constitutional rights and elaims. Nor can we forget how, when our united efforts in this direction bad all proved unavailing, yoki effectually helped us by the presence and services of many of your best and ablest ministers, amidst the early difficulties of Disruption times. (Applause.) Our interest in your Church, and in her wise and zealous efforts to promote the religious and social well-being of your country, is further deepened by the love we bear to Ireland, by our desire for the happiness of her susceptible, imaginative, and warm-hearted people, and because we look to your Church as a means, in the band of God, of her deliverance from the ignorance and error and superstition by which she is enthralled, and from the party and political animosities by which her peace is so often disturbed and her prosperity retarded. It is our heart's desire and prayer that the members of our Free Church, and the people of Scotland generally, may ever be found ready to encourage your labours, directed to these Christian and patriotic ends, by their cordial sympathy and liberal aid. And may the great Head of the Church Himself bless with ever-increasing success your invaluable Home Mission. We pray that many souls may be gathered to Himself by its instrumentality ; at the same time, mindful that godliness is profitable for all things, and has the promise of this life as well as of the life to come, we entreat that you may be honoured to do for all Ireland wbat you have been honoured to do for the province of Ulster ; that so loyalty and order, tranquillity and industry, may distinguish the eharacter of your entire population, and that the Three Kingdoms, united in the bonds of truth and love, may form “a threefold cord, not quickly broken." (Applause.)
The Assembly then appointed as their deputation to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr Lorimer, Glasgow; Mr Patrick T. Muirhead, Kippen ; and Mr T. S. Anderson, Crailing ; with Mr George Harvey, Mr Thomas Chalmers, and Mr John M. M'Candlish, ruling elders.
SUSTENTATION FUND--SPECIAL REPORTS. Dr BUCHANAN-I have now to lay on the table four special reports. First, a report which has reference to charges contributing to the Sustentation Fund at and under £50 per annum ; next, a report respecting congregations that have passed through the hands of the committee during the last ten years for the moderation of calls, with the object of bringing out how far these congregations have kept faith, so to speak, with the committee—that is to say, have really contributed to the Sustentation Fund the amount that was arranged with the congregation at the begining of the incumbency which brought them before the committee. Then there is a report on the subject of supplements to ministers. I think it desirable, however, not to enter upon the subjects of these three separate reports until the Assembly has taken up and disposed of one that is more urgent and more important in its own nature than any one of the three-I refer to the special report of the Sustentation Committee, which has regard to the Sustentation Fund itself. I have no doubt that this reportof which I hold a copy in my hand, and which has been in the hands of members—has been engaging their attention. I may simply mention that the meeting of the committee, at which it was adopted, was specially called for the purpose ; and it was held after a previous meeting, at wbich the subject had been under pretty full consideration. The whole subject was considered so important, that this subsequent special meeting of the committee was held for the purpose of going into this report and the proposals which it contains. That meeting was attended by fifty-four members, who were unanimous on the subject of the report. It may
therefore be fairly said to come before the House with some claim to attention and consideration.
It will be necessary for me to go into the nature of these proposals at some length, and it is to this task I now propose to give myself
, with the indulgence of the General Assembly. I hope I may be pardoned for asking, at the outset, the earnest attention of the House to what I am about to say. The proposal which I have undertaken to submit to the Assembly may have its faults and imperfections, but for the object at which it aims I feel that I am entitled to claim the most thoughtful consideration. The importance of that object it is hardly possible to over, estimate. “ Like priest, like people,” is an old and true proverb, and one which is full of meaning. An inferior ministry will soon, and inevitably, create its own counterpart in the moral and religious inferiority of those who are placed under it; and what else but an inferior ministry can any people have, who, whether from thoughtlessness or selfishness, withhold the means of adequately maintaining it? Wealth, it is true, has its dangers for ministers of religion as for all other men. Had these dangers not been both real and great, the awfully significant saying of our Lord would never have been uttered—“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” But poverty has its dangers too, and these not less formidable than the other. The wisest of men saw this clearly, not only when he sought to be himself exempted from the temptations peculiar to both extremes, but when he said so emphatically, “ The destruction of the poor is their poverty." By the meanness, the discontent, the